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How I save money drinking fancy coffee at home

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Martians love their coffee. All day, every day. When we first met, we were constantly going out to coffee and spending all the dollars having mochas and lattes and sometimes free iced coffee refills at Starbucks.

Like anybody who budgets would say, that ADDS UP. It’s like a leak in your budget. On average, I assume I spend $5 every time I get a coffee out somewhere. That is so much money!

Over the winter, Justen and I discovered something that changed the way we coffee at home. We were perusing Goodwill and saw, in a brand new box, something that would change our coffee game forever. Β Sitting there, waiting for us to snatch it up and love it, was a Bodum frother. Originally $25, only $10.

We took it home and quickly made it ours, especially in the winter, making milky hot chocolate, mochas and lattes.

If you are looking for a way to save money without sacrificing fancy coffee, look no further.

Here’s the simplest way: just froth your creamer. Pour half a cup of your coffee and then top with the frothy creamer. bada boom, you’ve got yourself a fancy latte!

If you’re looking for a little bit more of a classic latte experience, buy yourself some syrups (we love Monin!) and add a few pumps to a mug, pour with a little coffee, and top with frothed milk of your choice.

Wanting a mocha? Add chocolate sauce to the bottom of your mug. Pump the syrup if desired. Pour some hot coffee, stir the coffee + chocolate while your milk is frothing and then top with milk. IT IS SO SIMPLE.

For us, it was a $10 investment but if something were to ever happen to ours, I’d gladly pay the $25 to replace it. That’s 5 days of Starbucks.

Also full disclosure, I’m writing this post AT A COFFEE SHOP, sipping on the mocha I paid for. Gotta splurge sometimes.

If you’re a fancy coffee drinker, what are some ways you’ve figured out to have fancy coffee at home?

also PS how cute is our little coffee corner? I know one of our bulbs is out. it’s a shame I’m too lazy to replace it.


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Marley’s Monsters Eco-Friendly Haul #1

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I often joke that the older I get, the more of a conspiracy theorist I become. What’s actually happened is that I’ve just had a shift in my values and priorities.

Over the past year and a half, one of the new priorities in my life has been cutting back my waste as opposed to reaching for what is the most convenient. According to the EPA, in 2015 the average amount of waste a person produces each day is nearly 4.5 pounds. 4.5 pounds of GARBAGE EVERY SINGLE DAY. I can’t handle that, and neither can our precious, miraculous earth.

Thanks to the magic of Instagram, I became aware of ways to reduce that number for myself and my family. Marley’s Monsters is a semi-local company to me that creates adorable reusable, waste-diminishing products. After nearly a year of showing Justen every product on their website once a month, I took advantage of their Earth Day 25% off sale and made a purchase!

Marley's Monsters eco friendly reusable products review

Here’s what I purchased:

-16 facial rounds
-1 mesh wash bag for facial rounds
-12 UnPaper towels
-1 linen travel straw pouch

We currently live in a small cluster of apartments and share 1 washing machine with everyone. Because of that, our transition over to being waste-free is less of a cold turkey-ing paper products and more of a “use these less often.” As of now, we’ve already stretched out one roll of paper towels by having a cloth rag available for wiping the counters. If we had easy, guaranteed access to a washing machine, I’d have less reservation about completely cutting ties with paper products. For now, I’m trying to be at least 80/20 with waste – 8 out of 10 times reaching for something reusable before something disposable.

Marley’s Monsters Facial Rounds in Vintage Lemon

I’ve been using these facial rounds to wipe off my oil cleanser, and I love them! They take a little more energy than a washcloth because of their size, but they’re really soft and work really well. I have plans to one day make a bunch of lemon/witch hazel wipes in a jar to cut back on the cotton balls.

I also got one of these little mesh laundry bags to keep my dirty rounds in so they can be thrown in the wash without getting lost in everything else. It’s super convenient!


UnPaper Towels in Blue

The UnPaper towels were the first thing I fell in love with. Just by being aware, we’ve cut our paper towel usage in half and I’m hoping these can help even more! There’s only 12, so not enough to completely replace paper towels but enough to help us create new habits. We’ll probably reserve these (for now) for wiping off spills and water. Eventually I’d love to have enough to put on a roll and completely replace our paper towels.


Reusable straw pouch

aaaand my personal fave: a reusable straw pouch! I’ve been awkwardly carrying mine in my purse in a reusable plastic bag, but this one is SO CUTE! I got an extra large one because I have a few tall straws. My favorite part? There’s a removable dirty pouch that snaps on the inside. This is a game changer.

