Link Love: 19

rp_Link-Love-1024x102411111111-1024x10241-1024x1024-1024x10241-1024x10241-1024x10241-1024x1024-1024x1024.jpg Holiday tips for decorating a small space.

How to minimize gift giving without being a Scrooge.

Ways to earn holiday cash. (Anna from And Then We Saved is killing it this week!)

And my post over at ATWS.

Use the ERR strategy to make your money go farther.

How to work less or retire early. Spoiler alert: it requires some sacrifices!

How to stop making excuses and finally get your finances in order. Do it before the new year, folks!

Christmas gifts that keep on giving.

DIY homemade pickled veggies. (These would make lovely gifts!)

The world needs more love, can I get an amen?! How about writing a love letter to a stranger this holiday.

And because everyone needs to read this and because everyone is busy: How to email a busy person. (Yes, yes, yes, a double yes to GIFs.)

That’s it this week folks! I get out of work on Friday for TWO WHOLE WEEKS!!! But it’s no rest for the weary because I’ve got a super special project in the works for the new year. Catch ya on the flip side!

love,
melanie

My Favorite Podcasts

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c/o Death to Stock Photos

I jumped on the bandwagon and started listening to Serial. You’ve been living under a rock somewhere if you haven’t heard of it. If you have been living under a rock, props to you, can I visit sometime? I could use a break.

Anyway, Serial is a true crime podcast, brought to you by some of the same people from This American Life. (Sidenote: for years, years, I used to think “Brought to you by” was one word because the people of PBS said it so quickly. Thanks public television.) And I obviously don’t make Serial sound appealing, but OMG IT IS. I’m hooked.

That got me thinking that I’ve never shared my favorite podcasts with you all. And there are some good ones out there, folks. Take a break from all that holiday music and open up your ears to some sustenance! Here’s some of my favorite podcasts:

Freakonomics
This podcast is brought to you by (ha-ha!) the same guys who wrote the book. Freakonomics tells stories of the “hidden side of everything” including money. I’ve spent many a “drive way moment” listening to these fellows.

The Radical Personal Finance Podcast
The RPFP explores all aspects of finances and money management with a focus on the financial strategies of society’s outliers, like the homeless and billionaires! Radical, dude!

Listen Money Matters!
These guys say this isn’t your dad’s personal finance show and it isn’t. This show is funny, honest and give actionable advice to follow. And money saving should be entertaining, right?

Natalie Sisson’s The Suitcase Entrepreneur
In short interviews, Natalie describes the ins-and-outs of a travelling entrepreneur. This one is great if you’ve only got a few minutes before a doctor’s appointment or a meeting.

Extra Pack of Peanuts Travel Podcast
Travis Sherry describes himself  as “Rick Steves for the new generation.” Travis interviews some of the biggest names in travel and teaches listeners how to travel for less. Yes!

TheVAP – The Vintage Airstream Project
The VAP is great for new Airstream owners because it describes purchasing, repair and travel in an RV. It’s not always riveting, but it is informative.

Tiny House Chat
Tiny house chat does exactly what is meant to do: it talks about all things tiny house and all things tiny living! Tiny house dwellers (like me!) are so interesting, no?!

Minimalism for the rest of us
Minimalism for the rest of us typically is interviews or stories from people on their journey to minimalism. I’m a fan of minimalism and I like to hear about other people’s journey to the school of thought.

Elise Gets Crafty
Elise Gets Crafty is one of my favorite podcasts because Elise is such a natural! Usually she talks about running a small business or talks to small business owners. It’s fun and chatty, but also informative. I’ve learned so much from this podcast!

Creating Your Own Path
Creating Your Own Path is a podcast that I just got into recently. Jennifer converses with small business owners and asks them what I always want to know: how did you create your own path?!

What are your favorite podcasts? I’d love to hear them in the comments!

love,
melanie

The Airstream Diaries: The Holiday Season

A very festive Airstream

It’s the holiday season and I can’t get that damn song out of my head. You know the one– “It’s the holiday season… With the whoop-de-do and hickory dock. And don’t forget to hang up your sock!” Does anyone else think that Andy Williams sounds completely drunk off Grandma’s eggnog during that song? No? Just me. Ok, let’s move on.

An airstream with Christmas Lights

This past weekend George and I decked the Airstream out in Christmas lights. Our place isn’t big enough for a tree, but it wasn’t feeling very holiday-ish ’round these parts. My mom had given us a single string of lights so I decided, what the hey, let’s string ‘em up on the outside of the trailer.

Our Airstream decked out for Christmas I don’t care if it is trashy. It made it feel a lot more Christmasy around here and I kind of love the way the light reflects on the Airstream.

Big thanks to my husband, George who swept off the top of our trailer and put up the lights while I comforted our terrified dog. Someone knocking and climbing all over our house is super scary– even if it is your dad. Poor little bit.

Does it feel holiday-ish around your parts? Let me know in the comments!

love,
melanie

 

Link Love: 19

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It’s been one of those weeks. But better late than never, right? Here’s my favorite links from around the web this week:

Forward-thinking tiny homes made from salvage.

Solar shingles?!?

I’ve been slightly obsessed with looking at house plans lately. I particularly like this little one.

Martha’s got a great idea for space saving: extend a windowsill!

10 designer tips for decorating small spaces.

