Finally taking a risk and it feels great!

Taking a risk is something that scares me deep down inside, but most people who know me never would guess that I am scared.  Since I am not a convincing actress (I’ve been told my face reveals every thought), I am not sure what bravado most people see that I am apparently portraying.

Since my last blog on taking a risk, I have been mentally preparing myself to actually take a risk and PAINT a piece of furniture.  The planning part is the easy part to me.  Research, research and more research is my comfort spot, probably because that is what I do in my day job as a process analyst.  But stepping out on faith and actually executing that planning, well, that is chartering into unknown territory.

I have been holding back because the large pieces of furniture that I want to tackle are still in storage and between the last two weekends being tied up with softball tournaments with the high school team my daughter plays for and my husband coaches, I’ve not had any help getting the pieces from storage to my parent’s workshop where they are allowing me to tackle these projects.

Last night, no one was home and I planned my end goal for Monday night.  Clean, prep and apply one coat of chalk paint to the end table that we use daily that also has a matching piece in storage.  Goal set….goal ACCOMPLISHED!

Here is a picture of the before (before cleaning or paint) two-tiered end table that my husband had restored over 20 years before.  I did choose to use the Waverly Chalk Paint in Mineral from Wal-Mart.  For me, attempting simple on a budget is important and I was fearful of sinking lots of money into this project and failing.  Again, you can see that fear is a motivator in my thought and decision process.

This was a very time consuming job in places since this able has nooks and crannies and grooves galore.  Regardless of the attention to detail, this was a very therapeutic time to listen to a home improvement television show as I painted.  Painting of walls has been something that I have done frequently in the homes we lived in, so painting is not the fearful part, but the outcome on a piece of furniture has been the scary part this time.

Yet, as I painted, I felt relief, excitement and a sense of pride with how the color was turning out!  I am so glad that I had researched that the brush strokes would clear themselves out on the second coat of paint or I really would have freaked out.  Taking a deep breath, I trudged on!  Below are a few views of my one and a half hour of work before anyone arrived home from work and softball practice.

Outside of the old towels that I used to safely protect the carpet, the table turned out well.  These pictures are ones before the paint fully dried, so there are more streaks seen than after the piece fully dried.  I’ll share a picture on the next post of a completely dried one coat result.

What is my next plan of action?  Complete the second coat of paint tonight and allow this to dry for several days.  Of course, softball games are on the calendar and being mom, score keeper and team cheerleader is calling my name for two days after my second coat of paint, so the clear coat (I’ll go into more detail on why I chose this instead of wax sealant in the final blog post of my risk taking adventure) will need to wait a few days.

I will admit, my confidence in my ability soared when my 17-year old son told me that he really liked the furniture and that I had done a great job!  My hubby and daughter had also commented they thought it looked good, but they are more concerned with my feelings than stating the truth like my 17-year old.  I am blessed that all three of my special people encouraged me as I took this risk…that made the risk even more sweet!

How did you take your risk?  How did it make you feel?  I’d love to hear from you.


Taking a risk

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I struggle with taking risks. I am a “sure thing” kinda girl.  So, no lottery playing for me because I struggle with taking the risk of losing my money and not getting a million dollar return.   Some people say that without risk, there is no reward, but that seems counter intuitive to this risk-adverse girl.

Since I am apparently watching way too much “do it yourself” kind of television that I am now looking at houses and determining what I could do to spruce them up!  But, I reign myself in on that when I remind myself that we need to build our forever home before I can go changing to world for anyone else.  But I then think that there is one thing that these DIY shows do that I could actually take a risk and attempt….up-cycling furniture.

One thing that we do have plenty of (in storage) is older, antique/vintage type furniture.  As I was thinking of all the things in storage that I would not be placing in my new forever home, I began to look at the resell value of these furniture pieces.  It seems that if you make these vintage pieces a “shabby chic” look that you can up the resell value up to several hundred dollars.  As I thought about this, I began to formulate a low-risk plan.  Paint the furniture that I have in storage and then place on social media to sell.  If these up-cycled pieces don’t sell for the hundreds of dollars that I think, then I can sell for a hundred dollars and still make money since most of the furniture was given to us by people who just wanted it out of their houses!

Since I am a researcher (** ahem….skeptical is more my style) at heart, I had to get all the facts before I flew off on this risk taking scheme adventure.  I researched the chalk paints, the best/worst, most cost effective, the “make it yourself” kind and all the top coats.  I talked to the professionals at our local “Do It Yourself” box store (who happens to be a co-worker of my teacher hubby) and even ladies in the paint section of the store.


