Tag Archives: cheeseburger casserole

5 Things You Can Do Now to Increase Your Tax Refund

Happy Finance Friday!  (Emphasis on the Friday)

5 ways to increase tax refund

I know what you’re thinking.  The topic of this post pains me as well.  I can’t believe tax season is right around the corner.  It’s painful to think about, but a little planning might go a long way when you’re expecting that big refund check in the Spring.  Here are a few things you can do now (before the holidays hit), that might help you maximize that refund:

1.Make donations to charity

-This can include money, clothing, food, travel, etc. that was spent to make a charitable donation.

-If you are receiving something in return (i.e., race entries) you must deduct the value from the total.

-Just remember to keep in mind only 501(c)(3) charities are deductible and to keep your receipts.  Make sure if you are making a large donation that you receive the correct paperwork for your records.

2. Open a Traditional IRA

If you and/or your spouse do not have access to a work retirement plan, this is a great option to investigate.

irs traditional ira table


3. Pay January’s mortgage in December

I realize this is a lot to ask, especially with only a few months left in the year and the holidays around the corner.  But if you think you can swing it, the mortgage interest paid is deductible on your tax return. (Note – you may want to consider what you pay in mortgage interest to evaluate whether this is worth it or not.)

4. Maximize 401k Contributions

If your employer offers a 401k, you may want to consider boosting your contributions for the next few months.  The more you can stash away here, the lower your taxable income will be.

5. Contribute to a 529 Plan

If you are saving for college, this is a great way to kill two birds with one stone.  However, this is a state plan, so it may vary.  Consult your tax professional or look into the benefits of this plan to determine if it’s right for you.  A little research might go a long way.

Here’s another article that includes different topics to consider that could save you some money:

9 Things You Didn’t Know Were Tax Deductions

Note –  taxes are complex and everyone’s situation is different, please discuss these options with your tax professional before you implement them to make sure that they are right for you.  

On another (more fun) note, I completed this indoor workout last night and it kicked my butt (in the best way possible).  I would highly recommend it.  It takes approx 15 minutes to get through the circuit, so if you’re low on time you can make it as long as you like!  I followed it up with a fresh cheeseburger casserole:

cheeseburger casserole

Amazing.  I couldn’t get enough.

cheeseburger casserole pickles

Have a great Friday, everyone!


Some Days You Just Gotta Sleep In

Happy Friday!

I’m so pumped that we finally made it to the weekend.  I don’t think I’m alone when I say that Friday is basically the weekend.  What’s 8 hours of work when you don’t have a bedtime!

Yesterday morning I was exhausted when my alarm went off and I opted to stay in bed and get an extra half hour of sleep, and it was glorious.  I was feeling so mentally, physically, emotionally, everything exhausted.  Sometimes you just need a day off (or at least a morning off).  I did hit the gym to log 4 miles after work, but it was a crap shoot.  I knew there was a chance I wouldn’t work out, but I was completely OK with it.

Last night I came home after the gym and cooked up some delicious cheeseburger casserole.  I found the recipe on the Skinny Taste blog, and it is so delicious.

While the casserole was baking, I chopped up a whole jar of pickles for sprinkling on top:





After dinner I was craving brownies in the worst way but I was feeling way too lazy to bake some, so I settled for a spoonful of Nutella.  What a great way to end a Thursday night.

And speaking of Thursday night, TGIT is back on ABC which means Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder are back on!  If you’ve never seen them I would highly recommend you get to watching.  The first few seasons of Scandal are available on Netflix.

This morning I rolled out of bed nice and early to hit an EFX class, shovel some snow, and made some hot lemon water and this delicious protein shake:



For lunch I packed a delicious kale, chicken, rice salad:


And for a snack I have this delicious leftover from Wednesday


Why didn’t I eat my snack on Wednesday?  (you may be asking yourself), well let me tell you.  I brought in these super yummy Pita Bites.  You’ll notice on the top left it says “Sensible Portions”, and I think the real question here is… if you eat the whole bag, is it still a sensible portion??? (Because that’s what I did in a matter of 2 days).



Well time to hit the showers and get to the grind.  Have a great day!