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Fun (cheap) things to do in NYC

NYC BOATS

Good morning Loves.  I’m back from New York City and to be honest I’m going through total vacation withdrawal.  I visit NYC a couple times a year and every time my vacation ends I am sad for at least two weeks after I get home.  So how do I cure my vacation blues?  By talking about NYC as much as I can and looking through photos a million times.  So now you know how I’ve spent the last seven days…by missing NYC.

As you know my two friends joined me this time in the big apple and we had a great time.  It was definitely different from the last time we all travelled together…remember my story about our Howard Johnson motel in Queens six years ago?

NYC doesn’t have to be an expensive vacation

Now that we have all graduated and have full time jobs we were able to spend a little bit more money on our travel accommodations in New York.  With that being said we all do work in finance and we are all very careful, even safe, with our money.  That’s the hard thing about travelling, trying to find a balance between convenience and price.

We wanted to spend as much time as we could enjoying the city while spending as little money as possible.  We didn’t mind paying for fun, we just didn’t want to over pay.  We travelled for cheap thanks to Priceline and spent most of our money on food and shopping. This was great because the less money we spent on travel accommodations the more money we could spend on enjoying ourselves.  The truth is we had a great time in NYC and we didn’t have to spend that much money doing so.

Enjoy NYC on a dime by going to these places

Central Park. We spent a whole day walking through Central Park.  We found places in the park I didn’t even know existed.  This is a picture of the Alice in Wonderland statue in the middle of Central Park on the East Side.  When we found the statue we also found a nice surprise, the lake with the remote control boats (that you always see in the movies) is directly across from the statue.  That was great.

The American Museum of Natural History.  I have been to the museum twice and both times it was really interesting.  The thing about museums is the exhibits don’t change a lot so if you’ve been once you may want to wait a while before you go again.  However, the features at the AMNH do change every few months.

The first time I went (back in October) they were featuring films on whales and frogs, right now they are featuring a Great White Shark 3D film.  The best thing about visiting the AMNH is the admission is on a donation basis.  The first time I paid $20 and the second time I only paid $10.

Walk around neighborhoods and enjoy the city.  Despite being an island, NYC is huge and every neighborhood is full of unique shops, restaurants and of course people.  Some of my favorite places to walk around are the Upper West Side and downtown along the water near Battery Park.

Photo from Flickr

Friday Faves: Backpacking and Adventures

Friday

Happy Friday Loves.  We found some great reads to start off your weekend.  Enjoy!

Clever Dude – Warning: Inexpensive Adventures Are Hiding In Your Community!

Boogers Are Yucky – 5 Ways Backpacking Through Europe Cured My Broken Heart

Smart Money Chicks – 5 Ways to Lower Your Car Insurance Premiums

Allyn Lewis Blog – How to Get a Grip On Your Inbox

Miss Melanie’s Journey to a Healthier Life – Breaking Wind in Yoga Class

Photo from Flickr

We’re Moving!

Moving

Finally.  We have been in our tiny apartment way too long.  I am excited to tell you that my boyfriend and I just got our lease renewal and we didn’t sign it.  That’s right come October 1st we are moving.  After the market crashed in 2008 we could no longer afford our old apartment and had to vacate ASAP.  We moved to our apartment as a temporarily solution and now six years later we are finally moving out.

Choosing to move was an easy decision, but now comes the hard part.  Now I actually have to move.  We need to start looking for an apartment, shop around for movers and pack up all our stuff.  I am extremely excited to move into a bigger apartment in a better neighbourhood.  But let me tell you…moving is a lot of work.

It’s time consuming.  Searching Craigslist and reading the real estate section of the Saturday newspaper is fun, but it’s time consuming.  I would rather spend my weekends lounging around, working on my tan, reading a good book but I have to find a new apartment.  Then there’s the time it takes to actually go out and look at all the potential new apartments.  Yep, moving takes lots and lots of time.

There is a scene in the Sex and the City movie when Carrie and Big decide to buy a home together and she tells them they are looking at lucky number 34.  I truly hope my boyfriend and I don’t have to look at 34 apartments before we find the right one.

Decisions need to be made.  As a true Libra I have a hard time making a decision.  Sometimes I know what I want and once my mind is made up there is no stopping me because I get fixated on an idea.  However choosing the best apartment and picking one over the other is not a decision that I seem to make very easily.

Thank goodness I can narrow it down to three and I’ll leave it up to my boyfriend to pick the best one.  That’s one of the great things about being in a couple, there is always someone to help you out.

It’s expensive, really expensive.  We haven’t even moved yet and we’ve already started spending money.  The costs of buying the Saturday paper and travelling  around on the weekends to visit apartments is adding onto my weekly expenses.  Since I live on a fixed budget with a small amount allocated to personal expenses it means I have to cut something else out of my weekly expenses.  Right now I am cutting down on my eating out.  I am cooking at home more, which I don’t really like because I’m not super great at it; but I’m doing it in the name of a bigger, better apartment.

Last time we moved (six years ago) it cost us $750 so that’s what I’ve budgeted for our moving expenses this time.  Then we have to factor in the costs of new furniture.  We need a new kitchen table with chairs, a new bed frame and a new sofa (we’ve had ours for almost 10 years).  Thankfully we aren’t moving until the fall which gives us time to save so we can avoid charging any moving expenses onto our credit card.

Have you moved recently? What kind of costs did you incur?

Photo by Flickr

Reach Your Goal Weight This Summer

goal weight

It’s summer time.  That means women all around the world are looking in the mirror and questioning if their body is bikini ready.  With that in mind let me ask you a question…have you reached your goal weight yet?  I am by no means the spitting image of Gisele Bundchen, however I like to try and look good when I walk out the door…especially during these hot summer months. Don’t get me wrong I do have my sweat pant days where I just lounge around my apartment and go to the grocery store in nothing buy my yoga pants.

How are you reaching your goal weight?

I would usually do anything for 15 minutes more sleep, but I like to try and make an effort to stay healthy and keep myself looking nice because it’s good for my self esteem – when you look good you feel good, right?

I have a young sister (by 3 years) who is very active.  Her body with less than 5% fat is motivation enough to get to the gym.  However not everyone likes working out.  Some people even say that reaching your goal weight is more about what you eat than how you move.  I think it’s a combination of both.  Exercising keeps us looking good on the outside and eating healthy keeps us good on the inside.

Tips that have helped me get my body summer ready.

Drink lots of water.  Avoid those sugary drinks.  I am a huge iced tea addict.  I would walk a mile in the rain for a Diet Lemon Snapple, but the truth is iced tea has a lot of sugar in it or at least sugar substitutes.  You know how people tell you eating cake and cupcakes will make you fat well that’s because they are full of sugar.  Swap your sugary drinks like soda, juice and iced tea for water and watch the weight come off.

Buy the size you want to be.  If you need some motivation to reach your goal weight my advice is to go shopping.  This has been a big helper for me this summer.  I know a lot of people say they’ll buy themselves something nice once they reach their goal weight, but I took a more proactive approach.  I bought a pair of jean shorts two sizes too small to get me motivated.

Make sure you get active every day.  I know it’s easier to lay on your couch than exercise but there are 24 hours in every day.  I think we can all find 30 minutes for ourselves.  Try to be active every day even if it’s just for a few minutes.  Some people only like to work out if they have an hour of free time.  This is the wrong way of thinking about exercise.  Workout routines are habit forming so get in the habit of doing it every day.  I recently read in SELF Magazine that Kate Hudson makes time to be active every day even if it’s only for 20 minutes.  That’s the attitude of a healthy happy girl.

How do you keep fit?

Photo from Flickr