a bit early...

I know its a bit early for Christmas music. I am not listening to it yet. I am holding off on the Christmas festivities until close to Thanksgiving. My theory is I'd rather celebrate Christmas into January rather than start in October.

However, I was listening to spotify and I stumbled upon this album. Do you ever listen to the first few seconds of a song and immediately know you are going to love it? I felt that way about this song.

So I had to share...



Frugal Living 101

My husband & I are pretty frugal people. We have some nice things we splurge on, but in general we are cheap....especially Philip. I have to convince him to buy new clothes most of the time. He would probably spend $10 on wedding gifts if I let him. Being on Young Life staff we don't exactly have a lot of disposable income.

Now that Baby Jude is in the picture, we are trying to cut as many corners as possible so that I can maximize my time at home and minimize how much I have to work outside of the house.

Here are my top ten money saving tips so far...

{1} Use coupons...I'll give you more details on how this is going so far, but prior to this year I probably used coupons about never. Now that I have started to pay attention to coupons I realize how many things you can get coupons for & the savings add up!

{2} Share a meal if you eat out...I feel like the waiter is silently judging us whenever we do this, but really most entrees are enough for two people. Maybe we'll get an extra side salad or an appetizer. One time we ate at PF Changs for $20 for the two of us. It makes so we can eat out more frequently (which I love) and at yummier places.

{3} Cut the Iphone...tear. This was not a hard decision at the time, but now after a year of a Blackberry I really miss the iphone. It was fun. Now everyone takes all these cool pictures..blah blah blah. But here's the thing...I didn't want to be a person that was in love with my phone anyway & we save I think $30 a month by not doing the iphone.

{4} Lower your cable service. Philip dropped down our cable bill about $10 a month last summer by dropping our service to a lower programming. And we don't do netflix or DVR. I sometimes wish we had DVR, but I just discovered the ondemand channel last spring and most shows I want to see are on there anyway.

{5} Buy frozen veggies. Really there is not a difference I know about between frozen and fresh vegetables besides the price. They do not add anything to the frozen vegetables normally and that way they do not go bad.

{6} Cloth diapers. I cannot give you numbers of savings, but I cannot imagine how this will not be a huge money saver for us! Diapers are so expensive and we go through so many a day. We did Fuzzibunz, but I'll give more details on it soon.

{7} Energy efficient appliances & low flow toilets. We have gradually switched our appliances and toilets to be more energy efficient.  This also goes hand-in-hand with the diaper savings because we have to use the toilet and washing machine a lot more now with the cloth diapers.

....I'll stop there. There are probably more. What money saving things do you do?


Autumn & Soups

Is it me or is pumpkin all the rage in the fall? Don't you love things that make you feel like its fall? Or any of the changing of the seasons really. I love the newness of it. Pulling out my winter/fall clothes that I haven't worn in months.

It's a good thing by now I have forgotten February. I just hate the cold by the time February gets here and don't get me started on March. But for now I will enjoy the fall and pretend like those terrible cold winter months are not coming.

For me soups are sacred in the fall. That sounds strange. It just doesn't feel right making soups in the summer. I do on occasion because I love that it is a whole meal in one bowl, but it isn't the same as making a soup in the fall. I have not done much cooking yet this fall because of baby Jude. Fortunately lots of friends have brought us meals, but here is one of my favorite chili recipes.

It's called Tarheel Chili...(credit)

What you'll need: 

  • 2 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (29 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (6 ounce) can mushrooms, drained
  • 1 1/2 cups dark beer
  • 2 (16 ounce) cans chili beans, drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 dash Worcestershire sauce


  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook beef until brown. Drain.
  2. In a large pot over medium heat, cook celery, onions and garlic in olive oil until onion is translucent. Stir in beef, tomato sauce, tomatoes, mushrooms, beer, chili beans, kidney beans, cumin, chili powder, coriander, cayenne and Worcestershire. Simmer over low heat 3 hours, until flavors are well blended.

It is delicious. Honestly...the beer makes it so good. 

Let me know if you try it or if you have any fall recipes. 


why do you blog?

As I am beginning to have a bit more free time (...well some days I have more free time...some days not...)...I am considering trying to blog more frequently. I have a glitch though. I am not sure what the heart of my blog is. When I started blogging last year, I mentioned it to a friend - who told me - make sure your blog has a focus. Like...a blog about home design...or a blog about my life...or a blog about my business...or a blog about fill in the blank...I thought well I don't know what my focus is.

It kind of started as home renovations - inspired by Young House Love. But we have slowed down on projects and I also found that I didn't really like documenting all of the project and then trying to write about it. And that honestly - Philip was doing the work and I mostly had no idea how.

Then I would sometimes blog about my business....or random ramblings on stuff...or just our life...and now the baby. Pretty much all baby lately...sorry people...but its hard for me to think about much else besides this little bugaboo recently.

So I would say my blog is in the identity crisis phase was a possibility of fizzling to nothing. Or maybe its going somewhere FABULOUS.

Another piece of advice I have heard is to blog in way that serves as a tool for readers. But again, I am not sure that I really am offering readers much...if I have any readers...I don't know who they are (besides that little news feed telling me someone has stopped by....)

So - in short - do you blog? Why!? 


4 week update (almost 1 month!)

I don't know that I'll really do a full on update every week, but I will try to post his picture at least.

He is a big little guy. We go for a doctors appt on Friday, but I feel like he has packed on some pounds. He is officially out of his newborn clothes and mostly wears 0-3, sometimes 3 months & occasionally a 6 month if it is big.

Life is great right now. Still having some hard nights, like last night, where he was up from 1:30-3am. We still have him in the room with us...which I really love. Love love love. I just like knowing he is nearby and when he sounds like he spit up I can grab him and burp him again. Or if he drops the pacifier I can pop it in his mouth, but I understand there could be some negative consequences of this.

Did you co-sleep? Or have the baby in the room? When did you change it up?

We are starting Babywise. I'll try to do a longer post on its progress and some early thoughts, but I'd love any feedback from moms that have done the same.

I can hardly believe its almost been a month. Life moves fast.


the first few weeks...

The first week I couldn't decide what kind of weekly picture to take...so it is super lame, but I think I will probably try to take a picture of Jude in his cloth diaper every week. I don't know if this is something I can maintain, but it is worth a shot & should be fun to see him grow! He already looks so big to me...


judah is here!

judah william
9lbs 10oz

...i'm so tired...he is so precious...more posts to come!