Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Free BBQ Sauce.

Usually BBQ Sauce doesn't make me happy. However, this one makes me smile! Why? Because it was my very first free item from the grocery store. How was it free? Hyvee had KC Masterpiece BBQ Sauce for 0.99, and I had a $1.00 off coupon for KC Masterpiece BBQ Sauce. I had to take a picture of my first free item. I hope there is many more. This was just an encouragement to keep searching for the best really does pay off!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

the happy wife?

I couldn't sleep tonight. I was just laying in bed thinking about everything. Do you ever have those nights? I started to think about my role as a wife. There is a lot of definitions for a wife in our culture today. If you don't believe me...turn on the a couple different shows with a husband and wife...then think about the differences. I love to read books about marriage. I love to discuss marital topics. I believe we have lost the focus on the purpose of marriage. We have stepped away from what God designed. We have made our own rules and expectations. We believe that our marriage is suppose to be exactly like the movies. -The happy, beautiful wife is making a gourmet dinner in the picture perfect house. The husband is driving home from work with flowers and a hand written note- Yep, then reality sets in....the baby is crying, the dog won't even eat the dinner you just made, husband walks in with mud on his shoes, and then you wonder if you even brushed your teeth today? I am going to start a series called "the happy wife?"....We need to recapture the joy as a wife. We need to stop focusing on all the negativity. We need to choose to be the happy wife.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Money Mondays.

Learning to Manage takes time. At first I didn't think I had time to spend clipping coupons, looking online for coupons, going to different stores, working on a budget, meal planning, making my own cleaning products, etc. I have really been trying to learn more about grocery shopping (I hope to share all that I am learning on another post)...and I can already see that it is paying off. One of the things I am learning is I can't afford....not to take the time for all this. I look at it like this, if I save $20 at the grocery store, and it takes me let's say two hours to meal plan, look for coupons, and find the good deals....then I made $10 an hour at home while spending time with Mason. (I know it isn't great money, but better than $0!!) I just want to encourage you to take the might be surprised how much time you find...If you have a doctor's appointment, work on your budget while waiting. At every traffic light, think of a meal you would like to make.

Take time to learn how to manage your money, so the money doesn't begin to manage you!

Friday, July 16, 2010


I found this idea at a local playgroup. I had bought oats instead of instant oatmeal for a recipe, and I didn't know what I was I going to use the oats for. When I saw this, I thought this would work out great since I have a whole container of oats in the pantry. I didn't use a lot of oats that today because it was suppose to rain. Not only is it fun for the little ones, the oats give them a different texture to feel.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

just for smiles.

Sometimes I am the funniest person I know. I love to laugh. I think laughter is a need. Do you ever have one of those "Can't help but laugh at yourself moments?" I had one the other day as my husband and I drove to Illinois. Our little boy was crying, he didn't want to be in the car seat any longer. I decided to turn on the DVD player for him. I kept hitting the play button...and "hold on" kept flashing on the screen. So I would wait...then hit it again...."hold on" still appeared....somehow the DVD started playing. We stopped at a gas station so I turned the DVD player off. When we started down the road again, I was trying to get the DVD to start playing again....patience begins to dwindle, while baby is crying, and husband is wondering why you can't get the DVD playing...Then I had the "aha" moment...."hold on" did not mean wait, but the the hold button on the side was on! AHHH!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Money Mondays...."but it was on sale"

I've been there looking at the sales rack thinking 'it is only two dollars...that is a really good deal.' However, this can also be a problem. I have to keep reminding myself just because it is on sale doesn't mean I should buy it. I was looking through the newspaper ads on Sunday. It is easy to fall in the trap of buying stuff just because it is on sale. Yes, you are saving money....but at the same time you maybe wasting money. I was looking at coupons for a certain cleaning product that I never buy....I don't really like the product. There was a coupon for $2 off...I started to reconsider the product. Chances are I would buy the product, use the coupon, try the product, then leave it sitting in my cleaning closet until I eventually threw it away. So yes, I saved $2...but wasted money at the same time. I am finding this out in other areas of shopping....especially kid's stuff. Mason has plenty of summer clothes....honestly, way more than he needs. However, it is hard to pass up an entire new outfit for a couple bucks....or a really cool toy I find on Craigslist. It's like having 10 dollars and walking down the dollar aisle...sure you can buy more stuff, but the question is do you need that stuff?

Friday, July 9, 2010

"In the Blink of An Eye"

There are songs that just grab your attention. This could be my theme song right now. When I started this 'journey' I was more concerned about better ways to handle our money....getting rid of a lot of stuff we didn't need...and to change our mindset about how we view a lot of items. I have accomplished a lot, but still have a lot to learn and change....It has been amazing for me, the realization of what we allow to mold we spend soooo much time worrying about stuff that doesn't matter and the things that do matter we don't give second thought to. I hope you enjoy the words to this song by MercyMe as much as I do.

