This blog was started in 2008 when we did IVF for the first time to build our family after 5 1/2 years of infertility. We now have 7 and 1 year old boys (thanks to modern medicine) and we are enjoying our blessed life as parents ♥ In the summer of 2016 we took another huge step and moved across the country from Oklahoma to New York! This blog is about life and everything in between

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A Valentine's Day on the Go

We spent our Valentine's Day on the road to check out a house for sale in Bolivar, a town that is 2 hours away. Nick went into work at 6 a.m. so that he could get off early, and I had a babysitter arranged to watch the boys at home.

It was a really pretty house, in a beautiful mountainous wooded area. It has been very well maintained with a lot of new updates, but there were several cosmetic things in a few structural things that we would want to change. The listed price is at the top of our range, so we are going to hold off on it for now. The search continues!

For our special Valentine's Day dinner, I had planned to do fondue at home. I had an assortment of things to dip in cheese, and things to dip in chocolate. We set down in front of the TV with our special meal and started watching one of our shows. But once we got done eating, we were both so tired that we couldn't even finish the show and went to bed early! How's that for an old married couple?

Friday, February 10, 2017

Goals Are Legit

I was just sitting here thinking about where I'm at in life, and where I want to be. I've always had a plan, whether it was a one-year plan, or 5 to 10 year plan. I'm a firm believer in setting a goal for yourself--either short-term or long-term--and making a game plan to reach that goal. I think that is a major part of adulthood and we should all know what we want to do with ourselves in life.

That doesn't mean you should know what job you want to do for the rest of your life, or how many kids you want. For example you're 18 and not sure what you are doing in life. This is where a game plan comes in! Let's say within five years you want to live on your own, travel to Europe, and have some money in savings. Now you need to come up with a plan to make that happen. What kind of job would you like to do, and does it require college? What luxury items are you comfortable with doing without so that you can afford necessities and build a savings? Do you have a friend you can be a roommate with? Make a plan and put it into action, and stick to it! You will reach your goals and no time.

I am 30 years old, and exactly where I want to be in life. I am working on the final step needed to reach my happy place in life where I can settle in with my family, and live happily ever after. I hope that I can inspire other people to follow their dreams and not get discouraged.

Frugal living is not glamorous, it is not popular, it is not "on trend", and most of the time it is not easy because it may involve going without things that everyone around you has.

I am currently living debt-free, I have three savings accounts full of money, two retirement accounts, a credit score over 800, and after moving across the country last year I am currently searching for my dream home to buy. This is many years in the making, but I have done it while raising a family on a very modest income and keeping my long-term goals in mind. I am even factoring in frugal living when I look for houses because I want to be able to grow a large garden, and have the option of raising chickens.

Through the years I've learned many tips and tricks for living frugally and being goal oriented. I love to inspire and help others who may have wondered off the path toward their goal and need help. I take joy in hearing other people's success stories and seeing others achieve their dreams! No dream is too big.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Search Continues

We are continuing our search for our Dream Home. In a previous blog post, I had said that we looked at two houses. We actually put an offer in on the second home, and after some negotiation they accepted. After we got our inspection however, some major repairs were needed that were not anticipated. It would have been completely out of our budget for renovation, so we requested the sellers to fix it but they refused. We ended up withdrawing our offer, and now we are back at square one.

Everyday we check online for new listings that meet our criteria. Not much is available right now so the pickings are slim. This is a house that we we're keeping our eye on, but we weren't very serious about it because it is a foreclosure, and the taxes are very high. Last Saturday we decided to go ahead and look at it just to see it in person if it would be worth it.

It is a Second Empire Victorian house in Corfu, NY. It is about 40 minutes away from our jobs and where we live now. It is on one acre. The outside is very beautiful and the town is nice and quiet, but there are many downsides to the property so we are not going to pursue it.

In other news, I have been at my new job for a month now. I am a full-time evening RN supervisor at a local nursing home. I am new to that type of facility, and new to that position so it has been a major change for me and what I'm used to. I am slowly coming off of orientation and I still feel like I have a lot to learn, but trying to soak everything up the best I can, and take it one day at a time.

