Thursday, February 15, 2018

Three on Thursday!

Another Three on Thursday thanks to Steph @ Not Entirely Perfect!  

1. Brooks running shoes...So I am far from an actual runner but my mom runs marathons and she swears by Brooks. I was getting shin splints and terrible calf pains when trying to run and my mother said it was probably my shoes so I put new running shoes on my Xmas list and she came through. So fantastic, no pain at all besides the pain of being a chunky butt running after not working out in forever. So, highly recommended if you want good quality running shoes! 
I have these!

2. Ebates..I can't complain about cash back...don't know anyone who does? I dont really use the website often but I added the toolbar to my laptops at work and home and it is very convenient for shopping! It pops up in the corner when you are on a site that gives you cash back through it. To date I have gotten back $403. Every few months I get a deposit into my paypal account and I am a happy camper! You can definitely be more savvy with it if you want to and make more. 

3. Google Maps Lists...Oh man I use this so much. Anytime I hear of a new restaurant, place I want to visit, anything that can be found on google maps I find it and give it a dot(literally anywhere in the world). So if you look at my google maps I've got dots galore. It's like I hoard locations. I mark places I have tried, favorite places, and mark places I want to try and then give them a list. Highly recommended if you want to keep stuff like that in one place. Also, helpful if you are visiting a new place or even thinking about where to eat tonight. I just pull up the map and look for the dots closest to us for options.
My map of Chicago!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Meetup: Keeping it Social & Cheap

So in this quest to save money I have had to cut back on a few things, eating out, expensive weekends shopping & eating out, going to social functions that involve a lot of spending. It is hard. Since I started a meetup group back in September a lot of the planning is left to me. Until the group goes big enough that people start to host, I am stuck doing the majority of it. I love to plan, I love being social so usually it works out perfectly. Except...I need to save.

I can't just walk away from the group so I started to brainstorm some meetup ideas that would be cheaper and so far its working out great! Here are some of the meetups I have planned/already hosted.

1. Meet & Greet: Cupcakes! 
This one was this past week and was great! Molly's Cupcakes are some of the best cupcakes in Chicago(my opinion of course) and it allowed for a small group to come together, talk for a few hours and get to know each other over sweets! The girls really loved it, the timing was perfect (after work 6:30 pm) and we all just got to relax and chat. My cost total for the meetup was $9.00, I had a cupcake & latte!

2. Movies & Wine! 
I can comfortably host a decent amount of people in my place, I always have wine around and I own a firestick w/Kodi. So I have a meetup for Movies & Wine planned for next Friday night. Everyone is welcome to bring snacks or wine/drinks and we will pick some movies and just hang out. It seems to be an extremely popular idea and we have a wait list for it too! I don't know the exact cost yet but if I don't find a random reason to spend crazy then it should be Free! 

3. Art Institute: Thursday Night! 
The Art Institute of Chicago is free to Illinois residents from 5-8:00 pm on Thursday nights! Yay free admission. So I planned a meetup for the group to take a stroll around, look at some art and then get some coffee afterwards. The admission is free so should only cost me a cup of coffee! 

4. Sunday Brunch Party 
Along those lines of hosting I also really really love Brunch as you have probably figured out by my many brunch weekend posts. BUT brunch is expensive...especially if you like Bloody marys! I have a waffle maker at home and space so tada brunch party! I set it up so everyone should bring either champagne or juice and fruit. I am in charge of location and the bacon, eggs & waffles ( luckily I always have the baking ingredients for waffles and bacon and eggs are in my weekly grocery list anyway) Not sure of the cost yet but will 100% be cheaper than having brunch at a restaurant!

Those are some of the upcoming ideas to keep me saving and still allow for a social life! 
Do you have any fun ideas I can steal? 

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Show us your books!

I have been reading reading reading so I'm super excited for this month's link up with Jana @ Jana Says & Steph @ Life According to Steph

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty...I was surprised by this book which is always a good thing. I find I often don't like a book that everyone loves but this one was an exception. It was a great read. I stayed up to finish it and would definitely recommend it. 

Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker...Another great read and also why I don't take other reviews to heart (shes says as she reviews books and reads other reviews in a link up) but really you should always take a look and see if you like it yourself. BUT I thought it was great, twisty, dark and a little weird.  

Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, Heir of Fire, Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas...Listen I am flying through this series. I read all 4 of those books in a litte over a week and then had to force myself not to download the next book so I could read a few of the books that will be due back to the library soon. I can't put them down, they are well written and 100% YA books and I don't even care. Read them if you like magic, fighting and strong female characters!

 I definitely do not finish books if I am not into them. I have far too many books on my list to waste time, sometimes I will give it a try if i feel like at some point they will redeem themselves...

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel....this book was part of one of the bookclubs that I am in and I was sorely disappointed to find so many people loved the book and I didn't even get 50% before deciding it wasn't worth my time. So boring. Seriously. I chose to do homework over reading the book. That should tell you something. 

So those are some of the books I have been reading. Have you read any of them? Did you like them? 

Monday, February 12, 2018

5 Ways to Motivate My Monday

Mondays are so hard for me... I am sure they are for everyone. I try to be positive and not get into a crap mood before the day even begins but it is hard! Here are some ways I try to motivate myself!

1. Get some "me" time on Sunday! This can be hard sometimes because I love to jam pack my weekends full of stuff but I find that if I give myself a little time on Sunday to relax, read, nap, anything that makes me happy I am a bit more prepared for Monday!

2. Plan ahead. I am terrible at keeping my schedule and making plans but I am working on planning ahead, getting things in my calendar and double checking before I say yes to things. I am also trying to plan ahead for meals so that I can get all shopping done and avoid the spending trap that is the grocery store last minute.

3. Go to bed. I am a notoriously horrible sleeper...horrible. I go to bed super late, I don't sleep, I play on my phone until the minute before I go to bed. Its all a mess. I really try to help myself on Mondays by just going to bed early on Sunday so when my alarm goes off I am not miserable!

4. Shower in the morning. This may not sound like much but I usually do not shower in the morning. I hate to waste precious sleep time BUT on Mondays I get up and shower. It really helps wake me up and feel like its a fresh start to the day.

5. No plans Mondays. I keep my weeks pretty busy between work and school and attempting to keep a social life but I do not make plans on Mondays if I can help it(meaning unless obligated to by work or school). I love the idea of knowing that I get to go to work and decide what I will do with my evening. If I'm exhausted, that is ok because I don't have plans!

How do you motivate yourself on Mondays? 
Are you one of those people who don't mind a Monday?

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Three on Thursday

Stolen from  Stephanie @ Not Entirely Perfect because I love her Thursday posts! 

Lush - Mask of Magnaminty...really most of their masks but this one in particular is my favorite. I am learning to curb my Lush obsession because that shit is pricey but I love the smell of this one, its always nice and cool on the skin and it leaves your skin feeling tingly & clean! 

Kindle Fire HD...It is such a hot topic to discuss kindles with avid readers. It's like there is some offense to use one but you  know what? I am a book hoarder. It is the one thing that I collect and have very little self control over and so the kindle is my lifesaver. At this moment I have 854 books on my kindle. I do still love a real book, nothing compares, and if I find a book I loved on the kindle I will buy the paper copy. BUT convenience and being able to hide my hoarding problems make it a winner. 

Timbuk2...more specifically the Classic Messenger Bag. I have had this bag for 7 years now, it has been through 13 countries, plane, train, auto, name it we have done it and while its a little beat up it is still my favorite and most sturdy bag. It is waterproof, comes with a strap that i can attach around to hold the bag in place and again...waterproof! Anyway, I am a fan. 

What are some of your favorite things? Any recommendations?

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

February Fun Prompts

It appears our class is going to be doing these prompts regularly so I figured I would share a few more things! You can check out the first post that was about Gratitude here!

