Thursday, February 28, 2013

DIY Shoe Rack


I told y'all how my hubs surprised me with this shoe rack, remember? Although it was a complete surprise, I had been eyeing some DIY shoe racks on Pinterest....he just beat me to it! I won't lie, the thought of him laboring away instead of me was like hearing angels sing. Ahhhh (imagine me saying that in a soothing, relieving way).

He used all scrap wood that we had been storing in the garage. Free, just the way I like it!

Here were my inspirations:


The picture below pretty much details how he put this baby together. 


When it was all said and done, Chris informed me that he measured my heels to make sure that they would be able to fit on the middle rack in case I ran out of room on the top shelf. He is such a smarty pants!
I thought my shoes looked good when I first organized my closet. Ha! This is like adding a parking garage to an over-filled parking lot. So.much.more.space.
What do you think?! Did he do good? 
Linking up with Katie and StephanieYHL, Bower Power, The Remodeled Life, and Decor and the Dog!
Photobucket

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

I'm the kinda girl...


...that doesn't take herself too seriously.

...that will tell you the truth when others won't....sometimes I am a little too blunt.

...that can't wait to be a mom.

...that cries at all weddings...even weddings on tv. 

...that is miss independent.

...that will go out in public with absolutely no makeup on.

...that wants to always protect her little brother, even though he is much bigger than me.


...that loves all things sports, yet can wear heels like it's my job.

...that hates losing.

...that gets moody at night...really moody.

...that drinks her husband's coke because she didn't order her own.

...that has never dieted. one life to live and i am going to eat the cookie. 

...that raised pigs, but you would never know it.

...that wears a ratty t-shirt to the gym instead of a cute workout outfit.

...that needs to work on her relationship with God.

...that can cook a home-cooked meal, but hates doing the dishes after.

...that no matter how old i am, i will always be daddy's little girl.


...that tries not to sweat the small stuff, like a messy house, or a bad hair day.

...that dreamed about her wedding day for years.

...that makes tons of mistakes.

...that wants to be a role model.

...that likes to make people laugh.

...that whines to her dad and husband because she knows she will get her way.

...that sometimes takes on too much, then stresses about everything.

...that pours cold water on people when they're in the shower.

...that gets cold water poured on her.

...who is comfortable in the skin God gave her.

...that always plays jokes on people. 

...who blogs as an escape from everyday life.

...who is blessed beyond words.

Photobucket

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

WIWW: The borrowed outfit + Link Party


Remember this story about how Chris forgot 99% of our clothes when we went out of town? Well here are the whopping two shots (above and down below) that we got before we had to race to the wedding. I was going to wear this dress (below) with cowboy boots. I hope our bed wore it well...since that is where it hung out all weekend. 


Can we say pale (in the current picture at the top...)? I am seriously so ready for summer when I can be tan. Yes, this white-chick can actually get bronze. 

See tan pictures below:


The photo-shop on this picture was done by a friend in college. It speaks for itself.


 No one ever said I was normal, but many said I was tan.

Andddd back to the pale-ness. I won't lie...when I edited this picture in picmonkey, I put blush on my arms. If you have ever used picmonkey you know what I am talking about. The spray tan option is for "premium" users only and I am too cheap to buy it only use the free version. This picture also confirms that the "skinny arm" pose - aka hand on hip - should always be used. 
See below for a tanned-skinny-arm-pose:

This was back in college when I could workout for four hours a day and layout for the other four. Ahhh those were the days...

Here are some random thought for this Wednesday:
- When I dream and I have a super power, it is ALWAYS that I can fly. Then I wake up and I never left the ground.

- I have done four partnership tax returns since February 1st, yet haven't even started on ours. Oops.

- I am tired of our living room TV sitting on an old desk. Tax refund = entertainment center.

- Chris had a moment of baby fever this weekend...until Abby farted on him and you'd have thought she was a hot potato. He handed her to me like his hands were burning and Abby was the potato. It was hilarious. 

- I didn't order a cookie with my dinner tonight (from Which-Wich) because I am working on eating less cookies. I didn't say no cookies, I said less cookies. There are three boxes of Girl Scouts sitting on my counter right now.

- I just want one complete day off to not work and not do homework. Actually, I would take a half day.

