Category Archives: financial health

Slices of Life #2

Whew the last few days have been a whirlwind, both of activity and emotion. I’m officially moved out of my parents house which is exciting and scary and bittersweet (I’m at my aunt’s house dog-sitting for the next two weeks, though most of my stuff is already at the BF’s). I officially accepted and started training for my part time job (because obviously a full time job isn’t enough for me). I also had my last day at my current ABA job, which was really hard because I’ve grown to love the kiddo I worked with. The thing I didn’t do… blog… whoops ūüėČ

Slices of Life


The eats

SlicesofLife2_TheEatsThis past week was a combination of snacks, smoothies, and my last few dinners with my family. This coming week starts my budget for the year as I start being responsible for my own eats. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to try more veggie based meals and excited for the challenge of cooking good food on a limited budget. Now if only my CSA would start already! Some of the recipes I’m looking forward to trying this week include:

Broccoli Slaw from Cotter Crunch

Cheezy Chili Crackers from Eating for Balance

Lentil Tacos from Taste of Home

Farmers Market Salad from Peas and Crayons

annndd another batch (or 5) of Lemon Blueberry Granola from Clean Eats Fast Feets

The exercise


“Training” got off to a slow start this week, though I was definitely active. I got in lots of strength training¬†while packing, unpacking, and repacking my life into the car to make everything fit. There was quite a lot of yoga which was so easy in my newly emptied room. I got in lots of slow, easy, cardio taking long walks around the neighborhood and park with my aunts dog. I did manage to run 4 hot sweaty miles which is not as many as I wanted, but at least it’s something. This week I’m planning to map out some runs around here to work on milage (I’m looking for 5 by the end of the week). I’m also looking into some at home crossfit based workouts for non-running days (mostly because BF is interested in trying it out, but neither of us have that kind of cash right now). Things on the list to try include:

At Home Crossfit from Simply Sadie Jane

HIIT from Pinterest

Yoga for Runners from Yogatic

My own spin on this Half Marathon Calendar from TrendHunter

The life


Like I said already moving out is both exciting and bittersweet. There was a lot to be done at the BF’s this past weekend including painting the room we’re moving into, moving all the furniture between the rooms, and helping move some of his/his mom’s stuff into storage in their garage. I’ve got some experience painting from when I worked with Habitat for Humanity and it was fun to show him the ropes. I finished developing and organizing my budget for the coming year. My wonderful Master’s degree came with a pretty hefty price tag, and though BF and I made the best of our space I’m really hoping to only have to live with him and his mom for no more than a year. Finally I checked a few things off my to-do list around here including starting my recipe page, updating my profile, and laying the groundwork for a few more regular features including this one. Slices of Life is my hybrid of a weekly recap and a link love post, with a little to-do list accountability thrown in for good measure. Helping me get all of this done in the past week were some of the following:

The 7 Baby Steps from Dave Ramsey (I also borrowed his book Total Money Makeover and plan to make BF read it)

6 keys for Young Adults becoming debt free also from Dave Ramsey

The Spending Fast from And Then We Saved

I may never be a famous food blogger from Clean Eating Veggie Girl

How do I find time to write from Blogging on the Side

Joining the Week in Review Party at Clean Eats Fast Feets and Marvelous in my Monday at Healthy Diva Life.

¬†What’s one new thing you learned this week? Have you ever painted a room before?¬†

Slices of Life #2

I’m officially 15 hours away from my requirement for graduation. I’m in the midst of preparing for my oral exam next Monday. I pick up my cap and gown this Thursday. Can you tell I’m ready to be done with school?

Buuuuttt I still have about a month left until then and with things winding down that means I’ve been spending lots of my free time on the internet which means I have some link love to share with you all.


Yoga for better sleep- because earlier shifts at my medical placement have left me with a need to adjust my sleep schedule, and a little relaxation before bed is never a bad thing.

Spending Fast- I already said BF and I are going to be on a tight budget in the coming year and I meant it. I’ve been slowly researching tips and plans for success and this was one of the best I found.

5 ways to improve your morning- I used to be such a morning person, I don’t know when that changed but I’m trying to get back into it.

Lemon Blueberry Granola- I’ve been excited to make this for months and I still keep forgetting to buy the lemons! Meghan this is on the books soon!

Autism Acceptance- I believe that acceptance starts with awareness which is why I Light it up Blue each April as well as working to serve students on the spectrum all year. That being said the author makes an excellent point about how difficult reaching that acceptance can be and provides a valuable lesson to us all.

