How I save money without even thinking about it

How I save money without even thinking about it


Need to stash away money – use acorns

Last year I decided that I wanted to take control of my personal finances. After my two years in the Peace Corps, my credit was completely destroyed and I had to start all over. I started researching the best way to pay down my debt and save money at the same time and came across a new way to invest. Acorns intrigued me, especially the ability to set aside my change. I wanted that feature and didn’t know how much I needed it until I started using it.

What is acorns?

Acorns is a micro investment app. They make investing interesting, fun, and accessible for millennials.The idea came from squirrels who hide acorns for food later, but then forget about them. Those acorns grow into trees, which then create further dividends in the form of even more acorns.
Acorns works the same way. They take the rounded up change from your purchases and purchase shares of stocks. It goes into an investment account that you don’t touch and over time it grows and earns dividends. You can customize it to roll away your little acorns for every $5 dollars, and pick the kind of plan you’d like for them to invest your money in.

How to sign up for Acorns

Signing up for Acorns is super easy. And if you use this link you’ll start your account off with $5, plus they’ll plant a tree to help our environment. You’ll need your bank card – I’ve used both my debit card and a credit card with my account.

Which plan to pick

When you sign up they’ll ask you some personal questions about your current financial situation, and what your savings goals are. Based on your answers they’ll recommend a plan that ranges from conservative to aggressive. You are welcome to choose a plan that you feel is better if you want. To see the differences in plans, click here.
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The power of Acorns

My favorite feature about this app,one that the other ones that are similar don’t have is that it can roll up your change from purchases and invest it. So you can save your money passively and it’s such small amounts that you won’t notice it’s missing!
You can also check your balance, dividends, and see a projection of your investments if you let them grow.
Acorns also has content that will teach you about investments, the stock market, and other related topics.
They also have a partnership with some of your favorite brands and stores, like Casper, Jet, Blue Apron, Zappos, and apple music. You can earn additional dollars just for buying things you were going to buy anyway.
You may have heard of other programs that do similar things (like ebates or swagbucks) and the real difference here is this money is going to earn you interest. It’s not points. You don’t have to wait to cash it out. Every purchase you make is an investment to your future goals.

Link more than one card

Like I mentioned before, you can link more than one card. The benefit is being able to put away as much as possible into this investment account. Every time I make a purchase from either account, the change is rolled up to the next dollar, and once it reaches $5, Acorns whisks it from my account and into my investments. I don’t even think about it – it just happens.
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How much I’ve saved

I recently withdrew the money I previously saved which was about $200 – which I used for a vacation. My current balance is up to $80, and I don’t make regular contributions. Every now and then I’ll decide I can transfer $10 or $20, but most of my savings has come from the acorns rounding up.
I don’t currently have any goals with my investment through acorns. But I’m looking at buying a house or a car within the next few years. Having this stash will undoubtedly come in handy – especially if I let it grow.

How Acorns is going to help you reach your goals

Making an investment in the stock market is absolutely going to come with risks. I am not a certified financial advisor so please understand I’m only talking about my own experience here.
Millennials are accused of so many things – ruining the economy buy not buying enough houses, being swallowed in student loans we were convinced we needed, etc. If you’re trying to figure out how to plan for the future while taking care of your current financial situation, Acorns is a great option. Acorns will shuffle aside a couple of dollars every now and then into an investment account, allowing you to make a contribution to your financial future that isn’t an overburden of your day to day life. Acorns make investing interesting, fun, and accessible for millennials.
The app I use to save hundreds of dollars every month has changed my life. Making an investment in my future with Acorns has never been easier. The app I use to save hundreds of dollars every month has changed my life. Making an investment in my future with Acorns has never been easier.
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Divi Theme Review

Divi Theme Review

There is a WordPress theme that is possibly one of the most popular and customizable of them all. I’ve been blogging for half of my life but it took me until just last year to finally figure out why everyone was all about the Divi Theme.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through them, I may earn a small commission at not cost to you. In fact, if you use the links, you are directly supporting the creation of awesome content for the future. So thanks!

