Spa Girl

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Last month I hosted a small party for New Years and had a few bottles of Aqua Panna out on the table to encourage guests to help themselves.  I was having a tough time recycling the pretty bottles and it occurred to me one would make a nice stand in for the carafe I can never bring myself to buy.

I’ve started to fill one up with filtered water and take it upstairs with a small glass every night.  I have no idea why, but it feels so luxurious to pour myself small glasses of water while I get ready for bed.  But it does, so I do.  Who wants to question a $2 investment in luxury?  Certainly not me.

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Burt’s Bees Fabulously Fresh

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I’m really good at making sure I exfoliate my face a couple of times a week, but I had gotten out of the habit of doing the same to my body.  I picked up a bottle of Burt’s Bees Fabulously Fresh Body Wash at Target the other weekend and doused a pair of exfoliating gloves with it.  I think I sandpapered off at least a 100 layers of my skin and it felt absolutely amazing.  I’m comin’ for ya spring!

Cleaning Out My Closet

The spring organizing bug has caught me early this year and I could NOT be happier about it.  I realized it was time I took a good long look at my clothes and what I actually wore (hello a variation on five outfits and a whooooole lotta black and gray).  I took five bags of clothes down to the Goodwill (!) which was more exciting than when I bring five bags of stuff home!

Before

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I’m not going to lie, I DID keep some aspirational outfits–a pair of rain boots and a couple of dresses that are alllllmost there.  We’ll see if they both make the cut as I go.  I still have some work to do, but mainly I realized I only need a few things for spring.  And spoiler alert:  I’m starting with some color.  And maaaaaybe some new wood hangers.  A girl’s gotta grow up sometime.

After

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Solo for $70: Week 2

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I mentioned last week that I was aiming to reduce my discretionary spending on food.  And how did that go?  Hahahahaha.  Haha.  Ha.  Ha.  Dismal, dismal failure.  There WERE some bright spots.  I ate breakfast at home every morning and discovered I loved the salad/bean/avocado combo for lunch.  But other than that?  I ate out every night, forgot I had a work potluck I needed to bring food for and ended up out with girlfriends for drinks and dinner on Saturday night.  My $30 surplus was blown by day two and two days after that I just stopped counting.  If I had to guess, I spent probably about $200 on food last week.  For. One. Person.  (Hold me.)  Which is precisely why I need to cut back.  And I KNOW it’s possible, it’s just going to take a bit more working on than I thought.

I’m planning on cleaning my kitchen from top to bottom this week and getting organized to hopefully inspire me even further.  For some reason cooking when I get home in the evenings just isn’t happening.

I did decide I’m going to eat dinners out this week since I’m leaving town for a few days, but my goal is to find some reasonably priced items that won’t break the budget.

Items I’m Using Up:  I’m going to attempt to freeze some buttermilk into cubes and save it for recipes in more manageable quantities.

Items I Didn’t Get to in Time:  The tomatoes I mentioned last week didn’t get roasted.

This Week’s Menu

Breakfasts

Cereal with 1/2 banana or a smoothie

Lunches

The aformentioned half a bag of salad with beans and avocado

Dinners

TBD

Remaining Cash Balance:  I only spent $22 on the groceries that you see above.  So I have $48 to spend on my daily coffee out and finding dinners for the next four nights.  THAT SEEMS TOTALLY REASONABLE.  We shall see!

Pride & Prejudice

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This Friday kicks off a three day weekend for me!  What better time to get swept away in the BBC’s six-hour long version of Pride & Prejudice?  No better time!  The romance of England’s Lake District, gorgeous dresses and Colin Firth’s (I mean Mr. Darcy’s (!))  long glances at Elizabeth Bennet.  I will neither confirm nor deny my own long glances as he climbs out of the pond wearing nothing but riding pants and a clinging shirt.  What did they do without the pause and rewind buttons back then?

New Favorite Wine: Liberty School Cab

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A friend of mine brought this cab over one night and it was the hit of the party…well, along with the mini candles that were sparklers (!)

It was gorgeous, rich, and lovely, not unlike Paso Robles, the town from which it hails.  Interested to see if you can pick it up in your ‘hood?  Check here.  I love that the vineyard’s motto is to “elevate the everyday.”

I can’t think of a better way to elevate these wintery days than with a glass of good red wine and chatting the evening away with good friends.  (Sparkling mini candles optional, but highly recommended.)

Meet the Fish

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Fisher (aka Booloo, Sasu, Balu, Laboo, Fishy or FISH STOP!) is my ten year old golden retriever/cattle dog mix.  I turned the corner at my local Humane Society and a chubby little eight pound six-week old Fishy chose me by looking adorable in the back of a huge pen filled with her brothers and sisters.  She quietly walked to the front of the pen, sat down and looked up at me.  “I’ll take that one,” I said instantly and asked if she wanted to go home.  She licked my face and rested her head on my shoulder when I picked her up.

She lets out a huge sigh at the end of each day when I’m tucked in bed and turn out the light.  She’s always ready for a walk but when I tell her “it’s too early, go lay down” she’ll climb back onto the couch and go back to sleep.  Everyone loves her (with the exception of my old college roommates but, rounding up to everyone).  She gets tired at parties; stares at employees in any establishment where she thinks she may get a cookie; hates skateboards, thunder and fireworks; is happiest chasing her tennis ball at the beach and still walks toward me with her head down and wagging her tail when I ask if she wants kisses.

And that photo up there?  That’s exactly what happens when she’s no longer willing to lay down and is insistent on getting outside.  She’s the only reason I know any of my neighbors.  My life…better doesn’t even begin to describe my life from having her in it.