Thursday, September 29, 2011

Another Weekend Getaway (+ About a Boy)

September has been a very busy month for me! I moved into my new apartment, my Mom came to visit, I went back to San Diego on vacation and now I'm off for another brief weekend getaway to the Midwest for my best friend's brother's wedding. It's just Friday-Sunday but it'll be a blast! The wedding on Saturday is an all-day event with a morning ceremony, brunch, various afternoon activities (golf or spa) and then an evening reception. And of course I'm excited to spend time with my best friend! It'll be a weekend full of laughter and fun for sure. :)

So...about this boy. I've started dating someone as of a week ago. It's brand new and I'm quite possibly jinxing myself by blogging (and tweeting) about it already...but I don't care. I'm super, ridiculously happy! We were set up by a matchmaker, which is crazy in and of itself. (A few months ago, on a night where I might've had an extra glass of wine, I decided on a whim to try something different from all the online dating I've done previously...and this is what I found! I signed up as a free member.) Our first date was a blind date to me since I'm not the paying customer so I wasn't privy to a picture of him, but I was intrigued. I knew next to nothing about him except his first name, age, height and where he worked. He called me two days before to set up the date and suggested an Italian restaurant. I was excited and nervous because I'd never been on a blind date before!

The date was good. Not great or amazing or outstanding, but fairly solid. We had a lot in common (travel, being active, food and being family-oriented) and the conversation flowed easily. We took a cab together from the restaurant to my apartment where he dropped me off, gave me a hug and said he had a good time. Not 20 minutes later I received a text from him saying he knows he's not supposed to ask me out until after feedback (with the matchmaker) but that he had a great time and would like to go out again. I agreed and we ended up going out two days later, which hands down ended up being the best date I've ever been on. We went rock climbing so we met up in our workout clothes and talked non-stop. I loved the fact that we were doing a fun and challenging activity as a date! After that, he suggested grabbing some food so I took him to one of my favorite restaurants where we ended up getting a bunch of empanadas and splitting a pitcher of sangria. We stayed up talking until 4:30 in the morning! Definitely the longest second date I've ever been on. :)

And we've been out two more times since then, once for a quick dinner after work and then he cooked me dinner at his apartment. We are definitely in the exciting, fun, I-want-to-learn-everything-about-you phase. By the way, who goes on four dates in one week?! Honestly, though, it hasn't even felt like a week - it's felt like we've known each other for months. Which is a feeling I've never had with anyone else before. Now, due to my weekend away and a business trip for him next week, we'll have an entire week apart. Which is a good thing. (Perspective? Absence makes the heart grow fonder?) But he's already told me to leave next Friday open for a date he's already planning.

So, yes. Who knows what'll happen in a week or a month or whatever...but I'm living in the now and relishing this, because that's what matters!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

San Diego Vacation

I got back late last night from a wonderful 4.5 day vacation back to San Diego! I saw a LOT of old friends (and even met some new ones!) which is exactly what I set out to do. The night before I left, I was getting a bit anxious: I'd never been on a vacation by myself before where most people would be at work while I was there. However, once I arrived everything just was a blast! I had lunch/dinner/drinks set up for practically every day, and I didn't even get to see everyone I wanted to...or rather, some people didn't get back to me.

On Wednesday, my first day, I arrived at 11am after taking an early morning flight from NYC. I picked up my rental car and after having a brief "oh-my-god-I-haven't-driven-in-six-months-do-I-remember-how-to-do-this" moment, I blasted the music and was good to go! (I actually got a free upgrade to a mid-size rental car because I needed to be able to adjust the seat higher due to my shortness. Sweet!) I spent the afternoon a mall. Forgot what a luxury that is after living in New York. I went a bit crazy at Nordstrom's which is my favorite! I also bought gifts (baby, wedding and thank you) for the friends I was seeing/staying with.

