Tag Archives: shopping

5 Guilty Pleasures That Turns Out, Are Not So Guilty

It is one of the more obscure paradoxes of modern living.  We work more, to earn more so that we can experience more – and then feel guilty when doing it.  Well, feel guilty no more!  Putting off these 5 lusciously guilty pleasures, could actually be doing you more harm, than good.

*This post may contain affiliate links.


So this isn’t exactly a new school of thought. But now more than ever, it’s essential that you and yours get some time away.  Prolonged lockdowns and lack of access to services and social events are starting to have a detrimental effect on the mental health of American families and families all over the world. The elderly are most at-risk as families are often not permitted to visit nursing homes or care facilities. So the word is out – it’s time to load up the family car and hit the open road. If travel outside of your state borders or internationally is not on the cards for you right now, keep it local, you’ll not only get away from it all but you’ll also earn some extra points for helping support local business.  Feel good factor, 10 out of 10.


It is believed that chocolate contains many antioxidants and some studies have even indicated that chocolate could go some way to help to prevent memory loss. Chocolate also helps reduce stress, can help maintain a healthy heart, and could help in your weight-loss endeavors.  What?  Chocolate and weight loss?  Yep.  Turns out that eating around 2 grams of dark chocolate every day could aid in your weight loss goals.  

And chocolate can also help in the fight against allergies. As the seasons change, it’s a good plan to stock up. Sadly there’s no chocolate remedy for hay fever, so you’ll still need the tried and trusted hay fever treatments.


Study after study (people actually get paid to do this sort of thing) has revealed what a certain American General has known all along – as soon as you get up in the morning, make your bed.  It might seem like a small thing, but your brain’s reward system will pick up on it immediately and when you start your day with your brain rewarding you with those wonderful feel-good hormones, you instantly want to do more and achieve more.  However, every once in a while (take note of that….once in a while), it could be very beneficial…to climb back in.  Taking a bed day can help reset your mental clock and reenergize a body that’s been worn down with routine and the daily grind.   The trick is to not overuse this one.  


OK, so this kind of ties in with taking a bed day, but that’s only if you’re planning on using your personal day to spend the day in bed…in which case, it falls squarely into the “bed day” category.  However, there are a few very good reasons to take a personal day when, after all, they’ve been designed to help you get back on track when you need to.  We don’t suggest abusing the privilege but you could be due a personal day if you’ve been needing to see the doctor or you’re feeling really burned out.  If there are outstanding “life issues” that need dealing with and can’t be handled on weekends or if you have not taken a break in a really long time, this is your open invitation to use those days off.  If you are otherwise a top performer at work and your boss knows this, then discuss it with them and they’ll probably agree.  One day without you won’t bring the walls down, but when the desire builds to do this more than not, time to relook where you’re at.


This is probably the most “indulgent” guilty pleasure – but it’s valid nevertheless.  It speaks to the brains’ reward system and can also go some way to helping you realize a change you’ve been wanting to make or to celebrate achieving a goal.  But the whole idea is not to use shopping as an escape from reality, but rather as a way to validate your reality.  This means that if you land that new job, then you get to have a new work wardrobe. 

As with all of the good things, moderation is key and balance should be applied with everything.  Enjoy!

P.S. Check out my minimalist approach to meal planning.

The Best Souvenirs

Now that summer is coming to an end, and all the travel that goes along with it, I’d love to know…Did you pick up any fun souvenirs on vacations this year? 

When I was a kid, souvenirs felt like SUCH a necessity. Visiting kitschy shops at beaches, amusement parks, and roadside attractions felt like a cruel joke if I didn’t at least get to select ONE item to come home with me. The allure of some magnet with my name on it or a toy representative of the past day’s adventure too difficult to resist whining about.

Nowadays, souvenirs fall into that careful balance of knowing I don’t need any additional tchochkes cluttering my home, but also wanting to take out an insurance policy on fleeting travel memories. With that in mind, I’ve developed a few categories of purchases I employ when looking to commemorate a trip…

Little things to tuck in a memory box, like a postcard or patch, are a go-to of mine. Not a huge investment, so I feel ok that it’s only going to be admired in those days I’m feeling extra nostalgic and pull down the box to sift through my collection of random ephemera.

But I don’t mind splurging on a high-quality consumable. A bottle of wine local to the area that can be uncorked months later. A lotion with a scent to transport me back to our travels. A candle from a sweet seaside shop or a box of local chocolate from the corner store.

