Thursday, March 31, 2016

Book Club: March 2016

Hello Loves!

Happy reading! I have to say I'm disappointed in myself, I expected more reading to get done with Spring break giving me extra time, but sadly that did not happen. I did get one book finished and I really liked it. I know that I won't be able to get more than one book done next month, but hopefully May will be better.

The Awakening by Kate Chopin 
I was surprised by how much I liked this book. For some reason I thought I was going to have a harder time reading this, but it was a great read. It was so fun. It was actually easier to read than I expected. Everyone should read this book!

What are you reading now?

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Secrets of a Confident Person

Hello Loves!

I love meeting confident people. I wish I could say that I am always confident or that I know how to portray confidence, but I think if we all practice together we can make it happen! It is always great to meet confident people, because maybe a little bit of that magic will rub off on me. We just have to keep in mind that being confident does not mean that everything is perfect or has to be perfect, it just means that you are strong enough to see those imperfections and move past them. We can do this together!!

one// they have down days
Just because a person is confident does not mean that they don't have down days or that they don't feel low. Don't glorify a person's life just by what they portray. Remember they are people too, they have bad days, low days. The main difference is that they don't stay there for long. They acknowledge the bad day then move forward.

two// they take up space
Confident people expand. They take up a lot of space with their body, their voice, and their presence. This is something I have a lot of trouble with. They have energy that commands attention, that takes up room. Stand tall, Sit up. Don't slump. Take up that room. Eyes up. Chest out.

three// faking it until you become it
We don't all know everything, and when you're not feeling so hot sometimes you have to fake it. They go on stage anyway. They throw their hat in the ring anyway. Power pose until you feel better. They act like they are feeling better until their mind catches up with them.

four// they're not afraid to slow down
Slowing down, both in life and in speech can be life-changing. Slowing down your speech can really command a room. Speak loud, enounciate, and slow your fast-paced speaking. Slowing down your schedule is also life-changing. It allows you to relax your frantic, manic schedule and focus your attentions to things you really need.

five// they self (pep) talk
Sometimes your mind races and the negativity gets to your confidence, when that happens you need to slow down. Its always helpful to have a little mantra to repeat for yourself. Something that really captures the most helpful things for you. Something that motivates you.

six// they rarely "wing it"
Practice makes perfect. Or in this case practice makes confidence. The moral of the story is that confidence is a practiced skill. This is not something that just happens, it is something that has to be learned and fine tuned. Then you can use your skills when you need them most.

seven// they speak about things they know a lot about
Confident people don't know everything. Even if they sound like they know everything. They are just very aware of what they know and talk about it confidently. Those key topics are something they are vocal about. Be proud of your smarts, be proud of what you know. Speak up!

What are your confidence secrets?

Monday, March 28, 2016

Spring Favorites

Hello Loves!

So I recently did some Spring Must Haves so you'd think that would be the end of it, but apparently I just can't get enough of this spring weather. It has been fabulously warm and sunny. It has been perfect picnic weather. I know some other places of the country are still getting snow, but its been so nice out here. Since it is officially spring I figured there'd be no harm in doing a Spring Favorites. These are a few of my favorite things.

What are your favorites?

Friday, March 25, 2016

DIY Sugar Scrub Recipes

Hello Loves!!

Sugar scrubs are probably one of my favorite things in the world! I love making them and using them. The coolest part about DIY sugar scrubs is that you can customize them to make them the best for you. These recipes are all made with things you can find in your kitchen (which is super convenient). These totally change the game!

one// Green Tea Sugar Scrub
This one is a great one to rejuvenate your skin. This DIY removes dirt and impurities from your skin, leaving a healthy and beautiful glow. Green tea is a wonderful, anti-inflammatory that helps soothe blemishes and scars.
Contents of 2 green tea bags
1 cup of white sugar
1/2 to 3/4 cup coconut oil (more or less depending on consistency you want)
Optional 1 tbsp of ground frozen edamame

Mix all together and enjoy!

two// Cucumber Scrub
This scrub is light and smooth while still cooling and energizing. It buffs off old skin cells to allow for a light and renewed look.

