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simplicity

Blissful Bits: Everything I Loved in January

Posted in Lifestyle
on January 22, 2018

Can you believe that we’ve already made it an entire month into 2018?

I’ve been extremely happy in the new year, which is mostly to do with the fact that I’ve been feeling SO inspired with new content for the blog. P.S. Next week, I’ll be sharing an exciting announcement that will give you an idea of the type of posts you’ll be seeing on the blog in February. Needless to say, I’ve been cracking down on this content to give you something to look forward to all month long, so I hope you’re ready for it.

Today, I’m sharing all the things I loved in January from blog posts to things happening in my own life and a mix of everything in between. Make sure to tell me what you loved this past month. I would love to read everything in the comments below!

1| House projects + Housewarming party

January was a month where we got to focus on some small house projects before we had our housewarming party. It’s amazing to see the changes you make to your own home. I truly have loved being a homeowner, and it has been wonderful to work on projects to make it our own. We also have been preparing for our housewarming that was this past Saturday. We invited family and friends to see our place or to see the updates we’ve made over the last month. There are still many projects we are planning for the rest of the year, but we’re very happy with how much we have been able to do since we’ve moved in. Are you working on any house projects in your home?

2| Getting organized

Because it’s not a new year unless you’re planning your life away, right?

What I’ve been loving about January is that I have felt this motivation to really organize my life. You know, like going through high school awards and asking myself why I was holding on to such silly things. I’ve also been considering using a bullet journal to keep everything in one spot rather than having appointments in my phone, a work calendar at the office, and a planner for a mix of everything else. So, if you have a bullet journal would you recommend it? If you have any posts to share on creating one, drop those links in the comments for me. I would love to know your thoughts if you’ve been using one.

3| Wedding planning

Wedding planning went on a full-blown hold in November and December. With moving into the house, working during a busy season, and enjoying the holidays, there wasn’t time to commit to wedding plans. Now that the new year hit, I’ve been in planning mode for the bridal showers, bachelorette party and some last-minute things for the big day. Between plans with a florist, and booking the hair and makeup artists for the big day, I’m happy with how much I’ve accomplished over this month. I always believe that planning ahead will always benefit you because then we can fully enjoy the other plans we have for the next several months.

4| Cozy sweaters

If I could buy 10 different sweaters that were similar to the one above, I would SO do it. We had a temporary heat wave in PA for two days, but now we’re back to 10-degree weather and praying for spring to come around. To make the cold a little more tolerable, I’ve been loving my biggest, coziest sweaters this month. I’ve also been indulging in hygge. It has really become trendy over the last few months, and you can read more about why you need this danish term in your life. I definitely recommend it if you’re a lover of good food, good company and all those cozy vibes.

5| Dreaming of our honeymoon

Although I’ve been trying to make the most of winter with hygge, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t dreaming about our honeymoon to Playas Mujeres in Mexico. It’s the first beach vacation where Josh and I will be able to relax for a full week together without working on the house, work, or any other commitments we have. All of the trips Josh and I take together have been city trips like Boston, D.C., etc. I realized the last time I was on a beach was in the ninth grade in Florida, so you can see why I’m pumped for a luxurious getaway.

6| Feeling Inspired

In January, I cut the excuses and made things happen. Instead of wishing I would wake up and eat healthier, I woke up and began doing it. I’ve been writing down everything I eat each day, and it has been great to see the progress of my decision-making when it comes to food. I never feel guilty for treating myself to something I want to eat, especially now that I’ve been tracking every day. I’ve also been CRAZY inspired to blog. One day, I sat down and cracked out six blog posts in one day. Now, that doesn’t count editing, creating images, social sharing, etc. But it feels SO GOOD to get hit with that inspiration and motivation. I’ve been loving all the feel-good inspiration that has been coming my way; and I’m holding onto it for as long as I can.


Blog Posts you NEED to read other bloggers:

1| How to Create Content Consistently (FINALLY): Coming up Roses

2| 7 Ways to Refresh Your Blog for the New Year: Coffee with Summer

3| 31 Day Adulting Challenge:  The Confused Millennial.

4| 10 Ways to Live More Purposefully This Year: Daily Dose of Design

What have you been loving this month? Make sure to share any blogs posts from your blog that you have loved, or let me know what have been your best memories from the first month of the year!

