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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Is This All There Is?


Growing up, my number one goal was to be the first woman president. So much so, that I would sometimes get nervous that someone would beat me to it (looking at you Hillary), and I felt so anxious and excited to get started on my political career path.

As I moved on to middle school and high school, I decided I’d much rather be a writer. I love words, and I love to read, so I created visions in my head of myself in coffee shops a la JK Rowling struggling to survive as I completed my masterpiece.

Then along came college. I guess I should have majored in poli sci or English, but they just seemed impractical and self-indulgent. So I stuck with econ, as my parents urged me to do, even though it felt more logical then lighting me on fire with passion.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

4 Ways to Save on Holiday Gifts




Like most basic chicks, I loveee the holidays in an obnoxious already-have-a-christmas-tree-listening-to-christmas-music-non-stop kind of way. I love family traditions, giving gifts to the people I love, and obvi seasonally appropriate beverages.

Between holiday travel, impulses scented candle buys at Target, and my very large list of people I holiday shop for, budgeting during the holidays is extremely important to me. Today, I’m sharing four ways to save for the holidays.



11)   Make a list and check it twice: Too cheesy? Sorry. I find it so helpful to make a list of everyone I hope to buy gifts for, write an estimation of how much I will spend next to their name, and add it all up. I try to do this about a month or two beforehand so I can start saving up accordingly.

22)   Ebates or Swagbucks (affiliated link programs): Not sure how much y’all know about using Ebates or Swagbucks when buying items online but they are AWESOME.  Basically you create an account at either website, go to their site and then click whatever online store you want to go to. Once you purchase something you get either cash back sent to you as a check with ebates or “swagbucks’, which are basically points that you can redeem for paypal cash or gift cards. I use both for different things, and it rocks. It definitely doesn’t add up to too much, but hey, any little bit helps J. Full Disclosure: if you click either link and sign up, I get a referral bonus. If ya don't want to do that you can just go to either site, ebates.com or swagbucks.com. 

33)   Shopkick: This app gives you ‘kicks’ for walking into certain partner stores. You can redeem those kicks for gift cards and prizes. It definitely takes a while to get enough kicks for any rewards, but it’s free money for shopping, so what the heck. Full disclosure, I’m actually not too, too impressed with this app, but I did just get enough kicks for a $25 Sephora card, so I can’t complain. (same deal with the referral link) 

44)   Rewards programs: This can mean a variety of things so lets break it down. There are rewards programs like Sephora or Ulta: not linked to a credit or debit card, but just a store program that rewards you as you spend. Then there are store credit/debit cards like at Target, Macy’s or Nordstrom. This one requires some research because generally getting a department store credit card is a very bad idea, but I personally have a Nordstrom card just linked to my debit card, so I don’t have to worry about any crazy interest rates or anything. Finally, there is just the straight up rewards program that your bank/debit/credit card might offer. Once you have these three distinct types of rewards programs in mind you can do your research for which will reward you the best and/or combine rewards programs. For instance, let’s say you have a credit card that gives you cash back on everything you spend and you have an ulta rewards card. You could use your credit card with your ulta rewards card for double savings. For extra smart savings, buy online and use an affiliate link on top of all those savings!

Whew, sorry that last one was so long. I hope this helps you out during the holidays, happy shopping!!

p.s. Bonus suggestion: try bing rewards and you can earn gift cards just for searching things online…takes forever though, just fyi! 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

How to Shop for a Baby Shower



There are a lot of things you have to suddenly learn how to do in your early twenties—manage your money, ask for a raise, cook and grocery shop for yourself—the list could go on and on. Speaking of lists or listicles, if you will (love that word), there seem to be absolutely no shortage of  “10 things to know how to do before you turn 23” or “10 things you should have down by age 25”…I hate to add one more thing to these lists because I know this is, like, a lot to take in, but here it is
            
11) How to buy a baby shower gift

If we’re being honest, the idea of buying a gift for an occasion that seems so removed from anything I’m close to experiencing was very intimidating to me, initially.  Not only do I not really know what expecting parents want or need, but also people can be, rightfully so, very picky about what kind of products they want their baby to have.

