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!

    Are You There Friends?...It's Me...Jenna


    Well. Can we all agree that it's been a while?

    So much has happened since I last posted on...June 6, 2016. Wowza.

    In June 2016, I was a couple months shy of leaving my now, ex-husband. However, if you would have asked me in June 2016 if that chapter in my life was about to close, I would have been totally unaware. Funny how big life changes can be a sneak attack.

    More or less, that is the reason why I disappeared. At the time I was living in Gainesville, FL and when I left my ex, it was back to Jacksonville for me. It was truly a textbook domino effect once it all started. I had to pack up the majority of the home I shared with my ex, travel to Jacksonville to find a place to rent, sort out my work situation as I would be commuting to my job in GAINESVILLE every day from Jacksonville until I found a new job locally! Not to mention, once I did move and begin commuting, my car died then I broke my cell phone into seemingly a million pieces. The hits just kept on coming!

    Of course, I was also starting the arduous process of filing for divorce. In reality, it really didn't take that long. I filed August 2016 and was divorced by June of 2017. 10 days after my 33rd birthday! Talk about a celebration.

    I have lots to update everyone on! I'm not sure what direction the blog will go but it'll go somewhere! My life is epically different now, to say the least. I may try my hand at YouTube, but I may not, who knows.

    Spoiler alert - this is me - this is us. Stay tuned to deep dive into all the changes. (Also, don't let the photo fool you, I still have bangs - that'll never change)



    Hey Monday! - I Quit...Cold Turkey?

    So what in the world does the post subject mean?

    I have a confession. If you know me, you know I like to shop. 

    Too much.

    Are you one of those people that not only shops because you want something but also because it makes you feel better? 
    At least during the initial shopping, purchasing process, and of course the arrival of the item if you were shopping online.

    Well I'm one of those people. It makes any bad feeling or emotion I'm having just disappear or lessen significantly when I shop.

    But now it's gotten to the point where the act of shopping is what is causing me stress. The stress of wanting something I don't need, buying it anyway, having to make room for more things I don't need, and of course the bitter realization of what it's doing to my bank account.

    So really that's all today's post is about. Maybe if I put it in writing I'll be forced to come to terms and SEE the impact it has on both myself and my family.

    Sometimes I look around at my things and panic...what if there was a fire or a flood? I want to make sure my family is safe before I even think about the materialistic things and by the time I got 5 panicked cats safe and sound...everything else would probably be gone. So why keep buying things?

    I think I will have to just quit. Cold turkey. No "but" or "ifs" to be included in this shopping cleanse. That's what always gets me in trouble when I try to cut back. 

    I don't need anything. 
    Well....except for cat food and when birthdays and holidays roll around.

    So this is my declaration to myself, my family, and anyone reading this...

    I am going to give up/quit shopping for least 9 months.
    **With the exception of necessities & gifts (for other people)
    And my birthday...I mean come on...this promise is happening 12 days before my birthday BUT I will not splurge. I limit my personal b-day gifts to...50 dollars.**

    My goal is to fill the time spent shopping with new or existing hobbies. 
    Any ideas?

    Does anyone else struggle with this shopping addiction? 
    Is shopping a way to de-stress or feel happy for you?

    Thanks for reading my not so dirty little secret.

    Share It!

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