A Friendly Reminder

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Just a friendly reminder to all my smart, wonderful readers that tomorrow is Super Tuesday.  I can’t encourage those of you in states that participate enough to vote.  Yes it maybe be a bit of a nuisance to leave work and wait it line but grab a cup of coffee, bring a good book and just do it.  Your opportunity to vote for a presidential candidate is just as frequent as leap year.  You get a whole extra day today, surely you can spare an hour tomorrow!

In Defense of Dressing Up

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Last week as we were getting ready for our belated Valentine’s Day date, my boyfriend said, “I’ll never understand why guys don’t like actually getting dressed up every now and then.”  I couldn’t agree more.  His comment got me thinking about the value of a well-curated outfit and spending a few extra minutes on the rituals of getting ready.

Lately, I’ve been making a point of getting a little more gussied up and I can’t even begin to tell you what a difference it makes.  I’ll always be a champion of the effortless look; jeans, a t-shirt and simple sneakers have been my tried and true uniform for most of my life.  This being said, things are only as special as you make them.  Get out your phone, call up some friends, make a dinner date and commit to an ensemble that really makes you glow.  Then come back here and tell me how amazing you felt.

And The Award Goes To…

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I don’t believe that this is a place for me to get political because I want this to be a space that everyone loves to come and click around and read, so I’m going to do my best to stay as neutral as possible but I just have to talk about The Academy Awards last night.  Let’s start with the light stuff first.  Can we talk about those gowns?  Please?  I really loved Rachel McAdams in August Getty AtelierEmily Blunt pregnant and in PradaOlivia Wilde in Valentino, and  Alicia Vikander in Louis Vuitton made me absolutely melt with fashion envy.  Which one was your favorite?

Okay, now let’s  talk about the other stuff.

I really enjoyed watching the Oscars last night.  I was blown away by how many people of such high cultural esteem took the opportunity to deliver important messages of social, environmental, and thus, political justice.  Whether it was Chris Rock addressing the elephant in the room, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy empowering women around the worldJenny Beavan and Leo highlighting the importance and reality of climate change, and perhaps the most moving, Vice President Joe Biden’s powerful introduction followed by Lady Gaga’s emotional and poignant performance addressing sexual assault.

Maybe you enjoyed watching or maybe you felt uncomfortable or maybe you did both of those things.  Feeling uncomfortable is good, it increases the likelihood of change.  Complacency looks good on no one.

Have a Lovely Weekend

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This weekend is going to be super low key for me.  I’m thinking reading, bubble baths, yoga, Netflix, a museum day and maybe some tinkering with this cookbook.  Also, The Oscars are finally here (February 28th)!  I can’t wait for the who-wore-it best lists and awkward and/or wonderful acceptance speeches.  In the meant time, here’s some stuff I found around the web this past week, happy clicking!

There are few things I enjoy more than Jimmy Fallon’s wheel of Musical impressions.  I just watched this one for the first time and loved it.  Here is another one of my favorites with Kevin Spacey.

Want more Full House?  Netflix has only one thing to say, “You got it dude.”  Fuller House  premieres tonight.

Can we just talk about how beautiful these plates are?

This Oscars quiz  is a toughie.

How killer does this dish sound?

I’m biting the bullet and getting bangs (think Kate Moss and Brigitte Bardot) this coming week.  What do you think?

Trust me, you NEED these jeans in every color in your wardrobe.  They’re like yoga pants, they will make you fall back in love with tucking in your shirt all over again.

Doesn’t this cocktail sound so nice?

Aerie has buy one, get one 50% off on all of their swimwear.  I’m loving this onethis one, ooh and this one too.

Have such a wonderful and relaxing weekend and I’ll meet you back here Monday.  xoxo

Night and Day Part Deux

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The first part was such a hit and I had so many wonderful responses, I wanted to make sure I got to share the rest them with all of you! Here they are, enjoy!

The Night Before

Ellie, 24, Boulder, CO, Current Job: Web Developer, Dream Job: I would love to start a “dream project” of designing interactive games for children diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum Disorder.

