Friday, January 16, 2015

the poverty luxe kitchen vol. 2: chipotle lime aioli.

homemade chipotle lime aioli. 

now doesnt that just sound fancy? like the kind of condiment youd find at a snobby gastropub accompanying nine dollar fried asparagus kind of fancy? 

well what if i told you that its the easiest thing ever and costs literally less than a dollar to make. thats right, for less than a dollar and like 30 seconds of stirring, you can impress the pants off your dinner guests, no matter what the occasion. 

let me tell you a secret: aioli sounds super fancy and exotic. but do you know what aioli means? mayonnaise. all those hipster food trucks with there fancy artisan aiolis are literally just stirring things into mayonnaise. 

and wouldnt you know it, chipotle lime aioli is exceptionally versatile. i was originally introduced to it because my mom would make it to go with fish tacos (fun fact for people who dont live next to mexico: fish tacos, particularly the street variety, are typically topped with a mexican-style mayonnaise, its delicious). i later found out that its not just a condiment for mexican food, but its also great on sandwiches, garlic fries (or these), and one time i even doctored it a bit to make salad dressing. its truly, truly wonderful stuff. 

ready to give it a shot? lets go: 

heres what you need: 

(yields approximately one cup of aioli)

3/4 cup mayonnaise (the real stuff, please)
1/3 of a small can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (found in the mexican aisle of the grocery store, put the rest in the freezer)
the juice of 1/2 of a fresh lime (or about 1 tablespoon of lime juice)

heres what you do: 

in an 8 ounce or larger glass jar or resealable food storage container (i mean, you could use a bowl, but that just gets a lot of things dirty), combine the mayonnaise with the chipotle peppers and sauce. 

i typically use about 1/3 of the can but i recommend starting with the plain mayonnaise and gradually adding the peppers one at a time until you get the right level of spicy-ness (i really like spicy, and i often forget that what i find to be pleasantly spicy is painfully hot to other people). 

thoroughly mix to make sure you have the right blend of flavors, adding more mayonnaise or chipotle if necessary, add the lime juice and stir again. 

and thats it, youve just made your own aioli. arent you fancy. 

(unless youre feeding a whole lot of people you probably wont use all of it in one go, which is why i recommend making it in a jar or other container so that you can save whats left in the fridge, it should stay fresh for a week or so, but ours never lasts that long)

what are your favorite condiments? have you ever dabbled in making your own? 

(p.s. dont forget that EVERYTHING in the shop is 30% off with code JAN15)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

10 stupid simple ways to save money on groceries.

ive been meaning to go deeper into the whole "saving money on groceries" business, but since its such a multifaceted, complex issue that i could probably talk about nonstop for a few days, i never got started. because, well, i didnt know where to start. but then i realized that it doesnt need to be that complicated. most budget-living type blogs make it way to complicated. 

and it doesnt have to be like that. 

in fact, it can be simple. stupid simple even. 

so today, im going to share a few stupid simple ways to shave a few bucks off your grocery budget. small things. easy things. things you might not even notice or miss. now, im going to have to disclaimer here that not all of these tips will necessarily work in every family/situation, and no one thing in particular will magically solve your grocery budget problems (not saying you have grocery budget problems, but i mean, you are reading this blog), BUT every small change adds up, and in my experience, several small changes can get you way farther than one big step. 

here we go: 

1. only buy what you need to get to your next shopping trip. whether you go to the store once a week, once a month, or every three days, do not buy more than you know you are going to use up between now and that next trip. i know what youre thinking "but what about sales? what about stocking up?". well, with very few exceptions, those are lies that stores tell you to get you to buy more things. you will save way more money by just buying what you need when you need it than trying to play the price-cycle game. (now, pardon me while the entire saving-money-on-groceries community on the internet starts throwing things at me)

2. eat your leftovers. wasted food = wasted money. if you find yourself with (a reasonable quantity of) leftovers, for crying out loud, eat them before the go bad. im not saying save the bag of chip crumbs or the three green beans nobody ate, but if youre regularly throwing away half a lasagna because you forgot to eat it in time, then maybe you need to get better at eating leftovers. 

