Dreams are Good. DO’S are Better!

We’ve had a lot of dreams around here lately. Dreams of what we want our future to look like. Financial dreams are a part of that, but there are so many other dreams as well. What will our lives look like in 10 years? Or in 30 years? Where will we work? How will we enjoy ourselves? Where will we live?

It’s really easy to dream, but sometimes actually DOING something to get you there can be really scary.

dreamsaregooddosarebetter

I’ve recently had a few different life changes that have forced me to DO rather than just dream. One of the big things was to make the conscious decision to keep my social media aspirations and my current career aspirations together.

Being a blogger AND having a career can lend some interesting thoughts and opinions. For a while I was searching for a social media manager position, and so I amped up my LinkedIn profile and my resume to showcase those skills as well. But we all know that when you are looking for one thing, something totally different presents itself!

That happened to me in the form of an amazing opportunity in my current line of work. But that doesn’t mean that I have to stop reaching for my long-term goals in blogging and marketing and social media. It is one of my loves. And it’s ok to let that be known.

Keeping my “other job” public for all to see, including my new employer, was quite interesting. In my interview, my new boss actually asked me some questions about my blogs. It was a first, but it was fun to boast about them!

The point is, it’s OK to actually DO what you dream of doing. You don’t have to give up one thing because you start another. Working on your hustle, on your goal, on your dream, doesn’t mean you have to quit everything else. It doesn’t mean you have to hide your dreams. Don’t be afraid. Good people, good employees… they are dreamers. They are thinkers. They are DOERS.

So show off a little. What are you really good at? What do you want to be when you grow up? Don’t be afraid to let it shine!

3 Reasons You DON’T Deserve To Buy That!

YOU DONT DESERVE TO BUY THAT

I used to fantasize for objects with rapid regularly. After college, I had a Wish List totaling over $3,000, all while trying to figure out how to pay my bills.

I suffered from Stuff-itis. I’m sure you have at one time or another, too.

When I was broke and spending money I didn’t have, I thought I was just getting the things a newly independent person “needed”.

In reality, I was actually mortgaging my future, thinking I deserved fancy things without working really, really hard for them. 

For a long time, I didn’t even realize I had almost nothing, while living like I needed everything.

A change was neededa whole Paradigm Shift was needed…That shift came years later in the form of The Total Money Makeover with Dave Ramsey. 

I began to slowly make meaningful (often difficult) changes within me, and I realized that I was not the things I owned.

Throughout our debt-clearing process and getting the clutter out of our lives, I realized a lot of the stuff I thought I wanted in my life didn’t matter anymore. Stuff has a way of clouding judgement like that.

Here are 3 reasons you probably don’t deserve the things you’re thinking about buying:

1. You can’t tell your spouse

Around the time we got married, I remember checking my account for weeks to make sure I finally had enough money for a receiver & speakers. I never told Kristin I was buying them. 

I was already creating money tensions with my new bride. I was being dishonest with her to get what I wanted. I was disregarding her feelings when it came to mutual money decisions. You can’t do that and maintain a healthy relationship.

2. You finally have enough to make the monthly payments

A monthly payment mindset is tough to get out of, but it’s vital for true success.

Years ago, I needed a car, and we were going to have to finance it.

I was so ecstatic about qualifying for the loan that I never thought about what a reasonable purchase would be. I never felt the difference between the $18,000 car and the $26,000 car. Spoiler alert: It’s Eight Thousand Dollars.

It wasn’t all bad: That $475 monthly car bill came to be the fire in our bellies to do whatever it takes to get rid of that payment. Forever.

3. You’re not saving enough elsewhere

Maybe you’ve saved up and you know exactly how much you have for your thing. You’ve been setting that money aside for weeks, or months, and you finally have saved enough money. Good for you!

I’m asking you to double-check that you truly have enough.

An emergency fund should be there for a reason. Life insurance is sold for a reason. The government limits retirement contributions for a reason.

Build a rock-solid financial house and purchases become good experiences again.

Before you go out and get the latest and greatest, think to yourself: Am I mortgaging my future for my present?

The answer may surprise you.

Skincare SOS! The Best Choices In your 30s!

musthaves

 

Good skincare.  It’s something that is really important, especially to women,  especially the older we get. For the first year of my 30s, I still treated my skin like I did when I was in my 20s. Enter year 31. Things were changing. Yikes.

It really is crazy how quickly you can start to notice changes in your skin. One day I looked at my hands and realized even they looked different. This whole aging thing is happening, and I’d better start to take care. I made it my new goal to whip my skincare regimen into shape. I’ve broken down your skincare must have’s below. And the best part? They are all under $20!

