Love, Lydia - Notes from a geeky, plus sized artist.: money
Showing posts with label money. Show all posts
Showing posts with label money. Show all posts

Friday, December 4, 2015

Reflections on November & What I'm Looking Forward to in December

Hi folks,


So, I had another topic I wanted to post about today, however sometimes life happens.  Instead I spent my morning waiting for Bryan, my husband to get out of surgery.  He had a growth on his tongue that showed up almost two months ago.  Our family medical practice thought it was a boil or other bothersome skin condition and tried (wrongfully because it's not supposed to be used orally!) putting silver nitrate on it near the end of October.  It did nothing but give my husband chemical burns in about a quarter of his mouth.  They decided it must not be a boil and said they'd refer him to a specialist.  After a month of waiting (in which Bryan lost his job and was told his health insurance would run out at the end of November) he kept bugging the office, and was finally contacted Tuesday of last week.  The oral surgeon saw him the day before Thanksgiving and scheduled him for surgery Monday, the last day of November.

We'd been looking into insurance options, but until the holiday thought it wasn't quite as urgent since we didn't really expect to need the insurance so much in December.  So yeah...I spent pretty much all afternoon on the phone with the government health exchange and my insurance company to come up with some sad sounding answers that might work.  Bryan's dad helped me out too thank goodness.  Bryan was asleep with a swollen tongue until around dinner time.  It was right around that point that I decided to call his insurance company that I assumed was dropping him from insurance and research COBRA options.  After all the long hold times on the other calls I spoke with a fantastic lady who in 15 minutes including wait found that Bryan's insurance was actually paid for until the end of the year!  I just about cried when I heard that, I can't say enough how much of a blessing it is that it worked out that way.

Hopefully this along with some of my other posts explains why I've been absent more than I'd like this past month.  November was hard!  However there was good stuff too with family at Thanksgiving and Word Balloons comics reading group.  Overall though I'm glad that November's chapter in my book is ending and December is fresh and new.


So I know we still have some financial issues to work through connected to the change in jobs, but I already feel like December is going to be a spectacular month.  I have a really exciting fashion post to share with you all at the end of this week as I show off my December mini capsule wardrobe and along with some fantastic sponsored content that will be a big first for me!  (hint: if you want a sneak peek of my new friends check out

Other great things I'm looking forward to this month include:

  1. Making new traditions as we decorate our new house for the holidays.
  2. The Boylan Heights Artwalk in Raleigh, one of my favorite places to find gifts ever as well as meeting fantastic artists.
  3. Making my blog more beautiful as I create new, better graphics.
  4. Baking things in my kitchen and drinking hot cocoa.
  5. Finally hosting our housewarming party!
  6. Spending time with friends and family at the end of the month.
  7. Tackling a great new Monthly Instagram Challenge with the Geeks & Beauties Community.
  8. Finishing some long overdue art projects that I'd normally be more passionate about, but life and a bit of procrastination have made a bigger burden of than they should be.
  9. Going to the Raleigh Ringers concert (an incredible handbell choir that is not to be missed, and a Dickson family tradition).
  10. Finding the perfect gifts for everyone on my list, I might put way too much thought into it, but I really enjoy finding a present that will make the receiver smile.
  11. Feeling that things are finally calming down after the past months' turbulence.
  12. Participating in Dressember!


I'm thrilled to be able to share about Dressember with you all.  To explain further Dressember is an event that lasts the whole month of December and it's purpose is to raise awareness for human trafficking and help put an end to it.  Participants ONLY wear dresses for the whole month, no pants or skirts, some folks even limit themselves to one the whole time.  And similarly to a walk for charity or event like Extra Life where gaming is what's done to raise awareness you can help support this endeavor with the Dressember Foundation at any time over the course of this month.

But let me guess, you're also wondering, Lydia, why dresses?  Here's what the Dressember Foundation has to say about why they selected this as their challenge:

          "Dressember uses fashion to advocate for women who've been exploited for their

          femininity.  As women take on the creative challenge of wearing a dress for the 31 days of

          December, they are advocating for the inherent dignity of all women."

I love this idea, and the challenge too.  I'm building a small capsule wardrobe for just this month, which I'll share with you all later this week.  Plus if you want to see what I'm wearing each day just come follow me over here on Instagram.  And, if you want to join in it's not too late, it's quick and easy to sign up at the Dressember site, we'd be happy to have you!

