Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Challenge :: Random Acts of Kindness


Last night, was just a normal night – I had a list longer than my arm, of things to do and I was wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of life. I decided to stop by Aldi and pick up some of my favorite produce to chop up for the week. Once I got to the checkout area up front, horror set in as a huge line with full carts were crammed into one lane, as the other two lanes were closed. After a long day and a long line, I let out a short sigh and was thankful. With a bag of produce hanging from one arm and a watermelon bigger than myself in the other, I was thankful that I lift weights – can you say first world problems? 

Finally, another lane opened up as customers politely fight for the shortest spot in line. I figure there's no need to rush as I wasn't quite done with my watermelon workout anyway. In front of me was a cute little old man, who kept to himself and in front of him was a women (aka Mystery Woman). After being rung through, Mystery Woman made her quick exit and the old man's box of goodies rung up. Cheerfully, the cashier asked him if he knew that the lady in front of him had pre-paid $8 towards his grocery bill. He was stunned and said "but I didn't even say a word to her." The cashier went on to explain that she will apply the amount to his bill, as he continued to say "I didn't know there was still good people in this world." The older lady behind me then chimed in and said "there are a lot of good people, we just hear about the bad ones!" 

Monday, July 8, 2013

How to Save Money in the Kitchen | Part 2: Eating & Living Well



I hope ya'll picked up some good tips from the Part I: Grocery Shopping and from my post on eating healthy at an affordable price. Today for Part II of saving money in the kitchen, I'm here to talk about eating and living well on a budget. One of the easiest ways to save money, is to use your kitchen! My dear friend (wishful thinking), Carrie, from Sex & The City not only eats out for every meal, but she uses her oven for storage – do not be Carrie Bradshaw in the kitchen! The last time I used an oven for "storage", I was a toddler and melted my brother's Hot Wheels car. Now that I'm an adult, I've discovered that kitchens aren't just for destroying toys and eating spoonfuls of sugar.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Father's Day Gifts for Every Budget!


Father's Day is right around the corner and I'm wondering how it snuck up on me so fast. It seems the media makes a big flowery deal about Mother's Day and Father's Day falls to the wayside. Is it because men care less about the holiday or is it because women don't need the reminder to go shopping? No worries, Scantilly Cllad has got it covered! Check out my list of Father's Day gifts for every budget.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

How To: Save Money at the Movie Theater


You know that feeling you get when you see an awesome movie trailer that you've been dying to see? 
In the heat of the moment, I dash online to check out the showtimes and before I know it, the hefty ticket prices smack me in the face, forfeiting my desire. Depending on how bad my husband and I want to see a movie, we "rate it's worth" on the "scale" of: redbox rental (est. $1.35), video store rental (est. $3) or movie theater (est. $9.50). While it's always cheaper to watch at home, it's fun to have a movie date night out every so often! In this post, you'll learn how to affordably go to the movies and get your popcorn too. And by that, I don't mean smuggling it in your purse…

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

How to: Eat Healthy at an Affordable Price


Recently I went on my big grocery shopping trip to fill the kitchen with good food and to take advantage of sales. I always love loading up my cart with good deals, but I will tell ya, nothing will get you out of a grocery store faster than a 16 year old boy behind the meat counter hitting on ya. I'm sure my face turned as red as the raw meat and I ducked out of there so fast that I missed out on the $1.99/pound chicken breast sale. I would trade a compliment for a good deal any day. ;)

Friday, May 3, 2013

How To Save Money in the Kitchen | Part 1: Grocery Shopping



Saving money in the kitchen can be one of the easiest ways to make room in your budget. I'm not going to just tell you to stop eating out all the time like most money saving articles, but I will tell you how to save money each month by grocery shopping smart, cooking efficiently, while eating healthy and living well. The things we do in the kitchen are so normal to our daily or weekly chores, it's oftentimes something that we don't even think about. Once you have "saving money in the kitchen" on your mind, you will realize how much money you can actually save every month just by making conscious choices! Personally as a bonus, I have started eating healthier as well – fruits and veggies are SO much cheaper than processed food.  

