Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Sick Day Self Care | Love Your Life

When I was trying to decide what to write about this week, it felt obvious: sick day self care. I got hit with a bug on Sunday and have needed to tap into some of my self care techniques for those under the weather days. 

Here is a short list of my sick day self care tips:

1. Shower: Showers always make me feel like a new person. When I have a bad cold, I swear the steam from the shower is the only thing that helps me breathe. Sometimes I'll bring some eucalyptus essential oil into the shower to sniff or put on my chest after the shower. 

2. Drink Tons of Fluids: This is pretty obvious but also very important. My mom always stressed pushing fluids to "flush out the sickness". I'll go for anything that soothes my throat but these are some of my favorites: Lemon Ginger Echinacea DrinkNingXia Red, and fresh orange juice.

3. Say No: When you're able to, say no! We want to fit so much in - work, school, social life, etc. Unfortunately when we're under the weather, the fastest way to heal is to have some serious downtime. 

4. Be Gentle With Yourself: You won't be in your regular routine and that's ok. We don't need to keep up with everything we regularly do. We don't need to have perfect, productive days every day [or ever!]. 

5. Disinfect Your Toothbrush: This may be the most crucial tip for getting better faster. My mom taught me this when I was growing up. I boil water and let my toothbrush head sit for 5-10 minutes. I make sure to disinfect after every use while I'm sick.

6. Make a Sick Day Kit: We always get sick at the least convenient times. It can be really helpful to keep a sick day kit on hand in your linen closet or pantry. For my kit, I'd include chicken noodle soup, crackers, daytime cold medicine, nighttime cold medicine, tissues, and cough drops.

What are your self-care go to's when you're sick?

Monday, September 17, 2018

Book Review: Refinery29's Money Diaries | Finance 101

Refinery29 recently came out with a book all about millennial finances. Naturally I was curious and wanted to see if this book would be helpful to me and possibly some of you. I purchased the book via Audible to listen to on my commute. I took away a lot from the book so I wanted to share my review in case you're interested in reading it as well!

What is the goal of this book? This book aims to teach millennials, specifically women, about their finances. The author wants to motivate you yet promises that this isn't a great rich quick scheme. Ideally you'll save some money while reading this book and learn how to better manage your finances. 

How is the book structured? The book is a combination of general financial topics, assignments, and money diaries [who someone with a particular salary in a certain location spends his or her money over the course of a week]. With each assignment, the author encourages you to save a certain amount of money after completing the task; the goal is to save $528 by the time you've finished the book. 

What did I learn from the book? I learned a lot of best practices and general tips. Some of my big takeaways were how often to check various accounts (i.e. check your credit score four times each year and evaluate your expenses one to four times each year). I also got a better idea of how to break down my expenses - the author discussed the 50/30/20 plan. This is the breakdown of how you should allocate your taxed income. I also learned about some of the extra costs associated with buying a home. Before I'd solely focused on saving money for a down payment but I really need to account for extra expenses such as appraisal, attorney fees, and escrow fees. 

What did I like about the book? I loved the specific details in the book - it was a good point of reference for what to do in my financial life. I liked that the book was clear that this will look different for everyone, depending on job, salary, location, etc. I liked that there was variety in the book - it was a mixture of explaining financial topics, money diaries, and assignments. The Amazon reviews are pretty mixed - I noticed some people really didn't like the structure but I found it more digestible this way. 

What didn't I like about the book? My main issue was my own fault - I got the audiobook and listened to it on 1.5X speed. I wanted to listen to the book during my commute over one week. The book is really meant to be paced over a month or so. The goal is to save $528, which is a lofty goal for one week [depending on your financial situation of course]. The book was also harder to process as an audiobook. From the best of my knowledge, there were no worksheets or notes to accompany the book. I found myself popping into my notes too regularly to write down numbers. If I'd known, I would have purchased the hard copy. I also felt the majority of the money diaries were from women who live in major cities. I currently live by and work in New York City so this is relevant to me but I won't be living here forever and I would like to see more types of lifestyles.


