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What is the one plastic card that is useful for party planning that doesn’t have the ability to hurt your credit score? Your library card! That’s right, my library card is one of my most valuable and inexpensive party planning resources. Read below to see how I discovered this precious resource and tips on how to easily find party books in your local library!

I’m a pretty avid reader and earlier in life I learned that having a passion for books could become a rather expensive hobby when you read as much as I do. I became a regular library patron in college when I learned that (for some reason) Ole Miss had an extensive John Grisham collection.

So when I moved to Dallas a priority was to find the closest public library. In a stroke of luck, I learned that the largest library in Dallas was just across the street from my office! About once a month I trek my way across City Hall’s concrete laden plaza, past the hobos and pigeons, over to the Dallas Public Library to browse for new books and enjoy a lunch out of the office.

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Today I want to share some of my favorite magazines. I’ve also listed a few that I’m thinking of trying out. Leave your own reviews of the magazines listed here and let me know if there are any other must-subscribe mags out there that I’ve missed!

My Favorite Magazines

  • Real Simple– I have subscribed to Real Simple since I was 18. While it addresses many issues I’m not yet  facing – kids, in-laws, aging, etc. –  it is cross generational enough to keep my interest. I love the simplicity of their ideas and inspiration! Only one complaint: I have been rather unimpressed with the few recipes I’ve tried from this mag. They may be quick and easy but they aren’t always that tasty!
  • Martha Stewart Living – I started getting living when Martha’s new mag, Blueprint, was cancelled. I skip through the gardening parts but there are always great entertaining and decorating ideas. I rarely cook any of the recipes but the few I have tried have turned out really well.
  • Budget Travel – This is truly a multi-generational magazine. It is a great resource for travel planning, and it provides a great escape from everyday life! The different features give great ideas on non-traditional vacations and smart money-saving travel tips.

Magazines to Try

Here are a few more mags I have been thinking of trying but am not sure if I would enjoy. Does anyone subscribe to these? Please leave a comment and give me your feedback!

  • Domino – I don’t know much about this one other than it is a decorating magazine focused on younger readers.
  • Every day with Rachael – From what I gather this mag is focused on recipes. Is that true? Or is there more to it? Keep in mind, I’m not a great cook and don’t tend to try things with more than 5 ingredients.
  • The Nest – It looks so cute but I am worried it is too centered on newlyweds. (I’m very single!) I’ve never actually bought a copy so I don’t really know.

UPDATE: I emailed the editors of the three “to try” magazines listed above. I promptly recieved a reply from the Editorial Assistant at The Knot. She provided this description of “The Nest”:

The Nest Magazine is a controlled-circulation lifestyle publication for newlyweds and is not sold on newsstands. So who gets it in their mailbox? Members of our sister site,, who have just gotten hitched. The good news is,  you can get all the great content from our magazine on, plus so much more. We have everything from home-buying and money advice to easy dinner recipes and décor tips, plus tons of relationship articles. You’ll also form online friendships on our addictively fun message boards. Become a member (it’s free!) of

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