the weekend list no. 39

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Happy Saturday, everyone! It's been quite the week. Everything was good externally, but I went through a whole handful of weird ailments! It started late last week with a bad toothache. When that went away, I got the worst sunburn on Saturday which included swollen lips. When the sunburn faded, I started noticing these weird, huge bites all over my legs and neck which I think were from sea fleas (disgusting) from the beach. And NOW, I have a cold. This never happens to me, so it's almost comical at this point how many weird things have gone wrong in my body this week. Haha.

Anyway, I've got lots of links today because the internet has been pretty good lately. Here's what I found while wading through a million Nordstrom anniversary sale posts:

MindBodyGreen shared a good article about the three essential oils you should have to start a practice.

Loved this list of ideas for spending a night in or out with your friends.

Linda and Christene are both iconic, so I loved this interview.

I love Heloise's style and energy.

The Fitnessista posted a 30-20-10 workout that I've been enjoying lately.

Add these beaches to your Pinterest travel board.

How cute is this DIY macrame deck chair? I might try this one out.

This Man Repeller article was so well-done and interesting.

Rosie's wedding photos are stunning. What a dream.

Ruth quit her job in the city to open the most beautiful hotel in upstate New York.

How gorgeous is this sugaring salon in Calgary?

how i budget for the month + future savings goals

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Happy Friday! As an INTJ with a very organized mom who used to work in banking, I can say that I sort of have a passion for finance and budgeting. In the past few weeks, with a new job and new financial situation, I've had to update my budget for my new income as well as my new savings goals, so I wanted to share how I did it!

As boring as it may sound, having a budget is so important, as is having a method of tracking your finances. It scares me so bad when I hear about people who don't know what's going on in their bank account because they're too scared to look.

Okay, so here's what I do right now to keep on top of my finances in the short and long term.

the zero-based budget // I love Dave Ramsey's 'zero-based' budget plan. The idea is that, at the end of the month, you should 'spend' every dollar you make so that you reach $0. That doesn't mean 'spending' like blowing it all at Sephora, but rather assigning every dollar to a category so that you don't have leftover money to waste on unnecessary things.

This technique really is the crux of my monthly budgeting strategy. I take my salary for the month and break it up into several categories (which you'll see below), starting with non-negotiable necessities (bills), recurring expenses (gas, food), savings, and spending.

factor in spending money // I just mentioned that I assign a certain amount of money to my spending category each month. I guess you could say its like giving yourself an allowance for things like going out to eat, buying clothes, and so on. By deciding on a set amount of spending for the month, you're able to maximize the amount you save without feeling like you have nothing left over for fun.

multi-phase budgets // If you have different savings goals or your income may change, it's a good idea to set up multi-phase budgets. To give an example, my two big financial goals right now are to pay off my credit card balance (which I accumulated during the expensive moving process) and then to save a decent amount for a trip to London in the spring. My first priority is paying off the card, so that's what my Phase 1 budget focuses on. After I've budgeted my necessities and spending money, everything else goes to paying off my balance. In a few months, when that goal is complete, I'll move on to Phase 2 where I will set aside a certain amount each month to go toward the trip and re-allocate the extra to other categories. 

budget categories // So, here's an outline of the budget categories I'm currently using just as an example for what you can use as well.

  • Monthly, recurring bills (car payment, car insurance, etc.)
  • Gas, weekly 
  • Groceries
  • Spending Money
  • Savings Goals

budget tracking tools // I'm a pretty organized person, but I'm not the kind of person who has a big Excel document to track my budget. Honestly, my personal budget isn't super complicated so I'm usually good with just writing payment dates in my planner. However, I do like using Mint, which is a free, online budget service. You can connect all of your accounts so they can be managed in one place, set goals for yourself, and track your credit score. 

What kind of budgeting techniques do you guys use?

what i ate wednesday

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Happy Wednesday! My intention lately has been to eat more protein, specifically 20g of protein four times a day. So, here's what I ate on a random day this month.

