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Do you pay to be pretty?

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I think to a certain extent we all do. We buy face wash to keep blemishes away, we buy hair cream to control the frizz and we buy scented creams to keep our skin youthful and soft.  So here’s my questions, why do we spend so much money to look pretty?

It makes us feel good

I personally love pampering myself and as self centered and completely superficial as it sounds buying beauty products makes me feel good about myself.  I know there are moms all around the world who are telling their daughters right now that they don’t need to wear makeup to be pretty – and that’s true.

But what if we (as daughters) want to do it?  What if we know we don’t need to buy mascara and lipstick to be pretty but what if we want to because it makes us feel good?  Does that make it O.K.?

It boosts our self esteem

My answer would be yes.  I am by no means a glamazon.  I don’t wake up an hour early in the morning to get full hair and makeup done before I leave for work.  I wake up 30 minutes before I have to leave, throw my hair in a ponytail and grab breakfast on the go.  However I never leave my home without lip gloss and perfume.

I wear glasses so eye makeup is a complete waste on me.  However I do invest in a good lip gloss that gives my pale Eastern European skin some color and a Benefit powder because it makes my skin look smooth and hides the shine.

Call me self obsessed but it really boost my self esteem when boys turn their head on the street to look at me (even though I’ve been living with BF for 16 years).  In my opinion $7 for lip gloss and $30 for foundation powder is well worth my self esteem.

Everything in moderation of course

To my own dismay I don’t look like Nicki Minaj or Gisele Bundchen and that’s O.K. I’m sure I could if I wanted to (with the help of a good plastic surgeon) but I’m just not willing to pay $50,000 to do so.  Trust me when I say I wish I did look like a supermodel, but that’s just not me.  I’m the girl who cherishes a good lip gloss if it’s on sale and spends $60 on a massage three times a year, and that’s about it.

If making yourself feel good is how you want to spend your money then I say do it.  But there’s a difference between supermodel envy and giving your natural beauty a little boost.  Being obsessed with your own looks can only lead to extreme measures and that can’t be good for your health or your wallet.

Photo from I’d Pin That

It’s my Do-What-You-Want Day

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Happy Friday Loves! At least it is for me.  Well actually Friday’s are always happy because they are my Do-Whatever-You-Want Day.  Some call it a cheat day, some call it I need a break day, no matter how you choose to label it this is the one day of the week that I don’t live by rules.

I can wear jeans to work

At my office we’re allowed to wear jeans on Fridays.  This definitely starts the day off on the right foot.  The vibe is more relaxed but surprisingly I don’t slack off.  The fact that I’m comfortable is a huge help to my creative process.

I hate leaving things pending so I use Friday’s to catch up on everything I didn’t have time to do during the week, then I can leave for the weekend without any worries.

I eat whatever I want

Within reason of course.  I don’t stuff my face with unhealthy food all day, but if I want to grab an ice cream cone after lunch or a Frappuccino from Starbucks in the afternoon I do it and I do it guilt free.  I don’t bring my lunch to work on Friday’s and try to meet up with friends.

Of course I still get my portions of fruits, veggies and water in for the day but I don’t stick to as strict of a diet as I usually do throughout the week.  Having one day a week were I can just live without any rules makes me feel like I’m not sacrificing too much when it comes to saving money and healthy eating.

Good night’s sleep

One of the best things about Friday is knowing when I wake up the next day it’s Saturday.  I can go to bed without running through my list of things to do the next day and I can lay in bed watching TV as late as I want because I know that I don’t have to wake up to an alarm clock in the morning.  I really hate my alarm clock.

Is this just me or do you love Friday nights too?  I know this may sound crazy but I really look forward to Saturday (and Sunday) morning breakfasts.  I will do anything for an extra few minutes of sleep so I usually grab breakfast to go during the week.  However on Friday night I look forward to waking up Saturday morning to French Toast or Pancakes.

It’s totally perfect.

Photo from Pixabay

 

Getting the Best Currency Exchange Deal

money-79657_1280Changing money is something that most people do not do every day, but it is something most of us do at some point in our lives. Increasingly people are buying properties abroad, sending money to family members who have moved or who are studying overseas, so I thought a quick piece about how to get the best currency exchange deal would be of use to many of you.

