Furniture Shopping & 5 Tips To Stay Out Of DEBT While Doing It

Furniture Shopping

Let’s not pretend furniture shopping is affordable.  I was fooled into believing I could go buy unique furniture pieces that I loved for reasonable prices due to the fairytale that is: INSTAGRAM.   On my last move I knew it was time to be an adult & purchase my own furniture.  It appears as though everyone else can easily make their home pristine so I should be able to too!  Well well well, little did I know you had to be a multi-millionaire to purchase new, quality, unique furniture that you actually liked.

I don’t know how it works across the world, but that’s how it works in America.

Who would have thought 1 single, basic dinning chair would be $500?  Not me.  I have a new appreciation for fully furnished homes, & Ikea.

Needless to say, I’m glad most of my major furniture shopping is done because it was a fucking gut punch & took a lot of time.  I’m here to help, even if you didn’t know you needed it, you do.  The new furniture experience will hit you someday too.

The perk to badass new furniture?  How your home will make you feel.  The energy can change dramatically when you have furniture that you love – trust me.  After redoing my bedroom, I realized everything else had to change as well.  As painful as furniture shopping is, it’s worth it.

5 Tips For {Affordable} Furniture Shopping

1.  Look For Sales
Yes, furniture goes on sale.  And even then, it’ll be sickening to pay for, but a sale can make it manageable.  I have a Pottery Barn Outlet close to my house & I went OFTEN.  One lucky day that I stopped in the store, all sale pieces happened to be an additional 40% off.  I ended up getting one of my comfy, white sofas for $100!  That’s fucking insane pricing btw.  Try shopping for a badass sofa & you’ll feel me.  So pay attention to sales & outlet furniture stores, that was as close to finding a gold mine as I can imagine.

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10 Favorite Things From 2017

2017 Favorites

Better late then never sharing all my favorite things of 2017.  We shall call this a mix up, because why limit ourselves to one category of favorites?  These products were not all created in 2017, rather things I used through 2017.   Weird but true, I typically don’t like something right when I get it.  I put it down.  Stare at it.  And on one random day pick it up & use it consistently after that… or throw it out.

CHANEL Soleil Tan De Chanel

The obvious.  Bronze anything will make my list, just be happy I’m not talking about my at home spray tan.  I try not to wear a lot of makeup most days & bronzer is one of the few products I need daily.  I ditched powder bronzer most of the year for this cream bronzer.  I take a medium sized brush & blend it on my cheekbones to look alive everyday.  Because it’s creamy I don’t feel like it drys me out & I like how it blends into my skin.  I’ve had this one jar of bronzer for 45 years, used it every single day & am just now at the point where I need to repurchase.

ColourPop Echo Park Satin Lip

I’ve had this lip color for a long time & used it almost every day in 2017.  I realized using a natural color on your lips, even without anything else on your face, makes you look like you’re trying.  It’s such a cheat to looking ready, that or a nice lip gloss.  (My fav: here)  This one in particular keeps my lips super moisturized which is hard to do, and doesn’t rub off in 1 mili second.  I put the smallest amount on my lips in the morning after I apply chapstick, and then use my finger to smudge it around.  Au naturel.

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What is ONE Thing You Learned in 2017?

New Year

I was in a meeting earlier this month & everyone was asked: What is one thing you learned this year?  They asked a lot of hard questions like that…  What’s a trait in yourself that you would not want to give someone else? 

But, one thing I learned this year… Oddly enough, I feel like I’ve had a pretty comfortable year.  The years before 2017 were chaotic & I’d probably respond to this question with answers like: patience, confidence, staying positive, ect.  Moving to Dubai, adjusting there, working there, then moving back, my relationship with Wafiq, his immigration process, being broke, moving everywhere again, needing a job – every year contained variables.  And in the moment, I often felt frustrated – like I was wasting time.  I couldn’t wait to be “normal”.  Get my life on track like everyone else.

Then, this year I finally had it!  Normal & comfortable.  At the very least, it was appearing to be on track.

But, throughout the year, and I think I’ve said this before on my blog, I found myself missing the variables & chaos.  Even being broke!

For example, when you have no money, other parts of your life strengthen.  Your creativity, your imagination, your hustle, your ideas, your friendships.

For example, when you have big life decisions ahead of you,  the opportunity to impress yourself by being brave & making choices presents itself.

For example, when you’re not “on track”, you don’t have pressure or expectations.  People are either disappointed & judgemental OR they’re believing in your journey & supportive.  Relationships are defined.

There’s so much learning happening in the stages that you can’t wait to get through!

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6 Must-See Items in Dubai (& they’re free!)

