Blog Posts

Choose to love yourself this Valentines Day: A collaboration on mental health.

    Valentines day is coming up and for some reason this can be an emotional holiday for a lot of us. Maybe it’s because your single or maybe its because your relationship isn’t going as you had planned. However, what may be true for a lot of people is that Valentines day can make you wonder WHY things are going the way that they are. Its a day that can, for no GOOD reason, bring out the self- esteem issues in many. Whether it be body-image issues, anxiety about yourself, or depression about being lonely. Valentine’s day has a way of getting to a lot of people. So, whether or not you think Valentines day is a silly holiday please take a second to read this blog collaboration on Mental Health This Valentines Day.
    I teamed up with fellow Chicago blogger Jessa who is known for her Dollface Diaries blog (For link to her blog go to the bottom of the page). We decided not to talk about the consumerism of Valentines day but rather the most important yet unspoken part, self-love. Jessa shares her journey with self-love and body image and I know so many of you will relate to this.
Now lets hear what Jessa has to say:
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@itsjustjessa on Insagram
1) When did you first realize that you may have some issues with your mental health? 
“I don’t think I realized I had an issue until probably my junior year of college.  I feel like that’s when body image issues and the idea of body dysmorphia became a real topic. I would constantly pick apart my body all through high school and college, and even skip meals if I didn’t like the number I saw on the scale. It’s something I still battle today, and I think I will struggle with for the rest of my life.”
2) When you realized how did you start moving in a positive direction and begin to learn to cope with it? 
“It’s a battle every day for sure. I think the fact that bloggers and content creators are constantly preaching to love yourself no matter your size really helps, but my instinct to compare myself to others and that want for my body to be smaller/thinner/more tone will never go away.  How I cope with it is by working out and eating healthy and doing things I love.  I know if I fuel my body in a way that makes me happy and healthy I will start to accept the way it looks.”
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@itsjustjessa Instagram
3) When you are having a hard day what are some of your self-love practices?
“When I’m having a particularly hard day I love to go take a fitness class Yoga, barre and pilates are my favorites, and there are particular instructors that host such amazing classes that make me feel so positive and empowered by the end, I also think it’s a great way to take an hour and focus on something other than your stress. if I can’t find time for a class, then I love to read a good book in a bubble bath.”
4) What made you realize you are worthy of loving yourself? 
“I don’t know if I can pinpoint an exact ah-ha moment, I think over the last few years I’ve really started to realize it with the help of my amazing support system.  I have surrounded myself with so many beautiful and confident people, and they inspire me to love myself. I think blogging has also helped me find confidence, taking pictures on the street and posting pictures of myself daily on the internet can be terrifying.  But I go through those pictures and it really makes you realize what you see in the mirror isn’t always reality.  Beauty comes from confidence and passion, it’s not just what’s on the outside.”
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@itsjustjessa Instagram
5) What is advice youd give to other girls (and guys) with body image issues? 
“My advice to others is to be yourself and be proud.  Just because you don’t look like all those influencers online doesn’t mean you aren’t beautiful.  What makes you beautiful is that you are unique and you are you.  I also think using fashion to express yourself is the best way to push your boundaries and be yourself.”
6) What is one thing you wish you could go back and tell to yourself when you were struggling?
“I think my advice to younger me would be to focus on being healthy and find what you’re passionate about.  I let myself spiral, especially in college, it was a vicious cycle of hating my body and not being motivated to workout or be healthy, and just drinking and partying.  When I started really focusing on my health and finding activities I was passionate about like aerial silks and blogging that’s when I really started getting away from all the negativity in my life and replacing it with positive influences.”
     You can follow Jessa on Instagram at @itsjustjessa, the link listed below is her blog (which is fabulous BTW), and you can follow me on instagram at @alisonschulthesz . Let us know what you think.
     To go read my answers to Jessa’s questions click the link below to head over to her blog
     I talk a ton about my anxiety, how I deal with it, and I also hit topics of self-love.
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Top Beauty Products: By someone who DEFINITELY is not a beauty influencer

There are people who don’t wear make up and don’t know the first thing about it. There are people who wear a minimum amount of makeup. There are people who love makeup think its pretty but are not an artistic with it. Finally,  there are these goddesses who know how to transform themselves. I am in the loving makeup but not an artist category. However, I do like to wear makeup when I go out and am able to do some do some basic looks. Also with working in an office I do put some makeup on at least five times a week.

