10.15.2018

10 Extreme Tips for Getting Out of Debt | Jennifer L. Scott

5:03 AM 4 Comments


Today's video is a collaboration with Kim, from the Free to Family YouTube channel. Kim, is a debt-free enthusiast, just like me. We are both passionate about living well within our means.



We decided to collaborate on today's video to share ten extreme tips for saving money and getting out of debt. Whether you have a lot of debt, have no debt but are interested in saving money, or have a singular goal, like paying off your mortgage, today's video will have something for you.

I announced last year that our family had become debt-free, including our mortgage. We have been working toward this goal for a long time, and today's video chronicles many of the steps we took to get there. I chronicle our debt-free journey and greatly expand on this topic in my eCourse, Chic Financial Principles for Debt-Free Living.

Today, I'm excited to continue the discussion on the blog and share some of my tips with you.

In no particular order, here are 10 extreme tips for getting out of debt:

1. Share a vehicle Many Americans have enormous monthly car payments, whether they lease or own. Going down to one car per family (which is what the Chics did) and taking public transport instead or getting creative about when and how to use the car aides your finances tremendously. Of course, the vehicle must be affordable and within your budget. We currently share the family car and it has been no problem at all. We are doing this right now because we are saving for a financial investment we are making. Eventually, my husband would like to get an electric vehicle for his car.

2. Relocate to a more affordable area Last year we sold our West Los Angeles home and moved to the much more affordable suburbs. This allowed us to buy our home outright with no mortgage, allowing us to finally become fully debt-free. If you are able to relocate to a more affordable area, take the exciting plunge and enjoy the benefits in savings.

3. Enjoy your meals at home Relegate eating at restaurants to special occasions only and have the majority of your meals at home. Most people can agree, this one step saves a tremendous amount of money. The Chic family rarely ate at restaurants and enjoyed meals at home almost every evening.

4. Grow your own food My husband and I might be clueless gardeners, but our efforts in our totally out-of-control vegetable garden sure paid off this year. We had abundant vegetables the whole summer, which helped us keep our grocery budget in check.

5. Be an entrepreneur If you are able to work to provide an extra income stream, you can pay off debt and invest your money quicker. I like to encourage people to turn their passion into an entrepreneurial business. Sell on Etsy, provide services on Fiverr, and other websites of the like. I self-published my first book, which was an entrepreneurial endeavor in itself, and was able to pay off my student loans with my first book advance. (This story is expanded upon in my Self-Publishing Success video).

6. Rent a room in your home We have never done this, but know many people who have, and it brings a nice income in to the family. Madame Chic and her family brought in extra income by hosting foreign exchange students (me!) into their home each year.

7. Sell your belongings Once you start to clear the clutter in your home, you come across many items in your home that you no longer want. Whether it's clothing, handbags, furniture, or art, you can sell your belongings on places like eBay, ThredUP, Poshmark, or a consignment shop. Or have a good old-fashioned yard sale.

8. Cut out television (and other monthly expenses) The monthly cable or satellite bill is large. If you can cut this, plus any other monthly service (such as an unused gym membership) you will save hundreds of dollars each year (and have more time on your hands as well!)

9. Do the Ten-Item Wardrobe (really do it!) The Ten-Item Wardrobe is so beneficial, not only to your true style, but also to your wallet. If you truly do the ten-item wardrobe, season after season you will realize how much money you are saving. You will no longer participate in mindless shopping. Everything you buy will have a purpose and be used. For more on the ten-item wardrobe, check out my eCourse, Create Your Own Ten-Item Wardrobe and my Madame Chic books.

10. Change your mindset Ultimately, working to get out of debt, and not only save, but invest money for your future, requires an utter mindset shift away from mindless spending. It does require major frugality, but all hope is not lost. You can still live beautifully within your means.

Be sure to watch today's video for expanded thoughts on all of these topics.

News
I have another podcast interview to share with you. This time I chatted with Lauren Morley of The Author Podcast. We had a lot of fun chatting about living a chic and elegant life.

