Web Time Wasters

How was your week, friends? Here in Minneapolis, it was weirdly rainy and cold, so I spent most of it doing indoor things and planning future trips. But this weekend has been gooooorgeous, so we’re making up for lost time with lots of bike rides, barbecues, and reading on the deck.

Links for you

Next week is the last week of the month, which means it’s time for my monthly No Grocery Challenge! If you’ve never watched my Instagram Stories, my NGC is a week where – in an effort to reduce food waste and save money + time – I cook only with what’s in the fridge, freezer, and pantry. It’s weirdly fun and gratifying! You can use this workbook to plan your own (it’s SO much more than just using leftovers!) or follow along here to watch me do it.

I was on Rolf Potts’ podcast this week, talking about traveling light, dressing modestly while traveling, and how to deal with travel anxiety. Listen here!

Have you read this yet? It’s a bit like David Sedaris, but younger and British.

Some truths from Bill Nye.

A good point: Don’t Use My Family For Your True Crime Stories.
Nobody has tried to make entertainment out of Sabina’s story, but if they did, I would burn their podcast studio to the ground. I would call them every night at 3 a.m, and then again at 5, and when they started turning their phone off I would show up and ring the doorbell. I would dig up their most embarrassing secrets and use them as blackmail. I would do whatever I had to do to get them to give up on the project. It would be intolerable to me—physically intolerable like the way a body can’t tolerate rotten oysters—for someone to splash Sabina’s last moments and the horror of her death onto a TV screen, or to narrate it between advertisements for Casper mattresses.

I’ve been catching up on this season of Queer Eye and if you, like me, where obsessed with the squash casserole recipe, here it is! This would be a such a good way to some of that end-of-summer zucchini we’ll all be drowning in.

Trying to get your business off the ground without a lot of capital? Here are 10 ways to bootstrap it!

Fellow MSPers – if you’re in the market for a floral arrangement, Northern Heir makes gorgeous arrangements out of local flowers in thrifted and vintage containers. Lovely!

A state-by-state break down of where you can support pro-choice organizations.

If you, like me, have been concerned about how many plastic straws you use, it’s worth knowing that eating less fish might actually be a more effective approach to limiting plastic pollution in the oceans.

Important and interesting: The Cost Of Being Disabled.

I hear people talk about how hard it is to make friends as an adult ALL THE TIME, so I liked these tips about friendship as a grown up.

Just as I suspected!!!! A UCLA study proved that, for a lot of people, “our need to reward ourselves materially may actually increase our stress.

I really liked this:
“I’ve always been a time-based worker. You know, like, ‘did I sit here for 3 hours and try?’ I don’t have a word count when I sit down to write. It’s all about sitting down and trying to make something happen in that time period — and letting those hours stack up.”

Related: Track your efforts, not your accomplishments.

Hope you had a lovely weekend!

Web Time Wasters

Did you know that every morning on Instagram Stories, I share a little reminder/intention/inspirational-quote-type thing? Based on the DMs I get, they seem to make people really happy!

So if you’d like a bit of happy in your day for $0, you can follow along here.

How was your week, friends? Thursday – Sunday I was in South Dakota with my whooooole extended family, celebrating the life of my late grandmother. It was so, so lovely to see everybody.

Links for you:

My mini-roadtrip this week reminded me: OMG if you’re in the car for more than three hours, this will make all the difference in how you feel upon arrival.

Related: Everything you need to know to plan a road trip 

Sometimes, when I’m hard on myself for not doing ‘more’ as stepmom, I remember that even as a pretty B+ stepmom I do more (and I’m held to a much higher standard) than many full time, bio dads: What ‘Good’ Dads Get Away With.

I talked about the link between money, happiness, habits, and education on the What I’m Unlearning podcast! Listen here.

And I talked with Andrea about the totally unsexy but inestimable power of still going when everybody else gives us.

Perfect for picnic weather! 9 best packable sandwiches.

In case you needed another reason to buy Chobani yogurt!

DISCUSS: After men in Spain got paternity leave, they wanted fewer kids
Farré and González think that spending more time with their children—or the prospect of having to do so—may have made men more acutely aware of the effort and costs associated with childrearing, and, as the researchers put it, “shifted their preferences from child quantity to quality.”

‘I see any dinosaur, I buy it’: at home with the embattled owner of the Flintstone house

Like Psychology Today’s Find-A-Therapist tool – but for shamen, coaches, and other healers.