Ki Signature

 

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5 Tips to Simplify Your Morning Routine

Posted in Lifestyle
on January 17, 2018

I feel like winter slows us down sometimes because there’s a lack of motivation with less sunlight (TBH Seasonal Depression is very real) and we’re constantly searching to make our lives a little more simple and easy just after the new year. So, today I’m sharing five tips to help simplify your morning routine. If you’re looking to add a little bliss back to your mornings (even when it’s 8 degrees outside) keep on reading!

1| No snoozing.

I’ve never been one to hit snooze three or four times in the morning before actually getting out of bed, but I know there are tons of people who struggle with this. Not everyone is a morning person, so you may simply not like getting up in the morning. Make sure your phone is out of reach, so that it’s not physically possible for you to press snooze. You physically will have to get up and shut off your alarm. By the time you’re standing up, you’ll already be slightly awake to carry on with your morning.

2| Put. The. Phone. Down.

Girl, don’t pretend like you’re the only one who is running late all the time because you “don’t have enough time in the morning” when the real reason is because you got lost scrolling through four days worth of Instagram content (no thanks to the horrible algorithm) after pressing snooze four times. You do have time in the morning, you’re just not spending time the RIGHT way in the morning. Refrain from picking up your phone. It’s one habit that will seriously save you so much time every day.

3| Prep the night before.

You might not want to hear this, but you’re probably stressed in the morning because you don’t prep anything the night before. To simplify your morning routine, you need to eliminate any unnecessary things that can easily be done the previous night like setting out your outfit for the day, having your lunch prepped in the fridge, and packing your work bag and leaving it by the door. The less you have to do in the morning, the better and less stressful your morning will be.

4| Streamline your beauty routine.

My beauty routine in the morning has become a science. I wake up at 6:50 and I’m able to get the following done in 30 minutes: brush my teeth, moisturize my skin, do my makeup, curl my hair, get dressed, make the bed, and get my breakfast shake made. I removed any unnecessary steps from my beauty routine to save time. Simplifying your makeup and beauty routine is such a great way to save time in the morning. Also, don’t play any music or videos while getting ready. I’ve found that I would waste an extra 10-15 minutes because I would watch YouTube while doing my hair. It only slows you down in the morning. Plus, now you can use that time to enjoy a cup of coffee with your breakfast before work!

5| Keep your life organized.

The saying definitely holds true in my experience: “when your home and space is cluttered, your mind is cluttered.” Work on simplifying your life and home with decluttering and organizing your space around you. It’s hard to get ready in a bathroom where you don’t have enough space. First, eliminate instead of organize. Then, once you have eliminated everything you don’t need, you can focus on organizing what you do have in your home. Consider creating a “command center” near your entryway when you can keep your work bag, mail, keys, phone, etc. so nothing is misplaced. You won’t worry about searching for your keys and wallet if you know where everything is! It’ll save you even more time in the morning.

So, how can you work on simplifying your morning routine? What are some tips you want to incorporate into your routine? Or, what are some tips you have that I may have left out? Make sure to share everything in the comments below!

Ki Signature

 

 

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5 Ways to Simplify During the Holidays

Posted in Lifestyle
on November 13, 2017

I genuinely feel horrible for the people who can’t bring themselves to enjoy the holiday season because they only associate this time of year with stress. Leave a comment below if you’re one of those people who doesn’t look forward to the holidays because I’m curious as to why you feel that way!

PSA: I’m here to help you DESTRESS during the holiday season because you deserve to enjoy this time of year without feeling overwhelmed. Here are 5 ways to simplify during the holiday season.

1| Make a game plan

Get an overview of all the things you want to get done during the next two months. The truth is that we say that we want to have weekends filled with all the holiday activities, but that’s not always realistic. Get an idea of what weekends you’ll have a ton going on, and make sure to plan a few days where there is a little less activity to balance everything out so you’re no completely overwhelmed.

2| Just begin

You can make a game plan and feel as organized as ever, but where people fail and get behind during the holiday season is they simple refuse to begin. They wait until mid-December to actually being holiday shopping, or they wait until the week before to wrap every single gift. Needless to say, your holiday season will be less stressful if you get started early and odn’t procrastinate on your entire to-do list.

3| Define what’s necessary

Do you have to do everything on that winter bucket list you found on Pinterest? Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t do anything at all, but go through all the tasks and outline what it truly necessary for you. Do you need to have six separate days dedicated to shopping with all different people? Do you need to watch a holiday movie every single night? Find a balance of what matters most to you and what’s essential.