This is only my first purchase but it definitely won’t be my last! If you’ve hopped on the reusable train like I have, check out Marley’s Monsters! Use this link and get 15% off your purchase πŸ™‚

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10 Tips for Selling on Poshmark

I’m slowly creeping up on my 2 year anniversary of selling on Poshmark! I’ve learned a lot from trial and error, and I wanted to round up a few tips for selling on Poshmark! Poshmark is pretty easy to figure out – snap a picture, write a description, download a shipping label + put it in the mail. Whether you’re trying to earn a couple extra dollars, start a side hustle, or just get rid of stuff in your closet, there are a few tips you can be implementing to help your items sell! I’m always amazed that people don’t know about these, so I wanted to make sure to share these tips for selling on Poshmark!

If you’re new to Poshmark, check out my blog post about how to list your items for sale on Poshmark!

10 tips for selling on Poshmark

ONE // Describe your item in your title!

Google drives a LOT of traffic to Poshmark, and Google is a search engine! What might people be trying to find when they discover your item? For example, go to google and type in “Anthropologie sunglasses dress.” Look at the images. The third result is my listing! Include things like brand name, color, size and any style detail you know. Don’t say “red t shirt” when you could be saying “Gap ruffle hem red v-neck tee shirt size M.” You have 50 characters for your title; use them well!

TWO // Re-describe your item in the listing!

Just because you wrote the description in the title doesn’t mean you shouldn’t re-state the information in your description! Use that first description as a building block. After describing the item again, elaborate on the condition and any extra details.

THREE // Share your items!

A LOT of people don’t know this, but Poshmark’s newsfeed is kind of like Pinterest (before the algorithm lol). Most recently shared stuff goes to the top of the newsfeed! If you haven’t shared your item in awhile, there will be a banner at the top of an item you’re viewing that tells you how long its been since you’ve shared it. Try sharing your closet once in the morning and once in the evening and see what kind of traffic that gives you!

FOUR // Price with some wiggle room

When you price your items, make sure you have room to send and accept offers. If you’re hoping to sell an item for $8, don’t be afraid to list it for $13! Then if someone offers you lower than listing price, it still has a chance of being more than what you wanted to make. Don’t forget about Poshmark fees, too. Luckily they show you what you’ll earn when you’re making your listing, but it’s important to remember that selling for $13 doesn’t mean you’ll earn $13 πŸ™‚

FIVE // Take a bunch of pictures

Don’t just take a picture of the front of the item and list it. I always take at least 4 photos – front, brand/size tag, fabric content tag and back. If there are any details or flaws/wear, take close up photos of those parts. Beading, embroidery, snags, pilling all deserve a close up photo so the buyer knows what they’re in for!

SIX // Offer to Likers!

When someone “likes” your item, you can send them a special discount! Go to the item listing, click on “Price Drop” and select “Offer to Likers.” You’ll have to offer 10% off the lowest listed price plus a shipping discount. The offer stays open for 24 hours after it’s sent. I’ll write a whole blog post about this later, but when I first had access to this feature, I sold 50+ older items in 48 hours. Price to keep offers in mind!

SEVEN // Share other people’s listings!

At the end of the day, only your items getting shared will actually result in shares but Poshers often have a “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” mentality. Shares are often returned, so if you find closets to share, your items might be shared to a whole new audience! Find closets with a high share number and a high following. That means they’re likely to share and the item will be seen by a lot of people. This is one of my top tips for selling on Poshmark.

EIGHT // Offer a bundle discount

In your seller tools, you have the option to offer a bundle discount. That means that if a buyer orders 2+ items for your closet, they’ll receive a discount AND they’ll save on shipping! Even more incentive for someone to buy from your closet. Yesterday I sold 11 items for $110, profiting $88. Some of them were items I’d been given. The rest I purchased for under $1 each at the Goodwill Outlet. I’ll take that all day every day!

NINE // Create a bundle for someone who likes your items

If you see someone has “liked” a few of your items, you have the opportunity to bundle those items for them and send them an offer. I often offer $5-$10 less than my bundle discount of 20% off 2+ items. I price with wiggle room so it’s still a price that makes me money!

TEN // Be consistent (and patient)

I see more action when I’m consistently posting (even just 2-3 items every few days) and sharing. When I ghost my Poshmark closet, it often ghosts me. Show up and put in the effort even when it’s not yielding immediate results! Poshmark’s algorithm is a bit mysterious. You can’t force people to buy anything. Sometimes you are consistent and you are showing up and… crickets. Don’t give up, it’ll come back around (I tell myself this so often).

