Saturday, January 8, 2011

Day 8- Go To A Broadway Show

Today in New York we saw the musical, The Phantom of the Opera. It was fantastic!

I love live theatre, especially on Broadway. I love the music, the sets, the stories and the emotions that live theatre gives me. Phantom proved to be as great as I have heard for all these years. The music is just wonderful and the story is so sad. I always get chills when I hear the star belt out that one great song that really showcases his/her talent. I am never disappointed and always excited to see the next show in my future.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Day 7- Go To New York City

My favorite place to visit is New York City. I am very lucky to be married to a man who understands this little quirk I have. He gives me his blessing to visit the Big Apple once a year with either a friend, my mom or one of our kids. It is my thing and probably will be until the day I die. Visiting NYC brings me great happiness and joy.

I am going to get back to this blogs frugal roots when writing this entry. NYC is a very expensive city to visit. Hotel bills alone can cost hundreds of dollars a night. A meal in restaurant is twice as much as a meal in Milwaukee and Broadway shows can be prohibitive. But, I have found ways to save when I travel.

To start, my airfare round trip was $137.00. Yep, that's it! For me to drive round trip to visit my parents in Minnesota would cost more. I found a great airline that flies out of Milwaukee, the flight is direct and the fare is always low. I fly economy every time, never giving in to the offers of upgrading my seats.

My hotel room was $120/night, a cost I split with my mom. We paid $60/night to stay in a very nice hotel in Manhattan. My friend was able to get a us a great deal with a corporate discount. I have never stayed in Manhattan for such a low price.

Our Broadway show was exactly $100/per ticket. A little more than I would normally like to spend, but it is Broadway. We did choose mezzanine seats and I bought them online at a discount broker. We got the best deal I could find, we certainly did not pay what we would have at the box office. I am happy with price because the play was great!

Dinners out were a little pricey. But, my mom and I split our bill, making it affordable. We also opted to do tasting menus at the restaurants when it was an option, saving us a lot. Lunches consisted of pretzels and nuts from the many food stands that can be found throughout the city. I even had breakfast free one morning thanks to a gift card I earned from

Traveling to NYC is not cheap. But with a little planning and flexibility it can become affordable.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Day 6 - When Packing, Pack Light

Today I am leaving for a weekend mother/daughter weekend to New York City. My mom and I are going with a friend of mine and her mom. It is going to be a lot of fun.

In the past when I pack for a trip, I always over pack. By the end of the trip I find that I haven't worn half of what I brought because I pack for every little scenario. Yesterday when I packed, I was smarter. I looked at the the weather forecast and based my decisions on the weather only. I have 4 shirts and 2 pairs of pants, 1 pair of pj's, 3 socks and underwear. For once, I have the right sized carry on toiletries in an appropriate see through bag. I condensed everything from my purse into a very small purse that can easily fit into a larger bag that I can take on the plane. My luggage is carry on only, saving me some cash and time at the airport. My bags are light this time, organized and ready to go. I feel like I packed right for the first time ever because I took the time and effort yesterday to do it right. In the past, I just did it at the last minute.

My goal when I get home on Sunday is to unpack right away and to put my suitcase in the basement where it belongs. I have a habit of letting the bag sit unpacked for a day and then leaving the suitcase in my room for days, sometimes weeks before putting it back. Looking back, that seems really stupid since it takes less than a minute to take it to basement and put it in the right spot.

I am hoping that I can blog from my Iphone over the weekend so that I can post about my vacation. I know that the next 3 days will provide a lot in the way of making my life happier and healthier.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Day 5 - Clean My Closet

Yesterday I took on a huge endeavor, I cleaned my bedroom closet. My closet has a tendency to become a dumping ground for everything. A terrible habit I have had since childhood and a habit I notice all 3 of my children have. They will be working on their own closets in the upcoming weeks, they just don't know this yet.

