5 Go-To Recipes Under $20

Just like Taylor, I’m back.

Needed a bit of space– blank space if you will.

So, what have I been doing? Well, I’ve been:

Trying to make sure my kid stops being so mobile, haven’t put on make up in like a month, starting lusting over the color mustard, and making my lunches at home.

Yea, that’s right. It only took me about 3 years working in the same damn mall to realize that the food is actually shit there, and maybe it’s the reason I can’t seem to lose any weight. Bitter? Yes. Truthful? Yes.

Let’s just start with the choices that the state of Pennsylvania gives you as a whole: Applebees, Longhorn, Chickies (it’s good I get it, but like..not every Friday), Grand Lux, etc. The list of chains is endless. I guess being from New York makes me spoiled– but I’ll say it again. There’s literally nothing worth writing home about in this part of PA. Sorry, boo…but when you can’t find good Italian food 10 miles in any direction from your house, you start to get a bit irritated.

So, my lovely cook husband has started to whip up some awesome “take to work friendly” lunches and dinners. My problem with making lunches at home is that my hands are so full from my purse and my coffee that I usually don’t have a free hand to carry Tupperware in and out of work. I like easy, and simple, and lazy. Here’s a list of my favs and links to their recipes:

  1. Deviled Egg Macaroni Salad
  2. Paprika Parmesan Chicken
  3. Avocado Caprese Chicken Quesadilla
  4. Coconut Chicken Strips
  5. Avocado Egg Salad

If you wanted me to give you the recipes, you really are just reaching for me to do more work. In case you were wondering, this isn’t a cooking blog. But, alas– all 5 of these have something in common: They are so easy you won’t even feel like you’re really cooking– and with a 10 month old, I don’t really have enough time to cook a 5 course meal. Mostly because I’m too busy watching him crawl into my dog’s crate and try to eat one of Marlow’s 10 thousand tennis balls. Motherhood looks good on me, right?

Pro tip: Want to use Avocado in your lunch? It’s actually a freaking process– being that avocados oxidize like, super quick. You could put lemon juice on them or just leave the pit in to try to prevent oxidation. BUT I usually just wait to cut my avocados until lunch time–which is extra, and the ladies at the food court think I’m crazy when I ask them to cut an entire avocado open…but I do what I have to, amirite?

Want another pro tip? Make sure to remember to bring your containers out of your car. I know people probably adult much better than me, and that seems like a no-brainer, but just take the piece of advice and file it under your “Alright, I’m def more sane than Kate” tab. You may need it someday when your car smells.

 

Anyway, check back later this week (if I remember) to check out some new posts!

 

Love you, mean it.

K

 

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Best Planners out There?

I must say, I’m still not a planner person.

So, we talked about stationary…a basic girl’s most used drug. However, we didn’t talk about their secret weapon: planners. Ugh, not this again…I know, I know. Planner talk means back to school– but with popular brands getting their planner options for the new year out NOW– it’s time for all of you guys to take charge and shop smart for a great planner. I’ve gone through a couple– and I must say, I’m still not a planner person.

Guys, I really try– but I can never seem to keep track of it, or keep up with it as the months go on. Let’s face it, I buy planners because they’re pretty. If you love planners, good for you– because I sure as hell can’t seem to get it together.

Even though I forget about my planners a month into buying them, I’m still on the look out for some bitchin’ ones for you all. That’s right– I’ve been doing my homework, and I must say, we have some pretty steep competition this year.

Here it is, the best of the best planners for everyone out there:

Lilly Pulitzer, kate spade, Emily Ley, Erin Condren

Let’s just talk about these guys for a hot sec, because you know I sprinted to Lilly the day the new planners were released. These are the staples of every instagram worthy post. The artistic details, and beautiful colors, and the cute sayings all make everyone forget about the most important thing: The price. These planners can run you from about $20 for smaller versions to upwards of $65-$70 for a personalized EC. I love to waste money on frivolous items, but that’s just ridiculous. If you need to have your monogram on everything, here’s a pro tip: Go on Etsy and buy your monogram on a sticker for like, $5, and stick it on your $35 Lilly planner. Sure, we all know the paper quality is good– but let’s all face the reality: You’re writing in your plans to get drunk with your one college roommate at 6 and calling your ex-boyfriend at 9. #notapologizing

Target

Sure, the paper quality isn’t like, resume paper..but it’s good enough for what it is. I walked into Target the other day to get cookies (don’t ask) and my eyes caught a huge display of adorable, gold leaf planners. Now, I like a spiral bound notebook..so I can get a bit picky, but these are fairly cheaper than the Lilly that I did end up buying. If you can do without a spiral bound– you have even cheaper picks. They can range between $7- $17 for the dupes of your favorites.

