Friday Favorites #4

Hope everyone had a fantastic Memorial Day Weekend! I know I did; it was so great seeing friends and spending time in NYC. Without further adieu, let’s jump right into this week’s Friday Favorites:

Chipotle

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I LOVE Chipotle. Like, cannot get enough. When I lived and worked in Philadelphia there was one two blocks from the office, so I’d eat lunch there at least once a week. But now that I have to drive in order to get my Chipotle fix (silly southern California) I’m eating there a lot less frequently…definitely good for my waist-line but not so good for my happiness. Last night I was grocery shopping at Target and on the way home passed a Chipotle, so take a wild guess what I had for dinner. I swear to you it made my week. Nothing like a burrito bowl with every single salsa to put a smile on your face :)

The Starbucks App

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I don’t drink Starbucks a ton, but when I do I always pay with their app. I have a gift card that I keep loaded with around $30, and try my best to reload when there are discounts or special offers. Starbucks gift cards are often sold at a discount at grocery stores or on sites like Groupon, so it’s pretty easy to save 20% or more any time you shop there. Because I use the app to pay, all purchases are tracked. You earn one star per purchase, and every 12 visits you earn a free drink. On top of that, Starbucks runs promotions constantly that make it even easier to earn free beverages. Just yesterday I received an email saying if I visited any location twice in the next two weeks I’d earn 10 bonus stars! They also send out coupons from time to time, so you can save on things from iced coffee to breakfast sandwiches. The app has tons of other features as well, including a store locator and post-purchase tipping options. There really is no other way to pay at Starbucks. Plus, if you join with my link you’ll receive a free drink – just for signing up!

ABM Happy Mail

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If you don’t already know the website A Beautiful Mess, check them out now. It’s an awesome site filled with DIY projects (some wayyyy too complex for me to ever try), recipes and fashion tips. They also have a shop full of craft items and recently launched a monthly surprise shipment called Happy Mail. As longtime readers know, I absolutely love monthly subscriptions. If I could afford it I would subscribe to every single one. The great thing about Happy Mail is that it’s affordable – if you sign up for a full year, you pay only $15 a month. Each mailing is packed with 10-15 items ranging from greeting cards to postcards to art prints. You can see May’s shipment above – in addition to what’s pictured we also received a sheet of phrase stickers, a fantastic wi-fi password print and some round emoji envelope sealers. I’ve been subscribed for three months now and cannot say enough positive things about it. I love having beautiful and unique cards to send friends and family for any occasion, and am now able to swap out the artwork in my apartment whenever I have the urge. There really is no better monthly option for the price. And who doesn’t love getting something fun in the mail every four weeks? I know I do!

My Bed

Being away for nearly two weeks really made me miss my bed. After a six hour flight and what felt like 24 hours of travel, I could not have been happier to return home to the most comfortable place I know. It’s like sleeping wrapped in a cloud, I swear. If you don’t feel the same way I do about where you sleep every night, do something about it. Now.

Alright, time to finish up the work day and head out to buy a baby shower gift. Have any of you heard of a sprinkle? Apparently it’s a baby shower but for someone who’s already had a child, so it’s less (?) of a shower but still a party. I honestly have no idea. I don’t even know if I’m supposed to bring a present, but I refuse to show up empty-handed and look like an idiot. Wish me luck!

Friday Favorites #3

Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone! I hope you’ve all got some great things planned and you take advantage of the extra day. After a couple of weeks off, I am back today with my third Friday Favorites installment. Let’s jump right in.

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I’m pretty nostalgic in general, so any sort of reunion gets me excited. Last weekend was my college’s 5th year and I had an absolute blast. It was so fun to see people I hadn’t seen in years, and catch up with good friends I don’t spend nearly as much time with now that I live across the country. And since I met my boyfriend in college it’s even more fun to experience it all with him. This weekend is also a reunion of sorts – I’ll be spending it in NYC with my best friends from high school. Again, since I live so far away it will be great to see them and hang out in person. I’ll be there for a full three days, which is the longest I’ve ever spent in New York City. But we are quite the group so I’m not worried about filling the time with all the fun things.

The Stranger by Harlan Coben

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Apparently I’m the last person in the world on the Harlan Coben bandwagon, but man am I on it now. I read this book in less than three days and immediately bought another of his novels after I finished. I loved the plot and found the writing to be perfect for a summertime read. It’s not super trashy chick lit but you certainly aren’t reading The Infinite Jest…if that makes any sense. Summer is the perfect time to read a book (or four) per month, and trust me when I say you should add this one to your list.

Married at First Sight

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I cannot get enough of this show. It is the worst kind of reality television, with a ridiculous concept and constant repetition when watching. I stumbled upon the show completely by accident (I swear!) but am now totally hooked and will be watching all the way through the finale. If you’re looking for something to do for a few hours on a rainy day there really is nothing better. Just be sure to tape them beforehand if you can, because I cannot even imagine watching this with commercial breaks.

Cherries

My favorite fruit is finally back in season! I saw some for sale at a fruit cart in Philadelphia and cannot wait to get back to San Diego and buy all.the.cherries. I might go broke doing it – why you gotta be so expensive cherries? –  but it’s much healthier than Chips Ahoy, my current dessert of choice. Yay for summer!

