Monthly Goals: February 2021

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure to learn more. 

This post is written in partnership with Monk Manual. I have had the privilege of trying their 90-day planner and can truly say that it functions well as a guide for balancing being and doing. Sometimes the latter outweighs the former and we lose sight of who we are and what our purpose is. In order to glean as much as I could from this experience, I spent January reading Think Like a Monk by Jay Shetty. I have found that the Monk Manual really helps me live my dharma, find gratitude in my waking moments, listen to my thoughts and emotions without judgement, and learn from my experiences. Whereas other planners have been efficient in creating a productive work flow, the Monk Manual supersedes the others by leaving room for spiritual growth – our most beneficial but oft neglected kind of work. The modern world could use a planner such as this, not to find what’s been missing, but to uncover what’s been with us all along.

A Review of Productive January

January was an effective month for me. I kept up with most of my habits, including meditating five days a week, exercising almost daily, giving up alcohol, getting plenty of rest, docking the phone one hour before bed, and limiting my caffeine intake while increasing my exposure to sunshine and open air. I completed two books (Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki and Think Like a Monk by Jay Shetty), saw my family every week, completed SEO courses and dental CE courses, and grew my blog multiple ways. Still, there are some improvements to be made. I can limit my social media use further, as well as give myself more time to create. Rather than focusing on what did not work in January and viewing them as failures, I have reframed my thinking to what improvements I have to look forward to in the future. It’s amazing how the words we use can change our energies from negative to positive. For February, I want to focus on having an intentional month, and will go into how the Monk Manual 90 day planner guides meaning into our daily lives.

An Intentional February – Aligning Doing with Being

Before we get into the nitty gritty of the doing, I wanted to share a few thoughts about being. I have spent the last few months since quitting my job delving deep into why I was dissatisfied with my work. I read the book Joy at Work by Marie Kondo and Kinfolk Entrepreneur by the Kinfolk team. I took personality tests such as this DISC assessment and studied my enneagram results for the umpteenth time. I had conversations with my friends, siblings, and husband about what my personality results tell me, and how I can maneuver around my shortcomings better while setting myself up for personal success. I journaled about my goals, motivations, inspirations and wildest dreams, analyzing what my driving force is. Most importantly, I expressed on paper everything that gave me sadness and despair about my old way of life.

I have come to the conclusion that among other factors such as an unideal work environment and an office culture that was unaligned with my personality, part of the reason why my old job was painful to me was because it didn’t align with my dharma. And that was entirely my fault. I had never spent time trying to figure out my true purpose in life, aside from making money and a living. I never honed in on what brought me joy, and what kept me going. The reason I wasn’t happy was because what I was doing wasn’t the same as my being. I was surprised by the results of my assessments and also at the opportunities that suddenly presented themselves during my hiatus. It turns out that life will naturally present what you attract, if you leave enough space for it.

How to Use the Monk Manual to Live An Intentional Life

In an effort to coincide what I do with who I am, February is focused on intentional planning, which is where Monk Manual comes in. Like my previous planner Mal Paper (read my review of Mal Paper Planner here), the Monk Manual 90 day planner focuses on prioritizing the tasks ahead to increase productivity. Writing down a to-do list is not intentional enough, if it is filled with activities that do not move us toward our goals. The Monk Manual has a weekly prioritization list but also a daily one. And just like the Mal Paper planner, Monk Manual leaves room for gratitude journaling at the beginning of the day as well as a space to write down what went well. Whereas both of those practices sets one up for a good work day, neither helps with spiritual growth.

I have found that Monk Manual works really well at fostering spiritual growth. On the daily pages, it leaves space to list the one thing we most look forward to, as well as the ways in which we can give. At the end of the day, Monk Manual promotes reflection by asking the user to list three highlights, and the three times they were at their best. The latter shows the moments in daily living that really align with their natural purpose in life. Then it asks for times when we feel unrest, which highlights the part of our lives that probably goes against what we want for ourselves. Lastly, it asks for one way we can all improve tomorrow, because our work is never done.

