Archives for February 2015

Friday Favs

Good morning from Iowa! I woke up to a bit of a different view than what I’m use to seeing…

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That -8 degrees was, errr…., “refreshing” as I stepped off of the plane late last night. Phew! While checking in at the Southwest counter yesterday, the attendant asked Kyle and I if we had a nice visit in SW Florida. We laughed and told him that we lived here. He gave us the craziest look, questioning our decision to go back to Iowa in February and said: “Well, sometimes you just gotta go there, I guess.” LOL.

But don’t worry, I dressed for the weather ;)

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Anyways, how about some favs from the week?

1. The conversation on yesterday’s post – I LOVED it!! I will never understand why talking finances (while leaving your personal numbers private) is so taboo. I love hearing how other couples manage their money. If you’re looking for some ideas, head on over and read through the comments – I loved seeing the different perspectives!

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2. A few links…

3. I PASSED!!! My gestational diabetes test, that is :) WAHOO! Thank goodness too… I have some nasty bruises from where they drew blood. I don’t know how I could get a bruise on the inside of my elbow, outside of my elbow, and halfway down my forearm from a single needle stick. Ouch! Oh, and because people always ask, I had the lemon flavor. It tasted like a syrupy Sprite – Not too bad actually but it made me feel like junk about 40 minutes after chugging it.

4. BODYPUMP93. LOVE IT! The music is much better than 92 and I just think it is really fun. Although watch out for the triceps, lunge, and shoulder tracks… Those are going to be burners!

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5. Visiting family and friends in Iowa. Yes, it may be freezing, but Kyle and I were trying to recall the last time we were here and we couldn’t remember… Last Christmas maybe? On the agenda… Manicure with my sister, visiting ISU for a onesie and to talk with my college advisor, baby shower, eating at The Cafe (If you’ve been to Ames, you know what I’m talking about!)… and more that I’m sure I am forgetting!

I hope y’all have a wonderful weekend and STAY WARM if you’re anywhere near me ;)

I’m linking up with Katie, Heather, and Clare today to share some of my favorites from the week.

The finances of marriage

I thought I’d write about a different topic than my usual today… Finances and money and how they tie into marriage.

The topic has been on my mind for quite some now. Last year while enjoying a lunch out with a good girlfriend of mine, the topic of finances and marriage came up. Heavy lunch topic, right?! We had entirely different views on the subject – She felt her finances were much more rigid after marriage while I honestly didn’t feel that they changed much – if at all, after I tied the knot.

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It was then that I realized that Mr. Kyle and I organize our shared finances slightly differently than many of our fellow married friends. I thought our money management might provide an interesting perspective to those who are debating how to handle financials once the honeymoon is over.

Here’s how our arrangement came about…

We were married in 2010. We both had (and still do have!) great jobs. We were responsible with our money. We enjoyed having a good time traveling, trying out new restaurants, and shopping. We purchased a condo in Minneapolis one month prior to our wedding. And most importantly, we trusted each others’ money decisions and didn’t feel the need to micromanage day-to-day spending habits.

One thing was certain when it came to our paychecks… We didn’t want to lose the “freedom” that came with managing our own income and bank accounts. If I had an extra $500 one month and wanted to buy a $500 pair of jeans, I didn’t want Kyle telling me no. And if he wanted to spend $1200 on Twins’ baseball season tickets, he didn’t want me intruding on his love of sports.

So, how did we manage this while “combining” our incomes and finances as a newly married couple?

It was actually quite simple.

We each maintained our current bank accounts – We had personal checking accounts where our paychecks were deposited as well as savings accounts under our own names. These accounts were used for personal spending, “fun” money, lunches, and any individual bills (cell phones, student loans, Macy’s credit card, etc.).

We also opened a shared checking account. This checking account was used to pay for our shared expenses – mortgage, insurance, condo remodeling, travel, Mitchell’s expenses, and so forth.

Thinking back, we should have also thrown in the entertainment we enjoyed as a couple as well as groceries/household expenses into this bucket. However, Kyle typically paid for entertainment out of his personal account while I covered groceries/household items from my account. We trusted that it all evened out in the end.

