About La Vida Frugal
In 2014, at the ages of 41 and 46 respectively, my husband and I quit our jobs and set off to follow our passions, including travel, photography, and writing. In order to undertake this adventure, we needed to save money, invest, become more frugal, and downsize. You always have more stuff than you think you do! La Vida Frugal is focused on living simply and enjoying life on less money. Now we are on the hunt for a new place to call home. Who knows where we will end up.
I was born and raised in Iowa, and attended Iowa State University, where I received a BA in Journalism and Mass Communication. During college, I worked at the university book store, where I was known for my ability to track down nearly any book. The amazing thing is that I did this using the telephone and letters, since the internet was in its infancy. I also worked for my college newspaper, where I was known as The Movie Goddess for my prolific movie reviewing. I took a semester off to work as a production assistant on The Bridges of Madison County, helping to find the cars used in the movie. I didn’t have too many brushes with fame during that time, but I did panic a bit upon seeing Clint Eastwood in my rear-view mirror while backing out of a parking space on the set. It probably goes without saying that I managed to find the brake pedal.
After graduation, I moved to Southern California to work in film publicity. My first job was at the now-defunct Orion Pictures. My favorite part of the job was working at the movie premieres, where I had fun tasks like teetering on high heels while forging a path through a thick crowd for football legend and actor Jim Brown, who probably didn’t need my help. I also got a big laugh from the other publicists after I unexpectedly emerged from Jared Harris’ limo after he decided to walk to the party from the movie screening. Hey, we had to get the limo over to the party anyway!
After I met my husband, we ended up in the San Francisco bay area in 2001. I spent the first four months commuting from Palo Alto to a job in Sausalito, which took me right through San Francisco and across the Golden Gate Bridge. After a month, I’d had enough, and was looking for a job closer to home. By some stroke of luck, I ended up working with the most amazing group of people in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Stanford University, and stayed there for 12 years, until I decided to leave the 9-to-5 workforce.
With my newly-acquired free time, I am writing a young adult dystopian novel. I’m also participating in lots of fun things that I never had time for, such as bookbinding and genealogical research. I even signed up for a beekeeping class, which is a bit shocking since I’m scared of bees! Of course, I’ll also bring you all along on my quest to save money and share my struggle to have a little stuff as possible.