I feel like it’s been a long time since I’ve dished about life lately and since my latest ice cream post is taking longer than I planned to get up on the site (the ice cream hasn’t figured out how to take pictures and write about itself yet- how annoying) I thought I’d give you the latest scoop on what we Grows have been up to!
+ We adopted another pup! Her name is Bernadette (Bernie) and she is quite the character, something you can tell just by looking at her. She came from a home with THIRTEEN DOGS and lost her eye when her owners threw some food on the ground in front of all the dogs and another dog accidentally caught her eye when they all pounced (I’ll let you guess how I feel about said previous owners). So she’s a one-eyed Pekingese French Bulldog mix who is rolly polly and has a permanent grumpy face. Check it out on my Instagram. She’s very much like a cat in that she’s slow moving (except when she wants something in which case she will surprise you by being very quick and pouncing), loves sleeping in a ball on the top of the couch (and sleeps all day), loves a good scratch and rub and will let you know when she wants one, and doesn’t love other dogs. There were some troubles with Bruce when we brought her home. She wasn’t his biggest fan and snapped at him a few times so he was too scared to even go near her. She’s warmed up to him, but he still doesn’t sit right next to her. We’re working on it and celebrate the moments when he licks her or they play together in the backyard. But it’s fun having two pups in the house and we’ve loved getting to know her.
+ I was on a podcast! My episode of the Chasing Creatives podcast with my friends Ashley Brooks and Abbigail Kriebs aired today and I felt so nervous, but so excited. I say “Yeah!” a lot and we talk about ice cream, planners, books, and my many career changes. After getting over how nasally my voice sounds, I had so much fun reliving our conversation. You should definitely check it out and subscribe to the podcast. Those ladies are awesome and I love that they’re celebrating creativity of every shape and size.
Oh and make sure you listen to the very end of our show where you’ll hear a blooper (and maybe better understand an awkward point in our conversation haha) that we have nicknamed “Kalemageddon.”
+ Josh and I set a goal this year to get our money under control and pay off our debt. We like to think we’re not terribly irresponsible with money, but once we realized how much in interest we were paying on the credit card debt we slowly built up and that our total debt between the credit card, school loans, and car loan was a little too scary for comfort, we decided it was time to get serious about our financial situation. Thanks to the help and motivation from Krystle and Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover, we’ve set a strict budget and have been really aware of all of our spending. It’s been hard. Eating out less, having regular spending fasts, and constantly brainstorming new ways to cut back hasn’t been our favorite and talking about it is even less fun. I used to be proud of the fact that I didn’t spend money on things like manicures or clothes or daily Starbucks, but I’ve realized that even when most of my purchases are used or clearance, I’m still not very mindful of my spending. Inputting all our spending every few days has really helped me see clearly and make changes. Thankfully we’ve had a good boost as we got a great tax return, Josh got his first annual bonus, and he got a raise (everyone give my amazing husband a round of applause!) so hopefully that will help us pay off a chunk of debt, but sticking to our budget and keeping an eye on our priorities will always be a bit of a struggle. Any encouragement, tips, or tough love because we got ourselves into this mess is appreciated!
+ In an effort to save some money, we got library cards so I’d have a free place to go when I get cabin fever (a regular occurrence for this work-from-home introvert). I wasn’t expecting much from our little county library out here in rural Indiana, but it had quite the cookbook collection! I embarrassed Josh by bringing stack after stack of books to our table and then excitedly showing him all the good recipes while he shushed me saying, “Aren’t you supposed to be quiet in libraries??!”. He confidently warned me that I wouldn’t be able to take that many home, so I only checked out 8. And that’s when I was told I could check out 50 books at a time. Hah! Why did I trust the man that had never even had a library card in his lifetime?? Now begins the speed reading and cooking from these books before I have to bring them back in 2 weeks. I’m really love Saving the Season by Kevin West and can’t wait to buy my own copy (once I find a cheap used one).
+ I’ll be pairing up people for the Pen Pal Recipe Swap this week, so if you want to make a new friend, gather some new recipes, and get a cute printable recipe card, go sign up before it’s too late!
Grateful for: My amazing husband who spent all last night helping me make a bunch of food for the blog and then cleaned and cleaned and cleaned while I took pictures then whined about my feet hurting. He is the most generous and helpful man and I don’t know what I did to deserve him. Hopefully he’ll stick with me if I keep feeding him.
Not loving: Rural Indiana when we’re saving money. Honestly, it’s a pretty boring place when you don’t have money to spend on food or shopping. There’s a reason our local bowling alley and bars are always packed. There’s not much else to do…
Craving: Crappy takeout chinese food. Again. Like always. Especially after watching Two Weeks Notice and wishing I had the money to order as much food as Sandra Bullock does.
Watching: Downton Abbey. After finishing up the last season, I really wanted to discuss it with Josh who had not seen a single episode of the show. So I put on my puppy dog beggar face and asked if he would watch it with me. And now we’re four seasons in and he’s as hooked as I was. I just can’t wait for him to see the last season! It was so good!
Embracing: The things I already own but forgot about. I’d been lamenting our ugly college-dorm style bedroom that simply had a California flag hanging on the wall, zero decorations, and not even a bed frame to make the room look like adults live in it. But when we finally cleaned out our spare room that still had boxes from our move, I found some picture frames, curtains, and throw pillows we weren’t using and we finally put a little work into our bedroom with things we already had around the house. It now is my favorite room and we didn’t have to spend a cent! Now what to do with this empty room we finally cleaned out…
Planning: Some fun new series for this here blog! I have a few ideas in the works, but unfortunately I don’t always have as much time as I would like to put them into action. So we’ll see when they launch, but in the meantime, I’m having fun making the plans! Planning is always the best part.
Listening to: James Bay over and over and over again. Man, his music is awesome. If anyone wants to buy me his record for an early birthday present, I wouldn’t complain. Heck, I might even make you a bunch of ice cream while I jam out.
Obsessing over: The Piglet. For those of you that don’t know, it’s a March Madness-style tournament of cookbooks where they pit the best cookbooks from 2015 up against each other and amazing writers cook from and discuss each book, picking one winner for each round until there’s only one cookbook left standing. It ended a week ago and I’m still rereading the cookbook reviews and balking at the results. I was seriously shocked by the two underdogs that made it to the last round! I was so worked up about it, I couldn’t help but speed talk about it every night to Josh and got him all excited about each morning’s results, too. Now he’s ever so supportive while I shop around for used copies of each of the cookbooks in the tournament. I must have them all on my overflowing cookbook shelf.
Getting excited about: Our upcoming trip back to Utah! My sister just had her second baby girl and I can’t wait to meet her! Plus we’ll have a chance to spend time with Josh’s family and go to some of our favorite restaurants. It’ll be a busy four days, but I’m really looking forward to it.
What about your? What are you obsessing over, listening to, or planning? I’d love to get to know you better!