How To Pay Off Student Loans In A Year

Last May, I graduated the University of Nevada, Reno with a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing. As I walked across the stage I was handed my diploma and $27,000 of federal student loan debt.

Since it’s graduation season and many of my friends will be entering the business world on their own, I thought I would share how I paid off all of my student loans in one year!

destiny-with-diploma

Work Two Jobs, or Maybe Three

This may seem like the easiest piece of advice, but many students are not motivated enough to start working 60+ hours a week right after graduation. Many study abroad, work part time and take it easy the first summer. Unfortunately most student loans are already incurring interest while you’re taking it easy during summer. This is the only way to pay off your student loans…work, work a lot. Make a goal for yourself to commit one year to nonstop work so you can enjoy being debt free for life.

Don’t Vacation

Just stay still for at least one year. Have your friends come to you and don’t waist money on vacationing because guess what, you have so many jobs you probably can’t get the dates off anyway. Sure, one year can seem like a long time, but you will end up paying so much less in one year than you would if you did in 5 years or even 10. If it makes you feel better I took off a total of 1 full day in 6 months, that’s the kind of commitment it takes to pay off your student loans in a year.

Get a Mint Account

Go to Mint.com, get an account, link it to every account possible, and BUDGET. Pay your bills on time and don’t overspend. This takes self discipline, but hey, you got through 3 hour lecture classes, you can be in charge of your own bank account and your future.

Make Payments Weekly

The more often you can make payments on your loans, the better. If you can manage to pay some amount every week, this will save you small amounts, but every little bit helps.

Cut Memberships

Say bye-bye to Birch Box, Dropbox, Ipsy, Stichfix, Cosmopolitan and any other monthly subscription you have. Remember the goal and you will have something to look forward to this time next year.

Give The Gift Of Words

So you went to some fancy college and became educated, well now its time to use your eloquent vocabulary to write beautiful cards. This year, all presents will be made with paper and a pen. Save money on gifts and explain why you couldn’t splurge this year on Christmas, your true friends and family will understand and respect your determination (so long as you don’t buy anything new for yourself).

All of these things may seem like common knowledge but they are harder to implement than you think. I am so thankful to be done paying off my student loans and I feel so relieved to not have any debt hanging over me. And I must say, if Kyle and I can get married the same year we paid off $27,000 of my loans and $9,000 of his, you can do it!

Share some of your budget savvy tips on how to pay off student loans in a year in a comment below, I would love to hear them!

Christian Louboutin Shoes for Wide Feet

Christian Louboutin Box & Shoes
I have always been in love with the highly coveted red bottomed stilettos worn by fashionistas everywhere, but I have never bought any because of one problem… My perfectly square WIDE feet.
Destiny's Wide Feet
Christian Louboutin does not make his heels in wide and would’t dream of making an $800 shoe “comfortable”. A while back I tried buying a pair of pumps 2 sizes too big just so I could own a pair, but I lost all feeling in my toes and couldn’t walk. Now believe me, I have danced en pointe for a long time and my Christian Louboutin New Very Prive Pumps were a thousand times worse than endless nutcracker rehearsals.
Destiny's Christian Louboutin Box
After visiting the Christian Louboutin store and discussing strategy as to how to get my wide feet into a pair of these pumps, I found the perfect pair.

Here’s a few tips on how to find yours…
Bianca Black Pumps
The saleswomen recommended two different styles of Christian Louboutin Shoes for Wide feet, the Christian Louboutin Bianca Almond-Toe Platform Red Sole Pump (my favorite) and the Christian Louboutin Iriza Half d’Orsay Red Sole Pump.

The secret is: DO NOT get them in patent leather because they do not give as much in the front of the foot where you need it most. Also choose a style that is low cut on the sides so your foot has more room through the metatarsals.
Christian Louboutin Shoes on Box
As for sizing on Christian Louboutin shoes for wide feet, if you buy the right pair you only have to go up a half size. I am a true 7.5 size shoe and when I bought these beautiful Bianca’s I bought a size 38. I really like the Iriza shoes as well, but I didn’t want a pointed toe.
Destiny's Christian Louboutin Shoes
I am so happy to finally have a pair of Christian Louboutin Shoes I can wear for more than an hour and not die! If you have wide feet like mine and are looking to buy a pair of these beauties, I highly recommend buying them in person and making sure you love them before making the investment!
If you have had any luck for us wide-footed-ladies, comment below with your suggestions!

Monochromatic Weekend Style

destiny-in-black-n-whiteDon’t you just love buying a brand new outfit head to toe? I am not usually one to buy a complete look but when I saw this black crop top and midi-skirt I new they were destined to become an adorable weekend outfit.

Destiny's Lulu's Jewlery

Lulu’s has the best simple and inexpensive jewelry so I snagged these gold geometric earrings and pulled some other fine jewels from my jewelry box to complete the look!