My night before is usually pretty routine but can vary night to night, starting at around 5:30pm. I get home from school, and then normally Aaron (my live-in boyfriend) and I walk to the gym, where we spend between 1-1.5 hours doing cardio and lifting. Then we go home, make dinner together, eat together (either talking or maybe a tv show), clean  up the kitchen and finish the nightly chores, and then I usually spend a few hours doing homework and web design, then around 10:30 we head to sleep. Before bed I do my night time yoga/stretching routine. I do use pinterest quite frequently when I go to bed at first, but I limit myself and around 11pm I pick up whatever book I am reading currently and fall asleep reading. I usually have my cat on my chest so it’s a navigation game too.

Emalie, Apopka, FL, Current Job: Actress, Dream Job: Actress or Casting Director

Describing my routine is a bit difficult because every day is different. Sometimes my call time for a shoot is 7 AM and other times it’s 10 PM. The only three things that remain constant are:

1) I get all of my clothes ready for the next day. This includes the outfit I plan to wear when I walk out the door, as well as backup clothing in case the director I’m working with doesn’t like my first choice. It also includes extra shoes and a lot of jewelry.

2) Sleep aids. If I can sleep in, I skip these, but they’re usually necessary. Like I said, my schedule changes daily so my sleep patterns are all over the place and melatonin is my go-to. I also keep Ibuprofen PM handy for those times that I have to be up at 3 AM and my body refuses to fall asleep before 8 PM.

3) I fall asleep listening to Netflix after playing a game on my iPhone. I have always suffered from anxiety so if I don’t give myself a distraction, I’ll lay in bed panicking about being late or forgetting something the next day. Lately I’ve been playing 1010! and then turning on Sense8, but the show changes frequently.

Morgan, 32, South Lake Tahoe, CA, Current Job: Associate Transportation Planner, Dream Job: City Manager

  • I make my lunch
  • I pack my gym clothes
  • I drink tea
  • I clean the kitchen

 

Day Of

Ellie

Depending on the morning, I will get up and do an at home work out for arms or abs or something similar while Aaron uses his indoor bicycle trainer, and we watch the news.  I always wake up and drink at least 8 oz of water first, but I’m not a huge breakfast fan. I usually just eat a protein bar or I make “healthy protein cookies” the night before for a grab and go breakfast.  I am ashamed to admit that before I even get out of bed, I’m checking social media. But it is usually short lived because Kitty is a very demanding individual when she’s hungry  Do you try to relax? While I’m checking all the social media I do some morning yoga in bed.  Since I go to the gym the night before, I shower at night so it’s more of a “wash my face and put on makeup” to wakeup. I have black out curtains, but once I’m out of bed I open them all the way because we have some beautiful sunshine that pours in.  I always open my blinds to let the light in and listen to the news while I drink my coffee and check my e-mails.

Also, one of the things that makes my life easier, is that I have a schedule of things that need to be done on each day. Each day is a different laundry day, so everything gets done at least once a week, and vacuuming happens 3 times a week, dusting once a week, etc. And that just makes life seem more manageable when I have something that I can physically look at for directions when I feel overwhelmed. I also have a daily “journal page” that I fill out every day

Emalie

Unfortunately, the first thing I do when I wake up is hit snooze. I usually set my alarm 30 minutes early to give me time to hit snooze once or twice, then check emails and Facebook. I get a lot of my acting gigs through Facebook groups, so I painstakingly scroll through dozens of casting notices every morning to see if I am eligible for any roles.

I am the type of human that is always hungry, so breakfast is a necessity. If I’m running late, I pop a half cup of oatmeal and frozen blueberries in the microwave and then eat them in the car. On the rare occasions I have extra time, I’ll mix 1 regular egg with 4 egg whites, scramble them, and eat them with toast. I also usually end up eating breakfast twice when I have the time: once at home, and once in the car. I get bored while driving, so I like having food to keep me occupied at red lights. Did I mention I get hungry a lot?

The rest of my morning routine is based on what my plans are for the day. If I am responsible for my own makeup and hair (like if I have an audition) then it takes me anywhere from 1 hour (if I am just doing makeup) to three (if I have to curl my hair and/or shower) to get dolled up. If I’m not being fed on set, I also pack a lunch. My favorite days are when I will be having a makeup artist and meals provided while filming, so all I have to do is wash my face, brush my teeth, and leave.

