When I started this little blog it was a way to stay in touch with family and friends and share recipes. This year when I decided to redesign the blog the one family and personal thing I wanted to keep is the Monthly Scoop. A monthly post that helps us all stay connected. Here is a glimpse of what the Giberson-Ashley’s have been up to.
I can happily say the end of 2021 was uneventful.
On the business side, it was busy getting things mapped out, goals set, and an overall game plan for the year put into place. This year for MCB may look a bit different. The post will go out every Tuesday and Thursday with the rest of the weeks focused on promoting and getting things done.
On the personal side, it was good to have downtime with the kiddos. We read a lot of books and played a bunch of board games. We also caught up on a bunch of shows and movies. Now we are into basketball season as well as facing the unpredictable nature of covid like the rest of the world.
What I am reading:
“Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine“: A beautifully written story about the importance of friendship and human connection. The story is about a woman who is socially awkward due to alienation and past traumas. It reached the value of opening your life and heart to others.
“Didn’t See That Coming”: A self-help book that talks about the unexpected moments of life and motherhood and the importance to stay present and take time when you need it.
“The Last Thing He Told Me”: Is a suspenseful page-turner. What would you do if the one you love disappeared and you find out they were not what you thought they were. The story follows a brave woman and her stepdaughter through an emotional journey to discover the truth.
“The Wives”: This is a mind-distorting twisted train wreck of a story that is soo good! In the end, you will be saying I didn’t see that coming! This fast past thriller is based on a woman who loves a man so much that she didn’t mind that he had other wives… or did she?
What I am binge-watching:
Okay, full disclosure I broke down and got the Disney+ bundles with Hulu and ESPN + just so I could watch the packers play on Sundays and the kids could be entertained. However, now Hulu is my new favorite thing.
“Secrets of Sulfer Springs“: If you are a mom you know. If you don’t know it is a suspense series by Disney about time travel and becoming of age.
“Women of the Movement“: ABC A limited series event based on the true story of Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley. I cry every episode. – My husband is even hooked.
What I am crushing on:
I am hooked on soup and salad lately. There really aren’t any products that I can say I am craving or feel I need right now. But if I don’t have soup or salad for lunch my day just isn’t the same.
Debt Free Journey Status:
This used to be a section on the site but decided to be more food-focused but If you have any questions feel free to contact me
Back story: We moved to Texas in 2014 we bought a beautiful brick house with a huge yard. After all, we worked nearly a decade and both had successful careers, a nice savings account… life was great. We even got a second mortgage to get brand new windows for our beautiful house.
In 2016 right after I had Eli I just got clearance from my Dr to go back to work. I found out they filled my position while I was on maternity leave. That was the same week we got Jane’s Autism diagnosis.
I tried to find work but it was hard to find employment as a mom with a kid that had 3 therapy appointments a week, some of which I had to participate in. So, Greg and I decided I would stay home and give Jane the tools she needs to thrive and succeed in her life.
Then in April 2017, Greg got laid off after his company got bought out. That was when we learned how fast one can lose everything they have worked so hard for. BUT! Despite the struggles, it was a blessing. You live and you learn and let me tell you life is simpler with less.
- Started Debt: $218,000 (start date Oct 2019)
- Begining of 2021 Debt: $75,846
- Current Debt: $22,635
Most of the debt was our last house and the second mortgage we had on it, so selling that paying it off, and downsizing eliminated $148,000.
That left us with our debt consolidation loan, 2 car loans, a personal loan, a student loan, and 5 credit cards with about $70,000 in debt.
Since then we have paid off our debt consolidation loan, both care payments, the student load, and 2 of the credit cards. We also found more affordable auto insurance through Progressive and negotiated more manageable payments for our other debts.
2022 Goals: We are saving up to buy a house so this year the debt payoff is not as ambitious it is set at $10,000.
What’s to come:
The site is still being updated as it is live.. so there are some recipes that are not published yet, but if you need one feel free to message me and I would be happy to e-mail it to you.
Also, for the site, there will be a store coming as well as a book club with a list of all the books I am reading, plus a kids and teen section.
For life, still taking it day by day this year I am focusing on growth and healing. If 2021 taught us anything it is how unpredictable life can be and that you need to be gentle to yourself as well as those around you.
Monthly Produce List:
- Brussels Sprouts
- Lemons Oranges
- Turnips Beets
- Brussels Sprouts
- Lemon Oranges
- Rutabagas Sweet Potatoes
Monthly Bucket List:
- Create a weekly family tradition
- Read a new book
- Have a family game night
- Build a blanket fort
- Make visual boards of this year’s goals
- Try a new flavor of hot cocoa
- Celebrate MLK Day
- Go on a winter adventure (take lots of pictures)
- Make a bird feeder
- Have a Pajama Day
- Take 5 minutes to be still and grateful
- Make your favorite childhood cookies and tell your kids why you loved them
Let’s Get Social
Looking For More Recipes
Be sure to head over to The Messy Cutting Boards Recipe Box where you will find family-friendly meals no matter what the season.