On the weekly pages, it prepares for personal growth, relationship growth and the good things ahead. This way of planning is new to me. I have always been focused on business growth, never realizing that personal growth is perhaps the more important metric.

Here are examples of personal growth goals that I look forward to in February.

February Goals for Personal Growth

  • Speak less, listen more.
  • Pause before every response.
  • Practice saying, “Let me get back to you.”
  • Every time I speak ill of someone, write down 10 positive affirmations for them to see the good they bring.
  • Be a humble worker so as to inspire respect, never demand it.
  • Grow my relationships by giving self-less service, sharing words of gratitude, and gifting more frequently.

At the end of the week, the reflection prompts ask for the biggest accomplishments, habit insights, and meaningful moments. The habit insights are useful to me because sometimes a habit that I wanted to adopt isn’t exactly the right habit for the goal I want to reach. The section for meaningful moments is also good because it highlights that our biggest accomplishments aren’t always our most meaningful milestones. We are more than what we do. Lastly, it has an area titled “God Is Teaching Me” although I would prefer for it to actually say “Life is Teaching Me”. Regardless, it provides an opportunity to look at our shortcomings and learn something from it so that we can move forward with our improvements.

Both the daily pages and the weekly pages make the monthly section easy to fill out. At the beginning of the month, you check in on your status around relationships, physicality, spirituality, work, personal growth, and playfulness. It also asks for one change you wish to make in the next month that will create the biggest impact, and one questions to answer this month. At the end of the month, the reflections section can use what you’ve written weekly and daily to remember the biggest accomplishments of the month. It also asks for the four relationships you are most grateful for, and the greatest insight you gained, creating space for gratitude and growth.

Embracing the Monk Mentality

The Monk Manual opens with a letter to its user in which it details a monk’s habits.

Where the world says focus on more, the monk says focus on less.

Where the world seeks to master outcomes, the monk seeks to master self.

Where the world fills our lives with noise and distraction, the monk fills his or her life with quiet and focus.

Where the world pursues a life of independence, the monk pursues a life of trust, walking the path of life with God and others.

Where the world medicates, the monk meditates.”

For a more intentional February, I am embracing the monk mentality and implementing what I have learned in reading Think Like A Monk. I will use the Monk Manual all month to adopt a more reflective way of planning, thereby increasing my self-awareness. Also, instead of only worrying about my goals, I want to focus more on service.

The question I want to answer this month is “How can I give more?”

To myself, and to others. It’s a question you guys can help me answer. Meanwhile, I give you my February goals. I already listed my personal ones above.

WORK:

  • Invest my time into learning more about SEO, website development, marketing, and dentistry.
  • Grow my blog connections through collaborations and partnerships.
  • Foster my relationships with my patients by dedicating five extra minutes per patient trying to learn one thing about their personal life that I never knew before.
  • Act from a place of service, as a humble worker. Answer the question: “How can I use my talents to serve others and make a difference?”

HOME:

  • Location has energy, and we must always choose the right location for our dharma. Dedicate to maintaining a clean, minimalist home to facilitate my creative personality.
  • Dedicate each space in the home to a single, clear purpose.
  • Create the ideal workspace in order to facilitate my best work. Find a desk, imagine what I want it to look like and how I want it to function.

HEALTH:

  • Exercise five days a week by either running or doing yoga.
  • Meditate with TIDE app five days a week.
  • Sleep early, wake early. My goal is to wake up by 5:45 am every morning so that I can dedicate the time for meditation, gratitude, exercise, and insight.

FINANCES:

  • Limit spending on myself to practice letting go of materialism. Dedicate only $30 of fun money spending for myself.
  • If I am able to forgo shopping this month, place the fun money in a brokerage account and invest it instead.
  • Spend less on groceries ($250 for the household) and dining out ($100 for the household).

OTHER:

  • Create my own bath salts.
  • Bake a new cake recipe.
  • Cook 2 donabe recipes.
  • Read 2 books.
  • Try Kintsugi for the first time.
  • Finish one drawing.
  • Do 10 minutes of Duolingo French every day.
  • Spend 30 minutes outdoors three times a week.

Gift Guide: For Coffee Lovers

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure to learn more.

