First blooms of 2017

I love when the weather turns warmer, and the first flowers of the season start to show up. Here are some of the first flowers of the year. Peonies, a fun flower from a wildflower mix (I wish I knew it’s name), one of our beautiful roses, and of course the clematis.

Flowers

The peonies are all but done blooming now, most have already finished and are ready to be cut back (this encourages more blooms for next year, so I better get on it). The first round of roses has finished as well, the clematis is still blooming a bunch, and the wildflowers seem to just be getting started.

I always call this time of year “pretty season” in the garden. There will be a lull where nothing much is blooming other than roses, and then the summer blooms start coming in. Sadly, grass is always growing, and in places it doesn’t belong, like the flower beds.

What is happening in your garden?

Quick and easy ways to save over $2000 a year

Looking at your spending as a year, instead of just a month, can really be eye opening! Things that sound small monthly can really add up. Luckily it’s easy to cut and save a lot of money. When we looked at our spending on the following items, we figured out that we could save over $2000 a year without much trouble. Here is what we did:

1. Change your phone plan. We used to pay about $135 a month for our cell phone plans. That adds up over the course of the year ($1620)! Now we pay $25 a month, for both of us, thanks to Ting. Now we just pay for what we use based on their tiered pricing. We now pay just $300 a year, that’s a savings of $1320 a year!

2. Cut your cable. This one was a bit harder for us, but with streaming options from NetFlix and Amazon, and the use of HDTV Antennas, it was really a no brainer. We cut out our cable and switched to an internet only service. Our cable bill even without premium channels had a yearly cost of $2940! We now pay $60 a month, for a total of $720 a year, that’s a savings of $2220 a year!

3. Try Ooma for your phone service. This one only saved us a little bit, at $360 a year, but that’s a nice bonus for simply changing our home phone service. All you have to do is buy the base, and pay taxes if you go with the free service (for us about $5 a month). They do offer more services with their premium plan, but chances are you don’t need them.

I’d love to hear about simple ways you have found to cut back on spending too, so please be sure to leave your tips in the comments!

Slow going is better than no going

A good reminder no matter what your goal may be. Progress is progress, even if it feels like you are moving at a sail’s pace.

Snail

I am especially reminded of this when I try to go hiking. Due to my heart condition, I have to go slowly so my heart doesn’t race. Even some of the simplest of hikes now get my heart pounding… but I can still do them as long as I just keep on going slowly! And it’s always lovely at the top, even if it takes longer to get there.

Color Land by Steve Vistaunet

My fun friends created some coloring books, there are three now and by far my favorite is Color Land Creatures. If you live in Utah, you can buy them locally at a shop in Provo called Here. Luckily you don’t need to be local to buy them because they sell on Amazon as well. While I have loved coloring in the other books as well, Creatures is a favorite because it has Halloween themed pages!

Color Land Creatures

Also, if you are a Fablehaven fan Steve created some coloring pages for the new Book of Imagination that just came out. So many fun ways to relax and color!