Hello from California today! We have successfully passed another Christmas with the in-laws. The in-flight movie we chose was ‘The Boss Baby’ and it was the crappiest animated film I’ve ever seem. The plot made no sense. As far as general movies go, it was a 2.5 out of 5. For adorably animated movies, it was more like a 1 out of 5. The best 5s being Monsters Inc., Bolt, and of course…Wreck-It Ralph. I love Wreck-It Ralph! 🍬
I decided to pack as light as possible this year. Our Christmas Eve flight to San Francisco gets 2 free jumbo luggage but we weren’t able to score a flight with Virgin on the way back from San Francisco so we won’t get any free check luggage then.
Trying to be frugal, we decided to take one jumbo checked luggage as a compromise with the intention of bringing as many things back from the in-laws.
Thekids are out of the house now and they want the rest of the kid’s things out of the house too. I thought the best approach to packing for our trip would be the minimalist approach.
Our Christmas holiday is an 8-day trip back to the Bay Area.
Going light has never occurred to me before because 1) I don’t travel very often and 2) I’m paranoid about what might happen if I don’t have a backup of something. But I was determined to pack light so for the week-long stay, just to try something new and travel smarter.
I took with me three pairs of jeans, 3 tops, 3 dresses, 3 pairs of underpants, 2 pairs of socks and 2 pajamas. That kind of sounds like a lot when you list it out but that’s not a lot for me.
This year, for makeup, I took the bare minimum with me. 1 gel foundation, 1 powder foundation (when I feel lazy), 4 makeup pencils, 1 mascara & lash curler, 1 blush, 2 contours, 2 lipstick and a fun sized hoard of skin care. Well…to me I took the bare minimum but I guess that’s subjective.
The first Christmas I packed an enormous amount of stuff and never used most of it.
There were a few things this year I didn’t have travel sizes of so I had to haul some big ugly things with me.
I noticed my skin has smoothed out after turning 23. The teenage hormones finally left me! It’s been over a year since I got a pimple. Woo! Although I’m not confident enough to attack Christmas gatherings without makeup, I would have left make-up at home if I was a little itty bitty bit braver 🙂
Thank you to our screwball standard of airbrushed beauty for that nagging fear 😛
AH, I love my new glasses! I ordered them on Cyber Monday and they arrived mid-December. The order total was $69. They’re a very feminine shade of pink to go along with the rest of my pale and soft colored wardrobe. Ah, everything to perfectly conceals my black, sick soul 🙂
Rockstar’s Community Fund 💚
I mentioned this in our November income report that we donate $450 to Grace’s dog rescue every year because that’s how much it cost to adopt her initially. Well, we still love her so we made a tradition of donating “a Grace amount” every year. This year, it coincided with the Rockstar Community Fund. I was not quick enough to fetch J$’s $100 but decided to chip in the rest of my PayPal balance to L&S Dog Diggity anyways. I had a total of $530-something dollars in my PayPal made through selling on eBay and dog sitting. There’s about $30 pending in eBay fees so I rounded to an even $500.
L&S do great work. The organization is in rural Texas where there’s an abundance of unwanted dogs so the kennels are always full.
Grace was wounded and near death when she was found with her brothers and sister. They were all left outside in a cardboard box. Grace was infected with a host of diseases and put under quarantine since the rescue space operates communal style with lots of other dogs. For the rest of Grace’s life, she’s going to have a hard time accepting humans – except for Jared and I since she bonded with us early on after many months of care and training.
Related: 5 Frugal Dog Things We Don’t Do
I hate to even think what would have happened to her – given Grace’s fearful personality and deposition – had we not adopted and gave her the resources to be a normal-ish puppy. We took her to puppy play classes to socialize her with other dogs. She missed so much of her puppyhood under quarantine, it was useful playing with other puppies.
She didn’t know basic dog etiquette. An older adult dog corrected her tendency to nip like a parent would an unruly child. It was hilarious and effective because she stopped nipping after that.
She still has odd quirks and nervously scared about almost everything. The silver lining is that it just makes me and Jared feel very special because we are literally the ONLY 2 people in the entire world she isn’t terrified of. We’re the only 2 people in the world that she allows to pet her! :O But it’s absolutely worth it. Grace is perfect for us, after all, she is our one and only pupper.
If my husband and I decide to not have children someday, we would look into becoming foster parents. Uhh, let me rephrase that, it doesn’t matter if we do have children or not someday, fostering/adopting is something I want to look into and Jared likes that idea as well. The timing of that depends on possible children and how we manage our money though.
When I have quiet free time before bed, I like to do research just to nurse the thought of fostering/adopting.
Time is clearly on our side; Jared and I would do something like that after we’re FIRE’d. There is no way we would be able to handle being parents right now. By NO means are we remarkable people who can survive on 6 hours of sleep and hold a client meeting without whimpering. ANY success we have found so far has been completely unintentional. We can’t handle much and we need good cushion first if I’m going to be promising another person stability and support.
I prefer to foster or adopt teens to adults. The older teens are least likely to be adopted and will likely age out of foster care before any help comes. Aging out of foster care is not fun. Statistics show about 1 in 4 become homeless and only 3% of foster children graduate from college.
3% – WHAT THE HELLO!
Think about how hard it was to navigate college; now think about navigating college without parents (and shelter, food, stability of any sort) now you’re officially out of the system.
Interestingly, when I was looking into the US adoption index, I noted a few 17 year olds. If the adoption process starts and they’re 17, there’s a good chance they will turn 18 before the legal adoption process even finishes. I learned if that’s the case then it’s considered adopting an adult. That sounds so strange to me – adopting an adult? The system doesn’t need things like a home study etc. because they’re legally an adult. A good parent now would be the one to help them navigate adulthood, give practical career counseling and important life skills like money management.
Ohh I like that, just sign me up now!
Certified Financial Panther!
Speaking of money management…2 years ago, I toyed with the idea of becoming a CFP (Certified Financial Planner – or panther if you’re a Simpsons fan). I didn’t make a go at it because it was something I wasn’t certain I wanted. The 3 years (or 6,000 hours) of full-time, qualifying experience sounded extra discouraging too. Especially when I was already running Airbnb. Airbnb kills any normal day job schedule. My undergrad had nothing to do with finance; I studied the human brain. Now I’m back to toying with the idea of becoming a CFP and regretting not figuring out how to get that experience 2 years ago.
I’m back to the catch 22 game – no experience, no job. WELL, ONE HAS TO GIVE DANG IT!
Gosh, if I knew how much I love to talk money back in university, I would have gone a different route of study.
*Shakes head* No more of that, I did the same thing to myself and put off blogging. I don’t want another 2 years to pass and regret it. It’s not a good feeling to have regret. If an idea sticks around long enough, it should just be done, right?!
[Funny Simpson clip related to my rambling if you care to view it 🙂 ]
If you are blessed to be off today, kiss your beloved and feast some more! It’s the most wonderful time of the yearrrr…🎶
Are you a minimalist traveler? Has anyone experienced working with foster youths? Is anyone in blog land a CFP?