413c820bb21cd09a23535c140057f83729ced692af2597b84f .post-body img { max-width:1000px; height:auto; } Friday We're In Love Google

Friday, May 27, 2016

Escape This Live Date

Date Info: 
Escape The Room Mystery 
Price: You can get deals for $20 per person, so be on the lookout 
Location: Most major cities have something similar- new ones are popping up all the time! 
Website: Escape This Live

I swear before a child we had our act together pretty much all the time. Now it's like if the baby has milk and food with pajamas laid out there's just no way I'm going to remember to grab the memory card for the camera I lugged around for one of our first big dates alone in a long time. So let's just pretend it's 2006 and cell phone camera pics on blogs are all the rage, shall we? We can pretend this is HisNameAndHerName.blogspot.com if it helps you feel in character too. 
But in all seriousness we found a Groupon for an Escape the Room date- at a place called Escape This Live, and were so excited to finally try one out. Here's the premise- you're locked in a themed room and you have one hour to solve a series of clues to uncover the key that lets you out. We had a  pirate themed event, and it was a lot of fun to feel like we were in a Pirates of the Caribbean movie solving timely clues. And good news- we escaped in time! 

I'm pretty sure we'll be doing one of these again soon, it's just too much fun to have to use your wit to solve a mystery, and to have the adrenaline rush of doing so!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Hot Tip to Help Inflate the Date Night Budget

This post has been sponsored by Groupon, but anyone who has been around these parts knows my love for them runs deep and has for many years- and as always, all opinions are my own! 

It's no secret we are big fans of Groupon. When we're looking for fun new date ideas we often turn to Groupon to see what's available, and more often than not we find something new and exciting that we never would have thought to do on our own!

After Mack reached a few months old and was taking a bottle like a champ, we started talking about doing a little more than just dinner for a date with or without the baby. I felt rusty on date planning and decided to crawl out of my hole and jump back into Groupon after being away from most websites that weren't baby related for far too long. I did find some fun ideas and things we'll share as future dates, but I found something else that had me pretty excited, and naturally, it was also related to having a baby.

There was this new tab for coupons, and as someone who loves deals, and often clips coupons and then forgets them, I was thrilled to see I could go from Groupon's site and find coupons for most of my favorite stores- like hey Target, Nordstrom, Gap, and Carter's!

Too good of a tip not to share, and now, there's even more cash in the budget to let me go back and find more interesting new dates on Groupon!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

One Meal Now, One Meal Later: Quinoa Enchilada Casserole

I love home cooked meals, but I also love nights when I don't have to spend my time in the kitchen- and thus my love of prepping one meal now and one for later! I'm extra picky about my freezer meals, so many just taste like freezer, so I'm sharing my tried-and-true favorites that are excellent the day of and taste just as good after being frozen. 

When I found this recipe by Damn Delicious I thought it had a lot of potential to freeze well, so I took a chance and after a few trials and updates I found that it froze perfectly! 
(This makes one tray, if you'd like to make a freezer meal too be sure to double!)


3 cups cooked quinoa
1 (10-ounce) can green enchilada sauce
1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
1/2 cup corn kernels (I used frozen)
1 can canned black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 cups shredded cheese (one cup mixed in, one on top)


1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and diced
1 tomato, diced


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly oil an disposable baking sheet (about 9 x 13).
In a large bowl, combine quinoa, enchilada sauce, green chiles, corn, black beans, cilantro, cumin and chili powder; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in 1 cup of cheese.
Spread quinoa mixture into the baking dish. Top with the remaining cup of cheese. Back for 30 minutes, or until warm and cheese is melted.

What really makes it taste fresh is the two fresh toppings. Be sure to top generously with avocado and tomato just before serving.

If you make a frozen pan be sure to cover tightly with tin foil before freezing. When you're ready to bake it, defrost overnight and cook as directed above.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Family Group Dates- And a Niece Old Enough to Start College!

We are big fans of meeting up with our siblings for group dates. We love trying new places for dinner, meeting up the play games, and just sitting and talking about life. It's amazing how much more fun siblings become the older you get.

What is really crazy is to see our older siblings reaching the age where their kids are in high school and are starting to officially plan for college. We even have our oldest niece graduating from high school this week, and we are both wondering where that little girl went. I can hardly believe so many of our siblings are entering this phase of life while we're still seeing some of Jacob's younger siblings in college and several of our siblings trying to figure out the best way to finish off student loans from doctorate and professional degrees. It was interesting to sit and chat about the different loan options and pros and cons to what's available.

Of course there's nothing like good pizza to bring out the financial geeks in all of us!

We are both big planners, and the moment I found out I was pregnant you'd better believe the talk of if we can pay for college and how much we hope to pay came up pretty quickly! I'm already doing all I can to help save for Mack's education (which once again, thanks for supporting sponsored posts so I can do this)! Options are start saving young, hope for a scholarship, offering living situations to help your student pay for tuition on their own, hope to win the lottery (half kidding), and really education yourself on the student loan options and what each mean for long-term and short-term repayment. We talked about a lot of different options, but we all agree, more and more these days, loans are becoming a big necessity for more people to be able to pay for college.

I was lucky and able to pay off my MBA relatively quickly, but I was lucky to go in the days of subsidized loans and work while I was in school to avoid Federal Plus Loans. In finance classes we talked about loans changing and the interest rate calculations for new loans- it was even a practice question for our final. I was amazed how crazy loans were becoming, and how many people don't know all the options out there. I love helping people figure out how to minimize their debt, it's one of the things that drew me into grad school in the first place. That's why when I was given the opportunity to partner with College Avenue and talk about some of their loans and their options I was more than happy to share!

College Ave Student Loans first of all, have a great website and are super easy to find more information about- so a pro off the bat! They launched a new Parent Loan, which offers savings over Federal Plus Loans- the loans most students take out to pay for living expenses and the ones that really add up fast with interest! They are different- no origination fee and a lower fixed interest rate than the federal program, College Ave Student Loans new parent loan offers qualified parent borrowers an average savings of  $1,000 vs. the Federal Direct Parent Plus program. When you start looking at interest it really is true that every penny counts!
College Ave Student Loans are more flexible, and offer an option to have up to $2,500 deposited directly into parents’ bank accounts so they can help control spending for students who need help learning to budget. There's an option to start paying in full right away, or limit monthly payments while the student is in school, and to pick their own repayment terms from 5 to 12 years.

Parents can take on the loan responsibility or they can cosign a loan with their student instead. That way the student also shares the responsibility for repayment. They really try to make repayment easy so the student and parent can move on with a bright future after college.

College Ave Student Loans and Experian® are offering a limited time joint offer of a credit health check — a complimentary, personalized credit education session with an Experian Credit EducatorSM agent — to help families preparing to pay for college. This is all in effort to better support parents who may need to consider borrowing or cosigning a private student loan if savings, scholarships and federal aid fall short of higher education costs. If you have a student heading to school this fall, now is the time to explore private financing options, which you may need after savings and federal options. The personalized credit education session offers an in-depth, one-on-one, 35-minute phone call with an Experian Credit Educator agent. During the session, parents will receive a copy of their Experian credit report/score and a personalized, step-by-step walk-through of the report, as well as examples of actions that may improve their credit score and insights for future credit management decisions. That's a pretty great offering for anyone trying to decide if it's a good fit for them. You can get more information about how to access the free credit education session at: https://www.collegeavestudentloans.com/crediteducator.

So there's a lot of great info about an awesome resource to help with the college bills. Which, Heaven help me, we're only 17 years away from paying!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


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