This is One of Those Posts Where I Get Personal

If you’re new here, welcome! Frugal Mama is growing, so I want to throw open the doors and say to my new readers and e-mail subscribers, “Come on in!”

I love knowing you all are there, listening, nodding, or chiming in. I wish I could offer you a chair and a glass of lemonade, but for now, connecting through the air will have to suffice. I really love reading your comments and I do my best to respond to every one.

Even though I mostly write about ways that save money and make people happy, I occasionally dedicate a post to what’s going on in my life, especially when big changes are a brewing.

It’s Time to Get Out the Boxes Again

If you’ve been here for a while, then you know that this week we are moving. After having hung our potholders in kitchens from Italy and Arlington to New York City and Syracuse, we are finally settling down. Hallelujah!

My husband, Enrico, is done with his career transformation. He was qualified in public health, but he is now trained to be a psychiatrist — an adult, child, and forensic one at that. (And even if there is another kind of psychiatry, he’s not allowed to study it!)

I feel a little penny-wise and pound-foolish admitting this, but we will be resting our rolling stone in Washington, D.C. I know the hard way that D.C. is one of the most expensive housing markets, but . . . it’s as close to my family in Ohio as my citified Euro husband was going to get, we have friends there, and we like it. A lot.

We Bought Our Very First House!

The bright side of having to sell my hair (and future generations of hair) to buy a house is that I will have plenty of reasons to continue a frugal living blog.

I was going to wait until the closing to show you the house, but I can’t wait, so here it is!

And by the way, it’s just the skinny pointy one in the center. (We barely scraped enough together to get it, or else we would have bought the one next to it too.) No, but seriously, I really like living close to other people. New York is thrilling, but the good thing about D.C. is that it still has room for grass and flowers.

After having rented my whole life, I knew that getting our own house would be fun, but I had no idea it would be this emotional. The house is like my new baby: I’m so proud to be given the responsibility of taking care of it. I hope to do a good job!

Journeying Back to Our Roots

One thing we won’t be unpacking next week is our suitcases. Five days after we move in, we are going to visit Enrico’s family in Italy. We haven’t been back in a few years and, since Enrico is through with his relentless training schedule, it was a good time to fit in a three-week visit before he started his new job.

We’re going to spend most of the time at a beach. (It’s still hard for me to chill out in the sand when Italy is full of crooked Medieval castles, but some people are clearly better at living la dolce vita than I. Plus, Enrico’s family, like other Italians, insist that the sea air will prevent us from getting sick for the rest of the year and make our children grow. Hey, if they’re right, then this vacation is worth every penny!)

We’ll be enjoying the saltwater in Sardinia, in honor of Enrico’s late mother whose family harkens from this large island north of Sicily and right under France’s Corsica. We’ll also spend a few days in Milan, where Enrico grew up and where our daughters, Sofia and Virginia, were born.

Then it’s back to D.C. for a few days to shake off our jet lag and take a road trip back to Ohio for an all-American family reunion. My cousins haven’t somersaulted on our family “farm” since they were kids, so it will be fun to see the next generation cook up their own shenanigans.

No Summer Vacation (Not Really) for Frugal Mama

As Beth suspected in the comments of my last post, I’ve been a bit of a Manic Mama recently, trying to get articles written ahead of time, all the while coordinating the move (and, um, knocking off a year’s worth of dentist appointments in a span of two weeks). Thank God for adrenaline. And coffee. And all right, some chocolate too.

I have a new understanding of the adage, “If you need something done, ask a busy person.” Chores or errands that have been niggling in the back of my mind for months and months are getting crossed off in lightning speed. I guess there are some upsides to moving.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be posting about twice a week with some pre-written posts, Wordless Wednesday photo journals, some great guest posts, and stuff I think you’ll like that I’ve published at Parentables. Although it will be good for me to go a little unplugged, I’ll be checking in frequently, and I always love to hear from you.

You Don’t Really Have to Like Me

One last thing: if you like the kinds of things I share here, I hope you’ll take a sec and “like” Frugal Mama on Facebook. Facebook is increasingly a place where people share good things with each other, and I would be honored to be on your list. And if you haven’t already subscribed for free by e-mail, what are you waiting for? Do it now.

Well, I think that about covers it. If I happened to leave questions unanswered, please feel free to shoot me a comment and I’ll make sure to answer you!

Thank you again for being my reader. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, you are my inspiration!

All my best,

Share this post:


  • M.T. June 23, 2011, 8:06 am

    Best of luck with the move and all those wonderful vacations! It looks like a beautiful house :)

    • Amy June 23, 2011, 10:38 am

      Thank you M.T.!

      You’ll have to come visit sometime.


  • Amy June 22, 2011, 1:49 pm

    You are wise beyond your years, Nihara! How did you know I was going to try to get everything done as soon as possible?

    Thanks for the reminder to stop and smell the flowers.


  • Nihara June 22, 2011, 11:51 am

    What a wonderful house! It’s the beginning of a lifetime of memories:)

    I’ll never forget when we moved into our home, a big yellow house in the country. We have been so happy and enjoyed so many special times in our two short years here.

    There is so much to do in a new home that it can be easy to get caught up in the madness of hanging pictures and unpacking boxes. My advice? Take it nice and slow and savor the process ofaking your house a home:)

    Safe travels!

  • elizabds June 22, 2011, 8:04 am

    GORGEOUS house. CONGRATULATIONS! Finally settled. YIPPIE for you!!

    • Amy June 22, 2011, 10:37 am

      Thanks Eliza. Can’t wait to breathe that huge sigh of relief when we are finally settled and cozy.

      Take care,

  • tina June 21, 2011, 11:57 pm

    hey amy,

    can’t wait to welcome you back to the area and share my frugal dining/shopping hot spots with you!!!!

    v. cute house, btw.


    • Amy June 22, 2011, 10:37 am

      Hi Tina,

      I can’t wait for you to share your frugal dining and shopping tips with me too. We’re going to need them!

      Thanks, Tina.


  • Jung June 21, 2011, 10:47 pm

    I like your posting. Very nice home in the new place. I am very excited to hear from you with italian beach photos. Have a good and relaxed time!

    • Amy June 22, 2011, 10:36 am

      Hi Jung,

      I’m glad you said you were interested in the beach photos, because I was wondering if anyone would be. I promise to post them!

      Thank you for writing,

  • Michelle June 21, 2011, 10:32 pm

    It’s a lovely home, Amy. May you and your family have many years of happiness there!

    • Amy June 22, 2011, 10:35 am

      So sweet, Michelle. Thank you. Now it will be easier to stay in touch. We’ll miss Abingdon.

      You’re doing such a great job,

  • Liz_L June 21, 2011, 10:07 pm

    Congratulations on the new house and the last move (for a long time, at least). I can’t believe that you’ve already been away from NYC for a year. Buon viaggio!

    • Amy June 22, 2011, 10:32 am

      Hi Liz,

      I know, we miss our friends in New York! Thank you for your well wishes. Hopefully we’ll be back to visit soon!


  • Kate Z June 21, 2011, 10:01 pm

    Good luck with the move! And enjoy making your new house feel like home, you’re so good at it by now! :)

    • Amy June 22, 2011, 10:32 am

      Thanks Kate! Yes, pretty good at it. Thank God for my mom’s decorating touch!

      Take care,