BratKnee

the only social I do is media

My Mom Kidnapped Me | Follow Me Around Video

It’s been a while since I’ve made a video. I just haven’t felt inspired. I think my lack of inspiration comes from the fact that I feel so limited by the persona I created. Which is insane to say because I am BratKnee and BratKnee is me.

I recently got contacted by Firmoo.com to receive a free pair of glasses in exchange for a video. That made me sit down and decide if I had it in me to make a video. I figured the added pressure of fulfilling a promise would help to get the creative juices flowing.

I wasn’t wrong.

It’s not the most creative thing I’ve ever created but that’s okay. I think it was a win simply because I took the time to create something.

VidCon 2018 taught me that it’s not fun to make videos alone anymore. Luckily my mom was down to be part of this. Not like I gave her a choice, but it could’ve ended poorly.

I hope that this is the push I needed to start creating again. I miss making videos and I don’t have to because all I need to do is start making them again.

Here’s some more information about the glasses from Firmoo.com in case you’re in need of a pair of your own. They’re super inexpensive and they arrived quickly. I like having a bunch of different pairs on hand to coordinate with different outfits. But buying from somewhere like Lenscrafters or your eye doctor can get so expensive. I love finding cost-effective ways to purchase the things I need.

The style I chose was #LKFS1001. They came in matte black, clear pink and clear blue. The pair retails for $19.99 and with the lens add-ons, my order came to around $30. They sent me the glasses for free, which was awesome even though I probably would’ve bought a pair at that price point regardless.

Feel free to leave me feedback about what you think the future of my channel should be. Or if you have questions about my experience with Firmoo and buying glasses online in general, drop me a comment!

Alternative Ways to Make Money

Ever since I quit my job, I’ve been looking for ways to generate some passive income. While I never want to go back to working in an office, it would be nice to know that I was making money without trying for the months that my workload is lighter than I would like it to be.

And while I haven’t solidified a passive revenue stream, I’ve found some ways to make extra cash when I need it.

Desk Flat Lay

 

1. Amazon Mechanical Turk

 

If you haven’t heard of this program, it’s essentially a virtual assistant task database. People and companies submit tasks and surveys you can complete for small fees. Depending on how much time you want to dedicate to completing tasks (as well as the types of tasks you accept) will determine the amount of money you’ll make.

The payments are deposited into an Amazon Payments account and you can then easily transfer it to your own bank.

 

2. Survey Sites

 

When it comes to survey sites, I’ve joined them all. Sometimes, the surveys aren’t worth the payoff. But other times, I just plow through surveys instead of mindless watching Netflix again. 

The survey sites I’ve had the most success with are Survey Junkie, Inbox Dollars and Swagbucks. It really is a hit or miss source of income but if you dedicate some of your free time to completing the surveys it can definitely amount to money for groceries or maybe to treat yo’ self.

 

3. MyPoints

 

I’m putting MyPoints in a category of its own even though it is a site you can earn points for surveys. However, it’s so much more than that. Like Ebates, you can earn points (which convert to gift cards) by shopping, visiting websites, taking surveys and watching videos. They even offer monthly goal bonuses if you complete the tasks you commit to completing by the end of the month.

Once you’ve racked up enough points, you can redeem them for gift cards. Since I’m looking for more cash, I always cash my points in for PayPal gift cards.

 

4. Affiliate Marketing

 

While I’m not generating an income from affiliate links at the time I’m writing this post, I do have some accounts in place. When I talk about products, I insert a link using my affiliate code and hope that at some point, someone will want to buy the items. The affiliate links don’t cost you anything more to purchase through them but I earn a commission for any sales that my links drive. It’s an easy way to support bloggers, especially if you’re just going to buy those items anyway.

Currently, I’m all signed up for Amazon Affiliates but I’ll be looking into other sites once my blog starts generating more traffic.

 

5. Blogging

 

While I thoroughly enjoy writing, I started up my blog with ulterior motives. It’s not the easiest way to generate a passive income because blogging is hard work, but it is a profitable one if you do it right. Having a background in writing and digital marketing, I have the tools and understanding of what I need to do to get my blog off the ground. I just don’t have the motivation and drive to dedicate all my effort since I am spending the majority of my days in front of a computer for my clients. The screen fatigue is real when it comes to sitting down and furthering my own blogs and brands but it’s a necessary evil to push through until things start running on their own.

