lifestyle

How Meal Prepping Changes My Lifestyle

So most of y’all already k now my lifestyle. Full time student (ish), with a full time job, newly-born trader, blogger at time, skincare and makeup enthusiast when I feel like to etc etc.. In between of all that, one thing that always forget to do is eat healthy. I barely eat breakfast unless it is my day off, I grab lunch here and there , and I tend to order dinner. Don’t get me wrong , I’ll do groceries, but the vegetables would spoil in my fridge because I don’t cook due to my overwhelming laziness ( that same laziness that keeps me from writing consistently) .

Trust me I want to do better but I always found an excuse to actually act differently. however, a couple months ago, I woke up in the middle of the night and decided to create a budget. I am talking about a real budget , one that includes monthly bills, monthly savings, monthly purchases etc… Being a millennial, I of course used an app called Albert to help me navigate through my expenses, and help me make optimal decisions when it comes to spending money and managing my income. This app put me in contact with an expert with whom I can review my current finances, and make changes accordingly. While reviewing my finances , It came to my attention that I was spending more than 300$ on take out, fast food, restaurant and bars, and barely 90$ on monthly groceries . I was thus advised to start meal prepping and also buying those frozen foods for those days that I don’t feel like cooking .

One day, while discussing that with one of my co-workers, and giving her all the reasons why I am not meal prepping ( i.e the repetitiveness, laziness, and the list goes on), she proposed an app called Mealime. I always pride myself of being curious ( till this day I don’t know if it’s good or bad ), I thus decided to give it a try and see how it would work. And let me tell you, this app has changed my lifestyle, it has changed my perspective on cooking, and it has changed my habits.

So a little summary of how the app works. You download it of course, create an account, select you eating preferences and habits, select a day and time for you meal prep reminder, and it gives you different types of recipes based on your previous answers. The cooking time ranges from 20 min to an hour. All recipes are clear, concise and easy to follow, and most importantly the food is very tasty, and appealing to the eyes even for an absolute beginner

Alright now back to regular programming ;). You might be wondering why do I believe that this app and particularly meal prepping changed my lifestyle. So here is why :

  • It helps me save money. My monthly grocery expenses is very much cheaper than what I was spending in restaurants. This gives me the opportunity to save more, have a better control of my finances, and of course not wondering at the end of the month where my money went ( we’ve all been there, don’t lie to yourself).
  • I now eat healthier. Everything I eat now is fresh. I know what I am eating and I don’t have to worry about that 28% chance of my food delivery driver eating part of my food. ( Yes I want to keep everything sanitary as much as possible )
  • It gives me discipline. Some people might think that having a schedule is bad because it makes you fall into a routine but I truly believe that a schedule could be of great help for somebody who wants to organize their life i.e ME. I now hold myself accountable for not only my meals, but for my everyday life.

In fact, meal prepping shows me that I don’t have to lift a mountain to execute change. A small thing , like food for instance had big outcomes, and it paved the way for many more . All I needed was the will to do so, the right canvas and the deal was sealed . With that being said, don’t procrastinate anymore. Start today. Do something that could be good for you and your overall well-being.

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advice · In your shoes · lifestyle

6 ways to make extra cash this summer

I am not gonna lie. As a college student , I do feel like sometimes I live above my means. I am a product junkie, a food lover, a skin care enthusiast, a shopping fanatic, a makeup apprentice . To say the least, I love to spend money , and as a college student, we all know that all these things are definitely not cheap . Added to the fact that I live alone, I thus have bills to pay, put gas in my car, do groceries etc.. And still, I always want to look my best, live my best life, and make memories ( food memories in particular. JK) . I mean, I wanted to be an adult right ?! We all did , but we clearly did not want all these responsibilities. Moreover, there’s no way that we are going to run to Mommy and Daddy. WE ARE IN THE PATH OF SELF-SUFFICIENCY AND AUTONOMY. Therefore, here are some tips that will not only help you save money, but also make some. They can even become your side hustles. Who knows!

Use cash back and reward apps
Some expenses like buying groceries, refueling our cars, are necessary. We of course, have to go to work, school , run errands, eat to survive, so we might as well save some money while doing them. I thus propose two apps:
Ibotta
Ibotta is a free mobile couponing and cash-back app. Shoppers have the opportunities to gain cash -back on select products. All you have to do is buy the products from one of the Ibotta’s participating stores, keep your receipt as a proof of purchase , upload your receipt on the app. It’s an easy to use app, since it tells you step by step how to retrieve a promotion , rewards, or coupon. Moreover, the cash-back that your gained overtime can be retrieve in the form of Paypal, Venmo, or a gift card from a participating stores such as Walmart, Target, Amazon, Hulu, Ulta , Sephora, Amc, Applebee’s , Olive garden, Bed Bath & Beyond to name a few. Click the link below to register and start earning.
https://ibotta.risj.net/aws
Get upside
Get upside is also a cash-back and rewards app, where users earn money out of every gallon of gas . You can earn up to 20c/gallon. As the previous app that I mentioned, the Get Upside app works by fueling your car, save the receipt as proof of purchase , and upload the receipt on the app to earn your cash-back. And of course that money can be retrieved via paypal, a mailed check, or a digital gift cards of select stores.