I loved this: Rob Walker’s Exercises for Noticing New Things
Eat Somewhere Dubious. Have one meal at a restaurant that you didn’t find on Yelp or through any sort of recommendation and that doesn’t even look trendy or hip. First you’ll have fun keeping an eye out for it: “Is THAT our dubious restaurant?” Second, even if you have a mediocre meal, you’ll have an unpredictable experience! And this, by the way, is how the best food writers make discoveries and find the places that later get hot on Yelp. So maybe you’ll get lucky.

This kids’ room is wowsers

I hope you had a lovely week!

Web Time Wasters

How was your week, friends? I lunched and coffee-d with friends, fussed with the yard (it is never-ending!!! will the grass grow this year?!) and devotedly wished that the weather would clear up.

I finished everything I need to work through Bank Boost with our new round of students. Class starts on Monday and – not to toot my own horn – but it’s an AWESOME program. People add hundreds and thousands of dollars to their bank accounts, strengthen their self-advocacy muscles, change their relationship with money, NBD. All to the tune of $57. Click here to join us!

Links for you:

It’s been a pretty tough week for current events. Reminder: 5calls.org has call scripts and phone numbers that make contacting your reps super easy.

WOW.

An unsexy, honest, inspiring photo of what intentional spending looks like.

Ahhhh! A must-read for anyone who’s been dumped and is trying to convince someone to take them back. (We’ve all been there, right?)

You could be absolutely perfect, you could become all the things your former partner specifically said would be exactly right for him, you could find the golden ratio of speaking up and staying silent about all the right things in exactly the right order, you could even send me a list of all your best private jokes and relationship touchstones and I could write you a dazzling, personalized speech that strikes a breathtaking balance between “maintaining a quiet dignity” and “being vulnerable and real…”  …and he could still go, or rather, keep going, in the same direction he already went, i.e. already gone.

My favorite things: financial transparency and a liiiiitle bit of voyeurism: How much it costs to live in Raleigh, NC.

Somewhat related: The best $5,929.10 I ever spent: moving back to the Midwest
On the subject of apartments: I’m paying $650 a month for a gorgeous studio with a view of the Cedar River and in-unit laundry. I’m the first tenant to occupy this apartment (and the first tenant to use its brand new appliances). Considering that my first Seattle apartment was a converted hotel room with no kitchen and a landlord who advised me to wash my dishes in a bus tub and dump the dishwater into the toilet — WHICH I DID, EVERY DAY — living in this apartment feels like living in another world.

Speaking my language! A house tour with a “thrifty maximalist.”

Related: 12 cheap home improvements that are totally worth it.

I hope that Mothers’ Day is a good day for you; if it’s not, you’re not alone. This is one of the most highly trafficked posts I’ve ever published – True Story: I have a toxic relationship with my mom.

Also: if you’re a stepmom, this is must-read I wish someone had told me about four years ago.

Why is this so cute?! Japanese Ambassador To Sweden Sees Pikachu As His Son
“The first time I saw Pikachu, I felt that he was my son,” the tweet from yesterday reads. “When Pokémon Go came out in 2016, Pikachu and the other millions of figures got new friends around the world. Now I will gladly see the Detective Pikachu movie.”

Want to redefine your relationship with money? What luck! That’s exactly what I talked about on this podcast!

Also: Kelly and I talked about all things self-help!

Sometime I feel like I’m the only person on the internet who’s not trying to create a multi-million dollar empire that sells self-paced business ecourses and has a team of 15 people. It’s just me and Paul Jarvis. 
I’m free from financial worry, as it doesn’t take much revenue to be profitable and expenses are quite low. I’m free from the stresses of always being busy or having to hustle constantly, because I know what enough is and don’t have to push myself beyond it. I’m free from the weight of typical “business growth” responsibility—I don’t have to manage others, I don’t have to answer to a board of directors or investors, and I don’t have to be on the hook for high office rent.

The Pied Piper of kittens!

This made me smile.

I loved this: advice you’d give your younger self.

Hope you had a lovely week! And I hope to see you inside Bank Boost on Monday! If you’re on the fence or you have any questions, drop me an email at sarah@yesandyes.org and I’ll answer ’em!

Unintended lessons & where I learned them

Learn lifes unintended lessons. Sometimes we think we’re going to learn A, but life is really committed to teaching us B. (It’s probably a good idea to learn both.)

When I was 18, I packed my bags and moved to Germany for a month, fueled by visions of soft pretzels and hard cheeses.

I was taking part in an exchange program and – like all 18-year-olds – I already knew everything. Before I even boarded that Lufthansa flight, I knew what I’d learn from my time in Germany.

