Author: styleandsavings

As a Weekday Accountant and Weekend Blogger, I'm always proud to announce when I find a good deal and to share ways to live stylishly without spending more than necessary.

Style and Savings Reads: 7: an experimental mutiny against excess

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Photo Credit: Goodreads

 

Jen Hatmaker, the author of this book lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and 5 children (2 are adopted from Ethiopia). This book is categorized as Religion/Christian Life/Social Issues, so there are many references to church activities and Christian scripture. Jen defines 7 as “an exercise in simplicity” and for seven months, challenges herself to set limits in seven different categories.

1Food

Jen’s Lessons: During the first month of 7, Jen focused on food, limiting her diet to only 7 items

Chicken • eggs • whole wheat bread • sweet potatoes • spinach • avocados • apples

She really ate only these seven items – that means no sauces, condiments, seasonings aside from salt and pepper, and what she seemed to miss most – no coffee! (There wasn’t much detail about other drinks – maybe she only drank water?)

This led to occasional awkward meals when she socialized with various friends at restaurants. Also, it was hard for her to watch others enjoy tasty meals. By the end of the month, she had more appreciation for the abundance and variety of food we have in America.

My Take: I’m not willing to change my eating habits that dramatically, but I see the value in cutting back on snacks & junk food. Instead of a diet limited to 7 foods, it would be better for me to add 7 new healthy foods to my routine.

2Clothes

Jen’s Lessons: During month 2 of 7, Jen limited her wardrobe to only 7 items

Jeans • Capri pants • Dress shirt • 2 T-shirts • Long sleeve T-shirt • Shoes

Being a public speaker, eyes would be on her and at certain church events, the members wore their Sunday best. As most of us can relate, in her self-consciousness, Jen thought people would notice or comment more than they actually did. Part of the challenge was making sure those 7 clothing items were clean. Without a closet full of clothes to choose from, laundry had to be done much more often.

Being in Texas, Jen didn’t add a coat or jacket as one of her 7 items and suffered the consequences on an unusually cold day. This experience was a reminder that members of the homeless community often do not have the clothes, outerwear or shoes to properly protect them for the weather.

My take: My favorite part of this chapter was the Austin Women’s Clothing Swap. Ladies brought in gently used clothing they no longer wanted and all of the items were sorted and displayed on racks like a boutique. For a $5 entrance fee, the women could choose “new” clothes to take home. All unclaimed items + the money collected from the entrance fee were then donated to charity.

Swapping clothing with friends is a fun way to “shop” without spending money and cuts back on the use of natural resources used in the production of new clothing.

I regularly clean out my closets and donate clothes that are no longer my size or style. Donating clothes leaves you with a good feeling when you know that they are going to a good cause.

Prom Dresses donated to a local event called “Gown Town” which offered free dresses to girls who were unable to buy a gown for prom.

Closet Clean-Out for the #NewYear #style #styleandsavings #bgtt

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3 Possessions

Jen’s lessons: During month 3 of 7, Jen gave away 7 items each day for 30 days – a total of 210 items. Instead of dropping things off at the local Goodwill or Salvation Army, she tried to  give to directly to people in need including a family of refugees who just moved to the U.S. and children whose school counselor noticed their need of clothes. Meeting refugees who were starting over with nothing (they needed bedding, dishes, and furniture) made Jen & her friends realize their own abundance of possessions.

My take: Listening to the podcast The Minimalists (mentioned in a previous Friday Faves post) has made me more aware of excess clutter. One of the tips I learned from the podcast is called the Minimalists Game in which you challenge someone with a similar de-cluttering goal to each give away a number of items every day ( 1 item the first day, 2 items second day, 3 items on the third day –  until 30 items on the 30th day for a total of 465 items in a month)The winner is whoever completes the challenge, but of course both people have succeeded to some extent in simplifying their home. Jen’s whole family of 5 was included in the purge of 210 items  – so this may or may not be more challenging for a smaller family or single person depending on how many items they own.

