Alyssa J Freitas

September 12, 2018

Going Out With Friends Etiquette

It has been far too long since I've published an etiquette post, and I'm especially excited about our topic today: going out with friends. There are a myriad of challenges that can come up when going out with a group of people: splitting the bill, deciding where to go in the first place, figuring out a designated driver, the list goes on and on. Today I'm going to dive into some of the topics I've experienced and welcome you to leave a comment if you have any questions/scenarios I haven't addressed.
Click to read now or pin to save for later! Ever wonder how to split the bill, or choose a restaurant, with the right etiquette? Here's your guide on going out with friends

Selecting the venue

"I'm up for anything." "Yep, doesn't matter to me either." And on and on the cycle goes when trying to decide what to do. Let's break this down into two circumstances:

  • When you're the host/someone is coming to visit you, take their taste into account and give them two options, instead of opening up the entire city. This will ensure that you can vet restaurants/bars/etc beforehand (for price and location and all that), and make it easy on your guest.
  • When you're going out with friends in your area, it is best to narrow down to a type of cuisine or music, or what have you and then pull out the Google stars. Whichever place that matches the desired price and has 4 stars or above is a go. 
We can so easily get caught up in making a decision and not wanting to make a bad choice that may make our friends think, "We should have gone with my idea," so prioritizing speed and stars will get you to the fun of being out - and the people you're with ends up being so much more important than the place you are.

If you're going with a large group, make this decision ahead of time and make a reservation!


Ah, the fun of getting there and getting home. If you're in a city you'll most likely be on public transportation or using Uber (splitting the bill among riders is so easy, though I usually go by the mentality of "you can get me next time" and it all evens out). If you are in an area where you have to drive, making sure that someone is a designated driver and that the group rotates fairly is essential. If you're often with the same group you can go in alphabetical order to ensure the driving is equitable.

Splitting the bill

I can vividly remember going to the Cheesecake Factory for my birthday as a teenager with a group of girlfriends and when it came time to pay the bill, we were a nightmare for the waitress. When she brought the bill we gave her a variety of cash and cards and tried to mark off on the receipt who was paying for what. Plus, all of my friends wanted to contribute to my dinner, so when you add that into the equation it gets exponentially worse.

Here's the deal: if there is a huge discrepancy in the price of your meal versus another's, make it up in the tip. I don't drink, so I often won't be expected to contribute to the tip when I go out with others. If you see people enough, it all ends up evening out. Ask the waitress or waiter if you can use multiple cards, or have one person pay and then settle up with them. 

And back to the birthday thing real quick, if you are going out to celebrate a special occasion, don't allow the person of honor to pay! One person can take care of their meal as a gift, and if you really want to split it among the whole group, take care of it outside of paying the bill.

Phone usage

If you're out with your friends, you don't need to be on your phone. Make sure you ask others if you want to put anything on social media, but I'd highly encourage you to spend a night out without using your phone - you won't want to turn back.

Common subjects

I have friends in different circles and when I bring them together, I always focus on common topics that everyone can contribute to. How frustrating is it to go out with a group of people and then find yourself with nothing to say when they talk about a mutual friend? Make sure to draw everyone into conversation and focus on commonalities.

These are just some of the situations where we will do well to remember what etiquette is all about: putting others at ease. As long as you keep this essential sentiment at the forefront of your mind, you'll be able to have a pleasant time with friends, every time.

Any other situations your curious to know about? Let me know in the comments and I'll address it!