I also have a lot of days off… the term “starving artist” is popular for a reason! On those days I sleep as late as my body will allow. I’ve never been an underachiever so I strive for 12 hours 😉 then I get on my computer and check audition notices, update my resume, and otherwise try to be as productive as possible.

Morgan

I like to cuddle for a while, and then get the dog on the bed and cuddle him. I jump in the shower to wake up, unless my boyfriend does before me. If he does, I cuddle longer with Gruff, then make coffee, a smoothie, and Tom’s lunch. Tom and I eat Cherrios, and drink coffee, while Tom reads us the news.

 

I Dunno, What Do You Want to Do?

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Like many, I suffer from severe indecisiveness.  This malady is made worse when having to make a decision with one or more other people while trying to decide what to do or, even harder, where to eat.  A few years ago, my father, in his travels, discovered an incredible app that completely solves the problem.  It’s called UrbanDaddy, have you heard of it?  It’s got listings for most major cities and not only recognizes which city you’re in, but also  which neighborhood you’re in– how cool is that??

All you have to do is plug in what you’re looking for (brunch, dinner, drinks, dessert), who you’re with (boyfriend, girlfriend, friends, parents, your ex, you name it) and then you get to plug in a wild card.  You can stipulate that you want karaoke, dancing, to breakup with whoever you’re with, you’re looking for a place with good beer, the list goes on.  It’s amazing.  After you input your information you just have to click go and it generates a long list of possible places that you could check out.  While it doesn’t make the decision for you, it definitely makes the process a million times easier.  Check it out he next time you’re playing the “I dunno game” and let me know what you think!

Have Your Shake and Drink it Too

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So, I hate drinking milk but I love vanilla milkshakes (who doesn’t?).  Unfortunately, my metabolism doesn’t share my affinity.  Fortunately, I’ve found a loophole.  It’s got almost identical texture and great flavor.  I guarantee that it will satisfy your sweet tooth while causing zero slurper’s remorse.

What You Need:

  • 2 Cups of your preferred type of milk
  • 1 1/4 Tsp of Pure Vanilla Extract (add more to taste in small increments if you deem necessary)
  • 1 1/4 Cups of ice
  • 2 packets of Stevia (add more or less to taste)

What You Need To Do:

  • Throw all your ingredients into your blender and get blending!
  • Pour yourself a milkshake and enjoy!

 

You could add any other ingredients you wanted to.  I’ve added bananas, coconut, unsweetened cocoa powder or strawberries in the past.  A tablespoon of rainbow sprinkles would be festive…  Happy drinking!

I’m Late, I’m Late…

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for a very important [blog] date.  Sorry that I dropped the ball yesterday.  I don’t know about you guys but this week has been tough.  Hopefully the weekend will bring less stress and give some time for some much needed R&R.  How are all of you spending your next 48 hours of freedom?  Here are some interesting things I found around the web this past week.

Madewell teamed up with Daryl Kerrigan, creator of the New York- based brand Daryl K.  The whole collection has an easy,cool and casual 90’s rock vibe that is pretty obsession worthy.  Check it out here.

Liv Tyler has been a style and beauty icon of mine for a long long time.  Check out this killer interview she gave where she spills some of her greatest beauty secrets.

This past week I’ve felt seriously under qualified to be participating in adulthood.  This quiz helped reassure me a little with my 0% score.

I can barely put this book down.

These fragrances are seriously to die for.

This blog is great when you need a little inspiration for some productivity.

Does this salad not sound super amazing?

I’m so incredibly excited for this show to come back.

This impression of Rachel from Friends was crazy good.

Have such a lovely weekend and I’ll see you on Monday.

 

Night and Day

I feel like there are endless articles about the routines of highly successful women that are already established in their careers but none about the highly motivated and really inspiring young women that are paving their own way to success.  I decided to ask some of the super inspiring and motivated young women that I know to share their evening and morning routines to get some new ideas for highly effective habits.  Let me know what you think and share your routines too!

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Clareese, 24, Orlando, Florida, Current Job: Gallery Consultant, Dream Job: Mogul

I tend to get out of work around 7 or 8pm have gotten into the dirty little habit of going out to dinner almost every single night. Turns out that I will pay any amount to avoid having to deal with ingredients, cook times, and dishes. After dinner I go home and if it’s not too late I like to unwind even more with some Netflix. When I’ve watched my fill of home design shows or Wisconsin-based murder mysteries I brush my teeth and wash my face. I always put away any clothes I left laying out earlier in the day and tidy up my workspace and vanity. I also like to read a bit before bed to give my eyes and brain a break from all the screens I’ve been staring at all day. When I can’t keep my eyes open anymore I double-check my alarm, turn on my sound soother, and hit the lights.