 

6. Influencer Marketing

 

As a micro-influencer, I’ve been offered compensation to post about products. Sometimes it is just a product but there are some brands that see the value in smaller influencers. This revenue stream isn’t steady or anything to brag about, but it is a huge motivator to put more effort into my Instagram game. I plan to talk more about this in a future post, so if you have any specific questions about influencer marketing, let me know!

 

work from home

 

The freelancer struggle is real. Some months are just naturally slower than others. Or you could be me now, complaining to anyone who will listen about how busy I am. I’m thankful for all the clients I’ve connected with and work I’ve gotten so far, but finding a way to generate a passive income will give me that peace of mind I’m currently lacking.

If you’ve got any other tips on alternative ways to make money, let me know in the comments!

The Favorites: July 2018

It’s that time of the month to talk about my favorite things. July was a busy month for me. I was playing catch up from my trip to California in June while also planning a bachelorette party and bridal shower for my best friend getting married in October. In addition to that, I found myself working way more hours. Because I knew I had more money coming in this month, I decided to make some purchases that weren’t really budgeted for previously. Or maybe it had to do with the fact that I’m rewatching Parks and Recreation and I got to the “Treat Yo Self” episode. You decide.

Here are my favorites for July!

Fitbit Versa

I have been on a fitness journey for almost a year now. I’ve come to find things that work and things that don’t. But one thing I can always count on is my competitive nature. That’s where the Fitbit Versa comes in.

Peach Fitbit Versa

Before, I was just guessing when it came to my calories burned in order to calculate my daily deficit to lose weight. I was also hoping the iPhone’s step counter was accurate, even though deep down I knew I was missing out on steps each day since I don’t carry my phone everywhere. I chose to treat myself to the Versa because it counts steps, monitors my heart rate and sleep and calculates how many calories I burn each day. Being able to see all these metrics has both given me the chance to make better-informed decisions about my health as well as challenged me to hit my goals each day. Since strapping on my Fitbit, I’ve been more active because I get those reminders to get up and get moving.

EyeBuyDirect

Although this isn’t a new purchase this month, I wanted to take the time to shout out EyeBuyDirect. I bought my latest pairs of glasses and sunglasses from them back in October. I’m the type of person who would spend hours at Lenscrafters trying on every pair and hating the way 99% of them looked on me. So needless to say, buying glasses sight unseen was scary. They didn’t disappoint. I didn’t end up sending any of my pairs back (they have a 14-day return/exchange policy).

Terracotta EyeBuyDirect Sunglasses

Unfortunately for me, my sunglasses broke this month. I take pretty good care of my prescription glasses, so for the frame to have cracked was no fault of my own. They were plastic frames, so I think leaving them out while I was swimming on a hot day did them in. I hadn’t even had them for a year, which was crazy to me since my previous pair were almost 10 years old. I contacted EyeBuyDirect to see what they could do for me and they sent me a new pair for free. All I had to do was pay for shipping. I was blown away by their customer service and can’t wait to buy new glasses from them when I update my prescription in the near future.

If you want to try them out, use my link to get $10 off your first order!

“InstaPot”

Everyone is talking about InstaPots. It’s not a new concept but I’m the type of person who waits until it’s no longer a fad to jump on the trend. And since I was severely disappointed by my air fryer, I was hesitant to buy another kitchen gadget.

Crock Pot InstaPot

Cue Amazon Prime Day. I was getting bombarded with emails (not even from Amazon) about the InstaPot deal. So I begrudgingly added one to my cart. I got distracted and a few hours later, my mom had texted me about the deal as well. If she wanted one, I too needed to finally see what all the fuss was about. I go back to my cart and the deal is gone. We’d missed out. But I’m not one to care about name brands so I found another multi-purpose cooking gadget and we bought a pair of those instead. Yes, it’s Crock Pot brand, which I’ve been too sad to consider since This Is Us made it the ultimate villain. But I like food too much to let those fictional feelings get in my way.

It was my only Prime Day purchase but it was a significant upgrade from last year. All I bought was a giant tub of my cats’ favorite treats. This year was about treating myself.

Bed-In-A-Bag

I bought a few things for my condo before I’d even signed the papers. A comforter was one of those things. In theory, I loved the colors and pattern. Then I moved in. Granted, I did love the look for a while. But the more I bought to furnish my place, the more out of place the comforter started to look. For one, it was dark, which in turn made my room feel darker than it was. The other part that bothered me was the fact that my office area and sleeping area of my room were clashing.

