Seattle

Paul & I just got back from a long weekend in Seattle. He attended a writing conference and I seized the opportunity to visit with my great friend, Kelly, who very graciously let us stay with her for 4 nights. Kelly had work and school so I had a grand old time exploring Seattle by myself for a good chunk of the weekend. I got some good reading done at local coffee shops, and good exercise walking downtown and back. Oh, and Ikea was visited.

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When Kelly and I did have time together, we walked down by the water and this is the best picture I got of us. Isn’t she beautiful!? Seattle suits her well, I think. She also took me to the bakery she works at, Macrina. It was so delicious and adorable. Also, Kelly is crazy talented and creative. She showed me around her school in West Seattle and I got to see a project she is working on. Baking & Pastry work is art when Kelly does it – beautiful.

We then walked down to Pike’s Market where I had to buy flowers. We stopped in a great shop and did a wine tasting. Let me tell you, wine tasting in the afternoon is my new favorite thing. Especially with this girl. We had a blast. And we could also tell you about oak aging vs. stainless steel aging if you really wanted to know about it. Image

But seriously, isn’t she beautiful?! Guys, she’s single.

We also ate very well at some great local places. This was an Irish pub where I had the best Irish coffee. 

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We ate at the Athenian down in the Market for brunch one day. Apparently they filmed parts of Sleepless in Seattle there. Basically like eating with Meg Ryan. 

Kelly took me up to Queen Anne where I will spend more time next visit because they have so many cute shops there! We spent the evening playing games at a local game shop. Spokane needs a place like this – they have tables set up and bookshelves full of games to choose from. A nice cold beer, good friends, and free games! So much fun.

Spokane is small. 

I love traveling because of the perspective it gives me, and this was no exception.

A great vacation, I’d say.  

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Every Little Bit Counts

Paul & I want to travel. So badly. We’ve been talking and talking and talking about it since before we were married, but we’ve decided enough talking, let’s do something about it! So, we are making slow, baby steps towards it.

Our first move? Getting passports! We got some money for Christmas and decided, no time like the present – and applied for them. It was something very tangible, and affordable (thanks, Father!) that gave us hope we might actually make this travel thing happen someday.

Our next move? Saving money. “This is hard to do when you don’t have a lot to begin with”, my creative-writing-master’s-degree-graduate-student husband pointed out. But my philosophy? Every little bit counts.

I’d love to hear how you all pinch pennies in your budget! Please do share. I read somewhere that you should always keep researching how to save money because people are always coming up with great ways to save the dough. And it’s true! I’ve found great resources on the internet and hope to find more.

Actually, I almost bought a book about money-saving tips but then realized how ridiculous that would be. Spend money to learn how to save money? Silly. So instead, I put ten bucks in the jar. Ten bucks I would’ve spent on the book, now is saved! We’ll see how long we can keep that philosophy up. We wanted to go to a movie downtown but decided we could do Netflix at home instead. So, twenty bucks went in the jar! Every little bit counts.

I’ve also begun asking myself, “Do I really want that new Beyonce cd, or would I rather spend that on an espresso and croissant in Paris?” Duh, easy decision. It’s amazing how perspective can change my spending habits.

A few ‘little bit’ things we’ve done:

Turned our thermostat down 2 degrees.

Unplug our power strip with electric things at night/when we aren’t using it.

Cut down on food waste! I’m embarrassed to say I’m really bad about this.

Condense our errand-running trips in the car. I totally take for granted that I can just pop in the car and run up north to Target without even thinking about it. I’ll go even if I just need one thing. So my new errand best friend? Lists.

Every time we have cash in our wallet, it goes in the jar. Also, any extra non-paycheck money we get goes straight into savings.

There’s many more things I’d like to do, but this is where we are now. Every little bit counts!

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