While the cost of living varies wildly from area to area, every single one of these tips apply to anyone who's looking to save money in the kitchen each month. Soon enough, you'll be eating steak and asparagus (insert your favorite meal) on a rice and beans budget. Just because you can afford to spend $10+ per steak at the grocery store, doesn't mean you need to! Put your savings to good use elsewhere!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

11 Reasons :: Why You Should Study Abroad!





A few years ago, I had the dream of studying abroad on my bucket list, but I thought it was just that – a dream. I wanted to immerse myself in a different culture, but I knew that dreaming versus actually living it out is two totally different things. I knew that no one was going to help my dreams come true, unless I took the initial step towards them. This led me to the day I decided that I was not only going to study abroad, but I was also going to go on an international mission trip (more to come on this!) 

I had no plan, I had no budget and I barely had any savings as a poor, college kid. I ended up going to the study abroad office and grabbing some material on the upcoming trips and found out that they had more options than I ever knew about. I decided that a semester long trip was a bit too long for me so I settled on a 2 week excursion to Paris and London. While I am in love with different cultures and exotic places, I figured these two miraculous cities were a great start to international traveling, which I had never done before. Before even leaving the United States, my “class” met every week to complete coursework and to learn about the countries we would be visiting. Therefore, no coursework during the trip was involved!

Only a few months later, in the Spring of 2010, my small class and I were off on a plane to the UK for an experience of a lifetime. I was a mixed bag of emotions, I was excited and I knew a few other people going, but I was nervous as well. I didn’t own a smart phone with a SIM card, I didn’t have any clue how to speak French and all I had was American money, etc. Needless to say, it was a life-changing experience - and I learned a lot. I think I learned as much about myself as I did about the UK and France. I believe that it's extremely important to follow your dreams and I wanted to create this post to let you know why you should study abroad

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

How to Save Money Post Wedding :: The 5 R's

REGISTRY, REBATE, RETURN, REWORK & REGIFT




REGISTRY

Did you know that most stores offer a registration completion discount? All of the things you wanted or needed off your registry, that you did not receive as a gift – you can purchase with a discount! We found that the average discount was about 10% off everything. Beware though, some stores may offer this on only one transaction, so pile up everything you need and get it in one shot! (It's even more fun, when you get to pay for it in all gift cards.) 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Save Money :: Weekly Ad Coupon Match-Up



Today I unexpectedly came upon a handy page on the Hy-Vee website, called Helpful Ideas. I originally thought that perhaps it was something like a suggestion box or had meal plan ideas, but to my surprise it was something better. This "Helpful Ideas" page pairs their weekly deals with current coupons on the same product – how awesome! Who doesn't like double savings

Sunday, February 24, 2013

70 Ways to Brighten Her Day!

Photo by Ag-argentum, Flickr


A few weeks ago, you may have caught my post 70 Ways to Brighten His Day. Today I'm giving you 70 Ways to Brighten Her Day! Now I know, you men who have actually clicked to read this post were probably A. Sent here by your wife, fiancé or girlfriend or B. feeling like you might lose a little bit of manhood by reading this. Well get over it and read the damn thing :)

Friday, February 22, 2013

Recipe :: Lime & Red Pepper Chicken


"Awesome" iPhone Picture

You know your life is busy when the only time you have to eat is when you're driving in the car, multitasking at work or after 8pm. That may or may not have been a quick synopsis of my eating habits. I also have a strong feeling that I'm not the only one who eats like this, considering Americans are known for always being on the go. The other night, my husband and I finally had a little time on our hands and decided to make something new and delicious for dinner – we just didn't know what. The only thing we knew was that we were starving and had chicken thawed out in the fridge. I almost made our typical herbed chicken with wild rice meal, but my husband pointed out that he wasn't trying to eat healthy like me (ha) and he wanted some pasta! 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

