Lessons from #NoSpendFeb

As a result of some uncontrolled spending in January, I put myself on a strict financial diet for February. I tracked my daily spending to the last cent and resolved to not make purchases unless I really needed to. My strategy looked like this:


I wasn’t always perfect. Concert tickets for the summer all seem to go on sale in February and there were some opportunities I couldn’t miss. But I learned so much about myself and my habits in the last month.

1) I’m very impulsive with money. On the night of the Super Bowl, I tried to buy a case of Tastykakes while drunk. Luckily my card wouldn’t go through and I (also luckily) didn’t have my credit with me because I hid it from myself (also while drunk) and I can’t find it.

2) Wishlists work. I created two lists – Wants and Needs. Needs are obviously prioritized and include things like new sheets. The Wants are things I’d typically buy myself in the moment, and maybe regret later. By adding it to the list, I can let some time pass and see if it’s still something important to me. Maybe someone needs a gift idea for me? Maybe I don’t want that thing anymore? Do I want this $300 water bottle filled with diamonds? Yup. Do I need it right now? Probably not.

3) Make your wallet inconvenient to access. This was so simple and SO unexpectedly effective! I switched from a messenger bag to a backpack recently. To access my wallet, I need to take the backpack off, unzip the compartments, and dig it out. It’s kind of a pain. When my wallet was easy to access in a side pocket, I could whip it out all too often. Now when I stroll through The Strand, I have to really think about if I want to hold up the line to excavate my wallet to buy a new book. I keep daily essentials like my work badge and MTA card on the back of my phone, but not my debit card.

4) Don’t autosave card numbers into websites. One-click purchases are just too convenient… and often thoughtless! I took my numbers off Amazon. Seamless. Paypal. Modcloth. Pretty much everywhere. Ticketmaster got to keep my card info. That’s it.

4a) DO automate saving! I had an ambitious savings goal of $1,000 for the month. Granted, tax returns helped with that quite a bit, but my bank also lets me set goals based on timing and then automatically moves money into those goals every day.


5) There’s a lot of free stuff to do around the city. I kind of knew this already. But I rededicated myself to finding free or cheap things to do. There’s lots of free music. Free tastings. Cheap performances at the PIT. One of the reasons I LOVE living in NYC is that i consider my crazy rent part of my membership

6) I appreciated my paid activities more. Like lunch with Tony. And Galentine’s Day festivities. Likewise I felt bad about money events I can’t control – like a “team lunch” that we had to pay for ourselves where I ended up with a $21 appetizer-sized crab cake after splitting the bill ūüėĎ It was really a lesson in value over cost and how to balance the two.

7) Rethinking gift giving. I tend to throw money at spoiling the people I love. It’s a Taurus thing reinforced by my Dad’s specific way of expressing love. For Valentine’s day, instead of a fancy night out and big gifts, I got Ryan a Movie Pass subscription and a poem I wrote about him when I was SIXTEEN. So now we can have a cheap date night at the movies whenever we want!

8) I didn’t check my bank account as much. Because I wasn’t worried about money! Usually in the week leading up to payday, I’m anxious about my account. I check it at least once a day. I always pay all the bills first, but when I’m frivolous with money I don’t feel secure. Since I was very closely tracking my spending, I always knew what was in my account without even having to check. It was a much better feeling!

9) My friends are awesome. Not a new lesson, but it really helped to have friends who understood my experiment and were supportive of the mission. No one was offended if I said no to a spendy hang out. I really appreciated their company instead of worrying about how to keep everyone entertained.

10) I have a mild shopping addiction. It gives me a RUSH to pull out my credit card and punch in the numbers… and then guilt. I feel out of control when I buy things sometimes. I don’t want to feel like that. I channeled that energy into working out or discovering an amazing piece at one of the museums I have memberships with.

I highly recommend trying a No Spend month! The daily spending tracking habits I’ve developed will continue forward, help me save more than I ever imagined, and force me to prioritize my needs over impulsive wants. If you try this experiment, let me know how it goes!