Stay tuned for the rest of my review in Style and Savings Reads:  7: an experimental mutiny against excess (Part 2)

Glossies Made Me Do It – June 2017

It’s that time again! Linking up with Happy Pretty Sweet for another edition of “Glossies Made Me Do It”

Oprah

In her June issue, Oprah reminds us – “You get one summer a year….this month we’re showing you how to make the most of every minute”. I completely agree and love summer and sunshine, which made me create this list of summer fun

Redbook

Reading Redbook’s June issue made me notice how much I liked this one-piece cutout swimsuit that was also featured in Oprah magazine’s “Summer Style Handbook”

swimsuit

Style and Savings: With the original price starting at $42.94 and sale price reduced to $21.45, this style is selling out fast!

Essence

Essence Magazine’s June issue made me listen to their recently introduced podcast – “Yes Girl!”. It’s an entertaining source for pop-culture news, but after listening to a couple of episodes, I prefer The New York Times’ “Still Processing”.

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That’s all for this month’s magazines – for previous Glossy posts, click here

Style and Savings Summer Fun

It’s the Tuesday after Memorial Day weekend and summer has unofficially started! I want to make the most of it, so I made a list of fun things to do.

Tell me about your summer plans in the comments!

____ Make popsicles

____ Eat an ice cream sandwich

___ Walk in the park

___ Celebrate July 4th

___ Attend downtown festivals

___ Relax at the pool

___ Visit the Farmer’s Market

___ Make s’mores

___ Read books from my summer reading list

 

Style and Savings’ Summer Reading List 2017

Summer is quickly approaching and now is the time to plan how I will make the most of these beautiful days!

As a kid, we would always participate in the summer reading program at the local library. Now I’m older and won’t get a free Dairy Queen Dilly bar , a beach ball, or a slinky, my incentive is the pure enjoyment of reading.

Here is a list of books (all of which are by female authors) that have been on my To Read list for a while that I plan to finally read this summer:

The Perfect Find by Tia Williams

I first saw a review of this book in Essence magazine, then added it to my Goodreads “Want to Read” list. I entered the sweepstakes to win a copy of the book and was lucky enough to win an autographed paperback. I now follow the author Tia Williams on Instagram @shakeyourbeauty, where she posts adorable photos of her daughter, her book signings, her fashion and life in New York.

#Goodreads drawing winner! Happy to have an autographed book for my collection! This should be a fun summer read 😎☀️📖

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Why Not Me? By Mindy Kaling

I have been a fan of Mindy since The Office and have been catching up on The Mindy Project on Hulu lately. I took a break from it for a while – but now that I am giving it another chance, I’m glad to see Mindy as a working mother with a successful practice who is launching her own business.

I read Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? a couple years ago and I hope this book is also as funny.

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Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps  by Kelly Williams Brown

I added this book to my Goodreads “Want to Read” list back in 2014, when I may have still been experiencing a quarter-life crisis. During that time, I also liked to read the very relatable blogs Twenty Something Living and When Life Gives You Rubi. This book seems like it will fall in the info-tainment genre and I think it will be comforting to see how far I’ve come since then.

Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps

The Frugalista Files: How One Woman Got Out of Debt Without Giving Up the Fabulous Life by Natalie McNeal

No one really wants to be in debt, but through budgeting and reducing spending there is a way out. Some examples of this are too extreme for my taste (see: tiny houses, junk cars, ramen dinners). Style and Savings was created on the principle to “live stylishly without spending your savings”. I want to maintain a level of comfort, while still living within or below my means.

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That wraps up my book list for the summer (in addition to the magazines I subscribe to).

What’s on your Summer Reading List?

Glossies Made Me Do It – May 2017

Glossies made me do it...!Welcome to the May edition of “Glossies Made Me Do It” link-up. Here’s what I’ve been reading.

