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Dear Parent... love, your child's nurse


Dear parent, 

I am your child's nurse and I just want to thank you for letting me take care of them. I know that you love your kid almost more than you love yourself and it's hard to trust a complete stranger with their care. Whatever circumstance brought you here, I'm sorry that it did. Whether you showed up in blood stained clothes without even a toothbrush, or have been preparing for this hospitalization for months, I'm sorry your kid has to be laying in that hospital bed. I see the stress in your eyes--you're weary, you're tired, and this is all so unknown. 

I'm not a parent so I can't say I know what you're feeling. But what I can say is something that I truly hope you understand. I hope that you know that I care deeply about your child. The only person that wants to see them get better and leave this hospital more than I do is you. I chose to do this job and I love it. Contrary to popular belief, I don't love it because I get to poke and prod and see gross things. I love it because of the smile that your child might share with me. I love it because in one of your worst moments as a parent I can offer you a cup coffee or a tall glass of water. I love it because I know that I played a part in seeing that your son or daughter walks out of those hospital doors healthy again. I love what I do and I hope you realize how much I truly care for your child. 

I admire you Mom and Dad. You are enduring one of the hardest things a parent has to go through. Whether you're handling it well or not, I know that it's incredibly difficult for you. I know that you're worried about your other kids at home, your kid in front of you, and how you're going to manage to pay for it all. I know that you're stressed about two thousand things that I have no clue about, and I get that sometimes that will come out as frustration towards me. I see you crying and it breaks my heart. You may not see my tears, but I promise you that, later, the inside of my car will. 

I understand your frustration and tears are often validated, and I hope you understand that I am not the bad guy. I am often the middle man taking orders from doctors and trying to explain them to you as best I can when they fail to make sense. My heart sinks as much as yours does when I find out that I have to poke your child yet again, but I also understand the importance of what this test will show us so I do it anyway. I know that your child getting rest is important, but I also know that monitoring his vital signs and making him turn so I can see his dressing are just as important. So I wake them up anyway. 

All that being said, I don't know everything and I appreciate when you realize this in a gentle way. Please speak up if you think that I'm doing something wrong- more than one parent has caught a mistake by saying something. The doctors and us nurses are far from perfect and we want you to speak up on behalf of your child. If something we said does not make sense, tell us. If you think that medication that I'm about to give is not being given at the right time, tell me. Yes, it is my job to double check all these things but I have and will continue to make mistakes. 

If you think something is not right with your child say something-even if you can't put your finger on what is wrong.  I will call the doctor for you and do as much as I can to alleviate your concern. That being said, if it's the middle of the night and it's a concern that can be addressed in the morning, please don't make me call the doctor and wake them up. They will be much better prepared to take care of your child if they got uninterrupted sleep the night before. 

I guess the last thing I really hope you would understand is that we're a team. And I don't mean me the nurse and the doctor (though we are). I mean me, the nurse, and you, mom and dad. We're a team- you want to see your child get better and so do I. That means I will respect and help your child, but I would ask that you do the same for me. Please know that I would love to help change your child's gown that he just threw up on, but I may not make it into the room right away because I'm calling the ICU on my other patient who can't breathe. I know that your child needs Tylenol and I promise I will bring it into him as soon as I finish taking care of my patient that is actively seizing in front of me. Your goal and my goal is the same- to get your child out of the hospital as soon as we can. If that means he needs to get out of bed, then I will get him out of bed. If that means he needs to get a suppository (every teenage boy's worst nightmare), then I will give that suppository. If that means getting them to drink 10 ounces of juice or water then I will decorate a cup just for them in hopes that it will get them to drink. I don't want your child to suffer any more than they have to, but if I need to do the hard thing to help them get better, I will. I totally get it when you want me to be the bad guy to your child so that you can be the one who comforts them. But just know that when you go home, you may have to be the bad guy so that you don't land up back in the emergency room. If you're willing to sometimes be the bad guy in the hospital, I can all but guarantee you that you will get home sooner and be more likely to stay home. 

Every time, I walk into the wing of the hospital, I promise to give 100% to your child for the 13 hours I am there. I know that you are willing to give 100% to your child too. Just realize that sometimes this means cuddles, sometimes this means forcing medicine in them or holding them down for a poke, but usually it means both. You and me working together will help get your child home sooner than I'll be able to do on my own. 

