Surrrrprise! I’m back.

Our family has expanded. We bought a cottage and a puppy since I last blogged.


We have also traveled countless places, enjoyed some fantastic meals, and managed to save towards an early retirement during this time. My hope is that I can use my blog to show the places we visit on our trips, collect and exchange recipes from places we have eaten, and also share insight about how to budget, save, and invest if that information is still needed in the blogosphere, as it was many years ago when I started. Unfortunately, while I enjoyed having a place to share back then, I was not in a place to spend the time the blog needed to respond to readers and answer personal requests for budget reviews and assistance while building our own wealth from a negative net worth, when we were selling dvds and ski equipment, to more than half a million dollars net worth and a paid off house almost a decade later.

I am not sure what my life will bring or where this blog will go but I’m happy to report that DH and I are still married, travelling, and enjoying great meals at home and away. I’d like to revive the blog and create a little community here. Stop in, leave a message, and look for more frequent posts about our daily life.

Up another $100

cashWe made $500 of our $1000 goal this fall.  We have a few more things to sell and get rid of this spring but for now I’m done.  We’ll probably make another smaller push for extra cash sometime in January.  Perhaps people will have more to spend at that time of the year.  We certainly have some things to unload and we’ll keep them in storage until we’re ready.

But I’m pleased that we turned our time and unused goods into an extra $500 which we will be investing in the market!

What’s Your Christmas Spirit Level?

Your Christmas Sprit Level: 65%

You have a lot of Christmas spirit, and it’s evident to most people who know you.

You love most things Christmas, and you do your best to make sure everyone has a great holiday.  While you like the more commercial aspects of Christmas, you truly know what the spirit of Christmas is about.
You’re all about giving, being kind, and sharing the spirit of Christmas with everyone you know.




Take the Christmas Spirit Quiz here and find out where your spirit level is at!

Simple Christmas

simplechristmasDH and I are enjoying a simple Christmas this year.

After handing out frugal presents and cards to our extended families a few weeks ago at the Thanksgiving celebration we’ve had a very laidback season.   Tonight we are finally putting up a tree with my beloved ornament collection and we already have a pile of presents to go underneath it.  Several presents came from family but DH and I also purchased many presents for one another this year respecting a low spending limit.  We love to drink hot cocoa, put on Christmas music, and setup the tree together one ornament at a time.

We have received a few holiday cards in the mail and have them setup around the kitchen in different places where we can read them over the next few weeks.  I did not send cards to everyone on our list this year.  Last year I sent cards out to an entire mailing list of over 100 people because we had just gotten married.  I spent so much money in cards and stamps at the post office 3 separate times to send cards before the wedding, after the wedding and at the holidays.  Instead, we are trying to slowly reconnect in person over the phone with a few friends we don’t get to talk to often to have meaningful holiday contact.

We’ve been listening to holiday music here and there over the last few weeks and watching a few new Christmas movies each week from our home collection.  We keep those in the closet year round but we took them out at Thanksgiving this year and started in on them then.  We already own 5 or 6 classic holiday movies and we rented a few new ones with our inclusive video store membership.  We also went to see “Four Christmases” at the theater this week 😉

We rejected 3 holiday party offers this year because we didn’t feel like dressing up and using our few days off each week to do parties.  We did have a small get together with friends a few weeks ago and watched a rental, played video games and ate pizza.  That’s how we felt we wanted to celebrate with those close to us this year.  See that post on cheap entertaining.

We’ll be hanging stockings and exchanging gifts on one night about a week from now but unfortunately we’re both working for the actual holidays.

Here’s to our simple, stressfree Christmas!

The Final Push to $1000

We’re up another $100 this month which we received in cash as Christmas gifts from family unexpectedly.  We’re adding that to our goal to turn our unwanted stuff into $1000 cash and grateful family did not buy things we didn’t need this year.

Cash is always appreciated.  We may also be exchanging some games and gaming equipment for cash this week for an additional couple hundred dollars.  DH is still reluctant to exchange it for cash instead of store credit but I think it’s worth it to take the cash since we still have $100 store credit on the card from other games he exchanged earlier this fall.

We are currently at $400 extra cash made this fall!  We were hoping for $1000 and plan to invest whatever we make in stocks in January!

Public Service Announcement: Child-free couples and the holidays

Celebrating during the holidays without children is a mixed blessing.  While it’s lovely to enjoy a peaceful, quiet fire and a cup of cocoa alone with the one you love or open more expensive presents (should you choose) than your family-friendly peers, it can also be a very difficult time and a test of strength and patience.


 I find it particularly difficult when the subject of children comes up during the holidays at extended family parties, during worktime with colleagues and clients around, or even among friends or families with children.  Thoughtless comments are made again and again.  I want to shout “Honestly, it’s none of your business.” at people by the end of the day sometimes. 

So please, on behalf of the childfree and childless among you this holiday season:

-Don’t ask couples without children when they’re planning on children or if they’re “planning on children” in the near future

-Don’t ask couples without children “if they’re expecting” because you find someone’s eating habits peculiar

-Don’t nag about how they “haven’t brought home any grandchildren/nieces/nephews yet”… especially while they’re holding a baby during the family dinner

-Along those lines, don’t remark “what wonderful parents they would be” and wink knowingly

And please…

-Don’t assume that they prefer every night to be a quiet, peaceful night alone at home and DO invite them to join in activities without making CHILDREN AND FAMILY the focus of holiday celebrations. 

This can be an isolating time of the year for couples without children.  Assuming you know and understand the circumstances surrounding someone’s child”less”ness can be dangerous and hurtful.  If they’re polite and nonconfrontational, you may not know how offensive your comments were, particularly at this time of the year…