The Joys and Pains of Single Parenthood with Sarah Bettencourt

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martinis and your money

The Joys and Pains of Single Parenthood with Sarah Bettencourt

On this episode of Martinis and Your Money, I am talking to Sarah Bettencourt, Chief Blonde Officer of The Blonde Spot and host of the Monday Morning Mimosas podcast! As many of you know, I’m an entrepreneur and founder of the company the Financial Gym – but my highest priority job is as the single mom of my 11-year-old son Will. I salute and applaud all of the single parents out there working so hard to create and/or sustain a better life for you and your children. It is not an easy task! During this episode, Sarah and I discuss the amazing career she has built while raising her son and dealing with the joys and pains of single-parenthood. Her strength, perseverance and work ethic are an inspiration for anyone – whether you are raising kids or not! Cheers!

What are we drinking?

Sarah — a classic mimosa & a cup of coffee

Shannon — Deep Eddy’s grapefruit vodka with club soda

Podcast Notes

  • Sarah is a 28-years-old social media entrepreneur and mom to son Fox.
  • Her story begins when she became pregnant at 24, left her ex-husband after being married for 9 months and needed to make money fast to support herself and Fox.
  • Her micro-marketing firm, The Blonde Spot, is on track to bring in $25,000/month starting in January 2018.
  • Her core industries include spas, attorneys & finance.
  • She has been in business for herself full-time for two years and and part-time for seven years.
  • Shannon asks Sarah how she built her career and business while being a single mom.
  • She says her number one priority is being a good mom to her son.
  • She discusses the sacrifices she has to make – going out on less dates, hanging out with friends less, spending less on clothes each year, etc. – to ensure Fox is fed, clothed and happy.
  • Sarah offers insight into how she manages her time while working from home so she can spend as much time with her son as possible.
  • Sarah and Shannon agree it is necessary that kids – especially boys – see the modern woman as someone with goals and ambitions.
  • Shannon says it’s so important to live a life your kids can be proud of.
  • Sarah discusses dating as a single mom and Shannon talks about her experience using the dating app Bumble.
  • Sarah advises single parents to let out any negative energy so you can move on and do what you need to do to provide for your kids.
  • Do not be afraid to devote time and energy to your career or other interests.
  • TAKEAWAY: As a parent – single or not – it is easy to prioritize our kids’ lives over our own, but creating a life through work or other activities that you are proud of first is the best thing for you and for your kids!

Random Three Questions

  1. If you could build any other business or work in any other area, what would you do and why?
  2. What is a show you love to binge-watch?
  3. If you were to win a million dollars, what would you do with it?

Connect with Sarah:

Twitter

Instagram

Facebook

Email

Podcast

LinkedIn

If you need or want someone to help you with your money – especially if you are a single parent – reach out to my team at the Financial Gym! No matter where you are in your financial journey, our financial trainers can help you get where you want to go. Head over to financialgym.com/friends to sign up today!

Getting Unstuck with Jen Hemphill

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martinis and your money

Getting Unstuck with Jen Hemphill

On this episode of Martinis and Your Money, I am talking to Jennifer Hemphill, Money Confidence Coach and host of the Her Money Matters podcast: Money Talk For Women. Jen’s philosophy is money should enrich your life, not stress you out. She believes that “your money mindset is the foundation to success with money, and your money skills – like budgeting and saving – are the bricks that go on top of that foundation to build a strong financial home.” Jen shares her story about feeling trapped and frustrated because of money. From there we discuss the four important money lessons she learned while trying to get unstuck from her money behaviors.

As a side note: I have to apologize for the sound quality on this episode. I recorded the first half of the show before I realized my mic was not turned on. I never like to redo a show because I love the organic flow of my conversations! The good news is that Jen sounded great. I want to publicly apologize to my podcast editor, Steve, who had to cringe through most of this, and I promise to all of you that I will do better next time! Cheers!

What are we drinking?