Your child matters so much. They are a sibling, a child, a friend, and a simply precious gift. They are more than a patient in the bed, and I celebrate their victories (almost) as much as you do. Whether that means taking their first step again, or taking their Tylenol for the first time, I rejoice with you. 

This hospital is not where kids should be. But life happens, and a good handful will land up among our brightly colored walls. Mom and Dad, let me help you get them back into the world where they belong. I am on your team, I am on your child's team, and I care more than you will ever know. 

Thank you for trusting me with your most precious, thank you for helping me do my job by questioning me, supporting me, and knowing that I am not the bad guy. I know you'll do your best- so will I. Let's get your child home, where they belong. 

Love, your child's nurse. 

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An Infographic... about Me**

 Today I'm joining up with Kiki and all the wonderful people at The Circle Link-up today for a post telling a little bit more about ourselves. 

Do we have anything in common? I would love to get to know you better so please comment and hang around. Let's be friends! 

**So I really wanted to title this post, "All About That Bass Me" but in Blogger you can't have strikethrough text in a post title unless you go in and manually change a ton of HTML... ridiculous right?!

5 Things I Swore I Would Never Do... and Did.

Are there things in your life that you swore you would never do and later landed up doing? I know that I've had quite a few of these moments, and I think life has a funny way of showing us "You want to bet?" Down below, you'll see a list of my five things that I swore I'd never do... and did. 

1.Be a nurse 
I come from a long line of nurses and doctors. My Grandma was a nurse for 40 years and I remember staying home from school with her when I was sick. She would always ask me, "Sarah do you feel like vomiting?" I would tell her, "Grandma, first it's called puking not vomiting, and second why do you care so much?" My brothers and I would cough once and Grandma would immediately ask, "Are you coming down with a cold?" No Grandma, I just swallowed something wrong. I still remember her giving my Dad penicillin shots in the back bedroom, and the stories she would tell were absolutely revolting. I swore that I would never become a nurse- gross! 

{this was my first day as a real nurse!}

15 years later and I am a registered nurse that uses the word vomit on a regular basis and tells my fair share of gross stories at the dinner table. Alex starts sniffling and I ask him if he's catching a cold. I became my Grandma, even though I swore I never would be. {More on nursing here}. 

2. Get married before I was 28 
One of the first blog posts I ever wrote talked about how I had my life planned out from the time I was 18 until I was 28. My plans included going to nursing school, working as a nurse overseas, going to grad school to become a nurse practitioner, and getting married no sooner than age 28.

Once again, God showed me that he had different plans for my life and I found myself tying the knot when I was barely 22. This six year difference was a huge change that both my parents and I had to accept. My prior planning and set wedding age partially explains why Alex and I dated for 3 years  and knew each other for 4 before getting married. I don't regret getting married at 22 at all, and when the day came I was absolutely ready for it. A series of miracles (that you can start reading here), served to show me that my wedding day was chosen and ordained for me long before I was even born. I laugh at my 18 year old foolishness in thinking that I could plan my life down to the year, and I try to remember that when I get ahead of myself now and try to put a timeline on kids, graduate school, and houses. 

3. Never play the piano {again}
Y'all I was a rebel. I had started taking piano lessons when I was 5, and somewhere in the next 6 years gotten good enough that my parents (especially my Dad) really enjoyed it when I played. However, when I turned 11 (my rebellious year), I swore off playing the piano ever again. Not because I didn't enjoy it- I did enjoy it. But my Dad enjoyed it too, and in one of my biggest acts of rebellion to date, I swore off playing the piano so that my Dad wouldn't be able to enjoy me playing. 

Terrible right? I held true to that promise and for an entire year our piano stayed untouched. But then I got the wisdom of a 12 year old and started playing again and haven't stopped since. I was lucky enough to accompany my high school choir on certain pieces and even got paid in college to accompany a couple of plays. Now, I spend a lot more time blogging than I do playing the piano but I know it will always be there when I decide to come back to it {you can hear a clip of me playing here}. 