Sometimes I feel disappointed
By the way I spend my time
How can I further Your kingdom
When I'm so wrapped up in mine

In a Blink of an eye that is when
I'll be closer to You than I've ever been
Time will fly, but until then
I'll embrace every moment I'm given
There's a reason I'm alive for a blink of an eye

And though I'm living a good life
Can my life be something great?
I have to answer the question
Before it's too late
Cause in a Blink of an eye that is when

I'll be closer to You than I've ever been
Time will fly, but until then
I'll embrace every moment I'm given
There's a reason I'm alive for a blink of an eye

If I give the very best of me
That becomes my legacy
So tell me what am I waiting for?
What am I waiting for?

                                          To listen to this song click here ~>  In the Blink of an Eye

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Mud Puddles, again.

Think about your day.
What was your "mud puddle?"
What simple thing put a smile on your face?
What simple thing taught you a lesson?
What simple thing made you stop?
If you can't think of anything...
look tomorrow.
Don't miss your "mud puddle" moment.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Mud Puddles.

It has been a rainy Fourth of July. The rain stopped for a little while this afternoon. We decided to take Mason outside so he could push his little lion around. As we were all walking, Mason spotted the mud puddles. His little legs went as fast as they could...he stepped in the water...stopped...then STOMP, STOMP, STOMP. He loved it. I stood there watching our little baby boy...then I just realized how he was looking more like a little boy than a baby. Where has the time went? He is already a year old. Did I take enough pictures? (don't laugh for those who know me) Did I miss writing about something he has done? Did I make the most out of every moment?

 I am learning that children can teach us so much. Mason didn't realize while he was stomping in the water, mommy was learning a lesson. Mason will never know all that he has taught us. Today, I may have not felt like going outside. I may have not wanted to take a walk. Then I would have missed out on a great lesson from Mason. As he stomped around in the water, I began to think how we have to make the most out of every moment. We have to immerse ourselves in the moments. We have to stop and enjoy these moments....See if the rain stops tonight, there is a chance that mud puddle will not be there tomorrow. Mason may not get another chance to enjoy stomping in that exact mud puddle.
 I am just realizing more and more how precious every day precious every moment is.

I am excited about the new adventures & milestones in Mason's life, but I just don't want to loose focus on taking in every moment today.

Monday, July 5, 2010

the WANT continues....

Do you ever find yourself happy in the moment.
Just content.
Then you look around.
She has that. He bought what. They went where.
I want. I want.
 Why can't I have that? Why can't we go there?
Not happy. Not content.
Today was one of those days.
It hadn't been a bad weekend, but it just hadn't been a perfect weekend.
It rained for the Fourth of July. I just wanted Mason to see one firework. He was so tired so I put him to bed....then the rain stopped...the fireworks started. I could go on and on about the little things that just didn't work out this weekend. Tonight, I heard my phone beep which meant I had an email. I was reading a devotion that was sent to me. I began to think about the devotion and my weekend. I just felt so....what's the word...silly, childish, ya know one of those I can't believe I was thinking/acting like that moments. See I look at pictures on Facebook or read other blogs.....I begin to "compare" my life. I begin to look at all the negative parts. I begin to think about all the stuff I need to do tomorrow. I dread doing all the laundry. I dread cleaning the shower.
BUT someone out there is WANTING to do laundry for their own child.
Someone is WANTING a shower to clean at their own house.
Someone is WANTING to spend all day with their kid.
Someone is WANTING the rain.
Someone is WANTING what I have while I am wishing for something better.

"But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out." 1 Timothy 6:6-7

"In every thing give thanks..." 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Yellow Watermelon

YELLOW Watermelon...
I just discovered this on Tuesday.
I was at Walmart with my husband, and he said he wanted to get a yellow watermelon. I thought he was talking about the rind so I said no it won't be any good...get a green one. Well we ended up with two watermelons. I went to the library to pick up a couple books. I came home to find out he wasn't talking about the rind....but the watermelon was actually YELLOW. Yes, Yellow. I was amazed. Heath couldn't believe that I had never seen yellow watermelon, and he was even more amazed that I had never heard of it. So I posted a picture on Facebook to see if I was the only person who hadn't heard of yellow watermelon. I was glad to know I wasn't.

Have you ever eaten yellow watermelon?
(The picture is a little blurry from my phone)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Carter's Outlet.

