Budgets and Savings Accounts: Tips on How to Save When You Really Want to Spend

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I like to spend money. I love to shop. I hate trying on clothes, but I love to shop nonetheless. I actually find extreme joy in bringing home a new item. Whether its from the dollar store or Macy’s, I enjoy bring home something new Now, I’m not the type of spender that purchases $500 or $600 items just because but I find that I often nickel and dime my account. Before I know it I have already spent several hundred dollars.

For my 30 before 30 bucket list I set out to save $1000 before December 16, 2017. So far I am  well on my way to goal. Here 3 easy tips I have found that help me save money when I really want to spend it.

Tip 1: Find a Hiding Spot

Some hide money under their mattress or a shoe box, for me I chose to hide my money in a savings account. What ever works for you find a spot where you can stash the extra cash.  Leaving money directly in your possession will be an ultimate temptation for you to spend it.

Tip 2: Out of Sight Out of Mind

For me I remember every time I directly transfer money to my savings account. In the back of mind I’m just loaning that money out and soon I’ll get it back. However, if the funds are out sight out of mind I don’t even realize my money is being stashed away. I have found utilizing my direct deposit at work to be the easiest way to achieve this.  I have $40 a paycheck being directly sent to a savings account. Often I don’t even notice the money missing from my paycheck. I just got used to the new normal.

Tip 3: Pay Yourself First

Recently we just got  our bonus.  While I planned to use the money to pay some bills if I have learned anything about managing your fiance is to  pay yourself first.  Paying bills is important but setting aside money and having a savings will be more beneficial in the long run.

What are your top money saving tips? 

Ten Years Later

This past weekend was my 10 year high school reunion. It’s hard to believe it has been that many years since I was in high school. Sometimes it feels like it was just the other day we were walking the halls dreaming about where life would take us.  While we are all in a much different place in our lives, personalities had not changed much. It seemed like we all just grooved right back into status quo.

This wasn’t a bad thing, though. The typical anxiety you see people having in the movies was far from reality. It was rather nostalgic and far from the awkwardness I just knew we would experience. There were tons of laughs, drinks and drag shows. Plus I got to reconnect with some dear old friends. I’d say it was a success!  Just check a few of my favorite pictures from the reunion.

Senior Recital Partner and middle school friend! #hspva2006reunion

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High school reunion #hspva2006reunion

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Only at PVA! #hspva2006reunion

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Things I Just Don’t Understand

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  1. People who don’t use their blinker when turning
  2. People who turn on their blinker 5 blocks before their turn
  3. Straight men with perfectly arched eyebrows
  4. Dallas Cowboy fans
  5. Cherry flavored anything.  ( That’s like Robitussin flavored food)
  6. Guys with their girlfriends in their Tinder picture
  7.  Girls with beauty mark piercings #THOTDots
  8. Tights with stirrups  and why people are still wearing them in 2016
  9. Why Uber can legally hike up the price 300% during peak times
  10. People who purposely spell “what’s up” as “wats up”
  11. Trump supporters
  12. Well done steak
  13. Why Kandi never checks Mama Joyce
  14. Why is it so hard to find the perfect foundation shade
  15. Why don’t I have enough time to read all the book I want to read
  16. Chunky highlights
  17. Why gel manicures cost more than acrylics
  18. Why Mr Right doesn’t just show up at my front door
  19. Colored Contacts
  20. Why bananas ripen so fast

New Restaurant Alert: Umami Nashville

One of the great things about living in a residential/commercial style apartment building is you have restaurants literally a few feet away. Ever since Umami opened a few months ago I’ve been wanting to give them a try and this past weekend I was finally able to give them a try.

Umami describes itself as  Asian fusion. The menu has an assortment of different styles of Asian food ranging from Korean tacos, to Ramen and sushi. There were lots of things on the menu I definetly wanted to try. However, being that I am on a low carb diet majority of the menu was not an option for me.

I ended up ordering the galbi which is Korean barbecue for those of you unfamiliar with it. Typically the dish comes with rice but I was able to make a special request and sub it for steamed vegetables. Which was a huge win in my book. Steamed vegetables wasn’t an available side item on their menu. Everything was super yummy! The galbi had a good smokey flavor to it and the veggies were delicious too.

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If you’re ever in Nashville I would highly recommend giving Umami a try.