- I wore a shirt to the gym today that said...well just see for yourself...


 - I might have lost you by now, but if I didn't then I should let you know this was a free shirt...and I haven't had time to do laundry lately. Desperate? Maybe slightly. But I really got some good laughs out of wearing it.

Now for the usual, ya dig?
Follow Alisa and I
Link up any outfit post
Link back or use the button, por favor
Go meet people, doyyyy!

button

Photobucket

Tax Questions: Blogging Income and Deductions

Late night tax work. Don't be too jealous.
Let me start this post by say I am in no way the knower (is that a word? yes it is.) of all things taxes. With that being said I have worked in public accounting for over a year now and have prepared numerous (n-u-m-e-r-o-u-s) tax returns ranging from multi-million dollar corporations to normal individuals like you and I (well, maybe not you, but definitely I). I work for a mid-size (200+ employees) full-service public accounting firm in North Dallas. Full-service meaning we have an income tax group, audit group, sales tax group, and consulting group. I work in the income tax group. Anything accounting related, we can handle it. I am not a CPA (yet!), but do have a BBA in Accounting and am in my final semester of graduate school to obtain my MBA (woo hoo!). 

I have found there is not a lot of detailed tax information regarding blogging out on the internet. Blogging is becoming more popular and is now a way many people draw in additional income. With additional income means more tax questions.

Cassie contacted me with some tax questions and she suggested I draft a post for everyone to read. So, from the email I sent her, I have now drafted an informational post about:

"How to account for blogging income and deductions"

Since tax season is upon us, what better time than now to inform bloggers on how to account for their income and deductions! And please, if you ever have any questions, don't hesitate to email me. If I don't know the answer I am sure someone I work with will.

Let's start with 1099's
If you receive income from you blog, it is likely you will start receiving a 1099. You might be used to the form W-2, so don't think this information is not needed for tax purposes. You can have multiple 1099's depending on how many sources you are drawing income from. Before you submit your return, you want to ensure you have received all 1099's from your sponsors, advertisement companies, etc.

Depending on who prepares your return, a CPA or you/husband, you may use good 'ol Turbo Tax, or you may never see the tax software and just be asked by your CPA to sign on the dotted line. Turbo Tax is great at asking you questions as you go along to ensure everything is covered. You may have to upgrade to the business version of Turbo Tax since, with blogging income, you have your own "business."

Ok to start, always make sure you save all your receipts for everything. When dealing with self-employment, Schedule C income, it is all about risk tolerance. The IRS is fully aware it is up to the discretion of the tax payer on how honest they are. You could get randomly selected for an audit, and in that case, as long as you have receipts to back everything up, you would be fine. 

Income and Deductions 
This is what the meat of this post is about. And the moral of this whole section is HONESTY. 
I get questions all the time like, "Are they ever going to know how much I really spent on my camera/trip/meal/paint?" They = IRS. Maybe. Everyone has a chance to get audited. Being audited means that you are the "chosen one" and the IRS is going to send someone out to look through all you receipts, financials, etc. to confirm that what you reported is actually true. "But I never keep receipts..." START NOW. 

The key to being able to deduct things for tax purposes is to have proof that you actually spent money on something for the purpose of the blog. 

For example: Chris and I went to dinner at The Mansion At Turtle Creek. I wrote about it on my blog, which is essentially advertising for the restaurant, right? No. I cannot deduct that meal expense just because I mentioned it on my blog.

NOW, say I was contacted by Turtle Creek and they said, "Hey, we read your blog, love it, and want to have you out to the restaurant so you can write a review on your blog to, hopefully, increase our traffic here at the Mansion." So, I went, ate, paid for the meal out of my pocket, and wrote a post. The primary reason I went to have dinner there was to blog about it. I didn't go for grandma's birthday or because it was Valentine's...I went because I was going to write a post on it because THEY asked me to. Does that make sense? If this were the case I would need to document the proof (in writing) saying I was asked to go eat there for the purpose of a blog review. REMEMBER: Your deduction is 50% meals, 100% travel. If our meal was $100 and it took us $10 to get there, we can deduct $60. 