The 40 Hanger closet- For organizing and cleaning out my closet before moving.

Yogatic- the video may be labeled for new parents but the stress relieving moves have been great for me too.

Healthy Habits- I’m still working on a healthy routine and some of these tips are good.

Want to see more of the ideas I’m collecting? Be sure to stop by Pinterest where I organize all my ideas.

WIR #45: Snap back to reality

With a title like that I feel like I should go into the rest of the Eminem song that inspired it, but that’s a very Meghan thing to do and I don’t want to steal her mojo. I will however share in her listing shenanigans because that’s a mutual passion and her Week in Review link up is always awesome.


This post is going to be a bit of a change from my last one where I was full of excitement and possibility, because life has gone through a few major changes since then. I don’t know about you but for someone like me who really likes to plan things out changes to “the plan” throw me off, and not in a good way. I’m trying to get better about being flexible, but it’s definitely a work in progress for me.


The Bad

Always share the bad news first right? Like ripping off a bandaid I just prefer to get it out of the way.

  • BF and I went apartment hunting a found a beautiful place we were ready to lease. BF informs me 2 days later that he’s not going to be able to do so for the next year, period.
  • I know have a job that I’ve accepted, about an hour from home, no roommate to move in with up north, and not nearly enough money to rent by myself.
  • I’d already told my friends at school how excited I was for my job and our new apartment. Last thing I wanted to do was say “eh scratch all that, I have no clue what I’m doing now”

Obviously I was panicked. I loved the job I had accepted up there and I didn’t want to give it up. I’d loved the idea of growing up, moving out, and finally starting our life with the BF and I didn’t want to lose that. I love my BF and I didn’t want him dead, though in that moment I was ready to strangle him.

The Good

  • BF and his mom have agreed to let me move in with them for the next year. This means I get to keep my job, save on rent, and still sort of start our life with the BF.
  • BF and I had a lot of hard talks, and I’m sure there are more ahead. I tend to forget sometimes that while I’m over here excited about finishing graduate school his plans for post-graduation don’t look anything like what he planned. He really is trying to make the best of his new plans though and I need to remember to be supportive.
  • Living cheaply for a year will give s both a chance to get on better financial footing. We’ve both got student loans, he has some other big expenses coming up ūüėČ , and both of our savings accounts are limited. I already know that I’m good on a budget, but I’m going to budget that boy so hard he won’t know what hit him and in the end we’ll both be better for it.

The everything else

I’ll admit to not being thrilled with our new plan at first. It felt like I was giving up a lot, while nothing had ¬†to change for him except the layout of his room. His mom is a smoker and while their house has never bothered me I’ve also never lived there full time. My parents were (understandably) upset with him (right in line behind myself and my best friends) and though they haven’t said it I think they’re a little hurt that I’m “moving out” only to go live in someone else’s house and not on my own. Lets face it everyone in my life has an opinion on how I should be living it, and at the end of the day I know it’s because they love and support me and only want the best.

I’m at the point now where I’ve accepted what we have for the year ahead and am in full on plan mode ¬†to make the best it can be. That means lists, lists, and more lists as I organize my budget (which will be much easier once I know what a salaried paycheck looks like… yeah still excited that I have a real job with a salary!), figure out what option looks best for BF and I down the line, and make note of things we need to talk through as they come up.

It’s a lot of lists, a lot to organize in about a month and a half, and a lot to think about for the future, but I’m excited again and that’s the most important part, right?

WIR #16: Run, eat, study, repeat

Hey guys! Back on a usual schedule around here this week as work has slowed to a normal pace and life has started to settle (fingers crossed!). Nothing too crazy has happened since last week’s shenanigans but we’re here to celebrate all accomplishments right? Right! So lets get list-y with it.

If there isn’t enough listing here for you,¬†
you can swing by Meghan’s and see what everyone else managed. ¬†
The Eats
Nothing crazy here, food continues to be mostly vegetarian (with a healthy dose of cheese…). My mom has been talking about eating more vegetarian food around the house now that my brother is at school… not sure my dad will approve or how long it would last but it will be exciting to see!

We did have some awesome black bean tostadas when the BF came for dinner.

And some delicious panko crusted salmon with farm stand fresh green beans.