I always enjoy looking at Oprah magazine’s  “Reading Room” In the May issue, page  109 had a review describing “No One is Coming to Save Us” by Stephanie Powell Watts as an updated, African-American version of The Great Gatsby. Goodreads users gave both positive and negative reviews, so I’m not sure if I’ll read this book, but it made me want to watch The Great Gatsby. I loved the glamour, recklessness and extravagance along with the music and bright colors of the 2013 remake.

Can you tell that I’m a fan of Pantene products? I recently bought 3 of my favorite (now discontinued) Pantene Truly Relaxed Oil Crème Moisturizer on Amazon. Essence magazine’s May issue contained a Pantene hair moisturizer sample that made me want to give the new formula a try.

 

For more of The Glossies Made Me Do It, click here. Until next month’s mags!

Glossies Made Me Do It – April 2017

Glossies made me do it...!Welcome to the April edition of “Glossies Made Me Do It” link-up. Here’s what I’ve been reading.

The Oprah magazine article  “Shelf Awareness” pg. 63 made me feel guilty for all of the old cosmetics I’ve kept. I know that makeup expires, but it’s so hard to toss out something that’s not empty yet.

Another article in this month’s Oprah called “Kinder, Gentler” on pg. 96 made me happy.

Of all the verses and rules people like to memorize and quote, the Golden Rule is the only one I need.

When we learned it in kindergarten, the teachers would tell us to put on our “good manners gloves”. We would recite ” Do unto others as you want them to do to you” as we traced each finger of the imaginary gloves.

During wedding planning, I became interested in wedding etiquette and occasionally I like to read this blog/advice column on manners for an entertaining take on everyday situations.

Seeing Hilary Duff on the cover of Redbook made me remember how much I liked the show “Lizzie McGuire”

I  watched the first 2 seasons of “Younger” and I love that her character Kelsey is also someone viewers can imagine being friends with. Kelsey is ambitious, confident, and a risk -taker, but also has insecure moments and dating struggles. My favorite thing about her is that she believes in helping other women succeed.

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That’s all for this month! If you missed March’s Glossies, you can find them here.

Mini Chocolate Lava Birthday Cakes

This year, for my birthday I wanted to make a unique, chocolate dessert. After scrolling through my Pinterest boards, I found an idea on this site.

I don’t normally order dessert at restaurants, but I remembered trying this one at Chili’s before. It has gooey, hot, melty chocolate with the ice cream scoops on top to cool it down.

The mini versions were pretty simple to make – but there were a couple of tricky steps that I will note below.

Cake Ingredients:
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate

1/2 cup ( 1 stick) unsalted butter

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup confectioners’ (or powdered) sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs, and 2 large egg yolks  (* a total of 4 eggs)

Toppings:

Ice Cream

Sprinkles

Birthday Candles

Directions:
Spray muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray (these can also be made in 4 ramekin dishes)

Preheat oven to 425°F

Chop the chocolate into smaller pieces. Put butter and chocolate into a glass bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds, stir, then microwave for 30 more seconds until completely smooth

In another small bowl, whisk the flour, powdered sugar, and salt together

*In a third small bowl, combine 2 entire eggs plus only the yolks of 2 more eggs

Pour the flour mixture and eggs into the bowl of chocolate. Slowly stir everything together using a wooden spoon. If there are any lumps, gently use a whisk or a fork.

Spoon chocolate batter evenly into muffin tin (I was able to make 9 total).

To bake in a muffin tin, the cakes only take about 8 minutes. *(I added an extra 2 minutes and that was tooo long, The extra time completely cooks the center, and you don’t get the lava effect).

Allow to cool for 1 minute, then using a knife, go around the edges of each cake to make sure they are not stuck to the pan. Cover with a plate and turn the pan completely over, so the cakes are on the plate.

Top with ice cream, sprinkles, (and a candle for the birthday girl!) and Enjoy!

See this post for desserts from last year’s birthday