A Financial Balance, part ii

by Holly on September 26, 2011

in balance,Bluephies,money,rambling,recipes,vegan

Almost one year ago, I wrote a post about financial planning for women.

Not the sexiest topic per se, but one that I felt a lot of us (both ladies AND gents) could benefit from whether we wanted to admit to our personal money issues or not. Since that post, I’ve paid off my credit card, put an additional $2000 in savings, organized my finances into an uber-Type A accordion folder and bought myself a pair of pink big girl panties in the process.

Since then, I’ve also charged thousands of dollars back on my credit card, planned a trip to London + Paris to see one of my best friends get married, gone out to eat with wild abandon to many not-so-cheap restaurants (*cough* wine is expensive *cough*), faced $1,200 in car repairs and bought one too many Pellegrinos, iced coffees and US Weeklys on the daily.

In other words…finances, what?!?***

While I could lament my utter failure to wear my newfound pair of big girl panties, I am choosing to remember the wise words of Mama Everythingtarian herself: What’s done is done. Plus, I just really don’t want to bring back the cute pair of Elizabeth + James suede ankle boots I got on sale for $59 or return the Wicked tickets I purchased for my parents + I to see while in London. We shouldn’t all have to suffer from my juvenile financial mistakes, right?

Soooo…instead of cringing at my bank statements but yet buying this adorable citron cowlneck scarf, complaining that I don’t make enough money yet finding $30 to buy happy hour drinks, saying I will never ever eat out again but finding myself buying lunch out three days in a row and contemplating a third job (I count blogging/freelancing as job #2) but forgetting to even attempt to organize my finances, I am simply going to stop spending so much gosh darn money.

Revolutionary, I know.

And first on the list of things to stop spending so much gosh darn money on: eating out.

Why spend $10+ going out to eat at Bluephies, one of your favorite local restaurants, when you can make your own Chickpea Chop sandwiches + vegan Sweet Potato Corn Chowder in the luxury of your very own apartment? Plus, when I do leave for ye olde Londontown in 35 days, I want to make sure ALL my money is spent in the struggling European market on purchases from Topshop, Accessorize + Brick Lane curry houses to help their ravaged economy.

Save money…boost European stocks..cook delicious homemade food…all at the same time?

Now there’s a bargain I simply can’t refuse.

Sweet Potato Corn Chowder
adapted from Tyler Florence’s Corn Chowder

2 T Earth Balance spread
2 T olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 T minced garlic
1/4 cup flour
4 cups vegetable stock
2 cups So Delicious Coconut Milk Beverage*
3 medium-to-large sweet potatoes, diced into 1-inch cubes
1 (10-ounce) bag frozen corn kernels
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 to 3/4 T dried thyme, to taste
Salt + pepper, to taste
1/4 cup chopped parsley

*the beverage…not real coconut milk

In a large Dutch oven or pan, heat Earth Balance and olive oil until fully melted. Add onion and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until onion is soft and translucent. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute.

Add flour and stir to coat onion. Then pour in vegetable stock, stir vigorously and let come to a boil. Add the coconut milk beverage and diced sweet potatoes. Cook until sweet potatoes are fork tender. With a potato masher or whisk, roughly mash the sweet potatoes, breaking them down, but still leave some larger sweet potato chunks.

Reduce heat to simmer, and add frozen corn, nutritional yeast, thyme and salt + pepper. Let simmer for an additional 5 to 10 minutes. Just before serving, stir in parsley.

To serve, top with fresh parsley, and enjoy!

Makes 6 servings

Shoot…did I just say this is “the perfect winter soup?” I really meant fall, I swear.

I really need to earn back those big girl panties before it gets too cold.

***Footnote: Although let’s be clear, I did look tres chic sipping sparkling water, wearing my new grayish lavender fall jacket and sporting my new copper-cinnamon-hued hair color.


Shannon September 26, 2011 at 11:59 pm

I totally need to but on my big girl panties and get my finances in shape for when I move. I am going to be spending a whole lot more on rent, and bills I didn’t have before being lucky enough to live with my aunt… Fingers crossed that I’ll actually find a place that isn’t too ghetto!!! :)

That soup looks wonderful, I’m definitely going to have to try it!

Kathryn September 27, 2011 at 3:23 am

This European thanks you in advance for the contribution to our economy ;) This summer seemed to be so expensive but, like you, I have to start spending less – in particular on rubbish that I don’t need – so I can save it for the good stuff. Thanks for the timely reminder.

Alissa @ Not Just Apples September 27, 2011 at 3:28 am

Finances are always a pain, and every step is a learning curve. I’ve learnt to really enjoy thrifty food and have fun doing free things! After all, my ‘not very much money’ is way more than so many other people out there in the world…

Thanks for a delicious looking recipe! I will try that out soon :)

Lauren September 27, 2011 at 5:57 am

Ah, get out! I was just looking for a sweet potato corn soup recipe! This one is literally perfect! Exactly what I was thinking.

Uncle Tommie Timbertoes September 27, 2011 at 6:21 am

This post makes a good point. You can’t buy your way to “happy”. If you don’t know how to be happy without having money you have very little chance of having any permanent happy with it.

Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga September 27, 2011 at 6:27 am

The soup looks amazing!

And it feels like just yesterday I read your money post. Wow, time flies.

congrats to you, Holly, for paying off your cc’s, and putting 2k in savings! Even tho you’ve re-charged money on your cards, you know you CAN pay them off and did and that’s awesome. Great job!

Hillary September 27, 2011 at 7:15 am

I just about had a heart attack when I realized that my county is actually paying me less this year than last year…less than a week after I bought a new car.

In other words, I will make this soup, not only because I also need to save money, but because it looks and sounds absolutely fabulous!

Kacy September 27, 2011 at 7:42 am

This is really the story of my life. I can get my finances under control for a few days and then, woops, I’ve charged thousands of dollars back onto my credit card faster than you can say “I want some of that damn soup!”

emily (a nutritionist eats) September 27, 2011 at 8:29 am

As someone who is recently sort-of unemployed, I appreciate this post as I need to get my booty working on a hard-core budget. Thank you! And keep up the tips. (And the yummy recipes, I’m SO excited to make that garbanzo chop) Are you in Madison this weekend by chance?

Madeline - Greens and Jeans September 27, 2011 at 8:55 am

Why must everything I want be so expensive? Damn me and my good taste! Speaking of good taste, I’m totally forwarding Colin this soup and telling him that we are making it immediately.

Erica Dagley September 27, 2011 at 9:27 am

Did this post fall out of my brain? After years of “trying”, I’m giving myself a final swift kick in the ass to get my spending under control.

If I can run 8 miles I must contain some self discipline right?

Jessica @ Stylish Stealthy and Healthy September 27, 2011 at 9:30 am

I so need to stop spending money. I made the unfortunate mistake of creating an account on mint.com yesterday and fell into a serious depression for the rest of the night.
Savings? What are they?

Lindsay @ Lindsay's List September 27, 2011 at 10:12 am

I could totally teach you how to extreme coupon!! I’ve got like 20 tubes of toothpaste stockpiled. ;) All for FREE!!

Megan (Braise the Roof) September 27, 2011 at 10:50 am

Oh, I hear ya. My car just went back in to the shop and I’m a-scurred to find out how much it’s going to set me back. I’ve also been looking for a new sweet potato soup recipe- excellent timing, my dear. :)

Jessica @ Healthy Dairyland September 27, 2011 at 11:18 am

I hear ya. When I moved in with my parents to save money, I assumed I would actually pay down my credit card+student loans AND save money. Instead I somehow ended up with cute shoes, shellac manicures, and multiple Southwest plane tickets. C’est la vie.

That soup looks great! Maybe one of these days I’ll have free time and make it!! :)

Kristen - Anywhere There's An Airport September 27, 2011 at 12:46 pm

I see all positives in this post. Reclaiming your finances, hopping the pond to Europe, and that soup. And seeing as I benefit from the latter two, I am especially stoked.

p.s. There really is something powerful about being (and feeling) in control of your finances. Good things will come!

Gail for So Delicious Dairy Free September 27, 2011 at 3:55 pm

Hi Holly! That certainly does look like the perfect winter soup—so warming and nurturing! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe. I am really looking forward to making this!

Lauren http://theclimbingchef.blogspot.com/ September 27, 2011 at 4:59 pm

You’re adorable and your soup looks amazing… I’m sick today and I might go and make that soup for myself before heading back to bed.

Eden September 27, 2011 at 8:35 pm

Wah!!!! I don’t WANT big girl panties!!!! (I know, overdose on exclamations)

What I want is Tyler Florence IN my panties.

what? I do….tee hee!

Maren September 27, 2011 at 8:36 pm

It seems as if as soon as I think I’m getting back on top, something always comes along! Just started a new job a couple weeks ago, though, and am hoping to get on our feet! At the same time though, I am hearing rumors (from my own bf) that we could potentially go back to NE. Small chance, but man my hopes are high…at the same time, though, it would be starting over…again.

I hope you have such a wonderful time in London…and it will totally be worth every penny spent. I’m sure you know that, though :)

MirandaK @ Miranda's Munchies September 27, 2011 at 8:48 pm

You are hilarious. I think basically by over-spending (and then writing this post) you were helping all your readers with financial advice. Therefore it’s actually a good thing you bought/enjoyed all the goodies this summer, because we wouldn’t have benefited otherwise. That’s uber selfless ;)

Liz @ iheartvegetables September 27, 2011 at 9:03 pm

At least you’re back on the right track! And this soup looks amazing! I love budget friendly dishes

grace b September 28, 2011 at 12:13 am

Gah Holly what a fun post! Seriously, I can totally relate to your financial woes. Currently working as an Episcopal Service Corps intern living on a MEAGER salary. So uh, really gotta talk myself out of buying an expensive drink! Much rather let a nice boy buy me a drink. :)

Always a big fan girl!


dana @ my little celebration September 30, 2011 at 8:25 pm

Holly, I just had to let you know that I made this with a few slight modifications this week and it turned out WONderfully. Thanks for sharing, friend!

elise October 2, 2011 at 9:15 pm


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