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Yearly Archives


Date Night, Marriage


October 13, 2013

Date Night #9

We were traveling on date night a couple weeks back and happened to be in Omaha, NE and staying with my family. The trip to Omaha was verrry short and work related but it was such a gift that it’s timing happened to also fall closely to my parent’s 30th wedding anniversary and my father’s birthday. We celebrated those joyful events along with our date night by having a lovely family dinner followed by a bonfire.


Date Night #10

We saw Gravity in theater. It was worth every penny, which is saying a lot since we almost always stick to cheap-o theaters and redbox.

What did you think of Gravity if you’ve seen it?


Why we Drive a 2000 Dodge Stratus with 190K Miles

October 11, 2013

Many of you know about it Debt Free Journey. Sometimes we get asked, “So now that you have no debt, why don’t you get a nicer car?” We drive a 2000 Dodge Stratus with 190K miles on it.


There are many many days that I want an upgrade. And in reality we have enough cash to go out and buy a nicer vehicle now if we wanted to. But then I remember why we choose to keep this car. The video below gives the explanation of what we are doing.


You won’t see the Teixeiras with a car payment because we can do math. When it is time to upgrade someday, we will pay cash from our Drive Free Cars for Life Fund we are saving for in the bank and the car will be at least a few years old, since we will let someone else pay the steep depreciation costs instead of us. We could upgrade now but we want to get as much life from this car as possible because the longer it lasts the more it allows us to save for other things on our priority list as well.

We are tortoises, what can we say? Everyone knows that the tortoise beats the hare, it just won’t be for a while! If you are reading this and have a car payment or a leasing a vehicle (most expensive way to have a car btw) please know we aren’t judging you or hating on you. We want you to win with the money God has entrusted you to steward.

Check out Financial Peace University  or Total Money Makeover and discover how to  begin making your money work for you and not a bank! We will be your cheerleaders along the way!


5 Reasons You Need a Budget!

October 7, 2013

Many of you are aware of our slight obsession with all things Dave Ramsey. We have gone and drunk the kool-aide and it tastes great! Often we are asked things like, “How do I do what you guys did?”, “Do you think there is hope for my situation?” etc.

We are happy answering these questions, since using Dave Ramsey’s principles and methods have blessed us immensely. We can’t help but want to pass it along as a blessing to others. Hence this post. Trust me when I say that if you don’t have a budget, you will not win with money. Everything hinges on this one discipline, so check the 5 Reasons You Need a Budget below and see if you need one:


1. You wonder where all the money went. 

Have you ever gotten to the end of the month and wondered where your money went? Me too. You need a budget.

A budget is simply telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went. “Be diligent to know the state of your flocks, and attend to your herds.” Proverbs 27:23

A budget puts you in control of your money, not the lack of money in control of you. It’s giving every dollar a name, whether its savings, fun, or paying off debt.

Can you imagine being in full knowledge of what happened with every dollar that was given to you last payday? It’s empowering. With a budget, there is never “more month than money.” You will feel like you got a raise over night by simply being aware of your money.

2. You check your account balance (in fear and trembling) to see if you can afford a purchase.

Is checking your account balance or mint app your idea of seeing if you can afford to go out to dinner tonight or shopping with friends? You need a budget.

A budget is telling your money what you plan to do that particular month or pay period. You can tell it to have $50 set aside for restaurants. You can tell it $50 for shopping. You can tell it whatever you want, as long as you give every dollar a name before the month or pay period begins.

By following a budget, you take all stress and anxiety away from spending or the dreaded overdraft. If you are married, and you’re spouse budgeted $40 for shoes, you aren’t shocked when they walk in the front door with a Shoe Carnival bag. You budgeted for it. You don’t have to check the bank account to know whether or not you can cover it. And you don’t get into a fight. Double win! 🙂

3. You have used a Credit Card for “emergencies.”

Many people’s “emergencies” look more like needing more gas, forgotten birthday gift, new brakes on the car, a medical copay, or going to dinner with friends. I call these “emergencies” since a they are pretty much all items you should anticipate. Cars break. Christmas comes at the same time every year. You will go to the Doctor sometime. You will drive your car and need gas. These are not emergencies. You need a budget.

