Monthly Archives

August 2015

Money

The September Budget Breakdown

August 31, 2015

Welcome back to the budget breakdown here at True Good and Beautiful!

After 9 weeks of traveling this summer, I am happy to say we are HOME.

PRAISE THE LORD!

We had wonderful adventures this summer but man oh man am I glad to be back in Colorado sleeping in my own bed. I can tell Josie is thinkin the same thing.

It feels good to settle back in and nothing makes me feel grounded like budgeting! ūüôā

With that, let’s dive into September’s budget post.

In these posts we will write-up typical expenses that may get overlooked for the particular month. No uploading of photos this month…due to forgetting. Eeep!!

So, what expenses might you expect in the month of September:

  • Back To School Season
    • New clothes
    • Tuition
    • Backpacks
    • School Supplies
  • Labor Day
    • Getaway
    • BBQ
  • End of Season Deals (only if you really need it) ūüėČ
    • Patio Furniture
    • Grills
    • Swimsuits
    • Clothes
  • Holidays Travel (always some good flight deals this time of the year)
    • Thanksgiving
    • Christmas
  • Fall Activities
    • Football games
    • Baseball games
    • Football parties
    • Fantasy Football fees
    • Apple Orchards
    • State Fairs
  • Christmas (good idea to start saving a few months ahead!)
    • Gifts
    • Decorations

Again, these are some expenses we’ve found ourselves budgeting for this month, so they might be applicable to you or not. Some of these expenses are best budgeted for as a sinking fund...like vacations or gifts.

Happy budgeting y’all!

Catholicism

5 Destinations for Your Catholic Road Trip – Northeast Edition

August 9, 2015

There’s nothing like a road trip to bring together a group of friends, and nothing makes a road trip better than great destinations. For all of who live in the in the Northeast or have a desire to road trip there, here are a few places I suggest you visit (paired with some great eats nearby):

1. The Abbey of the Genesee – Genesee, New York

This Trappist monastery, located in rural Western New York, is home to about 30 cloistered monks. They spend their days (waking up at 2:15 AM!) praying and working. To support their monastic lifestyle the monks of the Abbey of the Genesee bake bread which they sell at the monastery and in grocery stores throughout western New York. Not only can you buy every variety of Monk’s Bread at the monastery (including monastery exclusive¬†unsliced¬†maple cinnamon)¬†you can join the monks in praying Liturgy of the Hours¬†throughout the day!

Tip: After spending time with the monks, head into nearby Geneseo and go to Pizza Paul’s for the half-sub, half-calzone¬†subzone.

 

2. St. Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal – Montreal, Quebec

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St. Andre was the main driver behind building an oratory in honor of St. Joseph, which has been enlarged multiple times over the years. There’s a lot to explore and see nowadays, but my two favorites were seeing St. Andre’s¬†heart (they took it out and put it in a glass box!) and the hall honoring a dozen or so of the many titles of St. Joseph (e.g. Terror of Demons). There are also multiple places throughout the grounds that are covered in old crutches that people left behind¬†after miraculous healings.

Tip: While in Quebec, you’ve got to grab some¬†poutine, which is french fries and cheese curds covered with brown gravy. Yum!

Bonus Tip: While in town, check out the amazingly beautiful Notre Dame Basilica.

 

3. National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette РAttleboro, Massachusetts

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This shrine dedicated to Mary’s¬†apparition in La Salette, France is a great visit any time of year, but is exceptional during Christmastime, during which they pull out all the stops with¬†the Christmas Festival of Lights. They deck out the grounds with over a quarter of a million lights.

Tip: Bliss Bros. Dairy is only a 1/2 mile away from the shrine! Stop in for a sundae or milkshake, and be sure to take home a ice cream pizza. Yes, such a thing exists, and yes, it’s everything you want it to be.

4. Shrine of Our Lady of Martyrs A.K.A. North American Martyrs Shrine – Auriesville, New York

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This shrine is built where the Mohawk village of Ossernenon stood.¬†This is where St. Isaac Jogues and two of his lay companions were martyred. The other North American martyrs are also celebrated here. If that wasn’t enough, it’s also the birthplace of St. Kateri Tekakwitha!

Tip: Auriesville isn’t exactly a bustling metropolis, and this is the one location on this list I haven’t personally been to. I searched Yelp and found Forever Young’s diner less than 10 miles away. They’re known for their korean-inspired Bolgogi (fire meat) omelet and their thick-cut made from scratch cinnamon raisin toast.

5. Our Lady of Victory National Shrine and Basilica – Lackawanna, New York

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Father Nelson Baker’s heart broke for the poor¬†and beat for Our Lady. Throughout his life, he did much for both.¬†The orphanage he ran was so well known that children were put on trains all over the country with “Father Baker’s” pinned to their clothes, and they railroad staff knew exactly where to take them and made sure they got there. He spearheaded construction of a new church in honor of Our Lady of Victory (a personal favorite of his) and the absolutely beautiful¬†basilica was completed in 1925¬†for over 3 million dollars¬†without going into debt. (You know I love that!)