Favorite Places: Coney Island Brewery

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Since we’ve reached peak craft brewing in this country there aren’t many breweries left where you can feel like a regular or enjoy truly exciting beers. But in a world of IPAs akin to kiddie rides, Coney Island Brewery has earned their hashtags #TakeTheRide and #ThrillYourTastebuds.

On a typical Saturday in summer, you can find me wandering between the brewery and the Freak Bar, sipping beers, emphatically cheering on the sideshow and talking to freaky new friends. Even on winter weekends it’s nice to escape to a place that feels so much like my childhood home in Wildwood, NJ.

Coney Island Brewery Black Lager



I’m a big fan of their quirky and creative events.¬†In the summer, they host big happenings and can releases at least once a month. My favorite last year was the Cotton Candy Festival. The Cotton Candy Kolsch is one of my favorites so I had to pick up some cans to bring home.. Not too sweet, but perfect for a summer afternoon.


The Brewery’s Birthday Bash in August was also a total blast. Sideshow performers hung out and did their acts among the crowd Adam Realman, my sideshow professa from Sideshow School 2012, ripped a deck of playing cards in HALF and made my boyfriend bleed trying to replicate that feat of strength.

We spent Super Bowl VII with CIB at Kitchen 21, enjoying our favorite craft beers as the Eagles historically won their first Lombardi. Most recently, we celebrated Valentine’s Day with an excellent beer and chocolate pairing.


Freak Show Saturdays are a great opportunity to get freaky with flavors. As CIB describes their Randall infusions:

Every Saturday a new, mad, reckless experiment in beer science will be conducted in our taproom as we infuse one of our styles with a new ingredient.

Think NY Honey Stout infused with Cafe Grumpy espresso beans, our Merman NY IPA blasted through two chambers of whole cone Mosaic hops, or perhaps Mermaid Pilsner infused with lemon starburst?

As someone who is routinely drawn to events to try their newest releases and limited editions, this is a kryptonite that guarantees I have plans every Saturday!



It’s no surprise I’ve been a member of the Beer Freak Club since last year. I’m only one punch away from the mug club and definitely on track to score one of those BEAUTIFUL Beast Stainless Steel Growlers only the freakiest fans earn.


NYC Beer Week is coming up fast and I’ll be checking out a couple of spots. I’ll definitely be at the kick off party at the brewery next Sunday. Then March 1, I’ll be hanging out for a while at the Brazen Fox. I love when CIB comes to my neighborhood! Who else is coming out?
beer week

Subscription Addiction

Copy of Sunday Stats

Ages ago, I had a Lootcrate subscription. It was fun for a while, but it was also overloading my shelves with junk. Most of the themes were too broad for my interests and I wasn’t getting enough gaming items. Too much of the stuff ended up in the trash because I couldn’t deal with the clutter. I canceled, but they’ve evolved a lot in the last couple of years and have a bunch of more specifically tailored options now. Their sock crate is probably worth it! To be honest, if they did an underwear box for women, I’d totally get that.

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Typical LootCrate

When Lootcrate first came onto the scene, along with a handful of other subscription boxes, I remember thinking that this fad would never catch fire. In our digital era where minimalism is a lifestyle, magazines and mail subscriptions are virtually deceased, I just couldn’t fathom why people would want to amass STUFF on a monthly basis.

Then, in a Twitch stream on Dyscourse in 2015, I discovered Indiebox. Indiebox delivered collector’s edition PC games with amazing collectibles. I still enjoy the Axiom Verge soundtrack! It was an awesome way to discover new games and play new genres. I particularly appreciated the game download codes so my shelves didn’t fill up with jewel cases like the 90’s. Unfortunately, in September they shuttered the subscription service portion of their business model. RIP.