Check out my eCourses, Create Your Own Ten-Item Wardrobe, and Chic Financial Principles for Debt-Free Living.

On Instagram
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Comment of the Week
Regarding last week's Q&A video, Shannon on Facebook writes, "That was the best q and a ever! All the questions I wanted to know but was too shy to ask 😂 I’m Canadian and we are for sure not as reserved as British people but are not as famously open as Americans."

Thank you, Shannon! I'm so happy you enjoyed the Q&A :)

Thank you for joining me for today's video. I would love to hear from you. Are you on a debt-free journey? Do you have any struggles in this area? Are you currently debt-free? What tips do you have for us? Let us know and your comment could be chosen as comment of the week on the blog.


Visit my Author Website

*New* Shop my favorite things

Facebook facebook.com/JenniferLScottAuthor

Twitter @JL_Scott

Instagram @dailyconnoisseur

Take my eCourse on the Ten-Item Wardrobe

Take my eCourse Chic Financial Principles for Debt-Free Living

Sign up for my Seasonal Author Newsletter


FTC: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.

10.12.2018

Wool Dryer Balls | Do They Work? | Natural Home with Jennifer

8:17 AM 8 Comments


In today's Natural Home with Jennifer, I do some investigative work: Do wool dryer balls really work?



Wool dryer balls are an all-natural alternative to fabric softener and dryer sheets. The balls work to soften clothes in your dryer by gently massaging the clothes as they are tossed back and forth. Wool dryer balls also get the static out of your clothes and help to reduce drying time.

I tried out this set of three wool dryer balls for the past few months and really like them. When used alone, they do soften clothes, although not as much as a traditional fabric softener or dryer sheets. The bonus for me is how they get rid of static cling and reduce drying time. I find that they truly do reduce drying time by 25% and even help to dry items that typically do not dry well in our dryer, like my daughter's Beddy's bedding.



Many people have concerns over the chemicals used in fabric softener and dryer sheets, so if you prefer to have an all-natural wash, I would suggest using wool dryer balls instead to soften your clothes. I will definitely continue to use mine.

Another bonus is that they are very eco-friendly. I can use the wool dryer ball set that I have for up to 1,000+ washes!

Another neat feature is that you can lightly fragrance your clothing by dropping your favorite essential oil onto your dryer balls. The combination of the movement and the heat will transfer the fragrance to your clothing.

I purchased my wool dryer balls from Grove Collaborative. They sell a nice set of 3 dryer balls made from 100% New Zealand wool.

You can also find wool dryer balls on Amazon.

I hope you enjoyed today's video. I would love to know... do you use wool dryer balls? What is your experience with them?

Thank you for joining me for today's Natural Home with Jennifer. I'll see you on Monday!



I hope you enjoy today's video.

Visit my Author Website

*New* Shop my favorite things

Facebook facebook.com/JenniferLScottAuthor

Twitter @JL_Scott

Instagram @dailyconnoisseur

Take my eCourse on the Ten-Item Wardrobe

Take my eCourse Chic Financial Principles for Debt-Free Living

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FTC: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.

10.11.2018

Reader Q&A | Poised but Lonely? | Am I in Touch with Madame Chic? | Family Background & More

4:29 AM 6 Comments


Last week on Instagram I asked you to submit your questions for a Q&A. I received some great questions and had a lot of fun answering them in today's video.



What should you do if your poise is also making you isolated? Am I still in touch with Madame Chic? What do you do with ten-item wardrobe angst? What is our biggest marriage struggle? What is my family background? All of these questions, plus more are answered.

There are also special appearances from a lizard, a ghost, and a very adorable toddler!

What more could one want in a Q&A? :)

I hope you enjoy today's video.

Mentioned in the video: My rebounding routine.

News
*NEW* I am a guest on Lauren Morley's The Author Podcast. We have a wonderful discussion about the Madame Chic books.

Check out my interview on Dina Cataldo's Soul Roadmap podcast. We discuss all things Madame Chic and life after Paris.