As you can see, I have opted for the most cost effective type of chalk paint to begin my risk taking adventure that I do not have to make myself (time is costly in my life).  That way, if I fail (yeah, I am not an optimist as you can see), I was only out less than $20.  Hubby and I have refinished several pieces of furniture in our 27+ years together.  Stripping down old tables and wardrobes and staining these items was fun and not too terribly hard.  So, I think I can do this!

I chose a very neutral color so that if I choose to keep the furniture, I can make sure I like it!  Flashy furniture colors are not in my nature as my mom always taught me that I should purchase my clothes that are “classics” so that I can wear them for years.  That same idea has trickled down to how I decorate my home; understated classic looks that don’t get old and tired when you can jazz up with new accessories (when I am not too cheap to purchase).

I’ll be working on this new risk taking scheme in the next week in between our softball tournament and games, work and helping my mom who is recovering from surgery.  From what I have been told, chalk paint and sealing should only take several hours.  I’ll take pictures along the way and tell you what I find to be the easiest and least risky move!  Stay tuned…..


Fighting self-doubt when attempting simple

Do you have a family member that just loves to tell you that your ideas just won’t work?   Or that maybe, you need to rethink what you are doing for another way?

Well, I have one of those in my life as well and *surprisingly* it is not my husband.  It is my teenage son.  That should not surprise anyone with a teenager in their home, but it has not caught me off guard, but it has stopped me in my tracks.

How does it stop me in my tracks?  When he scoffs at my ideas or thoughts on how to repurpose things, it starts me down the path that I begin to doubt myself.  I doubt that it is a viable idea or even if it is something that is worthwhile in the long run.  Then I talk myself out of even attempting this new way of being simple.

I have a bachelor’s degree in psychology so I should know that this is how he is wanting me not to step out of his  comfort zone.  That’s right.  HIS comfort zone.  In his comfort zone, mom is not the one that takes risks, but the steady and sure one.  When I start verbalizing my ideas, then he shoots them down and I play right into the trap of self-doubt.

So, how do I get out of that horrible predicament of self-doubt?  Well, this is something that I learning how to do.  Since I am not a risk taker, I do have to give myself a pep-talk on the fact that I can do anything I want.


Here is my pep-talk key word stop self-doubt…..PILLOWS.  Pillows???  “Apparently this blonde woman has finally slipped over the slope into craziness” is possibly your thought.  But, I took a $11 risk that has made me more confident in my ideas.  My ideas are not dumb…crazy and out of the box, maybe, but crazy….. maybe not so crazy after all.

My hubby and I have a mattress that we purchased less than 5 years ago.  It is good overall, but it has started to sag and we wake up sinking in a pillow top mattress with backs that are aching and sore in the morning.  We are still in a rental home and about to start building our new home and I want to wait as long as possible before we place money in a mattress.  And to be totally honest, I am scared to buy another mattress dud.  So, thanks to the wonderful world of the world wide web, I began looking at different ways to fix out mattress without buying a new one.


Pillows…yep,pillows.  There are some great people in the Internet world that mentioned using pillows to plump up the mattress that is sagging.  Hubby and I have plenty of flat pillows, so we splurged on two new pillows at our local box store to a tune of $11.00.  We then took six (yep, 6) flat pillows and placed three on his side and three on my side between the mattress and box spring.  After replacing the mattress, we began to lie back on the bed.  Can you say RELIEF??  I will caution that it took several days for my body to adjust to the new firmer bed and plump pillow, but now I can truly say that this was a risk worth taking and it only cost me $11.00 and stepping out of my comfort zone.  My hubby just told me that its worth a shot….we’d only come out with new fluffier pillows in the long run.

Taking a calculated risk that is very low in terms of what your’ll lose ($11 for the pillow idea) may be your first step to step out on a limb and try something new.  Then you feel the joy and accomplishment of not being ridiculous, but the joy of being frugal and rested!

To the naysayers out there in your life….whisper the word of your breakthrough moment to yourself.  pillows….pillows….pillows….but control your desire to smack the detractors with those pillows so you can forge on and continue to attempt simple.

What is your breakthrough word that reminds you that you can accomplish anything you want?