I hope these 10 tips for selling on Poshmark yield great results for you! Let me know if you have any specific Poshmark questions πŸ™‚ If you’re new to Poshmark, sign up using the code STEPHANIEAMBER and you’ll get a $5 credit towards your first purchase! If you choose to redeem your $5 credit in my Poshmark closet, let me know and I’ll give you an even deeper discount!

Cheers and happy poshing!

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Five on Friday // My five best Goodwill Finds

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I’m going to cut to the chase: this week, we found one of our best Goodwill finds. The next day, as I was taking a shower, I was thinking about how we’ve found some REALLY COOL STUFF at Goodwill. Some of these aren’t best because of the high price value so much as meeting a need/overall use. But here are our top 5 Goodwill finds!

ONE // end/coffee table

While at Goodwill, we saw a box that was open, and when we glanced inside all I saw were gold pieces. I immediately looked up the words on the side of the box and found a photo of a beautiful gold/glass end table that retailed for $110. I immediately hugged the $20 box and asked Justen to get a cart because we were taking it home.

My mom had purchased two gray couches for us before we even knew where we’d live, and they’ve made it really difficult to rearrange most of the furniture in our apartment. After we bought the next item, we turned this table into our coffee table. I love it so much.


TWO // brand new ottoman

Our little living room has undergone a few different arrangements, but there’s only so much we can do with the space. After our last rearranging, I began to hunt for an ottoman. I saw some cute ones at Target, but I wasn’t about to pay $70 for them! We were perusing Goodwill one day when we saw a beautiful gray ottoman with the Target tags on it. $30 for a brand new ottoman! Again, asked Justen to get us a cart because we were taking it home. After bringing it home, we rearranged the furniture we could to complete our living room with this setup.

ps this ottoman is still on sale at Target, for $70!

THREE // smart scale

I have no idea why, but for awhile Justen was on a kick where he was determined to find a smart scale at Goodwill. We finally found one! The only bummer is that I’m avoiding that thing like the PLAGUE and Justen… well, I don’t know what his excuse is. πŸ˜‰ So it’s the ONE good find that we’ve not put into use.

FOUR // t3 hairdryer

After being in the blogger world for awhile, I’ve become familiar with the t3 brand. It’s the super expensive often mentioned in the Nordstrom sales hair styling brand. When Birchbox was having a big sale, I actually bought their curling wand (don’t even get me started on the price, but I’ve not regretted it once). So when I glanced over the hair styling products at Goodwill and saw the white hair dryer with rose gold accents, I almost lost my mind.

T3 micro featherweight luxe 2i Rose Gold found at Goodwill for $7

and for $7.

I’ll take a used $7 t3 hair dryer over $20 new in box conair hair dryer ANY DAY. I took it home, cleaned off a few marks on the side and this bad boy works like a dream. It didn’t include a diffuser or anything, but I don’t care AT ALL. It was originally sold for $225.

FIVE // brand new kitchenmaid mixer

This is the one from this week! We were about to leave Goodwill with a few random things – a little Lilly Pulitzer votive and something else I can’t even remember, when we saw a stack of KitchenAid mixer boxes at the end of the checkout. For $100. My eyes got big and I asked Justen to hold my stuff while I went over to check it out, and sure enough… brand new 5 qt Kitchen Aid mixers. It’s black, which wouldn’t have been our color of choice but for $270 off/almost 75% off a brand new Kitchen Aid mixer? Yeah, that’s a no brainer.

Okay now I HAVE to know: what is the best (either cost wise or just your own personal opinion-wise) thing you’ve ever found at a thrift store? Talking about thrift store finds might possibly be my favorite past time πŸ™‚

Linking up for Friday Favorites, Five on Friday, and High Five for FridayΒ 

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My Favorite Brands to sell on Poshmark

If you’re new to selling on Poshmark, be sure to check out my post 10 tips for selling on Poshmark!

As of today, I’ve sold 1800 items on Poshmark.
Which is so bananas, y’all.
Last year I started my Poshmark closet as a way to start a side hustle and get out of debt.

Two actual jobs, a temporary move across the country, getting married and having new responsibilities and Poshmark is the main source of my income and my work-time.

I’ve been excited to see so many friends start their own Poshmark closets to earn a little extra money! I personally buy a lot of my clothes to resell from the Goodwill Outlet (aka the bins!) and it can be SO OVERWHELMING to walk in and see all the clothes and figure out what’s good and what’s bad. So here’s a list of my favorite brands to sell on Poshmark.

Before I share my list, I want to let you know about how I run my closet. There are people who have closets full of high end designer brands. When they make a sale, they make $25. I’m okay to make a $5 profit. The way I plan on making my money is by having a high quantity of items and making MORE sales than having less items for a higher price. Neither way is “right” or “better,” because it’s all about 1. how much space you have, 2. how much work you’re willing to put in (and in what part of your closet you want to put your work in), and 3. what kinds of items you want to sell.