Thank you to everyone who continues to take and comment on my eCourses, Create Your Own Ten-Item Wardrobe, and Chic Financial Principles for Debt-Free Living. I really enjoy connecting with you over these courses.

On Instagram
Lessons from Madame Chic in Mongolia...



Comment of the Week
mmhondd writes, "Hi! I'm Japanese. I read "Lessons from Madame Chic". I was very moved reading the book. So I threw away many unnecessary things and changed my way of thinking!! I'm glad to have met the book. I appreciate your kindness trying to express things. Thank you so much!!☺"


Thank you, mmhondd! I love connecting with my Japanese readers. I have a surprise announcement coming soon for my readers in Japan... stay tuned!


I hope you enjoyed today's Q&A. I would love to hear your thoughts on everything we discussed. Your comment could be chosen as comment of the week on the blog.


Visit my Author Website

*New* Shop my favorite things

Facebook facebook.com/JenniferLScottAuthor

Twitter @JL_Scott

Instagram @dailyconnoisseur

Take my eCourse on the Ten-Item Wardrobe

Take my eCourse Chic Financial Principles for Debt-Free Living

Sign up for my Seasonal Author Newsletter


FTC: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.

10.08.2018

3 Creamy Chicken Freezer Casseroles | Comfort Food | Jennifer L. Scott

7:18 AM 6 Comments


You know my motto, being chic is being prepared. I have a large catalogue of freezer meals I have shared with you in the past and today, I'm making three comfort food casseroles featuring lots of chicken and vegetables for fall.



I shot this video before having the baby and am just now getting around to posting it. These meals have really come in handy!



My philosophy with freezer cooking is to use what you have and not worry about following a recipe too rigidly. There is freedom in opening your pantry and deciding what you'd like to use. For these freezer meals, I had nearly 5lbs of organic chicken breast, a 2 lb bag of spinach, 2 large onions, a giant zucchini from our garden, and a lot of brown rice.



With this combination, I make three different creamy chicken casseroles that freeze well and taste even better. I essentially make three variations on the same casserole to give you options depending on what you have in your pantry. If you make these, you can feel free to make all of the same kind, or do all three that I make for variety.



I have included the printable recipes below, but first let's talk about the chicken/ vegetable base. I sautéed the chopped onion in extra virgin olive oil and added 3 large spoonfuls of minced garlic. Then I added the chopped spinach and zucchini. You can use whatever vegetables you have on hand. To this, I added my nearly 5 lbs of shredded chicken that I cooked in the Instant Pot. This provides a very large base to make your three casseroles from. I used roughly 1/3 of the chicken mixture for each casserole.



Feel free to get creative. Use whatever vegetables you like. Top these casseroles with whatever you fancy. I used toasted breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese, but you could do any type of shredded cheese.

Here I am listing the printable recipes for your convenience. Feel free to share these on Pinterest, or with your friends who could use some freezer meal inspiration!

3 Creamy Chicken Freezer Mealshttps://youtu.be/oD4Tg1U2Ifohttps://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Ua2330bGicM/W4sLsh-Zb4I/AAAAAAAAFfk/NJqKaMy0hmMesqPiylHW6rD8H5tzDw2eACLcBGAs/s1600/3Creamy%2BChicken%2BCasseroles.jpg
Yield: Serves 6

Creamy Chicken Ranch Freezer Casserole

prep time: 35 minscook time: 1 hourtotal time: 1 hours and 35 mins

This is one of three freezer meals I have made using the large batch of chicken and vegetables cooked. I cooked nearly 5lbs of chicken breast and shredded it. I added it to a mixture of 2 sautéed onions, 2lbs of chopped spinach, 3 tablespoons of chopped garlic and one large chopped zucchini. You can use whatever vegetables you have on hand. For this recipe, use 1/3 of the chicken mixture. I mix this with two cups of brown rice.

ingredients:

  • 1/3 of the shredded chicken vegetable mixture (roughly 1 1/2 lbs of chicken)
  • 1/4 cup Ranch seasoning mix
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • bread crumbs for topping (toasted with a dab of melted butter)
Equipment Used

instructions:

Place 1/3 of the chicken vegetable mixture into a large bowl. Add the Ranch seasoning mix, milk, water, and melted butter. Stir to combine. If the mixture is too watery, add more of the chicken mixture. Transfer to a greased casserole dish or freezer pan. Top with bread crumbs that have been browned in butter. To bake the same day, bake in a 350 degree F oven for 25 minutes. To freeze, cover the casserole with aluminum foil. Label with the contents and the date. When you are ready to enjoy your freezer meal, you can thaw it the night before in the refrigerator and cook at 350 degrees F for 50 minutes. To cook from frozen, cook at 350 degrees F for 1 1/2 to 1 hour and 45 minutes. Enjoy! 

Please note: if you would like to make 3 of these, simple triple the seasonings and liquids and add them to the entire chicken vegetable mixture you cooked. Divide between 3 casserole dishes and freeze accordingly. 
Created using The Recipes Generator


Yield: serves 6

Creamy Butter Chicken Freezer Casserole

prep time: 30 minscook time: 1 hourtotal time: 1 hours and 30 mins

This is one of three freezer meals I have made using the large batch of chicken and vegetables cooked. I cooked nearly 5lbs of chicken breast and shredded it. I added it to a mixture of 2 sautéed onions, 2lbs of chopped spinach, 3 tablespoons of chopped garlic and one large chopped zucchini. You can use whatever vegetables you have on hand. For this recipe, use 1/3 of the chicken mixture. I mix this with two cups of brown rice.

ingredients:

  • 1/3 of the shredded chicken/ vegetable mixture (see note above)
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth or stock
  • 1/4 melted butter
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • chopped fresh or dried herbs to taste
  • 1 tsp salt
  • toasted bread crumbs for topping

instructions:

In a large bowl, place 1/3 of the chicken vegetable mixture (around 1 1/2 lbs of chicken). Stir in the broth, butter, flour, milk, herbs, and salt. Stir to combine. Place in a greased casserole dish or freezer pan. Top with toasted breadcrumbs. 

If you plan to eat this the same day, heat in a 350 degrees F oven for 25 minutes. If you plan to freeze this, cover with aluminum foil, label your meal, and freeze. When you are ready to eat, thaw the casserole in the refrigerator the night before. Bake at 350 degrees F for 50 to 60 minutes. If baking from frozen, the time will increase to 1 1/2 hours to 1 hour 45 minutes. 

If you would like to use this recipe for the entire bulk chicken you prepared, simply triple the broth, butter, flour, milk, herbs and salt. If you do that, this will make 3 large casseroles. 
Created using The Recipes Generator


3 Creamy Chicken Freezer Mealshttps://youtu.be/oD4Tg1U2Ifohttps://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Ua2330bGicM/W4sLsh-Zb4I/AAAAAAAAFfk/NJqKaMy0hmMesqPiylHW6rD8H5tzDw2eACLcBGAs/s1600/3Creamy%2BChicken%2BCasseroles.jpg
Yield: serves 4 to 6

Creamy Mushroom Chicken Freezer Casserole

prep time: 30 minscook time: 1 hourtotal time: 1 hours and 30 mins

This is one of three freezer meals I have made using the large batch of chicken and vegetables cooked. I cooked nearly 5lbs of chicken breast and shredded it. I added it to a mixture of 2 sautéed onions, 2lbs of chopped spinach, 3 tablespoons of chopped garlic and one large chopped zucchini. You can use whatever vegetables you have on hand. For this recipe, use 1/3 of the chicken mixture. I mix this with two cups of brown rice.

ingredients:

  • 1/3 of the chicken vegetable mixture (see the note above)
  • 1 can of cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons paprika 
  • grated parmesan cheese for topping
Equipment Used

instructions:

In a large bowl, place the remaining chicken/ vegetable mixture (roughly 1/3 of the mixture. Add the cream of mushroom soup, chicken broth, butter, salt, pepper, and paprika. Mix to combine. Transfer the casserole to a dish. Top with grated parmesan cheese. (You can also top with bread crumbs.) Cook at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes. 