Attempting Simple…and failing

Have you ever been confident in doing something then everything falls apart?  Well, that is what my life has felt like for the last several months, hence no blog activity.  How do you share with others how to be simple when it feels the walls are crumbling about you?  When words barely flow properly out of your mind, let alone your fingers for a blog?

For clarity, nothing life threatening has really happened, but dealing with life itself has been a constant tug of war.  You remember tug of war games when you were little?  Confident that you can beat the opponent.  Nerves before the game began.  Lots of bravado that your team would reign triumphant.  Then the tugging began.  Simple at first, then more intent.  Then you feel that you are winning…..until you feel the rope ripping from your grasp.  That moment you feel wobbly, then off balance and ultimately you find yourself being drug face first through some sort of mud and grass and sometimes with bloody hands for all the effort you have given to just hold on.

Welcome to the last 6 months of my life and my family’s life!!  Attempting Simple = FAIL

At some point, I’ll be honest to say that I felt that my attempt at simplifying my family’s lives was just a pie in the sky dream.  That what I am attempting is a joke.  The sadness of failure came into the picture.  So, I shut down and was quiet.

What changed you asked?  My perspective.  My forgiveness to myself for not succeeding the first time.  I struggle with perfectionism.  If I don’t get it right the first time, I totally and mentally attack myself.  This time, with a new outlook, I chose to allow myself the time to fail…..and let it go.  Give myself a break.  I am not perfect (ask my husband and kids….they’ll agree every time).  It is OK to make mistakes.  Apparently, even brilliant people (not me) like Steve Jobs, Einstein and others made mistakes, but thankfully they kept working until they saw success.  So, today, here is my new attempt to bring new ideas of simplicity that actually work for my real-life family.

Has my family gotten on board with my ideas of simplicity?  No.  My husband kindly listens to my ideas of repurposing/upcycling things, but I see the smirk on his face and in his eyes.  He is the sweetest man, yet he is not a risk taker.  And normally I am not either (hence me beating myself up over failure), yet this time I am choosing to allow myself the freedom to make a mistake and to take a risk.  Deep breath.  It is OK to fail.  It is OK to take a risk…and fail (this is the one that I am most fearful of).  What is not OK is to let the failure win.

So, the journey to attempting simple is back on.  Instead of looking like I have it together, you’ll see the failures.  When the things I attempt are not so “blog”worthy, I’ll show anyway.  But, at the same time, I’ll show you the things that worked, the successes that worked for me.  Disclaimer:  what works for me or my family, may not work/fit for yours.  That is OK.  It is acceptable and expected for you to take these ideas and make them fit your life.  Remember, this world is NOT one size fits all.

So today, give yourself permission to make a mistake.  FORGIVE yourself (yes, that part is the hardest for me).  Stand up, dust yourself off, gather your list making tools and get started on your new list of to-do items.  It’s a new day, why not start fresh?

I’d love to hear how you have overcome the obstacles to get back on the path to success.

How to manage simplicity with frugality when your child plays sports

Our daughter is involved in several sports and there are times when we are rushing throughout the week from practice to church to game to home, etc.  Finding the time (and the energy) to keep things simple can be a challenge, yet before my daughter started playing school sports, my family found a way to achieve simplicity when she is playing sports.

Bring your own food

That sounds very easy and it can be, yet sometimes things are so rushed, you forgo shopping to the convenience of what I call “ball field” food.  When we are playing in a tournament for softball or volleyball, we have our standard things that we purchase before hand.  We always have bread, ham, chips, water, fruit, etc for ease of use.  But we sometimes add some other favorites that are easy to transport such as chicken salad, pickles, brownies and salad.  We do try to help our daughter understand that if she wants a “treat” such as shaved ice (those are awesome in 90+ degree weather) that we budget for those occasionally, but the other items like T-shirts, etc have to come from her own money.  When she sees that she has to part with her money, she thinks twice and even a third time before purchasing.  There have been times when our son played football that we had our sandwiches that we brought instead of purchasing from the concession stand.  Bringing your own water or sports drinks are so much less expensive than purchasing at the game and I could guess you could save yourself $30-50 just on drinks on a hot day for a family of 4.