The workouts
These have been starting to get back on track. In an attempt to further increase my motivation (and look after my feet!) I went out and bought myself some legimate running shoes. This is an area where I know nothing but thankfully me BFF’s parents own a running store here in town. So I paid them a visit and her little brother hooked me up.

They feel good, I guess? They certainly feel supportive when I’m walking around in them. And sadly walking is about all I’ve been doing. My feet used to be sore all the time when I waitressed (especially at the end of ¬†a shift) and I’ve noticed lately if I’ve had a really long day they’ll be a little sore. But my last few runs any time I’ve slowed to a walk (which is about a mile in) my right heel has been killing me.¬†
From the back of the heel to where my thumb is, it feels like a constant achy pressure in that round, bony, part on the bottom of my foot. So I’ve been icing it, and I took the day off to rest and stretch. It was feeling okay yesterday so I planned an easy run for the morning (fingers crossed it goes well!)
The Life
I’m officially into back to school mode now. Classes don’t start until the 26th, but I’m scheduled to take my state licensing exam in September and my national licensing exam in October so I’ve been hard at work transforming 5 years of notes into usable study materials (and wishing I’d taken better notes in some of my classes!)¬†
It’s a tough job but I’m trying to approach it in the most organized fashion possible (shocking, right!?) so as not to overwhelm myself completely. That’s also why I’m trying to get the organizing and compiling done in the next week before classes start, so that way all I have to worry about is actually studying once real school gets under way.¬†
That’s life around here in a nutshell. BF and I have plans to meet up for at least a few days this week, and I have extra hours at job #2 (gotta pay for those new shoes!). I’ve also got some cooking planned (which I may rope BF into) and hopefully getting running back on track.¬†

Anyone else ever had heel pain before? What did you do to make it better (please share!) What was the best thing you did over the weekend? 

Monthly progress: March

Hey Guys! So the month of March is winding down, and my goodness has it been a crazy one around the Pie household. This whole moving thing has turned out to be a little more everything than my mom thought, and we’re all trying to adjust to the idea of leaving our house of 20 years behind (onto the next great adventure, right?)

I’m personally still trying to get over the fact that I don’t get to see the BF for another few months (thank goodness I saw him plenty this month) on top of this crazy class schedule and the migraines that seem to have been nonstop… Is it May yet?

There have been a lot of changes for the good around here though. I finally have gotten into the habit of getting up every (okay 4/5) morning during the week to workout before classes, and I’m finally getting the abs back to prove it! My intake of good food has been on the rise, and the veggies that come with spring will only make that easier. Minus the headaches (and the general stress of living right now) I’m feeling pretty good!

So good in fact that I am finally ready to share all the exciting things I have planned for April. I’ve enjoyed this months challenge so much that I’ve decide to keep it going with a weekly link up to¬†Jenn’s¬†What I ate Wednesdays. I also may share a few more workouts with you as I work towards building customized routines to share.

What I ate Wednesday #1

Hey Guys! Today I’m sharing a link-up to one of my favorite blogs¬†Peas and Crayons. Jenn does this really awesome post “What I ate Wednesday” which is basically a weekly version of this month’s photo challenge.

In response to her challenge to green up the month of March, I decided to share this link with you today (when all my meals actually included something healthy!)

Breakfast was a bowl of hot millet breakfast cereal topped with walnuts and dried cherries (I say bowl, but it was more of a¬†Tupperware¬†on the seat of the car next to me as I drove to clinic… which is why I don’t have a picture).

Lunch was one of my favorites ūüôā
(mmm greens!)
Followed by an afternoon of healthy snaking in class and at work around the clinic. 

(Fruit and veggies today!)
Dinner was leftovers (my favorite!). This time it was pasta e fagioli soup, which is loaded down with spinach, tomatoes, beans, Italian sausage (and of course some GF pasta).

(In one of my many jars no less)
Who knows, I’ve had so much healthy food today I may very well treat myself to another one of these while I do paperwork tonight ūüôā
(We’ll see how late it is)
We’re nearing the end of March, I’d love to know how you’ve been doing with this months goal of healthy eating. As you’ve seen around here some days are better than others for me (but hey that’s normal). I’ve got another exciting challenge for next month that I can’t wait to share.¬†
For now be sure to hop on over to Peas and Crayons for the WIAW link-up, I promise you won’t be disappointed ūüôā

A new start calls for a new space

Today marked the official last day of my winter break (we had a seminar all day, and we get to go back tomorrow…) and it has gone by waaayy to fast for me. I feel like I barely had a chance to sit down, let alone actually relax…but at least I had a good time. The last project on my list for this years fresh start (before school picked up at least) was to refresh my space. Since I’m living in my old room at home still I didn’t really have the freedom to repaint (or move either of the mirrors hanging on my wall) so the changes were more functional than cosmetic. The end result however is a space that is slightly more conducive to my goals of increased activity and productivity.

