The Beginner’s Guide To Budgeting – Series

Beginner's Guide To Budgeting Image

Ok, we are quickly approaching 2016 and it’s a good of time as any to start revisiting our financial resolutions from the beginning of this year. Or start working on those for next year. Never hurts to be ahead of the game.

Well, if you’ve fallen off the budgeting bandwagon this past year, let me see if I can help get you back on board or at least help you book another trip for this upcoming year.

Budgeting can be confusing and overwhelming and some might not even know where to begin when it comes to budgeting your money. This isn’t something that is taught in school (though I HIGHLY believe it should be!), nor is this something that comes naturally to many of us.

So, I am offering a five-part, eight-week series that starts tomorrow to help you take the steps to becoming more aware of your finances and more mindful of your money.

Disclaimers: Now, I am not a financial planner or money expert by any means…. I just know what works for us. It might not work for everyone but it will at least get you thinking and possibly taking a step in the right direction.

Part One (Week 1-4): Track Your Expenses

Part Two (Week 5): The Big Picture

Part Three (Week 6): Tell Your Money Where To Go

Part Four (Week 7): The EX Factor

Part Five (Week 8): Let’s Build A Snowman

So come on back for some budgeting fun!

Magic Body Butter

Hello magic.

I have been searching for a way to help my dry skin and decided to make my own body butter yesterday to help with my ever dry, itchy winter skin. Even in the desert it worsens during the winter months especially with the extra dry desert air. Nothing I could find commercially has helped.

I’ve been searching around online and looking more closely at what I am putting on my skin and I am coming to the realization that those commercially made “soaps, lotions and creams” might not be all they are cracked up to be. They might be just the thing that is robbing my skin of some severely needed nourishing.

So I decided to try whipping up a batch of my own… and I think I am addicted. I’ve already dug into this yummy jar. I couldn’t wait for a picture. Doesn’t look very pretty but it is a beautiful thing to me.


My skin has never felt more calm. That’s exactly what my skin feels like. Calmed. The constant itchy, tight dryness is soothed. Gone. Amazing to someone who has suffered year after year for a good couple of decades with dry, itchy-to-the-bone, winter skin.


I didn’t follow a specific recipe, neither did I write down what I did, I just added a little skin loving of this and a little skin nourishing of that and whipped. Not sure if I can replicate it but you can bet I’m going to be trying to make this creamy goodness again. And I’ll probably be writing it down this time.

Celebrate the Season 2015

‘Tis the season. The countdown to Christmas and time to start thinking about my annual Celebrate the Season album and start gathering supplies.

While I love Ali Edwards December Daily tradition, I have more of a process that isn’t so daily, shall I say. I am all about telling my story and preserving traditions but daily is just too much of a commitment for me. I take a more sporadic approach to record the ways we celebrate the Countdown to Christmas and in no particular order including Thanksgiving and New Years. I love recording the traditions we honor, the memories we make and the way we celebrate the holidays all the way up to the New Year. I am so grateful for the motivation to start doing this back in 2005. Those memories are just so precious.


As I am unpacking my boxes I am discovering many, many, many (don’t tell my husband) 12 x 12 papers, embellishments and scraps that I realized I shouldn’t need to shop for anything for this album this year. I am going to challenge myself to use up what I have. I am even considering putting the pages into another album I already have as a continuation of our holiday traditions.

My process:

  1. Use what supplies I have. I have many leftover from the last couple of years and as I am unpacking my boxes it is like Christmas around here as I uncover many of my papers I didn’t even remember I had.
  2. Pick a theme – I am going to pick 3 basic colors and find papers in those shades and will hopefully be able to throw in some non-traditional colors this year as accents, think gold and light blue.
  3. Keep it simple.
  4. Set a goal of finishing it this year by the end of January.
  5. Print out pictures from last year….that goes without saying, unfortunately. Going to use the Walgreens app on my phone. Incredible 1 hour turnaround, sometimes even faster! And maybe finish last years while I’m at it :-).
  6. Give myself a hall pass on documenting every little thing and focus more on enjoying the moments and making the memories, not so much on the process.

So what do you want to document about this holiday season?

Many new memories to be had this year with a completely different climate then what we are used to. No snow, shoveling, bundling up, wind chills or snow days off from school.