Frugal Luxuries: Memorial Day Weekend Guide

May 22, 2020

Photo by engin akyurt 

Who would have thought that this memorial day weekend would be during a pandemic? This year has been pretty scary and intense, so I believe it's extremely important to celebrate every holiday we can. But since we really don't know what the economy is going to look like for the next few months, I believe it is crucial to learn to have fun without going broke or spending a ton of money. We just have to get a little creative. Here are a few ways to make this weekend special while staying frugal. 

First things first. We have to start off the weekend by thanking everyone who has fought to keep us safe. Since most IRL events to honor vets are out of the question, some ceremonies are going to be held virtually. Check this article out if you're interested in live-streaming one.

Photo by Brooke Lark 

Fancy alfresco breakfast or lunch (or do these things inside if the weather sucks) 

  • Fresh flowers in a vase - can pick up affordable bouquets at the grocery store or can pick some from your backyard/the park. This just elevates the atmosphere and gives you another reason to smile while you eat. 
  • Drink out of a pretty coffee mug and eat off a pretty plate - this just adds a little pizzazz and elevates the experience. Trust me. 
  • Wear something comfy and that you feel sexy in. For me that's Vintage lacy satin slip dresses, slip camis and shorts, and fluffy slippers. I love wearing slip dresses because they are effortless and create this regal look. I got mine from Zara last year for like $30 ... an amazing bargain. Slip dresses are popping up everywhere so it shouldn't be hard to find one online (but you probably have something satin-like in your closet or underwear drawer). Walmart and Target also have pretty affordable slip dresses in the underwear section. 

  • Play music while you cook. Maybe you're in the mood for jazz and mimosas; maybe you're in the mood for Megan Thee Stallion and shaking that ass while you cook. Both vibes are really fun. 
  • If you don't want to be alone, setting up a Facetime/Zoom with a friend(s) while you eat is a therapeutic and safe way to feel less lonely.  
  • If the weather will allow it and you have a backyard, rooftop or balcony, eat outside. Getting in vitamin d while enjoying delicious food is seriously one of the best luxuries in life that I do not take advantage of enough. 
  • Drape a white sheet or table cloth over your table while you eat. You can get table cloths at the dollar tree or target for like $1-$3, and you'll feel like you are dining in a chic restaurant (minus the hazardous crowds and pricey bill). Or just bring a blanket and pillows to eat on the ground. That's fun too
Budget-friendly Breakfast/Brunch Menu

  • eggs 
  • blueberries 
  • parsley (mainly for decor lol)
  • strawberries 
  • waffle or pancake mixs (I like to make healthier, low-carb protein pancakes like these from TIU) 
  • turkey bacon
Photo by Alexandra K 

Frugal & Delicious Lunch Menu 
  • watermelon (or any fruit but watermelon makes me think of summer)
  • sandwiches (try these low-carb cauliflower sandwich thins from Whole Foods. I really love them after they've been toasted for a few minutes) 
  • Popsicles!!!! And you can plop them in a glass of champagne or rosé for a fancy drink. These all look amazing and easy to make. Making popsicles is fun if you have a mold, but Trader Joes has some healthy pre-made options. 
  • carrot sticks. I just like how they crunch.  

Photo by Elizabeth Explores 

Go on a pretty walk or hike 

  • Bring water w/ infused fruit and snacks to spice up the walk while you stay hydrated.  
  • Listen to fun podcasts, entertaining audiobooks, or put together an upbeat music playlist to enjoy during your time outside.
  • Walk down a new and inspiring street - make sure it's in a safe area and your phone is fully charged. 
  • If you live within walking distance of a park or beach, bring a pen, notebook and colored pencils so you can journal or sketch somewhere along your walk. 


Elevate your movie marathon set up 

The ideal set up would be to watch outside in warm weather and a pre-downloaded movie on your laptop (and a white sheet + movie projector to connect to your laptop to show out). Throw in snacks, blankets, bug spray, sunblock, and a cheap bottle of wine or hard seltzers and this sounds like the perfect evening.

But if the weather is crappy, building a fort in the living room and draping Christmas lights around your area is a great way to change the ambiance and create a cozy space.

Photo by Thought Catalog 

Travel by reading a book
Curling up with a cup of tea or a glass of wine, while you read, is such a peaceful, yet exciting experience. I love to play light piano music, jazz music, or classical music in the background while I read (it makes me feel like I'm in a swanky lounge or coffee shop). I couldn't be more excited to travel again (when it's safer of course) with friends and loved ones to a quaint get-a-way. But until then,  traveling via books is a pretty fun and affordable way to escape reality for a few hours. 

