Some of My 2019 Plans

December 31, 2018

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It's New Year's Eve!  A holiday up there on my list with Halloween.  Okay, true, nothing is on par with Halloween.  But it's up there with the 4th of July and Kentucky Derby Day so that's pretty darn high.  (I like holidays that involve costumes and cocktails as opposed to presents and family obligations.)  I don't know about you, but I am very, very ready for the roll over into a new year.  2018 sucked.  I feel like it was possibly the worst year of my life, including that one when I was 7 and had massive kidney surgery and spent tons of time in the ICU and children's ward.  Because at least then there were cookies and a Mrs Pac Man machine.  So leaving 2018 behind and starting 2019 fresh tomorrow will be a great feeling.

18 Things I Got Rid of in 2018

December 28, 2018

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We're so close to end of the year - just this weekend to close it out, really.  Do you have time off of work?  Now that Christmas is over, you might have time on your hands, like I do.  I highly recommend using that time to get stuff out of your life and your home before the new year comes (or at the beginning of January, that works too.)  Starting with a clean slate is so refreshing.  Even though the flipping of a calendar doesn't actually mean anything, it's not magical, it still feels like it is.  I'm getting 2019 off on the right foot, with new goals and ideas (more on that Monday), but I had to let go of a lot too, that I wanted to leave behind in 2018.  Here are 18 things I got rid of this past year.  Hopefully something on this list sparks motivation in you to get rid of it this weekend.


Three on Thursday - Top Favorites of 2018

December 27, 2018

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Welcome back to Three on Thursday, a weekly list of three things I'm loving at the moment that I think you should do, try, or buy.  If you're interested in past weeks and more recommendations, you can find those here.  If you make your own Three on Thursday list, please share it in the comments so I can check it out.

What I Gave for a Minimalist, Frugal Christmas

December 26, 2018

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Ah, the post holiday hangover.  I hope everyone had a great Christmas!  Is anyone else back at work today?  I am.  But my train ride was relatively quiet so it seems like a lot of people got the day off.  I'm jealous of their extra day to recover.  All around though, it was a nice, quiet Christmas here.  I've definitely come to appreciate that more and more as I've gotten older.


Merry Christmas

December 25, 2018

Have a very Merry Christmas today, friends!



Thanks so much for stopping by.  You can also join me on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. In the bar below you can sign up for my posts and newsletter to come straight to your inbox, which has exclusive content that does not appear on this blog, including regular giveaways. On the top of the side bar to your right, you can follow me on Bloglovin.


Happy Christmas Eve + Winter Goals

December 24, 2018

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Merry Christmas Eve!  I hope you have the day off, like I do.  I love a good 4 day weekend, and I have one next weekend too, so I'm a happy camper.  Before I get totally into Christmas mode though, I have to close out my fall goals.  I still find it odd that fall goals are just now over and 'winter' goals are made at the end of December.  To me, winter started on December first but according to the calendar, nope.  It just started.  Although Betsy and Sara's link up was on Friday, I was still finishing out my 12 days of Christmas posts so I'm just catching up with my seasonal goals today.

12 Days of Christmas - 1 Favorite Holiday Tradition

December 21, 2018

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We made it to the last day of the 12 days of Christmas, which means the day is right around the corner.  And it is, Christmas Eve is Monday.  December always flies by.  For this final day, where I was only going to share one thing, I decided it had to be one single favorite.  I settled on one single favorite tradition.

Three on Thursday - Weekly Favorites

December 20, 2018

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Welcome back to Three on Thursday, a weekly list of three things I'm loving at the moment that I think you should do, try, or buy.  If you're interested in past weeks and more recommendations, you can find those here.  If you make your own Three on Thursday list, please share it in the comments so I can check it out.

12 Days of Christmas - 2 Holiday Pet Peeves

December 19, 2018

I really do love this time of year.  Christmas is so festive and fun, and I have so many good memories and traditions associated with it.  But.  Like any other time of year, some things about this season just drive me totally bonkers.  Here are my top two pet peeves that always come up right about now:


12 Days of Christmas - 3 Things We Always Display

December 18, 2018

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We don't go crazy on Christmas decor.  I think less is more and it's not my favorite holiday so I don't need to be over the top with it.  But of course, we still have our favorite pieces.  Here's our top 3 that we always display to make it finally feel like Christmas in our house.


