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leasesignThis is our third move in three years and with each one I learn something new. Since we were used to being homeowners, the world of renting seemed ambiguous and scary. Here are the top 5 things we’ve learned to check before accepting a rental and signing on the dotted line. Read the rest of this entry »

When did finding a place to live become so difficult? I am shocked at how challenging it is to find  a good place to rent here in Seattle. When I was in my 20’s living with roommates in NYC, I moved no less than four times in five years. Each time we had to scour the internet for listings, trying to find those not listed by an agent, set up appointments scheduling with the roommates, and show up ready with a check for at least three months’ rent (first, last, security or first and security plus agent fee). It was a competitive market but it was also New York City and since we were in our twenties you can imagine we needed pretty low rent, which put us in the pool with the majority of real New Yorkers also looking for a place to live. MH900431754

I left New York in 2005 and moved in with my now wife who owned her home in Minneapolis. After we got married, we refinanced the house and put my name on it so I was officially a homeowner, too! When we moved to Florida, we rented a nice home until we eventually sold our Minnesota house and bought a new one. We are grownups and thought grownups owned their homes. Read the rest of this entry »

As frequent transplant to a new city, I’ve had to quickly learn the lay of the land and find activities to do with my toddler.

IMG_4138It took me a year and a half in Florida to get my bearings but by the time we left I felt like I had a great handle on where to go, what to do, and how not to spend on a ton while I’m at it. Of course I had some rookie mistakes along the way but that experience taught me a lot that I was able to use when I moved to my next new city, Seattle.

Now that I’ve been here for just over two months, I’ve accumulated a list of my go-to sources for information on what’s happening and where to go. Here are my favorites (in no particular order): Read the rest of this entry »

Making friends as an adult is not as easy as it might seem. Without a workplace, school, church or other structured environment it can be even more challenging. So, how does a mom in a new area make new friends? Seems like a silly question, one our children would be asking. Actually, I take that back. Children typically don’t need to ask that question because it happens more naturally for them. But if my son were to ask me how to make friends, here’s what I’d say:

Approach someone who looks friendly or interesting to you.
Tell them your name and ask them their name.
Ask them if they’d like to play with you.

FRIENDS WANTEDAs an adult it’s not so simple. For starters, we don’t play necessarily. We chat. The basis for our friendship is talking, not really doing. And if there is doing involved, there’s also talking. So we need to have something to talk about. A common interest. But how far will that take you? Read the rest of this entry »

Life is about choices and consequences. We have to be mindful of the potential consequences when deciding what choices to make. Sometimes it’s hard to know what those consequences might be but part of being a grown up is considering the possibilities.

If I choose to eat a pint of ice cream every night, likely I will gain weight. If I choose to spend money on clothes and shoes before paying the bills, I might run out before I have enough. In my opinion there’s no such thing as “can I afford it?” – you just make choices and then have to deal with the consequences. Do you want to pay your bills? Do you want to have money in the bank? Do you want to have credit card debt? Answer those questions first, then see if you can make the choice to purchase something.

Making the decision for me to become a SAHM was a family decision both me and my spouse had to make together. Read the rest of this entry »

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