Mainstay Blush Garden Floral Bed in a Bag

So I was on a quest for something that both brightened and tied the space together. When I’m looking for new sheets and linens, I always go for the all-in-one bed in a bag route. Especially since I order most things online. It’s hard to coordinate comforters, sheets and curtain when you’re only going off of pictures on your computer screen. I fell in love with this set from Walmart because it hit all my needs. The light colors helped brighten the room and the palette coordinated better with my office area. It even helped tie in the teal theme from my living room. It was technically a birthday present from my mom however, I didn’t get around to actually switching my sheets and comforter until this month so it still counts as a July favorite, right?

Will I continue to treat myself next month, or will I be more responsible with the money I have coming in? I guess you’ll have to tune in next month to see what will make my list of favorite things for August!

The Favorites: June 2018

July is here and that means it’s time to talk about my favorite things from the month of June. Having spent 10 days in California with my internet friends made it quite the chaotic month since I had to get so much work done before I left. While I’ve said I never want to go back to an office, it is very comforting to have built-in vacation time. But I did what I had to do so that I wouldn’t have to work in California.

Here are June favorites!

Earplugs

One thing most people don’t know about me is my sleeping anxieties. Sleepovers were always a struggle for me because I just couldn’t sleep, no matter how tired I might’ve been. As a child, that always meant I’d end up sick after a sleepover party. As an adult, it just means I’d end up crankier than usual.

That is until I discovered earplugs. On top of being an anxious sleeper, I’m also a light sleeper. So any occasion where I have to sleep in a room or bed with other people is a struggle for me. I’ve very self-conscious of moving around in my sleep but I’m also kept up by the tiniest of noises. Therefore, using earplugs has helped me enjoy vacation after vacation.

Although I prefer wax earplugs, I always seem to have these foam ones on hand. They’re uncomfortable for sure, but I think that’s because I have tiny ear holes? But I’d rather have sore ears than a bad attitude when I’m trying to enjoy myself.

Laptop Backpack

I’m the type of person who uses something until it’s in shreds. My backpack was no different. Even though I’d downsized my laptop to a 13″ after my 15″ gave up on life, I always had trouble fitting things in my backpack. But years have gone by with this struggle.

I finally decided enough was enough and purchased a backpack that was actually made for both a laptop and traveling. Game. Changer.

For once, I had compartments and space for all the things I needed for any trip. I’m not one to check a bag so I have all of my belongs on me at all times, so this was a long overdue necessity. Purchasing a bag online is a scary thing because you really can’t judge the size and quality. I lucked out thanks to thorough reviews left on the item. My favorite part (besides all the convenient compartments) was that the straps were padded. With a pack stuffed to the brim with travel crap, it was nice to have some cushion on my shoulders.

FTB Burrito

My friend Rick mentioned the FTB Burrito from Cali Tacos on his podcast a few weeks before my trip to California, so naturally, we had to go when I was in town. I wouldn’t be able to call myself the burrito queen if I hadn’t.

This was the burrito of all burritos. It was wrapped in a quesadilla, stuffed with all the fixings and even had french fries (which I found out isn’t an uncommon thing in California.) It was the literally the size of my forearm and weighed as much as a newborn baby. Every bite was amazing. And the Cali sauce was to die for.

We honestly didn’t need to have a burrito each but it was nice to have the second half later in the day after I emerged from my burrito food coma. It was hard leaving California knowing that I wouldn’t be able to get another one. At least until next VidCon.

VidCon

This was my fourth year attending VidCon and it was arguably my best year. With all of the changes that have come to YouTube that have rocked the community over the last year, it was shocking that I had so much fun. My fun, in large part, was due to my friends.

But there was an energy this year that had me supercharged. I found myself enjoying the panels, which I had spent many years rolling my eyes at. The exhibition floor seemed to finally understand who they were targeting. I actually cared about not only participating but also contributing more to the VidCon community.

I got to host a networking event for comedy creators, which was very cool. Networking as a whole disinterests me because it’s such a slimy game. I find it hard to make genuine connections, which makes me sad. But overall, it was a very successful event.

YouTube

I’m probably going to reflect more on this at a later date, but attending VidCon this month made me fall in love with YouTube all over again. It fulfills something in me that I don’t get in my day-to-day life. The friends I’ve made from the internet understand me in a way that most of my IRL friends do not. And that’s not a dig at my IRL friends who I love dearly. It’s just very hard to explain to people who aren’t part of the YouTube community.