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My Favorite Indiebox

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My first Indiebox

Through the magic of instagram, I met Goddess Provisions where I’ve been a member for almost 2 years. Each month I get candles and aromatherapy oils, a bit of chocolate maybe or other tools to raise my vibration and connect more deeply with the universe.

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January’s awesome Goddess Provisions box

Now almost everyone I know maintains some kind of subscription. But how did this happen? How did something kind of silly and seemingly so off trend explode into a cultural phenomenon?

My theory is twofold:

We’ve forgotten the joy of surprise.
When information and answers are a tap away, the amusement and satisfaction of discovery has dissipated. New memes are old news as soon as they start trending. Through social media, everyone learns about major events at practically the same moment. If you don’t see the hottest new movie on opening night, there’s a massive chance someone is going to spoil it for you.

True, genuine surprise is rare anymore. Sometimes instagram spoils boxes for me!¬†¬†¬† We know everything before we know it and discovery has gotten boring. So, the arrival of a package packed with mystery goodies tailored to your interests brings back the thrill of surprise. It’s like finding a loot crate in real life! #GamesIRL

Getting physical mail is AWESOME.
Most of the good stuff comes to our email inboxes now, while our mailboxes are filled with disappointment- direct mail marketing pieces (still? REALLY?), local menus and credit card offers. A mission to the mailbox typically ends with a jaunt to garbage can.

Remember getting care packages in college? Or any kind of gift in the mail? It turns a trip to the mailbox into your own private holiday. It’s a parade in your honor. Subscription boxes are like a gift each month, and if you pay for several months in advance, it doesn’t even feel like spending money for the duration!

Glux introduced me to Cratejoy (and she talked about her subscription experiences here) where we both went a little wild on the options in January. I’ll review some of the new boxes I’ve subbed with in the coming weeks. Do you have any favorites?

2017 Credits

Let ’em roll!

2017 was the fastest year I think I’ve ever experienced. That’s probably a good thing. I did a lot of great things and fought through a lot of not so great things. Trying to navigate this weird new reality around me and find my center every day. It was a year I spent trying to distract myself FROM everything WITH everything. My depression got REALLY bad as a result. Kind of a mess, but this bull is ready to lock horns with 2018 and make some magic every damn day.

What I did¬†// Got a sneak peak at the Nintendo Switch in January. Became an IBMer and landed my dream job! Ran my 5th 15k.¬†Had a kick ass time in NOLA for my sister’s bachelorette weekend. And then served as Maid of Honor in her gorgeous wedding! Saw Shakespeare in the Park. Lost $200 and felt horribly out of place at the Belmont Stakes. Stuffed my face at Donutfest with Gluxbox. Spent a magical 4th of July at Coney Island with all my freakshow friends. Checked out the INCREDIBLE Jim Henson Exhibit at the Museum of the Moving Image. Saw so many concerts I started a new section here dedicated to Live Shows. Was completely underwhelmed by NYCC. Experienced one of the greatest Penn State Football games of all time vs Michigan and was part of a record-breaking crowd over #110kStrong. Went fly fishing and caught the most monstrous brown trout ever. Checked out a lot of cool new breweries.

Most-played albums¬†// Bush*Black and White Rainbows + all the other albums, of course / Gorillaz*Humanz / Band of Skulls*By Default / The Dead Deads*Rainbeau + For Your Obliteration / Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds*Who Built the Moon / The Orwells*Disgraceland + Terrible Human Beings

Most-loved shows & films // Master of None. Game Of Thrones. Rick and Morty. 13 Reasons Why (even though watching it made me relive a lot of horrible shit). GLOW. Blade Runner 2049. American Vandal. Stranger Things 2. The Lure Рa horror-musical mermaid Polish film. Love (more like hate-watching this one). Easy. Salem. Black Mirror

Places I Traveled // Austin, TX (not as weird as advertised), NOLA (If you need recommendations, I have them all!), Atlanta, GA to the Coca-Cola HQ. Philly. Monterrey, Mexico.

