Aug 29, 2011

{The Music Never Stopped}

looks good huh? Reminds me of Mr. Holland's Opus, which is a phenomenal movie. I think this one will be too.

Aug 28, 2011

{raspberry jam}

Michigan raspberry's are ready for picking! Yesterday we went on a family trip to get the juicy red bursts of sweet and tart goodness. My Mom's coworker let us pick as many berries as we could find in his garden. We were able to fill a five cup bowl of the little guys :) 

Plus, it was loads of fun and the weather was simply beautiful.

The best part about berries is that you can make jam. so we did. 
here's how:

1 cup berries
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
(also, if you want it to be really sweet and yummy, add some brown sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon)

Bring ingredients to a boil for three minutes in a saucepan. let cool and thicken.


Aug 26, 2011


This is Molly, our family's kitty that I never get to see anymore. Isn't she so cute? She is the funniest cat there is. And she is quite the diva. 

This weekend Jordan and I are visiting my home town, Battle Creek, Michigan, and I am loving all of the time we are getting with my parents and sister and the kitties. Today we are garage sale hopping, picking raspberry's, having a big cookout and bonfire, and tomorrow is the Kalamazoo farmers market that I am really looking forward to. There is nothing better than sleeping in, eating pop'n fresh orange cinnamon rolls, enjoying the Michigan weather, and hanging out with family all weekend.

I have to say, I have the best family in the world. I really do. When we're here, we don't waste any time. The norm is sitting in the living room for six or seven hours talking and getting interviewed by my Dad, watching movies together each night, going out to eat a few times, and taking night walks around the block. We never run out of things to talk about or things to do, and it's always a party.

I say yes to pure, pure Michigan.

Aug 23, 2011

{lets listen to Ramsey}

Did you know that 70% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck? Or that more young adults file for bankruptcy than graduate from college? Can you believe that Forbes 400 richest people in America said that the #1 way to become wealthy is to stay debt free?

crazy huh?

I don't know if you know who Dave Ramsey is, but you should. He is legit. I have listened to my Dad praise him for years and I never really understood why....but now I get it. This guy knows what he is talking about when it comes to money. We started watching his Financial Peace University a few weeks ago and we were surprised at how much we agreed with Ramsey's ideas. We are only a few discs in and we have already learned so much. It really is amazing. 

Now we just started this new way of living, so things are still a little rough, but we are pretty serious about this whole saving money and budgeting thing. Let me just tell you how it all works.

Very important first steps:
1. Emergency fund of $1,000 (or $500 if you make under $20,000 a year). Eventually your emergency fund should equal three months worth of expenses. 

2. Budget. We used Ramsey's sheets for budgeting and we love them! You should create the budget before each month and write down everything that you will spend. And you have to actually stick to the budget or it's basically pointless. 

3. Envelope system. Some categories in your budget you should use cash to pay for. The cash goes in the envelope at the beginning of the month, and once it's gone, it's gone! 

Also, Ramsey does not believe in credit cards or debt other than a mortgage. That includes car payments, loans, and especially credit cards. This sounds crazy to most people, but after listening to his two hour session on debt, I was a believer.  Now I can see that debt isn't a privilege, it is a product.

"Myth: Debt is a tool and should be used to help create prosperity.
Truth: Debt isn't used by wealthy people nearly as much as we are led to believe.
Debt is dumb. Most normal people are just plain broke because they are in debt up to their eyeballs with no hope of help. If you're in debt, then you're a slave because you do not have the freedom to use your money to help change your family tree."

Thankfully Jordan and I don't have credit cards, and we will never ever get one. ever.

Helpful Hints:
1. loaning money to a friend/relative is not helping them
2. don't co-sign for a loan for someone else
3. gambling will not make you rich
4. car payments are not a way of life
5. a car lease is the most expensive, buy used!!
6. never take our more than a 15 year mortgage
7. You don't need a credit card for anything. You can use a debit card for everything. 
8. If you use cash you spend 12-18% less. (It hurts more to give your cash away)
9. Debt consilidation is a con. You can't borrow your way out of debt. 
10. Borrower is slave to the lender. Debt is not a tool. 

"My contention is that debt brings on enough risk to offset any advantage that could be gained through leverage of debt. Given time—a lifetime—risk will destroy the perceived returns purported by the myth-sayers. I once was a myth-sayer myself and could repeat the myths very convincingly. I was especially good with the "debt is a tool" myth. I even sold rental property that was losing money to investors by showing them, with very sophisticated internal rates of return, how they would actually make money!
Boy, what a reach. I could spout the myth with enthusiasm, but life and God had some lessons to teach me. Only after losing everything I owned and finding myself bankrupt did I think that risk should be factored in, even mathematically. It took my waking up in "intensive care" to realize how dumb and dangerous this myth is. Life hit me hard enough to get my attention and teach me.
According to Proverbs 22:7, "The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave of the lender" (NRSV). I was confronted with this scripture and had to make a conscious decision of who was right – my broke finance professor, who taught that debt is a tool, or God, who showed the obvious disdain for debt. Beverly Sills had it right when she said, "There is no shortcut to any place worth going." 
- Dave Ramsey


Aug 17, 2011


Ingredients is a documentary about food.

We live in a society where people are more clueless than ever before about where their food comes from. The system of food has cheapened, people are lazy, nutrition is not a top priority, and really, most people will choose the way that is the most convenient to eat a meal and move on with their day. It's so obvious, especially in places like Marion, Indiana where all you see when driving down the bypass is fast food.

The good thing is, not everyone has chosen to live like this. Some people have realized the benefits of eating local, and they are choosing a new path of sustainable food and a connected community. Thanks to the farmers and chefs who work hard to open up the eyes of our culture, because we need to change our habits and fight against the temptation to do what is easiest.

I will admit, I never seriously thought about local food until I studied abroad in Ireland. There, everyone buys local. Food is an experience. Food means community. The Irish will walk into town to specialty shops and take as much time as needed to buy food and prepare their meal. I was fascinated by this, and inspired. And now I want to get moving and live like I care about my health.

Lets "bring good food back to the table"

You can rent the film from itunes and watch, or buy it on their website for $20.00.

Aug 16, 2011

{wedding photos}

We have our wedding photos! I was so happy to have beautiful photography by Casper Hamlet and his wife Jess. Out of 1,500 photos, I was finally able to narrow them down to my favorites. It took me an entire afternoon, but I did it. Here are just a few of them...


 To see the rest, you can check out my facebook albums!