I love, love the Carter's Outlet. Mason is definitely a Carter's baby. I just can't bet the prices anywhere. I receive coupons weekly, but I don't go weekly. I went today to get Mason another pair of PJ'S. Then I started looking around on the 3.99 sales rack. I was buying complete outfits for $3.99. Plus, if I spend $40 I get the 20% off. (The best sale Carter's has is the Super Duper Sale...where you take 20% off clearance, PLUS 20% off $40 or more.) So I have been stocking up on the basic clothes...polos, pants, t-shirts, shorts. I have a rule that I will not spend more on Mason's clothes than mine or Heaths...and I am a bargain shopper for our clothes...Children's clothes can get expensive. Clothes that will be in mud, have food all over them, & anything Mason can get into! I can't wait to see Mason in all his cute clothes.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Friday, June 25, 2010

house vs. home.

We all dream about our dream house....

I remember building my Barbie's house...everything had to be set up just right. I would even have cleaning days for my Barbie's house.  My mamaw told me once that she didn't think anyone had a cleaner Barbie house than me. As I grew up, I began to notice houses that I liked. I have tons of ideas about what I want when we build our first house. My husband told me to start a folder of ideas. Since we have rented a couple places, we have saw a lot of ideas we like and don't like. We constantly see ads about the latest ideas for our houses. I imagine the picture perfect house, everything in the house has it's own place, there isn't a speck of dirt, plus we have a room for everything even the dog, I know the colors I want, I could go on and on. Then I look at where we live right is clean even the baseboards (because I grew up with Bob Saget as a dad), toys are spread out in every room, the mail is laying on the kitchen table, the high chair is in the living room, finger prints on the door I just cleaned....but it is our home. See I think we have been focusing so much on having a house that we haven't made it a home. I have been in houses where children live, but I see no signs that they live there....the house is perfect though. I don't even want to sit down because it seems too perfect. I am guilty of picking up toys as Mason plays. I am guilty of nagging at my husband for not picking up his stuff. I worry about Mason making a mess as he eats. I could wipe the glass doors down every hour so there isn't any fingerprints....until I heard a friend say...those fingerprints wouldn't be there, if he wasn't here.

At that moment, I wanted to take Mason's little dirty hands and touch everything in the house. (Don't get me wrong children do not need the okay to just destroy the house) I began to think though how our focus has become to have the perfect house, but we are missing making it a home. When we first moved to Kansas, we had a beautiful house...everything had it's place, but it was way more of a house than we needed....our master bathroom was bigger than most people's living room....but we have moved since then to a smaller place. This place has taught me a lot. I see how much stuff we have that we don't need. Moving has made me realize that it's not about the structure, but what's in the structure....the family, the love, the moments together.....see if you took away your "house" would you still have a "home?"

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

thanks hunny.

Have you said 'thank you' to your husband today? 

This past Sunday was Father's Day, and I have been thinking about the importance of dads...well men. I am guilty of always thinking how everything wouldn't get done if it wasn't for the woman. I often joke with Heath and say....Man's work is from sun up to sun down BUT a woman's work is never done :) However, a man's job is important and so many times not appreciated. I want my husband to know he is appreciated for all his hard work. I want him to know his wife is thankful for everything he does. We often spend more time looking at the things are husbands didn't do...or how they should have done it the same way we do....and we do not notice all the things they do.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


  1. Cut some day-old or stale french bread into cubes.
  2. Drizzle the french bread cubes with olive oil. Toss in a pan.
  3. Spice them with a few shakes of Italian seasoning, garlic powder, or whatever sounds good.  Toss again.
  4. Bake at 400 degrees for 5 minutes. Shake and toss. Bake until toasted. **Pay attention so you don't burn them!** (Recipe from Amy's Finer Things)
YUMMY! and super cheap.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

blog junkie.

My husband told me I was becoming a blog junkie!ha I decided to start a blog about Easy Living...I had just found one blog that talked about frugal living. Then after I started our blog, I found sooo many other GREAT blogs....I am learning so much...about coupons, parenting, being a better wife, money advice, etc. I do not just take advice from anyone... but I do think we all need advice...I want to learn more. I am amazed how many other moms or just other people are on a journey like us....trying to change our focus. It is encouraging. I love to read other blogs by moms...see how they tackle everyday chores. I often wonder why people look down at people who look for advice or research parenting---it is one of the most important tasks we encounter, however we just think it will all come naturally......We study for school. We train for our jobs. We read books/magazines for our hobbies. BUT we think people who do any of this for parenting (or you could use marriage as an example) are kind of umm werid. Then please, don't listen to the doctor who has four kids of his own. It is kind of funny when you think about it. I KNOW. I KNOW. My great grandparents didn't need any help, but look around times have changed. I can be a parent...I can take care of Mason....I can teach him things...BUT I don't want to just "get by" with I do a lot of other items in my life. I think Mason is worth it. I know that I will make mistakes in my journey of parenting. I am not perfect. I will probably look back and wish I would have handled something differently. BUT if someone could give me advice...and I can learn from something they have already went through...or just learn better ways...I will gladly take it. I think we have the idea that if we ask for parenting "help" then we are not the best parents....I look at it differently....I think the best parents look for better ways....they understand the importance of parenting...that is why they want to learn the most about it.....

