Friday, April 18, 2014

Liebster Awards!

Thank you so so much to Kelly, Ashley and Meg who nominated me for Liebsters! I obsessively check their blogs every day so it is an honor to be recognized by them! Here's a ditty about the Liebster: It is an award that helps promote other small, up and coming blogs to readers and is given from one blogger to another. The award gives a shout out to blogs that are just getting up and running in hopes that it will draw more attention to their blog and grow their numbers.

There are a few rules that come along with the Liebster Award:

  1. Acknowledge your nominating blogger
  2. Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has listed for you.
  3. List 11 random facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate up to 11 small blogs {fewer than 200 followers} that you follow and believe in promoting.
  5. Post 11 questions for the bloggers you've nominated.

1. Because I love to hear about everybody's life songs, what made you want to become a blogger?
Since graduating I've never had a job that pays well and I just kept thinking I know I'm not the first person to try to get through life on a $0 budget, and so many people I worked with had all kinds of resources for free stuff or cheap ways to do things and I always wanted to scream "WHY DIDN'T ANYONE TELL ME ABOUT THIS SOONER!!" Then when I decided to try clean eating I read through zillions of blogs and frantically searched Pinterest, but could find about 3 recipes that didn't include expensive ingredients or fancy equipment that I will probably never be able to afford. I was like "you know what? That's IT. If no one else is going to do this then I WILL." And here we are!

2. How do you grow/promote your blog? Any tips?
Pinterest and link parties/linkups (linkups are also how I found some of my favs like Southern Komfort, The Grits Blog, Perfectly Scrubbed, Adore to Adorn, ChaCha and zillions more. I try to take time to go through blogs on the linkups, leave comments, follow the ones I enjoy)

3. How did you choose your blog name? 
I'm broke, and I have bougie tastes! People used to say I was bougie like it was an insult but I       embrace it!

4. If you could be any celebrity, who would you be? Why?
Beyonce. This doesn't need any explanation.

5. What is your biggest next step/decision in your life?
What ISN'T a biggest next step in life right now? Everything in this home reno process is a big decision, or at least feels like it. Oh and, getting married in 10 months is a big one. 

6. What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Teen Mom. #notsorry. Really I stan for Barbara

7. What is your favorite place that you have ever visited? 
Tie: Cancun and Montana. Weird I know.

8. What is your favorite childhood memory?
Growing up my brother and I used to have so much fun playing in the woods behind our house, and playing on these giant dirt mounds on the construction sites around our house (I know, it was Kansas). Those were such fun and easy times!

9. Looking back 5 years ago, what would you have told yourself then to look forward to in the coming years?
Everything working out! 5 years ago everything felt so chaotic, but miraculously I'm here today feeling calmer than ever. Also, jobs that challenge me and push me and take me waaayyy out of my comfort zone.

10. You're on a deserted island and you have a choice between the following items (you can only choose one), which would you pick: deodorant, tooth brush/tooth paste, or hair brush? Why?
Deodorant. If I'm going down, I'm going to smell good doing it. Plus I have a sensitive nose and I can't stand bad smells- I'm always the one looking around on the bus like is that me?

11. What are your biggest pet peeves?
Mouth noises. 

11 Facts:
1. ESFJ (to the extreme)
2. Left-handed right-brained
3. 3 words: Cadbury Mini Eggs. May or may not have eaten half a bag at 9 am (cheat meal?).
4. I did an Americorps program called City Year after college which completely changed the the life track I was on, and my views on everything. I wish everyone could do a year of service.
5. Empathy is probably the biggest part of my personality, but also one of my biggest downfalls.
6. I'm late to the party but I'm all about Spotify right now. I'm listening to this as I type.
7. My religion: love like Jesus and choose joy.
8. I'm the oldest child and I fit the profile to a T.
9. I've had a hustle since I was 12, these include: the pool snackbar, ice cream scooper at a shop called SnoBiz, college bar bartender (The Loft and Sideways in Athens- anyone? anyone?), host at California Pizza Kitchen, server at Wild Wing/Chili's/Max& Erma's, marketing intern with Barry Manilow (Copa Copacabaaana), marketing internship with Windows, nanny, camp counselor, camp director... let's just say I really appreciate my 9-5 full time job with benefits.

