Happy New Years to My Fellow Stay-At-Home Club Members

That's right. Today is the today. All day. 

I was looking back (here's looking at you Time Hop) at the New Year's Eve's of yesteryear. 

Take a walk with me, if you please, and be transported from 2010 to 2018!

Spoiler alert - the common theme is staying at home so this one is for you Stay-At-Home friends!

 One year ago - a mix of mimosa's at work and binge watching anything and everything with my hubs - at that time we had been married for just shy of 2 months.

 Two years ago - Oh look! It's your friendly neighborhood stay home couple! This was the year my hubs proposed to me on Christmas!

3 years ago - I had a look back at my top nine of that year - seems like it was mostly hair related which is totally fine by me. I left Gainesville and moved back to Jacksonville this year, also the year I met my hubs. That photo on the bottom left corner is when I got my hair done for the first time being back in Jacksonville and I was sitting in front of the condo I was renting. I felt like my life was falling apart and little did I know how much it would change in early December that year. A trans-formative year for this gal.

 4 years ago - the caption on this read "#newyearseve at work selfie..." - showing off my pink vibes for the end of 2015. Later that evening...I was in my pajamas at home. Obviously.

 5 years ago - I participated in a tag on instagram - the caption said, "New Year's Eve for me = watching #thesupervet and cuddled up with cats and blankets...and pjs." Yep. It me.

6 years ago - Let me just jump ahead to the caption, "If you see photos of my wild and crazy New Year's Eve...it will consist of pretty much this and painting my nails. #stayathomeclub" - I mean come on...ya girl doesn't change much.

 7 year ago - caption consisted of, #ootd at work today. My New Year's even outfit once I'm home will be pajamas so this is a much better option to share!" - Real clothes for the first half of the day (that's more than I can admit to on this current day in 2019)

9 year ago - Oh look! Me! Out on New Years!! Another spoiler here...I was out with my mom and stepdad because my mom told me I had to get out of the house. Rude but also my mom is the queen so what she says is often accurate.

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That's it's guys. If you are like me and you prefer to be inside, watch the ball drop, binge watch whatever the hell you want, drink champagne, lounge with cats (or dogs), watch youtube, take down decorations, or whatever the heck you wanna do...as long as it's at home...then join me this evening because I'll be right there with you!!

Happy New Year!!


Resolutions? Type 1 Diabetes Care? Wait...I Thought This was About Resolutions....

Hey friends!

Funny story. Not really but a tale that's true at the very least.

I stopped blogging again. 50% because my laptop I was using was just utter junk the other 50% largely due to my lack of time to commit to clicking the keys for any amount of time. 

50% of that equation has been solved by my handsome husband. Not the extra time bit...nope I'm still grasping at straws when it comes to free time BUT he did get me a new laptop for Christmas??

Exhibit A - photographic evidence of said new laptop.
And second, LOOK HOW CUTE MY FAMILY IS!

Okay, okay not the point of my post right?

My question of course is, do you partake the resolution tradition? Have you in the past and this year you are throwing that mess to the wayside? 

I don't remember the last time I made the vow aka resolution. If you are, wanna share with the class what you're going to try and accomplish this upcoming year?

I REALLY want to focus on my diabetic health and wellness. If you're not here, hi I'm Jenna, Type ONE diabetic for going on 35 years now. If you don't know the difference between type 1 and 2...they are immensely different. Type 1 is also called juvenile diabetes aka early onset. It doesn't have anything to do with weight, how could it, I was 13 months old when I was diagnosed that fateful day. My pancreas, the thing that gives non-type 1 diabetics insulin to compensate for food they eat, doesn't work and by doesn't work I mean...it's literally pointless to have in my body but ya know it's easier to keep there than take out the dead organ. So what a working pancreas does for a regular person...I step in for that pancreas. I manually, via insulin and syringes, give myself shots at least 5 times a day.

I'll be honest though I'm a HORRIBLE diabetic. Living with it for so long it's easy to forget and slip into non-type 1 routines when you spend all your time with non-diabetic people. This year, my goal is to take better control of my blood sugars because I need my life to be a long one. Simple as that.