Set a pre-planned budget for extras 

Don’t go into these softball/football/volleyball tournaments without a clear budget set to the entire family.  I set the expectation by sharing that we will only purchase certain things.  We do tend to stop for breakfast on the way at a fast food location because we normally are leaving before the sun is even up.  There may be that one item we did not bring ( chocolate, candy, etc) and potentially stopping for fast food on the way home if we play late and all other food has been eaten.  By knowing what we will or will not purchase, my kids do not beg, plead, or pout for certain goodies.  And, surprisingly enough, by the time we had gone to several tournaments several years ago, my kids no longer ask to purchase things because they know our budget rules.  It also makes the treat (that I budgeted for) like shaved ice even sweeter!

Budget for entrance fees

When our daughter plays High School softball (her dad is her coach) or Middle School volleyball, I am blessed to be able to obtain entrance for myself and one guest, meaning I am saving anywhere from $6-15 per game.  Now, before you are too envious, please note that for eight months of the school year I am more or less a single mom since my husband is a high school football and softball coach and that within itself is taxing.  When our daughter played in our local recreation department sports as well in tournaments outside of the school system, there is an entrance fee.  Because I am aware of those things, I work that cost into my budget so that I am make the best of what we paying for entrance fees.

Enjoy the freedom of simplicity by planning

What this means is pack simple for these sport activities and to plan in advance.  You do need to anticipate seating (invest in camp chairs that you can use 3+ years), shade if this is in the summer (we invested several years ago in a large tent purchased on sale), and even a rolling cart and cooler.  The reason I mention these things is that if you have to carry, lug and battle to get things into the tournament/sporting event, you will then give up more easily and forgo bringing your own supplies.  The stress of getting things into the location and will seem overwhelming so choose to spend your money on things your could have provided for less.  My family knows that Friday night before a tournament, mom has her routine of shopping for last minute items (mainly perishables) and packing everything we could need (including first aid items).  That makes things easier on those early 6 a.m. Saturday mornings to grab things place in our vehicle and go.  For me, planning and organization makes me feel comfortable (sounds crazy to my family, but they love that mom has thought of most everything) and that in turns makes things more simple in the long run for everyone.

What are your ways of making sporting events with your family more simple while being frugal at the same time?

When Attempting Simple Becomes Overwhelming


Do you ever feel that all that you must do in a day, week or month totally overwhelms you?  Laundry, grocery shopping, meal planning, meal prepping, cleaning, car-pooling, and the list never seems to end.

There are days when I feel so overwhelmed I want to throw in the proverbial towel.  I try to reason with myself to continue down this path that I have created.  Reminding myself over and over that I am not a quitter!

Here are three things that we must remember to do when feeling overwhelmed at attempting simple:

Don’t sweat the small stuff

So what that I totally went off the pre-planned meal calendar and did not stick to it 100% for the month or that I splurged on that milkshake the day I had a horrible let down at work?  Remember, forgive yourself!  These little things are OK and we really should not be saddened when we don’t get it right 100% of the time.  Now, I am not saying that because you fell off the rails a little means you should chunk all of your hard work.  What I am saying is to forgive yourself.  Learn why you felt the need for the milk shake (and sometimes, we can splurge, but not with every yucky event).  Learn why you didn’t stick to the meal plan (maybe you were sick or had an unexpected schedule change).  I’m working to keep a handy supply of frozen meals for 1-2 people that help when I just don’t feel like cooking that day so I don’t sweat the small stuff.

Get a new perspective   

Sometimes we need a fresh attitude and a fresh set of eyes to see things in a better light.  I’ll be honest that there are times that I do not feel like taking the extra steps in shopping or cleaning or saving in order to meet my goals, yet, most times I feel better then next day (or so) and pick up where I left off.  Sometimes I come back with a new fresh outlook and excitement.  Taking a day or so off from being overly obsessed with simplicity can be very freeing.  So what that I used the dishwasher instead of hand-washing the dishes.  I will tell you that we rely on our dishwasher and that is something that I happily include when budgeting!!

Take a nap (or get some alone time)!

Yes, I mean that.  Sometimes as moms, wives, daughters, employees, etc we are so overwhelmed that even the things that give us our passion for life zaps every ounce of creativity, excitement and drive out of our bodies and minds.  So, get a nap, take a warm bath, go for a walk, read a book or do something that is just for you!  If you are like me, I tend to feel guilty when I am not doing for others and in the process, I lose myself.  Keep in mind, that we as women need to be refreshed and rejuvenated away from our loved ones from time to time.  These relationships do not define who we are as women but are just other descriptions of the amount of love we have to share and spread around.