We are coffee geeks. Well, to put more accurately, Mr. Debtist is a coffee geek and I happen to benefit tremendously from his random tidbits of coffee knowledge. We have traveled the world, he in search of the best coffee, me in search of the best bread. It’s a good marriage, coffee and bread.

We have visited to a coffee farm in Hawaii, attended coffee cupping classes, and visited cafes in Mexico City, MX, Melbourne, AU, and San Francisco, CA to name a few. Over the course of our time together (it has already been ten years!), we have owned all sorts of gadgets and have experimented with everything from uniquely processed coffee beans to cupping vessels.

Coffee, to me, is more than energy fuel. It is a symbol of slow living. Ironic, isn’t it? I don’t drink coffee to get stuff done. I don’t even drink coffee to wake myself up. I drink it because I like the preparation process. I like the nuances in taste, which is dependent on everything from type of bean, location of the coffee farm, roasting process, roasting date, water temperature, and of course, how you pour. There are very few activities that keep me in the present moment but making coffee is one of them. It is the part of my life that keeps my day-to-day united. Whereas some people consider their days in terms of new beginnings and an end, I am trying to view them as connected to each other; a continuous cycle, if I may. Coffee is one of the things that ground me in that cycle. Every evening, I look forward to the next morning’s cup. Every morning’s cup creates space to slow down and think about all the things that happened to me the day before. And so it goes, connecting my days into one full life.

Of course coffee symbolizes different things for different people. Whereas I view it as my reminder to live slowly, others may view it as the giver of life. Even if coffee isn’t your thing, there is likely someone you know who loves coffee. In which case, here a coffee gift guide, for whoever needs it. These are our favorite products (all of which we have either owned at some point or personally tried).

Robinhood: An Introduction to Stocks for Beginners

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure to learn more.

Have you ever wondered how to make your money grow? Do you want money to work for you instead of the other way around? Have you heard about stock investing but have no clue where to start? Do you want to practice investing to reach a better understanding of the market? Look no further than Robinhood, a financial services company that has revolutionized the way millennials invest.

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Robinhood is a fairly new platform that has introduced young people to the stock market. It has allowed for next gen investing with ease. The world does not prepare young people to invest in stocks. For the regular new-kid-on-the-block, stock investing may seem complicated. Setting up brokerage accounts, keeping track of management and additional fees, and researching stock options can be quite over-whelming. I would know. When I first started out, I felt like I was drowning in information and uncertainty at the same time. Even learning the terms was difficult!

Robinhood, however, makes investing simple. Signing up for an account is very easy thanks to the form they use. Management of the account has also been a breeze. Unlike other brokerage accounts, Robinhood provides FREE trades on stock, options, ETF, and cryptocurrency. They were one of the pioneers in offering free trades, although many big-name companies have started doing the same in recent years. They also have no required minimum amount for their accounts, meaning the account can be at $0. This makes it an attainable platform for college students and new grads earning very little money or just starting out on their career journey. Plus, they welcome newcomers with a gift: a FREE stock (find out how here!)

When you open your Robinhood brokerage account, you are asked to link it to your bank account. After the connection is made, funding Robinhood is as quick as pressing a button. Unlike other brokerage accounts, Robinhood gives you the credit once you begin the transfer, instead of waiting a few days for the transfer to go through. The immediacy of your funds allows you to invest right away, without losing out on an opportunity or wasting precious time.

Investment on the go has never been easier with Robinhood’s mobile app. Both the website and the app are minimalist and easy to maneuver. There isn’t much to do or choose from, something that more experienced investors find lacking, However, this is a great introductory way for the younger generations to enter the stock scene. It comes as no surprise that the average age of Robinhood users is 31 years old (same age as me!).

Another strength of Robinhood’s is the purchase of fractional shares. Some companies only allow entire quantities of a stock to be purchased. What does this mean? This means that if Apple costs $140, you need to have at least $140 in your brokerage account. Not in Robinhood. If all you have to work with is $50, you can still buy a portion of Apple.