That being said if you are just looking for practical, yet quality makeup, that can double up for going to work or going to the club then read on. I want to give you the TOP beauty products that I use for my everyday look.

NYX Angel Veil Primer

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At $16.00 this primer is in the medium price range. I use this daily for work and not only does it keep my foundation on, but when mixed with the Morphe setting spray, I don’t have to ever reapply my highlighter and blush throughout the day. However, I wouldn’t say its a great 24 hour primer. I have used it for long nights maybe 8 hours at the most and while my makeup stayed on it isn’t as good compared to higher end primers. NYX is an AMAZING line for quality makeup at a lower price.

Revelon Full Cover Foundation

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This is by far one of my favorite foundations that I have used. It has a nice matte finish and when you get the right color for your skin it looks insanely natural. I know its cliche to say that it really provides full coverage of the skin but it does exactly that, provides full coverage. A lot of foundations claim to be full coverage but this is the best one that I have found. I got this at a Jewel-Osco for 13.00 but it varies from store to store.

Rimmel Stay Matte

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Here is where my total inexperience comes in. I like putting on this pressed powder after my concealer for a more blended look. I am 50 percent it might be setting powder supposed to be used for the last step in the application process but I put it on after my foundation! It’s essentially a sheer powder so you don’t have to worry about adding a whole different color on top of your makeup.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Highlighter Palette

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This product is definitely one of the more expensive products at $40.00. However, she has a mixture of palettes with great colors that are great stand alone or can be mixed together. It last for a long time especially when you use primer and setting spray. The colors are deep and I like how it creates a consistent glow/sparkle. I know a lot of high lighters are kind of patchy and have glitter scattered all over versus a solid condensed glow (if that makes any sense as my complete lack of knowledge shows). It’s by far one of my favorite products it lasts a long time and is worth the money.

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Oasis & Paradise Highlight Palette

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I found an app called Hush, which gives you cheap makeup options that you may not find normally. It is here where I found this Oasis & Paradise Highlighter palette by Bad Habit for only $12.00. It lasts for an amazingly long time, especially for the price. I would say its comparable to the Anastasia Beverly Hills palate. I prefer to use this one for every day use since it is cheaper, lasts for a longer time, and it helps me to preserve my Anastasia Beverly Hills palette. Normally, I will just use a splash of any deep pink blush  right under my highlighter unless I am using a deep gold color or a pink color. Then the highlighter can stand on its own.

Morphe Eyeshadow Primer

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Eye-shadow primer is super important for when you want your shadpw to last through the night. Like any other Morphe products not only is this super affordable but its great in quality as well. It sells for about $10.00.I haven’t tested out for periods longer than 8 hours but I will say that it has lasted well in that time span. I also will add there’s been 2-3 times where I fell asleep with my makeup on and the eyeshadow WAS NOT still on when I woke up.

Morphe Eyeshadow Palette

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I LOVE Morphe Eyeshadow Palettes they are only 23 dollars and come with 35 colors in them. Like the Beverly Hills Palettes they are super rich, consistent, and deep in color. You can mix and match colors or you can use just a single color. Morphe has a ton of different palettes for different colors but this is one of my favorites. Their eyeshadow is as good, if not better, than eyeshadow palettes you bay upwards of 40 dollars for.

Real Technique Brushes

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Real technique brushes are AMAZING. They aren’t the cheapest but the best part of these is they can almost ALWAYS be found for a good price at Tj Maxx or Marshalls. The brushes are super soft and they do a fantastic job of applying makeup. Seriously if you are looking for some less expensive but HIGH quality makeup brushes then real techniques is going to be what you want to use. Price varies depending on the brush and where you get it.

Nyx Epic Ink Liner

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I am not talented when it comes to putting eyeliner on in different ways. I like a thin line on the eyelid with a bit of a wing. I can’t make dramatic wings and my biggest thing when putting on eyeliner is not making the line too thick. I love their eyeliners, especially NYX Epic Ink, because they have a super thin tip. This makes it easy to make smaller lines and wings for those who aren’t artistic when it comes to applying eyeliner. This usually runs for about $9.00.

