Browsing Category


0 In Education/ Lifestyle

Financial Goals 2021

There are a lot of people who will tell you that you need to invest, you need to save, you need to xyz. It is hard to do those things when you are barely making ends meet. Right now, in COVID time, it is so hard to get ahead….if it is not one thing….it is truly something else.

What you can do: look at your situation… take a deep look and make plans to move forward. Think about selling that car, selling that place you live in… make life easier and worry less about what people think.

My gorgeous house was sold after 2 years and I was a tad sad about the place (you have seen pics! It was gorgeous) but it is a house….a house is not a home and it is best to let go of the ideal and live with reality. I am in the process of making my new reno better than that one anyway. It is still a process….life is a journey and remember to stay true to you.

I hope you continue reading because my goal is to help share a few secrets of mine that have added significant monies back into my account once I realized what was happening….

Let me start with……people mean well. People tell you things all the time- do this, save that, sometimes they just do not understand where you are. I can remember graduating college and making $20,000 a year at a small school district in Ohio. I can remember thinking – how am I going to pay everything? I will be the first to admit that I have had opportunities and my parents have been extremely generous and that is probably too mild. I can also say that I have busted my tail since high school to retire early and have wealth.

What do I mean? I started college during high school – it was post secondary and meant that my parents did not have to pay for part of my college – my brother and I both did this. It saved or shaved off at least $40,000 by attending the local community college. I know some people reading this may say- oh but there is a college experience – I will agree with you. I will also agree to disagree that by staying at home; I did not find myself in trouble, did not find myself having time to make poor choices, and also can say in hindsight…it might have helped find a suitable mate that would have lasted or gone the distance with me but who knows ?? I do know when I graduated with my Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree, Principal’s License, and Superintendent’s License – I had $0 debt. I started my Ph.D. program and started paying off my program one quarter at a time…it was expensive and my quality of life (travel, car, life- was impacted) and decided to take out student loans to the tune of $140,000 (more than my first house)

If I had taken out loans with my Bachelor’s Degree or Master’s – there is a good probability that I would not have been able to finish a Ph.D. with the cost required in funding – so again, Community College V. 4 Year School. Both pay the same when you get out and get a job.

Reverting back a minute, being fiscally responsible is important. I have tons of friends who blew through money; I always worked hard for what I have. My parents had my brother and I renovating houses, flipping houses, and building houses in our spare time – this paid the college tuition. I can remember my brother and I both being at Cedarville and I had just graduated – my brother was also doing the same business program and he was also running a multi-million dollar project for the military while holding down a full course load. I was playing college tennis, taking classes at 3 universities to finish at the age of 20.

My brother and I both have grit. We have extreme work ethic and a no failure policy. We fall down, but we get up stronger and learn from our mistakes…we have had plenty. With years in education, years in remodeling, and helping to sell/ building/ and flip houses; we have a skill set that is unique and provides for extras in our daily life. With that said, we put in an extreme number of hours to afford such things. We also have skills many people do not have: when I was a teacher and there was a snow day; I would help snow plow, snow blow sidewalks, and clear parking lots/ businesses for money. I have helped out on farms – driving a combine or driving a grain cart. I do not have a CDL (I regret not learning how to drive stick and not having a CDL, but if I wanted to do; I am sure I could) This comes in handy and will share in a few …

Back to finances….. how you can get it together in 2021 and have more money each month and can plan for the future? Below is google sheet with 3 tabs that is good for anyone, college, high school, or adult.

Sinking Funds Checklist

The Sinking Funds Checklist shows an example of my monthly fixed costs as well as the monthly incidentals that get ya! What can you eliminate…what can you see disappear?

On the second tab is a blank one so you can copy and save for yourself. Tab 3 shares the actual income, costs, additional funds, and tracks expenses – use this monthly.

Why is important to having a sinking funds checklist? To plan ahead of the expenses you have and to save at least 5 months for an emergency fund.

I did say 5 months of expenses – add those costs and that should be what you aspire to have in a savings account in case something happens….

When you look at my list, there are definitely things that could come off…ie spray tanning, but that also serves as an additional revenue for me. (Instagram and my blog) so you can definitely see some examples. There are also somethings I will point out and no judgement to others, but no drugs, no alcohol, no smoking: those costs add up…..I do have travel expenses and never feel bad about paying for those crazy outlandish costs – ie microlight over Victoria Falls, helicopter of Kauai, last minute flight to Amsterdam…..

Something I do recommend…is to consider thinking about revenue – how might you create another stream of income beyond your regular job that creates happiness or joy?

Do you like to organize (can you establish an organization business) or you love numbers and like accounting and can help out a small business on a part-time basis? or you like to be crafty and can design birthday kits for parents who cannot pinterest?

I personally have several revenues of income: I have created 2 apps that were sold by Apple and Google. I have created items on Teachers Pay Teachers, I sell things on ebay, mercari, facebook, and craigslist. I renovate houses, I consult on home projects/ design, write for blogs/ newsletters/ companies, provide content for companies via instagram, Amazon, and other famous companies (you might see my pics floating around), I instagram, blog, TikTok, Likee, and Zynn. All of which have paid me to do different things. My point is….hone your skills. Know yo Worth and Get At It.

