Category Archives: Family life

I didn’t forget…

 I still have to do my Februrary Swagbucks and budget update! Our internet gets installed on the 17th and then I will have access to all my links and notes and whatnot. But until then, a quick blurb of random:

– I made our first pot roast of our married life yesterday. Really put the cap on the whole “feeling like an adult” thing. I’m so thankful we get to increase our budget and include more meats!

– Some grocery stores have specials where if you purchase a particular product, you get so many cents off each gallon of gas. Our local Hyvee has that, and on Fridays in March you get 50 cents off per gallon if you spend $25 at the meat counter. Looks like pot roasts will be happening again.

– The coffee shop barista knows us already. I’m not ashamed of this at all.

– Recycling is a huge thing here. It’s included in the trash cost and very heavily encouraged. I’ve always been very big into recycling and I’m so happy to get to decrease our  trash waste by so much! My landlord said I can have as many recycle bins as I want. I think once we get into the groove 3 or 4 would suffice. For now I’m putting all my years of Tetris practice to use making it all fit into one. And they said Tetris was a waste of time…

Happy Monday loves!

Tour! Part 1

Since many of you are back in St Louis asking for pictures, I thought I would spend a couple days blogging through our house.

First up, the kitchen!

I miss my giant walk-in pantry from the St Louis apartment, but we figured out where to put everything without too much trouble. Originally the landlord left a portable washing machine in the kitchen for us but we decided that with our baker’s rack and washing machine the kitchen looked too crowded, so they took it back. Now our kitchen looks much better!


The stove and oven are electric and I’m used to cooking on gas, so that takes some getting used to. So far the only difference I noticed is that it takes a bit longer to heat the water for coffee, but I can handle it.

Peter hung up all our Harry Potter paintings and it feels more “homey” now.
Please note that WE HAVE WASHER HOOKUPS! After a year (yes, a whole year already!) of rolling the washer to the sink, hooking it up, and running back and forth to turn the water on and off at the appropriate times, it’s actually fun to do laundry and not have to do anything but hit “start.”

The wood pallet on the floor is evidently a dryer platform. We will get a dryer in a few weeks and I honestly think we will do at least one load of laundry just for fun. Because we are mature.

Tristan’s new favorite toy is the 5-gallon bucket of coconut oil that he can now reach. He pulls it around the kitchen by the handle, almost like he’s walking a dog on a leash. It’s pretty cute. He’s gotten a lot more vocal since we moved and I think he’s enjoying all the space.

That’s all for today, tomorrow I’ll post pictures of our living room!

The New Job: First Day Update! 

You guys…..

I LOVE this job so far. It has everything I’ve been looking for: organization, clear-cut policies, and a team orientation. Every morning there is a meeting with the management from nursing, dietary, business, and several departments and we go over a 3 page form for any updates or changes.

I have the world’s greatest assistant DON, and we already have plans for some changes. The best part is we have the same ideas and the same implementation plans. I’m thrilled!

The social worker told me about a pizza place here in town that we had to try. We went there for dinner tonight and were impressed. They make their own sausage and it is delicious!

Other highlights:

– I was making breakfast this morning and a woman walked by outside with her two Newfoundland dogs and she was wearing a Gryffindor scarf.

– It took us 5 minutes to get to work today.

– When people hear we are new in town, everyone says “you’ll love it here. The people are so nice!” In St. Louis, people say “you’ll love it here, there are plenty of things to do and places to shop.”

So basically, we just moved to Mayberry. And I’m loving every minute of it.

On Moving/Unpacking

I said I would post an update on the moving situation. Here it is!

My new job gave us a relocation budget, which was amazing. I called Two Guys and a Truck and they wanted a LOT of money and also said that it would be a two day process, even for a 5 hour drive. Something about length of work day or something.

I checked the Uhaul website and guys, if you ever have to move, do it this way. You can hire the truck, a local moving company to pack the truck, someone to drive it (we have a compact car, there was no way we were comfortable with a 26′ truck with no rear view!), and local movers to meet you there to unload everything. So that’s what we did.

We absolutely would not have been able to move into the house with just the two of us. I am so very grateful for our movers!

Peter packed everything into Rubbermaid tubs and marked them so the set up here was super simple. It seems basic enough but it was brilliant. And his “only unpack one tub at a time” rule was also genius because my way involved a bunch of tubs and things everywhere. Just no.