YouTube has gotten a bad rap lately and it genuinely made me sad to see something I loved so much turn into something so widely criticized. But what I’ve learned is that YouTube and the experience as a creator are what you make it. With the right goals and good friends in your corner, you can make it what it once was. I’m really excited to dedicate more time and energy to creating content for my YouTube channel in the future. And on the internet in general.

I know my favorites focused mostly around my trip to Southern California but is that a bad thing? Taking the time to sit down and write this only made me miss my friends more so maybe it was. I can’t wait to see what is in store for me and all my friends after coming to so many realizations during our time together! Is it a cop-out to say after all of these words that my favorite thing about June was my friends?

How I Save Money

Since quitting my job, I’ve been working as a freelancer. That means my monthly income fluctuates month-to-month. Because of that instability, I’ve needed to save money now more than ever.

However, when I quit my job, I wanted my overall life to improve. I wanted the freedom to do what I wanted when I wanted to do it. But living like that would stress me out. I’ve always been frugal with my money, so I wasn’t too worried. But I also have an online shopping problem.

So I needed to find ways to make smarter choices when it came to how I spent my money that didn’t involve me not spending money. Does that even make sense? Or am I just trying to justify my shopping habits?

Ebates

If you’re not using Ebates, you’re missing out on deals. Essentially all you have to do is click their affiliate link to take you to the website you want to shop at (there are hundreds on their list) and you’ll earn a percentage back. They send out checks quarterly and sometimes, you can cash in your cash for gift cards and they’ll increase the amount. Why not get cash back on the things you were going to purchase anyway?

Sign up for Ebates using my link and you’ll get an additional $10 when you make your first purchase of $25.

Ibotta

Ibotta is an app you can download that offers cash back and rebates. You pick the store you’re going to be shopping at and then clip the rebates you’d like to redeem. Once you’ve made your purchases, you just scan your receipt to earn the rebates. The cash is deposited into your account and you can withdraw funds via PayPal or Venmo (they also offer certain gift cards as well) once you hit $20.

It’s an easy to use, cash back rewards app.  I use it every time I shop and thought you would like it too! Use my referral code, pvkuifi, and you can get a $10 welcome bonus. Sign up at https://ibotta.com/r/pvkuifi.

Grocery Store Apps

This will depend on where you’re located, but it never hurts to see if your local grocery store has an app. Currently, I shop at both Wegman’s and Shoprite. Both stores’ apps offer digital coupons that you can “clip” and then the discount will come off automatically when using your store savings card. They’re mainly manufacturer coupons, which is nice because I also seem to forget my coupons at home. Having them pre-loaded onto my card makes my shopping trips easier. I even use the apps to create digital lists that include the items I have coupons for and anything else I need to pick up during that shopping trip. My favorite part about these lists is the fact that the apps tell you which aisle each item is in.

Amazon Subscribe & Save

Now that I have cats, there are certain things, like their food and litter, that I need to replenish regularly. That stuff ain’t cheap. While I was shopping around for my best options, I turned to Amazon because I am a loyal Prime Member. I love the fact that I don’t have to leave my house to get these essentials. There are a lot of products sold on Amazon that are eligible for their Subscribe & Save program. And a good number of the eligible products will offer a discount if you subscribe to at least 5 items per month. It’s super easy to edit your subscriptions or skip a month if you need to. But now I get things like my cats’ supplies and my personal vitamins delivered monthly for less.

(Also, since I have the Amazon Prime credit card, I earn 5% cash back on my Amazon purchases, so double benefits.)

I’ve racked up crazy amounts of cash back over the years. Receiving those checks or transfers is a nice way to save up money to treat yourself even if your monthly earnings are already budgeted. What are your favorite ways to save?

piggy bank

Summer Book Bucket List

I have loved reading for as long as I can remember. I could get lost in a book for hours. Still can, actually. But I don’t read as much as I used to.

I’d like to say I have a library that rivals my DVD collection. I went through a phase where I collected all the classics I should’ve read but hadn’t yet after finding a website that sold them for a couple dollars each. That was in college and I still haven’t tackled many of those.

Even though I’ve been accumulating new reads, I haven’t yet devoured them. But it shouldn’t be shocking since more than half of the DVDs in my collection are still wrapped.

So, in addition to everything else I want to accomplish this summer, I’m also going to challenge myself to read more.

Here is my summer book bucket list that I hope to get through by this fall.