Yes, I would absolutely recommend this book! This book is not only helpful for those just starting out but also those concerning bigger purchases in life. I strongly encourage women to read this book. As women still make 80 cents/dollar compared to men [64 cents for black women and 52 cents for Hispanic women] - it is crucial that we speak more freely about managing our finances. I'm sure everyone will take something meaningful away from this book.

Have you read this book? If not, are you considering reading it now?

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

What I'm Adding To My Morning Routine | Love Your Life

I've always wanted to have a solid morning routine. There are a million videos on YouTube showcasing morning routines. I've never had a consistent schedule until six months ago. I have a quick and structured routine for my mornings prior to my commute. I wanted to add a couple things into my day to accomplish when I first get to the office. 

Last week, I implemented two new things into my mornings. When I get into the office, I briefly check e-mail [I eventually want to wait on the e-mails but baby steps!] then grab a notebook, pen, headphones, and my phone. I find a quiet spot facing a window and start these new morning rituals. 

What I'm Adding To My Morning Routine

1. Stream of Consciousness Writing: I've started doing three pages of stream of consciousness writing. What does this mean? I grab a notebook and write three pages of whatever comes to mind. I tend to wake up with tons of thoughts and a full list of to dos. This journaling has really helped me dump my thoughts and clear my mind for the day.
2. Meditation: I purchased the year subscription to Headspace a few months but have barely used it. I've started adding in one meditation after my journaling. I like that I can choose anything from one minute to twenty. They offer tons of categories - everything from specific situations (travel or interviews) to general anxiety. 

Maybe, in the future, I'll add more structure to my morning routine to set myself up for a happy and productive day. For now, I'm content with these small additions. They are becoming the best part of my mornings!

What is the best part of your morning?

Monday, September 10, 2018

Luxuries I Won't Ditch | Finance 101

While I am focusing on saving money, I still want a good quality of life. It is important to enjoy the present moment, as long as you stay within your means. I have a few monthly expenses that I choose to keep even though they would save me some money for my savings account. 

Before jumping into these, I do want to mention: if any of these became out of my means, I would definitely drop them right away. Fortunately, I can make these work in my current budget and am still able to save an amount I'm comfortable with.

Here are the luxuries I can't give up:

Massage Envy: For the past four or five years, I've had a membership to Massage Envy. Each month I'm charged for one 60-minute massage, which never expires. Sometimes I skip a month and get a 90-minute massage the next month [luckily you can split up massages]. I find that knowing I have a massage available every month forces me to take some much-needed time for myself. Overall I've had a good experience. 

AMC Stubs A-List: This is one of the newest additions to my monthly treats. Joe and I used to have MoviePass [sadly a sinking ship]. We loved having access to tons of movies each month for one set price. We jumped on AMC Stubs A-List when MoviePass when downhill. We pay $20/month [plus tax] for up to three movies each week. We can reserve through their app in advance. We get points and discounts at concessions. We can also see any movie, on any screen, however many times we want.

Spotify Premium: After a cheap trial, I was hooked. I love being able to download songs, skip songs, and have access to tons of new music. It's part of my commute and work day now.

ClassPass: I used to get the 10 classes/month but fortunately, I have a gym in my office now - otherwise I would have stuck with that plan! I love the options ClassPass has to offer - especially in New York. While my membership is on "hold", I still get one class a month. I love trying out the fun boutique studios that I could never normally afford.

Pedicure/Manicure: Once a month I splurge on a powder dip manicure and regular pedicure. These aren't necessities and I normally break these services up between two visits but they mean a lot to me.  I like to treat myself to these small luxuries and feel pampered.

What are the luxuries you won't give up?

