The Sunday Diary – Minimalist Travel, Rockstar Fund, Foster Care & CFP Career?

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! 🍬

Minimalist Travel

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.

Related: What I Learned From A Fear Of ‘Stuff’ This Christmas

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.

Related: What’s In Our Wallet? Ranking Our Past Credit Card Rewards!

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.

Eye and face makeup
Travel size foundation and skin care.

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.

All of the personal care I took with me. Sigh, makeup minimalism?…No…I tried.
Holiday look! Me with more paint than art class x)

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 😛

Related: 12 Things I Stopped Buying That’s Saving Me Money & The Planet

Barefaced selfie with Hubs (who is playing a game and not paying attention).
OMG almost forgot I got my glasses from Bonlook!!! How CUTE! I love them!

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 🙂

Related: 6 Frugal Wins & 3 Frugal Fails – November

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.

Fostering Adults?

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.


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?

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18 thoughts on “The Sunday Diary – Minimalist Travel, Rockstar Fund, Foster Care & CFP Career?”

  • ” I studied the human brain.”

    Let me guess. Psychology? Hehe you don’t need to answer that question at all. I am totally making a guess here. Fun fact: Arden Cho majored in Psychology in college. 😀

    I didn’t know you and Jared have looked in adoption/fostering. I brought this up with Mr. FAF before, but he seemed hesitant, which I understand. That sounds like such an exciting plan though. I’m excited to see how it pans out. 🙂
    Ms. Frugal Asian Finance recently posted…How I Chose A Niche for My Personal Finance Blog

    • First!!! Lol! Kind of, it was a special program combined with biology. I wanted to work with child brain development (super fascinating!) but I hated doing lab work.

      I can understand Mr. FAF’s hesitation. I read some case workers are neglectful of disclosure because their hands are so full of children that need homes. But being there for them at 17/18 sounds like a great idea because that’s the age where they need the most practical guidance.

  • Yes! My wife and I are very minimalist travelers. We take two week trips to Europe often and we always only take a personal item and carry on luggage each. Not only is it cheaper (don’t have to buy large luggage or pay check-in fees) it is better for the environment (large, heavy luggage puts more weight in airplanes and increases carbon emissions).

    My wife carries minimal personal care items (minimal make up) and brings her DIY home made skin care washes and deodorant (I don’t need any of that stuff ;).

    During one trip to Italy, Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia, and Slovenia all we carried was a small carry on between the two of us! I should write a post on that 🙂

  • We’ve also thought about foster parenting, though probably not until after our own children are grown and out of the house. Fiancé has worked with taking care of high-risk teen populations. Based on his experiences, we know that taking care of teens, especially those who’ve gone through the trauma of separation from their families (plus whatever else), is really really hard. If we do end up fostering, I want it to be something we really have the emotional energy to fully dedicate ourselves to.

  • Oooh, ooh, ooh, me, me! 🙂 We almost always opt for minimalist travel when we head to Chile. Because lugging five hundred suitcases across two continents is not my idea of fun! But… we were a little less minimalist than usual this time, because we brought 86,000 Christmas presents with us for Mr. ThreeYear’s family. But each of us had either a backpack or carry-on with clothes, and that was it. I carry a trusty old Osprey and it fits my clothes, shoes, and four containers of makeup pretty well. Plus, it’s summer here so we’re not lugging heavy sweaters and boots.

    That’s so cool that you and Jared are looking into fostering. Hope you guys had a great Christmas and are enjoying your time off!
    Laurie@ThreeYear recently posted…How to Set Great Goals for 2018

  • Cute glasses and with that natural beauty you don’t need all the paint. I’ve become a much better packer with clothes and personal items, but I’m still working on the shoes… Oh, an I totally agree on Monsters, Inc.

  • Hey, when it comes to adorable animated movies, what about Despicable Me? Thanks for sharing your crazy Christmas. And best of luck in 2018. I’m sure you and Jared will crush it.

    P.S. I think you’d be a great CFP. So let me throw this at you. “Of all the words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these: It might have been.”
    Mr. Groovy recently posted…See You in 2018

  • Cute new glasses, girl! I have a similar post on minimalist packing. I used a carry-on for a two-week international trip, which I think is minimalist? I’m just too paranoid about checking in my bags. My bag got lost once and I never want that to happen again.

    I love that you are thinking about adoption! There are so many kids in the world that don’t have loving homes. Although I’m definitely not going to link you to the article I read lately about an adopted girl who turned out to be a psychopath…

    And I think you’d be a great CFP! I’ve looked into it myself, but I decided against it because I read it was a job that relied heavily on sales–something I”m awful at.

    • That is minimalist! I had my carry-on of clothes (just clothes) for 8 days and I regretted not bringing more actually…😓

      You don’t have to send it to me! I already read that one lol!!! 😓😓

      Uh oh, I’m not great at sales either….😓😓😓

      Hi!!! 😄

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