- Share what day of your life you would want to relive, day after day, if you were stuck in the movie Groundhog Day.
I had to really think about this one. I think that I would relive the first day of my first solo trip(not including the actual move abroad). I was in Thailand, had a long weekend and planned to go to Koh Samui. Got on the wrong bus, got off at the wrong stop to get to the right bus, and then missed the ferry. Eventually I found my way, walked till I found a hostel I liked and got a room. That night I met some amazing people who were staying at the hostel, we ate, we drank, played on the beach all night watching the fire spinning and dancing and it was amazing. It still remains my favorite day ever because I handled being lost in a foreign country without any tears, without getting crazy upset and then had one of the best nights of my life with complete strangers! 

The only photos I have from that night! 

- Share what you LOVE to do when you feel stressed. How do you de-stress? 
 90% of the I read. I find a comfortable spot, zone out and read for hours or until I am completely lost. It really seems to be the best de-stresser for me. I try 30 second dance parties...If I am feeling antsy I try to workout, keep going till I am completely worn out...when nothing else works for the stress that means its time for a trip somewhere!

What is one candy or sweet treat that you LOVE?
Easy! cookies. Love love cookies of all kinds but even just plain old chocolate chip cookies. This is why I can not lose weight by the way.

I think a lot of the prompts are love themed because February!

- How can you show love to yourself? Oftentimes we are much more cruel to ourselves than we would be to others How can you change that?  
Lets see...I think we can show ourselves love by being positive with our words about ourselves, taking care of ourselves and doing things that make us happy. I try to remember not to be negative about myself (SO HARD). Constantly reminding ourselves of all the great qualities we possess, surrounding ourselves with people we love that love us too and of course...doing shit we like! 

- What is one LOVE song that is your favorite? Why? 
Another easy one! I love love love the song "I'll Be" by Edwin McCain. Remains my favorite song since the day I first heard it and has not changed since 1997 when it came out! If I am being 100% honest I do not know why, it just stuck with me.
 If you do not know the song feel free to give it a listen and thank me later.

I think that is all the prompts I'll share today! Share some of your answers with  me!! 

Monday, February 5, 2018

Hello Monday!

Time to link up with Heather @ My Glittery Heart!

Friday- Was Dia de la Candeleria...and since I got the baby Jesus on Dia de Reyes(Three Kings Day) I hosted dinner at my place. Traditionally you are supposed to make tamales but I don't like tamales and they are complicated as hell to make also my sister is now a vegan so I had to find some recipes that would work!
Decided on Enchiladas (Vegan & Chicken) Thenewguy made some amazing vegan brownies to bring over and dinner was a big hit! We also got some painting fun in with the kids and just hung out and ate, laughed and painted. Was a great Friday night!

(for some reason I did not get a picture of my here is the recipe! That jalapeno cream sauce was key and came in handy for Sundays dinner too!)

The vegan brownies I need the recipe for! 

My nephew's artwork!

Saturday...I was up bright and do 360 Sky Yoga at the John Hancock Observatory! I hosted a meetup and we had brunch after. Was a great time, and I definitely want to go again! We had brunch downstairs at the Cheesecake Factory (did you know they had brunch?? I didnt)

Saturday night ....joined a friend for dinner @ Hamburger Marys and a comedy called "50 Shades of Shakespeare" it was hilarious and inappropriate!

Sunday...more snow in Chicago so I ran some quick errands, did some homework and set to cooking. We had planned to go to a friends if it didn't snow on Sunday but refused to make the hour drive in crap weather when we could watch at home. I made some Pigs in a blanket, Turkey chili, and football rice krispies...was a fun night to just hang out with Thenewguy and watch The Eagles take the Super Bowl! (did you notice that Tom Brady didn't shake Foles' hand?? RUDE!)

Was a pretty great weekend aside from the snow. How was your weekend? Did you watch the Super Bowl?

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