What is the Divi Theme?

Divi is a highly customizable theme sold by Elegant Themes. It has this awesome drag and drop feature, and you can download different modules to literally create anything you want. And you don’t need to know how to code CSS, or HTML to use it. In the divi builder you can build whole pages, blogs, etc to look exactly the way you want.


Why did I switch to Divi?

Last year I decided to finally take my blogging seriously and upgrade to what the professionals were using: Divi. And it has seriously made a difference. Before, editing my blog was a nightmare because there wasn’t a theme I could find that could do everything that I needed it to. I wish I had kept a screenshot or two of my previous layouts so we could compare the differences and see how much more professional I am today than I was a couple of years ago. Then there’s also the part where I regularly changed my theme because I just could not customize it enough to suit my needs. I would go through five or six in a year! That’s madness!


One of the great things about WordPress is how customizable it is, but to make any real layout changes you need a premium theme.


When I finally decided to invest, I’m not sure I spent any time looking at other themes. Well, that’s not true. I just knew, that if I was going to get a grown up theme, I wanted to have the grown up theme, you know?


Level up with a child theme


I learned quickly that while Divi is super customizable, and simple to use – once you understand where all the buttons lead you – it would be easier and worth my time and money to invest in a child theme. Child themes are pre-made layouts that use Divi as a base. Installing them is simple. First, you install Divi, and activate it within WordPress. Then you install the child theme and activate that on top of the Divi. It was painless.


And it made my website go from amatuer to legit profesh in just a couple of minutes.

My favorite features of Divi

I don’t know where to start with my favorite features of Divi because it just has so many options. One of the biggest selling points for me though is the Bloom app, which allows you to collect emails. I use this app in several different ways. Like the Shopify Fly – In, the embedded forms in blog posts, and the embedded forms on the home page.


It also comes with an app called Monarch which allows visitors to share your posts via social media – kind of like Sumome but it’s included in your bundle from Elegant Themes.


One of the Downsides of Divi… potentially


Because I’m so in love with Divi it hasn’t occurred to me that I should change it. But I’ve read from other bloggers while I was researching that any page you build with Divi uses short codes. If you try changing it later, those pages won’t convert with the new theme because they were built on Divi and not HTML. So if you switch to Divi it is a full time commitment, but I think it is a worthy one.


So How Much Does This Cost?

I think sometimes the sticker shock of Divi can be a the one hold back from making a purchase.  When you make a yearly subscription purchase, you’re not just getting access to Divi. You’re getting access to over 80 different themes. If Divi just isn’t your cup, you can use one of the other’s instead. 


A year subscription to Elegant Themes is $89 and includes access to all of their themes and plugins. You can try it out for a year and see if it’s your style. And you should take the full year to make sure you like it, can learn how to use it. It’s like moving to a new city. It takes a while for you to learn all the shortcuts, hidden gems, and best places to get drunk. Another cool thing about the pricing: if you decide to upgrade to the developer package before your year is up, they’ll prorate what you’ve already paid.


If you’re ready to commit to the Divi theme, a one time life time purchase of $249 makes more sense. Sure it’s a bigger out of pocket expense, but then you NEVER have to pay it again. You get all the updates for life. It’s actually kind of a steal.

To me, getting the Divi theme meant I leveled up your blog. That allowed me to actually start pulling in money.  And it has paid for itself several times over now.


If you want to check out Divi plus all the cool stuff it has, you can find it here.


Have you tried Divi? What’s your favorite WordPress theme?

Divi Theme for wordpress, Professional bloggers use Divi Theme, Do I need Divi, How to use Divi, make money blogging using Divi

Divi Theme for wordpress, Professional bloggers use Divi Theme, Do I need Divi, How to use Divi, make money blogging using Divi

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How to find the right Tailwind Tribes for you

How to find the right Tailwind Tribes for you

How to find the right Tailwind Tribes for You

You might have heard, but Tailwind Tribes has officially launched! This is exciting news because finding the right Tailwind Tribes to join is finally easier than ever!