Julie D., 26, New Smyrna Beach, FL Current Job: Executive Assistant, Dream Job: Entrepreneur & Writer

At least 30 minutes unplugged from tv, laptop, phone before “lights out” guarantees my best night’s sleep. I make sure to complete my skincare ritual so I feel my best and look my best the next morning then I drink hot decaf tea or hot water with lemon to relax and hydrate.  Lastly, I set my phone on silent – except alarms. You can’t be your best self if your REM is being interrupted by texts and calls. As an executive assistant I get texts from our CEO at all hours of the night. Thankfully she doesn’t expect me to answer until 7am.

Erin, 25, Orlando, Florida, Current Job: Graduate Student and Graduate Research Assistant, University of Central Florida Sports Business Management, Dream Job: Analyst for Major League Baseball Franchise

My job is in the sports industry, so regular hours are not a thing for me. Depending on game schedules, I sometimes work until 10:00 pm. On particularly long days, I like to come home and go for a run to unwind. I recently bought little lights to attach to my shoelaces so I can run in the dark and not be worried – this was by far my best purchase in a while. After unwinding, I get ready for the next day. I don’t like to feel rushed in the morning, so I prepare everything the night before. I lay out my clothes and put together my workbag. I also prepare all my food for the next day – typically a smoothie for the morning, a salad for lunch and a piece of chicken and some vegetables for dinner. I always have nuts, berries, and clif bars to bring with me since I never know how long I’ll be away from the house – these snacks are my savior! Before finally settling into bed, I stand in a hot shower to relax and ease out all the day’s tension.  

Olivia, 24, Washington, DC, Current Job: Key Leader at Lululemon Athletica, Dream Job: Special Agent

Because I’m an early riser, I pack up my duffel with my yoga and CrossFit gear, my clothes for work, my laptop and anything else I will need for the day. I typically take a bubble bath before I get in bed.  It warms me up and also helps me to unwind after a day of running around and dealing with difficult customers. Recently, my boyfriend and I have made an effort to lessen the use of laptops, phones and iPads before bedtime so we will usually read in bed (currently loving The Mulberry Bush and When Calls the Heart) for a while before turning in.

Ashley, 24, Boston, MA, Current Job: Law Student, Dream Job: Judge on the U.S. Supreme Court

I am terrible at sleeping; it is almost impossible for me to do! I usually try to get my work done at my desk and try not to do homework in bed. Since I already have a hard time sleeping, I try really hard to associate bed only with resting. One thing I can’t do is leave a mess; I have to make sure my sink is empty of dishes and my floor is empty of clothes. I like to take my showers at night because I don’t like to carry the dirt of the day into my bed. I have a very active mind and it’s hard for me to shut it off. I need my room to be completely dark (I have a sleeping mask!) and I need a fan on for white noise. I am not terribly strict about electronics in bed, sometimes I watch episodes of something familiar for background noise that I don’t feel I have to pay attention to.

Julie M., 25 (OMG when did that happen), Washington, DC, Current Job: Public Relations Specialist, Dream Job: Director of Communications/ Crisis Communications Consultant 
I try and go in my room and separate from my lovely roommates about an hour before it’s time to pass out. I like to check email one last time and flag things that I may have missed or really need to jump on the next morning.  Winter is a new thing for me so I compulsively check the weather and lay out my outfit the night before with approximately 6 “what-if” options. I also pack a change of shoes because my second biggest fear in life is tumbling down the escalator at the Pentagon Metro.
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Clareese

