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.
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.
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.
How huge are these houses?!
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!
Does anyone else feel like October – January 1 is a whirlwind? It’s my busiest season, for sure. Only one more day in September, then we’re racing to the year’s finish line. And no surprise here, I’m already behind on work, blogging and… well… life. Because someone over commits. (This girl.)
In true over commitment fashion, this weekend we set up at the flea market. We occasionally will set up to sell some stuff and make a little cash. (Here’s my tips on how to sell at flea markets here.) I love purging out closets and this time my mom gave me a few things to sell, as well, since we’ve mostly rid ourselves of worldly possessions 🙂
We made a couple of bucks. Nothing spectacular, but every little bit counts.
On Sunday we had planned to just get our shiznit together. Clean around the house, make lunches, prepare for the week, etc. But that plan was foiled when we discovered some old friends were in town.
My “organizer” personality was freaking out a bit, but I’m so glad we ditched everything to catch up with friends. One of those old friends had recently been in a motorcycle accident and it really reminded me to live for today. At the end of my life I won’t say, “Well, I wish I had cleaned my house more.”
Are we getting too deep for a Tuesday? Maybe. But Fall Break is this week and I’m taking next Monday off to just live life.
I hope you have the best of weeks!
So you guys, this is a total cop-out. I totally jumped the gun on the fall thing and published this post way too early, but you know what? I’m posting it again because this week homegirl is tired. And now it really feels like fall. Here we go again, ya’ll.
This post was originally published in July of 2014.
“You guys. Fall is almost here. Target has put out their insanely large, insanely cute display of Back to School supplies. I’m trying desperately to stay away from it. I’m also preparing to teach a course this fall. So crazy. Feel free to refer to me as “professor.”
I’m also still on this saving money kick, but it hasn’t been much fun. I’m the kind of person who needs something to look forward to– like a trip! Since a trip is out of my budgetary reach and the summer is almost over (boo!), I created a list of free or cheap things to do this fall. I hope it will keep my spirits up, give me me something to look forward to and maybe even get you inspired and excited for fall?!
- Set some fun fall goals
- Donate school supplies to a child in need
- Donate your gently-used winter coats to someone in need
- Enroll in a class at your local community college
- Take a hike
- Admire the foliage
- Sprinkle pumpkin pie spice in your morning coffee
- Get up early to admire the sunrise
- Learn to knit!
- Get an early start on making Holiday gifts
- Host a pot-luck Friendsgiving (a Thanksgiving with friends)
- Put pumpkin in everything!
- Visit a pumpkin patch (or do what my mom did and tell us we are visiting a pumpkin patch, but really just go to the grocery store and play on the pumpkin display)
- Go on a hay ride
- Visit a corn maze
- Carve pumpkins
- Don’t forget to roast the seeds!
- Rake the leaves
- Jump in the leaves!
- Winterize your home (or your Airstream!)
- Visit the library and check out Autumn-themed books
- Bake a pumpkin pie
- Share the pie with your neighbor
- Camp in your own backyard
- Chop wood
- Find the perfect walking stick
- Build a fire pit
- Make hobo packets
- Roast marshmallows
- Tell ghost stories
- Enjoy a pumpkin beer
- Go on a bike ride
- Go on a fall-themed picnic
- Learn to can vegetables
- Plant winter veggies
- Or plant bulbs for next spring
- Do lots of autumn-themed crafts
- Donate or sell the summer clothing that you didn’t wear
- Pear down your winter wardrobe
- Host a clothing swap
- Or swap online on Swapdom
- Sell your wares at a flea market
- Go apple picking
- Bob for apples
- Make candy apples
- Learn to make apple cider or jam
- Pop popcorn and drizzle it in caramel
- Drink hot apple cider
- Drink hot chocolate
- Break out your crock-pot
- Make pumpkin chili!
- Don’t forget the cornbread!
- Eat your weight in fall veggies– squash and Brussels sprouts and cabbage, oh my!
- Get excited for fall fashion
- Break out the flannel
- Pull on those wool socks
- Don’t worry about bad hair days, just put on a beanie!
- If you are a lady, pull on those thick tights (and don’t worry about shaving your legs!)
- If you are a dude, grow a beard!
- Cuddle up in your oldest sweatshirt
- Wrap up in warm blankets
- Watch It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
- And A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
- Go to bed earlier
- Visit the fair or a fall festival (save money with these tips)
- Host a Halloween party
- Make your own Halloween costume and challenge yourself to use only stuff you can find around the house
- Dress up your pet!