4. Live in a big city 
I grew up in small town Colorado. The town I grew up in was about 15,000 people and I lived 45 minutes away from there on 35 acres with a driveway that has made more than one grown man cry. Growing up I loved the stars and stillness that came with living in the country, but hated how long it would take to get home and how hard it was to get together with friends. Despite my love-hate relationship with rural living, I could never ever see myself living in a big city. When I moved to Colorado Springs in 2009 for college, I figured that this would be the biggest I would get. 440,000 people and traffic jams {not caused by tractors} took awhile to get used to. The thought of living in a bigger city never appealed to me and I swore I would never do it.

Fast forward five years later where I found myself moving to Denver, the capital of Colorado, and a city of 650,00 (not including surrounding suburbs). In a matter of years I had traded stars for skyscrapers in my night skyline and the smell of exhaust for the smell of sagebrush. I used to barely be able to get the Denver Nuggets basketball games to come in on my radio as I did my homework at home, and now I lived half an hour away from the stadium. While I will say that living in a big city has been an adjustment, moving to Denver has been a really good move and Alex and I have enjoyed ourselves a lot. While I don't see myself settling down in a place this big, it has been really fun for this stage in our lives and once again I learned to never say never. 

5. Go camping or hiking by choice 
As a born and raised Coloradoan, this may surprise you but I hated hiking and camping when I was younger. My family did it a lot so you think that I would have learned to love it. I usually found myself lonely on camping trips- my brothers would do their thing, my parents would be old and nap, and I would be left on my own to read or find something else to do. 

I didn't get the point of hiking- I saw it as a lot of walking for nothing. Then one summer, my family went hiking, got caught in the pouring rain, and my mom and I got separated from my Dad and brothers. Several hours later, we reunited and made it back to the car soaking wet and hungry. That was the last straw for me. I vowed I would never ever choose to put myself through the misery of camping or hiking.

{this was me at the top of my first 14er- a mountain over 14,000 feet}

Fast forward a decade and camping is one of my favorite things to do. There is something about the smell of pines and campfire smoke, the rawness of not showering and sleeping on the dirt that I love. Last summer was the first time I had gone camping without my Mom and I realized how much hard work it is (trying to remember to pack soap, paper towels, and cooking utensils is exhausting!) Maybe it's because I live in the city now or maybe it's because now I have a camping buddy (Alex), that it's grown on me. Maybe it's because I've traveled the world and come to realize that Colorado is just as pretty as almost any other place out there. Regardless, I'm now a camper and the hiking part of me is coming along. Never say never my friends. 


My whole life has been full of my plans that have changed and redirected in ways that I could have never expected. The Bible says that "the mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps" (Proverbs 16:9). Ain't that the truth? Be careful with what you wish for or don't wish for friends- you might get just the opposite :) 

What things have you swore you would never do and did? Have you learned (like I have) that life doesn't go as planned?

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A Generous Home: Update on my Word of the Year

The very first post on my blog in 2015 explained how my word of the year was generosity. I wrote how I wanted to be generous in my finances, home, and time. I wanted to reflect on how this goal had gone so far, and share it here on the blog. This post is not in any way meant as a bragging post, but as a post that allows you all to keep me accountable over the next 6 months. 

So far in 2015, we've opened up our table to more friends and family than we did in 2014. We've had game nights with couple friends that have been so fun, and have housed 6 people (at once, not total) in our 600 square foot apartment. These times have been highlights of my year. I've always been one to take joy in knowing that there is no more room at my table and that every single sleeping space is being used. We've been able to tip waiters and waitresses more than the cost of our bill, and donate to a couple of charities near and dear to our hearts. I reiterate: these things have been so fun. But, they've also been comfortable. I know that things don't always have to be uncomfortable to be effective, but in my heart of hearts, when I wrote that post back in January, I wanted to be so generous that it would make me uncomfortable. 

To date, I have only done one thing that felt uncomfortable. After hearing a little baby's cry from our neighbor's apartment, I walked across the breezeway one night and knocked on the door and introduced myself. This was our first time meeting, and I asked if they had recently welcomed a bundle of joy (to which they said yes), and I proceeded to ask if I could bring them dinner one night (to which they agreed). This doesn't seem like a big deal now, but I was sweating buckets you guys. I was more nervous for that than I had been for anything in a really long time! What would they think of me? Would they think I was weird or trying to poison them? Or since we live in Colorado, did they think I was going to give them pot-laced brownies? I especially didn't want them to think that their baby was bothering us ( because he wasn't). All these things ran through my mind as I debated whether or not I should walk across the breezeway and introduce myself. Thankfully, my power thought of the week, was "do not fear", and because of this thought, I pushed my fear aside and knocked on their door. This act of generosity, though seriously uncomfortable,worked out beautifully as they enjoyed their homemade lasagna and banana bread, giving us a sweet thank you note a few weeks later. 