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


What are your creative ways to organize papers?....
Owner's Manuals? Documents that you need to keep?
Receipts? Bills? Or any other kind of paper?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

thoughts about stuff.

It may come across that I don't buy anything or do anything fun...but that's not it. I am not against buying stuff...nice things....things I want. BUT I just have a different approach to it. First, I do not think I should buy a new watch (just an example) and put it on a credit card. I am not against buying anything, I just think we should rethink our we want things because someone else has them? Do we have the money to buy these items? See if I bought a new pair of jeans and didn't have the money to pay for them....I would worry the whole time how I was going to pay for think about when you add interest the price of the jeans, double or triple. HMMM.

I think we should learn a lot from our grandparents...they were frugal...they saved money for "rainy days"...they paid for stuff with CASH (something that is not normal for my generation). For us, purchasing a new boat, which my husband really wants, is not as great if we don't have the money to pay for it....I know the thought crosses your mind, if you wait to have the money, then you will never have the boat. We don't think so....if you didn't have payments (not including utilities) then how much money would you have a month?

I read this on Facebook today....."Jesus told 52 stories in the New Testament, 38 concentrated on 1 of the biggest distractions of all time: The love of money & possessions"

Friday, June 11, 2010

back & birthday.

We are back from a great trip. We got to see a lot of family and friends. I decided not to post while I was away so I could make the most out of every minute!

Yesterday was our little boy's FIRST birthday. How exciting! I struggled with what to do for his first birthday. There is a lot of pressure....well it is his FIRST birthday....we need an outfit, we need party supplies, we need a cake, we need invitations, we need it to be PERFECT!!...BUT then reality sets in....I realized a lot of what we do for these events are not for the kids. Instead the events are for the parents...we want to look like we are the best parents. If we do not throw the best party, then what will the others think?!? In this journey, it is about changing our mindset. It is trying to find ways to save money, start traditions in our own family, and focus on what really matters. Take a look at children- We buy them TONS of toys...but the children would rather have a box (really anything that isnt a toy)...Children really can teach us sooo much about easy living. They are pretty simple. Our son would rather wonder around the house carrying a child's coat hanger or one of my socks. I try to get him to play with all his toys (toys that we have purchased at garage sales or craigslist) instead he finds a piece of paper and begins to play. Are you beginning to see how much stress we add to our own lives?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

be patient.

The next few days I probably will not post. I am visiting all the family, and I am trying to make the most out of every minute. So be patient. I will get back to posting. I have lots of ideas for upcoming posts. So just keep checking back. Enjoy the Summer! Keep thinking of creative stuff. If you have ideas for posts, let me know! Check back in a little bit! :)

Monday, May 31, 2010

Money Mondays.

I am going to start Money Mondays. It will cover anything that
has to do with money! So keep checking back :)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Basement Update.

I just work on the basement a little bit every day (or try!) It is coming along...we have made $193 through selling stuff. I created to sell or to go through (like papers) for trash...then I have added "I'll think about section"...This section is for odds and ends, I've been trying to figure out what I could make with these items or reuse for something else.

I hope that maybe you have started to look around your house, and think of new organizing ideas or projects that need to be done. Maybe you will share those ideas with me because I need tons! :) If you don't remember how to comment....check back through older posts there is one post that will tell you how to comment on the blog.  Any questions just email me I really look forward to hearing as I post because through this journey I want others' help. Don't be scared...I won't let me ferocious dog bite you....too hard :)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Easy Living Defined.

Just for is easy living defined by Maci Dog :)

Life doesn't get much easier than this.
No real worries. Food and Water Provided. Treats Daily. "Spa Days"...includes hair & nails.
Sleep all day, play when you want to.
Notice she is asleep in our bed with her head on the pillow. This was not staged. We let her sleep with us on the nights she has a bath. She really sleeps with her head on a pillow.
Hair did. Before I even get my hair done!??!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Great Blog.

For all my Kansas City buddies...this is a Great blog. If you don't live in the KCK area, you might want to still check it out..there are links to other coupon websites, then just type in your own zip code. Hope you find some great deals!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

meals & what to helpers!

