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February 2014

January 2014

Guys! The Girl Next Door Podcast is on the internets and on iTunes! It's a minor miracle of technologies and I'm so excited to finally share it with you. This is surely one of the funnest projects I've ever taken on. On the show, Erica and I are sipping cocktails, laughing, and chatting as two good friends who are next door neighbors will do and we'd love for you to join us. Over the next couple of weeks we'll have one show each week for you and then every other week after that. I genuinely love to connect with my... Read more →

I cannot stop making this quiche. My mom and I made it for the first time on Christmas Eve to have for breakfast on Christmas morning and since then I've made it twice more...and have plans for a third this weekend. Perhaps I should call this Year-Round Christmas Quiche. Which is why I don't feel bashful to share a "Christmas" recipe with you in January-almost-February. The smoked gouda and sundried tomato make you feel like you're having something special. The kale makes you feel like you're having something healthy. And pie crust is never a bad idea. If you have... Read more →

Since my last budget update we decided to focus on debt reduction, we refinanced our mortgage, and we paid off two loans. All of it required sitting down with the Team Wharton budget again (you know we love it!) and I've been wanting to share it with you. Below is our current "debt reduction" budget: Download this budget in an Excel file here: Download Budget_14January A few changes to note: + My paycheck went up a tiiiiiny bit because I changed dental plans. + Our mortgage is down $40 due to our refinance. + My $88/month student loan payment and... Read more →

Since Dashiell was teeny tiny both Chris and I have loved to wear him and I plan to continue as long as he'll let me. (Ashley recently posted about wearing her two year old!) I've found so many benefits to baby wearing including the calming effect it has on Dashiell (he takes great naps while being worn!), being able to hold Dash and have two free hands, avoiding carrying an awkward and heavy car seat, and taking up less space when we're out and about (as opposed to carrying him in a car seat or stroller). Of course, this is... Read more →

Chris and I recently reexamined our budget and decided to make eliminating debt a priority. After we refinanced our mortgage, our debts, associated monthly payments and interest rates looked like this: At the beginning of January 2014 they look like this: I realize that paying off two of our loans with the lowest interest rates is not what a financial planner would tell us to do. They would tell us to focus on paying off the higher interest rate loans first. I do understand the reasoning behind that approach but by paying off those two loans we were able to... Read more →

Dashiell turned nine months on the ninth. It made me think about him turning nine years old one day. Which I sort of can't comprehend. What I'm remembering about Dashiell at nine months: + Crawls everywhere, pulls up on everything. + Loves to be "chased" by a crawling Chris who says, "I'm going to get you!". Dash laughs and crawls away as fast as possible. + Four teeth (two top and two bottom) with at least one more on the way + Loves to pull things out of things, like laundry out of the laundry basket or things out of... Read more →

I greet each new year excited for a fresh start and for change. Already there's a momentum to this year and it seems to be swelling up from all aspects of my life: + Dashiell is sleeping better as of late. I think this probably has a lot to do with brewing the momentum and my energy to make things happen. To only wake one or two times a night and to have time to start the day with Chris in the morning, have coffee, and just say "Oh hi husband, how are you?" is a game-changer. Thanks, Dash! +... Read more →

Both Chris and I are heading back to work today after a two week holiday. I'm mustering all my positive energy (and having a second cup of coffee) to help me dive back into our work week routine. Although the pace of life slowed during the holidays it was still very busy, as life with a crawling-everywhere-baby is. So it's hard to believe that somehow we have to fit in going to our jobs every day and pack in our evening routine into fewer hours. I was so enjoying splitting a beer with Chris around 5 PM and having a... Read more →

Hey, 2014! When I started thinking of my 2014 goals a few months back (you know it!) my inclination was to think of all sorts of new projects to take on, such a writing a hand-written thank you note each week to a different person. I loved the idea of sending mail and thinking of different people to say thank you to. You know, because one more thing to do each week in the midst of my busy, busy life is such a great idea. Insert record scratching sound and reality check moment. Let's be real, Kelsey. So I reconsidered... Read more →