So I’ve Been on Vacation…

I may currently be sitting in a dark room sweating through my athletic t-shirt, but let no one doubt that I am positively thrilled about this glorious summer weather. A weekly forecast with highs in the 80s each day–consider me delighted! Part of the reason I’m dripping is because I just mowed both lawns in record time. You wanna know what? I do it so regularly now I don’t even really mind. Now that my neighbor’s dead car is finally out of the lawn I was actually kind of excited to get my grass all even today. (And by the way apparently another neighbor from the back unit actually did die. So that happened).

Today also marked another historic occasion–the second month in a row that I had a relatively positive grocery shopping experience. What changed, you may ask? Simple: I started going early in the morning when it’s less crowded, I went through a list in my head and then organized said list by aisle and then I had some firm criteria to guide my “impulse” shopping (watch the sugar, processing, sodium contents, no packaged snacks, no sweets). The trip only took about an hour and I stayed well within budget.

That’s another thing, a “budget”. Back in my undergrad days (oh such a long two years ago) I was really good at watching every penny and where it went, mostly because I had so few of them. Since moving out and being on my own I’ve been good about paying all of my bills and not getting into debt, but I must abashedly admit that I never really paid much attention to any sort of budget. Those days are no more! I spent a full day of my vacation (ok to be fair I was also marathoning seasons of Psych so it may not have needed to take such a long time) plotting out how much I’ve spent in which area over the past eight months and then working out a reasonable budget for the future. As much as it pains me, I also downloaded a tracker app so that I can compare my budget to my spending every day as well as know how many more days are left in the month before my budget renews. My credit union has some great graphs built in to its online banking, but because of where my payday lands (the last working day of the month) it doesn’t align with how I want to budget. I won’t have a bunch of spare change lying around (and I will probably be stingy with my dining out so beware! friends), but with some careful planning as well as mapped out spending goals I believe I can safely start building up some savings. So maybe next year I can actually go somewhere on vacation.

While I did spend quite a few days at home over the last two weeks, I did take some time out for some adventures. I spent a weekend in Portland with some old high school friends and experienced such joys as a two-story Target  with both a person AND a shopping cart escalator, the giant Ikea, Voodoo II (which admittedly was rather underwhelming) and the “best brunch” in town. I wish I’d had all day to spend at Ikea…

Then another friend and I took a day trip to the Experience Music Project museum in Seattle. That trip was a lot of fun and the costumes displayed in both the sci-fi and fantasy exhibits were very nerdily satisfying. Did I mention that I have ALWAYS wanted to see Buttercup’s dress up close? (From The Princess Bride). Check. My new FB profile photo was obtained at the museum as well and yes, if you really need to know, I did pick out my outfit that morning so that it would look awesome on the throne of swords. What can I say? I travel prepared. Be looking for some photoshopped versions soon…

My mother and I did a partial hike of Mt. Rose one day, I saw Superman with my family and I also invested in a brand new set of bedding! Oh yes, and after The Painted Plate FAILED to have tiny espresso cups to paint I later indulged in a watercolor paint by numbers set with a friend. And then I proceeded to blatantly disregard both the numbers and the imposing lines and rather paint how I wanted to.*

*Sidebar: I used to have this horrendous jealousy in middle school social studies when map making. There were these students, you know who you are, who totally mastered this technique where they would draw really dark and perfect outlines of each state or country and then lightly color it in. Their maps looked like they could have been computer-color-pencil generated. My maps, while very artistic and full of creative shading, never resembled carbon copies. I’ve always had an intrinsic abhorrence of coloring/painting within the lines.

I would have to summarize my vacation by saying that it was fun and relaxing, but next year I’d like to do something a tad more exciting with some international travel if I can swing it.

In other exciting news–remember how I said that my friend and I were going to be doing our first 5K and we were afraid we would either a) die or b) take more than 45 minutes to complete it? Well both fears were completely unfounded! I erroneously posted on FB that we finished in 37 minutes, but it turns out that it took a little longer than I thought for me to remember to pause my gps running app. My official time was actually 34:42.98! Ok, so that’s not so hot compared to people who actually run, but for me who a month and a half before the event couldn’t run ONE mile, that is a huge accomplishment. I definitely intend to keep signing up for 5ks, and my goal is to speed up my time and run the whole way through (we did have to walk a teensy weensy bit). As I’ve been practicing around home I’ve been able to up my straight running distance, but my time is all over the place depending on the day. I’ll start paying better attention to that as well and mindfully training, not just panting and hoping not to die. I never regret exercising after I’m back home, but I admit that first push to get going can at times be difficult.

Sorry for the boring adult-ish update today. I’m kind of enjoying being a boring old lady. I mean, budgets and groceries and running and bedding? How could it possibly get more exciting than that?! You’re right, it couldn’t possibly.

Now get off my lawn, I’m going to go read a book.




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