3. if you dont actually eat it, stop buying it. whatever it is that you have crowding your pantry or freezer not getting eaten, or keeps going bad before you get to it, no matter how healthy it is or how much you should be eating it, just stop. there is absolutely no reason to buy food out of guilt or obligation. if youre not going to eat it this week, you dont need it. 

4. drink water. this was one that really hit home for us, see, i used to drink a ton of soda, and james would drink milk or juice all the livelong day if i let him. at some point i actually looked at how much money we spent each week on beverages, and it was a good 10-20% of our total grocery bill. ON BEVERAGES. you know how water is free? yeah...

5. cut back on snacks/processed/packaged foods. i dont know where this idea came from that poor people have to eat crap food out of boxes because thats whats most affordable. this is a lie. if you take a closer look, youll actually see that per ounce/per calorie, processed/packaged foods are actually some of the most expensive foods there are. now dont get me wrong, treats totally have their place, but as treats. 

6. plan your meals. im not saying you have to make a detailed, elaborate meal plan or spend your entire day making a month of freezer meals, but i am saying that if you go to the store knowing what youre going there to buy, youre going to have an easier time resisting the endcap sales and impulse purchases. 

7. pack your lunch. i shouldnt have to tell you that throwing together a quick lunch is way cheaper than buying a prepackaged (or takeout) meal. you might spend $4-5 on an individual salad, but for the same amount of money, you could buy enough lettuce, toppings, and dressing for a few salads. or even better, if your work/school situation allows for it bring leftovers for lunch. kill two birds with one stone. thats always cool. 

8. check prices on fresh vs. frozen produce. generally speaking, youre going to get significantly more produce for your money by choosing fresh over canned or frozen. but depending on the season, frozen might be way cheaper. this one is always worth a quick check (especially where berries are concerned). 

9. stick to your list. you know what the biggest grocery budget killer is? impulse purchases. you know, "lets get some chips!" "oooh! cake mix is on clearance!" or if youre shopping with my husband, "can we get bacon?". if you want your spending to get out of control fast, start adding some fun little extras as you shop. or just stick to your list and bask in the glory of not overspending. 

10. when in doubt, go without. almost every time im at the store, no matter how watertight i think my plan and list are, ill have these little doubts, like, "are we out of x? am i sure we have enough of y", with x or y being some kind of pantry staple, usually under $5, so it never seems like a big deal. but after about a million times of buying another dozen eggs "just in case" and coming home to find ten eggs in the fridge, ive learned to just go on with my list and keep shopping. if i indulge all of those little doubts, the grocery budget is blown on extra food we dont need, if i wait it out, nine times out of ten were just fine. (the rest of the time i can send james over to dollar tree...)

see, saving money on groceries is NOT complicated. its NOT hard. and you dont even have to change where or how you shop to see a difference. 

obviously, these little tricks just barely scratch the surface of how you can take control of your grocery spending and keep all that extra money in your pockets. hopefully this post has opened up a pandoras box for this topic.

now these are just my favorite grocery hacks, whats your go-to tip for saving money on groceries? 

Monday, January 12, 2015

8 reasons why i secretly love our tiny home.

we (and by "we" i mean myself, james, alice, and two cats) live in a one-bedroom apartment. a small one-bedroom apartment. in a mediocre building. in a lame part of town. to be completely honest, when we first moved here, i hoped and prayed that this apartment would only be temporary. heck, i was only willing to sign a six-month lease because i was sure that within a year, james would get a real job and wed be able to move somewhere decent. 

never mind that we had just come back to california with a new baby, no jobs, no savings, a car that was literally falling apart, no place to live and a moving truck filled to the brim with everything that once filled the large three bedroom house we rented in arizona until james got fired two days before christmas. oh, i never told you the story about how we moved back to california? its a real doozy. the bad kind of doozy. (is it just me or is doozy a really ambiguous word). but i digress. 

