4 Unusual Ways to Use Coffee Grinds


After you brew your coffee at home what do you do with the leftover coffee grinds?  If you’re like me (or like I used to be) you probably throw them in the garbage.  But did you know that coffee is actually eco-friendly?  I didn’t…until recently.
I was lucky enough to receive a Keurig 2.0 K200 from Influenster as part of the Keurig and Van Houtte campaign.  I had the chance to try my very first at home brewing machine and be one of the first to taste the new Van Houtte specialty coffee flavors such as Vanilla Latte and Cappuccino.  On top of all that I actually got to learn about all the benefits coffee has after you stop drinking it.
It turns out that coffee is so much more than just a warm beverage.  You can actually used coffee grinds in some very unusual ways such as in your garden, on your body and on your face.  According to Keurig “Gardening with coffee is a very popular practice and an environmentally friendly way to divert used coffee grounds from being thrown in the trash.”

Try these unusual ways to use your leftover coffee grinds:

Start a compost with your coffee
Coffee grinds are rich in nitrogen and bacteria which are two ingredients that help turn organics into compost. Add used coffee grinds to your compost along with all your biodegradables such as eggshells and unwanted fruits and veggies.

Mix an exfoliating body scrub

Coffee grinds seem, well grimy.  But apparently that’s good for your body.  After learning all about the ways coffee can be eco-friendly I took to Pinterest to find other ways we can use coffee.  It turns out that coffee is a natural exfoliate.  All you need is coffee + coconut oil + cinnamon and you have a lovely body and face scrub.

Create a liquid feeder
No only can coffee grinds be used as a fertilizer and an exfoliate they can also be used as a liquid plant enhancer.  Yes that’s right.  The next time you want to water your plants, vegetables, flowers or garden throw some leftover coffee into the watering can.  All you need is a handful of coffee and a bucket of water, let it sit for two days and then water your plants.

Coffee can be used as soil
Mixing leftover coffee into your soil helps plants and veggies grow because it acts as a natural fertilizer.  Who knew that unwanted coffee was the new Miracle Grow.  Mix coffee into your pots or sprinkle it on top of your gardens.  Then sit back and watch your greenery grow.

Photo from Pixabay

Why English is not enough to really experience the World

world-549425_1280While English is the language of choice in the United Nations, international conferences and other global events, it isn’t the most spoken one. Chinese is the most spoken language in the world, with an estimated 1.2 billion speakers, followed by Spanish with 414 million, and English at third place with 335 million.

English is the best language ever…right?

One thing about the English language is that many people use it as their 2nd or even 3rd language, and if you combine these to the 335 million native English speakers around the world, the number of speakers goes up to over 2 billion. But being a native English speaker isn’t nearly enough and you need one or two more languages to really get the most out of life.

Not being able to understand another language is like being trapped in your own native tongue and is very frustrating. Imagine the need to understand a group of travelers and wanting to interact with them, only to find out that the language barrier is holding you back. Or trying to read a menu, road sign or even a brochure. Translation apps work to some degree, but aren’t enough.

You still think English can cut it in today’s uber connected world?

Make your Travels more interesting.

You can take photos and go popular tourist attractions, but to really have an interesting time on your travels, it pays to be friends with the locals. This is an excellent opportunity to broaden your horizons and make lasting friendships. Most locals would gladly show you around town, invite you over for dinner or take you to spots not on the guidebook.

The only way to effectively do this and form a bond with a native speaker is by speaking his/her native language. It shows them that you’re really interested in their country, culture and way of life that you took the time to learn. It’s an experience of a lifetime to live amongst local residents and be treated like family. Never feel alone anywhere you go!

You can do this by either Couchsurfing, teaching English abroad or joining WWOOF or World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. Couchsurfing is basically travelling wht world while sleeping on a host’s couch or floor, totally for free, and WWOOF is a volunteer network you can sign up for where you get to work in an organic farm for paid food and lodging.

Better employment opportunities.

When you speak more than one language, your employment opportunities at home and abroad are better than those who only speak one language, even English. This is because a lot of companies have clients overseas and they’d like to have someone in-house that can communicate with their foreign language clients.

There are also tons of work opportunities abroad. If a company has an office overseas and they need someone on the ground to liaise with the native speakers of the country, you can offer your services. This is a unique opportunity to live and work in another country for free. Written translation is harder, and companies usually just go for fast, reliable and cost-effective professional translation from the big boys.

A Better Brain.

Speaking another language also has excellent health benefits, especially for your brain. Studies have shown that bilinguals and polyglots are better at fighting early onset dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease because their brain is always active and switching between two or more languages.

A study from the University of Chicago found that people who speak in another language have a tendency to eliminate “loss aversion” or getting too caught up in the “here and now” and make better choices. Polyglots are also more confident in themselves and their ability to make clear decisions.