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through them, I may earn a small commission at not cost to you. In fact, if you use the links, you are directly supporting the creation of awesome content for the future. So thanks!

If you don’t know what Tailwind Tribes are, let’s take a moment here to explain: Tailwind Tribes are basically little groups of people who share pins so you can reshare them. Which means, you can add your own pins to these Tailwind Tribes, and the people in the tribes will share them to their audience.


For you, as a blogger or business owner this means your pins will reach a larger audience.


One of the downsides of Tailwind Tribes is that you cannot control who shares your pins and who doesn’t. But if your pins are pretty and the content is interesting and fits within the theme of the other pinners in the tribe, then you getting shares of your pins will be easy!


Other benefits of this awesome feature of Tailwind Tribes:

  • Its free for the first five tribes – you don’t need a tailwind subscription! (You do technically need an account, but you don’t have to sign up for a plan unless you’re ready to explode your Pinterest and get all the traffic. But I digress…)
  • Each month you’ll get to share 30 pins, which is pretty reasonable, considering for over 9 months, I shared less than 250 pins.
  • If you already have a Tailwind Tribes account but haven’t logged in recently, your free account comes with 10 tribes and 80 pins a month – which is the same as the Tribes Pro plan and costs 59.98 a year. Congratulations!
  • There are other companies out there who may do similar things but the one thing Tailwind has going for it that those other companies don’t is: Tailwind is an Official Pinterest Partner. By having that seal of approval you know that using this tool isn’t going to get your account banned and/or closed by Pinterest for violating their terms of service. It also means the software you’re using is high quality and that your sensitive information is secure.

This video is from several bloggers who love Tailwind Tribes and can talk about it a little better than I can. Take a look:



If you’re ready to check Tailwind Tribes out and see how to make it work for your blog or online business, here’s how to start:


Visit tailwind tribes

To get started with Tailwind Tribes, first Visit the Tailwind Tribes Page.


Use the Find a New Tribe button

You’ll find a search bar and some popular niches like travel, family, marketing and more. You can either search for a tribe in your specific niche, or look at the collections.

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Read rules preview pins

When you click on individual tribes, it’ll give you a preview of the kinds of pins inside, and you’ll also see the rules. They will all be different and it’ll be up to you to follow them.

For my The Millennial Life Tribe, I have kind of a lot of rules. I want it to be fair to everyone, but I also want the content relevant. I really want the Millennial Life to be centered around adulting, money management, traveling, and personal and career development.

So you’ll notice I have a rule against VA’s, Mommy Bloggers, and Food Bloggers. There are plenty of other Tailwind Tribes for those people to join.

Request to join

It’s as easy as clicking the “request to join” button. If there’s an option to give a little message about yourself, whether you’ll follow the rules, etc, I suggest filling it out. For my own tribes, I will choose not to invite anyone who doesn’t state their niche, or if that niche falls into one of my exempt categories.

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Up to 5 tribes on a free account

On a Free account you can join up to 5 tribes if you’re a new member. If you’ve been on Tailwind for a while, you might notice your count is a little higher. My account says I can join 10, but since I’m currently in 14 I would have to leave several in order to join more.


If you sign up for a full Tailwind Account which has the pin scheduling and so many awesome cool features, the Free Tailwind Tribes plan comes included with it.


I gotta tell you, searching through these tribes is amazing.

This is one of the main features the Tailwind Tribes has been missing and now that it’s live, it’s going to be a total game changer. I remember having such a hard time finding appropriate Tailwind Tribes for my niche and now they’re all available for search. No more struggle trying to find places to put my weary pins!


I think it’s better to have specific Tailwind Tribe niches than free for all boards – you’ll have a more likely chance of your pins getting shared if you’re sharing them with a specific niche. And now we can find them. It’s magic, I tell you. Utter magic.