There are, however, a few cons. Mutual funds and bonds are not offered. Also, only taxable investment accounts are available and there is limited customer support. But still. If you are looking to dip your toes in elementary stock investing, this is a great way to limit your costs or start trading cryptocurrency.

One word of caution. If you are new to investing, it is easy to get sucked into the potential growth stocks have to offer. Robinhood makes trading so accessible to millennials that it could almost act like a casino for those with a higher-risk personality. If this is your first experience with stock investing, here is some good advice.

  • Research the stocks that you are choosing to buy. Make sure you believe in what that company is doing. That makes it easier to…
  • Hold onto stocks especially when the market dips. Do not panic and sell your stocks when they tank. If you do, you are taking a hypothetical situation (that being that you lost money) and making it a reality. The market will fluctuate often, but in general, the trend goes up. Have faith and hang on.
  • Treat a brokerage account as your fun money account. I have a fun money envelope in my budget (read about the importance of having fun money in this post) and I will invest the money from this envelope in stocks. Your brokerage account is NOT where your emergency fund goes. The High Yield Savings Account is a better place for that. If you are saving for a home, car, or student loans, place it in a high yield savings account to avoid the risk of losing it all. This affiliate link of mine with Marcus will give you an extra 0.2% APY boost! I would also like to dissuade my readers to Robinhood as a means for their retirement savings. Open a 401K elsewhere or with your company and choose an end-date target fund instead. We shouldn’t be playing games with our retirement savings.
  • Speaking of games, be prepared to lose it all. It is hard to separate emotion from stock trading at first, but perhaps entering with the mindset that you can lose all of your money tomorrow will help. You can think of stock investing as a game. If the market goes down, well you began playing knowing you could lose. Don’t let that dishearten you. Try to think of it as being fun. The stock market is too volatile for it to be your main mode of gaining wealth. I prefer to get rich by doing the small, responsible things such as maxing out a 401K, maxing out a ROTH IRA, contributing to an HSA, travel hacking with credit cards, living a frugal lifestyle through minimalism, paying down my debts, putting my savings in a high yield savings account and reading up as much as I can about finance. I consider the stock market a game, which is why I use fun money a.k.a. extra money that I don’t need for my necessary spending. Other people spend their fun money on things, dining out, travelling, and experiences. But if I spend my fun money on stocks because I don’t need to spend money on all that other stuff, then there is an opportunity for my money to grow. I can lose it all, but hey, everyone else loses all of their fun money by just buying THINGS and they never give money the opportunity to grow. With that being said, don’t place money that you need to access soon in these accounts. That could lead your investing story to a very sad ending.

Despite all of these warning signs, I still suggest young people at least dip their toes in the stock market, if only to experience it and to learn from it. For all new account owners who sign up using my affiliate link, you will receive one random FREE stock. Once signed up, you can spread the word amongst all your friends and family and receive free stocks yourself! Just make sure to refer them using your own specific referral link like I did in this post. Both you and your acquaintance get a new stock with each referral and account set-up (limited to $500 of FREE stock per person per year). This is a great way to start a conversation around investing and to create a community around growing wealth.

Tushy: The Cushy Way to Spray DooDoo Away

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure to learn more.

I am going off-grid from the PC charts here as I digress to talk about tushies and Tushys – as in human ones and bidets. I have been meaning to make the switch to bidets for a few years now. One of our closest friends has been raving about its usefulness and environmental friendliness at every opportune moment, but I never did like that big clonker that was sitting atop his toilet. So I have been putting it off for the sake of aesthetics, which we all know is an important part of my intentional life. However, as more and more of our friends made the switch, the urge to get one increased, and finally, my less-waste self came across the most minimalist, affordable, pretty bidet I could find: Tushy!

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Where It All Began

Tushy was founded by Miki Agrawal in 2015, the same co-founder of Thinx. It has since then revolutionized the way young people doo their business. Bidets have become a sort of fad, but it is nothing new. Many countries around the world use bidets, and my friend who I mentioned earlier got his after visiting Japan and using bidets in the public and personal restrooms. In a more primitive sense, I, myself, experienced butt-washing in my youth, having never used toilet paper until I was thirteen years old. In my country, we use buckets of water to rinse our bums or simply hop in the shower. In fact, I remember first immigrating to the United States and being told by my mom that “toilet paper does not do the job.” To her, a bum’s not clean until it has been washed with water. This, of course, wasn’t the reason I got on my hands and knees to add a bidet to my toilet. The motivation came from the environmental effects of making the switch. Below are a few statistics.

