Savvy Summer Spending

It’s summer and for many that means time to spend spend spend. There are family vacations, weekend trips, local races, and oh the occasional ice cream cone because the Mister Softee truck won’t shut up.  That or there just so happens to be a Magnum Bar pop up that must be visited.  Anyways, summer is also a good time to look at finances and it’s never too late to reevaluate.

One of my good or bad habits (depending on the situation) is carrying my credit card around with me wherever I go.  I signed up for the cash back rewards so me spending $$ = me earning $$.  Solid plan, right?

There are plenty of companies such as B of A and Credit Card Insider that offer similar rewards, allowing you to spend and save.  Then there are the countless store credit cards that reward you for your shopping loyalty.  I haven’t dipped into this pool yet (too dangerous and my closet can’t handle any more clothes) but there are some benefits of having various credit cards!

Here are some of my other favorite ways to save:

  • Meal prep and pack at least breakfast and lunch for the week.  Triple points if you make dinner as well! >> I like to attempt all of my meals during the week and leave the weekends open to explorations.
  • Sell clothes to thrift stores or on eBay/Poshmark
  • Sign up for product emails rewards programs (sure they are annoying but that 20% discount will come in handy at some point)
    • Starbucks may have changed their program but still provides certain benefits to being a Gold Star member! (my theory is purchase plain black coffee for days and reward yourself with an extra shot mocha frappacuino) 😉
    • Other coffee joints or eateries with frequent purchase cards = free drinks/food
    • Shutterfly sends out emails about free products all of the time! You just have to pay for shipping, which is a steal
  • Split meals out (sharing is caring and usually portion sizes are much bigger than necessary)
  • Picnic/pregame ($10 bottle vs. $12-$15 beverages in NYC)
  • Money tips for days (PureWow)
  • Have your parents pay for everything (juuuuuuuuust kidding!!! totally a millennial thing to say 😉 )

For more information, check your local bank website and/or Credit Card Insider.  And of course just make sure to pay them all off 😉

How do you save money?  Do you keep a budget?

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Something About Turning 25

It’s a big day.  I can now rent a car without all those additional added fees.  Winning!  But in all reality, hitting another year and milestone and I’m in a very happy place.  I have started to settle into my skin, my personality, and most days my body.  😉  I have found a tribe of people that makes me feel at home.  I have many friends who understand me and my quirky personality, but also challenge me to be a better person and help me loosen up.  Type A personality thank you very much.

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I’m beyond lucky to have so many people to look up to, bounce ideas off of, and just hang out with.  I wanted to write all the ways in which I’ve grown and what I’ve learned over the past few months and years buuuuut somehow it’s not coming together as I planned.  I wanted it to be something like Ali’s blog and her view of her birthday and her thirties so how about “yeah what she said but for my 20’s.”  Cool.

But let’s be (somewhat) original and have some fun.

  1. Every age has its ups and downs but that’s life.  Challenge makes you stronger.
  2. Ice cream is never a bad idea.
  3. When you get your hair cut, you HAVE to go out that night.
  4. Attachment brings unhappiness.  Just be aware – Francesca Bove
  5. Goof around

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^^ #squadgoals or #quadgoals

6. Disappointment happens and happens to everyone.  But you’ll never know the outcome until you take a risk and try something new. (Avoiding Disappointment)
7. Invest in good shoes.
8. Competition is good unless it interferes with your relationships.
9. Living in the moment > computer time.  I meant to write this earlier but happy hours and a surprise visit from one of my best friends caused for real life celebrations. (I may be writing this while she is here. Love you Laura)

Processed with VSCOcam with p5 preset10. Spell check and double check the recipient of your text/email/snapchat.
11. Kindness.  Doesn’t cost a damn thing.
12. Jealousy is not attractive and is more detrimental than helpful. (For When You Feel Jealous)
13. Give back.