Better Than Sex Mascara by Too Faced

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This mascara is not cheap, a tube of it is about $24.00 but it lasts for about 2-3 months. However, if you are craving INTENSE volume AND length then this is the mascara for you. It is absolutely amazing I get questioned daily about whether or not my eyelashes are fake because this product seriously enhances your eyelashes so much. It also stays on all day so you don’t have to worry about reapplying all the time.

Tarte Lip Paint

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I have searched long and hard for a long lasting lipstick. There is nothing I hate more than having to reapply lipstick frequently. I was so happy when I can across Tarte Lip Paint because they have absolutely gorgeous colors. Not only do these lip paitnts come in a variety of colors but they last a very long time and create a gorgeous matte look. If you want a long lasting Matte look then this is the lipstick you want. One container is about $20.00 dollars and it lasts for months.

Morphe Continous Setting Mist

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I have experimented so much with setting sprays because I cry everytime I have to pay $30.00 for Urban Decay setting spray that only lasts for a little over a month. Yeah, its a good product but I just don’t like it enough to spend that much on that, that frequently. When looking for a new setting spray at Ulta the lady recommended this to me and I have not gone back. This isn’t a spray its a mist. The mist ensures that it gets over your entire face and not just the section that you are spraying. It keeps your makeup PERFECT all day. It is better and beyond Urban Decay setting spray and it is only 16.00 at Ulta.

AND THERE YOU HAVE IT

I won’t even pretend to be talented or know the first thing about makeup but I do like to get dolled up and feel good about myself. These are the products I use to do anything from a simple natural look to a night out on the town look. I tend to buy products that aren’t insanley expensive and last longer. So if you are a little lost like me than I highly recommend the products I have suggested.

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Making Online Shopping as Cheap as Possible

If you are like me then you much rather prefer shopping and finding great deals online over spending a lot of time in store. Online shopping can save you A LOT money if you do it right. Thats why I want to share with you tips for online shipping I use to save the most amount of money.

Lets start with a few ways that you can cheat the system and save money

Clear your browser history:

Most sites give you an option to put in your email address for around a 20 percent discount if it is your first time visiting the site. Clearing your history allows this offer to pop up as many times as you want it to, however be weary because SOME websites will let you use the same email and some websites require a new one each time! However, if it is a website that requires a different email each time you can usually work around this by unsubscribing from the email list. You can also just unsubscribe from the email list either way after you get the discount, which helps keep your inbox uncluttered.

Sign up for VIP Memberships and then CANCEL: 

A huge way I save money when I buy workout clothes or shoes is by becoming a VIP member for places like Fabletics, Shoedazzle, and Justfab. VIP members usually always get a discount on these sites, however I never keep my membership. This is a major major way to cheat the system and save hundreds of dollars depending on what you buy. When you set up a VIP account (you can use the same email more than once) they ALWAYS have a deal for first time VIP purchases such as 2 for 24 leggings or getting your first pair of shoes for only ten dollars.  I have gotten three pairs of shoes for 30 dollars before and I have gotten 8 pieces of workout clothing for a little over 100 dollars just by using this method. I generally wait till the order comes but when it comes I go ahead and cancel the membership. Be sure you REMEMBER TO CANCEL because if you do not then on the 6th of the month you will get charged 49 dollars. If you don’t want to make a new account each time and you want to remain a VIP member and get the savings you can skip getting charged that month by choosing “Skip this month” in the boutique.

If that fails or if you want an even bigger discount lets look at these possibilities. 

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Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

Check for websites with discount codes or apps that give you deals: 

There are plenty of websites and apps that will search the web for discount codes. They usually find discount codes that previous users have used and had success with. In addition a lot of sites will let you know the last time that it worked for someone who used it. Here is a list of websites and apps that will help you find the best deal and I also included second-hand retail sites for those who don’t mind buying second-hand.