  1. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  2. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
  3. We Are Pirates by Daniel Handler
  4. All The Dirty Parts by Daniel Handler
  5. We Are Okay by Nina LaCour
  6. The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Abertalli
  7. And We’re Off by Dana Schwartz
  8. The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr
  9. One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus
  10. The Art of Feeling by Laura Tims

If you can’t see a trend with my list, I’m still really into Young Adult books. I’m not 30 yet so I’m still a young adult, right?

I’ve also got a slew of books I got for free because of Amazon First Reads and my Prime Membership. Since Kindle books are easier for me to read on the go, I might swap titles out as I go, but I’ll try to keep this list as updated as possible!

What are you reading? I’d love to get new recommendations so that I have more summer reads to add to my summer book bucket list.

book shelf

*This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. It doesn’t cost you anything extra to purchase products using these links, but I’ll get a small commission from any orders placed.*

Cracking Down For A Summer Bod

I have long since accepted that I’m never going to have that “summer bod” that all the magazines boast about. Their standards of beauty should be taken with a grain of salt. I know this and you should know that too.

But even though I’m not dying to have a flat stomach, thigh gap and curves for days, I’m still trying to make sure my body is healthy.

So when I finally realized I was the heaviest (and most out of shape) I’ve ever been I decided to make some changes.

I know a lot of unhealthy people claim that don’t eat terribly but they rarely mean that. I wouldn’t say I was out of control, but I was definitely indulging my cravings more than I should’ve. Therefore, I figured by make small tweaks to my diet, I’d see some pretty immediate changes.

Spoiler alert, I didn’t.

So then I joined a gym. And then that gym offered me a free personal training session. And then that personal trainer played me like a used car salesman and I was signed up for 8 sessions a month. (Remember, I quit my job so budgeting has been a STRUGGLE for me.)

kettle bell and sneakers

In addition to my sessions, I was working out a couple more times a week. I sweat my butt off. I even almost passed out a few times with my trainer who lectured me on food choices. Turns out, I just can’t work out when I’m on my period because then it’s lights out.

I actually got lectured a lot by my trainer because we weren’t seeing results. Which was super frustrating for me since I was shelling out all this cash for these sessions. I started to worry that there was something medically wrong with me because I’ve never had this much trouble losing weight before.

It finally got to the point where I could no longer afford to keep going to the trainer, especially since in the approximately 3 months we were working together I lost maybe 5 pounds.

Luckily, I’m a whiz when it comes to watching random videos on YouTube. I’d tried to follow the keto diet but it was honestly too hard for me to stick to. In theory, I knew it would work but there was little room for substitutions. Searching for an alternative, I found myself diving into intermittent fasting.

Let me tell you, it was a game changer.

retro clock

The first three weeks fasting, I lost 12 pounds. It was crazy to be because I wasn’t even exercising because I self-quarantined myself since my kitten brought ringworm into my house when I adopted him. He infected my other cat and then I found myself with spots as well. I didn’t want to be Patient Zero because I released ringworm at the gym. You’re welcome, gym goers.

Intermittent fasting hasn’t been hard for me to follow. I’ve never really been to eating in the morning so it wasn’t hard to have my first meal at 1 PM. And 5 out of the 7 days of the week, I was eating super healthily anyway. If anything, I’ve found it challenging to get my allotted macros in for the day because sometimes during my feeding window, I’m not that hungry.

In addition to the gym and sticking to my feeding window, the other major change I made had to do with the amount of water I was drinking each day. Since I started working from home, I found that I was drinking less than I would’ve had I been in an office. Watercooler talk is real.

lemon water pitcher

I started off with the recommended 8 glasses a day but soon found I needed something else to take the place of snacking when I was supposed to be fasting. Drinking more water did just that. It also helped me feel full so it wasn’t like I was feeling starved. So now, I’m drinking about a gallon a day.

As I mentioned in my May Favorites post, I also started drinking shots of apple cider vinegar twice a day. I’d seen conflicting information about ACV breaking my fast, but I think the benefits outweigh that. My metabolism definitely needed some help. My digestion could use a boost too. And my skin hates me. Just seeing that those were some of the benefits of ACV was enough to have me filling my shot glasses with straight up vinegar.

Yes, it’s been more work to drop pounds. But I’m getting older and I’m not as active as I used to be. I get it, body. Instead of beating myself up about it, I found things that worked for me. And as cliche, as it sounds, it really is better to change your lifestyle than be on a diet.