i was determined that we would have a "real" home as soon as possible. after we moved here, i was constantly scouring the area for two (or three) bedroom places that we could make our forever (well, long term) home. i analyzed rents and deposits and calculated exactly what dollar amount we would need to bring home each month in order to get that extra bedroom (or two) a reality. sure it was an unhealthy obsession, and maybe we had some huge expensive things we needed to take care of (like a not-falling apart car and a savings account), but i was so embarrassed to be a married adult with a kid living in a crappy one bedroom apartment on the wrong side of town that for a long time this was of the utmost importance. 

now, its been about two and a half years, and were still living in the same one-bedroom apartment. and even though james has made that dollar amount that i thought would equal a bigger apartment, and we have taken care of most of those big expenses, but we dont have plans to move. were not even looking. 

why? because through these past two and a half years, ive learned to be content with what we have. more than that, ive really fallen in love with small-space living. really. yes, sometimes, people ask and i do pretend that im unhappy with our current living situation that i hope it will change soon, but thats a lie. today i want to come clean with why i secretly love our tiny home:

1. theres less to clean. this should be obvious: less rooms, less rooms to clean. i can clean the whole apartment top-to-bottom (kitchen, bathroom, floors, etc.), by myself, in about an hour. sure dirt and messes show up faster because the space is smaller, but we also spend way less time cleaning then we did when we had a bigger house. also, i spend a LOT less time looking for lost things, because, well, theres less places for things to get lost. 

2. more family time. one of the great things about our home is that we (almost) never all sit in separate rooms watching netflix on separate things and ignoring each other. partially because there arent a lot of rooms to all be in separately, but also because there isnt a whole lot of extra room for doing things. so if were all home and need something to do, we usually end up leaving the house. which is awesome. 

3. weve learned to be content with what we have. to be completely honest, james and i used to spend a lot of time shopping. we both had long, long lists of things we thought we needed and were always bringing home something from a thrift store or yard sale or clearance rack. but after we got settled here, we realized, we didnt need any of that stuff. actually, we dont need/use/want most of what we already have, and instead of filling our spare time shopping, we spend it cleaning out drawers and closets getting rid of stuff. and i love it.

4. we put a greater value on experiences over things. because of the lack of space, we no longer put a heavy emphasis on the acquisition of more things to own. instead, weve changed our focus to the things we want to do, the things we want to see, the places we want to go. and since we arent spending all our time and money on filling and maintaining a large house, we can actually do those things. 

5. theres constant opportunity for creativity. for a long time after we moved here, i never moved anything because i was so frustrated by the small space that i thought it wasnt worth it. but after a while, i noticed that in a small space, small changes can make a huge difference. so now every day we constantly look for new ways to make our space more comfortable and more efficient. 

6. we save tons of money. and no, im not talking about the $300-400 a month in rent/utilities that it would cost to have a second bedroom (though thats nice too), i mean the money that we dont spend on clothes, toys, furniture, appliances, plants, decorations, and big projects that we dont have room for. and every dollar we dont spend on a thing we dont have room for? thats another dollar for us to spend on something that might actually make us happy. 

7. less stress. less space to clean, fewer things to own/organize/maintain, lower rent/less bills to pay = less things to worry about. and as a naturally anxious, easily stressed out person, i cant think of anything better than having less things to worry about. 

8. more freedom to pursue our long term goals and dreams. living in a small space for so long has really helped us to detach ourselves from being consumed and defined by our home, from pouring all of our resources into it and all of our time into perfecting and maintaining it. we have free time to dream up the kind of future we want to have, and we have leftover money to use to build it. sure our attitude toward our home is very utilitarian and distinctly un-american, it works for us. 

so yeah, this tiny apartment that i had hoped was temporary, its done a lot for us. its taught us some important lessons about contentment and priorities, its given us the opportunity to break the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle, and the freedom to dream even bigger than just a two-bedroom apartment. 

and i love it.  

there. i said it. 

what are your thoughts on small space living? what do YOU love about your home?