12 Days of Christmas - 4 Stocking Stuffer Ideas

December 17, 2018

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Do you hang and fill stockings for Christmas?  We do.  My mom always did too, when I was growing up.  I remember it always being filled with chocolate when I was little, and then useful things when I was in junior high and high school, like socks and toothbrushes and lotions.  So I love keeping the tradition alive, but I also know that it can be hard to fill stockings.  You generally want small, relatively inexpensive items, but you don't want it to be wasteful 'filler gifts' that no one is very excited to receive.  Here are four of my favorite ideas this year:

12 Days of Christmas - 5 Gift Wrapping Tips and Tricks

December 14, 2018

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Do you wrap gifts for Christmas or do you just put everything in gift bags?  My mom is the gift bag type, but I love wrapping gifts.  Because I'm really good at it, and because I like how matching, wrapped boxes look under the tree (that's the first tip - if it didn't come in a box, put it in one.  Boxes are much easier to wrap.)  But I do think that it's made easier by having the right supplies before you sit down to wrap anything.  Here's what I use each year:


Three on Thursday - Weekly Favorites

December 13, 2018

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Welcome back to Three on Thursday, a weekly list of three things I'm loving at the moment that I think you should do, try, or buy.  If you're interested in past weeks and more recommendations, you can find those here.  If you make your own Three on Thursday list, please share it in the comments so I can check it out.

12 Days of Christmas - 6 Things On My Wish List

December 12, 2018

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I still make Christmas lists.  They aren't nearly as ridiculous as when I was a child, but when someone asks me what I want for Christmas, I'm ready to tell them.  I'd love a no gifts at all Christmas, but John's whole family's love language seems to be gifts.  I figure that if someone is going to get my something anyway, I might as well get exactly what I want.  I know how much I appreciate when someone gives me ideas of what to get them, so I want to also make it easy for my people.  And I also like to be practical, being such a minimalist and all.  So here's what's on my list for this Christmas:


12 Days of Christmas - 7 Winter Must Haves

December 11, 2018

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We're finally getting my kind of weather here in Chicago.  We have already gotten snow, but now w're getting the below freezing temperatures I love so much.  I think it's 20 degrees outside today.  I know I'm in the minority, loving winter and cold this much, but it's because I'm so well prepared every year.  Here's what I recommend for staying warm and still having fun in the cold:


12 Days of Christmas - 8 Christmas Things I Stopped Buying

December 10, 2018

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Time for another 'things I've stopped buying' but Christmas edition this round.  I love saving money in December, so here are 8 holiday things I just don't purchase.

Swagbucks Update

December 9, 2018

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We're all looking for ways to save big at the register. Well, I've found a way to make every coupon I use at my local grocery store worth an extra 25¢.

How you ask? It's as easy as 1, 2, 3:

1) Sign up at Swagbucks.com 
2) Head over to the Grocery Coupons page and start clipping coupons for your upcoming shopping trip 
3) Use the coupons the next time you shop at your local grocery store. You'll earn 25 points (25¢) for every coupon you use. 

That's it. But, that's not all... Today through Monday, December 12th, you can earn 2 points (2¢) for every coupon you print, up to 50 prints per day. That's an extra dollar every day just for printing coupons that will save you a ton on your next grocery store haul.


As we quickly approach Christmas, Swagbucks knows you still have lots of shopping to do, and they're offering big cash back for shopping online at several of your favorite retailers right now.

Just go to this page to see all of the deals available and get the jump on your holiday shopping. In order to take advantage of the cash back, just create your Swagbucks account when prompted (it takes less than 30 seconds) and then you're all set!

Your cash back comes in the form of SB points, which you can redeem for gift cards to places like Amazon, Target, Walmart, Starbucks, or get PayPal cash.

As a special bonus, if you sign up through me you get a 300 SB ($3) bonus when you earn your first 300 SB before January 1st. This site's a great way to extend your shopping budget, especially around the holidays.



Thanks so much for stopping by.  You can also join me on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. In the bar below you can sign up for my posts and newsletter to come straight to your inbox, which has exclusive content that does not appear on this blog, including regular giveaways. On the top of the side bar to your right, you can follow me on Bloglovin.