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

How To Declutter Your Digital Life | Love Your Life

While we tend to focus on organizing our physical space, our digital lives are just as important. We spend a large portion of our time online, especially if we work in an office. Over the years I've found a few effective ways to declutter my digital space and I hope these tips can help you too!

Desktop: Clearing up your desktop is crucial. Sorting your files into folders can make your space more visually appealing and easier to navigate. This will make you more efficient and less stressed.

E-mail: Organizing your e-mail depends on your personal style. I'm personally an inbox zero type of person. I use my inbox as my to do list. When I've dealt with whatever an e-mail pertains to, I either achieve it or add it to a folder. I also use filters and labels to help me manage my inbox. I have tons of filters set up on my work e-mail and it makes a huge difference! With my personal e-mail, I've subscribed to far too many newsletters and websites over the years so I use the Unroll.Me app to unsubscribe in bulk. It's really helpful!

Phone: My phone gets so easily cluttered. I try to clean it out on a regular basis. My major trouble areas are my photos, my notes, and my apps. For photos, I like to go through the screenshots folder and clear it out regularly. I tend to take a ton of screenshots of random funny things to send to friends! Those are easy to clear out quickly. For the rest of my photos, I transfer them to an external hard drive. My apps were a struggle for a while - I had a lot. I found a great organization method on The Home Edit and it's worked wonders for staying organized. 

Take a look:

How I Organize My Phone

1. Set a neutral background - you want to be able to see your apps
2. Sort apps into folders based on color. You can choose the primary color if an app has more than one color. 
3. Arrange the folders into rainbow order. Optional but fun!
4. Label folders with an emoji of the same color. This is a cute and quick way to find apps.

I found that sorting my apps forced me to pair down to the apps I really use. I also always want my apps on the first page of the folder so they are all visible. I keep my apps to one page. This makes everything more efficient. 

I hope this was helpful!

Do you have any great tips for decluttering your digital space?

Monday, September 3, 2018

My Goals | Finance 101

I've been thinking about my financial goals a lot recently. Although my parents were always cautious with money, I always struggled with how to budget and manage my own money. During college, my parents used to sit down with me and help me create a budget each month. Month after month I could never manage to stick to the budget. It felt like unexpected expenses were constantly coming up. Over the years I've figured out what works for me. I have learned that if I set aside a certain amount of money into savings each week, I can spend the rest, if I want to. 

I use an app called Qapital [not sponsored but would very interested in a collaboration ;) ]. This app allows me to set up goals and specific rules to help me save money. I've created small goals [$150 for a Broadway ticket] and larger goals [$100,000 for a home down payment]. I love that you can set up goals with other people - Joe and I are both working on our home fund and emergency fund. My strategy is to transfer a certain amount of money into each goal every single week. I've set up rules, through the app, and money is transferred into my goals each week. I can pause the rules at any time and I can transfer the money out at any time. Currently I transfer money into my emergency fund, home fund, and Europe travel fund each week. 

I've been figuring out what events to save for and how much to aim for. Without further ado, here are my financial goals:
Note: these amounts cover both Joe and I.

Emergency Fund: $20,000
Home Fund: $100,000 [this may need to go up; we still don't know where we want to buy a house but we know we want to put 20% down]
General Travel: $5,000 
Europe: $10,000
Retirement: Variable - we ideally want to start putting 15% of salaries into Roth IRAs and pre-taxed savings bonds

Is there anything else you think I should be saving for? I'd love the feedback in the comments below!

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Learning To Slow Down | Love Your Life

One of the biggest struggles I'm currently facing is the pace at which my life is moving. Living in/around New York City I have a strong desire to do everything. I live in constant fear of missing out. It takes away from the events I do participate in and interferes with my down time. I also feel like living in Jersey City has made my life more confusing. I live just outside of Manhattan yet I have a view of the World Trade Center from my living room. Jersey City is still bustling and industrial. It's far from the calm, open New Jersey roads, just 20-30 minutes west. 

