Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Work Wednesday 9/21

Happy Humpday! Today on the blog I am so excited to present a new series which I'm calling "Work Wednesday" which I'll be sharing what I'm working on / what/who is inspiring me, as well as what's on my radar for this week. If you end up liking the idea for this series, please comment and let me know what you think - I'm so excited to be back in the blogging game this month! 

This week I've been working on an outfit post I shot a few weeks ago and am planning to have up probably Friday. It was SO much fun to shoot because I ended up shooting it with my BFF from high school and we shot it at my old high school - with the High School Musical soundtrack playing in the background (#noregrets). It was seriously such a blast to the past though, like I know I graduated from high school in 2012 but I'm still in disbelief that my little brother now goes there and is in his Sophomore year. 

Have you guys seen this new marketing campaign from Cinga? I'm a sucker for good marketing and still getting over McDreamy's death on Grey's so I just about jumped out of my seat when I saw this commercial. Also, Scrubs and MASH just saying.

A few weeks ago I mentioned on Snapchat (if we're not friends we should be! @pickyourbeau) that the month of September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month when Kendra Scott did a proceeds sale benefitting childhood cancer research at MD Anderson. What I didn't mention is why that's such a near and dear cause to me, and that's because in May my little brother was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and has been continuing his treatment since. In the spirt of the month, St. Jude's is hosting a 5k run this weekend in Raleigh benefiting childhood cancer research and all of the wonderful work they do at St. Jude's. I am so excited to be participating in it with my mom and supporting a cause so close to home! You can see the rest of their run schedule here if you're interested in signing up for one or donating to the cause yourself. 

I'm a true believer that there is no better sign of fall than when you get the notification that the Starbuck's Pumpkin Spice latte is back. I'm so happy it's pumpkin season again y'all! I've already had a PSL of course, bought pumpkin spice creamer, had hot apple cider, and found my new favorite cereal with the pumpkin spice flavor of Frosted Mini Wheats! (Big thanks to Carly at TCP for the recommendation) My only complaint is that I seem to only be able to find them at Target. If you know of any other fall favorites I should try please let me know. 

Lately I've been doing a lot of driving lately so I've been listing to a mixture of Podcast and Audiobooks. Hands down favorite one is Sophia Amoruso's Girlboss Radio - each week she interviews a different girl boss and I swear after every podcast I am so inspired by all the incredible women from varying industries she interviews. Each episode is between thirty to forty five minutes trust me by the end of it you'll be feeling like SUCH a #girlboss! 

Last week Helene from Helene in Between hosted a free webinar all about Turbocharging your Traffic which was absolutely fabulous - but even better it turned me onto a blogging community she contributes to called Blog Boss Babe. I'm really, really trying to up my blog game and so I'm trying to take advantage of all of the great resources in the group - I'll keep y'all posted with updates! 

This is my last week of couch to 5k and I could not be more excited! I'm almost a third of the way there towards my half marathon goal - don't worry, I'll be sharing updates as well as some of the tips I've learned over the past two months soon on the blog. 

What have you been working on this week? Let me know!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

2016 Planners & 3 Tips for Achieving Your Goals

Happy Tuesday! Long time no chat. The past few weeks have been absolutely crazy and completely unexpected/unplanned. As much as you think you can plan and prepare for the unexpected I've learned recently just how much (or little) to say the least that you can. For starters the move to Charlotte is officially off and at least for the time being, I will be staying in my home town. But that's another story.

With the spirit of the new school year quickly approaching, today I wanted to share with you my planner picks for this year as well as my top tips for achieving your goals. If you've been following along for a while you might remember last year I had the Day Designer by Whitney English and Blue Sky. They've collaborated again this year (and are gorgeous, might I add) and you can pick it up at Target for under $20. This time around I treated myself to the classic Day Designer by Whitney English and while I definitely spent more on it (#guilty) but let me just say a week into using it I would gladly pay double. While I was a big fan of the Blue Sky collaboration, I live out of my planner and truly needed the entire page for my daily to-dos!

I'm also a big fan of the Lilly Pulitzer agenda collection (I've burned through two now), as well as the designs Band.o has released this year and I've linked a few of my favorites to shop through below.

If you asked me what the biggest thing I learned in school was I would 100% have to say it was not financial accounting, but how to set goals and execute them efficiently and effectively.

S.M.A.R.T Goals // I know I've mentioned these before somewhere, but this is critical to effective goal setting. S.M.A.R.T stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time sensitive. When setting a goal out for myself I always ask these questions:

Is my goal specific or general? Do I want to go to the gym three times a week and focus on a healthier diet including fruits and vegetables? Or do I want to be more active and try to eat better? It's important to set a specific standard for a clear expectation of what you are trying to achieve.

