Costco offers the Kirkland Brand and it can save you a lot of money. Many of the Kirkland products are private label from big brands. I have linked several similar or exact private label with brands so you can take a look on your own. Costco has confirmed some of these; some are speculated, and some are close. Hope this helps save you some cash!
Dating has never been easier. Let me say that again… dating has never been easier. Dating during a pandemic may have been a slight blessing and let me tell you why.
Online profiles are a resume for dating. Use this as an opportunity to get what you want. Say it. Write it and Be Real. Think of yourself as a brand and what would the pic you are using tell about you? Your outfit? The location? If it’s not working for what you want, invest in you and write the profile or hire it done and get a photographer – put your best foot forward.
Swipe right – swipe left… like…don’t like…delete and keep looking.
When you have nothing to do…like no movie to catch, no friends to meet for dinner and no real vacation plans.. reality sits in. What is really important in life? What do you really want?
Everyone has a way to approach dating – apps, matchmakers, just lunch, blind dates, and friends. The dating life is like a job. Be attentive, listen, invest, and be selective.
The pandemic forces you to read, pay attention, and tend to what someone is saying. In the normal realm of dating, there are many distractions. There are the in-person interactions at a restaurant or a movie or hockey game are a distraction and can cloud what you know of the person. There are also the opinions of family, friends, and acquaintances who suggest – give it more time or this or that..
With a pandemic, there is not the clutter of others; no thoughts and opinions to cloud judgment – you are there to make your own decision. Since you are not hanging out with friends and family as much, the dating decisions are purely yours.
With the pandemic many dates are delayed because you are discovering and finding out – so zoom, google meet, phone, text, and chats allow for a conversation and ask difficult questions. Seeing someone on video allows you to see if their pic online was from 10 years ago, if they put on 10 pounds from profile pictures. If attraction is somewhat there, then over time- go in for the heavy hitter questions… you also have time to message a few people and interact on the phone, video, or by text or chat to see what you have in common. The weeding out process happens sooner and less emotion is involved when you are not having the face to face in person dates.
There are also certain apps for what you are looking for: Tawkify, Bumble, Match, Tinder, Hinge, And specific niche dating for example, farmers.
It is important to be true to you. If you gained some weight or have more wrinkles or whatever is happening, a good photographer can make you look more attractive. Basic clothing and casual looks fair well. Be confident in your skin and make sure to put your best foot forward.
There are thousands of profiles and you can feel like a member of an ebay auction. Advertise what you want and look for what you want.
Be transparent with your expectations and listen to what you are being told. If you do not like it, believe it and move on if you need to.
While getting to know someone ask the difficult questions – find out views on the things that might be harder to ask later when you are invested.
1. Do you ever see yourself getting married?
2. Do you see children in your future?
3. Are you married right now?
4. Have you had Coronavirus? And so on.
When it is time to actually meet, talk before about how you will handle the interaction. Due to Covid, what socially distanced location works well? What outdoor location is feasible? Then have the conversation about in person date. During the date, will you wear a mask? Will you maintain 6 feet apart?
Hopefully you have taken time to get to know the person and know their beliefs on Covid, life, and whether or not you want to spend more time with this person. Spend the time in the beginning to see if the foundation is there for more- whatever that is for you in your situation.
With 2021, it is the perfect time to evaluate your financial situation and improve your financial health.
Big Items First:
1. Pay Off Credit Card Debt
Make a list of your credit cards, your balances, and your payment date. Also make a call and check the APR or % you are paying per year for that balance.
Start with the largest amount and highest APR – and start focusing on getting it paid down. You may also look at the smallest balance and work to pay that off first. Just look at the options and get focused.
– The other credit cards- pay more than the minimum each month (even if a small amount over).
– Look at low balance transfers to move debt out of high interest credit cards. Transfer fees may be 3-5% but this is typically better than the interest rate on the credit card
– Depending on the debt, you may pay off the debt with a home equity loan. Home equity interest is deductible – also, caution to those who do not pay on time…failure to pay may lead to foreclosure on your home.
2. Trim that Budget
Now is a great time to cut the budget and stick to it. Cancel cable, dine out less, and shop at discount places or go through your closet. This can be temporary or permanent but is a flexible situation. Look at things you spend money on and consider making some changes.
3. Create a Will. And Medical Power of Attorney.
A will is important. Should you die, you decide the estate, the children (if you and a spouse pass), avoid probate (in many cases), make donations, decide who makes decisions (executor), minimize taxes, and you can disinherit anyone you want.
A medical power of attorney is someone authorized to make medical decisions on your behalf of you are incapacitated. Medical power of attorney representative decides on withdrawing, giving medical or surgical treatments.
4. Make extra mortgage payments.
Every little bit helps! $100 a month, an extra payment a year…anything over time can make a huge difference. Paying an extra payment per year will equate to years off the loan.
Any monies on selling items I had went to the mortgage fund. Over time, it made a huge difference.
5. Evaluate Purchases by Cost Per Use
Think about the hoodie – is the $30 really better than the $5.00 hoodie? Or if you are wearing it daily should you splurge on the better quality?
I am a huge proponent of this factor. There was an amazing pair of boots for $275 Marc Fisher boots – I knew I would wear them at most 15 times…I found the Walmart dupe for $24 and bought brown and khaki and still stayed way under budget. Don’t get me wrong – I love the Marc Fisher but I can find quite a few ways to spend approximately $225 that does not involve boots
6. Spend money on experiences and not things
If you are spending money, then make it mean something. A concert, a trip, a picnic, a basketball game – these items are much more fulfilling than things.