As you make your way through the world of attempting simple, what are ways you handle the feeling of being overwhelmed?

How to save yourself from simplicity


Sounds counter-intuitive doesn’t it??  Saving yourself from simplicity?

Well, if you are anything like me, you have started your research domination of the Internet data mining all the ways to be frugal, things you can do without, things you can make yourself (DIY overload) and the list goes on and on.

Today, I am going to share some ways you can save yourself from simplicity before you pull your hair out is utter frustration.

Look at ideas that seem usable

“That DIY creation is so cute and seems so easy to use!!!”  Have you told yourself that as you are scouring the Pinterest boards and Internet blogs?  I have.  Then I sit back and really look at the ideas  and question myself on when I would choose to forgo toilet paper for recyclable cloths?  (Not knocking this if that is your choice, but for me, it was impractical for my family and I really have no energy to enforce this either since I would be on laundry duty for this.)

As you look at ideas, the beauty is that you can see things that are such awesome possibilities and your mind will flow to other things that you can implement in your own home.  Making your own bread or detergents can be your things that you find to be usable and enjoyable to make.

Don’t get so caught up in being simple that you are a drill sergeant

Ask anyone of my family members to describe me and one word that will come up with most everyone is that I am passionate.  Yeah, not in the romantic way, but passionate about things I feel strongly about.  My oldest son is serving our great country in the Army.  One thing he stated about Basic Training is that the Drill Sergeant made things his way or the highway.  My son loved his Drill Sergeant and looked up to him, but fear will hold your kids and husband back if you are like that.

I have found that if I am inflexible with my family they resist what I am telling them.  We want our family to “buy in” to our passion, not push back against it.  So, I make things as “suggestions” and really work to see ways that we can fit in simplicity to our way of life.  As I mentioned in one of my first posts, the Meal Calendar has been a source of excitement for my kids and they love knowing and helping with the planning of meals.

Forgive yourself, but don’t limit trying new things

Forgiving yourself from what?” you ask.  I’ll be honest and tell you that you will make mistakes in the search for what is simple in your family’s lives.  What I find to be simple, my fun son finds to be ridiculous and over the top.  Sweet daughter is more accepting, but that may be because she is female and sees life through the lens of one day being a mom and wife.  Hubby, well, he is along for the ride!!!

You will make mistakes (remember the dryer balls and the DIY clothes refresher that smelled of vinegar?).  Forgive yourself and take chances in trying new things.  Fear of the unknown is something I struggle with.  “I’m wasting money trying this” is what I try to convince myself.  But, if I never tried something new, how can I truly allow myself to embrace simplicity.

You see, we want things to be more simple so we can focus on our family and other things, yet we keep a list of what we got wrong or that we receive push back from the family or even think too grand when we really need to take baby steps.

Attempting simple is something that is a learning experience.  I have not gotten to that full life of simplicity.  Do I have days that I feel that things are going well?  Yes.  Are there days when I want to scream because simplicity seems so far off?  Yes.

Don’t give up.  If you are passionate about trimming your lifestyle and begin your journey to simple, keep it up.  All the while encouraging your family to take this trip with you. Sometimes the trip seems like it is never going to end and the destination is so far away.  Then one day, you’ll wake up and see that you really like this small or large change you’ve made and how that one thing made life more simple.  Focus on that one step each day.

How are you not getting caught up in the attempt to be simple?

Three things I gave up for simplicity….and I don’t miss them!


Giving things up can be difficult, especially when you are forced to do without the thing that you’ve grown fond of.

As the economy changed several years ago, I was forced to look at how our family spent money and there were things I had to give up after a hard look at my personal spending.  After 5 years, some of these things turned out to be things that really mean little to me and I have come to realize, I do not miss the things that I gave up for simplicity reasons.

#1    Manicured Nails

When I started in a Customer Service role, I wanted to look my best and portray confidence.  I felt that beautiful nails would be the perfect thing.  Those nails made my small hands look so much prettier and they made me feel good about myself as well.

My manicure was a set appointment every two weeks with a sweet friend who I grew very close to for thirteen years.  Yes, after thirteen years I decided to remove my acrylic nails.  I’ll be honest.  I cried because I felt as if this is was something that I “had” to give up in order to meet our financial obligations not something I “wanted” to do.  The nails represented how I pampered myself because I “deserved it”.

