Friday Faves: I’m in Philly


Good morning Loves and Happy Friday.  As you read this I am in Philadelphia enjoying an extra long weekend.  I’m attending The SITS Girls Women Get Social conference and I’m extremely excited to meet up with all the lovely ladies from The SITS Girls community.

I have always wanted to go to Philadelphia and BF’s favorite NFL team is the Philadelphia Eagles so we’re both really excited to be in Philly this weekend.  If you have a favorite place to eat or visit in Philadelphia drop me a note on Twitter and let me know, I’m always looking for fun things to do.

Enjoy these great posts from our friends over at The SITS Girls:

Chasing Joy – 5 Years Without Dad

Housewives of Frederick County – 7 Essentials for C.A.M.P.I.N.G

AMusing Foodie – Honey Lemon Zucchini Bread

Family Balance Sheet – What’s Next for ME?

Simply Stavish – Summer Bucket List

Char Power – My First Job

Photo from Flickr

Choosing a Practice Trading Account

Whenever you think of trading online, do you feel a simultaneous stab of curiosity and anxiety? Online investing platforms have made it easy for anyone at all to invest and trade, but even if you know all the basics, the idea of getting online and putting your money on the barrel can be a little intimidating. However, the answer to this fear is to get a practice account where the money you spend is imaginary though the tools you use are real!

What Is a Practice Account?

A practice account, also known as a demo account or a dummy platform, gives you a certain amount of virtual money to play with. Once you have access to the account, you will use your virtual money just like you would use your real money. You will buy and sell using real-time information but without risking real money. You will not make any money off of this endeavor, but you will see how you are doing with the fake cash. You will see how you compare to other investors and you will see how much money you make or lose.

Amazing Resources

Some people prefer to simply try out their trading skills using their own record keeping systems or even on pencil and paper. While there is nothing wrong with that, and people absolutely learned how to trade without risk in that fashion, using a practice account is a much better way to learn and to grow. There are going to be educational and informational resources on the practice account that you will not have access to otherwise, and these tools are worth the sign-up fee if only because you will learn much faster.

Market Research

You will have the same resources that the actual traders get, and you will practice with the market research tools that you will go on to use as a trader. This is something that can make a huge difference to how comfortable you are with trading later on, and it is a good way to ease into the process without feeling like you have to learn a brand new system at the same time. Once you find a good practice program, you will have the ability to make your transition into your actual use of the program much easier and much more straightforward. This is something that can make a huge difference to your success as a trader!

If you are curious about trading but you are unwilling to put your money on the table until you have more information, a practice account is exactly what you need to make the leap. Consider practicing with your account until you feel comfortable, testing your trading strategies and not spending real money until you are ready!

Spending extra for convenience


Good morning loves.  Last weekend I went home for a family reunion and let me tell you I had a blast.  Every year my extended family, aka my Dad’s oldest friends from childhood who also happen to all be related to each other as well as my God parents, host a family barbeque.  It’s a chance to see all my “uncles, aunts and cousins” (who are of course not related to me by blood) as well as their spouses and children.

Spending the long weekend with family

This year we had approximately 80 people who came out to spend a day in the park.  We ate lots of great food, had a ton of drinks, played volleyball, had a water balloon toss, enjoyed a pie eating contest and basically just had a great time.

I wasn’t planning on attending the family reunion this year because I haven’t spent a long weekend at home all summer.  I was busy travelling and taking advantage of the warm summer months.  So this Labor Day weekend I thought I would stay home.  However after several text messages from my sister telling me that I would be the only person not in attendance and one phone call from my Dad actually offering to pay for my trip – I was guilted in to going.

Travelling the cheapest way is not always the best way

The truth is I actually didn’t want to miss the reunion because it’s always great to see my family, but for once I just wanted to stay home, sleep in and relax in my apartment.  I didn’t take my Dad up on his offer to pay for the trip and I started looking into last minute travel options.

I love taking the train, it’s actually my preferred method of travel because security in airports is a hassle and driving makes me sleepy.  However the last minute train prices were more than I wanted to pay (since I didn’t have a planned budget for this last minute trip) I decided to book a trip on Megabus.

Have you ever taken Megabus?  The concept sounds very appealing; it’s a double decker bus that allows limited assigned seating and tables for drinks and workstations.  The travel time was only one hour longer than the train and the price was half the cost.  I thought it was a win-win; until I actually got on the bus.

Spending for convenience

The one factor that I didn’t take into consideration was the fact that a bus travels on the roads and a train is off road on tracks.  My one hour of extra travel time turned into two hours with traffic and I was late for the barbeque.  There is nothing more that I hate than sitting in traffic; it’s a waste of time and I am extremely impatient.

At the end of the weekend I decided that I just couldn’t get back on another bus so I booked a very last minute train ticket.  If I would have just taken the train both ways it would have saved me a lot of time and actually cost less than the bus ticket plus the last minute train ticket.  Lesson learned.

Have you ever spent a little extra money for convenience?

Photo from Flickk

3 back to school lessons from Pitch Perfect


Good morning Loves.  I know what you’re thinking, “Acca-cuse me”.  For all you Barton Bella and Barton Treble maker fans out there believe me when I say you’ve found a friend.  Please feel free to leave your favorite Pitch Perfect reference below, I promise to respond – most likely with the next line in the movie because I pretty much know it by heart.  Pitch Perfect is just one of those movies that I could watch over and over again without ever getting bored.  Another one of these movies for me is Clue, but that’s a whole different conversation.

This weekend I had a back to school movie marathon that included Center Stage, Easy A, Pitch Perfect and The Social Network.  I don’t know why but there is just something about the last weekend of summer that gets me all excited, even though I’m not going back to school.

What was your favorite thing about college?

As I watched the students at Barton University attend the activities fair, relax in the quad and make new friends I started thinking about my own college experience.  I attended a school with a campus in the middle of a metropolis.  Unfortunately I didn’t have the benefit of a big campus full of trees and green spaces; however that was my choice.  I wanted to go to school in a big city because I wanted to get as far away from my small hometown as possible,  at the time I didn’t know that I would be missing out.

Now that I’m older (Yes I know that 33 is not yet qualified as old) I can look back at  particular moments in my life and learn from my choices.  Now I can say “Oh if I only knew then what I know now.”  My college experience is one of those moments.  So here we are;  this is my shoulda, coulda, woulda list from college.

3 lessons from Pitch Perfect that will make your college life acca-mazing

1. Join a club, it will make your life easier.  Throughout the movie Bella’s Dad tells her to “Join in”.  My parents wanted me to have the full college experience, but they never expressed the importance of joining a club or organization.  It’s an easy way to make friends and it’s also a great way to always feel like you belong to something.  Sometimes college can be lonely and meeting other students with similar interests is comforting.

2. Don’t be afraid to open up.  Jessie and Bella’s relationship starts as colleagues then blossoms into a friendship and eventually into a romance, but it practically takes an entire school year for the feelings to develop.  College is the time to try new things, it’s definitely not the place to be shy.  This September if you are headed back to school get out of your comfort zone and try something new.

3. Just be yourself.  I think everyone can relate to some character in the movie Pitch Perfect.  Whether you are introverted, a born leader, the silent side kick or just the girl who likes to be alone there is a character for you.  These girls are so different but singing accapella music brings them together.  The best example of this is the character Fat Amy.  She owns her flaws and she is who she is – she never apologizes for it and neither should we.  

Photo from Flickr