Organization is becoming my new best friend. I have always kept things organized & straight...but this is the next step of organization for me. I know the thought "I don't have time to do all of this" has probably ran through your mind. I am realizing, I don't have time NOT to do this. By organizing, it is making my weekly duties easier and faster. So I have more time with Mason man :) I usually keep a list of items we need to buy, or if I forget to keep an ongoing list last minute I try to write down items before running to the grocery store (which causes me to spend more!) I also spend time trying to figure out what I have or don't have before cooking dinner. Here is my new set up on the inside of my pantry door!

-two clear sheet protectors
-note pad (I know you probably have a couple free
ones laying around like we do)
-extra removable wall hooks
-pen or marker
-The first one contains meals I want to cook for the week. I know that I have all ingredients for each meal before it goes on the list. This helps me avoid starting a meal then realizing I am out of something or staring in the pantry or freezer for thirty minutes trying to figure out what to cook that night.
-The second one contains items I am out of. I put a star by the ones I need to buy on my next shopping trip. The items without stars are ones I am out of or even items we are running low on (like dish detergent), so I need to start looking for coupons or specials. This also helps me know what I can cook. For example, I am out of stuffing mix and cream of celery so I know I can't cook recipes that need these ingredients.

I really like this because it is in the kitchen. The notepad is not laying on the counter where something can spill all over it. Being organized in the kitchen makes me enjoy cooking even more. It is stressful trying to figure out what to cook when you are already hungry OR starting a meal to realize you don't have any milk!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

recipe book.

I have tons of recipe magazines. I would just find myself making the same meals because I didn't want to spend the time going through every magazine. I kept trying to figure out something to do with all the magazines....a basket? a rack? just pile them on a shelf? but nothing was really organized. I saw on the Internet some lady made a recipe book with a 3 ring binder and clear sleeves. It was a cute idea, but I didn't want to spend the time gluing or taping all the recipes on paper. As I am cleaning out the basement, I am finding more stuff to use for other projects. It is exciting, making a lot of stuff without spending any money! :)
Here is my new recipe book! Ah, the little things in life that make me happy!!

One pile of my magazines. Who wants to go through all those every time you cook??
I found picture albums that I wasn't using...I have two of these picture albums. So my idea was to make two recipe with all dinner recipes (meats, pasta, soups, casserole) and the other recipe book for bread, breakfast, side dishes, desserts, and anything else!
I like using the picture albums because...
-I am a visual person..I don't have to dig through
papers for a recipe.
-The recipes slide in the pockets so they can be easily removed. I'm sure I will find new recipes and then get rid of some old recipes.
-Index cards fit great in the pockets.
This is very organized which makes my life soo much easier. I already used two recipes last night for dinner!
I went through all the magazines...which really didn't take much time...I cut out all the recipes I wanted. Then Heath went through and picked out a couple more recipes that he wanted. So I am cooking things he likes too.

This picture keeps uploading upside down...but you get the idea.

I did keep three magazines that are a 'collection of best recipes.'
Instead of having like 20 magazines, I now have two recipe books all organized. If I need a recipe for chicken, I can just flip to the chicken section...and pick out one.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

flashcard book.

I wanted to make Mason a flashcard/picture book with images that relate to his life...A lot of the books will say "mom" but then it has a picture of some random woman. I found a couple cute ideas...then I looked around the house to see what I's what I came up with.

-Ziploc bags (I bought a brand of these, but they make the food taste weird so I was trying to figure out what to do with them) Ziploc bags are good because at this age, Mason is putting everything in his mouth...Ziploc bags will keep the paper dry!
-Construction Paper (or any scrap paper you may have)
-A Marker
-Rubber Cement (You can use glue/tape/or whatever you have)
-Pictures....I had banners from KinderMusik so I cut the animals out to make an animal book. Then I have one with different plants that I am going to use for a color book. Then I am using copies of pictures I have for dad, mom, grandparents, maci dog for the people book. I have found pictures of different body parts from an old anatomy book. Heath did print a few images for me (like ball, car) that I couldn't find in magazines at our house.

So I have easily made 4 no cost, just using stuff at the house! I am currently working on these books. I just have to actually put all the "Ziploc pages" together to make a book! I will take pictures of the finished products.

Friday, May 21, 2010

ways to say i love you.

I'm pretty simple when it comes to this area. We all like to get nice things every now and then. BUT sometimes the best are the simple things in life...I found this reading a free Parenting magazine I get in the mail. I carefully tore this out of the magazine, and I placed it where Heath always puts his keys.
One of the best gifts a mother can get....and it doesn't cost a dime!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

the WANT.