1 cup of sugar
3/4 cup of chopped cucumber
1/4 cup coconut oil
optional a few basil leaves

Wash the cucumber & basil, dry, and toss in the blender. Pour sugar on top & add in soft or liquid coconut oil. Whip until the cucumbers have broken down & you're happy with the consistency. Pour into a jar that can be sealed and store in the refrigerator. Should stay for about 2 weeks.

three// Blueberry Lemon Body Scrub
I love this smell combination. It is so fresh and summery, perfect for spring!

1/2 cup coconut oil
1 cup white sugar
1 tbsp or so of frozen dried blueberries (fresh is an option)
a few drops of lemon essential oil
optional blue food coloring (for fresh berries)

Start by breaking down the blueberries, you can do this by smashing or using a food processor. Add the sugar, coconut oil, essential oil, and optional food coloring. Mix until well combined. Store in an airtight container. 

four// Grapefruit Scrub
Grapefruit has many skin-boosting benefits. It contains high amounts of Vitamin A & C and many minerals and antioxidants which help protect your skin from environmental hazards. It also renews damaged skin and reduce appearance of age spots.

1 Grapefruit
1 cup of sugar
1-3 tbsp of apricot oil

Cut the center pith from one full grapefruit and place in a blender along with any other fruit pieces and juice. Add the sugar and the apricot oil (more or less depending on how wet you want it to be). Blend on medium or high until you reach the consistency you want. Keep refrigerated.

five// DIY Delicious Scrub
This one is great and very gentle. I really like it and the lavender is incredibly relaxing and soothing.

1 cup cane sugar
1/3 cup sea salt
1/2 cup coconut oil
2-3 tbsp almond oil
1 tbsp vitamin e
Lavender Essential Oil

Add a little bit of the salt, coconut oil at a time until you get the consistency you want then add the rest of the ingredients.

vanilla bean sugar scrub
six// Vanilla Bean Sugar Scrub
This one is a little more involved but it is beautiful to use and a great present.

1 1/2 cups vanilla scented sugar (recipe here)
3/4 cup salt
1 cup coconut oil
1-2 tbsp dried lavender buds

Make the vanilla sugar ahead of time as instructed in the recipe. Combine the sugar and salt in the medium bowl. Add the oil and stir until moistened. Add the lavender buds and stir to combine. 

Which would you make?

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

How To Calendar Your Life

Hello Loves!

I love to-do lists!! They are my go to things. I like having everything in one place. I like knowing what needs to get done for that day or week. Its perfect for me to remember what I need to do. The only problem is making sure everything gets done in time. So once I get my to do list done I need to get a calendar done to make sure that I am actually productive. You know those days where productivity and motivation just aren't going to happen? Well I find that calendaring my time helps me get through those moments.

one// Make the default event duration in your calendar only 15 minutes
Most calendars like Google make the default timing approximately 30 to 60 minutes. That is completely unrealistic. Change the default to 15 minutes and not only will you get more done but you will be more effective when you get things done.

two// Time-block the most important things in your life first
Pre-schedule time blocks for sacred life events and career priorities. Those large meetings that need to get done. Don't forget to schedule in exercise time, date nights, or other items that are important to your everyday lifestyle.

three// Schedule everything
Don't check your email every few minutes, its counter-productive. You need to be able to  fully focus those fifteen minutes so schedule in those smaller things as well. Instead of just writing things on your to-do list actually schedule time in for it, then it'll get done.

I like using my to-do like as a starting block for my calendar. I like writing when I have things due and when I need to get things done. I found that once I started scheduling things, I actually got more productive and I finished up my to-do list!


Monday, March 21, 2016

Motivation Monday

Hello Loves!

This past weekend was much too crazy for me and I needed a time to relax which lead to a not so productive weekend in terms of homework. I just needed some time off..... which means this week is going to be insane trying to get all the work I avoided done. This being said, I really need some motivation to get through this week! So if you have anything that helps let me know!!

quote of the day:
This is the one I really need!!

I think this one is super important to remember! Keep trying and keep doing until you get to your success!! You can do it!!