At the time that I’m writing this, I’m happy to say I’ve lost 24 lbs total. I’ve still got a lot way to go until I could consider myself healthy, but I’m not going to let that overshadow the progress I’ve made. My summer bod might be a little different than the ideal but really it’s about feeling good. Because when you feel good about yourself, it shows.

I’d love to hear what you’re doing to be healthy and stay in shape. I’m looking for workouts, activities and recipes so feel free to tweet me @BratKneeD your favs!

 

The Favorites: May 2018

Another month, another roundup of my favorite things. May is going to be a little different for a few reasons. For one, I’m trying to cut back on my spending overall. I have a real problem when it comes to spending because online shopping makes it so easy. But since I quit my job, it’s been my mission to cut back where I need to so that I can still splurge and treat myself every now and then.

May was an easy month to cut back because May 21st is my birthday. That means lots of birthday coupons and some presents.

Moe’s Birthday Burrito

I go to Moe’s Southwest Grill a lot. Anyone who knows me knows this because I don’t shut up about my burrito obsession. So I’ve racked up quite a few rewards points over the years. However, on your birthday Moe’s gives you a coupon for a free burrito. It doesn’t require you to log your trips. You just get a burrito for being born.

This is my formal petition to get a burrito surgically attached to my hand.

A post shared by Brittany DeMauro (@bratkneed) on

Sign-up for Moe’s Rockin’ Rewards and use my code BrittanyD14. You’ll get 50 points when you sign up and I’ll get 100 points when you scan your first visit. Click https://punchh.com/b/moes to Rock On!

Sunnydale High Mug

Just like with my burrito obsession, anyone who knows me knows Buffy the Vampire Slayer is one of my all-time favorite television shows. When it comes to tv show memorabilia, I usually just stick to graphic t-shirts. But now I’ve branched out. The Sunnydale High School mug I got for my birthday will get lots of use because I’m also obsessed with coffee. And since I work from home, I brew a lot of coffee each day.

Now I’ll just have to wait patiently for my slayer skills to be activated.

Terhune Orchards

You could call me a wino and you wouldn’t be wrong. There are so many vineyards and wineries in my area. And when the weather starts to warm up, it’s hard to resist sitting outside in the country sipping on wine. In my quest to find something to do for my birthday, I discovered a local winery that I had yet to try out.

Just kidding. I also celebrated with some of my favorite humans.

A post shared by Brittany DeMauro (@bratkneed) on


On top of being a winery, Terhune is also a farm with fresh produce for purchase year round. But what excited me most about our trip to taste their wines was the fact that they had fresh apple cider donuts for sale. You best believe we snagged a bag to snack on between wine tasting and dinner.

Eyebrow Pomade

I’m obsessed. I have always stuck with cheap products that I didn’t mind tossing if they didn’t work because they weren’t expensive. But I’d never really found a brow product I was in love with. Luckily Influenster sent me some eyebrow pomade and a brush to try out for free.

Pomade Test Photo

Honestly, I would’ve never purchased this one my own because the price tag was too steep. If I hated it, I would’ve hated myself for wasted my hard earned dollars. I hope this product lasts for a while because I love it so much and my brow game will never be stronger.

(Note: I’ve removed the Brow Pomade post from my blog, as well as the name of the brand because the creator came out as an anti-vaxxer and I can’t support that.)

Apple Cider Vinegar

I’ve been working hard to lose weight. I’ve come to realize that weight loss really is 80% diet and 20% working out. I really don’t eat terribly unhealthy so it was hard to not lose any weight for a while. But in my researching to find a diet that fits my lifestyle, I kept stumbling upon apple cider vinegar. I decided to pair ACV with intermittent fasting. I saw a lot of success with my fasting so I figured why not try to supercharge it.

apple with tape measure

At first, I tried to chug an ACV drink recipe recommended for those fasting. I couldn’t do it. It was disgusting. So instead, I decided to suck it up and just do a straight shot. I’m happy to say the taste does not bother me anymore. And I haven’t had any issues with any burning since I chase the shot with water.

Needless to say, it was a month of celebrating no matter how much or little I spent. Here’s to hoping there’s more weight loss, more burritos and more wine in my future.

I Quit My Job & Here’s What I Learned

http://www.bratkneed.com/videos/I quit my full-time job on May 22, 2017. When I quit, I hoped that I’d never have to go back to working in an office setting ever again. Here I am, writing about this one year later and I have had to cave and get another full-time job yet.

