Monday, September 30, 2013

30 Before 30 Update

It's been too long since I've blogged about my 30 Before 30 progress. The deadline of my 30th birthday is drawing uncomfortably near, so it's definitely time to bang these out. Let's take a look at the tasks I've completed recently.

#11 Mail a handwritten letter/card to a loved one out of the blue

A few months ago I was in a nostalgic mood and went through a box of old cards, photos and letters that I've been collecting since high school. I found that a huge chunk of those cards were from my friend Kim, who used to send me written correspondence almost every month when I was in college. Kim worked at Hallmark back then, so this might explain her fondness for greeting cards. It reminded me how nice it was to get a letter in the mail every now and then so I decided she was the perfect person to reach out to via snail mail. I've already received a reply from Kim and I'm putting my response to her out in the mail today. So far I'm loving this new pen pal thing!

#15 Start saving for a house

Early in the year my dear friend Jane sent me her copy of Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover. She and her husband had been using Dave's tips to budget for their family of three and recommended his methods for paying off debt and saving up for the future. After reading the book I was motivated to take care of the small amount of debt we had and focus on a plan for setting money aside for a house in the future. With no debt, we've been able to fulfill an 'emergency fund' as well as start a house fund.

Some of Dave's methods are a bit extreme and not completely realistic for us right now, but the book has provided the motivation we needed and made us realize that even if we aren't looking to purchase a home in the next year or two, it's never too soon to start saving.

#29 Make our guest room more accommodating

So even though we've lived in our apartment for over two years, we never really got around to doing much with our guest room. Out of sight, out of mind, right? I once heard that the best way to determine what your guest room may be lacking is to spend the night in it. In doing so, I found that a few things like curtains, a bedside table, alarm clock and space in the closet to hang clothes would make guests feel more at home.

So far I've been able to work on all of those things but the closet space :) There is currently a large wedding dress that is taking up a considerable amount of space in the guest room closet, but that will be taken care of in a matter of months so I consider this task complete!

Who wants to come stay with us?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


Sometimes you have a few too many photos and too few words. So here's a snapshot of last weekend, when we set out for an epic road trip from LA to Monterey for the First City Festival. It was a magical trip full of many of my favorite things - live music, stunning scenery and of course, good eats. This is the true story of two couples, one car, 650 miles, thirty bands, several cups of coffee and too many laughs to count.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that I could survive a two-day music festival at 29 years old. The gorgeous Monterey weather was certainly a huge help.  After the fest, we set out for 17-Mile Drive and then down the Pacific Coast Highway back to Los Angeles, enjoying all the beautiful views along the way.

Is there a more beautiful drive in the country? 

One of the things I was most looking forward to on this trip was the chance to eat at Big Sur Bakery. This spot is very popular in the foodie world and I somehow missed it the last time I drove up the PCH to Big Sur. This time we enjoyed sandwiches on fresh baked bread and some of the best lattes and mochas we've tasted.  

There also might have been an almond croissant that had me exclaiming,  "This croissant is the best decision I've ever made in my life." Much to my husband's dismay... It now tortures me that there's a four and a half hour drive between me and that perfect pastry. #foodieproblems