How a NY couple lives in 242 square feet. We live in 188 square feet (here’s how), but hey it’s still interesting.

Women, insecurity and money: overcoming the confidence gap.

10 good financial rules of thumb.

It’s the future, ya’ll. This app helps you keep track of your freezer’s contents so you use the food before it expires. It’s kind of like my idea of keeping a list of what you have on the fridge.

Really gorgeous free printables. (They’ve got some great holiday gift tags, cards and even some possible gifts!)

Looking for a worthy cause to donate to this holiday season? I love Donor’s Choose and my own sister has a project for her preschoolers that needs to be funded! Check it out here.

And just for giggles (and because it is so true) this one from The Onion: Man on cusp of having fun remembers every single one of his responsibilities. 

Cheers to Friday!

love,
melanie

30 Free (or Cheap) Things To Do This Holiday Season

Photo c/o Death to Stock Photos.

Photo c/o Death to Stock Photos.

Whether we’re ready or not the holiday season is upon us. But with all the gift-giving and party-attending, your wallet might be hurtin’. Mine is too, friend. So this holiday season I’m looking for cheap ways to celebrate the holidays. Here’s some of my favorites free or cheap things to do this holiday season.

  1. Bake cookies.
  2. Make ornaments (Pinterest has some great ideas!).
  3. Make and send holiday cards.
  4. Make gifts for your loved ones.
  5. Rock out to holiday tunes.
  6. Snuggle up with a good book (get it from your local library!).
  7. Snuggle up with a loved one (or your pet!).
  8. Pop popcorn and watch a holiday movie (there’s plenty of free ones on Hulu!).
  9. Sip on some cider (or cocoa!).
  10. If it’s cold enough, make a snowman. If not, play outside! You need that vitamin D, even in the winter.
  11. Visit a neighbor.
  12. Catch up with old friends.
  13. Make dinner for a friend or someone in need.
  14. Break out your Crock-Pot and try a new recipe.
  15. Eat dinner by candlelight.
  16. Do a good deed.
  17. Volunteer.
  18. Learn a new skill (may I suggest knitting?!).
  19. Decorate your home with homemade decorations (may I suggest coffee filter snowflakes?).
  20. Drive around and look at the holiday lights.
  21. Throw a holiday soiree (To keep costs down, ask guests to bring a dish or appetizer!).
  22. Check out free location-specific things to do in your area (Simply Google “holiday activities” and your town name.).
  23. Start a new tradition (Bonus points if you make it a bit wacky!).
  24. Get your spring cleaning out of the way now!
  25. The holidays can be tough sometimes, find little ways to pamper yourself at home. Give yourself a manicure or make a DIY face mask.
  26. Roast marshmallows (You can even do roast marshmallows indoors with this fancy gadget.).
  27. Stay in your pajamas all day.
  28. Break out the board games (Sorry! I’m not sorry!).
  29. Document the holiday season by taking pictures or journaling.
  30. Just relax and enjoy the holiday season!

What are your favorite free or cheap things to do this holiday season? Let me know in the comments!

love,
melanie

Please note, the above post contains affiliate links. By clicking on the links and buying the product, I receive a small commission. The opinions about the products are my own. Programs like this help to keep my blog running. Thank you for your support!

Link Love: 18

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This vintage trailer nicknamed the Nugget(!) is adorable.

21 NYC women confess the dumbest things they spend their money on.

The tiny house movement and binge saving: the new retirement. I think so.

5 spending addicts. Which one are you?

14 smart money moves to make by the end of the year. Let’s get to it!

What to do when you’re 40 and have nothing saved.

Saving money when you have no time. (I can relate. We all can.)

5 questions to simplify your life during the holidays.

Consumer madness? Opt out.

7 tips to overcome holiday gift clutter.

Your work is not… nothing. (Alexandra Franzen gets it, ya’ll.)

Happy almost Friday!

love,
melanie

20 Low-Cost Gifts to Make this Holiday

20 Low-Cost Gifts to Make this Holiday

How is it December already? Weren’t we just pumpkining all the things, jumping in all the leaves and carving all the jack-o-lanterns? Oh well. The holidays are almost here whether I like it or not.  I’m not making all my gifts this year. The handmade holiday challenge that I did last year was kind of insane. But I’ll still make a few gifts and I’ll still try to stay under $100, of course. If you are a fellow nut and want to MAKE ALL THE GIFTS here’s a few (or 20) ideas for low-cost gifts to make this holiday.

For the fashionista:

  1. A knotted bracelet
  2. A clay beads necklace
  3. Polymer clay hair accessories
  4. A holiday crown

For the foodie:

  1. DIY vanilla extract
  2. Upcycle a rolling pin
  3. Low sugar nuts
  4. Infused liquors!
  5. A personalized mug filled with coffee or chocolates

Can you knit or sew? These projects are super fun

  1. A knitted baby cape
  2. A chunky, knitted scarf
  3. A knitted scrubbie
  4. A leather clutch
  5. A look-alike, handmade American Apparel circle scarf

For everyone:

  1. Beeswax candles
  2. Pillows!
  3. A toy for your furry friends
  4. A clay bowl for jewelry, change or paper clips
  5. A hand-painted and customized ukulele
  6. And last, but not least, make everyone’s favorite gift (cash!) a little more exciting with this cash mobile.

What gifts are you making this holiday season? Tell me about them in the comments!

love,
melanie