I was sure my trip would teach me:

  • How to speak German more fluently

  • How to pack light

  • Maybe how to finally understand soccer???

And did it? Yes, that trip improved my German and introduced me to one-suitcase travel. But more importantly, it taught me how to enjoy my own company and feel at home (almost) anywhere. I learned how to make friends across language and cultural barriers. I figured out how to take up space without apologizing.

All helpful, important things to learn! But since I was 18, I didn’t necessarily make the connection. I didn’t realize what I’d learned from my experience. I felt smug when I tested out of the second language requirement at college and that was about it.

Cut to ten years later and I’m heading to Wellington, New Zealand to get my M.A. in Applied Linguistics. And just like last time, I’m pretty sure I know how this is going to shake out.

What I expected to learn in graduate school:

  • Pedagogical theory

  • Neural Plasticity and how it affects our learning

  • Plosives and fricatives

And yes, sure, I learned those things. I also learned how to share space with multiple roommates, how to manage my time so I didn’t have to pull all-nighters, how to navigate the New Zealand healthcare system, and that I’m not really suited to graduate-level courses that are taught exclusively online.

It only took me ten years and multiple epiphanies to realize that learning is multi-faceted and multi-layered. It only took me a decade to realize that

Sometimes we think we’re going to learn A, but life is really committed to teaching us B. (It’s probably a good idea to learn both.) Click To Tweet

We think getting a dog will help us get outside more, not knowing that we’re going to learn about loyalty, responsibility, and why consistency really, really matters.

We think decluttering is about bringing things to Goodwill. But anyone who’s watched Tidying Up can tell you that releasing things that no longer fit our lives is a lesson in grace, intentionality, and self-awareness.

I see this a lot in my Bank Boost program. In Bank Boost we talk about a lot of nitty gritty money things: why you should pay for things with cash, how to rescue money that’s in places it shouldn’t be, how to use x tool to earn y amount of money.

But we also talk about making sure that your money is bringing you joy, that you’re squeezing every ounce of happiness out the money you spend. We talk about being willing to get uncomfortable – whether that looks like asking for a raise or telling your friend you need her to repay that money she borrowed.

When we do this – talk about happiness and discomfort and self-advocacy – something surprising happens. Yes, Bank Boosters add hundreds or thousands of dollars to their bank accounts.

Just as importantly they start getting braver in other areas of their lives. They have really tough conversations they’ve been putting off. They send a third follow up email. They stand up to the shitty landlord.

They take their awful ex to court. Here, shared anonymously and with permission, is one woman’s story:

“I took your advice on the “uncomfortable” strategy but probably not in the way you meant. I spent 33 years in an abusive relationship and I finally got my divorce in April.

My ex was supposed to be paying me support during the divorce and he owes me alimony now. But I was afraid and I let him get away without paying me. But you taught me that I deserve it so I took him to court!

The judge ordered him to pay me everything he owes me plus my legal fees. I ended up getting over $6000 and I was able to pay off all my credit cards.

(He also had to pay my lawyer over $10K in legal fee so I don’t have that hanging over my head anymore.) For me, this was HUGE.

Having the guts to stand up to him and demand my rights was something I never thought I would do. Thank you for giving me the courage to do that. Thank you so, so much!

Now I can start planning for MY future. I want to someday buy a house all by myself and now that it possible.”

What would happen if we opened ourselves up to learning what life was trying to teach us? How would our lives change if we made space for unintended lessons?

Photos by Max Yamashita and Geordanna Cordero-Fields on Unsplash

Web Time Wasters

Another song with millions of views that I heard for the first time this week

How was your week, friends? I spent most of mine getting ready for the next round of Bank Boost (enrollment opens tomorrow!) Kenny spoke at UW Platteville on Thursday so we turned it into a long weekend away with cheese curds and House On The Rock.

I was also able to live out my extremely specific fantasy of living (read:renting an Airbnb) over a coffee shop in a cute, historical apartment that overlooks the main street of a quaint small town. This is where we stayed and here’s a $40 credit towards your first booking if you’ve never used Airbnb before!

Links for you

For my fellow MSP-ers, is it Lake Calhoun or Bde Maka Ska?

And very proud of Minnesotan Halima Aden for making history as the first model to wear a hijab and burkini in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit!

You’ve probably heard me rail against premium pricing and traditional marketing methods before. I was pumped to take part in the Unconventional Marketing Summit!

What to say (and what NOT to say) to someone with a broken heart.
“What’s something that would make your life just a tiny bit easier right now? Could I bring over some food? Wash your sheets and make your bed? Fill up your car with gas? Something else? I know you’ve got so much weighing on you right now, so I’d love to do something to make your day a little easier and calmer.”

