Where Have I Been & A 30 Before 30 Update!

Home Sweet Home // Being Leanna

I’ve missed you guys!

Wow, it has been a long time since I’ve showed up here to say hello. I thought i’d take a nice summer break and here we are in mid September. I figured i’d only need a couple weeks before I wanted to come back, maybe a month or two tops and it’s been 4 whole months. Where does the time go?

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you might know that I disappeared because I bought a house! I wanted to take the time to be able to pack, move, and unpack before coming back to blogging. And then I wanted to get all settled in the new house. And now I realize that will probably take me years to be fully settled. People always say that it takes time to make a house a home but i’m very impatient and wanted everything perfect right away. I’ve learned to be more patient now that I’ve been here for three months. 

As I write this i’m sitting in my living room that only has two things hung up: a clock by the door and a huge “Home” sign that you may have seen on Instagram. They’re the only two things up in my whole house. It’ll get there. I have plenty of before and after pictures of the projects I’ve done that i’ll be writing some detailed posts about when I get the chance.

Now that i’m back, i’m not sure what my schedule will be like yet. I will be back again this week with a more detailed “what i’ve been up to post” because i’ve done more than just buy a house in the past three months. The more important reason I chose to come back today is that it’s been a year since I wrote my 30 before 30 post so i’m due for an update! 

Yes, that also means it was my 28th birthday on Sunday! So, lets see what I’ve checked off in the last year. Unfortunately, there’s still a ton more to do so I’ve got to get my butt moving this year!  

30 Before 30 // Being Leanna

30 before 30

-Go to Iceland

-Head out to the west coast

-Do a vacation to just relax, I don’t always need to be exploring

-Go ziplining flying adventures here! I did this for my 27th birthday and it was a blast! You can read about my

-Go parasailing *Almost happened, better luck next summer

-Get paid for a blog post

-Buy a house – I closed on my house June 27, 2017! I cannot wait to show you guys the before and afters!

-Go to a blogging conference or beauty con, can’t decide

-Get a promotion at work * only 6 more months of my traineeship left!

-Design my own blog template *started this but haven’t finished

-Read 50 books *about halfway there!

-Date No details :-]

-Say “yes” for a full day

-Get a new car

-Sell something I’ve made

-Learn to let things go *As much as I can anyways :-]

-Try a new workout routine, anything I haven’t tried before *I may have mentioned this but i’ve been going to Pilates consistently since April!

-Run a 5k, 10k if i’m feeling good

-Go to a concert at SPAC or Tanglewood

-Splurge on a super fancy meal/hotel/night outPhiladelphia * When I went to I treated myself to a nice dinner all by myself and it was wonderful!

-Host a dinner party once I own my own house * I hosted a kickoff party, dinner party is next on my list!

-See the northern lights

-Throw a big 30th birthday party

-Splurge on a nice clothing item or accessory

-See a NY Giants game *Going in October!!!

-Pay down my student loans as much as possible

-Ride in a hot air balloon

-Work on getting better at Italian

-Adopt a cat once I get my own house * I am now the proud momma to 2 kittens. Check out my Instagram for adorable pictures of them

-Learn to get better at communicating my feelings, i’m trying! * I’ve gotten much better at communication in general this past year but it’s still a work in progress!

What’s next?

I have definitely made a significant dent in my 30 before 30 list and I think I can do even better this year. i’ll be able to focus more on the fun stuff like riding in a hot air balloon, paying down my student loans and heading to the west coast this year! Let’s hope I can get that all done before i’m thirty. 

Be sure to keep an eye out later this week for a more detailed “What I’ve been up to” kind of post. I’ve missed you all and i’m so glad to be back. Leave a comment below so I know i’m not just talking to the void after being gone for 4 months. Whoops!


7 Tips To Help You De-Stress 17

7 Tips To Help You De-Stress

Oh hey, hi, how are you?

In case you haven’t noticed, I haven’t been around these parts for a little while. I’ll be the first to admit that I can get overwhelmed pretty easily. I can be a bit of a control freak so when things are up in the air it makes me stressed. In my last post, I mentioned that i’m in the process of buying a house. If you haven’t bought a house before, it’s pretty stressful. As someone who worked at a financial institution for 4 years, I thought I was well prepared for the process. I was not. So today, I thought i’d share how I’ve been dealing with my stress in hopes that it might help some of you through a stressful situation. 


