Hi everyone! I hope your week went well. I’m on a light posting schedule due to the fact that I did arrive “back home” yesterday in good old NY. I wanted to write another post before this one, but found myself short on time. Yesterday was all about relaxing and spending time with my grandma.

I promise I have a few posts planned for next week, and I want to find time to write them amidst birthday celebrations (my birthday is on Monday, but my family is celebrating tomorrow).

being grateful

First, I’m grateful that my parents were nice enough to come get me to go back to their place for our flight. I could have continued to stay with them after the 4th of July, but I really wanted a few extra days to spend with R and the cats before I left for a week and a half. So they arrived Tuesday afternoon and we left almost 24 hours later.

Baggage worries

Second, I’m grateful our flight was relatively uneventful. Flying with Spirit always gives me a little bit of anxiety, due to their strict regulations on baggage. Brief run-down: Spirit allows one personal item (purse, backpack, or small luggage) free of charge. If it exceeds the specified dimensions, you have to pay as it’s considered a carry on. Being frugal, I opt for the personal item to get away with having to pay.

My mom actually paid for hers out of concern she would get “caught” and have to pay ($100 at the gate), as her luggage was 2″ over the limit. I told her it was silly, because her luggage could be smushed down to fit in the measurement box, but she wanted peace of mind. I can’t say I blame her, as I’m always a bundle of nerves when it comes time to board.

This time, I chose to bring a backpack, but it wasn’t really on the smaller side. I’m very thankful everything worked out fine, and obviously I just need to pack less next time. It’s my own fault! Didn’t help I had to bring heels and a dress for the wedding. Ideally, next time won’t even be on Spirit – I’ll be working on getting travel reward points.

Bonus – the airport had expedited security, so we didn’t have to take anything out or take our shoes off. It was lovely!

The flight

Anyway, there was actually a thunderstorm occurring right as we sat down in the airport. At 8AM. I couldn’t believe it. Everyone was grumbling that the flight would be delayed.

being grateful
Makeshift beds at my grandma’s

Well, they delayed boarding as they couldn’t fuel the plane right away, but somehow they got everything together while another flight to Philadelphia was delayed. We boarded, they told everyone to sit their asses down if we wanted to get out on time (otherwise the plane would be grounded for a while), people complied, and we arrived early.

Too early, sadly. There was another plane at our gate, so we had to wait for it to clear out. Then, once we taxied over, we had to wait for some agent to come out to get the little runway thing attached.

Overall, being early meant sitting on the plane for an extra half hour. Pretty ironic… Sometimes, taking short cuts isn’t worth it!

Libraries and books

I’m being grateful for libraries, as usual! While I love to read, I don’t particularly like to pay for books, so I’m a huge advocate for going to the library.

I had downloaded an ebook from my library before the trip to have something to read on the plane, and it served me well. I was actually reading Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In.” (Affiliate.) I’m a little late to the party on this one!

It gave me a lot of food for thought. Although I finished it, I’m going to go back and re-read some sections, to highlight some things I want to talk about here.


There aren’t many weeks where family doesn’t make the list for things I’m being grateful for. But it feels so weird to be back in my grandma’s home. It simultaneously feels like I was just here, and that I haven’t been here in a year.

It was fun to see my uncle, and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone for a BBQ tomorrow. I’m also looking forward to seeing my former coworkers tonight at the wedding!

Of course, the downside/tradeoff is that I miss R a lot, as well as my cats. I’ve been Skyping with him, but it’s not the same.


I have to throw a light-hearted item in here. Obviously, I’m grateful to have food to eat, but this week I get to look forward to:

  • Pizza – unsurprisingly, this was my first (and not last) stop. The pizzerias in Charlotte aren’t horrible, but as much as they claim to be “NY Style Pizza,” they’re just not. Really.
  • Bagels – Bagels used to be my favorite thing ever, until I cut down significantly on my bread intake. I have to make a special exception here, though. My mom and I can’t wait to go to the bagel store by our old house. Yum! (eat a bagel, like a boss…)
  • Grandma’s cooking – you all know I spent many Sundays / Mondays here this past year, and I can miss my grandma’s cooking just as much as my mom’s. There’s also her baking to look forward to.

So that’s about it for this week. Before I know it I’ll be back on a plane!

Do you have any travel plans coming up? Have you ever had NY pizza or bagels and thought nothing of them? What’s your favorite home cooked meal?



  1. Katelyn @ Diaries of a Wandering Lobster July 11, 2014 at 9:57 AM

    Like you, I’m a bit late to the party too. I just read “lean In” a few weeks ago and it definitely opened my mind. It surprised me in my very short career thus far how I have experienced similar reactions and situations. I’m looking forward to reading your reaction to the book!