Photo by sheri silver 

Wear a festive outfit 
We all have red, white, and blue stuff. Why not get dressed up in a weird or tacky outfit just for shits and giggles. I wish I had USA-themed press-on tattoos that I could put on or USA-themed party favors I could wear. I bet Target has fun stuff in the dollar section. Spending $2-$5 on random themed trinkets at Target is a fun and hella cheap way to make the day feel a little more special. 

Check Out Some SalesI know we should be prioritizing saving a ton of money right now, but I still believe in treating ourselves a little bit (keyword being a little... something I'm struggling to master lol). And there are a few bomb-ass holiday sales right now. I have a few things on my wishlist, so if I find really great deals, I might buy one or two things. Or I might throw the money into savings. Like I said on my IG stories the other day, I set a weekly savings goal for myself, so after I meet it, I feel less guilty about treating myself a little bit. 

Yeah, I could save even more and live on rice and beans right now, but I'm slowly getting better at saving instead of going too extreme by restricting myself, only to end up going on a binge spending spree because I feel so deprived, and then hating myself for not keeping my promise to myself. I'd rather go slow and steady and win the financial wellness race than go hard in the paint temporarily and end up sabotaging myself right after. My weekly treat might be a piece of lingerie (only if it's on sale) I've been eyeing, or it might be buying the ingredients to make boozy popsicles. Both are fun and won't hurt my wallet.

Memorial Day Weekend Sales (Because paying full-price for stuff is annoying) 
Don't forget to use Honey or Rakuten when you shop for the best deals and to get cashback. I have these plugins installed on my chrome browser. And my links above should help you get gift cards or a $25 credit after your first shopping trip. 

  • Target - 25% off patio items & furniture!! YAAASSSS  Plus they are having a ton of sales on other items too 
  • Revolve - Extra 20% off sale items... don't sleep on this 
  • Lulus - 50% off sale items ... um like what! crazy!!
  • Showpo - they keep having random flash sales like every single day so I'd check their IG/ IG stories for codes while you browse. I linked to 10 of my favorite dresses from their sale section - all between $20-$40!!!! I bought the white maxi featured below because omg how beautiful is that dress and for only $26!!! I'll be ready to snatch all the sugar daddies on my next trip to the grocery store. 
Dresses: one, two, three, four, five

Dresses: one, two, three, four, five

Thanks so much for taking a moment out of your day to read this post! I hope you feel inspired to celebrate the holiday during this interesting time. Wishing you all the love and safety this holiday weekend.

Sunday Muses

May 17, 2020

Every morning during this weird-ass time, I've been asking myself the same question during my morning journal session:

"What is one thing I can do today that will make me happy?"

Today, the answer to that question was simple: go for a walk, grab trulys, and have a full-on rest day

I know, I'm the queen of productivity, right? lmao.

This is a question I have to carve out time for and write the answer to every morning because it's quite challenging to compartmentalize everything that's going on and somehow be in a blissful state.

Finding a way to boost my morale is key to my well-being. I want my well-rounded lifestyle back; I know we all do. I have so much to be grateful for, and I realize that, but I'm still craving parts of my life back.

I also understand that it is necessary to grant myself grace during this time (we all do).  And that means that I'm not forcing myself to do extra things today that aren't necessary for my fundamental wellbeing. This is a full-on rest day lol. So cheers to watching a ton of Law & Order and Brooklyn Nine-Nine while browsing beautiful travel destinations on Pinterest, eating ice cream, and looking forward to the future. Honestly, this is more fun than I expected. Inspiring mood boards go a long way.

What's one thing you're planning to do to makes sure you have a lovely evening?

Dating Diaries: Quarantine & Post-Quarantine Love Life Resources

May 13, 2020

Photo by jisoo kim 
Dating/maintaining healthy relationships in the modern age is rough. Throw in a pandemic shutdown and wow… like how the f*** do we navigate this? Tbh, I think there are pros and cons to dating during this time. I like that things have really slowed down and the physical aspect is postponed. But, not being able to safely go on a physical date with someone also removes a lot of the excitement.  How will dating change after quarantine ends but social distancing is still necessary? I do not have the answers to these questions. My dating life is a rollercoaster. But you know me, I am the queen of research/consuming content. I love reading and listening to dating advice, and I know I’m not alone. 

Here are a few amazing resources I’ve stumbled upon or friends have recommended to me. Whether you are single af, trying to keep the flame alive with a new potential boo, or taking things to the next level with your partner, these videos, podcasts, articles, quotes and blog posts have a lot of valuable info for all of us. 

What do you guys think dating will look like for the rest of the year? I know that some parts of the country have reopened, but we don’t know what the health ramifications will look like in a month or two from now. I’m so curious to hear your thoughts because like wtf has 2020 been? I need the universe to stop playing these games with us! 

