Jul 31, 2013

Football Fans Unite!


It is quite insane what I'm about to do. I'm about to share my blog with not just other bloggers.... other bloggers who love football. Other bloggers who love football teams that are NOT THE BENGALS.

Have you recovered? :) Honestly, with the excitement of my Football Friday link-up and the craziness that is my life working in football, I wanted to get everyone involved. I asked some of my sponsors to talk about their favorite teams and why they are pumped for football season.


So I hope you made some new football-loving-friends.... and hopefully not too many enemies. Hey, if I can get along with a Steelers fan and a Browns fan, you can get along with anyone ;)

Who will you be rooting for this upcoming football season??

Jul 30, 2013

Sallie & Perkins: Progress Report

Nothing feels better than people complimenting you on something you've been working hard at. When you've been busting your butt and making sacrifices, it's definitely nice to have some encouraging words thrown your way. 

And that encouragement we're speaking of? It's coming from you all! From blog world! Honestly, the support and the feedback that Sallie and Perkins get on each of their posts has been amazing so far. You guys open up to us about your debt, your struggles. You share your tips to save money or to date on the cheap. And most of all, you don't judge us for being a couple of crazy, nerdy kids! Each comment encourages us to work harder than before and continue on the right track.

That being said, Sallie and Perkins do have a couple confessions to make this month. July? It was tough. A second month of a very strict budget and not a lot of frivolous spending was harder than we thought it would be. So here's a little secret....
We aren't perfect! (GASP!) Soooo many of you commend our efforts and say that you personally wouldn't have the willpower, etc. Well, sometimes we don't either! This month we spent more than we should. Our entertainment budget was gone for the month, but we treated ourselves to a couple more date nights. We justified it by patting ourselves on the back for choosing half-price sushi night, or using a coupon for this... but in reality, we still went over budget.
How many of us have said we wanted to start a diet, but, "Since it's Thursday and the weekend is almost here- I'll just start Monday. I'll just eat like crap all weekend and THEN get back on track." Well spending and budgeting can be the same way! In the past, Sallie and Perkins might spend a lot of money and then have that, "Oh, well" mentality and keep on spending extra cash here and there. Not this time though! Although they'd messed up, they put it out of their mind and continued on their path to being debt free.
That mentality paid off this month... and in a big way. Remember last month?? Sallie and Perkins paid off a whopping amount that surprised themselves! But this month.... oh, this month:

Sallie and Perkins paid off $2,381.40 worth of debt in July 2013!!!
Even with a few slip-ups, we paid off more than we did in June including totally paying off Sallie's smallest loan. It felt SO GOOD to cross one loan off our list. To know that's one less auto-debit we have coming each month. One less item on our list of debts.

We hope we can continue to motivate other people to STOP the spending too. Please never hesitate to shoot me Sallie an email if you want to chat privately about debt/student loans/budgeting. We're no experts, but we're doing our best!

So in true Sallie & Perkins fashion, we leave you with this dance party:
rMXVuj on Make A Gif, Animated Gifs

Jul 29, 2013

13 Random Things You're Dying to Know

After working entirely too much this weekend- thank you training camp kick-off plus a 2-day music festival- I just didn't have anything weekend-recap worthy today. I still squeezed in some work around the house and some relaxing/movies/popcorn with Jared but no pictures or anything exciting like that ;) I was definitely a bad blogger over the weekend. I mean, I haven't even been able to catch up on Twitter and Instagram!! What's a blogger to do?! 

So instead of the typical Monday recap post, I'm going to be ultra-random (Something I'm pretty good at, I'd say) and tell you the 13 most random facts about me that I know you're all dying to know. Andddd go:

My favorite number is five. When I met my college roommate we discovered it was her favorite number too… we were CERTAIN it was meant to be.
Oh hello, Hollister and way too many blonde highlights…..

I don't owe an iPhone…. Team Android all the way! (Ok, not by choice…)

I'm a super plain-Jane eater. Hamburger? Ketchup only. Salads? Hold the egg, onions, cheese or anything else weird while you're at it!

