Wednesday, June 29, 2016

50 in 500 update

With just over a month until my 25th birthday I wanted to share the progress on my 50 in 500 list which ends on that date. If you remember I started the list after being inspired by everyone's 100 in 1001 days lists but wanted something that ended a little sooner so I'd stay more accountable with checking things off. So far I've completed 22 of these items. With so little time left I've accepted there are certain things I'm just not going to get to check off, and that's okay. But I've decided to pick 4 items to focus on marking off before the end of this challenge.

1. Volunteer for a cause - In high school volunteering was one of my favorite things, but as I've gotten older and responsibilities have piled up I've cut it out. I love the simple joy that comes from knowing you're helping someone in need.

2. Have 5 go to recipes - Since moving into my new townhouse in May I have been better about cooking. I have a few recipes I enjoy making that I really want to fine-tune and make mine so I can feel comfortable throwing them together after a day at work.

3.  Find a work out routine I love and can stick to - Confession time: I honestly can't remember the last time I worked out. Sure I'm on my feet 8 hours at work and skiing was the best exercise I think I've ever done, but I haven't actually worked out in forever. A perk of my job is I have use of our gym, with brand new equipment, I really want to start taking advantage of it.

4. Share my blog with friends - Moving to Vail the only person I knew out here was from blogging, so more people I know in real life know about my blog than before. But I really want to change that. I've realized one of the easiest ways to grow my blog and social media follow is by sharing it with friends.

One of the main reasons I started this was because I thought it'd give me easy blog topics, and I just realized I haven't blogged about most of these that I've completed. So I'm also going to try to blog more in July and share about the items I did accomplish.

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Monday, June 20, 2016

four motivations to save money

One thing I really prided myself on was being smart and building my savings account. I don't want to brag, but for a young 20 something I had a hefty savings account. But all that changed when I moved last year. It's so expensive to live in Vail; I've basically been living pay check to pay check for the past few months. I'm really trying to make that change now. I moved into a less expensive place at the beginning of summer and I'm learning to say no to going out every time someone asks. I'll admit though my biggest temptation comes from shopping; I see something cute on sale and I just feel like I NEED it. I've realized though whenever I'm tempted to buy something I have to think about my motivations to save money. I almost make an international pro con list. Do I want this item more than I want one of my motivations? Sometimes the answer is yes, and that's okay, but most of the time the answer is no. Here are my four motivations to save money.

1. Vacation - One thing I really want to do more of these next few years is travel. Maybe it's just long weekend trips or maybe it's 2 weeks in Europe, but I want to explore this world. The job I'm currently working doesn't have a set schedule meaning it's possible for me to get 4 days off in a row without having to touch my PTO; 4 days might not be much but it's the perfect amount for a long weekend. Before moving to Colorado the only place out West I'd ever been was to Tucson for my sorority's convention while I was a senior in college, so there are tons of short plane ride away places I've never been.

2. A House - Maybe I've been watching too much HGTV, but the idea of buying my own house has been on my mind constantly. I don't see myself purchasing one for a few years, but for something this large you can't just wake up one day and think you'll hit the downpayment goal in a month. Allison from Because, I Said So is building a house with her fiancé, and that was a major wakeup call that people my age are adulating hard and owning homes.

3. Kids - Again this is something that I'm not planning on for many years, but kids are expensive. They're expensive to have and raise, they're basically an expense for life! I know they always say if you wait till you're financially ready you'll never have kids, but I'd like to have a little bit of money saved, because if not I'll be stuck asking my parents for help and that's the cycle never ending.

4. A Rainy Day - About two months after moving to Colorado I had a rainy day emergency. A waterline in my condo building burst forcing us to evacuate and be out for about 2 weeks. Thankfully I was covered for everything by my renter's insurance and was only out my deductible in the end. But it took months to get my refund check. I was so thankful I had money in savings I was able to use or else I would have been in serious trouble. If that happened in my first two months of serious adulting I can't even imagine how many more "rainy days" are in my future.

What are your motivations for saving money?

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Friday, June 17, 2016

Life Lessons from Gossip Girl

The other week I finally finished watching Gossip Girl. Yes, for the first time. I don't know how but I missed watching the series when it was on so I've been Netflixing it for the past few months. I had to pace myself because I just really didn't want it to end. When's the reunion movie?

