Kara’s Journal and No Spend month, week 2


snowmanluminaryNote: in the past I’ve been linking up to The Simple Woman’s Blog. You should still go there for some great daybook writing prompts. This week, though I decided to put my own spin on it. Also: there may be affiliate links in this post. Thanks for your support!

As we start the week … This time of year can be hard on me mentally, with the darkness and the cold, and my tendency is to hibernate. However, I think it’s important to strike a balance between time at home and also fighting off cabin fever by making sure we do get out and about a couple of times, too, even just for a walk around the block to stretch our legs and observe the winter world around us (temperatures permitting).

I am thankful … for electricity. Some pretty severe ice storms came through last night and I know many don’t have power currently. When the wind howls and the weather brings a hazardous coating of ice to everything, heat and light are blessings.


Creating … this year I gave myself a challenge of creating something (anything) every day in 2015. I’m documenting it over on my personal blog, if you’d like to take a look at Kara Creates 365 to see what I’m up to. This week I hope to work more on my socks and also a little baby hat I’m knitting for a gift.

Reading …  I created a list of books I’d like to read in 2015 on my personal blog, if you’d like to hop over to K.Elizabeth Fleck and take a look.

Listening … I’ve found a new to me podcast called Curious Handmade that I’ve been listening to and loving over the past few weeks. It’s mainly about handwork and crafts, but she talks quite a bit about simplicity and simple living. I’ve found it really inspiring.

Gardening … I know, I know. It is still too early to do much but daydream about gardens here in Indiana. But, the first seed catalogs are starting to arrive in the mail box and that’s always nice for those of us who need the hope of green days to get through the dull, gray ones.

Cooking and baking … I’m working on a post about how I keep freezer cooking for our household of seven as simple as I can. I honestly think that saved my bacon (pun intended) over the Christmas holidays and it’s a habit that I think saved us some money, too. I don’t normally do a single big batch freezer cooking session, but my friend Cherie mentioned a plan in her interview this weekend on our local news station about five frugal habits and I think I might give that a try later this week. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Around the house … I’ve been working my way through the fifteen minute daily organizing challenges from Home Storage Solutions 101.

Field trips … I don’t have any major field trips planned for this week, unless dentist appointments and a Costco trip count. Ha! But at least we are going to get out of the house a few times this week and I think that’s a good thing.

January = a No Spend month … week two of our No Spend month is in the books. After nearly falling down several times the first week, Christopher and I did much better the second week. We even had a discussion about whether or not the $5 price tag of the Costco freezer cooking plan I mentioned earlier counted as spending or if it was okay to call it part of the groceries.

Why are we starting the year this way? We both want this to be a good year for us financially as we are really close to our dream of being debt free. We are closing in on our last debts, except for the mortgage and the van we had to purchase last year when my special needs sister-in-law came to live with us and the sooner that debt is gone the better.

We also have some things around the house that need repaired and replaced this year, and even though we plan on doing the work as cheaply as possible and as much of it ourselves as we can, we just felt like a No Spending month in January was a good way to kick off the year on a frugal foot and get us headed into 2015 in the right direction.

The week ahead…

  • write to our Compassion kids
  • January is a No Spend month for our family, so continue to resist impulse buys and focus on essentials only
  • Part of my Christmas gift was a subscription to this year’s cross stitch along with The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery. The theme is story time and the first month of the pattern comes out this week. I’m so excited! I haven’t cross stitched since college.
  • Some freezer cooking.
  • Max is excited to open up his newest Tinker Crate 
  • Hibernate begins this week. I’ve taken an e-course from Heather before and I know they are well done and created with great care, so when my mama treated me for my birthday I knew exactly what I was spending the money on. Thanks, mom!
  • Max has Tae Kwon Do three days this week.
  • The three oldest kids go to the dentist.
  • A Costco trip to stock up for a freezer cooking session and also essentials like toilet paper (so exciting, I know)

Well friends, I think this mama is going to go rinse out her coffee cup and get the week officially started. Have a great day!

Best wishes,


About Kara

Kara Fleck is the editor of Simple Kids. She is a small town mama, writer, knitter, bookworm, and hooligan. Kara lives in Indiana with her husband Christopher and their four children Jillian, Max, Lucy, and Amelia. You can find more of her writing at KElizabethFleck.com.

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  1. Kara, do you no longer have your Rockin Granola blog? Please say you do, I’m looking for all the wonderful cleaning stuff you offered. I’ve searched and searched for you, to no avail…..until I found this link, I’m anxiously awaiting your response. Starlett

    • Oh, Starlett, I don’t. :-( However, I do have most of the RG posts and have plans to revamp and repost them here on SK in the future. Maybe that will help? Sorry!

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