Tag Archives: life

How to Live Without a TV

photo c/o wikimedia commons

photo c/o wikimedia commons

I’ve lived without cable for most of my adult life. I just never saw a need for it. When my husband and I moved into the Airstream, we ditched our television set. We ditched our TV mostly due to space, but we don’t miss it. Whenever I tell someone that we don’t have a television, I’m usually met with shock and awe. You’d think I told them that I live without oxygen or the sun. The first question that our relatives asked when they visited our humble abode was “Where’s the TV?” (My first question when visiting most people is “Where’s the bathroom?”)

Prior to moving into the Airstream, we mostly used our TV to stream Netflix. We had a box to pick up public television, but it never worked, so we just didn’t worry about it. I cancelled Netflix when we ditched the TV. Full disclosure: I do have a Hulu subscription that I have hung onto, but I am debating cancelling that this summer too.

There’s so many perks to cutting the cable cord and ditching the “idiot box,” as my dad likes to call it. Here’s just a few:

  1. You’ll have more space.
    Even flat screen TVs take up space. Instead of a television, put up a beautiful piece of artwork that inspires you!
  2. You’ll have more money.
    Even if your cable subscription is only $60 a month, paying that bill adds up to $720 a year. If you have cable for your entire adult life and you live to be 80 years old, you’ll spend $50,400 on cable! And that isn’t even accounting for inflation, people.
  3. You’ll have more time.
    Cable and TV is a time-suck. How many times have you gotten sucked into a whole season of Law and Order? Be honest. Think about how much more time you’ll have once you cut the cord. You’ll finally have time to write that novel (or blog!), plant that garden, cook a healthy meal and so much more.
  4. You’ll be less stressed.
    When I did have cable for a couple years in college, I fought with the cable company all the time. They’d always over charge me or the cable would go out for no good reason. That kind of stress is unnecessary and I chose to eliminate it from my life. I also believe seeing less opulence from TV helped my psyche. I no longer cared to keep up with the Jones or the Kardashians or whoever.
  5. You might sleep better and be happier. 
    Exposure to dim light at night has been linked to mood disorders, increased risk of obesity and cancer. Also, the blue light of televisions and computer monitors mimics morning light and is more likely to keep you awake at night. Do you need more of a reason to smash your TV in an epic Office Space-like scene?!

So how do I get along without a TV? Just fine. I get most of my news from NPR. I listen on the radio on the way to work. I check the weather via an app on my phone. If I’m dying to watch a movie, I’ll check out a free movie online or from my local library. (Check out this post I did over on And Then We Saved about legal ways to watch movies online.)

So how do you manage to go about living without a tv? Cutting the television cord is a lifestyle change, I’ll give you that. But it’s a change that improve your live for the better, I promise.

Try at first to cut your television watching to an hour a day, then 30 minutes a day. Just see how much more free time opens up with one simple change. 

Have you tried living without cable or a television? Let me know how you survive in the comments!

love,
melanie

Birthdays and Money

baby me!

baby me!

Well, today’s my birthday. I celebrated last weekend because I knew I wouldn’t have time to do much celebrating today. As I get older, I want to do less and less celebrating anyway. I’m happy just laying in bed and watching movies with George. And maybe eating pizza… I do love me some pizza. And to be honest, as I get older I want less and less things. Sure, I’ll occasionally see something pretty when I’m browsing Pinterest and maybe I’ll want it for two minutes, but I’m more interested in acquiring experiences now.

This has been a really nutty and difficult year. In some ways, I’m kind of glad that 27 is behind me. This year I’ve learned a lot about money. I’ve forced myself to stop being scared and careless with money and learn how to use it. This year I’ve also learned a lot about life and death. I’ve been forced to think about how I want to live the rest of my life and how money can help acquire that life. I don’t think money can buy happiness, but we all need money to live and we need to know how to use money as a tool for a better life. I believe the meaning of a better life is up to the individual. My better life means more time to travel, more time to spend with the people I love and to live life without debt.

Zora Neal Hurston once said, “There are years that ask questions and years that answer.” This year was a hard, real, thorny answer.

love,
melanie

 

 

Love Weekends: Almost Birthday

Tilling the gardenMy birthday actually falls on a Tuesday this year which isn’t the best for celebrating. I also have a big presentation that day for instructors and a VIP dean at my school. So this weekend was more of a celebration than I am planning for my actual birthday.

Tomato sproutsI had off work on Friday, so George and I started my garden. I was so thankful that he was there to help. Tilling is hard work!

Baseball GameOn Friday night we went to see the local minor league baseball team, the Mudcats play with friends. Their mascot is a catfish. So southern. Tickets are only $5 and they even have gluten-free beer. It’s a good time.

photoSaturday we headed way out into the country to a pow-wow. The dancing was rained out, but most of the vendors were still there. I scored some insanely beautiful jewelry. George even bought me this gorgeous ring for my birthday present. It’s so lovely. Pretty sure it’s going to be an heirloom piece.