I put together a couple of dos and don’ts that I hope will help you if you find yourself lost and wandering the target baby section (aka me like three weeks ago)


Sunday, November 9, 2014

I Heart Haters Playlist

It feels like I always forget somethinggg when I go to the gym--whether it's my water bottle, my sneakers (seriously), a sports bra, or a hair tie, it always sucks. But the absolute worst thing to forget, in my opinion, is my headphones. I seriously struggle to even complete a fifteen minute work out if I can't crank up the volume on some sick beatz (in the words of t. swift). 

I've found that the music that really gets me going on my work-outs is music that I've classified as "hater music". What I mean by that is, the theme to my favorite work out songs is someone telling their haters what's up. It just makes me run a little bit faster if I'm pretending I'm proving myself to people who doubted me. 

Though I don't really have any "haters" it's easy to pretend I do when I listen to the playlist below. This playlist runs for over a half hour--plenty of time to break a sweat and send your haters (real or imaginary) packing. 



Anyone else a fan of "hater music" at the gym? What's your favorite song to work out to? 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Not Eczactly a Great idea


I thought about simply glossing over the fact that I haven’t blogged in a week because I’m pretty embarrassed by my explanation, but I figure what could be more embarrassing than this, so here we go…

Something I haven’t discussed on this blog is that I have pretty severe eczema, which is a chronic skin condition that gives me itchy rashes all over my body periodically and randomly.  These rashes can be worsened by food allergies, environmental allergies, sweat, and pretty much just existing on this planet. It’s SO fun.

 I have tried practically everything to alleviate the symptoms—cutting foods out of my diet, cold showers only, no fragrances, only wearing cotton—and still I get these uglyyy splotches just about every month. I recently read on the internet about a method I surprisingly hadn’t tried where you wash your infected areas with Tar Shampoo.  Of course, even on the unreliable internet, there were many warnings about first asking a doctor before attempting this method. I’ll give you one guess whether I heeded that warning…

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Real Review: May Designs


About a week ago, I did a post about things that bug me about how bloggers make money. One thing that I didn’t include because it isn’t a way they make money, per se, is reviews of products that they receive for free. 

Again, it’s not that I don’t understand why companies want to market their products this way AND duh, if I were a famous blogger, I wouldn’t mind free stuff showing up on my door step, but as a reader, it makes it hard to know which reviews are genuine and which are just fueled by the desire for sponsorship. 

 I’m thinking of starting a series of REAL reviews. These are products I’ve spent my money on and my real thoughts on them—the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Kickin’ this potential series off with some off the most instagrammable planners around: Maybooks by May Designs.

In August, I purchased two Maybooks, an academic planner (still pretending I’m in college) and a budget notebook, during their 50% off sale. I got a monogram on the academic planner because I’m #basic af, so my total was $29.40. Here they are:


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

#TBT Shel Silverstein Edition


To celebrate #Throwbackthursday,  I’m honoring a favorite childhood author of mine, Shel Silverstein. I was first introduced to Mr. Silverstein by my first grade teacher, who was an absolute rock star. She read us poems from Falling Up each morning before we started the day. I have a vivid memory of our class begging her every single day to read Christmas Dog. No matter the season and no matter how many times we heard it, we howleddd with laughter each time she read “I’m barking, I’m growling, I’m biting his butt”! I remember crying with excitement when my mom gifted me my very own copy of Falling Up that Christmas, and it wasn’t long before the pages began to nearly fall out of the binding as I read each poem over and over again.

image via

Saturday, October 18, 2014

3 Gripes About How Bloggers Make Money


I’m not a famous blogger….duh. I don’t have sponsors banging down my virtual door for me to post things, I have basically no insta followers, and I don’t use rstyle links. This blog is not a #sidehustle for me to supplement my pitiful entry-level job income. But I do read a lot of other blogs. Like a lot. And many are famous bloggers who make a lot of money via the aforementioned methods. Like a lot.

Generally, I don’t have much of a problem with this. I like reading blogs, and in order for people to put the effort into creating content, I get that there needs to be a monetary reward. There are some times when it’s annoying though. Let me list them because I’m a MiLlEnIaL*~ and I can only communicate my thoughts in list form.