Friday, January 9, 2015

introducing: the poverty luxe kitchen (+ a recipe for roasted cabbage)

not long ago i had my very first blog coaching session ever with kayli at the passion punch. since then ive also had the opportunity to work with alisha and keizra, and while all three of these ladies are absolutely FANTASTIC and i would without a doubt recommend any one of them if you happen to be in the market for some blog/business coaching, during my first session with kayli we mainly talked about the content here on poverty luxe. i had been feeling a bit lost and burnt of on a lot of my typical topics, but going over everything through fresh eyes was so refreshing and inspiring. we brainstormed a few new series, and today i am very, very excited to debut the first of them for you: the poverty luxe kitchen. 

the poverty luxe kitchen, or the PL kitchen for short, will focus on recipes and tutorials to help you maximize your grocery budget (no matter how limited) on healthy, natural, delicious food, that wont take all day (or a million ingredients). just simple, yummy, and good for you. basically everything I've been working on for our diet for the past four years. if your anything like me (a broke, busy food snob with a million allergies), i think were going to have a lot of fun here. 

so today, as the inaugural post of the PL kitchen, i want to talk about cabbage. 

now, i know youre probably all freaking out, like "what the heck victoria, you built us up on this awesome new series and now youre talking about cabbage?!". but hear me out, cabbage is a surprisingly versatile vegetable. its great on tacos, in soups, coleslaw, salads, sir fry, steamed with other veggies and slathered in savory sauce (a local delicacy). oh and its regularly on sale at sprouts for .50 a pound. sometimes (especially around st. patricks day) its even cheaper. I've seen it for as low as .25 cents a pound at sprouts, and 6 pounds for a dollar at the local mexican grocery store. as far as veggies go, its hard to find something as cheap and versatile as cabbage. 

one of my favorite things to do with cabbage is to roast it (if youre a long time reader you may have already notcied that I've got a penchant for the roasted vegetables) roasted cabbage is perfect for when you need a quick , simple, and cheap veggie for a side dish. and today, im going to show you how to make it. 

(note: for the three of us, i typically only use half of a normal sized head of cabbage for this recipe, so to prevent waste, i usually do our weekly meal plan in a way that uses cabbage twice. like, fish tacos on wednesday and salmon with roasted cabbage sunday)

heres what you need (serves 3-4 as a side): 

1/2 head green cabbage
olive oil
seasonings (salt, pepper, garlic, pepper flakes, spices, go crazy here)

heres what you do: 

preheat your oven to 400 degrees and oil up a baking sheet or jelly roll pan (one with an edge, DO NOT try this on a flat cookie sheet). 

remove the two outermost leaves of the cabbage (they tend to be dirty and yucky). 

remove the stem at the bottom and cut the whole head of cabbage in half (save the other half for later)

slice the remaining half in 1/2 inch slices, parallel to your original chop. 

arrange slices in a single layer on oiled baking sheet. 

drizzle with olive oil and season as you wish (im a fan of salt, pepper, garlic, and red pepper flakes). 

bake for 15 minutes, flip, and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until browned. 

serve hot (trust me on this one). 

so that was our first installment of the PL kitchen, what do you want to see next time? 

p.s. its still january! treat yourself to a gift from the poverty luxe etsy shop for 30% off with code JAN15

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

2015: a year of focus (part three: financial and personal goals)

hip, hip, horray! weve made it to the last part of my 2015 goals series, and after today, we can jump back on the exciting new blog schedule that ive been working on!

today im talking about my personal and financial goals, which ive tacked on to the end here because while in past years financial and personal goals have consumed my whole life. but this year, things are different, and im really excited to start a year with way less pressure in these departments. 

but, of course, this doesnt mean that im not going to make financial and personal goals, because theyre still important. just not, as important as they used to be. and without further ado, here we go: 

financial goals: 

1. set a reasonable monthly budget and stick to it. after spending years in bare-bones survival mode, our recent (relative) financial stability has been a HUGE relief. but its also been a HUGE learning curve as weve had to adjust everything that we do as we figure out the balance of fitting what we need, what we want, and saving money for later (seriously, having leftover money for those last two things is completely foreign to me), within an income thats not quite predictable (construction has its ebb and flow over the course of the year). my goal for this year is to find that middle ground (frugal and intentional, but not austere and depriving), and consistently keep it month-to-month. 

