How I Manifested $12k to Pay Off Credit Debt In Less than Four Months

I've always wanted to talk about finances here, but have been way too scared to do so. Why is money such a taboo subject? Why do we cast judgement on so many aspects of it. We judge people because they have too much, pity people who (appear) to have too little. I have been ever so slowly trying to crack this egg. I am at such a weird place in my money life that I really want to open up and learn from you guys. 

How-To-Pay-Off-Credit-Cards

As you know, my family and I have moved to Michigan. One of the factors in moving was and is the cost of living. However, I had a good salary in New York. I am facing the possibility of a very significant pay cut here. I know finding a job that pays a New York salary would be next to impossible, but I also want to make what a professional with 12 years of experience is worth. Navigating the waters of what to ask for, what we need to live a comfortable life and how to save to invest in my business, have another baby, buy a house and contribute to retirement is a rough sea. 

Truth about our situation: I am currently unemployed, but am still in wedding season, so I do have a little coming in. Luckily my husband kept his remote job, so we have a single income. My husband is a contractor, so we had to purchase an insurance policy from the open market (not cheap!) and we are paying a good bit of cash to keep our stuff in storage. But, we are living rent-free with my in-laws and share a car. It sounds like a recipe to stock-pile some cash, but alas, somehow that's not really happening. 

I want to talk for a minute about our wins and about the concept of manifesting money. It sounds so woo-woo. I feel like a fraud saying it, but after I read (and reread and reread) "You Are A Badass At Making Money," I decided to test this concept out. In it author Jen Sincero tells a story about manifesting $80k to pay for a coach to kick her butt into gear and to help her get the results she truly desired. $80k! That's more than most people make in a year!!! After the third read of the book, I decided that I was going to manifest $100 a day to put toward my accumulating credit card debt, which at the time was about $12k. *Look at that, I told you my credit card debt number and I haven't burst into flames!!!* I know that $100/day seems crazy. I thought so too, but if Jen SIncero could manifest $80k, I could make a little magic of my own. So in mid-March, I started, with the goal of paying it off by the end of June.

  • I had already been paying about $500 - $600 a month, I upped $700 and that was a week out of the month marked off my calendar.
  • I do some freelance blogging that covered another 2 - 3 days
  • I got a bonus at work during that time, an other week or so worth of payments
  • I styled a shoot to earn $500 
  • Since we were moving, I sold some things on Craigslist 
  • Cleaned out my closet and sold items on Poshmark
  • I used cash from the sale of our house to pay a chunk
  • Right after we moved I was employed and living with our in-laws allowing me to contribute a larger chunk to this "bad debt"

I got there! or more truthfully, I practically got there, with about $600 still left on the card. I am so so proud of myself and it has left me wondering what else I can ask the universe for and work toward manifesting. I know my situation and life change helped me get to my goal, and not everybody is going to have the same experience, but the truth is I set out to eliminate this debt and I think I would have gotten there with or without the life change, because I was 100% focused and committed. Before we even saw the money from our house sale I had paid over $4k toward the debt. 

Next up, I am planning a month-long spending freeze in order to achieve our goals for the down payment on our new home. I am laying out my parameters here and will document my progress on my instagram stories

  • It's our anniversary on September 8, we plan to do something special to celebrate. 
  • I will allow myself to only purchase the amount of coffee on my Starbucks card
  • networking lunch or drinks are okay, but I will keep it economical 

Have you done a spending freeze? How did it go? 

Little Yellow Jumper

Since moving I've pretty much put myself on a shopping hiatus, with few exceptions. One of those exceptions was this little yellow jumpsuit. I'm always on the hunt for jumpsuits. I like to wear a jumpsuit when I work weddings. They are often more polished than jeans and not as uptight as other pants, plus I can bend over, climb a ladder, crawl around on the ground or any other maneuver I need to do on a wedding day.

I've got to be honest, when I came across this linen jumpsuit at Target, I wasn't so sure I could pull it off. After trying it on, I still wasn't so sure I could pull it off, but after basically living in it the last few weeks, I'm here to tell you that I don't really care if I can pull off a baggy jumpsuit, because this is basically the best garment ever made! I'm kidding, kind of, but I love the cool relaxed vibes it gives off and it basically feels like I'm wearing pajamas. Paired with a straw hat and my woven leather slides I look like I'm ready for a fabulous wellness retreat in Ojai. 

Summer outfit
Linen Jumpsuit
Yellow Jumpsuit
Yellow Linen Jumpsuit
Toddler with flowers FTW!

I just can't with this kid. He melts my heart. 


SHOP THE LOOK


10 Bridal Ponytails we Love!

Last week I styled a shoot and my bride wore a ponytail. I have always loved the versatility of this traditionally laid back hairstyle. A ponytail can be casual, it can be effortlessly chic, it can be polished and it can be glam. No matter the vibe, it's low maintenance and I think it commands confidence. We wholeheartedly approve this bridal hairstyle. Without further ado, here are 10 bridal ponytails we love! 










Healthy Summer Popsicle Ideas

I've mentioned my shift in diet to eat a more inflammatory foods, I've also extended that goal to the rest of the family. Cutting sugar is no easy feat when mom and three year old both have a major sweet tooth. Instead of taking away dessert, I thought my best bet was to trick my little into eating a better option. I bought silicone molds and we adapted our favorite smoothies into kid-friendly, delicious summer popsicle treats. 

