Monday
Dec012014

Budgeting for Christmas

Since it is the FIRST DAY OF DECEMBER I am resharing this post from a few weeks back about Christmas budgeting and spending. Don't stress. It is a season of worship. Not a season of spending. 


It is the first day of fall! So today we are going to talk about Budgeting For Christmas. Wait, what?? 

I know. I know. But it will be here before you know it and I got a really interesting question from a reader earlier this week and got me thinking about budgeting for Christmas.

How do you guys budget for Christmas for the kids? I have a 5 year old and a 1 year old and I am trying to come up with a budget on how much to spend on them for Christmas. If you have any tips or advice it would be greatly appreciated! 

It really is a great question. 

As I thought about it I realized that I have never really set hard and firm rules for Christmas budgeting. I just have a number in mind and try not to exceed that. 

Last year I think we spent a combined $65 on both of our children, who were really still babies. And to be honest we gave them too many things. 

This is some advice I would give. 

1. What to give? 

This year we have a new policy. 

Four gifts and none of them that big. 

Something you want. 

Something you need. 

Something to wear. 

Something to read. 

I have heard of several people doing this and I LOVED the idea. 

2. Make a line item in your bduget.

First of all if you're not making a zero-based budget you should be. Learn more here

Add Christmas to your budget just like you would anything else. Make a list of everyone you want to give a gift to and then create a gift list around the budget. NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND!

3. Think of giving differently. 

Gifts are great. I love them. But that is not the reason to celebrate Christmas. I am a Christian and I believe that Christmas is a season of worship and celebration. Gifts are a bonus. 

Instead focus on creating lasting memories and traditions. I remember far more the fun things we did as a family than I do what I got under the tree. 

What about you? How do you budget for Christmas? Tell in the comments below! 


Thursday
Nov272014

Happy Thanksgiving and a list of gratitude 

Tuesday
Nov252014

Creamy Peanut Butter Apple Dip 

It's apple season!!! I love apples. I really do. I miss living in Northwest Georgia where apples are abundant. 

And now that Honey Crisps are in season... ahhhhhh!!!!

My sweet boy loves apples too. So I wanted to make a dip he could eat with his apples as a meal. 

(Quick tip: you can sub bread for apples in a pb&j.)

What you'll need:

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1 8 ounce package of softened cream cheese

2 tbps honey

Cream your cream cheese. Then add your peanut butter. Finally add in your honey and whip. 

 

Tuesday
Nov252014

Perfect Roast Vegetables 

This week I am resharing some of my favorite and most hearty recipes in preperation for Thanksgiving. 

Yesterday we talked about a quick pumpkin muffin. Today it's all about roast vegetables. 

I love oven roasted vegetables. Sure the vegetables in the steamer bags are convenient and I often turn to them when I am in a hurry, but to me oven roasted vegetables are fresher and taste better and Jason loves them. (And it can be hard to get him to eat his veggies.)

I am focusing on winter seasonal vegetables. 

 

I used a sweet onion

A bag of baby cut carrots 

Two potatoes

3 cloves of garlic 

A little olive oil

Preheat your oven to 400. 

I chopped my garlic and whisked it in some extra virgin olive oil. 

I threw my vegetables in glass dish. 

Then I drizzled them with olive oil. Then I popped them in the oven for 40 minutes. 

They came out perfect. The potatoes were soft and delicious and the carrots had just the right amount of crunch. And there are few things more delicious than a sweet onion cooked in garlic. 

Monday
Nov242014

Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Cinnamon Chips 

Thanksgiving is (gasp) in three days. Which means for most people pumpkin cravings will come to an end. And I think that isn't such a bad thing. Let's be honest, we all went a little crazy. We've added pumpkin to things that didn't need pumpkin and we paid the price through really, really, really bad batches of brownies. 

But last week I hit pay dirt. If you add pumpkin to a box of yellow cake mix and add an egg, vanilla, a bunch of pumpkin pie spice and some cinnamon chips then you are golden my friend. You are golden. These were so good my husband asked for seconds and thirds and ate them again when he got home from work. 

And they were so simple. 

Print Recipe

What you'll need:

1 box cake mix 

1 egg

1 can pumpkin puree

1 tsp vanilla 

2 tbsp (yes tables spoons) pumpkin pie spice

1 bag cinnamon chips (they are seasonal but I found mine at Walmart)

Preheat your oven to 350. 

Mix together your cake mix and pumpkin, add in your egg and vanilla. Now add in your spice and chips and stir again. 

Drop the mixture into your lined and greased muffins and bake for 15 minutes. This will yield 24 muffins.