Websites

  • Retailmenot.com
  • Groupon.com
  • Freeshipping.org
  • Ebates.com
  • Coupon Cabin

Apps

  • Honey: This app doesn’t come out till Feb 2019 but I have the download on my laptop and it is super cool because the plug in will show up at the coupons section of check out and it will automatically run the discount codes right there on the site and let you know if you are getting the best deals.
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  • Ibotta

Some apps that you can buy second hand clothing are

  • Poshmark
  • thredUP

There are many more apps that you can buy and sell second-hand clothing at but these were the two I found that were the highest rated. I don’t use these apps as I just prefer to buy new but for anyone who doesn’t mind wearing second-hand clothes this can be a great way to buy cute clothes at a fraction of the price.

Check the clearance or sale section EVEN ONLINE:

More times than not I have gotten a bunch of cute clothes in bulk for under 100 dollars just by using this trick. For example, lets take one of my favorite places to shop (beside Tj Maxx of course) Charlotte Russe. I like them because they have cute reasonably priced clothing, their jeans fit me really well, and overall the quality if pretty good! It is more common than it is uncommon for sites to have an online sale going on. If you go to the sale section you often find sweaters for 10-15, shoes for 20 and up, jeans buy one get one fifty percent off. However, my favorite thing is going through the clearance section. I am not the type of person who has to have the fashion that is in THAT season, I wear what is cute and what makes me feel good. What I do is sort the price lowest to highest and go through and find what I like. It is a little time consuming but it is worth it for the cash that you save.

Do they have an affiliate program:.

A lot of places like meal prep companies, supplement companies, clothing companies, etc have affiliate programs, athletes, or sponsors. Check out the company on Instagram and see if they have affiliate programs. If they do you can usually find someone with a discount code in the tagged photos section. This helps both you and them because you get a discount and they get someone using their code.

Check Amazon for a cheaper but similar alternative

Doing this over the years has saved me a lot of money on clothes, products, books, and just random things. The key to shopping on amazon is reading the reviews. You want to read the reviews on not only the seller but the products as well. I am more trusting of reviews with photos of the product attached to them. I will also read the highest rated reviews and the lowest rated reviews. You have to look for patterns in the reviews, for example if there are a lot of negative reviews saying the same thing about the product but by different people I generally steer clear of that product. Again, this is time consuming but will save you money in the long run.

I HATE paying full price for things I can find for cheaper so I hope these tips will help you save money on your online shopping endeavors.

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Why a “health/wellness” New Years Resolution can potentially be toxic:

With the New Year resolutions coming a vast majority of you will make a resolution to create more healthy lifestyle habits, which is AMAZING! However, this industry is a BILLION dollar industry. As in any highly successful industry it is about the MONEY. You will get a million and ten people offering you ways to cut the work in half and they will blind you into thinking that that is possible. You need to step into this industry with CLEAR goals, plenty of research, and a purpose. You can’t be innocent and vulnerable you HAVE to stick up for yourself. I used to be a part the fitness industry, I used to work with others in the fitness industry, I am dating a former body builder/personal trainer who left the fitness industry, I have walked away from the industry with others. I can tell you (we can all tell you) there are plenty of good people in the industry, however there are double the bad people. THIS IS NOT TO TURN YOU AWAY FROM BETTERING YOURSELF BUT RATHER TO ENCOURAGE YOU TO JUST FOCUS ON YOURSELF AND IGNORE THE INDUSTRY.

Do you truly understand there are NO (none) shortcuts:

Okay, lets start with this. Losing weight and living a healthier lifestyle is HARD work but it is some of the most rewarding work. That being said there are million short cuts out there (diet pills, fad diets, detox teas, etc) that will be offered to you and it will be tempting to take them and you may even try them before you really get to a lifestyle you sustain. However, none of these things WORK and help you actually lose weight you can keep off. They are filled with things that are toxic and harmful to your body. Trust me because I have found my sustainable lifestyle but only after years of chasing fads. I bought into Doctor Oz articles, diet pills, skinny/detox teas, and I tried them time after time. I even landed myself in the hospital after taking some fat burners, which got my heart rate so high it was simulating an anxiety attack for me again and again. It was horrible. I tried the products, sometimes I lost weight, and sometimes I didn’t lose weight. However, in the moments I did lose weight I gained it RIGHT back. There are absolutely no short cuts.

