Monday, August 22, 2016

Fortune Cookie Soap Subscription Box // Fall 2016 // As You Wish


Do you love binge shopping at Lush? Do you love subscription boxes? Do you love trying new products? Well, the Fortune Cookie Soap Box Subscription is the box for you! The box comes out every quarter/season with a slew of bath and shower products to try. These boxes always include one of their namesake fortune cookie soaps (seriously so cute). This is the ONLY subscription box that I have and I will probably subscribe til I die (or they stop making them).



Sunday, July 31, 2016

BAN.DO 2016-2017 AGENDA REVIEW


With the start of August, new agendas start. The frenzy to pick up a new agenda or planner may well be underway but I want to show you my Ban.do Agenda! I have been a fan of Ban.do for a while now because of their really cute pin shop. Ban.do supports a ton of my favorite artists like Tuesday Bassen and Rosehound Apparel! Since most planner girls tend to go with the Erin Condren Life Planner, I figured it would be helpful to show how I decorate my Ban.do Agenda.  I even have a code for free shipping :)


Sunday, July 24, 2016

Cape May Brewery: Shore Stories


Inside Cape May Brewery
Hops, Water, Malt, and Yeast - I've always wondered how anyone figured out that mixing these four things together in a specific order could make anything palatable. But, my dear friends, Beer is one of the greatest concoctions man has ever discovered. Honestly, if we are talking seriously, it was probably a woman who discovered beer because they (me, we? whatever) used to spend most of the time in the kitchen.

Most Philadelphians "Go Down the Shore", meaning that they go to the beach making Cape May Brewery the perfect shore pit stop. Cape May Brewery is located in a little industrial park right at the end of the Garden State Parkway (pretty much the bottom of New Jersey). Coming from Philadelphia, making this my first stop down the shore allowed me to take the scenic route and avoid traffic. When my boyfriend and I pulled up to this place, we were ready for a beer.

Outside in the Hop Garden 
We headed in after taking a few cute pictures in the Hop Garden (cause duh, it's cute). The brewery itself is pretty small at this location but they have another area with larger tanks for bigger batches. It's NJ law to take an educational tour of the brewery but we just quickly walked through. I did stop and get a picture with my boyfriend and his family at the photo booth. It's FREE and has some beer related filters for optimal beer themed pictures.

We headed to the bar after walking through the tour. The bar itself was crowded (weird for a Thursday at 2 pm!). We were able to snag a table outside - which is better for pictures anyway 😉.

$10 flight - comes with a free glass! 
The brewery offers a great deal on flights - $10 for 4 samples which includes a free glass. They had two different glass options but I went with the classic pint glass. The other glass was an IPA glass and it was shape that would be impossible to stack - useless for small apartment living and an anti-IPA person. When you pick up your samples it comes in this cute little tray with some more information and labels so you don't forget what beers you had. Unfortunately, I didn't capture that part in the photo. BUTTT my favorite beer that I tried was The Bog, a cranberry shady, and Devil's Reach, a Belgian strong pale ale.  We opted to get a growler of The Bog since we figured it would be perfect for afternoons at the shore.

This brewery is on my list to get back to. Especially because I heard their spring beer is a Cherry Limeade flavor (whaaaattt??!!). See ya soon CMB!

READERS: Have you tried any beers from here? What other breweries should I check out? Let me know in the comments below.


Monday, July 18, 2016

Weekly Top 3 {7/18/16}

photos of the week
Cape May Brewery // Fried Mac and Cheese Bites // Ocean City, NJ

life in the city
  • Last Monday, I went to a Yelp Event at Yakitori Boy in Chinatown. Hands down the best karaoke bar in the city. The food isn't bad either - tons of vegetarian sushi roll options! 
  • Thursday I headed down to the Jersey shore! I finally got a chance to use some of my vacation days. Look for some shore posts soon.
  • Grabbed some Chinese food Sunday to try and recuperate from the shore (and some stressful apartment problems).

around the internet

songs to check out


Monday, July 11, 2016

Homebuying Step 1: Attack a Savings Goal


A year ago, I had freshly graduated from college and I was considering the idea of moving to New Jersey. I grew up in the suburbs but moved to Philly for college. Just the idea of moving away from the excitement of the city threw me into panic attacks. Now, it's a year later and I still feel the same. I don't think I ever will really be someone who wants to move to the suburbs (this might be the millenial in me talking). At this point in my life. I have a steady income and a 5 year plan that includes staying in the city. The next logical step for me is to start looking at buying.

I have been casually browsing Zillow and Realtor.com to check out home prices in areas of Philadelphia I am willing to call home. It looks like my price range is $300K and under for a 2 bed/2bath home. Some people might be jumping out of their seats thinking that's crazy price for such a small home but honestly, that's Philly pricing.

Since I am planning on splitting this with my boyfriend, my savings goal for a 20% down payment about $30K. Here's a quick breakdown of what I currently am dealing with:

Usable Assets

  • Savings: $2000 (Barclay Dream Account at 1.05% APR)
  • Emergency Fund: $5000
  • Roth IRA: $5500


Debts

  • Car: ~$8000


The car loan (which I am also aggressively paying down should be gone by Dec '17 (hopefully earlier). If not earlier. I am contributing around $1,000 a month to my Barclays savings account. Finding that $1,000 can be tricky but it you take advantage of some of my tips below, you'll be able to find some extra cash each month.


4 Tips to Aggressively Save for a House

  1. Minimize eating out. This is a good way to save a ton of money. Happy Hour, cheap pizza dates, and the occasional sushi splurge add up. I have limited my eating out budget to $50 a month which can cover about one brunch and one pizza.
  2. Drive less. That's one good thing about living in the city, I only have to drive to work and back. Everything else is accessible on foot or by public transportation if it's really far.
  3. Find activities that are cheap or free. If you are trying to save, there are usually a bunch of really cool events around town tempting you to spend. Coincidentally, there should be a bunch of really cool FREE events, like concerts, museums, and food tastings too. Uwishunu and Philly.com always feature interesting things that you can do for FREE. Most cities or towns have similar websites. 
  4. Inviting friends over instead of going out. You can have a splendid time play old school board games (Yahtzee's my fave) or video games. You can easily get the supplies or utilize stuff you already have! Plus, creating a cheese or veggie platter can still be fun, festive, delicious, and CHEAP!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Weekly Top 3 {7/8/2016}

photos of the week


the art museum // the belgian cafe // philadelphia from the art museum steps

life in the city
  • AJ and I finally went the art museum on Sunday for the pay what you want day. It was crowded so we only ponied up $5 for the two of it. 
  • Headed over to BB&T in Camden to see Weezer and Panic! at the Disco. Perfect day to be out on the lawn.
  • Had my first water ice of the season. #ritas

around the internet
  • If you haven't heard, Pokemon Go is finally out. Unfortunately, the Pokemon website has also been down making it impossible to sign up with a Trainer account.
  • I have been obsessively reading The Financial Diet. There are so many really interesting articles on their about finance, saving, and budgets.
  • I splurged on this vest from Sam Edelman. I have been eyeing up black faux fur vests for a while and this one finally hit the sweet spot in my budget!

songs to check out