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School’s Out!

The smell of BBQ is in the air, the sound of children playing can be heard drifting from my windows throughout the day. It’s 11:00AM and I’m still in my bathrobe, and I’m working on Doubled Up. What is wrong with this picture!? I’m out of school!! Holy Cow! What am I going to do with 3 glorious months of freedom?! We began this blog to chronicle our life together in our single wide trailer, our attempts at living high on the hog while going low on the budget and simply trying to figure out how to live our first year of married life together. It’s hard to believe that it’s almost been a year already! Let me tell you want we are going to do with our summer!

1. Weddings, weddings and more weddings! We are at that age when all of our friends are getting married, we’ve already been to one, and we have 3 this summer. Expect to see some post about weddings, gifts, and other fun marriage-y things.

2. Working (sort of), I continue to put in hours for my professor and chip away at her research book project on asylum applicants. Someday, I may tell you more about it.

3. Travel! We’re going to China! We’re going to an area in Hunan Province to do research/language learning/and potentially replicate an NGO’s methods (very much in the future). I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to post about my trip here because some of the information that we will be looking at is of a sensitive nature. We’re so excited to go on our first international trip as a couple! (well besides our Honeymoon!!!)

4. Crafts/food/fun! With summer comes a little bit more time, so we are looking forward to those longer days and enjoying our porch. We try to some of our own food, and I’m documenting the process with photos.

5. Our First Anniversary. We’ve been really blessed with each other and this summer, July 11, marks our first year. I hope to share somethings about our first year with you all.

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The musician and I have been in a whirlwind of activities since January. Violin lessons, and violin training for him and school school school for me. This has left our little project so poorly neglected and in need of care. Well… as a kick off of the new spring season, we bring you… an update! The following are the things that we have been doing and that we recommend!

1. books worth reading: The Good Women of China by Xinran Xinran, Anxiety and Method by Deveraux, Liquidated by Karen Ho: an analysis of Wall Street Executives, highly informative and a must read in our current economic/political “situation”.

2. Movies worth seeing: actually, though we’ve seen a lot of movies recently, I can’t think of any to recommend.

3. Exercise worth doing: My April Showers run experiment was really great. Unfortunately, when May hit, I fell off the band wagon. However, we have been trying to get out more on our bikes. I now run 3x a week.

4. Food worth eating: Red Hot Kitchen: A mexican Asian Fusion to blow your mind. Seriously, come and eat.

5. People worth seeing: we’ve had a lot of visits with family recently. Thanks to the musician’s parents A and M for coming out for his last concert of the season and Uncle T with his friend L! It was a great time and inspired me to keep writing in our blog!

6. Music worth a listen: The musician has been playing with Santa Monica Symphony for an entire season. Their concerts are always free (frugal!!!) and well worth a trip. I have been dusting off my guitar skills, but so far, my only fans are the neighborhood dogs.

7. Other things worth doing: Making coconut yogurt: a sneak peak at what is next on our blog.

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This is a post about running. I began running in college when I was low on funds, hated the small cramped smelly gym, and didn’t have a whole lot of time to work out… the solution, a pair of running shoes and some free pavement… I was on my way! Over the years I’ve ran a few 10ks, a half marathon, and some fun runs. Since we’ve gotten married, I haven’t been running much at all. I’ve tried to prioritize spending time with the Musician and taking care of our home and being a student. I’ve told my self, multiple times, that I’ll “just get back into it sometime.”  Well, I started and stopped at least 3 times. I need something to jump start me… then I got this idea when thinking about the silly saying “April Showers bring May flowers.” It doesn’t rain much  in southern California… especially not in April. But I can make my own rain. The way I see it, rain is the hard stuff, the stuff you don’t enjoy that much that leads the way for something beautiful: May flowers. So… April Showers: frugal gym challenge. I’m running six days a week in April.  Want to join me? The pay off? Flours in baked goods that you don’t feel guilty for eating! Fitting into your spring dresses even before all those silly fitness mags come out with this years bikini diet! Lower stress, better health, better attitude.  So how about it!?

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I am moved to support our brothers and sisters in Haiti.  Please find out all you can about what is going on, listen to NPR, read the news, check on Red Cross, World Vision, and many aid organizations that are providing direct support to the country.  Even if you can send $5, $10 it will be used and used well (research the organizations to make sure the money goes directly to aid).

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After 6 months of living in our small space, I have begun to feel a little cramped.  Bad habits that have developed over a lifetime have crept back into my routine and I’m forgotten simple straightening techniques such as doing the dishes regularly, picking up my clothes after each evening, and clearing surfaces.  In addition little projects like sewing, reading, and school work have never really been picked up causing large pile ups of various fabrics, books, papers and craft supplies.  We decided to do something in January:  keep it simply straightened.

Simple means it doesn’t need to take lots of time, it doesn’t require new organizational gadgets, and it doesn’t need to be complete.  We just take it one day at a time.  Closets, bedroom, kitchen, living room, one by one.  I’m too embarased to show you pictures of “before” but I hope that you can get the idea from my description.

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And we’re back!

Phew!  After a long and much needed holiday, the Musician and I are back!  We were waylaid with my parents for a few extra days due to an unfortunate leakage in the water heater.  The leak damaged our entire floor all the way down to the support beams.  Oddly enough, we had reported the bowing floor boards to our management company over three weeks ago and when the handyman looked at them, he said that there was no problem and that it was just part of “resetting” our floating wood floor.  Well, after he came to fix our wobbly toilet, he discovered the rotting.  Yuck…

We are a little upset that our lovely wood floors will be replaced in the kitchen and bathroom by linoleum, but we have found some lovely granite patterns at the Home Depot that the management is ready to put in for us.  So… all is well that ends well I suppose.  We are still waiting on some of our porch fix-ups.

Holiday highlights have been many this year, but surprisingly simple:  taking long walks, riding bikes, eating good food, and exploring small towns.  This year we decided to make our way to the Rose Parade… it was a great time with a lot of our friends on the porch of our church.

New Years resolutions?  I’ll be writing more on this theme in January:  Simply Straightened.  I’m resolved to keep our small space clutter free for the month of January… stay tuned to see how it turns out!

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Interview featuring… us!

Check it out at Almost Frugal:

http://almostfrugal.com/2009/11/26/this-is-frugal-two-for-one/comment-page-1/#comment-6479

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