How Much Are You Saving with Tushy?

The average non-bidet user uses 57 sheets of toilet paper a day. This adds up to about $10 worth of toilet paper a month, or $120 of toilet paper a year. A tree produces about 100 pounds of toilet paper, and one person uses up about 50 pounds of toilet paper a year. For a family of four, this adds up to two trees per year. Because it takes 37 gallons of water to create one roll of toilet paper, 4884 gallons of water is wasted per person per year.

It takes no statistician to confirm that switching to a bidet results in saved money, trees and water. However you also save yourself time from having to buy toilet paper. You save yourself stress during no-TP emergencies. You save your bum from chafing and your significant other from skidmarks. You save yourself the embarrassment.

Tushy is juuuuuust right

Is this all feeling a bit too much? Well your wallet won’t think so since Tushy is quite the affordable bidet, costing only $109 (although my readers can receive 10% off of their Tushy purchase using any of my affiliate links within this post as long as they enter the code: THEDEBTIST at checkout).

Does that sound too little? Tushy is the perfect minimalist bidet, with a sleek white frame and simple adjustable knobs in neutral colors (ours is Bamboo!). We own the Tushy Classic and as baby bear says, it is juuuuuust right! For those who want a little more, the Tushy Spa has a water temperature control making those cold mornings more comfortable.

The Dirty Details

So I know some of you are hoping I spill a few dirty details. However, the only thing dirty might be your toilet seat cover when you remove it to place a Tushy underneath. No worries though! Seeing all that gunk is the most difficult part of this set up. And hey! What a great time to clean up!

Breezy Installation

Here are, however, a few things we came across during installation that you may appreciate. The manual says to turn off the water using the water shut-off valve behind the toilet. Some knobs, however, no longer function due to disuse. In which case, one would need to turn off the water to the entire house. Which is what we had to do.

Secondly, have plenty of towels around. You want to catch any water that comes out of the toilet, in case the shut-off valve doesn’t work. Also, wear gloves. When you get to the part that requires toilet seat removal, you want to make sure you won’t feel any surprises. Hopefully you clean your toilet regularly, but we won’t judge!

Lastly, adding the bidet underneath the toilet seat cover may make the screws that once clamped the toilet seat down too short. The added height of the bidet will require longer screws. No worries, I simply trekked to Home Depot and went down the bathroom and toilet aisle. There’s a section for toilet repair and you’ll need to buy two very long screws, which costs about $3.

Overall, I think the installation is super simple. I was able to do it by myself. If I didn’t have to run to Home Depot to get more screws and if my toilet’s water valve actually shut off, it would have probably taken me 15 to 20 minutes. Which means I would have been using Tushy within the hour. But instead, it took me a good hour due to the “complications” I came across. It’s taken me longer to build Ikea cabinets.

The Reviews

It has only been less than 24 hours but I absolutely love Tushy! I feel suuuper fresh and squeaky clean. Mike gave me a thumbs up as he exited the bathroom this morning. That’s a HUGE sign. In addition, I have had a lot of positive feedback from people in this space. I’ve had people reach out to me to tell me they received this for Christmas. I’ve heard stories about moms installing this in every bathroom in the house (including the trailer!). I have friends who just moved in together literally this weekend saying they are getting one for their new space. And that one friend that has been raving about bidets for ages? He said, “Welcome to the first day of your new life.”

I feel it.

This post was in partnership with Tushy. They gifted me the Tushy Classic with a bamboo knob and I am straight-up IN LOVE. It’s the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for your bum. To get 10% off your new Tushy bidet now, use this affiliate link made especially for TheDebtist readers, or enter THEDEBTIST at checkout! All thoughts, opinions, and content are my own.