    1. E.M. July 11, 2014 at 11:43 PM

      Yep, same here! I’ve only been working full-time for two years, but I did work in finance as one of three females in the office, and it wasn’t always pleasant.

  2. Mrs. Frugalwoods July 11, 2014 at 11:25 AM

    I recently read “Lean In” as well–definitely good food for thought. Speaking of food, I’m a devout pizza lover and am jealous of your pizza plans…

    Enjoy the time with your family, I agree that family always tops the list of what I’m most grateful for!

    1. E.M. July 11, 2014 at 11:41 PM

      Glad I’m not the only one who enjoyed it! Haha, pizza is quite delicious, but I have to limit myself to once slice. Family is probably my top priority these days. We only get so much time to spend together.

  3. Tonya@Budget and the Beach July 11, 2014 at 11:53 AM

    Have fun in NY with the family! I’ve heard NY bagels are the best. I’m glad I don’t have that temptation here in LA! I miss my grandma’s cooking. She made the best Hungarian food. I can’t even find a Hungarian restaurant in LA. :( Probably good, as it’s that type of food is always loaded with sour cream. mmmmm

    1. E.M. July 11, 2014 at 11:39 PM

      Thanks! You’re right, not having the temptation anymore is probably a good thing. Bagels can be a special treat now! My mom’s side of the family is 100% Italian, so that’s pretty much their specialty. I’m surprised though, I figured LA had all the good restaurants!

  4. Traci July 11, 2014 at 1:18 PM

    I want to read Lean In as well–so many people are talking about it. And I’m always thankful for libraries! I currently have some fines I need to pay off though…

    It’s funny, I think everyone has their favorite bagel shop. Mine is…oddly enough, in Chicago! It’s a place that makes steamed bagel sandwiches which are incredibly unique and SO delicious. I crave it all the time.

    1. E.M. July 11, 2014 at 11:27 PM

      I thought it was a great read. It didn’t take too long either, which was great (since I can never find time to read anymore). I had honestly never really paid attention to Facebook so I wasn’t familiar with Sheryl, but she came off as very relatable.

      That sounds really interesting! I haven’t even seen a bagel shop in Charlotte, which makes me very sad. I haven’t had a bagel since I left NY.

  5. DC @ Young Adult Money July 11, 2014 at 9:33 PM

    I haven’t been to NY EVER! Hopefully that will change one of these days, even if it’s for work I’d be okay with that. I’m going to the cabin for a couple days and taking a couple days PTO at work. It should be nice!

    1. E.M. July 11, 2014 at 11:25 PM

      That does sound nice, have fun! NY is an interesting state in that it’s so diverse. Upstate is nothing like NYC, and Long Island feels very separate from everything else. I feel like a lot of people think of NYC automatically when they think of NY, but it’s so much more than that.

  6. Liz July 12, 2014 at 6:45 AM

    I finally just rented my first e-book from the library. I am a huge fan! No need to even go to the library. All you need is your computer and e-reader. Amazing. No big travel plans at this point. I’m out of town right now for a family wedding but it is a very short trip. We’ll be back tomorrow. I really wish we would have planned a trip or two!

    1. E.M. July 13, 2014 at 7:52 AM

      Exactly, I love it, it’s so easy! There’s still time to plan a weekend trip or two for the rest of the year. R and I are probably not taking a vacation until September/October.

  7. Shannon @ Financially Blonde July 12, 2014 at 10:22 AM

    I think there is nothing better on the planet that NY pizza and bagels and I always say that it’s the water. I worked in a bagel store on Long Island growing up and it is now a chain of about 5 stores and those bagels are still my favorite. Enjoy your family!!

    1. E.M. July 13, 2014 at 7:51 AM

      I’ve come to say it’s the water as well. I know water down south is nothing like what it is here. I grew up on Long Island (which is where I am now), but I have to admit I sometimes stay away from the chain stores as I find the bagels a little too commercial, if that makes sense. I think I tried Bagel Boss once and it was okay!

  8. Kassandra July 12, 2014 at 11:56 AM

    Take care of NY for me while I’m in Montreal and enjoy your holiday :)

    1. E.M. July 13, 2014 at 7:44 AM

      Haha, I will =). Enjoy your time there!

  9. Nicola July 12, 2014 at 12:28 PM

    Have fun in NY! We’re visiting for the first time later on this year and I’m excited :) bagels in NY is a must!

    1. E.M. July 13, 2014 at 7:43 AM

      Yes, definitely! The bagels can’t be beat.

  10. Melissa July 12, 2014 at 7:00 PM

    I LOVE pizza and bagels!! Just don’t black out in a sewer (like a boss…) Seriously though, my family is in town and I’m totally enjoying eating food I don’t typically eat with them too. It’s fun :)

    1. E.M. July 13, 2014 at 7:43 AM

      I can’t resist singing “Like A Boss” whenever it comes on my iPod =). Family and visiting is a great excuse to eat some stuff we otherwise don’t. I hope you continue having fun!

