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Welcome to This Awful/Awesome Life! My name is Frances Joyce. I am the publisher and editor of this magazine. We'll be exploring different topics each month to inform, entertain and inspire you. Meet new authors, sharpen your brain and pick up a few tips on life, love, entertaining and business. Enjoy and please share!

Looks like Paris will have to wait until next Year by Fran Joyce


My friends are going to exciting places all around the world and I’m repairing furnaces, replacing dishwashers, mini-vans and washing machines. It’s beginning to feel this way every year. Something always eats my vacation fund.

Has this ever happened to you?

Take charge and have a staycation instead.

There are a number of options for a staycation. You can take local day trips and go sightseeing downtown, biking or hiking in the woods. Plan an overnight camping trip in your own backyard and invite your friends. Have everyone bring food and drinks to share. Borrow some games for the yard and dig a fire pit if zoning permits.

If you aren’t much for the great outdoors, plan on doing some reading or binge watching of your favorite shows or shows you’ve never seen. Last year I watched a program from Finland with subtitles. It was fun to hear the show in its native Finnish and I actually learned a few words of the language (not that I remember them today).

The library has books, audio books, DVD’s and cd’s which can be checked out and there are always some fun and free summer events and lectures to attend.

Before your staycation starts, chop up some fruits and vegetables and store them in mason jars in your refrigerator. Prep a few meals and freeze them, so you don’t spend your staycation cooking and doing meal prep. Take advantage of a free or reduced trial offer for a food service and eat a couple of fancy meals during your staycation.

Plan a home spa weekend and pamper yourself. Give yourself a facial, mani/pedi, soak in the tub and deep condition those tresses. Rent a couple of exercise videos or take a couple of classes. Meditate or take a nap in the middle of the day. Make it all about you.

Perhaps its been a self indulgent year already and you want to give something back. Contact some area charities and offer to volunteer some of your time helping others. It’s amazing how great it can make you and someone who needs your help feel.

Green thumb? Spend your staycation sprucing up your yard. Find out if any of your friends will be thinning out their perennials and offer to take some off their hands, so you can create a one of a kind flower garden in your yard.

Last year I cut cable and I’m saving almost a hundred dollars per month. If you haven’t done so, you should consider it because the extra $1,000+ a year can help save your vacation or help you have a great staycation.

Vehicle Shopping with a Twist by Fran Joyce

Good Green News for July by Gail Neustadt