Walmart

Oh, no. No, no, no..I’m not becoming a Walmart person (not that I don’t like it- the prices are bomb, but the people sometimes aren’t) Interestingly enough, the ones that I saw at Target had a fraternal twin at Walmart. If you want a good price, you’re gonna get it here. That’s all I’ll say. I have a couple more jokes, but I’m leaving myself to be unbiased.

Blitsy

HAVE YOU SEEN THIS WEBSITE? I’m not too sure about this whole..sticker thing, but the planners are so so cute! Low to mid $20 for these newly found beauties. There are a couple that are in the high $50-$60 range as well, so you do get a variety. First off, they bombard you with coups, and have pretty nice clearance that includes Rifle Paper Co right now!

Passion Planner

Ok, so these all have similar designs on them, but different colors. I’ve never seen these before, but they are super cute and pretty competitive in price. Right now, they have a simple black, purple, blue, gold, pink, brown, and turquoise. The options are straight forward, too. Academic, undated (who does that), and dated.  What I love? The questions that are featured for goal planning. Also, check out their mission statement below:

This is why for every planner purchased, we give one away. We’re more than just a planner company—we’re a group of goal getters making a change in the world. We’re creating something more than a community, we’re creating a #Pashfam that encourages one another to graduate college, land their dream job, plan their wedding, battle depression, overcome anxiety, and achieve their dreams. And we want you to be a part of that.

So here’s to helping more people, together.

– www.passionplanner.com

Since I battled depression for most of my life so far, I felt that this is a super great way to help out, even if they are “just” a planner company.

 

 

Anywho, just know– if you like planners because they’re pretty, you aren’t alone. If you like them because you use them: more power to ya. Just remember, an empty planner doesn’t mean you have an empty life, it just means you can’t get your shit straight to write it all down. (Like me!)

Love you, mean it.

 

K

 

 

Lilly Pulitzer, Emily Ley, kate spade, Walmart. (Links attached)

5 Websites You Need In Your Repertoire

Free shipping is yours for a mere $49..which isn’t hard to do once you find their selection of throw pillows.

We all know I created this blog to get better at saving money, and all I’ve done is help you guys save money while you laugh at my constant regression into Lilly Pulitzer shopping sprees. I’ve been clean for 12 hours at this point, and I’m feeling okay.

I’m here to give you a taste of the good life: 5 ~new~ websites for you to go spend your money at…and maybe feel good about?

The Charity Websites:

Ok, so I have two of these, and I’m not sorry. I’ve purchased from both, and I’ve never regretted it. Reason why? The profits go to something that you support. Each week, Sevenly.org chooses an organization or cause that is in need of support. From the website:

Sevenly makes a pledge of $7 per purchase in its 7-Day Campaigns and 7% for its cause-themed Collections to selected non-profits.

– sevenly.org

Under each cause, the website gives you some info about what you are donating to and how this purchase will help. Here’s what I like: They don’t lie about how much is going back to the cause. They tell you straight up that they do take some of it back in order to maintain the company, etc. If you’re still skeptical: here’s their FAQ.

On to the next: Serengentee.com

“By purchasing fabric from over 25 countries, we support artisans, their families, and ancient fabric making traditions.

And, by giving back 10% of our profits to a diverse range of grassroots causes, we work to improve lives in their communities.” -serengentee.com

You’ve probably seen these a bunch of places, or imitations of the same style. Basically, the founders of this company purchased fabric and patterns from various countries and communities around the world. With that, they used their t-shirt sales to give back to the community that the fabric/pattern came from. Each pattern is so beautiful and colorful. When you select the shirt you want, the information about where the fabric came from is on the page. Here’s my favorite right now.

Marley Lilly

marleylilly.com is one of those websites that you kind of miss when browsing around on the web. Not sure why, because everything is very reasonable and really cute. They even have a “monogram bloopers” on the bottom of the page that is for monograms that they made by accident and put up for sale at a discount. They even have a bridal party section! My personal faves? The 1/4 zip pullover, the baseball hats, and the earrings!

Society 6

Ok ,this place isn’t only on Ebates for a sweet 3.5% cash back, but it has just the kind of stuff that you know you shouldn’t even be looking at! Society6.com is literally the mecca for great prices on wall art, throw pillows, and mugs with smart ass comments on them. They support local artist’s work, and do a ton of collabs with artists, too.

