Frugal Friday

Good Friday morning to you!

I wanted to make Friday’s the day I posted mainly about budgeting and our debt free journey. So I’m coming in with my first post today! This is a subject that I’m very passionate about, and I’m excited to share what I’m learning as we work to pay off our debts and to find financial peace of mind. 

I should probably place a disclaimer on this site somewhere that states very clearly that I do not claim to be a writer, nor do I hold any formal titles that makes me an expert of anything.  Although I did go to college for two years and graduated from a two year technical school,  I have found that my best educational experience has been through navigating life as an adult.

 So now that I’ve cleared that up, I’d like to start this series by saying that we use the Dave Ramsey cash envelope system and are working on our debt snowball, where we are currently on Baby Step #2. 

And if you don’t already know who Dave Ramsey is, please do some research and consider reading his Total Money Makeover book. It can be life changing…trust me!

Our story begins like most all newlyweds, we struggled financially starting out, but after a few years of being on a tight budget with me working at a hospital and him still in school, things started to look up after he finished and started working.

We bought our first little starter house and paid it off.  We financed cars, more cars and still more. The vehicle situation was and has always been our problem. I hate to point a finger, because I too have faults that I’ll later share as I tell this story, but the beginning of this story is about the “staying-in-debt-for-25-years-because-I-like-new-cars” syndrome that my Mister has struggled with, along with the “I work, I deserve it” slogan that we both adopted. If my guy was sitting here beside me right now as I’m typing this, he would agree wholeheartedly, just as I will admit to my part in the problem (hint: thrift store shopping) as the story goes on. 

The first step to fixing the financial mess you have made is admitting there is a problem and owning it.  We finally did that. 

My moment of “I’m sick of this, I’ve had enough!” came a few years ago. I was sitting at the table working on bills, stressed and worried because it looked like a layoff for my guy was about to happen any day, and what were we going to do? How could we live? No real savings, no real plan. 

We were just winging it from week to week, paycheck to paycheck. I realized that if we didn’t have all these small debts, medical debts and vehicle debts, that we actually could probably barely scrape and pay our mortgage and still be alright if he were to be laid off. 

I would feel sick to my stomach each and every time I sat down to write out checks to pay bills. It was disgusting and frustrating each time and it finally built up inside me like a volcano about to erupt – “I’m sick of this! I’m so sick of debt!”

Honestly, I was sick of everything at that time.  I was overwhelmed by chaos in my house, because I had developed a thrift store shopping habit. I felt so proud of my shopping trips because I was getting great bargains and saving money, I just kept buying more and more. Boy, saying that out loud now feels so wrong and crazy. 

I had so much stuff piled up. I’d buy things that I thought someone else could use, then I’d end up keeping it – I knew I was developing some kind of problem. I know hoarding is a serious issue and there are people so far worse than myself, but honest to goodness, I think they must start somewhere, and I feel like I was getting to that point…the start of something bad. 

So, I had a shopping problem, (but not a regular shopping problem, because I hate shopping in malls or stores) I had a thrift store, bargain finding, stuff collecting problem, and my guy liked new cars. 

See the problem? We both liked to buy stuff.

I’m ending this post here. Believe it or not, I’m typing from my phone, which is not the easiest thing for my aging eyes. In the next post, (hopefully typed from a computer) I’ll continue with how I started to make changes, and how that my guy eventually joined me. 

For those of my Instagram friends who are reading, tell me, how do you find this journal or written letter type of format? Is it easy to follow and understand?  Let me know in the comments. 

Minimal Fall Decor

Over the course of a four year span, I have de-cluttered and purged at least 50% of our “stuff”.  This is a subject that I am really looking forward to talking about in a series of upcoming posts that I plan to share with you here.

For years, I’d deck out the whole place in decoration according to which ever season we were in.  Today, a lot has changed, especially my mindset towards having a lot of excess. 

These days, I prefer very minimal seasonal decorations, and am enjoying just a few simple touches of autumn in our living room, which happens to be the only room that I change decor in seasonally.

Our mantel is the focal point of the room, and I like to change my decorations there with every changing season. 

Touches of Fall 3


I like having only three small pumpkins on the mantel, along with a small string of twinkle lights and bunting hanging across the front of the fireplace.  It’s minimal, yet it still feels festive and is just the perfect amount of decorations for my simple style. 

