Experiences, Not Things.

Experiences, not things

Over the past couple of years, I’ve started to shift my spending from more clothes, shoes, and accessories to spending on experiences. Designer labels and brand names are becoming less important as I get older, and at the same time, I’m starting to think more about how I want to spend my money on memorable experiences. I mean, who really needs 8 pairs of sandals? 

(No one.)

Now that the weather is warming up, I’m starting to give a lot more thought to how I want to spend late spring, summer, and fall. Even though I’m somewhat used to my homebody ways of watching Netflix or reading and snacking in pajamas, it’s time to break out of that mindset and get out there. It’s time to start going out more often (GOMO)! 

I’m pretty lucky that I live in one of the coolest places in the world(San Francisco Bay Area whaat!!) and there really isn’t a shortage of fun things to do around here. From concerts to sporting events to wine tasting and camping, there’s something here for everyone to love. 

With the help of my friends at Eventbrite, I’ve put together a sort of bucket list for fun things I want to try in 2017 that require me to get out of my comfort zone, get out of the house, and have fun and make memories! 

Here’s the list:

Go to a concertGo to my first country concert. In a few weeks, I’m going to be sipping on some bud light with my cowboy hat watching Chris Stapleton take the stage. I’m no stranger to concerts, but I’ve never been to a country concert. The group of friends I’m going with aren’t the usual friends I go to concerts with, so I’m really looking forward to making some great memories with these friends at this show. Fingers crossed that the weather is nice and it doesn’t get too chilly near the end of the show!

Take a cooking class

Take a cooking class. I took a baking class a couple of years ago while in New York at the Momofuku Milk Bar. Even though I was by myself, I found the experience to be pretty fun since I love to bake. The thing about that class is that while I loved baking and I learned a lot, birthday cake isn’t something I can incorporate in to my diet on a regular basis (but wouldn’t that be awesome if I could!?!!?). I’m hoping to take a cooking class on some type of cuisine–perhaps Thai or Japanese? I don’t have much experience with cooking those types of cuisine at home and some recipes feel pretty intimidating to tackle on my own, including beginner recipes.

go on a wine tour

Go on a wine tour. Lucky me, I live pretty damn close to wine country. While Napa County is world-famous and everyone and their mother goes there, there are wineries throughout the Bay Area, including the East Bay and the South Bay. It would be awesome to get a group of friends together one Saturday or Sunday and go on a wine tour where the itinerary is already planned and all we have to do is show up. 

Hit up a foodie festival. There is no shortage of foodie festivals in the Bay Area. Whether it’s about craft beer, coffee, wine, or street food, there’s a festival happening somewhere just about every month. Some of them can be pretty pricy, and you definitely have to make sure you don’t upset your stomach with too much food, but it will be really fun to see what local vendors have to offer and even do a taste test. 

spend time at a retreat

Spend time at a retreat. Whenever I take time off work to go on vacation, I usually pack that time full of activities and don’t give myself a lot of time to unwind and rest. With that strategy, I make the most of my time off, but I also come back to work feeling tired and unfocused…which is not good. Heading to a retreat–a holistic one, a yoga one, or something similar, where we take time to rest, heal, and connect, would be an awesome experience. 

What do you think of my list? I hope my list has inspired you to step out of your comfort zone and plan to do something new this year! 

If you’re looking for ideas, you should definitely check out Eventbrite. And if you’re the type of person to plan your own event, Eventbrite even has an event planning page that’s perfect for you. 

With all this being said, what do you say–let’s GOMO this year? 

-S

Strawberry, Blackberry & Pistachio Yogurt Bark

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You’ve probably seen yogurt bark recently on your Facebook newsfeed like I have (thanks, Tasty!).

One afternoon when I became a little hangry for going a little too long without a snack or a small meal, I started pulling fresh berries out of the fridge. Then I noticed the creamy, full-fat, rich, gooood yogurt. A full can, a rarity in my house.

While I was still hangry and searching for a snack, I was desperately thinking “I’m never going to let myself go this long without something to eat again!” I started snacking on chocolate (not a filling snack, but hey I needed some brain food to at least get started on finding something good to eat) while I started to prepare some tangy yogurt bark. 

It’s ridiculously easy to make, and you don’t really need a recipe to make it, but I’m going to list out everything for you just to make things easier for you. 

How does it taste, you ask? Deliciously tangy. The fruit is refreshing. The pistachios add a nice texture and flavor to the bark. And it’s all slightly sweet, thanks to some honey. 

How does it hold up? So, I’m not using greek yogurt, which a lot of people seem to have issues with when freezing. I’m using old-fashioned creamy yogurt from Trader Joe’s (it’s a red plastic container if you see it there), and I haven’t really come across a similar yogurt in other stores. This one is especially creamy but still has a pourable consistency. 

How long does it last? I wouldn’t keep it around for too long in the freezer, because the longer you keep it in there, the more likely it is for the taste to change and for ice crystals to develop. Do store it in an airtight plastic container for max freshness. 

Remember, all the ingredients can be adjusted to your taste or to the quantity you’re making! There really aren’t any rules. 

