Being Grateful: Fortieth Edition

Wow, I can’t believe we are up to the 40’s already! I think it will be interesting to have a look back at all of these once a year has been completed.

The weekend is finally here, and I hope you’ve been enjoying it so far. It started last night with a bang – literally. Unexpected thunderstorms, yay. Other than that, R and I went out to eat last night, and the total came to $8.66. We had $10 left on our gift card, so that was free. I love gift cards!

Also, I feel the need to tell you all R is amazing as he’s cleaning the apartment right now. I am so lucky to have found someone to take up the tasks I hate ;). That means baking of some sort is in order, since that’s how we roll. He cleans, I bake! We both win.

being grateful

Vacation planning

I’m currently being grateful for getting to plan a little weekend getaway soon! I’ve heard one too many nice things about Asheville, NC, and seeing as it’s only 2 hours away, it’s actually a shorter distance than most weekend trips we take.

The only slight problem is that because of the beautiful fall foliage, hotels are either super expensive, or completely booked. We ran into this when trying to visit upstate, NY, too. I blame R, because his birthday is in the middle of October, and apparently that’s prime time for pretty mountain scenery.

Being grateful - mountainsI thought that maybe we should just stay at a hotel maybe a little further away, and go back to Asheville the following day. A little inconvenient, but it might be worth the savings.

Sadly, I took a look on Airbnb, and didn’t see a huge selection. Our other option could be Boone, NC. Recently, a neighbor of my parents went there, and she had a lot of fun (and she’s 85). It’s still set in the mountains, and it’s a little closer. Hopefully something works out!

I’m also being grateful that R has labor day off, so we’ll be visiting my parents again. Their anniversary is on the 3rd, so we’ll be taking them out to celebrate. Actually, my mom has had this $50 gift card for a restaurnt none of us like, and I told her we could possibly trade it for something else. I’ve seen websites mentioned on other blogs, but I can’t recall any. Do any of you have experience with swapping gift cards online?

It’s a small world

A few days ago, R received a text from an old college teammate of his, and what do you know – he just moved here! He’s actually been attending grad school down here. R recalled that he majored in business or accounting, and since Charlotte is a banking city, that makes sense.

Even more amusing, they eventually got around to talking about their other halves; his friend is actually engaged. So of course, R said we would be engaged, if not for the fact he has no clue how to propose. I have such a creative boyfriend…

Well, guess where his friend proposed? Asheville.

It’s obviously just another sign we need to go! His friend said it’s similar to upstate NY, where they went to college, which is the feeling I got from looking at pictures. It’s just so beautiful and unique. If you’re interested, there’s a few blogs dedicated to this must-see city. I really hope we can make it work, even if it means going at a later date.

My lovely readers

This week, the one thing that stands out to me the most is all of you! I decided to stop being anonymous on Thursday, and I was met with overwhelming support.

To be honest, I didn’t think many people would care at all, so it means a lot to me that you all stopped by to congratulate me and share your thoughts on anonymity.

I’d like to feature a few awesome tweets I received:

To which I already responded, it’s because we’re awesome. It’s funny, as I originally thought our hair was very close in color, and we’re both on the paler side :P.

Kali is too sweet, as always!

Quite a high honor!
Seriously, you all were making me blush.

Melanie, my main motivator, who’s been kicking ass at freelancing since she left her full-time job! I hope to follow in her footsteps.

And of course, I appreciate every single one of the comments that were left on the post itself!

It feels like I say this at least every other week, but I am so grateful for all of you! This little mini-journey of blogging has been more awesome than I ever thought it would be. The PF community is hands-down the most supportive out there, and I’m so glad to be a part of it.

I had a few of you ask me to give an update if I notice any differences blogging as a real person, as opposed to a picture of the ocean, and I’m happy to oblige if I do find a difference.

As a very small sidenote, I know a few of you have been experiencing a little difficulty with commenting. Just let me know if it continues. I’m not sure what happened as I haven’t changed anything on the back-end, but I just updated plugins in case that was the cause.

Anyway! What a way to end the week. I hope you all have an amazing weekend!

What are you being grateful for this week? Planning any fall vacations, or just getting ready to bundle up?



  1. Practical Cents August 23, 2014 at 11:49 AM

    Hey Erin, Congrats on revealing your identity. It’s nice to see the face that goes with the name. A weekend in the mountains sounds lovely. I love the fall foliage as well.

    1. Erin M. August 23, 2014 at 5:23 PM

      Thanks! I think it’s hard not to enjoy. If I ever moved somewhere without fall, I think I’d be lost.

  2. debs@debtdebs August 23, 2014 at 11:58 AM

    Hope your getaway planning works out! So nice of you to share those tweets. I will be interested to know the impact of becoming less anonymous as well. So many tweets go out that we miss, so I like this idea of sharing the good ones on a blog post. Have a great weekend, Erin!