I started by moving everything into the middle of my floor…

And sticking the contents of my closet in the hallway. 

Then the furniture started to move (I counted this as my arm workout for the day!)

The end goal here was to maximize the usable floor space so I have no excuse for skipping workouts. I also wanted a more defined work space for all the homework/paperwork that the new semester entails. 

I’d say the end result was pretty successful ūüôā
I maximized the usability of my closet with some of my favorite fabric shelf bins. 

By filling the bins with like items (like my tutoring materials for work) I have an easy to manage system that is also visually appealing. 
I even made sure I had a space set aside to display all the new tea I got for Christmas!
This project took me the better part of a day to complete, but I love the end result. If you are considering a room redo and aren’t sure where to start I have a few basic principles that make the whole process easier.¬†
  1. Remove everything optional (bins from under your bed, decorative items, piles of laundry) from your space before you start. This makes it easier to purge unnecessary items from your space as you go and also lets you see the space for what it is before you move things. 
  2. Think about your goals before you place the big items. I knew I needed floor space to workout and a “desk” space for schoolwork. So when I moved the furniture I made sure the final placement of my large items (bed, dressers…) fit with my overall wants for the space.¬†
  3. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box to suit your needs. I have all my school supplies stored in a¬†jewelry¬†organizer I wasn’t using and my earrings/tea on display on my dresser. Using the items you have in a way that is functional for YOU is part of making the space your own.¬†
Most important is to remember to have fun, nothing you move around has to be permanent. If you decide you don’t like where you put something you can always move it somewhere else ūüôā

Back to basics

Having taken out student loans for the first time in my life this year, I’m finding myself watching my savings a bit more closely than usual. Even during undergrad when a good portion of my paycheck went to my bills, ¬†I was always able to put a little away in¬†preparation¬†for these two years in my master’s program.

¬†I’ve already had to quit my job at the¬†restaurant¬†due to poor¬†management¬†and an¬†environment¬†that was more stressful than the money was worth. I’m still tutoring for now and I hope to pick up paid hours assisting at a local clinic; but I’m adjusting to the fact that, for the first time in my life, money is slowly coming out of my accounts faster than I can put it in.

Which leads me to the topic of tonight’s post,¬†budgeting¬†101.

A boring skill, I know, but an essential one that so many of my generation are quick to overlook. When I had cash coming in (from my job at the¬†aforementioned¬†restaurant) I was big on the envelope system. ¬†A simple standard letter envelope, labeled with the amount of my fixed bills each month, where I could portion out my income before¬†ultimately¬†taking it to the bank. It’s a system that is beautiful in its simplicity; sorting the money at the end of the night took minimal effort and the end result was that (fortunately!) I was able to manage my money well enough to pay my bills up through the month of October with a little saved up for the Holidays ūüôā

The problem is that without cash money coming in I would have to be taking money out of my bank, just to be able to sort it out and deposit it back… not the most¬†efficient¬†use of my (quickly dwindling) free time.

 Enter one of the most popular, DIY budget websites/apps on the market. It was easy enough to get myself set up, budget out my expenses for each month (hang my head in despair over how quickly the additional expenses school keeps adding are ruining my plans) and enjoy the nifty little pie charts that show me just how much of my money each month is going into my car and my degree (as if I had forgotten!).

I haven’t taken much time to play around with the additional features such as future goal setting or emergency funds just yet, mostly because for the next two years I literally have no money to spare (I know, I know Suze Orman would be shaking her head at my lack of advanced planning). But if they are as easy to use as the rest of the site I’ll be happy to work with them sometime in the future.

Graduate school can be stressful enough without trying to think about how you’re going to pay for it, but if the current state of our society is any indication we NEED to be thinking that far into the future (as scary as it is). Taking on student loans doesn’t have to be a scary process and you don’t need to plan on paying them off for the rest of your life! All it takes is paying attention to the gravity of the amount you are borrowing from the start, and use that to keep your spending in perspective.