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Strawberry, Blackberry & Pistachio Yogurt Bark

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups creamy, plain yogurt (my yogurt is from Trader Joe's)
  • 3-4 tbsp honey, to taste
  • 3-4 fresh or frozen strawberries, sliced
  • 8-10 fresh or frozen blackberries, halved
  • 2 tbsp crushed pistachios

Instructions

  1. First of all, prep your ingredients. Slice your strawberries, chop your pistachios, etc.
  2. Add a layer of aluminum foil to a baking sheet. I used a pizza pan since I was making a small batch for myself.
  3. In a mixing bowl, mix together the honey and yogurt.
  4. Pour the honey and yogurt onto the prepared baking sheet.
  5. Scatter the strawberries, blackberries, and crushed pistachios all over the yogurt.
  6. Put in the freezer for 2-4 hours until frozen.
  7. Remove from freezer and break the bark into large pieces. Use a sharp knife for help.
  8. Eat immediately! Some of it will melt on your hands--it's inevitable.
  9. Store the rest in an airtight container in your freezer.
http://www.thesassylife.com/strawberry-blackberry-pistachio-yogurt-bark/

Spring Cleaning Tips Not Related To The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Spring Cleaning Tips Not Related To The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

 

If another person talks about how “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” changed their life, I swear I’m going to…

do nothing about it :) Did I get you there?

I have the book but haven’t gotten around to reading it. And I do have to say, I’m a little tired of the hype. 

As a self-proclaimed “hoarder” (a title I hold with a tiny bit of pride, actually), I tend to accumulate a lot of things and have trouble getting rid of them. Although I keep some items for sentimental reasons and “what if” situations, I mainly just collect more items than I get rid of. 

Now that it’s spring and I can actually see everything that has caught dust over summer, fall, and winter, I want to share with you a few of my weird but hopefully helpful tips on spring cleaning. (Note: None, literally none of this has been endorsed by Marie Kondo)

If you have trouble purging your clothes, go through them during an off season. 

For whatever reason, I find it a lot easier to part with items I haven’t worn in a long time if I’m parting with them in an off-season. For example, It’s a lot easier for me to get rid of an old summer dress in March and dingy sweater in July. I know that I haven’t worn some of my dresses in a really long time and if I find them in my closet and don’t really seem to care much for them, I know it’s time for them to find a new home.

Having those items out of sight lets the decision making process easier for me, because I know that I’ve lived without that item for a good period of time without needing it

Promise yourself to replace intimates and accessories. 

We often forget to go through intimates, socks, etc.–things we use on a daily basis–because we use them on a daily basis and they aren’t seasonal. It’s important to go through this stuff and throw out the ill-fitting item, outdated items, and items that have holes in them. If you’re anything like me, the idea of getting new items in their place can be pretty exciting. Promise yourself to get new bras when you toss the old, new socks when you toss out the old, etc. 

Turn your unloved but good quality items into a little cash

Take your clothes and accessories (not intimates though, ew) to secondhand stores that buy gently used items. You might get a little cash out of it. You can also consider selling your items online, too, but I personally find that to be a lot more work than taking garbage bags of clothing to a secondhand clothing store. It takes effort to get to the store, but you can get rid of your clothes in a matter of hours. Problem solved!

Set up a calendar for your skincare and cosmetics

Or any item that has to be tossed or replaced after a certain period of time. It might seem like a lot of work, but believe me, it’ll come in handy and you’ll be organized as hell. You could use a spreadsheet or set calendar alerts on iCal. 

Or, replace your items based on the calendar year. 

Replace your toothbrush and mascara every quarter. Your foundation, every new year. As long as you have a system that works for you, you’re good. Be sure to do a little research on the lifespan of your products. 

Clean your shoes, brah. 

I don’t know how often we think about this, but it’s worth cleaning your shoes after winter. If you’re like me and store shoes you wear on a daily basis in a closet with clean clothes…uhh that’s kinda weird right? Kinda like eating right next to a dirty bathroom, but not as dramatic. Just clean your shoes from time to time. Some shoes are okay to put in the washer and dryer, but you can use disinfecting wipes to clean the others, or special shoe cleaners if the material is more delicate. 

Reward yourself for cleaning. 

I’m a bit of a lazy person, with “bit” being an understatement. Cleaning isn’t my favorite thing to do, and clearing through and organizing clutter can be a major pain in the butt for me. In moments when I’m cleaning, I’m usually wondering how there are some people who actually like cleaning (I’ve met a few of you and I’m still wondering. And for the record, I don’t have anything against you or hate you). Anyway, I like to give myself a reward for cleaning. Nothing crazy, but something enough to make me want to do it. Like pizza. Pizza is a good reward for anything. 

If you have a lot of cleaning to do, set up a 30 day challenge and hold yourself to it. Then, give yourself a really large reward. Basically, just get yourself to do it. 

Actually create a system that works with your lifestyle.

If you like the minimalist look but are a hoarder, you’ll have to get creative to stash away the clutter. And, if you hide the clutter, you may forget you own certain items and buy them again, creating a vicious cycle. This is a moment where you have to tell yourself “No, I have a lot of things and I can’t live like a minimalist.” and then gear up for the lifestyle of a person who has a lot of things and needs creative but accessible storage. We all have to face reality and accept ourselves. 

Seriously, replace your bras. 

Ill-fitting bras showing through your t-shirts or dresses isn’t cute. If you’re in denial that your bra needs to be tossed (I think all of us have been here at some point), you need to check out this infographic. Good bras are important!!!  

Lifecycle of the Bra

If you need a new bra and not thrilled by the idea of going to the store to have yourself measured by a stranger (super awkward), you need to check out ThirdLove. Get 10% off your purchase at ThirdLove with the code TLSPRING10.

That’s pretty much what I’ve got for Spring Cleaning Tips. Do you have any to add to the mix? I would love to hear them, especially since I’m not very proactive when it comes to cleaning. 

Notes: I have nothing against Marie Kondo. She sounds pretty cool and I hope to get around reading her book soon. It has “Magic” in the title for a reason, folks. 

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