I think the hardest thing that you need to understand about weight loss is it’s not supposed to be a quick process. In fact the faster you lose large amounts of weight the less likely you are to keep it off. Losing weight to fast usually is done so through extreme diets, unhealthy measures, and a whole bunch of water weight loss methods. The best way to lose weight is at a slower and sustainable rate. You want to make sure that you are losing it in a way that you can keep up with. Thats why huge caloric deficits and extreme workouts won’t work in the long run. I know you want to lose that weight fast but you also want to keep it off. The way you lose the weight is a HUGE determinent in you keeping it off or not. Stop taking shortcuts and buckle in for a long and rewarding ride.

There are so many people (like SO SO MANY) that will take advantage of you: 

If you want to hire a coach or trainer, I get it, I pay good money each month for a coach. However, there are a few things you should take into consideration when looking for a coach.

  1. Certifications: Certifications are by no means necessary to be a coach. A lot of people have tons of workout knowledge without the certifications but you have to make sure it is clear to you what their knowledge is! For example, my coach has worked with competitors and the common crowd. She has over 15 years of fitness experience and she does extreme research on her own time. She requires you to fill out a 4-5 page application asking questions that might effect how your body functions in terms of your fitness goals. She also sends long emails, like paragraphs long, explaining to you why she wants you to do what she wants you to do. That is the type of coach I don’t mind paying a lot of money for because I trust her and she hast yieled me great results.
  2. Money: NEVER make finding the cheapest plan your top priority in search of a coach. There are a million people out there who will sell you a cheap program but usually this is because they don’t have the qualifications to charge you for more. Cheaper programs usually mean less hands on experience and the loss of personalization. Every single body is different and if you are not getting a plan customized to you then you really aren’t getting the best plan.
  3. That being said about money don’t think that if you pay more that it means you will get quality service. Please read up on the person who you are buying a program from. Search their name in Facebook, Instagram, google, BBB, etc. See if they have client testimonials and what their qualifications are. There are to many coaches out there who offer “personalized plans” for a high price yet they truly are scamming you out of your money. Do not just go to someone who has a bunch of followers on social media and go to their website and buy a plan. FOLLOWERS DOES NOT EQUAL QUALIFICATIONS.

If a person pushes their discount code or a link on you then chances are they probably don’t want to help you (not true for all but for a vast majority and its hard finding the good ones). If they send you short emails and ask little about you then they probably don’t want to help you. If they don’t have satisfied clients then they are probably in it for the money. BE CAUTIOUS and do your research, which leads me to my next point.

Do your damn research:

Make sure you can wade your way through what actually is total crap and what is true. Study form, study proper nutrition, study SUSTAINABLE fat loss, etc everything that you want to do RESEARCH IT. I can’t tell you the amount of times that I have spoken with someone who only stays with a trainer because said trainer isn’t explaining to them WHY they are telling them to do what they are doing. A coach can provide some great guidance but at the end of the day their goal should be to teach you and eventually cut you loose with the knowledge on how to do it yourself. To many coaches create fear and don’t educate so they can keep you coming back to them. There are so many resources out there but make sure you are reading scholarly articles versus just something that you googled and found on a website pushing their own agenda. There are also a LOT of educated people on instagram but I have to tell you 9/10 the person with the most followers on instagram is NOT the most educated. A lot of people assume since they lost weight they have what it takes to tell others how to lose weight and quite frankly that is just not true. Ask yourself what are this person’s credentials? Are they roping you in by selling a solution to a problem? Do they seem like they post more to educate or to sell products? These are genuine questions you have to ask yourself.

Don’t jump into this whole process vunerable, make sure that you do know the basics so that you can succeed and wade through the bullshit.