Sign up for Tailwind Tribes here


 Find the right #TailwindTribe for you, Best way to use Pinterest to grow your blog traffic, best way to get more customers for online store using Pinterest, ecommerce tips, pinterest tips, free trafficFind the right #TailwindTribe for you, Best way to use Pinterest to grow your blog traffic, best way to get more customers for online store using Pinterest, ecommerce tips, pinterest tips, free traffic

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Creative Live Free Live Classes

I love CreativeLive because they are so generous with their free live classes every week. If you’re interested in photography, starting a new business, or learning new skills like painting, languages, or coding, CreativeLive has the right class for you. Plus thousands of other classes, and the best part is that they’re taught by actual leaders in their fields. Names you would recognize. You’ll have to go check it out for yourself.

Free On-Air Classes – Week of 10/1

Class Name: Color Techniques For Retouching
Text Link: Color Techniques For Retouching Class at CreativeLive
Start Date: 10/01/2017
End Date: 10/02/2017
RSVP Date: 10/01/2017

Class Name: Secrets from Silicon Valley
Text Link: Secrets from Silicon Valley Class at CreativeLive
Start Date: 10/02/2017
End Date: 10/03/2017
RSVP Date: 10/02/2017

Class Name: The Right-Brain Business Plan
Text Link: The Right-Brain Business Plan Class at CreativeLive
Start Date: 10/02/2017
End Date: 10/03/2017
RSVP Date: 10/02/2017

Class Name: Create Your Dream Career
Text Link: Create Your Dream Career Class at CreativeLive
Start Date: 10/03/2017
End Date: 10/04/2017
RSVP Date: 10/03/2017

Class Name: What’s Your Home Design Personality?
Text Link: What’s Your Home Design Personality Class at CreativeLive
Start Date: 10/04/2017
End Date: 10/05/2017
RSVP Date: 10/04/2017

Class Name: Become Fluent in Any Language
Text Link: Become Fluent in Any Language Class at CreativeLive
Start Date: 10/05/2017
End Date: 10/06/2017
RSVP Date: 10/05/2017

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Luxury Hotel Review: Phakalane Golf Estates

Luxury Hotel Review: Phakalane Golf Estates

All opinions are my own. This review is based on two separate stays at the hotel for Peace Corps Conferences. My thoughts and opinions are not reflective of the US government, the Peace Corps, or the Government of Botswana. Thanks to Sheev Dave for providing me with pictures.

I had the lovely opportunity to stay at Phakalane Hotel on two occasions while serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer.

Conference dinner at Phakalane golf estates hotel

Photo Credit: Sheev Dave

The hotel is located just outside of the Gaborone City Center in Phakalane. Minutes from the airport, and in a gated community, driving up to the hotel was like transitioning universes. It’s lush green landscaping was stunning against the dry desert background of Botswana. While serving as a volunteer, it was hard to not resent how much resources went into keeping the property green. While many parts of town, and the country were suffering water shortages, the hotels (especially the fancy hotels) rarely experienced the same water shortages.


Just outside one of the conference rooms was a lovely pavilion that overlooked a pond. While standing in the relieving shade and looking out over the water, it was hard to believe I was still in Botswana. I could have been anywhere in the United States. The green golf fields spilled out behind us, bespeckled by white gold carts.


Checking into my room was easy breezy. The front desk agents were very friendly and spoke english very well. Standing near the front desk was some inviting iced water and iced guava juice. After two hours of travel in 100 degree heat, it was a lovely offer and I definitely had my fill of the iced water.


The Rooms at Phakalane Golf Estates Hotel


Care Package Delivery at Phalakane Golf Estates Hotel, Gaborone, Botswana, luxury travel africa, golfing in africa, Peace Corps Botswana

As a Peace Corps Volunteer, my experience at the hotel was probably a little different than most. Most people on vacation are relaxed, and excited to experience what’s around them.