In order to determine how much we each contributed to our shared account on a monthly basis, we first calculated our total “shared” bills each month. For simplicity’s sake, let’s say our total shared bills came to $1,000 on a monthly basis.

We then determined the percentage of our combined incomes that we each brought into the household annually. Let’s say that we earned $100,000 per year total between our two salaries (again, just using even numbers here so it’s easier to understand!), with Kyle’s salary at $40,000 and my salary at $60,000. Therefore, I brought in 60% of the income and Kyle 40%.

Because our shared total monthly bills came to a total of $1,000, I would contribute 60% of that $1,000 to our shared account – or $600, while Kyle would contribute 40%, or $400. The remainder of our incomes stayed in our personal accounts for us to manage individually.

We believed that this method made the most sense in order to equally pay for our combined bills while still leaving room for personal spending.

Was their room for improvement in our process? Yes, probably. But isn’t there in every financial situation? It definitely worked for us – It removed any and all tension about finances as long as we contributed what we was required to our shared account each month. I highly recommend this method to any couple contemplating how to manage their money, but with one key caveat… you MUST 100% totally completely trust one another’s money decisions. Your have to know your partner is going to be financially responsible, pay their personal bills on time, and isn’t going to put your household into debt. (If you’re married, I hope that isn’t an issue!)

So, what are we doing now with a baby on the way?

Ahhh, children. They do like to throw kinks into well-thought out processes, am I right?! After learning that we were pregnant (right before we located to Naples), we decided that it would be best to go the “traditional” financial route and combine our total paychecks into our shared account. We are slowly in the process of closing our individual accounts and learning how to NOT micromanage one another’s day-to-day spending (ahem… that’s mainly me that is the Type A micromanager – sorry Kyle!). We have allotted “fun money” for ourselves each month – the amount we can spend on fun, personal things, no questions asked – in order to alleviate any bickering about personal spending ;)

I must admit that I miss the freedom of our previous financial plan and can see us bringing it back sometime in the future. But for now, with a baby on the way and the purchasing of a home, combining everything into one makes the most sense.

I’m curious to hear your opinions and strategies! If you’re married/in a long-term partnership, how do you manage your combined incomes? What are your best tips for avoiding financial conflict?

Day 24 #TakeTheLeap 30 Days of Yoga Challenge

Welcome to Day 24 of the #TakeTheLeap 30 Days of Yoga Challenge with prAna and Fit Approach.

Take the leap

Hopefully these yoga posts aren’t becoming too redundant! We only have a few more days to go so stick with me :) And, at least for me, I’m looking forward to coming back to these when I need a pose for a specific reason.

Day 24 we are focusing on Standing Crescent Pose, or Indudalasana, a standing pose. This pose strengthens your core, lengthens your side body and is a great warming stretch for your hip muscles.

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To get into Standing Crescent Pose, begin in Tadasana. Bring your feet together to touch and raise your arms over your head, palms together with finger tips to the sky. Bend to your right side, pushing your hips to the left and feeling a nice stretch in the left side of your body. Hold for a few breaths and repeat on the left side.

Check out my other #TakeTheLeap 30 Days of Yoga Challenge poses here:

Day 23 #TakeTheLeap 30 Days of Yoga Challenge

Welcome to Day 23 of the #TakeTheLeap 30 Days of Yoga Challenge with prAna and Fit Approach.

Take the leap

Day 23 we are focusing on Warrior I Pose, or Virabhadrasana I, a standing pose. This pose strengthens your shoulders, arms, thighs and back as well as stretches your hip flexors and abdomen. It also helps to improve balance and concentration – I could use more of both in my life right now!

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To get into Warrior I Pose, start in Mountain Pose. Step one foot back about 3 feet and turn the toes toward the long edge of the mat, keeping the front toes facing forward. Rotate your hips so they are even with the front of the mat, bend your front knee to 90 degrees, and send your arms up toward the sky. Tuck your tailbone down and under while keeping your abdominals tight. Press through your feet and feel your legs engage and balance your body. Breathe and hold for 30-60 seconds and repeat on the other side.