I started this blog a week or so ago. I did a post on Need vs. Want. Having Mason has really made me rethink. I don't want to set the wrong example, make him believe that it is all about STUFF. I realized it’s really not about having the stuff or actually wanting the stuff we have. It’s about wanting the stuff because others have it. I started this journey….and the next few days I realized how many emails I had received for retail sales…one ad actually read “the summer must haves.” Then Mother’s Day ads were sad….tell mom you love her with this diamond necklace. How about just spending time with your mom? How about just actually thanking your mom with words, that would probably mean more to her. Then after noticing all the ads…I signed on Facebook. Sally has this. Bob has that. Johnny went here.
I WANTED IT! Did I need it? Did I actually want it? No.

I’m trying to change the mentality my family has….make our wants sound more like this…I want to hear Mason laugh more. I want to teach Mason. I want to take care of my husband. I want to give more. I want to help out more. I want to hear those little feet walking to me. I want to cook dinner. I want people to know how much they mean to me. I want to take more pictures. I want pray more. I want to focus on what really matters.

See I realize all those new clothes I buy (yes, I love the feeling of ripping the tag off right before I put it on! AHH!) will be out of style next season or I might spill something on it that will not come out (yes, Heath I know I can make a mess) then I would just want to buy more…the cycle would not stop, I would never be satisfied….some one would always have something newer and better. I read this comment today “Once we stop comparing ourselves to others it is amazing how we become truly satisfied with what we have.”

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I love children's books. Most of the time the books are expensive. I keep books laying around for Mason to play with, and when he picks one up I read it to him. Plus I try to read to him other times. Yesterday, I went to Manhattan, Kansas with Heath for a meeting. I walked around the mall with Mason while Heath was at the meeting. There was a bookstore in the mall, so I went in to look around. The bookstore had great prices on books for Mason in the bargain section. I don't want to spend a ton on books...Mason likes to chew, tear pages, and just drop the books as he is walking. I was super excited about  finding the "Wee Sing book and CD collection." I had this book and cassette tapes (sounds werid, huh?) when I was little and I loved it.

I purchased 5 Number books with stacking blocks, ABC learning center with 8 books, Learn the 50 States Book for when he is older, 2 Finger Puppet books, and the (4)Wee Sing books with 4 CDs. Total of  20 books, 4 CDs and stacking blocks....for $35.44! Little things like this make me sooo happy.
...and I did not purchase anything else at the Mall!

Lesson: Shop around before buying anything. ALWAYS CHECK THE SALE RACKS.

Monday, May 17, 2010


Start Digging up Recipes. Start Sharing your favorites. I like to cook. I actually enjoy it. The part I don't like is trying to think of new meals. I don't want to just rotate the same seven. I think that is how it is tempting to eat out. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snack, Dessert....get ready to start sharing. If it sounds good, I might ask you to make it for I can try it out :) haha

Sunday, May 16, 2010

grocery shopping pt 1

I am LEARNING but I am still not very smart in this area. I would have to say this is one of my weakest areas. I want to retire one day, and I feel like I could retire at least five years earlier with all the money I waste at the grocery store. I am beginning to plan out my meals. I found that if I just made a list of stuff we need without having actual meals thought of, I was buying way more than needed and it was a lot easier to get off track. -One of the major problems I have is too many servings. If it says two servings, then Heath and I can get four servings. So I fix dinner, we eat. We eat leftovers for lunch, and I still have more. I want to learn more about freezing food. So as soon as I fix a meal, I can freeze half of it. (Which would be a plus because I wouldn't have to cook as much!)
-Another problem I have is still trying to "learn" the grocery stores in my area...figuring out what to buy where and when.
-Another problem is fruit. Heath and I eat soooo much fruit. I don't think you would believe me if I took a picture of all the fruit (maybe I will try to) and then tell you how many days that would last. I watch for the best deals on fruit...but I still think we spend more on fruit than meat!
-Coupons....that is such a love/hate relationship. Yes, I use coupons....but a lot of the coupons are buy three get one free. That is great if you use all the food, but the chances are we won't before it goes bad.

What are ways you save money at the grocery store? HELP!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

How to Comment.

I would love to hear lots of comments! I had the comment settings for only people with a blog, and I didn't realize it. Here's how you can leave a comment.

1. Under every post....beside the time, it will read a number (0,1,2...) then the word comment.
2. Click on the word comment then a different screen will appear.
3. Write your comment.
4. Select Identity Option...if you do not have a blog account, you can just select the name option. Just type your name in the name box.
5. Then click Publish!

If you have any questions just ask me! Hope to hear your comments!

Basement Update

I've been working every day in the basement while Mason takes a nap. So far I have several books on and clothes/purses on Craigslist. We have made $69.00 so far and the basement is looking better and better! Yay! I started a trash section, a sale or donate section, and a needs to be organized section.