IMG_329414. There will always be someone smarter, prettier, skinnier, and on and on. Focus on you.
15. College was great in some ways, but it by no means has to be the best four years of your life. (source author)
16. It’s ok to burn some bridges.  Best to keep quality friends over quantity.
17. Try something outside your comfort zone.  Like a Bieber dance class

IMG_456818. Find clothes that fit, make you look good and feel good (and buy mascara)
19. Eat good therefore feel good.  Although a night of nachos + beer + cookies is necessary once in awhile.
20. Have a signature drink – whether it’s a coffee (cold brew or almond milk latte – Califia milk only) or an adult beverage (Moscow mule hey)
21. Travel travel travel

IMG_219522. Transfer money to savings as often as possible.  Never to early to save for a rainy day.
23. ^^ True, but find value in experiences and sometimes it’s worth the splurge.
24. Keep in touch with friends and family.  From random texts to snail mail and even good ‘ol phone calls.  You’ll be glad you did.
25. Stop saying “when” and start saying CARPE DIEM!

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Life of Late ~ 3.25.16

Soooooo, I’ve been off the blogging train lately.  Not entirely sure why.  Yes, there have been some later nights at work.  Yes, I have oodles I could talk about.  Yes, I have been addicted to watching Gilmore Girls nonstop.  So there aren’t too many excuses other than maybe I need to just pop in and out every now and then.  Anyways, a very applicable post by the lovely Margaret about “Blogging Break(s)“.  I know Georgie and Christina have had posts about feeling burnt out, taking a little break from blogging, and then feeling oh so much better, thus coming back better than ever.  So maybe that’s where I’m at.  A little more living in the moment.  Maybe I’ll just photo dump all my favorites from week to week because that’s what I really love to do. 🙂 For now, enjoy and happy Good Friday to those celebrating!

1^^ I’m not a huge candy fan but this pop-up shop in the mall gets me every time.

23 The BEST way to spend a Saturday (or any day if possible) is running and then eating, hence my popular hashtag #runtoeat.  I have discovered a delicious smoothie shop near the Brooklyn Lululemon that serves only the best acai bowls in Brooklyn (or so I’ve experienced).  I think this little rendition of LuluRunClub + acai bowl may have to happen again tomorrow.

4 5 ^^ Friends that run together stay together 😉 Me and my November Project buddies after one of the Saturday runs.  We four are on a team for the upcoming North Face Endurance Challenge at Bear Mountain.  Trail running really isn’t my expertise at the moment, so it may be more of a fun trek through the wilderness.

6 ^^ Sampling out some fun products such as derma e‘s latest charcoal products.  Because I live in one dirty city (the only “fresh air” I get is in Central Park), I tend to gravitate towards the more holistic skin products.  I’ve heard lots of good things about charcoal and green tea (well duh) and have been using a couple of these products for the last few weeks.  I definitely love the cleanser and how soft it makes my face feel.  The Purifying Youth Serum wasn’t my top choice, simply due to the smell (I have a sensitive nose and stomach), but the charcoal mask and gel cleanser however are quite on point and luckily can be purchased at ULTA and Whole Foods, so I’m in luck!

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So when I’m not sitting on my rear in the office, I am usually out and about working out.  My friends and I tested out a tough 45-minute HIIT class at the fhitting room, thanks to this nifty free code.  We went to the location on the UES (upper east side) and left sweating as you can see from our glamour shot above (ok not dripping in sweat but still).  Since I have an Equinox membership, I’m not sure if I’d pay consistently for classes, but I did love the strength training and it’s on my bucket list to do more in preparation for the rest of my races this year.

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Pure Wow ~ Baked Cheese Recipes ~ Everyone say CHEESE.

Pure Wow ~ “Summer Trips to Book Immediately” ~ Who else has the travel itch?  I’m stuck between enjoying my routine and wanting to break free.  Luckily I have a few trips coming up this month to satisfy that wanderlust craving (no, semi-planned trips aren’t exactly “wanderlust” but whatever…it’s travel so carpe diem)

NYMag.com ~ “Relying on Friends in a World Made for Couples” ~

C’est Christine ~ “This is Your Life” ~ Remember, you do you and you stay focused on you.

November Project ~ “2 Years 200 Workouts” ~ A absolutely lovely tribute to NYC’s 200th workout by fellow NP runner, inspiration, friend, and badass Sara Beaney.

