Top 5 Things I’ve Learned About Apartment Living in 8 Years

I’ve never owned a house. To be honest, I’ve never really wanted to. I’ve moved around a lot in the last 8 years, and have really valued being able to pick up and move when I was ready to do so.

I’ve been living in apartments and/or renting houses since college, and I can say that through roommates, two-bedrooms, four-bedrooms, backyards, no backyards, pets and no pets… I’ve learned a few things about living in an apartment.

Rachel’s the opposite. She’s never lived in an apartment, so we thought we’d share our thoughts and lessons learned from our own experiences with each others’ readers. Fun, huh? So, if you’re on my blog today, Rachel’s sharing her 5 Things No One Ever Told Me About Owning a House, and here I am with –

5 Things I’ve Learned About Apartment Living in the Last 8 Years

5. Make the most of your small space. I’ve found that in smaller apartments, shelf space is super valuable. Chris and I have little cabinet space in our big new stainless steel kitchen sink we got from Zigsby’s Kitchen who was amazing to work with. They helped us pick it out and shipped our sink to us super quick.  I also love to keep the counters clean. This was almost impossible – as we needed the space on the counters for our appliances – until we added a shelf in the kitchen. We moved our pretty dishes, bowls, and glasses onto the shelf and put the appliances (blender, food processors) out of sight and in the cabinets. This works in other rooms also – keep your surfaces clean and clutter-free by making use of creative space like shelves.

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It Shouldn’t Be a Secret

My 9-5 makes me miserable.  I can’t stand sitting at that desk for eight hours every day using like… 1/10th of my available brain power.  I can’t stand that i’m under appreciated and taken for granted a lot.  I have my yearly “performance evaluation” on friday and it’s already giving me anxiety because I know they aren’t going to sit me down and tell me i’m doing fabulously.  I’m the ONLY employee, so a performance evaluation is insane.  It’s not like i’m in competition with anyone.  I bust my ass for these people, I show up every single day and do my job to the best of my ability.  Do I screw up?  Of course, who wouldn’t.  But for the most part, I think (and i’m told my the people that I work with) that i’m very good at what I do.  For some reason though, my bosses just don’t see that.  But, I’m getting off point here.

It’s January 5th and I haven’t written about what my new years resolutions are!  I could make it simple and just tell you that i’m currently in the midst of what I have so lovingly named “Operation Six Pack” and that I will have abs for my wedding… but everyone resolves to get fit.

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Feelings Hurt

So, as most of you that are on 20sb know that out of over nine thousand members, my little love story project was nominated for an award.  This is an insane honor.  I’m included in that category with some amazing and wonderful writers and people (really.  I’ve had the pleasure to meet and hang out with each and every lady in that category!).  Do I think I’m going to win?  Absolutely not.  But out of NINE THOUSAND blogs, even to be nominated and recognized for my idea is pretty flipping amazing.

And now, I’m going to flip out.  Not something I do regularly around these parts… But i’m upset and i’m hurt. (Please remember that I am NOT speaking for the group here.  My opinions are my OWN.)

If there is one thing that I value the most among people that I hold dear to my hearts, my friends… it’s the ability to say what is on my mind without fear of it turning into a huge fight.  I do not want this to turn into a huge disagreement, I just want my feelings to be heard. I do not want anyone to feel as though I am pointing my finger at them because I am not.  Some of the people that have said things are people that I consider friends. There has been a lot of negativity around twitter and bloggers when it comes to the 20sb Bootleg Awards.  Not only the awards, but the featured blogger selections as well and it’s heart breaking.

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What’s the History of Your Jewelry

Recently, I have just purchased a new black and gold watch online.  I fell in love with the watch and wear it every single day.  Its a beautiful, sophisticated peace of jewelry that just happens to match my gold station necklace perfectly.  The watch has magnificent black face with a beautiful gold band while my necklace is a small gold chain with nice sophisticated black pendant.

Many times I take my jewelry for granted and never really think about where the idea of the peace even originated.  But one day about a week ago my mind started to wonder and I found myself “Google-ing” the origination of the modern wristwatch.

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Done

I try to come up with something to write here nearly every day.  I do.  Believe me.  I take pictures when I cook with the hopes that i’ll post the recipe for you guys and then I just never get around to it.  I make mental notes of things I want to share with you all.  Less than a month ago, I had my DREAM wedding and man, do I ever want to do some recaps, but the pro pics haven’t come back yet.  I feel like I’ve lost touch with so many of you guys because I haven’t been around.   In the past year and a half, my life has changed so wildly, so drastically… that i’m not really sure where to go with this blog.   This blog was built around my crazy relationships and my dating adventures and my spontaneous trips across the country.

Now, I’m the married girl that cant drop everything and fly across the country just because she misses her friend.  I’m the wife of an Airman & a police officer.  I’m the mama to a crazy pants puppy.  I have the cute house and the pretty yard right near the beach.  It’s a far cry from the person that I was back when I started Confessions of a Jersey Girl.  So many of my friends are still trying to figure out what they want in life, where they belong and me?  I know where I’m supposed to be.   I wake up there every single morning.   I work the boring 9-5 and go to sleep at 10p on a Friday.  Getting wild for me is ordering a movie on pay per view.

I’m not crafty, I don’t have an Etsy shop… so it’s not like I can write about that,  although I’m about to overhaul my office in the next few weeks and take it from man cave to girly chic so I can properly run my photography business.  I mean, I guess I could write about that?  I don’t know.

I don’t want to abandon this blog, abandon you guys.  This blog and everyone who reads it has carried me through some pretty hard stuff over the past 5 years that i’ve been writing it.  That’s a lot to walk away from.  I just feel like, since getting married and changing so much in my life… I lost my voice.  I don’t know where I fit.

