Monday, February 27, 2017

Motivational Monday

Hello Friends!

Mondays can be rough! Sometimes you just need some extra motivation to get through the week and days. Lately I've been feeling a little in a rut and tough on myself; then I stumbled upon this quote:


This really stuck with me. It was exactly what I needed. Some of the decisions I was trying to make and other things I was going through made it feel difficult to see in the long run. Sometimes making healthy choices and the right decision isn't always so clear. I hope this quote helps you as its helped me.

Happy Monday!
XOXO

Friday, February 24, 2017

10 Easy Ways to Sneak In Your 10,000 Steps

Hello Friends!

We are almost done with our second month of 2017 and its about that time where resolutions start to falter. This year I am more determined than ever to have these resolution stick! I want to be able to reach fitness goals and the other goals that I was working toward this year. But I think we all need some motivation as we start hitting the monotony of work and life. So I came up with some small ways to get us moving during the day!


Whether you're a total fitness fanatic or just want to stay active, tracking your steps is one healthy habit that health and fitness experts recommend. Logging in at least 10,000 steps a day can help you keep up with that activity. If you choose to tack on a spin class, some yoga, or hitting the gym on top of your 10,000 steps, you can still stay active even if you don't add the extra exercise. 10,000 steps is a totally realistic goal that will keep you moving day in and day out.

one// Park at the first spot you see, instead of circling for a closer one

If you live in an urban area, where street parking is hard to come by, this is a big one. When you’re driving to your destination, park at the first spot you see as soon as you’re within walking distance. All too often we find ourselves circling the block three times for a closer spot when we could have spent that time sneaking in a few more steps!

two// Take the Stairs

You may have heard this one before, but for good reason; it’s super effective! Take a pledge to take the stairs instead of the elevator. If your office or apartment is located several stories up, this can make a huge difference on a daily basis. My office for instance is two stories so instead of calling upstairs, I'll walk up the stairs to add some extra steps.

three// Make your social plans active

Next time you go to schedule a coffee or lunch date with a friend, consider meeting for a hiking or walking date instead. Having a buddy to move with is a great way to make physical activity fun.

four// Take your pup around the block an extra time

If you’re a dog owner, then daily walks are probably already a part of your routine. But instead of taking your pup out for a short potty break, challenge yourself to double your normal route. Circle the block one more time to give both you and your furry friend some extra exercise.

five// Swear off Food Delivery

We’re all guilty of being pretty dependent on Seamless, Postmates, and other food delivery services. And while we love the convenience of having our lunch delivered right to our desk, using these services daily can make for a pretty sedentary lifestyle. Instead, opt for takeout places that are within walking distance and make yourself get up and move for your meal.


six// Make it a walking meeting

Anytime you have an internal meeting or a work phone call that doesn’t require you to be in front of your computer, make it a walking meeting. Especially if you work in a creative field, we find that when your blood starts pumping, the creative juices start flowing too.


seven// Shop in store

We’ll take any excuse to go shopping, and this is a good one. Instead of ordering online next time, head to the nearest mall or shopping area to peruse the racks on foot. And if you have a good indoor mall nearby, keep this tip in mind for rain or snow days too!


eight// Get to know your neighborhood

We know how hard it can be to say goodbye to the same nail salon or dry cleaner you’ve been going to since you moved to your city. But if you’re no longer living in the same neighborhood, make an effort to get to know the small businesses within walking distance or your current abode. Think of how nice it will be to walk there next time you have an errand to run.


nine// Start a competition

If you enjoy a challenge, start a friendly competition with your friends or coworkers. Use your fitness tracker or a pedometer app to see who can get the most steps in a week or month. This is exactly what my office is doing right now.


ten// Set a timer

If you work at a desk like I do, set a timer to make sure you get up and moving every single hour. Even if that means you just walk to the water cooler or go outside for five minutes of fresh air, make sure you are not ever sitting still for more than an hour.

How do you sneak in your steps?
XOXO

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

How To Go To Bed Earlier

Hello Friends!

I've been trying really hard this year to try to go to bed earlier and so far I have not been able to achieve this yet. Once I get over the 10:30 night hump, I get a second wind and I end up staying up until 12:30/1:00am. I start thinking of the things I need to do, I get enough energy to work and I just get caught up in what I'm doing.