Jen — Coffee

Shannon — Schweppes Black Cherry Seltzer Water

Podcast Notes

  • Shannon was a guest on Jen’s podcast last December.
  • Jen is a military spouse and always wanted to do something career-wise that she could take with her every time they moved.
  • She tried real estate for a while and then became a stay-at-home mom.
  • During her time as a real estate agent, she noticed that first-time homebuyers ALWAYS wanted to buy more house than they could afford.
  • That led her to becoming an Accredited Financial Counselor.
  • Throughout that process she reflected on her own financial choices and ended up learning some very valuable lessons:
    • Your upbringing significantly affects how you treat money.
    • Experts don’t always have a solution.
    • Don’t overcomplicate your finances.
    • You don’t have to do it alone!
  • Shannon shares her experiences of how she learned those 4 money lessons for herself.
  • Jen and Shannon each suggest some ways for anyone feeling stuck to change their situation and be more in control of their money.
  • TAKEAWAY: Your personal money journey is unique to you so focus on finding the answer that’s best for you and not on what someone else says is right for you.

Random Three Questions

  1. What is your favorite place you have lived?
  2. What is your favorite show to binge-watch?
  3. What do you do for your downtime?

Connect with Jen:

Website

Her Money Matters Facebook Community

If you need or want someone to help you with your money, I hope you’ll reach out to my team at the Financial Gym. You can schedule a free call to find out more. No matter where you are in your financial journey, my financial trainers can help you get where you want to go. Head over to or send friends to financialgym.com/friends to sign up today!

Cara Thomas from SerenFlipity

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martinis and your money

Stop Existing and Create an Extraordinary Day with Cara Thomas from SerenFlipity

On this episode of Martinis and Your Money, I am talking to Cara Thomas. What if your friends gave you ideas to get you out of your comfort zone? That’s exactly what happened on a trip for Cara Thomas, founder of SerenFlipity.

Before a trip overseas, she collected 90 idea cards written by friends and acquaintances. Each card challenged her to get out of her comfort zone and do something out of the ordinary. What she discovered was something extraordinary: Ways to connect with strangers, explore unfamiliar territories, and discover strengths she didn’t know she had.

Today she shares her adventures and talks about how she created flip cards you can buy online. Cheers!

What are we drinking?

Cara — Sparkling Water with Lime and Ginger

Shannon — Black Cherry Seltzer Water

Podcast Notes

  • Cara took a 90-day sabbatical from her job and traveled to East Asia, and on her trip she asked her Facebook friends to compile a list of 90 adventures for her to embark on each day.
  • Cara’s favorite adventure was getting a mantra from Stephen Tyler, and Cara’s least favorite adventure was going a day without technology.
  • The mantra that Stephen Tyler gave Cara was: “you can’t reach the other shore until you lose sight of the shore you are on.”
  • Cara’s final challenge was from a woman she met in Bali and it was for her to change her challenge of having 90 days of adventure into a product and SerenFlipity was born.
  • SerenFlipity is a game that gets people out of their comfort zone and brings more adventure into their life, whether it be their love life, family, or work life, it brings more adventure into life.
  • It began with a deck of cards with adventures on them, much the same as Cara’s personal adventure began.
  • It now is morphing into events hosted by SerenFlipity that send strangers on adventures out into the world with the goal of returning with artifacts that represent a pre-specified emotion.
  • SerenFlipity currently has 30 different adventures that are divided into three categories of adventures: (1) adventures to explore new places; (2) adventures to connect with people; (3) adventures to spark new ideas to match the adventures to each person’s goals.
  • The adventures can be a one-time adventure or they can be a new way to live one’s life.
  • The card may force you to give something away to a stranger one time or to try to give something to a stranger everyday.
  • Cara wants to grow SerenFlipity into a part of each user’s everyday routine, whether its through products, technology, or events.
  • Shannon likens SerenFlipity to a life coach in a deck of cards, a card to help you challenge yourself.
  • TAKEAWAY: Embrace the serendipity of life and look for ways to get yourself unstuck.

Random Three Questions

  1. What is your favorite thing to do with your downtime?
  2. What is a show you like to binge-watch?
  3. If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go and why?