Become a food courier
We all had food delivered to us at some point.I mean, I am not gonna lie, I have. Multiple times. Between school, work, and my other extracurricular activities, I sometimes run out of time time to cook . Therefore , these delivery apps come in handy. In fact, the people who deliver your food are considered as ” independent couriers” , they are no tied to the restaurant from which your order your food. They are just people like you and I who’s looking for extra cash. Four options are listed below:
Postmates,
Doordash
Grubhub
Uber eats

P.S. According to those websites the average courier can make up to 15$ to 20$ per hour

Become a food Shopper
We all know that this era is all about convenience, and time-saving. Some people have such busy lives that they barely have time to go do groceries. They thus hire personal shopper to actually buy the products they need at the store of their choice, and get these products delivered to them. This practice has been here for quite some time now. However, two apps in particular made it easier:
InstaCart and Shipt
As a shopper, your role would be to choose the best and freshest possible choice for your client and deliver these groceries on a timely manner
The shoppers can earn up to 20$ per hour plus bonus and tips depending on the order.

Resell your clothes, books, old trinkets etc…
As I mentioned before, I love to shop, and most of the time I would only wear these clothes only once ( if the gram saw it already, it’s over lol). I mean, I’m joking. I am just fortunate enough to have a mother who has a clothing store, so I am always getting new stuff, on top of the ones that I buy myself. This situation is not ideal, because I run out of closet place pretty fast. To save up on space, and make some extra coins, I usually resell my clothes to thrift stores like Plato’s closet. ( the stores’ names vary from city to city)
I also resell my books at the end of each semester to my school bookstore or Chegg.
You can also use an app called Offer Up. Whether it is clothes, books, gadgets, furniture etc., this app gives you the opportunity to make some coins out of your old trinkets.

Become a freelancer
One thing I learned this year is that you can make money out of everything, you just need the skills, and the right channels to monetize these skills . For example, if you speak multiple languages, good at graphic designing, making Powerpoints and excel sheets, you can easily become a freelancer. A website that I used myself before is Upwork. On this website, you can upload your resume, a portfolio of previous works, so clients can decide if you are a good fit for their projects. Each project is unique, the price thus vary from client to client. The timeframe in which the job has to be done play a big role in your income etc.. You can get paid as low as 10$ for a quick project and as high as 300$ and more for longer ones.

Turn your hobby into a business
We all have some type of hobby, some people are good at makeup , other people love arts and Crafts like painting, drawing, making jewelry, singing, making music, creating beats, other people like myself love to write . These are all hobbies that you can monetize by using the right channels. The big thing right now is social media. You can thus create a blog, a youtube channel, a podcast; promote your work on twitter, Instagram, or facebook( either its your handmade jewelries, your make up looks, your drawings or paintings). You can even sell them on Etsy. Be creative, the options are infinite. You just have to find what is best for you.

P.S Some affiliated links are included in this article. By clicking and registering your girl will receive a small commission.

Beauty · lifestyle

Six Products You Should Add To Your Skin Routine This Summer

Disclaimer:  I am not a Beautician nor a dermatologist.  The products mentioned below are just recommendations, You are not entitles in any way to buy them. I have found that they work for me through trial and error. Before using them, please assess your skin type, problems and allergies. If you need more information, please visit the links provided below. The products with an asterisk are part of my current skin routine 

Water *

Yes WATER. I know that you’ve been hearing it from the beginning of time , But I will repeat it as well. Drink water. We all know that our body is made of up to 60% of water. Our cells thus need it to survive. Especially during summer, our body get dehydrated pretty quick because of the heat and the humidity . Water is thus important to stay healthy all summer long, grow and maintain long and healthy hair, and keep that glow that we all want for those Instagram pictures.
Daily intake : 3.5 liters for the average adult male and 2.5 liters for the average adult female. Tips: If you still have a hard time drinking a lot of water or simply forget to do so, set multiple alarms throughout the day as a reminder. You can also buy different kind of flavor packets at your local supermarket if you like sweet tastes.

Tea tree oil *

Tea tree oil also called melaleuca oil is an essential oil particularly known for its antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. It is widely use in the beauty, hair and health industries due to the facts that the chemicals that it contains may kill bacteria. It is used to treat fungus, lice, acne, insect bites , infections , toothaches , sore throats and many more…
I personally discover this oil about three years ago. I used to deal with severe itchy scalp , and hair loss. After trying a lot of expensive products, and not seeing substantial results, I decided to go a more natural route. After extensive research , I discovered that tea tree oil might help with my issues, and since that day , I became in love with that oil.
Here are some ways that you can add that oil to your routine
Hair
Add 5 to 10 drops of tea tree oil in your favorite shampoo or oils concoction, and use it in your regular routine
Benefits

  1. Relieve itchy scalp
  2. Reduce scalp lesions, greasiness
  3. Prevent dandruff

Skin
Use it as a spot treatment for 3 consecutive nights if an annoying zit is coming between you and greatness 😉

This oil can be found at any beauty supply store, Target, Walmart or Amazon.

