Household Budgeting, Part 1: What Budgeting Isn’t and Is

budgetingI have pretty strong thoughts about both the importance of budgeting and about the best way to do it. As with so many things, I think dealing with money in general is a matter best dealt with by staring it straight in the face and grabbing it by the horns. I don’t want to be controlled; I want to be in control!


Hahah, seriously, though, I want the freedom that comes with knowing that our finances are in order. It’s a wonderful, liberating, empowering feeling.

Following are some of the specific strong thoughts I have on the subject, starting with what budgeting is not and what budgeting is:

What Budgeting Is Notdefinition of budget

  • Budgeting is not looking at an automatically generated report from an app that categorizes your expenses for you and tells you where you’ve overspent and where you haven’t (yet).
  • Budgeting is not (merely) meticulously recording every single expense and knowing at the end of the month or year or whatever how much you’ve spent in various categories.
  • Budgeting is not impossible.
  • Budgeting does not have to be time-consuming.
  • Budgeting is not only for those who have a predictable income.
  • Budgeting is not penny pinching that deprives you of all “frivolous” or fun expenditures.

what is a budget

What Budgeting Is

  • Budgeting is telling your money what to do.
  • Budgeting is planning what you will do with the money you have right now.
  • Budgeting is do-able!!
  • Budgeting is something every money-spending member of the family should be involved in.
  • Budgeting is gaining control.
  • Budgeting is a responsible and guilt-free way to spend money on things you want.

I have lots more to say on the subject, and I’ll also share specifics on how I personally budget. In the meantime, shoot me some of your own thoughts, difficulties, questions on the subject. Let’s crack open the dialogue! See you soon!

7 Reasons to Try Stitch Fix

Have you heard of Stitch Fix?

I’ve been seeing it pop up various places online and decided to give it a try. It was so fun! If you’re anything like me (we probably have something in common if you’re here on the blog), I think you might like it too!

Here’s how it works and why I’m liking it so far.

stitch fix items and style cards

What is Stitch Fix?

Stitch Fix is a fairly new company, based in San Francisco (my hometown!). Based on the information you fill out on their site (things like your size, your style preferences, what you don’t mind “flaunting,” preferred price range, even material preferences), they give you a “personal stylist” who picks out some items for you.

When you tell them you want a Fix, you are charged $20. They send one out and you get a box of surprise clothes! How fun! You keep what you like; the $20 is deducted from the total of whatever you decide to keep. Toss your unwanted items in a very convenient pre-paid mailing bag they provide, and that’s it! So cool!!

Why You’ve Got to Try It

  1. No shopping malls. The mall drains me, big time, and there other things I’d much rather be doing in my free time without the kids! (Is that just me?) 
  2. Try new things. Stitch Fix will send items that I may never have picked from the rack but end up really liking. It’s great for getting out of a rut.
  3. One-stop-shop. The Stitch Fix team will send you not only different clothes from different sources, but also shoes and accessories too!
  4. Get inspired. Each item your Stitch Fix stylist sends comes with a tag illustrating a couple different ways to wear the piece.quote about stitch fix
  5. SAVE TIME. Coordinated, fresh looks delivered in a package right to my door? Sign me up!!
  6. Utter convenience. I hate the whole changing in dressing rooms trying to decide if something looks good by myself under glaring fluorescent lights in front of a mirror that’s tilted strangely and way too close. (I usually save shopping trips for when my sister visits ;)). With Stitch Fix, I can try everything on in my own bedroom! And Dear gets to watch a little fashion show and give his opinion.
  7. It’s so fun. I love getting a box of surprise clothes!! It’s like giving myself a present — without knowing what it is beforehand. It really is a “fix,” hahahaha. (When Elora saw the box, she said, “Here’s your fish sticks, Mommy.” Side note: I’m trying to remember not to ever underestimate what the kids pick up on! I was shocked she knew what the box was.)

Below are the items I got in my first Stitch Fix box:

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Tristan Embroidered Short Sleeve Top: KEPT. I loooooved this top. And so did Dear. The fabric was so soft and drapey, it’s modest but not shapeless, hides exactly what I’d want it to, and it’s fun and different. Definitely more expensive than things I’d usually buy but really liked it. (Side note: The Native American flavor of the embroidery and the fact that it’s called “Tristan” reminds me faintly of Legends of the Fall and therefore faintly of my adolescence….)

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Paradiso Cowl Neck Short Sleeve Top: KEPT. Really pretty, nice fabric, great color. And it’s really more like a modest tank top than a short-sleeved top — very useful here in Florida.

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Ruthie Cross-Front Side-Ruched Top: WENT BACK. This was a very nice simple, versatile black top that still had a bit of interest. But it was too form-fitting and I have one very similar so back it went.

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Marigold Chambray Skirt: KEPT. Not too short, good shape for me, needed a new skirt.

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Nolyn Chambray Button Up Tank: WENT BACK. I can hardly stand collared shirts after having to wear them all through high school and all through Bible school! I was willing to try, but it really just looked awful on me.

What do you think? Any questions? Are you excited? Give it a whirl!

Stitch Fix


Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post, but if you place your first order through the links I’ve included in this post, I will get a small credit toward my next Fix. So thank you and, as always, hope what I share is helpful! 

Blueberries, But Not for Sal

We went blueberry picking.

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5 Steps to a Better Morning

I wish I were a morning person. Truth is, I love being up early; but it doesn’t come to me naturally.

Whatever time I do get up, I tend to be, um, prone to grumpiness, we’ll say. I’ve found that taking care of the following five things are, for me, keys to a better morning.

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1) A clean sink. This involves the night before, obviously.

better morning coffee

2) Coffee. This needs no explanation.  

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3) Spending time with Someone, usually in this chair, with these two books. 

better morning

4) A made bed. 

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5) A task begun. Often, this is a load of laundry. 

(Bonus: Spot the baby belly.) 

What helps you have a good morning?