Happy Monday!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Bake Days

Hello Loves!!

As you know by now, I've been doing the 101 in 1001 challenge. It has been a lot of fun! I get to do a bunch of things that I have always wanted to do now I get motivation to try harder on a deadline. I know I haven't gotten very far in this endeavor, but this is the final push! I will be done with this challenge in one year. I can't believe it has gone this fast!

One of the things I wanted to work on more is baking. I love baking, but I never had any motivation to bake. The thing that really motivated me to start baking is when my mom, my sisters, and I started watching The Great British Bake Off on Netflix.

We made a list of all the things we wanted to copy off the show, then we looked up all the recipes and got baking. I loved the show because all the recipes were traditional foods. We did not have to go out looking for crazy ingredients or a list of ingredients that's a million steps long.

What we made:
Monkey Bread

Chocolate Braid
Puff Pastry

Pie Crust
Giant Chocolate Sugar Cookies
Chocolate Babka

Pain au Chocolat

Pizza Dough (potato pizza)
Sugar-free Vanilla Cake

What do you like to bake?

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Prepping for a Job Interview

Hello Loves,

So as this school year is coming to a close I decided that it would be a good idea to come up with a series that would help with the whole job/internship search situation. Last week we talked about Resumes and how to build your own, this week I'm focusing on what happens after your future employer loves your resume and wants to meet you: INTERVIEWS! Now these can be really scary but here are some tips that have helped me out. Remember I'm not an expert this is just what I've learned from my life and from many, many different interview workshops.

one//  Practice Makes Perfect
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!!! It is so noticeable when you practice your answers as opposed to just sitting there saying "um" "let me think about that" etc. It's not just your answers but your non-verbal cues that need practice. Keep practicing.

two// Have Answers For....
There are some questions that will probably end up coming up. Have answers for the question "tell me about yourself" also already have your strengths and weaknesses figured out. Don't use the typical "I'm a perfectionist" as a weakness, but really think about it and think about how you can spin that into a strength or how you are working on it. There are four types of questions: Resume-related, Behavioral Based, Case Studies, and Brain Teasers.
Know your resume well so you can answer questions about your experience. Behavioral based is something like "tell me about a time when...."  Describe: situationàtaskàactionàresults. As before think of experiences ahead of time so you don't hesitate. Case Studies is when they give you a scenario and ask you how you would handle it.

three// Non-verbal Cues
This is how you present yourself. Everything from how you dress to how you sit to how you shake hands with your interviewer. This is how a person feels about you and how they feel that you took the interview. Keep all these things in mind when interviewing. Arrive early, sit up straight, smile.

four// Have Questions
This is very important! It shows that you have interest in the position and the company. This also shows that you did your research on the company. It is very important to come up with some questions. You can ask about the company culture, the ability to move up in the company, how the interviewer likes the company, etc.

five// Post-Interview Follow Up
Send a thank you note/email. Mention something you talked about in your interview so they can remember you easier. You can follow up with the interviewer about your possibilities but be mindful of time. If they told you they'd get back to you in two weeks don't follow up before that time period. Rule of thumb wait about two weeks before following up.

What are your interview tips?

Monday, March 14, 2016

Spring Break

Hello Loves,

It is spring break season time!! Which means that it is time to relax and enjoy the time off. It is so necessary for success in school to have some time off. Spring break also means some traveling for many people. I already live really close to the beach so I stayed at home, but I got to experience my friend's travels and here are some of the coolest places to go spend your break!

This is a great little beach town paradise. It has low hotel room rates and lots of different spring packages. There's beach days, dining, spas, and fishing expeditions.

While many spring breakers may head south for some beach and relaxation, the northeast offers great skiing and fun snow activities. Its perfect for some powdery snow or experiencing sugar mapling season. Either way its a week to adventure.

