Something I've learned from meticulous budgeting with Chris is to question everything in the budget. That way you ensure that you're spending your money on the things you actually want to spend money on. It's alarmingly easy for wants to creep into a budget and then establish themselves as needs. So we go through each line item: Do we need electricity? Yes. How about those expensive gym memberships? Yes, we really use and love them. But sometimes asking these questions revealed things we were willing to let go of. Especially if living without something might actually make us happier while... Read more →

I've been inspecting our new front yard trees – two desert museum palo verdes – for signs they are healthy after being transplanted in January. This past week I saw tiny new purple-red leaves, which will turn bright spring green, emerging from the tips of branches. I felt giddy. I'm eagerly awaiting the bloom of yellow flowers, set against green bark and a blue sky, that proclaims spring in the desert. But for now, a first hint of spring. This month marks one year since I gave my notice at work ahead of quitting my full time job. Wow! I... Read more →

I want to remember February 2019 as the best winter weather we've ever had in Gilbert. It was rainy, it was cold, we saw the distant mountains blanketed in thick snow. I've lived here for nearly eleven years but I chatted with others who grew up here and even they said they've never seen the mountains covered in snow like we had last week. So in the dead of summer, around the end of August when we're still looking at two more months of 100+ degrees, help me remember that it's not always deathly hot here. Even with glorious wintry... Read more →

Today is the last day of my month-long no added sugar challenge! I only skipped one day (Valentine's Day) and ended up enjoying the challenge much more than I thought I would. I'm even considering doing the challenge once or twice more this year. I wrote about what I've been eating during this month of no added sugar and wanted to give a shout out to some no-sugar-added Trader Joe's items I've been putting into my cart lately. I will definitely still be eating these after the month is over! Truffle Marcona Almonds. OMG. My friend Jen introduced me to... Read more →

Reflecting on love languages after recording a podcast episode about them. My top love languages are acts of service and quality time. Chris's are gifts and quality time. Do you know your love languages? Recommending The Disaster Artist, which will make you laugh ("You're tearing me apart, Lisa!") and is based on a bizarre true story. Also, this interview with James Franco about starring in the movie. Loving our wintry weather! This must be one of the best Arizona winters we've ever had. Lots of days with highs in the 50s, several days of grey, and ever some rainy days.... Read more →