I still don't know what to be when I grow up. Sure, there are a few 'dream jobs' in mind… but sometimes I wonder why I didn't go to school to become an architect, a pharmacist or a teacher. All completely different paths that I think I would have loved!

Instead, I got my B.A. in Print Communications (aka- journalism) with minors in Marketing and Graphic Design. Clearly, I have too many interests!

As obsessed as I am with dogs, I've never owned one. I'm allergic to them ALL!
I'll take one of each please. And a lifetime supply of Benadryl.
My first screen name as a kid with AOL, like, 3.0 was Tigger3710.

I sang my first and only solo during my senior year in the Spring Musical. Our school did "Working" and I was a millworker. Go ahead and Youtube that song, I dare you.

Kayla and I saw Katy Perry in concert 2 years ago and it's still the best live performance I've ever seen to-date. SO incredible.

I really suck at walking in heels. Really, really suck. Someone pleeeease teach me your ways.

My dream vacation would be to Italy. Rome, Venice, Naples, Florence, Milan… I'd want to see it all. Hellllo 5-year anniversary trip!? ;)

As a kid when Furby was a big deal and sold out everywhere around Christmas, I sat in my room and called every toy store I could think of until I found a store that had them in stock. I was probably 10.

I've been best friends with my BFF for 14 years now. She and I have literally been through it all and I don't know what I'd do without her. She's the only person I went to jr high/high school that I still talk to regularly. 

In bookstores, I take pictures of books I want to read so I can remember to look them up at the library. I'd say at least half my phone is pictures of book covers. Nerd ALERT.

So- did you learn anything??? Scare you off at all?? ;) Tell me something random about YOU and have a great Monday!

Jul 27, 2013

Game night party!


If you've been around this blog a time or two, you know that Jared's brother and his amazing wife are some of our best friends. They're our go-to friends for anything and everything and we wouldn't have it any other way. So when we're in the mood to host a game night? They're the ones we call.

Any reason to have a spread of semi-healthy snacks and freshly-squeezed lemonade with our favorite people is fine with us! Plus the whole being-on-a-really-tight-budget thing is easier when you have friends who want to live the same way! Affordable fun is what we're all about right now.

Our game of choice for the evening

The night was spent stuffing our faces, laughing so hard we cried (more than once!) AND getting into intense debates over "house rules" in regards to the game play. It can't be a successful game night until people argue, right?! ;)

Kayla also quickly became a fan of the Kleenex Hand Towels that were in our guest bathroom. With our guys, the towel that hangs in the bathroom RARELY makes it back to the towel rack, so this convenient option was definitely a plus. Quick, easy use and much more sanitary. Win-win in our opinion!

So for your next get-together, consider why Kleenex Hand Towels are such a great option:
  1.  Kleenex Hand Towels is an innovative solution that delivers one clean, fresh, dry towel every time someone washes and dries their hands in the home bathroom. Single-use bathroom towels help reduce the spread of germs as compared to re-usable towels, providing consumers with a product that gives them a hygienic solution.
  2.  In the U.S. alone, people dry their hands on cloth bathroom towels approximately 200 billion times per year. Just because a towel looks clean doesn’t mean it is. Even after they’re washed, hands are only as clean as the towel used to dry them. Kleenex has found an ideal way to dry hands at home by delivering a clean, fresh towel each time for proper hand hygiene.
  3.  In home bathrooms with heavy foot traffic, shared cloth towels are often damp and germy due to overuse. Take control of your towel situation by visiting Kleenex.com, and join the 14 million people who have already joined the Clean Hands Campaign by using Kleenex Hand Towels.
  4.  Kleenex Hand Towels can be found in the paper towel aisle at grocery and mass retailers nationwide at a suggested retail price of $2.99 per box (60-count).

There's also a coupon on their site right now! Just visit any of the links above :)

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Jul 26, 2013

Football Friday

Sometimes I try to be a good little blogger. Planning posts in advance, resizing images, having my links all ready to go WELL in advance of when I want to publish them. Heck, there used to be a time I'd have drafts upon drafts waiting in the wings, ready to get posted or just tweaked a little.