It can be easy to focus on all the opportunities here and not want miss out. This past weekend I chose to slow down, just a little bit. On Sunday, I woke up with no game plan. I had some ideas but nothing concrete set for the day. This led to some much needed organization and cleaning. Then we decided to visit a farm. It was 45 minutes away and a calming break from our busy lives. 

There are tons of farms in New Jersey. We chose to visit Oldwick Farm Market. They have flower fields, potbelly pigs, fresh baked goods, and produce. 

You can pick your own bouquet or grab a pre-arranged one. Unfortunately the sunflowers [in the field] were past their prime so I opted for a bouquet in the shop.

Visiting this farm was such a relaxing way to spend a Sunday afternoon. My Sundays are usually filled with errands and the normal grind. I'm so glad we slowed things down and got some amazing fresh groceries from a local market. Slowing down is a work in progress for me, which is why I wanted to share my experience in this series.

How do you slow yourself down when life gets busy?

Monday, August 27, 2018

How I Manage My Money | Finance 101

Financial freedom was a long and slow journey for me. I'm embarrassed to admit that I've only been financially independent for a year. I lived at home after I graduated college [undergrad]. While I worked full time,  I didn't have to pay any living costs. Fortunately this allowed me to save roughly $30,000 for grad school. I ended up going to a private university, New York University, which I would not have been able to afford. My parents kindly paid my tuition. I paid my own living expenses for the first eight months until I ran out of my savings. My parents supported me after that until I found my first post-grad job [I did work part time in grad school but it wasn't enough to pay for a life in New York City]. 

The past year has been rocky to say the least. My first post-grad job barely paid the bills even with our move to Jersey City. I even had to ask Joe for money a couple times to pay off my credit card. Luckily I never went into credit card debt! Each month I scrutinized over my checking account to make it through the month. During my last job, I listened to the first two seasons of Bad With Money - a phenomenal podcast for those just starting out. I remember one episode recommended saving a little bit each paycheck or week, even if it was just $1. The guest on the podcast suggested 1% of your paycheck. I calculated what that was and started saving that. As predicted in the podcast, I didn't even notice the money leaving my bank account. Once I started my current job, I spent a little time catching up financially then started saving more. 

Nowadays, I have automatic transfers set up on a weekly basis using Qapital [not sponsored but you get $5 if you use my link!]. I put a certain amount into my home fund, emergency fund, and my travel/Europe fund. Whenever I feel I can bump that amount up a little, I do. I am free to use the rest however I want - as long as I pay my rent and can pay off my credit cards each month. This strategy has worked really well for me so far. 

I'm also loosely following the Dave Ramsey steps for financial peace. 
1. Save $1,000 to start an emergency fund [check]
2. Pay off any debt - smallest to largest [check]
3. Save 3 to 6 months of expenses for emergencies [currently working on]
4. Invest 15% of household income into Roth IRAs and pre-taxed retirement funds 
5. Save for your children's college fund [really glad we don't have kids yet haha]
6. Pay off your house early
7. Build wealth and give

I'm still early on the stages but I'm much further along than I was a year ago!

This is pretty much it for now. As I continue on my personal finance journey, I'll share updates [especially when I figure out what an Roth IRA is!].

What are your best tips for managing personal finances?

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Sephora Beauty Appreciation Sale Picks

1 // 2 [50% too!] // 3 // 4 // 5 // 5 // 7 // 8 // 9 //  10

I love a surprise sale! This week Sephora announced they'd be doing a Beauty Insider Appreciation Sale. The discounts are comparable to their fall sale. While you can shop the sale as much as you want in store, the discount codes [below] are one use only.