1)   Duringthe shopbop friends and family sale:  My entire bloglovin’ feed this week was filled with style and lifestyle bloggers rushing to tell me that shopbop is having it’s semi-annual sale. It seems innocent enough, but my problem is this. It’s not original—literally every other fashion blogger is doing it—and it’s really effing obvious that they’re all doing it for the affiliate link clicks. If a blogger were to mention the sale as a part of a bigger post about say, investment pieces, I’d buy into these type of posts more. At this point it just is lazy. My other problem is that I don’t believe you have 85 favorite picks from the sale. I think you are just trying to trick me into clicking at least one of your pretty images so you can make money off of me. Pick your ACTUAL favorites, you fakers!

2)   When a brand makes the rounds: I HATE when I see the same item or same designer peddling their products to like fifty bloggers at the same time. I don’t need to see sixteen posts about how to style a Kate Spade Beau bag within the same two week period. It actually really turns me off those brands. That being said, my boyfriend works in media planning, and I understand that brands use special formulas and data to reach out to certain demographics via different bloggers, it’s just annoying and again, comes off as not genuine.


3)   When a sponsor does not blend with a blogger’s persona: I would compare this situation to Mcdonald’s being an official Olympic sponsor. Like sorry, but a blogger who wears exclusively designer duds being sponsored by Old Navy rubs me the wrong way. I’m not falling for that! Do a post about mixing expensive items with more affordable pieces, or actually prove to me that you wear those pieces outside of the one post that you received compensation for.

So that’s all I got. Is there anything that bothers you about the way bloggers make money? 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

#BlameMercury


Do you ever have a week where you just feel completely off for no reason at all? When there is no other word to describe your mood but: fussy? That was me last week. I skipped all five of the workouts I scheduled for myself, blew my roommate off for our laundry date in order to lay in bed and watch criminal minds, and just generally was a veryyy crabby lady all week. 

I couldn’t put my finger on what was going on with me. I wanted to blame homesickness…but I literally JUST bought a ticket home, so I don’t think it’s that. It’s not hormonal (always with the TMI on S&A). And I actually had a good week work-wise. By Friday I was grasping at straws looking for something to blame my bad mood on, when I finally found the perfect scapegoat.  Now technically Mercury wasn’t retrograde until Wednesday, but whatever, I just got a head start on the craziness to come.


To be honest, I actually didn’t technically know what Mercury retrograde was before I started blaming my attitude on it, but I figured if I’m going to use this excuse for two weeks, I should at least be able to explain it. According to about.astrology.com, Mercury retrograde is an optical illusion caused by Mercury slowing down and appearing from earth to be moving backwards.

In astrology, Mercury is the messenger so this becomes a time of little mishaps that can cause us to get frustrated. The silver lining is, Mercury retrograde provides a time for us to see things in a new way and to gain different perspective and insight on the past.

Now I’m not saying I totally buy into all this astrology stuff, but it sure is nice to not only have a two-week justification for my mood or my mistakes, but also to actually use this time, as suggested, to embrace new perspectives and ideas.

p.s. here’s a cute guide for how to survive

Friday, October 10, 2014

Why Do We Hate Read?

Like most of you, I have a morning routine that I have fallen into during the two months at my new job. I wake up, contemplate calling in sick, press snooze sixty two times, get ready in three minutes, climb into my car, and…turn my radio to The Woody Show and hate listen for the next forty minutes while I sit in traffic. The Woody Show is a morning talk radio segment on 98.7 that truly boils my blood—most of the segments are sexist or offensive in some way and all of them are just plain dumb. But each morning I faithfully tune in and let myself get more and more riled up. I hadn’t thought much about my strange compulsion to “hate listen” until I was complaining to a good friend of mine for the umpteenth time about something Woody had said, and he asked me: “Why don’t you just stop listening?”

And so I tried. I vowed to never again contribute to the high ratings of that particularly horrendous morning show. But…I couldn’t do it. Within a week, I was back at it; happily hate listening away, but this time keeping my anger to myself so as not to be called out again. This whole failed experiment got me thinking: why do we “hate listen” “hate read” or in the case of facebook “hate stalk”?


