Tag Archives: weekend

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

Love Weekends: Of Flea Markets and Friends

flea market 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.

wild and precious life 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!

love,
melanie

Frugal Friday: 101 Free or Cheap Things to Do This Fall

rp_101-free-or-cheap-things-to-do-this-fall-1024x679.jpg 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?!

  1. Set some fun fall goals
  2. Donate school supplies to a child in need
  3. Volunteer
  4. Donate your gently-used winter coats to someone in need
  5. Enroll in a class at your local community college
  6. Take a hike
  7. Admire the foliage
  8. Sprinkle pumpkin pie spice in your morning coffee
  9. Get up early to admire the sunrise
  10. Learn to knit!
  11. Get an early start on making Holiday gifts
  12. Host a pot-luck Friendsgiving (a Thanksgiving with friends)
  13. Put pumpkin in everything!
  14. 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)
  15. Go on a hay ride
  16. Visit a corn maze
  17. Carve pumpkins
  18. Don’t forget to roast the seeds!
  19. Rake the leaves
  20. Jump in the leaves!
  21. Winterize your home (or your Airstream!)
  22. Visit the library and check out Autumn-themed books
  23. Bake a pumpkin pie
  24. Share the pie with your neighbor
  25. Camp in your own backyard
  26. Chop wood
  27. Find the perfect walking stick
  28. Build a fire pit
  29. Make hobo packets
  30. Roast marshmallows
  31. Tell ghost stories
  32. Enjoy a pumpkin beer
  33. Go on a bike ride
  34. Go on a fall-themed picnic
  35. Learn to can vegetables
  36. Plant winter veggies
  37. Or plant bulbs for next spring
  38. Do lots of autumn-themed crafts
  39. Donate or sell the summer clothing that you didn’t wear
  40. Pear down your winter wardrobe
  41. Host a clothing swap
  42. Or swap online on Swapdom
  43. Sell your wares at a flea market
  44. Go apple picking
  45. Bob for apples
  46. Make candy apples
  47. Learn to make apple cider or jam
  48. Pop popcorn and drizzle it in caramel
  49. Drink hot apple cider
  50. Drink hot chocolate
  51. Break out your crock-pot
  52. Make pumpkin chili!
  53. Don’t forget the cornbread!
  54. Eat your weight in fall veggies– squash and Brussels sprouts and cabbage, oh my!
  55. Get excited for fall fashion
  56. Break out the flannel
  57. Pull on those wool socks
  58. Don’t worry about bad hair days, just put on a beanie!
  59. If you are a lady, pull on those thick tights (and don’t worry about shaving your legs!)
  60. If you are a dude, grow a beard!
  61. Cuddle up in your oldest sweatshirt
  62. Wrap up in warm blankets
  63. Watch It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
  64. And A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
  65. Go to bed earlier
  66. Visit the fair or a fall festival (save money with these tips)
  67. Host a Halloween party
  68. Make your own Halloween costume and challenge yourself to use only stuff you can find around the house
  69. Dress up your pet!
  70. Craft creepy snacks like this Slimer Smoothie
  71. DIY candy
  72. Watch your favorite scary movie with a friend
  73. Read scary stories under the cover with a flashlight
  74. Listen to the Halloween station on Pandora
  75. Make spiced nuts
  76. Slurp on some soup and grill up an old-fashioned grilled cheese sandwich
  77. Make beeswax candles
  78. Discover your local farmer’s market
  79. Slowly sip a cup of hot tea
  80. Pretend that you like candy corn
  81. Discover the real meaning of Thanksgiving
  82. Be more grateful by creating a gratitude journal
  83. Make turkey hands! They’re still fun, even when you’re almost 30!
  84. Simply sit outside and enjoy the cool weather
  85. Join a local foraging group and forage for wild edibles
  86. Make acorn soup
  87. Or mushroom soup from the forage
  88. Make real cranberry sauce and put it on french toast!
  89. Pour maple syrup on everything!
  90. Enjoy the Harvest Moon on September 8th
  91. Invite your friends over and create fall-themed cocktails
  92. Make a pine cone bird feeder and keep those birds fed all winter
  93. Paint your nails an autumn-colored hue
  94. Celebrate Dia de Los Muertos and honor your deceased loved ones
  95. Break out the board games and your favorite jammies
  96. Give your mum some mums!
  97. Attend a high school football game
  98. Join a sports program for adults
  99. Participate in a zombie crawl
  100. Or a Turkey Trot for charity
  101. 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!

love,
melanie

 

Love Weekends: To-Do List

Cleaning the Airstream 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.

An Airstream throughout 4 seasons Brussel sprouts ravaged by worms Pulling up the Brussels sprouts in my garden was not so gratifying. Worms got to them even though I took pesticide precautions. Oh well.

My Desk in the Airstream

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!

love,
melanie

Love Weekends: Calm After the Storm

Dogwood flowers

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.

cucumber roll Spicy Tuna Roll

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.

tractor pull

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.

The fault with our stars

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!

love,
melanie

Love Weekends: Almost Birthday

Tilling the garden 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.

Tomato sprouts 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!

Baseball Game 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.

photo 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,
melanie

Love Weekends: First Signs of Spring

Pathway in the park 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.

Lake at the park 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?!

ducks How was your weekend? Did you get a tiny taste of spring?

Let me know in the comments!

love,
melanie