I’m back!

Hello everyone, I am so happy to announce that I am back! I took a long (long may be an understatement) break from blogging while I was focusing on my education and personal life. Over the past year and a half I have been going to school full time and working full time, which has kept me extremely busy to say the least. I am thrilled to be on summer vacation now, and finally have time to feed my non-school related passions such as blogging! 

A lot has changed for me over the past year, but I still live in a small town in Southern Idaho, and work at the same restaurant. I have chosen a career in medicine, and am fairly certain that I would like to specialize in surgery. Regardless of what path I end up taking, my ultimate goal is to dedicate my life to saving other people’s. Currently I am just enjoying learning, and taking every opportunity I can to explore my options and push myself intellectually.  

While I look forward to a summer full of fun and work, I am preparing myself for an extremely challenging semester next fall where I will be taking 17 credits and commuting 2.5 hours three days out of the week. Previously, my blog has focused on beauty, home and DIY. I plan to transition my content to a more self-care and education oriented blog. You can look forward to everything from study tips, to my favorite books, to my various routines and hobbies! As well as old favorites such as “Plan With Me” posts. 

I am so excited to be back, thank you for stopping by! 

Smile Direct Club Invisible Aligners | Month # 3 Progress Report!

Let me start of by apologizing for the long break!

I’m gearing up to go back to college full time while also working a full time job and it’s been a lot to balance! While my posting may not be as frequent as it was this past summer, I will still do my best to upload new content whenever I can throughout the coming semester.

Today I have my 3 month Smile Direct aligner progress report for you!

I am so happy with the progress I am making in my treatment. Not only can I notice a huge difference in the area I am concerned about, but other people are starting to notice too! I can see a straight smile in my near future and I couldn’t be more excited to get there!

This month has been especially challenging for eating. My tooth has moved to directly on top of my lower teeth so that when I chew they scrape together. It’s starting to shift out of the way but for now it’s pretty annoying to eat with.

I’m sorry for the low quality pictures below but you can see clearly how much my tooth has moved in just 30 days!

Gluten & Dairy-Free Apple Crisp! | Tis’ The Season

Note: The image shown above is the recipe below doubled! 


Ingredients:

Filling

  • 3-5 Golden Delicious apples
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Crumble

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 3/4 cup gluten free baking flour (I used coconut)
  • 3/4 cup gluten free rolled oats
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup softened margarine

Instructions To Bake:

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  • Cut apples into chunks (peeling is optional – I choose to leave the skin on)
  • Put apples into a baking pan (choose one deep enough to fit all your ingredients, depending on how many apples you have)
  • Sprinkle cinnamon and salt on apples and mix with clean hands
  • In a large bowl combine crumble ingredients with clean hands
  • Cover apple layer with all of crumble mixture
  • Bake for 35 minutes or until edges are crispy
  • Enjoy with your favorite vanilla ice cream! 🙂

4 Ways To Save Money Fast! | How I’m Saving 2K In 3 Months For School | Learn To Budget With Me!

Why I Started Budgeting

As a kid, my parents taught me the importance of saving to create wealth in the future. While I’ve always been pretty good at saving, I’ve never had a savings goal or something that requires me to watch my spending closely, until now.

Recently, I decided to go back to college for a second time to pursue a degree in Health Science. I am going to a community college so the tuition is relatively low. Cheap enough that I don’t plan on taking any loans out to pay for it.

I applied and requested my transcript from my previous college only to find out my debt wouldn’t allow me to move forward with the application process or even apply for financial aid. This was very discouraging, let me tell ya.

I was hoping to start school as soon as possible, but finding out that I had to save not only to pay off my defaulted loan but also for tuition to go back to school seemed impossible.

Luckily, I was able to reapply at my community college as a new student instead of a transfer student and simply let go of any credits I earned while in school originally (I wasn’t there for very long so there weren’t too many). This way, I don’t have to pay the loan off before starting school again.

The only downfall to this compromise is that I can’t apply for financial aid which I was counting on helping me with some of my costs. At first saving all my tuition in such a short time seemed like it would be really hard, but I’m going to share with you today how I’m saving 2K for my first term of college in just 3 short months without sacrificing the things that make me happy in my life.

#1 Create A Budget

I’ve never used a budget until now and I can’t believe my planning-obsessed self never tried it before. It’s changing my life and I’ve barely been using it a month!

I use a budgeting program called Mint. It’s totally free and the software seems to work great for me, I’ve had no issues.

The first thing I did after syncing my bank account with it was went through all my transactions and labelled them. I have special labels for all my bills and various things I spend money on like dog and cat food, toiletries, skincare, ect…

When you label all your spending it allows the app to categorize everything and show you exactly what you’re spending your money on. I was horrified to learn I had spent almost 2K (the full amount of my savings goal) on groceries in just one month! Seeing all my spending visually laid out was a huge wake up call!