Dubai List

I would argue one of the best things about Dubai, if not the best, is how much you can explore & simply see.  Without having to pay anything or work very hard.  Not without effort, Dubai sets records & created a visual piece of artwork.  You can fill your entire trip just driving around exploring the different landscapes – for FREE.  Sometimes paying for the view, isn’t as good as actually searching for it yourself.

I wanted to show you how to make a trip adventurous without spending a ton of money!  I feel like I’m a master at going on budget friendly trips, including Dubai.  Food & drink is expensive, but there’s SO much to do for free, or nearly free – if you can just get yourself there.  You wouldn’t even be able to finish this list in one trip!  And if you do, I can add to it 🙂

This is MY checklist when I go back – things to go stare at.  And they never get old.  Even when I lived there, going to stare at the items on this list was one of my favorite things to do.  And a way to ensure I won’t waste my precious money.

1-  Burj Khalifa
This twinkly building still takes my breathe away.  Because it’s right outside the Dubai Mall there’s plenty of space to go walk around the building & look at it yourself – without paying a dime.  Get yourself to the Dubai Mall & walk outside.  You can eat near it, shop near it, walk near it, or just sit down & stare at it.  The fountain show that plays outside the building at night will also take your breathe away.  Go check it out during the day & at night for completely different views.  Until Dubai builds their next world record setting building, this is the top spot for me.  And you absolutely need a GoPro to fit the whole damn thing in a photo, OR spend $$$$ to have a tourey sales man take one measly photo for you…

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CONNECT WITH ME, PLEASE! MissBassmaster on Social Media Xx

MissBassmaster Facebook Page

I’m actively working on improving my social media! I may not be uber addicted to a phone, but let me start scrolling on a computer & I’ll end up browsing every crack of the internet.  From people, to blogs, to etsy shops, to the ends of social media.

I love finding cool people, projects & knowledge!  They motivate me to think uniquely, be creative, laugh, ask questions.  I love people & their ambitions – what floats their boat.

…so lets C O N N E C T !!  Find me in all the places below, currently working on keeping them active & ready for you! AND US!

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5 Personal Fav Posts from 2017

Muslim Ban

For anyone that hasn’t had a chance to read my old posts, below are a few of my favorites from 2017!  Enjoy!
Dating A Muslim Immigrant… During The “Muslim Ban”
Tis a sign of the times…  I love this post because, Wafiq.  What an interesting time it was.  We happened to just be finishing our own immigration journey during this time & learned TONS of immigration info we never knew before.  Which I think is why we were super comfortable.  Even though people were freaking out.  I remember we were happy, lucky & together 🙂

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DUBAI! Top 5 Pieces to Pack.

Dubai Fashion

There are 3 questions I get asked all the time: how I was treated as a woman in the middle east, did I feel safe AND “did you have to cover up the whole time”.

I hope I’ve done a good job clarifying, go to this post to see my answers to all 3 of those questions if you haven’t already.  (We went to the public beach on this trip & there were girls in thong bikinis & topless tanning, so I think people are comfortable doing whatever they please.)

For me, I wanted to fit in.  I wanted to act like I’ve been there before & I know what the fuck I’m doing.  There’s something powerful in that.  Also, for any destination, isn’t it fun to fit in?  Wear what they wear.  I think it makes you appear well traveled, like you know what you’re doing in you life.  So that was my goal this trip.  I stuck to coverage.  When I was living there, I pushed this boundary w my cut off shorts & dresses all the time, because I was bored of being covered & it was HOT AF.  Being that I was just visiting, I had a different approach this time.

The theme:  BLACK BLACK BLACK.  If this is the color of your wardrobe, you’re in luck!  I like bright colors, florals, sparkles, drama – so I had to go shopping.  An abaya & burka are black, so that’s the colors you’ll see a lot of when you’re out.  I asked someone why black?  Why not beautiful colors + design on the abaya?  I was told the original purpose of the abaya was to avoid attention.  Bright florals & colors will do the opposite, drawing attention to the people wearing them.  So black is the theme!

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Two Years Later – Visiting Dubai!

Dubai

The saying “time flies when you’re having fun” is terrible & true isn’t it?  I remember miserable days/years in different jobs, & man did time drag.  But, of course, when you’re having fun & enjoying all the parts of your life, time goes quick!  So, would you rather a boring yet long life or short yet exciting life? Ha!  Nothing like that awful question to wake you up on a Thursday morning.

I’m back from Dubai! Long story short, it was fun & it went fast.  Which in this case is better than the alternative.

Everyone that followed along on my Instagram Stories, thank you! That was fun to create.  If you missed it, I left a lot of the stories in my “highlights” section.  Click on my Instagram profile & right below the bio you’ll see the circle for Dubai & Bahrain with the stories while I was there.

