LIFE AS YOU LIVE IT

VIEW THROUGH MY LENS: FEBRUARY

28 February 2017

I can't believe we're already at the end of February - this month went too fast! Let me fill you in on all the snow that was dumped on us this month which has already melted away to nothing :( It could snow everyday of the year, and I would still love it! 

We spent Super Bowl Sunday at Wildcat (where else?) zooming down the mountain and staring Mount Washington right in the face. On a clear day, it is the most gorgeous ski view in New England. Remember that cloud inversion from a couple years ago? Later that day we retreated back to our house and watched the Pats pull a Lombardi trophy out of their ass! They're incredible!


The chalet (or the "A" frame as my dad refers to it as) that we have been renting since June fits right in with all of the snow. The electric heat has been scary high (like $400+/month!?), but watching the snow fall through big cathedral ceilings and a crackling fireplace makes up for it a little. It's an awfully cute place, especially in the winter!


For a couple days (weeks?) there we were getting up extra early to make sure we were able to dig a path to the jeep, dig it out, and then shovel a 15' path from the jeep to the road so that we could get into town for work on time. Thankfully our commute isn't that far!


At one point the snow had piled up so high on our deck that we could barely open our front door to get out. Thank goodness for sliders! I can't imagine living in a world without snow.


All the snowy weather had me in the mood for soup, soup and more soup, so I put together this easier than pie vegetarian taco soup (chili?) to nosh on for almost two weeks straight. It's always #tacotuesday in our world.


Don't forget about your taxes! I'm always looking for something to organize so I put my efforts towards corralling years and years of tax paperwork to make filing this year and future years much more efficient for us.




ORGANIZE: Tax Organization

20 February 2017

I wanted to pop in and share how we keep all of our tax documents organized throughout the year and come tax time.


Come tax season, everything that we need for the year lives in this zippered pouch where I throw miscellaneous paperwork as it comes in throughout the year. I have used these zippered pouches for multiple organizing projects in the past and I love that they are semi see through which makes it easy to see the contents. I like that they zip shut so that no loose paperwork can fall out, and I like that they all around look nice. I have used them to store paperwork, pictures, cashed checks, and have been using the smallest version to toss our pay stubs and important receipts that will need filed this year.


It is more efficient for us to to throw all of the paperwork into this folder throughout the year and sort it come tax time opposed to sorting it as it comes in. We don't have that much paperwork coming in at this moment in our lives so this system works well for us and keeps everything corralled in ONE PLACE. We don't own or run a business and we don't own a home, so our paperwork is limited to our W-2's, our retirement contributions, student loan interest and any donations.

Should we ever transition to using an accountant rather than filing ourselves, all of the paperwork is collectively in one spot and we're not searching for documents last minute. When we get to the point where we need to itemize more things and save more receipts we will use an additional zippered pouch specifically for receipts.


A couple months ago I saw that Alejandra from Alejandra.tv used the same pouches as file folders to house her tax documents and then filed them away in her file cabinet. I thought that was genius, so I ditched the manila envelope method that I was currently using and made the switch to use only zippered pouches.

I considered putting everything in a large binder, however I like the idea of keeping everything separated by year. These aren't something that we are going to reach for frequently, however in the event that we need to refer back to them, they are easy to access.


I like everything to have a place and I do not like having extra paperwork lying around the house. I believe (and I could be wrong) that you're supposed to hang onto your tax documents for 7 years. With that being said, I have 7 envelopes for each year and then a working envelope for the current year. After the 7th year, the files are stripped and the documents are destroyed.

I use colored file folders with fasteners to corral our W-2's, pay stubs, returns and other important documentation from each year. We only have two files in each zippered pouch, however we have the option to add more down the road should we need to expand. Each file is labeled as to who it is for and the year.


On the right side of the file I keep the state and federal tax returns documents and on the left I keep supporting documentation which includes everything that I have collected over the course of the year that is reflected on the return.


Once we finish our taxes for the year, it is stored away with the last 6 years where it will live for the next 7 years until we need to cycle it out and destroy it.


I hope this was helpful for anyone looking for some organizing inspiration during tax season! How do YOU organize your taxes?


Vegetarian Taco Soup

11 February 2017


I wanted to share a delicious and wicked easy taco soup concoction. In fact, it's really just elementary instructions on how to dump a bunch of cans into a crock pot... it's that simple.


I drained and strained the bean juices for the black and kidney beans and then added a can of corn (with the juice), as well as a can of petite diced tomatoes (with the juice as well). I'm a big fan of tomatoes so I added an additional can of tomatoes, however this time it had a few hot peppers in there to jazz it up a little! I'm not brave enough to dump an entire can of hotness in there yet.


This Taco Tueday meal is such an easy dish to prepare and freeze. I'm not much of a meat eater, however you can easily add whatever you want to please your taste buds.


I like to crank the crock pot up on high for a couple hours until it is nice and soupy looking, the flavors have married and it smells delicious. As always, I throw some cheese on, as well as a dollop of sour cream. I love eating this with chips, however, it's delicious wrapped up in a burrito as well! Yumm!!


ENJOY!

View Through My Lens: January

31 January 2017

Welcome to the end of January! Similar to how the start of last year went, I traveled over New Years and naturally, we received 12+ inches of snow the night before my departure! Nothing beats waking up at 4am to shovel yourself out. I wouldn't have it any other way, I do love the snow. Shockingly, my flight was not delayed!


I think this sweater deserves an honorable mention here. My mother made this warm, toasty sweater with her two hands. How that's even possible, I do not know... it is the warmest article of clothing that I currently own!


We spent a couple minutes goofing around on the lake a couple weeks ago doing stupid things like kicking ice blocks around, running and sliding to see how far we'd go and pretending to swim... I think it's time we invest in some skates.


We reenacted our engagement (10 months later) on ice, this time with a chunk of ice and an audience! That backdrop though!


We can be found on a nearby mountain almost every weekend, as January marks the beginning of ski season in my mind. We've been sticking to Wildcat and Attitash, and spent a Saturday up at Okemo earlier this month. I talk about Wildcat all the time on here, and for good reason. We have had so many wonderful ski experiences there, you can get to the summit on one lift, you can get a lot out of one run, and you're off the beaten path where it's not very touristy... it can be a little challenging though, so be careful. For example, a couple weekends ago we took the run that goes underneath the high speed quad, and as luck would have it, it was a giant sheet of ice. I took a hollywood worthy slip, tumble and slide down a good chunk of the trail on my back, head first. I was headed straight for the trees, but my skis thankfully got stuck on a giant rock and log. It provided some wonderful entertainment for the skiiers on the lift. Thank goodness for a helmet and goggles to shield your embarrassed face from onlookers.





It keeps snowing here which makes me SO happy! I wish our house was a little warmer though. The $400+ electric bill every month for a chilly house is traumatizing. We invested in some Dyson heaters to spot heat certain rooms to hopefully alleviate the bill a little. No such luck though. We'll figure something out... hopefully!


2016 in Review

31 December 2016

HAPPY NEW YEARS EVE!!






























































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