Give Me The Simple Life

“I got no money in my pockets. I got a hole in my jeans”

Let’s be real, as a mid-20s something, cash isn’t always quite expendable. That being said, I’m not complaining. Over the last couple years, I’ve realized how content I am to live a modest and happy lifestyle. My friends and I rarely go ‘all out’ and find that some of our favorite times end up being while we are sitting on our couches, playing ‘Loaded Questions,’ eating homemade pizza, and discussing life’s most important topics, like who will win ‘The Bachelor,’ and what we want for dessert.

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I’ve also found that there happen to be a fair share of affordable options for days and nights out on the town. As the weather warms, my friends and I love to make trips to the beach. We spend the morning making sandwiches and snacks and filling our coolers with drinks and ice. By the time the afternoon rolls around, you can usually find an intense game of sand volleyball or football taking place.

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We also have some really cute and quaint shopping areas around us. I love to spend the day window shopping and gathering gift ideas. I am usually able to find a cute bookstore or café in these shopping strands as well, which completes the entire trip. I’m now craving specialty coffee and an afternoon spent reading my new novel.

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Some of our best friends just brought home a new dog, meaning that Nola has a lot of puppy play dates in her future. We have our fair share of bars and restaurants around us that allow dogs. Meaning, I can sip a mojito and play fetch at the same time. Score!

ImageLast but not least, I love arcades and bowling. So, I have the same hobbies as a 15 year old boy. Whatever. Dan and I end up spending way too much money for him to win me a new stuffed animal in the claw machine, but otherwise have found this to be a fun and inexpensive way to spend an evening. Image

Reader Question: What is your favorite inexpensive way to spend the day?

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All in a Day’s Shopping Trip

We went back to Costco this week. Aka, my happy place. I kid you not, we had 4 items on our list. One step into the superstore and that list went out the window. Whatever marketing tactics they use, kudos to them. I compare myself to a contestant on ‘Supermarket Sweepstakes’ as I hurry down the aisles and take items off the shelves like I am planning for the ’19 Kids and Counting’ Duggar family to come visit for a month.

Of course I am sure I really needed the jumbo bag of chocolate chips, 2 bags of flour, 2 boxes of oatmeal, and the oranges that could feed an entire YMCA soccer league.

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I was especially excited about 2 of my impulse buys. The first was “Gone Girl.” De had included this in one of her monthly loves lists, and convinced my to buy it as I became that girl, the one trying to navigate the store and text about whether it was worth purchasing. Sorry to the woman that I almost ran into full force. My b.

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My other favorite purchase of the evening came in the form of chocolate hazlenut spread. If you haven’t had Nutella, drop whatever you are doing and go buy a container. You think I’m joking. One of my best friends in high school and I used to have this peanut butter, Nutella, graham cracker concoction everyday at lunch. Some things never change.

Reader Questions: Where do you do most your grocery shopping? What foods are you loving this week?

Little Things to Love

Last Year When I was little, the days leading up to Christmas seemed to move in slow-mo. We had an elf ladder with 25 steps that our raggedy elf climbed each day. I’m sure I must have counted the stairs ten times a day, making certain that I wasn’t behind. I wasn’t. I had time to practice Christmas carols-sorry mom and dad-organize our presents into separate piles, examine each package under the tree, and make educated guesses as to what Santa had dropped off early. Now I barely have time to turn on the Christmas lights at night, let alone find the wrapping paper, scissors and tape.

I realize that time is not going to slow down, and so, I must instead find ways to keep up, and in keeping up, appreciate the joys of the season. Although I’m sure I’ve said it before, I think it is worthy to say it again, I truly believe that the “little things” make up life.

This week’s little things to love:

Charades

Although we never got around to playing charades over Thanksgiving Break, sigh, we did manage to fit in a game at a white elephant gift party this past weekend. The ladies in the room were far more enthused by my initial suggestion to play, and yet by the end of the night, I would wager to say that the guys had an equally great time. Oh, and if you’re wondering, the girls won.

Family Dinners

I stole this phrase straight out of the Jersey Shore book. But I’m sure they stole it out of someone else’s book too. So, it’s all good. There are few things I love more than dinners at home with my friends. If I’m cooking, I usually do a vegetable lasagna or manicotti because that’s about as far as my culinary skills stretch. But my friend, Emily, is an amazing little chef, so anytime she cooks dinner it’s better than a restaurant anyway. Not to mention we don’t have to dress up or wear make-up.

Online Shopping

Thank goodness for online shopping. Honestly. I fully intended to do my shopping in-store, but after one failed attempt, I placed that dream aside. I love people, but not enough to fight over shopping carts with them. The internet is just so much more peaceful. And that’s what the holidays are all about, right?

Reading a Good Book

This past Saturday was 80 degrees, which on December 1, almost seems impossible. I took full advantage of the beautiful day by taking my 3 dogs and my Nicholas Sparks’ novel, The Best of Me, on the porch. It was incredibly relaxing, and if you ask me, much better than heading out to the hectic stores.

And now, time to turn on those Christmas lights!