On Things I Am Looking For in The Mid-Sized City of My Dreams

Have you looked into Helena, MT? I think the only thing on your list that isn't here is a true coastline but we have 3 decent sized lakes within 30 minutes. Helena is a pretty artsy town for having such a large government presence (state capital and all) and has a pretty large system of biking and hiking trails in both city parks and the trail system on the south edge of town. Rent here is decent and it's pretty easy to buy a house. Our house is around 2600 sq ft and has 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, living room, family room, and 2 car garage plus a 2 level deck and landscaped yard. We pay around $1500 for this. You could definitely find all on your checklist in terms of housing for way cheaper than that. Plus our winters aren't nearly as cold as the winters in the midwest. We get a decent amount of snow but then it usually melts within a week or two. I don't think I can remember a winter where we had snow on the ground the whole winter. Plus -- Skiiing!!!

Posted on October 6, 2014 at 2:58 pm 0

On Who's Taking Care of Your Baby?

@xtinamartinson I just had to reply because, although 2 and 3 year olds get a bad rap, they are even more lovable than the doughy baby cheeks, legs, and arms. Also they learn to say "I love you", which just melts this mama's heart! Love this time but also know the tantrums aren't as often as some people lead us to believe :)

Posted on October 1, 2014 at 5:17 pm 0

On More Thoughts on Shoes

I love the Busy Day Ballet Flats but how do you get to pay $35.05. Amazon wants to charge me $49.95. Is this one of those things where the prices changes based on an algorithm?

Posted on September 16, 2014 at 4:10 pm 0

On Baby Carrots, Evil or The Most Evil?

Oh I've been so spoiled this summer from the farmers' market. I've been buying real baby carrots from a local farmer and they are truly heaven. Now that the season is winding down, all the farmers are bringing the regular sized carrots and they are just not the same. I will buy a bag of baby carrots from time to time but again - just not the same.

Posted on September 11, 2014 at 2:36 pm 0

On Riding in Car Services With Boys

@Meaghano I'm insured through work and my daughter was insured the moment she was born. I had something like 31 days to prove she was born with a birth certificate or something. I find it weird that your son wasn't covered from birth. Is this an Obamacare thing?

Posted on July 23, 2014 at 5:36 pm 0

On Only Suckers Don't Buy Generic

I definitely buy more brand names than I would like to. About the only one I am super picky about is Q-tips. My hubby, on the other hand, insists on buying Bounty paper towels, Charmin TP, Heinz ketchup, name brand cereal, and so much more. He even pays more for name brand milk where I'm fine with the Costco brand or the store brand. I also only buy generic OTC and rX meds. The Kirkland (Costco) equivalent to Claritin is only around $12 for an entire year's worth of pills. I can't even get a month's worth for that if I bought real Claritin.

Posted on July 22, 2014 at 3:41 pm 0

On What Aren't We Spending Money On?

@Worgchef yes - I like the 36 packs at Costco. There's no shame in that in my opinion. I can get a 36 pack at Costco for like $23. That's a lot of money saved since I seem to buy a lot of beer, especially in the summer months. @fo - there are some craft beers here that sell cans. It's just not my flavors :) Actually two of my favorites haven't even bottled them yet. They are local breweries and I have been known to get a growler or two filled from time to time but it's not very boat friendly to do so.

Posted on July 22, 2014 at 2:01 pm 0

On What Aren't We Spending Money On?

Oh dear - so much to comment about here. I guess I'm not a millennial by definition but I'm only 3 years older than the upper limit so I do have some generational identity issues because I don't completely identify with Gen X. Pay TV – we pay for TV but I’m not really sure how to do it any other way. Stand alone high speed internet in my area would cost nearly as much as getting it bundled with cable. Plus we then get things like access to apps like HBO on my iPad. Investments – I work for a state government and participate in a defined benefit pension plan as well as a 457 plan. We both have IRAs and feel pretty comfortable about our retirement savings. Mass-Market Beer – I love a good craft beer from time to time but seriously don’t buy craft beer for most of our social drinking. To the commenter that doesn’t believe anyone over 22 drinks Bud Light, I have to say how condescending and snotty. I’ll take my can of Bud Light on my boat any day over a glass bottle of craft beer. Cars – I haven’t bought a new car in ages and we usually buy a used car every two to three years so we are pretty much in line here. Homes – I’m on my second home. We bought the first one 6 years ago and sold last year. We bought the current one last fall. I couldn’t imagine renting forever but again I live in a rural area and rental inventories are mostly apartments. I prefer to have a single family home with a yard for my kids. Bulk Warehouse Clubs – We spend thousands of $ at both Costco and Sam’s Club each year. I think in my location it definitely makes sense to do so. We have a second refrigerator and shelving in our garage to help with the storage issue. We actually buy most of our groceries at Costco and then supplement at regular grocery stores. Weddings – we didn’t do it. We might someday but it’s not in the plans for the short term. I think in our state, we are actually considered common law though. Children – yep, have them. Health Insurance – It comes with my job and has since the day I started when I was 24. Advice to buy – I would definitely trust somebody I know much more than an online review, UNLESS the person recommending is a complete idiot. I guess this just proves once and for all, maybe I am Gen X?

Posted on July 22, 2014 at 12:34 pm 0

On The Most Expensive Meals We've Ever Paid For

@bgprincipessa The last time I was in Nashville, we went to Jimmy Kelly's. I thought it was super delish and I'm not sure how much the bill was because my parents paid. I know we had several bottles of wine plus a bottle of champagne and several drinks.

Posted on July 18, 2014 at 2:43 pm 0

On A Call To End Birthday Dinners

I know I live in a different part of the country from most of you but here just about every restaurant will give each person a separate check. In the rare cases where they don't do that, it's usually not a problem for us to split it out and the server runs multiple cards. I'm firmly in the house party as a birthday party camp these days. I think its because so many in my social group have kids and we drag them along. My new house has quickly become a favorite of our group because we have a large family room downstairs and a large backyard for the kids to hang out.

Posted on July 18, 2014 at 1:51 pm 0