Live Shows I Attended // Paul Gilbert. Morgan James. The Gin Blossoms (and caught a pick!). Garbage x Blondie. Bush x 3!!! Paul McCartney (and Bruce Springsteen came out for the encore!). Brian Wilson. A Perfect Circle.

Top purchases¬†// Nintendo Switch! Neon Yellow joycons for said Switch. Velociraptor socks at The Strand. Oliver Hibert’s Tarot and Secret Arcana. SNES Classic. Gold boots (they make me feel like a goddess and I get TONS of compliments every time I wear them). Apple Watch Series 3 – lifechanging. Passion Planner so I can make goals and break them down into tasks to ensure I’m staying centered, practicing gratitude and moving forward/upward.

Style obsessions¬†// Gamer bounding (sometimes accidentally). So much black. Bomber jackets. Biker boots. Leopard and suede. Pins (all of the pins). Metallics. Trucker hats (I somehow amassed a collection as if it’s 2002…). Vintage t-shirts. Black and white leggings with psychedelic patterns.

Best things I did for myself¬†// Started a Bullet Journal. Created a daily tarot ritual. Crystal bed therapy- I had some insane visions and left feeling both balanced/relaxed AND more powerful than ever! Ramped up my side hustle on Rover.com – I made over $3,000 to hang out with so many awesome dogs! Got an Equinox membership- it’s sweaty, eucalyptus scented bliss and the most motivating gym I’ve ever been to. Tried a spin class and got addicted to the bike. Stopped being ashamed of my depression and learned to ask for help when I need it.

Top games¬†// The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Switch). Shantae: Half Genie Hero (PS4). Ever Oasis (3DS). Splatoon 2 (Switch). Stardew Valley (Switch). Super Mario Odyssey (Switch). Night in the Woods (PS4). Metroid: Samus Returns (3DS). Destiny 2 (Xbox). Golf Story (Switch). Oxenfree (PS4). Animal Crossing Pocket Camp (Mobile- I know! Never thought I’d see the day…). Worms W.M.D (Switch). The End is Nigh (Switch).

What were your biggest highlights of the year?

2016 Credits

So 2016 was a motherfucker of a year, huh? Rife with death, sadness, struggle and one WTF after another, we all deserve an award for emerging from it. I am battle scarred. I am exhausted. And I am determined to face 2017 ready to fight hard and play hard and love hard. Starting by looking back at what WAS awesome about 2016:

What I did // Took my family on an Obscene Art History tour at MoMA. Ran my 3rd Hot Chocolate 15k (in the rain, with no music and KILLED my previous time by 20 minutes!). Saw The Dandy Warhols. Started a new Skeeball team that placed in city finals and qualified for Nationals. Joined the Gotham Girls Roller Derby Rec League and nearly broke my damn back. Lost a job. Got a new job. Took my sister to Vegas to live her dream and see Britney Spears. Got into a fight at a Britney Spears concert. Saw The Beach Boys and Sloan and BUSH THREE TIMES! Took a knife and hatchet throwing class. Saw Soul Asylum. Went to Brew at the Zoo with Gluxbox. Ran the NYC Turkey Trot. Got to see one of THE greatest games in college football history when Penn State defeated Ohio State in an amazing display of talent, grit and sheer team chemistry. Went to NYCC and spent way too much money. Formed an amazing tribe of girl friends. Discovered the carney-est beer ever РFunnel Cake Ale by Forgotten Boardwalk Brewing.

Most-played albums¬†// Allie Goertz¬†* Sad Dance Songs (Rick &¬†Morty concept album). The Dandy Warhols * Distortland. Sloan * Never Hear The End Of It. Bush * All of them ūüėā.

Most-loved shows & films // Deadpool. Game of Thrones (I watched ALL of it this year). Shameless. Black Mirror. Rick and Morty, obviously. The Love Witch in all its campy glam glory. Scream Queens.