This same instance goes for trips to Hawaii, or a trip to the zoo...unless you can document that the primary reason you went somewhere was for blogging, you CANNOT take that deduction. If you fly to Atlanta for a blogging conference, YES, that is deductible (50% meals, 100% travel)! Why? Because the primary reason you went the Atlanta was for a blogging conference. KEEP YOUR RECEIPTS!
Taxes are all about HONESTY. I will repeat that until I can't repeat it any longer.

Home Office Deductions
"Well I have a room in my house that is my office where my computer is...and I blog from that computer in my office...so I can take a home office deduction, right?" Kinda. Is the only thing you do on that computer blog? You never check you personal email, shop online, get on Facebook, homework? The chances of you using your computer/internet SOLELY for blogging are slim to none. The chances of you using your office SOLELY for blogging are slim to none. Here comes the question again: "How would the IRS ever know?" HONESTY...and knowing that anyone can be audited.
Now we are going to get into some math. Everyone loves math, right?

Say you got $6,000 of 1099 income from the blog. You would put that on your Schedule C and you would be able to deduct all of the expense for the blog; computer expenses, home office space, phone, rent, camera, etc. NOW, it gets tricky because unless you can prove that your computer/home office/electricity/phone is used solely for blogging, you can't take 100% of all those expenses. 

FOR EXAMPLE: Say your house is 2,000sq ft and your office is 250sq ft, you could deduct 250/2,000 of the electricity. Say your electric bill is $2,400 for the whole year. you would then take 2,400 x .125 = $300 of deductible electricity. The .125 (or 12.5%) comes from 250/2,000. This is assuming your office is used SOLELY for blogging.

Turbo Tax will (or it should) prompt you to fill out form 8829, Expenses for Business Use. The numbers should populate...I am not familiar with Turbo Tax, so I am not sure if they automatically will. Just follow the form...

I think in Turbo Tax you will put in your total utilities, phone bill, etc. and then put in your total square footage and your home office square footage and it will automatically take 12.5% (250/2,000) of all your expenses that you enter. If your home office is only used part of the time for blogging, then that is where is can get tricky.  

You can deduct the 250sq ft as home office deduction if it is used only for blogging. If your office is used 50% of the time for blogging and 50% of the time for the kiddos homework, then 50% of the square footage of the office is deductible. If you use the internet 30% of the time for blogging and the rest for video games, playing, surfing, then 30% of the internet bill each month is deductible. Does that makes sense? If you bought a new lens for your camera, that is deductible in the year you bought it. If you bought new computer software that is solely used for blogging, that is deductible. 

See how it can be tricky?! Ahhh! If you ever did get audited, you would have to prove that 30% of your internet is used for blogging, etc. HONESTY and documentation are key.
 
  Key points to remember:
- Your deductions CANNOT be greater than your blogging income for three straight years. Then, it is considered a hobby. So, if you make zero dollars, or next to nothing, from blogging, yet you go to conferences, and DIY hundreds of projects a year, etc. you can't take all of those deductions. That's all there is to it. If everyone got to deduct hundreds of dollars a year without having to make any money...well you know what would happen.

- This post pertains to the "larger" bloggers who make enough money from blogging that they have to report it because they received a 1099. Blogging is considered your "hobby" unless, like I said before, your income for three straight years is greater than your deductions. 

- Camera always come into question. Do you only take pictures for your blog? None are personal? You can't go out and buy a $1,000 camera and expect to deduct it if you receive no income from blogging, or at least receive less income than the amount of the camera. Like me for example, I have received ZERO dollars from blogging. I don't offer advertisements and I blog as a hobby. Personally, I never want it to feel like a "job" so at this point in my life, I never intend to bring home the bacon from my blog. With that being said, I got a camera for Christmas and 99.9% of the pictures taken have ended up on the blog. Good for you, Sarah, you still can't take a deduction for your camera because you make zero dollars from blogging. Comprende?

- I am not the knower of all things taxes. If you have any experiences or suggestions that you would like to share, please let me know!

Whewwww, that was a lot of information. I hope some of you find it helpful. Please feel free to email me questions, comments, concerns, did I mess something up (probably),does it not make sense?

And thanks to Cassie for prompting me to write up this post. I hope it helps answer some confusing questions!
Photobucket

Tuesday Tune Up: Maybe I forgot to wear clothes?

