My Sister in Law Emily is having her first baby, a little boy! A couple weeks ago I co hosted her shower with my other sister in law Kate. We had it at a fantastic restaurant. If you are in the Sacramento area check out Cafeteria 15l. Make sure you get the Truffle Tater Tots.

My inspiration was The Giving Tree, Emily’s favorite children’s book.

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 Invitation: The shop I ordered these from was amazing! She created a diaper raffle card for me and these advice cards. She was quick and professional.

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Each guest went home with a tree

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Auntie’s Ashley and Kate with the guest of honor. We can not wait to meet this little guy!

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–Sources–

The Giving Tree 

Giving Tree Cake: My amazing talented friend Ashley

Giving Tree Wood Sign

Moss

Succulents/Home Depot

Tree Sappling Favors

Invitation, Diaper Raffle Cards, Advice Cards

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Hey, Happy Friday! Well I’m 18 days into my Living With Less challenge and I thought I would give you an update on how things are going! Surprisingly things are going really well. I have had a few moments where I felt weak but I got through them, praise God. I have only been to target once in 18 days and I’m telling you it must be a record.

Unsubscribing to a lot of the stores I get emails from really helped. For the most part I haven’t gone into stores except the grocery store. Well maybe the Rack one time but I only gave Matt some ideas on what to get me for Christmas :). I was telling Matt the old me would have probably bought this amazing leopard jacket I saw on my Nordstrom card. But I don’t have the card anymore and so that wasn’t even an option. As silly as this sounds it was really hard for me to cut up that card. I feel great about it now but at the time it wasn’t easy. It weirds me out that it was that hard for me to do. I think it shows what power “stuff” had over me and what being current or trendy meant to me to. Don’t get me wrong I am all about being current and trendy because I love fashion but not at the price I was paying for it.

I have a feeling I’m not alone in this so I’m just going to say it because I try and be transparent but it’s still a little scary/sad to admit. But when I would buy something on that Nordstrom card I knew I shouldn’t and that it was wrong so I would hide it from Matt. I would leave it in my car or tuck it back in the closet. Well, there I said it. Hiding anything from your spouse is wrong but yet I did it. I’m happy to say I won’t be doing that anymore.

I recently read Rachel Cruz’s book Love Your Life Not Theirs and it really influenced my decision to cut up that card and stop all spending for a month. She has such great insight into the comparisons that are hard to face in this social media culture. Something she said in the comparison chapter really stuck with me.

“Comparisons will not only steal our joy but our paychecks as well. If we don’t get comparison living under control we will constantly spend money just trying to keep up.”

All I wanted to do was give an update on my Living With Less experiment and here I am oversharing and confessing. I hope this helps someone out there who might be stuck in the same situation I was, spending money I didn’t have so I could be relevant, cool or on trend.

Have a great weekend! Thanks for stopping by.

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Happy Thanksgiving month!! This is my favorite time of year. I love everything about it, the meaning, weather, food, fashion and decorations. In honor of Thanksgiving I am planning something exciting and a little nerve wracking. I have seen others do this through the years, I have always wanted to but never really committed to it. It’s similar to giving up something for Lent which is what I have done before, but this I have never done leading up to Thanksgiving.

I couldn’t think up a cool catchy name for it so I’m calling it “Living With Less”. I am not going to be buying anything for the whole month of November! Only necessities food, toiletries (sephora and ulta don’t count as necessities) Que Matt’s sigh of relief and Targets sigh of disgust ha. All those women out there understand what I’m talking about, us women keep target in business, that dollar section is everything, right?!

