Archive for the ‘seasons’ Category


Saturday morning is my favorite time of the week. I always thought Friday evening was, but I find myself so tired after a whole week’s work that I am rather useless on Fridays. Saturday mornings, however, I slowly wake up, make a homemade breakfast and drink cups of delicious coffee while I prepare for my day of nothing. :)

Actually, I have a lot I want to accomplish today. I have three weekend trips planned in the next month and I feel the need to organize my life in preparation for a busy month. Here’s my weekend to do list:

  • Make a meal list & go grocery shopping
  • Go for a bike ride
  • Watch a lot of college basketball (even though my bracket is screwed)
  • Do some major housekeeping
  • Wrap presents for next week’s wedding shower
  • Go out with friends to a Jazz bar
  • Calculate all expenses and report on blog (whoops, a bit behind!)
  • Organize my room and pack books to take home
  • Buy plane ticket for bachlorette party weekend

Hope everyone has a lovely first day of spring! :)

Read Full Post »

Pardon my absence…

So you’re probably thinking, “Wasn’t DC snowed in all week and work was canceled? Isn’t that more than enough time for MPP to write blog posts?”

Well, yes. That is true. We were pounded with ~30 inches of snow over the last week. However, as anyone who has lived knows, life isn’t always what you plan it to be. Instead of spending nice quiet moments at home watching movies, eating junk food and writing plenty of blog posts, my week was… a bit different.

Here’s a brief recap:

Last Friday: Snow starts in the afternoon and my roommate picks up her boyfriend from the airport.

Midnight: Power goes out. Awesome.

Saturday: Spend a cold day inside reading books and watching the snow fall. I attempt to shovel my car out.  By nightfall, the power is still out, so we dangerously head to a hotel.

Sunday – Monday: Stayed in the hotel.

Tuesday: Snow starts again and my roommate goes home to the South.

Wednesday: I ate a pizza and got food poisoning. I threw up everything, including water for the next 24 hours and passed out in the middle of the bathroom.

Thursday: Woke up feeling like death, but could at least keep water down.

Friday: Same as the day before. Finally felt well enough to get to the doctor and got prescriptions.

Today: I finally feel like myself, albeit a little skinnier (the perks for not eating for two days).

So… I am back. :) Let me just say being stuck in a hotel room as the third wheel and then getting disgusting food poison by myself is not my ideal snowed in week.

Anyone else ready for Spring? ;)

Read Full Post »

White Christmas?

One of my favorite holiday movies is White Christmas. They’re all so jolly, aren’t they? I have to admit, I’ve never had a snowy Christmas. Growing up in the South doesn’t afford for many snowy Decembers. Have you ever had a White Christmas? Is it suppose to snow where you tonight? It’s definitely not going to snow where I am….

Merry Christmas Eve! :)

Read Full Post »

bon voyage!


Dear Readers,

Farewell for a few days! I will be away from this blog and twitter until I return on January 4th… unless of course the withdraw becomes unbearable and in that case I may appear a few times once I’m back in the states. ;)

For those curious about my vacation, I’ll be on a cruise to Cozumel, Mexico for Christmas then will be in my home state with J’s family celebrating the New Year.

My Holiday To Do List:

  • Don’t make any to-do lists
  • Indulge in delicious food
  • …but not too much
  • Take a lot of pictures
  • Have a ton of fun

Hope your holiday to do list looks similar! I’m so blessed to have so many lovely readers out there. Hope you all have a wonderful holiday! See you in 2010!!!


ps- Don’t worry, I have some scheduled posts that will appear in my absence. :)

Read Full Post »


october 100

1. Complete the Baltimore Half Marathon! DONE!
I did it! I did it! I did it! :D

2. Have a fantastic time in Atlanta. Done!
I had a great time and stayed within my $150 budget for the weekend.

3. Get car repairs fixed. Done!
I got $380 worth of repairs fixed in my car and hopefully I am good to go for the rest of the year. *crosses fingers*

4. Do something autumn-y.
Ooooh yes. Here are a few things I did:

-Apple picking
-Pumpkin picking
-Made pumpkin muffins
-Carved a pumpkin
-Took a walk on a leafy path
-Attended an Oktoberfest party
-Drank pumpkin ale
-Dressed up for halloween

5. Increase net worth by at least $800. Done!
Yes! I’m so happy that even with $380 in car repairs I increased my net worth more than $800. But more on that later….

Read Full Post »

Have an autumny weekend!


The third weekend of October has always been my very favorite. It is peak weekend: the colors on the leaves are the most vibrant and the air feels 100% fall.

I love it.

Perhaps the weather won’t be this fabulous all weekend, or maybe it doesn’t feel that way where you live, but I think everyone should try to do something autumny no matter the weather. Me? I plan to attend an Oktoberfest and carve a pumpkin. Oh, and of course drink coffee in a cozy sweater like the picture above.

P.S. Autumny may not be recognized by spellcheck, but it is definitely a word. You have my permission to use it liberally. ;)

Read Full Post »

I play the same game every few weeks. I look at my calendar and say to myself, What?! How is it already October TWENTIETH? Where is this month going? What happened to this year?!

I need to stop being surprised and embrace that life is moving fast these days.


As November is fast approaching, I cannot help but get a little nervous. I notoriously try to be “frugal” for the holidays, only to realize New Year’s Day that I failed miserably. For example, I entered 2009 with a $300+ balance on my credit card. Granted, I paid it off in January, but that could have been $300 going towards savings and starting the year off right.