Quitting wasn’t easy. I never quit a job without having something new lined up. It was kind of a reckless but at the time, it was the only option. Without getting too deep into the reasons why I’ll say this. The office I was working in was a toxic environment. One that I didn’t need to subject myself to any longer than I already had. That’s why six months after joining the team, I completely erased the company from my social profiles and resume.

Besides leaving behind a terrible company, I learned a few things that I wished I’d learned sooner. Even though I can’t go back in time, I figured it would be nice of me to share with anyone who might also be struggling in a workplace that isn’t right for them.

1. Know Your Worth

For as long as I’ve been in the workforce, I’ve always been a “yes” woman. I constantly did tasks outside of my job description. And that meant that I was doing more work and not getting compensated for it. I guess that’s just part of being a salaried worker.

But that meant I was underutilizing my skills while also selling myself short. Now that I technically work for myself, I can say no to projects I don’t want to work on. I can charge clients what I deserve to be paid for a project due to my experience. I can do work that makes me happy.

Before quitting, I mainly had to grin and bear it which in the long run made me miserable. Instead, I get to showcase work that I’m actually proud of and that feels pretty darn good.

2. Life is Too Short to be Unhappy

I haven’t worked a job that I haven’t complained about incessantly. What made crappy jobs bearable were the people I worked with but there comes a point where those people aren’t a big enough reason to stay. It sucks waking up and dreading the day. It sounds so stupid to complain about having a job, even a shitty one when there are so many other people out there that are struggling to find work at all.

But in the end, it’s about giving yourself the best quality of life. If you can change your circumstances, why not go for it?

3. Career versus Job

When I was contemplating quitting I realized that I was no longer looking for a career. I wanted a job that I could complete and get paid for that would support my eating, drinking and traveling habits. I wasn’t looking for the path to the top of the ladder anymore. I don’t want to be in charge of people.

That job could really be anything as long as it paid the bills. It’s not beneath me to take a job that won’t utilize my skills or further my experience if it pays enough. While I’m lucky to be able to continue working within the digital marketing realm, I’m not ruling out things like waiting tables or bartending to make a quick buck when I need to if it means never working in an office again.

4. Where You Work From

There are some people who have full-time office jobs that have the luxury of working from home at least some of the time. There are even companies that are completely remote. I, unfortunately, have never worked for those kinds of companies, which makes no sense to me. Since almost all of the work I do is online anyway, I could’ve technically worked from anywhere. There was no benefit for me to be in the office. If anything, I was less productive then.

work from homeNow I have the freedom to work from anywhere. Sometimes it is distracting to be at home since there are a million other things I could be doing. Mainly Netflix but still. The beauty of working remotely is that if I need a change of scenery I can head to a cafe and bang out my to-do list for the day there.

I know that I’m very lucky to have been able to quit. And I understand that quitting isn’t an option for everyone. However, if I knew what I know now, I might’ve quit my jobs way sooner. Eventually, I might have to go back to an office job and if that time comes, I’ll be on the lookout for a job that’s perfect for me. But until that day comes, I’ll be conducting conference calls from the comfort of my own bed.

 

Reflecting on my Quarter-Life Bucket List

bucket listBack in the day, I made a video about the 25 things I wanted to do in my 25th year. It was a video bucket list, of sorts. I posted the video right after my 25th birthday and if I’m being honest, I never thought about it again. Which is really a theme for my life.

Since I recently turned 29, I decided to revisit said video to see exactly what I’ve accomplished from that list over the last 4 years. Rewatching the video and transcribing the points was difficult because damn was I annoying. For some reason, I didn’t come up with 25 things, which is also on brand for me.

So let’s take a look at the bucket list I laid out for myself to see where I’m at and what I should have crossed off by my 30th birthday next year.

1. Watch More Netflix

I know this was a joke, but it’s one of the only ones I can say I successfully accomplished. I’ve watched so much Netflix it isn’t funny. I should get paid for the amount of time and effort I put into it. Or I should be committed because it’s not healthy.

Even though, as I mentioned both in this post and the video, this was a joke, I’m leaving it in here because I needed to make this list as close to 25 as I can.

2. Commit to Making Videos Regularly

It took me a year to really get started with this one, but I did consistently post one video a week for a little more than two years. It was on a different channel than this video was posted on but, it was by far my most successful time on YouTube. Until it wasn’t anymore.

I miss making videos. I know I’ll start doing it again. If only YouTube would get it’s shit together, maybe it would actually be something fun to participate in again.

