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Wealth & Personal Finance

mint_logoHi everyone! It’s been a while since my last post. Since 2015 has wrapped up, I wanted to share some ways you can either:

  1. Evaluate your spending in 2015
  2. Monitor your spending in 2016

I am a big user and supporter of Mint.com. They connect all your financial accounts (you need to log in with your credentials) so you can see almost ALL your transactions in one place.

Existing Users:

I suggest you export all your 2015 transactions and evaluate how you were spending to see where you can spend less (or just be shocked at how much you spend in a certain category). Since Mint currently does not offer transaction exports with Top Category (just subcategories), head over to my Mint support response thread here for the default list and how to pivot everything. From this I learned: I spend way too much on “Food & Dining > Restaurants” and “Misc > Family (my custom subcategory)”.

New Users:

Most people are afraid to link up financial accounts for fear of being hacked. I’m not a technology security expert, but in the four years I have been using Mint, there has been zero problems with security. Mint pulls the transaction info from each of your accounts and does not display any login usernames or passwords.

I have connected all my possible financial accounts so I can view everything in one place. I know my “net asset” balance at any given point.

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Wine & Dine
ox verte bowl
a bowl of delicious veggies, grains, and meat and a package of cookie

This Tuesday, I went to Ox Verte‘s tasting event to celebrate real food. One of the UWIB Board members went to an event that Ox Verte catered at, and loving the food, she asked the host where the food came from. Lo and behold, we sat together at a small table, trying the fall menu. When the seasons change, the Ox team likes to test different flavors. Fall was defined already.

It was hosted at someone’s residence lobby (which, by the way, the building looks fantastic in the small amount of space I walked through). I got there a bit early so I was just awkwardly trying to cool down (and finish Googling about WordPress and permalinks). The Ox team was just setting up so I did not want to disturb them. Most people rolled in a bit after 7 PM. I grabbed a glass of Riesling and enjoyed the chatter 🙂

ox verte menu – fall

While the price is on the higher end, the quality is definitely noticeable. (I’m actually not the best at tasting “freshness” but this was much less oily than a competitor, Dig Inn.) If your company orders catering, I would highly recommended you try this!


Wine & Dine

In July, I bought a LivingSocial deal to a class at Back Label Wine Merchants. I’ve been trying to learn more about wine, so this was such a great deal. Because LS has the “refer 3, gets yours free” system, I shared on Facebook and got one person to buy it (what an influencer I am, ha).

My friend went to the California Wine & Cheese class in September. Since the voucher expires Oct 16, I was checking the events calendar obsessively for a cheese class. No luck.

We went to the Argentina Wines class to discover the various wines made there. I learned that a ton of Malbec comes from here to the US and that Argentina Wines are light wines and not as bold as the California Napa reds we are used to.

(So mad the WordPress app now. I typed everything up and there was an update error!!)

drink up!
drink up!

1. Mendel / 2013 Semillon
2. Familia Mayol / 2014 Garnacha Blanca
3. Zorzal / 2012 “Terror Unico” Pinot Noir
4. Colonia Las Liebres / 2013 Bonarda
5. Bodega Chacra / 2011 “Manique” Merlot

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Wine & Dine, Winnie

Last week, I went to a Tasting Table event in their Test Kitchen. The space itself was very homey, since it is basically a renovated apartment turned into huge kitchen and open area for private dining.

I immediately went straight for the food wall, grabbing the cool rectangular plate that had a hole for the wine glass. Finally, someone out there remembered how awkward networking events are with a hand of food and another hand with a beverage. Now we can all shake hands (although none were exchanged at this event…)

an event planner’s must-have

My favorite part of this night was not the free soju citrus cocktail, but the amazing crispy rice passed hors d’oeuvres. About an inch in diameter, grilled to perfect, with unidentified pink toppings (don’t know if it was fish or vegetables), I had to keep an eagle’s eye out for fresh plates.

winnie & crispy rice
winnie eating ALL the crispy rice that are coming outta the kitchen

I tried searching through social media for a beautiful photo of this, but no luck. Guess the event was too private 🙁

If you’re interested in trying out the crispy rice, I would recommend Koi. In NYC, they are usually listed for Restaurant Week, which is twice a year in January and September. Here is an awesome photo, from the restaurant itself:

koi crispy rice, yummm
koi crispy rice, yummm

I don’t have an Air-Fry so a pan will do. Can’t wait to try this myself after watching this tutorial (and here, if you need to read / print) by Misha.