In the next six months, I want generosity to push me out of my comfort zone. I recently read a book called "Bread and Wine" by Shauna Niequist that spoke directly to my heart. It talks about bringing people together over a meal, and the connections and life events that happen because of good food. She describes how early in her marriage, her and her husband's living room was full of people sitting on their floor sharing a meal off of paper plates while getting to know each other. 

This is my dream. I want my living room floor covered with friends, I want food spilled on my carpet because someone ran into someone else, and I want my sink full of dishes that aren't just mine and Alex's. But then the fear sets in... who would I invite? If I invite people who don't know each other will it be awkward? What if we decide to break out the board games and people don't like board games? What if conversation slows? What if people don't like the food? What if? 

Let these next six months be a period where I throw the "what ifs" out the window. I've let my fear stop me from being so uncomfortably generous. I really want to stop caring about what people think, and instead show them love. Show them good food, show them homely love, and create an environment where people feel like they can be real. 

In the next six months, I also need to be more generous with my time. It is so easy to throw money at something and feel good about it. It's much harder to spend precious days off waking up early to go serve at the soup kitchen, or come home early from camping to teach Sunday school. I have yet to stop and share a meal with the men I see begging on the corner, and have yet to start consistently volunteering somewhere. I've looked and thought about these things, but haven't taken action. Selfishness, greed, and busyness win over every time. I want these next six months to be a period of time where I slow down, take time to buy that man a cold soda and hear his story. I want the next six months to be a period where I give up control of my time, and let God use it how He pleases. 

I actually got a little anxious writing this post you guys. A lot  Most of this stuff isn't easy for me. I'd much rather sit behind anonymous donations and comfortable dinners with friends I know. But I know that I am called to do more. And because of that I pray for the ability to slow down and to yield my heart and goals to Jesus.  And more importantly, I pray for the courage to follow how the Lord leads, even if it's hard, scary, and makes my palms sweat. 

How are you doing with your word of the year? Any thoughts on how to be generous with time, money, and/or home? 

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Project 12: June

Project 12 is a monthly recap of our lives where I talk about dates, notable events, and other fun things. June was another busy month full of lots of big events and fun! 


1. Pikes Peak- My parents were in town for Alex's graduation and the day after the graduation, we decided to drive up Pikes Peak. This is one of the few 14ers (mountains over 14,000 feet) that you can drive to the top of. We enjoyed the family time, loved the view, and saw a pregnant lady at the top not doing so well (all you preggos take note). My brother later educated us on how serious altitude sickness can really be (really serious), so it's a good thing to keep in mind if you're going to be headed to altitude this summer! 

{check out that dark cloud behind us! I'm glad we weren't hiking this time}

2. Camping! It's been rainy and chilly this summer but the later part of June things started to warm up so we decided to go camping. We were able to go with some of our best friends and we just had an absolute blast. We played spades and progressive rummy, fished, read books, relaxed, ate THE BEST PEACH COBBLER (see below), and shared our hearts around the campfire. Perhaps the highlight of the weekend was reading Scripture and discussing it around the campfire Sunday morning. I am so incredibly grateful for friends that encourage our walk with the Lord and are just plain fun to be around. 

{the lake where we went fishing}

{this girl is my sister from another mister}

{these guys are just the best}


1. ALEX GRADUATED!! My husband Alex has been in a radiology technologist program since he graduated with his bachelor's degree in 2013. It was a pretty rigorous two year long program that he enjoyed and learned a lot in. The only person more excited about his graduation than himself was ME. Now we're going to be two people working, have two incomes, and hardly know what to do with ourselves!

{so proud of him!}

2. I bought my first maxi dress! It's actually my first maxi anything (dress, skirt etc.). I've been so afraid of the stripes and the trend in general because I'm worried that it would make me look fat, but on a whim I bought a discounted maxi dress at Old Navy and I LOVE IT. I'm glad I listened to all you bloggers that encouraged me to take the leap because it is my favorite thing to wear now.