Then, football season started. But, Erin?! It's only July!! Yes, yes I know this... but for me, football started last night with a kickoff pep-rally event at our stadium. It was a huge success which is great and everything, but I'm pretty confident that 13-hour work day did me in. I'm still trying to remember how I got into work this morning as my eyes are having trouble staying open!

Am I complaining? No. No! I promise! I live for football season- in case you didn't catch that from the large text at the top of my blog every day. 

Since my life revolves around football I just want to warn you that this blog might get pretty football-y around here in the coming months. Hope that's okay with you all ;) And if it's not? You can come back in February after the Bengals have won the Super Bowl. I'll still be here. Probably just a little more crazy than before.

So I got to chatting with two of my other football loving bloggy friends Erin and Tiffany and we decided a fun football link-up MUST commence! This is a one-time link up (for now!) that will be next Friday, August 2nd. 

What should you write about?? ANYTHING football related:
-Who your favorite football team/player is?
-College vs NFL, thoughts, favorites
-Your ultimate tailgating go-to recipe
-Tailgating games, parties, decor...
-Football fashion
-Predictions for the year

The list and ideas are never ending!! I want this link-up to be the biggest explosion of football-loving-gals ever! (OK, if you're a dude you can be invited too) So grab our button, start thinking and save those football ideas for NEXT Friday!

Happy Weekend, friends!!!
Love, Fun & Fotball

Jul 25, 2013

Stress Free Party Prep


post over the weekend, Jared and I LOVE to entertain. Sure, our house may be small and the parking situation isn't ideal- but we make it work. It's worth the hassle and the madness for a few hours of fun with family or friends.
As I mentioned in a

Here are a few tips for keeping your next party stress-free!

1. Simplicity is key. I used to be really bad about making ENTIRELY too much food. Buying more decorations than necessary. Wasting money on a bajillion drinks and plasticware…. you name it, I overplanned and overspent!

I've since realized that a few great food items go a long way- especially when you've got a house full of hungry, intense football fans! Just make a few of the classic appetizers that you know will get gobbled up, but make plenty of them! I also try to make snacks and items that don't all require spoons and forks. Just one less thing to buy and/or clean!


2. Make your guests feel at home. I love to have a delicious scented candle burning for about an hour before guests plan to arrive. There is just nothing like being greeted by a yummy smell, am I right?!

I also like to make sure anything my guests might need is easily accessible and in plain sight. With a house full of people, I don't want one person to be searching for a cup forever without my knowing it! Stocking the bathrooms is one of the first things I always do when getting ready for a party. Extra rolls of toilet paper, air freshener and plenty of hand soap.


Now, I get to try something new at our next get-together! The Kleenex Hand Towels will also be a part of my bathroom party set up. That way, when guest after guest visits this room to wash their hands? They aren't greeted by a wadded-up, damp towel four other people have just used. They get a clean, fresh towel that's Cottony-Soft!

I'm already looking forward to their fun seasonal/holiday box designs that will be coming out this fall. Any affordable ($2.99/box), fun way to make a room look festive is good in my book! And although I don't have a towel bar in our bathroom, the box can be turned upside down and wedged right into the bar so people can pull their towel like they would from a paper towel dispenser! Genius!

3. Just have fun! If anyone is like me, parties can make you a little nuts. But at the end of the day, none of the silly little details matter. Just enjoy your company! Some of our very best nights have been the low-key ones with friends, food and just a lot of laughing. Game nights at our house? Nothing fancy and always some of the best times we have. Our NYE get together is STILL being talked about…. 7 months later. I'm just sayin ;) Opening up your home is a good enough reason to kick back and let yourself enjoy the present!

What is your number one party-planning tip?? Favorite party "product" to use?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Jul 24, 2013

Currently

Reading: Jodi Picoult, The Storyteller. She's my favorite author so of course I love everything she's written, but I was sucked in by like, page 3 with this book. Cannot wait to see what happens. #bookworm

Writing:  Blog posts, reviews and always trying to work on that novel of mine. Why do I have to work a regular job again?! ;)

Listening to: One Republic station on Pandora. So many good jams, and work appropriate!

