I have so much to catch you guys up on but haven’t had the time or head-space to write it down. Maybe this weekend? Until then, I missed curating my weekly list of things that made me feel things so here’s this week’s list!
This past weekend, I was given the honor of shooting not only my first engagement session, but to add even more pressure to the experience, photographing my good friend Julie. I adore her and Johnny so much and I wanted to do right by them. I recently delievered her photos to her and breathed a sigh of relief and happiness when she told me she loves them so much that she could cry. Here are some of my favorite shots!
Question: Tell me about the last scary challenge you took on.
My budget suffered a severe tightening after I was laid off last year. I’m now partially employed and am entrenched in the gig economy, which means I’m never sure what I’m bringing in each month. Though I was never an extravagant spender, I had to bring in the reins on my spending. Here are 5 ways I’ve tweaked my financial habits.
1. I ask myself if I can get it at home or get it free some how. For example, sometimes I want to make a latte run. I know that coffee is only about five dollars per cup, but I have the supplies I need to make delicious Vietnamese coffee at home and we have free Starbucks at my part-time day job. Less cups of coffee bought while out, more money in the bank!
2. I check for coupons on sites like Groupon Coupons. Often sites like these have partnerships with major companies like Turbo Tax. (Did you guys file your taxes on time?)
3. I check if my credit card has a partnership with any of the companies I’m purchasing from. I use the Chase Sapphire card which earns me travel points. When I need to make a purchase, I scan their partnerships to see if I can earn a higher point ratio with any of their preferred vendors. It’s an easy way to rack up points for products and services I’m going to buy anyway.
4. I find new ways to socalize. I’ve been doing more errand dates and walking dates. My friend Stephanie and I once bought coupons for oil changes, met at the mechanic’s and then caught up over adult coloring books while we waited. I also entertain in our apartment more instead of eating out.
5. I maintain current good practices, which includes, not using the emergency fund unless there’s a real emergency, paying off all credit card balances every month, borrowing from the library when possible, and cooking most of my meals.
Question: What are some financial habits you swear by?
Another week has come and gone. What were your highlights? Mine was cooking my first meal in about a week. Chopping and stirring is my meditation. Enjoy this week’s list of links that made me feel things.
This is one of my best friends, Nazanin. She moved to Miami almost three years ago and I’ve only visited her once before. She hosted not only me in her home this past weekend but also my parents. After just a brief weekend, they are ready to adopt her because she is so sweet and entertaining. Our weekend ended too soon and about 45 minutes before having to head to the airport, we realized we never made time to have the portrait session we’ve loosely planned. Luckily she lives in such a beautiful neighborhood that we were able to just pop outside!
I am striving to take more portraits. If you’re in the Austin or Houston area and are interested in having your photo taken by me, shoot me an email. I’d love to hear from you!
I had a jam-packed week with birthdays and events and trying to land freelancing gigs. I’m now catching my breath and traveling today with my parents to Miami. I had money set aside to treat us to a big trip whenever they retire, which they eventually did two years ago. We only used half the funds last year since my mom picked a smaller trip (Vegas). So I’m using the other half on a short weekend trip. One of my best friends lives in Miami and offered up her spare bedroom. I can’t wait to see her and go on another adventure with my folks!
Here’s this week’s list of links that made me feel things.
I love the underlying message of this beautiful video. Photographs not only reflect the subject but also the person holding the camera and his or her perspective. I love seeing photographs of people taken by the people who love them.
February seems so far away! March rolled in and had so much steam that writing my monthly recap for February just kept getting lost in the shuffle. Thank goodness for my compulsion to snap photos and share on Instagram. In February, I enjoyed meals with fellow food bloggers who also climb into chairs for pretty overhead shots of food. We hung out again in Jane’s home and dabbled in water colors. I spent a weekend in Fredericksburg with Sugarface and our puppies. We ate around Fredericksburg, played Scrabble for the first time together while drinking pink champagne, and our dogs had a narrow escape from wild donkeys they aggravated. That weekend might be my favorite memory from February.
