10 Holiday Gifts to “Adultify” Your Apartment

gifts to make your apartment nicer

I hope everyone enjoyed a long, luxurious Thanksgiving weekend. I know I did (even though I’m paying for it playing catch-up this week!)

Have you ever been to a friend/significant other’s place and thought that their bachelor/bachelorette pad seemed more like a dorm room? I know there is something to be said for frugality in these situations, but most of the time when I encounter said apartments, I think about how the person must be struggling to adult properly and how far a little TLC would go.

The holidays are a perfect time for friends and family to gift you a couple of things to help you class up your apartment. And since our homes are where we go to rest and recharge, (there’s science behind this!) it makes sense to make them nice, right?

If you are a young adult living in your own apartment, this list is for you. If you’re not married and haven’t had a chance to round out your home via a wedding registry, also for you. And this list is especially perfect for parents who are still nice enough to holiday gift with their adult children, but may be stumped about what they need.

So, without further ado, I give you ten holiday gift ideas to class up your apartment and say once and for all, “hey, a functioning adult lives here.” (more…)

How Solopreneurs Balance Work and Fun

balancing solopreneur pin size

This post is part of a sponsored collaboration with Xfinity. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog. Learn more about how Xfinity compares to Google Fiber here.

A lot of people think that since I work for myself, I can do whatever I want,  whenever I want. As much as I would LOVE for that to be true, that isn’t the case! Since becoming a solopreneur I’ve had to restructure my life to fit around my new work schedule. At first I struggled with productivity, but lately as I’ve gotten better with mastering my business, sometimes I can get a little carried away and forget to incorporate some “me time”.

You know what they say, all work and no play makes Lauren a dull girl.

Well, I think I’ve finally found some ways to juggle all my work while finding time for my favorite things. So here is a little sneak peek into the crazy scheduling of my life. (more…)

So, Who SHOULD Pay On A First Date?

who should pay on the first date

I wish there was a magic wand I could wave that could clear this up for everyone. I so vividly remember being on dates when I lived in NYC (I used to go on a lot of dates) and feel nervous any time the bill comes. Do I offer to pay? When? Will he be insulted if I do? Does he want me to insist and wrestle this bill to the ground?

Like most money etiquette questions, it’s a mine field, and like most people, I have my own opinions about dating and money etiquette. Being raised in the south, it’s sort of de rigueur that the guy should pay, no matter what and it’s something I’ve come to expect.

Talking with a guy friend over dinner the other night,  he felt differently and made a remark that women if women want to be treated as equals, they should pay their own way. Okay, that’s a valid point.

Then he followed it up by saying that any woman who expects a guy to pay or dates a guy exclusively for dinner dates is a “prostitute.”

Okay, not a valid point.


For Those Who Love Black Friday

Black Friday is only a week away and may have become a more divisive topic than rival football teams and the upcoming Presidential election. At LBMT we respect everyone’s financial decisions, but for my readers who are big Black Friday fans and participants I wanted to offer up a resource to you.

Personal finance mega site, The Penny Hoarder just launched a new part of their site to share Black Friday deals. Click here to explore.  I don’t typically participate in Black Friday, but even I can admit it’s pretty sweet. And I’m a little tempted :) (more…)

NEW – 3 Fabulous Finance Freebies for All


Looking for more free resources to help you master your finances? I’ve put together a handful of new resources, and best of all they’re completely 100% free. Just click below on the one you want and enter your email address to receive access!

Already subscribed to the LBMT VIP email list? Check this week’s newsletter for your copy! Or you can enter you email below if you want it now-now. You won’t be doubly subscribed for the list or anything like that. (more…)

How I Bought a House for $1800 (& How You Can Do It Too)

how I bought a house for 1800

I’ve gone back and forth on if I think my first home purchase was a mistake or a good thing. Only time will tell if my finances wash out, but one thing I did do well was leverage government and city programs to get into my home for almost no money.

You read the title right. I bought my new home for $1800. Well…technically I bought it for it’s selling price + the renovations, but only had to bring $1800 to closing. For others who have bought a home recently or are looking to buy, this is incredibly…incredibly cheap.

Not to mention that ~$1800 is what many people pay for first months rent and deposit on an apartment that they don’t even own.

I know. Even though it was over two years ago, it still feels amazing. For those looking to do the same…here’s how I bought a house for $1800. 

Financial Etiquette: When Do I Give Back An Engagement Ring

when do I give back an engagement ring?

This post is sponsored by Diamond Lighthouse. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog.

I find financial etiquette fascinating. It’s like taking everything you know about manners and strapping a stick of dynamite to the back, because well, money is involved. And we all know there are few things as awkward as talking about money. Since it’s an area of interest for me, I love covering topics about what you should do in situations where both money and manners are involved. I could think of no better example than what needs to happen with an engagement ring if a couple are to split before the wedding.

So, yes, this content is sponsored by Diamond Lighthouse, but it’s still super relevant and useful. Pay attention in case this happens to you. (more…)

What Happened When I Quit Watching TV for a Month

stopped watching tv

Hi, my name is Lauren and I’m addicted to 30 day challenges. If you’ve been keeping up with me for awhile, you know this statement is true, but if you’re new I’ll elaborate.

There was the time I stopped eating out for 30 days, or when I challenged myself (way back in the early days of my blog) to have 30 no spend days. I’ve even done longer stretches of challenges..like the time I managed to pay of $8,000 in debt in just 90 days time. Some were more successful than others (looking at you no spend challenge), but at the very least I always learned something.

And I really, truly believe that with 30 days challenges there is no better way to make quick, lasting changes to your life. Or at least shake up the norm and try a few new things.

You guys have been incredibly receptive to the challenges and I got a lot of great feedback when I announced I was going to attempt to not watch any TV for an entire month. I was championed and cheered by a lot of folks in my online life, while many in my offline circle were dubious. Perhaps they’re the ones who know first hand how much I really, really love watching television.

The real question is…….Was I able to do it? (more…)

Marketing a Real Estate Listing in the Digital Era

marketing real estate listing

This post is part of a sponsored collaboration with Redfin.

In case you missed it- I’m selling my house! And I’ve been working with Redfin on the sale. First I they helped me get my home show ready and helped me determine my listing price, but today I want to talk about what’s been going on since my house went on the market.

Selling your home is a lot different than buying, more so than I expected. My only previous experience with selling a home came from my teenage years when my parents sold the house in my hometown. I don’t remember much, except I was annoyed I had to make my bed everyday and “pick up” my room, and sometimes we had to eat dinner out to accommodate a potential buyer who wanted to come by and take a tour in the evenings.

I’m simplifying it. Things are different now in the social media/24-7 news cycle we now live in. You can’t just list a home and hope it sells, you have to give it the old marketing razzle-dazzle. (I work for myself as a marketing professional, so I can say things like that.) Here are the handful of things we’ve been doing to get potential buyers in the door.  (more…)

About L. Bee (October 2015)


October was one of those weird “down the rabbit” hole months that felt completely bizarre. Fitting, since this is the month of Halloween and tricks and treats :) Here’s what I’ve been up to this month:


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