Thursday, January 28, 2016

More Offline

Just last week we made a change to our cell phone plans.  We went from having an unlimited data plan, to having no data at all. Seems like a pretty radical thing to do.

There was one main reason we made the switch- because of the money.  We are going to be saving $70 a month by lowering our plan.  We did have to buy out our contracts, but this will still save us money in the long run. And without contracts, we can change our plan however we like in the future without any extra fees.

The second thing was kind of an unintended consequence.  We are offline more.  Now, we both still have our iPhones, but we can only use our data on a wifi connection. It has been a problem before, mostly with me, that I spend way too much time online, specifically on social media.  Now, when we go to dinner or are in the car traveling together, there's no Facebook to interrupt us.

I love the internet.  I love how you can find the answer to almost any question with a quick internet search.  I love how I can keep in touch with friends and family who live states away.  But it has seemed to creep into every free moment that I have.  It takes away those moments to just think and dream.  It takes away awareness of your surroundings.

I work on a college campus and it only takes a short walk to see students passing each other and staring at their phones or having their earbuds jammed in their ears.  No one connects anymore, not really.  The human connection is lessened.  Using our senses is reduced to one dimension.

Take some time to unplug and stay offline this weekend.  Enjoy your family, friends, or something else you enjoy.  Pick up a book. Walk the dog.  See how refreshing that can be.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Why Be Debt Free?

I am sure you have heard people talk about being debt free or living debt free.  You might have a strong opinion to one side or the other, or you might not have thought too much about it.

Jason and I are working to become debt free.  We have a plan in place to eliminate all our personal loans and credit cards in the next couple months, and another plan to be done with vehicle payments in 3 years.  Student loans (Yikes!) will be next.  Our plan is to be debt free except for a house note eventually. (And maybe paying off the house never know!)

There are a couple of reasons that we want this to happen.

1. So much of our income goes to debt payments!  I actually added it up one time, and it was shocking.  The amount of money that we were paying towards debt was over half our bills.  Just think of what we could do with that money if not paying other people!  There are much better things to do with your money than make payments.

2. If we are able to use our money differently, we would be able to save!  We would like to ideally have an emergency fund (3-6 months income put away) and a rainy day fund (money for when appliances break, cars need repair, etc.).  Then there are fun things like vacation funds, new car funds, house down payment funds. So much possibility!

3.  This is probably my biggest reason for wanting to live debt free- Giving.  There are numerous times that I would like to help someone or give them something, but we just don't have the money for me to do it.  I could be a blessing to someone else if I had the means to do so.  Sure, I try to do things that don't cost money, like encouraging, writing notes, texts, phone calls, etc.  But if I had a little money to put towards those actions, I could do so much more!

What is your response to debt free living?

Friday, January 8, 2016

What is in My Earbuds

In addition to my goal of reading more this year, I am also enjoying listening to different things too!  Here is a list of the things I am enjoying listening to. 

@BOLDturquoise on Periscope:  Mackenzie Monroe has a morning show each morning about 9 am CST.  It's called Cultivating the Lovely and it's all about becoming the moms, wives, sisters, friends, and women that God wants us to be.  She is so encouraging each morning.  Often she reads scripture or is going through a Bible study with the Cultivating the Lovely community.  I never miss her morning scopes!  I have very much enjoyed listening to Mackenzie! Find her on the Periscope app, and watch her past videos at

@stacymakescents on Periscope:  Stacy is hilarious.  She gives you a no-nonsense, practical, and humorous perspective on saving money, living godly, homemaking, and so many other things.  She has so much great information!  She normally scopes around 3 p.m. CST.  Find her past videos at

@moneysavingmom on Periscope:  Crystal Pain, who you've probably heard me talk about before if you've followed me for any length of time, is a great inspiration and godly woman.  She also has a daily morning show where she shares tips and advice on how to live intentionally.  Crystal is also a mom and online business owner.  I love the encouragement and advice that she gives! Find her past videos at www.katch.met/moneysavingmom.

Cultivating the Lovely: The Podcast:  Mackenzie Monroe from Bold Turquoise also has a podcast! She often interviews other women and talks about a variety of topics.  It is different than her daily morning show, but so good!  Search for Cultivating the Lovely on whatever podcast program you use.

Sorta Awesome Podcast:  Megan Tietz hosts a podcasts that is an "in-depth analysis of pop culture, all things intentional living, and the next big thing you didn't know you couldn't live without."  I am really enjoying listening to Megan, her co-hosts, and guests.  You can also search for Sorta Awesome in your podcast program.

I really enjoy listening to different things during my downtimes.  Whether it's a work or home while I'm doing chores, it's a great time to listen to a short scope or podcast.  Also good for a long drive!

What are you listening to currently?

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Why I Gave Up Plastic Containers

Not too long ago, I made the decision to throw out all my plastic food storage containers.  They are so convenient, and you can even get some for free if you buy lunch meat from certain brands, but I have a couple reasons why I decided to throw them out. 

First reason is that they seem to grow exponentially and they NEVER stay organized.  Ugh.  I hate that. 

Second, is that they stain and do funky things when you put certain foods in them.  They are hard to get really clean!  Yuck.

Third, when I heat my food up in them, the food tastes like plastic! Also yuck.

So, that is why I decided to switch to glass food containers.  I wasn't able to do this until Christmas, because I asked for some Pyrex glass containers for Christmas. So yay!!!

I feel like this is one small decision to make my life a little easier and maybe healthier too!

Goals so far...

We are 6 days into 2016!  Here's a little bit about how my goals have been going this week.

Health: I have not done well with sleep lately! I'm averaging less than 6 hours a night this week.  Not cool.  But we have been busy, and my husband isn't back in school yet, so that has kinda made our schedule different.  I am working on drinking more water, but haven't hit my goal in that yet.  I have made progress walking! I walked on my treadmill for an hour on Monday, and yesterday I painted for 3 hours, so I think that's an acceptable substitute!  I am also watching what I am eating as well. A friend of mine started a private Facebook group that is an accountability/encouragement group for accomplishing whatever health/fitness goals you have this year.  I think it will be good!

Marriage:  We haven't scheduled our date night yet, but it will happen this month! At some point...
I think I am doing better with the phone as well.  Anyone have a book recommendation about marriage?  I'd love to hear them.

Personal:  I am getting back into my routine of listening to podcasts and periscopes during certain times in my work day.  I love listening to the ladies I follow and learn from them.  I am also reading my first book of 2016, Full Disclosure by Dee Henderson.  It is a Christian fiction suspense/romance novel- my favorite category!  Love it.

Business:  I haven't gotten back to posting on my business pages yet, but plan to work out a schedule today for that.

What are your goals and aspirations this year?