7. Plan for Retirement
After getting your debt under control, then focus on retirement. Working for a school district, options include 403b or 457 Roth so a lot of money can be saved with maximum benefits. The more money you put in today, the more time it has to grow through compound growth.
8. Curb Overspending
Most people overspend in 3 ways: overspend on house, overspend on car, and overspend on entertainment.
Think about the size of house and cost of what is best for you, consider a more affordable car or plan to keep it longer once it is paid for, and entertainment – the number of trips, dining out, etc.
Hope this helps you think about your spending and how you might curb some spending!
In a normal year, my travel is filled with adventures and travel throughout the year. From Dubai to New Zealand to Bora Bora to Patagonia or Safari in Africa; typically at least two or three trips of a lifetime planned each year.
The start of 2020 – thankfully two trips to Disney and a short work trip to Boston…then Covid…my vacation to the Maldives, Antarctica, Glacier Kayaking were all cancelled. Instead of 40 epic trips for my 40th birthday – I am learning about local Take-out like Grubhub and DoorDash.
This has not been the year of travel or the year of fun. So far, since March, two short boating trips to Lake Cumberland and that has been it.
After almost 9 months of no real travel, it was time to take a trip! Todd and I discussed a two night getaway and our plan was to stay safe, stay close to home, and to avoid people because of covid and to stay well limiting as many interactions as possible.
The Mohicans is a popular wedding destination near Mohican State Park – they offer treehouses, cabins, and a barn. It is located in Glenmont, Ohio – about 1.5 hours from Columbus, Ohio. After some discussion, Todd and I opted for the treehouses.
Luxury treehouses at the Mohicans is like staying in a tiny house with all the upscale modern amenities known to man. From the outside, these treehouses can be deceptive – definitely masterful in design and maximization of space.
The Mohicans offers 9 Treehouses; each with a unique design, furnishings, and amenities.
1. Little Red Treehouse: featured on Animal Planet – Treehouse Masters – Pete Nelson designed two places. Sleeps 2.
The treehouses sleep 2-6 people and are ideal for that much needed getaway. Every treehouse has parking, includes fire pit, and outdoor space whether a patio, deck, chairs or daybed.
The View Treehouse: Night 1
In order to book, you click the Book Now – and you can book your stay. Once you fill out the waiver and confirm your stay, you receive a code for your stay. There is a keypad on each front door.
We stayed at The View Treehouse that opened in 2020. We drove from Columbus and followed GPS to the exact location. The main driveway has signs that tell you the direction of each treehouse.
What Is the Treehouse Like?
The View Treehouse has incredible windows, small kitchen, bar eating area overlooking the trees, and a loft bedroom with 2 beds. The bathroom is fully functioning; including toilet, shower, and sink. There is a large deck and patio with a fire pit.
Indoor Full Bathroom, Outdoor Shower (warm weather), Kitchen (plates, silverware, cookware, sink ware, mini fridge, toaster, coffee maker, electric cooktop, hot water, tv/dvd (bring dvds- no cable or satellite), grill, electric heat, linens and towels. Soap, Shampoo and Conditioner is provided. Hair Dryer also available.
There is a small kitchen and you can cook. We took advantage of the amazing new option! In house catering! Just like DoorDash and Grubhub – the in house catering option was absolutely amazing!
Treehouse Provisions provided the most amazing feast for the two night stay. Our order consisted of:
Garlic and Parmesan Wings
Ribeye with roasted potatoes and veggies
Drew’s famous Mac & Cheese
Chef Drew Slane prepared the most amazing meal – his background as a graduate of Arizona Culinary Institute in Scottsdale, well versed in Mexican, Asian, French, Italian, Mediterranean, African, and American cuisine – executed amazing meal based on my dietary restrictions of allergy to peanuts, nuts, fish, and shellfish.
As a world traveler, the meal provided me an opportunity to feel like I was traveling as the food was delicious, was hands down some of the best food I have eaten and really hit the 5 Star Status. Highly recommend choosing to order your food. You will thank me later!
The Silver Bullet: Airstream Treehouse
So, I have always wanted to stay in an airstream and a treehouse. While 2020 was a bit of a bust for travel, I was able to mark these two items off my bucket list by staying at the Silver Bullet and it was incredible.
What was it like to stay in the Airstream Treehouse?
The Silver Bullet has one bedroom, kitchen, steam shower (extra large) and small kitchen. There is a DVD player and tv (no cable or satellite) and the large table made it perfect for cards, food, and movie watching.
It was perfect to start the New Year with snow falling and twinkle lights inside the airstream. The decor was exquisite. The beds were very comfortable- you are not experiencing a “roughing it experience” rather a rejuvenating, beautiful adventure in a treehouse with all modern amenities and stylish decor.
How to Book a Stay at the Mohicans
Go to The Mohicans website – select Treehouse and you can directly book. These treehouses have been featured on Animal Planet and are extremely popular – plan ahead and book early. Prices start around $300 per night.
Would you stay at the Mohicans Again?
We will definitely go back.
It was so nice to unwind and to be unplugged for a little bit. There is cell service but most likely not inside the treehouse. Make sure you book catering for your trip. The meal was warm; tasted amazing, and was exactly on time.
Note: I was a guest of The Mohicans. Would highly recommend this experience and look forward to returning soon!