Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck

For those living paycheck to paycheck, every month is a balancing act where one little thing can tip them into the debt hole.

Living Just Within Your Means

The expression, “to live within your means” gets thrown around a lot, but what does it really mean?

If your “means” is your income, then it could encompass everyone from people just getting by each month, to those who have substantial savings.

The first group we often call those that “live paycheck to paycheck.” Their entire earnings goes right out the door each month to cover their bills. Without any wiggle room for unexpected expenses, they are at risk for going into debt every month.

What would it mean for the paycheck to paycheck group to live below their means?


They would have that extra bit each month to save. From building an emergency fund, to saving up for a car or other large expense, it really turns the tables on their economic situation.

“Well of course I want that, but I have no extra room in the budget. I’ve already cut out everything!” [Read more...]

30 Foods I Freeze

Switching from pre-packaged foods to homemade can be difficult for family members to adjust. My freezer inventory and tips for saving and using up food.I can hear the refrigerator door open. Shut. Open. Shut.

Finally I hear, “Mom, are you going to be going to the grocery store soon?”

“I just went.”

This is the one problem with changing the way my family eats. I have been steadily moving them away from stuff that comes in colorful packaging with a picture of food on the side. Now they don’t recognize it.

Don’t even get me started on the “there’s nothing to drink” one. I mean, we have a well for goodness sake.

Zero Waste Kitchen

The other problem is they want an instant food fix. But when you are making food from scratch, or even thawing already made meals, it takes a little more time, thought and planning.

From my point of view, we have a ton of food. I am proud of the fact that I can keep us stocked up for very little cost, enjoy a large variety of meals, and waste almost nothing. [Read more...]

6 Months to Peace of Mind

Take the 6 Month Challenge to get your family documents in order and safely stored. Then enjoy the peace of mind that comes for being prepared.Family Document Challenge Wrap-up

We’ve come a long way in the past six months. Although I have a very impressive filing cabinet and hordes of documents, there was no simple way for another person to navigate through them. In addition, should there be a flood or fire, those precious papers could be destroyed leaving a confusing hunt for insurance and account information.

Finally, I had not updated my Will, Power of Attorney, or information regarding guardianship of my child since getting remarried. My new husband had never made a Will and had no Power of Attorney. Should anything happen to either or both of us, we were completely unprepared.

I was determined to remedy the situation and came up with a 6-Month Family Document Challenge to get everything in order. We set the plan in place and committed to gathering the necessary information, meeting with professionals, and having talks with loved ones. We can now be confident that we have anticipated, and handled in advance, a variety of circumstances to the best of our ability. This is an important part of acting as responsible adults, and particularly important for parents of minors.
[Read more...]

Feeling Overwhelmed

Feeling overwhelmed can be crippling when you are trying to reach a goal. Aligning process with goal can help you push through the feeling and move forward.This past week I felt overwhelmed, and it paralyzed me. I looked at all I needed to do and just stopped. I couldn’t figure out where to begin, so I just avoided, retreated, and sunk into some place inside where I go when I get too tired to deal with everything.

It was not a good place to be, but I learned from it. I also got my head together before wasting any more time there, or spiraling down into self-destructive behavior. The latter was how I “escaped” from feeling overwhelmed in the past. Today, I am a stronger person and know I need to get back into “doing” something rather than avoiding.

But how do you take the necessary steps forward when you are feeling overwhelmed? [Read more...]

Excalibur 9-tray Dehydrator Giveaway



Letters from Sunnybrook is participating in our first ever Giveaway!

In conjunction with other Members of the Homestead Bloggers Network, we are offering our readers the opportunity to win a great product. We each paid toward the cost of the product (you know it must be good if I was willing to cough up the money for something I don’t even get to have.) It is a really amazing product — a top of the line dehydrator with all the bells and whistles to ensure correct drying times, even air circulation and plenty of trays to work though your entire harvest. [Read more...]

{Almost} Guilt-Free Chocolate Cupcakes

Moist, delectable chocolate cupcakes that are low in sugar, cholesterol and carbs? Yes, please. Also egg free, soy free, and corn free? You got it!I’ve had a very tough week. I can’t even begin to tell you how many cupcakes I have eaten trying to get this recipe just right. Yeah, I know, poor me.

I will say that I am not yet sick of them and am really enjoying the fact that I even CAN have a cupcake, with all my food allergies. I had not had one in several years, so I’ll just consider it making up for lost time.

Trying to bake anything when allergic to eggs, corn and soy is very challenging. Add to that trying to get the texture of the cupcake to be spongy, having them not stick completely to the wrappers, and having icing that will go on soft and then harden.

Oh, and then I also want them to be made with healthier ingredients, and as little sugar as possible. I was appalled when I saw that most recipes use a whopping 3 cups of confectioner’s sugar just to make the icing for a dozen cupcakes. I think reading that made my blood sugar rise.

So I tried different ingredients, and yeah, I ate a lot of cupcakes. I am very pleased with the result, however, and hope others will now be able to enjoy them too. [Read more...]