Monthly Favorites & Sharing Love: February

Goodbye February and Hello March.

TBH I’m in denial that it’s already the third month of the year. In some ways, I feel like so much has happened in 2017, but at the same time I feel like nothing has changed. Does that even make sense? I feel myself starting off this post way. too. deep. Before I get too philosophical over a cup of coffee, let’s get right into what I’ve been loving throughout the month. Make sure to leave a comment below telling what you have been loving this month whether it’s beauty, fashion, food, TV, books. If you’ve been loving it, I want to know about it. 

1| The Flash

I already know people are going to judge me hardcore for this, but I have been binge-watching The Flash on Netflix and it is not okay. I went through almost three seasons in a month, which is pretty impressive (and embarrassing) if you ask me. But it’s a show Josh and I have picked up and we’ve been crazy about this past month.

2| Boscia Luminizing Black Mask

When I got my hands on the last black mask at my Sephora, I was SO happy. The store associate said they can not keep them on the shelves since beauty videos of the product have been going viral online. Needless to say, I’m used it A TON this month and my pores have been thanking me since. It’s perfect to clear your pores without irritating your skin.

3| Anastasia Brow Wiz

Why has it taken me this long to try this? I’m set in my ways when it comes to beauty products. If I love something, I will stay faithful to it until it fails me. I decided to give this a try once I found out I couldn’t order my other brow pencil. I’m happy that I couldn’t reorder it because this product has given me #eyebrowgoals and I’ve been loving it. I am a dedicated fan and have jumped on the bandwagon for this product.

4| Decluttering Videos

Want an easy way to get motivated to declutter? Watch other people declutter their homes, closets, etc. It will give you the motivation you need. I love watching people get rid of stuff, but it also inspired to go into into my own home and reevaluate what I need and don’t need. Trust me guys, you won’t regret it!

5| Self-Care

This past month, I teamed up with Erin from “A Welder’s Wife” to create a 30-Day Mental Cleanse Challenge that focused on self-care, and other mental-based challenges. The entire experience was eye-opening and helped me realized that self-care and challenging myself consistently is SO IMPORTANT for growth with minimalism, simple living and intentional living, too!


Sharing Love:

1| Mental-Cleanse Challenge Week One from Erin

I loved working with Erin on this project because she has always been a source of inspiration and motivation for me along my journey toward living a more minimalist, simple life. Seeing how she thrived in these challenges (not only in week one) motivated me to focus more on self care in my own life, and that minimalism is more than decluttering the items in your home. Catch up on all her posts from this past month on her blog!

2| 7 Investments Worth Making For Your Blog from Summer

Summer absolutely killed it with this post. Her talk about design, photography, and everything in between showed the main components of what you truly should focus on for your blog! She made me think about what I can invest in for my blog and how I can improve it in those specific areas she writes about.

3| Questions to Ask Yourself to Declutter Your Home from Erin

You all know I love reading motivational posts on minimalism, decluttering and everything related to simplifying your life altogether. Erin’s posts are always an awesome source of inspiration for me. She had me thinking: “I think I could get rid of X, Y and Z.” The one question that helped me get rid of more than 60 % of my closet is: “If I was out shopping today, would I buy this item?” Erin has a ton of amazing questions to help you declutter your home.

4| Life Happens—Why I’m Not Apologizing from Cara

ALL. THE. PREACH. HANDS. Cara absolutely slayed this post. I can’t tell you how much I needed to read this post because I’m sure many bloggers can relate to this. Life happens, and sometimes we can’t keep up with our content, social media, schedule, etc. But that’s okay! We are human and simply can’t do it all. We shouldn’t apologize for needing a break or to take a step back. Cara wrote a post that will truly resonate with you.

5| How to Streamline Your Schedule With Batching from Jenny

Jenny’s post helped me rethink how to schedule my time for blogging. Instead of thinking and working in a consecutive order: write post, take photos, edit photos, edit post, schedule social media; she taught me how batching can help me get more accomplished and feel less stressed. Since her post, I’ve incorporated this a lot more than just scheduling tweets and planning out Instagram content. It has changed how I schedule my time altogether.

What have you been loving this month and what blog posts you have loved this month? (So that I can catch up on your favorites!) Make sure to leave a comment below!

