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Monday, February 16, 2015

You're Welcome


I hope you found this as entertaining as I did.

Happy Monday!


Ps only three full days of the spending freeze to go!!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

4 Ingredient Homemade De-puffing Face Mask

Just because we're in a spending freeze does not mean that this girl doesn't like periodic facials! Due to lack of sleep, this little face is lacking a certain...je ne sais quoi. I would like to personally thank my uncle for pointing that out the other day on Skype :-p Thank you Uncle Glen :-p
So! Rather than moping I decided to do something about it, which is when I stumbled across this recipe for a "Mocha-Frappuccino Mask". Doesn't that sound like a wake up to you?! I mean, in what other ways can I incorporate coffee into my life...? :-p

...and because I love a good before and after, here is me...COMPLETELY makeup-less; before, during and after! The during may scare your dog...you've been warned.


tired
little scary, but on my way...
after...and B likes me better too!

Reasons why this mask ROCKS:



  • This is REAL food! It's so healthy for your skin you could eat it!  
  • Your face smells (and tastes for that matter) like mocha
  • People told me for two days the last time I did this that I was "glowing"
  • It's GREEN! You get to recycle those coffee grounds instead of throwing them away!
  • It's super inexpensive to make...I had everything in my pantry (yes, even the yogurt...I wanted to make a smoothie...okay?!)


The Recipe from Crunchy Betty:


Mocha-Frappuccino Mask (Coffee, Cocoa Powder, and Honey Facial Mask) Recipe

  • 2 Tbsp freshly ground coffee (the finer the grind, the better)
  • 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 3 Tbsp. milk (whole), heavy cream, or yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
 Mix all the ingredients together well. Apply to a sleepy morning face. Allow the mask to dry for 15-20 minutes. Wash off in the shower, scrubbing VERY lightly over the skin while rinsing.


Tip:

  • Crunchy Betty says to make the mask right after you make fresh coffee. I have not yet done this to see the difference it would make. The recipe makes quite a lot of mask, so I popped mine into the fridge to use again. I'm sure the coffee beans freshly ground would make a big difference, but I have pretty sensitive skin and have already felt a difference from doing it the way I have. So with that information, do with it what you will :)
  • This mask does contain caffeine! You may get a little caffeine boost/buzz from it...just sayin'.

That's it! I hope you enjoy this little facial treat as much as I did!

Jen




















Monday, February 9, 2015

Spending Freeze: Week 3 reflection

What cleaning and organizing tasks were you able to accomplish this week?

This week I went through my closet for a second time to thin it out due to some inspiration from the book "Madame Chic" and her "10 item wardrobe". This may sound extreme, but it makes so much sense it's crazy. Once this challenge is over, I will be focusing on quality clothing rather than quantity. 
"As you go into this spring, prepare your wardrobe by storing away any out-of-season clothing. You won't need your ski jacket or that heavy sweater dress. You won't need your thick scarves, winter coats and warm gloves. These can all be put away until next winter. Instead get your capsule wardrobe ready for spring. I employ a wardrobe of around 10 core items. These core items include dresses, jeans, pants, skirts and blouses. I also have extras like t-shirts, special occasion dresses, outerwear and cardigans. For spring/summer, I like to have a few extra sweaters on hand in case the weather is fickle (which it often is).This is the perfect time to asses what you'd like to get rid of in your closet. Are some of your clothes looking a little shabby from last year? Are there any gaps that need filling? For example, my white jeans have seen two full spring/ summer seasons and are a bit worse for wear. They will be replaced with a new pair this year.
Now that you have a small list of items from your wardrobe that need updating, you will keep an eye out for these very things the next time you shop. And when you find the perfect addition it will feel like winning a scavenger hunt -- the satisfaction will be palpable.
Think about what color palate you'd like to dress in this season. Turquoise, white, lavender, melon -- what colors will make you feel happy this spring? Keep these colors in mind as you update your wardrobe. This will ensure that all of your clothes will pair beautifully together. Your wardrobe will tell a story.
Let's shed the thick winter skin of heavy cold weather garments in our closets and prepare our wardrobes for the lightness of spring. Your look will be effortless and getting ready in the morning will be a spring breeze."  -Jennifer L. Scott from the Daily Connoisseur
Currently, I have 25 hangers in my closet and there are probably a few more things I could get rid of that I don't wear anymore. I had a hard time tossing aside the JCrew items that I had, but realized I never wear them because they just don't fit me right. JCrew or not, they had to go. Once this challenge is over I will really assess my current closet situation and see what "holes" there are in my spring/summer wardrobe and start keeping me eyes open for those pieces.


What blessings have you experienced this week?

