Dear California

Dear California,

The earth shifts beneath my feet, and I roam your hills. The sun kisses my face and I feel your warmth.

Oh California, you were my first love. You breathed life into me before I even knew you. I will miss your high-speed winds, and the tumbleweeds that blew down my street when I was just a girl.

I will miss the drives down PCH, blaring the radio, drinking in the smell of the ocean. I will miss your blazing sunsets, your sandy intricacies, your aura of golden happiness.

You gave me so much happiness, California. I met my wonderful husband here and breathed life into my beautiful baby girl beneath your sun.

Your amazing opportunities allowed my dad to raise me in a quiet town nestled beneath the mountains, wrapped in 80′s nostalgia, glimmering just on the edge of big city life.

Thank you California for the beautiful memories of college. They were some of the best years of my life and I’ll never forget them.

As my recollections become mere whispers, I’ll never forget you my first love. As your sun-kissed summers become a distant memory, I will always treasure my time on your sandy shores.

I love you California, and you’ll always hold a special place in my heart

Love, Mackenzie

Happy July friends!

My wonderful friend and fellow blogger Shannon Ryan has written a children’s book! It is called The Lemonade Stand and the yellow cover caught my daughter’s eye immediately:


My daughter and I have read the book together several times, she loves it so much. She’s even asked Grandpa to read it to her!

The book is a great read for kids. It follows the adventures of two boys named Ryan and Christopher who have a case of “the wants” and want the instant gratification of Mom buying a ball and a racing car while at the store. Mom says no, but when they meet up with their good friends Lauren and Taylor, the girls show the boys how they can earn enough money to purchase what they want, and learn how to save money for the future at the same time.

They open a lemonade stand!


By running and operating a lemonade stand, Lauren and Taylor show Ryan and Christopher, “how easy it is to save, spend, and share”, the money they earn. After paying back their parents for the supplies for the lemonade stand, they split the remainder of the money four ways :)


Each child puts a couple of dollars into savings, and then purchases an item that they really want, such as popsicles, perfect for a hot summer day!

It is really a super cute book and kudos to Shannon for putting it all together!

And guess what readers? Head over to The Heavy Purse and purchase Shannon’s book and save $3 by using code (TOUR3114)

Shannon is hosting a giveaway to help celebrate the release of The Lemonade Stand! Want to win an iPad? :) Ya know ya do!


The Lemonade Stand – iPad Mini Giveaway

July 14-31, 2014

Sponsored by The Heavy Purse

Co-hosted by Are Ya Gonna Eat That, Broke Millennial, Budget and The Beach, Budget Blonde</>, Budgeting for More, Busy Mom Budgets, Cash Cow Couple, Cents and Sensibility, Club Thrifty, Color Me Frugal, Debt Debs, Debt Roundup, Disease Called Debt, Eat Laugh Purr, Enemy of Debt, Eyes on the Dollar, Femme Frugality, Financially Blonde, Frugal Rules, Living Richly Cheaply, Luke 1428, Making Sense of Cents, Money Saving Dude, Monster Piggy Bank, Not Now Mom’s Busy, Reach Financial Independence, Shoeaholic No More, Tackling Our Debt, The Broke and Beautiful Life, The Finance Girl, The Frugal Farmer, The Random Path, Thrifty Dad and Young Adult Money.

Join Lauren and Taylor in their continuing money adventures in The Lemonade Stand by Shannon Ryan, CFP®. Shannon is a Mom on a mission to help busy parents teach their children simple, value-based principles that guide their money decisions and support their long-term financial well-being.

“Everyone handles money. Unfortunately, not everyone does it with confidence. Money has long been a taboo topic in many homes, which makes it even harder for parents to know where to start or what to teach. So I created a series of children books to help parents ease into these important conversations. Financial literacy is one of the most loving gifts you can give your children, and I encourage everyone to make money conversations a priority in your home.”

We’re Giving Away an iPad Mini to One Lucky Reader!

Help us celebrate the release of The Lemonade Stand and join Shannon in her mission to increase financial literacy in both children and adults.

The giveaway runs from July 14-31, 2014 and is open worldwide.*

Ready to read The Lemonade Stand in style? Then Sign-Up for the iPad Mini Giveaway today!

* A winner located outside of the United States will receive a cash equivalent prize via PayPal.


Hello All!

Hope your season of Summer is treating you well :)

Updates, updates, updates…

It’s been garage sale time in my neck of the woods. We’ve done pretty well with the garage sales that we have had. People have been very nice and the haggling hasn’t been too painful ;) We have had a few garage sales simply because we keep finding more stuff to get rid of, and also, once it hits 12pm here, it is insanely hot, and you will literally burst into flames after it hits noon. So most people only have garage sales for just a few hours in the morning and then pack it up to do it another day.

Let's Go Crazy!

Let’s Go Crazy!

And to the individual who bought my Depeche Mode Violator CD, you are welcome!

I was watching HGTV the other day… who am I kidding? I watch that channel all the time! Anyways, it was some show where they were doing a remodel of a house they just bought and the designer said, “We turn crappy, into happy”. And I wrote it down, because I just thought that one phrase could apply to so many facets of life! Frown got you upside down? Turn crappy into happy!