Is my goal measurable? I tend to base this a lot on progress and how I can understand the value of where I am at in my goal. The easiest example of this would be losing weight, have you lost five pounds or have you lost ten pounds? In this example the goal of losing weight would be measured by how many pounds you've made towards achieving your goal.

Is my goal attainable? Can I actually achieve this goal? Of course a goal is a goal, not a a mere normality or expectation but when setting a goal it's important to stop and think about if you should really invest your time and energy into a goal if that goal is unattainable.

Is my goal realistic? For me, this relates back to attainability. Am I really going to become a mermaid one day? Of course not (though it is definitely wishful thinking!) and so it makes no sense to set a goal of becoming a mermaid and waste my time on something completely unrealistic.

Is my goal time sensitive? When do I hope to accomplish this goal? Do I want to be done in one day, one month, or one year? The time frame is totally up to the goal you set out for yourself and the expectation you are holding yourself to with that goal in mind.

Write down and visualize your goals your goals // Has anyone seen the new Post-it commercial where the girl jumps up and places a post it saying she'll jump even higher tomorrow? It's well known that when you write down your goals you're more likely to achieve them because you're able to visualize and commit. There are tons of ways to do this between a post-it, notes on your phone, or my favorite by keeping my goals tightly bound in my planner.

Prioritize your goals // Needs versus wants. Needs versus wants. I always try to keep this as a mantra when planning out my goals for the week. What do I need to do and what do I want to do? From there I make a point to promise myself not to do the things I want to do until I have already completed the things I need to do. This way I'm not wasting time on task that aren't mandatory and missing big deadlines.

Last but not least, it's up to you to make it happen - so get out there and get goal setting! If you have any tips and/or planner recommendations for this year please let me know in the comments below. Have a great day y'all!

Friday, July 1, 2016

5 Necessities for Long and Strong Hair

Happy Friday! Today on the blog I am so excited to be sharing a collaboration with Kenra Professional all about the five things you absolutely NEED to get long & strong hair! Literally since I was seven years old I have struggled to get my hair to grow out and it seemed to always stop right at about my collar bone no matter what I did. Like it would just stop (please tell me I'm not the only one this happened to). I tried just about everything on Pinterest before I finally figured out the best thing you could do for your hair - stop washing it.

I know, I know it sounds gross and crazy and why would you ever not want to wash your hair. Seriously try it though, you're going to be amazed. 

By stop washing it, I mean stop washing it daily. Without bringing too much science into it, your hair naturally produces healthy oils and when you're washing out those oils every day it causes your hair to become weak and brittle. By washing it every few days you're allowing the oils to nourish your hair aka healthy hair = long and strong hair! I do however realize how gross day two and three hair can be however - and these five necessities will make sure you have that healthy hair before you know it.
  1. Dry Shampoo // Hands down number one thing on this list. I couldn't imagine trying to go a few days without washes not using dry shampoo. Some of my favorites include Dove and Baptiste, let me know if you have a go-to I should give a try!
  2. Shower Cap // There is something to be said for a good shower cap. Prior to getting serious about not washing every day I never gave any thought to investing in a shower cap. Now I can't imagine my life (or my shower) without one. I would check your local TJ Maxx or Target for a more affordable option if you're a first time shower cap user - you can find decent quality at a great price. I recently picked up a terry cloth version from Drybar and am super excited to use it.
  3. Pinch-less hair ties // You know those trendy hair ties without the actual elastic in them? That's what I mean. While I don't find them to be super practical with my hair when I'm trying to actually wear it, these are a major key for me when I'm throwing my hair up running errands or washing my face at night. The strain of an overly tight elastic can not only hurt you with that pinching feeling we all girls know too well, but it can cause serious damage to your hair causing it to break. 
  4. Wet Brush // Back to that key word - damage. Do you ever just look at your hair brush and wonder how that much hair came off of you and onto your brush? I used to be constantly at this point and still sometimes am shocked by just how much hair you loose naturally every day. Ever since I switched over from a paddle brush to a wet brush my hair has been significantly stronger and fuller. While it's designed to be used for wet hair (i.e. detangling when you get out of the shower) I use it daily and swear by it. I was always weary when people recommended it to me, I mean how much can a brush make a difference? Trust me y'all - it's worth the hype. 
  5. Kendra Platinum Revive System //  I was so excited at the chance to review this line as I was already a huge fan of the Kenra Blow Dry Spray (it literally dries your hair in half the time = less damage!) I've been using this system for about two months now and my hair has never been stronger. Impressed would be an understatement. It's a five piece system consisting of a shampoo, conditioner, oil, strengthening treatment, and leave in fortifier. I tend to wash my hair twice a week, once using just shampoo, then using the shampoo and conditioner - typically using the treatment once a month on a paper day. I've also found using the leave in fortifier helps to detangle any knots in my hair on days where I only shampoo, and the oil is perfect for any split ends I come across. 
You can find the Kenra system here as well as on their social media outlets: Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Have you tried the Kenra Revive system? Anything I should add to my list? Let me know!