I am going to share more on money each month…I have been asked at least 20 times in the last month on information to save, survive, and have. I will do better at blogging on that to help others.

Success does not happen by accident (for the most part) it is hours of planning, hours of working, and hours of trying to move forward. I also start with goals…..3 month, 6 month, and long term goals and write it down – which I will do here. I am not one for New Year’s Resolutions…I fall off the wagon every year, but with goals…..I seem to meet them.

3 Month Goals: (Small steps)

  1. REDO website: Make it aesthetically pretty and blog at least 2 times per week
  2. Gain more followers to my facebook page as well as followers to my blog (easier once new site is up)
  3. Learn how to use my Nikon d850 and Sony a7iii better
  4. Move into renovation house

6 Month Goals: (what do you want in June or where do you want to be)

  1. Learn more about Graphic Design. Make Pinterest and Blog more appealing to viewers
  2. Create content for 15 new companies
  3. Get the COVID vaccine
  4. Learn how to use a tripod well

Year Long Goals: (think future…what do you have coming up? House, Car, Baby, Wedding, Relocation)

  1. Save Money
  2. Max out the Roth IRA (457 and 403b)
  3. Improve Social Media Engagement
  4. Book Antarctica again without fear
  5. Save for Replacement of Lexi (my 6th Lexus)

There is a lot of information here…..

A couple books I recommend:

The 4 Hour Work Week

The Broke Millenial

The Millionaire Next Door

Okay, that is a lot. Hope you enjoyed



1 In Lifestyle/ Travel

Crazy, Random, and Interesting Travel Experience: Catching a Cheater

After getting a lot of requests to start writing about my life experiences and share the stories I tell friends…I am going to slowly venture out…..based on a true personal experience.

Back in 2010, I spent a summer out in Las Vegas and the other half in Hawaii – between Kauai and Maui. I spent that summer writing my dissertation and figured that leaving Ohio for a summer was a good bet for writing and researching. So, one may ask….how do you decide on Las Vegas and Hawaii?

I went out to Las Vegas as I had a friend out there who worked and planned to get my writing done during the day and planned on 4 weeks to get my research including interviews done during the day and time to walk around at night and sightsee as well as catch a few shows here and there on discount. After 4 weeks, planned to head to Hawaii – 2 weeks in Kauai and 2 weeks in Maui.

So….in Las Vegas, my parents and brother were concerned that I was going to be out of Ohio for 8 weeks and wanted to check in on me so they came out to spend a week – we went over the Grand Canyon on Helicopter, went to see Carrot Top (which I dearly love) and a few other epic adventures. On day 3, we opted to go and see different casinos. In Bally’s, we never go in there…and for whatever reason, my mom wanted to watch the “Price is Right” and she ended up on stage; long story short, she did not win. (not real tv version, just Las Vegas version)

When exiting, my mom and dad headed in one direction and I went to get in line for a massage. My brother was waiting with me. My dad comes over about 15 minutes later and said “you need to come see this” and I am like “I am not leaving this line” and dad was insistent….. I was like this better be worth it…

Dad said “your mom sees Samantha holding hands with some dude” and I am like….um “no way” and get out to the main area and sure enough…..

So, I was 30 and what did I do? I took a picture…and then called my relative (Samantha’s husband) and said “hey, if I know something I should not know, do you want me to tell you?”

My relative/Samantha’s husband was like…”uh….yes” and I asked “where is Samantha?” and he said “she is at a horse show in Indiana”

I was like “um….I am in Las Vegas and she is holding hands with a dude”

He was like “what, and I am like yep, here is a pic” and sent it

So, being the Heidi I am…..I go up to Samantha and give her a hug and say hey, I am talking with your husband, want to say hi? And if looks could kill, I would be totally dead.

Honestly figured my phone was going in the lobby fountain, but surprisingly it was not….so details right????

So, Samantha gets on the phone and talks to my relative/ her husband and said that the horse show in Indiana was cancelled and she was offered a free trip to Las Vegas for Mary Kay (the cosmetics company; no she does not work for them) and the guy she was holding hands with was helping her because her hand was cold.

Give me a break…. so she spun the web of lies……

Samantha was on the first plane out of Las Vegas (and we live in Ohio) and lied through her teeth….my dad, brother, mom and I all witnessed this chaos. My mom was the one who saw her, my dad was like –Heidi, Heidi, Heidi……I was in line to get a massage and was really upset about losing my spot in line…but to be honest, it was worth catching a cheater!

So really, let’s play the odds. What are the odds that I would be in Las Vegas, out there for 4 weeks; one of the weeks with the family; go into the casino at the same time and run into Samantha who is cheating on my relative? I did happen to play the lottery and did not win, though I wished I would have. My parents and brother flew home and I went on to Kauai.

After that, going to Kauai was like a dream…. Kauai has always been a magical place for me – I have been 10 times and just find it so beautiful and not commercialized. I booked a hotel with a balcony and wrote my dissertation. I stayed on schedule with writing and finished 8 days in and had the rest of the time to enjoy Kauai and then on to Maui….for two weeks of revisions and preparation for the defense.