Connect with Cara:

Instagram

Facebook

Email

Happy Hour Live from the Lola Retreat

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martinis and your money

Happy Hour Live from the Lola Retreat

Today is the last Friday of the month, and in case you are new to this blog or my podcast, on the last Friday of the month, I host a happy hour on my podcast where the happy hour ladies and I talk about various money topics while drinking cheap drinks! This month’s Happy Hour is super special because the four of us recorded this live from the Lola Women’s Money Retreat. I have to warn you that if you’re listening to this episode and you’re a Martinis & Your Money fan, you may have serious FOMO. I think the best thing I can say is that you may have missed this Lola retreat, but there will be more, and I can guarantee you that I will be there for them! Me and the ladies talk about our experience of attending this event, and I loved all of the listener/attendee anecdotes we got along the way. To say that the Lola experience changed my life would be an understatement – I hope you enjoy hearing more about it!

Don’t forget to check out The Financial Gym and its tools and resources to help you break free from your financial challenges and live a financially healthier life!

What are we drinking?

Melanie from Dear Debt — Champagne & grapefruit (a Lolamosa)

Tonya from Budget and the Beach — Also drinking a Lolamosa

Mrs. Frugalwoods from Frugalwoods.com — A sparkling grapefruit beverage because there is another Babywoods on the way!!

Shannon — A Lolamosa

Podcast Notes

  • Shannon asks Melanie to talk about her experience of making her dream a reality over the last year.
  • Melanie thanks the Happy Hour ladies for being the Lola Retreat’s first supporters.
  • Shannon discusses Mrs. Frugalwoods’ reluctance to spend money frivolously and asks her why she decided to spend the money and attend the retreat (besides to support Melanie).
  • The whole point of Mrs. Frugalwoods’ frugality is to spend money on the things that matter to her and to focus her resources on her values.
  • She thinks it is so important for women to come together on a topic that is traditionally seen as male and to have meaningful, transformational conversations.
  • No matter what you do in life, money is going to sustain it – it’s part of your life!
  • The ladies discuss what they learned from the sessions of this retreat.
  • Shannon adds that “even if you become expert-status on a subject, you can still continuously learn and get better!”
  • Some of the ladies’ favorite session topics included:
    • What’s Love Got to Do With It? Money and Relationships – Mrs. Frugalwoods
    • Money 101: Spend Less, Save More and Get Your Life Together – Tonya
  • Shannon throws Tonya under the bus for not attending some of the sessions including the money and relationships session.
  • Tonya highlights her favorite aspects of the Lola Retreat like its intimate environment, the interactivity, the end-of-the-day conversation over wine and cheese and the financially diverse group of women.
  • Shannon asks the crowd why they decided to spend the money and attend the retreat.
  • Shannon praises listener and podcast guest – Jennifer Dane – for paying for three scholarships to the Lola Retreat so three lucky women could attend!
  • Jennifer gives a shout out to the Financial Gym and announces it is looking for investors!
  • Melanie and her partner Emma have set a goal to not necessarily make Lola bigger but to make it more frequent.
  • To find out about future Lola events, visit the Lola Retreat website and check social media – tweet using #lolaretreat to join in on the conversation!
  • TAKEAWAY: When women get together, magic happens!

For all of the women who were there when we recorded live – I hope you know that I love and appreciate you from the bottom of my heart. Your support, stories and amazing spirits made for one of the best weekends of my life. I loved being a part of this magic!

How to Shrink the Gender Pay Gap

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martinis and your money

How to Shrink the Gender Pay Gap

On this episode of Martinis and Your Money, I’m bringing back on my Financial Gym teammate and salary negotiation expert Allegra to talk more about negotiating. At the gym we are constantly working with clients to optimize their financial picture. One half of the work is around their expenses and making sure they’re spending appropriately for their goals, but the second half is on making more money. The easiest way you can make more money is negotiating for it – whether through a new job or in your existing job. Allegra and I are going to talk about some best practices and share some really powerful stories to help motivate and inspire you to negotiate for more. Cheers!

And if you need help with negotiating and finding ways to make more money, reach out to my team at the Financial Gym. You can schedule a free call, and possibly even chat with Allegra, to find out more. No matter where you are, my financial trainers can help you get where you want to go. Head over to or send friends to financialgym.com/friends to sign up today!

What are we drinking?