Hayneedle

Ever go into a home goods and think…I feel like I need more? Me too. Here’s where you get it. But more…like much more. You could go crazy on here. If you want bougie for a buck, here’s where it is. Lighting, home improvements, or even just some damn silk flowers– you’re in business. Free shipping is yours for a mere $49..which isn’t hard to do once you find their selection of throw pillows. They even separate product based on styles.

I technically gave you 5 websites already– but here’s another, just for good karma.

Keep

This is sort of a mix of late 2014’s Looksy.com (where did they go?) and Wanelo. It has trending items, gift ideas, and great places to go this week for the best deals. It’s a blog, but it’s great to be in the know. There’s an app you can download so that you can be notified about sales near you, or upcoming deals. They have special deals for subscribers, such as Blue Apron discounts, etc.

 

That’s it for now, hope you go and get your browsing on. It’s okay to spend a little, as long as it’s not on a credit card!

Love you, mean it.

 

 

K

 

 

Thank You Cards

Getting mail in your mailbox, actually touching a magazine or a newspaper…it’s something that I will never see going out of style.

Ah, stationary. According to most, it’s one of the world’s lost arts. As a writer, I find it fairly insulting. Sure, I get the whole “modernization” aka, Evites, not sending thank yous, and e-zines (just to name a few) BUT, it’s a huge part of what I loved growing up. Getting mail in your mailbox, actually touching a magazine or a newspaper…it’s something that I will never see going out of style.

I know for sure, that a blog on the internet isn’t the way to exactly..protest, but what can I say?

In the past couple of years, I’ve attended a ton of weddings, birthday parties, and showers. You know what? Every single one had a mailed invite. What it didn’t have? Personalized thank you’s. More than half did, but there were some that didn’t even sign their name..it just simply said, “Thank you.”

I get it, it’s hard to get yourself together after a huge event and then a possible move into a new home. My thank you’s weren’t even ordered until I got the proofs from my wedding, so I’m not here to throw stones. I will say, it’s kind of a necessity in my book. Take a wedding for instance: Travel plans, buying a shower gift, a wedding gift, hotel rooms, new outfits/shoes for the reception…I mean it adds up to even be a wedding guest, and guests take the time out of their lives to come and celebrate the bride and groom, I think the one thing they deserve is a thank you for spending the day.

After that long winded rant, let’s get to the point of my post:

Thank You’s! My favs right now, and where to get them.

Customized

Tiny Prints, Wedding Paper Divas…you get the gist. These are the easiest sites to get thank you’s in bulk– but you pay the price. A count of 50 cards can run you around $60-$70. The styles are cute, and you won’t get the customization at Hallmark. So, if you got the cash, opt in for this. A site that is customizable but is more reasonable than the other sites? Simply To Impress is cheaper per card than the other popular sites.

Lifeguard Press

Want something bougie and overpriced? Lifeguard Press is your place for all things basic. Not gonna lie, I go to this site all the time– but a set of 10 Thank You cards from kate spade runs you $20. That’s more than getting your name in gold foil from Wedding Paper Divas. They have free shipping, but you have to stalk your emails for promo codes, because they expire quick.

Home Goods

I know you guys are getting sick of me vouching for Home Goods SO hard, but have you ever been in the stationary aisle? Photo albums, gift bags, and a ton of greeting cards. If you’re lucky, there are a couple box sets for cheap. Grab ’em when you see them. They’re useful to have in the house.

Target

I’ve found that Target can be overpriced for some stuff, but depending on the kind of greeting cards you’re purchasing, you can get cards for $3.99 for a count of ten. They have a ton of options, and unlike Home Goods– you can see what they have available at home before you trek out to the store.

Anyway, I LOVE thank you cards. You can get so creative and send out cards for just being a friend. It’s a really nice way to show somebody they are appreciated.

Love you, mean it.

K

 

 

How to: Save Money While Road-Tripping

if you’re driving from Philly to NYC or anything LESS than 5 hours– you’re being selfish. You’re in the car, not the Gobi desert.

I’m not a connoisseur on traveling..like, by no stretch of the imagination. BUT, I do travel. A lot. I drive a ton, and as we ALL know– I’m not made of money. In fact, I’m made of about $100 at any given time, but I make the best of it.

So, how do I do it? TBH, I’m not entirely sure, I kind of don’t check my bank balance until my anxiety gets super high and then I log in with one eye open. I tend to take bets on where I am in my bank account– usually I’m right on the money (lol) but other times, I’m literally shocked.