Disclaimer: I have a pretty cushy job situation in that I never really have to be at work earlier than 2pm. So sorry.My alarm goes off at 8am every morning and the first thing I do is turn on the Keurig before brushing my teeth, washing my face, and slathering on more eye cream. By the time that’s done with, my coffee is ready (thank goodness because I don’t have the brain power for anything more at this point). While I’m not a fan of the snooze button I am all for crawling back into bed with my coffee while I scroll through Instagram, SnapChat, Facebook, and my email. And then I always, always make my bed. I feel like it really starts your day right (and solidifies your decision to get out of it) and it only takes a minute or two. After that I eat breakfast while I scan the New York Times and BuzzFeed; because while I need to know how the Iowa Caucasus went down I ALSO need to know what kind of doughnut I am. When I finally figure out that I’m a strawberry-glazed doughnut, I clean up around the house and then it’s time for a work out. I like to work out about five times a week and in the mornings and only the mornings so if I miss my 10am-11am window a work out is probably not going to happen. It’s either yoga or the Tracy Anderson Method . When all of that is said and done, I shower before figuring out what I’m wearing to work which is pretty easy since it’s almost always head to toe black. And with that and a spritz of Jo Malone, I’m out the door. 

Julie D.

I Drink 8oz of water first thing when I wake up and I don’t skimp on breakfast. I typically have a hard boiled egg, berries with yogurt, and cereal with almond milk. the next step is to get outside – ideally to workout, but on the days I simply can’t for whatever reason, a brisk walk with the dog is still a must for a good start to the day.

Erin

I have a very specific morning routine. I wake up at 5:00 am and immediately make myself a mug of hot water with lemon and honey. Part of my job requires managing my boss’ social media account, so while I drink my lemon water I search for inspirational or controversial sport stories to post throughout the day. By 6:00 am I am out the door for my run or morning workout. By the time I finish my workout, I’m ready for a big breakfast to help start my day and get down to work!

Olivia

I’m usually up at 5 am to get to CrossFit or a hot yoga class with my coworkers. I’ll fill up two bottles of ice-cold water and that will usually fuel me through my classes. On the drive over, I’ll listen to the news and after class I’ll head to my favorite juicer to get my morning Super Green smoothie. I have admin time each morning as Director of Digital Engagement, which is when I’ll check and respond to emails, read each of my favorite blogs for inspiration, and then head over to our Facebook page and try to put together at least one product post or community update before hitting the store floor!

Ashley

I am just as bad at waking up as I am at going to bed. Habitual snooze-button masher, party of one! To offset that, I usually set an alarm about 2 hours before I need to leave (But normally wait until around 1 hour to actually get out of bed!). I start my day off with making coffee in my French press  and checking my email. Sometimes I like to make bulletproof coffee, which is adding butter and coconut oil to your coffee and blending it. It sounds weird, but it’s creamy, delicious, and keeps you full and alert.

I usually wake up to around 20 emails just from over the night. I’m treasurer of the Student Bar Association at my law school, and oversee budgets for around 100 different organizations.  After I get my coffee and check my emails, I take my dog for a walk (Or as I like to call it, a “promenade”). It’s about 10-15 minutes long, but it helps wake me up and lets me bond a little bit with my dog, Ringo. Then I pack a breakfast to take to school because I’m not interested in eating right when I wake up.  If I’m staying on campus through lunch, I’ll try and pack a homemade soup.  I like to use mason jars so that the seal is tight and there’s no spillage in my bag. Once I’m all packed up with my food and my books for the day, I’m ready to go!

Julie M.

I wake up, turn on a light (I have no windows, fun fact about what the word “den” means in DC) and check the social media I manage for my job first thing, because the general public is coo-coo for cocoa puffs and likes to comment mean/explicit/political things overnight. Then personal Instagram / twitter because you need the balance of relatable memes and overnight news. 
I then drag myself to the bathroom, & turn on a podcast while I get ready. Hair, makeup, clothes on. Check weather again, brew coffee, run out the door begging my roommate to lock it because I am always late for the shuttle or can’t find my keys (because winter means quadruple the amount of pockets.) I commit the cardinal sin most mornings and skip the food because why take 10 minutes to cook eggs when you could be burrowed and warm in bed.
I can’t stand mornings, so I do a task and reward myself with the little things. Like congrats, you did it you actually got up. Here’s a podcast to keep you entertained and thinking about someone else’s life and problems. Curled your hair AND did your makeup….Kcups all around.
I hope you all enjoyed reading these as much as I did.  I definitely have picked up a few ideas to incorporate into my routines.  What do you think?  What are your morning and evening keys to successful and productive days?  Here’s a post from the past you may enjoy too!