There are so many benefits to getting a good amount of sleep {attention, prevents aging, live longer, improves memory, alertness, mental benefits, etc.}. Needless to say this is definitely one goal I want to achieve. My aim for the rest of this year is to be asleep by 11, at the latest. I feel safe in making the assumption that I am not alone in needing to have an earlier bed time – below are a few tips I have come across to help you get to bed a bit earlier.
  1. Have a certain time frame in mind for when you would like to actually be in the bed. Most people require seven to eight and a half hours of sleep. So if you have to wake up at 6 you would want to be in bed by 9 so you can have an hour to read, unwind, and put the day behind, then aim to be asleep by 10.
  2. Don’t go straight from TV/computer to sleep – This is an a big mistake I make. Studies have shown that lighting from TVs and Computers can cause you to be more awake. It is better to read and unwind.
  3. No caffeine before going to bed, for obvious reasons
  4. Have dinner at least 2 hours before you go to bed. If you eat a big meal right before bedtime you might find that it is difficult to sleep
  5. Using up energy during the day by working out and other physical activities will help you to sleep more soundly
  6. Do your best to be consistent with your new bedtime. Going to bed at the same time every night will improve your sleep and make it easier to fall asleep.


How do you get to sleep early?
XOXO

Monday, February 20, 2017

Double Dutch Braids Three Ways

Hello Friends!!



Well its been a long time since I've done a hair tutorial post! This is basically why I started. I saw this hairstyle and I loved it! Now I wanted to share it with you all. Hopefully you all like it and maybe I'll start doing more tutorials :) Here are two casual looks and a formal updo all with two dutch braids!

Double Dutch Braid Bun


1. Dutch braid both sides of a middle part and tie them off with a clear elastic.

2. Pull apart/pancake both braids to make them nice and chunky.

3. With the remaining hair in back, section off a small section (about three inches starting from the bottom of your hairline) and braid that into a three-strand braid.

4. Take the hair above the braid you just made and the two Dutch braids and create a messy bun.

5. Wrap the three-strand braid around the messy bun.

6. Pin the ends in place and hairspray. And you’re done!


Double Dutch Braid Updo


1. Dutch braid both sides of a middle part and tie them off with a clear elastic.

2. Pull apart/pancake both braids to make them nice and chunky.

3. With the remaining hair in back, section off a small section (about three inches starting from the bottom of your hairline) and braid that into a three-strand braid.

4. Take the hair above the braid you just made and the two Dutch braids and pull them back into a ponytail.

5. Take small sections of the pony tail and twist them then curl them around the base of the ponytail then pin.

6. Keep twisting and pinning sections varying sizes of hair until all of the hair is pinned back

7. Use the bottom braid to encircle the newly created bun and pin.

8. Pin the ends in place and hairspray. And you're done!



Double Dutch Braid Ponytail


1. Dutch braid both sides of a middle part and tie them off with a clear elastic.

2. Pull apart/pancake both braids to make them nice and chunky.

3. With the remaining hair in back, section off a small section (about three inches starting from the bottom of your hairline) and braid that into a three-strand braid.

4. Take the hair above the braid you just made and the two Dutch braids and pull them back into a ponytail

5. Use the bottom braid to wrap around the elastic

6. The two braids hanging in the braid can be wrapped around the ponytail then tied off. And you're done!
XOXO

Friday, February 17, 2017

Favorite Workouts

Hello Friends!

This year I have really been trying to stay on my New Year's Resolutions. More specifically I am trying to lose weight and get in shape. It has been pretty difficult for me to find exercises that I like to do on a regular basis. I usually end up losing motivation and quitting.



I love doing yoga. I talk about it all the time, I know, I know. I like doing aerial yoga especially with my friends. I find it more enjoyable to go with them. I don't really like going to yoga if it's not aerial yoga. I'm particularly picky when it comes to the instructors. Luckily for me I found a really great online instructor that I love! She does fabulous yoga challenges.


Other work outs I like include going for a walk. My friend and I go for walks. We try go to for about an hour to two hours every day or so. Its hard for me because of some hip and joint issues I have. I need to do some low impact workouts. Its perfect because we can walk along the ocean for the most amazing views.

We are now moving on to try some Pure Barre, kickboxing, and some Zumba. I'm most excited for the Pure Barre. It looks like so much fun. It is a full body exercise while also staying low impact. I am, also, looking into going to a trampoline workout zone. I'm really excited to try out new exercises.

What is your favorite exercise?
XOXO

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Work Bags

Hello Friends!

I love tote bags, and purses in general! But when it comes to work things get a little more tricky. I usually take a tote bag with me to the office because it holds all the things I need. I like having a bag that is big enough to hold my purse, my planner, pens, my wallet, and other miscellaneous necessities I find throughout the day. Several people at my office take backpacks with them, but I know I will over pack if I do that. So I decided to look for a new bag for me to be able to take everything I need with me. Here are some that I found.



What do you bring to work?
XOXO

Monday, February 13, 2017

The Time I Attempted Cooking School

Hello Friends!

This past weekend with my Junior League, I was lucky enough to go to a Culinary School and learn some things about cookies and cookie decorating. We made and decorated over 200 cookies for women and their children in transitional housing. Since the cookies were more geared to their children, we decorated them overly sweet and full of sprinkles.