No but really, I’m pretty savvy when it comes to this stuff. It’s like my bread and butter– only I seem to have a weird problem with bread lately– but seriously. Since it’s the summer, and all you people are out of school and some are out of work for the summer: I bet you one thing: You guys are gettin’ in that car and wastin’ all yo gas.

Drive Smart

This is one place that you can’t fly by the seat of your pants–not only because you’re driving, not flying– but because planning out your route to get where you need to go is essential. I have my ways to get back up to NY, and a back-up way, and a back-up to the back-up. If that’s..backed-up, I deal with the traffic and curse the day I decided to move to PA. If you don’t plan this part out, you can end up driving in circles, getting off at exits and having to repay when you find out it’s wrong, and driving right into bumper to bumper at the GW Bridge.

Fill Up The Night Before

I find this the weirdest of my rituals, but it’s a staple. No, it’s not because someone told me you “get more gas when you fill up when there isn’t any sun out.” (That’s an actual thing flying around the internet.) It’s simply because I’m not in a rush, panic, or waiting until the last minute when I absolutely need to get gas. The obvious reason is: Gas near highways is absurdly expensive. Don’t drive a quarter of the way there on what you had in your tank before you fill up just because you were super excited about getting on the road.

Don’t Drive Like an Idiot

I’m sorry, I just turned into my dad for a sec. But really, DON’T DRIVE STUPID, K? Manage your speed and stop pumping the brake (or slamming). It helps maintain the efficiency of your car. On top of that, you won’t get into a pointless accident because you were tailing someone and couldn’t brake on time.

Don’t Snack Up your Trip

I take my driving seriously. For anyone who has taken a long drive with me knows, we can stop for snacks once and maybe the bathroom if you’re lucky. Listen, snacks and driving are a great combo– but if you’re driving from Philly to NYC or anything LESS than 5 hours– you’re being selfish. You’re in the car, not the Gobi desert. 9 times out of 10, you ate before you got in the car. You’re not going to starve. (Exception: Coffee– it just tastes better if you don’t make it 🙂 )

If you are going on a long trek, pack those snacks. Not only do you not waste needed money, but you are probably going to make better dietary decisions if you already have food. We all know Chic-Fil-A and Cinnabon are super nutritious for your 21-day fix, but let’s get real…packing a portioned out snack is easy and already in your car…unless you forget your food like I do.

Get An EZPass

Stop being an old-fashioned “I prefer cash” kind of person. Cash is king in two places: Construction on your house (great discount) and restaurants. Other than that, I don’t carry cash..partially because I’m terrified I’m going to get mugged. So, here’s the deal. EZPass (or what ever your part of the country calls in..Sunpass, etc) has a discounted rate when you go through a toll, you aren’t always waiting in long lines of cars (unless some idiot texting and driving gets in an EZPass lane and actually just has coins) AND it can be replenished as much or as little as you use it. Just don’t get carried away and volunteer to drive your friends places just because you have a simple out of your hair way to pay for tolls. It can get expensive.

Moral of my long-winded story: driving and budgeting while driving is important. Vacas are fun, and necessary– but it doesn’t mean you have to go all out and go broke, too.

 

 

Love you, mean it.

K

What to Expect When You’re Buying a House

It’s not easy, and anyone who says it is, must be on some damn drugs–because even apartment hunting isn’t easy, so don’t listen to them, and they’re psychos.

What is up, lovies?!

Today, we’re doing a super #extra post about me being a know it all about houses…and what I’ve learned being in about 100 of them to finally find a house that I was cool with.

I’m also posting a vid about this as well to connect the two, but since my camera died, I figured I would just write this first!

When you’re looking for a house, you need to make sure that you aren’t stretching your budget– and you are able to afford your mortgage, but all of your extra bills as well– phone, gas, car, water…etc. But, there’s a whole vid on that attached here.

On to the fun stuff– finding your absolutely perf house. It’s not easy, and anyone who says it is, must be on some damn drugs–because even apartment hunting isn’t easy, so don’t listen to them, and they’re psychos. Not only that, but it’s frustrating, irritating, and heartbreaking all at the same time. Honestly, live at your parent’s for the rest of your life– it’s easier. #jkdont

When you finally think about buying that house, think about what kind of house you are willing to transform, or not transform! Turn-key, new construction, or fixer upper are all viable options when it comes to what is best for YOU. Yes, your parents may say that a turn-key is more practical, but honey– we’re livin’ on a budget, and I like to keep my electricity on…partially because I’m afraid of the dark.

