Archive for the ‘travel’ Category

my christmas in pictures

{the spot where we relaxed most afternoons reading beach novels}

{the mexican water was gorgeous}

{the stores were so colorful}

{the view from my hammock}

{the cruise food was delish, but nothing like this authentic mexican snack}

{the catamaran we took to a private beach}

{the large ship that looked so small in the middle of the ocean}

{the sweet couple that serenaded us while we ate}


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Life’s a bit busy at the moment and I find myself daydreaming of Mexican beaches. Wouldn’t it be lovely to lounge in one of these with a margarita in hand and a novel in your lap?

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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. :)

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What a lovely weekend I had with some of my favorite friends. Like all anticipated weekends, it went by too fast. They really want J and me to move down there, and I must say I am tempted. The cost of living is certainly less than here in Washington. I need to remind myself to be content with my apartment, even if I am paying twice what they do with half the amenities.


Beginning Balance: $355.15

-$5.23 breakfast at airport
-$28.68 lunch for J & me
-$20.00 movie tickets for J & me; saw Where the Wild Things Are

-$18.43 chipping in for groceries for dinner
-$3.66 pumpkin spice latte @ starbucks (mmm!)
-$18.01 netflix*

-$12.63 lunch at a delicious Tavern
-$4.17 pumpkin spice latte @ starbucks (seriously, i’m addicted!)
-$15.00 metro money

*I signed up for a trial netflix and forgot to cancel it! That was stupid. I hate paying fees like that which could have been easily avoided if I wasn’t lazy and forgetful. Lesson learned. At least I stayed within my weekend budget of $150!

Ending Balance: $229.34

Weekend highlights:
Mimosas, homemade pizzas, sleeping in, mario kart, airport pick-ups, wine, changing leavings, piedmont park, pumpkin spice lattes, laughing until our stomachs hurt. :)

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Like I said, I didn’t spend ANYTHING last weekend. Aren’t parents awesome? So here’s my spending report for this week. It’s a little early because I’m heading to Atlanta tomorrow.

Beginning Balance: $563.04

-$34.56 at Forever 21 – got a cute little jacket & wallet :)
-$10.59 at Papa John’s – yes, pizza on Monday night. I’ve been terrible this week.
-$7.05 on groceries

-$9.36 part of J’s CHRISTMAS present!!!
-$25.96 gasoline
-$3.35 at Home Depot

-$100 tithe
-$6.47 at Chipotle for lunch
-$10.55 hostess gift for my friend

Ending Balance: $355.15

Atlanta, here I come!
I am taking a vacation day tomorrow and am flying to ATLANTA! I’ve been planning this trip for a few months and am so excited. I am visiting my best friend/former roommate who got married in July. J and my sister are also meeting me down there. I know… two weekends in a row with my boyfriend?! Inconceivable!

My budget for the weekend is $150, which sounds like a lot, but we might do some shopping and I’d like to pay for J at dinner. Ooooh can’t wait!

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

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Traveling Itch

I love love love to travel. I haven’t been that many places, but I’ve made my rounds to Jamaica, Peru, France, Germany, Czech Republic, Canada (totally counts), and various states within the US. It’s been almost two years since I have gone abroad and I’m getting that traveling itch.

I have a good friend who moved to Egypt last year to teach English to missionary children in Cairo. Her term ends this August and I really wanted to visit while she was there, but just couldn’t justify it financially and with minimal vacation days.  I recently spoke with her online and she has renewed her contract and will be overseas for another year. Another year!

I want to go visit her so badly! Just for kicks I looked up airline flights to Cairo for next spring and they’re about $950-1050. It would be a fairly inexpensive trip since I would stay with her, so the cost would include the flight, any traveling costs while I’m over there, and food. I know that right now that shouldn’t be even on my radar until I am done with my debt/savings goals, but who knows if I’ll get this opportunity again. And she’s not just an acquaintance, but a true kindred spirit. Hmm.


Neuschwanstein Castle in the Alps

Unrelated Note: It’s PAYDAY! About freaking time!

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New York on a Budget


You don’t have to go all out to have a good time in New York. All you really need are four good friends and a tasty cosmo, right?

Since my friends and I have visited NYC many times before, we stayed away from the hot-spots such as Times Square (shudder–I was there for ’08 New Years), and instead did low-key things like picnicking in Central Park and wandering the Village.

I am pleased to announce that while we did a lot of shopping in lovely Soho boutiques, I only spent money on restaurants, cab rides, subway tickets, and I stayed within my $100 budget! One restaurant we went to was especially kind to the wallet–Cooper 35 where the chips are free and the cocktails are $4 a piece. It’s on the East Village, serves mainly Asian cuisine and is a hot-spot for NYU students. After arriving in the city after a 4-hour bus ride, it was the perfect place to go. Saturday evening was fairly warm and so we sat on the screened in patio at B-Bar. Equally as good with a little more atmosphere, but the drinks were sadly $10-13 each. Overall, it was a fabulous girl’s weekend.

Here’s the damage:
Cab ride: $13
Cooper 35: $20
Subway pass: $9
B-Bar: $30
Groceries for brunch: $12
Total = $84

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Upcoming Trip: NYC

One major reason why I want to get control of my money is so that I actually have some to spend on things that I want and love to do. One of these things is traveling.

This weekend I am going to New York City with two of my best friends to visit my older sister. It shouldn’t be too expensive because my sister lives in the heart of Manhattan (free place to stay) and I am going on the Bolt Bus for a $30 round-trip ticket from DC to NYC. There are other buses that run a little cheaper, but the Bolt doesn’t make any stops in Baltimore, Philly or New Jersey so I like that.

I occasionally struggle to stay within my budget when I am tempted by friends. I feel that I have pretty decent control over my money when it only affects me, but when my saying “no” to eating at a $50/meal restaurant or going to an $80 show affects other people’s plans, I tend to just go with the crowd instead of making everyone else skimp out on those activities too. So this weekend I am hoping to stand my ground and not be a pushover, but not in a way that I turn into a stingy grump who only wants to sit in Central Park and people watch. That’s not really who I am at all, I just really don’t want to overspend!

My weekend budget is $100, which shouldn’t be too bad. It’ll also be challenging not to spend anything when we go shopping since I have given that up for Lent. I guess I have the entire blogging community to be accountable to, so I’ll report on whether or not I stay in my budget on Monday. Until then, I’m off to the Big Apple!!! (Okay, I’m aware only tourists call it that, but whatever. I love New York!)

Have a great weekend!

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