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I’m Not Entirely Sure What We’re Thinking… Day Zero of Our #LWSZ Challenge

It’s almost 11pm and instead of being in bed next to my husband, I’m here, spewing all my nervous energy onto the screen. I’m not sure what we’re thinking exactly, but I’m anxious/nervous/excited/freaking-out-just-a-wee-bit over the fact that we have deliriously chosen to take part in the #LWSZ challenge this month. (For all of you who haven’t a clue, that’s Living Well Spending Zero by the fab blogger Ruth Soukup!) December. It’s December! And beginning tomorrow we’ve committed (Ha, committed! How appropriate!) ourselves to not spending a dime for the next thirty days. Thirty days! It’s December 2nd PEOPLE! Christmas is happening. Not to mention both mine and his mom’s birthdays happen this month. And let’s not forget the cozy ‘lil Christmas party we’ve been invited to (more on that on Day 11) and the cookie-swap party my sweet hubs has this Friday at work. But, we’re hopping on the crazy train anyway. We decided to participate late last night while reading Ruth’s awesome Living Well Spending Less. In it, she challenged her readers to try to go a month without spending anything (true needs being the exception.) We took today to ready our minds and home, and we have plans to relentlessly begin pinching pennies on Day One tomorrow. I made a quick run after work to Target (one of the main cash-gobblers in our home) to buy a few necessities and wrap up gift shopping for family. We already purchased Christmas for ourselves (heads held in shame, curse you Black Friday).…

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3 Tips to Simplify Dinner (And 5 Awesome Slow Cooker Recipes!)

After a long busy day at work or at play, I cannot fully express the joy and peace I experience when I come home to dinner fully prepared. Add to it that it’s all (mostly, does bagged salad count?) homemade and healthy (again, mostly) and I couldn’t be happier. Thank heavens for the man that thought up the slow cooker! (I linked to the history of the slow cooker because I, too, just had to know, was it a fella that thought up the genius appliance or a frazzled woman tired of plowing through the drive-thru line in her Model A?) Of course, a slow cooker alone does not dinner make. Put to work these 3 tips and six o’ clock won’t seem so daunting. (And check out five of my favorite slow cooker recipes below!) Have a plan. Menu planning is such a huge help toward simplifying dinner. Having a plan for the day’s meals alleviates stress and helps everyone know what to expect. Check out this post (and free printable!) on menu planning! Be prepared. Once you have your menu planned for the week, be sure you have the ingredients you need to make it happen. It may seem obvious, but being ready with what you need to prepare the meal you have planned is key to actually making the meal. I cannot tell you how many times my good intentions and glorious plans have gone down in flames because I forgot a key ingredient. Take a cue from Mr.…

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Things I Want Right Now…

Most of the time, it is great to stay on topic. But sometimes there is an overwhelming desire to toss out all the planning you’ve done for your blog and instead launch into a litany of things your lusting after, those unreasonably expensive or irrational purchases that you would love to make but choose not to for the sake of greater goals (like being debt free!). So, instead of actually making a mega-haul, I’ll pine away for all the baubles and trinkets from the comfort of my living room, yoga pants in action and the Netflix blaring while I try to lick the Rocky Road off of my shirt. Here’s all the things I’m loving right now… ↑ This dress. The new collaboration between Aussie Rebel Wilson and Torrid is amazeballs. I absolutely adore the red and the peplum and the floral and the everything. Its pretty much the greatest and would be super hot for the anniversary/Christmas/New Year’s/birthday/Valentine stuff I have going on in the next few months. ↑ This leather bag from Madewell. Other bloggers have mentioned it and for good reason. Its simple design and “goes-with-everything” style is perfect for the minimalist approach I am taking with my bags these days. ↑ These adorable earrings. I have wanted these since before we were married and until recently they only came in gold. NOW they come in silver and Oh Boy are they going on the Christmas wish list! ↑ This magical all-in-one palette from Urban Decay. First, Urban Decay. Second, all-in-one and travel friendly. The colors are…

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