I won't call this a resolution, I'll just call it a promise to myself and my family.


As Seen on Instagram - Rings Addition!

Alright! I'm super excited to share a few of my favorite (ring) things. 

If you follow me on Instagram then it'll come as no surprise that ya girl loves jewelry. Rings in particular. I often get questions about my jewelry so I thought I would gather some recent and not so recent photos and share it here! If you have any questions, feel free to ask me here or hop on over to my Instagram and ask there! And tell me who your favorite indie jewelry seller! I'm always looking for new shops!

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Scroll on down for details!

 
Index finger - *sorry this is thrifted from YEARS ago*
Middle finger - One of many from New_Moon_Bazaar
Index/Middle finger in 2nd photo - New_Moon_Bazaar

Spider ring - Mysticum Luna

Both of these divine rings are the same shop! Also these are adjustable! - Marrie_ko

Same shop, different rings! This isn't an instagram based shop but she posts very often on her instagram. The main shop is on Etsy. Lots of awesome sales and just such divine craftsmanship. - Brimstone Bindings 

Index finger - New_Moon_Bazaar
Middle finger - Brazilian Magick

So I share this with fair warning - the maker lives in Australia - so ordering comes with some risks. I made two orders that arrived fine, but the last order I placed at the end of July never showed up - to save on shipping costs for customers it's not trackable but if it DOES show up - it's magic, just so beautiful - Crystal Creep

And of course, last but not least, my BEAUTIFUL wedding set. 
Fire Opal from Michellia Fine Jewelry

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That's all folks! I hope you discovered some new shops for all your ring loving needs! 

Until next time!

A Regular Gals Guide to Homebuying

I've purchased two homes in my 35 years, so I mean, I'm pretty sure that qualifies me to give advice.

Not really, but it does qualify me to give some tips about the whole process...I think! I purchased a town home during the housing slump in 2011, it was a buyers market to say the least. That fact was even more apparent when I set out to buy the home we live in now.

Here are my tips, tricks, and personal horror stories.


So let's dive in shall we? It's gonna be a long one.

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  • First things first, FIND AN AGENT THAT MATCHES YOUR NEEDS!
The first home I bought, I had a horrible agent. The second home I bought, again, another horrible agent. Find out what you would think makes a "horrible" agent, then, find someone that isn't those things. For me, I needed someone VERY responsive. Neither agent I used was responsive. Even during the writing an offer part of it all, you need someone who is going to act on things quickly. Especially in a seller's market where homes sell fast. Don't be afraid to get rid of an agent that you were matched up with. Talk to people. Use an agent that you get first hand reviews of from people you know. Both times for me, I regretted not getting rid of my agents, remember they work for you. If they aren't meeting your needs then, thank you...next.

  • Don't Rush the Process
Sometimes, especially in a seller's market, you feel so so rushed. But remember, this is a BIG purchase. Act quickly, but not hastily. We had our rental lease about to expire, so we were rushing. We missed things during our initial viewing of the house we ended up buying. (Also, this is something your agent should tell you, if they are rushing you, beware.) We saw maybe 10 homes and made offers on about 8 of them. They were selling right from underneath us. It was insane. That alone made us feel rushed. But REALLY think about it. Could we have went on a month-to-month lease situation in order to keep a roof over our head? Yes. It's hard to ignore all the things that can make you move too quickly, but try and stop, evaluate, and think.

  • Consider a New Build
Sometimes it's a better deal to buy new. If you don't go upgrade crazy, and you have ample time to build, go for it. If we had had more time, we would've built. Sometimes it's hard to find exactly what you want OR almost exactly what you want from existing homes. Also, you just never know what happened in the house with previous owners. We, were surprised by carpets with years of dog pee. We were duped by the sellers because they used an inordinate amount of air fresheners when we first saw the home. We just thought they were trying to make it smell nice. On the day we closed, we did the final walkthrough, only to walk into a home without a ton of fragrance so we really got to feel the full smack in the face of dog pee. We had planned to put laminate wood floors upstairs but it became clear that we were going to have to do that BEFORE we even moved in because...ew. If we had built new, that would've never been an issue OR an added and surprise cost. My first home I bought was a new build and let me tell you, it was a hell of a lot easier to assimilate into the home. This time it's taken so much time and money to try and rid the home of the old owners and we're still not finished!

