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Friday, August 26, 2016

Uncle Bob's Garden

Welcome to Uncle Bob's garden. When I was younger, there was a pool where you see the brick and fountain, and we played "goofy" in the water, then munched on Parmesan Goldfish as we dried off. I had a birthday party here the year I turned 8. (One of three that year, I believe. I can make an iced mocha last for hours and a birthday last all month.) As a teenager, my sister and our friends and I would spend more time laying on the bluestone patio talking about Josh Harnett and our fledgling tans than actually swimming. It was a beautiful spot for a pool, and we all had so many summers with our cousins and friends enjoying it because Uncle Bob was gracious and let pretty much everyone he knew, and even people he didn't, use it. He was in his seventies when it started getting to be too much for him and he had the pool filled in and designed this garden in its place.


There used to be a big bed of annuals above the stone wall, off the side of the house, but we didn't put any in this year. I'd like to add a few perennials every year starting this fall, but there are a lot of things on the To Do list and I'm not sure that we'll get to it this year.

I love the way the light hits the pergola in the evening:

Now that we live here, I have been asked several times this summer if we wished that Uncle Bob hadn't had the pool filled in. I usually look at them like they have two heads...I failed the swim test at summer camp and couldn't go past the buoys with my sister, I have a fear of my children drowning, I love having fresh flowers in the house, and this place is like a fairytale for my girls. Apparently most people would prefer a pool, but I'd take the garden any day! Maybe when the girls are sixteen and I let them swim without floaties I'll change my mind...

They love the garden, and believe it or not, they both actually like to help their Daddy pull weeds- which is good, because they grow like...ohhh, that's why they say that! (I actually kind of like the way the low-lying ones look in between the bricks but someone else would prefer they were all gone.) :) We love this garden and never in a million years would have been able to create something like this ourselves. We are so thankful that we get to raise our girls here at this house and on this property that our uncle so lovingly and carefully cultivated.

Have a wonderful day! - Jamie

Thursday, August 25, 2016

YNAB - You Need a Budget

What does YNAB stand for? You Need A Budget! I had heard about this app a little while ago and had actually downloaded it but had never taken the time to fully look it over and put it to use properly so when they contacted us and asked us to do a sponsored review I jumped at the chance. We have tried a few different budgeting systems in the nearly ten years that we've been married but had not found one that we loved enough to stick with. We did the cash/envelope system a couple of years ago and although we found the overall principles to be extremely beneficial for us and it definitely helped us fine tune some areas, it wasn't a good long term budgeting system for us because it was cumbersome and kind of a pain. Although we stopped using that system after several months we did continue to apply those principles but then this summer decided it was time to go back to a real budgeting system.

We decided to go ahead and give YNAB a try and I can't begin to say how thrilled we have been with it! I filled out the information needed online and then we both downloaded the app. Jon was skeptical at first, but now is a huge fan. This has easily been the best and by far the easiest budgeting plan we've ever tried. It's so easy for both of us to just plug in whatever we spend right as we are checking out into the right category in the app and that's it! And we've been able to see such a difference already in how we think about our money. We are excited about it and excited to let you know if you scroll to the bottom we have a link where you can get three months free!

YNAB teaches Four Basic Rules that can help you get out of debt and save money faster.

    • Rule One- Give every dollar a job.
    • Rule Two- Embrace your true expenses.
    • Rule Three- Roll with the punches.
    • Rule Four- Age your money.

With YNAB the key is that budgeting isn't about restriction. It's about helping you find how to do more of the things that matter most to you and having total control over your money. Budgeting is flexible. Life can throw you a curveball, your plans can change, and sometimes you just change your mind. Your budget can help you get out of debt and YNAB can teach you how to live differently. For me the "aging your money" part was such a great visual for me and I love being able to see it in the app now that I understand it. YNAB considers their education and support resources as most valuable! They offer free daily online classes and YNAB is free for all students! 

I did the initial part on my computer and I read all of the educational tools and tips and advice on my computer as well, but all of our day to day transactions Jon and I just immediately type in right when we do them by clicking the "add transaction" button. Like when I am checking out at the grocery store in the five to ten seconds it takes waiting for the receipt to print I just quickly type it into the app. I can't emphasize how nice and easy it is to be able to do it right in the moment and avoid having all the budgeting things and input adding up over time so that it becomes something you dread doing. And Jon and I can both be doing it at the same time each on our own phones and so we are both constantly up-to-date which we love. 

So go ahead and give it a try! For students it's free and they also have a free 34 day trial that does not require any credit card info to sign up with! I think that is one of the best parts! So it truly is free and you don't get stuck paying for it the following month if it doesn't work out for you. But honestly I think if you are seriously looking for a budgeting tool you will fall in love with it like we did! And after your free 34 days it's just $5 a month after that or $50 for a year. On average YNAB users save over $200 their first month and over $3300 in the first nine months! So it can't hurt to give it a try, and I can honestly say it has not only been so helpful for us but it's been fun too!

And guess what? For our readers you can click here to get three months free! (P.S. No credit card required!)

* This post is sponsored by YNAB but all thoughts and opinions are completely our own. We absolutely love this program! 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Wholesale Signs

We are excited to now be taking WHOLESALE ORDERS for not only our prints but our signs as well! We are taking orders for all of our large signs but this is a particularly great time to put an order in if you are looking to stock your shop for the holidays.

We've got this brand new "A thrill of hope..." sign that we are selling for the first time this year:

And then several other Christmas designs:

Plus we've go our autumn signs:

and of course our year round ones as well:

If you are interested in placing a wholesale order you can e-mail us at for more information and a link to our wholesale website! (Or for just regular purchasing of our signs you can head here).

I hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday!

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