I know it's just a show about superfluous teenagers (seriously though, did anyone else keep forgetting how young they were? Like I don't think they were even 21 when it ended) but I think there were so many teachable moments.

Blair - There is a difference between love and happiness. If we're really lucky we find these two emotions with the same person

Jenny - When you lose sense of self you're destined for a major downfall

Chuck - Money can't buy happiness

Serena - Being the "It Girl" isn't always sunshine and rainbows

Rufus - When all else fails eat waffles

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Monday, June 13, 2016

Summer Bucket List

It is finally starting to feel like summer in Vail, and by summer I really mean more like spring. As much as I love the heat I'm looking forward to no triple digit temperatures this year. With the temperatures finally rising to the high 60s and even 70s a couple of times and my confidence in putting my boots and coats in the back of my closet I've started to really think about what I want to do during this season. Everyone says you come to Vail for the winter but stay for the summer, so I'm obviously very excited to experience it! I've seen lots of summer bucket lists, so today I thought I'd share mine.

1. Make homemade popsicles
2. Explore a new city in Colorado
3. Make the perfect summer playlist
4. Go to a concert at Red Rocks
5. Watch a sunset
6. Go for a bike ride
7. Go zip lining
8. Take a hike
9. Spend an afternoon reading outside
10. Visit the Denver zoo
11. Try 3 new restaurants in town
12. Enjoy a patio happy hour
13. Have a picnic

What's on your summer bucket list?

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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Out West Wednesday : a review of Vail Vintage

This post has been sitting half written in my drafts for so long it's actually embarrassing. The Vintage in Vail Village is one of the first places I ate when I moved here and it's actually where Ashliegh of the Darling Daily and I had our first meeting!

The Vintage is a newish little spot in Vail Village, just down the street from the Four Seasons on Vail Road. This location is perfect because it's easy to get to and then have a little stroll around town while working off all the calories you just consumed. It's mainly a brunch spot, but also opens again at night for dinner and drinks. The waiters all wear these cheeky t-shirts with fun brunch sayings which gives it a casual yet chic vibe.

I got the Eggs Benedictine which was simply delicious. The hollandaise sauce was rich and the toasted brioche the perfect texture. I wasn't 100% in love with the smash browns served on the side, but in my opinion nothing compares to the ones served at Waffle House. To top it off I had the White Peach Champagne Float which was the perfect brunch cocktail.

Next time I go I think I'm going to try the french toast and topless mimosas unless I can convince someone to just split a couple of the starters because they all sound delicious!

Vintage isn't the type of brunch place you go on Sunday when you're so hungover you're still wearing sunglasses at noon. It's the perfect spot to go with your parents or on a low key girls getaway. Next time you're in Vail I 100% recommend you stop in for a treat!

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Friday, June 3, 2016

Easy Crockpot Pork Chops

Maybe it's because I've finally realized how expensive eating out is or because I'm tired of my parents asking if my chef roommate has taught me to cook or I just like being able to treat my boyfriend, but lately I've really been into cooking. Now when I say I'm really into cooking I don't mean I'm cooking 5 star restaurant quality meals; think closer to Tasty quality meals. But they are tasty! I made these easy crockpot pork chops the other night and they were too good and simple to make to not share with everyone. This is the perfect meal for a day when you have a bunch of house chores to do. My boyfriend was coming over that night but I had copious amounts of laundry to do, floors to clean, and Disney Channel Original Movies to watch. I didn't have time to slave over the hot stove!

Sprinkle I package Ranch Dressing Mix (make sure you get the dressing mix and not the dip mix)over 3 or 4 thick cut boneless pork chops. Place pork chops in the bottom of a crockpot and pour the rest of the package mix over. Place a 1/4 to 1/2 stick of butter on each pork chop. I used a 1/2 stick on each because I'm lazy and had bought the 1/2 stick pack and didn't want to cut them. Cook on high for 6 hours. Around hour 4.5 you're going to want a snack because your entire house is going to smell so delicious. Enjoy!

This is the only photo I got because it looked so good once it was done I forgot to take a picture before digging in!

I served mine with some sautéed squash and zucchini (because it was on sale) and diced sweet potatoes that I cooked in the oven with some olive oil and garlic salt. It was all so delicious and easy. Even the cleanup was easy because I remembered to first spray my crockpot with non stick spray!

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