Mrs. COD’s Freelance Update

By on December 20, 2017

During my time as a SAHM, I’m pursuing a few side hustles and working to learn new skills. It’s partly an exercise in those specific skills, partly an exercise in maintaining my sanity. My freelance writing work is what I most enjoy and desire to continue for the long haul, so I want to update you all on how that journey is going. 

At times I feel as though I’m getting nowhere. Discouragement derails me constantly. Even though I’m fortunate that our family’s livelihood doesn’t depend on my earning ability in freelancing, it sure would be nice to earn something. 

I’m happy to report that I finally feel like the ball is ROLLING!  (more…)


Thanksgiving Festivities

By on November 24, 2017

Hey, everybody! We hope you had a fabulous Thanksgiving with family and friends! The COD crew is in Illinois for the holiday weekend, hanging out with lots of family. Junior and Mini COD are having a blast wearing out their cousins, while Mr. And Mrs. COD are enjoying conversations with relatives we haven’t seen in WAY too long. We even got into some nitty-gritty topics like the forbidden politics…and survived with positive relationships intact! 

No long post for today, just some photos of our fun times together!

Jr and Mini COD riding at Grandma’s

Allerton Park, walking through the gardens

This gem of a park is mere minutes from Mrs. COD’s childhood home.

Grandma COD and niece and nephew

Fu Dog Garden with Japanese-inspired sculptures

Mini COD with grandparents


Exploring the arboretum

Ahh… gorgeous nature!


By the way, we’re not big on Black Friday shopping in general, but with Mrs. COD’s new fair-trade business venture, we’re thinking more about shopping with a purpose. Trades of Hope is all about creating opportunities for women rather than charity. Sustainable employment empowers women in poverty to earn their own income and become self-reliant. I’m pretty proud to be a part of this organization and their purpose of strengthening women to support their families. For an example of what they’re accomplishing, check out the Trades of Hope blog and read Rosa’s story!  

If you happen to be looking for some cool fair trade gifts that serve a greater purpose than funding a big corporation, feel free to check out our current catalog, featuring a bunch of Black Friday items at 50% off. *Yes, we make a bit of money off the links, so you’ll also be helping to fund our holiday travel! 

One of the artisans we work with in Thailand

This company works with artisans in Thailand, Haiti, Peru, Bangladesh, and 12 other countries. Check out the jewelry, handbags, and other accessories here if you like. There will be new sales daily through this Monday. 

Happy day-after-Thanksgiving to you all! 

Save: Don’t sacrifice, look for solutions.

By on June 28, 2016

So a little over five years ago I cut the cord. I decided ESPN, the History channel (which no longer showed history), and dozens of unwatched channels could go. Our cord was actually a dish provider running us $60+ per month. However, it was the middle of the NFL season and the Walking Dead had just premiered on A&E and I likey me some zombies and Green Bay Packers. So it was going to pinch a little, but I wanted to save some money.

green bay packer zombies

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Limits And Why They’re Good For You

By on June 10, 2016

Limits. As we all know, they are often painted in a negative context:

“Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve.” –-Mary Kay Ash

“There’s no limit to what you can accomplish if you set your mind to it!” –almost every single high school commencement speech every spring

“The only limit to your impact is your imagination and commitment.” –Tony Robbins

“The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today.” –Franklin D. Roosevelt

“You can’t put a limit on anything. The more you dream, the farther you get.” –Michael Phelps

photo race crowd

There is no shortage of inspirational quotes to be found about not letting limits run your life. It’s great to unleash the power of positive thinking in achieving goals. Heck, I’m working on that as I aim to build this blog and a freelance career. (more…)


Dollar Shave Club: Save a Little Money

By on May 21, 2016

I use a razor every day to shave more than just my face. As they say I’m “follically challenged” and have been for over half my life. So good razors are important to me, but I also like to get the last bit of life out of my razors because they are so damn expensive. I was very excited when the triple blades came out. What an improvement over the dual blades. Smooooooth. As you may or may not know there are now several shave clubs to join which save a lot of $$$ and you can use fresh blades more often without feeling guilty for moving on to a new $4 blade.

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default changing

By on May 7, 2016

photo empty kayak

I wish I could pull a Doctor Who time travel and go back in time to save myself from some costly mistakes. I would give myself some sage advice regarding investing or at least tell myself to listen and FOLLOW the advice given by my friend Ryan circa the year 2000. Love those college years and all that debt, but that’s for a later post. (more…)


What Your Coffee Is Costing You

By on May 5, 2016

We all know our daily coffee habit can perk us up on the dreariest of days, but have you ever stopped to think about what your coffee is costing you? You might think it’s just a simple cup of java to help you hit the ground running, but it could be one of many factors to slow down your path to retirement.

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Au revoir, student loans!

By on April 30, 2016

Note: This post was written in November of 2015. It’s an important part of our story, so we’re including it here although some circumstances have changed.

Today, I owe nothing on my student loans–hallelujah! Thirteen and a half years since college graduation, four years since completing my masters, and 35 grand gone.

It was a bit of a thrill as I logged onto my loan account this morning to see…paid in full. Balance zero. Oh, how beautiful!

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The Dangers of Relying on Luck

By on April 25, 2016

Four short weeks from today, I will go to work for the last time. Holy cow! It’s crazy to see those words in writing. I’ll walk out of that building and leave the school district where I’ve worked for the past fourteen years. As we’ve been telling people about my recent decision to stay home with the boys after this school year, a common reaction has been, “How did you get so lucky?”

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