Category Archives: life

Tuesday Thoughts: Bloom

"A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it, it just blooms."

“A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it, it just blooms.”

It’s all too easy to get caught up in the comparison trap. It’s also very easy to tell yourself things like, “the grass isn’t always greener…” but still have feelings of jealousy and diminished worth. Instead try to compare yourself to yourself. Am I happier today than I was yesterday? Am I healthier? Am I making steps toward improvement? What can I change and what can’t I change? Am I blooming?

love,
melanie

Traveling to Charleston, South Carolina on a Budget

Charleston park I’ve been under a lot of stress at work, so when I finished up the huge conference I was planning, I threw caution to the wind and decided to go on a little weekend getaway. I’ve been on a spending fast for a while, i.e. I only spend $100 per month on unnecessary stuff. I knew this would totally blow my budget, but I did it anyway. Travel is so important to me, but I also know that if I travel too much, I’ll never save any money. It’s a Catch 22.

swamp in Charleston swamp in Charleson We did a lot of things to cut costs for this trip. Charleston is only four hours from our home so we drove there in my fuel-efficient car. I found a budget hotel and used my credit card points to book it. We packed snacks, we participated in free attractions (we found a gorgeous park and visited the beach!), we had a continental breakfast each morning at the hotel and, although we ate at restaurants several times, we also picked up dinner from a local grocery store.

George and Bambi Bambi at the beach We even took Bambi with us! That was an adventure, but places were much more accommodating than I imagined. And after she got used to the hotel and not barking every time someone shut a door, she calmed down. By the end of the trip, she was a road dog. We even took her on a horse-drawn carriage ride around the city. Ha-ha. I’m sure we looked insane, but I love that little girl.

rainbow row

charleston house

How huge are these houses?!

house in charleston Charleston house george in Charleston Charleston is so pretty and I’m glad we got to share it together as a family. After the trip, I felt much more relaxed and ready to take on the world.

What are your favorite tips for budget travel? I want to hear all about it in the comments!

love,
melanie

Tuesday Thoughts: Let Alone

a man is rich

How many things can you let alone? Can you let alone greed and indifference? Can you let alone self-destruction, ill thoughts and mean words? Minimalism isn’t just about letting physical things alone, it’s also about letting behaviors alone.

And that kids is something to think about.

love,
melanie

Tuesday Thoughts: Life is Really Simple

life is really simple

This week I’ve been fretting and worrying and losing sleep over a conference I’m planning. In the midst of Pinteresting table decorations until my eyes crossed, I stumbled across this quote. It brought me back to earth. I live simply everyday, but I still make aspects of my life more complicated than they need to be.

Here’s to keeping it simple this Tuesday and always.

love,
melanie

A Day In the Life of a Full-Time Airstreamer

a day in the life of a full-time airstreamer I swear to you all that I’m not a narcissistic person, although it might seem that way just looking at the title of this post. I came up with the idea to do this post as a way for you all to get a glimpse into what day-to-day life is like in my Airstream. Funny story, I actually did this experiment on a Thursday and the entire day was so boring that I waited until Saturday to try it again. My regular work day mostly consists of me going to work and not spending time in the Airstream at all! (I hope to remedy that one day.) Anyway, I hope this post is at least marginally more interesting than watching paint dry. Here it goes… A day in the life of a full-time Airstreamer.

1/31/15

7:00am
Wake up to take Bambi out. Brr! It’s cold out there. Jump back in bed for a little while longer.

Bambi 10:00am
George and I wake up again to Bambi’s smiling face. That girl has so much energy when she wakes up. I am so jealous of that quality!

10:10am
I make sure the hot water is turned off. When it’s turned on, I can’t boil water or turn on the stove or it will flip the breaker. I boil the water first since I also can’t cook while the electric tea kettle is on, it’s a balancing act, but we manage.

IMG_0380 IMG_0437 10:15am
Once the water has boiled, I pour the water over the ground beans to make coffee in our French Press (press it good!), then I get started on the eggs. I have two eggs on a tortilla with guacamole or hot sauce almost every morning. I like not having to think too much about breakfast.

10:30am
I know at this point, I should just do the dishes, but they’ll have to wait because this morning we are headed to our local flea market so we can scout treasures for George to sell. George works for himself as an artist, so it helps for us to have multiple income streams.

I make sure to turn the hot water back on so it’ll be hot by the time we get home. I then throw on (probably too many) layers of clothes and put Bambi in a sweatshirt and hit the road in our (new to us) van.

IMG_0426 11:15am
We realize on the way to the flea market we have no cash. Cash is king at the flea market, so we stop at a Trader Joe’s on the way. We need coconut oil and sweetened condensed milk. George runs in while I wait in the car. Trader Joe’s has neither coconut oil nor sweetened condensed milk, so George grabs beer and chocolate. Good choices, my husband, good choices. And we’re on the road again!