I realized that The Woody Show is far from the only thing that I love to hate. I have a few blogs and columnists that I hate read, and I’m definitely more prone to fb/twitter/instagram stalk people I don’t like. I know I’m not alone in this. One, my very liberal dad has been hate listening to Rush Limbaugh for years, much to my mom’s annoyance. And, two, there is an entire site called Get Off My Internets pretty much dedicated to airing grievances about bloggers that people hate read. I can’t seem to figure out what exactly it is that compels me (and everyone else) towards this irrational behavior. Do we like being annoyed or angry? Does it make us feel good to point out another person's irrationality or irritating habits?  Do we feel vindicated when that blogger we hates post something stupid again because HA we were sooo right about them? Or are we just eagerly awaiting their downfall...

Any ideas anyone? I’m hoping if I figure out what’s driving this maybe I could stop it…not likely. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Gone Girl


Everyone and their mom is talking about Gone Girl including, in fact,  my mom who is currently pissed at me for ruining the movie for her because I called her after I finished the book and told her the whole plot. I feel bad, and I wouldn’t have done it if I had known that it would become this super popular movie, but the thing about this effed up tale is after you read or see it—you’ve GOT to talk about it.  The characters are so twisted and conniving and, frankly, real that it’s almost as if you have to purge the story from your mind before it stays in there too long—and I mean that in a good way if you can believe it. 

image via

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

No Shop Check-In



Ahh, at last, October is here. Back when I started my No Shop September goal it felt like this day would never come. In the beginning, I found myself endlessly cultivating wish-lists or walking into stores “just to look” AKA effing torture myself. But now, it’s officially October and I don’t even have the urge to sprint to the nearest NordstromThat is what I call progress.

 I stuck to my goal for the most part though. Besides my vince camuto slip up, I also had to purchase an emergency outfit for work due to some very poor planning on my part. I was helping a friend out by driving him to pick up his new car on the absolute other side of the city, and it took so long that I ended up just sleeping over. Couldn’t exactly go to work in the same outfit as the day before, so to Marshalls I went. I tried to be very intentional while at Marshalls, even though I was in a rush, by only picking out things I would wear again and not getting caught up in how OMGstressed I was about finding something to wear for the next day. Side note: I also got my head stuck in a Kate Spade shirt during this little excursion—as in my head was actually too large to fit through the neck hole—kind of an odd blow to the ego?

This whole shopping cleanse has actually led me to re-evaluate my wardrobe as a whole. I’m definitely not ready for the whole capsule wardrobe thing, but I could definitely benefit from the idea of seeing my wardrobe as a cohesive unit, rather than just a collection of items I like or impulsively purchased. I’m not sure if any of you read Thought Catalog, some of their content can be tired or offensive—kinda comes with the territory since it’s a pretty open forum—but I’ve been a pretty big fan of Chelsea Fagan’s for a while. Her writing is witty and consistently funny. Through reading one of her articles on Thought Catalog¸I discovered her blog The Financial Diet. It’s actually awesome. So many blogs can be so hard to relate to her because they are intentionally vague, portray an unrealistic lifestyle, or are just a medium to spew Rstyle links at me, but I feel like Chelsea has an honest handle on the woes of being out on your own for the first time and trying to figure out your budget. She’s really inspired me to re-evaluate my wardrobe and figure out exactly what I want my personal style to be. I actually took my first trip to Buffalo Exchange as a result of her post on cleaning out your wardrobe, but that experience deserves its own post—coming soon, I hope. 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

My Bruce Bogtrotter Moment


Getting REALLY real with today’s post—heads up

Last Monday at work (shh) I was reading a blog post about how much your period really costs you. For the life of me I can’t remember where I was reading this, so unfortunately I can’t link to it, but the writer’s main point was talking about how much money we end up spending due to our periods. She didn’t just mean things like tampons, pads, or ruined underwear (tmi?)—but what about a movie you bought to cheer yourself up, a gallon of ice cream to scarf down, or a new tube of lipstick because you’re feeling less than your best? As I was reading, I was smugly thinking to myself: “Wow, some people have no willpower! I spend exactly the same way on my period or off my period. What a silly, little article”