- Craft creepy snacks like this Slimer Smoothie
- DIY candy
- Watch your favorite scary movie with a friend
- Read scary stories under the cover with a flashlight
- Listen to the Halloween station on Pandora
- Make spiced nuts
- Slurp on some soup and grill up an old-fashioned grilled cheese sandwich
- Make beeswax candles
- Discover your local farmer’s market
- Slowly sip a cup of hot tea
- Pretend that you like candy corn
- Discover the real meaning of Thanksgiving
- Be more grateful by creating a gratitude journal
- Make turkey hands! They’re still fun, even when you’re almost 30!
- Simply sit outside and enjoy the cool weather
- Join a local foraging group and forage for wild edibles
- Make acorn soup
- Or mushroom soup from the forage
- Make real cranberry sauce and put it on french toast!
- Pour maple syrup on everything!
- Enjoy the Harvest Moon on September 8th
- Invite your friends over and create fall-themed cocktails
- Make a pine cone bird feeder and keep those birds fed all winter
- Paint your nails an autumn-colored hue
- Celebrate Dia de Los Muertos and honor your deceased loved ones
- Break out the board games and your favorite jammies
- Give your mum some mums!
- Attend a high school football game
- Join a sports program for adults
- Participate in a zombie crawl
- Or a Turkey Trot for charity
- Take lots of pictures to document your memories!
Are you ready for fall? I’m feeling a little more ready and hopeful after this list.
What are your favorite fall-themed free activities? Let me know in the comments!
I’ve had certain things on my master to-do list for about a year. Talk about procrastination. This weekend I finally got the motivation to accomplish a few of the bigger tasks including major cleaning and taking quality pictures of the Airstream! I’m hoping to do before and after posts at the end of this month.
Because…. drum roll… The end of this month will be our year anniversary living in the tin can! Can you believe it?! I put together a little seasons in the Airstream collage and it was so gratifying.
Pulling up the Brussels sprouts in my garden was not so gratifying. Worms got to them even though I took pesticide precautions. Oh well.
I also finally framed this print! I’ve had it for over a year and never got around to framing it. Yikes. George also got in on the to-do list action and built me a nice, little desk so I can get some more work done!
Even though I’m physically exhausted, I feel more energized than I have in a long time. Weird how that works.
Was your holiday weekend productive or restful? Let me know in the comments!
On Thursday it rained so, so hard. It was one of those rains I thought might never stop. But luckily I didn’t have to build an arc. Sometimes I think as much caulk as I put into this Airstream, it might just float… just in case. Anyway, I’ve started those long summer hours (I work 8am – 7pm) but I have off on Friday, so Friday was an excellent gardening opportunity. I pulled so.many.weeds.
We found out this weekend that one of our favorite restaurants is closing. It was a sad, sad day. We hadn’t planned to eat out, we’re trying to save money for our road trip, but since they are closing at the end of this month it was a must. They seriously had the best sushi around. I’ll be sad to see them go. George and I have so many fond memories and celebrations celebrated at that restaurant.
We also visited the Got to Be NC festival this weekend. We sampled all kinds of local foods and shopped around at the flea market. Elderberry jam is the bomb.com, ya’ll.
I’ve also been really into YA books lately. They’re such a welcome escape. I read The Fault in Our Stars and the 1st in the Divergent series this weekend. I can tear though a YA novel.
How was your weekend? Let me know in the comments!
My birthday actually falls on a Tuesday this year which isn’t the best for celebrating. I also have a big presentation that day for instructors and a VIP dean at my school. So this weekend was more of a celebration than I am planning for my actual birthday.
I had off work on Friday, so George and I started my garden. I was so thankful that he was there to help. Tilling is hard work!
On Friday night we went to see the local minor league baseball team, the Mudcats play with friends. Their mascot is a catfish. So southern. Tickets are only $5 and they even have gluten-free beer. It’s a good time.
Saturday we headed way out into the country to a pow-wow. The dancing was rained out, but most of the vendors were still there. I scored some insanely beautiful jewelry. George even bought me this gorgeous ring for my birthday present. It’s so lovely. Pretty sure it’s going to be an heirloom piece.
For Easter Sunday we visited my parents and my mom stuffed us with all kinds of delicious food. I must admit that I’ve been feeling a little down and stressed out lately, but this weekend had a way of bringing me back out of it. I have so many people who love me and I will soon see another birthday and another year of life.
love and almost birthdays,
I don’t think I’ve ever been so desperate for warm weather in my life. Sunday was such a relief. George and I went to a local park to really get the most of the 70 degree weather. We saw way too many cute dogs and I have a terrible case of puppy fever. At one point I almost stole an adorable brindle pug whose head was way too small for his body. Puppy fever is real people.
But alas, spring is a fickle b*tch. The low today is 18 degrees and there’s ice in the forecast. Oh spring, why won’t you stay?!
How was your weekend? Did you get a tiny taste of spring?
Let me know in the comments!