VIB ROUGE USE CODE 'YESROUGE' at Checkout Sale Dates: 8/24-9/3 Save 20% OFF EVERYTHING VIB USE CODE 'YESVIB' at Checkout Sale Dates: 8/30-9/3 Save 15% OFF EVERYTHING INSIDER USE CODE 'YESINSIDER' at Checkout Sale Dates: 8/30-9/3 Save 10% Off EVERYTHING


Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Inclusive Self-Care | Love Your Life

While taking care of ourselves seems easy, it can be really challenging on difficult mental health days. Even the smallest task can feel daunting. Face masks and bubble bathes are appealing but sometimes getting out the bed feels like the biggest hurdle. I've compiled a list of self-care practices for rough days and high-functioning days.

Rough Days:

1. Take Five Deep Breaths: Simple yet effective.
2. Shower: Showering always makes me feel better. I feel like I'm washing my bad day away.
3. Make Your Bed: It's a small task that makes all the difference.
4. Stretch Your Body: Release some tension.
5. Drink a Glass of Water: Staying hydrated always helps.
6. Hug Someone: Physical touch is crucial.
7. Nap: A mini escape from reality.
8. Snuggle with a Pet: This always immediately makes me feel better.
9. Diffuse Essential Oils: I drop a few drops in my diffuser and let it run before bed - my favorite night time blend is cedar wood, lavender and stress away from Young Living.
10. Cry: Sometimes you just need to let it out. It's incredible how good you can feel after letting out your emotions.

High-Functioning Days:

1. Take a Walk: Fresh air and moving your body will relieve some anxiety. 
Note: this isn't meant as a "work out" but rather a stroll to de-stress
2. Meditate: Try an app [I use Headspace]. You can do anywhere from 1 minute to 30 minutes. 
3. Do Yoga: Gentle yoga is my favorite. I love to stretch and quiet my mind, without any pressure. 
4. Watch a Movie: This is the perfect distraction. Transport yourself to a different place.
5. Do a Digital Detox: This always feels like a big release. I love to clean out files on my desktop, photos on my phone, notes, emails, and anything else that piles up.
6. Declutter Your Closet: I like to sort my clothes into piles: keep, sell, and donate. My favorite places to sell are Crossroads and ThredUp. You can order a kit online - they cover shipping your items. They'll mail you a check for pieces they purchase and will donate the rest [or mail you the items back for a fee].
7. Cook a Meal: It can be easy to skip meals or just snack when you're busy or stressed. Cooking a full meal can be therapeutic and make you feel better.
8. Call a Friend: Talking to a friend and family member can help you talk out everyday stressors.
9. Read a Book: Dive into another world.
10. Treat Yo' Self: Sometimes you just need to a splurge on something for yourself. 

Monday, August 20, 2018

My Personal Finance Journey | Finance 101

Over the past six months, I've started feeling more confident with my personal finances. I've been thinking about starting a series on personal finances. Honestly I was thinking about starting this series a year ago - when I was really struggling. There is no perfect time to share my experiences and what I've learned so why not start now? I think it's important we start out with my story.

My journey with my own finances has been rocky, to say the least. I've struggled with managing my own money for years. As a child, my parents taught me the value of money. I had an allowance and neighborhood pet care jobs. My parents were cautious but never stressed by money. Luckily they have always been comfortable. I did grow up around a lot of wealth [outside of my family] and always thought we weren't well off, as a result. While my parents taught me about budgeting and having my own money, it was never really reinforced. If I ran out of money, my parents always gave me more. I didn't really understand the consequences of living beyond my means. 

In college, my parents paid my tuition and gave me money for my living expenses each month. They sat down with me [via Skype or phone] to create a monthly budget. I somehow always came up with unexpected expenses and had to ask for more money during the month. They were always there so I never stressed about not affording groceries or textbooks. 