A Canadian Tour

Thanks for the guest post Stephanie Smith;

When planning my trip to Canada, one of the first concerns I had was the weather. Not being the cold temperature type, I obviously chose to travel summer.

As it turns out, summer is the most popular time of year for tourists like myself in Canada. You will find higher priced air and hotel costs, but it is well worth it.
I was willing and able to spend a few months away from home. With that, I will be able to give you a month to month, regional summary of what there is to do in summertime Canada.

I began my journey at the end of June in Calgary.  This city in Albert  had perfect weather in  June averaging around 65 degrees Fahrenheit.  We ended up going to a couple festivals while in Calgary and enjoyed every second.  I recommend going to visit The Sled Island Music Festival.

Next we traveled to Niagara on Lake, Ontario. This was far from a sobering event, being that the Niagara New Vintage Festival was taking place. This consists of approximately thirty, but who’s counting, wineries offering tastings galore of Ontario’s newest fermented grapes. Along with these, are tours and other special events.

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Impulsive Perfection

I appreciate the guest post, Emerson Moses

After viewing so many uninspiring loft spaces in the Jersey area, we were beginning to believe this simply was not the time for us to look for our first place together. With every weekend venture of property shopping was met with endless obstacles. Bad areas, scary amounts of work to be done, and then there was the one with the mysterious smell that still has us perplexed. We took a much needed break from searching and spent the weekend soaking up the city. Sunday brunch at our favorite weekend recovery café gave us time to recharge our batteries and check in with our realtor. With new pep in our step, we met up for an impulsive viewing and to our surprise, it was amazing! A little over budget but well worth it. We knew we could cut corners in another way. TO my surprise, I was able to save tons by logging onto http://www.expertsatellite.com/ and becoming new customers. The entertainment package offered more than ample programming to satisfy both of us. Here’s to new beginnings!

Redesign

So, I can’t stay away.  I have too much to talk about and I’ve realized that it’s going to take a little effort on my part, but blogging is good for the soul.  It’s funny how saying you don’t want to do something anymore has a way of making you WANT to do it.  Anyway… moving on.

When we moved into our brand new little three bedroom rancher just over a year ago, we decided to use one bedroom for a spare and the other we were going to make into an office.  I purchased dark walnut furniture for in there and painted the walls tan.  The original plan was to make the office Matt’s space… and then my photography business took off.  And I don’t want to work in a man cave.  And the dark furniture wasn’t my thing.  So late last week, I sold my office furniture for half of what I paid for it.

Time to Get a Loan…maybe a FHA Loan

As you all know, I am recently married and we have been doing some research on home loans. Just wanted to share what I’ve learned the last few months in hopes that it helps inform all my followers. We have really been looking into getting an FHA loan. So this is what we’ve learned.

The Federal Housing Administration, FHA, which was formed in 1934, is part of the Department of Housing and Urban Development office. FHA offers programs that assist in financing home ownership throughout the United States. They provide insurance on loans given to individuals by lenders that are FHA approved, to enable them acquire homes. The FHA refinance loan was designed to provide a way to access funds that enable individuals to pay off other debts or make timely mortgage payments in order to protect their property against possible repossession or seizure. The loan also enables people to take care of other financial emergencies that may have required them to sell their property.

You may presently own a home that is FHA insured but your property faces possible repossession, or you simply need more funds to help you reduce your monthly mortgage payments or to help you get equity on your home and use the money on something that wish to. You may also wish to merge your debts and pay them all at once, or you may simply be looking to acquire a mortgage rate that is fixed. If you fall into any of these categories, then you can apply for an FHA refinance loan with FHA rates.

Contrary to popular belief, the application process for this loan is not complicated simply because it is part of a government department. You are only required to show that your monthly expenditure for housing such as payments of the mortgage and interest rates, insurance and taxes associated with your property is not more than 35% of your monthly earnings. The other requirement is that you will need to show that you are credit worthy, i.e. your must have a good credit score. This means that if you consistently fail to make your debt payments as required, your credit history will be damaged, giving you a bad or low credit score. If you are free from bankruptcy for 2 years and more, your chances of getting an FHA refinance are enhanced.

The FHA refinance loan does not have a pre-payment penalty, has great terms of up to 30 years, and is obtainable at current market rates. You can choose to get either the FHA Cash Out refinance or the FHA Streamline refinance. The former is ideal for you if you own a home or property whose market value has increased since you purchased it. This will enable you to access almost 85% of your property value and refinance your current mortgage or to simply pay off other debts. The FHA streamline refinance will help you reduce the interest rate on your current mortgage, turning it into a fixed rate. The process of acquiring the Streamline refinance is easier and faster compared to the Cash Out refinance because it requires less paperwork.

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Where to Begin…

This post has been a long time coming, at least for me.  Back when I started CoaJG, I was a confused twenty something who didn’t know her place, who didn’t know where she would end up, who didn’t know where she belonged.  This blog started over six years ago and has chronicled so much of of my crazy life through it’s few versions.  I’ve made some of the best friends I could ever have through this blog.  I’ve Been to Vegas, Minnesota, Chicago, California and NYC to hang out with some of the most amazing people that were ever put on this earth. Above all else, this blog has helped me to feel not so alone in a time when I had very little.

And then?  Then Vegas happened.  I realized that there were so many opportunities out there, so much that I could do if I just made the choice to LIVE.  So, I did.  I really think that weekend gave me the strength to be the person I am now, to make the choices that I have and to really love my life.  I fell in love with the man that became my husband, bought a house, survived a deployment, planned a wedding and became a photographer.  A REAL photographer.  All of this happened because of this blog and because of the courage and understanding that all of you who read this blog have given me over the years.  I’m a better person because of all of you.

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