From what I remember of last week, I was clothed. But, if we were basing this question off of the outfits I took pictures of...it looks as though I have not worn clothes for the last four of seven days. 

This Target dress was dirt cheap. I paired it with black leggings and my grey boots for a winter look!
Tank and a cardi, match made in heaven. I have sooo many tanks for summer. Why not throw on a cardi and make a summer tank into a winter outfit!? 
Obviously I am wishing for some spring-time here in Texas. Flowers and pastel couldn't scream "I am tired of bi-polar Texas weather!" any louder. Once again, this is a sleeveless tank that I paired with a cardi :)
And now we are back to winter-like temps in Dallas. And the wind?! Seriously, that can go back to where it came from ASAP. 
Is the weather in your area indecisive like in Texas?!
Have a wonderful Tuesday!!

Linking up with Lisette!
Photobucket

Monday, February 25, 2013

Weekend Wrap: Love Bugs + Forgotten Clothes

There was a lotta lovin' happenin' this weekend!
We traveled south to the Texas Hill Country to attend a wedding and watch the baptism of sweet Abby. 
Chris adores going to my parents. He may have grown up a city boy, but he is a country boy at heart. Good thing because his wife grew up on a dirt road! Don't worry, my family has all their teeth and we do have running water. 
This is the view my parents get to wake up to everyday. Growing up I never appreciated the country. Now that I live six inches feet from my neighbors and am bound to the laws of the HOA, there are days I wish I was in the country with no rules, no neighbors, and pure silence. Then I think about Starbucks and nails salons being a five minute drive away and I realize I was meant for the city :)
The dogs love car rides. Bailey was hiding because she saw the camera. She is camera shy, majorly.
Within five minutes of being home, Chris had unloaded his guns from the car and we had target practice. Seriously, that boy loves the country. 
PS: This is literally in my back yard...
Dad gettin' a few shots in...Chris is totally like a kid in a candy store. He was not meant for the city. I would bet to say that our next house won't be on a .0000002 acre lot in a neighborhood....more like a couple acres and some place this boy can ride a four wheeler. He is dyingggg for a four wheeler. 
After our target practice it was sdown the hill to Aunt D and Uncle Randy's house. They live about 200 yards down the road from us. Aunt D cooked me a belated birthday lunch of stuffed pasta shells and strawberry cake. YUM. 
I got in some quality time with this love bug.

No one can make her smile like her brother. He has got the ability to make this little princess chuckle uncontrollably. Melt my heart. 


So now is the forgotten clothes portion of this episode.

You see, in the Tucker house I pack the clothes, Chris loads the clothes. Or in this case, fails to load the clothes. 

Packed in our bag was undies, socks, PJ's and toiletries. Period. Our hanging clothes consisted of our clothes to go to the wedding in and our church clothes. 

We were about 30 minutes from my parents and I asked Chris where he put our hanging clothes to which he replied, "We had hanging clothes?" 

Here is the conversation:

S: "Hey babe, where did you put our hanging clothes?"
C: "We had hanging clothes? I got the boots."
S: "Ummm, not funny, where is our clothes?"
C: "Please don't make me in trouble, but I seriously never saw any hanging clothes."

Long pause follow by an outburst of laughter. 

We just traveled four hours to attend a wedding and a baptism and the only clothes we had were not even appropriate enough to leave the house, much less go to a wedding!

Of course most girls would think of this as the perfect opportunity to buy a new outfit. That is kind of hard when your New Year's Resolution is to buy no clothes for the entire year!! I tried to see if this was an exception to the rule, but Chris wasn't having it. Not fair since he forgot my clothes! Totally his fault, obviously

Luckily my cousin and his girlfriend were also in town this weekend and she had a suitcase full of clothes that she let me borrow...her man didn't forget to pack her bag (cough, cough, Chris...).

My borrowed clothes consisted of this gorgeous purple blouse, statement necklace, black skinnies, and black boots. BAM. Killa outfit and none of it was even mine. 

I think God was really testing how committed to this resolution I am. I passed the test, G-man!  


Congrats to the new couple! It was the perfect day for a wedding. Absolutely gorgeous!


