Enjoying Vacation

Polka Spot Farm goes on on a Simple Living Vacation

This week I’m in Gulf Shores, AL. We have rented a beach house here for the week, and enjoying it immensely. I know this doesn’t sound like a Simple Vacation, but when you look at things a little closer, we are on our way to a more simple vacation.

One of the biggest things we are doing this week is eating in. Our budget was just bombed with a huge expense that we were not expecting, but the return rate is huge on that expense. We were only planning on eating out once or twice and ordering pizza once. Now we are only cooking. This has helped our budget by at least $200. Eating at at the beach house also allows for more swimming time in the pool, and family conversation even if we have two tables that seat 4 each and a bar that the girls enjoy sitting behind.

The next thing is that we are walking across the street to the beach to enjoy the sun and surf. Ok, you may ask why this is simple? Well it would cost us $5 a day to park at the beach, and even more if we rented chairs and umbrellas.

Laundry is a breeze. All of the towels are hung from the banisters of the many balconies we have here. Yeah it looks a little odd, but everyone around does this, and it cuts down on the electricity use. We do bathing suits the same way, and normally just rinse them in the sink or tub first, and normally while taking a shower.

As always, bring some extra bags. You know, the reusable grocery bags, tote bags and such. These are great for packing a towel and sunscreen and water bottle to the beach, or picking up seashells or hermit crabs. This is all on top of your normal shopping at souvenir shop, produce market or grocery store.


Top 10 Simple Living Blogs

I am always looking for new ways to live more simply. The idea came way before I ventured into the blogging world, but since I’ve jumped into these muddy waters, I’ve found some great guidance along the way. When these people speak, I always listen up. No, I don’t follow everything word for word, but the spirit of their word really sticks. I must not be the only person to think that way, one of these has over a half a million people reading every day.

  1. Down to Earth: Rhonda lives in Australia and has become a simple living rock star worldwide. She shares every activities such as bread making, knitting, organic gardening and needlework. She also shares the best collection of soap making and frugal cleaning recipes that I have found online.
  2. Mother Load: Amy is the founder of Mom Advice. I must admit that I first heard of Amy on a national morning show quite some time ago. Amy features things that any mom, or non-mom can use such as recipes, freebies, financial help and much much more. My favorite day of the week is Wednesdays because of Amy’s Notebook, a collection of links that she shares for simple living resources found in the blogging world.
  3. Simple Mom: Live simply, stay sane. Life Hacks for home managers. That’s the tag line for this blog, and it really sums it up nicely. While checking out this blog, be sure to check out her downloadable Daily Docket. It is a lifesaver in my house.
  4. Flylady: If you don’t known it yet, Marla isn’t a blogger, but the biggest expert out there on simple living and home organization. She has the largest yahoo group out there, and a huge following. She’s a world renowned author, public speaker and mentor. For many families in this world she is an angel in disguise. She has resources for menu planning, daily routines, exercising and much more.
  5. Zen Habits: A blog dedicated to simple living, productivity, organization, family, and simplicity. If you are wanting to take the stress out of your life, read Leo’s blog. I’ve found so many of his tips that help take the stress out of my life.
  6. Put Things Off: Nick will help you work smarter, play harder and kill time. He’s the author of a wonderful e-book ToDoodList which will help you in your everyday and long term plans and the biggest thing for me is that he has the best system for keeping your inbox clear. Nick subscribes to the Moleskine instead of the PDA phone idea. Pencil and paper have never failed us, why pick up something that needs recharging?
  7. The Simple Dollar: Trent describes his blog as a exploration of personal finance, and after hitting financial Armageddon, he is trying to get a grip on his spending habits. He shares his many tips with the world even down to homemade laundry detergent.
  8. Soule Mama: This blog celebrates family, and most especially children and their mothers. Amanda has so many wonderful crafts and activities to share with your children. This is a must read for anyone with bored children this summer.
  9. Wise Bread: Wouldn’t we all love to live large on a small budget? I know that I would, and really its all I’ve got! This community of writers shows you everything from never having to buy ketchup again and how to stop paying for everything you buy twice. The posts are as varied as the writers and readers. What a wonderful community!
  10. Well there isn’t a ten, not yet. Please comment about your favorite Simple Living Blog, and we can add more simplicity to all of our lives. There are hundreds of blogs out there, speak up!

This article was written by Christi Wheat for www.PolkaSpotFarm.com and republished at Associated Content