One night this week, Nick and I were enjoying dinner together after B had been put to bed. Sipping wine, we started talking about what sorts of things we have been taking away from this challenge. One that came up for both of us is there is no longer an OPTION to just go out to eat, and it's helped reset our minds (especially mine) from "I don't know what to make, let's just go pick something up" to "well, what am I going to make'. Due to this mindset shift, we have ate some pretty amazing meals this month and I no longer feel the need or desire for that matter to go out. I can safely say our wallets are super big fans as well!


What has been the biggest struggle? Where were you most tempted to cheat?

This week I did spend a little bit of money...however, both situations were for really important purposes. One of them was a donation to a good friend's family who was in need; the other was for a piece of (very not paleo) cheesecake on Nick and I's date night. We went to watch Steve Carrell receive the "performer of the year" award for the Santa Barbara International Film Festival this year and snuck out to grab dessert to bring home. We got one piece and split it. That is literally the only (what I would consider) NON-ESSENTIAL thing we have purchased in three weeks...I'm feeling pretty damn good about it.


What are your goals for next week?

My goals for this week are to sell some things sitting around, return some items from Christmas (jeez, procrastinate much?) and learn how to make a counter for my blog that shows my money saved toward the Paris trip so I can have another level of accountability there. On top of that, I am going to learn how to make my own all-purpose cleaner and face moisturizer as I am almost out of both. Wish me luck!

How is it going for you? What sorts of ah-ha moments have you had, or troubles? I would love to hear them!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

In the meantime..

I'm looking at the adorable little face of my little Bennett boy and realize how quickly time is going. Too fast. Slow down.

This past week at swimming lessons he had his first submersion already! Yes, meaning he went under water (in a controlled environment with a professional). Man, that little one loves the water. I was exploding with joy and laughter watching him float around the pool on our instructors belly. His legs kicking up a storm, that little Buddha belly popping in and out of the water, his face painted with pure happiness, squeals of joy coming out of him. I loved every second of that moment. My baby loves the water.

Last week was Bennett's first time with a sitter.This was hard for me. Nick had someone in mind who he thought would be wonderful with Bennett. It's not that I didn't think she would be, but I was scared. Scared of leaving him for four hours. Scared of him preferring her to me. Who knows. Just scared. When I came home from four sweet hours of just me, myself and I, I felt like I came to the table with more to offer him as a mommy. I was refreshed. I worked out one solid hour without checking to make sure he was happy. I did three hours of uninterrupted work. Hell, I drank my coffee while it was still hot...
...I came back full, and I feel like we were better for it.

We are still waking up every two hours at night, but I don't mind. I know that at some point he's going to sleep in until ten and even then I may need to wake him up so he doesn't sleep through the WHOLE day. I know that while it may feel hard right now, I will sleep again. For now, the lack of sleep is nothing a little coffee and one of those amazing Bennett morning wake up smirks can't cure.



Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Spending Freeze: Week 2 Reflection

Week 2 reflection!

Wow, I can't believe we've gone through two weeks of no (non-essential) spending already!! I do have to say, I FOUND $20 on the ground the other day (next to the elevator...that is the only time being lazy has ever paid off), and have used some of that money (found money is allowed on the challenge for the record, look it up :-p oh, and yes I did look around to see if anyone was around who may have dropped it. I took it as a gift for holding strong on this challenge), but only about half of it. Other than that, I have only bought groceries, and I have to say I feel it is getting easier and easier! So here we go, week 2 reflection!...

What creative projects did you tackle this week?

Oh man, I feel red hot with enthusiasm for life this week! Let me tell you, reading and personal development really makes me feel on FIRE for life (whoops, I should have put a nerd-alert warning before that sentence)! This week I made homemade kombucha, paleo bread and decluttered my closet (all the while MAJORLY downsizing my wardrobe). Let me get more specific for each of these:

kombucha:

This was a MAJOR money pit for me before this challenge. I had a $5 a day kombucha habit that turned into a daily $30 expenditure because I couldn't go into Whole Foods and JUST buy a kombucha obviously...I had to buy ALL the things (and $30 is pretty much the smallest amount of money you can walk out of Whole Foods having spent). Try THIS kombucha recipe.


bread:

I recently stumbled across a paleo sandwich bread recipe that was super easy to do. I don't think anyone would be fooled if there was a blind tasting, but its delicious with butter and jam, or peanut butter on it. I'll take it!


closet:

With my combination of the challenge and "Madame Chic" (read about this book in the next section question), the message to clean out my closet was coming from every angle. So I weeded through my closet on two separate occasions, pruning and thinning. What I have learned and realized after my second weeding is that my closet LOOKS prettier!!! I actually feel like I have prettier things, and more to wear (and I only have probably a 1/4 of what I had before). Each item is one that I love and regularly wear, so each time I stand in front of it it is no longer "what do I wear, I have nothing!" its "what should I wear, I love everything so much!" Does this mean I won't buy more clothes? Mais non (can you tell one of my current goals is to finally learn french?)! I will, however, be much more discerning with each purchase, and there will be purchases of far higher QUALITY, rather than mass consumerism for quantity purposes.