So, you probably want to know what happened…….Samantha and my relative/ her husband did reconcile for a short period of time. There were other episodes of crazy and unexplainable and truth is hard when people are in love….they did separate and go their own ways. So what about that random dude….so he resurfaced later as the next target for Samantha… it did not last long….

I was awarded my Ph.D. in November of 2010 and graduation was in Miami, Florida in January 2011.

*Samantha is not her name – to protect the identity

If you liked this article, please make a comment or let me know what types of stories you would like to read about!

Follow me: @trendyheidi

Trendy With A Passport – Blog



0 In Family/ Lifestyle

20 Best Classic Christmas Movies to Watch This Holiday Season

Plan a Christmas movie night with easy ideas, recipes, and 20 Best Christmas Movies, Invite some friends and make it a party! Adults and kids will love this movie countdown!

1. Rudolph

2. Charlie Brown Christmas

3. Home Alone

4. Elf

5. Polar Express

6. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

7. White Christmas

8. The Holiday

9. A Christmas Story

10. How the Grinch Stole Christmas

11. It’s A Wonderful Life

12. The Santa Clause

13. Miracle on 34th Street

14. Love Actually

15. Mickey Christmas

16. Prancer

17. Frosty

18. Christmas Chronicles

19. Fred Clause

20. Die Hard

Christmas — time with family and friends is golden. Embrace the opportunity to watch a movie, two, or three this season!

Follow me on Instagram

Or on my other Social Media

0 In Lifestyle

NYE Captions for Your Instagram Posts

Put on your best sparkly dress and pop some champagne because New Year’s Eve is just around the corner.

Focus on the party instead of struggling to find that perfect instagram caption for your final post of the year or the new beginning.

1. 12 New Chapters, 365 new chances

2. Less bitter, more glitter

3. Trust the magic of new beginnings

4. You were my cup of tea, but I drink champagne now

5. Be patient, the universe has your back

6. Page 1 of 365

7. New year, same me- because I’m already fabulous

8. A lot can happen in a year

9. New year, new me

10. Sometimes all we need is a fresh start

11. This is your year to sparkle

12. Trust the magic of new beginnings

13. New Year, New Adventures

14. New Year, Same BFF/ Boyfriend

15. This is OUR year

16. …and the adventure begins yet again

17. 2020 is more money, more laughter, less stress, less negativity, less worry, more love, and know God better

18. New year. New feels. New chances. Same dreams.

19. Sparkling into the new year like…

20. I trust the next chapter, because I know the author

21. I would lose weight for my New Year’s resolution, but I hate losing

22. This year I will live the moment

23. There is no end, just a new beginning

24. A thousand mile adventure begins with just one step

25. A year ago, I never would’ve pictured my life the way it is now

Have a Great New Year’s Eve!

Follow me on instagram



0 In Budget/ Fashion/ Lifestyle/ Style

Boots to Add To Your Christmas List

We are partnering with Mukluk’s for today’s blog

It’s almoooost Christmas…and like that… it’s here! I love this time of year for a lot of reasons! The colder temperatures, the sweaters, and most of all boots!

This year is a little different than past year’s but shopping from the couch will have to do! Time to dive in and take a look at some amazing boots to pick up this season!

Earlier this fall, I was wearing tennis shoes and visited my renovation house and a 4” nail went into my foot. Ended up with a tetanus shot (my last one was 5 years ago) – it was a rusty nail and ended up taking antibiotics and the shot – now I wear boots when going to the house! The pair seen above are Ingrid Boot and I now wear these to my reno house often!

Once you find a boot that fits well, you stick with them! Mukluks are an amazing brand and have purchased them for years. The Nikita Boot is so soft and chic. It is almost like wearing a pair of slippers.

The Ingrid Boot is perfect for jeans or leggings and can be worn just about anytime. The Ingrid Boot slips on easily. The boots can be worn in a casual way or can be dressed up.

The Logan Boot is popular and when it comes in stock; it typically sells out! It is a classic style and is higher than the Ingrid – has a little more character with the style. The Logan Boot is another slip on and does keep your feet extremely warm.

The right pair of boots and the left pair of boots. The Patrice Boot (left) is cute, small block heel, with fashionable knit overlay. The Verna (right) is a cozy pair of boots with cozy faux fur – cute enough for family pictures and rugged enough for a hike. Here is a pic of my mom and I hanging out at my place. Funny story here, we were just talking about how to capture a picture of the boots and this one was snapped with Coco – turned out spectacular.

The Chris Boot is stylish and the heel provides a bit of a dressier feel. The heel is higher than it looks. It is an ankle boot and is stylish; these are not hiking boots.

The Lacy Boot is ideal for leggings or tight pants. The Lacy fashion boot had a decorative side zipper with a plush lining and block heel.

As I wrap up my final thoughts, I am snuggled near the fireplace with my Verna Boots and can say that these are cozy and comfy! Mukluks are true to size. I am wearing a size 8 in all the boots.

Let me know if you own or pair or make a purchase!

Check out Mukluks Boots.

Follow me Trendy With A Passport

On Instagram Trendyheidi