When someone is truly in an emergency situation they really couldn’t plan for, the LAST thing they need hanging over them is a nice fat credit card bill charging them 18% interest. The emergency is now a nightmare! No one would wish that on their enemy.

By following Dave Ramsey’s principles, the first step is $1,000 in an Emergency Fund. After you pay off all debts except the house, you fund that Emergency Fund up to 3-6 months of expenses. You don’t need a credit card because you pay for any emergency that comes along. A budget allows you to get into this financial position.

4. You think budgeting is for poor people. 

Do you think that people who budget only eat bread and water or are so broke they have to follow one? You need a budget.

“Adults devise a plan and follow it. Children do what feels good.” Dave Ramsey

“In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has.” Proverbs 21:20

Wise people budget. If you poll and study most millionaires, they will tell you they didn’t just win the lottery one day and become wealthy. They had a plan for their money. They made it work hard for them. They told it what to do instead of floating along hoping one day they would have some wealth. They budgeted.

Actually poor people could change their financial position and not be as poor or poor at all if they simply put together a budget. Anyone living on less than they make, telling their money what to do, and stewarding it well will end up winning with money. Anyone can achieve financial peace, whether you make $20,000 a year or $200,000 a year. Both need budgets to win with the money entrusted to them.

5. Your idea of savings is to calculate whatever’s left at the end of the month.

Do you spend and buy whatever you want throughout the month and then save whatever ends up leftover? Or do you not really save consistently at all? You need a budget.

In order to achieve your financial goals and dreams, you have to start putting money aside to pay yourself first. If you don’t do this, the tyranny of the urgent will take over and you will likely never have momentum in your savings efforts. After paying your bills and necessities you can figure out what you want to be saving that month or pay period for whatever goal you are working towards (debt freedom, down payment, honeymoon, newer car, etc.)

This is the secret to really tearing ahead and making progress. However, it does require the ability to say “no” to yourself/others temporarily so you can say “yes” to your bigger goals and dreams.

Need a budget?

In case you were one of those people who needs a budget, you may be wondering where to start? First, I would read Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover to set a solid foundation for yourself. Then when you are ready to budget there are lots of programs, software, apps, etc. out there for your budgeting use. I recommend ones that we have used/currently used.

1. For you Paper & Pen Folks – http://www.daveramsey.com/tools/budget-forms/

2. For you Tech Savvy Folks –  YNAB -You Need A Budget. (includes a $6 off coupon)

We started using the paper and pen and eventually wanted our budget to be in “the cloud” so we switched to YNAB. We absolutely love it. We did try Mint.com and had nothing but trouble. It may be helpful for some but wasn’t for us.

Warning – YNAB does take time to learn and I highly recommend taking the online courses they offer. We LOVE the ability to buy something and instantaneously use our YNAB app on the iPhone to track the purchase. One and done. We always have an accurate view of our bank accounts and know what’s left in every budget category at all times. Our budget meetings take about 10 minutes per month now. Zero surprises. Financial peace.

Let me know how budgeting goes for you!



What We’ve been Eating

September 30, 2013

Lately we’ve had some great food around here and I want to pass on some awesome recipes to others because these recipes are perfect for Fall. What’s been on the menu?

1. BLT Sandwiches 

Recipe Link – http://allrecipes.com/recipe/blt/

You could try adding avocado and other fixings to dress up this classic meal.

Yes it was as good as it looked. We splurged and went for really high quality bacon and fresh tomatoes. It was a good decision.

Yes it was as good as it looked. We splurged and went for really high quality bacon and fresh tomatoes. It was a good decision.


2. Bacon-Tomato Bisque

Apparently we love bacon, since this is two for two here. Below is the recipe and instructions. The red wine is the secret to this soup. AMAZING!!!! We usually triple or quadruple this recipe and put leftovers into freezer bags so we can take a bag out every few weeks, thaw it, and have a couple great meals. We have made grilled cheese as a side dish with this soup and it’s a wonderful addition.


3. Butternut Squash Soup

This is an Emeril recipe – http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/butternut-squash-and-italian-sausage-soup-recipe/index.html

It’s slightly tedious and technical but completely worth the effort. Make sure to cool the squash before attempting to handle it. Another recipe we like to make in large batches and freeze. Breadsticks  or crusty bread for dipping are a wonderful addition to this soup.