That said! My ideal is to make $10-15 from EVERY sale. I’ve been playing around with what items I’m putting in my closet, so this list is ALWAYS changing. It’s personal to ME, MY STYLE, and what items I want to offer for people at a discounted price!

My favorite brands to sell on Poshmark

Here’s a small list of my favorite brands to find at the bins for reselling on Poshmark:

  • Anthropologie
    It doesn’t sell as well as it used to but I personally love it. Here’s a list of Anthropologie labels.. they RARELY actually say ANTHROPOLOGIE. When in doubt, check the tag labels for the RN #66170 – that means it’s either Anthropologie or Urban Outfitters.
  • Free PeopleΒ 
  • lululemon
  • JoieΒ 
  • Eileen Fisher
  • NWT Mossimo/A New Day/Universal Threads
    Our bins get a lot of NWT Target clothing, and I often can sell them for a $7-$10 profit. I’ll take a $10 profit any day!
  • LuLaRoe
    Some people have stepped away from LuLaRoe because of its over saturation, but I PERSONALLY love LuLaRoe, and I know there are a LOT of LLR fans, so I always pick up LuLaRoe at the bins. They often sell in bundles.
  • Lilly Pulitzer
    Living in the northwest, Lilly Pulitzer is fairly unknown, but I once paid $22 for a pair of Lilly Pulitzer pants at TJ Maxx and sold them for $85. If I find Lilly Pulitzer, I get REALLY happy.
  • Torrid
    Torrid is a really popular, trendy plus-size store that is SO EXPENSIVE. I like being able to offer these items at a reasonable price!
  • Maurices
    I’m not sure why, but Maurices tends to sell really well for me! I always make sure the styles are trendy and the item is in great condition.
  • Sundance
  • Soft Surroundings

Brands I don’t buy:

  • Brands exclusively sold at Sears, JC Penney, Walmart, Fred Meyer, etc.
  • Boutique brands
  • Nike
    So weird, I know! But unless the style is SUPER new and SUPER trendy or classic like the tempo shorts, I tend to just sit on Nike items for literally a year.
  • H&M, Forever 21, Charlotte Russe, Hollister, Abercrombie & Fitch, Rue21

This is not at all an exhaustive list, and this is also not a list for people who are looking for high-end brands. This is my list of what I’d call “bread and butter” items – items I love to fill my Poshmark closet with.

I’m going to start sharing more about my Poshmark journey on my blog because there are so many people looking for information about Poshmark and I love sharing what I’ve been learning, so let me know if you have any questions!

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May 2018 Debt Repayment Recap

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This is SO LATE! I literally got alllllll of these details and numbers all ready and APPARENTLY I forgot to actually post this. I’m eye rolling SO HARD right now.

This month we did a pretty good job of paying off debt. Nothing super great, but I see that we’re nearly at 23% of our debt paid off this year and our goal is to have paid off 33% this year so we are doing really well. I wish I could say we were working extra hard and scaling back, but we’re really just coasting right now.

I think once we’re on to Justen’s car, it’s game. on. because #1. that number doesn’t fluctuate, and #2. freeing up his car payment will give us so. much. more. money in our monthly budget (the payment isn’t insane, but it’s our 3rd largest set payment behind rent and my car).

But first the Southwest card has just become a beast, because it just keeps going up and down. I 100% understand why Dave Ramsey says to CUT UP your credit cards because it’s so hard to get on top of right now. It’s connected to my essential oils account and my Southwest travel account and a bunch of small recurring payments (like hosting, Netflix, etc) and I’ve never gone in to change those. We’ve had a few unexpected expenses come up that we’ve put on the card and then I use my Poshmark money to pay it down each month, but it’s hard when those unexpected expenses are huge. So anyway. Even though that’s sometimes really frustrating, I’m just remembering that we’re so on track for hitting our goal and I don’t need to be disappointed that I’m not on track to be an overachiever, lol πŸ˜‰

May 2018 Debt Repayment Recap

Southwest CC:Β 394.57 278.25 {-29.48}
Stephanie’s Phone: Β 706.43 0.00 {-100%}
Justen’s Car: Β 5248.73 5060.18 {-3.59%}
Stephanie’s Car: Β 13,136.83 12,899.31 {-1.80%}

Total:Β  19,186.56Β $18,237.74 {-4.94%}

2018 Total Payoff: $23,661.40 $18,237.74 {-22.92%}

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