Generally speaking, and I know I shouldn’t say this out loud, but I am not a tattoo fan. Wait, before you get offended, let me elaborate. If you have tattoos, I think that’s great. I could blame my feelings about tattoos on my age. Or my parents. Or any number of other factors that have influenced my personal taste in this area. But the fact remains, I’m just not a huge tattoo fan. Maybe they’re just too permanent for me. Being as indecisive as I am, something on my body that I can never change my mind about just doesn’t sound like the right thing for me.  I do know lots of folks who have tattoos…some who are glad they do and some who wish they didn’t. Usually it’s the older ones who wish they didn’t. The younger ones are still happily adding to their tattoo collection, and some of the tattoos I’ve seen are really quite clever. I was especially taken by a Facebook post from The Budget-Minded Traveler the other day which referenced an article about travel themed tattoos. Now that caught my attention.

I gotta admit, that’s kinda cute. The article in question is here:

My 16 year old daughter is now making plans to get us a group discount with a local tattoo artist. I’ll keep you posted.


Could we just take a worry-free visual vacay, please?

My original intent today was to heed Travelocity’s advice and ‘take a visual day dream through a gem among gems, Palawan Island in the Philippines’. Man, talk about unspeakable natural beauty… Check out this Huffington Post article:

As I was drifting along, pleasantly absorbing the incredibly gorgeous scenery, and very much enjoying my visit, I further read the part about a travel advisory that was issued by the U.S. State Department earlier this year suggesting one use ‘extreme caution’ if traveling to certain parts of the Philippines. Can’t we just have a stinking ‘visual day dream’ without being assaulted by dumb realities like travel advisories? No? Ok then. I guess, really, since I’m only taking a ‘virtual’ trip, I really don’t have to worry about those kinds of realities. So here you go. Trip for the day. No ticket or packing required. And forget I said anything about reality, would you?

I swore I wouldn’t speak of this again, but you gotta see this DIY project…

I’m sorry. Really. I know I shouldn’t. But I couldn’t help it. I’ve even seen this one before. I was successful at ignoring it the first time. Or two. But this time, I think I might have laughed out loud a little. Ready? Here you go:

This makes me smile... I could not and would not do this, but love them. Just go to Coastal Beach Lamps at and scratch 'search for driftwood' off your to-do list...
This makes me smile… I could not and would not do this, but love them. Just go to Coastal Beach Lamps at myfavoritebeachho…and scratch ‘search for driftwood’ off your to-do list…

Now, I have the utmost respect for those among us who would actually do this. And maybe for some folks heading out to the beach to search for driftwood in order to make a somewhat complicated lamp seems plausible and even pleasurable. On the Southern Gulf Coast beaches that we frequent finding a piece of driftwood is about as likely as finding a piece of Waterford stemware washed up on shore. And admittedly, my history with do-it-yourself projects is rocky at best. But yet, I still find myself calculating: I don’t know what lamp guts cost,  lucite lamp bases seem like they might be a pricey component, lamp shades can be cheap but are quite pricey if you want nice. Therefore, making this lamp could turn into a bit of  an expensive undertaking. Of course, if you’ve got some driftwood lying around that has sentimental value and you really need a project…then you should definitely go for it. For everyone else, here, let me help you…

Explorer Drift Wood Table Lamp

My favorite $140 Million beach house?

In case anyone is in the market for a beach house, I’ve got a prospect for you.  Just saw Brittany Fowler’s article in Business Insider about a great beach house that’s on the market.  It’s in East Hampton, New York and according to Zillow Group (‘the largest real-estate network on the web’) it’s the most expensive house for sale in America at 140 million dollars. You can tour the house here:

On just over 11 acres, the house boasts 6 bedrooms in the main house, a 4 bedroom guest house, tennis courts, a 60′ pool, hot tub and picture perfect view of the Atlantic. Built in 1931, the house was renovated in 1990 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Can’t say why I found this so interesting except that I’ve been a little enamored with tiny houses lately and I would say this is the anti-thesis of tiny houses! Some simple calculations reveal that, even allowing for relatively fancy tiny house pricing, at $50,000.00 per tiny house, one could build/purchase 2,400 tiny houses for $140 million. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m really happy for the someone out there that can afford the $140 million house. But for me, I think I’d be just as happy with a whole lot less… Happy house hunting!


How to de-clutter your life…for real

Last year about this time I finally reached the very frayed and totally frazzled tippy tail end of my rope. This 3 bedroom house had been through 22 years of living and collecting and all the debris 6 kids leave behind when they grow up. It was bursting at the seams and groaning under the weight of all the STUFF. Or maybe a better word is JUNK. Some of it I loved and some of it I didn’t, but either way, most of it had to go. Since I am sentimental by nature, I realized that I would not be able to execute a real clean-out without a lot of help, and the first real help I received came in the form of a book.  I don’t know Claire Middleton personally, but I feel like I do. Her book, Downsizing Your Life (For Freedom, Flexibility & Financial Peace), did for me what I could not do for myself: motivated me to actually get my life organized. Of course, having a Trail Boss for a firstborn daughter was equally helpful. Organizing books are a dime a dozen, but somehow this one was different for me. Claire talks about how to deal with sentimental items that you have inherited, why we keep what we do and how to bless others with what you no longer need. She made me realize that I’d be doing my kids a favor by dealing with my own junk so they don’t have to. Claire Middleton also wrote Secrets of Small-House Living, which I have not yet read but intend to.  Whew. Now that I’ve de-junked, I’m ready to start designing my tiny house!

A tiny cottage by the sea

Let’s go on a unique Saturday escape to St. George Island in Florida where one enterprising family has built the cutest tiny cottage.
Tiny Beach Cottage House

There aren’t as many photos of the interior of the cottage as I wish there were, but enough to show that it seems more than adequate as far as seating space and cuteness are concerned.  The cottage appears to be mobile so that it could be moved in case of bad weather. That’s it then. I’m totally in. Let’s start designing our tiny beach cottage right now!

Packing like a pro…

Oh how I wish I had come across this article or something like it a long time ago. Before traipsing across Panama with 10 people and 10 suitcases. Before road trips in small cars with big people and little dogs and too many suitcases. Before going through two luggage scales in three years. If you’ve never visited The Budget-Minded Traveler’s blog or website, you should. It’s a fun and worthwhile trip. The article that got me this morning is about packing for two weeks in Europe with only a backpack. Yup. A backpack. Even if two weeks in Europe is not on your summer schedule, the practical ideas in this article are applicable to any travel. And I don’t know about you, but the thought of not checking luggage sure appeals to me. So, here you go. Hope the rest of your summer is filled with happy travels!

30L pack and purse