Here's the soup simmering and getting ready to be pureed into deliciousness.

Here’s the soup simmering and getting ready to be pureed into deliciousness.

4. Peanut Butter Cookies

This recipe is so easy you can’t mess up. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/claire-robinson/flourless-peanut-butter-cookies-recipe/index.html

Sometimes we substitute the Sugar for Truvia Baking Blend. Turns out mostly the same but doesn’t make as many cookies, since the ratio isn’t the same. These cookies are our favorite to make for special occasions, which we turn into shapes that represent the occasion. Example – For Apollo 13 Movie Night last spring we made them into moons and space ships.

5. Angel Food Berry Cake

We can’t claim this one but it was so delicious (actually I didn’t have any since I am not eating gluten right now but I could tell it was good by sight). We thank Mr. Joe Konopa for bringing this one over. I don’t know his exact recipe but this was close – http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/angel-food-cake-stuffed-with-whipped-cream-berries-10000001611728/


This photo doesn’t do it justice. The middle was stuffed with berries and whipped cream.

Date Night, Marriage

Building Forts

September 28, 2013

Jonathan and I have been traveling this past week, which deserves a blog post of its own, so more on that to come. This post will be a catch up post from date night the past 2 Wednesdays. I also hope some of you are stealing these ideas and having some of your own date nights!

Date Night #7 – Kid Night

Not surprisingly, Jonathan picked the theme for this night. We talked about all our favorite memories, toys, trips, movies, TV shows, etc. from our childhood days. It was a lot of fun to reminisce on a great time in our lives. My, how things have changed so quickly in only 15-20 years. Activities included the following:

We built an awesome fort!

We built an awesome fort!


And laid pillows down to make the floor extra comfy to hang out on.

Then we ate hot dogs, macaroni and cheese, and apple sauce. These were "healthier than our chilhood versions (hot dogs were 100% organic beef, mac n cheese was made of rice flour and real cheese, apple sauce was 100% apples with no added sugar).

Then we ate hot dogs, macaroni and cheese, and apple sauce. These were “healthier” than our childhood versions (hot dogs were 100% organic beef without bun, mac n cheese was made of rice flour and real cheese, apple sauce was 100% apples with no added sugar).

Then we watched 90's commercials on YouTube, and hopped on Amazon Prime to check out Are You Afraid of the Dark? and Clarissa Explains it All. Great shows!

Then we watched 90’s commercials on YouTube, and hopped on Amazon Prime to check out Are You Afraid of the Dark? and Clarissa Explains it All. Great shows!

You want to watch those commercials too, right?

Click here to check out many of the best ones. Skipit, CrossFire, Gak, Lite-Brite, ahhh the classics!!!!!


Date Night #8 – Whole Foods & Despicable Me 2

First we went to Whole Foods to grab some dinner to go…aka dinner we could fit in my purse and bring to the movie. The best thing we picked up was:

love bar

This. Any flavor, doesn’t matter. They are just great. They also have a love poem written inside if that is something you enjoy.

Then we were off the Elvis Cinemas (aka the Cheap-o Theater) for a viewing of Despicable Me 2, which was hilarious, especially this scene:


What I love most about the minions musical debut was the beautiful combo of All 4 One and Boyz 2 Men.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFD9lW9PGM4 (The actual tune)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9N9opF-PK5k (The all white outfits)

All in all a great night and I highly recommend seeing Despicable Me 2. Hilarious movie!


Date Night, Marriage

Introverted Date Night

September 12, 2013

Date night this week was influenced by the misty, foggy, rainy weather here in Denver. Actually it was more like flash-flood weather in many nearby areas so a date night at home won. What were we up to?

Homeade tacos made with carnitas, cilantro, and lime. They were delicious.

Homeade tacos made with carnitas, cilantro, avocado, and lime. They were delicious.

Afterwards we got really nerdy and decided that the most exciting activity would be sitting in bed and reading for 2-3 hours while listening to it rain outside. We are currently reading two different Catholic fiction books by the same author and wanted some extra time to read, since the plots are getting pretty good.


Here’s what Amanda is reading.


Here is what Jonathan is reading.

Here is what Jonathan is reading.


Have any book recommendations once we finish these?