Coffee Date With Carrie Smith

Coffee Date With Carrie Smith

Hi friends! It’s hard for me to believe how quickly the time has passed, but I’ve officially been on the road for 5.5 weeks (and will be home in just 2 weeks!). In that time, I’ve driven more than 10,000km and visited 17 states. And I don’t want to pick favourites, but Colorado had the unfair advantage of being both beautiful and the home of my best blogging friend, Carrie Smith.

You probably know of Carrie as my better half on the Budgets and Cents podcast, but I first knew her as Careful Cents. We started our blogs at the exact same time, became fast friends and have been roommates at FinCon every year since 2012. And even though we’ve spent a lot of time working together this year, I didn’t realize how much I missed seeing her in-person until I got to Boulder.

In the few days we spent together, we went hiking, drank coffee and ate sooo much delicious food! Carrie also helped me make some big business decisions, and we even recorded a bonus episode of the podcast (you can find it in iTunes now). Before I left, I asked if she would answer a few questions for the blog, so you guys can learn more about one of my favourite people.

Enjoy! And if you see us at FinCon this weekend, please say hi! xo

Cait Flanders and Carrie Smith

Before we get started: how do you take your coffee? Or what would you order if we were at a coffee shop?

I actually prefer to brew my own coffee so I can get it blazing hot. Plus, it’s cheaper and I can control what goes into it. I prefer mostly cream, or flavored creamer, with a small bit of sugar. If I order from a coffee shop, I usually get an iced latte with some milk/cream. No one ever makes the hot version hot enough for me! Ha.

Now, talk to me about breakfast. What do you eat in the morning?

Ahhh, I love breakfast. Yum! I usually cook breakfast every morning. It includes some form of eggs, scrambled or an omelette, with toast or a side of fruit. I also have a daily glass of freshly-squeezed orange juice with my vitamins. My second favorite breakfast is oatmeal with a side of toast or bagel.

Ok, now that we’ve taken care of the serious stuff, what are you really excited about these days?

I’m really excited about the upcoming change of seasons. I love fall and winter and am not a fan of summer at all — it’s my least favorite time of year. I’m always waaaaay less productive during the summertime. Then when fall/winter rolls around I really see an increase in my mood and productivity. Bring on the snow!

What has been the toughest part of starting and maintaining Careful Cents?

The toughest part for me has been putting all this time and effort into my blog/community and not seeing a large monetary return. I mean, money isn’t everything, but it is nice to get rewarded for all the free courses and advice I offer freelancers. I still struggle to pay the bills some months and it’s stressful.

What has been the best part? :)

I keep doing it day-in-and-day-out because I sincerely enjoy helping other freelancers and answering their questions. This, along with getting emails or comments from freelancers celebrating big client wins, is the best part of having my blog.

What is your favourite social media platform right now, and why do you love it?

I’m really loving Pinterest! I’m using it to grow my site’s reach as well as get more eyeballs on past content. I spend hours and hours writing my posts and sharing tutorials, and Pinterest allows me to recycle that content to new readers. Plus, I’m obsessed with the visual stuff and save Pinterest resources for my own business and blog.

If you could have an unlimited supply of anything, what would it be?

Does money count? Ha! But seriously, I would love an endless supply of sparkling water (specifically, La Croix). That stuff is addicting and so much less boring than regular old water. Or an endless supply of coffee, that would be great too.

What were your favourite hobbies as a kid?

Since the age of about four years old, I had my own ATV (also known as a four-wheeler). I was obsessed with camping and riding my ATV for years, probably until my mid-teens actually.  Another one of my favorite hobbies as a kid was gymnastics, specifically the trampoline stuff. I would practice for hours outside on our trampoline doing front flips, back flips and competition routines. I loved it!

When was the last time you tried something new?

I feel like I try new things pretty often, seeing how my husband is a chef. He’s always getting me to try new foods. And last week I was working from a new coffee shop and ordered a drink I’d never had before!

If you could magically gain one new quality or ability, what would it be?

A new language for sure! I’ve been thinking of learning German for a while, since that’s where my family is originally from. So if I could magically learn a new ability it would be to speak German.

Are you reading any good books right now (or have any old faves you want to share)?