7 Tips To Help You De-Stress

7 Tips To Help You De-Stress 

// Make a list and prioritize it

I am a huge list maker. Every day I write a to do list and it helps me so much. I really think everyone can benefit from utilizing a daily or weekly to do list. To take it a step further, I highly suggest prioritizing that list. Write things in order of importance. Things you absolutely need to get done that day, or week and put them first. The smaller, less important things can be done once you get the more important things taken care of. The benefit of making a list is that you have a visual representation of everything that needs to be accomplished. You won’t have to keep trying to remember certain things because it’ll already be written down. 

// Get out of the house

Changing up your scenery can really help to de-stress you. Go sit outside, go for a drive, get away for the weekend if you can. Fresh air can do wonders for your mood. Going up to the lake always helps my mood and stress levels but when I can’t do that I like to go for a walk or even just sit out on the back deck. I’ll take a few deep breaths and remind myself that my stress will go away, that this overwhelming feeling is brief. Try it sometime.  

7 Tips To Help You De-Stress

// Exercise 

Go take a walk, go for a run, hit up the gym or an exercise class. All the endorphins you get from working out will make you feel better. Working out also will help to distract you from whatever is on your mind. I’ve been going to pilates 2x a week and each time I’m there I completely forget about everything else that’s going on. 

// Try to get enough sleep 

Stress will keep you up at night. And then, you’ll stress about not getting enough sleep. Writing out my next day’s to do list really helps me to get to sleep a bit better at night. Getting all those ideas out of my brain before bed time allows me to fall asleep more quickly. Also, on days i’m super stressed, i’ll take Melatonin before bed time. Now, i’m not a doctor and i’m not telling you to take this, i’m merely suggesting you look into it if you have trouble sleeping. 

7 Tips To Help You De-Stress

// Do something just for yourself

I’ll admit that i’m guilty of doing things just for the blog or for Instagram. Sometimes it’s nice to just eat a meal without taking a picture or trying out a makeup or skincare product without taking pictures first. I love writing product reviews and I especially love writing travel posts but when i’m stressed its nice to just enjoy things without taking notes for a blog post or whipping out my camera. Do something just because you want to, don’t think about how you can turn it into a post. Lately, I’ve been watching a ton of YouTube. I won’t blog about it, I won’t share it on social media. I’m doing it simply because I enjoy it. 

// Pamper yourself

One of the best ways for me to de-stress is to really take the time to indulge myself with beauty stuff. Lounging with a face mask on, taking the time to really exfoliate or do a nice manicure. Those are all little things that I like to elongate to help me unwind. I wrote all about how to pamper yourself right here!!

7 Tips To Help You De-Stress

// Don’t be afraid to take a step back

This one is the most important tip! In my opinion… Sometimes the best thing to do when you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed is to cut something out. For me, that was blogging. If i’m overwhelmed I know that I need to slow down. As much as I love blogging, I know it’s something I can set aside and it’ll be there when i’m ready to pick it back up again. If there’s something extra in your life that you can set aside for a bit, do it. It’ll help you to focus more on what needs your immediate attention. 

Let me know in the comments what you do to help de-stress! I’m sure more than just I want to know about it. We all feel stressed, overwhelmed and overworked sometimes so share your experiences below!

And, as usual with my list type post all these pictures are from my Instagram! If you want to see more, be sure to follow me!

7 Tips To Help You De-Stress

Weekly Recap: Aquariums, Target and House Hunting! 4

Weekly Recap: Aquariums, Target and House Hunting!

Did anyone else’s week zip by? One second it was Sunday evening and I was scheduling all my social media for my Spending Ban Update and then bam it was Thursday night. I haven’t gotten anything done this week. I had many an aspiration to get a lot of blog work done this week because I knew the weather was going to be crappy. And, none of it happened. I actually had quite the jam packed week! So, in old school style I thought i’d write up a nice weekly recap! 

Weekly Recap: Aquariums, Target and House Hunting // Being Leanna

// Aquarium

I went to a new aquarium in my area and it was actually a lot of fun. I’m a big fan of aquariums, especially ones with jellyfish, so I was thrilled we got one near here. It was a bit small but it was perfect for families. The best part was that they had a huge area where you could pet the stingrays! I’m not sure if you’ve ever pet a stingray before but it’s the best. They’re like dogs. But they feel way cooler. 

// In A Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

I’ve been reading this for ages and I finally finished it! Everyone has been reading and recommending this and I loved The Woman in Cabin 10 so I thought i’d give this a go. Not a huge fan to be honest. The entire first half was pretty slow and uneventful. The ending didn’t have as big of a twist as I was expecting. It’s well written but you can tell it was her first novel. If you’re interested in suspenseful novels I suggest picking up The Woman in Cabin 10 instead. 