Depending on which route you go, there’s a guarantee that you will need to take a look at some stats– school ratings, taxes, crime rates, is it far from work?, and take a look at Megan’s law websites as well. It’s useful and smart, too! After you do all your research, get out and drive! Go over to that neighborhood! No one is going to be wondering why you’re there (unless you have really nosy neighbors in some watch group) (they literally have nothing to do)

Anywhos, go there! Drive through the blocks and take pictures (ok, that might get weird) but take some observations: are the streets dirty?, are there a lot of parks?, where are the schools?, how are people taking care of their homes?, what are the traffic patterns like? Make sure that you aren’t passing over stuff. Like, oh, no there’s a fight outside someone’s house…yea I’m not going to live there, thanks. (Experiences make the best blog posts, right?)

Next on your to-do list is: Make a Wish List!

Make a wish list with your must- haves and your must- have nots. Need two bathrooms? Write it down. Need an office for your huge dream of being insta-famous? Write that down too. Don’t want a basement? Put it down. This way, you aren’t wasting your time on houses that A) have no office B) Have one bathroom and C) Have dark and scary basements! Yes, it’s okay to bend on some of your must- haves…but sometimes you just know…and that’s okay too.

Up Next: Find Some Houses!

Use apps and websites like realtor.com and zillow too! You will discover which one you like more, and sometimes one is more updated than another. Your realtor should be finding you houses, but do some of the leg work on a boring Friday night…search in zip codes that you’ve been driving around in…look at pictures and send some e-mails with addresses to your realtor. The one main rule: Don’t contact the selling realtor without stating that you are represented. Just don’t 🙂

So, the next step is going in and finding some fun houses to potentially buy! But, that’s a whole other story for another time! Make sure to take it easy and not be too stressed about the process…you will eventually find a house– either a month from now–or a year…either way, it’s okay! Don’t be to hard on yourself if you have high standards! You don’t want to be stuck in a house that you regret– and you def. don’t want to be in a house that you can’t sell because of all the issues!

Anyway, don’t be a psycho…because I’m enough of one for both of us. Be chill, go with the flow, and if you’re looking for a house– listen to your realtor…but most importantly, go with your gut. Mine is huge, so that’s why I go with it so much.

 

Love you, mean it.

K

I’m stating that I’m not at all a professional realtor– so my opinions are just that…not professional.  🙂

What Did I Do This Week?

On Wednesday, my husband got home and we decided to go out and grab some unnecessary home decor to help us get our minds off of stuff.

Hey you guys!

So, after a long and stressful week, we are finally at most people’s favorite day, Friday! For me, it’s not really the start of my weekend, but you guys like it, so I’ll post for you! This week, my husband and I were faced with some pretty tough decisions regarding his career, but we finally were able to solve it!

When we get stressed, we shop. It’s a super bad way to relieve stress, but we got stuff to make our house cuter– so that’s okay..right?

On Wednesday, my husband got home and we decided to go out and grab some unnecessary home decor to help us get our minds off of stuff. We went to home goods on 202 in Blue Bell, PA. Let me tell you, there’s a difference between good and bad Home Goods. The ones that get hit all the time…and the ones that don’t. This one– it’s a good one. It’s SUCH a good one.

We didn’t go too crazy, but they were just putting out their spring and summer stuff– so I knew we were going to find pineapples and flamingos galore. Let me tell you, I wasn’t disappointed. We walked in, and we immediately went to the mugs. #mugmonday anyone? If you go into a store and immediately put something in your cart– you know you’re going to be there for a while.

Michael found a mug that perfectly described his relationship with coffee. This one is pretty similar to what he found. I walked into the next aisle and found a new tablecloth!

Does anyone else have rules when they go into a Home Goods? Thankfully, my husband has caught on– and walks through every aisle with me and doesn’t stray. I promise you– you’ll miss something!

After debating some other items, we made a promise that we would throw more parties this summer. As you all know, I was pregnant and miserable last summer, so I didn’t want anyone to have fun. This year, I’m ready! We got an adorable pineapple outdoor tray as well as a wooden utensil holder, because I’m really rustic.

The moral of the story is, if anyone comes to my house this summer, they will feel super welcomed.

When we got home, we went right to sleep, and went right into work on Thursday. Today, I was off, and had plans of being in bed all day, but MP3 had other plans. He wanted to be up and out, so I put on my big girl pants and drove around to Marshall’s and Carter’s. (That stuff is in my haul also!)

I am super excited to be adding on another type of media into my blog, so please enjoy my random as hell vlog channel too! We all know I’m not organized to do this all the time, but I’m trying!

 

Love you mean it.

K