Around Here XVIII

A little bit of life lately on this dreary Monday…it felt like late spring here in DC this weekend and while it didn’t do great things for my sinuses and I’m definitely a cold weather girl, it’s hard to complain when you could go outside without a coat and people have a spring in their step, are dining al fresco, and nearly every dog in the city seems to be having the time of their life!

Job change

I’ve kind of alluded to this in the past couple of weeks but I’m starting a new job at the beginning of February! I promise to share more soon but while I’ll still be a graphic designer, there are a lot of exciting changes that come with this new position. There’s going to be some new content surrounding the change and I’m really excited to start pulling it all together…I hate being cryptic but promise (hope?) this will be worth it!

You Need A Budget

J and I first downloaded the budgeting app You Need A Budget nearly a year ago (I actually talked about it in this post, ha!) and while we plugged in our expenses and sort of got started, we abandoned it within a couple months because the platform was complicated and honestly, we just didn’t put in the time to figure out how to make it work for us. We’ve read so many reviews from people who did figure it out and have had incredible results, so we’re committed to giving it a proper shot this year. I’m currently halfway through the YNAB book and am excited to see how things pan out! We have a lot of expenses coming up in the next year and a half and are hoping to hit some lofty savings goals.

WINC discount code

If you saw this post on Instagram, you know that we’re currently trying to cook at home more on Friday and Saturday nights (when it’s most tempting to go out) and I’m happy to report we stuck with that goal this weekend! I typically try and limit myself to one drink when we’re out to dinner randomly (so when it’s not for any kind of special occasion) unless I’m really feeling a second because it’s painful to see how quickly the check adds up! That means we’ll usually do a drink at home before heading out. So when WINC reached out to me a few weeks ago about trying their subscription delivery service, I jumped at the chance and am officially on board! This is a game changer if you live in a city and have to schlep your groceries around, if you want to experiment with different wines, or are looking for a thoughtful gift for a wine lover. You complete a flavor profile and they recommend bottles…we’ve tried varieties we wouldn’t have picked up at the store and the bottles were all under $20, so they’re reasonable to rebuy on your own when you find something you love. You can use this link to take $22 off your first order…that means 4 bottles for $39 + free shipping!

DC Public Library

Reading has been one of my favorite pastimes since I was a kid and while there were several years where I barely read for fun, am happy to say that I’ve been in a fairly consistent reading pattern in my mid- to late 20s! I feel lucky to receive some advanced reader copies from Random House, regularly swap books with Katie, and sometimes buy my own on Kindle or in paper copies, but I most regularly rely on the DC Library OverDrive platform to borrow books for Kindle. It functions just like a normal library where you put yourself on a hold list and are notified when the book is ready (for download, in this case) and you “return” it when you’re done. I’ve saved hundreds of dollars utilizing this service and as far as I know, many other cities have a similar setup! Many popular reads have weeks or months-long waitlists but if you’re willing to wait and have other reads queued up in between (which is usually what happens to me!) it’s really not bad having to wait. If there’s something I’m desperate to read, I’ll just make an exception and buy it! P.S. You can see my recent reads here.

Fitness update

I feel like my fitness habits have consisted of all kinds of things over the past 2.5 years–from Orangetheory to a yoga/pilates studio to Classpass and a couple random things in between–but I think I’ve finally found something that will stick! J and I both joined VIDA, a large gym in DC that has two locations within walking distance of our place. Going to a new place is intimidating…I don’t know how to use many of the cardio machines, haven’t even attempted the weights floor, and have only tried three or four different classes. But I know the only way to get past that is to push through the awkwardness so I’m showing up for new classes and am finally using the three free personal training sessions they provide to get acquainted with a trainer who can hopefully help target my back issues and help me get back into better physical shape over the next few months. I was going to physical therapy regularly in the fall and my therapist recommended I stay off my shoulders due to bad tightness in my traps, so unfortunately Solidcore is tabled for now. I’ll share more when I get into a better routine but as much as I love classes, having access to a full gym again has been really nice!

Leave a Comment


  1. Brigid wrote:

    Congratulations on the new position! Can’t wait to hear about it. I have been using YNAB for about two years now and am completely obsessed. It has totally changed the way I look at my spending and saving. It definitely took some time to get it all figured out, but once it started clicking I never looked back. One thing I never loved was the “only budget what you have” thing. Great in theory, but when you have a regular income and want to budget for the entire month, it can be kind of annoying. I read a great post about hacking YNAB to budget your income (basically adding in an income category and budgeting a negative amount so that your income and your expenses balance) and it has made a big difference. I’m happy to pass along the info if you’re interested!

    Posted 1.13.20 Reply
    • Monica wrote:

      Oh my gosh I would LOVE that! I’ve been grappling with that part for awhile…we both kind of rolled our eyes at it last year and I’ve been trying to convince myself I can work with it with this fresh start. But it’s so good to know others feel similarly (and that it’s worked so well for you, even with this workaround)–do you mind passing it along? I can DM/email you! :)

      Posted 1.14.20 Reply
  2. Ashlee wrote:

    We do the same thing re drinks at home prior to going out to eat – WINC is awesome and such a fun way to enjoy drinks at home and try out new wines!

    Also, I miss VIDA! Or maybe I just miss DC? :P

    So excited to see more about your new job here on the blog (hopefully!)!

    Ashlee |

    Posted 1.15.20 Reply
    • Monica wrote:

      I’m going to go with the latter on missing DC ;) And yes, fingers crossed–couldn’t have done it without you!!

      Posted 1.16.20 Reply