Black Friday Online Sales

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving! Now we shop. Online of course, because anyone crazy enough to brave the mall and spend those high prices is no follower of mine. So curl up with a cup of coffee in your PJs and enjoy these major online sales at some of my favorite sites and let me know what you end up getting! xx, Beth

thebudgetista Free Shipping for 2 Days

Lulu’s Extra 20% off + Free Shipping (Code: vipbrocadewatches93f)

Reformation 30% Off (which NEVER happens!)

Revolve Extra 20% off Sale Items (Code: BlackFriday20) Extra 15% off Your Entire Order (Code: BLACKFRI15) Take 30% off Anything you Want (Code: BLESSED)

How to Have a Plant Based Vegan Thanksgiving.

One of the hardest parts of eating plant based vegan is being around the traditional holiday foods you are programmed to eat since childhood. Sometimes for beginners it is easier to just join in than have to listen to your Aunt preach about protein, but the truth is you CAN enjoy Thanksgiving without eating meat and you don’t even have to change your family’s traditional dishes to do so. Just enjoy larger portions of the “sides”, add loads of greens to your plate and stay clear of the turkey. And try not to preach – it never bodes well at the holidays (I know from experience).

Farm Sanctuary sent out this awesome Meat Free Thanksgiving guide with tips, tricks and recipes to get you through your Thanksgiving guilt free so I just had to share. Oh, and you can also Adopt a Turkey from Farm Sanctuary this year, so to make up for that turkey your fam bought why not save one’s life? Creative and cruelty free – love it. Hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving! xx, Beth

plant based vegan thanksgiving tips hautehealthy
Download the Farm Sanctuary Meat Free Thanksgiving Guide

Easing into a Plant Based Vegan Diet.

When I was in middle school my older brother, who was 15 at the time and in high school, visited a chicken farm in Virginia and declared himself a vegetarian. He joined PETA and rescued bunnies, threw out all of our products made by P&G (which is everything btw), would moo at the dinner table if we ate meat, had my parents buy him Tofurkeys every year and he even had a vegan wedding cake 10 years later. Because I looked up to my brother I also attempted to go vegetarian and lasted one week before eating a SAMs hotdog. I am fickle to a fault but I like to think that once I am educated on something I cannot ever go back to the way I was before. But I have backtracked, and I have learned and come back around to the same innate feeling that this lifestyle is right for me on so many levels. It is truly my passion to live a thriving plant based lifestyle and I just can’t get enough of reading about it, following it and living it! This doesn’t mean I am perfect, which has been my biggest lesson in life. Sometimes if I am not 100% into something I don’t see the point in doing it at all so I give up, but in this I am no longer striving to be perfect, but just make daily conscious decisions to be as healthy and compassionate as I can with my eating habits. If I don’t set my expectations so high I won’t be disappointed and give up when I have one slip up!

haute healthy granola bowl

My health and compassion journey started about four years ago when a friend and I watched the documentaries Forks over KnivesFood Matters and it snowballed into me now eating a primarily plant-based vegan diet. As I fell faster down the rabbit hole soaking up knowledge, it wasn’t an easy ride so I wanted to provide some resources that have been helpful for me to try to stay on track, educate myself and find support in this amazing community. The best thing you can do is Educate Yourself by reading relevant books and watching documentaries, and the second best thing you can do is CONNECT with likeminded individuals – follow them on social media so you are surrounded by their feeds and feel that you have a community around you even if you don’t in reality. It is also extremely helpful to subscribe to their blogs and feeds because they have come before you and have tips, tricks, recipes and so much more that you can learn from. Look for organizations and causes that believe in the same things you do and join them and/or volunteer for them. Also, something new I did, check out in your area and see if anyone has started a Vegan or plant based group or start your own!

So here is a basic starter kit to get you eased into plant based vegan lifestyle and it will take up hours of your time just reading through everything and immersing yourself in it. Let me know any questions you have or recommendations on resources I should add. These are the ones that worked for me and continue to provide me with daily support. xx, Beth

The 80/10/10 Diet
Starch Solution
The China Study

WATCH: Forks over Knives, Food Matters, Cowspiracy, Earthlings (I have tried to watch this 3 times and can’t get through the whole thing! I promise if you watch it you won’t ever eat meat again though.)

CONNECT with like-minded Earthlings:
Plant Based Life | @thisplantbasedlife
Australian model & swimwear designer who is an animal activist and plant based vegan.
sheridyn fisher plant based life

ALEVEN:11 | @lonijane
Plant-based Vegan mama living in Australia who ate plant based vegan through her pregnancy and beyond. She is the first IG account that got me interested in a plant based lifestyle. xx
loni jane

EarthyAndy | @earthyandy
Plant-based Vegan mama living in Hawaii who has an amazing attitude and the cutest family ever.
earthy andy plant based life

Banana Blondie | @bananablondie108
Hot yoga mama with a dirty mouth, amazing bod and website dedicated to the plant based vegan lifestyle with her boyfriend.
banana blondie plant based vegan