After college, I moved home. I got my first full time job 20 minutes from my parents. I knew I wanted to go to grad school so living at home made the most sense. I started saving chunks of each paycheck. Luckily I managed to save close to $30,000 before I left for grad school two years later. My original plan was to pay for grad school myself but then I got accepted into New York University. NYU is a private school and extremely expensive. My parents had the money and offered to pay my tuition. Once again, I didn't have to stress about debt. I moved to New York City and paid my own living expenses for the first eight months. Then I ran out of money. My parents didn't pressure me to get a job and wanted me to focus on school. I did have several part time jobs during grad school. None of them paid well or were permanent. 

After I graduated, I started job hunting. I actually decided to switch fields - that's a whole other story. I took the first job I was offered. It wasn't permeant and it paid pennies. Joe and I moved to New Jersey and I was able to scrape by. I learned a lot about managing my personal finances and goal setting. Six months ago, I got a new job, which put me in a better financial spot and allowed me to save more money. While things are headed in a good direction, I still have a lot of learn. 

This is just a peak in my background but context is key, right?

My goal with this series is to share my financial journey - what I'm learning, how I'm managing my money, and my goals. If there are specific posts you want to see, please leave them in the comments! 

Finally, I really don't think this needs to be stated but here it is: I am not a financial expert [obviously]  and I am sharing what works for me, which may not work for you or your situation. 

Look out for this posts every Monday!

Friday, August 17, 2018

4 Fall Backyard Activities

This is a sponsored guest post by Alex Berger, but all opinions are her own!

The summer is slowly coming to an end and that means that fall will be here before we know it! Fall seems to be just about everyone’s favorite season - the weather is cool and crisp, pumpkin recipes are the stars of the show, and the holidays are just around the corner. Just thinking about it makes me so excited for the next six months! One of my favorite parts of fall is the fact that everyone takes advantage of the nice weather and everyone gets together for fun fall activities like pumpkin patches, apple picking, and hayrides. While all of those options sound like a blast, today I want to talk about fall activities that you can do in your backyard! Backyard activities for fall weather is the best, in my opinion. There are so many things to do and you get to stay in the comfort of your own home. Here are my favorite ideas:

Grill Out
Grilling out is one of my favorite fall activities. I know that a lot of people associate grilling with summer weather, but in my opinion, fall is just better. Jim Shahin agrees with me saying, “Barbecuers need a Declaration of Independence. That famous document, although written in summer, knows no season. And neither should barbecuing. Fall is my favorite time to grill. Unlike summer’s searing temperatures, fall’s mild weather makes standing before a hot fire a pleasure. But the practicality of temperate days, fine though it is, is secondary to their poetry. The smoke carries differently on fall’s crisp air. The vapors perfume the neighborhood, bracing and seductive, hinting of nostalgia. In brutish summer, smoke practically congeals above the grill in its thick torpor. It presents a false choice, really. Can’t a barbecuer like both? Of course. But if I have to choose, I pick fall as my favorite season for grilling.” Some of my favorite fall grilling recipes are grilled cauliflower, BBQ chicken, grilled lamb, and even grilled sweet potato.

Backyard Camping
Fall is the best for backyard camping because it’s not too hot anymore and not too cold yet. Set up a tent, cook some s’mores, and have a good time with your friends and family! To make your tent more comfortable, follow these few easy steps:

1. Choose a spot in the grass without any rocks, sticks, etc.

2. Fill your tent with tons of blankets to add softness or choose to put an air mattress inside your tent.

3. Opt for a spot in your yard where electricity can reach. You can use this to blow up your air mattress, run a fan, or turn on your white noise to sleep, if needed.

4. Make sure you zip your tent up every time you leave and enter. You don’t want any creepy bugs crawling on you in the middle of the night!

5. Last but not least, make sure all of the trees above you are healthy. The one thing that would definitely ruin a fun backyard camping experience is by having a tree fall on or near you. If you are not sure about the health of your trees, feel free to reach out to the local NJ company, Frontier Tree & Turf. They have over 30 years of experience in the tree service industry and have NJ Certified Tree Experts on staff. After their visit, your trees should look healthier, but more importantly, you will not risk having a tree fall on you during your camping adventure. Monmouth County towns such as Rumson, Fair Haven, and Little Silver, which is where Frontier Tree & Turf is based out of are home to many different tree specimens. Because of this, you need a team with the knowledge and expertise to properly diagnosis issues, and then improve and maintain the tree’s health. This is why you need to choose a reliable company such as family-owned and operated company, Frontier Tree & Turf.

