I'm daughter to Lissie, sister to Jess, wife to Brien, mom to Hannah, Lily and Eleanor. I am a stay at home mom to my girls, and my free time is dedicated to gardening (I confess I'm still a novice and look to Lissie and Jess for advice), baking and cooking, and card making. I'm doing my part to make the earth a bit greener, trying hard to avoid processed foods and HFCS, and find the "slow food" movement intriguing and inspiring. I love visits to my local farmers' market, fresh produce, reading, getting out in nature, and spending time with my family.


Catholic, homeschooler, lover of books and great wine and an amateur gardening addict.


I'm Melissa aka "Lissie", mother of Rachael and Jessica, and grandmother to a passel of the sweetest children on the planet. I'm a semi-retired public educator and professor who works from home for a small publisher. I am a lover of all things beautiful ... flowers, the mountains, nature scenes, the innocent faces of children, and my rock and fossil collection, to name a few. I enjoy shopping at the farmers' market for fresh foods and then experimenting with new recipes. Good food and good wine delight me. I love to travel so my suitcase is always packed. Like my daughters, I take pleasure in simple things ... clothes drying on the line, tomatoes so fresh they are still hot from the sun, good books, and interesting movies. I'd like to know everything before I die.
Coming Out Of The Closet

The Goodwill closet, that is. I don't know why but it seems like there is a hierarchy of thrifting, funky thrift stores are on top, followed by yard sales and ebay and then Goodwill and the Salvation Army are on the bottom. Goodwill has an undeserved bad reputation, the prices are amazing and there are really great finds to be had there. I really love Goodwill - both to donate and to shop. In the last 10 years I've found some of my very favorite clothing pieces there - a fleece vest that I wear all the time in the fall and winter springs to mind and I paid $.75 for it a decade or so ago. I never know what I'm going to find (if anything) and it is sort of like searching for a needle in a haystack. Add my soon to be 3 year old son into the excursion and you've got quite an experience on your hands. We probably pop in every 6 months or so when I take a couple bags of things to donate and today was our day.

I like to layer in the cooler months. Undershirt/tank, then long sleeved shirt, then a pullover/sweater on top of those. I found four great sweaters today for me. All in really great shape and all were $4. The lambswool cardigan from Old Navy is so soft and looks brand new and the gray collared pull over from Banana Republic also looks brand new. I'm excited! I'm still in transition back down from my last pregnancy - I've got about 10 lbs. to go - so I need a couple pairs of pants to see me through the next month or so as the weight finally finishes coming off. I found two paris of jeans that are comfy and flattering for $5 a pair. And last I found Bob a Pendleton 100% wool cable knit pull over sweater that I think will be great for weekend wear this winter. A trip to the dry cleaner for it will put its price around $9.

If you haven't shopped at your local Good Will, I urge you to try it out. Lots of great gently used kids books, novels, and clothing can be found.

Grocery Budgeting

I am terrible at it. I go to the store, throw whatever looks good into the cart and pay. I rarely use coupons, I rarely shop sales. I can be brand loyal even when it is silly. So, I'm giving this a whirl. We eat a lot of fresh food, we generally eat organic so we'll see what I can do. Just starting to meal plan with the sale ads in hand should make at least a small difference. We'll see.

31 Days to a Better Grocery Budget


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