Lovely Minimalist

-LAUNCHING SOON-

Lovely Minimalist

I’m here to save you money doll!
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I love beautiful things and incredible experiences as much as the next girl, but I hate the idea of spending ALL of my time  working and accummulating money JUST to have one nice vacation a year or one outfit that makes me feel fab. Time is more than money; time is LIFE and I’m trying to  maximize the way I spend it while also minimizing the way I lose my dough. Each post is of a specific item, book, experience, website or travel tip that has saved me tons of money and brought joy to my every day life. I can’t wait to hear about your favorite money saving, glam-girl tips too!

Here’s to making the MOST of this life by spending as few of our precious dollars as possible.

~ xo #holladolladoll

> insta @LovelyMinimalist

 

Mesa Verde – Budget Camping Trip

We took a weekend and drove to Mesa Verde National Park, one of thirteen National Parks in the state of Colorado. Mesa Verde is in the southeastern most corner of the state and from the mesas you can see into three other states — Utah, Arizona and New Mexico. The drive from Denver is about 6-7 hours and you can cut through the mountains and zig-zag your way down or you can go down through interstate 25 and then all the way over. We went one way there and the other on the way back. Make sure that you leave early enough to get all your driving done in the daylight.  There is so much wildlife in that part of the state and driving in the dark with low visibility can be dangerous. The posted speed limits are actually slower at night because of the large number of (mostly) deer in the area that will cross the street.

Here is the cost breakdown of an average weekend (2 night) camping trip to Mesa Verde!

Go and then leave a comment for me letting me know how your trip was!

TOTAL COST (2 people)
$160

GAS — $80
I have a pretty fuel efficient car that gets 30 miles to the gallon on the highway so we filled up a total of 4 times for the entire trip and with the great price of gas right now, was only about $20 a fill up. Remember that Mesa Verde National Park is VERY Large. Once you get to the entrance of the park you still have about 20 miles to go to get back into the depths of the park where the cave dwellings, tours, museum and information centers are. The campsite is much closer to the front of the park and they have full bathroom and shower facilities as well as a convenience store that is open during the summer season. We went pre-season so things were still pretty quiet and not much was open yet.

LODGING — $40
Reserving a camping spot is $20 a night and we stayed for two nights. You get a plot, a fire pit, wifi and the use of a bathroom for the money. There are so many spots (over 300) so the rangers told us that they never run out and you don’t need to reserve your plot ahead of time. They’re first come first serve.

FOOD — $30
This greatly depends on what you like to eat of course. We got a 24 pack of hot dogs, marshmallows, some dried soup packets, cereal, instant coffee and candy.

PARK ENTRY — $20
The Park entry fees vary greatly depending on when you are going and what kind of vehicle you have. Here is the link to the National Park Service website will the full details: https://www.nps.gov/meve/planyourvisit/basicinfo.htm

We actually didn’t pay to enter because we went during National Parks week when the entry fee was waived.

GUIDED TOUR — $8
As you can see in the video we did the Balcony House tour. The only way you can go into the Balcony House is by paying $4 a person to go on the guided tour with a Park Ranger. You must climb a 30 foot ladder to get into the dwelling and then once your through you have to crawl through a small 18 inch hole and then climb up two more ladders and a treacherous stone foot path to get out. It isn’t too difficult and tourists young and old seem to get through the tour just fine. https://www.nps.gov/meve/planyourvisit/guided_activities.htm
The tours fill up so make sure you book in advance!

We also did the self-guided tour, which is free. Here is the link to more info about that: https://www.nps.gov/meve/planyourvisit/self_guided_activities.htm

 

Music:

Kacey Musgraves – Die Fun: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61Qiay4EctU
Alina Baraz & Galimatias – Fantasy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NiqtgWWL6u8
Hippie Sabatoge – Able To See Me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmfEyJpwVz8
Rain Man – Bring Back the Summer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivLdLtOtOzU

musings of a young girl with a career.

I’ve been searching for my writer’s voice for a long time now. I’ve been a wedding blogger, a faith blogger, a motivational blogger, a movie review blogger. Anything that captivates my thoughts and interests I have written about.

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The only significant thing in my life that I’ve never said anything about is my career. This struck me as especially peculiar. I spend all day, all week doing my job. Some days it challenges me to learn new things, and from it I generate enough money to provide for myself and have quite a bit of fun.

It’s really satisfying to talk to people at parties or when I’m getting my hair done at the salon, because when they ask where I work I get to say, “I’m a TV producer.“

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I’m very proud of what I do. I work hard at it and take a lot of responsibility for the product that I produce. Even so, there are days I feel like my job sounds a thousand times better than it is. I even occasionally feel a pang of envy when I log into Facebook and see old college classmates anchoring evening newscasts.

In Sheryl Sandberg’s book “Lean In” she talks about how the work force is no longer a ladder but a jungle gym. Sometimes I see myself swinging along with my peers on the monkey bars. Other times I’m afraid I’ve been laying around in the sandbox by myself for too long.

I’m never sure how to describe what it is that I do. Its odd, after a couple years of answering the “what do you do” question you would think that I would have narrowed it down to the most fascinating power-punch answer. Every time I reply I find myself racking my brain for the coolest possible thing to say.

Why do I feel the need to impress? I guess we all want to be accepted. Impressing people is a part of that acceptance process. If we have something interesting that people want then they’re more likely to include us in their lives. So for now, my job is the thing that I use to try to impress people and be accepted.

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I’ve made some pretty hairy mistakes and I’ve met some pretty cool people so far. Its been an incredible learning experience to stand by and listen to my boss converse with leaders in every imaginable industry for the last three years. Even more powerful has been my more recent experience of gaining confidence in my voice and ability to have conversations of my own. The morning I got to chat with a female lawyer at a breakfast event was so encouraging.  She is the only female partner in her office. “People say you have to choose family or career, as if its a one time choice. But for me I choose each day. One day I choose to spend time with my children after school and the next day I decide to take an extra meeting and work a little late. Each day. That’s how I find balance.” she explained to me.

The hours I spend sitting at my desk hammering away at my keyboard all run together. If you look at one particular day or keystroke, it seems insignificant. Once you compile all of those days and all of those keystrokes, they become the story of a girl finding her voice and finding her dreams. Yes, finding dreams. Not just chasing them, because…

Dreams are not stationary things that we can set our eyes upon.
Rather they are evolving impressions of the things we want.