*Thank you to Kenra Professional for sponsoring this post through Brandbacker. I received samples for my review, yet any opinions expressed are strictly my own.

Monday, June 13, 2016

BIG NEWS - I'm Moving!

This time last year I packed my bags and moved off to Disney World. Prior to that experience I thought I would never want to live outside of my hometown of Chapel Hill, North Carolina - let alone the state itself. I applied for the internship thinking no way would I actually be accepted, said yes and on a leap of faith moved twelve hours away from home with not the slightest idea of a mailing address. (Seriously, with the Disney College Program you find out where you live the day you get there - it's terrifying).

Saying yes was the best decision I've ever made. 

I learned more about myself during those seven months than I ever expected to and if you asked me to do it all over again I'd jump at the opportunity. You can ask any of my friends, I'm absolutely dying to get back down to Disney!

This time around I've got some equally big news - I'm moving to Charlotte, North Carolina this coming August to start my dream job. It is definitely a big and totally unplanned/unexpected change but I could not be more excited for this new experience living in the Queen City!

That being said if you are from the Charlotte area and have any recommendations on places to live please let me know! I've heard great things about the south end area and am looking for a studio style.  Thanks in advance!

Friday, June 10, 2016

Summer Pool Floats

Happy Friday! Today I am excited to be sharing some of my favorite pool floats out this year. Though I haven't been able to make it to the pool much yet, I am definitely planning on it once life settles down - brb dreaming of floating around on the pizza float preferably with an actual piece of pizza.

Which one is your favorite? I'm also eying the swan and I'm pretty sure it's giving me #instenvy given that Taylor Swift has it and all - have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Gift Guide // For the Graduate

Happy Wednesday! Though college graduation season is just about over, high school graduation is right around the corner. Looking back graduation was one of my favorite memories of high school and it stood almost as a turning point for all the amazing things to come the following years. I'm now a college graduate, I have an amazing group of family and friends, I am still crazy about my middle school sweetheart, and just like that I'm making a big move and starting a new job this come August - but more about that later.
I know personally I have two graduation parties this weekend and I had the best time picking out presents for each one of the girls. That in mind I wanted to share what some of my favorites for any budget. 
Which one is your favorite? I personally have the top pair of Kendra Scott earrings so you could say I'm a little biased. Have a great weekend! 


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Where I've Been (Lately 5/18)

Hi friends! Long time no chat. Let me tell you it's so nice to sit down and actually write a post out. The past two months have been absolutely incredibly insane. So here's what's been going on.
I didn't sleep // Literally, the past two months I've maybe slept 5 out of 7 nights a week. This past semester has quite literally been the hardest semester of my academic career. Any time I wasn't spending studying I was working, and between that I was trying to get anything close to some sort of sleep.

I'm planning a big move // Nothing is set in stone so it's still very hush hush, but big things are on the way for this fall!
I had a family emergency // Like I said, it's been one of the hardest times I've had in a while. Being said, I've learned so much about myself and those around me the past few months.
I bought a car // Yes! I did a VERY adult thing this past month and bought myself a new car. It's been in the works since I moved back to North Carolina, and I decided on a Toyota Rav 4. So far I've had it about three weeks and I'm absolutely smitten with it!
I graduated from college // It's been a long time coming! Though I will still be taking summer courses, I walked in my school's ceremony almost two weeks ago and it is still very unreal that it happened. It's like I remember standing in the stadium in a sea of purple but I'm still pretty sure I'm not an adult and I have no idea what to expect out of this post-grad life. Any other recent grads feel the same? Let me know!
I got a FitBit // I have been wanting a new one for a while as my Jawbone wouldn't work half of the time. My boyfriend bought me one for graduation and it came this past Friday so I'm still playing around with it. I got the Alta which came out in March, and seems to be a skinny version of the surge.

Short in sweet that's been life lately. Can't wait to be seeing more of y'all soon!