The Nation's capital has a lot of fun adventures. Everything from monuments and history to museums to Chinatown. D.C. offers a rare cultural crossroads steeped in history. This city has over 100 free attractions. You can also venture into Virginia or Maryland.

finger lakes
While many people take to the beach for break, lakes offer a great time off as well. They allow for exploration, fishing, and relaxing. Finger Lakes offer charming villages, wineries, waterfalls, and parks to explore.

st. croix
St. Croix, Virgin Islands
This is a great hidden gem. Normally ignored for the Bahamas or other large islands this paradise has much to offer. Plus you don't need a passport if you are travelling short noticed.

chicago illinois
This is the place to be! Juxtaposing the old-timey houses with the modern era high rises, Chicago offers a lot of activities to each visitor. Being on the lake just adds another layer of fun activities.

zion national park
Spring break is the perfect time to relax and enjoy nature. Zion National Park allows for just that. The natural, breath-taking beauty of this park will allow any person to fully relax and enjoy their time off. This national park also has a lot of fun adventures to offer. 

Image result for disney world
You can never go wrong with a trip to the most magical place on Earth! If Disney isn't your speed there is always Universal Studios, to visit Harry Potter. Orlando has many attractions to offer.

san pedro belize
Located in Central America, this beach paradise is a wonderful way to experience a new country, new culture, and stay completely stress free. It has been recognized as one of the World's Best.

cape cod
Lines with sandy beaches and historic lighthouses Cape Cod looks like a scene from a postcard. This is the ideal place for a spring breaker that just wants to relax. You can set up shop in this small town or eventually make your way into Boston.

Where are you headed for break?

Friday, March 11, 2016

Cute Things to Monogram

Hello Loves!

I love monograms. There's just no way around it. Lately I feel like there are even more things to monogram than ever before! And for one I'm totally okay with that.

What do you monogram?

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Building Your Resume

Hello Loves,

One of the biggest things about going to college or even graduating high school is having your resume put together. Putting together a resume is one of the most stressful things that you will have to do. The resume is basically the first thing all employers judge you by. It is the thing that has to make an impact! Leave that WOW! You want them to get the best impression of you.

** I am by no means an expert!! **

one// Keep it Specific
When describing your positions and experiences keep it specific. Don't write long prose, just specifically and detail what you did. Play up your strengths even if it's not specifically labeled "leadership". Use specific figures i.e. "managed 163 girls" when explaining what you did.

two// Play up your Strengths
Emphasize your strengths. Really show your skills. Don't just talk about it, but show it. Show your interests and skills. This will go by putting it first in your bullets, using the most powerful verbs, and being very specific. Tailor your resume to show your strengths in a specific job. If the job your are applying for looks for leadership look at the key terms in your resume to reflect that leadership.

three// Wordsmith-ing is key
Are you using the best words? Always start your statements with powerful action verbs. Make sure to vary your words. Try to be as specific as possible when you are describing your duties and use action verbs that will really leave an impact.

four// Personal Branding
Remember what you do and how you represent yourself all plays into your brand. Everything you say, post, write, think, act, and even dress all play into your personal brand. This is probably the most important aspect of your resume. You want YOU to shine through. You want to be consistent across all aspects of your brand from Facebook to Tumblr to LinkedIn. Remember you don't have to be "boring" on LinkedIn, while still showcasing your interests and ideas. For more creative jobs color schemes will also be important. Don't change who you are, enhance it and showcase it.

Good Luck!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Current Favorite TED Talks

Hello Loves,

I'm such a fan of TED talks! They are my favorite thing to watch in my free time. I always learn so much in these videos. They always have such amazing topics and information. It is so cool to see really passionate people in the their field talking about what they love and what they experience. Here are some funny videos and some interesting ones. I really enjoy them.

I really want to try this reading one. I love Shonda Rhimes's experience in saying yes and it has inspired me to say yes a lot more often. Hopefully it will work out for me.
What are your favorite ones?

Friday, March 4, 2016

Spring Must Haves

Hello Loves,

It is almost Spring break!! Which means it's also time to start swapping out the darker winter clothes with the bright and happier spring clothes. It's not just the clothes but the fun and bright accessories. Time to start shopping now before they sell out!

I'm so excited for some more spring shopping and seeing what this season has in store! Got to get in early if not all the great stuff will be gone. Clearly I'm a huge fan of the blue and pink this year!
What are you lusting after this spring?