Drink Coffee Today In Celebration Of National Coffee Day

400 million cups of coffee are consumed everyday here in the United States. That’s a lot of coffee!  Not only does it taste great, it’s healthful too.

weightsCoffee for an energy boost

Coffee contains caffeine, 95mg per 8 oz cup to be exact. Caffeine wakes us up, enhances our athletic performance and keeps us alert. Caffeine (in moderation) is a great fit for an active healthy lifestyle.

Coffee as a natural appetite suppressant

The caffeine and antioxidants in coffee work together as an appetite suppressant. Caffeine heightens your metabolic rate showing increases upwards of 10%!

Coffee for Antioxidants

Levels of antioxidants are absolutely booming in this dark beverage. So much so, that in a typical diet, Americans ingest more antioxidants while drinking coffee than eating fruits and vegetables combined.

Coffee For Lots of Vitaminsvitamins

Vitamins B1, B2 and B3 are all present in coffee. With Potassium and Manganese as well, this beverage packs a good dose of vitamins all hidden within your satisfying cup. And while the percentages aren’t very high per 8 oz, (all under 10%) after 2-3 cups, the amounts become an adequate source of said vitamins.


Coffee For Variety

There is a cup of “Joe” out there for everyone. Cold, hot, cold-pressed and iced are all deliciously different in their own ways. Add a splash of almond milk (my personal favorite) or any of several add-ins and enjoy!


Coffee is a staple in the American diet. 65% of coffee is consumed in the morning, another 30%  between meals and the remaining 5% at lunch or dinner. Want a coffee for free today? Check out this link for the goods. Happy National Coffee Day!



Tip Tuesday

Want to know how to make over a million dollars? Serious.

Read this guest blog. Written by a research analyst, writer and lover of financials, otherwise known as my husband, Nick Rokke.

How To Make Over A Million Dollars

“Today we’re going to talk about money and investing.

No, Emmy’s blog didn’t get hijacked. She asked me talk about this “Nick” subject.

Money is something most people don’t want to think about. It gets in the way of living the good life and having fun.

But the truth is, life’s expensive. And if you want to eat healthy, keep fit, and experience the things of life, you’re going to need money.

Below you will learn about 5 super easy things you can do that will make you a million dollars in your lifetime. And it’ll only take an hour or two.

Don’t believe me? Keep reading.

Here’s the start of your plan. Sock away $2,500 a year. That’s it. Especially if you’re young. If you can do that starting at the age of 30, by the time your 68th birthday rolls around you could be a millionaire. All you need to do is earn 10% a year on your investment. Not coincidentally, that is what the stock market has averaged the past 100 years.

In the spirit of Emmy’s listicles, here are 5 easy things to do to make the most out of your savings.

1. Invest in a retirement account such as a 401(k) or IRA. Yes, these accounts have restrictions…you can’t withdraw the money until you’re 60 years old without a penalty. But the savings you get by not paying taxes is amazing.

There are two kinds of 401(k)s and IRAs. Traditional and Roth. Traditional allows you to invest tax free money, and then you only pay taxes when you withdraw the funds. A Roth forces you to pay taxes before investing, but you can withdraw your investment tax free.

The tax benefit is the same either way. You’ll either save about 20% on the way in or the way out. For our plan, by paying taxes right away, you’ll only be able to contribute $2,000 a year. What will that $500 difference mean for your retirement in 40 years? Almost $250,000 less – by investing in a retirement account, you can have a quarter of a million dollars more.

In the tables below, year 1 is the first year of your savings. In our example above, the first year of savings was when we turned 30. But it could really be any age (the sooner you start the better!) Here are the numbers:

2. Take advantage of your employer’s 401(k) contribution match. Not all employer’s do this, but many do. You need to check on this. Even if your employer only matches half of your contributions, it can make you an additional $600,000.

Here’s the proof.


3. When picking what fund to invest your hard earned cash, pick the one with the lowest fees. Countless studies have been done showing funds with high fees have the same performance as those with low fees.
Where can you find this information? Every fund has something called a “prospectus.” And on there you should find a little box breaking out expenses. You want the total fee to be as low as possible. The low fee funds have an expense ratio around .25%. That’s pretty good. High fee funds are typically 1.5% more.

The rub is, this is a stealth fee. You don’t write a check to the fund for 1.5% of your assets every year. The fund just takes a little behind the scenes so you don’t even realize you’re paying a fee. It essentially comes out of your return. So what would normally be a 10% return becomes an 8.5% return after fees.

That additional 1.5% may not sound like much, but over the course of our plan it will cost you over $400,000. Proof:

The only difference here is the return rate. A couple well-known fund families with low fees are Vanguard, Fidelity, and Cambria.

The total savings from the first 3 tips: $1,250,000

4. Don’t try to time the market. Most investors destroy their retirement portfolio by trying to buy and sell. One recent study showed the average investor makes 3% a year on their portfolio. Why? Because most novices buy and sell at the worst possible times. Such a low return will almost guarantee you’ll be working forever.

Unless you are able to spend over 20 hours a week following the market, you should leave your investments alone.