If you’ve been reading for awhile you likely know this trip was a big step for me.  Last time I was in Dubai I left in a rush & didn’t exactly leave every relationship in it’s best place.  And that feeling strengthened even while I was back in the States, especially when Wafiq decided he was going to stay & begin the immigration process.  Needless to say my relationships weren’t in tip top shape across the pond.

Last year, I decided to skip the trip Wafiq took home for that very reason,  I wasn’t ready to walk back into my past OR the lions den.

This year I was ready.  Wafiq & I are both comfortable & confident in the choices we’ve made in the past & knowing we’re in control of the choices were going to make in the future – I felt like there was nothing to fear anymore.  No judgment or conversation or threat or whatever was going to hurt me.  And I don’t mean to paint the picture as if everyone was going to do just that, but when you’re struggling & feeling weak & not confident with yourself – it’s hard to defend decisions in front of anyone.  And we lived in that space for awhile so I had to protect myself.  But this time I was ready.

Right when we arrived, I felt like I was living in Dubai yesterday, but better.  And more comfortable.   Everyone was excited to see us.  The first days were filled with food.  Family. Friends. Kids.  And Food.  I definitely did not have a chance to pick up my phone & document anything.  But because those first days were easy, I immediately knew the rest of the trip would be too.

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5 Ways To Finish Out The Holiday Season, Stress Free!

Holiday Shopping

You know the one part that sucks about holiday time that doesn’t exist around Thanksgiving… The torture of trying to find gifts, for everyone.  And make cookies, and hang decorations, and go to holiday parties, and try to eat healthy.  Adding gifts on top of all that jazz is what can easily make you freak the F out. I have a few ideas….

5 Ways To Finish Out The Holiday Season Stress Free

 The Gift Of Being Stress-Free:  Ok, think about the people you’re buying gifts for.  Thinking of them?  If most of those people knew you were stressed out, driving around like a maniac, spending more money than you had, buying their gift from the checkout line in Target because you can’t think of anything else – they wouldn’t want that from you!  So don’t feel like you have to do it.  Wait until the next day, by them a good book, or gift card, and let the pressure of other gifts go.
Essential Oils:  This may or may not be a placebo, the essential oil trend, but I don’t give a fuck.  If it works because my mind is telling me to believe it’s working, or the oils are truly relaxing me – I’ll fucking take it.  Am I right?  I met an essential oil doctor (jk she was selling her oil potions at the grocery store & I stopped to talk to her), and she gave me a combo she said would help me relax.  (5 drops Lavender, 5 drops Jasmine, 5 drops Frankincense, 3 drops Ylang Ylang.)  She put it in a tiny spray bottle (here) and said to spray it on my pillow at night, on my clothes, mid anxiety attack – whatever.  I’ve become obsessed.  It’s so easy to do too!  Go to Whole Foods, get these essential oils, get a tiny spray bottle, and make your own secret Xanax potion.

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You Need This Book – Love Warrior

LOVE WARRIOR

Ok. Ok. So when I first mentioned my few weeks of life changing events I said it was a combination of things.  One was Jury Duty but the other was a book.  Somehow, the stars aligned in a way that helped me read Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton during my week of Jury Duty.  fyi – There is plenty of opportunity to read while on Jury Duty, it feels like you’re constantly sitting in the small Jury Room waiting for the courtroom to be ready.  I was easily able to finish reading Love Warrior… and wow.

I first heard of Glennon Doyle on Chelsea! about a year ago. Since then, I’ve been wanting to read her book, but procrastinated.  I picked it up, and even read a page or 2 several different times, but always ended up putting it down.  At first glance, the book seemed too emotional & strong (if that makes sense) which scared me away from it.  Emotionally deep books (and movies) gets my anxiety on it’s tip toes so I tend to avoid them.  However, Love Warrior was the only book I packed in my purse for Jury Duty, leaving me no choice but to get through it.

Lucky for me, because this book changed me in a similar way Jury Duty did.

Let me explain.  I recently had a truce with my anxiety, where I looked it in the eye with a smile & shifted my mind to start using it as a tool.  (Also on Chelsea!), a woman being interviewed asked Chelsea to name 3 qualities she likes about herself, and they couldn’t be physical.   I listened, laughed and fell asleep.  In the morning, I was driving to work & thought about that same question.  3 qualities I like about myself, and they can’t be physical.  One of the answers that kept creeping in my mind was – anxiety.  Wtf.  I thought anxiety was something I hated.  But, I started feeling like Batman’s bestie.  Powerful, relieved, and excited.  I told myself, anxiety is a superpower.  A freaking superpower!  Because of anxiety, I’m uber aware of feelings & emotions.  They’re loud, and they’re always there for me to hear. And if I can control them a little, they can be a badass superpower.  And that’s exactly what I’m going to make them.

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