2. keep improving my credit score and get a card with better rewards. over the summer i was finally able to get my first real credit card, and i have been using it very responsibly every month, both to improve my credit score (which was nothing) as well as to earn a tiny bit of cash back on all the money we spend anyway (might as well make the bills we pay anyway work for us, right?). now id really like to get a card with nicer rewards to maybe help us save up for a vacation and my credit score is almost to the point where i would qualify for one of the nicer cards (and not get dinged for having too many accounts in too short of a time), so while i wait til the right time, i also need to research my options. 

3. get at least 1/2 way to our emergency fund goal. james and i have been doing a lot of talking about our long-term financial goals. and while there are a lot of things that we just arent ready/able to do much work on (like buying a house, funding our retirement, possibly dabbling in investing), there is one thing we just need to get cracking on: a decent emergency fund that would actually be able to float us out of an actual emergency. we sat down to decide what that would entail (six months expenses plus all our insurance deductibles), and came up with the very, very scary number of $13,500. obviously, we are not going to be able to get there in just one year. but two? yeah, maybe we can. 

personal goals: 

1. stay in school and continue to get straight a's. maybe this seems really obvious and like it should be something i can just do and not something i have to make into a goal, but let me tell you something: im totally a quitter. it is really, really, really rare for me to finish a thing that i start. and well, this is one thing i really want to finish. to learn the skills i need to build my business, to be actually employable should the time come for me to need a real job, to prove to myself that i can finish big things. also, because i was such a crappy student the first time around, it would really be awesome to graduate with honors this time (though, given how few classes i have left, i dont know if that will be possible, even if i do get straight a's in my next eight classes). 

2. maintain a part-time income with jamberry. this is another area where im easily discouraged and prone to want to give up. lots of women are out there making jamberry a full time career, pulling six figures, and going on all-expense-paid incentive trips in cancun. but honestly, my goal isnt to advance in the company, turn this into my career and make the big bucks. i just need a part time job so that we can have some fun money/a little help in the slow months until i graduate/am actually bringing in money with PL. and with jamberry (and the super amazing team of thirteen ladies working with me), this is totally possible. but only if i keep with it. 

3. experiment in the kitchen more and learn some new recipes. im not a naturally adventurous person, and in general prefer to stick to what i know works. especially when it comes to cooking (much to the dismay of my husband). when it comes to the dinners we eat at home, we tend to stick on a pretty solid rotation of the same eight or nine favorites. and its kind of getting old. so this year is going to involve a lot more cook books, a lot more pinterest, and a lot more sucking it up and taking the risk with a new recipe. 

so with that, does anyone have any recommendations for rewards cards or food blogs? 

p.s. stay tuned for next time when i introduce 2015's first regular feature!

p.p.s. dont forget that ALL sponsorships are 50% off with the code JAN15! check my sponsor page for details!

Monday, January 5, 2015

2015: a year of focus (part two: family and home goals)

hello everyone! welcome to part two of my 2015 goals series! in my last two posts, i unveiled my word for 2015 (focus) and outlined my (very focused) goals for the blog and shop. today im continuing the series with my family and home goals for this year. 

in keeping with my theme of focus, i chose just a few, specific goals for each category, to keep me focused on whats most important. i also put this post in the middle, because, well, family and home are in the middle of every thing i do. 

so what are these goals? 

family goals:

1. commit to one "real date" per month. confession: james and i have always been terrible at dating each other. we werent even good at it when we were actually dating. but over the years weve learned how important this is (even if to my logical, unromantic brain it seems like a waste of time and money). so i want to commit to one real date every month. not a redbox movie, not takeout because i dont feel like cooking, not a walk in the park. a real, babysitter, thing we need reservations or tickets to grown up date. 