And there you have it – my favorite things this week. Now stop wasting time on your computer and go outside! Happy Memorial Day everybody!

Robinhood Stock Trading App: A Review (Zero Commissions!)

For those of you that do any sort of stock trading, you know that the commissions can add up. I personally buy and sell only a couple of times a month, and don’t have hundreds of thousands of dollars to play with, so those $7-10 fees on each end of a trade do affect my overall profit (or loss…).

Enter Robinhood. Robinhood is a fairly new equities trading platform, available for download on iPhone only. It offers users the ability to buy and sell stocks with zero commissions, something unheard of in the business. The app itself is super simple, with a sleek design and intuitive interface. It is truly meant for someone who enjoys doing some light trading in the stock market, but doesn’t expect or need any fancy or complex tools or charts.

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The app has improved since it launched, but there still aren’t many high-end features you’d find on a Vanguard or Charles Schwab-type website. That being said, you’re saving $7 or more on each transaction, so it really does depend on what you value in a financial platform.

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After transferring funds in from any bank, you simply type in the ticker symbol and number of shares to buy any stock. The transaction will occur immediately (if you’re placing a Market order) and you will then be able to follow the stock’s performance and your overall gain or loss.

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It really is that straightforward. Of course you should never buy or sell equities if you can’t afford to lose your investment, if you’re unsure about any part of it, or if you really have no idea what you’re doing. But if you’ve been casually trading on another platform and hate paying fees, Robinhood might be a great option for you.

Note: the screenshots above are a few months old, so they don’t represent the stocks I currently own. Trade at your own risk!

ClassPass: A Review

Have you guys heard of ClassPass? If you haven’t I am here to introduce you to the single best way to workout at boutique studios without going broke or being forced to stick with one place.

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If you’re anything like me you aren’t great at working out alone. Even if you are able to run outside or lift weights at your local gym, it can be difficult to push yourself as much as you do when someone is telling you exactly what to do. But going to fitness studios can be very, very expensive (easily $25 a class!). Many offer monthly options, but then you can only go to that one location’s classes. I love barre but is isn’t enough cardio for me. And spinning rules but I’d rather not have huge thighs and zero ab definition.

Enter ClassPass. For the beyond affordable price of $79-$99 a month you can attend classes at any of their included studios. You’re able to go to each three times per month, and attend as many classes total. I’ve been a member in San Diego for three months now and have nothing but positive things to say.

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For those in the San Diego area, some of my favorite spots are SparkCycle, Dailey Method & Studio Barre. Nearly everywhere I’ve wanted to try in SD participates, which is awesome. ClassPass makes it so easy to try new workouts, and encourages you to push yourself outside your normal fitness boundaries.

Another great feature currently offered is the ability to book classes in cities outside your home. I travel to Philly often for work, and can book classes at any location there for no extra fee. This is apparently a limited-time option but has been around since I joined. It’s so tough to stay in shape when traveling, so having tons of high-end fitness options nearby is invaluable. There are even spots near my parent’s house in New Jersey!

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If you’re thinking about trying it out I highly recommend you give it a shot. There’s no long-term commitment so there’s no risk. And while you can’t put a price on your health, at least with ClassPass you know you won’t be spending more than $100 per month :)

Friday Favorites #2

Jeez this week flew by! While I didn’t have time to post during the week, I’m happy to have a Friday Favorites coming your way today. Let’s dive right in:

More Water Tumbler

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I’m all about staying hydrated, especially since moving to a place where it’s always sunny and hot. It’s tough to remember to get your daily water intake, but having something nearby filled with an ice-cold beverage makes it as easy as can be. And I don’t know about you, but I love myself a good straw to drink out of. How adorable is this tumbler?

Horizon Organic Cheese Sandwich Crackers

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These little snacks are to-die-for. They are great to pair with a sandwich for lunch or eaten alone at any time. My only warning is that they’re super addicting, so I highly recommend putting them back in the cabinet immediately after grabbing a handful. They’re organic so they must be healthy, amiright? But that’s not all folks – click here to print a buy one get one free coupon!

Ritz Carlton Rancho Mirage

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Pictures do not do this place justice. Located just outside of Palm Springs, the Ritz in Rancho Mirage is a stunner. And guess what? I’m staying there Saturday! Alex and I saw a commercial making fun of “one day vacations” and decided it’d be something fun to try out. Plus, we were able to line up a crazy good deal thanks to a friend who had their wedding there next week. Can’t wait to watch the Derby and boxing with those views.

Stitch Fix

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If you’ve been reading my blog for more than a second you know I love subscription boxes. Getting anything in the mail is a good time, but being surprised about the contents is even more fun. Add to the fact that I don’t love shopping for clothes – or at least don’t love doing it as much as the normal girl – the idea of Stitch Fix was made for me. You pay a $20 styling fee, fill out a detailed survey and then are mailed a box of five clothing items hand-picked for you. The prices vary and can be a little high for some, but the quality is there and the experience is the greatest. If you choose to keep anything the $20 is deducted from your purchase, and if you buy all five you get 25% off. If you’ve considered giving it a try let this be your nudge.

And that concludes my second Friday Favorites. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed reading it as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it. Have a great weekend y’all :)