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An Air Force Gal’s Guide To: The Pentagon

The following comes to us from Meg in Washington DC; a Lieutenant herself, as well as an Air Force wife.  Sounds like Wonderwoman to me…

Meg

Wish you were here?  If you stay in the Air Force, you probably will be at some point.  Being staitioned in DC is very unique!  Most people do not live on base, and some even commute from 70 miles away.  Because of this, there is not a very close military community, but that doesn’t mean you can’t love this assignment.  Just make friends with your neighbors and pretend you are civilian for a bit.

 

DC Top 8 (It’s a big city, you can’t narrow it down to just 3):

1.    Get a bike!  DC is very flat, tons of great bike paths. 

2.    Stay close to home or take the metro.  Traffic is a way of life, car rides are always a big time commitment.  One more reason to get a bike…

3.    Greet WWII veterans.  Honor Flight is an amazing program, we highly recommend it.

4.    Start running, or taunt your friends that run (see photo above). There are lots of races, but they always fill up in the first 45 minutes!  DC is a skinny place.

5.    Get out of your house.  You’re not in Minot anymore!  Go to the Kennedy Center, attend a protest or play kickball on the Mall.  Be a tourist.  Everything is here and there are tons of free museums/festivals/concerts. 

6.    Pamper your puppy.  You’ll soon notice there is an eerie attachment to dogs (think dog yoga, dog cruises on the river, etc.)  What the heck, join the cult.

7.    Drink Virginia Wine, get to a Winefest, or drive to a vineyard

8.    Get out of the city – for your sanity.  Try Shenandoah, Harper’s Ferry, Annapolis, or even Delaware seashore.  For a weekend take the Megabus or the Boltbus: $20 to NYC or Philly, plus it’s very clean with free wifi on board.   

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Article publié pour la première fois le 04/07/2010

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Home Spa: Save Sanity and Money!

In my humble opinion, there is absolutely nothing more relaxing and rejuvenating than a day spent at a spa. There is something magical in getting a massage and forgetting all of your cares for an hour or so. But, the joys of going to the spa are not solely to be found in getting a massage — it is the entire relaxing experience. Taking a dip in the hot plunge, sweating away in the sauna, or breathing deep in the steam room is relaxation defined. There are few things I’d rather do more than spend an entire day with little between me and the world but a plush spa robe. With just the mere thought of it I can already feel my shoulders relax and my breathing deepen. Like I said, its magical.

Unfortunately, while a day at the spa is absolute relaxation, paying the bill is usually enough to shock you back into the real world. When it comes to a spa, relaxation comes at a cost, and that cost is almost never cheap. So, the other day when I was at my wit’s end and the siren call of the steam room was beckoning, I thought that there had to be a way to bring the spa experience home. Luckily I found that a few simple additions (and subtractions) to your own bathroom can make home feel that much more like the lusted-after spa. Try out some of these ideas and before you know it, you’ll be relaxing and saving money.

Clean your bathroom and then clean it again. Although it is a basic trait, perhaps the most essential trait of a good spa is how clean everything is. It has to be, if it were dirty, it would lead to stress rather than relaxation. Bringing this home is simple: deep clean your bathroom. Its best to clean everywhere, but pay special attention to the bathtub area, the place where you will most likely be spending your “me-time.” Once everything is clean make sure you . . .

Declutter. Spas are relaxing because there are usually simply and minimally decorated. There is no visual clutter muddying up your line of sight. Visual clutter leads to mental clutter which leads to stress.  If you do want to add to the visual aesthetic, a good way to decorate without muddying your line of sight is modern wall decals depicting relaxing locales. By decluttering and organizing your bathroom, you can obtain the clean look that leads to relaxation.  And if you simply can’t bring yourself to throw out half of your lotions and potions at least tuck them away in a basket or bin.

Set the mood with candles. Bright lights are great when you are trying to shave or brush your teeth, but when it comes to relaxing, it is the soft flicker of a candle you are after. For a few dollars in candles, you can turn down the lights and turn down your stress.