And speaking of chocolate, let’s go ahead and put cooking ingredients in a category all their own. Something like a beautiful bottle of local olive oil, whole bean coffee from a cafe you fell in love with, or a couple teeny tiny jars of spices that easily tuck in your backpack. I also love this as an option if you’re tasked with bringing back a goodie for a co-worker or family member. A friend of mine gifted me a little tin of paprika she bought on a trip to Hungary and I thought about her and her adventure every time I sprinkled it in a dish for months to come.

Finally, there’s what I consider the daily item. These I reserve for truly special trips. I want to be transported to those memories frequently, so something like a piece of jewelry or a scarf fits the bill. For a lower budget option, I would go for something like a coffee mug or a small print I can transport carefully home and frame. Basically an item that I can seamlessly incorporate into my daily life…not one that is emblazoned with the city or attraction I visited. Those seem like a good idea in the moment, but then get shoved to the back of a closet.

Which of these categories do you normally go for? Have your own strategy when it comes to souvenirs? Let me know in the comments below! xoxo

P.S. This would be a fun way to commemorate your trip once you’ve returned home!

How to save money with Groupon Coupons!

save with groupon coupons

(This is a sponsored post. All opinions are mine.)

One of the easiest ways to maintain a Ballin’ on a Budget lifestyle is to do a little research before you shop. The deals are out there! Sometimes they may just take a little internet perusal in order to find. Whether you’re booking your travel accommodations for that summer vacation you scrimped and saved for or headed to a department store to pick out a new winter coat, coupons and discounts can help you get the most bang for your buck. An easy way to start incorporating this pre-purchase research into your routine? Check out Groupon Coupons.

Perhaps you’re familiar with using Groupon for saving money on experiences. Think: pilates classes, massages, and 2-for-1 meal deals. However, Groupon Coupons is a great resource for locating coupons and deals from every-day retailers.

Searching for a specific retailer is super easy and they even provide a round-up of the top coupons and offers on their home page every day. There you’ll find well-known brands like Ulta, Costco, and JCPenney. I am always especially pleased to see all the deals available for Macy’s and Kohls, stores I regularly shop when I’m in need of new clothes or housewares.

So, before your next big purchase, surf on over to Groupon Coupons and see if some treasure awaits you there in the form of an exclusive sale or great coupon! You’ll never know unless you look!!!

Stay connected with Groupon on Facebook and Twitter

How do you save money on big ticket purchases? Have you ever used Groupon before? Would you? Share your experiences in the comments below.

mid-week round-up

zebraWhat are you up to this week, loves? We saw a Bluegrass band play Monday night at the weekly Southland Jamboree. It was nice to have an excuse to eat dinner outside and we even (accidentally) showed up matching.  It took my mom pointing it out for us to notice! Thanks for all your love on my barrage of social media activity about our recent trip to Savannah. I had such a wonderful time and can’t wait to go back. And shout out to the new Mr. and Mrs. Berger!

OH, and speaking of Savannah, thanks to the million hour car ride I’m now obsessed with Snapchat. So…follow me at bberg1012 if you’re into Snappin’! Now onto the links…

America falls behind on language learning.

These new homes offer a (submerged) sea view.

A true icon of dance.

Your yoga flow with x-ray vision.

Illustrator says, “…animals lives are so sad and so weird.”

The shape of a healthy spine may surprise you.

Many women’s prisons use periods to punish inmates.

What to do on a short stay in Savannah.

A podcast featuring an interview with one of my ballin’ on a budget muses, Leanne Brown.

Absurdly unequal use of the term terrorism.

To Kill a Mockingbird tank for the literary lady.

Where my speech folks at? #ballotshame

Bluegrass Stay-cation, Pt. 1

Last week was full of all sorts of adventures in the Bluegrass! Chet came up for his spring break and I took some much needed time off work. I tried to plan a nice balance of fun, budget-friendly activities as well as plenty of chill time. (We plowed through all of True Detective like champs for the majority of the chill time.) Here are some snaps from our Saturday, if you’d like to see…

We started off the morning picking up some ingredients at the Farmers Market…



…explored downtown and popped into some shops…

housestars chalkboardcorner

thetwins winewall

…drove to Leestown Rd. for Pops Resale (record store day) and all the goodies in that strip mall–used book store, toy store, and this giant gem…


…got lost in the labyrinth within and found lots of scary “deals”…

doll     clown     potchair

…cooked a delicious all-local meal consisting of: bread and cheese, pork chops, green beans and new potatoes…


Perfect sunny day! ❤


Do you ever staycation in your own city? Exploring with someone from out of town is a great way to see stuff you wouldn’t otherwise bother checking out! I hope these series of posts can give you  ideas or inspiration for adventures in your own backyard. Just in time for Summer!