    1. Erin M. August 23, 2014 at 5:23 PM

      Thanks Debs! I am absolutely horrible with twitter, so I definitely miss a lot of tweets. I’ll be trying to change that soon. It was very easy to share, actually (if you’re interested). You can either copy and paste the URL to the tweet on its own separate line, and WordPress will automatically display it as a quote. Or you can download the plugin “Twitter Embed” and they display all nicely. I hope you have a great weekend, too!

      1. debs@debtdebs August 25, 2014 at 8:06 AM

        Yep I’ve done it before just by copying from twitter and putting it in text part of blog post. Works well and fun way to share tweets especially if they have pictures. I think I had to put and around it to ensure it was centered on my blog post though. I may check out that plugin because if it saves extra steps it’s worth it.

        1. Erin M. August 25, 2014 at 2:37 PM

          I hope it’s useful!

    2. Jay @ ThinkingWealthy August 25, 2014 at 1:58 PM

      Good luck to both of you putting yourselves out there. I wish I could but my career could be conflicting.


  3. Kirsten August 23, 2014 at 12:04 PM

    Erin, just wanted to say (again) that I’m grateful for these posts you do. I tend to be very pessimistic and just seeing the “being grateful” in your post title aways makes me think.

    1. Erin M. August 23, 2014 at 5:21 PM

      Thank you, that means a lot! I tend to be pessimistic as well, which is why I started this series. It was a way to “force” positive thoughts, and it’s become a habit. When something nice happens, I make a mental note to write about it here.

  4. Melanie @ My Alternate Life August 23, 2014 at 3:19 PM

    I love your being grateful posts too. It’s like a breath of fresh air. A moment to reflect and acknowledge the good things. I am glad you are inspired by my journey :) I don’t feel like I’m kicking ass yet — just getting started (and trying not to freak out — ha!)

    1. Erin M. August 23, 2014 at 5:20 PM

      I’m glad you enjoy them! I didn’t think anyone would care for the series since it’s so off-topic (and posted on the weekend), but I am grateful it’s been well received =). Hey, you were able to get the courage to leave your job and freelance full-time, so you’re kicking ass.

  5. Kassandra @ More Than Just Money August 23, 2014 at 4:32 PM

    I ran into to same lack of availability on AirBnB through the fall season when we wanted to do a week-end getaway to Boston! Fall is my favourite season so I’m looking forward to it. Have fun with your vacation plans! This fall I have my annual girls week-end in Quebec in early November. Over 10 ladies from Ontario and Quebec gather together at my friend’s parents lakefront cottage for a week-end away from the kiddos and spouses.

    1. Erin M. August 23, 2014 at 5:18 PM

      Fall seems to be the favorite season of lots of people! I just love bundling up, wearing boots and scarves, and the crisp, fresh air. I’m so done with the humidity. That girls weekend sounds amazing! I’d love to hang out at a lakefront cottage with friends.

  6. Tonya@Budget and the Beach August 23, 2014 at 4:54 PM

    I have heard great things about Ashville as well so I hope you get to visit and enjoy it…and if anything else happens I can’t wait to hear about it! :) I’m grateful that I have a couple of job…not really leads per say but informational type interviews. Anyway, we’ll see because I was so stressed out about lack of work last well…well still am but trying to find gratitude in everything. :)

    1. Erin M. August 23, 2014 at 5:16 PM

      I can’t believe I had never heard of Asheville until we moved here! I hope everything goes well on the informational interviews. You never know what may come of things! I’ve still been a little stressed transitioning into freelancing, but I’m sure you’ll be okay. I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t want to hire you!

    1. Erin M. August 24, 2014 at 9:39 AM

      Thanks! That makes me happy to hear. I’m definitely going to see if I can make something work. At least it’s still pretty warm here in November, so if we miss out on the foliage, we’ll still be able to enjoy it.

  7. Mrs. Frugalwoods August 23, 2014 at 9:21 PM

    Bahahah–yes, we are on the pale side with dark hair!! I’m seriously cracking up over here. Asheville is amazing! Can’t remember if I told you we were just there in May for a wedding? At any rate, it’s a fun and cute little town nestled in the mountains. I hope you’re able to get a good deal on a place to stay. And, for what it’s worth, I think it looks like a lovely place to get engaged…hint, hint R! P.S. Did I tell you my in-laws now live in Charlotte? It’s a small world, isn’t it! Especially for look-a-likes :)

    1. Erin M. August 24, 2014 at 9:38 AM

      I’ll have to work out a bit more to get as toned as you are, though!

