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Monthly Favorites & Sharing Love

Posted in Lifestyle
on June 5, 2017

Wasn’t May 1st like…yesterday?

Is it just me, or is 2017 flying by for everyone else, too? Because I truly feel like this year has been flying by every single month and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Now we’re heading into the summer months, and I’m hoping to kick my blog work and goals into high gear for the second half of the year. What are your goals for June or for summer altogether? Make sure to share your goals in the comments below because #accountability. Am I right?! Also make sure to share what you’ve been loving this month whether they are beauty products, podcasts or anything in between!

May Favorites:

My favorites all weren’t necessarily beauty or fashion favorites, but they were favorites that I know we can all relate to if you love podcasts, blogging courses, and everything in between. Make sure to leave comment below telling me what you’ve been loving this month whether it’s food, fashion or tech-related!

1| The Lavendaire Lifestyle

I have been loving podcasts this month and I’m not too sure how I didn’t get into them months ago. I have been watching Aileen from Lavendaire on YouTube for awhile now, but I just recently began listening to her podcasts. Her podcasts alone have inspired me so much that I’ve been catching up on several episodes a day. (Not every day, but quite often!) I love how she is able to discuss different topics and reach her audience by sharing inspiration for living your best life. If you’re into podcasts like the Lively Show and Big Magic, you’ll love Lavendaire Lifestyle.

2| Blogging Courses

Y’all, I’ve been all about the downloads, e-courses, webinars, and everything else you can imagine. Whether it’s about pitching to brands, to learning more about Instagram—blogging courses in general have been my jam this month. I wanted to take the month to really focus on learning. So I put away the books for a month, and focused on courses, classes and videos. Needless to say, I have some plans for the blog I hope to share with you soon. I recently reviewed my notes from Erica’s #BrandOut presentation, and I’ve been putting some of those tips into actions. What blogging courses, webinars, e-books, etc. have you been loving? Make sure to share your favorites!

3| Pedicures

And if we’re being honest, I’ve been loving manicures, too. I go through phases where I get my pedicures done religiously basically from May to September and then stop from October through April. Because why spend money when your feet won’t see the light of day for months on end? So, I have given permission to treat myself for a few months out of the year for a pedicure and color change for summer.

4| Pinterest Inspiration 

For awhile, I was lacking inspiration in all areas of my life, but especially with blogging and my journey toward living minimally. I felt lost and needed to kickstart my inspiration ASAP. Pinterest has been incredible for me this month because of the way I’ve been using it. I haven’t been aimlessly scrolling on my feed. Instead, I treat it like “studying.” Ask yourself, what is your goal? Are you trying to get some motivation for decluttering your closet? Are you looking for clogging resources? Social media is an amazing tool to help achieve your goals when you use the platform wisely.

5| Self-Tanning Products

Back in high school and early college, I would tan for two months out of the year. You know the awkward period from April through May where you can wear spring/summer clothes, but you look horrible because you’re still so pale? But I know how horrible tanning is for you, which is why I decided to take an alternative route for getting a healthy, glowing look. My favorite product has been The Banana Boat Self-Tanning Lotion. It’s only $7 at Target (yes, really!) and I love everything about it. You don’t need to apply much to see results, and it doesn’t leave that sticky feeling on your skin. TBH it will be my go-to product from now on.


Sharing Love: May 

1| “I was born to stand out” from Erica 

I was yelling, “YASSS, PREACH” during this post because Erica was dropping some major true bombs left and right. Needless to say, I was ALL about it. Especially when she discussed how giving yourself permission to live your best life, you’re giving others permission to live their best lives as well! All of her insights on this topic hit home for me, so if you’re looking for a pick-me-up post, I’d give this a read as soon as possible. P.S. Who else joined in for Brand Out because I LOVED it. Let me know your thoughts on it in the comments on her tips!

2| How to Find Community in the Blogging World from Summer

Summer is one of those bloggers I can always trust for some amazing blogging advice, and this post was no different. I loved reading more about what specific things you should look for when looking for a blogging community that’s right for you and your blog. She also talks about the importance of community in the blogging world, which is something I needed to be reminded of. What are some of your favorite blogging communities and groups that you’re part of through social media? I’d love to check them out!

3| Summer Reading List from Neely

Guys, I needed a little reading motivation this month. The last two months have been slow in terms of books that I’ve read, so I’m hoping to change that for June and July. Neely has amazing taste in books, although I might be biased because I think her and I have similar taste in genres of books, which is why I trust her reviews and opening of books. Her post gave me a ton of new titles to add to my list for summer. I’m hoping to knock out three books or more for summer, so I want to get to it.

