Tuesday, September 29, 2015

This is Going to Sound Crazy...

The past two years have been a big roller coaster.  In July of 2013 we purchased just over 4 acres inside city limits -my dream was the land and Brad's was good internet service.  We decided to go ahead and build our home since interest rates were so low and our builder had availability.  The next month they were pouring the foundation.  In fact we broke ground, had an acceptable offer on the home we were living in, AND found out we were pregnant with John all within a 24 hour period.  God had a plan that happened all at once in His timing!

We moved into our home here on Bartley Lane the following January.   Livi loved watching the snow falling from her own bedroom window.   It felt so good to be settling in.

Our John was born on his due date in the spring.  He is still such a relaxed but dependable little guy.  We were feeling like everything was going great.  And it really was.

We had some major financial changes that needed to take place that summer.  Things we didn't expect in the slightest.  Side swiped by things we could not have planned for.  We were thankfully prepared for some emergency, but drastic monetary changes took place.  It was a hard time for me.  My mom and lots of good friends helped me to snap out of the initial shock.  I didn't understand why this happened after we had been so careful with our funds.  It took the whole summer and most of that fall to figure out solutions, and for me to see the good in less.  I finally realized that we really weren't living as frugally as I thought and most of all to praise God through having less money.    

Flash forward to now:  We are still happily here on Bartley Lane.  The kids are growing and are beautiful. AND we have all of our needs and several wants meet.  A huge blessing with a renewed mentality on who our money belongs to, and how we should spend it.

I was looking on Facebook a few weeks ago and came across  Living Well Spending Less and the 31 day no spend challenge.  This challenge encourages folks to spend as little as possible during the month of October.  I talked to Brad and he is on board!  We will be modifying the plan a bit to fit our needs, but I am super excited to see how this month goes.

1.)Bills:  Of course we are paying our bills this month as well as tithing (before anything else), and paying for Olivia's dance lessons.  I am going to see how much less electricity/water/gas I can use.

2.)Food:  We have to buy fresh milk weekly, but overall I am going to see how long we can make it eating out of the pantry and freezer.  If the frost holds off we will have tomatoes to the moon and back as well as fresh apples and pears.  We also have a couple of gift cards to use if we really really want to eat out.

3.)Other Money:  We also agreed if there is some sort of spending that we need to do that is work or ministry related, we can figure out a barter with someone or spend the least/best amount possible.

Throughout the month of October I will be sharing ways that we generally cut costs in all areas of our life before and after our financial changes.  These little things allow me to work from home with the kids and have afforded us many other opportunities -like building a home.  I hope that you will enjoy following along in this craziness and find humor and truth in my future posts.

Happy Fall, Happy Savings!


Thursday, September 24, 2015

Happy First Day of Fall!

I couldn't wait.  The beauty of orange/brown/yellow/red was calling my name.  I couldn't wait until the first official day of fall to decorate inside my house with all of that pumpkin spice goodness.  I was giddy getting out the boxes on September 1st.   I opened it to the smell of cinnamon, ginger, and faux leaves- a winning combination.   Livi and I had fun dancing around with the leaf garland and dropping artificial gourds here and there.  She is after all in training for this sort of thing.

I decided that I would wait until Sept 23rd to put up any pictures of the inside of my house and fall decorations.  I am so happy to have everything look so nice in our Bartley Lane home. In years past I have purchased and made lots of great fall decorations.  We are good with the indoor harvest.  But...it would be nice too have a couple things to put outside.  I have limited myself to spending no more than $5 to create something nice for our front step (I won't do anything out there for a bit though, as it still looks and feels like summer) AND purchasing a couple of real pumpkins for the kids to decorate.

Here is what Livi and I have done so far.

Living Room

Brad got out the ladder to hang up garland on either side of the room.  He did not however climb up to hang it.  I absolutely love the Monet print to the right with its muted fall colors - $5 at a thrift store -frame included!

Excellent reminder of who controls the seasons.  Thanks be to God for His provisions.

The pillow says, "Please excuse the mess, our kids are making memories"  It wasn't really applicable today - HA!

I didn't want this picture standing up all of the way, so I propped it up using an old photo album.  Accessories and red and orange books completed my desk

Dining Room

Finally hung our prints from Paris up.  Thinking the wreathes in the chairs will stay their until we need seating for eight.

Easy fall garland from a thrift shop

These table linens are very special to our family.  The brown table cloth belonged to Brad's Grandma Nellie and the lace overlay was created by my Grandma Pearl, both deceased.  

Olivia thought this glass candle holder HAD to go in front of the head seat.  

Look for links to appear as I share some of my favorite ways to decorate, cook, and craft for the season on the thrift.  I also will be selling fall inspired goodies on my website www.classiccreationsunlimited.weebly.com.  Happy Fall!!