It was so fun to say the least. We enjoyed ourselves and we also made a mess. We learned how to use a professional kitchen with professional supplies. It was so intense. There were massive mixers and impressive ovens.



Everything in the kitchen was large scale. We, also, made small boxes for each of the families in the housing and put four cookies as well as candies. I know the kids loved them. We had a lot of fun and after the professor let us try some of the food the real students were making.


How are you celebrating?
XOXO

Friday, February 10, 2017

Fun Out of the Box Valentine's Date Ideas

Hello Friends!

Valentine's Day is a great excuse to go out with your significant other or with a group of friends. I love getting dressed up and going out, but I have to admit, I like staying in too. Especially on Valentine's Day restaurants are always crowded, usually have a pre-fixed menu which I'm never a fan of and it quickly gets old. So today, I thought it would be fun to help you brainstorm "outside the box" ideas for Valentine's Dates! If you are already planning on dinner, no worries! You can pin these and use them for next time.

Have a Day Date

Instead of heading to a fancy dinner, head to lunch at the same place. Plan lunch somewhere and explore that area for coffee or a mid day glass of wine. No one said being romantic had to happen in the evening. You can have a beautiful, sunny day date and it will be less crowded and possibly even more fun! Walking food tours are such a blast.

Eat In

Create a really nice meal together, or you could even invite other people over and have a Valentine's Date Party. Open a bottle of wine, put on some music, light some candles, and cook something fancy that you don't typically have time to make. You could even plan a floor picnic complete with fresh flowers, pillows, and candles.

Showtime

Have a moive you've been wanting to see? Better yet, a concert, comedy show, performing arts event, etc. Buy some tickets and in lieu of dinner head to the concession stand.

Spa Day

Take a time out for the entire day and spend it together at a spa. This sounds like heaven. Block your whole day off for the ultimate day of relaxation with the one you love, or a group of friends.

Head Outdoors

Visit a new hiking trail and pack a picnic lunch, go play tennis or golf, go be a tourist in your own city. Fresh air beats fresh flowers.

Take a Class

Wine and Design, Cooking, Wine Tasting, Pottery, Dancing, etc. The possibilities are endless. Register for a class together. It will be a great experience and memory for you both.

Do you have any fun ideas?
XOXO

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Ways To Unwind During The Week

Hello Friends!

Work and school weeks can get to be stressful; there is no denying that. Oftentimes, I feel like all of my major assignments fall on the same week. Even when it isn't the case, however; finding a way to unwind after a stressful day of class or work is essential to your mental and physical health. It's so easy to get wrapped up in your daily life and maintain a focus on the stressors when trying to up come with solutions for them. Over time I've discovered that sometimes giving your mind a break from these things will help you approach them with a better attitude or idea when you do eventually come back to it. This is not about procrastination as much as it is about having a mental health break to refocus and efficiently tackle problems.


While I am sure that the list of ways to unwind could span an entire page I’ve decided to include some of my favorites for you!

Read a book

Reading is a great way to escape from reality for a bit. Unfortunately, I don't have as much time as I wish I did for reading. I wish I could find more time each day to read novels solely for fun but sometimes that just isn’t the reality. With that in mind, I like to keep books on hand that I can pick up and put down without feeling too lost when I do have time to pick it back up.

Workout

Working out is the ultimate stress reliever. Not only do you get to work towards a healthy lifestyle but you can indulge in a new fun playlist in the process. I prefer to workout in the morning or right after work. In turn, I have discovered that after working out I am usually a lot more productive and alert than on days when I skip a sweat session. I typically try to get some yoga in so that I can really relax and stretch.

Make A List

I find list making really therapeutic. I know that may sound bizarre but it allows me to get my thoughts down on paper which in a lot of cases clears my head a bit. Whether I am writing a list of what I need to accomplish the following day or writing about things that make me happy, it’s a great way to unwind and de-stress.

Take A Bath

I think somewhere in the definition or examples of things that can be relaxing there would most certainly be a picture of a bath. In my mind that bath would be overflowing with bubbles and there would be a candle or two nearby. Soaking in a warm bath is a great way to let go of some tension from a hectic day maybe enjoying a glass of wine.

Enjoy a cup of tea

I LOVE drinking tea. It makes me feel a lot better than drinking coffee. Ending the night with something warm and tasty was a great way to de-stress. While I didn’t take example of this little luxury every night I felt a bit less stressed on the nights when I did.

Call A Friend

Sometimes we take for granted just how nice it can be to vent to a friend. While I love talking to my friends here I also love calling my friends at other schools to catch up with them and hear about their lives as a little break from my own!

Paint Your Nails

Painting my nails is something that I tend to do pretty quickly. I can put on two coats of nail polish and a layer of top coat on in less than 5 minutes but regardless of that timing you still have to sit still for a bit to let them dry. This time sitting still isn’t something I often allow myself during the day as I try to get things accomplished and not waste time. In this way, painting my nails and the time spent letting them dry is a good reminder to slow things down sometimes. And not only that but you also end up with a fun color on your nails in addition to that down time.