12 Days of Christmas - 9 Ways to Organize the Holidays

December 7, 2018

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I love organizing, well, everything, but holidays in particular.  You should have seen me packing up Halloween, everything is in labeled matching boxes and packed by room, to make set up next year a breeze.  I have a similar system for Christmas, but on a smaller scale since we just don't have as much.  Here's what I swear by:


Three on Thursday - Weekly Favorites

December 6, 2018

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Welcome back to Three on Thursday, a weekly list of three things I'm loving at the moment that I think you should do, try, or buy.  If you're interested in past weeks and more recommendations, you can find those here.  If you make your own Three on Thursday list, please share it in the comments so I can check it out.

12 Days of Christmas - 10 Minimalist Gift Ideas

December 5, 2018

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For some reason, people get very stressed out by Christmas when they have a minimalist in their life. I don't know why, minimalists are very easy to shop for - we don't want anything!  That's the easiest way to get through the holiday.  But people still like giving, so I made a list of things to give the minimalist in your life.  (Providing they didn't already tell you what they'd like, which they probably did.)


12 Days of Christmas - 11 Ways to Simplify the Holidays

December 4, 2018

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You didn't think I'd have 12 days of Christmas without at least one post on how to simplify the holidays, did you?  My personal mission in life (at the moment) is to simplify everything.  My holidays are no exception.

12 Days of Christmas - 12 Savings Tips

December 3, 2018

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Happy December and welcome to the kick off of the 12 Days of Christmas.  Every week day in December you're getting a post from me.  Exciting, I know.  And although Three on Thursdays will remain the same, I'll otherwise be counting down to Christmas with holidays related tips and ideas.  This is a super expensive time of year for most people, so I'm starting out with 12 ways you can save money this month.

Three on Thursday - Weekly Favorites

November 29, 2018

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Welcome back to Three on Thursday, a weekly list of three things I'm loving at the moment that I think you should do, try, or buy.  If you're interested in past weeks and more recommendations, you can find those here.  If you make your own Three on Thursday list, please share it in the comments so I can check it out.

Three on Thursday - Weekly Favorites

November 22, 2018

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Welcome back to Three on Thursday, a weekly list of three things I'm loving at the moment that I think you should do, try, or buy.  If you're interested in past weeks and more recommendations, you can find those here.  If you make your own Three on Thursday list, please share it in the comments so I can check it out.

Things I'm Grateful For

November 21, 2018

Happy (almost) Thanksgiving, America friends.  What are you thankful for this year?  Here's my list at the moment:

  1. Friends who text instead of call
  2. Free food on my birthday
  3. Holiday time off of work
  4. Comfortable underwear
  5. Dog Halloween costumes
  6. People who run 10 to 15 minutes early
  7. Wi-fi
  8. Theme parties
  9. GChat
  10. Taco Bell
  11. Bars that allow dogs
  12. People who make gift wish lists
  13. Fuzzy socks
  14. Snow
  15. Amazon prime
  16. Midterm elections
  17. Contacts
  18. Drawer organizers
  19. Express DMVs
  20. Fleece lined leggings
  21. Strong coffee
  22. Good doctors and surgeons
  23. Fantasy football
  24. Keypad door locks
  25. Our yard snake (who takes care of critters)
  26. Our garage cat (ditto)
  27. Evernote
  28. Vegan recipes
  29. Heated blankets
  30. Happy hour


Thanks so much for stopping by.  You can also join me on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. In the bar below you can sign up for my posts and newsletter to come straight to your inbox, which has exclusive content that does not appear on this blog, including regular giveaways. On the top of the side bar to your right, you can follow me on Bloglovin.


Happy Birthday To Me

November 20, 2018

Yes, today is the day, 11/20 - my birthday!  And the glorious weather is just like when I was born (or so I'm told): sunny and freezing cold.  Love it.

I don't have a dedicated birthday post this year, partly because I'm lazy and partly because I'm figuring out what to do with the blog going forward (more on that later.)  But my birthday posts have been highly entertaining in years' past, so if you missed them you can read those here and here.

And now I'm off to party like it's my birthday, because I am really good at that.






Thanks so much for stopping by.  You can also join me on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. In the bar below you can sign up for my posts and newsletter to come straight to your inbox, which has exclusive content that does not appear on this blog, including regular giveaways. On the top of the side bar to your right, you can follow me on Bloglovin.


Three on Thursday - Weekly Favorites

November 15, 2018

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Welcome back to Three on Thursday, a weekly list of three things I'm loving at the moment that I think you should do, try, or buy.  If you're interested in past weeks and more recommendations, you can find those here.  If you make your own Three on Thursday list, please share it in the comments so I can check it out.

