Improving your Physical & Financial Health

Improving your Physical & Financial Health

We paid off 25K in student loans in 2016. The goal this year is 30K.


Recent Posts

Panning Community in 2017

Panning Community in 2017

I don’t know HOW I missed this, but the panning community is a thing, and it’s amazing. Makeup lovers out there realizing that it’s REALLY easy to accumulate a LOT of makeup and pretty hard to actually use it all up. Gorgeous palettes are coming […]

Starting Your Budget: A Quick Guide

Starting Your Budget: A Quick Guide

Starting your budget, adjusting a budget, or tightening a budget can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. When my husband and I got married, it was hectic for more than a few reasons, but we knew we were going to have […]

Managing Coffee Love on a Budget

Managing Coffee Love on a Budget

I love coffee. Not just floofy sugary Starbucks-esque drinks, but dark, rich black coffee. I like the notes of fruits and florals, and appreciate the difference between a light roast and a dark roast. In short, I am a coffee snob. Managing coffee love (snobbery) on a budget was kind of tricky at  first, but we’ve found a way to make it work!

Real quick, I attribute this love/obsession with coffee to my upbringing 1. I was born and raised in Anchorage, AK. In Anchorage, there are fabulous coffee “shacks” on nearly every corner. There are few places in the city where you cannot see two coffee places at once. I’d put Anchorage at just under Seattle in terms of coffee obsession. and 2. My dad. He was an insane coffee drinker with a love for a 12 oz quad shot breve (or latte when he was trying to be slightly more healthy). In my childhood, 9 out of 10 daddy-daughter outings involved a coffee shop.

  The blend my mom sent us for Easter. It’s from my favorite coffee place. Update: This is the best whole bean coffee I’ve ever had at home. Hubby agrees. Thanks mom!
     How cute is this label? My mom sent us this coffee and it made me smile.

Anyways, heres how we go about managing coffee love on a budget…

  1. We only drink nice coffee on weekends. In the past, we drank fancy coffee every morning. We were always proud to say that we “didn’t buy coffee” at a coffee shop, but quality beans get expensive. Frankly, our coffee consumption during the week is more means-to-an-end to get to work and through the day than it is about enjoyment. So now, we grind up our beans only on our weekends. Doing this has made us really appreciate every delicious cup, and has pretty dramatically lowered the $ we spend on coffee.
  2. We don’t drink coffee out – I won’t say never, because occasionally when I’m behind on MBA homework I’ll go work on it at a coffee shop in the city nearby. Our home is in an area where the only nearby coffee is Starbucks, so there isn’t much temptation otherwise. People who know me in my current town/college town think I love Starbucks, but it’s only because they don’t understand what Anchorage offered and unfortunately Starbucks is as good as it gets here. Meh.
  3. Buying “good coffee” on sale – I know I just said I don’t really like Starbucks, but I DO really like their Christmas Blend/Holiday Blend coffee beans. They have the perfect amount of spices without adding too much “flavor” past the beans. Anyways, this year I was able to score some after the holiday season for 50% off. I really wish I would’ve checked more stores to stock up because this roast is delicious and the price was unbeatable. I also check TJ Maxx ( I know it sounds weird but sometimes they have good blends!), and other coffee shops.
  4. Buying Whole Bean Coffee – this is another thing I learned from my dad. Whole bean coffee is a better value, because there was less processing involved. Not to mention it is WAY more fresh tasting. Instad of the grounds drying out the entire time they were shipped and in your cabiniet, only the outside of the beans touch the air. There really is a taste difference, I promise. Now, when you drink whole bean coffee this means you need a coffee grinder. We use {this} one (FYI there are quite a few negative reviews, so be aware of that. But we’ve had ours for two years, used daily for about a year, and used weekly for a year with no issues)

    managing coffee love by grinding beans
    Prepping  the coffee beans. This little coffee grinder has been a workhorse for us and is easy to store during the week.
  5. Drinking Coffee Black – Adding anything into your coffee simply adds in additional cost per cup. Not to mention it may also add in unnecessary sugar/chemicals into your drink too. You aren’t managing coffee love if you drink super doctored up drinks. At that point you are enjoying the cream/extras and should just drink the cheap stuff.

I hope this helps any other coffee lovers out there! Or if you don’t care, that you just amused by my high horse about coffee. Either works for me. I’ll just be here drinking my delicious weekend coffee.

With Motivation,

Rachel

Grocery List 4/13/17 + Meal Planning (Whole30-ish)

Grocery List 4/13/17 + Meal Planning (Whole30-ish)

  Hooray, it’s officially my weekend! My work has tomorrow as a holday, which is perfect because Riley’s daycare is closed. We had to buy a few more items than I’d hoped, but this week the grocery list was still pretty good. I narrowly escaped […]

Making Ghee The Easy Way in Only 3 Steps!

Making Ghee The Easy Way in Only 3 Steps!

The idea of making ghee was something I found super intimidating at first. In theory, ghee isn’t difficult to make. Actually, in reality ghee isn’t difficult to make. But most of the recipes I looked up were really long and said to use cheesecloth. Now, chesecloth […]

My First Run in Months. Here’s How it Went.

My First Run in Months. Here’s How it Went.

I’ve been HORRIBLE about doing cardio. Or weight lifting. TBH, my “workout” routine has consisted of yoga (hot vinyasa and basic vinyasa with the occassional ashtanaga). Yoga is awesome but doesn’t get my heart rate up.  My job can be active, but the majority of the time isn’t. Over the weekend, I was feeling just kinda fluffy again. I’m not sure what it was but I just wasn’t feeling so great. Maybe because I missed Saturday morning hot yoga to be at the DMV (sooooo much fun. *eye roll*). But when the weather warmed up a lot on Sunday, I just knew. I NEEDED to go for a run. So I went for my first run in months.