4| Schedule down time

See point one. It’s just as important to schedule down time during the next two months as it is important to write down and schedule all your plans as well. If you’re in non-stop Christmas mode where you’re always working on shopping, baking, cleaning, going to parties, gift-wrapping and all the other traditions—you’re going to get stressed. Plan several days of down time for reading, relaxing, pampering and watching all those holiday movies with some hot cocoa.

5| Forget Perfect

One of the root issues people have with the holiday season is that it isn’t that Hallmark-picture-perfect-movie that we all think it’s going to be. Sometimes, you burn a tray of cookies, you break an ornament decorating the tree, and plans fall through last minute. To put it simply, that’s life, and it’s okay. Instead of looking for everything to go “perfectly,” just enjoy the moment without pressuring yourself to have these unrealistic expectations. Go with the flow, and enjoy the holidays. It will all work out.

Do you stress out during the holidays, or not look forward to the holidays because of everything that needs to get done in a short amount of time? What is the most stressful part of the holiday season for you? Make sure to share in the comments below! 

Ki Signature

 

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Blissful Bits: October

Posted in Lifestyle
on November 1, 2017

 We can all use a little more bliss in our lives, right? 

That’s why I’m sharing a new series on Blissfully Brunette where I dish out videos, stories, blog posts, and everything in between that brought a little bit of bliss. Hopefully, these posts will give you the little pick-me-up you may need to get through the week whether you’re looking for new blog posts to read for inspiration, new recipes, workouts, funny videos and anything else that may bring you an extra dose of bliss.

1| 10 Steps to Declutter Your Mind Right Now

TBH when you’re going through a blogging rut, you lose your creative spark. It’s not a good feeling, and it brings on other issues like stress, self-doubt and more. Needless to say, I wasn’t in a positive headspace earlier this month because of it. After reading Erica’s post, I realized that I wasn’t giving myself enough credit. I am working full-time, blogging, moving into my first home and planning my wedding. I was stressed and burned out, and my mind needed some major decluttering. If you’re in need of a mental declutter, you’re going to want to check out her post.

2| Bath & Body Works Candles

Because who doesn’t get happy when they think of candles from Bath & Body Works? You all know I’m here for the fall scents like “Pumpkin Pecan Waffles, “Marshmallow Fireside,” and “Autumn,” but they having been bringing out the holiday collection—and it’s getting me excited for the next two months. So tell me, what are some of your favorite Bath And Body Work’s candle scents that you can’t live without during fall and winter?!

3| Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

Because it’s all the wonderful things about fall in one dessert. (I know, except for pumpkin spice) So, I’ve been in a baking mood despite not having a ton of time to bake as of late, so I’m sharing this delicious recipe in case you’re looking to try something new.

Ingredients:
Crust:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
Cheesecake Filling:
  • 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar , plus 2 tablespoons, divided
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Apples:
  • 3 Granny Smith apples , peeled, cored and finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Streusel Topping:
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
Drizzle:
  • 1/2 cup caramel topping for drizzling after baked.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter with a pastry blender (or 2 forks) until mixture is crumbly. Press evenly into a 9×13 baking pan lined with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Bake 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
  3. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with 3/4 cup sugar in an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth. Then add eggs, 1 at a time, and vanilla. Stir to combine. Pour over warm crust.
  4. In a small bowl, stir together chopped apples, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Spoon evenly over cream cheese mixture.
  5. For the streusel topping: In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. I like to really combine it by using my clean hands to thoroughly combine the butter into the mixture.
  6. Sprinkle Streusel topping over apples. Bake 40-45 minutes, or until filling is set. Drizzle with caramel topping and let cool. Serve cold and enjoy! Make 16 servings.

4| The Truth about Fear & Perfectionism 

Another post I’m sure many of you can relate to because fear is something we all experience. For me, perfectionism is something I have always struggled with, so I know how difficult it can be to have something go less-than-perfect, and you’re left feeling useless, and feeling like you failed. There’s a lot to uncover in this topic, but Rachel highlights some key points of fear and perfectionism that will make you realize you’re not alone in your thoughts. In turn, you’re going to feel blissful knowing other people ARE experiencing what you’re experiencing.