Allegra — Water and a coffee

Shannon — Coffee with cinnamon and a club soda

Podcast Notes

  • This is Allegra’s second time on the podcast – listen to her first episode here!
  • Allegra is the Financial Gym’s in-house negotiation counselor for clients.
  • She says if you’ve been given a job offer and that company has already spent time and money and effort deciding that you are the right person, you are in the position to leverage that.
  • Shannon and Allegra both express how important it is to know your worth!
  • Allegra shares her friend Jay’s story.
  • Jay knew she wanted to make more and started looking for jobs outside of her company.
  • There was potential to move up in her current company but she decided not to wait and began looking up.
  • She was offered a job and then immediately began negotiating her salary.
  • The recruiter initially offered her a base salary of $85,000, and she countered with $95,000.
  • They ultimately agreed on a $90k base salary with a $5k sign-on bonus and other bonuses throughout the year.
  • Allegra and Shannon talk about how nervous Jay was to negotiate her pay especially because she was asking for more than what she was making at her previous job.
  • Don’t let anyone make you feel like what they initially offer you is what you deserve to make.
  • Shannon and Allegra agree that there is no shame in switching positions or even jobs to make more money.
  • Don’t stay complacent with where you are because you are scared of change!
  • Allegra lays out the steps you need to take if you decide to stay at your current company but want to make more money:
  1. Figure out your numbers
    • Get on Glassdoor or PayScale and search your job title to get the national and your city average salary range
    • Search similar job titles to yours also
    • Ask your coworkers what they are making – don’t be afraid!
    • Figure out where your current salary falls in that range
  1. Schedule an in-person salary-focused meeting
    • Try to meet with your boss or senior person involved in decision making – it may not be the person you are more comfortable with and that’s okay
    • Don’t provide too much detail for what the meeting is about
  2. Be open, honest, and direct to accomplish your goal for the meeting
    • Have confidence!
    • Describe the value you are providing to the company
    • Just because you found the salary range for your position doesn’t mean you need to discuss that range
  • Allegra and Shannon discuss bonuses and how they feel about them.
  • Allegra discusses why she is “Anti-Bonus”.
  • After listening to this podcast, prepare your employer that your negotiation muscle is going to start flexing!
  • TAKEAWAY: As the Wayne Gretzky quote says, “You miss 100% of the shots you never take” – so find ways to take more shots at not only getting paid more but getting paid what you deserve!

Random Three Questions:

  1. Would you rather read a book or watch tv?
  2. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
  3. If you had to make a meal for somebody, what would you make?

Connect with Allegra:

Email

Having a Riot while Saving on Wine

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martinis and your money

Having a Riot while Saving on Wine

On this episode of Martinis and Your Money, I am talking to Tyler Balliet, founder of the Wine Riot event and Financial Gym client! I’m always trying to find ways for my clients to save money so when Tyler spent the afternoon in the gym talking about wine, I knew I had to have him on the show to help my listeners save money on a beverage that is near and dear to my heart. I have talked about this on the show before, but in the past I used to be physically and financially fat, and one of my financially fat spending areas was in wine and alcohol. If it wasn’t top shelf or high end, I didn’t want anything to do with it. Now I can happily say that I spend significantly less in this area, but I’m still having the same amount of fun, and Tyler is going to share with you how you can save in this area as well.

What are we drinking?