Rose water mist/spray

Rose water is a liquid mainly made of water and rose petals- depending on the brand other products might be added. Because of its sweet scent it is commonly use in perfume, and even in the culinary business. It is also use in the beauty industry.
Rose water is definitely the multi-purpose product you need in your skin care routine. Packed with powerful anti-oxidants, rose water is known to act as a barrier, and protect the skin against UV radiation, chemicals, and physical pollutants. It is also know for its anti- inflammatory and soothing properties , making thus ideal to reduce irritation and redness , especially in people who suffered from eczema. Lastly its anti-aging properties help reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles
I personally use rose water as a primer, finishing spray, or as a refresher for quick “pick-me-up” throughout the day.
Recommendations

  • Garnier SkinActive Facial Mist Spray with Rose Water- 4.4 fl oz. You can find it a Target online and in stores. Retailed for about 6.99 USD*
  • Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs, and Rose Water- 8 fl oz. You can find it at Ulta online and in stores , as well as on Sephora online. Retailed for about 12 USD *
  • Boscia Rosewater Mist with Witch Hazel- 4.73 fl oz. You can find it at Sephora online and in stores. Retailed for 24 USD

Vitamin C serum/ essence

We all love summer. It is the time for bright outfits, long days at the beach etc.. But it is also the time when we get those unwanted tan lines, hyper-pigmentation and uneven skin tones. To help with theses issues, I bring you Vitamin C. It is full of antioxidants that help promote the production of collagen, reduce signs of aging by repairing the damage caused by the free radicals emitted by the sun. This product is so powerful that it can also prevent future damage ( Not a replacement for sunscreen though) . Dermatologists usually recommend serums with concentrations of 10 to 15%.
Recommendations

  • Derma E Vitamin C concentrated serum -2 fl Oz. Available at Ulta and Target online and in stores. Retail price : 20 USD
  • Vichy LiftActiv Vitamin C Face Serum Brightening Skin Corrector – 0.34 fl oz. Sold for about 30 USD at Target online and in Select stores*
  • Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum – 1 fl oz. Sold for about 80 USD at Sephora online and in stores

Sunscreen

My mom always says; “Prevention is better than cure”. Indeed, our precious skin care routine will serve to nothing if we don’t protect our skin first. As mentioned before, the sun emits free radicals and harmful rays that can damage the skin: hence the source of hyper-pigmentation, acne, scarring, uneven skin tone, lines and wrinkles. Sunscreen is thus the physical shield required to maintain a healthy skin. It is actually one of the few over the counter drugs approved by the FDA, usually they go from SPF 15 to SPF 50 . ( And Yes I Know, we all have encountered some SPF 75 and SPF 100, However it has been proven that they have the same effect as the SPF 50). I personally stay between SPF 25 and SPF 40 for my everyday use, and SPF 50 when I go to the beach. In fact, there is two kind of SPFs:
– The physical SPF are made with zinc oxide or titanium oxide. They are usually creamier, and leave that white cast that we all hate . However, they are much safer since they are not absorbed by our body . They sit on top of the skin and protect it by reflecting the sunlight
-The Chemical SPF are made with oxybenzone, octisalate , octinoxate etc… ( OK, too many weird names). They are thus more effective since they are absorbed by the body through a chemical reaction which in turn dissipate the UV rays.
Recommendations

  • Hawaiian Tropic Antioxidant Mist Sunscreen SPF 30-3.4 fl oz. Sold at Target online and in stores for 7.99 USD*
  • Neutrogena Hydro Boost City Shield Water Gel – SPF 25 – 1.7oz. Available and Retailed at Target online and in Stores for about 20 USD*
  • Benefit cosmetics dream screen SPF 45 sunscreen for face- 1.52 fl Oz. Only available on Benefit Cosmetics website , and retailed for 32 USD

Exfoliator

So we are drinking our water, protecting our skin, maintaining its health and its texture. However, there is one more thing left: the habit of exfoliating . Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells off the skin surface. It can be done mechanically by using abrasive scrubs( the most common ones) or chemically by using products with special chemicals and acids that remove the dead skin cells without scrubbing. The type of exfoliator depends solely on your skin type. used,Since our skin regeneration slow down with age, an exfoliant is thus necessary to remove build-ups and excess oils trapped in our pores. These impurities are in fact the cause of dull, dehydrated skin since they impede the nutrients packed in our moisturizers, serums, and masks to penetrate the skin and work their magic. 🙂
Recommendations

  • St. Ives Fresh Skin Face Scrub Apricot -6 oz. Available at Target online and in stores for 3.99 USD
  • Clean & Clear Lemon Zesty Oil Free Face Scrub with Vitamin C – 4.2oz. Sold at Target online and in stores for 5.99 USD
  • First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads- 60 pads . Retailed for 32 USD at Sephora online and in Stores *

Bibliography

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320216.php
https://www.health.com/beauty/vitamin-c-serum
https://fldscc.com/2018/06/14/importance-sunscreen/
https://mavendoctors.io/women/skin-beauty/the-importance-of-exfoliation-8WdqitUFP0uO9GWwIOf-Kw/