Well + Good ~ “10 Most Exciting Healthy Books in 2016” ~  When you finish your latest show binge and don’t know what to do with your life. Not to mention this activity is PERFECT for this spring weather.  Am I right?

Pure Wow ~ “NYC Secret Parks” ~ Who knew any of these locations existed?? I guess I have to up my exploring game.

In It 4 The Long Run ~ “20 Healthy Recipes You Can Make w/ Almond Butter” ~ Because who can’t say no to nut butter?

9 ^^ Like I said, you can usually find me working out, running in the park, or at some cafe that serves avocado toast (aka Bluestone Lane for the win)

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Or re-fueling with festive burrata + prosciutto for the Bachelor finale.

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^^ Another Brooklyn Lululemon run club adventure in the books.  This was to send of our fast and fearless leader Chloe as she moves to Berlin for her new job.  With a quick 4 mile shakeout under our belts (this was the Saturday prior to the NYC Half), we arrived back to an ice cream cake and the manager telling us that we could each pick out a pair of shorts in Chloe’s honor.

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12 ^^ This would be my meal the day before the NYC Half Marathon.  It was divine and I totally should have come here after the half to celebrate and replenish those calories. The biscuits.  The sausage gravy.  The biscuits.  The epic Mary J Blige Pandora playstation they had going.  So amazing.

Pies & Thighs has two lovely locations (Lower East Side and Williamsburg) and we selected the original local (Williamsburg) to dine.  Waits aren’t terrible and if you put your name in, wander back down the street to grab a coffee while you wait.

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^^ Almond milk latte and gooey chocolate chip cookies for extra measure.  Didn’t want to feel faint on the course, that’s for sure. Oh and Califia Barista Blend is quite possibly the best thing to happen to coffee.  Forget cream, forget coconut  milk, go Califia or go home.

15 Right.  This little race called the NYC Half Marathon, sponsored by United Airlines.  Both Lindsay and I had entered our names in the lottery and both happened to luck out with bibs!   We picked up our bibs on Friday afternoon, snapped a picture and then headed home for an early evening.

It was a VERY early morning Sunday – up at 5:15 to eat and prep, barely making it to the starting line by 7:10 (corrals closed around 7:15) and a swift start at 7:30.  I had actually signed up for this race prior to Arizona and after running 1:40ish in Arizona, I considered taking it easy in NYC.  But, I was feeling good in and around the park, cruised through Times Square, and shot out at the West Side Highway where I saw a few people that I knew and most importantly, the mile 9 NP_NYC cheer station.

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^^ I may not have been smiling for this shot (by one of the NP peeps) but boy was I excited to see them.  With a wave of the hand (shaka as always), I was off to the last part of the race.  If you aren’t familiar with the course, let me fill you in.  The whole West Side Highway is long and when you hit mile 12, you go through a tunnel and have to deal with two tight turns before the finish line.  Those were NOT my favorite parts of the course.  But, all in all an excellent morning and I ended up running even faster than Arizona with a solid 1:40 time!

19 ^^ Like I said, friends that run together, stay together.  We have goals to keep signing up and traveling for races – maybe a few epic destination ones one day.

20 ^^ But for now, it’s back to training.  I’ve got the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler next week and Brooklyn in just under 8 weeks.  Here we are with a blurry Tuesday morning speedwork. I was just jogging behind the group as I was still sore but the sunrise and company is always worth it AND WE SAW MEB K!!  Always worth the wakeup.

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Who knows what this weekend will bring besides some workouts and exploration but that’s fine by me.  Carpe Diem my friends and the happiest of Easters.

“It is better to travel well than to arrive” – Buddha

A Day Well Spent

What does a day “well spent” look like to you?  A little bit of work or working out?  Spending time with friends and/or family or exploring somewhere new?  Whatever it may be, I’m sure it probably cost a few dollars here and there.  We live in a world of material and convenience and even if you don’t plan to spend a dime, somehow you stumble upon a tasty acai bowl or trinket that your friend would love.  Ok, maybe that’s just me.

