drink more water

6 Ways to Drink More Water

I have a confession to make:  I don’t drink enough water.  Even when I try my darnedest, I struggle to get as much as I’d like.  Granted, I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, which naturally increases my water intake.  But, nevertheless, it’s something that I continue to work on.  In my efforts, I’ve come across countless ways to drink more water.  Try one or try a few and see what works for you!

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Since first sharing this post, I have gotten significantly better at incorporating these tips into my own life. And it really has made a difference in my life!  I feel better in general, my skin is clearer, my lips are chapped less often…the list goes on!  I reference this post all the time, both on the blog and offline, because I cannot vouch for the importance of hydration enough.

Find a water bottle you absolutely love. 

Carry it with you.  Decorate it.  Love it.  Drink out of it constantly.

I use this Brita bottle*.  It’s simple, but I love it (and it makes me think of Britta from Community, which always makes me smile!).  It’s the perfect size to carry around with me, and the filter helps me to be confident my water will be as clean as can be.

Since originally sharing this post, I’ve also found a ginormous 50-ounce bottle (with a built-in straw!) that I keep by me while working. It’s a bit too bulky for me to regularly use it on the go, but it’s perfect for reminding me to drink something other than coffee throughout the workday.

Want to read more about how I take care of myself while working from home? Check out my best self-care tips for working at a computer all day!

Make it fun!

Use that favourite bottle.  Get a fancy straw (my sister loves these fish straws*!).  Whatever it takes to make it seem a bit more fun, do it!  The less you make it feel like a chore, the easier you’ll find it to stay hydrated.

I started using my Brumate* winesulator to drink some more water, too!  There’s nothing like making your “boring” water a bit more fancy to really motivate you to drink up.

Add some healthy flavours.

Add a slice of lemon, lime, or cucumber.  Throw in some fresh mint.  Test out your favourite fruit or vegetable! You can even buy special bottles (like this one*) for infusing the flavour into your water.

You can even include your favourite (safe for consumption!) essential oils! Just make sure you do so properly to avoid unintentionally making yourself ill.

Check out our resource library for some of our favourite flavour ideas!

Mark up that bottle.

Divide your bottle into increments and mark each with the time by which you’d like to drink it.  Challenge yourself to meet that goal each day!

While I don’t utilise this tip myself, I try to keep track of how much is left to drink in my bottle throughout the day.  Knowing the approximate amounts is a good motivator, too, it seems!

Keep track.

Use a bullet journal?  Add a spread for your daily water intake!  More technologically savvy?  Try an app like Plant Nanny or Daily Water or set yourself reminders to take a few swigs.

I’ve incorporated a water tracker into my bullet journal a few times, but I’ve found that using my Fitbit app’s built-in tracker has worked best for me, personally.

Add it to your routine.

You’re going to eat sometime today, right?  Why not plan to drink a cup of water just before. One just after? How about one right before you wake up or right before you go to bed?  Make it a habit and you won’t have to think about guzzling!

drink more water

Try any of these ways to drink more water?  Let us know how it went in the comments!

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Best Heels EVER

The Best Heels EVER

One of the items on my original 101 in 1,001 list is to buy a really nice pair of shoes.  Without even trying, I found my newest favourite heels—I would go so far as to call them the best heels ever!

As a bonus, I found a pair of flats that were nearly as wonderful (though nothing could quite compare in my eyes).

Some context:  I’ve got a plethora of joint issues, balance issues, etc. that make heels difficult more often than not.  I’m essentially the most uncoordinated person to ever live and heels just accentuate the issue.

With these heels?  No issue.

Now, I did find a similarly wonderful pair of heels once before in my life.  In high school, I had a pair of character shoes purchased by the school musical department that was truly amazing.  Not only could I walk in them, but I could dance in them! Truly a magnificent feat.

But, since I haven’t been in theatre for a few years now, investing in new character shoes doesn’t seem like the wisest choice (though I’ll admit, I’ve considered grabbing a pair solely for wearing as “normal” heels because they were so perfect!).

These heels are the closest I’ve come to that seemingly perfect pair in terms of comfort and compatibility with my lack of coordination. And, not only are they a normal pair of heels, but they are super cute!  Dare I say I like them more than those mythic character shoes from all those years ago?

Yes, yes I dare.  Since buying these shoes (and sharing this post), I’ve worn these shoes to quite a few events.  I’ve danced in them, both at actual events and more casually in the living room.  They’ve held up wonderfully and continue to be perfect.

Of course, they’ve stopped being sold since I purchased these, but I’ve tried to find some close dupes (linked at the end of the post!), but I can’t confirm that they’re as comfortable or functional.

Find an equally wonderful “best heels ever?” Let me know and I’ll include the link!  

The World’s Best Pair of Heels:

I stumbled across these shoes at Debenham’s while shopping for an event with some friends.  It was love at first sight.

The thick heels make these super easy to walk in, while the laces make them stay on without effort (plus, it’s super fashionable!).  The fuzzy exterior makes me absurdly giddy each time I put them on.

They match pretty much everything.  I’ve worn them with the joggers pictured, with jeans, with a dress or skirt…. They can really do no wrong!

At the same time, I bought a pair of flats in a similar lace-up style.  Even better? They cost me three pounds.  One.  Two.  Three.  That’s all.  You can’t beat that!  They weren’t as comfortable as these magical heels, though.  Still, I wore them for several months until they wore out!

Needless to say, I’ve definitely jumped on the bandwagon when it comes to lace-up shoes.  I get a bit giddy when I find a new pair (though I’m pretty good about not purchasing every pair I find!).

Unfortunately, neither pair is available online through Debenham’s.  But never fear!  I’ve found some similar pairs if you’d like to snag some of your own.