Breakfast: I started the day with overnight oats I had prepped the night before. I've become quite the master of overnight oats, having created many different variations I love. Today, I had what I like to call my 'chai banana bread' flavor. It's oats, almond milk, chia seeds, half of a mashed banana, maple syrup, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and cardamom. I topped the oats with sliced banana.

After arriving at the office, I drank a protein smoothie that I made with half a frozen banana, cherries, pineapple, coconut, almond milk, MCT oil and chocolate egg white protein powder. Like I said above, my goal is to have four meals per day that consist of 20g of protein and this one contains 23g in the protein powder alone. Sometimes, I prefer to just mix the powder with almond milk for an easy chocolate shake, but today I made it a little special.

Lunch: For lunch, I had two really good stuffed and roasted bell peppers. They're stuffed with a mixture containing vegan 'ground beef', mung beans, brown rice, tomato sauce, turmeric, and other spices. I ate this for dinner the night before and they were great warm, but also great cold as leftovers. After roasting them, the top of the filling gets crunchy and it tastes kind of like a summer version of Thanksgiving stuffing. 

Along with the bell peppers, I had a few blue corn tortilla chips and an amazing homemade fruit salad. I chopped up and added any fruit I could find at home and ended up with apples, tangerines, blueberries, watermelon, strawberries, and grapes topped with a lime-agave dressing and hemp seeds. 

Later in the day when I needed a pick-me-up, I had a Sambazon energy superfood blend with acai, yerba mate, and guarana. 

Dinner: As usual, I wasn't super hungry around dinner time so I had a really simple bowl of ramen and for dessert, some apple slices covered in almond butter, granola, and melted chocolate. SO good!

bastille day beach picnic

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Over the weekend, my best friend and I celebrated Bastille Day with a little baguettes-on-the-beach party. We packed our Parisian-inspired net bags and headed to the shore for a few hours. We kept the spread pretty simple with peaches, mango juice, crusty baguettes, and a little wheel of triple creme brie. 

We spent a few hours at the beach, mostly swimming and being pummeled by waves until the tide went out and the water became a lot more calm. That's really my favorite thing. The waves calm down and stop breaking on top of you so you can kind of just roll over them. 

After the beach, we did some restaurant hopping and then went back to her house to swim at twilight. We listened to some favorite summer songs like "Hallelujah Junction" by John Adams and "American Eyes" by Promises Ltd.

pretty things no. 19

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Happy Sunday! Yesterday was Bastille Day and today (right now actually) France is playing in the finals of the World Cup. While I'm disappointed my team (England) was just short of making it to the finals, I'm happy that my back-up team is likely to win it all today! As they should, considering Bastille Day was this weekend. So to honor the French, I pulled together some cute, French-inspired pieces to share today.

S├ęzane is definitely the French girl brand of the moment. This easy button-down Tomgirl shirt is the perfect piece for any Parisian-inspired wardrobe. You can wear it in just about any situation from a casual day at the beach to a dressed up office look.

Another perennially Parisian piece is the basket bag. I love this one from the brand Khokho because it's casual but a little bit dressed up with the leather details. This would be a great day bag with so many different looks.

I have so many Proustian scent memories related to the Caudalie Beauty Elixir. The grapeseed scent always reminds me of summer memories in the city and clean hotel sheets. This is such a great product to keep on hand during the summer so that you can spritz your face to cool off at the beach or wherever you're spending a lot of outdoor time.

How gorgeous is this Alice McCall dress? You can dress it up with espadrilles, the Khokho basket bag, and gold jewelry. Or, dress it down with a straw hat and canvas tote bag. 

I've been loving silk scarves lately, especially this floral printed one from Reiss. Tie it around the handle of your handbag, wear it wrapped around your ponytail, or tie it simply around your neck for a vintage look.

Is there anything better suited for summer than these classic Saint Laurent leather sandals? They're beautifully made and add a bit of elegance to easy, summer looks.