{please ignore the facial expression and fluorescent lighting. I had just woken
 up from after a night shift and was trying to keep my eyes open...literally}


1. Yoga is the I think I've mentioned in an earlier post that I was really getting into yoga, but this month I took it to another level. I did the 30 Days of Yoga Challenge With Adrienne and LOVED it. It was a daily yoga sequence (that's right, every single day) that was so fun to do and complemented my running really well. If you're at all interested in yoga, either as a beginner or with some experience, I highly recommend you check out her Youtube channel. She has tons of videos and teaches in such a way that you don't feel bad about yourself. It's great! 

2. The BEST peach cobbler IN THE WORLD. My friend had a recipe to make one in a cast iron skillet over the fire while we were camping and let me tell you- best thing I've ever tasted in my whole life. We all just took forks to it and finished it off in 15 minutes. It was the easiest thing ever to make and I really want to try and recreate it at home! 

{we were drooling at this point... quite literally}

{we devoured it}



10 Curses That Block the Blessing by Larry Huch. Okay, so despite the very televangelist-y title this book was awesome. It was recommended to me by some people at a healing service and I couldn't recommend it more. It examines 10 generational curses that may exist/have existed in your family including anger, jealousy, and gossip. The author then goes on to explain how this curse over our can affect our day to day lives and he ends each chapter with a prayer you can pray to break the generational curse. I don't feel like generational curses are addressed much in today's culture, but this book shows that there is a lot of Biblical references to them, and Satan is using them today to devastate lives. The author of the book is a former drug dealer who got saved but then was still struggling with the same issues over and over until the Lord gave him the revelation about a generational curse. He prayed about it, broke the curse, and it has made all the difference in the world for him. That to say, if you are repeatedly struggling with something despite all your best efforts to improve, this book may really help you! I highly recommend it! 

Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist. This book spoke straight to my heart and word of the year (update on how I'm doing with my word of the year is coming later this week!). It speaks of having a generous heart and open table and how so much of life is lived around food and a table. It did make me wish that I was a better cook/more into cooking because her dinner menus were amazing while mine is always one of three dishes depending on the weather. If you have a passion for creating community and/or opening up your home, I suggest you check this book out! 

Becoming Nursey by Kati Kleber. This is a book that was written directly to new nurses and goes through different aspects of the transition from student nurse to nurse. It's a really hard and stressful transition but one I've mostly gone through by the time I read this book. There is a lot of nuggets of wisdom in it though if you are in your first year nursing and it was a quick, fun read. 


This month, I saw my first ever animated film in theaters. I'm not really into animated movies (*gasp*), and generally avoid them but "Inside Out" looked way too cute. I had just come off of my first string of night shifts and was absolutely exhausted and fell asleep during part of the middle of the movie. But other than that little mishap it was one of the cutest animated movies I've seen and I really enjoyed it. 


Miles run: 16. This beats May's count of 9. My goal at this point is 6 miles a week which is virtually nothing, but for me is plenty. Since I'm on night shift right now I hardly ever wake up before it gets hot which means I'm running in the afternoon in the heat or rain. I'm not a hot weather runner and basically want to die after 2-3 miles in the heat... those of you that live and run in the heat- HOW DO YOU DO IT?? 

New recipes tried: 2. Some friends made this white chicken enchilada casserole when we went to their house and it was delicious. I gave it a shot this month and it turned out SO good! A repeat for sure! 

This ground turkey sweet potato skillet was alright. Basically tasted like ground turkey and sweet potatoes; in a nutshell- wasn't anything special. 


This post on how to break your conflict cycles in your marriage written by Lauren, my newly discovered favorite blogger! 

This book that has put a fire in my heart for the orphan and a closer relationship with Jesus. I'll write more in next month's project 12 post but this book talks about the rescue of a baby out of Uganda. By medical standards, the girl should not have lived but she did and this story is a testament to God's amazing power. If you're needing something inspirational and motivating, this is the book for you. 

I wrote about one of my core beliefs and how I'm able to do my type of job. Every day I remind myself that this is not the end of the story 

And a little bit more of a life update over coffee where I share my heart and what's really been going on behind the scenes of life. 