Check out my other #TakeTheLeap 30 Days of Yoga Challenge poses here:

Chevron Creations – Giveaway WINNER!

I am a total scatterbrain lately. If it weren’t for my new planner (and my trusty Spark), I would probably forget to feed the dog and make dinner for Kyle! Although neither of them would let me forget these important parts of their days ;)

I selected a winner for my Chevron Creations giveaway on Friday and then forgot to post the name of the lucky gal… Pregnancy, home buying, house remodeling, and planning for a new baby do not do wonders for a brain, LOL. Send help ASAP ;)

Anyways, onto the winner!

Chevron Headband Collage

Congratulations to…

DOTSIE!! <– Shoot me an email girl, and we’ll get you connected with Danielle so you can claim your $15 store credit!

Everyone else, please send brain power to get me through the next few weeks <3

#76 Treat Yourself Tuesday

Tuesday, Tuesday! I had some fun treats over the past week that I can’t wait to share with y’all :)

Treat Yourself Tuesday Badge

First… Girl Scout cookies – OMG good. If I fail my gestational diabetes test today (NOT a treat…), I blame Samoas ;) As a side note, the Thin Mints are alllll Kyle’s. I think I may be the only person in the world to not really like Thin Mints! I mean, I’ll still eat them if they’re in front of me but I wouldn’t choose to order them. Weird, right?

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A new prenatal yoga DVD. There aren’t a ton of prenatal yoga classes here in Naples so I figured that it would be beneficial to do something at home to keep me somewhat nimble. I know I definitely need the stretching after all of my BODYPUMPing and Spinning. I wouldn’t say the DVD is a workout, but it did feel pretty awesome on my sore muscles and I plan on fitting it in 3-4 times per week until May.

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My Plum Paper planner!! You guys. YOU GUYS. This is absolute amazingness. I feel 110% more organized and I haven’t even had my planner for a week. For some reason, I am much more productive when I can cross things off of a list and see everything that I have on tap for the day. I only have cheap planners to compare it to, but it is a total step up from what I have used in the past. Plus, it’s really pretty to look at and it was ONLY $31!

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A newborn photographer! I have been putting off finding a photographer for months and decided I should probably get on that since MJ will be here in less than 12 weeks (gulp.) After speaking with a few photographers in Naples, we decided to go with Rochelle Shucart Photography! She was super friendly on the phone and made me feel comfortable which I know will be really important when she’s taking photos of little MJ. I also love that family and friends can gift us a “photography gift” via her registry that will be applied toward photo purchases.

And we’re working on some exciting house stuff BUT you’re going to have to wait until the t’s are crossed and the i’s are dotted before I share anything. Hopefully that will be sooner rather than later because I can’t wait to tell y’all about it!

How did you treat yourself this past week? What is your favorite type of Girl Scout cookie? Planners – yay or nay?

Day 22 #TakeTheLeap 30 Days of Yoga Challenge

Welcome to Day 22 of the #TakeTheLeap 30 Days of Yoga Challenge with prAna and Fit Approach.

Take the leap

Day 22 we are focusing on Triangle Pose, or modification of Utthika Trikonasana, a standing pose. This pose stretches your chest and shoulders as well as your spine. It strengthens and tones your thighs and increases the mobility of your hips joints. This is a GREAT pose to break up your desk job during the day. It’s okay if your coworkers stare ;)

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To get into Triangle Pose, start in Mountain Pose. Step one foot back about 3 feet and turn the toes toward the long edge of the mat, keeping the front toes facing forward. Face the side of the mat and bring your arms up to a “T.” Bend at your hips toward your front foot, reaching your front hand down toward your shin and your back hand up toward the sky, keeping the T formation. Gaze down toward the mat or upward for a more advanced balance.

Check out my other #TakeTheLeap 30 Days of Yoga Challenge poses here:

Weekending

Hey there! Happy Monday :)

How was your weekend? Ours was really laid back and relaxing, just what we needed before a weekend away from home.