Finally, choose a gym WITHOUT getting taken advantage of: 

If you are just starting out you don’t need an expansive gym membership or a huge gym with tons of equipment. In fact it is possible to do this without a gym membership at all, I’ll be it, it certainly helps depending on what your goals are and what you are willing do. Again, it’s a money industry, and guess what the gym is no different. If you have someone who is used to the gym maybe have them go with you to navigate what you need for a membership. For starters you can go to a basic gym and get the most basic membership. There are a lot of huge fancy gyms out there with a lot of fancy amenities they will try to sell you on. You can always always UPGRADE your gym membership but most gyms lock you into a membership so you cannot downgrade. So start small and you can always go bigger. Think of it this way, say you want to buy a super expensive product but you don’t know if you’ll like it so you want to try it out first, what would you do? You would buy a sample size or ask someone for a sample. Take a basic membership at a gym as the same thing, trying it out before you commit to a huge part of it. That being said, TONS of gyms have free trial passes so before you even sign on for a gym membership at all shop around for a gym you will like and feel comfortable in. So literally don’t pay a DIME before you see if you like it.

In conclusion: 

This is a subject I am really passionate about. Fitness helped me get over my eating disorder but I also learned the hard way the industry also greatly contributed to it in the first place. There are so many good people looking to change others lives in the industry but sadly there are also so many bad. I know this blog seems harsh and a little bit of an attack on the fitness industry but I type it because I wan’t everyone to be able to better themselves without getting preyed on. Choosing to live healthier is one of the best things that you can do for yourself and unfortunately a lot of people know that and take advantage of it. I just want to warn you about what IS out there so you can push right past it and start working on the best version of you.

 

 

 

 

 

15 Alternative NYE Ideas that aren’t clubbing

If you are a 20 plus something like me then chances are you are getting sick of New Years. The typical over crowded bars, being up charged for drinks, paying extra for food, etc. New Years Eve has become so over hyped that I truly can say I am over doing anything HUGE for it. That is why I am presenting you with 15 different NYE Options other than the typical “clubbing”.

Do a NYE Dinner:

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LOTS of places do a dinner special on New Years and a little party, however if you don’t want to pay an insane amount for dinner and drinks that would normally be a fraction of the price try looking at restaurants that DON’T do a New Years Eve event. It could be a great group event or a romantic date night. Before the ball drops you can do a nice dinner. You still get to get dressed up and have some cocktails but you can leave before the place gets crowded. When you are done with dinner you can continue with some crafty cocktails back at home and watch the New Years, whatever drop. This saves you the money of buying drinks all night and the pain of being out in public on New Years.

Check hotel sites and get a hotel room near by for cheap: 

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My top favorite hotel booking site is www.booking.com but a quick google search can yield you a few great websites for booking a hotel room at a fraction of the cost. However, if you are willing to risk it for the cheapest rates check out Hotel Tonight . This app puts up hotels that are looking to fill up the last of their rooms and usually is the cheapest the night of the booking, Most popular hotels have SOMETHING going on in some part of their hotel for a portion of the night. However, personally I much prefer (and have done with my boyfriend) just getting a hotel room and having an intimate night together. You can also have some friends in the hotel room, which makes it cheaper, but be aware of throwing huge parties especially on New Years as hotels look out for that.

Go on a trip/cruise: 

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Going  into 2013 I spent NYE on a cruise and it was one of the MOST FUN vacations of my life! I know that taking a trip or a cruise is a bit of a more pricey option but if you have the money saved up for a trip around the holidays I highly suggest one of these two options. Sure you may be surrounded by people (or stuck with them if you are on a boat) but you will be somewhere new and not just a normal club that you can go to on any day of the year. This surpasses the normal New Year experience and gives you a chance to travel and see places you have never seen before, which if you ask me is an AMAZING way to go into the New Year.

Check Groupon for alternative NYE events:

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Groupon is great for seeing what events are going on for New Years and its also good if you are trying to get a discount on certain events. Eventbrite is another option but does not offer discounts usually. Going on Groupon means you can find a fun New Years event that can be different and cheap! Just by typing in New Years Chicago I get many results of bar events, hotel parties, light shows, concerts, etc. If you are unsure what to do for New Years or looking for some cheap options see what is going on with Groupon.

Host a NYE Party at your own place:

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This is by far the most simple alternative. If you want to save money and only be around the people you care about then this is the answer! Buy some alcohol order some food and be among good company. Do I really need to explain any more?

NYE Concert:

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A fun way to spend NYE would be listening to an awesome band, artist, cover-band, etc. Concerts are always a great time and ringing in the New Year while listening to music you enjoy and having a few drinks is a totally fun idea. Sure you probably will have to deal with crowds of people like you would at a bar but again this is a unique alternative.