Pumpkin Carving
Pumpkin carving is one of the most fun, traditional home activities and for good reason, too - you need a pumpkin for Halloween! Don’t worry though, if you are not the Halloween type, there are so many great perks you can get from carving a pumpkin such as pumpkin pie, toasted pumpkin seeds, pumpkin bread, and more.

Spend Time With Loved Ones
When it comes down to it, the best part of backyard activities for fall weather is the fact that you get to spend time with the ones that are important to you. Grab a few chairs, enjoy the weather, and sit outside and just talk, eat, drink, and have time. Ultimately, this is what life is all about, right?

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

New York Anniversary | Biggest Lessons Learned

Today is my three year anniversary with New York! *Cue the confetti* I seriously can't believe that three years ago, I boarded a plane for a unknown new home. I cried at the airport as I hugged Joe goodbye. My mom and I landed in New York in the mid afternoon. We took a car to our motel in Long Island City. We dropped off our luggage and jumped on the subway, headed to Grand Central station. I showed my mom around some of parts I'd seen on my one and only trip to New York two years prior. 

We barely slept the first night. We were so excited to meet up with the broker and find my New York apartment. Our first day was a whirlwind. We saw five apartments and the last was, by the far, the best option. We jumped on the unit and I was able to take it off the market. We celebrated with acai bowls in my new neighborhood. This time in my life has been the most exciting, scary, fun, and life-changing. The list of changes/life events would make this post way too long.

Even with all the highs and lows, I've never once regretted moving here. I've become a completely different person and have learned a ton. While boarding that plane three years ago feels like it was yesterday, I also can't even relate to that girl who moved across the country. I'm really proud of the person I've become. I finally feel like a true adult [although I still have a lot of learn!]

In honor of my three year New York anniversary, I'm sharing the three biggest lessons I've learned while living here.

Closed Mouthes Don't Get Fed: My wise friend and coworker, Rana, said this and it's so true! She was born and raised in Brooklyn and has been working hard her entire life. She taught me to speak up and ask for what I want. I've become more vocal about my goals and aspirations. They are slowly but surely coming true - partially through hard work and partially because I'm finally asking for what I want and deserve.

Say Yes: Let me preface this by saying: I don't believe in burning yourself out or forcing yourself to say yes because you have a fear of missing out. I do believe in saying yes to new adventures. I believe in breaking out of your comfort zone. I believe in pushing yourself when great opportunities arise. I've said yes to blogging events that have allowed me to meet amazing people. I've networked and taken opportunities that have led my to my current job. I've made travel happen, even when it meant sleepy Mondays and a messy apartment. I try to keep my life balanced and don't take up every opportunity that comes my way but I do try my best to live my fullest life. 

Have Fun: While it's important to be conscious about the future, you also need to live in the moment and have fun. I'm always trying to seize the moment - whether it's trying a new restaurant or watching breath-taking sunset. Have fun and enjoy every moment.

Happy Three Years, New York!

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Curvy Fashion Finds: Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

 ONE // TWO // THREE // FOUR // FIVE // SIX 

I was debating even writing this post because the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is ending (August 5th is the last day to shop). I picked up some great plus size pieces and couldn't resist sharing. My order just arrived a couple days ago and I already love all of my purchases. I re-ordered some of my favorites from last year - these leggings are one of the best high waisted leggings I own. I made sure to order this tee in white and pink. I picked it up last year in white but (of course) promptly stained it.

