This Week in Reno {September 23-29}

This Week in Reno is a weekly feature. Rather than trying to put up a comprehensive list of everything happening in the upcoming week, every Tuesday I’ll post a curated list of events that are noteworthy or look like fun to me. I’ll let you know which I plan to attend, so make sure to say hey if you see me!

If you’d like an email notification of new This Week in Reno posts, please CLICK HERE. If you have an event coming up in Reno that you think might fit in this feature, feel free to email me at

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Project Buy a House {Get Out of Debt}

Project Buy a House: Get Out of Debt. Step one in the plan to buy a house in three years is to get rid of consumer debt.

Project Buy a House is an ongoing series that details my own road map to home ownership for my family and give lots of ideas that you can implement yourself.

It’s not for the impatient. This is the long game. We’ll be talking about improving credit scores, saving up a significant down payment, getting out of debt, and learning to live within our means. New posts go up on Mondays. I hope you’ll come along for the ride. Click the button above to get email notices of each new post in the series.

Our first big Project Buy a House goal is to pay off all debt, except student loans. We don’t have a mortgage or that would be another exception.  The program we’re using is Mary Hunt’s Rapid Debt Repayment Plan, so that’s what I’m going to share with you. Other financial gurus have similar plans (like Dave Ramsey’s Debt Snowball.) I don’t think it matters what plan you use, just as long as you actually have one and you’re using it.

Regardless of how you plan to get out of debt, there is something you can do right now that doesn’t cost anything at all.

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C.H.a.O.S. {Binder: Planning}

52 Weeks of C.H.a.O.S. -- Week 3 {Binder: Planning}

Welcome to Week Three of 52 Weeks of C.H.a.O.S! This week we’re going to continue building our C.H.a.O.S. binders with the planning section.

If you’re new to C.H.a.O.S., make sure to read the introduction. The short version is that it stands for Complete Home Overhaul System. This is a program for the extremely right-brained. Like me! We’re going to whip our homes (and our lives) into shape over the next year. And we’re going to do it our way. Click the button above for an email notice of next week’s post and to get a free 23-page C.H.a.O.S. Binder Quick Start Guide.

Last week we talked about the calendar section of our C.H.a.O.S. binders and started to get into the planning section. This week we’re going to really dig into how our binders can help us with planning our day-to-day lives.

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Oven Roasted Veggies

Oven-roasted veggies are a little bit of grilling--only inside! These cook up in twenty minutes under your broiler and taste like heaven. (Plus, your house will smell so delicious!)

Grilling outside is my family’s thing. I have eight brothers and sisters, and by tradition every birthday when I was growing up was celebrated by a barbecue.

We call it Good Grubbin’.

From May through September, Kevin, the kids, and I try to have Good Grubbin’ once a week. Last week, we were all set to go, but we got smoked out. Literally. A forest fire in California sent thick smoke over Reno. We didn’t want to add to the poor air quality, or be out in it, so we moved it indoors.

My very favorite part of Good Grubbin’ is the veggies. We always grill tomatoes, poblano peppers, and green onions. I had them all marinated and ready to go when it became obvious that we weren’t going to be able to cook outdoors. I tried them under the broiler and the result was kind of spectacular.

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How I Cut My Grocery Budget in Half {Plus an eMeals Giveaway}

How I cut my (outrageous) grocery bill in half--plus an eMeals giveaway.

Of all the spending that my family does in a month, groceries are the one area where we consistently spent WAY TOO MUCH.

It’s so easy to run to the store during the week for a few things. And it doesn’t seem like you’re really spending so much, right? But $10 here and $20 there adds up so fast.

In the last couple of months, I’ve been on a mission to whip that grocery spending into shape. Seriously, we spend enough that cutting back would be like having a part time job.

Yes, that much.

The good news is that I’ve been able to cut my grocery spending in half (so far!) and I promise, if I can do it, you can, too.

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Operation Feel Good

Operation Feel Good is all about three little words: Eat, Move, Sleep. Wellness for the rest of us.

I had an epiphany in 2014.

Have you ever had one of those? A moment of absolutely true clarity?

I’m not the kind of person who has lots of random epiphanies, so when it happens, I try to pay attention.

The year started with me barely meeting the hardest deadline I’d ever encountered and failing to recover from a summer of travel that included a cross-country bus trip and 10 days in NYC. I was so tired and sore and miserable, I could barely function. I’m not kidding. I couldn’t even put my own pants on without crying.

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The Three Bs: Binder, Brain Dump, Bullet Journal

The Three Bs -- Binder, Bullet Journal, and Brain Dump--are game changers for the born disorganized.

The Three Bs are a binder, a bullet journal, and a brain dump. Get your hands on all three (that’s the easy part) and learn how to use them (I’ll help!) and I promise, these are game changers. If you were born lacking the organization gene, the Three Bs help level the playing field.

I’ll be talking about all three of the Bs in both the C.H.a.O.S. and Project Buy a House series. I thought I’d take a few minutes today and really explain what they are.

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