Tyler — Rosé

Shannon — Rosé Bota Boxed Wine

Podcast Notes

  • Tyler started a company 10 years ago in Boston called “Second Glass,” and his company first started throwing small wine-tasting events for Tyler’s friends in Tyler’s own apartment.
  • This idea morphed into Wine Riot when Tyler threw a huge party for guests he invited via a mailing list and named the party “Wine Riot.”
  • Over the course of 7-8 years Tyler’s company threw about 50 of these events with sometimes more than 3,000 people. The focus of these events was to educate people about wine.
  • Wine Riots were events that featured booths that represented different wine regions throughout the World, and guests would sample wines from each region to better develop a taste, knowledge, and appreciation for the World’s wines.
  • Tyler’s goal was to reinvent wine-tasting for a whole new generation of millennials!
  • He felt that the old guard wine-tasting events were not conducive to the millennial palette.
  • Shannon fell in love when she went on a trip to Napa Valley, which she describes as Disneyland for adults, but her favorite experience was learning about wine while tasting the wine.
  • That experience completely changed the way she looked at wine – she now looks at wine from a more educated perspective.
  • Tyler thinks the wine industry is great at making wine but bad at the marketing aspect.
  • Shannon compares the wine industry to the financial industry in that they both have complex jargon that confuses the average consumer which can be scary, confusing and disconcerting.
  • Shannon and Tyler really want to stop the rumor that you have to spend a lot of money to get a quality bottle of wine.
  • Shannon believes that so many people waste so much money on overpriced wine because they feel social pressure to buy them.
  • Tyler wants people to keep in mind that price and quality are not directly related – just because a wine is 10X as expensive as most does not mean that it is 10X better than most wines.
  • Anyone can find a more affordable version of the wine they love by educating themselves about wine.
  • There are 3 ways to get really affordable wine for the money:
    • Buy wine from a region that is not famous for wine like Portugal or Croatia
    • Buy wine that no one can pronounce because there is no viral marketing
    • Take advantage of others’ misfortune, there are lots of areas that are experiencing hard times
  • Tyler’s Top 3 Daily Wines: (1) Washington State wines; (2) Portuguese Port wines; (3) South African wines
  • Tyler says wine is inherently confusing, but just don’t buy wine based on grapes
  • Grapes can be completely different experiences depending on the region in which they are grown.
  • The movie “Sideways,” is a great example of people not understanding wine because one line of fictional dialogue in the movie!
  • The reason that some wines feature a screw top and a cork top is purely economical and has nothing to do with taste or quality.
  • TAKEAWAY: At restaurants, ask your server what the best wine on the wine list that no one is ordering is! As someone who has had to entertain clients and friends for a living, Shannon loves discovering new and cheaper ways to do it.

Random Three Questions

  1. What was the most expensive bottle of wine you have ever purchased?
  2. What wine region do you think is the best to explore?
  3. If you were to win $1,000,000 what would you do with it?

Connect with Tyler:

Website

Twitter

Instagram

Getting to Know the Happy Hour Ladies

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martinis and your money

Getting to Know the Happy Hour Ladies

Today is the last Friday of the month and regular listeners know the deal but for new listeners, on the last Friday of the month, I gather great friends to drink cheap drinks with me and talk about money topics. If you are new to this show, which I know for a fact we have a number of new listeners, you will see that we actually have 30 previous happy hour episodes. It’s going to take you a little while to figure out what all of these happy hours are about, so I thought I would take this episode for you to get to know my happy hour friends a little better before moving on to other episodes.

Melanie, Tonya and Liz – aka Mrs. Frugalwoods – have become some of my closest friends over these last few years, and I think this episode will be fun for new and old listeners alike. Cheers!

What are we drinking?