10. I've herded cattle
11. Give me rachet hip hop over pop music any day. 

1. Amanda at Eat Hard Work Hard
2. Diatta at Femme Fatale Fit Club
3. ChaCha the Fashion Genius
4. Chelsea at An Outlaw Life
5. Gwen at Against the Grain
6. Ursula at Northern Ambitions
7. Jackie at Chronicles of a Dietician

My Questions:

  1. Why did you start your blog?
  2. What are your goals for your blog?
  3. What is your biggest weakness?
  4. What would you do if you won the lottery?
  5. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
  6. What food could you never live without? 
  7. If you could have lunch with anyone who would it be? 
  8. In a dream world what would your job be?
  9. What is your guilty pleasure?
  10. What are some of the top items on your bucket list?
  11. Fruit or veggies?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Broke and Bougie BEST Discount Websites Index (i.e. Broke and Bougie Bible)

Alright yall, this is the post where I reveal all my secrets, aka my online shopping spots. This is how I do everything. What am I missing? Where do you find the best deals?

  • Hotwire: Hotels, hotel alerts, rental cars (my friend got a $7/day rental car this way, um yes). With hotels, you don't know the name of the hotel, only the stars/amenities/general location, until after you book which is a little sketch but I've always had great luck with this, and it's always been the least expensive (I've done it in Memphis, Boston, Savannah)
  • Kayak: Compares flights/hotels etc between all the big sites (expedia, tripadvisor, etc).  Set Kayak Alerts to e-mail you when your trip's prices go down, plus they show charts of how likely it is that the prices will rise/lower. Amazing.
  • CruiseCompete: Travel Agents vie for your business. Whoever gets you the lowest deal on the cruise you want (includes flight and excursions!) wins. Totally free! My co-worker swears by this, and we are doing it for our cruise in December.
  • Travelzoo: Always tons of good deals on all-inclusive vacays. I also buy baseball tickets here?
  • AirBnB: Stay in people's homes when you vacation- generally half the price of hotels. You can find dog-friendly homes, choose "whole house" options or just "rooms" or "bed and breakfasts". My friends just booked their honeymoon via AirBnB, and Sahra stayed at a B&B in Mexico City via this site too so it's legit internationally! 

Workout Gear:


Kitchen Accessories




What am I missing? Where are your favorite online shops??

Linking up with some of my favs today: Little Friday and Lovely Thursday

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wednesday Workout: How to Yoga at Home + Yoga Apps + Free Yoga Online Resources

We've got another guest post from the hilarious Chelsea- regularly scheduled programming to resume tomorrow!

Chelsea Outlaw is a young adult librarian by trade, but likes to think of herself as an information gather, world wandered, word-drinker, and lover of all things caffeinated. She writes almost-daily at An Outlaw Life, talking about everything from the books she reads to the trails she runs to the yoga poses she loves (and hates!) the most. When she’s not hanging out on the blogosphere or navigating her way around Buzzfeed articles, she loves to hang with her hubby Mark, their four-year-old Cocker Spaniel Penny, and the fresh air! check out her blog here

Yoga is awesome.

Did you catch that? YOGA IS AWESOME.

I feel like I should make that overwhelmingly and abundantly clear before we get any further in to this post, because if there is one thing that I could shout from the rooftops until the cows came home, it would be that yoga is a truly transformative process that is freakin’ awesome.

I’m not a yoga teacher. I’m not a yoga guru, lifestyle coach, or really even all that “good” of a yoga student, since I don’t go to studio and certainly don’t practice every day (although I’m working on changing up that last bit). What I am is a 25-year-old lady who took years to lose 80 pounds through a hearty combination of time, diet, and exercise, and who in that process developed a whole host of knee pain, back injuries, and other bummers that can be associated with an active but not-always-safety-conscious fitness regime. Which is why, after taking years to find my groove, my ‘thing’, the way to move my body that brought me the most joy, I’m settled on yoga.

This post isn’t meant to be a yoga primer for those of you who are 100% new on the subject – but, if you’ve vinyasa-ed your way through a down dog or two, and you find that your pocket books are running a bit dry, this is the article for you!

I’m a Kansas girl, and being a Midwesterner means that I don’t have available to me the wide variety of options that some of my luckier and lovelier East and West coast friends have when it comes to things like yoga studios. Within an acceptable (read :: 20 minutes or less) driving distance of my house there are only three yoga studios, one of which is hot yoga (NO THANKS, I ALREADY SWEAT LIKE A BEAST) and one of which just doesn’t jive with my current work schedule. Which leaves me with one beautiful studio – if I also had the $200/month for unlimited classes. Which I don’t.

Please don’t get me wrong, this isn’t at all about having to pay for classes. If I could, I would, and I would encourage everyone to do the same, especially if you’re just starting out. So much of the wonder of yoga, kind of like church, comes from the community that surrounds you while you’re in the practice. Plus, if you’re just getting in to yoga postures, having a professional on hand who can answer questions and/or physically show and guide you in to the proper alignment is huge. HUGE, HUGE, HUGE, so please give this some serious thought.

