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Different Shade of Blue – Ion Brights Sky Blue to be Exact!

For anyone following along with my hair saga, my last update was early this month.  I had switched from Manic Panic Ultra Violet Semi-Permanent to N’rage Cobalt Blue Demi-Permanent on September 1st.  Manic Panic had lasted strong for 3-4 days, and lasted in total for exactly 2 weeks and 3 main washes.

Crystal Loved Her Purple Hair

Love at first sight. :-)

N’rage – Less Than 2 Weeks

N’rage lasted from September 1st through September 11th pretty well, and it wasn’t completely gone.  But then I got my hair cut/updated on September 10th to look spiffy at FinCon14, so that definitely stripped a lot out.  It was stronger than Manic Panic, but it wouldn’t have lasted much more than 5-6 regular washes with me.  Keep in mind, I hadn’t been using sulfate-free shampoo or anything special.

Crystal with N'rage Cobalt Blue Hair

This only lasted 11 days with me…

Ion Color Brilliance Brights Semi-Permanent – Sky Blue

I’ve moved back to the semi-permanent arena, lol.  I’m now using Ion Brights Semi-Permanent in Sky Blue.  I am loving this shade of blue!  I also splurged on $6 sulfate-free shampoo and have washed my hair once so far without it looking nearly as faded as the other two did in one wash.  So yay for maintenance shampoo, lol!  Without further ado, here is how my hair will hopefully look for at least the next week:

Ion Brights Sky Blue

Can’t decide whether I like this one even more than the purple or not! No worries though…I have other colors to try too!

Since the Ion Brights variety is cheaper than Manic Panic and N’rage ($5 versus $9-$13), and they were having a buy-two-get-$1-off sale, I decided to take a chance and bought four colors at once.  This is Sky Blue.  I will also be trying Aquamarine, Magenta, and Fuschia.  Thanks to my super short hair, it only takes one tube to cover it all.  If you have more hair than me at all though, I would suggest buying two tubes for Ion or two containers of Manic Panic.  Or, just streak your hair instead of covering it all.

I’ve had loud-colored hair for about a month now, and I can honestly say that I’m loving it.  My pillow case may never be the same again, but it’s a small price to pay for the fun factor of this experiment so far.  Financially, I’ve spent about $40 in the last month on dyes, my new shampoo, and 12 shower caps.  But I still have three of those dyes left to try, so this should take me on for at least another month or two.  In my world, that’s 3 continuous months of entertainment for $40…what a steal!  Hahaha!

And, an extra benefit, I should be very easy to locate at FinCon this year!  :-D

Did I leave anything out?  What do you think of my colors so far?


Busy By My Own Design…and Whining Anyway

Ever feel whiny even though life is good?  I’m thisclose to throwing a 3 year old’s hissy fit, yet my online business is doing well, pet sitting is thriving, I spend time with friends, and I have the Financial Blogger Conference next week!  Yet I feel stressed.  Not just a little stressed, but like a whole body, I-just-want-to-crawl-back-into-bed stress…

Time Management Fail – First World Problems

I spent 2010-2012 making a habit of accomplishing what needs to be done by sacrificing free time and sleep time.  But then late 2012 through early 2014 spoiled me.  Not financially, since business slowed down, but I was rich with time.  I slept late, finished work in 4-5 hours each day (including weekends but still…), and spent tons of time with friends and family.

But then I got into a funk since I felt like I was wasting my money-making years, so I started pet sitting.  That grew faster than anticipated and now I’m back into the 2010-2011 phase where I need 32 hour days.  I’m once again working two nearly-full time jobs and refuse to give up my time with friends.  So I’m sleeping about 5-6 hours a night again.

I don’t seem to be able to find a balance and happiness with that balance at the same time.  I love the adrenaline rush of new beginnings, 60-80 hour work weeks for months on end, and then I crash.  But I was living a 30 hour work week and got depressed too.  I need to work on simple contentment.

“Your attitude determines your altitude”…heard that from Big Willie on Master Chef.

I think my attitude needs an adjustment.

First World Problems

I Will Stop the Whine

I don’t know if it’s really the packed schedule that has me down or if it’s responsibility in general.  Even though I am looking forward to FinCon14, I am running the Camp part and may be stressed over it going well or not.  I am also trying to learn the words and a funny dance to “All About That Bass” for karaoke night after the camp…I don’t sing extremely well and I dance, well, I don’t dance.  I sort of just jiggle around and laugh.  Pet sitting is fun, but time consuming and I’m driving more than ever before (and I despise driving, LOL).  And business has picked up a but online, but that also means that I need to be able to fit in that work every day whether I’m pooped out or not.