With the recent destruction of my Nordstrom card see my previous post Plastic Surgery. I thought this was a great next step in my faith walk in understanding that God is my provider. I have more than I could ever ask for, a beautiful family, clothes, shoes, home goods but I still buy things even though I don’t really need them. There is a satisfaction or a rush that comes with buying something. Does anyone else get that? I guess that’s our culture right, it is constantly trying to get us to buy the next best thing. I remember so clearly a story from a study we did once from Crown Financial Ministries. Here is the excerpt from Biblical Financial Study it’s in the debt section and is titled Be Content with What You Have:

“The advertising industry uses powerful methods to get consumers to buy. Frequently the message is intended to create discontentment with what we have. An example is the American company that opened a new plant in Central America because the labor was relatively inexpensive. Everything went well until the villagers received their first paycheck; afterward they did not return to work. Several days later, the manager went down to the village chief to determine the cause of this problem, and the chief responded, “Why should we work? We already have everything we need.” The plant stood idle for two months until someone came up with the idea of sending a mail-order catalog to every villager. There has not been an employment problem since!”

Isn’t this story amazing! I want to be as content as those villagers were after their first paycheck. I always think of this story when I’m looking in magazines or scrolling through Instagram and see all the “shop my feed” pictures. I find myself thinking “Well that’s adorable I need that!” The more TV we watch the more social media we are on the more stuff we buy. Because of this I have slowly began unsubscribing to all the stores I get emails from. I tell Matt I’m going to get a restraining order against Old Navy because it feels like they are stalking me, funny not funny. So far I have unsubscribed from Old Navy, Target, Ulta, Sephora and The Rack. I think this will really help me in this month of “Living With Less”. Even though this is probably the hardest month to do this I am so glad I am. I have felt my spending get a little out of control lately and I am hoping this resets my priorities. Has anyone else gone on a spending freeze? How has it worked for you? Tell me all about it?

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Anyone who knows Matt and I knows we love anything having to do with Dave Ramsey and Financial Peace University. We have taken the class Uuuummm a few times and learned something new each time. We recently paid off all our debt and don’t have any credit cards…well accept one. For years now we have been trying our best to live out the principals we learned in Financial Peace but I can’t help but feel I have been a hypocrite. It’s kind of my dirty little secret. I have a Nordstrom card (Ahhh) glorious, wonderful Nordstrom. I’ve had it for 14 years that’s longer than I’ve been married people!! I have never had more than a $200.00 balance on it and always paid it off right away or pretty quickly (excuses, excuses). Seriously, I have gone years without using it. Now that we paid off our other debts Matt mentioned this Nordstrom card and how silly it is that I still have it. I have always justified why I should keep it. Here are a few of my desperate justifications, “What if I find something I can’t live without it and don’t have the cash”, “I don’t want to miss a deal, there’s only one”, “I like having it, I’ve had it for so long” and “I have self control, I don’t have to use it” and Matt’s personal favorite is “I want the points” (ha) we always go round and round with that one.

This little card has had a crazy hold on me but I’m finally ready to give it up. Something else has been pestering me about this card. It’s hard to put into words but basically for me having this card shows my lack of faith. That God isn’t always looking out for me, or that He won’t provide for me. He doesn’t want me borrowing money just to have the latest trend or some really adorable ankle boots. It shows that I am not trusting God. It’s like I have this security blanket (not really) to help get me things I want not that I need. Oh and not to mention I’m using money I don’t currently have to get it.

It’s easy to say all this to myself and then do nothing about it but it’s another thing to let all of you know my secret so it’s no longer a secret. For me this is a spiritual issue more than anything. As of today even though I feel silly saying it I’m trusting God to supply me with all of my fashion needs and wants with cash not credit.

Here it is all cut up in little pieces. And for those of you out there that know a cut up card isn’t all that needs to be done, I actually called and cancelled my account. For those newbs even if you don’t have your actual card on you they  can look up your account in the store so I have taken that temptation away all together.

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Is there anyone else out there that feels me? I mean am I the only one holding onto a somewhat harmless credit card? I guess it feels good that it’s finally out of my life. The idea of it feels good but we’ll see the next time I wander into the Rack how it feels. I guess I’ll just make sure to take my shopping envelope with me. 🙂