My Plans.
1. Papers...I sat down and went through every paper we had....shred, file, toss. That was a boring afternoon.
2. Clothes...Organize all of my clothes, Heath's clothes, and clothes we are keeping in case we have another baby one day. AND get rid of a lot of clothes. I really don't know why my parents did not turn me into some kind of rehab for shopping....I currently own four 18 gallon totes of shoes, 3 totes of handbags/purses/other bags, and I will not mention the clothes :)
3. Organize Holiday decorations.
4. Figure out something to do with all of Heath's hunting gear.
5. Keep asking "do we really need this?"
6. Take pictures of a well organized clutter free basement! (WoOhOo)

Friday, May 14, 2010

finances at the moment.

I know for this journey I have to open up and share…that is probably the hardest part for me. I don’t really discuss a lot of this stuff with people. I don’t know why. So here I go….

Heath and I have the same views when it comes to money. Let me clear that up, we have the same overall views...sometimes he wants to buy a new tree stand and I want to buy something for the house. We have read the Dave Ramsey books. We have read many other financial books. We both believe that debt free is the best way. I read this quote yesterday "I don’t know if this helps you at all but financial freedom is just that, freedom!" Pretty much sums it up. I think about how many people are going to bed at night with the worry of how they are going to pay the lamps off (that are on a credit card) that they purchased 4 years ago.

We are not better than anyone else. We are not trying to come off as that. We have chosen to live differently. We have chosen to watch our expenses so money automatically goes into our IRAs/Mason's college fund/401k plans/life insurance/stock every month. When Heath and I were married he had two small debts (my ring and a doctor's bill from just two months before we were married) besides his truck. On the other hand, I had almost 10k in the bank with me just owing a little bit on my car…which my parents paid off. The majority of my money came from school money. I was fortunate to receive scholarships and I would put the extra money back every semester. Heath had his money (a couple G's as Heath would say) working in an IRA, I just had my money sitting in a bank account drawing very little interest.

Heath is very smart when it comes to finances. Our first year of marriage, we were very fortunate to have a great set up with his company. We paid off the two small debts. We completed funded an emergency fund. We probably wasted some money. We bought a few pieces of furniture and other items for the house. Heath started my IRA. He already had an IRA. (Heath will probably do a post on the importance of retirement very soon, so I will not get into that right now) I was approved for life insurance. Heath was later approved. I have to say that we do have a credit card. Heath purchases so much stuff for work (then he is fully reimbursed) but it is easier then tying up our money. We have Mason a small savings account started. We do have his college fund started. We just have the truck left to pay off. This will be our last car payment, we do not like having a car payments!! One reason I love my scion...because it is paid off! :)

Now it seems like we have everything pretty well set up. I am happy with our set up, but I think it could be better. I think that we don't always know where are money is going. The debit card is easy to swipe for $20 here, $10 there. I feel like the grocery store is taking part of my savings sometimes!ha Our mindset is probably our biggest problem right now. We are trying to live like no one else, so one day we can live like no one else (I love this quote, you will probably read it a 100 times!)...but sometimes it is discouraging. We know our money is going into retirement, but it does get aggravating when we listen to other people talk about buying, spending, and doing...and we are trying to figure out if we have extra money to go out to eat or not! Do not get me wrong, we do not sit at home and stare at the walls because we are too tight. I know what Heath makes a year. I know what little I bring in. I know what we are trying to make do with our money. and I can't help but wonder....HOW DO PEOPLE DO IT?!?!?!

I am so glad people have already shared some stories! It is exciting and encouraging to read! KEEP SHARING. Share creative ways that have helped you cut back or just share your story. Or if you are swimming in debt, I want to encourage is not to late to change your ways, do not give up!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Mason's room & toys.

A friend of mine brought up a good to organize toys. Even at Mason's age there is too much stuff just sitting around. I was looking for something that I could use to put Mason's toys on....but it couldn't be too tall (I didn't want him to pull the toys off on his head)...has to be sturdy so he can pull up on it....the shelves have to be wide and tall enough for the toys (I looked at several shelves but the toys would hang off).
I don't know if you have looked at baby or kids furniture...but a lot of it is expensive. I thought of getting baskets at first....but baskets can get expensive too.

Here's what I came up with....Heath had a media/book shelf that he used before we got married. It was one of those items that came to Kansas with us, but we really didn't know what we would use it for. One night, it just hit me that I could use that for Mason's was perfect. It is not too was sturdy with metal sides...the top shelf is not as wide as the others which is good for soft animals/toys.