Thursday and Friday were packed with fantastic long lunches and dinners with great friends! And lots of Mexican food. :) Saturday was the beautiful wedding of my former roommate and his longtime girlfriend. Such a blast! The weather was perfect after the prior overcast days and the celebration was wonderful. Catch-up conversations, laughter, dancing, drinking and lots of love - everything you could want at a wedding! I saw a lot of great friends there, and the next morning we had an awesome breakfast courtesy of the newly married couple's families prior to most of us leaving.

Of course, this wouldn't be a personal finance blog without the numbers! I paid $385 for my RT flight a few months back and had already paid for it from my Travel Fund. My rental car cost me $124.22 for the 4 days (I got the cheapest insurance package at $10/day since I no longer have car insurance and my credit cards didn't offer enough protection) plus one tank of gas which was $45.67. Everything else cost me $409.81 which included all my meals, transportation to/from JFK, shopping, haircut at my old stylist and a mani/pedi. Total: $579.70. Not bad for 4 nights/5 days away! (I also spent $184.36 on the aforementioned gifts, but that'll be coming out of my Gift Fund.)
The trip definitely made me miss San Diego a bit and most of all my friends, but it also made me appreciate my new life in New York that I truly love! As much as I miss the people, I still know that moving to New York was the right thing...especially since my friends will always be my friends, and they are just a plane ride away. :)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Here are some quick personal finance updates:

  • I spent $1,263 last month while I was being a nomad. Most of this was on food, cabs, gifts and fun things since friends were incredibly generous with letting me stay with them!
  • I spent $440 on movers. My Dad generously offered to pay the other half. (Yes, it was ridiculously expensive, but that was due to being last minute.)
  • I was able to save $700 which was split between travel, gift and E-funds.
  • I just wrote checks for September rent ($1,200), security deposit ($1,175) and September cable/internet ($67.73) which is billed forward.
  • I had to buy a wireless router (roommate has a desktop that he plugs in via ethernet)...the cheapest was $32 at Best Buy because I wanted it right away.
  • I've already got $140 in cash back rewards from my Chase Freedom card! Granted, $100 of that was the sign-up bonus...but I'll take it!
  • I've also been buying some things online (like this via Nordstrom!)...but I don't really want to talk about that. It's coming out of my budget but not putting me in the red, so it's all good. ;)
With all of this money going in/out, my bank account is FINALLY back to a "normal" balance after having so much inflow due to selling my car before moving here and the return of my prior security deposit just sitting there.


I can't believe it's September! My month is incredibly busy. First I had an awesome Labor Day weekend to kick it off with my friends. This weekend, my Mom's coming into town to visit! She's going to help me settle into my new place. (I still have five boxes to completely unpack.) Then it's off on a short vacation to San Diego to see one of my best friend's brand new baby girl and attend the wedding of two of my closest friends! Plus, since the weather has already turned rainy and a bit cooler, it'll be nice to spend a few days in sunshine and at the beach. Cannot wait, it'll be my first vacation since I moved. Then I'll have one weekend in the city before I head to the Midwest to be my best friend's date to his brother's wedding.

I'm glad my travel and gift funds are well-stocked, even with both flights already paid for! This month is going to pass by quickly but it'll also be a blast. :)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Labor Day Weekend

I hope you had a fun and relaxing Labor Day weekend! Work let us leave early on Friday, so my coworker and I did some shopping for makeup. I ended up spending $81 which was more than I had intended to, but all completely items were ones I use on an almost daily basis that needed replenishing! I'm not good at doing my own makeup but am trying to get the tools to get better. The rest of the weekend consisted of:

Rooftop party
Errands ($2.99 wine at Whole Foods wine store! Gasp, it competes with Trader Joe's?!)
Wine/college football on Saturday night
Friend's birthday brunch/drinking/board games/card games all day Sunday
Relaxing and reading The Help all day on Monday (finished it tonight - SO GOOD! Cannot wait to see the movie this weekend!)
Continuing to settle into my new apartment :)

Definitely a great weekend and a great start to Fall! Cannot wait for the leaves to start changing soon.

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