How was your June? Have you gone camping yet? How about jumped on the maxi dress/skirt train?

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How to Comfortably Live On a Single Income

As many of you may know, my husband and I have been living on a single income (mine) for the past two years as he finishes school. We live in a part of the country that is getting more expensive by the year (Denver is one of the top five growing housing markets in the country), with wages not necessarily growing in proportion to cost of living. Living on a single income has not been easy, but it is so worth it as we have continued to stay out of debt and built our savings little by little. Our single income will soon turn into two incomes as Alex has finished school and is looking for a job, but we are going to continue to live off of a single income, saving the entire other income in preparation for some expenses that we know are coming soon. Below, I've shared my tips for living comfortably on one income. I'm super passionate about this subject and love to share how we've done things so please comment or email me with any questions or comments you may have. 

1. Create a budget, and stick to it! 
This is probably the most important thing you can do if you want to successfully live off of one income. Setting a good budget includes sitting down and looking at exactly how much you make, and how much your expenses are. If you don't know this right off the bat, take a month or two to write down your expenses (you can use a spreadsheet like we do!) so that you can get an idea of your expenses. 

Once you get an idea of where your money is going, sit down with your partner (if you're married), and create several categories and assign dollar amounts to each of these categories. Some of these categories may include rent, car payment, electricity, entertainment, gas and groceries. 

Set a realistic amount, yet don't over budget- your goal here is to either break even with the single income or even come out with some savings. 

2. Get used to a new standard of living. 
This is super easy to write and super hard to do. If you're used to ordering Starbucks three times a week and going out to eat five nights a week, it's going to be hard to change those habits. But to successfully live off of one income, you're going to need to cut some stuff out. 

I suggest you start small and work your way into things. Cut down your Starbucks treat down to once a week while you learn to create your favorites at home using copycat Pinterest recipes. Start making one more meal a week at home than you normally would. Once you see how much you can save each month by adjusting your standard of living, you'll be more motivated to continue. (Example: 3 Starbucks drinks a week at $5 per drink = $15 a week, $780 a year. 1 Starbuck drink a week = $5 a week, $260 a year. That's a $520 difference! That's almost two extra car payments, an extra payment on a student loan, or $500 towards family vacation!) 

The key is moderation- allow yourself to have a treat once in awhile so you don't binge. For example, if you're a shopper and are a fan of "retail therapy", give yourself a $50/month budget instead of saying that you can't ever go shopping again. Make sense? 

3. Become friends with coupons and Groupon. 
My husband and I love going on fun dates- our monthly recap posts are proof that we don't just sit at home and watch Netflix. However, my husband is the coupon king, and we often go to places at a discount. We're not crazy couponers at all (don't I wish), but we'll glance through coupons that come in our mail and we're huge fans of the app Groupon. We'll often get discounts on mini golf, drinks, and meals because we take a few extra minutes to look. It's almost a challenge- can we do everything on a coupon? And using coupons forces us to try new restaurants we wouldn't normally try- a win win! 

4. Give generously. 
You may be surprised that this is on my list of ways to successfully live on a single income, but I am a huge believer in the power of giving your first fruits. In the Bible it says that we are to give a tenth of our first fruits back to the Lord and this looks differently for different people. Some think that this means giving back a tenth to your local church, to others it means giving to local charities, to others it means giving to both. To read one of the best posts I've ever seen on tithing, go ahead and click over to "Why We Tithe" written by my friend Amanda . 

Whether or not you believe in the Bible or in tithing, I think you'll find this principle to hold true. In our giving, we take the focus off of ourselves, and focus on blessing others. If you can find the right heart of joy in your giving (instead of doing it out of obligation or drudgery), I believe that you will be blessed in return. This may not be monetary blessing- it may be blessings in your health, family, or other ways in your life. I, personally have found that in generous giving, the Lord always provides the money when we need it the most.

Don't skip this step, friends, it's the most important. 


For more resources that I've written, check out my Money page. In it, you'll find posts on how to create a budget and how to save on specific things including entertainment and groceries. 

Those of you that have lived off of a single income, what other tips you have? What questions do you have about living on a single income? 

{Linking up with Grammie Time for Tuesday Talk!}

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