One of the best items I picked up was these jeans. They come in standard and plus sizes. I already wore them to work on Friday. They are high waisted with a little stretch. I love that they maintain their shape throughout the day but don't dig in. I also adore dark wash jeans so these are perfect for me. I'm really glad that I got them while they were 33% off!

I always take advantage of this sale for good quality pieces. I grabbed this long sleeve tee in black for only $19! I can throw a scarf or vest over it in the fall for an easy work look. I also picked up a couple non-fashion items. I grabbed this lip set - I couldn't resist three luxury lip products for $60. I found several cute home decor items. I snagged this marble toothbrush holder for only $11! 

With the sale ending, I hope you were/are able to grab some great pieces for fall. Let me know your favorite finds in the comments!


Monday, July 30, 2018

4 Ways to Keep Your Spine Healthy

This is a sponsored guest post by Alex Berger, but all opinions are her own!

We run through the daily motions of life so quickly nowadays that we forget to take care of ourselves and this can lead to health issues, including the very common health issue of back pain. It seems like most Americans deal with some sort of back pain now and I believe that we need to focus on it more because if you are in pain, it can limit the activities that you are able to do. Life is all about living to the fullest and if you are not able to do so because of your pain, something needs to change.

Focus on posture
The Alternative Daily says, “Spinal problems can begin as early as the late twenties, and some unfortunately have problems even earlier due to sport injuries or bad posture.” “We have all been told by our parents to stand up straight, but many of us don’t do so regularly, and as a result suffer with back pain or stiffness from time to time. Eventually these problems can become permanent and develop into further strain and injury. Practicing good posture isn’t something you do only when standing. Many of us sit for long periods of time hunched over our desks. This isn’t good for our backs either.” Most people now do have poor posture and it is very hard to improve, but if you try to focus on it each day, it is possible. There are many ways to improve posture. For example, you can tuck your chin in, tuck your tailbone under, stand with your feet slightly apart, put weight in the balls of your feet, etc. but, these tips will not help you if you do not make the effort to actually work on your posture, so make sure you are actually focusing on it throughout the day.

Add yoga to your lifestyle
If you do not want to do a structured yoga class, that is okay, but the simple stretches of yoga can really help your spine. There is this saying that you are only as young as your spine is flexible and yoga or simple stretches will definitely help you take your spine through a full range of movement, increasing flexibility and ability to do things with ease.

Get adjusted
Chiropractic services are becoming increasingly popular as the general population seems to be dealing more and more with spine-related issues. Chiropractic services is a form of medicine that is widely known as “a science of healing without drugs,” which is always good, in my opinion. There are many benefits from getting adjusted such as, headache relief, reduced back pain and muscle tension, improved posture, and more. If you are in the New Jersey area, AllCure Spine & Sports Medicine is one of the best chiropractors in the Monroe Township (Middlesex County) New Jersey area and they specialize in not only chiropractic care, but all around pain relief and wellness. Other than chiropractic services, they also offer physical therapy, acupuncture, massage, and more. Dr. Alfieri is a chiropractor committed to providing pain relief for many symptoms and conditions so that you can have a higher quality of life. He implements a formula that has proven to be immensely effective in alleviating all types of pain, by using a multidisciplinary approach all under one roof, which is not only convenient and time saving for you, but it will allow you to feel better a lot faster.

Know what you are eating
Spine-Health says, “Eating a balanced diet with the right amount and variety of vitamins and nutrients can reduce back problems by nourishing the bones, muscles, discs and other structures in the spine. While a healthy diet calls for many vitamins and nutrients, this partial list highlights a number of healthy choices that can be directly beneficial for back pain patients.” Calcium, Magnesium, Vitamin K2, Vitamin C, Protein, Vitamin B12, Iron, and Vitamin D3 are all essential when it comes to a healthy spine, so think about adding things like kale, Salmon, almonds, oranges, eggs, avocados, yogurt, bananas, lentils, beans, and more into your diet.

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