I was more interested in running water.

The water pressure in the stunning recently remodeled rooms was perfect. Getting over my guilt of using the water was a struggle but it had been months since my last real shower. I hadn’t feel clean in too long.

The room came with a decent sized flat screen, lots of places to charge my various electronics, and different charger styles. That was a particular bonus because I forgot my converter on one trip.


I remember walking into the room, unsure what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised. The beds were backed up against a wall with a wallpaper tapestry of a forest scene. It was like peaceful and beautiful and I was completely enchanted by it.


The oversized tub in the bathroom begged for a long soak, and there were these… cupboard doors that you could move aside for a nice view of the television… or the rest of the room. From the bathroom, if that wasn’t clear.


My first stay there, my room was located on the bottom floor and had the loveliest porch to walk out to and watch the sun rise over the course.


Food at Phakalane Golf Estates Hotel

They have two restaurants for visitors to choose from, but as we were part of a large conference, our meals were all catered.

The food was buffet style since they were feeding so many of us. The first time I stayed here I indulged on large salads, curries, and traditional Tswana foods like morogo (spinach/rape that’s been sauteed), beef, chicken, and paletche (which is kind of like thickened corn meal).

Lunch at Phakalane Golf Estates Hotel, luxury travel, Gaborone Botswana, Conference space, catered lunch, PCV

Photo Credit: Sheev Dave

There were always cakes and special little tarts for dessert and a full tray of fruit at every meal. They also served a lovely tea with biscuits, fruit, coffee and juice.


During my second visit I had developed a host of food issues (couldn’t eat gluten) and the staff tried their best to accommodate us. When you have food sensitivities, your anxiety about food is incredibly high. I was still early in my experience and wasn’t really sure what I should be doing to protect myself and took my cues from other volunteers who came into their service with their food sensitivities. If they couldn’t eat, or didn’t trust, then I also couldn’t eat or couldn’t trust.


Lunch usually went fine, but when we ate inside for dinner at night, each meal was themed for our conference and sometimes they didn’t have a alternative to the main course. For instance, one night the meal was the traditional American meal of hamburgers and fries, and when the gluten free people were served, we received fries.


And that was it.


No vegetables, no paletche, no, fruit or meat without a bun. Just the fries. And when we asked for an alternative they told us there was nothing they could do. 

During the four dinners we had during that second experience, this happened three times.


At breakfast and lunch they accommodated us perfectly though. It was interested to experience this once as someone who didn’t have a food sensitivity, and once as someone who did. I really believe that if we weren’t not part of a group of 50+ volunteers and staff, they would have accommodated us just fine. Most Tswana food is naturally gluten free, as long it doesn’t use the pre-made spice mixes.

Lunch at Phakalane Golf Estates Hotel, luxury travel, Gaborone Botswana, Conference space, catered lunch, PCV

Photo Credit: Sheev Dave

Things to do at Phakalane Golf Estates Hotel

My stays at the Phakalane Hotel were both times as a volunteer so my activities were limited to what was on our daily agenda. They have beautiful conferences spaces that are well air conditioned, and with beautiful views of the golf courses, and surrounding areas.



I told my friends almost every day how much I wish I golfed. It was a beautiful course and has been played by some of the biggest names in the game. There is lots of memorabilia of tournaments and celebrity golfers who have played a round on the walls of the main conference lobby.



There were several pools on the property and unfortunately during both of my stays I was unprepared to swim in them. Plus, one time it was winter and the pool was much too cold to experience.

Group Photo at Phalakane Golf Estates Hotel, Gaborone, Botswana, luxury travel africa, golfing in africa, Peace Corps Botswana

How to book a stay at Phakalane Golf Estates Hotel


If you’re visiting Gaborone, Botswana I would totally recommend this hotel. It’s beautiful, the staff is incredibly well trained in customer service (which is not something you can say about many other places in Botswana), and is a great place to just relax.


Visit the website directly to book your stay at




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