Find similar heels here or here and similar flats here or here.

What are your all-time favourite shoes?

Best Heels EVER

Buffalo Cauliflower Sandwich

Buffalo Cauliflower Sandwich

While living in England, one of my housemates whipped up Hot for Food’s vegan buffalo cauliflower sandwich.  For the first time in my life, I finished off my leftovers and was sad I had none left.  I’ve never felt so much like Patrick Star in my life!

Click here to go straight to the recipe!

But all Spongebob references aside, this was by far one of the most delicious sandwiches I’ve had the opportunity to consume.

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Me being me, I made a few adjustments, and our vegan buffalo cauliflower sandwich was born.

My biggest difficulty so far is the dressing.  Since Vegenaise is impossible to find in my middle of nowhere town, it’s up to me to make my own.  Unfortunately, none of my blenders open on top, which complicates the emulsification process a bit.  So, my dressing tends to be a lot runnier than I’d like, but it’s delicious nevertheless!

Our buffalo sauce is quite different than the inspiration, too, but I think it adds a nice touch. You can play around with the flavours, too! Prefer your sandwich less spicy? Adjust accordingly.  Want to up the spice? Go for it!  Either way, I can just about guarantee that you’ll love this sandwich–hopefully as much as I do!

Try it for yourself and see!

Buffalo Cauliflower Sandwich

A delicious, healthy buffalo cauliflower sandwich.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 2 sandwiches

Ingredients

  • 2 buns I split the steaks in half sometimes, so feel free to use more buns!

Cauliflower "Steak"

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Buffalo Sauce

  • 1/4 cup hot sauce
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 stick vegan butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

Ranch sauce

  • 1/2 cup vegan mayo
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 F.

  2. Clean cauliflower and slice in half. From each half, cut one steak, about 1/2 inch thick. Save the remaining cauliflower to make buffalo cauliflower wings or your favourite cauliflower recipe!

  3. Whisk flour, non-dairy milk, water, and spices in a bowl. Pour into a baking dish and use to coat the steaks completely. Place on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes.

  4. While they are baking, prepare your sauces.

  5. Prepare vegan mayo if you haven't already, then whisk all ingredients together. Chill until the remaining ingredients are ready.

  6. Melt butter, then combine with remaining ingredients to form buffalo sauce. Add to baking dish and coat baked cauliflower. Place back in oven and bake for another 25 minutes.

  7. Add steaks to bun with dressing and condiments of choice. I've used Hot for Food's suggestion of lettuce, tomato, and onion, and substituted avocado from time to time. They're all wonderful!  

Buffalo Cauliflower Sandwich

Tried it?  Let us know what you think!

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Top Finance Apps to Manage Your Money

Top Finance Apps to Manage Your Money

According to Time, Americans cumulatively checks their cell phones about 8 million times a day.   Why not use a few of those unlocks to check in on your finances?  Pick up a few of our top finance apps and make managing your money easier than ever.

From improving your credit and setting up a budget to saving and evaluating your spending, there’s an app for every aspect of money management–and a lot of them tackle several (if not all) of the tasks you could want! And they work for all sorts of financial situations–thanks to the seemingly endless customisations available in these apps, you can make them work if you’re living paycheck to paycheck or you’re already a millionaire (and if you’re a millionaire, we do have a ko-fi page!).

Why go digital? Not only are we as a society always on our phones, but digital money management couldn’t be easier. I’m normally a paper and pen girl, but I love these tools for their customisation options, personalised tips, and (mostly) seamless integration with my existing accounts!

These are my favourite applications for managing your money:

Mint

Created by Intuit, the makers of TurboTax, Mint will help you track your spending, set a budget, remember to pay your bills, AND check your credit score!  That’s one mighty little app.  You can make a free account with just a bit of information and get to managing your finances right away!

Money-Sending

Say you’re out with your friends and you’re suddenly starving. But you forgot your wallet.  With any one of these apps, you can have your friend spot you for a slice of pizza and you can pay her back painlessly.  I use Paypal myself, largely because my paychecks are deposited there, but Circle and Venmo are both known to be good alternatives.

Banking applications

For me, this is my Santander and Capital One apps.  Through these, you can transfer funds between accounts (both within the individual bank and between them), check your balance, and even check for any “surprise” fees or charges.  Chances are, your bank has an app of its own!

Similarly, if you have a credit card account outside of banking (like a store card, for example), be sure to check if they have an app of their own.

Credit Sesame/Credit Karma

You might not want to think about it, but your credit score is kinda super very important.  Keep an eye on it with Credit Sesame and/or Credit Karma! They are both amazing tools.  They’ll even give you suggestions regarding how you can improve your score!

I started off using Credit Karma myself but quickly fell in love with Credit Sesame’s report card-style layout.  Nowadays, I use both of them to make sure I’m not missing a thing–and to make the most of all of their tips!

Charlie

While not technically an app, Charlie is one of my favourite digital money management tools.  I mean, who can say no to a “money-saving prodigy penguin?”  Yes, penguin.  And he’s as cute as you can imagine.

I have Charlie hooked up to my Facebook messenger (be sure to follow us while you’re there!).  There, he messages me when I receive money (like this morning, when my paycheck was transferred!), when I have a bill coming up, or when he sees an opportunity for me to save money.  This one’s really open to your feedback, so Charlie the penguin learns about you and your financial situation and improves himself accordingly.

Qapital

I actually have a whole post about my review of Qapital! This is my favourite tool for saving a little bit extra without too much effort.  They’re actually in the process of revamping their tools right now, so I’ll be sure to update you as I learn more about it!

 

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Have you tried any of our top finance apps to manage your money?  Do you have another one that you absolutely love?  Let us know in the comments!

Top Finance Apps to Manage Your Money