IMG_0432 12:00pm
Finally make it to the flea market. Bambi doesn’t like to walk at the flea market. I don’t know if she is scared of the big dogs or she’s just a princess, but I carry her the entire time. My arms ache, but I try to think of it as a workout. We find a few treasures, nothing spectacular, but a few things that we think will sell. We never buy anything for ourselves. It’s hard, but when we’re at the flea market we aren’t looking for ourselves, we’re looking to make money.

1:30pm
We managed to make our way around the flea market and see everything. George brought a few things with him that he sold to a friend, so we leave the flea market to drop off that stuff. I’m fully aware that it’s ironic that George makes most of his money making and selling stuff. Not everyone is a minimalist and that’s ok.

1:45pm
We drop off the stuff and since Trader Joe’s was so bare, we head to a different grocery store on the way home. I try to get most of my groceries from our CSA, but it’s the end of the month and our cupboards are bare!

3:00pm
We finally get back home. By this time, I’m getting hangry, so I fix a small snack. George says I’m stingy because I won’t share, but he can have his own! I’m on a new eating regimen and I only get so many calories a day, so each one is precious! I know it’s mean.

IMG_0433 3:10pm
I start by tackling the huge mound of dishes. Doing dishes is one of my most hated chores. The dishes never end! Before I even get to the end, I’m out of hot water. I switch the hot water off, so I can boil some more. In the mean time, I start tackling the bathroom.

IMG_0434 3:50pm
The bathroom is small, so it’s easy to clean. By the time the hot water is boiling, I’m finished cleaning the bathroom. I finish up the dishes and relax for a bit.

4:00pm
While I relax, George sweeps the floors. Cleaning around our house is like a dance, it requires a lot of coordination and it’s difficult for two people to be in the same space at the same time. We usually just take different tasks and try to clean and cook at different times.

IMG_0442 IMG_0443 4:30pm
My afternoon snack was minuscule and I’m getting hungry again. But after cleaning up, I want something fast and easy. I picked up some gluten-free chicken nuggets on my grocery store trip, so I heat those up in our mini convection oven. I also fix a salad. I know it’s not the most healthy meal, but it’s fast, easy and I don’t have to clean much.

IMG_0440 4:45pm
We eat dinner and then George makes a couple key chains to sell.

IMG_0444 5:15pm
We head to a friend’s house. This particular friend is fixing up an old school bus to live in. I should have taken a few pictures, but I documenting every bit of your day is sort of weird. Right? I did manage to take a picture of the fire pit?

9:45pm
We head home. It’s Bambi’s second dinner time! I fix another snack and a glass of wine. Of course, I forgot to turn on the hot water so I watch a bit of TV while it heats up. We don’t have a real TV and live happily without one. (Here’s how.)

IMG_0448 11:30pm
I fall asleep watching Dual Survivor.

1:00am
I wake up and take a shower. I realize how lame I am.

Was this enlightening for you? My life isn’t always exciting, but it’s usually a good one.

love,
melanie

2015 Goals

wild and precious life Happy (almost) New Year, ya’ll! I know it’s cliche to make a New Year’s “resolution,” but I think goal setting is important. It gives me something to aim for. So let’s just call these 2015 goals, shall we?!

I’m all about self-improvement and getting shit done, so I love a good goal-setting session. This year I’m setting S.M.A.R.T. goals, of course. But my S.M.A.R.T. goals are rather personal and a touch boring to anyone other than myself. They also aren’t catchy or an easy mantra. This year I’ve decided to separate my goals into two big ideas: more and less. Before I take on another task or eat that second fourth piece of chocolate I want to ask myself: Will this add more happiness to my life? Will this create less stress?

Here are my goals (more or less, ha-ha!)

More:
Happiness
Vegetables
Flossing (eek! I made that goal last year!)
Movement
Reading
Intention

Less:
Stress
Commitments
Phone browsing
Worrying
Expectations
Mindlessness

What do you need more of in your life? What do you need less of?

Let me know in the comments!

love,
melanie

 

Love Weekends: a quick weekend trip

IMG_3098

This weekend we took a little trip up to DC to visit my sister. My mom offered to drive and we could stay with my little sis, so I couldn’t say “no” to a free trip.

My mom is a mail carrier, so we decided to visit the National Postal Museum. It was surprisingly engaging. I didn’t think stamps and mail delivery could be so interesting. The exhibits were super interactive and the building was gorgeous.

IMG_3101 I could live in this old mail train car.

IMG_3116 IMG_3115 IMG_3118

We also visited a Russian restaurant and had such a fun time. Our waiter had the stereotypical Russian disposition and we ordered a Russian roulette (aka 6 shots of different vodkas.) It was fun times all around. I only wish I had worn more (faux) fur.

The weekend ended much, much too early.

What did you do over the weekend? Let me know in the comments!

love,
melanie