My goal this holiday season is to have a $0 credit card balance and zero regret! I am determined to have a great holiday season, but also to leave it behind me when I enter 2010!

How will I accomplish that? By planning and saving, of course! Here’s some lists of approximate costs for the holidays that will be added to my regular monthly budget in November & December.

Gifts to Buy: $275
-My Family
-My best friend’s birthday – $30
-J’s sister – $15
-J’s parents – $30
-J’s graduation present – $100
-J’s Christmas present – $50
-Unexpected gifts – $50

Perhaps you’re looking at this list thinking I’m A) a Scrooge who needs to give more gifts, or B) friendless. Well, neither is the case. A long time ago my friends and I decided we wouldn’t give gifts during the holidays since December is expensive enough for everyone. Excellent decision. As for my family, we are going on the cruise this year and promised each other we wouldn’t give gifts. I am spending part of the holidays with J and his family so I want to make sure I get them some things. And the unexpected gift is for any silly company or friend “dirty santa/white elephant” gift exchange that may arise. I really don’t like those.

Other Holiday Expenses: $533
-Wrapping paper, cards & supplies: $50
-Gas while traveling: an extra $100 in Nov/Dec
-Eating out/entertainment: an extra $100 in Nov/Dec
-Parties/Food: an extra $50
-Cruise balance: $233 left to pay

There’s always more expenses than just gifts. You know the like: you’re invited to a cookie exchange and spend $20 at the grocery store for ingredients. Your company has a holiday party and that frumpy red sweater doesn’t meet the dress code. You travel to visit family and forget to factor the $5 toll road fee.


    Sure some of this will be out of my monthly budget and sure some of it were overestimated amounts… but still, $800 is a lot to pay for the holidays!

    My broad goals:

    • Have $0 on my credit card on New Year’s.
    • Buy all of my gifts and have them wrapped by December 1st.
    • Pay off cruise balance of $233 by Thanksgiving.

    More specific goals and how I plan to pay for the holidays to come…!!!

    Have you thought about what the Holidays will cost you?

    {photo: via etsy}

    Read Full Post »

    What is it about autumn that makes me want to buy new clothes?

    Oh that’s right: The scarves. And the hats. And the leggings. And the jackets. And the layers. Ahhh yes… the delicious layers.


    But I’ve become really, really weird when it comes to buying clothes.

    Ever since I started paying attention to my money, I find myself walking into a store with my defenses up. I wander around the aisles of pretty clothes and begin to talk to myself: Does this shirt go with at least two pairs of pants I own? Will this scarf match most of my outfits and jackets? Will I be able to wear this dress in more than one way? Am I considering buying this because I love it or just because it’s ridiculously on sale?

    I even calculate what I call “Cost Per Usage” and figure out the price according to how much I would wear something. For example, a white camisole for $10 probably costs me about a penny each time I wear it. The jeans I bought on sale a few months ago for $30 have already cost me $1 per use. This past summer I bought a dress for $60 that I wore twice, so it cost me $30 per use. I know, I know. I’m a dork.

    However, I get tired of thinking about it. I wish I could just walk into a store and not think about how if I buy these bright yellow tights, that’s $15 that could have gone to my Emergency Fund. (And let’s be honest, can you really pull off that color?)

    Am I the only crazy girl out there who thinks these things while shopping??

    {photos: anthropologie}

    Read Full Post »

    Normally I don’t get excited buying out-of-season items. There’s just something about buying something and waking up the next day excited about wearing it.

    However, I was thinking about my cruise I’m taking in December and decided I could use a new swimsuit. I haven’t bought one in two years because my summers have been lame (boo for growing up!). But I went online to J.Crew, (aka: the catalog I lust after each Spring), and was shocked to see the many swimsuits I envied in March on sale for $9.99 each!

    Here’s what I bought:


    ^Regular price at $80 but I bought this for $19.99 in aqua/blue.


    ^Regular price was $40. I bought it for $9.99 in a coral/pink color.


    ^Regular price was $38. I bought for $9.99 in a coral/pink color. (Isn’t the little flower adorable?)

    It all cost me about $50 including shipping and tax, but I saved $108 by buying out of season. If it’s been a while since you bought a swimsuit, now is the time to buy them. J.Crew is my favorite, but Gap and Pac Sun and many others have great ones on sale too.

    Now the only thing left to do is figure out how to get rock-hard abs and I’m all set! ;)

    Does anyone else save money by buying out of season?

    Read Full Post »

    On Saturday a few friends and I headed away from the city and into the countryside. We went to an orchard and picked our own apples, raspberries and pumpkins. The sky was blue, the air was crisp, and I even saw yellow leaves on some trees. I was in heaven. :)





    pumpkin patch

    In case you’re wondering what I look like, here’s a picture of me with a pumpkin head:


    After picking, we all came back to my apartment and made an apple pie, apple sauce and apple chips. And I still have enough apples to make an apple crisp for when my parents arrive this weekend. Oh yum.

    Total Cost:
    Two bags of apples: FREE
    Two cups of raspberries: FREE
    Two pumpkins: $6.80

    I highly recommend going to pick your own fruits and vegetables before the cold winter arrives. It’s usually very cheap (ahem–two cups of raspberries for FREE!), and it’s sooo much fun!

    Read Full Post »