If you are planning on freezing this, cover with aluminum foil and label. Freeze. When ready to eat, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then cook at 350 degrees F for 50 to 60 minutes. If cooking from frozen, cook for 1 1/2 hours to 1 hour 45 minutes. 

If you plan on making three of this casserole, simply use all of the chicken vegetable mixture, and triple the rest of the ingredients (i.e. 3 cans of cream of mushroom soup, 3 cups of broth, etc.) 


Created using The Recipes Generator


I hope you enjoy the recipes featured in today's video.

News



Check out my interview on Dina Cataldo's Soul Roadmap podcast. We discuss all things Madame Chic and life after Paris.

Thank you to everyone who continues to take and comment on my eCourses, Create Your Own Ten-Item Wardrobe, and Chic Financial Principles for Debt-Free Living. I really enjoy connecting with you over these courses.

On Instagram
Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic in Poland...


Comment of the Week
On last week's Natural Home with Jennifer video, Marielle writes, "Hi Jennifer, Thank you for using non-toxic products to clean your oven. A very easy way to clean the oven racks is to put one or two large towels on the bottom of your bathtub and put the oven racks on the towels to avoid scratching your bathtub. Cover the oven racks with very hot water and add 1/2 cup of dish soap or 3/4 cup of laundry detergent. Let everything soak overnight. Then, simply wipe the oven racks clean. The dirt, grease and grime will come right off without any scrubbing. If you want the exact method, you can Google it up and you will find it right away. Since discovering this method several years ago, that’s the way I clean my oven racks and it saves me a lot of time and energy."


What a great tip. Thank you, Marielle!

I hope you enjoyed today's freezer cooking video. I'll see you on Thursday for a reader Q&A...



Visit my Author Website

*New* Shop my favorite things

Facebook facebook.com/JenniferLScottAuthor

Twitter @JL_Scott

Instagram @dailyconnoisseur

Take my eCourse on the Ten-Item Wardrobe

Take my eCourse Chic Financial Principles for Debt-Free Living

Sign up for my Seasonal Author Newsletter


FTC: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. This post may contain affiliate links.

10.05.2018

Cleaning the Oven with Baking Soda | Natural Home with Jennifer

7:05 AM 5 Comments



If you cook at home a lot like we do, your oven can get dirty, really fast. After a few seasons of baking and roasting, our oven was covered with grease and stains.



When we bought our house last year we inherited all of the appliances, which were heavily used and around 14 years old. Our oven is partially broken- the convection feature does not work and neither does the self-cleaning feature. Because of this, I clean my oven by hand. Of course, I like to use the most natural ingredients to clean it since our food is cooked in there.



Today, I'm sharing my simple baking soda paste recipe with you. It uses baking soda, water, and Castile soap. Castile soap is a very natural, all-purpose soap that you can find anywhere. One of the most popular Castile soap brands is Dr. Bronner's (which I have used in the past... it's great!). Today, I'm using the lavender Castile soap from Grove Collaborative. I received it as a free gift this summer for being a VIP member with Grove. Their Castile soap is great too and has a refreshing lavender scent.

Here is my Baking Soda paste recipe:

Baking Soda Paste for Cleaning

This multi-purpose cleaning paste is all-natural and uses ingredients you likely already have in your pantry.

ingredients:

  • 2 cups baking soda
  • 1/2 cup liquid Castile soap
  • 1/2 cup water

instructions:

  1. Mix all ingredients together. Use this for all of your natural cleaning needs.
Created using The Recipes Generator


If you clean your oven with baking soda, please remember a few things: always read your oven manual before cleaning your oven. Never put the cleaning solution on the heating rods, leave those alone. I tend to just scrub the areas that have collected grease and stains and avoid the heating rods entirely. Never use too much water to wipe out the baking soda.



I use the Grove Collaborative lavender liquid Castile soap, which cleans well and has a wonderful scent.



I'm also linking the Dr. Bronner's liquid Castile soap in lavender, from Amazon, which is another great brand that I have used in the past.