So I will stop the whine.  I am extremely grateful for my life and the people in it.  I will concentrate on all of them and stop feeling woe-is-me for making myself too busy.  I will acknowledge that I have first world problems and be thankful for them.  Yay for busy!  Yay for life!  Yay for contentment!  I shall strive for it…

How are you doing?  Do you need a little cheese with your whine too?

Hair Dye Update – Goodbye Manic Panic and Hello N’rage!

Two weeks ago, I dyed my hair Manic Panic Ultra Violet. You may remember this picture:

Crystal Loved Her Purple Hair

Love at first sight. :-)

Manic Panic Ultra Violet Review

I loved my purple hair, but Manic Panic is truly a temporary dye.  My friends slathered my hair up, used a hot blow dryer on it, covered my head with a plastic bag for 30 minutes, and then I rinsed it out until the water ran nearly clear.  Then they did it again because they noticed some missed spots.  In the end, it took 2.5 hours to get me purple-headed.

I loved the color but Manic Panic fades fast like it was designed to do.  I have a blessed scalp and usually only need to wash my hair every 3 days.  But I wanted to hold on to the color longer, so I waited nearly 6 full days before putting the shower cap aside and washing it like normal.  It had already faded quite a bit in that 6 days.  After the first wash, it was sporadically faded purple, and after the second wash it was nearly gone.  The third wash exactly 2 weeks later pretty much finished the job.  I was back to nearly my natural hair color, just slightly darker in the blonde areas.

So, Manic Panic is an awesome temporary dye.  If you just want a color to last a couple of weeks or less, that is the dye for you.  I may play around with it again…

Now Trying Nrage Cobalt Blue

But, I wasn’t in the mood for being a red-head again quite yet.  My friends volunteered to help me out once again, and this time we selected a demi-permanent instead of a semi-permanent…that means it is supposed to last 2-3 times longer.  Welcome to N’rage Cobalt Blue.  :-)

My friends followed nearly the same routine as last time except for using a comb and leaving it to set for a full hour.  They slathered me up, combed it through, blew heat on it, put a shower cap on me for a little more than an hour (we watched a new episode of Doctor Who), and then I rinsed it out until the water ran nearly clear once again.  Here is my new look!

Crystal with N'rage Cobalt Blue Hair

I will admit that I didn’t adore it as much as purple immediately. But now that I’ve had it for a day, I am LOVING it too!!!

I am hoping that this color holds on longer than the last. Specifically, I need it to stay strong for at least 3 weeks. the Financial Blogger Conference is about 2 weeks from now and I want it to last through that whole week of fun too. If it’s faded at all before I leave, we may hit it again or even streak it with something else like teal or hot pink…we’ll see…

What do you think?  Did you prefer the purple or the blue so far?

Yep, My Hair is Purple – Specifically, Manic Panic Ultra Violet

I finally did it.  Well, technically my friends, Dee and Mandy, did it.  My hair is now OMG purple.  I LOVE IT!!!

The Dye Job

For anybody that hadn’t ever dyed their hair before, it’s an icky process best done with hard apple cider and your best friends.  Dee had some extra Manic Panic in Ultra Violet temporary dye left, and I had some light-colored hair available for experimentation, so we decided to have a dye-job party last night!

Crystal Before Manic Panic Ultra Violet

Before Purple…

The Manic Panic Ultra Violet is a gooey substance and feels absolutely WEIRD when it’s being put into your hair.  It then feels super slimy as you wash out the remainder after the 30 minute baking period, lol.  Overall, EWWW, but I was having the time of my life bonding with my girls.  Mandy and Dee tackled it with gusto and I did my job by turning when I was told and washing it out as well as humanly possible after it set for 30 minutes.

As we started...

This was when they first started adding the dye to my dry hair…

Rub it in, rub it in

It probably took them about 20 minutes each time to fully cover my hair and they ended up needing to do it twice.

Purple People Eater

So much purple!

Make Shift Shower Cap

Yep, I forgot to buy a shower cap. But a grocery bag is super useful for lots of things including this!