2. schedule family time into every week. now this, this is where the redbox movies and walks in the park come into play. last semester was really, really hard on us as a family, not only because i was busy/stressed out all the time, but because of how little time we got to spend just doing things as a family. so in addition to a monthly date, i want to schedule some kind of family outing every week. whether its something free (disneyland, the zoo, the park, the beach), or not (dinner out, a movie, or a new museum). 

3. be more consistent with homeschooling. alice may only be three, but she is very, very smart. and she needs constant intellectual stimulation. this past summer (when james was out of town all the time), i had gotten her a few preschool workbooks from the dollar store to try out. shes been doing great learning her letters, numbers, and shapes and learning to follow simple directions (like circling things or crossing them out), but her patience with school work is short, since shes, you know, three. this year i want to be more consistent with both book-type things (even though she is pretty far from actual formal schooling), but also with field trips to fun places. 

home goals: 

1. continue to purge and simplify everywhere. de-cluttering has been a HUGE undertaking over the past year or so, and it has been AMAZING. the house is cleaner and more organized, i am way less stressed out and anxious (who knew clutter had such a deep impact?), and surprisingly, we spend way less money. but the funny thing about getting rid of stuff is that the stuff you got rid of just uncovers another layer of things you realize you dont need. so it looks like weve got more to clean out this year too. 

2. buy a new bed/mattress. our mattress is starting to get lumpy, and ive wanted a cute bed frame for years. but weve been severely limited in our options since we have a king sized mattress and well, both mattresses and bed frames at this size literally start at one thousand dollars. and frankly, this bed is huge and impractical and im over it. so as soon as we can afford it, were treating ourselves to a new queen sized mattress on a cute bed frame. (obviously i am super excited about this). 

3. replace our vintage hi-fi with something actually functional. this was a hard call to make, but we just had to. the centerpiece of our living room has always been this gorgeous vintage console record player, and we both love it. thing is, its huge. it offers nothing in the way of storage or functionality (other than being a nice long surface for the computer and tv). and the wiring has a short so we cant even use the turntable. so it has to go. as soon as i find just the right midcentury style credenza to replace it with. 

i am super excited about my family and home goals for this year, and i cant wait to get started on them! stay tuned for next time, when i talk about my personal and financial goals!

(and dont forget, everything in the etsy shop is 30% off this whole month with the code JAN15)

Friday, January 2, 2015

2015: a year for focus (part one: blog and shop goals)

hello january! nice to see you around again. if were being completely honest here, ive never been a huge fan of january. i often refer to it as "the monday of the year". but as ive gotten older, ive grown to appreciate mondays. monday is a day to regroup, make a plan of attack, and kick the next weeks butt. and maybe january can be like that too. 

in my last post, i unveiled my "one word" for 2015, and in case you missed it, that word was "focus". i chose focus as the guide for my goals this year because with all the crazy changes and developments of the past year, i realized that while we have lots of REALLY cool stuff going on right now, what i really need to do is step back and focus. 

focus on our long-term plans, focus on why were doing the things were doing, focus on what we actually need to do, not just get wrapped up in whatevers being thrown at us on whatever day. 

and im starting this year of a new, focused mindset with a different kind of goal list. rather than writing a long list of scattered, random goals for the year, i picked six key areas (blog, shop, family, home, financial, and personal) and made just a few goals in each area to focus on. 

and since six topics is a lot to cover all at once, ive paired them up so that this can be a little mini-series. today: we have blog and shop goals, on monday well talk about family and home foals, and finally on wednesday well talk about financial and personal goals. lets press on, shall we? 

blog goals: 

1. solidify my brand and content. ive been writing this blog for (gasp!) almost two years and for basically all of it ive really struggled with my identity as a blogger and the direction/brand of this blog. who am i? what kind of blog is this? where do i fit into the blogging community? what is my niche? if this blog is going to really get anywhere, i need to stop trying to do all the things and figure this out. im currently in the middle of coaching about this, and its really exciting to start the new year already making progress on a big goal. 

