Super salads, saving money, and self care

Hey guys- it’s almost the weekend! I do wish it was Payday Friday though, those make the best Fridays.

This week has been full of home happenings. We have our lawyer set for closing, and we’re signing up for homeowner’s insurance. We got a couple quotes on homeowner’s insurance and definitely shopped around. Insurance prices are crazy, so if you’re buying a house… shop around!

Also if you combine your auto and homeowner’s insurance, you usually save money that way too. We’ve had our car insurance for years, but it increased big time when we moved to Charleston. I guess it’s because there are only a few ways to get around this city and when a wreck occurs, it backs up that road AND all the side roads. I’d say drivers here are crazy but well… everyone says that. They’re crazy everywhere!


Anyway, after multiple quotes, we’ve found a company to get homeowner’s insurance through that is not only cheaper than what we were originally quoted, but also gives us better auto insurance for a cheaper price. Due to shopping around online for homeowner’s insurance and not just going with who our families have always used, Clay and I will save around $200 a month on our mortgage payments. Score!

Speaking of home buying stress, I got an amazing massage Wednesday. I bought a deal through Living Social awhile back when I was new in town, but a girl I met through running highly recommended the massage therapist (For all of you Charleston locals, I went to Judd from InTouch Massage). He practices inside a Pilates studio, and it’s not super fancy-smantcy, but he worked magic on my back. I’ve had this weird hip twinge occasionally after running, and it turned out to be my low back rather than my hip.

Judd cracked my back, showed me lots of stretches for my legs, back, and hips, and relieved the tension from my neck. Apparently I haven’t been holding my stretches long enough to get deep release. It helped a lot, as I cranked out a tough 8 mile workout Thursday morning. I felt like I had an entirely new set of hips/legs.


Nothing beats a little self-care sometimes. I have to get better about using Living Social and Groupon deals for things like this- I end up waiting until the companies email me that they’re close to expiring (btw, the paid value *never* expires). I guess I feel like I need a special occasion to get a massage or a pedicure that I’ve technically already bought on the cheap, but really… the act of getting a massage, pedi, mani, haircut, etc… *can be that special occasion*. So why wait?

Clay and I tried Bear-E-Patch Café, another new-to-me restaurant this week (we’re going to be working on that bucket list forever) and I got a Greek salad. I’ve *really* been craving Greek salads lately- am I the only person who gets cravings for vegetables?- and despite the goodness of pancakes, omelets, and potatoes, I just wanted salad.

The Bear-E-Patch Greek salad was delicious- I liked that it used romaine lettuce instead of iceburg, had lots of tomatoes, olives, and peppers, and the dressing was a light vinaigrette (not creamy). It was also cheaper than some grocery store salads. Downside… the feta wasn’t super creamy or rich tasting. Overall I’d give this one a B+.


Nothing beats a good Greek salad, especially with the weather warming up here. Now I’m thinking about trying lots of other Greek salads around here to find the best possible one. Yeah, this was prompted by a crazy long post on Facebook with everyone suggesting places to try… haha.

No big weekend plans here. I have a team social on Friday night, then on Sunday morning I’m long running and having breakfast with some friends. I’m sure Clay and I will squeeze a date in there somewhere (most likely another salad for me) too. Hope you’re all well!

1.) Do you crave certain foods as the weather warms up? Along with salads, I’ve really enjoyed frozen fruit lately. I stick orange slices in the freezer when I make my coffee, then eat them 30 minutes later with my cereal for breakfast. Good stuff.

2.) When’s the last time you did something nice for yourself just because? Well, aside from that daily frozen yogurt addiction that I fed earlier today, my massage definitely counts.

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18 Responses to Super salads, saving money, and self care

  1. allieksmith says:

    I totally know what you mean about self care. It’s so important, but often overlooked! The last time I did something nice for myself was last night. I took myself out to dinner LOL! I was all by myself, and it was kinda awesome to just relax and enjoy my food alone.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      I don’t even remember the last time I took myself out to lunch or dinner… Usually I just eat lunch here at the apartment, if I do get something out I bring it back because I don’t have anyone else to eat with. I think I may try this one day next week, actually. There’s a newish restaurant here I want to try and going at lunch would save me some money… plus it’s one of those places where you don’t really get the experience if you do takeout.