 

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7 Tips For A Productive Day Off

 

I know what you’re thinking…

You don’t want to have a productive day off because you want to binge watch Netflix and take an unnecessary trip to Target.

Girl, same (preach hands emoji). Unfortunately, we can’t always let a day off go to waste. Now, I’m not saying you should be working hard on your day off because after working 40+ hours during the week, you deserve a day to relax. I’m not disputing that. But, if you have felt overwhelmed by life recently, a productive day off could help you tremendously! How, you ask?

1| A productive means you can work ahead of your schedule, so that there’s less stress for the upcoming weeks.

2| It means more time to enjoy time with your loved ones.

3| You’ll feel good about getting work done that you would have otherwise put off for a later date.


So, here I am. On my day off from work thinking that, yes, there are times where I let my days off completely go to waste. But sometimes I feel guilty at the end of the day because I think, “Wow, I could have done X, Y and Z and not have to worry about it next week/this weekend.”

Instead, I decided to watch YouTube videos and go to Target.

Now, I’ve learned to use my days off to my advantage so that I can enjoy part of the day, but I can also get things done. For me, it’s all about balance. Yes, you should enjoy your day off, but being productive will help you, too!

So here are my tips on how to be productive on your day off:

1| Plan Ahead

The night before your day off, write down a to-do list like you would for your work day. Keep your priorities in check. What are the three largest tasks you need to accomplish for the day? Outline what you want the day to look like, so that you get the most work done in the shortest amount of time.

2| Treat Your Morning Like A Half Day

The biggest mistake we make on our days off is that we don’t get moving until three hours later than we would on a normal day. Keep your alarm set for a reasonable time so that you can get up, get ready to take on the morning. I find that once I’m in my routine, I can get things done before 11 or noon.

3| Organize Your Day In Increments

Plan out your day based on what makes the most sense for you and your lifestyle. On this particular day off, I knew I wanted to work on my blog. I blocked off three hours for this. Then I would take an hour to watch YouTube videos, tidy, read, etc. Then I would block off another two hours for more work if needed followed by another hour of relaxing time. I set timers for this so that I stay true to what I want to accomplish during the day.

4| Treat Yourself To Self Care

Don’t forget about self care. I break up my day so that there are equal components of productive work, and time to relax as well. I think that this helps you focus on each part of the day so you don’t feel overwhelmed with all the tasks you need to accomplish.

5| Run Errands/Appointments After Lunch

If you know you need to go to Target, the bank, grocery shopping, and the doctors all in one day, block off a sufficient amount of time after lunch to accomplish this. Doing this after lunch will force you to have a more productive morning and get through your work because now you have motivation to get done before lunch. When you know you have errands in the afternoon, you’ll be more likely to work effectively early on.

6| Think Rationally

If you’re the type of person who simply has too much to do on their day off, take a step back and think rationally. Ask yourself, “Is there one or two tasks I can do another time?” Being honest and logical will help you determine what is most important for that day, so that you can also enjoy your time off as well. Remember that the goal is to balance productivity and relaxation. 

7| Relax

If you had a productive day from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. working on blogging, cleaning, errands and more—good for you! Now, it’s time to take the rest of the day to focus on you. Have a pamper session, read a book, watch reality TV, and enjoy the rest of your day off for yourself. You work so hard every day, and you definitely deserve a little TLC. It’s okay to have a lazy afternoon and evening, especially when you accomplished so much on your day off!

How do you spend your day off? What other tips would you add to this list? Make sure to share your thoughts in the comments below!

 

 

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Mental Cleanse Challenge: Week 4

I have been looking forward to this week in particular. Although I have done an initial declutter and organization of my digital life a few months ago, I know that it’s a good time to sort through everything again.

If you’re stopping by here for the first time, make sure you go back and check out the other posts from this month’s challenge.

1| 30-Day Mental Cleanse Challenge

2| Mental Cleanse Challenge: Week 1 Review & week 2 Challenges

3| Mental Cleanse Challenge: Week 2 Review and week 3 Challenges

Also be sure to catch up on Erin’s posts from the month so far:

1| Mental Cleanse Challenge Week 1

2| Mental Cleanse Challenge Week 2

3| Mental Cleanse Challenge Week 3

If you want to review all the challenges from the 30-Day Mental Cleanse Challenge, check out the list below!