  • Ooooh Girl, Plan to Compromise
Unless your budget is epic and your down payment is massively hefty, plan to compromise. Know what you CAN live without on your wish list and know what you CAN'T live without. Simple as that.

  • Pay Attention to Your Inspection
GO to your home inspection if you can. It'll give you another chance to see the home (because you can still get out of your contract at this point, once the home inspection is said and done and signed off on, then you're pretty much stuck - if you see something that is a non-negotiable item and the sellers won't fix/change it - you can get out of the contract) - I wish I attended the home inspection for this home but I didn't. Don't let your agent tell you that it's not necessary to attend, this is YOUR potential home. Our inspector missed a lot. For heaven's sake none of our sink stoppers even worked. None of them. And....our doorbell didn't work...it wasn't even connected to a power source. So yeah, go if you can! Make your own notes!

  •  Go to the Potential New Neighborhood at Varying Times of the Day/Week
This tip really is for buying or renting. My mom told me this YEARS ago when I first started renting on my own. It's pretty self-explanatory. Visit the neighborhood in the morning, afternoon, and evening. When night falls, a neighborhoods vibe can be totally different than when the sun it shining. See if it feels safe, is it a raucous environment (man I sound like my grandmother), aesthetically does it give you good vibes? How does it make you feel? Don't move anywhere that gives you pause or makes you feel like if you were home alone, you would be concerned.

  • Be Prepared to be Broke
Yep. Broke from every direction. Remember regular gal's guide. This regular gal does NOT have a disposable income and quite frankly barely has a savings account. Credit card debt for days for this gal. So I'm broke in every direction. Things will come up that you weren't prepared for. All of a sudden you had all the things you needed in your rental but in your new or new to you home, there's an absence of all the necessary things. Don't feel like you HAVE to buy everything you need all at once, you have plenty of time, but even if you pace yourself...you'll still be broke.

  • Get Your Finances in Order
You will have to provide SO much documentation once you are under contract. Try to get a head of it. Make sure your credit score is in tact. Make your payments ON TIME. Don't open any new cards in the months leading up to when you start looking for a home. Make sure you don't overdraft on your bank account. You'll need to provide at least 3 months of bank statements and if there is an overdraft you'll need to explain it.  Just be mindful of your finances before you start down the home search process. This section could be a post all in itself, if you have any questions about the finance part of home buying, please feel free to ask!

  • BE HAPPY!
No matter what you end up with, take a breath, get to the closing table, take it all in stride because girl/fella...you bought OR are buying a house!!

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    One more thing...PLEASE....find an agent that will fight for you - to go to bat for you - to represent you and to make choices that benefit you. As a first time home buyer, or if you are buying for the second time but...it's been awhile, your agent needs to make you feel comfortable and SAFE during this whole process. No question is a stupid question, if your agent makes you feel that way, find a new one.

    Photographic evidence of the day we closed on our house, even with ALL the (unexpected and expected) trials we were going to face getting the house ready to move into, we were freaking thrilled.

    If you have ANY questions, please feel free to ask!

    Let's Shake the Dust Off with a....Fancy Finds Friday...Kinda.

    This Fancy Finds Friday will be slightly different.

    I hope to continue either this or alternatively my, Mid-Week Coffee Break, but I wanted to take a minute and re-introduce myself and introduce my husband!

    If you follow me on Instagram, @ThatGalJenna, none of this will be news to you. Really my entire story since 2016 won't be news to you! But hopefully, it'll be a fun glimpse either way.