My days have been running together because of tax season, but it is always nice to take a moment and enjoy life. This weekend I let my brain relax, soaked up toddler time, and witnessed a couple commit their lives to one another. And I must say that I-35 treated us well. If you have ever driven from Dallas to Austin, and back, you know that the chances of that being a smooth ride are slim to none. Maybe God was rewarding me for not caving on my resolution?! Hmmm...whatever the reason, we were happy to make it home in time to enjoy the rest of our Sunday!
How was your weekend?! Did you go to a wedding? Spend time with family?
Hope you have a wonderful Monday!
Linking up with Sami's Shenanigans, Lipgloss and Crayons, Life of Meg, and Join the Gossip
Photobucket

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Insta-Friday: Please contain your excitement...

It's sad when the only two pictures you insta-gramed all week were about your work...


Remember how much fun I was having a couple weeks ago?


Now everyday and every night looks like this:


...minus my feet being on my desk during the day...

I tell ya, I am livin' the dream, ha!

Don't be too jealous, now, that I get to stare at numbers in size five font all day, as in 11-15 hours a day. You're jelly (aka jealous), I can tell :) 

This weekend Chris and I are headed to the Hill Country. We have to go to a wedding and this little girl is getting baptized! Don't think this is a "vacation"...my computer will be happily making the trip and I will, unfortunately, have to work while I am at my parent's...but seeing them is totally worth it!

Just to brighten up this post, here are my high-fives for the week:
1. Chris was not traveling this week. So happy when he is home.
2. I have been working out consistently, and I can tell!
3. This is one week closer to April 15th...
4. We got $500 for referring our friends to our neighborhood! They bought the house two doors down from us :)
5. I am one week closer to April 15th...can I repeat that?

Have a wonderful weekend!

What are your plans? Working like me??


Photobucket

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Saw it. Pinned It. Did it. - Crock Pot Creamy Italian Chicken


I haven't been home in time for dinner since...ummm...busy season started on February 1st. I announced to Chris that until April 15th, I will not - I repeat: I will not - be cooking dinner. 

Does putting something in the crock pot in the morning and having it be ready for dinner count as making dinner? If it does then I am super woman. Tax accountant, graduate student, and a wife that has a hot meal ready when the hubs gets home. Bada-bing-bada-boom!

So maybe I cheated a little bit by "cooking" dinner in a crock pot, but there we no complaints when this delicious meal graced the taste buds on our tongues. Yum, freakin' yum.

I pinned this recipe months ago, years ago, crap I don't know when I pinned it, but I knew that I had to try it.

via
Y'all, for real, it is SO simple.

Here is what you need:

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 packet Good Seasons Italian dressing mix
2 (10 ounce) cans cream of chicken soup
1 (8 ounce) block of cream cheese, cut into cubes
Egg Noodles or Rice, to serve with

**I used 1 can of cream of chicken coup and 1 can of cream of mushroom soup**

Here are the directions from the original source:

Directions: Spray crock pot with non-stick spray (I forgot this step and it was fine). Place the chicken breasts in crock pot, and sprinkle the Italian dressing mix over the tops. Pour the cream of chicken soups over chicken, and then spread the cubes of cream cheese evenly over all. 

Cover and cook on low for 6 hours (I cooked mine for about 5 hours on low. Just check it around 4.5 hours. You don't want your chicken to get too dry). Remove lid and stir mixture together. Cut chicken into bite-size pieces. (If the sauce seems too thick, you can thin it out with a little milk)

Serve chicken and sauce over cooked egg noodles or rice. Enjoy!

This recipe is a gem. "Shine bright like a diamond..." as in this recipe is a keeper. And a repeater. And husband approved. And super-busy wife approved.

Now, back to homework and taxes I go!

So happy to be linking up with Stephanie and Katie!
Photobucket

WIWW: Date Night Outfit + Link Up


Let's start by pointing out the odd color of me legs. Are they grey? Hmmm. Interesting. That's what you get for a self-timer shot. Not too bad other than that!

Can I also point out that my dress wasn't that short? This picture makes me look like I was wearing a long shirt, but I swear it was appropriate. 

Let's talk about the dress for a second. Actually, let's talk about the whole outfit. This whole outfit was provided by Jessica. We wear the same size so she has agreed to let me raid her closet anytime I want...since I can't shop and all

I have plenty of dresses to wear, but I was really craving something new. That's wear borrowing from your friend comes in handy!