Feb. 13: Clean out your inbox and sort your emails into folders. Delete all spam.

Done! This was so therapeutic for me especially going through my personal email, junk email and work email! Needless to say it was a busy and productive evening!

Feb. 14: No social media before 11 a.m. Take the time to be productive!

Yikes. I didn’t realize how difficult this was going to be, but I was able to plan ahead and get everything scheduled on social media for my blog items and for work as well so that I could focus on other projects!

Feb. 15: Unfollow people on social media who don’t inspire you.

This was the best day ever.  I didn’t realize how many people I was following that truly don’t inspire me or interest me. I cleared out a lot of unwanted posts from Facebook friends, Twitter followers and more!

Feb. 16: Organize your desktop accordingly into folders. Delete unnecessary items.

I didn’t realize how much I was slacking off with my desktop folders for blogging recently. After a half hour, everything was organized properly in their folders. My desktop couldn’t be happier!

Feb. 17: Go through your phone and organize your apps into folders. Delete apps you don’t use, old notes, contacts, etc.

The amount of notes I had on my phone was insane. I take work notes when I’m walking throughout the day so I don’t forget things. But the amount of unnecessary notes I had was insane. It only took 20 minutes to complete!

Feb. 18: Have a phone-free night with family or loved ones!

Josh and I spent the evening together after he got out of work, so it was easy to keep our phones away while we had a date night. We went downtown for dinner, drinks and went to a hockey game!

Feb. 19: Unsubscribe from email marketing you’re not interested in keeping up with.

I didn’t have a lot of emails to unsubscribe from, but I still went through and made sure any old emails from bloggers I don’t read, or stores I don’t shop at were deleted and unsubscribed from this day! My inbox is free of clutter.


The fourth week of challenges: Positivity 

  • Feb. 20: No complaint day
  • Feb. 21: Write down 3 great things that happened today
  • Feb. 22: Spend 15 minutes in silence focusing on one positive attribute about yourself
  • Feb. 23: Compliment a stranger
  • Feb. 24: Write a letter to yourself explaining why you are unique
  • Feb. 25: Ask friends to describe you in 3 words, write them down, and repeat it to yourself throughout the day
  • Feb. 26: Write out your challenge wins and treat yourself!

What challenges were the easiest/most difficult for week three? What challenges for the fourth week are you most concerned about? Make sure to share in the comments below!

 

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Mental Cleanse Challenge: Week 3

Another week has already come and gone! I feel that these challenges are coming and going so quickly and that February is flying by. It doesn’t help that this month has been very busy at work, which makes the days seem very short.

If this is your first post catching up on my 30-Day Mental Cleanse Challenge with Erin, stop and go back to the beginning. Read the first post in this challenge series about the collaboration for creating self-care challenges and a review of my first week of the Mental Cleanse Challenge!

Are you caught up to speed? Good, now we can move on to reviewing last week’s challenges and where I struggled!

Feb. 6: Try a new workout you’ve never done before.

I knew this would be challenging for me because I’ve done a lot of different workouts. But I decided to go out of my comfort zone and not cheat, so I tried a cardio ab workout I found online.

Feb. 7: Keep all three meals “phone free.” No social media scrolling!

This isn’t ever an issue for breakfast or dinner, but lunch at the office is filled with social media browsing. Instead, I got my coworkers on board to keep their phones away for lunch.

Feb. 8: Do a yoga for beginners workout to give your muscles TLC.

I needed this. I have been going hard on the leg and cardio workouts, so some yoga was exactly what I needed this day. I only did a 15-minute, but it’s better than nothing, right?!

Feb. 9: Make two of your three meals meatless. Need inspiration? Check Pinterest!

I typically don’t have an issue with this because I love to eat a lot of vegetables, fruit and salads to begin with. I had a huge salad for lunch and a veggie pasta for dinner.

Feb. 10: Meditate for 5 minutes and focus on your breath.

I was able to do in this in the office. I was feeling overwhelmed and took the opportunity to calm myself with breathing and relaxing for 10 minutes. Breathing works wonders for stress, friends.