In the process of cleaning the closet, I got rid of 100 articles of clothing and several pairs of old shoes. My rule was if I had not worn it in the last 6 months, it goes. So, I got rid of Spring clothes, but I haven't bought myself Spring clothes in several years. I will buy some stuff that is up to date this year. It looks really good now, I want to keep it that way. Of course that is up to me.

I have had some issues the last couple years with my chest feeling like I am about to get a cold. I have never been able to figure out exactly why this was happening. I just figured I have a great immune system that keeps fighting off some kind of strange bug. Well, I found the source of the problem in my closet, giving me all the incentive I think I will ever need to keep it clean and organized. I have a sweater shelf that hangs from the closet rod. I have had it for years, and do in fact keep my sweaters nice and organized in it. I had never actually taken all the sweaters out of it and removed it, as it is heavy and bulky and a lot of work to move. When I removed it yesterday, I found mold behind it. A lot of mold. I freaked out at first convinced that it was "toxic mold". Upon inspection, I found that it was just regular mold that grew because my closet is on a wall that faces the outside. Every time it gets really cold, condensation forms creating an environment for mold, I never knew it was happening. I of course cleaned out all the mold and put a fan in the closet to dry the walls. After doing this, I did start to cough, answering the years long question of why I always feel like I am getting a chest cold. I am allergic to mold! My husband and children appear not to be, they had never had this problem.

My husband needs to clean his closet now. His is not nearly as bad as mine was, but it could use some work. He will do that when he has time and when he feels inspired.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Day 4 - Take a daily vitamin

Taking a vitamin everyday is again something I sometimes do. If I am thinking about it in the morning, I will remember. But, more often than not it is just another thing that I forget to do on a daily basis. I have read several articles that state that they are not necessary if you eat a balanced diet, which I think I am already doing. But, who knows for sure if some key nutrient is missing. Who knows, maybe I am riboflavin deficient and don't even know it.

The nutrient I would imagine I could use a little more of is iron. Being female, I know how important iron can be for overall energy. We lose that nutrient once a month, it needs to be replenished, a daily vitamin seems like the easiest way to ensure that I get it back. I also know that I don't get enough calcium. I hate, hate, hate the taste of regular milk. It seems odd to me that human beings drink cow milk, when I drink it that is what I am thinking. So, for years I have been drinking soy milk instead, but not enough to give me a boost of calcium. I am also lactose intolerant, so that can limit things. I take Lactaid, but if I don't have it with me on the go, I avoid the dairy altogether.

I know I am eating the vitamins I hear about, the antioxidants, in my daily diet. I eat a lot of carrots and drink a lot of orange juice. Vitamins A and C are in those foods, so I know I am covered. Regardless, I am going to make a real effort to take my daily vitamin. I give them to my kids on a regular basis, why do I forget to take my own?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Day 3 - 64 ounces of water a day

Getting my recommended daily intake of water has always been a bit of a challenge for me. I don't really know why, it's not like I don't like the taste of water. I start my morning with coffee, a lot of it and then move on to tea, juice or diet soda. I do get some water in during the day, just not enough. Starting today, I am going really try to get my 64 ounces.

The benefits of drinking enough water are huge. It cleans your system, keeps your skin looking hydrated, curbs your appetite and keeps you running at your full potential. My children and husband seem to know all this, as they all drink buckets of water, each and every day. I need to follow there lead and improve my over all health and well being.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Day 2 - Walk 30 minutes, EVERYDAY

I need to walk 30 minutes everyday, no excuses. I am really hit or miss on this. I find tons of excuses all the time to get out of walking. It is either too cold or too hot. Too early in the morning or too late at night. I am tired or busy or just need to get one more thing done. I need to stop with the excuses.

Walking just 30 minutes a day lowers blood pressure, raises your heart rate, helps in sleeping at night and can help keep depression away. One would think that these reasons alone would give me the incentive to get my butt outside and walk.

As the year continues, I plan on increasing my walk to an hour a day, in addition to adding more cardio work to my daily routine. But, for today, as I start my journey, my walk will be 30 minutes. I live in Wisconsin and it is really cold out there today:)