Why, Hello There!

Good morning friends!

It feels like I haven't written in over a year. In reality it's only been a couple of months but I still have felt like I haven't been here in forever, and for that I apologize. I wanted to jump on here and say "Hello!" while I had some time this morning!

The last couple months seem to have gone by in both a whirlwind and, at times, excruciatingly slow. We're pushing forward with our back deck (which has taken much longer than we had anticipated!) our little girl got hit with her first ever flu which resulted in about a week of a sick baby. This was the first time Amelia had ever thrown up and we learned that I don't handle vomiting well! My beautiful Husband on the other hand is a true champion when handling sickness. All in all a couple of months worth of learning experiences and we're excited to end this quarter and move into a new year!

DIY and Natural Cleaning

There are times in my life when I feel prepared to change something I've always done a certain way, and opt for a totally different way of life. I've recently made the switch from store brand cleaners to making my own (whaaaat!). Partially out of the desire to reduce the amount of chemicals are around Amelia, and partially to save money! (I'm pretty sure it's 50/50 in my mind!). I am happy to report that the first week of my DIY cleaning extravaganza is a huge success! I am blown away by the effectiveness of these cleaning solutions. I stumbled upon Kristin's site 'Live Simply' two weeks ago and dove head first into her recipes for homemade, natural cleaning solutions. Check out this post for info on the tools and ingredients she incorporates into her cleaning routines! Also a huge shout out to my Facebook family for their recommendations for natural cleaning! Suzy the vinegar and water mixture for cleaning floors is a dream!

I made some labels for the spray bottles I purchased from Amazon and I thought I would share them with you today! I printed these off on Avery's full sheet sticker paper, and affixed them to these amazing glass spray bottles I picked up on Amazon! 

Mint.com, Budgeting and Motivation 

I'm several months in with using Mint.com and I continue to be impressed with it! The software has been fantastic especially around the Christmas season in tracking and managing our finances through this expensive time of year. Our budget really does change monthly and this software is great at setting new budgets for each category at the beginning of each month! Some months, for example, our restaurant budget may be higher, and others we may not need it at all and can allocate that money to a different area of our budget. The key for us is looking at the upcoming month (realistically!) identifying dates we want to go out or have a date night, and then adding up how much we think we will need for the month. 

Lately I've been starting out my mornings in bed with a cup of coffee, enjoying the silence and stillness for about 30 minutes and checking out the #debtfreecommunity on Instagram along with the Frugal Living community on Facebook. I find so much motivation and inspiration in these communities! I love personal finance, budgeting and frugal living so I tend to gravitate towards these groups naturally. If you're looking for some motivation in these areas of your life I absolutely recommend checking them out! 

Santa's Lap

Amelia is almost 2 years old. She has yet to sit on Santa's lap at a mall and we have yet to capture that moment on film. And, to be honest friends, I don't think we will be starting that tradition until shes a little bit older. If you know me or have been reading my blog for awhile, you probably know that I like to keep things as simple, organized and calm as possible. This time a year I avoid the shopping areas as much as I possibly can just because of the chaos I feel around this season. Packing Amelia up on a Saturday or Sunday when my Husband is home, trekking out to a shopping center, waiting in line for a picture of my daughter (who will probably be having a panic attack) and spending a small fortune for the privilege does not seem like a simple way to spend our precious weekend moments together. Instead we will be opting to going outside as much as possible on the weekends, enjoying free entertainment and enjoying the lights in the evening and the sounds of the birds chirping during the day. 


Book Love

I've been devouring books lately (shocking I know!). If you read this post about my book challenge I gave to myself, I have to say that I haven't read some of the books on the list, but I've definitely read more than 22 in the last several months! This morning I thought I would share some new ones that I've enjoyed to hopefully give you some inspiration!

I hope you have a wonderful day, and that you can find some time to slow down and enjoy a quiet moment to yourself! 

How are you spending this busy season? Comment below and tell me what you're up to and how you find some time to yourself!