Five things on Friday

Pumpkin spice drinking

1. To my utter delight, my sister and I went for our first pumpkin spice lattes of the season last week! Since then, I’ve also sampled the pumpkin wares of Tim Hortons and Dunkin’ Donuts. If you think I’m ridiculously happy, you’re right. Late summer is suddenly back — temps in the 90s! — with a vengeance, but I’m sipping that sweet autumnal nectar of the Starbucks gods and totally don’t care.

2. We were on Baltimore on Thursday for a doctor’s appointment (everything is cool), and I couldn’t get over how exhilarating it was to be out on a day when you’re “supposed” to be working. I mean, my job is very generous with vacation time, so it’s not like I’m chained to my desk all year. And never mind that we just got back from a five-day break in New York last weekend . . . but, you know, being off in the city on a random Thursday? Bliss. Also, we totally chowed down at an Irish pub serving Guinness French onion soup and poutine, so — double bliss?


photo

Poutine: fries/potatoes, gravy, cheese curds. See also: paradise


3. In a concerted effort to get myself together this fall, I started a budget worksheet. It’s a working list of what I’m spending in an attempt to figure out where my cash is going (and hopefully scale back). Though I don’t consider myself a spendthrift, per say, I don’t think I should be downright shocked to get my credit bill at the end of the month. That’s . . . probably not responsible. Anyone have any favorite budget tips, apps, methods?

4. In that vein, I was already pondering my New Year’s resolutions for 2015 when I realized I don’t have to wait for a freshly-scrubbed year to throw confetti and make some changes. The changing of seasons is as good a time as any, so I’m back to actively tracking my meals with Weight Watchers — I, er, took a “summer break” — and will commit to tracking spending with the aforementioned worksheet.

5. And that’s quite enough of the boring adult talk. Let’s talk about shopping! Perhaps dovetailing with my previous budget talk, eh? (I’m a mess, what can I say.) While I’ve definitely cut out most personal spending that isn’t house-related, I do find myself obsessively looking at dresses on Zulily because apparently that’s my new thing. As it’s nearly fall, that means sweater dresses and boots and scarves and . . . yeah, I’m just going to go run off and hunker down in my happy place.



P.S. I hope to get back on a normal posting schedule next week. Between the holiday and busy work week, I just couldn’t seem to get myself together! Hope y’all have a great weekend.


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Sunshine in a vase

Flowers

Remember in the winter, back when I was on the hunt for cheap flowers as a way to maintain my sanity through the interminable winter?

Well, I got addicted.

But I’m trying to behave.

At a time when we’re meticulously budgeting, $10 here and there might not seem like a big deal . . . but sometimes it’s hard for me to justify purchasing things that are just going to perish. Until we get a handle on certain expenses, I’m trying to be really careful with our funds.

It’s interesting. Hard, but a good sort of challenge.

When it comes to flowers, though, I can’t seem to help myself. They’re too lovely to ignore. Fresh blooms in the house just add such light, airiness and joy — simple joy. Beauty.

At the farmers’ market over the weekend, I came upon the most gorgeous bouquet of sunflowers — giant sunflowers, with heads larger than my fist. They’re yellow and orange with colorful blooms intermixed, and the Amish children that sold them to me smiled like sunshine as I carried them out.

For a whole five dollars.

I look at them every morning while making my coffee, and each evening when we’re pulling dinner together. They’re on the table in our new kitchen, the one still lined with boxes and bobbles and so many things I just don’t know what to do with — at least until our pantry is done. (The previous owners ripped out the shelving, leaving only dust and holes for us to patch — but we’ll get there.)

When will I learn?

It really is the little things.