Check out a hole in the wall bar:

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In my opinion hole in the wall spots usually turn out to be the best spots. Do a quick google search of unique and less known places near you. Maybe they will be hosting a New Years event but if they fly pretty under the radar chances are its low-key. This could be perfect for someone who wants to go out on New Years but doesn’t want to do the fancy, clubbing, and typical NYE party.

Throw your own fancy party: 

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I know this is close to holding your own NYE party but this idea is a LITTLE different. If you want to act high-class but on a budget then this is the PERFECT way to do so. In place of a casual NYE party  you can throw your own fancy dinner/cocktail party. Let your guests know that is a black tie event and to dress up! Then google or pinterest  fancy cocktails and horderves and boom you’re in business.

Search alternative community events near you:

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If you are looking for something family-oriented, free or cheap, etc then google the town and park district calendars for your town and towns near you. You can also just do a broad search of “Community New Years Events”. A lot of places like churches, rec centers, etc throw something a little earlier in the day for New Years. Again, if you cannot find anything in your town make sure you check towns near you!

Romantic night in with your loved one:

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Now that I am 24 (25 in 2019) this by far sounds like the best option. Spending a night in drinking champagne and cocktails with Elliot while its just me and him sounds perfect. Now that I’ve talked about my boyfriend I will present this option. If you are in a relationship then spend New Years with that person that you love and stop worrying about making some big elaborate plans. You two are starting another year together as a couple and you can use the time to celebrate your relationship over the previous year and the new beginnings to come in the coming years.  I know this sounds sappy but its just an option!

Potluck:

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A great idea if you don’t want to foot the whole bill of feeding an entire party is having a potluck. Have each of your friend bring a dish and then host a giant feast for all to enjoy. This way you don’t have to do a ton of cooking, foot the bill on catering, and you get to be just with the people you care about.

Spa night:

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This is kind of an extension of the romantic night but it can also be between friends if thats what you wish. Have a night in to pamper yourself. Whatever you can get to have a make-shift at home spa day do it! Go into the new year pampering yourself to the point where you are relaxed and ready to take on the world.

Make creative cocktails:

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I have mentioned this a few times now because well I love the idea of it. I think looking at ways to create a fun cocktail is awesome and there is no better time to try it out then New Years! Pinterest and google searches are probably the easiest and greatest way to find ideas. You can make champagne mixtures, martinis, sangria, fun shots etc there is literally no limit to what you can do. You can have a competition with your friends or you can do this with a small group or yourself (either way prepare for the hangover). If you are looking to be drinking this New Years but not going out this would be one of my suggestions mixed in with throwing your own party.

Find a local bar and event place (Gameworks,, TopGolf, Bowling, etc):

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I think adult arcades, top golf, and all that fun stuff is totally a cool idea on any day of the year. However, I do think that this is also a great alternative to going “out out” for NYE. Usually places like this have NYE packages and again you can check places like Groupon to see if there are any discounts. The more you get in a group usually the cheaper it gets. So if you and your friends are trying to avoid the clubs/bars this new years and just casually grab some drinks and have some fun check this option out!

Celebrate the next day:

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The final option is to not celebrate on New Years at all. Celebrate the first day of 2019! You can do it however you like, whether it be a fun brunch or even a party! Either way you can avoid the New Years crowd all together by just not celebrating on the actual day. If you think about it its really not that big of a deal and kind of a fun idea!

There you have it. My 15 alternative ways to celebrate New Years that aren’t clubbing. I hope you all have enjoyed 2018 and go into 2019 with an amazing start. If you choose to do any of these activities please let me know or you can tag me in them on Instagram at alisonschulthesz

HAPPY HOLIDAYS ALL

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Photo by Craig Adderley on Pexels.com

Tips for apartment living when on a budget

Three weeks into living with my boyfriend I quit my job. Now, I was able to do so because I have saved very responsibly but let me tell you it is still scary not having that paycheck when living expenses pile up. I was fortunate to get another job instantly. However, even before getting this new job (and a real nice bump in pay) I wasn’t making as much as I wanted. My boyfriend and I are both determined to save money as much as possible and therefore I wanted to share the tips that we came up with for apartment living on a budget.