1. Antioxidants. We all know that antioxidants are important. They help fight against free radicals, keep our skin looking bright, and help reduce wrinkles. Because I like to use as many natural products as I can, I use Yes to Blueberries Age Refresh. It smells amazing, it’s nice and gentle, and it has those antioxidants we need!

  

2. Retinol. If you are in your 30s and you aren’t using a retinol cream, RUN to the nearest drugstore. Retinol cream helps your skin repair itself (especially overnight), and it is the biggest wrinkle fighter you can get. Because we are budget savvy, I use Walgreens Deep Wrinkle Retinol Cream. It works great and also smells nice!

3. SPF. Wearing an SPF daily will help protect your skin from sun damage, and even though you may not realize it, we are constantly exposed to the sun’s rays throughout the day.

4. Serum. Serums do more than your regular moisturizer because they reach deeper into the layers of your skin than your typical moisturizer does.

I’ve found that a 2 in 1 moisturizer in serum works best for me. Why, you ask? Well, because I’m lazy and also don’t want to spend a billion dollars on skincare products. Simple, people. It’s the way to go. I like Olay Total Effects 7 in 1 Moisturizer+Serum Duo with SPF 15. Look at that. Hitting 3 steps in one. Rock on!

.These products make me skincare routine super simple, and that’s why I love it. I use the cleanser and the retinol cream at night. No moisturizer needed. And in the mornings, a quick swipe of the cleansing towelettes and the Olay moisturizer+serum duo. It’s seriously easy peasy, AND I’m protecting my skin.

Hello, Apps! #1 – First Loves

This post contains affiliate links.

That’s Gary Vaynerchuck, co-founder of VaynerMedia, the social media brand consulting agency. As we watched this, we thought about his words and couldn’t believe how spot-on this was. Also, read his latest book, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. Ethan loved it, here’s his Goodreads review.

As of this writing, 62% of the US mobile phone market consists of smartphones, up 4.5% since the previous quarter.

Apple ranked as the top OEM, with 40.6 percent of U.S. smartphone subscribers.

Kristin and I are Apple users, and this is the brand we will focus on in these features.

 Hello, Apps!

We’ll be following Gary’s system for categorizing apps and featuring 3 per post.

The lists will run the gamut in price, but we guarantee that we’ve used all apps that we list here, and we love them enough to recommend them to you.

1. Escapism & Entertainment

Recommended by Ethan

I really dig 8Tracks, especially when running. It skews to a younger crowd, has really long user-generated playlists (some with mashups & mixes) and even the user photos are fun. It hardly ever steers me wrong with recommendations, and it does not have audio commercials.

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 screenshots from 8Tracks

 

2. Information & Utility

Recommended by Ethan

I have a Profound love for Over. The simple premise of adding text and artwork to photos creates boundless possibilities. Check them out on Instagram for some of the amazing works of art being made by the community. If you haven’t noticed, I love creating artwork for the blog with this smile-inducing app.

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 screenshots from Over

 

3. Social (People)

Recommended by Kristin

What started out as a kind of time suck has turned into an awesome resource for me. I love Pinterest because I can keep track of so many different projects at one time. I can spot and save a rug for a room remodel, plan my lunch for the week, and plan my summer wardrobe, all from my phone.

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 screenshots from Pinterest

Have you used any of these apps yet? Let us know in the comments!



25% Complete?

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The year is officially 25% over.

Am I 25% of my way to finishing everything I wanted to? I wish it were that simple.

Remember the New Year’s Resolutions you set for yourself 3 months ago? If you wrote them down, you can go check them, I’ll wait. How are you doing so far? If you didn’t write them out, I hope they are not distant memories by now.

One of my goals was to get more involved in my Photography. Here’s a picture of our buddy Chase I am really happy with from last year:

serious chase

This year, I planned to:

1. Set aside 1 hour per week to further learn the craft and take more pictures

2. Get a tripod and some other necessary gear, and

3. Do 2 or 3 30-Day photo challenges.

 

Well, I haven’t done any of those things yet. And I am ok with that, it’s not keeping me up at night. Just because I haven’t accomplished what I thought I would by now doesn’t mean I’m giving up, or it won’t happen in the future. I’m focused on some other goals that are more important to me right now.

So often in life, we compare ourselves to others, and we think that we must be at a certain milestone by a certain time, just like them.

Not true.

Life is a series of 30 Day challenges with yourself, and it’s ok if you fall down. You just have to get back up and try again.

What strides have you made in your goals recently that you are proud of?



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