Weekly Recap: Aquariums, Target and House Hunting // Being Leanna

// Target

Need I say more? I went to Target for the first time in 2017 this past weekend. You heard me right, the first time in 2017! As soon as my spending ban was officially over I grabbed my keys and headed straight to Target. I mostly grabbed necessities (shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste) but I also grabbed some things I’ve been dying to try. Keep your eyes peeled for a review of these two mascaras and the cult favorite Pixi glow tonic!

// House Hunting

Is still going pretty slowly. I want to be picky but not too picky so nothing out of this world amazing has shown up. I’ve gone and seen a handful of places but they all fall short somewhere. It’s starting to get a little discouraging but all the excitement i’m getting to be able to decorate my own place again is keeping my spirits high. If you’re interested in the house stuff I’ve been loving lately check out my Pinterest page!

Weekly Recap: Aquariums, Target and House Hunting // Being Leanna

// Sushi

I go back and forth with what my favorite type of food is all the time. The past few months though all I’ve wanted is sushi. I love it. I had a little girls night Tuesday after work and met up with a friend for dinner. No, that’s not all mine, just most of it haha. We went to an amazing sushi place in Albany (Kuma Ani) and I about died with excitement. I tend to try something different every time so I don’t have a favorite but i’d love to hear what yours is!

// 13 Reasons Why

Yes, i’m watching and yes i’m obsessed. I read this book way back when I was actually in high school and this story was relatable. I had to tune in and I started watching this week. I’m five episodes in and although dramatic and obviously centering around a depressing topic i’m loving it. Are you watching? 

If you’re ever curious what else i’m up to be sure to follow along on Instagram and Twitter!

How was your week? What are you looking forward to the most this weekend? Let me know in the comments! 

Spending Ban: Month 3 Update- Final Thoughts 16

Spending Ban: Month 3 Update- Final Thoughts // Being LeannaSpending Ban: Month 3 Update- Final Thoughts

Guys, my spending ban is over!! Cue the fireworks and noise makers. (Also cue my first trip to Target in 2017!!!)I am so excited to share with you all the final month in my 3 month journey of spending as little money as possible. I’ll take you through all of the goals and tips from my first post to tell you what worked and what didn’t. I’ll be sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly today so stay tuned!

To give a little background (if you want the full story click here) I started this spending ban to get me to my savings goal by the time I was ready to buy a house. I’m working with a grant program where I had to deposit money into a special savings account for 10 months. Well, my last deposit went in on April 1st. So, officially, i’m done with the grant program and all I have to do is find my house! 

Before you get into this post, you should read the full story, my month 1 update, and my month 2 update!

Set an amount that’s do-able:

At the end of my three month spending ban I wanted to save up an additional $1,200. That may not sound like a lot for you, or it may sound like a ton of money. If you’re thinking about going on a spending ban you need to set a goal that’s attainable. $1,200 was attainable for me and I did it (plus a little extra!). I could have done more but by month three I honestly wasn’t feeling the spending ban any more. It was my most expensive month yet. Luckily, I received a nice tax refund at the beginning of the month and I was able to put all of it into my savings account! 

Set an allowance:

This did not work for me at all. In January I used some Christmas cash I was given as my allowance for the month. In month 2 I just kept track of what I spent every week and tried not to go crazy. I started this ban telling myself that I would allow myself $40 per paycheck to do whatever I wanted with. I’m sure it it would work for some people but it just didn’t for me.

Cash is king:

Also great in theory but it just did not work for me after month 1. I used up my Christmas cash and then it was strictly a card in month 2. I used some cash in March but that was only because I collected money at work for a group lunch and paid on my card. So, I used the cash as spending money the rest of the month. I’m not a cash person. I know it’s a great budgeting tool but I like to think that I have enough self control to not go crazy on my card. I exclusively use my credit card for purchases and pay it off each paycheck. It’s just what works for me. Plus, I earn miles which is how I was able to go to Philly and not pay for my hotel room! 

Keep the temptations away:

Probably the best thing I did was unsubscribe from dozens of email lists. It is so refreshing to go into my inbox and only see emails I actually want to read. There has been no J. Crew, Banana Republic, Sephora or Express emailing me every day to tell me what deals are going on. I couldn’t unsubscribe from Ulta but I didn’t spend a dime there this whole three months. And I even had a gift card! 

Eye that checking account:

I mean, I did this and I didn’t do this. I wasn’t religious about it in March but that’s because I knew I had the safety net of my tax refund. Also, because I mainly use my credit card for everything I checked that statement way more often. I pretty much only went into my checking account on days I knew bills were coming out, I was getting paid, or I was going to make a credit card payment. 

Lessons Learned:

Don’t be to hard on yourself if you spend a bit more than planned! January I spent $368.40, February I spent $193.42 (and $377.81 from my vacation account), and in March I spent a whopping $695.85. Whoops. See the full breakdown below. 