Healthy Summer Popsicle Ideas
Healthy Peanut Butter Popsicle

HEALTHY PEANUT BUTTER BANANA POPSICLE


This popsicle is a riff on our very favorite smoothie. It tastes so sweet and delicious, but it's actually good for you. For the adult version I like to add a tsp of instant coffee. 

  • 1 banana
  • heaping scoop of your favorite peanut butter
  • about two tbsp yogurt 
  • coconut milk (until desired smoothness)
  • coconut flakes (optional)

Blend all ingredients except the coconut flakes until smooth. Pour into silicone molds. If desired, sprinkle with coconut flakes to the bottom of the popsicles. Freeze!


Blueberry Popsicle
Blueberry Popsicle Recipe

BLUEBERRY YOGURT POPSICLE 


  • about a cup of blueberries
  • about two tbsp yogurt
  • about two tbsp honey
  • coconut milk (until desired smoothness)

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Pour into silicone molds. Freeze!

    Dream Home 2.0 // Living Room

    We've now seen 16 houses here in the Grand Rapids area. There has only been one "that got away," and it feels like we're getting closer to finding a home to raise our kid(s) in. While I'm waiting for said home to come into our possession, I have been virtually laying out plans and shopping for our dream home. In case you missed it, I did an overall post about my dream home, as well as the color palette I plan to carry though out the space to create a cohesive vibe.

    Today I'm starting the part in the series where I break down my vision room-by-room. I am starting with what I think is the most important room in the house, the living room. We are TV people, we spend nights unwinding on the sofa and weekends sipping coffee while Ollie plays with toys. I want this room to feel warm and inviting, relaxed but still polished. Sticking to my color palette the base would be white with warm wood tones, the sofa, light neutral with plants, pillows and art to add life and color. My living room wish list, includes tall ceilings, lots of windows and open to the kitchen. Our last house had two living areas, I prefer one big space instead of formal and informal living rooms. I absolutely loved the feel of our old living room, so we will be using that as a jumping off point, getting a new sofa and an updated coffee table. Keep following my insta stories to see the latest on our house hunt. 

    Dream Living Room Inspiration

    photos : 1 / 2 / 3


    Dream Living Room

    SHOP THE ROOM


    Easy Summer Hair

    While adhering to a capsule wardrobe, I find I want to change up and experiment with my hair. Playing with hair accessories is a fun way to change up an outfit. However, hair accessories can become juvenile pretty fast if you're not careful. I love this idea of a casual summer vacation look of a loose pony tied with a scarf. These cool girls have serious hair game with minimal effort. 

    ponytail with bandana
    Bandana with Ponytail
    Bandana hairstyles
    bandana hairstyles

    photos: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4


    SHOP THE LOOK


    Summer Picnic

    Do you know about my love for picnics? It is one of my absolute favorite family activities. I love that we are outside, sharing and passing. Our entertainment is usually the people or the dogs walking by, not our screens or the TV in the restaurant bar. Picnics are generally much more budget friendly than going out to dinner, but you're still away from your everyday dining situation, which is probably our favorite part. 

    Summer Picnic

    Picnics can be as simple as filling your water bottle and making a few PB&Js, or one of our go-tos, stopping by the prepared food section in the grocery store on the way to "the spot." This particular picnic was a little more involved. We were at my family's "cottage," so we were able to utilize the grill, which you could also do at many parks, if you're okay with putting in a little leg work.

    Summer Picnic

    The menu I cooked up for the perfect summer picnic was a combo of pre-made and freshly grilled items, all kid-friendly, utilizing seasonal summer items and available at the tiny little town grocery store.

    PERFECT SUMMER PICNIC MENU

    • grilled peach and fresh mozzarella on prepared flatbread
    • Tortellini salad with pesto (pre-made)
    • grilled corn
    • watermelon
    • no-bake cheese cake topped with berries
    Summer Picnic
    Summer Picnic

    What's on your perfect summer picnic menu? 

    Anti Inflammatory Meal Ideas

    Two weeks ago I shared my new diet/lifestyle shift to follow an anti-inflammatory food pyramid. My base eating habits have been generally healthy in a traditional American sense. I'm a vegetarian, before my diet changes, I cooked a lot of pasta, and sandwiches, and loaded them with veggies. Under my new diet plan, I am trying to significantly cut gluten and dairy. I have adapted to making smoothies in the morning, packed with anti-inflammatory goodness, then for lunch I make a hearty salad. Below have been my go-to breakfast and lunches for the past several weeks. 


    ANTI-INFLAMMATORY SMOOTHIE 

    • a cup of pineapple
    • handful of berries (fresh or frozen)
    • half and avocado 
    • handful of greens - I like spinach and baby kale
    • scoop of flax seed
    • 1/2 tbsp of turmeric powder 
    • tbsp The Beauty Chef Collagen
    • coconut milk to desired texture 
    Anti Inflammatory Smoothie
    Anti Inflammatory Smoothie

    FILLING ANTI-INFLAMMATORY SALAD

    • bowl of leafy greens, I use spinach, arugula and baby kale
    • 1 hard boiled egg
    • sliced almonds or chopped walnuts
    • warm boiled edamame
    • half roasted sweet potato 
    • half roasted beet 
    • ginger dressing (recipe here)

    I'm a gal, who usually accepts the bread with my salad, so making the shift away from gluten is a challenge. I try to make my lunch salads as hearty as possible, since I don't eat meet, the egg is my protein. Also, I like when the greens are a little wilted, so I try to add warm veggies to achieve a texture that is more palatable to me. I also want to note, that after diving into my anti-inflammatory shift I have also been avoiding soy and edamame, swapping with avocado. 

    Anti Inflammatory Salad