For all the small teething, rattles, squishy books, etc. - We have a Nebraska Furniture Mart next to our house...One day I was in there and found a huge basket (almost as tall as Mason) for $14.99! At Target the small, very small baskets start at 9.99. So I thought this was a good deal. Plus, I am not stepping on rattles in the middle of the night!

Another neat piece of furniture in Mason's room is the filing cabinet. Yes, a filling cabinet. My in-laws purchased the crib for us. Heath and I were planning on buying the chester drawers to match, but it could not be delivered to a JCPenney the shipping for this one piece was almost $400. I just thought that was crazy...for $400 we could by another piece of furniture or take a trip! Mason's crib is a very dark, cherry...very pretty...but it is hard to find anything to match. After Mason was born, my dad and Heath went everywhere trying to find something to come close to matching...we even thought about staining. In Nebraska Furniture Mart there is a clearance room. I thought we should just check the clearance room in case there was an odd piece that would match. I found this filing cabinet that almost matched perfectly. The more I thought about it, it was perfect. A lot of the bedroom furniture is if you have clothes in the drawers the kids can't reach them. I want Mason to be able to get his own socks or underwear out without climbing on something to reach it. This piece is one that will be great for Mason until he is a lot older. You would not know it was a filing cabinet...the only way you can tell is if you hear the "click" when you pull the drawer out. So instead of paying almost $800 for the chester drawers and parents purchased the "filing cabinet" for $129.99!

So be creative, shop around. Set a budget. Check out Craigslist. Your newborn is not going to be mad at you if you do not purchase the whole bedroom suit from a name brand company. I promise.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

clean out.

As we begin this journey, it begins to be overwhelming. There is so much one can do, but I want to start by taking small steps, completing those goals (the feeling of accomplishment is great fuel for continuing). I don't want this to be just one of those ideas we came up with but never did anything with it.

My first goal is to get rid of a lot of unused stuff in our basement. I am so overwhelmed by the amount of stuff we have accumulated since getting married two years ago! As a newly married couple, we have the "well what if we need it one day" mentality. My mom always said if you haven't used it in six months, then you don't need it. I think this is pretty true (unless it is seasonal like Christmas decor or outside furniture) I was not going to take pictures of our basement. I am actually embarrassed by how much stuff we have stored down there. BUT if I don't take pictures, I will not be as accountable. Please do not turn me into the show hoarders (haha).

Questions for this Project.
1. What are some great local places to donate to?
2. How much stuff should I keep for, if there is another baby?
3. Any advice for filling documents?
4. What are some places like Craigslist that I can sell some stuff?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Lost in thought.

I have sooo many ideas for this blog....I don't even know where to start. I could write about 100 things just today. So stick with me! :) We will cover all kinds of topics from recipes to activities to money to anything I can think of!  I just really want to organize all my ideas. I can't decide whether just to roll with it or start a series (maybe do one week about money the next crafts). Guess you will just have to keep checking to see what I can come up with.

For today....stop for a moment and ponder all the stuff I have been talking about so far. What are your own ideas about each topic. If you don't is a good time to start thinking about it. I am searching for new ideas and advice. I want to be a great mom, I want to be a great wife, I want to be financially stable, I want to help others, I want to start Easy Living.  (Please note: by the word "easy" I mean not adding more live a simple yet fulfilling life)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Need vs. Want

This is the ongoing battle. Today we use the word "need" for things we really don't need. We want a lot of stuff. We feel that we have to have everything. One goal I have is realizing what we can actually live without. Dave Ramsey has a quote "Live like no one else, so one day you can live like no one else!" Today, we have the mentality to get everything NOW. My husband and I were married two years ago today. (YAY!) As a newly married couple, there is the pressure to have everything that our parents have worked many years for. Most of the people our age already have better houses than my ask them how they are paying for it...and they really don't know. I don't want to live in the stress of how am I going to pay for the TV, cars, chairs, video games, trips, etc. that are maxing out all the credit cards possible. I don't think it is suppose to be that way. I don't think God wanted it to be that way. "The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender." Proverbs 22:7 Money is considered to be the top stressor in America. I don't want to add more stress to just everyday I'm trying to change the mindset my family has. Rethink what is important. Get back to the basics. Think about our financial plans for the future. Learn what I can live without. Spend more time with my child instead of just buying him toys. Enjoy Easy Living.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Ever wonder...Where your money goes? How other people make it? How to plan for the future? What is important to teach your child/children? What can we do today? What are things I should be working with my children on? Are we being wasteful? How do we have so much stuff/junk? Etc, Etc.

We wonder these things all the we have decided to search for new ideas, change things we are doing, get opinions from other people, all in hopes of starting a new part of our lives....
                           Easy, Simple Living