Blog

I Found a Little Free Library!!!

Posted by Angela Diaz on April 4, 2014 at 7:25 PM Comments comments (0)

     For scoots and giggles I decided to take a different route home on my bicycle.  Right in my neighborhood just a few blocks from my home I found a Little Free Library! It was so neat! I've heard of this concept and seen examples online, but have never seen one in my own neighborhood. The neat things about these little libraries is you just open the little door and take whatever book you want. If you have a book you'd like to donate to the Little Free Library, you just put it in there.  After you read the book, you can return it...or not. No late fees, no due dates, no checking in and out. This is community at its best.  These Little Free Libraries run entirely on community. It's a wonderful way to keep book circulating in a community. 

     I made a point when I got home to put some used books in my bicycle bag. The next time I passed through there I placed some books in the library. Though there were no books in there at that time that I was interested in borrowing, it made me smile to browse through their little selection and it made me just as happy to be able to donate some books.


Shopping Antiques on Bike

Posted by Angela Diaz on January 5, 2014 at 1:00 AM Comments comments (0)

       Was going through some old pictures and came across these pictures from when I took a vacation day from work to hang around downtown last summer.  I vistited my favorite cafe, went to the library, and browsed through a bunch of antique shops.  While I was enjoying my day, I found this chair outside of an antique shop for five dollars. I sat in it and fell in love. It leaned back at such a nice angle and seemed to fit me like a glove.  I paid five bucks for it, strapped it onto my bike and brought it home where it fits in perfectly with our decor.  I try not to buy anything brand new if I can help it.  I love buying furniture from all kinds of places; antique stores, second hand stores, consignment shops, craigslist, etc.  One day I'll post a blog entry of all the different furniture I got through these various methods.  The nice thing about it is that I remember how I got each and every piece and each piece is individual.  One of my favorite pieces is a wood cabinet thingy that was outside in someone's trash. It was all scratched up, had a broke hinge, the shelf was missing the pegs that held it in place and the knobs were missing.  I saw potential though and took it home.  I asked my friend to restore it for me. He fixed it up and it is exquisite!  It looks like an expensive piece of furniture and I have it in my bedroom to store my book collection.  Honestly, he only spent a few hours fixing it up and it is amazing. I absolutely love this piece and I found it in the trash! Anyway, here are the pics of the day I found my favorite chair:

      

     Every time I see that chair I will remember my little personal vacation day.

Riding in Snow

Posted by Angela Diaz on January 5, 2014 at 12:45 AM Comments comments (0)

     We've been getting a lot of snow here in Pennsylvania this winter and it makes getting around very difficult.  My vehicle is horrendous in snowy conditions which is why I opt for my bicyle for in-town trips.  I wouldn't recommend getting around on bicycle in snowy weather for folks who are not very comfortable and confident on their bike.  It was years of riding before I felt I could do this.  Yes, I slipped, slid, and fish-tailed sometimes, but I had better control of the bike than I do of my car.  I also felt more in control of whether or not I could continue. If a car gets stuck, it has to find a way to keep going. It'll sit and spin it's tires in every direction, then you have to see if some good samaritans will help push your car to freedom, or, worst case scenario, you have to call a towing company.  On a bike, when I got stuck, I got off the bike and walked it until I found a good spot to get back on and ride again. Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy.  I did not have the tension and anxiety related to driving a car in horrible winter conditions.  So here are some pics I snapped when I got to downtown:


                                   



Biking to Work in 20 Degree Weather

Posted by Angela Diaz on November 21, 2013 at 10:35 PM Comments comments (0)

     Just thought I'd share quickly what I looked like recently when it was about 20 degrees out in the morning.  Again, I had a merino wool top and bottom base layer, wool socks and leather boots, a sweater and my jean jacket, a scarf and my helmet.  What I added were my good quality ski mittens and my balaclava face cover.  I did not feel a bit of the cold.  At stop signs and red lights I would pull my mask down, pull of my mitttens and blow on my hands to cool them down.  Seriously, I'm not lying to you, I did not feel cold at all.  I'm not a nutcase riding my bike out there in this cold.  It still feels invigorating and refreshing and I actually do like riding at this time of year.  After work it's pretty dark out and I put on a high-visibility vest that I got free from my job.  It looks horrid, but at least the cars can see me.  That's what's most important. 

     I think what I like most about riding in winter is that the winter doesn't seem so long and dreary.  We never get fresh air or time outside and enjoy the few hours of sunlight we get.  I get to be outside and see the sun every morning.  I even get about fifteen minutes of day time on my commute home before it gets dark all of a sudden.  If I run errands during my lunch break that's more outside time.  Think about it. Every winter in the past the only time I spent outside was when I was scurrying from my car to the inside of a building or from the inside of a building to my car.  No wonder so many people get depressed. You feel like you never see the light of day. Especially if you work first shift. It's dark when you leave in the morning and dark when you get home.

