Monday Motivation: November 14, 2016

Happy Monday! It’s been a while since I’ve been motivated to blog myself, some in part to the election last week. Enough crying, now it’s time to do something about it! Here’s some motivation to start off your week + get you energized to make the positive change that you want to see in the world. Let’s do it!

Have a wonderful week!

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How I Fly For Free

If I could split up all my expenses into two categories it would be eating and traveling. Ok fine, we’ll throw shopping in there, too 😉 But looking at my Mint budget over the last 6 months (more on budgeting with Mint coming soon!), it’s easy to see that this where I spend the majority of my money, and I’m sure most people are in the same boat. If you think about it, eating and taking trips revolves around experiencing things with yourself or with other people — it’s how we make + keep relationships. So, it makes sense that I invest a lot of money in these two categories.

As a millennial + new(ish) member of the real world, I’m always on the lookout for how to get the best bang for my buck. Every credit card out there offers some type of reward, mostly by giving you back a percentage of your purchases in cash. I have a few of these cards myself (Citi Cash Rewards, Bank Of America) + while they’re dependable, good cards to have, I haven’t found a better rewards program than that of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. So much so that I feel that I have to share it with you.

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I just came back from an awesome, week-long trip to New York City + yesterday I booked a weekend away to Tucson, Arizona, both completely paid for by my Chase points. No, I did not spend a ton of extra money just to get points. Here’s how I racked up over 100,000 points in 6 months:

  • Chase rewards 1 point per dollar spent on all purchases, and for food + travel related expenses you get 2 points per dollar. I just moved my food + travel expenses over to my Chase card + the points started racking up.
  • If you refer someone to the Chase Sapphire card you both get 50,000 additional points (sometimes more, depending on the current deal). Thanks to a referral, I had over 60,000 points within 3-4 months of opening my account.
  • Chase has partnered with tons of retailers to award more points per dollar. For example, you can earn 5 points per dollar at Sephora, just by paying with your Chase card.

Now that you have all these points, how + where can you use them?

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Chase’s Ultimate Rewards Dashboard

  • I’ve used mine primarily on travel simply by booking through their Ultimate Rewards home. You can book any flights + hotels right from their dashboard, or transfer your points to one of the airline or hotel programs they partner with.
  • Buy gift cards or products
  • Get cash back!
  • Book experiences like private dinners, sports games, shows, etc. (I’m considering flying back to NYC for the Christmas Spectacular show at Madison Square Garden)

 

 

Phew! That’s a lot of info to take in, but if you take anything away from this post let it be that you need the Chase Sapphire Preferred card in your life. Might as well let your daily lunches + dinners pay for your next vacation! Not to mention that the card is heavy + so sleek, you immediately feel like a millionaire when you whip that baby out. I hope you’ll join me in the Chase family + let’s book our next (free) trip together!

(NOTE: This is not a sponsored post. I just really love Chase that much.)

Monday Motivation (on Wednesday): October 25, 2016

Happy Hump Day! This post is coming to you a bit later this week because I just got back from a week-long trip to New York. I had so much fun meeting up with friends, walking around the city + trying out so many restaurants! More on my trip later…for now, here’s some motivation get you through the rest of the week + to Halloween!

  • I recently ate at Delancey, a pizza restaurant in Ballard, and it was definitely worth the hype. If you’re in the Seattle area I highly recommend trying it out + make sure to get there early — they usually have about an hour long wait!
  • Found this rug through one of the many interior design blogs I follow. It’s on sale, too!
  • I’m a huge fan of Hamilton after seeing it on Broadway + was so excited to see Lin Manuel-Miranda hosting SNL. His monologue is a-m-a-z-i-n-g.

Have a wonderful start to your day + finish off this week strong!

Monday Motivation: Oct 10, 2016

Happy Monday! This weekend turned out to be way busier than I expected. It’s the start of the Diwali season for Hindus, so there are always tons of events to go to. On top of that, I hosted a jewelry pop-up for Chloe+Isabel, a company I’ve been working with for 2 years, + that pretty much took up my entire Sunday. More on that later! For now, here’s some motivation to get your Monday going.

  • There’s a healthier + easier alternative to making popcorn than buying the butter-filled packets. I can’t wait to try it!
  • For my pop-up, I wanted to make a few fall dishes. Since I had tons of apples from apple picking last weekend, I made a few apple-based dishes including this baked apple brie. Delicious + quick, definitely making it again!
  • While I wait for my usual podcasts to release new episodes, I stumbled upon this list of good podcast episodes. I love this because you get a taste for the podcast + they really are awesome episodes! Give them a listen!
  • I’ve been working with interior designers to redo my place for a while (look for a few posts on that soon), + that’s made me peruse design websites non-stop. I found this line of cookware that is extremely good quality, comes in a bunch of colors, + is sold at Nordstrom — done!

Have a wonderful Monday! Stay tuned for a new post on budgeting coming this week!

Monday Motivation: Oct 3, 2016

Happy Monday, Happy October, + Happy Mean Girls Day!! I’m SO excited that it’s officially Fall. I actually prefer the gloomy weather to the intense heat of the summer — I know, I’m crazy. This past weekend we kicked off the season with a fun day on the farm, complete with apple picking, a corn maze, yummy fall treats + a tractor ride! Now that we’re heading into the work week, here’s some motivation to keep the Fall spirit alive.

