Dream Save Do – Amass the cash to live your dream

I just finished reading ‘Dream Save Do’ by Betsy and Warren Talbot. Betsy and Warren spend their days meeting people, traveling the world, and trying new things. Sounds pretty fun huh?

How did Betsy and Warren become world travelers? Betsy and Warren were your basic corporate drones, who on the cusp of turning 40 stopped buying things and started saving for their dream. Traveling the world.

In two years’ time they saved $75,000, more than enough to fund their travel budget of $100 a day (read Dream Save Do for all their money saving details). Last fall Warren and Betsy packed their backpacks and traveled to South America, then Antarctica, Europe, and now Thailand. They’re living their dream and inspiring others to do the same. Very cool!

Are Betsy and Warren the real deal? Yep! A couple of years ago I met Betsy when she was stockpiling cash and selling her possessions. I thought Betsy was fun and full of interesting stories (and this is before she started traveling!).

I love reading about people following their passion because they inspire me to do the same. Reading ‘Dream Save Do’ got me thinking about my dream.

What does my ideal day look like? If I could live anywhere, where would I live? What would I do? And what can I do today to make my dream reality?

Good stuff.

You can read all about Warren and Betsy’s adventures at MarriedwithLuggage.com.

Life is short. Live your dream.

Giving thanks

A grateful heart is a happy heart. I’m counting my blessings today…

  • Clean drinking water
  • Warm and dry home
  • Amply stocked kitchen
  • Cup of coffee in hand
  • Plenty of books to read
  • 4 days off from work
  • Hot breakfast prepared by my daughter

There’s so much to be thankful for!

I need nothing.

Black Friday deals have no luster, when you take into account what you already have.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Quatchi having Thanksgiving breakfast
Quatchi likes pancakes

Kindle library books

A few weeks ago Amazon added library books to the Kindle. Yes!

Now you can browse and download library books to your Kindle from the comfort of your own home. While I enjoy reading on my Kindle, the price of Kindle books has inched upwards since they were first introduced. I haven’t used my Kindle a ton, because it’s expensive to feed. Kindle library books are great because they’re free and sometimes available instantly.

Don’t have a Kindle? No worries. If you have a smartphone, you can use the Kindle app to read Kindle library books on your phone. At first I scoffed at this idea thinking the screen size was too small, but I’ve found that reading books on my phone isn’t that bad. Having books on my phone is handy when I’m waiting for an appointment to start, or my daughter’s piano lesson to end.

To see which Kindle library books are available – go to your library’s website. The downside?

  • You can’t download library Kindle books over 3G (you need to use Wi-Fi or a USB cable connected to your computer).
  • The lending period is 21 days, so read fast.

My public library also has eBooks in PDF and Adobe ePUB formats, which you can read on your computer. So check out the ‘Downloads’ section on your library’s website. You never know what you might find.

Jessi Arrington: Wearing nothing new

An idea worth spreading: Not buying new clothes was presented as a TED Talk by designer Jessi Arrington. Here’s why Jessi shops at thrift stores and flea markets:

  • To reduce her impact on our environment and her wallet.
  • To meet all kinds of great people.
  • To support a good cause.
  • To dress in a unique way.

Jessi says “shopping at thrift stores is like a personal treasure hunt.”

So true! You never know what you’ll find.

Another great reason to buy used clothes… You don’t have to worry or wonder about how something will ‘wash up,’ because it’s already been through the ringer (or at least a washer). Check out Jessi’s TED talk:

Why do you like treasure hunts?

Cold-brewed coffee

It’s July in Seattle and we’re experiencing the occasional summer-like day, which means it’s time to switch to iced coffee beverages!

A couple years ago I discovered the joy of cold brewed coffee. This super smooth coffee magically brews overnight, allowing you to wake up to tasty coffee goodness. I got this recipe from Rachel Meeks at Small Notebook. (Thanks Rachel!)Picture of iced coffee

Cold-brewed coffee

  1. Add 1/4 cup coarse ground coffee and 1 cup cold water to a container (I use a French press, but you could use a glass jar).
  2. Sleep 7 hours (ideally).
  3. The next morning, add 1 cup of water to the container.
  4. Strain and pour the coffee over ice.
  5. Add milk and sugar as desired.

That’s it!

With a little night-before planning, you could be drinking smooth iced coffee in seconds (without a trip to a coffee shop).

Here’s to fabulous summertime coffee. Cheers!

My 365 photo blog post for today:

A picture of shadows on sand

Rethinking gum

In the back of my mind, I’ve always known that gum wasn’t healthy. Not healthy for me or our environment. I noticed that gum wasn’t sold at ‘natural’ grocery stores and the ingredients, well ah… they are suspect (i.e. polyvinyl acetate anyone?). All that said, I still chewed gum.

That is, until I read ‘Chewing on Plastic? Yum!‘ back in January, and my gum buying days stopped. Wow!Picture of gum

The past few months I’ve been in many checkout lines, surrounded by gum, AND I’ve resisted the temptation. Yay! Once I bought some Peppermint lifesavers, but no gum.

Thanks to Beth Terry at My Plastic-free Life for inspiring me to kick my gum habit! I aspire to live a plastic-free life, and while I have a ways to go, reading blogs by plastic-free bloggers are great motivation for me.

Have you kicked the gum habit? Which alternatives do you like? 

More about gum: Behind the label: Chewing gum

My 365 photo blog post for today:

Picture of blue clouds

Memberships: Use them, or lose them

I’ve been paying monthly gym fees for years. And years. I probably could have bought my own pool by now. OK, maybe not – but it feels like it sometimes.

Some months I swim a lot. And then there are months where I… um, don’t go at all. The bummer about memberships is that you pay whether you use the service or not. So this month I gave myself an ultimatum – use my gym membership, or lose it.

I decided that 10 visits a month is a reasonable goal.

Swimmer with tally marks

Sounds simple, but 10 visits is much more than I’ve been doing in the past. To meet this lofty goal, I’m doing a couple things:

  • I have a white card on my fridge to track my visits (goals that I don’t track are forgotten).
  • I set up a regular time to swim (2 pm) and blocked it out on my calendar.

I’m happy to report that the regular calendar appointment and the card on my fridge are helping me reach my goal. I feel much better about my gym membership now that I’m using it.

What memberships or subscriptions do you have? Are you getting your money’s worth?

Any time is a good time to reevaluate memberships and pull the plug on the ones you’re not using.

My 365 photo blog post for today:

iris