Let’s Go Look at Things We Can’t Afford: Living the High Life on a Budget

Today was a day of mishaps, but I did take away one big important lesson.  The “high life” really isn’t that far out of reach. Depending on your outlook, of course.  Look, I’ll show you.

Nick and I both had the day off so we set out to fill it with fun and games.  First on the agenda:

We’d heard of the ice skating on the roof of Whole Foods for the past few years and never made it out.  It’s the giant world headquarters of Whole Foods in the middle of downtown Austin.  Put an ice rink on top?  Instant winter fun.

But, when we actually showed up it was not quite as grand as we’d hoped.  Though the building is huge, the ice rink was constrained to a very small corner of the roof and it was overrun with small children and highschool girls. Yikes.  Not quite the movie-ready moment we were hoping for.

So we popped inside.  “Let’s just go and look at things we can’t afford.”

For those who aren’t familiar with it, Whole Foods is a grocery chain that sells only natural and organic foods.  They aren’t outrageously expensive but on our measly post-grad salaries, it’s a bit of a stretch to say we could afford to feed ourselves for a week by shopping in there. One day… One day…

But all was not lost. We did happen upon a case of delicious bite-size desserts that we couldn’t pass up.  $2 cake balls?  We’ll take them. Plus, anything is instantly made fancier by shrinking the portion size and putting it in fluted paper. There you go, living the high life!

Energized, we took to the streets.  Just across the block we spotted our next window shopping destination.  West Elm.

The minute you walk into that place you are bombarded with $200 desk lamps, $700 sofa cushions and more.  If we can’t afford organic food, well, you get the picture.  But it was fun to browse and pretend to be that young up and coming couple shopping for a posh downtown condo.

We meandered though the setup, discussing our dream living room setup and balking at price tags. Then, a light shone down from heaven on the one thing that could make a purchase a tangible reality.  The ‘Sale’ sign.

It stood over a huge stand of zodiac coffee mugs (which I would have walked away with had they had the Aquarius mugs in stock) but lo and behold, I managed to dig up a pair of beautiful decorative plates.  Okay, laugh if you must.  Nick did.  But I was so excited. For $2.97 a piece, I got…these, and who decorates their window sills with plates?  People living the high life, that’s who.

I love deer.

So how do you end a day that didn’t go as planned?  The movies.  Alamo Drafthouse it was, dinner and a movie all in one place.  Upon arrival, we should have recognized this lovely message adorning the theatre wall as a sign…

The movie had sold out.  Wow.

So we headed home, heated up some cans of soup for dinner and regrouped.  Don’t worry, we ended up at the movies anyway.  The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, which was fantastic by the way, and don’t even get me started on the incredible opening credit sequence. We even found a movie theatre that had a full-scale Starbucks inside, made even better by the fact that a latte was literally half the price of a 12 oz. soda.  Does that seem backwards to anyone else?  Who cares.  High life!

The moral of the story? You can live the high life without spending your life’s savings. Just go out, have fun, be open to what may come…and look for sale signs. 🙂

Then, back to our humble home for something that no amount of money can buy.

Kitten Love


3 thoughts on “Let’s Go Look at Things We Can’t Afford: Living the High Life on a Budget

  1. Be comforted by the fact that everyone else in West Elm is doing the exact same thing… “the young up-and-coming couple” is hard to find these days. A big reason those condos downtown aren’t selling like the investors had hoped.

    • That’s very true. Maybe there will be a big chain reaction. Property owners will realize, condo prices will drop, becoming affordable and the young up-and-coming couples will make a come back at a lower price point.

  2. Oh this is wonderful! The kitchen department at marshalls is my favorite! Always grabbing cute little plates to display my cupcakes on.

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