How To Use Affirm to Grow Your Wealth

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure to learn more.

In general, I am not a big fan of financing companies because I believe that they enable people to buy more than they can afford, with disregard to social responsibility and actual value. We live in a consumerist society focused on bombarding its constituents with more reasons to buy. The endless cycle of consumption is a rabbit hole that many fall into and never get out of. Because of this, I am generally hesitant to promote financing to my readers … unless it has potential to grow their wealth.

Before reading on, I do want to make the following statements.

I am assuming that the person reading this post is financially educated and savvy, does not live paycheck to paycheck, wishes to grow their wealth, has mastered their budgeting basics, and has an aversion to spending on frivolous things that don’t add value to their life. I would like to say that if you are not all of these things, we need to start elsewhere on growing wealth, and this FREE Mastering a Budget course is a great place to start.

This advice is not for those who are privvy to emotional spending, stress shopping, or just mindless consumption, that which pervades much of our American society. If you feel you have the aptitude and wherewithal to use the information I have yet to divulge about taking advantage of financing in order to grow your wealth, then I welcome you to the rest of the post. But if you have even the slightest uncertainty, I recommend you start with beginner posts such as any of the following:

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With that said, let’s continue on to how we can use financing companies such as Affirm to our advantage.

What is Affirm?

Affirm is a financing company that has recently experienced an increased exposure due to financing partnerships with multiple companies. In January 2021, they went public with the ticker symbol $AFRM and have seen an increase in stock value since their IPO at $45. I have personally seen Affirm used in a few of my favorite companies such as East Fork Pottery, La Marzocco, Nisolo, Dyson and Leesa. While this post was not written in sponsorship with Affirm, the eureka moment for utilizing its financing options came to me at a time when I was mulling over alternative wealth growing strategies.

Given that someone has good credit and can secure a 0% interest rate with Affirm when buying big purchases, they can extend their payments over a short number of months (because long-term financing leads to increased rates) which may allow for investment opportunities.

We aren’t talking big bucks here, of course. But what if everyone who is financially stable approaches all forms of consumption with a mindset of, “pay myself first.” If they embrace this mindset, then they would likely prefer to pay for their new Leesa mattress in three payments over the course of three months with 0% interest rather than upfront. If a new mattress costs $1,200, then divvying up payments into thirds allows for $800 to be invested over the course of one month and $400 to continue being invested for an additional month. You are still able to obtain the product at $0 additional cost to you via Affirm financing while Affirm gives you the time to grow your money. Of course, this is assuming that you were already going to buy this product that adds value to yourself. It is not an excuse to buy, just because.

This concept of pay yourself first is not the mentality that many people take. However, I view it as a great strategy for growing wealth – one that simply requires the reframing of our approach to paying for stuff.

It seems quite silly. Small, even, for some people. It can be especially controversial for finance people who promote paying everything upfront in cash. Some people may view Affirm financing as debt. I would like to argue that we can reframe this perceived debt as a calculated decision made to grow your own wealth before growing someone else’s.

Finance gurus who dissuade the use of credit cards may be cringing at my suggestion, but I guess I’m not exactly conventional in that regard. I mean, I use the opening of credit cards in order to fly globally for free by travel hacking! So yeah, I love credit cards (as long as it is used in a controlled manner to further yourself along your life path). And I like the flexibility Affirm gives people, who may take advantage of the opportunity to grow wealth.

As I said at the beginning of this post, if you are someone who hasn’t yet mastered your spending and your budget, I recommend not trying this tactic. But if you are ready to go next level with the way you pay for your stuff on a day-to-day, it’s something worth considering.

Reducing Waste One Lunette Cup At a Time

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure to learn more.

I suppose it’s safe to say that this is a space wherein I talk about the topics people normally never talk about – like money, social status and the American nightmare. It’s no surprise, then, that I will talk about how menstruating persons can reduce waste, one Lunette cup at a time. So as not to disclude half of the population, I would like to open this topic up by saying that we all know someone who menstruates. So whether or not that’s you, I hope you still read on to see how we can work as a society to reduce waste in this absolutely common and normal thing.