  2. Tiffany G. says:

    I need to buy a groupon for a massage. I have developed this constant knot in the upper left back due to me not used to sitting at a desk all day each day at the new job :-/ Need to invest in taking better care of myself. 1) warmer weather cravings–>hmm maybe daiquiris, icees, or frozen yogurt/ice cream 2) me actually taking a trip for my bday this past weekend. even tho it was not a “just because” trip but usually for bdays I just do something local and have dinner with friends.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Yeah… we don’t do a ton for our birthdays either really. But sometimes taking a trip is super fun, sometimes even going to another part of town is refreshing, you know? Especially when you live in a town where you can do that and make a trip out of it.

      Definitely go get a massage for the knot- it helps big time, especially if you have a good massage therapist. I’ve done a few massages, like some on islands when we cruised, that weren’t really targeted or good… but Judd asked me if I had any concerns, I told him I ran a lot, sat in a chair for work, etc… and he knew the kind of places that would be tense, so it really helped.

  3. spectacuLAUR says:

    My brother had a hard time finding a good home owners insurance around my area, too. I think the toppings on salads totally make the salad so if one of the “prized” toppings don’t taste well… It just makes the whole salad bad! I’m glad you decided to take a day for self care because everyone deserves it now and then. Have a great weekend!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Yup, I love the prized salad toppings :). I’m going out to eat tonight and I think the place has a salad bar, hopefully that’s good because those are the best, you can make sure the salad is exactly right.

  4. First, I’ve been getting a lot better about paying for things from living social too. Such a seriously good deal. I agree though, often times with budgeting we forget to save money for ourselves. I’m slowly learning this but it is certainly a hard struggle for me honestly.

    Greek salads are my absolute favorite so I def understand about that. I crave them all the time actually and have no shame in that..I think it’s mostly because I crave feta cheese.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Clay says there’s no such thing as too much feta, but I think there is. I got a Greek salad from the Publix here and the feta was great, but there was too much of it- I couldn’t taste the other toppings- it was just covered in feta! Sometimes less is more to bring out all the flavors.

      I love those daily deal sites, great place to purchase things for ourselves on the cheap!

      • Which others do you use? I use groupon and living social but that is it so far.

      • Amy Lauren says:

        The others are local to Charleston and only include Charleston restaurants, etc… but there might be some local to you. I think it’s through the newspaper here.

        Also, you can usually buy groupons through swagbucks and you earn 45 swagbucks per groupon you purchase through them :).

  5. I am so glad you got yourself a massage. I think it is the best self care thing to do for runners. we think we hold all of our tightness in our legs but really our shoulders have a ton too!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Yes, definitely! And sitting all day at a desk as a writer doesn’t help either. I have been taking stretch breaks lately and doing the stretches that Judd recommended after the massage.

  6. I know it has been FOREVER since I have gotten on here and actually wrote. But I am glad I got to read a blog entry (an updated one). 🙂 I have never been given a massage, but I heard they are great. They can get really expensive, so I’m glad you were able to get one on a deal, and being able to pamper yourself is always fun! I LOVE GREEK SALADS!!! omg. lol.
    I hope you have been doing well, and I’m trying to update my blog more.

    1.) Do you crave certain foods as the weather warms up? Yes! Yogurt, Salads, and fruit 🙂

    2.) When’s the last time you did something nice for yourself just because? a couple of days ago I got my nails done. And I bought a couple new shirts for myself today


    • Amy Lauren says:

      So glad you responded Mel! I was thinking about you the other day and hoping everything was okay with you since I hadn’t heard from you in forever. Greek salads are delicious and I always crave cold foods when the weather gets hot. Either that, or I don’t want hot foods until it’s after dark. Yogurt and fruit are delicious too, I’m really enjoy mandarin oranges/cuties lately!

  7. Yay for saving a bunch of money each month, 200 $ heck yes to that! Figuring all of that out must be so darn stressful, I’m glad you were able to get a massage and it sounds like one that was beneficial. Sometimes I get massages that feel pretty good, but don’t actually release anything, or stretch my body out and such. Well it clearly helped you with the 8 mile that other morning!
    I used to detest greek salads when I was younger because I hated feta cheese. How wrong I was as a child lol, they are among my favorite salads now!
    I also bought a groupon/living social massage a few months back and have yet to use it. My next time of treating myself will be when I use that up…. maybe at the end of next week!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      It was definitely a beneficial massage, not just a “feel good” one. And yes, it really did help with the 8 miles. Feta cheese is good, although I don’t like a TON of it on my salads. I can’t imagine a Greek salad without it though, good feta can really make or break a Greek salad.

      Definitely use the deal- they do expire you know! Well, the promotional value does. The amount you paid next expires so after it expires, it’s basically a gift certificate you paid full price for.

  8. that is great that you took some time to relax! I could definitely take some lesson from you!

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