  11. debt debs July 13, 2014 at 12:18 AM

    Hope you’re having a great time, E.M.! Now I’ve got a craving for pizza or a bagel or both. Leaving Newark once, security said i had to put my purse into my carry on bag which was full. They said I could not have 2 bags and my purse was one. I can’t remember what I did but it included wearing a bunch of more clothes to make room in my suitcase. I thought the whole thing was stupid. The only good thing about it was that it delayed me going through security trying to organize everything and when I was finally ready to go through, Rosie Pope (Pregnant in Heels) and her husband and two kids were right in front of me. I didn’t talk to them (I was too shy) but I had fun eavesdropping. The only reason I noticed her was because of her voice. She has a half British / half lisp voice that is very recognizable. Have you ever seen her show? I don’t even know if it’s on anymore.

    1. E.M. July 13, 2014 at 7:38 AM

      Sorry about inducing some cravings! Baggage rules can be really silly. That’s how Spirit works, though. I took a spare purse, rolled it up, and put it in my backpack. I’ve actually never heard of Rosie Pope, but I don’t watch a lot of TV.

  12. Done by Forty July 14, 2014 at 12:09 AM

    I’ve never flown Spirit, but I’ll have to try it out sometime to see if we can bag some savings. Would you recommend the airline?

    Glad you get to spend some time back in NY. Enjoy your time there!

    1. E.M. July 14, 2014 at 8:54 AM

      It really depends. They charge fees for everything, which is why they offer lower fares. So we don’t select our seats, and we have to pack light to fit everything into an appropriate “personal item.” It’s a hassle, but if you already have a luggage that fits their dimensions, then it would probably be easier. My mom paid $52 to mark her bag as a carry-on, which I thought was ridiculous.

      They charge for everything on the flight, too. So you should pack food and drinks for the flight if it’s long.

      Basically, if you take the fees into account, it pretty much totals to the more expensive tickets, so you have to be committed to not paying any fees! My flying experience thus far has been pretty limited, though, so I can’t really compare it with other airlines.

  13. Ryan @ Impersonal Finance July 14, 2014 at 10:10 AM

    Happy Birthday! I’m probably the opposite of your mom on the baggage, as I will smash and stomp and alter any bag to fit so I don’t have to pay. I already hate flying enough as it is, so I would hate having to pay more to check a bag!

    1. E.M. July 14, 2014 at 6:27 PM

      Thanks Ryan! I kept telling her to just finagle it to fit if it came down to that, but she was too worried, so she ended up paying. That’s really where airlines can get you.

  14. Andrew@LivingRIchCheaply July 14, 2014 at 12:38 PM

    Welcome home to NY! And Happy Birthday! Just celebrated my son’s first birthday last Monday and drove up to Boston to celebrate my grandmother’s 92nd birthday this past weekend! So with Spirit charging for carry-ons…does it make getting into the plane any faster. One thing that drives me a little nuts is when people have HUGE carry on bags that really can’t fit the overhead compartment because they didn’t want to check it in. It usually holds up the line.

    1. E.M. July 14, 2014 at 6:26 PM

      Thanks! Happy 1st Birthday to little LRC and your grandma! Wow, 92 is great.

      I haven’t flown very much in my lifetime, but I don’t think so. We often sit in the back since we don’t choose our seats, and it’s still a pain to wait for people to get off and on. On the way up here, the couple in front of us had four pieces of luggage (2 in the overhead and 2 on their laps), which I was surprised to see!

  15. Lisa E. @ Lisa vs. the Loans July 14, 2014 at 5:18 PM

    I’m SUCH a nervous wreck when I’m flying, too! I’ve never flown Spirit, but I’ve heard mixed reviews. I’d rather fly JetBlue or Virgin, although their destinations are kind of limited.

    Happy birthday, EM!

    1. E.M. July 14, 2014 at 6:24 PM

      Thanks! I’ve heard many great things about JetBlue, but yeah, their destinations are pretty limited.

  16. Laurie @thefrugalfarmer July 15, 2014 at 8:01 AM

    The trip sounds fun – except for the thunderstorm part. :-) I’ve heard NY pizza is the best – maybe we’ll try it someday! Have fun on your trip, E.M. – you’ll be back home in Charlotte before you know it. Time flies when you’re having fun. :-)

    1. E.M. July 16, 2014 at 4:56 PM

      Thanks Laurie! I can’t believe that I’m already on the “second half” of my vacation – back at my parents house. And yes, you definitely have to try NY pizza one day!


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