And helloooo hotstuff? No I am not referring to myself (I'm not that vain...), but my handsome hubby. Owww owww! Look at him all dressed to impress. 

And since I pointed out something about me, let's pick on Chris for a moment. That poor boy...he can't remember to wear his wedding ring to save his life. I do believe he actually wore it this night, but it was definitely a last minute, "Crap! Hold on I forgot something..." He can't wear his ring when he is working, so the only time he has the opportunity to wear it is on the weekend...andddd 9 times out of 10 he always forgets it. I always joke with him that if he is rollin' single, I am too - then I start to pull my rings off. Ha!  


It was really bright, and we were running late (because of Chris, as usual....seriously) so this is our best attempt at getting WIWW shots. Even picmonkey.com couldn't tan these legs o' mine. 

I swear one of these days I will have time to properly shoot a WIWW outfit...school and work have me drained. 

And now for some Wednesday randomness...

- I think I am going to start Jamie Eason's 12-week Live Fit Trainer, Monday. Yup, that's what I think about that. Beach bod 2013 here I come!

- I really adore Amber. I know we have only met in real-life once, but she always texts me random things about her girls, or life in general, and it totally brightens my day. Taxes can really put you in a funk, so cute pictures of babies are always welcome :) 

- I got my eyebrows waxed on the 9th...11 days ago...and I am just now getting over the teenage-breakout fest that happened on my forehead. Does that ever happen to you? I think my skin may be sensitive to the wax because every time I get my eyebrows waxed I break out SO bad everywhere they wax touched my skin. It's super cute walking around with Mt. Everest parting your eyebrows. 

- Two times last week I meant to reset my alarm for a couple minutes longer (longer than my snooze..)...and both times (on two separate days) I accidentally changed the hour and not the minute! I wondered why I was waking up and it was daylight. Freak out, ready go - hair-in-pony-tail-run-around-like-a-crazy-person was in full swing. I learned my lesson. Get up when the alarm goes off, Sarah.

So, what was your Valentines Date outfit?! Have you ever changed the hour instead of the minute? Dang iPhone!

Now for the norm...you know? The party?

You know the rules. If you forgot them, they are below....just for your convenience :)

Follow Alisa and I 
Link up any outfit
Link back with the button or within your post
Meet some friends!

button

Linking up with Because Shanna Said So, The Pleated Poppy, Rolled Up Pretty, and Get Your Pretty On!
Photobucket

Monday, February 18, 2013

Tuesday Tune Up: Love is in the air...


I wore this shirt on Valentines Day without planning it, seriously. I went on the "clothes not worn yet this year" side of my closet and wanted a long sleeved shirt. I saw this, realized I hadn't worn it in years, slipped it on, and went on with getting ready. As I was getting ready to leave I walked by a mirror in our living room and realized the shirt was perfect :) 

Of course I got to work and everyone commented on how my shirt matched the holiday. They didn't buy my story. Oh well!

Here are some other outfits from the week!

My church outfit. Luckily The Village Church is super casual because I was not in a dress up mood.


I just adore this polka-dot blazer. It makes me so happy when I wear it.


This isn't my favorite outfit. The color of this shirt washes me out. I can't wait for summer when I can tan this glowing bod.


Remember when I told y'all that I was just too tired to photograph some of my outfits last week...well here is one outfit that I wore two weeks ago. I had a spurt of energy and decided to put it on and snap a quick pic. I loveee this shirt. It is probably one of my favorites.


And here is the other outfit I never had the energy to take a picture of...once again, I loveee this shirt.


I've said it twice, so I might as well say it again, I loveee this shirt too. Can you tell flowy is my style? Don't stick me in tight fitting shirts...I feel sooo claustrophobic. I need me some space up in herrrr.


How has your week of outfits been? I am still truckin' through my closet. I have yet to repeat a shirt this year...and I still have tons to go. My resolution is so awesome. If you aren't sure what I am talking about go {here}

PS: I think this is the fastest post I have ever written...working 10-14 hour days and doing homework leaves minimal time to blog, butttt it is my "escape" and it keeps me sane, so you can always - ehhhh most of the time - count on a post from me!

Happy Tuesday, friends! 
Photobucket
Pin It button on image hover