3. Do More Things That Push Me Outside My Comfort Zone

Could I have been vaguer? I don’t even know what I meant by this but I guess I’ve done plenty over the last four years that could qualify for this.

4. Keep Learning New Things

This is another vague one that I’m going to say I accomplished in some capacity. Over the years I’ve taught myself many things. I started learning ASL online. I’ve learned to code (minimally, but I get by). And there are a few other things that are also further down this list so I think it would be cheating to mention them here.

writing5. Write A Book

Nope. Not even close. I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo for at least two of the four years since this video came out but I’m no closer to having a full-length novel written than I was then.

6. Blog More

I used to blog frequently here. But then I switched my hosting company and lost the content since I didn’t know how to backup my site. But I’m getting back into it now and that should count for something, right?

7. Learn Photography

While it’s definitely taken me longer to explore my DSLR camera, I’m finally learning more about photography. I’ve gotten more familiar with the settings on my camera. I’ve upgraded my lens collection to include ones outside the kit lenses that came with my T3i and 80D.

8. Volunteer for a Charity

Of all the things I haven’t accomplished on this list, this is the one I’m most ashamed of. I’ve definitely donated more of my money to different charities and causes that matter to me, but I haven’t given any of my time.

Please shame me.

9. Run a Marathon

Hahahahhahahhaah

Need I say more?

10. Explore More

This is another one that’s left me scratching my head. I don’t know what kind of content I was reaching for when I made my list, but cool I’ve done more exploring around the town I’ve lived in for the last 20 years or so.

11. Be An Honorary Member of the Holy Trinity

Does the Holy Trinity still really exist?

12. Get in a Relationship

But if I get in a relationship how can I continue my successful career as a Cat Lady?

13. Get Fit

I did get into the best shape of my life after this video and then somehow I ended up in the worst shape of my life and I don’t know how or when that happened.

However, I’m happy to report that I’m finally back on track. I did a stint with a physical trainer but I spent more time almost passing out than I did losing weight. Instead, I’ve been working out when I can but ultimately, intermittent fasting has been the answer I’ve been looking for.

14. Do Something Reckless

Seriously, Brittany? What did this even mean?

15. Travel More

By traveling period would’ve meant I’ve traveled more. Since posting the video, I’ve been to many different states. Some were for a reason I’ll touch on later and others were for vacation.

I’m also happy to say that I’ve got more travel in the near future.

16. Write a Screenplay

Why did I set myself up for failure?

17. Inspire Others

How does one even quantify this? If anything, I think I’ve inspired people to eat more burritos.

18. Teach Someone Something New

Does teaching your mother to use her phone count?

19. Build a Community

When I said this, I was in the mindset of becoming YouTube famous. While my intentions might not have been the purest, I think that over the years, I have built a small community of like-minded people. But as a 29-year-old, I realize that by a community, I really mean friends.

20. Try New Foods & Drinks

In my quest to become one of Yelp’s Elite, I’ve definitely explored more restaurants and cuisines in my area. I even went a little crazy in New Orleans last November because why would you head to a city like that and not taste the local delicacies. (Yes, I’m talking about turtle soup.)

21. Go to a Convention

Like Pringles, I haven’t stopped going to conventions. In my video, I mentioned VidCon, Playlist Live and comic cons. I can proudly say that I have done all of that. I’ll be head to VidCon in a couple of weeks and I’ll be back at New York Comic Con in October.

There isn’t a photo booth we haven’t taken over. #squadgoals #vidcon2016

A post shared by Brittany DeMauro (@bratkneed) on


Can’t stop. Won’t stop.

22. Meet New People

Yes, I have encountered and befriended new people in the last four years. And only a couple of my new friends are cats.

23. Start Working Outside an Office

Well, does quitting my job count as a success? Because I did that too. More about that to come soon.

So there you have it. The (almost) 25 things I wanted to do in my 25th year. It’s probably the saddest bucket list you’ve ever come across but I was young and naive when I created it. And clearly I wasn’t producing the best content when it came to YouTube videos. At 29, I’m kinda surprised I’ve crossed off as many as I have. But also, as an intellectual, I acknowledge that a lot of these things were bullshit resolutions that I would’ve accomplished whether I made a list or not.

As I’ve entered the last year in my 20s, I don’t really have much that I want to accomplish before turning 30. I’m pretty content with how life is right now so why fix something that ain’t broke?