Tori Burch PurseTypically when it comes to shoes, I never buy inexpensive shoes but I saw simple black pumps and new I would use them for everything (I was right). And of course you can never go wrong with a Tory Burch purse & sunglasses, these are oldies from Christmas a while back but some of my favorites I will never part with.

Destiny Wearing Black Pumps

And of course, this outfit is Rue approved. Use code FREESHIP10 to get free shipping and $10 off your Lulu’s purchase (my apologies for adding to your shopping addiction but it’s infectious).

Rue Approved Outfit

 

Disclaimer- This post contains affiliate links but I was not paid to write this post, I just found some great items I thought you might like.

Fresh Face Makeup Musts

Every girl’s dream is to look like #iwokeuplikethis; to have that flawless fresh face without looking like you spent hours putting on tons of different products, powders, and potions. It is safe to say I am a little makeup obsessed, but at least it is part of my job to put on fake lashes and a red lip every night.

Fresh Face Makeup Musts

To perfect the gorgeous fresh face look, I’ve put together my favorite products that you must have in your makeup arsenal.

1. Fresh Face Foundation

I have tried so many foundations, everything from drugstore favorites to Makeup Forever to Nars, and this simple Sephora brand foundation is THE BEST. Light enough for daytime and also long-lasting  enough to pull of a late night on the town.

2. Matte Face Primer

Honestly, face primers always freak me out, they always feel like your putting vaseline all over your face! This face primer by Becca has a smooth but not oily feel and helps my super greasy face from getting shiny.

3.Bright Eyed Concealer

After going through SO MANY different concealers I finally found one that does not crease under by eyes! This Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer is amazing! I recommend getting one shade lighter than your foundation to give your under eye area that extra pop. Makeup tip ( make sure you blend it in a triangle and not just a small semi-circle to get the best flawless face look).

4. Creamy Contour kit

I am in love with this Laura Mercier Contour Palette! It blends so well with a beauty blender and has a really nice range of colors. Personally I like cream products better than powder because they look more natural and sit better on my face.

Makeup Palettes

5. Flawless Powder

I don’t care for most of MAC’s face products because they always seem to make my skin break out but I have been using this Mineralize Powder for years and its a staple item in my makeup bag. Make sure you use a really nice brush to get a seamless finish ( I use the MAC 187).

6. Lovely Lids

Priming your eyelids is mandatory for a flawless look. This Pro Longwear Paint Pot by MAC is the best for a creaseless and natural looking lid. I use the color Painterly since it is a soft neutral color that works for any look and is a good foundation before you add a powder eyeshadow.

7. Beautiful Brows

I am a huge fan of healthy looking brows to shape the face, thus I have always filled in my brows. My favorite product to get your brows on fleek is the Makeup Forever Aqua Brow. It is extremely long lasting and doesn’t dry up since it is in a tube instead of a pot. It goes on super smooth and give your brows the perfect full look.

8. No Spider lashes

They key to the no-makeup makeup look, is having natural looking lush lashes that aren’t piled high with mascara. My go-to mascara is the Buxom Mascara, only found at Sephora. This  mascara does not flake (my biggest pet-peeve) and is long lasting, not sticky, and build-able.

9. Slick Cat Eye

Sure you may be thinking, a cat eye isn’t very “natural” looking, but I just love a good cat eye with a fresh face so I threw it in as a bonus! This Sephora Classic Line 24hr Felt Eyeliner is my go-to kitty cat eye.  It is so crisp and easy to apply with a nice felt tip that wings really well. I prefer this over any gel or cream liner because it doesn’t transfer to the crease after many hours of wear like others do.

I hope you found this helpful or maybe it just added it your makeup addiction must-have list! Let me know what you think of these awesome products and feel free to add some of your own.

 

5 Things Not To DIY At Your Wedding

5 Things Not to DIY At Your Wedding

When a woman becomes engaged it’s like she quickly become addicted to all things DIY and suddenly evolves into a hoarder of burlap, lace and doilies. Thanks to Pinterest we are inspired to have every detail of our weddings hand stitched with love. In our heads we think, “I love glitter and ribbon, I don’t need to buy anything pre-made! I will save so much money if I just DO IT MYSELF!”. Unfortunately ladies, the truth is DIY does not always save you money and it certainly does not save you time, which can be your most valuable asset with a wedding in the works.

After planning my entire wedding last August and doing almost everything on my own or with the help of my crafty team of bridesmaids (DIY ninjas as some may call them), I learned I should have just bought some of the details I envisioned for my perfect day. To save future brides time and money, I am sharing my top 5 things not to DIY at your wedding.