Things have changed

While researching this piece I looked at several options and was pleasantly surprised to find that because of p2p currency exchange services the cost of changing money has fallen. It is now possible for private individuals to get rates that are very close to those offered by businesses and provided you use the right firm the fees are far lower than they used to be.

However, as with all things in life it is important to do your research and shop around for the best deal. The more money you are sending abroad the more important it is to do this. If you are sending money abroad on a monthly basis paying more than you need to in fees or getting a poor exchange rate can end up costing you hundreds.

The approach laid out below should stop this from happening.

Choose a trustworthy firm

The first step is to draw up a list of firms that you can trust. When you find a potential candidate pop along to their fees page and get an idea of what they charge. If it looks like a good deal (see below for more advice about this) check to see that they are registered with the authorities.

Which regulating authority money exchange firms should be registered with varies from country to country. The important thing is to find the firms registration details, note then down, and go to the regulators website and make sure that the firm really is registered with them.

Understand the fees

You need to find a firm that offers a good service and charges a fair price. To do this you need to understand the following fees and costs:

The exchange rate – this is perhaps the most important variable to understand. What the exchange rate is makes a huge difference to how much money is sent to the foreign account.

Account set up fees – some firms charge you to set up an account with them. Unless they offer exceptionally low fees and a great exchange rate, it is rarely worth paying a fee to set up an account.

Bank charges – you should also check how much your bank and the recipient’s bank will charge per transaction. This is not something the currency firm has any control over, but it is important to factor this cost in.

Transaction fees – most firms charge some sort of transaction fee. How much varies greatly from firm to firm.

 

Other charges – always ask for a quote and double check that there are no hidden fees.

 

By following these tips, you can relax knowing that you will get the best currency exchange deal, and will be able to spend the money you save on something nice.

Start Running Outside This Summer

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Good morning Loves.  How do you like to get your fresh air and sunshine during the gorgeous summer months?  I love being outdoors and try to be out in the fresh air as much as I can.  Given my hectic work schedule and the rain we’ve had up here in the Northeast I admittedly haven’t been outside as much as I would like to.  But I’m not complaining.  Knowing that the cold winter is only a few months away I will take any time outside that I can get.

One of the things I really love doing is walking around outside.  There are several running paths around the water in our new apartment and I am slowly but surely discovering them all.  As you may remember I don’t workout outside very often because the concrete is harsh on my lower back.  However walking seems to be OK.  At least once a week I like to grab all my gear and head outside.

If you’re new to the great outdoors here’s everything you need to workout outside:

Sunglasses

This is definitely something you don’t need in the gym, but when you’re working out outside it’s a must.  Whether you’re running at dawn or at dusk the summer sun is shining bright.  A good pair of sunglasses that don’t slip make your run a lot easier.  I know a lot of people like Oakley glasses for sports because they are tight and comfy at the same time.

Sun screen

Walking outside for an hour really helps work on my tan.  I like to walk at twilight during the week but on the weekends getting out in the middle of the day helps my usually pale skin get a sun kissed look.  However I do it safely while wearing sunscreen.  I like the Coppertone spray suntan lotion for sports.  It’s not greasy and it seems to absorb better than the cream.

Good shoes

As you know good running shoes are the one part of my workout wardrobe that I’m actually willing to pay a good amount of money for.   Thanks to my lower back problems I can’t take any risks when running on the treadmill at the gym.  The same is true when running outside.

The concrete of roads and sidewalks are naturally more harsh on the joints than the cushioned treadmill so if you’re going to start running outside my advice is to invest in a good pair of shoes.  My last pair of runners were Muzino and I really loved them.  I just bought New Balance runners and so far they’re great.

Somewhere to keep your keys

When you’re outside you don’t have a gym bag and a locker or a cup holder for all your stuff.  So how do you bring everything you need?  Secret pockets.  I keep my iPhone in an arm band and there’s also room for my credit card or $5 cash in case I need it.  I also bring my iPhone when I workout outside instead of my iPod for safety reasons.  It lets me contact BF if I need to.  I have a little wristband that has a pocket where I can keep my house key.  Neither item adds a lot of extra weight so it doesn’t affect my stamina.

Photo from I’d Pin That