      The more I am thinking about it, the more I’m realizing Asheville would likely make for a beautiful place to have a wedding. That kind of scenery is much more “us” than the beach, but I fear people wouldn’t have as much fun there. We’ll have to see. I’m not sure what R has up his sleeve! He might be afraid to “rip off” his friend and look unoriginal. I don’t mind, as we were planning on going before we found out.

      That’s crazy! I know Charlotte is a fast growing city, so I can’t say it’s surprising. Honestly, it’s probably a little *too* fast growing!

  8. Autumn August 24, 2014 at 7:46 AM

    Asheville is my favorite place in the world. We go a few times a year. Just the thought of it is making me happy. October is the best time to go because of the leaves, but prices drop significantly after that. I really, really hope you can work something out!

    1. Erin M. August 24, 2014 at 9:34 AM

      That’s awesome to hear! If you have any tips about what we should see or do, please share! I’m thinking we might go a little later; I mean, it will still be nice out in late October or early November. I just can’t stomach a $250-$300/night stay, when we’ll be outside most of the time.

  9. Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank August 25, 2014 at 7:19 AM

    I also love gift cards. We usually use it in eating out. Just last weekend, instead of paying $23.50 we only paid $3.50 because of the gift cards. Something to be grateful for Erin right? The perks!

    1. Erin M. August 25, 2014 at 2:38 PM

      Yes! It’s awesome to be able to go out and enjoy yourself without having to worry about the price.

  10. Laurie @thefrugalfarmer August 25, 2014 at 8:13 AM

    The trip to Asheville sounds SO fun! It’s our dream to get out to NC one day, and I can’t wait!! So many things there we want to see. Sounds like you guys have some fun stuff planned!! Woohoo!

    1. Erin M. August 25, 2014 at 2:36 PM

      I didn’t realize how lucky we are to live here I guess! I hope you do get to make it down here. There is definitely no shortage of things to see and do throughout the entire state. I know I will regret it if we don’t get out and see some of it while we’re here, so we’re going to try and make the most of it.

  11. Shannon @ Financially Blonde August 25, 2014 at 11:07 AM

    I LOVE Asheville! It is tough to do on the cheap, though, because the hotel options are limited, but it also makes a great day trip. You should definitely plan to go there and see the Biltmore House around Christmastime, it is really special. Boone is a good option, though. My college roommate grew up there and since there is a college there, as long as you are not traveling on parent’s weekend, you should be fine.

    1. Erin M. August 25, 2014 at 2:34 PM

      Thanks for the tips, Shannon! I think seeing the Biltmore House for the holidays would make for a great day-trip with my parents. Two hours really isn’t *that* bad; R and I were planning on hiking around a bit, and I wasn’t sure if we would be too tired to drive back. I’ll have to ask him what he thinks. We could always do Boone as a weekend getaway instead!

  12. Debt and the Girl August 25, 2014 at 8:34 PM

    I love Asheville. It is such a cute, lovely town. I loved going to the Biltmore House as a child. They have some of the most beautiful gardens I have ever seen.

    1. Erin M. August 25, 2014 at 8:56 PM

      I have come across the Biltmore House in reviews, so I’ll definitely make sure to check it out!

  13. Holly@ClubThrifty August 26, 2014 at 8:21 AM

    Congrats on coming out of the blogging closet. Great pics!

    1. Erin M. August 26, 2014 at 12:03 PM

      Thanks Holly!

  14. jefferson August 26, 2014 at 9:47 AM

    The weekend getaway sounds awesome..

    You have to do that every once in a while just to mix things up and get away.. It’s good for the soul.

    We just got back from a big family vacation and it was just what the doctor ordered.

    1. Erin M. August 26, 2014 at 12:03 PM

      That’s awesome! We have been “guilty” of not taking an actual vacation together since, well, we started dating. My boyfriend has never had a lot of time off, so weekend getaways are needed!

  15. Rebecca August 26, 2014 at 6:18 PM

    I’ve heard a lot of great things about Asheville, have a lot of fun! My trip there last year was cancelled sadly, but I’d like to visit someday. Maybe you’ll come back engaged too! I have two trips planned in the fall, one in a convention here in Virginia and another one to Pennsylvania in October.

    1. Erin M. August 27, 2014 at 4:27 PM

      Aw, I hope you get to visit Asheville at some point! PA in the fall is really pretty, too. I went to the Poconos over there, and it was nice. As for the engagement, anything is possible I guess!

  16. Ryan @ Impersonal Finance August 27, 2014 at 11:17 AM

    I meant what I said, too :)

    I’m definitely ready for summer to end. We’ve got a few day trips planned across the southeast to cities that we want to see before we move. Asheville is one of those cities, too!

    1. Erin M. August 27, 2014 at 4:00 PM

      Thank you!

      If you get there before me make sure to post about it! I’ve been thinking that we could visit surrounding states like TN, VA and GA next year.


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