It has been a big adjustment for our family with me back at work, even more so that I'm working 5 days a week instead of 3. I don't get to join the family for dinner in the evening anymore, and I basically only see Brad in the morning before he goes to school, and Nick for a little bit in the morning before he goes to work and when I get home and go to bed. Most of the evenings I'm gone, I still try to have a dinner cooked or in the Crock-Pot for the boys to eat when Nick gets home from work. My days off are spent trying to catch up on all the house chores and errands, not to mention us trying to fit in houses that we want to look at! It is a struggle to balance everything for sure, but we both know in the end it will all be worth it when we can settle our family into our Dream Home.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Super Easy Homemade Almond Joy Treats

This will be the new family favorite! It's so quick and simple to throw together. If you like the yummy coconut taste of Almond Joy, then you will love these!

1c packed sweetened coconut flakes
1/2c coconut oil
1tsp vanilla
1/2c chocolate chips
1/4c sliced almonds

First melt the oil, then combine with flakes. Spread into sprayed glass dish (8x8 or 9x9 is fine), compressing down. Melt chocolate chips in microwave, then drizzle and spread over the coconut. Sprinkle almonds on top evenly, then place in fridge for an hour to set!


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Easy Tuscan Soup, and Meal Prepping

I was able to get some Italian sausages on sale recently, so then I got online to look for an easy healthy recipe to use them in. I pieced a couple different recipes together, and this is what I came up with! It was delicious, and the whole family loved it. Most of the ingredients would already be in your pantry.

1lb Italian sausage, cooked/crumbled
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can cannelini beans
16oz frozen spinach
3c chicken broth
1/2c orzo (optional)

Add all ingredients into large saucepan over medium Heat. Do not drain the canned items. Bring to a boil, and simmer on low for about 20 minutes. If you like, you can add orzo and simmer for another 10 minutes before serving.

I've also recently begun meal prepping for my weekly lunches to take to work. It saves me a lot of time and definitely encourages me to eat healthier food through the day.


Saturday, January 7, 2017

House Hunting!

Today we began our journey to find a house! We are officially on the hunt for an old Victorian house with land. That is most of the reason we moved to this area. We lined up two different houses today out in the country (on the same road, only 2 miles from each other) and left the boys with a babysitter so that we could focus.

They are both in the Youngstown/Porter/Ransomville area of NW New York, about 40 minutes from where we live now. The distance is important to us because we would love for Nick to be able to keep his awesome job (that he just got another raise at!).

This is the first house we viewed in Youngstown:
  • $119,000
  • 1952 sqft
  • Built in 1895
  • 0.77 acres
  • 4 bed 2 bath

The outside was nice. There was a detached 1 car garage, as well as a small shed. There was an above ground pool with a deck, and a small pond. Inside was more disappointing. It didn't look taken care of very well. The floors were all covered with cheap looking wood and vinyl laminate with hardwood in only 3 of the bedrooms. Almost every wall was covered with painted over wallpaper, or very thick texture. The basement was disgusting. You had to stoop over to walk thru it, and there were cobwebs hanging everywhere like garland. The electric boxes looked ancient and had some exposed wires.

The next house was 2 miles east in Ransomville:
  • $109,000
  • 2024 sqft
  • Built in 1830
  • 1.2 acres
  • 4 bed 2 bath
  • Currently a 2 family home

I know it's hard to tell what is what from the pictures. Since it is a 2 family home, there are 2 kitchens so that would obviously need to be converted. One of the realtors with us is actually a contractor as well, so he was able to give us a lot of ideas and tips for what we could do with the space. The basement in this house was very old feeling, but much more clean and tidy. The boiler and water heater looked to be in good shape. It had a 2 car detached garage and a walkout basement.

We actually much preferred the second house. The inside kind of looks like a hot mess, but we are looking for an old house with lots of history, in the country, with good bones. We want to customize it and fix it up how WE want it since this will be the house we spend the rest of our lives in. We have a lot of negotiating power because of the work that it needs, and the fact that it has been on the market for over 6 months.

We are mulling over everything and heavily weighing our options. We may go see the second house again next weekend for a closer look at certain things. Meanwhile I am checking for new listings every day! Wish us luck.

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