random thoughts

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!

healthy living, random thoughts

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.


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.

book club, halloween, holidays, Local Love, random thoughts

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!

random thoughts

Saying farewell to 2016

This has been an odd year. There were a lot of great things that happened, but most of the year I spent feeling so, so, sick. It was hard. As an adult we don’t get much of a break when we don’t feel well, in fact, sometimes it felt like no one even believed that I was feeling bad. In October I had to have a colonoscopy as part of trying to figure things out. We didn’t know going in that there was a large tumor in there. Gratefully it was removed, and even more gratefully it was pre-cancer and not cancer. The doctor said we caught it in time. Of course this means some follow ups in the future, but if that’s what it takes to stay cancer free then it’s worth it.

After the tumor was removed things started to improve. I have been feeling so much better. I still have other issues, but it’s so nice to not feel as sick as I was feeling. Even though we did a lot of fun things this year in spite of everything, it wasn’t the same. Anyone with a chronic illness can understand this well, it’s hard to force yourself to do things when you aren’t feeling well… even more so when you have to do it daily. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Spending time with our little Yuki. She is such a snuggly little hedgehog. We have cuddle time every night, and she often gets into cute positions.
  • SNAP conference. I had a lot of fun this year as I attended only hands on classes. It’s always fun to spend time with other bloggers though, and the parties were fun as usual. The best part was all the delicious Lindt chocolates.
  • Salt Lake Comic Con, always fun, especially the cosplays. I really loved this Edward Scissorhands cosplay. It was just so well done, and so creative.
  • Cavalia!! Oh, this was a highlight. Thanks to being a blogger, we got the royal treatment and had VIP tickets. This included a dinner before the show, amazing seats, treats in the middle of the show, a special place to hang out (including VIP bathrooms), and best of all, a meet and greet with the horses afterwords.
  • Best Friends National Conference. What can be said about this? It’s hard to put into words how I felt attending and learning about all the amazing things Best Friends and others do for homeless pets. Inspiring doesn’t quiet cut it.

I’m looking forward to 2017. I just joined a fun challenge and might start blogging about it now and then on this little blog. It’s called the 365 Miles Challenge. The purpose is to get outside daily and do a mile of walking, hiking, biking, etc. What I like about it most is the focus on doing this OUTSIDE. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of being inside too much. It would be fun to see familiar faces in the group, so please think about joining.

Happy 2017 to everyone! 🙂