Related: How to get over a break up

Did you know you can follow hashtags on Instagram? I’m really enjoying the #hauteeclectic hashtag. It’s a nice break from white, minimalist, farm house decor 😉

If you live in MSP and are looking to add a dog to your family, make sure you follow my friend Leslie’s Adopt A Stray May! She’s a professional pet photographer so her photos are gorgeous and the dogs she features are amazing!

Extremely co-signed.

I loved this: Money + misdirection: the shadow side of “charge what you’re worth” pricing culture

Related: Why I charge $57 for Bank Boost even though I could charge a lot more

An old essay from David Sedaris that a) still makes me laugh b) is incredibly relatable
Now I’m up to sixty thousand, which is twenty-five and a half miles. Walking that distance at the age of fifty-seven, with completely flat feet while lugging a heavy bag of garbage, takes close to nine hours—a big block of time, but hardly wasted. I listen to audiobooks, and podcasts. I talk to people. I learn things: the fact, for example, that, in the days of yore, peppercorns were sold individually and, because they were so valuable, to guard against theft the people who packed them had to have their pockets sewed shut.

Yum! An unusual rhubarb pie recipe.

You probably know by know that I’m a huge champion of small and mid-sized cities. I love traveling to them, promoting them, talking about how their low cost of living can dramatically improve quality of life for certain people. So I was suuuuuuper interested in this piece: HGTV stars Chip and Joanna Gaines helped convert a sleepy Texas town into a tourist mecca. But not everyone agrees on what Waco’s “restoration” should look like.

I hope you had a lovely weekend and that I see you inside Bank Boost on Monday!

Web Time Wasters

This song has 12 million views but I only discovered it last week. Doesn’t it have a Dolly Parton vibe?

How was your week, friends? The weather was gooooorgeous here in Minneapolis and I spent it fussing with the yard, re-painting, and cleaning a million things – activities that I have INCREDIBLY soothing. ‘Improve something visually’ is literally an item on my Happy List! We also celebrated my oldest stepson’s 16th birthday, saw friends, and generally rejoiced that the snow is (hopefully!) finally gone.

Links for you

Opening May 6th!

I was on the podcast ‘That’s What She Said‘ talking about money and how “tapping on your temples and repeating mantras about manifesting abundance won’t help you stop buying throw pillows at Target.” 🙊 Click here to listen – and if you have a podcast, I’d love to be on it! Drop me a line at sarah@yesandyes.org and let’s get something scheduled!

Ten years after everyone else, I am reading this book and it is GREAT. A must-read if you, like me, care about climate change, food waste, or farmers.

How to curate meaning in your online life.

Related: This week, our private Money & Happy Facebook group talked about moving in with partners just to save money, down-sizing, switching careers, and travel purses! Come join us – it’s free.

Somewhat related and I’m interested to hear what you think: what if individual choices aren’t responsible for climate change?
A recent report found that just 100 companies are responsible for 71% of global emissions since 1988. Incredibly, a mere 25 corporations and state-owned entities were responsible for more than half of global industrial emissions in that same period.

I loved this roundup of a week in outfits!

Online business people very rarely talk about the programs that failed. I really appreciated Tara’s recent podcast where six long-time online entrepreneurs shared their struggles.

Cutecutecute.

I can’t wait to work my way though this list of 12 old-school Minneapolis and St. Paul restaurants – we’ve already been to seven of ’em.

A new-to-me site you might already know about: The Aesthetics Of Joy. So Good!

What does ‘enough’ look like?

Are you waiting for proof that you’re ‘really’ an artist?

An icon!

I Wanted to Fall in Love With Men. I Also Wanted Men to Leave Me the Hell Alone
Dating men, studying men, sleeping with men—it felt like lancing the blister. A mixture of pain and release. There was the polyamorous poet. The writer who told me I was overrated and insisted I listen to his vinyl collection. The very nice lawyer. The former white nationalist turned librarian whom I ghosted with no shame. The man who, when he saw a professional accomplishment of mine, told me it wasn’t as impressive as his dick. The politician who told me to tell people he had a big dick. (It was average.) The woke professor who talked a lot about feminism but refused to put on a condom and scared me when he grabbed my neck and kissed me, leaving bruises. There was the wedding hookup. The married novelist. The date I walked out on 10 minutes in, after he told me if I wanted to be with him, I would need to be a better cook. The sports editor who pulled out his phone and read Seinfeld plot summaries to me. I walked out on him too.

Hope you had a lovely weekend!