off-season sales

As a twenty-something on a budget, I am always after a good deal. No matter how much I love a piece a clothing I usually won’t buy anything for more than $20. Gap is one of my favorite stores, everything is simple and pairs great with other pieces I already have. But, all of the items in the front of the store make it seem like everything is so expensive. This past weekend, I hit up the sale rack at Gap and found some awesome sweaters. The best part was, the sale items were an additional 50%!IMG_0508

Gap tends to switch the additional markdown off of sale items between 30, 40, and 50%. It’s best to try to figure out when the 50% deal is happening to save yourself even more money (at my store the 50% was on a Sunday, but it usually depends on other promotions that are going on). I got two sweaters for $5!!! They were originally $50 each. I know it’s spring time, but since it has been gloomy out I was able to wear one of the sweaters before having to put it away for the summer. I paired it with some $6 khakis from the Old Navy clearance and $3 earrings from Forever 21. A casual and cozy outfit for work for a total of less than $15, what could be better?…having a coffee in hand.

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Clearance racks are a great place to stock up on classic items, while they are out of season, that you know you will always wear. Then, come time for winter you will have some great new sweaters and it will feel like a whole new wardrobe without spending lots of money when you see them on display at full price.

 

What are your favorite stores for finding a good deal? Let me know.

Happy sale shopping!
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avocado flatbread

This flatbread is a fresh take on your average pizza. It will fill you up just the same but won’t leave you feeling bloated from lots of grease and cheese. It’s a perfect meal for a sunny day and a great way to use up some avocados before they get too soft. You can also incorporate leftover meat and produce!

Serves: 4 two-slice portions
Prep Time: 20 minutesIMG_0215
Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:
Refrigerated pizza dough (I used Pillsbury Pizza Crust)
2 ripe avocados
1 cup chopped tomato
¼ cup sliced red onion
3 tablespoons balsamic dressing
¼ cup Feta cheese
3 sliced cooked bacon
1 cup cooked chicken (optional)

Make it your own: Use steak instead of beef or put a Mexican twist on it with queso fresco instead of feta and adding some lime and spices instead of balsamic.

Directions:

  1. Cook bacon in oven (425° for 14 min) or on stove top, or just use pre-cooked bacon!
  2. Bake pizza crust according to package directions.
  3. While pizza crust and bacon are cooking, saute tomatoes and onions in balsamic dressing for 3-5 minutes or until soft. Stir in cooked chicken to allow chicken to be coated in flavor.
  4. Once pizza crust is finished, mash the avocado flesh onto the crust (this would be the “sauce” if it were a traditional pizza).
  5. Top with tomato, onion, and chicken mixture.
  6. Sprinkle with feta and bacon.
  7. Enjoy!

IMG_5830Tip: If you want to make it with chicken or another protein use leftover grilled or shredded meat to save some time and avoid wasting! You can also use a pita or naan bread to save time and make a personal-sized flatbread.

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there will be time

 

New Mumford & Sons song ‘There Will Be Time’ live in South Africa…from their upcoming EP Johannesburg.

“So open up my eyes to a new light
I wandered ’round your darkened land all night
But I lift up my eyes to a new high
And indeed there would be time”

 

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oven bbq country ribs

These ribs are so easy! This is one of Dyl’s few recipes he can currently make and they turn out great. The rub gives the ribs a nice sticky crust, making them packed with flavor. They fell right off the bone and were the perfect dinner for a chilly night in or a way to celebrate BBQ season being just around the corner. They take a while to cook, but require almost no prep. Get your napkins ready!IMG_3222

Servings: 2-3

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours

Ingredients:

10 Country Ribs
Pork or BBQ rub (we used McCormick Grill Mates Pork Rub)
Your favorite BBQ sauce

Make it your own: Create your own rub from your favorite spices or take the time to make your own barbecue sauce.IMG_3231

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Place ribs with meat side up on foil-lined baking sheet.
  3. Rub ribs with seasoning rub until coated all over.
  4. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour.
  5. Remove from oven, uncover and spread BBQ sauce on ribs with a spoon or spatula.
  6. Return to oven and bake uncovered for 1 hour.
  7. Serve with extra BBQ sauce on the side and lots of napkins! Enjoy!!
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little red mailbox

Hobby Lobby has easily become one of my favorite stores. They have everything needed to decorate, organize, or craft. If you don’t have a location near you I highly recommend checking them out online. They also always have practically half the store on sale. Even if what you want is full price…just visit their website for a 40% off coupon.

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at my favorite store – Hobby Lobby

My latest purchase is this red filing cabinet. We didn’t have a designated spot in our home for mail and it kept piling up in different areas throughout the apartment. Lucky for us, the day we found it metal decor was half price! It now hangs on the wall right when you walk in the door, so mail gets organized before we can even set it on the counter. Not only that, but it looks great and adds a pop of color!

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cleopatra

The Lumineers became one of my favorite bands ever since I heard their first album. They just put out their new album about a month ago and even after a 4 year wait it is just as amazing as the last. I put together my top five songs from the album, all are perfect for singing a long, laying in bed on a rainy day, or taking a road trip.

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bacon feta salad

Cheese and bacon – that’s what makes a salad delicious! This refreshing salad full of bold flavors is my go-to! You can serve it as a side, or add protein and make it a meal. It’s always great and makes for a nice crisp salad with all the feel-good of comfort foods.

Serves: 2 large salads or 4 side saladsIMG_3394
Prep Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

1 head of romaine lettuce, chopped
3 pieces of cooked bacon, crumbled
⅓ of a cucumber cut into half-moons
¼ of a red onion sliced
Balsamic vinaigrette
Feta cheese for topping
Croutons (optional)

 

 

Make it your own: Add more veggies or chicken, steak, or a boiled egg for a more complete filling meal. My measurements are just suggestions! If you love cucumber, bacon, or anything else just add more!

Directions:

  1. Cook bacon however you prefer (I prefer stove-top, but for this I throw it in the oven at 425º for 12-15 min so I can cut veggies while the bacon crisps up)
  2. While bacon is cooking, chop romaine
  3. Cut cucumbers and red onions and add to salad distributing evenly among servings.
  4. Sprinkle with feta cheese and top with croutons
  5. When bacon is cool enough to touch, crumble over salads
  6. Serve with balsamic vinaigrette

Tip: If this becomes a favorite salad of yours (like me), keep pre-cut cucumbers and red onions on hand to minimize prep time and enjoy multiple times throughout the week.

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