You know you want this to be your mantra for the week :)

Only a few more weeks till I am in my new home of Oregon! I can’t believe that soon my family and I will be on the road, ready to start this new chapter in our lives :)

How is everyone doing in July so far? Any fun things planned? :)

Hello everyone!

Sorry to have been a bit M.I.A. lately, but this gal has been busy…

We are still on schedule to move to Oregon, it just got pushed out by a few weeks, so instead of moving this month in June, we are moving next month in July. Still excited, still can’t wait to see my girls Melanie and Kathleen, much more often! :) Needless to say, we have been in a massive de-cluttering, selling everything we possibly can so we don’t have to haul a bunch of stuff, state of mind.

When we plop down on our couch (that we haven’t sold yet) after an exhausting day, we are watching hockey. The playoffs are so exciting, and even though my beloved team isn’t playing for the Stanley Cup, I am a true fan of the sport, and it is just a fun event to watch! :)

My husband has been making lemonade by the gallon full, thanks to the lemon tree we got going on in the backyard. I will miss just walking out to the backyard and picking lemons when we move to Oregon!

lemontree 042713

Although our move is happening in July instead of June, I am happy that it gives me an extra opportunity to spend Father’s Day with my dad. Love you Dad, and thank you for all that you do! You are the best :)

I’m still reading all of your lovely posts friends, I just haven’t had the opportunity to comment. Glad to see that everyone is doing well!


The Third Floor

I sit alone on the third floor. I ruminate, focusing on the present. The thoughts filter in, colors of the rainbow, words sound so bright. Hapless, I fall into a trance of pictures and immerse myself in their images. I am smiling. I know this place.

I pace in front of the window, on the third floor. The sun streams through the glass pane. I am blinded by the light. Shadows dance across the floor. The warmth of the sun turns my cheeks a rosy red. I close my eyes and soak up the intense, the fierceness, the brilliance.

I walk down the corridor, of the third floor. Walls cool to the touch, fingertips tingling. Footsteps echo, dust bunnies scurry to the corner. I see no one, yet I am not alone. I feel energy in the soles of my feet. Like a ballet dancer, I glide, toes pointed. I know where I am going.

I stand on the sidewalk, staring up at the third floor. People pass by speaking their own language, words mixed with emotion, swirls of color fly by. Cars drive past me in the street, horns blaring, a cacophony of engines, waging their war on the black top. The air is gritty and I do not mind. I drink in the city, and feel her roar beneath me.

Let’s face it… we can read personal finance books till the cows come home, but if nothing we read sticks to our pretty little brains, then what’s the point? Are we beating our head against the proverbial wall?

My answer is no.

Keep reading and reading, because at some point, something will stick, something will make sense, and that dim light bulb will finally flash and you’ll say “A-ha! They were right! I totally get it!”

Cause you see folks, I had one of those light bulb flashin’ moments. And seriously, I could just kick myself.

Last year, I called my unhelpful credit card company, and asked if they could lower the APR on my credit card. This is not a card that is used at all; I am simply trying to pay it off. So anyways, I called and spoke to a minion representative, and asked if my APR could be lowered. It’s in the double digits and you guys know how interest and payments work…

So the lady on the phone says no, that “they can’t lower it at this time”, and blah, blah, blah. Okay is there someone else I can talk to? “No, blah, blah, blah…”

After several minutes of going back and forth, I hung up frustrated.

And haven’t attempted to call back and try again since.

Doing nothing can be very expensive.

Some personal finance book I read last year had the above quote, and I wrote it down. Why, I don’t know since I obviously didn’t heed it!

The book went on to say: “When you choose not to act, you have still made a choice. And most of the time, the choice is a bad one”.

By not attempting to contact the credit card company again, I have made a bad choice. By not asking to speak to someone else, to keep calling until I get my APR lowered, I have made a bad choice. By choosing not to deal with it, and 12 months have gone by paying at the higher interest, I have made a bad choice.

Doing nothing can be very expensive.

On my list of things to do this week, besides the umpteen piles of laundry, is to call the credit card company and not give up. When one door closes, I will knock on another and another until someone hears me and someone listens.

Because doing nothing it turns out, is very expensive.

“It’s your birthday, we’re gonna party like it’s your birthday…”


Yes friends and fellow countrymen (and women), the bespectacled lady that writes this blog is celebrating a birthday! Although the number is not important…ahem, 37, cough, cough, I take enormous pleasure in the fact that the year I was born produced one of the awesomest movies: Star Wars, and one of the most hilarious: Saturday Night Fever. Travolta’s dancing moves aside, that movie is campy and just terrible, but in a funny way ;)

I plan on eating cake (ummm, hello!) and having a margarita (cause it’s Cinco de Mayo), but preferably not together, cause that sounds like a recipe for disaster!

My birthday wish this year is not for myself, but for you dear readers. My wish is for you to live life to the fullest. Go on that trip you’ve been dreaming about, learn that language you’ve been talking about, start that novel you’ve been reading about.




Just do something. Don’t let another year go by, frustrated.

Shoot for happiness.♥

So that is my birthday wish for you, friends. Oh, and because my birthday is Cinco de Mayo, if you are one of the few people who still enjoy doing shots, do one for me, will ya?

Cause I’m too old for that $&!%


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