2. plan and write posts ahead of time. since im not a full time blogger making a living at this (yet), i have to balance writing and maintaining this blog with all the other things i juggle on a daily basis. this means im not able to write, edit, and promote each post on the day its supposed to go live. i need to use my large blocks of free time (weekends, late nights, days alice is out), to get multiple posts ready to go. and if that is going to work at all, i need a plan. so in the immediate future i need to map out my topics for a, um... long time, so that i can use my writing time for writing. 

3. consistently blog throughout the entire year. this means: figuring out a comfortable (but reliable) posting schedule, finding my rhythm for social media, not taking huge breaks, things of that nature. obviously this is going to take some trial and error, but for now my first step is to determine my weekly posting schedule, both for timing as well as topics. tentatively i have things set like this: mondays - personal/family/random posts, wednesdays - money/home/shopping posts, fridays - food/craft/shop-related posts. this way, you guys know when to expect a post from me, and also, that youre always going to have something a little different to read. 

4. collaborate and connect more. one of the hardest things about being a blogger is feeling like youre in this alone, when really theres a HUGE and super supportive community out there to work with. and this year, i really want to embrace that. how? im not sure yet, this may mean more sponsorships, linkups, giveaways, and guest posting, it may mean something totally crazy and different. well just have to wait and find out. 

shop goals. 

1. apply for patchwork santa ana in the spring. black friday weekend i was invited to sell at a somewhat spontaneous holiday market with some friends, and to my surprise (it was a small event, mostly of people i know), i ended the year with a decent amount of money to invest in my business. and i decided that its finally time to stop being a scaredy cat and apply for my first "real show". if i get in, this would be a HUGE step for me as a person, and poverty luxe as a business. if i dont, well then its off to goal #2. 

2. vend at 2-3 "real" craft fairs. by "real" i mean not the small, community type events that ive done in the past, i mean serious events like patchwork or the silver lake flea market or something else similar (obviously im researching more options). ive learned (over and over) that the smaller events, while lower in booth fees, are lower in attendance, sales, and networking opportunity, and while ill probably only be able to afford a couple of larger events over the course of the year, id rather invest in events with a greater chance of growing my business. 

3. launch my kids line and experiment with womens tops. ive had a kids line planned out for a while: more sizes of skirts, a sundress that doubles as a top as the child grows, and a simple little t-shirt in fun prints, and before i can launch, i need to do a little more sizing research and make the paper patterns. also, in order to launch the shirt, i need to either be very patient and fix my serger, or be extra very patient and save up for a new one. ive also had some ideas for adult sized tops, so by the end of the year, id like to at least have made some prototypes. 

4. turn my stash into inventory. seriously, im just sitting on piles of beautiful fabrics just waiting to be turned into something useful. so this year, my focus is to build my inventory from the fabrics i have until i absolutely need to go fabric shopping (and also to donate/give away anything thats not useful. 

so those are my blog and shop goals for 2015. now, if you notice, some of those goals, well, i could use a little help to accomplish. and im not the type to ask for help without offering anything in return. so to help jump start my goals to collaborate with other bloggers more, and to help finance my future vendor applications, im having two HUGE sales: 

50% off ALL sponsorships with code JAN15 in my passionfruit shopi have two options: one includes a large sidebar ad, social media shoutouts, AND a full blown guest post on poverty luxe, for just $10 ($5 this month), and the other includes a small sidebar ad and an introductory shoutout on twitter for $3 (just $1.50 with the code). buying a sponsorship from me is not only a super fun (and inexpensive) way to grow your blog by collaborating with someone super fun (me), but also ALL the money i bring in through sponsorships goes RIGHT back into sponsoring other bloggers! 

30% off EVERYTHING in the poverty luxe etsy shop with code JAN15! in order for me to keep things moving with the shop, i really need to keep things moving in the inventory department, both to make room for the new lines, as well as to help fund the application/booth fees for any shows i apply for this year. this means you can score some AWESOME (if i do say so myself) handmade, eco-friendly clothing at an even more awesome price. 

both codes are good for the whole month of january, too!