My hand-made crocheted bunting is made by my friend, Anna Wise. You can find Anna on Instagram @lifegracecrochet, where she is currently taking custom orders as she sets up her etsy shop. 

About the chalkboard…

I found the chalkboard many years ago at Hobby Lobby (if I remember correctly).  I have never been an artist and drawing on the chalkboard, like I had envisioned I could do, just didn’t come to me naturally or with practice.  I’ve tried other artwork there, and nothing seems to look right on that huge blank space except the chalkboard. So until the right piece catches my eye, I’ll just keep writing the new month on this chalkboard and call it good. 🙂

Touches of Fall 1


Touches of Fall 2


I adore pretty candles, although I rarely burn them these days unless they are unscented. You can almost always find me using essential oils in a diffuser to freshen up the room – it’s so much more better for your health and lungs. 


Touches of Fall 4


What is your style of decorating for fall? Do you enjoy a lot of decorations or just a few simple touches like myself?  Tell me in the comments.

Thank you for stopping by!



Farewell, Summer.

Glorious SunshineUsually, around this time of the year, I start feeling the ‘blahs’ coming on with the days becoming shorter and darker.

But after discovering the magic of the Happy Light, and light therapy, life this time of the year feels normal again.

In fact, the fall season is actually quite enjoyable now, and I’m looking forward to fall decorating and sharing with you here next week.


Here’s a little look back on the goings on up here on our mountain this summer:



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Happy Autumn! Tell me your favorite season in the comments below.

Thank you for stopping by!


Wellness Wednesday + Mean Green Juice Recipe

Good Wednesday morning to you!  I’ve been thinking of adding a Wellness Wednesday post to my weekly line-up to share about my weight loss and quest to be healthier.

In my last post, I talked about hosting my sister in law’s baby shower, but what I failed to mention is how much sugar and carbs I consumed during the party.  (I’ll talk more specifically all about my weight loss and what I have done and am presently doing in upcoming posts.)

The damage from my week-long detour of baking and making and tasting is +7lbs.

That is a pound a day and very alarming to me.  I have worked really hard to lose 71 of 100 pounds that I set out to lose and I realize how easy it would be to gain it all back if I don’t get a grip back RIGHT NOW.

After feeling so bloated and yuck, my daughter and I decided to pull out the Breville juicer and she made us each a wonderful big quart of her version of Mean Green juice.

Ahhhhh! So very good!  I wanted to share her recipe here, because in my opinion, it is the best Mean Green that I’ve ever tried. Trust me, I’ve completed several thirty-day juice fasts over the years and tried many recipes – this is the best.


I hope you’ll give this recipe a try.  It has the right amount of everything to be deliciously wonderful!

Until next time,


Baby Boy Shower

I’m going to have a new nephew in November, and I’m so excited to meet him!

A few months ago, after my sister-in-law shared the big news, I asked her if she’d like me to host a baby shower for her and she gladly accepted.

So since then, I’ve been a baby-shower-pinning-crazy-woman on Pinterest. If you follow me there, my sincere apologies for the amount of baby showers pins you’ve probably endured seeing.

We finally decided on a jungle/safari theme with the elephant being the star of the show.  The shower just happened this past weekend, and I really was pleased with how everything turned out. I think my sister-in-law was pleased as well. She received some of the sweetest, cutest gifts ever!

I kept the menu super simple with mostly finger foods, which included: chicken salad sandwiches, party wieners, meatballs, veggies and dip, fruit and dip, chips, three cakes, 24 cupcakes and blue punch that my daughter made and my SIL’s mom brought cheese ball, ham roll ups and cokes. We had plenty of food to eat and I had lots of people bragging about how good the food tasted, so that just made my day.

Here’s a couple photos from that day.



Lots of hard work, but so well worth it. 💙

Thanks for stopping in!


Nourishing Bone Broth

*Possible Benefits*
* Fortifies your immune system!
* Chock full of minerals suck as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and trace minerals.* Nourishing gelatin-rich, collagen-building substances heal bones, joints, tendons, ligaments, skin, and mucus membranes like the gut.

* Enhances digestion and aids in helping anemia, ulcers, IBS, colitis, Chrohns,  and GERD.

* Aids arthritis, osteoporosis, gastritis, food allergies, leaky gut,  liver health, detoxification, helps with flu viruses, malnutrition, Celiac disease, diabetes, insomnia, heart attack and so much more.