I love knowing that I earned that money and can invest it however I would like – yes some for the actual long term investments, but nothing makes me happier than treating myself to something once in awhile or finding a gift for friends or family. But anyways, back to the point of this post.

In order to have some fun, you also have to do a bit of planning.  I’d like to be that girl who can fly by the seat of her pants and whip up a trip in no time (also called spontaneous) but it doesn’t always work.  Financial planning is tough.  There are too many banks, websites, logins, and I never remember what combination of numbers or letters I’m supposed to enter on a month to month basis.  Thank goodness I’m not an accountant, right?  Well, seeing as though my money won’t manage itself and I can’t rely on my financial planner (aka my dad) for everything (because I need to be a big girl one day), I turn to things like Personal Capital.  Here we’ve got a nifty website that provides free financial tools and calculators to help manage your financial life all in one place (like sticking to a budget). Clutch, right?  I’ve started a few different goals – mostly saving up for fun trips and explorations, but also for those “rainy days” or preferably sunny days too.  Here’s a little glimpse at one of my perfect days with the help of some re-purposed pictures.

IMG_9677 (1)^^ Running or working out with some of my friends.  Sometimes running solo is quite necessary but run chats and catching up are also the best, don’t you agree?

IMG_4455 ^^ Picking up a free Juice Press juice thanks to the #jprunclub

IMG_1022^^ Followed up at some point with a divine acai bowl (fruit to the face please and thank you)

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^^ Hiking with the family (but not getting lost)

IMG_2089 ^^ Snack time before hitting up the ocean (hopefully not killing all of the $20 on my froyo)

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^^ Ending with a excellent homemade dinner with friends or family (probably salad or whatever I could buy with the remaining funds after my froyo escapade) and walk with a sunset.

While it’s sad to think that I would even need $20 on my perfect day, I #runtoeat and #worktospend, so that’s my life in a nutshell.

What would consist of your perfect day?

2016 – A New Year with All Good Vibes

My break back in California has been quite nice to say the least.  I’ve had time with friends, oodles of time with family (maybe a bit too much 😉 as in we have no new topics of conversation), and lots of time in the sun.  While I’m itching to get back to my friends on the east coast, I’m not exactly ready for chill that’s heading our way or sitting at my desk all day.

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But, here we are in 2016, a year to continue the motto “you do you” and live life to the fullest.  Yes, this will be my third official winter and while I’m not entirely ready for it, I’m planning lots and lots to keep my mind and body occupied.  I wasn’t planning to list out any goals or “resolutions” per se, but the latest NP_NYC blog post got me thinking a bit.  Who says they have to be resolutions like “lose 10 pounds”, “gain a beach body”, or “save all my money” (although those would all be lovely) 😉  No, let’s focus on some other types of goals and try to make the world a better place.

Random Life (Just Go with It)
~ Run longer than 16 miles (my current longest distance run & this should theoretically be a breeze with marathon training…)
~ Test out one month of Whole30
~ Steward/participate in a #runtoeat2016 group which I helped create with friends from NP.  Yes, runs to places like this will obviously be great after that month of Whole30
~ Meet 1-2 new people at NP every week
~ Volunteer at the Boston Marathon
~ Watch NYC’s 4th of July fireworks spectacular
~ Spend less time looking at my phone and more time taking in the world

“Being successful doesn’t automatically make you happier.  But being happier and more positive makes you more successful” – Shawn Achor

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Trips
~ Charlotte, NC
~ Phoenix, AZ
~ Washington D.C.
~ Alaska for Meghan’s graduation (YES…she is graduating…scary)
~ Attend Wednesday workouts at NP_Boston {Harvard Stairs} & NP_DC {monuments and oh so breath-taking}
~ definitely some hikes, beach trips, and explorations in between

“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it” – Maya Angelou

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Races
~ Half marathons galore (Phoenix + NYC 1/2)
~ Cherry Blossom 10 Miler
~ NYC Marathon >> my first official marathon (fingers crossed that I manage a healthy and smart training season)
~ undoubtably more – while I’m not signed up for anything at the moment, I know myself and will probably sign up for some NYRR jaunts on a whim…because #worktospend

When in doubt, this NP gal has it figured out. 