I’ll be honest to say that it took me several years until I felt that no longer having manicures was something that I did not miss.  Now that I have not had the acrylic nails for approximately 5 years, I honestly can say that I am more excited to see my natural nails growing and having to actually trim them!  They represent me….the more simple, mature me.

#2     Purchasing Fiction Novels

I am an avid reader and have been since I was a child.  My nickname given to me in elementary school by my dad was “The Reader” (yeah, I know, very original).  I remember that I would inhale my literature book when I was supposed to be studying math or science.  The feel of holding a new book that no one else has ever read is one that gave me a huge emotional rush.

To be able to purchase the books that I loved to read in a series as soon as the book was published was something that I looked forward to monthly.

To be honest, I read anything and everything that caught my eye including the encyclopedia! Yes!  I’d skim through those 10 books that we kept on our bookshelf (way before the Internet was developed) and read whatever caught my eye.  I have a huge dose of unusable and useless trivia in my head from this!

Again, because of a need to cut costs, I chose to stop purchasing books. When I packed all my books up, I was shocked to see that I have 4-5 large boxes of paperback novels.  When I started to calculate the money I spent, I was in tears at the waste of money all because of my need to read.

The alternative?  The local county Library!  The local library has been a wonderful experience because I would read a book I purchased even if it stunk because I wanted my money’s worth.  Now, I do not feel guilty if I start to read a book and it doesn’t click with me right away.  I put the book down and move on to the next one in the stack.  I will say that I am more tempted to purchase a book than receive a manicure, but I keep telling myself what I can do to be debt-free with that money I am saving or spend that money on more intentional things that my family chooses to do.

#3     Sunday Night Pizza

This one was not too terribly difficult, yet knowing I had to clean up after a meal was tiring.  Sunday night was Pizza from one of our local pizza restaurants.  In a family of 5, we would eat at least 2 pizzas since the kids liked different things.

The kids pushed back somewhat, but that did not last long.  Instead, we focused on what we would do when we arrived home after church like let the kids go fishing or watching our favorite “America’s Funniest Videos” episode.

Giving things up for the sake of simplicity, frugality and intentional living may hurt for a short while, but hang in there.  I promise…the pay-off is outstanding!!

What have you given up that you realize now that you do not miss at all?

What no one tells you about being simple


Have you found that you are all excited about being simple and decluttering your life?  Well, I have found out some things the hard way about being simple.  Here are the things that no one tells you about being simple.

Just because things are on sale do not mean that you are saving…even with coupons.

You’ve decided to start shopping smarter and thought that coupons would be the answer to your overspending.  You’ve bought several newspapers to make sure you have plenty of coupons that you could need for multiple items.  Then you sit down to review the coupons, cut them out and organize the coupons by whatever filing method you thought would work for you.  Tuesday arrives and you are diving into the weekly circulars (paper or electronic) and mapping out how to use these coupons.

Several things potentially take place.  One, you find that there are no sales to match the coupons you’ve clipped.  Two, the coupons you clipped are things that you’d never purchase.  Thirdly, and this is my all-time favorite. you realize after ALL the clipping, planning and mapping, that you still paid more for the item(s) than the store brand or the ALDI brand that are comparable.

I found out the hard way that the time and effort it takes me to clip, plan and purchase the over priced items that I have actually spend more money (and my time) than if I went about things in a different way.  Store brands are very equivalent to most items.  I do tend to favor several name brands as a southern girl (Duke’s mayo anyone??), but I will try store brands once to see how they compare to the name brand items.  Take a chance….try it out.

Sometimes you feel left out.

When the ladies at work plan to go out to eat, they are kind to ask everyone in our tight-knit group if they’d like to participate. The invitation is given to me, yet most of the time they receive a “thank you, but I brought my lunch.”  It can feel as if you are an outsider when there are others eating out and enjoying spending their lunch breaks together.

What I have started to do is to allow myself to eat lunch out with the girls one time per pay period.  That is about two times per month so I do not feel guilty about spending money on something that is so quickly devoured.  Of course, I remind myself that it is not the food but the fellowship that is so great.

There are times your kids will be angry at you.

Especially with teenagers you will find that there are times they want what they want and you are seen as the “money police” and they feel as if they cannot have their desires.  I use these times as teaching moments and try to hold a conversation with my kids (which all teenagers love to have with their mom.