We explored the grocery store closest to our house and I was very pleased to see their organic produce selection. It’s no Aldi but they have a deli counter and for the first time in our marriage we purchased our meat from the deli counter instead of the freezer. It was a big deal to me and I can’t wait to make meatballs, pot roast, and herb-roasted chicken this week!

I start my new job tomorrow. Tonight we will be eating a simple meal of meatball subs (my MIL gave us some bread as part of an Italian blessing on our move), and I will pack a simple lunch for tomorrow. In the morning I will start a crock pot with pot roast! This being in our own home thing is so much fun!

In Iowa: Day 1

Since we won’t have internet set up for the first day or so, I’m writing this entirely on my phone. This means that things won’t be as neat and tidy as they usually are, but I wanted to give an update!

We arrived safely yesterday around 4:15 and we ran inside to see our new house (mostly so we could pick our rooms and let the movers know where things go!). This house is absolutely adorable. There will be proper pictures taken when I have recovered from a long day of goodbyes, a 5-hour-straight car ride, and subsequent moving and organizing and cleaning. However, until that happens, here are the highlights:

At first when we saw the 26′ truck we rented we thought we had gotten one much too big for our needs. We are minimalists with our belongings (as much as you can be with a growing baby), however when furniture is involved it takes up more space than we thought. The 26′ ended up being perfect!

I opened the tub that had our essential oils and the female mover walked inside the house and said “I smell oils! The guys make fun of me for my hippie oils.”

We finally left St Louis about 45 minutes behind schedule (goodbyes, returning things to the library, etc), so it was nap time for Tristan. He slept from 11-2! When he woke up he was entertained with a couple toys and started losing his cool just as we pulled into town. He’s been nervous the past few days as things he’s used to have been packed up, but he’s relaxing a lot more now that they are getting unpacked and he can see them again.

We went to our new Walmart last night to get a vacuum, a mop, and a big trash can (we never had a place to put a big trash can at our apartment!). This Walmart is like the Aldi of Walmart. It’s small, not a lot of different options, but still has what we need and it’s clean.

This morning I made the coffee my aunt gave us and it was the perfect way to greet our first morning in Iowa! We are going to get the kitchen in order after I can line all the drawers and cabinets with drawer liner because it just seems cleaner to me.

Everyone here is so nice and helpful. We went to the local coffee shop this afternoon to check it out, and if I ever go missing…look for me there. It’s not La Cosecha (my StL coffee house), but it’s a close second for sure. Homey, nice people, and the macadamia mocha is to die for. It’s attached to a deli so we ate lunch while we were there too. Peter introduced himself to the owner of the deli who apparently knows everyone and he gave us the scoop on grocery stores, gyms, doctors, and banks. He’s on the chamber of commerce and said he will let the Welcome Wagon people know we just moved here too.

I feel like we just moved into the town of our dreams. And we clocked it: 0.75 miles to work, 0.4 miles to coffee.

It’s Iowa, but I’m pretty sure it’s heaven.

And just because it’s adorable, here’s Tristan this morning.

On Packing

Here are two things I’ve learned in the past 24 hours while packing: 

Packing with totes

  1. I have made significant headway on decreasing my possessions. There is quite a difference between when I first moved in and this move!
  2. Peter’s plan of using Rubbermaid containers and dividing the room into sections is brilliance. We have filled 30 and have about 10 more until we are totally packed up. We just aren’t leaving until Saturday so we still need some things out.

And a bonus!

Before you move, pack up your coffee and go visit local coffee shops!

3. If you finish one bag of coffee and don’t want to risk a big bag of The Precious spilling during the move, pack the sealed new bag and get your coffee from your favorite local coffee shops. Everyone wins.

Late-night ramblings of the not yet moved

late night ramblings before we leave our first home
It’s past midnight. Officially 4 days left until our next big adventure begins. Ever since we embarked on our whirlwind tour of Iowa for 3 interviews in 20 hours (and accepted a job from interview #1 less than an hour after I left interview #3), time has sped up and yet been strangely calm.

We have dedicated this week to careful planning of every detail. I am being neurotically organized, writing down every detail in a notebook with the names, dates, times, and confirmation numbers of every conversation I’ve had with utility companies and the movers. After the move (aka, after I know what I’m talking about) I will post about our moving experience and if I like our plan. In theory it sounds quite perfect. I’ll let you know.