1. Invitations

If I could give a bride one tip on how to not waste your wedding budget, it would be not spending $$$ on DIY invitations.  For my wedding I got this crazy idea to DIY my invitations, but not just simple paper invitations….I wanted them to be written on vintage handkerchiefs. Why you ask? I have no idea, but this was probably the biggest time consuming DIY affair ever. We spent a whole day looking for 200 vintage handkerchiefs (it was a miracle we found them). Once we found them we were so excited but they were about $1.50 each so my bill came out to about $300 just for the old handkerchiefs alone. Even though they were absolutely adorable and completely unique…I wouldn’t recommend spending this much on a detail you send away to all of your guests and never see again. After buying the printing supplies, envelopes, and paper for  RSVP directions I had spent around $450 on invites alone and spent a full day with 5 people helping me.

DIY Cost: $450
Hours Spent: 16 hr

Store Bought: $300
Hours Spent: 2 hr

If I would have bought invites online like I had originally planned to I would have spent around $300 and saved 14 hours of my time and my bridal party’s time. I highly recommend Wedding Paper Divas for gorgeous wedding invites. My maid of honor ended up buying the bridal shower invites there and they were absolutely perfect in every way and so easy!

2. Table Numbers

Moss table numbers

Even though I absolutely adored my handmaid moss table numbers made with all of my bridesmaids the day before the wedding, I do not recommend making your own table numbers. You can find some really inexpensive and just as adorable table numbers online that will save you loads of valuable time, sure they may not be handcut and glued with love by your seven bridesmaids and grandmother, but no one will know and no one will care. These were really difficult to transport without breaking and were really confusing the day of the wedding since we had 15 tables and 21 individual numbers to match up.

DIY Cost: $150
Hours Spent: 20 hr

Store Bought: $20
Hours Spent: 3 hr

If I could do it again I would print out table numbers and buy frames from the dollar store to put them in. Still a little DIY but much more simple and easier to pack and unpack the day of.

3. Floral Bouquets

Whimsical Bridal Bouquet

This is one thing I am proud to say I did not DIY on my wedding day, but I have been in enough weddings to know it is not worth it to DIY your wedding bouquets. The bouquets are such a beautiful part of the ceremony and especially bridal party theme, they can definitely make or break your photos. I have had friends who ordered fresh flowers and made their bouquets the day before or morning of and let me tell you ….it is not worth it. If you are not a florist and do not want to worry about tulips wilting or roses looking brown, spend the money to get your bridal party bouquets professionally done.

DIY Cost: $700
Hours Spent: 8 hr

Store Bought: $500
Hours Spent: 2 hr

I had Whole Foods florist make 7 bouquets , 9 boutonnieres, and 2 corsages for under $500. My only regret is I wish I would have paid to have a test bouquet made way before the wedding so I could have the florist make exactly what I envisioned. Although my bouquets were not what I had in mind they were gorgeous and I only spent 2 hours with the florist. On the day of the wedding, one of my bridesmaids picked them up fresh and ready to go with no effort or stress for me, the bride.

Keep in mind florists can purchase flowers in bulk straight from suppliers at wholesale prices; they also have all of the tools and supplies that are needed to make bouquets beautiful and sturdy.

4. Table Floral Arrangements

purple and mint cupcakes

One day I wash shopping at Trader Joe’s and I saw these adorable purple potted flowers for only $3.99 each! I knew they would be perfect for the centerpieces so I worked with the florist at Trader Joes ( yes they have someone in charge of all of those super cheap and gorgeous flowers) and she helped me order 20 potted Campanulas for my tables to pick up the morning of the wedding. We only needed 15 for the tables but we bought a few extra for the cake table and buffet table since they were so inexpensive!  I cannot express how perfect they were and how cool it was to buy flowers that the guests could take home and plant instead of throwing away at the end of the night. This is the easiest store bought purchase to make at your wedding…potted flowers! No vases, no water spilling, no ribbons to tie, just beautiful live flowers!

DIY Cost: $200 (at the minimum for 15 center pieces)
Hours Spent: 8 hr

Store Bought: $80
Hours Spent: 1 hr

 

5. Videography

I am so glad I did not decide to skip having a videographer at my wedding. I know a lot of brides have family or friends take amateur ceremony videos or cell phone videos of their wedding reception but when the wedding is all said and done, all you have left are the photos and the video. DON’T DIY YOUR WEDDING VIDEOGRAPHY! Quite a bit of my wedding budget went to videography but I do not regret it at all! I watch my video all of the time and it is such a great way to remember your special moment. I found a videographer willing to shoot our whole wedding for under $1,000 and since it was on a weekday he even dropped down the price! If you are getting married in the Reno Tahoe area I highly recommend Mabble Media.

DIY Cost: $0
Hours Spent: 8 hr (gathering b-roll from friends)

Professional Cost: $900
Hours Spent: 0 hr

I hope this is helpful for all those brides to be! Leave me a comment if you have any questions or things to add to the list of what not to DIY at your wedding.

*Please note I am an affiliate with Wedding Paper Divas, but they did not pay me to promote their products.