Day 1

Please check out my donation page here for more information on the project.  Additionally, I'm not alone, there are several other ladies from the Rising Tide Society dressing it up with me for the next month.  I've joined some of them on team Grace Belle to do good for some of those least able to help themselves in the world.  You can read a bit on their takes on the project here at and here at Phylicia Nicole.  They've really said things much more eloquently than I have here.

85% of proceeds go to International Justice Mission and A21, of the rest 5% is used to process credit card fees and the other 10% for the foundation's admin, tech, and marketing.  All of these organizations are 501 c3 tax deductible, and you can read more about them here.  Even a tiny bit can help, and my goal is to raise $200 for them, since it's my first time.  I'm a little nervous about it because I honestly feel bad asking for anyone's money, but this is it, I'm asking that you join me in helping to end human trafficking.

Thanks so much for reading.  I'll see you all again very soon.


Thursday, September 17, 2015

Mixed Bag

Hi everyone,

So today's post is a bit of a mixed bag with a couple comics and other things in store.

First off there's news:

Bryan and I had been planning quietly to go to Texas for a little vacation, but we hit a snafu almost as soon as I announced it.  Because Bryan changed jobs in the last year he makes a little more, maybe 15% after taxes.  However when I sent in my income based repayment information so good old Sallie Mae, oh wait, I mean Navient (their sad rebranding to try to shed the image attached to their other name) I got the results in the last week of what our adjusted payments would be.  Somehow a 15% jump in income means we can suddenly afford double the payments each month.  I don't know how their system works, but it sure is confusing!  What this mean is we're giving Navient an extra round trip flight to Texas each month.  So only I will be able to go for the wedding, and I won't spend much extra time there.  Maybe I'll be able to do something fun while I'm there meeting new friends and seeing old ones, or perhaps Bryan and I can go on some other adventure closer to home.  Either way I'll still be working on the travel series, but it will just end up different than I initially thought it would be.  Overall it's a little disappointing, but not the end of the world.  It leaves plenty of other possibilities open closer to home.  I'll have the next part of my travel series up either September 21st or 28th, so be on the lookout for that!

Secondly I'm thinking about how I can keep moving towards having a more ethical wardrobe and habits in general.  I've been testing out Thred Up ($20 off for you in the link there!), a way to sell or buy second hand clothes online and plan to do a comparison for you all, since I think Poshmark is also a site you all might be interested in.  They do basically the same thing, but with Poshmark you do more of the work and make more profit.  We'll see if it's worth it.  I started comparing my summer wardrobe, which at best has about 5% as ethical.  I'd have to check tags to know for sure, but I'm lazy and haven't yet.  However, with my fall wardrobe there's at least 5%, maybe a little more.  So that's progress of a sort.  And as I look at buying anything new I'm trying to check options from my ethical clothing list first these days.  Then there's Etsy, which is a fantastic place for gifts as well as clothes.  (I start my Christmas shopping early!)  And I'd also like to visit local thrift stores more often, which may turn into a new goal if I can get my husband, Bryan, on board!  I really like the ideas for repurposing and glaming up thrift store finds in this video below:

I think this means I'll be featuring some more Pinterest and DIY projects here soon!  Also my studio is slowly starting to get unpacked.  Finally!  haha  That's been a long time coming, and I'm glad to have work space again.  I also have the challenge of decorating it, so decor DIY here I come!

And now for the book review of the week:

This week I picked up The Ancient Magus Bride Volume 2 by Kore Yamazaki and it was just as good as the first volume!  There are more secrets, depth, and character development packed in this volume.  Chise finished things in the town of cats and meets some new fae.  We see her learning magic and find out how it drains her.  And finally she begins to make allies of who we thought might be enemies before we get to the edge of your seat ending.  I'll be honest, I kind of wish I hadn't heard of this series until all the volumes are published, because now I have to wait until December to read more!  haha Really though it's a great series and I'll have another pick for you all next week.


Saturday, September 5, 2015

My Fall 2015 Capsule Wardrobe

Hi friends!