OneHungryMami | @onehungrymami
Amazing recipes that focus on whole foods.
one hungry mami

Taylor Swift’s 2015 Grammys Look for Less


When I came across this Keepsake dress it reminded me so much of Taylor Swift’s amazing iridescent high/low dress at the 2015 Grammys I knew I had to do a post on her whole look for less. I love the mix of bright colors and how the magenta strappy heels pop against the blue-green color of the dress. The original opal earrings cost $1M bucks so I tried my best to find you a similar look on a budget. We can’t all be as lucky as T Swift, but we can try for a night. xx, Beth

taylor swift 2015 grammys look for less

Keepsake Where I Find You Dress – $68

Kendra Scott Oval Stone Stud Earrings – $33

Jessica Simpson Liddy Cross Strap Sandals – $47

Don’t Be Tardy for Brielle Biermann’s Smocked Strapless Dress.

So to let you in on a little secret about me, I am OBSESSED with Don’t Be Tardy on Bravo. I love it in the way that I actually pay to watch all of the episodes, have seen every single season since it was Don’t be Tardy for the Wedding and even rewatched an entire season the other weekend just for fun. I just adore the Biermann family, Kim & Kroy’s love for each other and all the hilarious people they have working for them. Their chef is so fing funny I can’t even. Just watch it and you will know what I am talking about ok? Don’t even get me started on Kim’s amazing makeup and hair because I need to know exactly how they get her curl like that, I think it may be from a wand…wait, what was I writing about? Oh yes, Brielle’s dress she wore while interviewing Monica. I just love the color of Brielle’s dress against a tan and the back of the dress is so my style so I had to track it down for less. Get the look on a budget after the jump…

Continue reading

Natural + Affordable Skincare Products I Love

Many aestheticians have told me that I look younger because I have naturally oily skin. I suppose that I should take that as a blessing, but when your makeup starts sliding off your face by 3pm having oily skin seems to be more of a curse than anything. I know it seems odd to use oil to combat oil, but I have to say since switching to natural oils on my face it has become less oily by the end of the day, I have fewer pimples and overall the quality of my skin looks better. It turns out that cleansing with an oil-based formula actually helps normalize sebum production, which leads to fewer breakouts. Who knew? I have tried everything from the high end skincare products to the drugstore kinds and these natural products are the ones that work the best for me and cost the least too!

natural affordable skincare thebudgetista

My Routine:
Remove makeup with organic coconut oil on cotton pads. I buy my coconut oil at Trader Joe’s ($5) but you can also find it cheaper than at a grocery store by buying it at TJ Maxx & Marshall’s.

After my makeup is removed, I wash the oil off with hot water. Then I add pure rose hip oil as a nighttime moisturizer (picked up this tip from Miranda Kerr). My favorite brand is Now Foods Rose Hip Seed Oil from iHerb ($5.34). This also works great as an eye serum so you can use a little in the morning around your eyes so your foundation doesn’t slip into fine lines. If you have some leftover on your hands, just run it through the ends of your hair.

In addition to oil, a few times a week I scrub my face in the shower with Acure Organics Brightening Scrub ($9) after cleaning my makeup off. I read about this product on in an interview with Miss.Kristin Cavallari. It is UH-mazing, cleans your pores and really makes your skin feel clean – even the husband loves it.

That is it! Simple, easy and cheap skincare products that don’t harm animals or have nasty chemicals in them. What natural products do you use and how do you use them? Share with me in the comments below. xx, Beth

203k Full Renovation Loan Guide: Time Extensions & Termination.

If you are coming into the 203k Renovation Loan saga now make sure to read my Phase I, Phase II, Permits & Draws posts before you read this. Today we are talking about the dreaded time extensions and terminating your GC which I hope for your sake you don’t have to do.

In the beginning of our build we didn’t have a draw minimum. After the first two draws of $8k (Draw #1) and $7k (Draw #2), our lender upped our draw amount minimums to $14,000 each to push the GC to get more work done as he wasn’t moving at the speed they wanted. On the third draw of $13,580 (Draw #3) the lender was growing impatient with the GC’s lack of progress so they upped our minimum draw amounts to $25,000 and denied contingency amounts that were too low. This was horrible as we fronted those contingency amounts and still have yet to receive that money back. We were able to just make it work for the next draw (#4), but this really put a strain on our project because the GC didn’t have the funds to float that much money. Around this time the GC was having his own personal and financial issues and should have bowed out of the project, but instead he stayed on telling us we could make the next Draw #5 ($25k) if we put out our own money, which we would be reimbursed. We felt that we really didn’t have a choice and since the checks were all made out to me anyway we were comfortable fronting the funds. When the next ($25k) check came back (July 31, 2015) the GC signed it over to me and we got back our money minus the 10% holdback, which we still haven’t gotten back. At this point it was becoming clear that our GC couldn’t handle the project; he was barely responsive to our requests and 10 months had passed since we closed on the house. The 203k build is supposed to be completed in six months and everyone involved was growing impatient and frustrated. Thank the lord for time extensions…

203k-loan-guide(Finally have windows & doors installed)

Continue reading

Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide (BBG) Review

As you know I am fickle AF so I change my workout plan quite frequently. The latest one I tried was Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Guide or #BBG as known on social media. Just search the #BBG, #BBGgirls or #kaylasarmy hashtags on Instagram and you will see millions of women changing their bodies and lives all over the world thanks to Kayla’s workouts. I love her positive vibes so I was dying to try the plan. I followed the BBG plan (loosely) for 12 weeks so if you are looking to make the purchase, here is the inside track on whether it is worth it or not.