Just seeing all the random crap I’d been spending my money on was enough motivation to keep me budgeting!

After labeling all my transactions I started to create a budget. I made a category for every bill I pay, what I expected to spend on food, gas, random spending. What my goals were (save 2k in 3 months). As well as what I expected my income to be!

I am a little more than half way through my first full month of budgeting (I started part way through last month). It’s exciting to see how well I’m doing staying within my budget just because I’m aware of it and paying attention to where my money goes!

This is a huge resource and by far my biggest tip. Even if you’re not trying to save for anything in particular, it is so valuable to pay attention to your finances so you can always make smart decisions with your money!

Look forward to updates about my trial and errors budgeting in the future! 

 

#2 Make More Tradeoffs Than Sacrifices

Right away when I started budgeting I started thinking about all the unnecessary stuff I spend my money on. Getting my nails done every two weeks, eyelash extensions, 4 pints of berries at $5 a piece every week, going out to eat, buying tea and baked goods at coffee shops.. the list goes on.

It’s important not to cut out all the the things that make you happy when budgeting because then your overall satisfaction of your life might go down and that won’t help you reach your goal at all! Instead of cutting everything you don’t necessarily need, choose the things that are most important to you and look for cheaper alternatives for the rest.

For example, I’ve stopped getting my nails done, but still plan on doing my eyelashes.

I stopped buying toaster waffles (which I eat for most breakfasts) and instead buy pancake mix which tastes just a good and is way more bang for your buck!

I’ve cut way back on going out to eat and instead buy myself more special food to make at home.

You don’t have to be miserable to live on a budget! 

#3 Sell Your Stuff & Buy Your Stuff Used

As soon as I started my savings plan for school I also started thinking of ways to make extra money. I don’t have time for a second job because school will be my second job. So, instead, I started selling my clothing on Poshmark! All you have to do is post pictures of the clothing and send things out as quick as you can if purchased, the app does the rest.

For non-clothing items try selling things you don’t use and items you have too many of on Ebay and Craig’s List. Both great ways to bring in extra money!

Also buying your clothes and various items off those websites is a great way to save money if you’re in need of something but don’t want to pay full price (half my clothing comes from Poshmark, it’s very reliable.)!

#4 Remember That It’s Temporary

If we live frugally now, the hope is that we won’t have to later. I think it’s so important when working towards a goal to remember that once you’ve reached that goal, you’re free! Not to say you should let go of budgeting, but maybe you won’t have to make so many sacrifices any more once the goal has been reached.

It’s temporary, that’s why we set goals! To have something to work towards that you know you will one day reach and then it will be over. 🙂

Smile Direct Club Invisible Aligners | Month # 2 | Progress Report!

Why I’m Trying Smile Direct Club

If you guys are new to my blog and don’t know about this series, here’s the update:

My teeth have forever been one of my biggest insecurities. I always wanted braces or Invisalign to straighten my smile growing up. As we all know, orthodontic bills can get very expensive and they have never been something I could afford.

I’ve seen lots of ads on the internet for Smile Direct Club over the past year or so and have always been curious about it. After doing a lot of research I decided to give it a go since the cost was 60% less than going through an orthodontist, and many people seemed to have success with it.

If you haven’t read my first blog post in this series, give it a look here!

Annoying Things & Pain

This month was very similar to last month in terms of pain. For the first 2 or 3 days after changing each set of aligners, my teeth and gums were very irritated and it hurt to eat. After the first few days the pain goes away and I can slide the aligners on and off easily.

As you’ll see in my result photos, I’ve been having a lot of trouble with biting my lip. The main tooth moving is constantly changing position and it’s been tricky to eat as my lip gets more swollen every time I bite it and my tooth gets closer and closer to my lip, I feel like I’ll probably struggle with this the entire aligner process.

Complaints

I am pretty frustrated with Smile Direct Club right now because I haven’t received my 3rd month of aligners yet. I was supposed to start Month 3, Week 1 yesterday and I haven’t even received an email saying they’ve shipped.

I called customer service and they weren’t very helpful, just told me to wait for shipping confirmation and wear the aligners I have in until I receive my new ones.

I’m disappointed that they didn’t send me my aligners before I needed them and I hope to experience better service in the future. I guess this is the one down fall to not seeing a doctor in person! 

Results & Things To Smile About

Other than the swollen and cut lip you can see in my month #2 photo, I am thrilled with my results! I am seeing a noticeable difference in the position of the tooth I’m most concerned about moving! I can’t wait to see where it is at the end of my 3rd month!