Budget Apps:

Right off the bat lets talk about things that can help you if you are not good at financial planning. There are plenty of apps out there that you can link your bank account to, you can input your monthly income and expenses, that track your spending, etc that can help you. If you are not good at making a budget yourself then rely on an app to help you. Perhaps the top two apps my boyfriend and I use are:

  1. Mint: You can link your bank account to this app and it will categorize and monitor your spending
  2. Daily Savings: This you plug-in your reoccurring expenses, your salary, and it will basically tell you what your daily spendings can be and let you log it

This really helps you keep up with what you are spending each day and hopefully cut back on unnecessary expenses.

The big bad “monthly rent” 

Clearly the BIGGEST expense when living in an apartment is RENT especially if you are not splitting the costs with someone else. However, rent does not have to be so scary if you do it right. The biggest thing I do and make my boyfriend do is put a portion of the rent away with each paycheck. Rent can certainly wipe you clean if you don’t save any of your previous paycheck and use a whole paycheck to pay it. Putting some of it aside allows it to not be such a financial burden. This can also go for utilities as well!

Need random things for around the house?

To some extent you should utilize stores like “Family Dollar”, “Dollar General”, or “Five and below”. You can get some very basic essentials from these stores such as: pens, decorations, candy, books, DVDs, cards, toys, even makeup! The reason I said use it to an extent is that in life you do need to realize that cheaper is not always better and a lot of times you get what you pay for! However, things like decorations are nice to get from the dollar store and where me and Elliot got a few of our Christmas decorations! Also, these stores do manage to sell some brand name stuff for a lower price and you can get well known names from them for a low price and save a major amount of money.

For times you want to be a little classier then the dollar tree: 

Lets face it none of us really want to get EVERYTHING from the dollar tree but we still want to shop somewhere reasonable. Stores like Tj Maxx, Marshalls, and Bed Bath & Beyond are amazing for the essentials in your apartment. My boyfriend and I got all of our glassware, kitchen knifes, silver wear, towels, utensils, etc. from these stores and we didn’t pay more than a few hundred dollars for a LOT of items when it was all said and done. They have such cute stuff at affordable prices (which I am pretty sure is their motto) it makes filling your apartment with the things you need affordable!

Utilize stores like Sams Club and Costco: 

If you have a membership or know someone who has a membership at these stores you can really save money here. My suggestion is to by the things you use regularly (I.e. paper towels, napkins, tissue, toilet paper, dish washer detergent, laundry detergent, etc) in bulk at these stores. When you buy these things in bulk you save yourself the re-occurring expenses of having to buy them weekly or more than weekly. It is super helpful and most bulk products last for months. You can also buy food in bulk here as well. If you have something that you eat quite often it may be much better to by it in bulk versus buying it multiple times a week.

Speaking of large quantities of food:

Here is my BIGGEST tip for when buying food in mass! This part has a few aspects to it. First things first, it is INSANELY cheap to buy frozen vegetables and they last longer. I strongly suggest that if you eat large amounts of vegetables to buy them frozen you can cook or microwave them when you are ready to eat them. THE BIGGEST THING that has helped us save money in our household is buying meats in mass and FREEZING them. Elliot and I buy the large packs of meats and what we don’t cook we put in the freezer. This saves us a ton of money from buying small amounts of food more often, which again it

You truly don’t need cable: 

While internet is pretty necessary in your apartment you can totally make do without cable, which adds a good 50-70 dollars to your monthly bill bringing it to over a hundred a month. If you get the most expensive subscriptions to Netflix ($13.99) and Hulu (without live TV, which is $11.99) you will only be spending $25.98 a month. In addition to that you can also get Hulu with live TV for $39.99 a month, which is $53.98. Even if you just chose the Hulu option you are still paying way under then you would be for cable.

So there you have it: 

Those are my tips to save money while apartment living! There are plenty of useful tools out there to help you save money! A great resource with tons more articles is :

https://www.thepennyhoarder.com/

I will be sure to post more on saving to come! If you want more of my content be sure to follow me on Instagram @alisonschulthesz