My tweaked recipe:


*1 whole chicken (rinsed, cleaned with organs removed)
*2 chicken feet (I omit this. After seeing my chickens feet glopped in poo, I just can’t deal with adding them)
*onions, carrots, celery, fresh parsley, rosemary (no set amount, just a big bowlful, this is giving you a flavorful broth)
*2-3 dried bay leaves
*1 tbsp whole peppercorns (or cracked pepper, to taste)
*1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
*Salt (to your own taste)
*filtered water (to cover)
* * *

Add the whole chicken to a crock-pot, cover with vegetables, bay leaf, rosemary, sea salt and peppercorns. Cover with cold filtered water, add apple cider vinegar.

Cook on low for 4-6 hours (I cook overnight) remove cooked chicken to serve and then replace bones and carcass back into slow cooker. Adding more water if needed.

Cook for 12-24 more hours, until the bone crumbles when I pinch it in my fingers.
Remove the slow cooker from heating unit and strain broth through a fine mesh sieve or a colander lined with 100% cotton cheesecloth into jars or bowls to store.

Cool and refrigerate. The broth should set into a firm gel.  This recipe generally makes a half gallon.  You can easily use a half gallon of this within a week or two in different recipes, or you can freeze it in freezer bags and pull it out as you need it.

I use this broth in so many different ways.  It’s good in soups, casseroles or just to sip on it in a cup or even add some crackers and make a meal. Once you taste this broth, you will never want the stuff from the grocery store again! 🙂

Please let me know if you try this recipe or even if you have your own recipe that you use, leave a comment below.
Thanks for stopping by!

Tangy Potato Salad | Instant Pot Recipe

3 large potatoes, peeled and cubed

4 eggs
1 small onion, chopped
3/4 cup mayo (I prefer Miracle Whip)
1/3 cup sweet pickle relish
1/4 cup yellow mustard
1/4 cup cooked bacon, crumbled
Salt & Pepper to taste
Paprika for garnish
Add one cup of water to Instant Pot and place steamer basket inside Instant Pot.
Add cubed potatoes to steamer basket, then place four uncooked eggs on top of potatoes.
Lock on lid, turn steam handle to sealing.  Set to manual mode for 6 minutes.  After finished, natural release pressure for 6 minutes.  Remove eggs and place them into an ice water bath.  With a large spoon, dip out potatoes into a mixing bowl; let cool.
Remove the shell from hard boiled eggs, add them to the potatoes and give them a quick chop-up with a fork.  Add onions, mayo, pickle relish, mustard and bacon, salt and pepper to taste; mix well.
Transfer to serving dish and garnish with paprika.
This potato salad is twangy and so good! It’s always a big hit at all the potluck dinners I bring it to.
Until next time,

Glorious Sunshine

Thank you for coming by, and welcome!

I’m very rusty at using a computer these days; the discovery of the convenience of an ipad and iphone has put our computer into a semi permanent shut down mode for probably a year now, at least. Powering it back up was quite the ordeal with all the updating and fixes it needed. But I think I’ve got it up to date and operating smoothly. (Fingers crossed)  It’s definitely going to take some time for this ole’ Blogger platform girl to learn to navigate WordPress, so please be patient as you will probably see lots of changing and rearranging every time you come here until I figure it all out.

This morning, we saw a brief glimpse of sunshine. It was absolutely glorious while it lasted.

My hope for this online journal, is to be encouraging to women in all seasons of their lives, and to shine a good light to others.  (Matthew 5:16) While this is not intended to be just a religious blog, my faith is a huge part of who I am and so it’s bound to come through…and I’m going to start off right now by being completely unapologetic for that.  I have decided that I will not let my fear of offending an unbeliever cause me to not express my own thoughts and feelings. There is always the option to not visit if you are not inclined to do so. No hard feelings at all, promise! 🙂

Within this site, you may find journal type of posts, inspirational words I stumble across, my own ponderings, as well as homemaking, homeschooling, living frugal, budgeting, meal planning, recipes and maybe even some weight loss posts as I’m about 70 pounds into my 100 pound weight loss journey.

My plan is to post every Tuesday and Thursday, so be sure to bookmark Life on our Mountain and/or subscribe to the mailing list to get notifications of new posts.