Image via


Fast forward to Friday of that same week, and I was justtt about to start my period. I stopped at the grocery store to pick up cupcakes and a couple things for my roommate for her birthday. I’m strolling through the bakery section, when all the sudden I am overcome with the urge, no, the NEED to eat chocolate right that very second. I’ve never done something like this before, but I bought an individual slice of chocolate cake (did you know they sell those? I didn’t, but thank goodness they do), hightailed it out to my car and WITHOUT A FORK, napkins, or a plate began shoving the cake into my mouth with my hands. “Who am I?”, I thought, truly horrified with myself but not slowing down a bit in my effort to demolish the cake. When I finally finished and my craving was temporarily satiated, I burst out laughing. You win universe—guess I do have different spending habits when I’m on my period.

p.s. here’s a hilarious re-enactment of the scene with the original cast in 2013 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Wikipedia black holes, Tom Ford, and an Interview Tip


I have a weird habit of accidentally falling into Wikipedia black holes, which are less dangerous and more informative than youtube holes, but still not a wholly practical way to spend my time. I’m almost positive other people have this problem. You're sitting at your desk and a thought comes into your head like, I wonder where Reese Witherspoon is from? Or what year was Maximillian Robespierre born? To Google you go, which then inevitably brings you to Wikipedia…which makes me think I should skip the middle man and just go straight to Wikipedia in the future, but anywayyyy…and suddenly the page on Reese links you to Ryan Philipe or Legally Blonde and then it’s thirty minutes later and your still happily reading away. It’s kind of an if-you-give-a-mouse-a-cookie scenario.

This week, I was in a serious Wikipedia black hole, when I ended up on Tom Ford’s page. I love to hear how people got where they are so I was totally enthralled with how he turned around Gucci and made a name for himself, when I stumbled upon this important interview tip. Tom Ford first got his foot in the door of the fashion industry by calling designer Cathy Hardwick every day for a month, which is impressive, but is not the interview tip.

image via

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

My Beef With All About That Bass


I’m certainly not the first person to talk about all about the bass, the hit single by Meghan Trainor is certainly attention catching. Let me first start off by saying that Meghan Trainor is clearly super talented, and I really hope the very best for her continued success in her music career.  I know some have expressed distaste with Meghan’s choice to use the term ‘skinny bitches’ in a song that allegedly supports body love. I definitely see that, and in fact recently read about a survey by Glamour that showed that thin women are unfairly stereotyped as bitchy, where fat women are stereotyped as lazy. 

My issue actually lies with a different lyric of the song. Trainor sings: “My momma, she told me, don’t worry about your size, she said boys like a little more booty to hold at night”.

…………..

Not, “don’t worry about your size because you are talented beyond measure” or “don’t worry about your size because you have straight A’s and are ambitious and strong-willed” or “don’t worry about your size because you are oozing creativity from every one of your pores”

Sunday, September 21, 2014

On Giving





My roommate is an exceptionally good person. Not just in the she shares her waffle fries with me kind of way, but in the fact that she works with homeless youth and works more (unpaid) overtime than anyone else I know. It’s actually more than that even.  She always describes herself as “someone who people feel compelled to share their life story with”, and while I, of course, believed it, I was so lucky as to get to experience a small does of this in action this past weekend. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Humble Pie Brought To You By: Google Analytics


I’m pretty open about the fact that no one reads this blog. I wasn't even sure I wanttted anyone to read it when I first started, and I actually haven’t told anyone I’m writing it. That being said, this week, I got a little caught up in seeing my views go up on blogger. I had been saying for a while that I wanted to learn how to use google analytics, and I figured this was a perfect opportunity to learn who these amazing readers were and where they were coming from.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Bath Mat Mishap





You know what bugs me about Pinterest? It always seems like all the best and cutest home d├ęcor ideas are bright white. It's hard resist the crisp and chic look of all white bedding, a white couch, or a white bath mat....so I’m blaming pinterest for my latest first apartment faux-pas.


