4 Ways My Childhood Experiences Shape My Current Spending Patterns

4 Ways My Childhood Experiences Shape My Current Spending Patterns.jpg

By Kate Kole

I grew up in a middle-class Midwestern family. My dad was a college professor, and my mom self-employed. While we never went without, we also didn’t live extravagantly. Many of our activities were of the free or budget friendly variety, hiking at state parks, playing basketball in the driveway, at home movie nights, and card games around the kitchen table. We carved pumpkins in the fall, decorated frosted snowman cookies in the winter, planted flowers in the spring, and fished on the lake in the summer.

My childhood shaped me in a variety of ways. It provided me with an appreciation for quality time with the people I love. I grew to enjoy homemade meals, library books, and using my imagination for entertainment. I came to prefer spending time outdoors and still opt for weekend afternoons spent on our deck or playing bags in the yard over ones spent inside or shopping at the mall.  My childhood also shaped the way I now view money. Today, I embrace so many of the same financial decisions my parents made while raising my siblings and me. Continue reading

15 Songs To Add To Your Workout Playlist This Summer

Workout Playlist

By Kate Kole

Creating an inspiring workout playlist can feel like quite the challenge. I’ve literally spent hours scrolling through iTunes, Spotify, Pinterest, and Pandora in search of the best songs. While anything goes on my own personal mix, and I have the eclectic combination of beats to show for it, I’m more selective when it comes to group exercise classes.

I try to avoid anything that’s super sexual (because, awkward), incredibly explicit (because, that may be considered just a wee bit unprofessional), or completely overplayed (because, I’ll hear it 5 times on the radio later). Continue reading

Read This When You Feel Like Giving Up

Read This When You Feel Like Giving Up.jpg

By Jillian Stacia

Keep going.

Sometimes, life is hard and crazy and full of ridiculous shit that makes you want to throw in the towel and ask “why me?”. But you can’t. You have to keep going. You have to put one foot in front of the other. The only way out is through.

Keep going.

Even when your head is pounding and your heart is tired and you just want to stop trying. You’re almost there. You’re at the breaking point. You’re reaching the top of the mountain. It’s all downhill from here. Continue reading

3 Intentions I’m Setting This Summer

3 Intentions I’m Setting This Summer.jpeg

By Kate Kole

My favorite way to complete a fitness class or yoga practice is by taking a quiet moment to create and commit to an intention, focus, or vision for the rest of the day. I often notice that I’ll choose the same word – gratitude, joy, or love – or the same string of words – to live a meaningful life – for weeks at a time. It’s almost as if each month serves as its own mini season in my life. Setting aside the time to be still, I typically discover precisely what it is that I need more of as I roll up my mat and reenter the world.

In some ways, I gravitate towards the idea of setting intentions even more than I do towards setting goals. I love the way they encourage dedication to a way of being, without a concrete start/stop date. They aren’t as much about succeeding, or failing, but rather, persisting. With tomorrow marking the official start to summer, I’ve decided to set my sights on these 3 intentions over the next few months: Continue reading

How Meditation Has Changed My Life

Meditation

By Kristina Baltutis

Recently, my partner and I went on a two night camping trip with our dogs. The second morning, I was lying on a picnic table, looking up at the trees, and pondering the irony that this place was a beautiful spot to meditate, but I hadn’t stopped to meditate once. Letting out a wistful sigh, I commented as such to my partner.

You’ve been on vacation relaxing, I think you’ll be fine,” he responded.

Looking back on it now, his response doesn’t seem that absurd. He’s seen me meditating, and since we hadn’t talked about it, how would he know that within my quiet outward appearance, my mind is always a swirling war of distraction. But in the moment, I was very confused because his response didn’t make any sense. To me, relaxation and meditation are barely related. They’re more like distant cousins who occasionally see each other at Thanksgiving dinner. After a few moments of staring at him in confusion, my mind landed on the stunning conclusion: He has no idea why I meditate. Continue reading

10 Gifs That Perfectly Sum Up the Third Trimester

By De Elizabeth

Let’s be real: the first trimester of pregnancy is pretty terrible, but the second is like a little vacation. You feel energetic and hungry again, and basically like your normal self. But then comes the third trimester, which is a whole other beast entirely. In some ways, you find yourself nostalgic for the first few weeks; sure you were nauseous as hell, but at least you could move around, tie your shoes, and sleep through the night without getting up seven million times to pee. You know, the good ol’ days. With that in mind, here are some gifs that just perfectly describe the last stage of pregnancy. Continue reading

11 Items To Stock Up On Next Time You’re At Trader Joe’s

TJ's

By Kate Kole

In college, Trader Joe’s was my most serious long-distance relationship. With 2 ½ hours between campus and our closest TJ’s location, my roommate and I would eagerly anticipate care packages full of our beloved goodies and we’d stock our backseats full of groceries to bring back to school after every break.

In the 8 years since graduating, I’ve been lucky enough to live in places with closer proximity to Trader Joe’s. Meaning, my trips are much more frequent and my kitchen is rarely without my favorite finds. While I could undoubtedly create a list of 100 products worth purchasing, these 11 are the ones I buy in bulk. Because, God forbid I go a day without coconut oil. Continue reading

You Already Know

Memory Chest

By Kate Kole

Listen to your own voice, your own soul. Too many people listen to the noise of the world, instead of themselves. – Leon Brown

A few years ago, my mom created a memory chest for me. She filled it with high school yearbooks, significant newspaper clippings, cross country and soccer posters, report cards, and my favorite 101 Dalmatians hat that served as my primary wardrobe staple for the better part of early childhood. I have a slight suspicion that the chest came to be, in part, so I could have access to my most sentimental artifacts, and in (larger) part, so my parents could finally – and without guilt – say sayonara(!) to my shotty kindergarten “artwork”. Continue reading

10 Things No One Tells You About Your First Trimester

pregnancy

By Jillian Stacia

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Pregnancy is different for everyone, but all can agree that it’s an intense, life altering experience. Having just made it through the first trimester myself, the one thing I appreciated the most was honesty. And because we believe in keeping it real, here’s a no BS, tried and true list of what you can actually expect during your first few months of pregnancy: Continue reading

7 Things That Were Worth My Time Last Month…And 3 Things That Weren’t

Times

By Kate Kole

I know that yes, technically I have as many hours in the day as Beyoncé. But even if that is true, I still don’t always feel like I have enough hours to do all the things I want and need to do. It inevitably seems like certain items on my TDL go left unchecked, and if I’m being completely honest, other tasks that didn’t even make the original list (ahem, a Modern Family rerun and a “quick” Target stop) manage to get crossed off.

For the sake of time management and better utilizing those same 24 hours in the day that Queen Bey and I share, I’m taking a closer look at what’s been worth my time lately, and what hasn’t. Continue reading