I’d love to know if you have other solutions when it comes to unwinding at the end of a long day. Watching TV shows, cooking dinner, or having a relaxing routine all sound pretty nice when things seem overwhelming so I’d love to hear additional ideas
What do you do to unwind?
XOXO

Monday, February 6, 2017

Ski Trip!

Hello Friends!

This weekend I went on a ski trip! It was a blast. It had been a LONG time since I've been skiing, but it was good to get back into the rhythm of things. We went skiing in Winterplace, West Virginia. I must say it was such a cute, family skiing resort. There was a lot to do, a lot of space, and many runs for beginners.


It was a fairly cloudy day which added to the cold of the snow. Although it wasn't necessarily pretty outside, the skiing was great! It stayed in the low 20s for most of the time we were skiing but with the wind chill it did feel closer to the teens.


I had my entire face covered while skiing because of the snow flurries hitting our faces as we skied down. It felt like tiny ice knives attacking your eyes. I ended up doing a lot of eyes closed skiing, which luckily did not end up badly!


I had the most "ridiculously awesome" ski partner that planned out all our different ski runs so we could effectively go everywhere. He is also on ski patrol so I was extra safe! Lucky for me, I had someone help me up after falling. Don't worry I only fell twice.


You could say we were excited to go skiing this weekend! The snow was perfect, and the company was better. I enjoyed myself tremendously and I'm glad I went out to ski again. I wasn't as sore as I thought I'd be. 


Post-ski in our snow covered gear with a little sunburned faces. You could say this weekend was a total success!


And don't worry I didn't attempt the drop off..... Maybe next time ;)

Do you like to ski?
XOXO

Friday, February 3, 2017

Valentine's Day Gift Idea

Hello Friends!

The first month of 2017 is now officially over! Can you believe how fast this year has started? The good thing about that is that now we are closer to Valentine's Day. Now I don't like Valentine's Day for the typical love and couple reasons, I like it because of the pop of color and fun it adds to a quickly monotonous life. I think it is a perfect time to add a little celebration to your life, add some color, and happiness. That being said if you're celebrating you ought to treat yourself right? Here are some fun Valentine's Day things you can get to celebrate yourself!




How are you celebrating?
XOXO

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Vacation-ing Low on Time and/or Money

Hello Friends!!

As I get ready for my little weekend getaway, I started thinking of the different ways that make it easy to travel when you are low on time and/or money. I think vacation and travel are something we must all invest in, even if it is just for a weekend. So here are some ideas that I have used in order to just get away.



Consider a Friend or Family’s Home

Sometimes, exotic destinations can be totally overrated. Sure, they might sound incredible, but there’s a ton of planning, immunizations, and precautions that you need to take to head there stress-free. So, why not survey your close friends and family to see if their state or town is a place you’ve always wanted to spend some time in but never have? It makes a getaway more manageable and likely cheaper if you can stay with them. Plus, you have a built-in travel guide (aka their recommendations!)


Go Off the Grid

Vacations are AWESOME for turning off. But you don’t need a plane ride or even a long car ride to do that. A vacation from your normal stressors and brain functioning can be done anywhere simply by taking the time to turn it all of – the social. The feeds. The digital. The technology. The email. All of it. You’d be amazed at how refreshed you’ll come back from a few days off the grid.


Create a Staycation

Who says you need to leave your own city to have a vacation. I LOVE staycations and have had some of my most effective planning and recharging weekends happen within 20 miles of my own home. The best part is they’re the cheapest way to feel like you’re on a vacation without needing to travel days to get there.


Ditch Hotels

If you’ve never tried a homestay, bed and breakfast, renting apartments, or collaborative site like AirBNB, now is the time. This is the best way to bring down the biggest cost of getting away which is always the hotel price. So ditch the hotel! Just look for good reviews and regulated accommodations and you’ll be good to go. There’s a first time for everything!


Get Around Like a Local

If you’re traveling to a new city, take 30 minutes and get their public transportation card. Thanks to google maps, it’s easier than ever to figure out how to navigate the city using public transportation. You’ll save a lot of money on Ubers and Taxis. Plus, it’ll make you feel like you’re getting the real vibe of the city and it’ll save your feet if you’re tired of walking everywhere.

Think About Off-Season Places

If you’re really trying to get away away but don’t want to spend too much, try going to a city that’s in if its offseason. A quick google search can tell you all you need to know about “high times” in that location. Typically, this will bring down not only costs but the craze that’s happening all around the town.

If you get creative, time and money don’t have to stop you from getting that much-needed break. It’s important that no matter what you do, you get away from your normal craze for enough time to have a real recharge.

When's your next weekend getaway?
XOXO