  • This recipe comes from the same blog as last week’s coconut kale stir fry, + it was just as good! Required a little more preparation with the cauliflower, but I absolutely loved it. Definitely bookmarking future recipes from this blog!
  • Fall calls for blanket scarves! I found this article for tons of ways to wear one.
  • If you’re like me, you’ve been following fashion week through all the social media. And in the midst of all the runways, there’s one that stood out — the first collection with hijabs!
  • Recently, I’ve been really into trying new recipes + stumbled upon these funny GIFs of the Barefoot Contessa herself, Ina Garten!

Hope you have a wonderful start to Fall!

Monday Motivation: Sept 26, 2016

Happy Monday! This weekend was so much fun a. Because it wasn’t surrounding a trip I came back from or was starting on and b. Because the weather just so beautiful! It was the epitome of perfect Seattle fall weekends. I took advantage of the weather on Saturday and spent the day on Bainbridge Island — it’s only a 30 minute ferry ride from the city + it feels like a whole different world! Definitely heading back soon + will write a post about it! I spent Sunday watching some football, attending family events + catching up on errands. All in all a great weekend! I hope yours was exactly what you needed. Here’s some motivation to start off your last week of September (what?!).

  • I just made this with my brother last week + it was SO delicious. Plus, the only weird ingredient here is coconut flakes + those last for months. So worth it!
  • Chrome users, checkout this list of free Chrome extensions that will make your life better. I’ve heard of a few of them before, but these are all pretty cool additions.

And, since I dropped the ball on a second post last week you’ll be getting two new posts this week! Follow this page (button at the bottom of the screen) to be notified as soon as a new post goes up. Have a wonderful week!

Monday Motivation: Sept 19, 2016

Happy Monday! I’m starting off this week back in Pittsburgh, PA to recruit at my alma mater, Carnegie Mellon University. It’s pretty exciting being back and seeing all the changes the school’s gone through, which simultaneously reminds me of how old I am…le sigh. I can tell it’s going to be a good week, so here’s some fun stuff from around the web to boost yours!

  • I just can’t avoid politics with the upcoming election. I’m very strongly pro-Hillary, and this read on what Trump means for America shines a light on why.
  • I’ve posted about The Moth before, but if you haven’t had a chance to check out the live event yet listen to a few of the stories here!
  • The phrase “the camera adds 10 pounds” is actually kind of true.

Have a great start to your week!

Monday Motivation: Sept 12, 2016

Happy Monday! It’s been a while since I’ve posted + I’ve missed it so! I got back last night from a trip to China with my family — it was our last one before my brother goes to college + so much fun! Look out for a post about our trip soon! Until then, here’s some much needed Monday Motivation. Enjoy!

  • Anyone love wine as much as I do? I saw these Spanish-style wine glasses + think they would look so good on a bar cart!
  • With all the recent turmoil going on in the world, I was especially upset about the Burkini ban in parts of France. Read about its effects from a Muslim girl’s point of view.
  • On that note, this little girl seems to have some ideas for President Obama on how to make the country better.
  • This graph on how to leave a party is so funny, and sadly, kind of necessary.

Enjoy your Monday evening!

Monday Motivation: Aug 29, 2016

Happy Monday! This weekend was filled with parties for every occasion — birthdays, graduations, going aways, weddings, and plain old end-of-summer celebrations. It was so fun seeing so many friends + family, but it definitely didn’t give me enough time to prepare for this week. I have a crazy few days coming up — I go on-call at work + am leaving for a family vacation to China on Saturday! More on that later…for now, here’s some Monday motivation!

  • With an upcoming vacay, I really needed this article on how to pack like a minimalist traveler. I always end up packing SO. MUCH. and use only half of what I bring. Hopefully this trip will be different!
  • This is a blog by + for millennials, so I had to mention this article all about how millennials don’t take enough vacation. Apparently, we’re the cause for companies giving less vacation days. Start booking your Fall trips + use those babies up!
  • Did you see these moments of Ina Garten aka the Barefood Contessa? They made me smile 🙂

 

Monday Motivation: Aug 22, 2016

Happy Monday! We had record high temperatures in Seattle this weekend and a bajillion parties to attend as a result. It was so fun celebrating so many graduations, birthdays, and send-offs, so much fun in fact, that I took the whole Sunday to recuperate 😉 Nothing like some motivation to start the last week of August with a bang!

  • I have to try this recipe out. It looks healthy, yummy, and easy to make, which is perfect for someone like me who is not at all a chef.
  • My carry-on suitcase handle broke on a recent trip so I’m on the lookout for a new case. I’ve heard about “smart” suitcases, but the Away case seems to be the most reliable + well-reviewed so far. It has a USB port on the case so you can charge your devices wherever you are, and comes with a ton of compartments — the real selling point for an organizing freak like me 🙂
  • The Summer Olympics are over, but it’s always a good time to look back at one of the greatest gymnasts of all time — Simone Biles.

Hope you have a great start to your week!