5| 20-Minute Pilates Workout

I love Pilates because not only are the workouts enjoyable and effective, but they also can work your entire body. Yes, even a 20-minute workout can leave you feeling sore the next day. And yes, it’s a wonderful feeling because you’re not sweating non-stop for over an hour. You can do this anywhere in your home, hotel room, or your office if you don’t have any other option. Trust me, if you want a simple workout that will five you great results, try this video below!

What has you feeling blissful this week? Make sure to share any blog posts, quotes, videos, or anything else in the comments below!

Ki Signature

 

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Mental Cleanse Challenge: Week 5

Posted in Uncategorized
on February 27, 2017

It’s crazy to think that this month has flown by so quickly. It seems like yesterday that Erin reached out to me to see if i was interested in collaborating with her on this challenge. After going through this month with focusing on self care, relaxation and more—I’ve learned so much from this process and experience. I want to thank Erin from A Welder’s Wife for joining me with these challenges and experience altogether. It has been wonderful to work with her and see how she has done each week during the challenges!

If it’s your first post catching up on the Mental Cleanse Challenge visit the posts below to catch up on the weekly challenges and posts below to see how Erin and I did each week!

My Posts:

1| Week 1: Introduction

2| Week 2: Self Care

3| Week 3: Diet & Exercise

4| Week 4: Digital Cleanse

Erin’s Posts:

1| Mental Cleanse Challenge Week 1

2| Mental Cleanse Challenge Week 2

3| Mental Cleanse Challenge Week 3

4| Mental Cleanse Challenge Week 4

Now keep reading below to see how I did last week on the positivity challenges:

Feb. 20: No complaint day.

I was a little nervous about this challenge because if I’m stressing out over a workout…I will complain. But, I’m happy to say that I made it through Insanity without a single complaint! A huge win for me personally, haha!

Feb 21: Write down 3 great things that happened today.

1. I had a productive day at work. 2. I worked hard on the blog after work. 3. I meal prepped for the entire week.

Feb 22: Spend 15 minutes in silence focusing on one positive attribute about yourself.

My positive attribute was focusing on my self-motivation and drive to keep going. The part I struggled with was only focusing on this one thought when there were other thoughts in my head.

Feb 23: Compliment a stranger.

This is never a difficult task since I’m around people most of the time. It is always nice to see someone light up after you give them a genuine compliment.

Feb 24: Write a letter to yourself explaining why you are unique.

I thought I was going to have a difficult time with this one, but instead of writing a letter, I decided to do it as a list, which seemed less daunting and overwhelming for someone who feels uncomfortable talking about themselves.

Feb 25: Ask your friends to describe you in 3 words, write them down, and repeat it to yourself throughout the day.

I decided to ask my co-workers it was the best decision of my life. They said: confident, outgoing and crazy (in a good way, haha). It makes me happy to see how they perceive me is in a positive way. It definitely made my day to think about this throughout the rest of the day.

Feb 26: Write out your challenge wins and treat yourself!

I’m so happy to say that I was able to complete all the challenges throughout this month. This challenge and teaming with up Erin taught me so much about practicing self care and focusing on time for myself, which was so important. I was most surprised about the diet and exercise challenges like going vegan and trying a new workout!


Overall, I’m sad to see that that challenge is over with, but I love knowing it’s something I can plan for another month down the road when I’m in need of some self care and relaxation. If you followed along with these challenges:

What was your favorite/least favorite week?

My favorite week was the self care week because it had mix of everything from walking to pampering sessions and everything in between. My least favorite week was probably the diet and exercise because it was a little more challenging even though it was worth it!

What challenges were you most surprised that you were able to accomplish?

No complaint day during the positivity week and trying a new workout during the diet and exercise week. Both were two that I was worried about, but was happy and proud for accomplishing them.

What challenges were your favorite or most difficult to complete?

I loved all the positivity challenges even though they were also the most difficult challenges to complete for me personally. When I was able to cross the daily challenge off my list for each day, it was so satisfying.

Is this something you’d like to try again down the road?

YES! I definitely want to plan this for summertime when I’ll need another pick-me-up-month and need to focus on self care, relaxation and refreshing my mind altogether.

Want a review of all the challenges?

 

I hope you enjoyed following along on these challenges throughout the month of February with Erin and I. It was so fun and refreshing to have a month filled with challenges that focused on self care, relaxation and everything in between to focus on mental health. Make sure to leave comments below asking the reflection questions and any other comments you have from participating in the challenges!

 

Ki Signature

 

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