The Result


I think I was a natural violet-head stuck in a red-head’s body. ;-)

I ADORE the end result.  I feel like I was always meant to have some crazy color of hair.  This is a temporary dye, so I’ll be lucky if it lasts 2 weeks.  BUT, then we’re going to try Aquamarine.  WOOT!!!

Have you ever dyed your hair a wild color?!  What did you think about it?

Fugitive Stand Off in My Neighborhood!!!

Last night was a bit tense.  It’s not everyday that a fugitive chooses to hunker down in your neighborhood while surrounded by police and helicopters…

The Fugitive Situation

A man, now being identified but I won’t give him the benefit of having his name on my site, shot 7 people in a neighborhood near ours.  One of his victims warned the police where he was heading next, and they stationed officers on that street since they didn’t have an exact address.  Minutes later, he drove up, saw the cops, and fled.  He was spotted by a helicopter while driving away.  He drove into our neighborhood while running from the police, and he was soon cornered with his broken car in the cul-de-sac behind my street.

My roommate heard about it nearly immediately after the chase started since he’s an EMT in our area.  He called to warn us to lock up the house and be ready in case the guy decided to make a run for it.  I turned on our television to see what was being reported.  At the time, they thought the guy was going door to door in our neighborhood looking for more victims or an escape route.  But the helicopter feed showed him hunkered down in his boxed in car.

I recognized one of the homes in the news feed nearly immediately and called the owner.  I pet sit for her when she has long work shifts, so I knew that she was at home and probably scared.  She literally answered with “What the heck is going on?!”.  I gave her a quick summary, told her to stay inside, and she got off the phone to go take care of her pups.  I texted her the feed and any updates we could get over the next hour or so.  She ended up coming to my home towards the end of the 3-4 hour stand off.   We all kept watching the live helicopter footage via an online feed on ABC.

The End Results

During the stand off, the man apparently threatened suicide several times and had to be talked into surrendering.  I am sure that I wasn’t the only one that was wondering how much he really had to live for at that point, but I am glad that it ended without any further bloodshed…if only since it meant that my neighbor was allowed to return to her home and take care of her dogs.  That wouldn’t have happened for a long time if he had been killed. 

My heart goes out to the loved ones left.  Of the 7 people he shot, 6 died.  It ended up being 4 of his own children and their two, adult care takers nieces and nephews and his estranged wife’s sister and husband.  The 15 year old, Cassidy Stay, has survived so far.  His wife and their own children were out of town.  I heard this new relationship info from a friend of the family that I spoke with later Thursday that I’ll be pet sitting for this month.  This whole crap event is affecting a whole area of Spring, TX.

According to this report, Cassidy was the one that alerted 911 that he planned on killing her grandparents next (his estranged wife’s parents).  We all are sending her the best wishes, karma, and prayers for a full recovery and the chance to heal emotionally as well.  


There aren’t words of comfort that exist for situations like this.  Good luck to Cassidy and the loved ones left that will be mourning.  This seems so wasteful and sick.  I am so sorry. 

If anybody would like to donate to Cassidy Stay and the family to help:

Overall, last night was weird – the excitement of something new and the sadness once we learned what really happened.  It’s a reminder that crazy can just fall into your lap.  Life isn’t completely controllable.  I try not to forget that, but events like these are just obvious examples.  Take care of yourselves and those you love.  Cherish the good moments.  Aim for happy when you can.

My Life’s Organizational Tools

In one of the recent comments left in my newsletter giveaway post, Cynthia Richardson asked:

In a recent post you mentioned prioritizing, calendaring, lists, etc. to organize your busy life. Do you use any apps to help you with this or do you prefer paper-and-pen?

My Current Life Juggling Method

I use a little of everything, but no apps yet.  Here’s the rundown of how I keep up with my life (my organizational tools):

1.  Prioritize – Regular, scheduled events are my top priority – that includes a Monday dinner with a friend, a Monday evening online mastermind group, picking up my “Little Bro'” from the Big Brothers Big Sisters every Tuesday afternoon, and a once-a-month board gaming potluck.  Pet sitting jobs come next.  If a huge family or friend problem or event pops up, I work around it.  But generally, it’s pet sitting gigs since they don’t take long each but do need to be at specific times.  Then I make sure I finish my “real” job stuff online every day, which can be before or after the other events since those are specifically scheduled and my online work is flexible.  The rest of our free time is filled in with family and friends.  That generally leaves about 6-7 hours a night for sleep.