I own all of the Harry Potter books on audio (duh!). The Pumpkin Plan and Quitter were the main business books that changed my life and the way I looked at my career. I’m currently reading an amazing book from my friend Melanie, called Dear Debt. Some part of it even made me tear up a bit — it’s that good. And of course, the entire Twilight series. I can’t believe it’s been 10+ years since the Twilight series came out, but I own all the books and have read them about three times over.

What movies or TV shows could you watch again and again, without getting sick of them?

My watch list could be relatively long, but here are my top shows/movies:

  • Parks and Recreation
  • Monk
  • Pacific Rim
  • Battlestar Galactica
  • White Collar
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Lord of the Rings
  • The Incredibles
  • Despicable Me (everything!)

Tell me some of your favourite things to do, places to go, and restaurants to eat at in Boulder!

I absolutely LOVE being outside here in Boulder, specifically biking or hiking. I live less than two miles away from the Flatirons, which is part of a gorgeous national park here in Colorado. My husband and I go there on regular hikes, picnics and take books to read — it’s so relaxing. Another favorite of mine is to stroll down Pearl Street to just watch the people. Often times, there will be a few food trucks parked out there, so we’ll sample the local food. And every now and then we get Sweet Cow, which is some of the best ice cream in the world (no joke!).

What’s one of the best decisions you’ve made for yourself / your family, so far this year?

I finally decided to get active. Being a full-time freelancer means I spend a lot of time at my desk and I’ve paid for it over the past three years by gaining over 30 pounds. Not cool! But this year I made it my goal to start walking everyday, and go hiking on the weekends. I bought myself a pedometer and aim to walk at least 5k a day. So far I’ve been really proud of my walking routine, it’s actually become one of my favorite times of day. Plus, I cook my own breakfast every morning now. No more sugary cereal and milk. I’ve only lost about 9 pounds but this is the first year in a long time that I haven’t gained, so it’s a big win for me!

If you woke up tomorrow and had no plans and no work to do, how would you spend your day?

It would probably look pretty similar to my daily routine. Wake up without my alarm clock, cook myself breakfast, and read a book or some blog posts. Next, I’d scroll through social media and reply to comments or questions. Then I’d make some coffee and head out for a nice hike or drive through a local canyon. Or maybe spend my afternoon at the local art museums around here. To wrap up the day, I’d cook a meal with my husband and we’d watch our favorite show. I’m blessed enough that our days aren’t too scripted so I get to do most of this whenever I want.

  • Thanks for the intro Carrie! Have you tried cold brew coffee yet? I was recently turned on to it (and wrote a post about it) and totally prefer it over hot coffee now. And it’s simple to brew at home too!

    I think if I had to pick a new language it would be German too, I’d love to go visit and I think it’s a totally different experience if I couldn’t speak the language.

    • Good suggestion! I actually have tried cold brew coffee and it makes my heart have palpitations, ha. I’m a bit of a light weight I guess. Happy to connect with a fellow German lover! :)

  • Thanks for the interview, Cait.

    Carrie, thanks for your honesty. You obviously have a lot of self-discipline and integrity to not let the lack of monetary rewards to impact putting out meaningful work. And how wonderful that if you stopped working tomorrow, your daily routine would be the same. Congrats for living the life you enjoy, now.

  • I admire is that Carrie is already spending her days the way she would if there were no bills. That’s cool! I’m currently working on taking more control of my schedule and not let other people dictate my time. That’s one of the perks of being a freelancer/entrepreneur, right?

  • I can’t believe you can be more productive in the fall/winter! Kudos to you, I always never seem to want to get out of bed because it’s so cold outside.. And I love sparkling water too. I never knew those things existed until I took an internship and they had those things for free! It was such a nice perk.

    Have fun in FinCon!!

  • Nice, just like old friends! I love my coffee too! Just use French Vanilla Coffeemate and I’m good to go. Love brewing my own at home as well since I can make just the way I like it (use a dark roast San Francisco Bay Fog Chaser blend and brew twice for my 20oz’er)! It’s always great to catch up with old friends, especially when they aren’t local!

  • Being so new to the blogging community, I’m looking forward to making new blogger friends and making it to FinCon one year! Thanks for the wonderful introduction!!

  • Really nice post Cait, great way to know both of you. Even i also prepare my own coffee and brew it myself as i never like the artificial touch to it. Please post more articles regarding this, i would be glad if you did. I’m not able to go to FinCon this year. But surely would love to attend next year, I’m waiting eagerly for pics and tweets to fill my feed!

    Have a good day Cait!

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