4| How to Stay Motivated from Rachel

Sometimes, it can be difficult to always stay motivated and stay on top of every to-do list, task and list of goals you have set for yourself. I love how she talks about the importance of finding your high energy times throughout the day so you can focus on your most important to-do list items for productivity. Organization and scheduling your day is so important to getting things done and staying motivated! If you’re trying to work on these things, check out her post!

5| Finding Work-Life Balance in a 24/7 World from Kristen

We simply live in a world where we are expected to work all the time and that’s not healthy whatsoever. It’s so important that we take time to set work aside, destress, unwind and recharge for the next day, so we can have another productive day at work! When I fist started my full-time job, I was all about working extra hours, checking emails at any hour of the day, etc. Now, when 5 p.m. rolls around, emails stop and I give myself the rest of the evening to relax and take the time to work out, read, spend time with Josh, etc. How do you unwind after a long day?

What have you been loving this month? What are some posts you have read this month that you have loved from your blog or from other bloggers? Make sure to share the links in the comments below!

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Why You Should Say Yes & Take Risks

Posted in Lifestyle
on May 29, 2017

Let me first say that I’m all about saying no when it makes sense to say no. For example, I will always say no to anything I know I truly can’t commit my time to in order to get that project or task done. I think it’s important to know when you should say no because it helps you understand what your limits are.

Recently, I have noticed a trend in my life where I kept saying no so much that life wasn’t enjoyable. I let fear dictate every decision even if it was to meet a friend for happy hour after work. Living with anxiety isn’t easy, and it’s something that was truly affecting my ability to say yes. Instead, I kept saying no.

I become so comfortable with saying no, that I stopped saying yes to opportunities. I stopped taking risks even if they were GOOD risks!

No bueno. Am I right?

I became comfortable with saying no because I didn’t want to take risks. I was afraid to take risks. I had already taken some risks, so I convinced myself that I no longer needed to say yes and take risks in life. My life felt stagnant because that’s what saying no and NOT taking risks does: It leaves you in a space when you’re not gaining or losing anything. You’re at a standstill. And that’s boring, and it’s not what I wanted my life to look like anymore.

There are so many things I said no to even things I wanted to say yes to. But the uncertainty of failing and fear consumed my mind and heart so much that I kept saying no. I continued to sit at a stagnant point in my life and truly not succeed.

If you’re questioning if you should take a risk whether it’s for a career move, beginning your business, writing a book, a relationship, moving across the country—do it. Don’t sit back and wait. There might not be time later in life. You’re always going to have fears regarding the risk you want to take, or saying yes to an opportunity. And that’s okay!

It’s okay to be afraid, but don’t say no ONLY because you’re afraid. 

If we were to only wait to do things when we felt “ready,” we wouldn’t accomplish anything. REAL TALK: You’re never truly going to feel “ready” to ask for that promotion, move to a different country, start your business that you’ve always dreamed of, but allowing fear to determine your future isn’t the answer.

So, I’m making a change.

Today, I will stop living in fear of all the things that could go wrong, and focus on all the things that could go right. Live is too short to say no to opportunities that will help you grow and get you to where you want to be in life. I let fear control me and my decisions for too long, and now—it’s time to say yes and it’s time to take a risk.

There are a lot of risks I’m hoping to take this year. And I hope you feel confident and comfortable to take that risk you’ve been wanting to take, too. I hope you feel confident and comfortable to say yes to that new opportunity you’ve been thinking about. Because if it’s still in your mind, it’s worth taking the risk.

What risks do you want to take this year? What is an opportunity you want to say yes to, but haven’t yet because you were afraid? Make sure to share your experiences in the comments below!

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How To Save An Extra $400 This Month

Posted in Lifestyle
on April 10, 2017

Yes, you heard that right. You can save extra money whether you want to believe it or not.

But it’s going to take a little bit of sacrifice and a little extra work at home! But it IS possible and it is definitely worth it, especially if you’re looking to save up for a trip, new home, etc.

When I moved to Pennsylvania, I knew I wanted to be conscious with my money. Now that I was working my first real job, and paying real bills—keeping my spending habits on track was important for me. So you’re interested in saving an extra $400 a month? Keep on reading to give your wallet and savings account a little extra bliss.

1| Skip Starbucks (or that morning bagel):

Ah-ha. So, you thought I was only going to call out the coffee drinkers of the world? Well, think again. Because whether you’re having a $4 coffee or a bagel with cream cheese, you’re still spending around $100 a month or more. Make coffee at home (because you have a Keurig so you may as well use it) and budget a little extra time to have breakfast at home.

2| Pack your Lunch:

“But I only buy lunch three times a week.” Even if you’re spending a bare minimum of $10 on lunch three times a week, that’s still $120 a month. Meal prep on Sunday, and you will thank yourself later. You’re also going to save yourself a lot of extra calories by making your own food. So, if you’re looking to save money, time and calories—you’ll hit all three goals by packing your lunch.