Weekly Weigh-In

I decided to start during a weekly weigh-in. Every Monday (this post is a little late sorry) I’ll share what I lost the week before and how the week went.

This past week  I did a ton of cooking. I attempted to meal prep on Sunday for the week and let’s just say that was a fail. I had this bright idea that I would make a faux shrimp and grits casserole using mashed cauliflower. Think I was so smart I went to Trader Joe’s and bought a bag of their riced cauliflower. I just knew buying an already riced product would speed up my cooking time and make this dish fool proof. Nope not at all. I steamed the riced cauliflower for like a total of 20 mins. Nothing I did made it tender and soft enough to mash. Again me trying to be smart decided to put it in my Nutribullet. No a good idea. Enough though I only pulsed it for 2 seconds I had full fledged cauliflower puree. Plus it  had that  awful cruciferous smell. I thought adding a beaten egg and cream cheese would help thicken it up but that didn’t really work.  It was just flat out nasty. Basically this dish was a waste of overpriced riced cauliflower and a pound of shrimp. No my proudest culinary moment.

However, I also ended up making “Crack Slaw” which is a popular low carb meat and cabbage dish that turned out pretty well. For breakfast I made an Italian sausage, spinach and mozzarella frittata that was a definite win! Be on the look out recipes soon.

Now to the important stuff, my weigh in. I lost a total of 1.2 pounds for a total of 17.2 pounds lost. My goal is 2 pounds a week so I was a little short this week. But I’m glad it was still a loss.

If you’re on My Fitness Pal feel free to follow me

Ketoketastic

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When planning out my approach to weight loss I knew I wanted to cut sugar and not be a slave to counting calories. I strongly considered becoming a vegetarian. Mainly because I didn’t want to give up potatoes.  However, I noticed that lot of vegetarian food options were laden with sugar and high in carbs. So I decided to research other options. Most plans that I found that were low in sugar were all low carb diets.

I’ve tried low carb before but was never really able to sustain it. I experienced this feeling of always being thirsty and hungry. With further research I found that the thirst and hunger were probably coming from not eating enough fat. That led me to find the ketogenic diet. It focus on low carbs, high fat, and moderate protein. By focusing on healthy fats such as coconut oil and avocado and limiting carbs to only the ones from vegetables many having had great success. So I decided to give this a try.

So far I’ve been on a ketogenic diet for the last 3 weeks and lost 12 pounds. I found the most challenging part is actually getting in enough fat. I’m slowly trying to train myself to reach for a fat to cook with vs using my trusty low calorie PAM spray.  With that said, I’m excited for the journey. I’ve seen quite a few interesting recipes to try.

Have any of you tried a low carb/ high fat diet? Leave any tips in comments!

 

New Restaurant Alert: Liberty Kitchen and Oyster Bar

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While in Houston for the Thanksgiving holiday I decided to get started on my 30 before 30 list. Being stuck in landlocked Nashville anything closely resembling fresh seafood was screaming my name. For a while now I’ve been wanting to try Liberty Kitchen and now was the perfect excuse.

The restaurant has 2 main locations and a few smaller spinoff locations. We opted for the one in the Heights. The restaurant in quaint but far from claustrophobic. We were sat in booth on the back wall tastefully decorated with pictures of Houston streets. I ordered a glass of Reisling and perused the menu.

The were quite a few fresh fish options and plus you standard burger and sandwich choices. Plus a whole section dedicated to Mac and Cheese. The menu also had a number of salads and soups including a gumbo.

Being that I was on “vacation” I decided to fully indulge in all the carby options they had to offer. Mainly, that mac and cheese was screaming my name! I mean who doesn’t love mac and cheese. Also the gumbo sounded so good I wanted to try that as well. And boy was I right.

I ordered the cup as a starter. Not only did it have a yummy rich dark roux it also had crab, shrimp, sausage, okra and a fried oyster. Yes, a fried oyster! While I tend to be a traditionalist I was definitely here for the fried oyster.

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Keeping with the fried oyster trend I decided to order the seafood mac and cheese as my entree. It had lots of ooey gooey cheese, shell pasta, shrimp, greens onions and topped with… you guessed it fried oysters.  It was simply heavenly.

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If you’re ever in Houston I would highly recommend Liberty Kitchen. It was totally worth the calories and a great start to my 30 new restaurants check list!

Are there any restaurants in the Nashville or Houston area I should try? Let me know in the comments.