Thinking: About all the places I want to travel. Between LivingSocial, Groupon and TravelZoo the emails are causing an insane spike of the travel bug.
Right now this all-inclusive to St Lucia sounds GREAT!@
Wishing: Football season would just get here already.... it's consuming my mind/life already so bring on taht first game!!!

Wearing: Black dress pants and an orange top. Are we surprised?? #GoBengals

Eating: Carrots and hummus. It's my go-to snack every day. Plus a sale on hummus at Kroger makes it even more enjoyable. That crap isn't cheap!!

Loving: Our budget, our attack on debt, seeing those student loan numbers drop.

Hating: Being on a budget, our debt and not being able to shop. (I rhymed there, did you see it?!)

Feeling:  Tired. Always tired. I MUST start going to bed earlier during the week. That alarm always comes way too early!

Wanting: Everyone to link up with my friend Steph today! It's a post that will make you happy, I promise :)


Things I'm feeling grateful right now???

1- Having a little "sister" :)
2- The craziness of football season. I wouldn't have it any other way!
3- My Disney ring, always. That was seriously a vacation/birthday I'll never forget!
4- Blog friends turned real life friends. Hi, Jen!


Jul 23, 2013

Sallie and Perkins: Find Extra Money Each Month



Hey Frugal Friends! 

Today we thought we'd share the small changes we've made in just the past 7-8 weeks that have made a significant impact on our finances, our goals and ultimately our debt. Too often we hear from friends and family that they are just 'trying to make ends meet' or that they live paycheck to paycheck and simply cannot pay off their debt any faster than they are now.

Well, Sallie and Perkins beg to differ. Things that seem small really, truly ADD UP when done consistently.

For instance:
We stopped keeping our house so cold. Yes, it's summer and it's hot, but just putting our thermostat up a few degrees is saving us money! June should have been one of the most expensive bills of the year, but we were able to bring the bill down about $22 dollars than the previous month just by keeping our air around the 74-75 mark, instead of the previous 70 degrees.

In addition to that, unplug things! So much energy is lost by electronics and appliances that are not in use, but are plugged in. You don't have to be a psycho about it (like we might be) but just unplug your cell phone charger, the DVD player, etc. Little savings add up.

Only shop on sale! I can't remember the last time I paid full-price for anything. Whether it's using a store coupon, a gift card or just only choosing things from the clearance rack- it's worth it. Sallie is not a brand-snob by any means, so you better believe she buys whatever products are on sale when she needs them. Sorry, you just cannot beat shampoo for under a buck!

***Sallie's CVS tip: if you use their coupon machine, you can scan your card more than one time in a visit. I can usually get 2 or 3 times the coupons by just scanning my shopper's card again!

Cancel unnecessary subscriptions. Magazines, monthly clubs, you name it. Get rid of them! You already know we kissed cable goodbye and now have an extra $90/month in our pockets. Oh, and Netflix? Did you know up to 6 different households can share an account? For the same $8/month cost! Consider joining in with family or friends for an even CHEAPER option of TV shows and movies.

Also- become friends with your library. Sure, it might sound lame… but the library is one of Sallie and Perkin's favorite places to visit! The wealth of information and entertainment at just our little local branch is incredible. Blu-rays, audiobooks for the long commute to work and obviously endless shelves of books. Free entertainment! Not to mention it's a 2.5 mile roundtrip walk so it even serves as some exercise time together!

Oh, but be sure you check their hours before arriving on a Sunday.


Otherwise:

One thing we can't seem to part with is our cell phones. This is 2013, after all ;) That being said, check out your bill. Really LOOK at what you're using, and possibly what you aren't utilizing. We recently cut down our minutes because we weren't coming anywhere close to using them all. As a result we saved another $20/month!

And in case you weren't taking notes (how dare you?!) we easily shaved off about $150 of wasteful spending by just taking a little bit of time to actually DO a few things we already knew were cost-savers! This doesn't even scratch the surface of ways to save money each month. On bills, on groceries, on cars… there is ALWAYS a way to spend less.