For Easter Sunday we visited my parents and my mom stuffed us with all kinds of delicious food. I must admit that I’ve been feeling a little down and stressed out lately, but this weekend had a way of bringing me back out of it. I have so many people who love me and I will soon see another birthday and another year of life.

love and almost birthdays,
melanie

Love Weekends: Work it!

gluten-free whoopie

Gluten-free whoopie pie

“This semester is almost over, this semester is almost over, this semester is almost over,” I keep repeating to myself. This past weekend has been another busy one. George and I sold some wares at a local neighborhood yard sale with friends. My friend, Gabby rewarded me for helping her with the yard sale with a homemade gluten-free whoopie pie. It was stuffed with cannoli cream! It was insanely decadent and delicious.

Working on the computer
Then, George and I high tailed it to the mountains because I have a conference this week. On the way, we stopped by Asheville– one of my favorite cities. But instead of puttering around and enjoying the beauty of the city, we sat in a coffee shop and did more work. Some weekends are like that.

But the summer is almost here. I’ve got trips planned and there will be time to relax… one day.

How was your weekend? Let me know in the comments!

love,
melanie

 

 

 

 

 

Love Weekends: Come On, Spring!

 baby fern

I sure know how to pick the best time to live in an Airstream. Last summer was tough with all the rain and crazy storms and then this winter was longer and harsher than I most I remember. I’m more than ready to just feel like my old self. I’m ready to shake off the winter funk and frolic in the outdoors. This weekend we did just that.

creek through park

I never thought I’d call myself a “hiker,” but it’s becoming my new favorite hobby. It’s free, it’s exercise and it gets me outdoors. Bonus, dogs like hiking too. This weekend at our local park, I made George take one trail just so we could follow a pair of pugs… and their owners. I’m such a creep.

little white flowers

These first little signs of spring are so encouraging.

bridge through woodsSee all the little green stuff trying to poke it’s way out?!

Sprouting tomato plant

Also, I’m insanely excited about the first little sprouts for my garden. I hope I can keep them alive! I check on them multiple times a day. I’m trying not to be a helicopter parent and overwater my little beauties, but I’ve never grown something from a seed before! (Crazy, I know.)

How was your weekend? Are you seeing spring in your neck of the woods? Let me know in the comments!

love,
melanie

 

 

30 Ways to Live a Simpler Life

30 ways to live a simpler lifeLiving simply has been on my mind as of late. I think I live a pretty simple life. I mean, it can’t get too complicated when you live in an Airstream. I may have the whole simplistic living situation figured out, but there’s still plenty of room for improvement. Lately I’ve been feeling a little “over” the Internet. There’s just a whole lot of stuff and not enough substance. Do you feel me? This week I’ve weeded out time-consuming blogs. I’m also giving myself a little break to take a technology detox and celebrate a special someone’s birthday tomorrow. I’m going to get out there with my favorite person and just live.

  1. Commit to living simply
  2. Practice mindfulness
  3. Clear the clutter
  4. Get your financial house in order
  5. Identify your sources of stress
  6. Eliminate your sources of stress, if possible
  7. Outsource your chores
  8. Take a technology break
  9. Turn the alerts off
  10. Do something nice for someone
  11. Write down your feelings
  12. Actually take your vacation time
  13. Take time for yourself each day
  14. Shun perfection
  15. Take time to enjoy nature each day
  16. Eat meals with 5 ingredients or less
  17. Eat more fruits and veggies
  18. Eat lunch away from your desk
  19. Make a list of priorities
  20. Meditate or practice yoga
  21. Give yourself a break
  22. Forgive yourself
  23. Read a book just for fun
  24. Share your feelings with someone
  25. Listen to calming music
  26. Get a good night’s rest
  27. Tell someone you love them
  28. Learn to day “no”
  29. Remember that things are just things
  30. Commit to simplicity again tomorrow

How do you keep it simple? Let me know in the comments.

love,
melanie

Love Weekends: Hustlin’

The scrap metal we pulled out of the woods.

The scrap metal we pulled out of the woods.

On Saturday, George and I got up early and trekked into the woods behind our house. Although it was never a “dump” people dumped trash in the woods behind our house from the ’50s to the ’70s. What can I say? People were a lot less environmentally friendly back then. Does anyone remember that episode of Mad Men where The Drapers are having a picnic and when they are finished Betty picks up the blanket and scatters the trash onto the ground. And then everyone proceeds to leave the trash all over the ground all nonchalant! Yeah. It’s kind of like that.

We pulled out a ton of old, rusty metal to take to the scrap yard. Ok, maybe not a ton. It just felt like a ton because my arms are weak little twigs. Later this week George is going to take it to the scrap metal yard to cash it in, so I don’t know the exact poundage yet. Don’t worry, I’ll have a write up about how to make a little money on the side by scrounging for scrap metal.

Worn out!

Worn out!

It was hard, laborious work but I’ll take whatever extra money I can make.

Do you have a weekend side hustle? I want to hear about it in the comments!

love,
melanie