Just keep putting your money in the funds and your money will grow.

5. If you have any questions about these things, don’t be afraid to hire a financial planner. Yes, you’ll have to pay these guys a little, but they should make you more money than they cost. At least if you find a good one…Ask around and find references before selecting one.

There you have it. Five quick and easy steps you can take to save yourself over a million dollars in the next 40 years. And it’ll only take you an hour or two to get this set up.

Now we’ll take you back to Emmy so you can learn how to stay healthy to enjoy the fruits of this article.”



Good luck and Happy Tuesday!

Homemade Crock Pot Italian Beef

Fresh recipes are fun but nailing new recipes on the first try- now that’s the best!

These crock pot Italian beefs are packed full of flavor and once you have the ingredients together, they cook themselves. This makes dinner not only delicious but easy too.

Crock Pot Italian Beef

  • 1 1/2 pound chuck roastIMG_20160827_182022
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1/2 green pepper, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 2 tablespoons oregano
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 bay leaf


Place the roast and vegetables into the bottom of a crock pot. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook for 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high. Remove the bay leaf, shred and enjoy!

Tip: Serve over rolls with a mild white cheese and broil for about 20 seconds or until browned.







Fall Is Full Of Flavor, Fashion and Fun

As an October baby and WI native who loves to hike, Fall weather is the best weather. Popular seasonal foods and sports return to start this season. Fall has great weather, fashion and more to boast about.

Top Fall Flavors

Pumpkin is undoubtedly the preferred flavor of the Fall. Once Labor Day passes, pumpkins are everywhere. Pumpkin spice coffee, ice cream and candles rapidly became the go to way to celebrate the coming of the season.



Apples are also in season and ready for picking come Fall. Homemade applesauce and apple crumble reminds me of childhood. If a crisp fall air blew through the house with the scent of apple,  you just knew it was Fall.


Fall Fashion

Because of the weather change in most northern states due to fall, the clothing and styles change along with it.

sweatshirtThe cooler temps lead to layered looks and heavier choices like sweaters. Other fashion trends for the 2016 season range from wider embellished purse straps to pinstripe suits. Chokers have come back into style as well.

My personal favorite trend for Fall 2016 is hoodies! Elle.com says that “luxury comfort” is in making hoodies the ultimate indulgence. Yay 2016!

Fall Fun

Halloween, football season and outside activities are just a few of the fun things the Fall season offers. Temperate weather pushes people outside to indulge in its beauty before the winter season commences.

Halloween falls on October 31st and is the epitome of a fun holiday. Costumes and candy are the theme of the day and there is always a party to attend.

footballFootball fans ecstatically welcome back the season with 2/3 of all Americans tuning in to the NFL.  64%  of people watch their team every week for the duration of the football season.

The Fall weather is perfect for hiking and taking in all the sights of the season. Reds, oranges and yellows fill tree tops with a unique and breathtaking array of colors, making your view extraordinary.

Flavors, fashion and fun activities are the best things about Fall. This awesome season is often cut short with the cold and frost of Winter, so enjoy Fall while it lasts.







Anniversary Adventures Are My Favorite Kind Of Celebration

Saturday afternoon brought blue skies and self-guided lighthouse tours. Last weekend we splurged with a mini vaca for our anniversary and Ponce De Leon Lighthouse was the first stop on our way up north.

Two of my favorite facts about this tourist stop are:

8138Ponce De Leon lighthouse is one of the tallest lighthouses in the US standing at 175 ft


Lighthouse keepers once carried a 40lb bucket of kerosene up the stairs nightly to light the lamp




Reminiscent of an old way of life, children’s toys and a typical keepers house, along with81313 (2)
styles of clothing and housewares were all on display. The shoe pictured is a great style that is still popular even today!






With computers, smart phones and I-whatevers, this old school typewriter is more than a sign of the times, it is truly an antique. The paper feeder is my favorite with the huge arm on the side- how cool!


At only $6.95 you can walk around the grounds, visit the property houses and climb to the top of the lighthouse. What a deal! Outside a warning advises to climb at your own risk and only if you are in great shape as ascending the height of this tower will leave even the most fit short of breath.8135 (2)



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Mother Natures natural air conditioning picks up at the top of the tower with a rewarding breeze and sprawling views. On the clearest of days you are able to see Cape Canaveral and the view of the Atlantic is simply stunning.

Lighthouse lanterns have evolved over the years but after reconstruction and with a few8132
technological upgrades this one was remade and is similar to the lighthouse light in the tower today.




Seeing this lifeguard rescue tube shows that the design and shape hasn’t changed a bit over the years. Make something well enough the first time and it may never need to be altered.81397

I love mini vacas and this was a great detour on our way up north. Not having been to a lighthouse before, I enjoyed learning all about the processes and history of these lights of the ocean shores.

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Nail Fun

My hubby chose my nail polish colors and it turns out they are both Fall 2016 Panatone colors! Great Job Hubby!

Warm taupe and bodacious are both in the Top 10 colors for the season and set each other off beautifully. Happy Fall and Happy Labor Day!