Quarantine Date Ideas For Couples At Every Stage - I think these ideas are adorable. Even with states easing up on their stay-at-home orders, I’m pretty nervous about being in large crowds of people. I know I’m personally not ready to eat inside a restaurant (but I love picking up food and sitting out in the sun AWAY from other people lol)  or to go to a bar and be in close quarters with other people, so I think these ideas are great for couples that want to social distance and connect at home.

Let’s get real… We all have needs. 

Having Fun While Dating - I love this post by Actual Black Mermaid. It’s a good reminder that dating should be fun and when it starts to stress us out, it’s time to take a break. 

Long Distance Relationships during Covid - Business Insider Interview

Jared Freid: Honestly, just binge watch all of his content. I’m so happy my bff Kaitlyn turned me on to him. He is so funny, raw and honest. He’s also on the U Up podcast. Guess I can’t get enough of J Train lmao. But this episode is a pretty great one to start with.  

We Met At Acme: My quarantine roommate turned me onto this podcast and I liked this episode. Although I believe you should do whatever you want with your life/body/your boundaries, I highly agree with the 2 drinks max on the first few dates. It’s a rule I want to implement into my life because I think it will solve a lot of my dating issues - cutting back on my alcohol consumption is honestly something I have to do no matter what to improve my life (I've noticed that I'm pretty depressed the next day if I get drunk and I don't want to live like that anymore - #quarantinerevelations lmao). 

And this isn't the first time I’ve heard that rule (shout out to actual black mermaid). For me, it’s mainly for physical and emotional safety (especially since our health is even more vulnerable until there is a covid-19 vaccine). Sometimes you don’t know if you are having fun because of the buzz from your drink or because you actually connect with the person on the other side of the table/screen. By following this rule, I’ll know that if I decide to get intimate with someone, I’m making the decision from a sober place... aka I won’t regret it the next day.    

Beware of the 5 New Fuckboys During Quarantine! - This article was so funny. The new breed of fuckboys during quarantine… and possibly after.

Dating Diaries: Quarantine Confessions - I haven’t listened to this brand new podcast yet, but it looks funny. I’m intrigued.

Unf*** Your Boundaries - I think most of us struggle with staying true to our boundaries. I appreciated this short but sweet video about unf*****g them

The Future of Dating From… 
SNL’s sketch about what dating might look like in a post quarantine world 
And Wendy William’s + Mario Lopez's take and I mean… she makes some good points. 

Please send me any dating pieces of advice you're loving right now. I'd love to share even more! Wishing you all a lovely and safe day. And thanks for supporting my site. It means the world to me.

Monday Mindset: Positive Quotes to Help Us Smile

May 11, 2020

Photo by Ellieelien

I don't know about you, but this weekend was a roller coaster for me. I allowed myself to just wallow yesterday, and I think my body needed it. This morning, I woke up feeling upset, but then I looked at my phone and remembered that the Tone It Up Summer Challenge started today. As soon as I saw the reminder, I was instantly filled with hope because my week already had a pre-planned goal to look forward to. I had something to look forward to and a new community to share it with (that's my favorite thing about TIU - there are so many people to connect with while we focus on our health).  Today's workout was only 15 minutes, so it was super attainable instead of feeling overwhelming.

Getting out of bed to do this short session completely reset my outlook. I still struggle with beating myself up (because I don't have the results I desire out of life yet ... I know, I'm learning to become more patient), but this morning, I committed to focusing on consistency/showing up for myself instead of focusing on the results. I know I'll have to work hard to maintain this healthy mindset, but my soul is experiencing a moment of blissful peace... and that is something I'm willing to work hard for. I know that the state of mental health is sporadic. I accept that. But as each week passes, I am discovering more and more ways to keep my small promises to myself, even when I am struggling or in a very dark place.

Yesterday was a low day, but today is already sooooooo much better. And that's what we HAVE to keep reminding ourselves of. The grief, the depression, the anxiety, the guilt, the shame, the loneliness... those are all extremely powerful emotions, but they are temporary. Although they do not always go away on their own, we are fortunate enough to have the resources/technology to seek help and do small things to help us get on the other side of them. I hope these quotes put a smile on your face like they did for me. And if today is one of your low days, that's ok. Feeling better is a process where instant gratification just slaps a band-aid on the wound instead of actually helping it heal. Slowly but surely, we are all healing, and that's something to smile about for sure.

