Hi there! My name is Jen Armstrong, and I’d like to welcome you to A Strong Home. See what I did there? While the Armstrong Home is fairly new, our family has quite a bit of experience that I’m eager to share with you. If you’re a budget-conscious mom or just seeking inspiration and encouragement as a wife or mother, you’ve come to the right place!
I started blogging in 2013 to share tips and ideas for saving money by budgeting and doing your own easy DIY projects (I may have creative ideas, but I’m definitely no artist!). I also shared a lot about eating healthy, particularly my experience on the Paleo Diet while I was planning my wedding. You may have seen me before on Live, Love, Be Well. I started this adventure before I got married and had a baby. At that time, my then fiance and I were trying to save money and pay down our debts while saving up for our destination wedding (which we paid cash for).
I’m a teacher at heart and I love learning new things and sharing them with anyone who will listen. I’m passionate about my marriage, my family, and living frugally. I think these all go hand-in-hand; you can do more with your family if you learn to save money and invest in what is important to you. And having a family that understands the importance of that will help tremendously.
I believe that a Strong Home starts with a solid marriage built on trust and good communication. With a strong partnership, you can tackle anything – from parenting, debt and budgeting, to various household issues. As a former Army Brat, child of divorce, and having a previous marriage myself (a lifetime ago), I know firsthand the importance of a strong family bond and how those relationships can get you through the toughest situations.
My husband, Jacob, and I have been married for ten wonderful years and have two little girls, Julia and Jocelyn. We started our family in a growing suburb in Arizona and then moved to Southwest Virginia. It is an exciting time in our lives for sure! A year after we got married, we had paid off almost $30,000 in debt and were enjoying our baby moon/anniversary trip in Seoul, Korea. By our third anniversary, we had sold our beautiful project home, moved into a larger home in a better neighborhood, and had our emergency fund fully funded. We were also able to pay cash for a reliable family car. The past few years have flown by and I have even more to share with you. We definitely live frugally, but we have embraced this lifestyle and couldn’t see ourselves living any other way. I make my own cleaning solutions, we buy almost all of our clothes from thrift stores or yard sales, and nearly all of our furniture and baby/toddler gear is second-hand. We do not believe in spending more than we have and we never use personal credit cards.
We don’t watch as much television as most people do, and we don’t have cable, so our free time is spent dancing in the kitchen, watching our girls make chalk art on the back patio, and doing projects around the house. And naps…because sometimes our children sap all our energy on the weekends! And once in a while, you might even spot me cruising the dollar bin aisles at Target…probably putting stuff back because it just adds up so quickly. But usually, I’m at home with my three loves emptying Cheerios out of toddler socks, or whatever new hiding place she’s found that day. Motherhood – what can I say?
So again, welcome! I’m excited to share all the wonderful things about motherhood, marriage, and caring for yourself and your family (on a budget). I’m so glad you’re here! You can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, or you can head over to my Contact page to drop me a line. I’ll try my best to keep in touch and answer your questions.