We are also meeting up with several friends and family to say goodbye. Not forever, of course, because we will only be 5 hours away (and we are coming back next month for our current town’s annual celebration of coffee because…well, it’s coffee). But it does mean that every day is filled with lots of people, places to go to see the people, and usually those places have coffee (thankfully). Today I got to see a friend from college and her boys. The younger one is just one day younger than Tristan. Watching them play together was so cute and I suddenly realized that Tristan won’t get to be around kids his age unless we find him some friends. I hope there are some families we can connect with when we get there.

4 days. 4 days until we leave our first home. We chose it together right after we got engaged. We came home before going to our honeymoon so we could put away the leftover food. Tristan was born here. He took his first steps here. He plays peekaboo around the corner and knows where to go to find his things. Everything we could want is within walking distance, including the metro link we took to Busch Stadium for Tristan’s first Cardinals’s game. I’m so thankful for all these memories. Of course we will make new memories at the new house, especially since it has a yard. There’s just something about the firsts of things that’s tugging on my tired, emotional, mama heart tonight.

Thanks for listening, friends. I am thankful to share this adventure with all of you.

Our Little Family Has Some BIG News to Share!

Our little family has some BIG news to share!

I mentioned recently that we have big things going on over here. Now that everything is confirmed I can announce:


I have accepted a position as Director of Nursing at a skilled rehab facility in a small town outside of Des Moines. We love the town, we already found a FOUR BEDROOM HOUSE (!!!!) to rent within walking distance to work, and this town has a coffee shop within a short walking distance of work and home.


We move on the 27th, and I plan on updating on our progress somewhat frequently. Be sure to follow our Facebook page for moving day updates too!

This job comes with an enormous raise as well, and we are very much looking forward to crushing our financial goals. Yes, while my first thought was “let’s go all organic on everything,” my finance-savvy husband is keeping me in check (as per usual). We are keeping our same standard of living until we are debt-free and our savings goals are met, which honestly won’t take very long.

I already talked to the editor I work with at St. Louis Magazine and she said I can still write for them. I seriously love being a health blogger for StlMag and was about to be thoroughly bummed to not be able to write for them anymore. So good news that I don’t have to give that up!

That all being said, moving away on short notice is a bit crazy. We are soaking up our last week and a half as St. Louisans visiting all our favorite places, including where Peter and I had our first dates, and spending time with friends between packing and organizing things from long-distance.

A toast to new adventures!

2016 Financial Goals: January Update! 

Financial goals report: January 2016

It’s time to recap our financial goals for the month! Better late than never. It’s been so crazy over here and I can’t wait to update you all on the happenings!

As of February 1, 46% of our 2016 savings goal has been met! This has been accomplished by careful budgeting and throwing any extra money we earn at our savings account.

Here’s what else we did in January:

  • Paid for college for Peter. WE PAID CASH!
  • Contacts for me. I have wanted to wear contacts again since we got married, but we haven’t had vision insurance, just major medical. Thanks to Groupon, I was able to get a full eye exam and a free pair of contacts for less than $80, then went to 1800contacts and ordered a year’s supply for less than $90 (free shipping for your first order). It’s so nice to be able to have contacts back! I purchased my Groupons through our Swagbucks account, which was enough points for a $5 gift card.
  • Updated my wardrobe. I have lost so much weight after Tristan was born that my jeans no longer fit and I felt like a frump. One $20 trip to Plato’s Closet later and I had 3 new pairs of beautiful jeans that fit (all on clearance!) and a 1st edition hardback of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Because we needed it, that’s why.
  • Bought a baby gate to finish the baby-proofing of the apartment. It’s really nice to not have to worry about Tristan playing in the toilet.

That took care of all of our big concerns that seemed to loom over us! It’s amazing how a little planning can help your financial situation so much! Peter and I have weekly budget meetings to go over everything and it has helped us stay on track and get excited about saving! Life is much more fun when we are on the same page.

How are your financial goals going so far this year?


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Top 10 St Louis Restaurants that won't break your New Year's Resolutions - including gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, and even dessert!I’ve been working on something behind the scenes and now I get to talk about it!

I had the opportunity to work with our local online magazine as a health blogger! My first piece was published today – 10 St. Louis Restaurants That Won’t Break Your New Year’s Resolutions.

I was able to write this piece because of this blog. I am so thankful, once again, to you readers for being here and loving our family through supporting Crunchy Hippie Life. We are so blessed by you.