Wednesday Wellness: Funny TikToks and Memes Round Up

May 6, 2020

Photo by Sarah Gualtieri 

I went a little too hard with the alcohol last night. My quarantine roommates and I played a drinking game to Coco.. yeah, the Disney movie. And the hangover and anxiety have been real. Happens lol. So I did what any self-aware 20something year old would do... I binge-watched TikToks and looked at memes to help myself feel better. I have two virtual dance classes today, so I want to feel better. And laughter + ginger tea usually help me reset. I hope you guys enjoy these as much as I do. Please DM me your favorite tiktoks and memes of the week. My friends Erinn, Melody, and Freddy always send the best stuff and I depend on it to help me laugh when I don't feel so hot.  I'd love to share them and get some more laughs in while I sit on the couch in utter despair and try to understand why 2020 is doing this to us lol. But all we can control is our attitude, so that's what I'm trying to focus on.

TikTok links that made me laugh/smile

Thanks for taking a minute to read this post. Your support means the world to me. Sending you all the love. 

The Beauty Edit: My Glow Up Wish List

May 4, 2020

Photo by Doğukan Şahin

I have to admit that I haven't always prioritized taking care of my skin and nails. In the past, if I avoided sugar and managed my stress, my skin stayed pretty clear... but as I get older, my skin is changing. And that means it needs waaay more TLC.

My hands and nails are the same way. I used to paint my nails all the time. It was such a fun and relaxing activity, but the busier I became and the more drained I felt, the less I made time to sit down and give myself a mani/pedi at home. I miss looking down at my fingernails and smiling. I've been craving a pop of pastel color on my nails. I'm really loving the Essie Spring 2020 collection. I was hoping I could buy the entire collection in a set, but can't seem to find that. The main colors I want are Feeling Wellies, Spring in Your Step, and Make A Splash. And guess what, I'm weak, so I'm going to buy them. I'll wait to try the other colors though. I gotta draw the line somewhere haha.

As far as skincare goes, I think it is time for me to get a toner and to invest in a face moisturizer. Using normal ass lotion used to do the trick for me, but my skin has been pretty dry during the lockdown. I also want to add a product to tackle all the pollution my skin deals with from living and working in the city. I just want dewy, clear, glowing skin. I do notice that my diet and water consumption have the biggest impact on my skin, but products can help me get what I want faster lol. 

I also have my eye on a few makeup products to achieve this dewy, glowing skin look I'm now obsessed with. I've seen a few beauty gurus using these products and have read a few reviews on each product. I plan to add them to my makeup routine strategically over the next few months so I don't destroy my wallet. I only bought mascara (I swear by Wander Beauty's "Mile High Club" one. It's clean and makes my lashes look incredible! Magic tbh) and two Fenty Beauty lipsticks during the Sephora Spring sale because I am practicing self-control. I am SOOOO excited for the products and samples I'm getting to come in the mail tho. I know I need to prioritize exfoliating and moisturizing so I picked the cult fav Dr. Gross exfoliating sheets and a random face moisturizer. I want the rose moisturizer by Fresh real freaking bad, but patience is a virtue so I shall wait until I hit my next savings goal before I get it. 

What I bought and what I'm sampling from Sephora 

Here is a list of the beauty items I'm prioritizing and saving for this spring/summer. I'm really trying to be more financially responsible without completely depriving myself so I'll buy an item or two at a time while I contribute to my beauty/wardrobe budget to save for the rest. TBH, starting a wardrobe/beauty fund has been the best decision I've ever made. This way I can still treat myself to the things that bring me joy without going into debt or feeling guilty because I already made space in my budget for a little retail therapy. #responsibleshopping

  • Chanel Coco Noir Perfume - been out of this for a few months and really miss it! Need to replace mine
  • Dewy skin drops - this one from Glossier looks fun
  • A brightening and complexion evening product. Gonna do some research on this. If anybody has a good recommendation, please let me know! 
  • Overnight Skin Repair serum - guys the stuff I have by Truly Organic is like magic for my skin! The one I've been using for the past year is discontinued so I'm determined to find a dupe. It always clears up my skin overnight. Dark Magic I swear. 
  • Under-eye illuminating powder - I just want bright eyes. It makes all the difference. 
  • Vitamin C eye treatment- trust me when I say I need this ish. I'm sick of looking like a zombie 
  • I found out about this Illuminating Color Correcting SP 50+ Cream from Lorna Luxe and I NEED IT! She did a try on with one side of her face in the illuminating and the other side with the matte cream and OH MY GOD!! This is at the absolute top of my list. It's exactly what I've been looking for. And it has SPF in it so I won't need to put on sunscreen. Winner Winner chicken dinner 

What's at the top of your beauty wish list? I'm hoping that Sephora and Ulta have more sales throughout the summer... I have a feeling they will. 

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