If, like me, it’s just not in your fiscal (or geographical or chronological) cards to head to a studio on a regular basis, here’s a run-down of the ways I’ve found to still get in a solidly awesome practice at home.

1.) Understand that your home practice will still be in your home. 
For me, this means a couple of things. First and foremost, it means that, as a home practitioner, you’ve got to be more on top of the ball in terms of the lead-up to your actual practice. We don’t have the luxury of walking in to a fully-prepped room, the lights low and music soft and props ready to go. At least, most of us without dedicated yoga rooms at home don’t. In my tiny apartment, my yoga space is in a corner of the floor by the utility closet in our secondary living room/supposed-to-be-dining-room, in front of a set of bookcases and behind our dedicated laundry-folding station.

 Like I said, not exactly glamorous. Having a home practice means becoming mentally okay with doing what you can in the space you have (hmmm, sounds very yogic, doesn’t it ☺). It also means having to be a bit more mindful of gathering the props I’m going to need, making sure my floor space is clear of rogue laundry and dog toys, and going the extra mile in making my home practice feel just as special as studio practice (candles, incense, setting up an altar, etc.)

2.) Find a way to find out what you’re doing.
There are a thousand ways to accomplish this! Here are links to some of the sites I’ve found most helpful, broken down by paid/unpaid/apps

  • Pocket Yoga (iOS and Android)
  • Yogify (iOS only)
  • YogaGlo
  • My Yoga Online
  • YogaVibes

Now, I know what you’re thinking. ‘I thought the whole point of at-home practice was to not have to pay’ but I actually think that sites like YogaGlo and YogaVibes are a great meet-in-the-middle for all those of you who still want the guidance/routine/aesthetic appeal of traditional studio practices for WAY cheaper. So, you know, those are a great option.

3.) Don’t be afraid to have a little fun and go a lot crazy! 
You’re at home! Make the most of it! Whether that means trying a new-to-you pose that you’d be too nervous to try in front of someone else, wearing your most embarrassing pajama pants (or nothing at all!), or just mixing it up by doing something completely silly and out of the ordinary – you should feel free to take full advantage of being in your own, private, judgment-free space (and yes, this includes not feeling bad if you happen fart during savasana, which is almost impossible to do in studio without feeling like you want to melt through the floor, totally ruining the serene vibe you had going…not that I would know…) Plus, embracing the freedom of being able to do what you want in your own yoga space can do wonders for helping to calm the studio-envy blues, can revamp and amp up your excitement to practice, and is a fantastic way to loosen yourself up and learn to laugh – a lesson we could all do with a refresher in from time to time!

4.) Bring a friend – for free! 
I feel like this one is fairly self-explanatory. Getting someone else excited about the thing that you’re super into is one of the most surefire ways, I’ve found, of staying super into that same thing yourself, even if at times the motivation factor seems pretty low. Having a friend join you in yoga can not only be incredibly hilarious, but can also prompt some deeper conversations that get in to some of the things we don’t always talk about with our friends all the time – happiness, peace, harmony, self-love, and all those other amazing mental aspects that yoga can help us develop.
Plus, being an at-home student means that you don’t have to worry about guess passes, paying for a guest class, or arranging transportation/scheduling for a class  that’s going on at a studio (to say nothing of yogis who get very particular about the style in which their classes are taught). It’s as simple as picking up the phone and saying “come on over, let’s do yoga!” Bonus points if you can find someone who pushes you out of your comfort zone, and allows you to do the same to them!

5.) Go somewhere that’s not your house.
This will be my last piece of advice, and I know it seems to contradict EVERYTHING I just said, but I’m serious – going to a yoga class (at your gym, at a studio, at a private home session) can breathe a lot of life back in to your at-home yoga practice. I’m not advocating going to yoga class every time. But even I can scrounge up the $15 every month, month-and-a-half or so to go take a class with my very favorite Monday night Vinyasa Flow teacher, or to check out the newest teacher at my gym, or to go to a different style of class at a different time of day. You don’t know what will work for you until you try it, and taking the time to leave your home practice to see others in action will actually help you to better your at-home practice! Promise!

There you have it, folks. Five tips from a yoga-loving-but-far-from-expert on how to make your yoga work for you in your space. Hopefully you found it helpful, and as always, I’m always around on these internet parts if you have questions or want to do some more discussing! Namaste!

Linking up with WOW Linkup, Weigh In Wednesday, Humpday Blog Hop