Monday, September 15, 2014

The Universe List



Have you ever learned a new word and then suddenly (seemingly) you see it everywhere? I recently had  somewhat similar experience with Maxie McCoy’s #Universe list idea. I read Maxie’s guest post on College Prepster about the five lists you should be keeping last week, and I thought her idea of keeping a #universe list—a list of all the weird coincidences that happen in your life—was cute and unique, but not something I would actually do.


Thursday, September 11, 2014

How to: Cure Homesickness


During my first year living in Los Angeles there were many times that I was tempted to create a running list of the most ‘LA’ things to happen to me.  There was the time that my hair dresser told me that the ocean is a great place to network (your guess is as good as mine when it comes to who, exactly, she was networking with) or the time a guy tried to pick me up in the produce section of the grocery store with the winning line ‘so, do you juice?’. Needless to say, LA can seem eons away from my Midwestern roots, and it’s pretty easy to get homesick from time to time. What’s a Midwestern girl to do when she’s homesick you ask? Obviously, dig into the biggest and best plate of chicken and waffles this side of the Mississipi—I guess this answers the question about whether or not I juice as well…


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Emergency J. Crew Factory Sale

Doesn’t it always seem like the day you go on a diet is the day your co-worker brings in donuts? That’s how it feels right now with my shopping ‘diet’. Suddenly, it seems like everything I want is on super sale and resisting buying everything is taking mucho willpower.

Case in point—J. Crew Factory is taking a leaf out of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale playbook and offering their new arrivals at 30% off for 24 hours only (ending at midnight tonight...eek!) .  Did I mention that they’re also offering free shipping on these items? Yup.  On top of that Gilt is offering a FREE 30% off J. Crew factory coupon up on Gilt City right now.

I mean, am I crazy to think the universe is conspiring against me or what?


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Juniper Books




Until very recently, I haven't really been someone who cares much about interior design. I blame my disinterest on not ever really having my own space, what with moving each year for college, and also on still developing my own personal taste and aesthetic. (And also, I obv have no money or energy for interiors when I spend all my money on clothes)

Saturday, September 6, 2014

No Shop September

One thing that the real world has been determined to convince me during the 2 months that I've been a part of it is that adulthood is really expensive. It's not that I didn't know that adulthood came with some serious bills, bills, bills, it's just that sometimes it can be overwhelming how everythinggg costs money, especially living in LA where even if you want to do something free, you're paying an arm and a leg of gas to get there.

In the past month, I often find myself tumbling into pits of worry that I won't be able to support myself, and I'll end up moving back into my parents house with my tail between my legs. In an effort to curb this anxiety, I decided to try to cut back on my discretionary spending. It helps for me to think of things that I can effect in my budget and things that I can't. I can't change my rent (unfortunately) or my salary (although someday... #girlboss), but I can stop myself from spending money on clothes I don't wear, food I don't eat, or just generally things I don't need (aka this sad, but adorable, piggy bank featured below)


Monday, September 1, 2014

Bed Ordering Blunder


I’ve only been living in my first real adult apartment for less than one month and I’ve already experienced quite a few “learning moments”. I’m doing my best to have a sense of humor about all of it—gotta laugh to keep from crying, right?! Jk, I’ve cried like twenty times.

Anyway, for your benefit (whether that be that you need a good laugh, a self-esteem boost because hey you’re not as dumb as me, or a few words of advice) I decided to compose a list of first apartment faux pas.



Let’s start with my biggest screw up to date and the reason I’m typing this lovely post from the comfort of an air mattress….


Saturday, August 23, 2014

That's Why They Call Them The Classics


Ever since the summer after my senior year of high school I've had a list of books I feel like I should have read by now--classics, if you will, that everyone references and talks about. Though 'the list' is now several years old, I hadn't made much of a dent in it until recently. Sure, I'd occasionally check a book off the list--one or two books read during summer and winter vacations--but I never did manage to find the time to read for pleasure while school was in session. Now that I've been in the "real world" for just over a year, I've decided it's time to make some serious headway on the list. With the help of good reads, the kindle my Dad gave me because he couldn't figure out how to turn it on, and the Los Angeles Public Library, I'm determined to work my way through this (always growing) list of mine.



                               




Wednesday, April 23, 2014

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