    When I left Gainesville and moved back to Jacksonville. I was at a complete loss. I had no idea what any day would hold. Little did I know that in the massive amounts of chaos, there would be a shining light at the end of the tunnel.

    Tinder was introduced when I was married to my first husband. Therefore, I had no idea what all the fuss was about, so I took the opportunity to explore the craze when I left my ex. What a weird world to dive into after being married. I was really using it as a tool to get myself out there. I met a handful of people that didn't amount to much of anything except a Tinder story or two but then, I met someone who would end up being my future husband. Whoa. What? Yep. That fateful first date back in December of 2016. We were both in similar chapters of our lives. Both on the road to divorce. Same old story, married before we were really ready and then divorce happening before too much time had passed. My advice to any ladies in their mid-20's out there...just because someone asks...doesn't mean you have to say yes! It's true what they say, you change A LOT in your 20's, I know I did! What seems like a great idea at 25 may not feel all that great at 29 or 30. So think before you leap! Just an old lady's advice that you didn't ask for!

    So yes, I met my husband on Tinder. Never did I think I'd utter those words. So we dated, we had our ups and downs, we both got divorced within a few months of one another (please keep in mind, our separations and following divorces, were already started before we ever met! It wasn't a drama-filled situation) and we went along our merry way. In December of 2017, a year after we met, we got engaged. On Christmas. I was one of THOSE girls! Fast-forward to November of 2018, we were getting hitched in Asheville, NC. My childhood second home where I spent many a holidays with my mom and my grandparents who resided in Asheville. I couldn't imagine a better place to tie the knot.

    We kept it simple. We were what was important. We got married with only my parents and my husband's mom and family friend. We said "I Do" at the Sky Bar attached to the Flatiron building in Asheville, NC. What a view. We honeymooned in a cabin a couple hours away from Asheville for a week. We explored NC and TN. We made a promise to ourselves to go back to continue or explorations.

    We came back home as husband and wife. My husband now a "father" to my cats (Benny, Olive, and Trixie) and me...now a step-mom to the best kid a gal could ask to be a second mom to. Oh yeah, I have a son now! Who would have thunk it?

    Let's jump ahead 7 months....we bought a home together. A townhome that is officially where our family resides. I will share photos of the house and the progress another time! Also, DIY projects, not for the faint of heart.

    So with all that said, here are some photos of all the stuff mentioned above. I hope this wasn't a miserable recap and you were able to stick it out!

    Wedding Day - 
    **Tip - have the wedding YOU want - even if it makes other people scratch their heads in confusion. It happened to us, it's a good thing we didn't make our choices for other people!









    Oh yeah, I got a few more tattoos since 2016 too. Spoiler alert.

    Flowers from Lot450Shop
    Floral Crown from BeauXOXO
    Dress - Thredup - second hand
    Groom's Ring - GrownRings
    Bride's Ring - MichelliaFineJewelry

    If there's any other item you see that you're curious about where it came from, drop me a note!

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    A few honeymoon photos because...it's so pretty.
    **Tip - Take as much time as you can to see new things, revisit old things, talk, and explore on your honeymoon. No matter where you go. 



    We spent a good chunk of time at our cabin located in Robbinsville, NC. If you're looking for a cabin make sure to check out Watershed Cabins. We had a fantastic experience with them!


    We fished, or my husband did, and I caught one and felt bad for catching it so I was a spectator and cheerleader most of the time! We went to Coopers Creek Trout Pond in Bryson City, NC. Boy was it tricky to find and get to, but worth it!


    We ventured into Cherokee, NC to see the views and to do a little tourist shopping.




    We ventured down the Dragon's Tail to get to Knoxville, TN and had a blast walking the streets of downtown Knoxville. What a neat place. We will definitely be back there!

    We took a hike in Stecoah, NC. 

    And smooched our way through all the mountain-side views. 

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    I'll stop there! It goes without saying...the past 3 years have been a whirlwind and good and bad...and ugly. But boy did making my way through the bad and the ugly prove to be worthwhile. 

    Come back soon, I'll be here!

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