What were you inspired by this week?

I am currently reading the book "Madame Chic: 20 style tips I learned while living in Paris". There are so many reasons I love this book, but one of them is that each chapter is pretty short...a major bonus when you have a 3 month old who loves your attention! It doesn't just talk about french clothing style (which I will admit is why I originally bought it...I am apparently obsessed with the french), but how the Parisians live the good life in general. Supposedly the french have a 10 item closet for each season; a capsule wardrobe if you will. This was the thing that finally tipped me over the edge and sent me into a Tasmanian rage through my closet; if the uber chic french can live with 10 items of super quality clothing, I can at least get rid of the things I don't actually wear regularly.

On top of that book inspiring me this week, I have two new Paleo cookbooks that have me reading recipes in bed:  ZenBelly Cookbook and Against All Grains. Not going out to eat is a lot easier when you make delicious things at home. (In case you were wondering, the bread recipe that I made this week came from the Against All Grains cookbook).

Finally, I looked up free museums days at the museums in my town (did you KNOW that most museums have a free day??) and marked them in my calendar!

What has been the biggest struggle for you this week? How were you tempted (or did) cheat this week?

I made the fatal mistake of going window shopping on State St with Bennett. Poor Bennett, I blame him and his need for being "out in the world" for me walking into Anthropologie, Free People and my favorite thrift shop (even though he slept through most of it). I came uncomfortably close to blowing this whole challenge on a dress in Anthro...but I pulled through...whew...that was a close one!

What are your goals for next week?

Just keep on keepin on!!

How about you?!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Spending Freeze: Week 1 reflection

So how are we doing with the spending freeze??!

I have to tell you, some days at the end of the day I feel a moment of panic and think "DID I SPEND MONEY!?" and when I think about it I hadn't...but it felt a little TOO easy (part of that is all the gift cards I have left over from Christmas, hahaha).


Week 1 reflection


So I wanted to do this on Monday (when it was actually a week), but guess what? We (meaning I) live in Bennett's world now, and that wasn't going to happen, haha. So we will do it now!

What was the scariest part of starting this challenge?

To be really honest here, the scariest part of starting this challenge was posting about it on this blog. The reason for that is in the past I have struggled with follow through. My blog readers have seen some successes and probably a lot of untied ends. Welp, that was me, true and real...but it's not my favorite part of myself. While it is something that I have been working hard on, and have definitely changed a bit, I think I still have a lot of fear that that part of me is going to creep out again and erode some of the self-esteem that I have created by following through on projects. I really need to follow through on this one.

What is the ONE thing you are most excited to get out of this project?

Well already I have a great deal more in my savings!
On the way home from San Fran Nick and I were having a great conversation (I LOVE car trips with him, it's always either power audio to pump us up on life, or amazing, stimulating conversations that, well, pump us up on LIFE!). It came up that I've never really SAVED for anything big. Yeah...weird, I know...here I am almost 32 and I have never really felt the satisfaction of saving for something big and enjoying the fruits of that labor! So, he turns to me with all his Nick intensity and says, "you HAVE to do this...you HAVE to save for something Jen!". So with discussion around what my biggest financial values are (family, travel and eventually a home of our own in Santa Barbara), we decided that I am going to take our family to France and Switzerland next year (I have wanted to go to Paris as long as I have lived...its in my blood, n'est pas?). We decided that as soon as I save $5000 I can book the plane tickets. I have already been scouring Air BnB for a sweet little Parisian flat for us to live in while we're there, and I literally cannot handle my excitement. I think this will ABSOLUTELY motivate me to keep saving and spending less on useless things. Meanwhile, Nick is going to use the money he's been saving from this experiment to save for a house/throw extra money at our debt. WIN WIN WIN!

What has been the biggest struggle for you this week?

I think about spending constantly, and this has been such an eye opener for me. I have quite a loud little inner epicure, and she wants coffee while she strolls the farmers market, magazines every time she passes the stand in the grocery store and misses the activity of State st on a Friday night while we sip a glass of wine and watch the people go by...ugghhhh.

What has been the most surprising this week?

Like I said above, it has been surprising how much I THINK about spending...what I want, what I neeeeeeed..etc.On the other hand, it's actually been MUCH easier than I anticipated to not actually spend the money...so there's that! :)



I would love to hear how this week went for you if you are joining the challenge as well!! :)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Spending Freeze!


Good morning world! Check out the crazy thing I'm up to now...



video







Heres the link: http://www.livingwellspendingless.com/31-days/livingwellspendingzero/

Her book:

http://www.amazon.com/Living-Well-Spending-Less-Secrets/dp/0310337674
Comment below if you're IN!