Friday night = Italian night – No photos but I made homemade fettuccine alfredo and it hit the spot! Since we’re super cool, we watched Silver Linings Playbook on Netflix post-dinner and called it an early night.

Saturday morning we were up bright and early to take Mitchell to the dog beach. He was in heaven.

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Saturday was spent around the apartment… nothing too exciting. And then we hit up the early bird special for dinner at Bistro 821 that evening. 2 salads + 2 entrees + 1 bottle of vino for $33. Can’t beat that! Thankfully, since I’m still wine-less (it’s a sad story), you’re allowed to bring the bottle home with you. I ordered the Asian Shrimp & Veggie Stir Fry <– so good! I need to recreate this at home.

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After walking around 5th Avenue after dinner and looking in all of the crazy expensive home decor boutiques (getting some house decor ideas!), we called it an early night and headed back home.

Crazy weekend, I tell ya ;)

On Sunday morning, I met Christa for a coffee date at Fit and Fuel. Amazing coffee, and very nice yet interesting cycling patrons. All of the retired old cycling men were drinking beer at 9am while we had our coffee, haha! I plan on doing the same thing when I’m 70… just a forewarning.

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It was great to catch up after her wedding last month and honeymoon earlier in February. I need to con her into showing me cool little Naples hangouts more often!

After meeting with our realtor, Kyle and I were off to the YMCA so I could teach my Sunday afternoon BODYPUMP class. The room is toasty on Sundays for some reason so it was a good sweat fest. No better way to detox, right?!

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Anddddd… I like to follow-up my detoxing with a good bag o’ Cheetos. Makes perfect sense, haha! I honestly haven’t had a ton of cravings the past few months (even Kyle said that he’s been impressed… I think he has secretly been hoping that I’d stock our freezer full of ice cream), but man, a good cheese-y chip craving hits me every once in a while!

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Nothing else to report for the weekend – Like I said, totally laid back and exactly what was needed.

Have a great start to your week!

What did you do and eat and see this weekend?

Day 21 #TakeTheLeap 30 Days of Yoga Challenge

Welcome to Day 21 of the #TakeTheLeap 30 Days of Yoga Challenge with prAna and Fit Approach.

Take the leap

At the beginning of my pregnancy – actually until very recently, I always thought twists were not allowed and unsafe for the baby. While “extreme” twists are not safe, modified twisting poses are totally fine and actually can help to alleviate common pregnancy pains such as lower back aches.

Day 21 we are focusing on Modified Seated Spinal Twist Pose, or modification of Ardha Matsyendrasana, a twisting pose. This pose increases flexibility of the spine, decreases low back pain, and helps to stretch the hips and hip flexors.

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To get into Modified Seated Spinal Twist Pose, begin seated with both feet out in front of your body. Bring one foot back to your opposite knee and press the arm from the same side into the inner portion of your thigh. Gently twist in the opposite direction, feeling a nice opening in your chest and lower back. Hold for a few seconds and then relax. Repeat on the opposite side.

Check out my other #TakeTheLeap 30 Days of Yoga Challenge poses here:

Day 20 #TakeTheLeap 30 Days of Yoga Challenge

Welcome to Day 20 of the #TakeTheLeap 30 Days of Yoga Challenge with prAna and Fit Approach.

Take the leap

Day 20 we are focusing on Dolphin Plank Pose, or Makara Adho Mukha Svanasana, a stabilizing pose. This pose strengthens the core, shoulders, and chest muscles, tons the core and booty, helps to stretch the feet and hamstrings, as well as helps to minimize stress and depression. And, I don’t know you about, but I think dolphins are pretty cool so anything with the name dolphin in yoga is one of my favorite poses!

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To get into Dolphin Plank Pose, begin in Plank Pose. Lower down to your forearms one at a time, making sure that your elbows are directly below your shoulders. Send your shoulder blades down your back and your heels to the back of the room. Feel a nice stretch in your calves and arches of the feet. Keep your core strong and hold, breathing for one minute. Lower to the mat and repeat.

Check out my other #TakeTheLeap 30 Days of Yoga Challenge poses here:

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