3| Stick to the list:

How many times have you been to Target or the grocery store with a list of 10 things, yet by the end of it you have 30 or more items not on the list? When you make a list, make it a priority to stick to the list. Spend extra time making sure you’re only buying what you need. You could save around $100 or more every month by only buying what you need at the store.

4| Chill out at Happy Hour:

THE HORRER…but not really. Listen, I’m not saying you shouldn’t go to happy hour ever again. Instead, take a month off from the extra drinks. You know you have a bottle of wine at home, so why not drink it? Say you only have 7 drinks a week at an average cost of $5. After tip, that’s $150. Cut back on your alcohol consumption if you’re looking to save money for a few months.

Ready to save some money? Start with the four tips above, and you’ll work your way to an extra $400 by the end of the month. Do you have any extra tips on saving money? What are you saving for (trips, new home, or wedding)? Make sure to share in the comments below!

 

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2017 Goals: 3-Month Update

Posted in Lifestyle
on March 27, 2017

2017 needs to slow down because I don’t understand how three months have already come and gone so quickly. 

When I listed out my goals for 2017, I knew that I wanted to have check-in points where I would check my progress throughout the year so I wouldn’t forget about my goals. It also allows me to make smaller, achievable goals so that I can work toward the larger goals I have set out for the year. Today is my first check-in for 2017, and I’m interested to look back and see the progress I’ve made over the last few months.

Make sure to share your goals for 2017 in the comments and let me know how you have been doing over the last three months!

Personal Goals:

1| Read 8-10 books throughout 2017

So far I read five books this year and I couldn’t be happier that I’ve been focusing on this goal for 2017. I’m hoping to make it to my goal by summer!

2| Plan 2-3 trips for 2017

We have our trip to Boston in April, but I’m thinking of a smaller trip with Josh even if it’s to Pittsburgh. I’m also considering planning a trip to visit my friend in San Francisco this fall. I’ll be sure to keep you guys up-to-date on my travel plans!

3| Achieve my career goals for 2017

This would be a little too long if I went in-depth with this section, but I have more than halfway through my career goals for 2017. This one has surprised me the most even under unique circumstances at work! I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the rest of 2017 in terms of my job.

4| Focus on my vision board

All the ideas are in place, but I’ve been waiting to physically make the board because I have been considering writing series of posts on how to make a vision board, what I’ve learned from using this method to achieve my goals, etc. If you’re interested in seeing a post on this, leave a comment below!

Blogging Goals:

1| Focus on my blog direction

If you caught up on my post back in January, you will know about how my blogging direction changed a little. Since then, I’ve incorporated more posts on minimalism, simple living and everything in between and I have loved every minute.

2| Increase blog social media engagement by 20 percent

We all know it’s not about numbers, but engagement. Not only do I want to focus on other’s engaging with me, but also focus on increasing my engagement with others, too. Let’s be real—this is a two-way street. So far, I haven’t done the best with this, but I want to make it my focus for the next few months.

3| Take more risks

Well, I took one amazing risk thanks to my lovely friend Erin! We did a collab on a monthly challenge where we gave challenges to help you relax and refresh your mind for February. The challenges focused on mental clarity and self-care, which are two topics I’m passionate about. I’m hoping to collab with bloggers more throughout the year and take more blogging risks overall. Stay tuned to read more on this!

Financial Goals:

1| Put an extra $8-10,000 into savings

So far I’m on track to achieve this goal a few months earlier than anticipated, which makes me incredibly happy. I know saving in your 20s is so important, and it’s something I want to focus on. If you want to read posts on how I save money, let me know in the comments!

2| Track my spending regularly

I had every intention of keeping up with this, but since Josh set up a spending tracker sheet, I have been horrible with updating it. I’m hoping to simplify this task, and make this work more for me so I can track my spending each month.

Health Goals:

1| Increase my weekly running distance

We’re not in running season yet, but by next month I think we will be out running through October.

2| Don’t focus on numbers

I truly stopped caring about numbers I have found that it has done wonders for my self-esteem and happiness altogether. TBH y’all, NUMBERS DO NOT MATTER. Once you stop focusing on the numbers and more on how you feel, you will see a huge difference!

3| Focus on workouts I enjoy

So far this has been going well. I’ve focused on workout that are specific to Pilates, abs circuit training, etc. It’s wonderful to love the workouts you do and not to hate every minute of my workouts!

How have you been doing on your goals for 2017? Maybe check your list you made a few months ago and start working on how you can work on them for the nest few months! Make sure to leave a comment below saying what goals you have been working on/already have achieved this year!

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7 Tips For A Productive Day Off

Posted in Health, Lifestyle
on February 22, 2017

 

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!

 

 

Ki Signature

 

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