2.  Calendar-ize – Everything is on my calendar.  Everything.  If I don’t add a planned event to my calendar, I probably won’t be there.  My main calendar is the one on my smart phone.  But I do have a backup one on paper that’s hanging on my office wall that I fill in when I’m in there.  I have to put in “dinner with x”, “pet sitting at x”, and even “call grandma”.  It has to be on my calendar.  It’s the only way that I don’t miss a job, finish what I need to do online, and make sure to stay a good family member and friend.

By the way, anybody know how to get stuff off of your calendar that Google dumps on it?  No offense Latisha, but your birthday doesn’t really fit into my schedule very well.  ;-)  I can’t just click the light blue events and delete them like the ones I add..

My June 2014 Calendar

3.  Alarms – At the beginning of the day, I set alarms.  If it’s on the calendar, it gets an alarm set for it.  I also have alarms set for the regularly scheduled events so they don’t get lost in the craziness.

4.  Emails to Myself – If I’m out and about, I email myself notes of stuff I need to do when I get home.  I check my email dozens of times a day, so those reminders are seen pretty quickly.

5.  Lists – Despite the methods above, I am human and I forget things…well, until I’m trying to sleep.  Then I seem to remember it all just when I have a chance to pounce on some sleep.  BUT, I fight that off with paper and post-it notes.  When it’s on my brain, I just pick up the pad on my night stand and write it down.  Then I know it will be there for me in the morning.

This stuff works for me, but I am sure there are even more efficient methods.  Please share!  What works for you?

Hey Regulars, What Have You Been Up To?!

The blogging community as a whole used to a hub of chatter, gossip, life updates, and online friendships.  It’s still alive and kicking, but it seems a lot quieter now than it was in 2009-2011.  How are all of you doing?  I know life is amazingly busy for a lot of us, but specifically, what’s been going on?  I miss chatting regularly with all of you!

My Summarized Life Update

Crystal and Mr. BFS Lovey Dovey

Okay, so it’s mushy, but I love it.

To help catch anyone up on my end, I started Budgeting in the Fun Stuff (BFS) when I was 27 years old in February 2010.  I’m now 31, still married to the same Mr. BFS, we now both work from home but still have our own side hustles too (reffing and pet sitting respectively), and we still live right outside of Houston, TX.  Our income has fluctuated from $5000 a month all the way up to $23,000 a month and back to $6000 just while you’ve known me.  We have lost two grandparents since I started blogging, but I’ve also gained a brother-in-law to be and I have a niece or nephew on the way.  We recently lost our two dogs that I wrote about a lot too, but I started a pet sitting business earlier this year to help fill in that pet blank and because I seem to prefer money over free time.


We’ve also moved into a larger home in 2012 that we truly enjoy.  My main personal finance view point is still that it is very possible to live within your means while still enjoying life in the way you want the most.  I write a lot about how to have fun on a budget or how to save for expensive fun while also planning for your golden years.  My favorite saying is “You can have anything but you just can’t have everything”.  Life is about prioritization.  My husband and I are having to prioritize more now than ever since we do own two homes now (our last one is now our rental property), and there are a lot of expenses that are no longer flexible.

Our Rent House - Now All Ours

*Doing the happy dance, doing the happy dance!*

I’d label myself as a realistic optimist in general, although I have bad days too.  My long-time readers seem to think that I am a pure ball of energy and are the most supportive commenters ever.  I rarely show my bad days here since I’d like at least all of y’all to only see the best side of me.  Yay for writing! Speaking of which, I have published two eBooks (both in the left sidebar), “How I Make Money Blogging” and “Managing Your Monthly Nut”.  The blogging one is definitely the most popular, and I do not mind at all.  I definitely enjoyed writing that one more and that probably showed up in my work.

A Hot, Colored, Mess

And here we are after the festivities at a 5k color run! From left to right – Ivy, Isabelle, me, and Anne

My life centers around the people in it.  My husband and I are extremely thankful for our local support network and spend as much time with our closest friends as possible.  I write about our cheap fun like board gaming potlucks as well as our splurges like our annual summer vacations.  Honestly, you may have noticed that I write about pretty much everything.

Now You

So, what have you been up to recently?  How has life been treating you?  How would you describe yourself when it comes to your financial and life-in-general mindsets?