     Also please notice that instead of a water bottle in the bottle cage I have a Contigo travel mug.  I have piping hot coffee in that.  Contigo makes a great product.  I got a two-pack of these travel mugs from Costco for 20 bucks and it was well worth it.  Even after biking in 20 degree weather for haf an hour, my coffee was still hot.  The mug is completely spill-proof.  I love this mug, but because I try not to have more than what I need, I sold the other mug of this two-piece set to my envious co-worker for ten bucks.  I was going to buy a special travel mug holder that attaches to my bike's handlebars for fifteen bucks, but because I don't like spending money if I don't have to, I thought of alternatives.  I simply tried to see if my travel mug fits into my water bottle cage. Yes it does. Problem solved!

 

 

 

 

Biking to Work in 35 Degree Weather

Posted by Angela Diaz on November 12, 2013 at 7:20 PM Comments comments (0)

     Here's a quick snapshot of what I looked like leaving for work in the morning. Even though it's quite cold out, I don't feel it a bit.  To keep warm, I wear layers and dress appropriately for the weather. Simple as that. Just use some common sense.  Yesterday I was wearing ear warmers under my helmet, a base layer of merino wool blend (top and bottom), jeans and a sweater, a thick scarf and leather gloves, a jean jacket and leather boots.  This is my typical dress for days when the temps are around the thirties.  Tomorrow the temps will be in the twenties.  I'll dress very similarly except I'll be wearing ski mittens and a balaclava (those ski masks that cover your whole face except your eyes). 

     I actually find riding in the fall and winter invigorating and refreshing.  It's pretty funny how folks thing I'm so bad-ass to brave the cold weather, but I honestly don't feel it too much.  At red lights I'm pulling off my gloves and blowing on my hands because I actually overheat in all those layers.  That's okay, I'm okay with folks thinking I'm a bad-ass.  I'll go with that. LOL. 

 

Splits and Giggles Ice Cream Shop

Posted by Angela Diaz on November 10, 2013 at 8:35 PM Comments comments (0)

     One thing I love about riding my bicycle is that I notice things I don't notice when I'm driving my car.  I guess in a car you are going too fast to notice some things and when you do, you can't turn around to look for fear of rear-ending the car in front. You can't slow down. You have to keep up with traffic no matter what.  You know exactly what I'm talking about.  It's like seeing a yard sale and you can't stop.  You drive on wondering if they had anything good.  Finding a place to turn around and then looking for parking is too much hassle so you just keep going feeling bummed that you missed out on what looked like good stuff...and it was in the rich neighborhood too! LOL. 

       When I am on my bike and see a yard sale.  Stopping and checking it out is no problem whatsoever.  I don't affect traffic at all, I don't have to find parking, and I don't have to worry about finding a way to take my stuff home because my bike Lola carries just about anything.  I've found some amazing yard sale items while riding around running errands.  On one of these Saturday afternoons of running errands, I decided to take a different way home because there was road construction on my usual route.  I was on a street I hadn't been on in at least ten years when I noticed something colorful on the corner. Naturally, I rode over to see what it was. It looked like some kind of little corner shop.  When I got there, I saw it was the most adorable little ice-cream shop. It's called Splits and Giggles. How did I never see this? This shop is only a ten minute bike ride from my house, if even that!  I snapped a pic of the shop with Lola in front of it and headed for home knowing that I was going to come back with my children. 

     Sure enough, I told the kids about the shop I found and we all walked up later that day to check it out.  The shop was so cute and quaint.  They had home-made waffle cones, all kind of flavors, and great prices.  By great prices, I mean that a kids' cone was less than a dollar.  If I remember correctly, it was like $0.89.  An adult-size waffle cone was like $1.89 and it had too much ice-cream in it for me to finish myself.  The owners are really nice and this place is totally pet friendly.  They keep a dog bowl outside with water for dogs and they even have dog treats you can purchase in the shop for  your pooch.  This place is amazing!  You can sit inside and eat your delicious desert at one of two tables with high bar stools, or you can eat them outside on their cute little patio set. Oh, and they have all kinds of toppings you can pick from for like twenty five cents extra.  I mean anything from sprinkles, crushed cookies, Lucky Charms marshmallows, and almost anything else you can think of.  They have a long list of toppings. 

    Since I discovered this place last summer we have visited at least ten times.  Their flavors keep changing so we never know what to expect when we go in. It keeps us trying new things and I love it.  I'm the kind of person that when I try something I really like, I'll keep ordering the same thing every time I go.  Not in this place.  Once I tried red velvet cake ice-cream and next time I went, they didn't have any, so I tried mint chocolate chip.  That was awesome too.  Next time I went they had neither and I ended up trying their strawberry cheesecake ice-cream. OMG!  I'm writing about this place because one part of being frugal is exploring new places in your own neighborhood.  We found an amazing ice-cream shop within walking distance from our house that has great prices.  We don't have to spend a ton of money and go out of town to have a decent time.  I also feel good supporting local small business owners.  I want to keep going to this shop and letting everyone know about it so they get more business. This is the kind of business we want to keep in our neighborhoods.

 

Splitsandgigglesicecream.com

500 West Lemon Street, Lancaster, PA