Before applying the paste and letting it sit, I vacuum out all of the larger crumbs with our wet dry vac.



Once the paste is applied, it's best to let it sit for as long as you can (overnight is ideal). In this video, I only let it sit for two hours because I had limited time, but as you can see with the results, it worked wonders to get the greasy stains out.

I hope you enjoy today's video and feel encouraged to clean your home with natural ingredients that you probably already have on hand.



Thank you for watching. Today, I would love to know how you clean your oven...

Have a wonderful weekend and I'll see you on Monday!


Visit my Author Website

*New* Shop my favorite things

Facebook facebook.com/JenniferLScottAuthor

Twitter @JL_Scott

Instagram @dailyconnoisseur

Take my eCourse on the Ten-Item Wardrobe

Take my eCourse Chic Financial Principles for Debt-Free Living

Sign up for my Seasonal Author Newsletter


FTC: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.

10.04.2018

Fall Le No Makeup Look | Tired Mom Edition | Jennifer L. Scott

6:23 AM 4 Comments


When you've only had four hours of sleep and you'd like to look rested, what do you turn to? Le No Makeup Look, of course! In today's video, I share my le no makeup look for fall: tired mom edition! I include a few tips on how to look awake when you are anything but.



I hope you enjoy today's video.



Before I even think about makeup, I think about coffee. I drink mine in an insulated cup because it takes me forever to finish my morning cup. Does anyone else have that problem?


And now on to the makeup used...

BarePro Performance Wear Liquid Foundation in Sandstone 16



bareMinerals Bare pro Performance Wear Powder Foundation, Sandstone



bare Minerals Core Coverage Brush



bareMinerals Correcting Concealer Broad Spectrum SPF 20, Medium 2, 0.07 Oz




Benefit Boi ing Airbrush Concealer - # 03 (Medium) 5g/0.17oz




My eyeshadow palette was the one by Kate that I purchased in Japan (but is available on Amazon).



L'Oreal Voluminous Primer Mascara



L'Oreal Paris Voluminous mascara in deep burgundy.



Also used: bare Minerals blush in thistle, Chanel eyeliner in ambre.

The lip gloss is bare Minerals in hype

On my nails, Londontown's Jane Austen. (Use code JenniferS for 25% off your order with Londontown).

My earrings are by Ana Luisa. Use code Jennifer15 to get $15 off your first order.

News
I was a guest on Dina Cataldo's Soul Roadmap Podcast. We discussed all things Madame Chic and Paris. I hope you enjoy my interview!

Robin from Faith and Flour YouTube channel shares her fall Ten-Item Wardrobe. Be sure to check out her video and tell her I said, "hello". Thank you, Robin!

Thank you to everyone who continues to take and comment on my eCourses, Create Your Own Ten-Item Wardrobe, and Chic Financial Principles for Debt-Free Living. I really enjoy connecting with you over these courses.

On Instagram
Madame Chic in Poland...



Comment of the Week
Thank you for your comments on Monday's birth story video and blogpost. I absolutely loved hearing the stories you had to share about your own birthing experiences. I honestly laughed and felt so moved at so many of your stories. I would like to feature all of you as comment of the week! Nadege received many thumbs up on the YouTube video for her observation: "Congrats to you and the entire family. I have given birth to 4 children and my opinion is that even if you’re “prepared” it is still very painful. Prayer is always good. Women are so very strong."

Nadege, I couldn't agree more. Women are so very strong. It's truly amazing what our bodies are capable of.


I hope you enjoy today's video. I would love to know your tips and tricks for looking more awake when you are dealing with limited sleep. Your comment could be chosen as comment of the week on The Daily Connoisseur.

See you tomorrow for a new Natural Home with Jennifer.

Visit my Author Website

*New* Shop my favorite things

Facebook facebook.com/JenniferLScottAuthor

Twitter @JL_Scott

Instagram @dailyconnoisseur

Take my eCourse on the Ten-Item Wardrobe

Take my eCourse Chic Financial Principles for Debt-Free Living

Sign up for my Seasonal Author Newsletter


FTC: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.