I'm super excited to share what I've designed to wear this fall.  Some things I thought as I was planning ended up different than I thought when I laid things out, like my balance of colors and some of my numbers.  I've also decided to have 2 flex items, how it works is they will be in my wardrobe and suitable for mostly summer weather, when it gets too cold for them I'll switch something else in that has the same purpose.  Once I switch it I can't take it back and the item goes into the box of my summer clothes, not to be seen again until spring or summer.  I'm doing this because I'm nervous about how the weather changes will impact what I can wear and I'm not totally sure what I'm doing since this is my first capsule that has any dramatic seasonal change.

So for anyone new a capsule wardrobe is a planned set of seasonal clothes (usually 30-37 pieces per season), that helps you focus on your personal style, not overspending, wearing all of what you own regularly, and getting rid of clothes that don't fit or work well for you.  In the end there's less fuss when you get dressed each day because things work well together, you can experiment more knowing things will pair well together.  It also clears out space if like me you end up with more than you wear and also hold on to things that don't fit.

Now on to the capsule wardobe pictures!

As you can see my colors changed from what I assumed last week before I laid everything out together and sorted through to get my final picks.

1 -  Old Navy ruffle henley tee
2  -  Once Upon a Tee "The Witch in the Fireplace" tee (Doctor Who/Harry Potter mashup)
3  -  Target/Pure Energy V neck sweater
4  -  Torrid Wonder Woman tee
5  -  Target/Mossimo Supply Co feather stripe, V neck tee

6  -  Forever 21+ navy cold shoulder top
7  -  Forever 21+ berry stripe crochet cardigan
8  -  Walmart/Ocean Pacific ruched top with sleeve ties
9  -  Forever 21+ cowl neck, 3/4 sleeve striped sweater
10  -  Anthropologie/T. La olive roll sleeve pocket tee
11  -  City Chic purple bubble hem camisole top
12  -  Torrid chiffon dragonfly print tank
13  -  Target/Merona purple lace sleeve top
14  -  Switchfoot band tee

15  - Target/Pure Energy charcoal lace back hoodie16  -  Forever 21+ indigo striped, 3/4 sleeve, shoulder button top
17  -  Gwynnie Bee/Isabel+Alice assymetrical tunic tank
18  -  Walmart/Faded Glory blue plaid flannel button down shirt
19  -  Maurice's olive and pink military jacket
20  -  Target/Merona olive button skirt
21  -  Amazon/Levis light wash roll cuff shorts
22  -  Amazon/Levis dark wash roll cuff shorts
23  -  Torrid floral print A line skirt

24  -  Her Universe, 9th Doctor dress
25  - Target/Mossimo Supply Co grey leggings
26  -  Cherry Velvet, Paige dress in blue floral

27  -  Lane Bryant, Genius Fit skinny jeans
28  -  Macy's/Style & co olive roll up utility pant
29  -  Dress Barn Woman floral palazzo pant

30  -  Torrid skinny jean
31  -  Torrid brown faux suede ballet flat
32  -  Modcloth/ H.G. Bass floral platform olive sandal
33  -  Torrid zip ankle, embellished skinny jean

34  -  Hushpuppies/Trendsetters black with wood ankle boot
35  -  Payless/American Eagle blue twist ballet flat
36  -  Old Navy indigo paisley flip flops
37  -  Toms pomegranate corduroy classic slip ons

Whew! Tell me what you think of my selections and let me know if I missed anything I should have on my list.  Normally I would have some Converse shoes but when I tried on the pair that I'd set aside for this capsule I found they didn't fit me correctly.  I may buy new ones for my winter capsule since I really love them.

Lastly, I have some news! With the addition of the new banner above my blog makeover is nearly complete.  Feedback is welcome of course!

I have also established a Facebook page where you can follow my posts more easily, you can find it here -

And finally there's a poll below I'd love you all to answer!  Thanks, and I'll see you Monday.


What do you think about bloggers making money from their blogs?

Type your answers here
Any way they earn money is great as long as they're upfront about it and not preachy.
I don't mind ads in the sidebar or between posts.
I don't mind items or stores being promoted in posts.
I would prefer a page that lists the items and stores a blogger likes for long term reference.
I don't want to feel like a blogger has ads, just a link to recommended items or stores when relevant to a post.
I don't want to see anything that looks like an ad.
I don't want to see ads and I don't think bloggers should earn money from their blogs.
Please Specify:
make a poll