BBG-guide-kayla-itsines(#nofilter after 12 weeks of #BBG & a vacation)

Workout Plan: BBG is a 12 week program that mixes resistance training with low cardio (walking) and stretching. You are supposed to perform one of the tasks every day leaving one rest day a week. Once you get to week 9 – 12 you add HIIT cardio workouts along with the other workouts. The thing I loved best about the workouts is they are only 28 minutes long and you can do them all at home. You will need dumbbells and preferably a step or box; I was ghetto and just used a dining chair or a physical step. There are also many workouts where you need a jump rope, but I just mimicked jumping rope, did jumping jacks, etc. (All about the bare minimum over here.) I did the 3 resistance workouts every week for the 12 weeks and the days between I would either go on a walk, do yoga or do nothing because I am lazy.

I replaced my weekly bootcamp classes with the BBG workouts 3 times a week and I would say that it kept me in the same shape as my classes. The workouts are intense and not for beginners – Kayla recommends walking for a few weeks before starting the program for those who don’t work out hard to begin with. Of course I just jumped right in! They get harder as the weeks progress and you build up to a higher stamina by the end of the 12 weeks.

Eating Plan: 
The eating plan is not strict in the sense that you are eating raw or vegan, etc. Kayla eats bread (mainly rye), meat and dairy, but does not drink alcohol (not that you can’t drink but she recommends not drinking). For breakfast you can have things like: omelets, oatmeal, acai bowls, etc. For dinner you can have a lean protein and a veggie. Snacks are hummus and veggies. I loosely followed the BBG diet recommendations and stuck to my normal lean and clean lifestyle. In general I think her eating plan is healthier for most, but it still has dairy and wheat which I try not to eat every day so I stuck to my normal clean eating habits.

I believe that swapping the BBG plan for my normal HIIT bootcamp workouts was just as effective and I didn’t have to go to the gym which saved me time and money! The eating plan is great for beginners who are looking for healthier eating options, but it is not as strict as I prefer to eat. As in everything I believe you can modify the plans to best fit your needs. I don’t know if I could continue the BBG Guide another straight 12 weeks (as many of the BBG girls do) but I would substitute the resistance workouts in my weekly routine when I don’t go to class. If you are looking to lose weight, amp up your workout plan or just get more toned, than the BBG guide will help you achieve all those things. xx, Beth

203k Full Renovation Loan Guide: Permits & Draws.

Now that you are ready to move forward with construction on your house after completing Phase I & Phase II of the 203k Loan process, the lender will assign you an account manager at the bank who will answer questions and handle the payment process. You will send invoices to the account person for payment and the 203k consultant will send draw requests to them to get money back once work has been completed. Every lender is different, but ours only paid upfront materials deposits for: windows & doors and cabinets. Windows and doors are very expensive so it was helpful that they paid out that deposit upfront.

FHA-HUD-203k-loan-renovation(Our addition in progress)

One of the first things you will do is meet in person with your GC and make them a copy of a key to the house. Do a walkthrough with them and tell them what you are envisioning for the home so they have a good idea on your vision. I also sent lot of Pinterest pics for inspiration to explain what I wanted along the way.

Your GC will order a dumpster and port-o-potty for the house. You can start cleaning out any furniture, old clothing, etc. to help move along the process so its ready for demo. Our house was left with everything in it so we cleaned it out some just to feel like something was being accomplished. Our GC handled most of the major cleaning and 100% of the demo process. Make sure you leave the difficult demo to the professionals.

Continue reading

Tone It Up Perfect Fit Protein Muffins

This recipe will really streamline your morning routine because you can make these Perfect Fit Protein muffins the night before and just heat them up in the morning. No more waiting for pancakes to bubble and being late to work, yay!

Ingredients: (Makes 6 Medium Muffins)
1 1/2 bananas
3 Free Range Eggs
3 Scoops Perfect Fit Protein Powder
3 Tbsp Flaxseed
1 Tsp Cinnamon
1 Tsp Baking Powder
Blueberries (for later)

Preheat oven to 350.
Grease your muffin tin/cups with coconut oil.
Mix protein powder, flaxseed, baking powder and cinnamon in bowl.
Add banana (mash with your hands) and eggs.
Mix well until there are no banana lumps. (Unless you like them a bit lumpy, that is ok too)

Pour mixture into muffin tins or cups and add blueberries to each.
Bake for 30 minutes.
In the morning, heat your muffin up for about 15 seconds to warm it up & enjoy!

xx, Beth