One of my favorite ways to avoid small talk - which I kind of hate - is to ask someone if they've read any good books lately or are listening to any good podcasts. And although I'm usually behind on movies and definitely on television shows I'll happily talk about those at length instead of about the weather.  So to avoid telling you about the hot, hot, humid weather, here are a few recommended reading + listening + watching from my list... Read more →


Each month, Chris and I budget $100 each to spend as "personal allowance." This includes eating out/coffee/activities we do separately (we have a joint family allowance budget of $100 as well) and purchases are that wants and not needs. To keep ourselves accountable, we use Mint to monitor our spending. As an extra layer of accountability I am sharing what I spent my personal allowance on each month and whether I stayed within budget. Buying my next Get To Work Book planner this month took up the bulk of my spending this month. But it was an expense I was... Read more →


I had this post nearly ready to go when we left for Austin but never made time to post it. I'm taking that as a sign of a great and full trip. Friends! Despite temperatures near or above ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY degrees I have not melted! Surely if I have not packed my family and moved by this point I have made significant progress on embracing summers in the desert and finding the hygge in summer. July is the halfway point through the year which brings to mind my 2017 intention of choose. I said I wanted to choose... Read more →


Our grocery bill has gone through a lot of changes in the past few years. We went from feeding two people to three and now four. At the same time, we started to prioritize our savings. So even as we need to feed more people we are frequently looking at what we spend on groceries and trying to see how we can do a better job. We shop at Trader Joe's on a weekly basis and just recently bought a Costco membership after careful evaluation. Chris and I worked up a spreadsheet with every item we normally buy at Trader... Read more →


On our way home from work most weekdays we gain a small pile of artwork and scribbles by way of preschool/daycare. Cedric comes home with a creation or two per week but Dashiell is downright industrious. Each day there are freehand drawings, photocopied coloring sheets full of color, a letter-of-the-week-themed creation, and sometimes something large and folded into thirds. One time it was a truffala tree! Especially as Dashiell starts to express his own creativity and imagination each piece of his work feels precious! But if we start collecting now we will surely need an entire storage unit to house... Read more →