Use your sense of smell to relax. Your sense of smell it a powerful thing. By using candles, soaps, bath salts, or any other smelly things that have the right scents, you can breath your way to complete relaxation. Try anything with lavender if you’re trying to fall asleep. Nothing says clean like the smell of eucalyptus. Mint and citrus are rejuvenating. Pick the right scent for you and float away.

Invest in plush towels, robes, and bathmats. Remember, the softer the better. Nothing feels better after stepping out of the bath or shower than surrounding yourself in a luxurious and plush towel. Spas surround you with softness. Mimic this at home and you’ll never regret the cost.

Play the right music. An essential part of the spa experience is how a spa sounds. Mostly, its quiet. The little sound you do hear is soft instrumental music, usually with the sounds of nature playing with it. Simply closing your eyes and listening to this music will calm you immediately. Invest in similar music and your house will sound like a spa in no time.

One of my favorite perks at a luxurious spa are the snacks.  I just feel like a queen lounging near the cool plunge waterfall nibbling dainty treats.  But if you really think about what you are eating these are not expensive food items.  Cover the top of your hamper next to the tub in a white hand towel and put a glass and pitcher of extra chilled water with sliced cucumber or fruit in it. Add a small bowl of natural granola, nuts, or my favorite– chocolate and Voila!  You’re set.

So if the hustle and bustle of the holidays has put a kink in your neck, but your spa budget was snuffed out with 2012 use these ideas to mimic one at home and get ready for a richer and more relaxed year in 2013.

What affordable additions to your home spa would you make friends?

Article publié pour la première fois le 16/01/2013

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Avoid Money Mistakes

I just finished reading Nice Girls Don’t Get Rich by Lois Frankel, PhD.  In it, she sites “75 Avoidable Mistakes Women Make with Money.”  Really, anyone can commit these errors, however, she asserts that women are more at risk due to some of their common predispositions towards money.  Here are a few of the differences between men and women regarding views on money that Frankel points out:

Men:  Invest

Women: Save

Men:  Buy what they need.

Women:  Buy what they want.

Men:  Spend money on themselves.

Women: Spend money on those they care about.

Men:  Ask for what they want.

Women: Ask for what they think they deserve.

Men:  Learn how to be effective investors.

Women: Expect others to know more than they do.

Men:  Advocate for themselves during trying financial times.

Women: Want to be fair during trying financial times. 

Of course, these are just generalizations.  Husband buys things he wants all the time.  You think he needed that PlayStation3?  Oh, please. 

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Article publié pour la première fois le 05/08/2010

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The Best of Money Carnival is now up at Debt Free Adventure.  Check out some great posts from the past week, particularily #1 Can You Go To Jail If You Don’t Pay A Debt? at Bible Money Matters.


While you poking around the internet, also check out the reads in the Festival of Frugality at Girls Just Want to Have Funds, where I’m proud to be featured with In OR Out Burger.


Article publié pour la première fois le 29/06/2010

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Around the Interwebs – Week of June 21

I spend a lot of time at my computer.  I was bound to find some good stuff.  Here are my favorites from this week:


Save Money on Groceries Without Couopons @ Frugal Village


How Not to Buy Too Much @ Wisebread


Money 101 @ CNN


The Big Choice @ Simple Dollar


Top 10 Worst Paying College Degrees @ Free Money Finance


Article publié pour la première fois le 26/06/2010

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The New Frugality

In my mind being frugal just makes sense.  And if it makes sense to me, why isn’t everyone doing it?  Husband tells me I’m always right.  Yes, that was a joke.  I don’t think anything remotely similar has ever come out of his mouth (unless I said, “I’m a big doofus,” he’d probably say, “yeah, you’re right”). 

I can actually see why many people still haven’t latched on to the frugal state of mind considering many of the negative stereotypes still associated with it today.  Why, I plugged ‘frugal’ into the thesaurus and it came up with terms like penny-pinching, scrimping, meager, stingy, and tightwad.  Ugh, these aren’t very flattering terms.

Let’s take a look at one of the most famous penny-pincher’s of all-time, Ebenezer Scrooge:

Scrooge

With a poster child like this, it’s no wonder people aren’t elbowing each other to get on board the Thrifty Train.

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Article publié pour la première fois le 30/08/2010

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