Melanie from Dear Debt — a Malbec

Tonya from Budget and the Beach — a SoCal Mule

Mrs. Frugalwoods from Frugalwoods.com — boxed Malbec

Shannon — Vodka soda with a splash of cranberry

Podcast Notes

  • The Happy Hour ladies have been drinking and chatting together for 2 and a half years!
  • Shannon asked Melanie, Tonya & Mrs. Frugalwoods to join her for the Happy Hour episodes because they were her favorite previous podcast guests.
  • The ladies record Happy Hour on the 2nd Monday of every month at 9:00PM EST!
  • Shannon asks the ladies to tell a little bit about themselves and what is important to them.
  • Liz – Mrs. Frugalwoods – lives on a 66-acre homestead in Vermont with her husband, their 1½ year old daughter & their dog.
  • Having time to pursue what she is passionate about and spend time with her family are the most important things to her.
  • They lived an extremely frugal lifestyle before moving to the homestead which allowed Liz to retire early in 2016.
  • The Frugalwoods discovered that frugality is about more than just saving money.
  • Living a frugal life made them happier, less stressed, & appreciative of all the things in their lives.
  • Tonya started her blog over 5 years ago and admits she wasn’t very frugal and not very good with her money.
  • She was a freelancer until 1.5 years ago when she got a full-time job.
  • She has five core values and her health is her top priority.
  • She believes in values-based spending and living a slower, simpler life.
  • Tonya is single and lives in Los Angeles but would like to eventually move somewhere else like Colorado.
  • Her cat is named Pepe, and he is 17 years old!
  • Melanie is a blogger, freelance writer & event planner.
  • She paid off $81,000 of student loan debt.
  • Her belief is to not let debt rule your life and live the life you want!
  • She recently moved back to Los Angeles and adopted two kittens – Miles & Thelonius.
  • Melanie is finally living the life that she always imagined when she was suffering through long work days and being broke as hell.
  • She has now been able to pursue her passion project and plan a women & money retreat!
  • All of the Happy Hour ladies are attending the Lola Retreat this August and recording Happy Hour live while they are there!
  • She loves karaoke, music, dancing, kittens & cocktails.
  • Shannon asks the ladies 10 “icebreaker” questions
    1. Coffee or tea?
    2. Vodka or gin?
    3. Appetizers or desserts?
    4. When was the last time you spent over $100 at once? (Outside of the grocery store)
    5. How old were you when you lost your virginity and was it good?
    6. What is a sport you are good at and a sport you are bad at?
    7. What is your favorite way to spend time?
    8. What is your love language?
    9. If you had a dead body in your trunk, who would you call to help you bury it?
    10. If you could only use one word to describe yourself, what would it be?

Financial Gym Client Stories

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martinis and your money

Financial Gym Client Stories

I’ve talked a lot about my company, the Financial Gym, during many episodes, and I’ve encouraged people to join or to tell their friends to join the gym. As we are growing and publicizing it more, we have more and more people who want to know about the experience of joining the gym and what they can expect. So, today we have a very special Happy Hour episode with three members of the Financial Gym talking about their experiences and what it has been like for them joining the gym! Their stories are honest and inspiring. I hope you enjoy learning about their journeys as much as I enjoy being a part of them through the Financial Gym.

What are we drinking?

Jennifer — Plum Loco wine

Kelly — Water because she is pregnant!

Maria — Mango Ciroc with cranberry juice

Shannon — Boxed Rosé

Podcast Notes

  • Kelly has had credit card debt since she was 18.
  • After their second child, she and her husband started panicking about their finances.
  • She googled “best financial podcast” and came across a podcast episode where Shannon was interviewed.
  • She immediately started listening to Shannon’s podcast and listened to all of the old Martinis and Your Money episodes.
  • She found out Shannon worked near her and reached out to become a Financial Gym client.
  • Kelly and Shannon have been working together for almost 2.5 years now.
  • Kelly and her husband now have over $62,000 in the bank and their third baby on the way!
  • Jennifer has been going to the gym since December 2016.
  • Like Kelly, she found Shannon and the gym through a podcast.
  • One of Jennifer’s main reasons for joining the gym was to tackle her student loan debt before she eventually gets married.
  • Since December 2016, she has paid down around $12,000 of her student loan debt!
  • Her goal is to pay down $20,170 by the end of this year.
  • She says you have to have big goals to get things done!
  • Maria came to the Financial Gym through a networking event with her company.
  • After that event, she knew the gym was where she needed to be and immediately became a member!
  • She told Shannon no one had ever looked at her finances, and Shannon was the first person Maria was ever “financially naked” with.
  • Shannon asks the ladies why they pay money to save money.
    • They all agree they pay to be members of the Financial Gym for the returns and the accountability.
  • Shannon then asks the ladies what the experience has been like talking about their finances with their trainers – if they have experienced any shame or judgment, if it was scary, etc.
    • The ladies discuss their past conversations (or lack thereof) about money and how they felt talking about money then compared to now.
  • The ladies discuss how they work with their trainers – either in person or virtually – and what that experience is like.
  • The ladies encourage anyone to sit down with a trainer and have a 15-minute intro session and take the first step to begin their financial journeys!
  • The ladies discuss the biggest rewards they have received as members of the Financial Gym.
  • TAKEAWAY: If you want to make a change in your financial life, the hardest part is taking that first step. When you are ready to take that first step, I hope you know the team at the Financial Gym is ready to go on that journey with you!

Random Three Questions

  1. Vanilla or chocolate?
  2. Game of Thrones – yay or nay?
  3. If you were to write a book, what would be the title of it?