Here’s why i’m not mad about March being crazy expensive. I was really over being on a spending ban. Somewhere in the second week of March my mindset switched from “save every dime so you can buy a house” to “spend the money while you still have it!”. So, I spent the money. I bought hiking boots that were $128.74 and couldn’t be happier and I bought a $95 Groupon to go parasailing in May and i’ll be checking off a 30 before 30 bucket list item. 

Spending Ban: Month 3 Update- Final Thoughts // Being Leanna

More tips for starting your own spending ban!

If you’re looking to start a spending ban for yourself I’ve got 5 of my best tips right here:

// Set an attainable savings goal. There is nothing more disappointing and discouraging than setting yourself up for failure. I knew I could set aside $1,200 in 3 months. I wish I could have done $2,000 but I knew that wasn’t realistic so I didn’t make it my goal. 

// Set a time frame for the spending ban and mark it on a calendar. 3 months was just too long for me. I was itching to spend money come the middle of the third month. Maybe a week, a month or even just a weekend will work best for you. 

// Tell your friends and family. My friends knew I was on a spending ban and were more flexible with cheap hangout options. It was incredibly nice having their support. Some people thought it was dumb so I just had to remember that I was doing this for me, not for them and that kept me from being bummed if I had to not do something. 

// Don’t completely deprive yourself! There were a few times I had to say no during my spending ban but I never deprived myself. If there’s something you really want, or something you just can’t live without don’t say no. I bought hiking boots! Do I need them? I mean, they’ll be super useful because I want to get into hiking, but I didn’t need them immediately. LL Bean was having a sale so I snagged them. Same goes for the Groupon for parasailing. Groupons don’t last forever and it was a great deal. 

// Write down every single thing you buy. Do it. I promise, it’ll help. It can be a pain but it’s so worth it. Keeping track of everything you spend seems so much more real when you’re actually writing it down instead of just looking at your bank statement. It’s scary seeing what you spend money on. So much food! 

Have you ever done a spending ban? If so, let me know how it went in the comments!

Spending Ban: Month 3 Update- Final Thoughts // Being Leanna


Spring Bucket List & 10 Free Blog Post Ideas 25

Spring Bucket List & 10 Free Blog Post Ideas // Being Leanna

Happy first day of spring!!! After what has felt like an endless winter I am so happy that today marks the first day of spring. There is still 2 feet of snow on the ground here (yuck) but i’m hoping it’ll melt quickly so that I can start to break out my t-shirts. We had a teaser of a nice week in February of 60+ degree weather and I’ve been dreaming about spring ever since. The daffodils were even starting to pop up but now they’re covered in snow.

Last year I wrote a spring bucket list post so I figured what way to celebrate the equinox by doing the same thing for this year! A lot of the things on my bucket list this year are the same so I figured i’d sweeten the deal for you guys by also including 10 free blog post ideas for spring! Click on the link at the bottom of this post to see the list, no downloads or signups necessary!

Spring Bucket List

//Go hiking now that I’ve got real hiking boots

//Finish up Helene’s course Instagram For Success – I’ve been majorly slacking on finishing this for some reason!

//Eat outside! This is one of the best parts of the spring and summer for me. 

/ Go to a happy hour outside! Again, being outside is the best part about spring. There’s a bar right next to my work that has the most amazing patio and I can’t wait to get out there and relax. 

//Buy a house! Yeah, lofty goal but i’m currently very seriously looking. So exciting and stressful all at once! If you’re looking to see how I’ve been saving up for a house, check out my spending ban post here! 

//Clean out all of my books. I’m a book hoarder. I still have books from my teenage days that really just need to get donated. 

//Start running outside. I said this last year too and it barely happened. I hate running but it makes me feel so good afterwards so I need to get back in the habit. 

//Clean out my closet. Before I transition my wardrobe from winter to spring I want to try everything on. Donate what I don’t want, toss what can’t be donated and make a list of things I need in my wardrobe. 

//Create more fashion posts. Keeping on the theme of going through all my clothes, I want to do more fashion posts! I miss them and even though I probably won’t have a ton of stuff to link i’m hoping you guys would still like them. 

//Book my fall trip to Denver! That’s right, i’m going to Denver in the fall for a long weekend! I’ll have more details when the plans are more solid. 

//Spend a weekend up at camp! 

10 Blog Post Ideas For Spring

Hope you liked my spring bucket list, be sure to share your bucket list with me in the comments or tweet me @BeingLeanna when you write your own spring bucket list! 

You might also like my 30 before 30 list!