Final Word.

When you know how to speak another language, you can really dig deep and embrace what life in another country is all about. Learning Spanish? You can either take a Flamenco dancing lesson on the side, learn how to make Paella or even be an expert on festivals and fiestas. This will give you more chances to get to know the locals better and practice your new language.

How to Plan for a Financial Emergency


Sometimes we just don’t know what life can throw our way.   I know firsthand just how much one unexpected expense can turn into a total financial disaster.   However that was back then, now that I’ve survived a financial emergency I know how to plan for it and hopefully be as prepared as possible.

I know it’s hard to plan for the unexpected but there are a few steps we can take to ensure that an unforeseen financial emergency doesn’t put too much of a dent in our overall financial wellbeing.  I’m sure the last thing anyone wants is to deal with a crisis and worry about being in debt at the same time.

An financial emergency is any event that you did not expect to have and costs money that don’t really have to spend.  This can include anything from unexpected car repairs to last minute travel for a family emergency.  We just never know what’s going to happen and that’s why it’s just smart financial habits to start saving now, in case the worst happens later.

Save anything you can

They say that you should have three months of your total living expenses saved in case of a financial emergency.  The truth is that such a large sum of money can take quite some time to save.  So the way to conquer the goal is to start saving regularly today.

Even if you can’t currently afford to save as much as you want every month remember that saving even a little bit of money is adding up to more than if you didn’t save anything at all.

Don’t invest for the long term

We never know when an emergency will happen.  Although I’m sure we all secretly hope it never will, we have to be aware that it can literally happen at any time.  You could wake up one morning as you always do and be dealing with a crisis by noon.  This means you always need to have access to your money at a moment’s notice.

Emergency savings funds should always be placed in cash or close-to-cash investments such as t-bills or money market funds.  These types of investments are considered to be liquid and therefore give you instant access to the money or at least within 24 hours.

Leave room on your credit cards

Until you’re able to save enough money in an emergency fund one way to make sure you can afford unexpected expenses is to use your credit card.  Of course this is not an ideal situation, but it will get you through the temporary panic.

If you don’t have an emergency savings fund and you don’t have any room on your credit cards I’m not sure what you would do in the time of an emergency.  Maybe you could borrow money from family or friends, but it’s not a good idea to rely on someone else for your financial wellbeing.

Always replenish your stash

If you do end up using money from your emergency savings then make a plan to replenish it after the dust settles.  Unfortunately you just never know when you’ll need it.

Photo from Pixabay


The Choice to be a Stay at Home Mom


This week my manager announced that one of our senior employees is not returning to work after her maternity leave because she decided to be a stay at home mom.  To be honest I don’t even know what that means.

I feel about stay at home moms the same way I feel about homeless people.  I think they are just lazy people who choose to rely on someone else instead of working for life’s luxuries themselves.  It actually makes me extremely mad to think that I am out hustling and working five jobs (I have a day job as a social media consultant and freelance on the side as a personal finance writer) while others just sit at home and watch TV all day.  Or is that just a misconception?

I would like to think that stay at home moms are not sitting on the couch all day eating snacks while their husbands are out working their butts off.  I would like to think that “stay at home mom” is another term for “working from home”, but I don’t think that’s true.  So I did whatever any sensible person does when they don’t know something, I asked.

I sat down with my former co-worker and asked why she decided to be a stay at home mom instead of going out to grind and hustle in the workforce like the rest of us.

Why would you want to stay at home all day?

When I asked my ex co-worker this obvious question she said “If I had to choose between going to work and staying at home to raise my kid, I would choose to raise my child.”  Although I understand what she’s saying it seems like a totally bogus answer.

I don’t have children nor am I a stay at home anything I believe in street smarts and the importance of social activities for a child’s development.  If her child is stuck at home with his mother all day isn’t he going to grow up to be extremely dependent and what is the child missing out on by not being properly socialized in daycare and kindergarten?

What about the loss of income?

Then there’s the fiscal aspect of only having one spouse working.  When I asked my co-worker how she can afford to feed a family of three on one income she said “My husband makes enough money for us to get by.”  My first thought was who just wants to get by?  It seems like a ridiculous answer, especially for someone who now has a child.  Don’t parents always want their children “to have more than I did”?

Even if your husband or wife makes enough, what does that even mean?  Can we ever have enough money?  My answer is NO. We can always have more money.  Making more money means we can do more things, travel to more places and have more experiences.

Don’t you feel useless?

I’m not really one of those people who likes to lay around and do nothing, especially if I feel I should be working. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy a good vacation and a long weekend but it doesn’t mean I would like to do it all the time.

Being a stay at home mom is not my choice of lifestyle and I don’t ever think BF would expect me to stay at home all day if we ever had a child.  If he did it would be a clear sign that we were not meant to be together.

Photo from Pixabay