Saturday, September 26, 2015

7 Smiles

Pope Francis has taken over my internet! When you attended a Catholic college, have friends working at Catholic schools and universities, an follow Catholic bloggers... I guess you should just be prepared for everyone to head to Philadelphia and see the Pope.  Since I am not speaking at the World Meeting of Families, attending Mass in Madison Square Garden or anything else equally motivating - I thought that for my seven quick takes I would share some fun (mostly non-Pope related) links from throughout the interwebs to make you smile. So here you are... 7 quick smiles :)
Because, Buddy the Elf was right - "smiling is my favorite."
(1) This post I found via New Wave Feminists

How cute is that baby?!
 (2) These awesome Halloween costumes - and the Dad who created an entire company dedicated to building even more of them!

(3) Pope Francis stopping his car, to greet a child with cerebral palsy in Philadelphia (c'mon I said mostly not about the Pope).

(4) The excitement of these children who got to greet Pope Francis upon his arrival to Harlem! 
 I love their attitude and the facts they share about him - his love of soccer, stamp collecting etc.  (Having trouble posting the video, but watch it!!)

(5) The dedication of a local school in memory of a recent military hero.
So often we see schools named for heroes from generations past, this school was named for a recent hero.  A man who died less than 6 years ago after sustaining injuries in Afghanistan, and whose parents and family members were able to attend the dedication.

(7) PYO 
 Number 7 is pick your own smiles :)  This is for the little thing that made you smile throughout the week... I am probably missing some but there were many more things from the internet world that made me smile this week - the newly announced flexi styles from Lilla Rose, the viral video of a little girl demanding her newly-divorced parents stay friends, lots of great pictures from friends attending weddings, and last (but totally not least) this awesome apple butter recipe I plan to try next week!

Monday, September 21, 2015

What Is Your Rice and Beans?

If you are a fan of Dave Ramsey, and know what it means to "live like no one else so later you can live like no one else," I am certain you know the significance of rice and beans!
Dave talks about being in gazelle mode, cutting all expenses to the minimum.  Cutting your grocery budget down to rice and beans, beans and rice, rice and beans.
I am trying to get there.  I quickly realized that a $50/month grocery budget was very unrealistic.  I created a meal plan which could feed me for around that much money (I believe it consisted of pasta, canned tomatoes and eggs). But I was hungry, cranky, and craving other foods.
But it is time to cut back and so I needed to find a few "rice and beans" meals.  What are things I can eat cheap, cheap, cheap so that some of my grocery money can become debt busting money instead!  What can I eat beyond just rice and beans without breaking the bank.
Rice-And-Beans Budget Meal Ideas:
(1) Rice and beans
Can't overlook the classic!
(2) Pasta with tomatoes
I just use canned tomatoes in place of sauce.
(3) Leftover Soup
Make a soup using all the leftover veggies, scraps etc. you have from past meals.
(4) Canned Soup
Sometimes even canned soup can get pricey, watch for sales!  I was able to get 12 cans of the Campbell's Homestyle soups for $11 this week at Stop and Shop.  Perfect for work lunches.
(4) Eggs
So many quick, easy and inexpensive ways to eat eggs.  Scrambled, French toast, omelet, frittata, fried egg, egg sandwich....  Scrambled eggs with veggies is a very satisfying meal.

This Post Is Part of My Frugal Food Series, Be Sure To Check Out:
Lasagna For One  - How one simple hack makes lasagna the perfect meal for the solo kitchen
Frugal, Hungry And Single - My intro to the challenges of cooking for one on a budget
More Meals For One - Four simple and versatile ideas for single cooking

Linked Up At:
The Modest Mom Blog, Mingle Monday @ Life of Meg,  WFMW @ Giving Up On Perfect

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Work, Prayer and FPU...

As is usually the case work has been a big part of my life of late.. but its not the only thing I have been up to.
Prayer Life
Over the last several years prayer and faith have definitely been an up and down road for me.  I am fortunate to have found a few great resources to my faith life lately!
XLT at St. Mary's Church - Westfield MA
I have attended this monthly event twice (despite being listed under Youth Ministry my friends and I were far from the only adults there, and certainly not the oldest by far).  The first time I attended, the speaker really said the words my heart needed to hear!

Modesty for the Modern Mom - FB Group
I have been a long (albeit inconsistent) reader of Caroline Allen's The Modest Mom Blog, recently I decided - despite not being a mom - to join her new private group on Facebook.  I expected the group would be a fun way to see outfit ideas, but it has also been a huge encouragement to me from a faith perspective!

Bible Study - Any Ideas?
I am entertaining the idea of beginning a young adult women's Bible Study at my house?  Does anyone have any suggestions for a good Bible study for young-adult women (loosely defined as post college age around mid-20s to early 30s).  My group of girl friends are currently all unmarried and none have children, though it could expand to include married women as we enter those stages of our lives and/or invite others.  I am thinking it might be interesting to focus on Christian role models, both Biblical women and saints.  The study does not need to be distinctly Catholic, but we would like one that is in line with Catholic teaching, if anyone has any resources please let me know!

Budget Life
I am definitely still not in gazelle mode, but I have been trying to be conscious of my budget.  I posted the figures of my total debt paid off since July 2014 as well as my current remaining debt on my fridge for motivation, and today I am FINALLY starting Financial Peace University at a local church.  I signed up last year but it was cancelled by the church that was supposed to host it last time.  I am hoping this will help me be a lot more intentional with my spending. 

Have you participated in FPU?  Do you have any suggestions to help me in my debt-free journey? 
I am totally understanding what Dave Ramsey says when he talks about becoming debt free as being about behavior not knowledge.  I know how to coupon, budget, save money etc.  but it is in the DOING where I sometimes have trouble.  What suggestions do you have for maintaining motivation?