Top purchases // Riedell R3 roller derby skates. The Wild Unknown. NES Classic Edition. Nintendo Zelda edition Vans! A long weekend at The Cosmopolitan in Vegas.

Style obsessions // RED LIPS. Wearable art. Retro. Gamer bounding. Cartoon colors and jewel tones. Bomber jackets. Biker boots. Psychedelic patterns. Caftans.

Best things I did for myself // Joined the Radical Self Love Coven. Tuned myself in to the Universe. Fell madly in love with myself. Reconnected with my soulmate. Burlesque burlesque burlesque!

Top games // FTL (PC). Risk of Rain (PC). Star Wars Battlefront (PS4/Xbox One). Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (WiiU). Earthbound (3DS). Spelunky (PC). Gun Slugs (3DS). Overwatch (Xbox One). Animal Crossing New Leaf Welcome Amiibo update (3DS). Monster Hunter Generations (3DS). Pokemon Moon (3DS). World of Final Fantasy (PS4). Final Fantasy XV (PS4). Shantae: 1/2 Genie Hero (PS4).


2015 Credits

2015 was a year. Pretty sure I didn’t sleep¬†for a minute and the only way I can describe 2015 involves the word “heaving” and the visual of rolling¬†a boulder up a mountain using every spectral fiber of¬†my soul. This means I am incredibly strong. It also means I am incredibly tired. But I also got everything I wanted, everything I worked the last 6 years for, right down to some insanely nuanced and mindbendingly coincidental details.

What I did¬†// Ran TWO 15ks (and beat my time by a solid 7 minutes). Attended a fancy wedding. Moved the fuck back to NYC after 6 YEARS of working to make that happen (and I am never leaving again). Joined a skeeball league (and won the East Village championships!). Locked down a sweet new professional gig that pays my bills and keeps Muldoon rollin’ in kibbles.¬†Saw Django Django, Tame Impala, The Black Keys, The Foo Fighters and the Suicide Girls Blackheart Burlesque. Started a blog again. Fell in love with someone I’d never met (then actually met him and preferred the cartoon version. Womp womp…). Found my muse again. Cooked my first Thanksgiving meal! Went to NYCC (and wouldn’t do it again).

Most-played albums¬†// Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds * Chasing Yesterday. Tame Impala * Currents * Lonerism. Sloan * Never Hear the End of It. Django Django * Django Django * Born Under Saturn. The Bravery * The Sun & The Moon. Broken Bells * Broken Bells * After the Disco. Fly Golden Eagle * Quartz. The Dandy Warhols * Welcome to the Moneky House * Earth to the Dandy Warhols. Material Issue * Destination Universe. Nerf Herder * American Cheese.¬†Blur * The Magic Whip.

Most-loved shows & films // American Horror Story! Scream Queens. JURASSIC WORLD (I cried. More than once). X-Files- rewatched the entire series over spring. Jessica Jones! Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The Hateful 8. Unreal.

Top purchases¬†//¬†Majora’s Mask edition New Nintendo 3DS XL (My annual Galentine’s Day gift to myself). Burlesque classes. Indiebox subscription (highly recommend!). Deviant Moon tarot deck.

Style obsessions // RED LIPS. Wearable art. Retro. Gamer bounding. Cartoon colors and jewel tones. Cracked faux leather. A-line dresses. Doc Martens.

Best things I did for myself // Stopped living to please other people! Kept up running. Went back to the gym. Moved back to New York.

Top games // Destiny (Xbox One). Dyscourse (Steam). Binding of Isaac: Rebirth (3DS). Shovel Knight (3DS). TriForce Heroes (3DS). Splatoon (WiiU). Super Smash Bros (3DS/WiiU). Fallout 4 (Xbox One). Armello (Steam).

2016 will be a year of recalibrating, reestablishing my life here and rediscovering myself without allowing others the power to define me. I’m going to write here more, submit my poems to some journals, travel a bit and have countless exciting things happen and awkward moments.

What will you do?