My Birthday Wish List

November 14, 2018

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Only 1 week until my birthday!  I still love celebrating my birthday, no matter how old I get.  Of course, I add less and less to the gift wish list over the years, but there's always still a few things that I end up wanting and not buying for myself over the course of the year.  I think one of the best ways to save money is to resist these purchases and instead add them to your birthday and Christmas wish list.  Here's what's on my list for birthday currently (and then for Christmas too, since it's almost here.)

Three on Thursday - Weekly Favorites

November 8, 2018

This post may contain affiliate links.

Welcome back to Three on Thursday, a weekly list of three things I'm loving at the moment that I think you should do, try, or buy.  If you're interested in past weeks and more recommendations, you can find those here.  If you make your own Three on Thursday list, please share it in the comments so I can check it out.

Swagbucks Update

November 5, 2018

This post may contain affiliate links. 


As a pre-Black Friday warm up, Swagbucks is offering big cash back for shopping online at several of your favorite retailers right now.  Just go to this page to see all of the deals available and get the jump on your holiday shopping.

In order to take advantage of the cash back, just create your Swagbucks account when prompted (it takes less than 30 seconds) and then you're all set.  Your cash back comes in the form of SB points, which you can redeem for gift cards to places like Amazon, Target, Walmart, Starbucks, or get PayPal cash.

As a special bonus, if you sign up through me you get a 300 SB ($3) bonus when you earn your first 300 SB before December 1st.  This site's a great way to extend your shopping budget, especially around the holidays.


And we're all looking for ways to save big at the register. Well, I've found a way to make every coupon I use at my local grocery store worth an extra 25¢. 

How you ask?
1) Sign up at Swagbucks.com and use my special code SBCouponer to earn an extra 50 points, that's 50¢ just for signing up.
2) Head over to the Grocery Coupons page and start clipping coupons for your upcoming shopping trip 
3) Use the coupons the next time you shop at your local grocery store. You'll earn 25 points (25¢) for every coupon you use. That's it.

But, that's not all... This month you can earn 1 point (1¢) for every coupon you print, up to 25 prints per day. That's an extra 25¢ every single day.


All throughout November you can earn large bonuses when sign up as my referral on Swagbucks. Swagbucks is a rewards site where you earn points (called SB) for things you're probably doing online already, like searching the web, watching videos, shopping, discovering deals, and taking surveys. Then you take those points and exchange them for gift cards to places like Amazon, Target, or PayPal cash. 

When you sign up through me this month, you can earn a 300 SB bonus. Here's how: 
1. Sign up using this link 
2. Earn 300 SB total before December 1st, 2018. You'll get a 300 SB bonus for it. 
3. That's it. It's super easy, I earn money every day, more than enough to pay for this year's Christmas gifts.


Thanks so much for stopping by.  You can also join me on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. In the bar below you can sign up for my posts and newsletter to come straight to your inbox, which has exclusive content that does not appear on this blog, including regular giveaways. On the top of the side bar to your right, you can follow me on Bloglovin.


Some Quick Halloween Photos

November 2, 2018

I know it's already November, but I still wanted to share in case you missed them on Instagram.  They're still highlighted under the Celebrate label on my profile if you'd like to see the videos (including dogs in costume, of course.)












Thanks so much for stopping by.  You can also join me on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. In the bar below you can sign up for my posts and newsletter to come straight to your inbox, which has exclusive content that does not appear on this blog, including regular giveaways. On the top of the side bar to your right, you can follow me on Bloglovin.


Three on Thursday - Weekly Favorites

November 1, 2018

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Welcome back to Three on Thursday, a weekly list of three things I'm loving at the moment that I think you should do, try, or buy.  If you're interested in past weeks and more recommendations, you can find those here.  If you make your own Three on Thursday list, please share it in the comments so I can check it out.

Things I Stopped Buying Since Simplifying Everything

October 29, 2018

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If there's one thing I have been on track with in 2018, it's been simplify everything.  I love every portion of my life that I simplified, and I really love the time and mental energy it's freed up to focus on more important things, the things I actually care about.  Not to mention the lovely effect it's had on my finances, of course.  Because ultimately, simplifying certain routines in my life led to buying less altogether.  Here are even more things I stopped buying since deciding to simplify everything:


Halloween Favorites Tag

October 26, 2018

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Halloween is my favorite holiday.  This should not come as a surprise to anyone who knows me or reads this blog.  We're in full on Halloween mode from pretty much the day after John's birthday (July 5th, by the way), until November.  I love costumes and creepy decor and the themed party, plus all the great movies and Halloween related activities.  Halloween is just fun without the stress, unlike Christmas.  Christmas comes with expectations.  Halloween is a free-for-all.  And although I love just about everything related to this particular day, I have a few ultimate favorites to share.