My prior running experience

My back story on running is this: I HATED running until college. Then I began distance running for a few years. I ran many races (fun fact: my favorite race distance is a 10K) and overall was in great running shape. A year later I got pregnant, and I wasn’t able to exercise at all for the first trimester due to complications. Then I was okayed to exercise and ran a little. By the end of my second trimester I stopped running because I couldn’t handle the weight distribution and pressure. Major props to the women who run their entire pregnancy! Last summer, I ran a minimal amount. Considering I used to run an average of 30 miles a week, I averaged about…..5? per week last summer. Even that number sounds generous but we’ll roll with it. Over the winter, I essentially just didn’t run because running in snow just doesn’t sound plesant, and I was too lazy to get my booty on a treadmill.

Some inspiration

So anyways, my husband inspired me to run this weekend because he went mountain biking on Saturday and Sunday. He has been about as active as I have been, yet both days he came back saying, “Wow I actually felt great out there.” I told him it’s probably because he’s a lot lighter than he was last summer. When there is less of you to move around, the moving becomes easier. I also realized that I’m probably 5-10lbs lighter than I was last summer.

So seeing him all happy about his cardio combined with the whole “not going to hot yoga on Saturday” made me want to go ofr a run. Once I decided to, I was dreading it. We had just gotten back from a big meal with my in laws (BBQ Chicken, salad, and sweet potatoes) that included a bit of wine too. My stomach was settled but not as light as I’d like to be on a run. Since this was about to be my first run in months, I was fully prepared to be wheezing my way through the first mile. In fact, I was ready for walking breaks. I was prepared to fail. But my husband remineded me that it’s the first time back, so you’ve got to just get the cobbwebs out and do it. My iPod wasn’t charged. Great. That meant I had to bring my phone, which I despise doing because I like to be hands free. I didn’t want to eat up data so my song list was limited. Yet, I decided it was still worth it. Even if it would only be a mile. So I set out at a nice slow and steady pace.

and my first run in months was…

My mental goal was to not have to walk. And then, something happened. Running was feeling very natural. More natural than it has in years. The music selection was perfect. It wasn’t too heavy but had a fast enough beat to jog/run to. I did the section that I had planned to be my full run, and decided to just keep on going. I went for what I knew was longer than planned, and only came back home because it was getting dark. Also because I know it isn’t good to overtrain and I didn’t want to burn myself out on my first run in months (and of the season to come). My planned mile-ish run ended up clocking in at just under four miles, and done at sub-10 minute miles. Yes, those are slow miles, but I was till amazed since it’s been so long! I walked about 400m to cool down and made sure to do some basic stretching.

The morning after

This morning I’m a little sore but nothing like what I expected. I’m stretching a bit more tonight to aid recovery and using my beloved old  foam roller {link!} Overall though? My first run in months went SUPER well and I’m really, really excited to run! Maybe if I keep it up really well, I’ll even attempt winter running. Maybe. 😉

I’m already looking for a 10K to sign up for, because I’m just too excited!

How I Paid $1.50 for Anastasia Brow Wiz!!

How I Paid $1.50 for Anastasia Brow Wiz!!

Eeek! Guys, I’m so excited right now. I get to try Anasatia Brow Wiz, and it’s well within my budget! I don’t think it’s any secret that Anastasia Beverly Hills is KNOWN for their brow products. They are alllllll over Youtube and Instagram and in […]

How to Always Eat Frittatas Without Getting Bored

How to Always Eat Frittatas Without Getting Bored

One of the staples in my life is a frittata. My go-to breakfast. Whole30 compliant. A meal that will keep me full and alert all day. My tried and true way to use up any produce that is just on the verge of going bad. […]

Jumpstart Your Morning (AKA Make Your Life Easier)

Jumpstart Your Morning (AKA Make Your Life Easier)

I don’t know how it’s happened, but I’ve somehow become a morning person. It’s strange. I know. Anyways, certain things have just made life so much easier. Here is what jumpstarts my morning!

Jumpstart with:

  • Pre-set Coffee: literally the #1 thing that makes life better is to have a programmable coffee maker. Waking up to fresh coffee (and just being able to roll out of bed to grab it) makes the day start off easy. {this}
  • Yoga: So even though I just said there is coffee fresh made, I actually like to do a yoga session before having my coffee. Some morning this is 20 minutes, some mornings it’s only 5 minutes. I find that strentching first thing just feels awesome!
  • Meal Prepping Breakfast AND Lunch: I personally eat breakfast at work so both of these are ready to go!
  • My daughter: We have a one bathroom rental, and my husband typically is in there the majority of the morning. So I wake up our daughter and while she eats breakfast, I do my makeup at the table. It’s a nice time to spend with her that is usually pretty relaxing.
  • Making the Bed: So this isn’t a huge jumpstart, but it is really nice knowing that I’ll come home to a nice fresh room.

I hope these tips help you to jumpstart your morning too!

With Motivation,

Rachel

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Ridiculously Easy Toasted Cauli-Rice (Whole30)

Ridiculously Easy Toasted Cauli-Rice (Whole30)

I don’t know about you, but I was intimidated and skeptical of cauliflower rice, or”Cauli-rice” as it’s more affectionately called. I’ve never cared for cauliflower, but or whatever reason, this looked so promising. So I bought some (I’ve also made it but the cost is […]