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)

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

Wanna Save Money?

I wouldn’t call myself exactly…broke AF– but we’re scraping by…so I wanted to close that gap by trying out a couple of ideas that you always see on the internet– and see if they work: Guess what? They don’t.

I wouldn’t call myself exactly…broke AF– but we’re scraping by…so I wanted to close that gap by trying out a couple of ideas that you always see on the internet– and see if they work: Guess what? They don’t..and NO you can’t make $5,000 by doing surveys because you will literally kill yourself from frustration 10 minutes in.

So, I figured out that I should take out my daily spending money per paycheck in cash and leave the rest in my bank account– untouched. WHALE– that kind of worked– but if I didn’t want to spend my spending money because of something I just …needed…to buy, I would just swipe my debit card. SO, that didn’t work too well, but I did figure out that I am deathly afraid to be without a credit card for fear I’ll get kidnapped from work and need to pay for my way home after I escape. So glad I watch so much Person of Interest.

Anywho– here’s what I found works if you are looking for some extra cash, and you have no dignity– like me!

Stop Having Friends

Yea- I said it, but you were thinking it. Friends are super expensive. Weddings, Bar nights, dinners out– sure, you end up sitting home alone every night wondering what to do with the decor of your house– but at least you have your money. (Loljk)

For real though–

Poshmark

Yea, that’s right. Put your crap up for sale. No, not your crappy crap– but your clothes and accessories that you don’t need. And by that I mean– if you didn’t wear it this past season, and it doesn’t fit you…and you forgot about it– SELL it. It makes you feel good!Don’t just sell your clothes, sell your baby’s unworn clothes, or your husband’s clothes that he doesn’t like!

Granted, Poshmark takes out a portion of your profit– but you know what, the app is super user-friendly, and after a couple great reviews– you can shop their wholesale and really turn a profit! However, I haven’t tried that yet, because I’m not too big on the whole…risk your own money for a 50% chance of a reward. Knowing me, I’ll end up with 5 duplicate graphic tees that say “Barre so hard” and no one to sell them to.

Be A Guinea Pig

This too…you read that right. Look up research groups or research study groups. Guess what? If they’re willing to pay me $60 to taste their off brand peanut butter cup…I’m in, and you should be too. Check out local college unions or libraries to see if there are advertisments. They need people, and honey– we’re people!

Stop Buying

Guess what else worked? Not shopping at Nordstrom’s. Or Lilly, or francescas, or etsy…The easiest way to see money in your bank account is not to waste it away on something frivolous. You worked hard for your money– stop wasting it. (Says the girl who was on a mission to buy a new dress for a wedding today)

Well, we can’t all be perfect all at the same time.

Love you, mean it.

K

 

 

New Year New Me? Relax.

These “new year, new me” people. MY GOD. Is it just me or are people extra aggressive with their wishes this year?

Alright alright, so I spent too much at Christmas and I’m totally ready for my overly expensive trip to Jamaica (so my saving mantra is a bust)– but we have something to talk about:

These “new year, new me” people. MY GOD. Is it just me or are people extra aggressive with their wishes this year? First off, the line to sign up at Planet Fitness is out into the parking lot and the line at Whole Foods is even longer. Half these people haven’t eaten kale, but they read it’s a staple piece for starving yourself.

“I’m going to change careers”

“I’m going to stop being mean to my husband”

“I’m going to own a dragon”

…where do the delusions end?! Anyway, I have a couple of theories on new year new me, and since you’re already here, maybe you should stick around to read them.

First off, if you’re reading this, you are probably wondering if you are a “new year, new me” person that I’m bitching about. Guess what? You probably are, so stop it and set a goal when you are actually going to do it…like in July when you realize that your cookie pouch of a stomach is indeed not cute in your bathing suit. That’s a new year new me moment that will stick with you.

As for the other 4 people reading, you’re probably in the same boat as me– every day you say you’re going to eat different or less, work out more, stop gossiping…and then something always happens, and cookies are suddenly in your mouth while your dog silently stares at you judging your every move.

My thoughts? Stop trying to think that January 1st is magical. Yes; I get it, the first of a month can inspire change in some…some psychos. For all you normal people out there, stop pressuring yourself to make a change immediately. Change takes planning, change takes time, and sugar takes 3 days to get out of your system completely.

I applaud those who have stuck to their goals thus far, it has been 9 days and you are goin’ strong. I’m not going to encourage you, but you only have about 12 more days until it becomes a habit…and you’re on your way, so don’t screw up 🙂

 

xoxo

Kate

 

5 Real Things I Heard This Week

I’m not going to lie, I have dumb moments…but nothing like this. I’ve had to duck under tables and run out of places in order to not be considered “rude.” Sigh. Here it is:

5 Real Things I Heard This Week

  1. “Christmas isn’t a religious holiday…these people are trippin'” Literally no words for this. I can’t imagine the disappointment this one face after googling the history of Christmas.
  2. “I haven’t heard anything about ISIS in a while, guess that’s over!” Just, not a good thing to joke about, 12-year-old. Try again.
  3. “Are you asking him to the dance? I think he has a limp. That’s not a good dance partner.” People with limps are people too.
  4. “I don’t think that jacket is a good fit for you, that’s a poor people brand.” Yes, that’s a nice thing to say to a person.
  5. “The iced bucket challenge is over! I guess everyone raised enough money for ALC!” I believe the word you are looking for is ALS, and no…it just got too cold for people to dump large tubs of ice water on their heads.

This is why I love to people watch…and eavesdrop. Piece of advice: Think before you talk. You just may end up on here…#whitneyportface

Also: just taking some time off for the holidays! I’ll be back full force the first week of January! Have a wonderful New Year’s Celebration…and don’t act a fool. Save your money. Spoiler alert: A huge ball drops and a new month starts at midnight!

xoxo Kate