7 Reasons Why You Should Love Shoveling!



Living in Iowa has its advantages and its disadvantages. I love the fact that living expenses are cheap, the air is clean and the fact that we get to enjoy 4 seasons! That also brings me to a disadvantage – SNOW! I think the only people in the world who love snow are children, teachers (snow days) and people from warm, southern states that get snow once every 5 years. Don't get me wrong, I love snowy days where you can look outside and see your beautiful snow covered neighborhood and frost on your windows. But…I mean BUT, with snow comes shoveling. Unless you're fancy smancy and have a blower or plow, but us newlyweds are definitely not keepin up with the Joneses. We do have a beautiful forest green, plastic shovel passed onto us by my old roommate. I think I took a few winters off of it's life last snow storm though by trying to push it with my foot and I broke off the top edge, poor shovel. It wasn't my fault that it "felt like –21 degrees" and my cheapo plastic had to bust! While I could go on and on, what I'm here to tell you is why you should love shoveling! Okay, maybe love is an overstatement and should only apply to spouses and desserts, but I am here to tell you why shoveling is beneficial to you

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

How to :: Save on Vehicle Maintenance!



After dragging my feet for about 100 miles over the 3,000 mile marker, I finally took my car in for it's well-due oil change. While sitting there, bored, I was thinking that there's a bazillion more things that I would rather be doing than sitting in a dirty chair in a cold waiting room listening to country singers wail through the radio. Even worse, I knew they'd try to sell me on replacing every wiper, belt and filter in my car, but I understand business is business. And the only business I'm interested in is saving money!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Super Bowl Party the EASY Way!



For about 95% of women in the US, the SuperBowl only means one thing – Party! Personally, I enjoy watching football, but considering my team didn't make the cut this year, my main priority for SuperBowl Sunday is good food! While Pinterest has a bazillion cute ideas for SuperBowl parties, that's not the route we're taking here folks. I'm talking bout plain, easy snacks that hack what Pinterest people take hours to make. We all know…"nobody ain't got time for that!" 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

70 Ways to Brighten His Day!


© Sweet Light Studio

Most people have probably heard the saying "a happy wife is a happy life," but what about the husbands? Does this mean that the husbands are supposed to put forth all of the effort to make the woman happy??? Know what makes me happy? -- Making my husband happy! I know, I might be just plain weird, but I LOVE doing things to make my husband happy. Whether it's something small like leaving his slippers by the door for him to put on after work or planning a big surprise. I know that my friends also love doing special things for their husbands/fiancĂ©s/boyfriends as well, therefore I have complied a list of 70 thoughtful things to do for your man to brighten his day! And I promise, it'll brighten your day too!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Recipe :: No-Bake Granola Energy Balls

No-Bake Granola Energy Balls


Last week, a friend and I took the step to devote the next few months to the workout program p90x so we can get ripped! Just kidding, these wimpy noodle arms aren't going to be "swoll" anytime soon. Growing up my childhood best friend actually nicknamed me "Noodle," if that gives you any indication towards my body type. Regardless, after 90 days of p90x workouts, I guarantee you that I will be able to do a real pushup! Considering this intense workout program, I have also started to alter the food I eat in order to stay energized throughout the process. I've always been a hearty eater and I actually enjoy healthy foods like spinach, but I have one major problem…I have a terrible sweet tooth! I asked the dentist to remove it, but he said I have too many to pull. Therefore, a habit must be changed and the easiest way to change a bad habit is to find a healthier alternative!

I altered an "energy ball" recipe, of which most of us have heard of by now, thanks Pinterest. My variation provides the sweet munch, without a sugary punch (some other recipes have a ton more sugar). The best part about them? They're DELICIOUS! Seriously they can work as a pre-workout snack or as a substitute for a cookie-craving! The taste reminds me of the beloved no-bake cookie, but a much healthier version!