September 6, 2018

MoviePass Recently

I recently made a tough decision. Have you heard about MoviePass? You most likely have, and if you haven't here's the quick story. Some guys got together and said, "Hey, it seems like people really dig subscription know what would be a great subscription - unlimited movies!!!" Then these guys set out to create a business model that would allow you to see one movie, every day, for about $10/month. It seems like the goal was to get enough people using MoviePass to make it sustainable, but instead it's been plagued with fraud and hasn't scaled quite like envisioned.
Click to read now or pin to save for later! I recently decided to keep movie pass and thought I'd give you a look at the movies I've seen and how I'd rate each one
I was so excited by MoviePass at the onset that I purchased a year long subscription. Well, since then MoviePass has limited the number of movies you can see and there have been a whole host of problems with the app - however, I decided to stick it out until March when my subscription is up and then reevaluate. I've just been having too much fun going to theaters to give up just yet. Plus, I've already seen enough movies that it's paid for itself, so why not keep it going?

Here are the movies I've seen since getting MoviePass and my unscientific star rating for each one


This one was...strange. And strange is not always a bad thing! It's about two friends who decide to murder one's step father and as you can imagine, things are pretty messed up leading to the event and after. 

The Death of Stalin

Hysterical. This movie, as the title suggests, is about the immediate aftermath of the death of Stalin and how the Council of Ministers vie for power.

Isle of Dogs  

Wes Anderson films are bound to be good and Isle of Dog did not disappoint. When all of the dogs are banished to an island because they are accused of bringing disease and corruption to the humans, one boy sets off to find his dog that was taken from him.

I Feel Pretty 

Sorry Amy, but this movie did not do it for me. I expected it to be light-hearted, but not as shallow and predictable as it turned out to be.


Action, adventure, romance. A solid movie for a girl who doesn't watch Star Wars, but likes to make her boyfriend happy.


A documentary about Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her rise to the Supreme Court. It was great to see the obstacles she has overcome and her unreal work ethic.

Incredibles 2

FINALLY. We've been waiting for this movie for years and it did not disappoint. The family is just as loving, funny, and daring as ever, and I liked seeing Elastigirl in the lead.

Three Identical Strangers

The first 5 star movie on the list and with good reason. This documentary about triplets separated at birth blew my mind, and sparked interesting conversations about nature v nurture.

Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again

Not as good as the first, but delivers on its promise of being a heart warming musical and a perfect escape.


What happens when a black man joins the KKK? He gets a lot further than you might think.

What's on your list of movies to see? Any recommendations for recent movies I've missed?


August 29, 2018

Back To College Roundup

It's that time of year! People are heading back to college (and I'm not going with them - but we're not going to make this a woe is me post) and I thought this would be a great time to share a roundup of my best college posts.
Click to read now or pin to save for later! Headed back to college? Here's a roundup of the best college posts from the blog to help you prepare
Whether this is your freshman year or your an experienced senior, I hope this posts will help you to make the most of this next year. Happy back to school!

Academics (the reason you're here, after all)

Social Life (another big reason you're here)

Moving In/Getting Started

The Minimalist's Guide To College Packing 

Are you heading back to school? What are you most excited for?


August 22, 2018

How To Manage Multiple Jobs

As Becky Bloomwood's father tells us in Confessions of a Shopaholic, there are two ways to solve your debt problem, "you can Cut Back or Make More Money." While Becky decides she's a Make More Money person, I am firmly a Cut Back and Make More Money person. (As you can probably guess, there are few similarities between Becky and me, but I love this series of books and if you're looking for a quick fun read, I highly recommend it!).

Even if you don't have a debt problem, I think it's always good to be simultaneously cutting back and making more money. I've written extensively about saving money (check out posts here, here, here, here, here, here, and here), and today we're going to talk about making more money.
Click to read now or pin to save for later! Are you working multiple jobs and feeling overwhelmed? Or want to take on more, but are unsure of how you'll manage? Here's how to thrive while bringing in that extra money
In college I worked three jobs during the year (Residential Assistant, blogger, and digital design/intern for a sales training company (you may remember I ended up in Disney when traveling for this company!)) and two during the summers (blogger and intern or nanny). Being an RA was a great decision because for 3 years I did not have to pay for housing and got money towards my meal plan. My loans were far less than they could have been because I put in the work during the year.