My daughter has apparently grown about 4 inches over the summer and her dresses from spring are now up to her underwear if she raises her hands.  She was asking to go to a local department store to purchase dresses since her volleyball team dress up for the day of games until their warm-up suits arrive.  I discussed with Sweet Girl that instead of buying new dresses that we would go to her grandmother’s house since her grandmother has dresses from all her granddaughters.  See, my MIL has 13 grand-kids and 9 are girls ranging in age from 15 down to 5.  We all share clothes and that has been a lifesaver since my daughter is smaller than all the grands except the 5 and 6 year old (yes, sweet girl is a very thin, athletic 13 year old).  Sweet Girl was about to find about 5 dresses that she can wear into fall.  Of course, we totally forgot shoes!!  So, we will need to find some basic black flats for the fall and since Sweet Girl has the smallest and skinniest feet, sharing shoes doesn’t seem to work for us.

After the clothes mission, Sweet Girl thanked me for helping her look for dresses and expressed her excitement over the dresses that she had chosen since they all looked new and were in fashion.  I was thankful that she is seeing the importance of being simple as well as making good choices on when to spend the money that we have saved.

Being simple is a choice and sometimes it is not the easiest choice to make.

Yeah, it seems that being simple takes more work than I even realized.  There are a lot of emotions and feelings attached to purchases as well as when to make a purchase and when not to make a purchase.  Simplicity may take work and dedication at the beginning, but I am seeing that I am not quite as attached to shopping as I am saving.  I really am looking forward to getting into our new home so I can see the “big picture” on what to sell or donate so that we can be simple on a daily basis instead of reacting constantly.

What have you found to be the things you were not expecting with simple living?

How to handle the family’s transition to simple


Do you find that your family is resistant to change?

I am finding that to be the case at my house.  Sometimes my good intentions of being frugal, simple or downright tight with money is a source of pain to my family.

The eye rolls when I tell them we are eating leftovers, the snicker of laughter when I made my own cleaning supplies, or the anger that I won’t budge on how much I budget for items.

We’ve all been there as we grown and learn at being simple…intentional….frugal.  Does this hurt my feelings?  Sometimes.  Does it make me angry?  The laughter does.  Does it cause me to have the desire to clamp down more to show them that we can save even more?  Most definitely!

My tips on handling the stragglers to get on board with being simple:

Show them the results of change:  Let them see the amount of money you were spending on a particular item and how much you have saved by making changes.  When I showed my family the amount we spent for food in July 2016 ($800..yep..faint), we were all shocked.  By changing how I shop, in one month I have spent less than $85 a week (YES!) on food.  The endorphin rush of saving money is rather addictive for me so seeing a savings of over $400 is a major high!

Show them what we can do with that saved money:  We are in the process of beginning to build a house and are looking forward to having some nicer things in that house.  By saving money, the kids (and hubby) are seeing results in the amount we are placing in savings for those needs.  They seeing this going into our home and feel good about having a role in saving as well as a home that will be open to all their friends!

Join together as a family as to what areas we can be creative with spending:  When talking to my husband and kids, they really liked that we went to eat on Wednesday nights at a local grill after ball practice and before church.  So, we talked about how we could not eat out on the weekends, but spend time together grilling at home in order to eat out on Wednesdays.  They loved that idea.  We also brainstormed on other things that we “really didn’t need” such as a special brand of milk or bread or even those high dollar coffee drinks my daughter loves.  We are using left-over tissue paper and ribbon to wrap gifts instead of purchasing a gift bag.  My daughter loves the creativity of this!

Encourage them to find alternative ways to show thanks to each other:  This one was a little unique in that instead of the pedicure or the massage (though I love them), we chose to thank each other differently.  My kids handling the dishes after I cook is worth so much more than a massage.  I give my daughter pedicures instead of paying someone.  My husband and daughter made me homemade bath salts (Epsom salt and essential oil) for Mother’s Day.  Needless to say, we are still making these for everyone in the house to use when they want to relax.

Being simple takes time to grow on some people.

My son and husband are getting much better dealing with the simplicity.  Hubby takes my simplicity in stride.  Fun Son?  Well, there are times he is kicking and screaming, but he is becoming more creative on how he is making his own money.  (Buying, raising and selling goats is his newest endeavor.)  Creativity?  Yes!  Learning what works for our family?  Yes!  Are we there yet?  No!  Remember, this blog is just about how we are attempting simple as we live this thing called life.

I’d love to hear how you have worked with your family to embrace simplicity!