It is now 2021 and the availability of menstrual products on the market are vast compared to what it was a decade ago. It can be difficult to choose the best solution and it depends on many factors, including cost, lifestyle, level of physical activity, fit, comfort, and consumption preferences. But before we go into why Lunette satisfies all of these factors for me, let’s first discuss what you need to know about menstrual cups in general.

What You Need to Know About Menstrual Cups

Menstrual cups are sustainable alternatives to disposable tampons and pads. There are many positive characteristics around menstrual cups, such as:

  • They are environmentally friendlier than disposable products.
  • They teach us a lot about our individual anatomies.
  • They are comfortable to use.
  • They are efficient at leak control, even during physical activity such as running or yoga classes.
  • They open our minds to normalizing menstruation cycles and open our hearts to sharing with other people the way sin which we mange them.

However, it isn’t all unicorns and rainbows right away. Some difficulties when transitioning to them include:

  • Like everything else, they require a bit of practice in terms of placement and removal, but once mastered, it’s as easy as using tampons.
  • It takes a while to learn what your body needs and to understand your flow schedule. No one else can teach that except you.
  • They are a bit more inconvenient for traveling in places where clean water is inaccessible or for emptying in public restrooms.

When I ask others whether they would be willing to transition, most of them naturally have fear around switching over. I will say, however, that it is no different from learning how to first deal with the monthly Mother Nature visits back in our wee teenage years. Remember how awkward that was? We survived once, we can survive again.

I try to put it this way. Think about how much money you spend a year buying disposable tampons and pads. Count how many products you send to the landfill each month. Research what exactly it is you are putting in your body. Recall the number of inconvenient times you’ve had to run to a pharmacy. For me, plenty.

Focus on your health, your lifestyle, and your impact, and use that to overcome anxiety and uncertainty. I find that when we fear something, it is usually because it is something we don’t understand. But it is important we try to elevate ourselves past that point, and if at the end of the day it still isn’t your thing, then at least you know WHY.

Why I Love Lunette Cup

So why Lunette, specifically? If I am being honest, Lunette was the first one I happened to try. Promoting Lunette isn’t discounting the other available menstrual cups on the market, but when I find something I like, I stick with it to avoid decision fatigue and overwhelm. Lunette, to me, was not only good enough at first go, it was bloody awesome on all counts. Both the company and the product are doing fabulous things, which I briefly outline below.

Environmental Impact

The vegan masterpiece from Scandinavia is a reusable and recyclable product. The company’s efforts to be as sustainable as possible is apparent in their zero-waste packaging and renewable energy. This is also one of the few companies that encourage remote work from their employees, a transition that I really wish to see in the near future.

Social Impact

Lunette understands that education is the key to empower menstruating persons. Destigmatizing periods is a form of activism that we all need to take a part in. They have printed and distributed over 150,000 education booklets around the world. Over 30,000 Lunette cups have been donated through various organizations, while over 500 education packs are delivered to health professionals every year. So far, their product has prevented over a billion period products from reaching the landfills and our ocean. On top of all this, they have increased awareness via their fun, informative, and beautiful blog.

A Frugal Choice

At $32 a cup, this and other menstrual cups, are a frugalist’s best friend. A small box of tampons that last me about one cycle costs $5-7. Multiplied by twelve cycles a year, that comes out to $60-84 per year. A Lunette cup lasted me three years, which would have been about $180-252 in tampons. Assuming the lower end range, buying a Lunette cup saved me $150 over the course of three years. It also kept away at least 432 tampons from the landfill and oceans.

A Minimalist’s Best Friend

I am weird about storing multiple things for future use. In short, I hate doing it. We only have 1-2 toilet paper rolls available at a time. I only buy toothpaste or soap when it runs out. I don’t keep things for the “just because”. It’s the organized, controlling, clutter-free minimalist in me. So when it comes to period products, I don’t like keeping a box under the sink for just-in-case. I also dislike carrying four tampons or two pads in my purse wherever I go. No sirree, not for me. I keep a Lunette cup satchel in a tiny clutch, along with my wallet, cell phone and lip balm. That’s it. For the minimalist, they have this cute clear cup that I absolutely adore.