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Looking Back at 2015

A year like any other with some highs and some lows.   Most of all a helluva lot of running and exploring of the Big Apple.

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^^ Oh the people you will meet and the places you will go.  I’ve been thankful for those I can call my friends and NP_NYC family.

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^^ Team Shorts w/ our Lulu game on point.  Fun life lesson (my mother will kill me for putting this up) – don’t spit or snot rocket unless you are working out and in running clothes 😉
BOOKS READ
– Single, Carefree, Mellow: Stories
– 10% Happier
– Blink
– A Walk in the Woods (Bill Bryson)
– Cold Tangerines
– The Defining Decade
– The House Girl
– Funny Girl
– The No. 1 Ladie’s Detective Agency #15 (The Handsome Man’s Deluxe Cafe)
– All the Light We Cannot See
– Boys on the Boat
– The Greatest Generation
– Unbroken
– The Bridal Chair
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PLACES TRAVELED
– NEW YORK (Poughkeepsie, Van Cordtlant Park, Dumbo Brooklyn, Montauk, north of Westchester)
– Philly, PA
– Haddonfield, NJ
– Boston, MA
– Cape Cod, MA
– Chicago, IL
– Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway, Sweden)
– California (Pasadena, Mammoth, Santa Barbara, Laguna Beach, Palos Verdes)
– Baltimore, MD
– Charleston, SC
– SLC/Park City, UT
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RACES RUN
NYRR Joe Kleinerman 10K – Central Park, Manhattan, NY – 1/10/15 (50:57) Pace = 8:12
NYRR Gridiron 4M – Central Park, Manhattan, NY – 2/1/15 (29:33) Pace = 7:24
NYRR Washington Heights Salsa, Blues & Shamrocks 5K – Manhattan, NY – 3/1/15 (21:36) Pace = 6:58
NYRR 10K Spring Melt Down – Central Park, Manhattan, NY – 3/29/15 (44:13) Pace = 7:07
NYRR Scotland Run 10K – Central Park, Manhattan, NY – 4/1/15 – (46:18) Pace = 7:27
NYRR Run as One 4M – Central Park, Manhattan, NY – 4/26/15 – (29:33) Pace = 7:24
Philly Broad Street 10 Miler – Philadelphia, PA – 5/3/15 – (1:13:17) Pace = 7:19
GöteborgsVarvet Half Marathon – Sweden – 5/23/15 – (1:39:41)* Pace = 7:36
NYRR Retro 4-Miler 6/7/15 – (28:22) Pace = 7:06 
NYRR 5-Borough Series: Queens 10K – Flushing Meadows Corona Park – 6/21/15 – (47:13) Pace = 7:36
NYRR Team Championships – 5mi – Central Park – 8/1/15 (36:35) Pace = 7:19
NYRR Fifth Avenue Mile – 9/13/15 – (6:06)
North Face Endurance Challenge – Park City
NYRR Grete’s Gallop 1/2 Marathon – Central Park – 10/4/15 (1:45:59) Pace = 8:06
NYRR Staten Island Half Marathon – Staten Island, NY – 10/11/15 (1:46:23) Pace = 8:07
Run for the Hungry 5k, La Canada – 11/26/15 (22:38) Pace = 7:22
NYCRuns Hot Cocoa 10k – Roosevelt Island, NYC – 12/6/15 (48:08) Pace = 7:35
NYRR Ted Corbitt 15k – Central Park – 12/12/15 (1:13:01) Pace = 7:50
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^^ Explore your city.  No matter the size of your town, whether you’ve lived there for years or just a few days, it will continue to surprise you.

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^^ Take time to venture somewhere new.  From Scandinavia to Utah to Charleston, I tried to keep it interesting.

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^^ No matter what, do what you love and love what you do.

“If a little dreaming is dangerous, the cure for it is not to dream less but to dream more, to dream all the time.” – Marcel Proust