Sunday, August 16, 2015

How I spent a ridiculously low amount on new clothes

Guess how much money I spent on 13 new items of clothing the other weekend?

I'll give you a hint: It's lower than you think.

And that's because I'm frugal (and I wouldn't have it any other way).

I generally don't like to spend money or buy new things in the first place (stamps and stationery are fine, though!), so it won't come as a surprise that when I do shop, I buy my clothes secondhand. In Wisconsin, Goodwill and St. Vinnies are my go-to's. While living in Madrid, I shopped at Humana, and in Korea I had good luck at the outdoor flea markets. In addition to the low cost, I love that I don't have to worry about shrinking, and it feels good to find real steals and treasures.

I know I'm this way because of how I was raised and our financial situation growing up. As a child, I'd get my older sister's hand-me-downs, and remember trips to the big Goodwill just off the Beltline in Madison with dad and all of us kids.

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Saturday, August 15, 2015

Resolutions Checkpoint 2015: June + July

Well, folks, I completely missed my checkpoint at the end of June.

And then again at the end of July...

But it's never too late to reflect and realign! So here we go:

June + July Progress

1. Reach a high intermediate level of French.

I did not do each of the bullet points I'd had in my May Checkpoint post, but I did finish reading "James and the Giant Peach" (in French) by June 15 as I'd wanted to. I obviously continued using and learning French throughout June, but it simply wasn't as structured as I'd planned.

But I have officially reached an intermediate level of French! When I finished my six weeks of class, I got a certificate from my school, and they said I'm at the B1 level (low-intermediate). I have a long ways to go before that'll become high intermediate (I don't even have all the A1/A2 stuff down, guys), but I have a much stronger base (and motivation) to continue learning, which makes it easier to progress.

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Friday, August 14, 2015

Touring the cheese caves of Roquefort (and a surprise architectural wonder)

On my final Sunday in Montpellier at the end of June, Damien's parents took us to Roquefort, where Roquefort cheese is produced (sheep milk blue cheese). Here's a quick map to see where it lies in comparison to Montpellier, about an hour and a half away.

Montpellier to Roquefort map

The area has many natural caves, which is where Roquefort matures on shelves—down in the year-round moist, cool climate.

Roquefort, France

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