A close second favorite memory was Valentine’s Day and wasn’t depicted on Instagram. We started the day with breakfast tacos, then watched my friend run the Austin Marathon. For lunch, we had a chicken tender-off and ordered chicken tenders from around town to see who had the best one. We followed that with leisurely reading for me and him working. I was just about to make the same dinner I made for him the previous Valentine’s Day when I get a text from one of my good friends. She couldn’t make her reservation for dinner and gifted us an elegant multi-course dinner at an esteemed restaurant in Austin. We literally had 10 minutes to decide and make the seating. It was such an unexpected surprise that we spontaneously rushed to. It made me feel so lucky to have kind thoughtful friends and a man who is such a willing partner in crime in my life.
Happy Friday everyone! I hope you have the best weekend. I’m off to go to work and allotting myself a full hour instead of the usual fifteen minutes since I work downtown and the POTUS is in town for SXSW! Hope you enjoy this week’s links that made me feel feelings.
For many women, friends are our primary partners through life; they are the ones who move us into new homes, out of bad relationships, through births and illnesses. Even for women who do marry, this is true at the beginning of our adult lives, and at the end — after divorce or the death of a spouse.
There aren’t any ceremonies to make this official. There aren’t weddings; there aren’t health benefits or domestic partnerships or familial recognition. There has not yet been any satisfying way to recognize the role that we play for one another. But, as so many millions of us stay unmarried for more years, maybe there should be.
I might write a blog post about how being laid off gave me a new approach to life and friendship. For now, I’ll share you this post from Seth Godin and send love and light to my tribe of supportive friends.
Full Disclosure: I was provided a complimentary stay from Glamping Hub in exchange for an honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for this post.
When Glamping Hub contacted me about their new database, Texas Weekend Getaways, I had so much fun perusing their rental properties. I had been feeling the urge to get away for a weekend with Sugarface and my pups. They have beautiful properties listed, all promised relaxing seclusion. You can filter your searches for pet-friendly properties and to cater to bigger groups. They also offer unique options such as tepees and tree-houses. Which honestly, would have been my first choices when I looked for myself, but the tepees and tree-houses listed were not pet friendly! Still, it wasn’t a big loss since I found this beautiful property two hours away from Austin in Fredericksburg.
The listing had two neighboring cabins you can book together, each with two bedrooms. Sugarface and I stayed in the smaller cabin. There’s a full kitchen and Beverly, the owner left us fresh eggs from her farm. The space was warm and inviting and we loved the that there was no cable TV or WiFi. It really enabled us to enjoy the scenery with the dogs and each other’s company. We spent an evening playing scrabble while drinking pink champagne. It was cozy and idyllic.
Since the cabins were situated on a farm, our dogs Bob and Neva saw their first cows, sheep, and donkeys. A word of warning, the donkeys are not tame and will attack if they feel threatened. Mischievous Bob and Neva might have learned that on their own and were lucky to escape a trampling. Of course their narrow escape just thrilled them further. They were so happy to be out of the city and I’m sure if they could, they’d recommend Beverly’s cabins to you too. You can see evidence of this sentiment in one of the photos I shared below.
We managed to leave our weekend haven long enough to go on a hiking adventure at Enchanted Rock and experience downtown Fredericksburg, which was only fifteen or so minutes away. I blogged about the restaurants we dined at on my food blog. All in all, it was the perfect Texas Weekend Getaway and I am so grateful for the memories!
Questions: Do you try to travel with your pets or leave them at home? If the former, tell me about some of your vacations with your pets!
Happy Friday! I have today off and six blog posts I need to write, two with a March 1st deadline. So I’ll be spending today and hopefully much of my weekend cranking out blog posts! It’s a good problem to have.
Please enjoy this week’s pieces of the internet that made me feel things.