Three on Thursday - Weekly Favorites

October 25, 2018

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Welcome back to Three on Thursday, a weekly list of three things I'm loving at the moment that I think you should do, try, or buy.  If you're interested in past weeks and more recommendations, you can find those here.  If you make your own Three on Thursday list, please share it in the comments so I can check it out.

More Simplified Hosting Tips

October 24, 2018

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Although Monday's post covered a lot of things that make having overnight house guests easier and make your home more comfortable for them, I have a few more tips to add on how you can simplify hosting even more, particularly for quick happy hours or holiday get-togethers.  We often have people stop by for football games on Sundays or for cocktails during the week after John's done with football practice.  Since I don't get much notice for these type of gatherings, it's hard to host people if I'm not prepared ahead of time for impromptu guests.  But I also don't want to be wasting time in the kitchen, when I could be spending time with the people who came to see me.  So here's what I do to keep it as simple as possible, but still throw a great happy hour.


How to Be Ready for Guests

October 22, 2018

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The hosting season is upon us.  Holiday parties and visiting family, and all sorts of reasons for people to be coming into your home and staying for awhile.  There's a lot that goes into making your home ready for guests for a party or a weekend visit.  You'll have a lot of last minute things on your plate, like cleaning or cooking, so it's a good idea to have some of the other things ready to go ahead of time for your house guests.  It's less stress for you and it's really comforting and welcoming to your friends and family.


My Personal 'To Stop' List

October 19, 2018

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I love goals and to do lists.  I love systematically checking things off and tracking my progress on longer term goals.  I'm excited to get a bunch of things done before the end of the year.  I also love living slow, simplifying everything, and having nothing scheduled in an entire weekend.  Those two lifestyles seem to be at odds with each other, but they aren't.  I simplify certain things in order to free up time to do the things that matter, like working on goals I'm excited about.  And to do the laundry.  Sometimes, though, even I find myself over-scheduled.  There are just certain months where I can't remove all the weekend plans I want to, and I'm left feeling stressed out, without any down time.  That's when I know I need to take a step by and reassess what I need to be doing less of.  I make myself a 'to stop' list, right there on the page next to my year end to do list.


Three on Thursday - Weekly Favorites

October 18, 2018

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Welcome back to Three on Thursday, a weekly list of three things I'm loving at the moment that I think you should do, try, or buy.  If you're interested in past weeks and more recommendations, you can find those here.  If you make your own Three on Thursday list, please share it in the comments so I can check it out.

Things To Do Before the End of the Year

October 17, 2018

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We are 2.5 months away from 2019.  I'm not going to say that time flies, because 2018 has felt particularly long to me, and not in a good way.  I won't be sad to leave it behind.  But I also know how much more quickly the clock moves in these fall months.  Like we pack everything important into November and December.  I don't want to get behind in my own fun goals, like my 101 in 1001 list, just because the holidays have arrived.  I still have plenty of time in my days for everything I like to do.  But there's a few more details that need to be added to that goals list, because there are a lot of important tasks that come with these last few months of the year.  Here are a few year end goals that you might want to add to your own list:


Tips for Living With Someone Who Isn't Minimal

October 16, 2018

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Boy, do I get this question a lot - how do you deal with someone else's stuff?  How do you live with someone who doesn't want to be as minimal as you?  As much as you can go through and declutter your own things and sort out your house, you can't aways get it as minimalist as you want if you live with other people who aren't on the same wavelength.  That can be frustrating, but I promise that you can get it to a state you're going to be happy with.


Reasons to Own Less Stuff

October 12, 2018

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I talk an awful lot about how much I've decluttered and how much I love my fresh, open spaces.  And everyone knows how much I love decluttering and organizing, both my own home and other people's space.  But I don't often talk about all the reasons why.  Because there's a lot.  So many reasons why you should own less.  Even if you're not a minimalist in the typical sense of the word, you can still benefit from less.

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