A Safe Product

The Lunette cup is made with medical silicone that is BPA free and chemical free. It is FDA approved and verified as vegan friendly. It also contains no latex for those who are allergic. Be aware of cheaper menstrual cups that are made with low quality materials that could include BPA, phthalates, latex and heavy metals. Also, look at where it is being made. Be cautious if they are coming from China. Learn what to avoid when buying a menstrual cup for the first time here.

Lifestyle First

What I chase is not money or accolades, but a lifestyle – and an atypical one at that. Lunette, however, fits that lifestyle. I like to purchase environmentally friendly products that make good social impact, which Lunette does. I like as few things as possible and as inexpensive as possible, without sacrificing quality. I like zero-fuss when it comes to my day-to-day. I like comfort, versatility, and ease of use. Simplicity is key. Lunette satisfies all of those requirements, too. I can depend on it during periods of physical activity such as running and yoga. I can depend on it at work, at home, and during sleep. It is easy to maintain and clean, especially with Lunette’s vegan cleanser solution – it only takes a drop. And it can hold twice as much as a tampon plus, so it reduces the amount of times I have to stop during my day to empty them. My period weeks are without a hitch! The only time Lunette has been a challenge for me was when I travelled to countries wherein I could not depend on the cleanliness of their tap water. In which case, I do switch my menstrual management over to Thinx, which I wrote about here! However, Lunette has stood by me for everything else. And with their release of 100% biodegradable cleansing wipes, it is possible that travelling post-COVID wouldn’t be so much of a challenge anymore. It’s a game changer for those who like to camp, road trip, or simply walk 20 hours around a new city.

If you wish to live a more sustainable lifestyle, a healthier one, a more frugal one, or even a simpler one, I would highly recommend making the switch and trying Lunette Cup. Perhaps 2021 is the year to make a commitment to the planet and yourself. If so, make use of their offer this month and purchase an animal-friendly Lunette. All Lunette Menstrual Cups are 20% OFF with the code veganuary at checkout, an ode to their public registration with the Vegan Society. You can use this or any of my affiliate links within this blog.

For those who are just starting on their menstrual cup journey, I highly recommend the Lunette Starter Kit. It comes with one cup, the cleanser, and cupwipes. I was gifted the two cup version, which allows flexibility depending on the flow. The size guide can help you decide which to buy if this is your first time. Or you can always get the starter kit with two cups to learn more about yourself. Both happen to be on sale.

Once again, I thank you for your open mind, your willingness to listen, your intention to understand, and your support of this blog space, including the companies that support me. This post was sponsored by Lunette, but all thoughts, opinions, and content are originally mine.

Play Pretend: Sleep

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure to learn more.

On the heels of my previous post regarding the power of sleep as a method of self-care, I decided to play pretend and create the ideal space for a good night’s rest. Good sleep isn’t fashioned out of thin air for most. Many factors play a role. Some of these factors include the avoidance of blue-light from screens up to two hours prior to bedtime. Light in general should be avoided. Heavy duty curtains can prevent outdoor light from shining into the bedroom of a downtown loft. A cheaper option would be an individual sleep mask for the eyes. On top of sleeping in a darkened room, an ergonomic mattress has been shown to greatly improve quality of sleep. An added priority should be sheets that are friendly to the skin and worth sinking into. Lastly, humidity control and replenishing masks allow skin to recuperate overnight from the harshness of sunlight.

In an effort to create the ideal micro-environment for decent shut-eye, here are a list of home favorites that set me up for sleep success.

In an effort to stray from the indication that good sleep requires spending, here are a list of free actionable tips to improve your sleep.

  • Maintain consistency in following your natural circadian rhythms.
  • Avoid screens up to two hours prior to bedtime.
  • Drink a glass of water prior to sleeping and upon awakening.
  • Quiet the mind in the form of meditation.
  • Include physical activity in your daily routine.
  • Consider when you eat. Go to bed satiated, not hungry or full.

Of course, a combination of both creating the right environment and doing the right actions creates the best results. You may also find relevance in the following posts.

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