Sallie and Perkins KNOW they might sound like a broken record by this point, but it's really just because they're so passionate about getting out of debt. They wish someone had encouraged them earlier to make these simple sacrifices in order to live a debt-free life sooner. We really challenge you to write down your spending/expenses for one month. Every.single.penny. It will change your outlook, we promise!

We're on fire for frugality, are you?! :)

Jul 22, 2013

Softball and Anchors

Sweet summertime. As much as I can't seem to stop talking/thinking/dreaming about fall and football, the past few weeks I've really been soaking up as much summer as I can. Time at the pool, grilling out and eating on the deck, being eaten up by bugs, etc ;) This weekend I got to enjoy another summer happening.
I got to watch Jared play in his company softball tournament Saturday night which ended up being more fun that I thought it to be. I haven't really had a chance to watch Jared play sports since our college intramural days so it was fun watching him lead his team and get insanely competitive.
Luckily, my partner in crime was there, since our guys work at the same place ;) As fun as it was to watch them, three back-to-back softball games would get mighty boring if I didn't have some company!
Oh hey "twins"
So besides sweating our butts off all Saturday night, our weekend? Was pretty carefree and without plans. And I loved it. Maybe it's "weird" for a 26-year-old to be totally content with staying at home, reading, watching Netflix or cleaning our house… but it works for me. I know our life is just going to get CRAZY with football in a few short weeks, so I'll just soak up some summertime and relaxation while I can get it.

Speaking of summertime. Did you see that adorable anchor shirt up there? Well, if not- here it is again:
The amazing Sugar Love Boutique sent me my new favorite shirt. I literally may wear it once a week until it's too cold to do so. I'm obsessed! If you're interested in grabbing one of these or another cute summery item before it turns to fall, definitely check out Jill's boutique. And wait for it, wait for it. She has been SO generous to offer a 30% off promo code for LFF readers! Just enter code: lovefunfootball at check out! What goodies might you snatch up with that deal?! If Sallie and Perkins weren't watching- I'd probably get this dress and this top for sure!!

Happy Monday!!!

Jul 20, 2013

Kleenex Hand Towels + Freebies!


Something I love to do is entertain at our house. Sure, I run around like a crazy lady, cleaning, organizing, cooking up tasty treats, but it's fun for me! I love opening up my home for friends and family, for meals and game nights, for birthday celebrations... but most of all for football parties. Are you surprised? Football season is just a few weeks away and it's really all I can think about. My favorite time to entertain is just on the horizon and I'm already preparing for all the weekend festivities in the coming months.

Of course with all those people in our house, especially during a rowdy football game, there are lots of spilled drinks and greasy fingers from those wings and pizza slices. Since football-related messes are a regular occurrence in our house, I was thrilled when Kleenex offered an opportunity to work with them and check out their new Kleenex Hand Towels.

                              

Kleenex Hand Towels are single-use bathrooms towels that will help reduce the spread of germs because you're getting a fresh one every single time you dry your hands. When you think about that towel hanging in someone's bathroom, remember this: In the U.S. alone, people dry their hands on cloth bathroom towels approximately 200 billion times per year! Just because that towel LOOKS clean, doesn't always mean it is.

This new product provides a clean, fresh towel each time for proper hand hygiene. Plus? It's free of inks, dyes and fragrances- good for you and the environment too! 

As a lady who loves to entertain, I am MOST excited about the fact that Kleenex offers the Kleenex Hand Towels for different occasions/holidays. How cute would that be around Thanksgiving or Christmas when you'll have all those crazy relatives in town?! Just a little extra -affordable- touch in each of your bathrooms. They can be found in the paper towel aisle at your grocery and mass retailers nationwide at a suggested retail price of $2.99 per box (60-count).


Since Kleenex Hand Towels rock and I want EVERYONE to try them out,  I'm happy to offer a free box to one lucky ready courtesy of Kleenex! It's simple to enter with just a couple of steps.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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