Now that I'm working full time, I still keep up the blog and do work for the sales training company, allowing me to Make More Money. Truly, I don't make much from my blog. I don't do many partnerships and it's hard to find the few I do when I am a proud minimalist who encourages people not to spend their money (sort of a hard message for a brand to get behind who wants to sell products, I know). However, I do make some money and will count it as a job because it is something I work on every week.

No doubt it can be challenging to take on work outside of my primary job at IBM and motivate myself to continue working on the nights and weekends, but I love doing it and am proud when I've done a good job and my bank account is happy. After managing this for a while a now, I am excited to share my best tips for staying on top of multiple jobs.

As always, it comes back to the calendar. 

I've talked about my calendar many times, and how important it is for it to be digital and always with me, and this is the primary reason: keeping track of my jobs. I schedule all of my usual IBM work, plus add when I will work on projects for the sales training company, and have a standing date on Saturday mornings to write a blog post.

Once you know what you have to do, setting a hard date (and giving yourself a little more time than you think you'll need) is essential. Just like you would do with school assignments, assign deadlines before the deadlines to ensure nothing slips through the cracks.

Take on work that you enjoy

There is very little chance that I would be as dedicated as I am to my side jobs if I didn't love them so much. Trading your free time for other work isn't always easy, so if you can find jobs that you enjoy, it's a bonus. My mother is the queen of multiple jobs (teacher, medical records keeper, tutor, the list goes on) and she says that if you have a positive attitude and your work with a true heart, you will be a success.

Sleep and food become extra important

I am lucky that I am able to work remotely for all three of my jobs, but especially when you have to go to different locations, managing your sleep and food preparation will keep you on track. Getting your lunches together, forcing yourself to go to bed at a reasonable hour, and overall wellness is what will keep you performing well and avoid feelings of overwhelm.

Get support from the people around you

Having friends and family who understand that you are pushing the constraints of normal scheduling and who will rally around and support you is key. Whether it's helping with housework at home, or agreeing to hang out on a Saturday morning versus night, the people who love you will want to see you flourish and will be flexible. Clearly communicating what you need will prevent misunderstandings and keep all of your people in the loop. 

There you have it, my top tips for managing multiple jobs and being a Make More Money girl! It's not always glamorous or easy, but generating more money and investing in your future is something you will thank yourself for later.

What else would you add? What's your greatest challenge with working multiple jobs?


August 15, 2018

Spotify Playlists For Work

A while back I finally decided to subscribe to Spotify, at the repeated suggestion of my brother (thanks, pal). Since then I've had a great time exploring new (to me) music and finding playlists. Today I'm sharing with you the best playlists I've found for the workday. If you have any suggestions, please please leave them in the comments! Always on the lookout for other playlists to add variety.
Click to read now or pin to save for later! Looking for music to listen to at work? Here are the best Spotify playlists for your work day

Stress-Free Studying by Alxrnbrdmusic

I first found this channel on YouTube and was so glad to be able to follow on Spotify (without commercials!). This stress-free studying playlist is great for work and because you probably won't recognize the songs, it will be easy to listen to without singing along.

sun rays by Kalyn Nicholson

Kalyn is a YouTuber I follow who uses great music in her videos. When I discovered that she also makes Spotify playlists, I was hooked. This playlist is bright and fun to get your day going.

Reading Chillout by Spotify

Whether you're reading, writing emails, or doing whatever else it is that you do in a day of work, here's a playlist to keep you working.

Your Favorite Coffeehouse by Spotify

Another good one from Spotify! This playlist is warm and mellow. I like to pair this with the coffee shop sounds from Noisli to transport me to another place, without actually having to move from my desk.

If you're interested in learning about how Spotify makes their playlists, check out this video from BuzzFeed - seems like a dream job to me.

PLEASE let me know if you have any other recommendations! I am on the hunt for more great music to listen to during the workday.