Paying off my debt / no.22

paying off my debt

I took a financial peace university class when I was a senior in college, and decided when I graduated I would focus all of my financial energy to pay off my student loans. So that’s what I did. I moved to DC, got my first big girl job, and slowly month by month paid off my debt (see the full spreadsheet). It wasn’t easy and there were a lot of times I had to say no to fun events, trips, gourmet food or shopping, but after two years I had paid off $13,800. It felt really good.

Looking back, this decision was a turning point for me. It literally forced me to get creative with my entry-level paycheck and make habits on paying off debt or saving before spending it, and I have reaped the benefits of making those wise habits and getting rid of that debt.


PS – Good debt vs. bad debt, how to get out of debt, what the Bible says about debt, and the day I became debt-free!!

Playing hookie on our anniversary / no.21

playing hookie on our anniversary

Life as an adult is largely uninteresting and filled with responsibility. So my philosophy is, if you find a moment that is unique and special, you gotta celebrate it.

I didn’t think I was an especially sentimental person until I got married and realized I could make up any celebration or tradition I wanted. As our first anniversary approached, we mulled over what traditions we wanted to set to celebrate our marriage. We thought of gifts, trips, dinners, etc., and finally landed on deciding to take our anniversary off of work each year and make that our annual tradition.

We have only celebrated our anniversary three years now, but April 9th has become my favorite day of the year. We do whatever we want, eat whatever we want, and the fact that we are doing all of it on a weekday is just magical.

It hasn’t always been convenient to take off of work (this year I was about to take six days off of work to travel to Haiti... not exactly the best time to spend galavanting across town for a day), but that’s kind of the point — we make a choice to set aside our work and routine for one day to celebrate being together.


If you are married, do you have any anniversary traditions?

PS – See our first anniversary, second anniversary and third anniversary recaps. Or read all about our wedding.

Buying our house / no.20

buying our house

J and I agreed we wouldn’t start the house-buying process until July 2013. Logistically, and financially, it just didn’t make any sense to start it any earlier.

I saw our house listed on the market in early May last year, and I knew it was the perfect house for us. I was sure it wouldn’t still be on the market by our July start date, so after months (years?) of constantly checking online house listings, I stopped looking altogether. I was getting too emotionally involved to this 4-bedroom, 2.5-bath home and I didn’t want to rush into a decision we weren’t ready for.

At the end of June, I went back online and saw that miraculously the house had not been purchased yet. I showed it to J, and he loved it. It was in our price range and had everything on our must-have list and even our want-to-have list.

The next week was crazy: We got a realtor on June 28, saw the house on June 29, made an offer on July 1, counter-offered July 2, and our offer was accepted on July 4th.

Given that this was the most expensive purchase we have ever made, it’s surprising how easy and quickly we made the decision. We found ourselves under contract for this house after six days of starting the process.

Over a year later, I still can’t believe how lucky we are to live here.


Read more: our house-buying process, before we moved in tour, and how we saved for a house. Some room tours are shown here, and I hope to have an updated home tour on the blog soon. :)

Doing the Whole30 diet / no. 19

doing the whole30 diet

All of the reasons why I’m glad I did this diet are listed in this post. :) And yes… I owe you guys the recipes I made and my meal plans from that month. Eeks! I gotta go find that food journal and write it all down for you guys….


Have you ever done the Whole30? If yes, would you ever do it again? (I’ve thought about doing it again recently… but then J reminds me about the time I swore never ever to do a crazy diet like that again. Hmm.)

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