Tip: Lackawanna is right next to Buffalo, so head on over to Anchor Bar, birthplace of the Buffalo Chicken Wing, and chow down.

This post highlighted Catholic road trip destinations in the Northeast. Please list any Northeast favorites I missed in the comments, as well as spots to list in future posts about other regions of the country!

Parenting

Are Cloth Diapers Still Worth It?

August 7, 2015

We’re nearly 9 months into our cloth diapering journey and the question has been asked…

Are cloth diapers still worth it?

I wrote about cloth dipes early on in Josie’s life.¬†¬†Basically we chose to cloth diaper because it’s economical, environmentally friendly, and mega cute.

Those are wonderful motivations, right? But, Amanda, tell me like it is. What are the downsides?

Well I am here to tell you what I’ve found to be the tricky spots of cloth diapering.

1. Never Ending Laundry

Every 2-3 days I run a cloth diaper load in my washer. First, I do a cold wash with a little Tide powder to shake the ickies off. It’s followed by a hot wash with a cold rinse and LOTS of Tide powder to make sure my dipes get squeaky clean. Then it’s off to the dryer on low. Finally, once they’ve cooled I sit down with an episode of Grey’s Anatomy (gasp!) and have a diaper stuffing party with myself while Josie plays nearby.

It feels like I do a lot of laundry but if I am being honest, I kind of like doing the monotonous work of stuffing. Probably only because it means I get ten minutes to watch my shows in peace. All in all, laundry is not as big a negative as I thought it would be.

Still worth it? You betcha.

2. Leaking

All brands of cloth diapers will eventually leak if they get over saturated or if you don’t properly fit them to your baby’s unique body shape. This can be a pain because the baby is constantly growing and there is a learning curve with how to fit a cloth diaper to those little legs. They also reach saturation point much quicker than disposable diapers. Like much much quicker. So you have to change the baby way more often to prevent leaking.

I will say that Josie has been known to leak #2 out of disposables on a consistent basis. She’s only ever leaked #1 from a cloth diaper so that’s a win for cloth in my mind.

Now that we’ve got our learning curve down and I know how to fit them to her body AND I know how often I need to change her, we’ve gotten into a routine that more or less prevents the dreaded leaks. It still happens on occassion but we typically have a spare outfit with us so it’s no big deal.

Still worth it? Yup.

3. Starting Solids

For the first 6 months of Josephine’s life, she was exclusively breast fed. That means all her poo was organic material that could be dissolved and washed off in the washing machine. I didn’t have to do anything to remove it before hand. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.

But then she started solids…and this nearly broke cloth diapering for this Momma.

All of a sudden their poop begins to take shape when solids are introduced. And it’s no longer OK to simply throw it in the washer to dissolve. It must be removed.

AGH!!

This has to be the worst part of cloth for me. Most of the time her poo has been “plop-able” from diaper to toilet which isn’t that hard. But every now and again it’s “peanut-buttery” poo and I have to use the dreaded diaper sprayer to remove it. Let’s spare y’all the details but I have ended up with a poo and water splattered bathroom on many occasions due to my steep learning curve with the sprayer. Ugh.

I am getting smart though. I bought a pair of gloves to wear while I spray. I also purchased the Spray Pal¬†to contain my spraying power. I’m also just getting better and my Rookie mistakes from the early days are becoming a distant memory.

Still worth it? Oh yea.

This summer Josie actually spent about 6 weeks in sposies while we traveled. Sure, they were convenient because I could just throw them out when I was done with them and they had a stripe in the middle that revealed when she was wet, but when it was time to go back to cloth I was actually relieved. I was glad to be back in our routine with cloth and most of all I was so happy to no longer have to budget for diapers any longer. Disposables are PRICEY y’all!

As you can see, there are legitimate cons to cloth diapering but at the end of the day, they are still worth it to me! ūüôā

Money, Monthly Budget Breakdown

The August Budget Breakdown

August 1, 2015

Welcome back to the budget breakdown here at True Good and Beautiful!

 

We’re still on the road…

Yes there have been many adventures but we are ready to be home. Only a couple more weeks until you start hearing from us regularly once again!

Until then, lets get down to some budgeting.

In these posts we will write-up typical expenses that may get overlooked for the particular month. No uploading of photos this month, due to being on the road.

So, what expenses might you expect in the month of August:

  • Back To School Season
    • New clothes
    • Tuition
    • Backpacks
    • School Supplies
  • Labor Day
    • Getaway
    • BBQ
  • Utilities increase
    • Air conditioning
    • Fans
    • Water bill
  • End of Season Deals (only if you really need it) ūüėČ
    • Patio Furniture
    • Grills
    • Swimsuits
    • Clothes
  • Wedding Season (finally the tail end!!!)
    • Gifts
    • Travel

Again, these are some expenses we’ve found ourselves budgeting for this month, so they might be applicable to you or not. Some of these expenses are best budgeted for as a sinking fund...like vacations or gifts.

Happy budgeting y’all!