Feb. 11: Take your workout outdoors even if it’s for 20 minutes! 

We were happy to see a little warm weather this day, so I took a walk outside for 15 minutes. It’s still winter here in PA, so we didn’t want to go overboard with the outdoors.

Feb. 12: Go vegan for a day!

What was I thinking with this challenge? Not having eggs, cheese or any other animal products was challenging, but achievable. I ate lentil soup, salad, fruit salad, and rice with veggies throughout the day.

How did you do with these challenges? Make sure to share your wins and losses from this week! Don’t be shy, it’s okay if you had a slip-up or two!


The Third Week of Challenges: Digital Cleanse

  • Feb. 13: Clean out your inbox and sort your emails into folders. Delete all spam.
  • Feb. 14: No social media before 11 a.m. Take the time to be productive!
  • Feb. 15: Unfollow people on social media who don’t inspire you.
  • Feb. 16: Organize your desktop accordingly into folders. Delete unnecessary items.
  • Feb. 17: Go through your phone and organize your apps into folders. Delete apps, old notes, contacts, etc.
  • Feb. 18: Have a phone-free night with family or loved ones!
  • Feb. 19: Unsubscribe from email marketing you’re not interested in keeping up with.

How have you been loving the challenges so far? What challenges were the easiest/most difficult for week two? What challenges for the third week are you most concerned about? Make sure to share in the comments below!

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Mental Cleanse Challenge: Week 2

 

Congrats on making it through the first week of challenges from the 30-day Mental Cleanse. (Now you better go treat yo self to some wine, girl.)

For those who aren’t aware, Erin from “A Welder’s Wife” and myself created a month’s worth of mental-based challenges for you to try all throughout February. If you’re looking to cleanse your mind and focus on self care—this challenge is perfect for you!

Below are a reflection of the first week of challenges:

Jan. 30: Set two goals you would like to achieve during this challenge

My first goal is to set a little time for self care every day throughout February, so that I can appreciate that day. My second goal is to focus on that day’s challenge instead of thinking and worrying about upcoming challenges to be more present for each day.

Jan. 31: Treat your face to a special pampering facial

This is never an issue for me because I have a hefty sheet mask collection. I took the time to exfoliate my skin, and followed up with a sheet mask from Sephora.

Feb. 1: Go for a walk

Walking is the one thing I do whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed. I was able to take a walk during my break at work due to it snowing nonstop here in PA. Taking a walk before work or on a break always relaxes me.

Feb. 2: Journal for 15 minutes

I typically write in my journal on Sundays, but I rearranged my journaling time to this day instead and it was a success. I was nervous about changing my normal routine to accomplish these challenges but it hasn’t been an issue yet!

Feb. 3: Go to bed 30 minutes earlier than normal

I try go to sleep around 11:30, but I was happy to get to bed at 11 this night because it was a long week at work for me. A little extra rest is always important when you need it.

Feb. 4: Make a Gratitude list of everything you are grateful for in your life

I used to keep a gratitude journal that I would write in almost every night. This was particularly easy for me! Since then, I’ve pick up my journaling again a little more frequently, so I’m happy this was a challenge.

Feb. 5: Take a long bubble bath

I sorta failed this one. I don’t take baths much since I moved because our tub in shallow, but I treated myself to a pamper night by doing my nails, a hair mask, etc. I still feel good about this day and think it still counts, right?

Make sure to let us know how you did with the first week of challenges! Below are the next week’s challenges!

The second week of challenges: Diet & Exercise 

  • Feb. 6: Try a new workout you’ve never done before.

  • Feb. 7: Keep all three meals “phone free.” No social media scrolling!

  • Feb. 8: Do a yoga for beginners workout to give your muscles a little TLC.

  • Feb. 9: Make two of your three meals meatless. Need inspiration? Check Pinterest!

  • Feb. 10: Meditate for 5 minutes and focus on your breath.

  • Feb. 11: Take your workout outdoors even if it’s for 20 minutes. Bundle up!

  • Feb. 12: Go vegan for a day!

What challenges were the easiest/most difficult for week one? What challenges for the second week are you most concerned about? Make sure to share in the comments below!

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