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24 August, 2016

Yin Yoga and Snap Kitchen

Snap Kitchen Houston
My usual lunch break involves one of three things: I'm either running to an appointment or an errand, grabbing a quick bite somewhere that I probably shouldn't, or, if I'm having a good week, sitting at my desk eating a meal that I prepared at home.  If I do eat lunch at my desk, I will usually walk over to browse a shop across the street, grab a Starbucks, or do something to move my legs and get out of the terrible office lights.

I've always wondered how others manage to workout during their lunch break, and I think it all comes down to prioritizing.  Time should never be an excuse for not getting in a workout -- It's all up to how you sort out your day.  For all you motivated people that hit the gym or walk it out during lunch, I give you mad props.
Houston Yoga Heights
When I got the opportunity to take a Yin Yoga class at Yoga Collective with Snap Kitchen, I was immediately ready to get signed up.  Snap Kitchen is encouraging others to take advantage of their lunch break and take some time to decompress and get some "me" time.
Houston Yoga Studios
Megan, Tosha of Be Incredibly Well, and me!

I wore my all time favorite Lululemon Align pants (I am obsessed), but here are a few other pants that I'd sport in a yoga class:


I've been trying to incorporate more yoga into my fitness routine, and I've found that I truly am happier, more flexible, and feel stronger when I'm getting in a few downward dogs.  My typical workouts are in the gym and involve weight training, and yoga is a huge key in balance for anyone who's used to lifting.

Our 1 hour Yin class at Yoga Collective was simply relaxing.  You know the feeling when you're getting a massage and you reach that one point of extreme relaxation knowing that your body is going to fall asleep?  Bottle that feeling, bring it into a yoga class, and you have this Yin class.  I hadn't tried Yin before, so it was pretty different from the other yoga classes I've taken.  Yin involves holding poses for an extended period of time (we held most poses for 2-5 minutes).  The class incorporated tons of deep stretching and utilized blocks and blankets for support.
Snap Kitchen Calories

We all know I'd be lying if I said I wasn't most excited for the post-yoga food.  Snap Kitchen provided a variety of meals, juices, and desserts for us to enjoy after the class.  Everything looked good, especially on an empty stomach, but I ended up going with the Hibiscus and Lime Tea, Garden Salad with Grilled Steal, and a brownie.  Yo, let me tell you, this brownie was amazing.  I devoured it the second I got in the car and enjoyed every last bite of fudgey goodness.
Snap Kitchen Menus
I'm looking forward to trying more meals from Snap Kitchen on days where I don't have time to make my own lunch, and I'll probably try the cookies next time too! 

What's your typical lunch break like?  And if anyone has tips for working out during lunch, leave them below!

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23 August, 2016

Work work work work

How to Get a Job After College
Alright, everyone.  I feel like this post is highly overdue for me, but to be honest, I wanted to gather my thoughts and phrase things properly before going on a word binge.  After tons and tons of conversations with my family and friends, reading other posts, watching videos from others, and listening to others' experiences over the years, I wanted to do a pretty general post about the J-O-B and finding your career path in this world.

Why am I writing this?  Because I, like hundreds of thousands of others, occasionally wonder what it is I should be doing and what I'll end up doing.  And by occasionally I mean constantly.  I've had opportunities that were a great fit for me, some that were terrible, and some that I knew would catapult me into the next step.

If you're anything like me, you've taken a good look at your life, your job, journaled sporadically, cried, laughed, and been completely confused about the big ol' career journey.  And I think that is the perfect word for these times, especially in your 20s: it's a dang journey.

I wanted to write this and encourage everyone, whether you're looking for a new opportunity, focusing on your current job, or wondering where to go after college.  Here are a few things that I look for at a job and a few things that I'll avoid like the plague moving forward.

I truly want to hear what others have to say about this and encourage you all to leave a comment below, send me an email, or comment on Instagram where we can all have a conversation about this.  Brainstorming with others is often times the best start, and I'm interested in hearing what makes you all happy and pisses you all off at work.

What I look for
Creativity- I work best and am happiest in an environment that encourages me and my colleagues to be creative, bring ideas to the table, and constantly stay open-minded.
Teamwork- I'm the girl who can hammer out a project by myself, but I also love working with others.  Being at a job that encourages colleagues to work together is a major key, and it will also help you bond with your coworkers more than you may think.
Openness- At the end of the day, we're all human.  We all have emotions, responsibilities, lives, and are all out here doing our own thing and surviving as best as we can.  I want to work in an environment that promotes communication, good or bad.  Positive encouragement, constructive criticism, friendly chit-chat, and telling the truth. 
Opportunity- Work at a place that encourages you to succeed, move forward, and advance your career.  Work somewhere that helps you learn, allows you to attend seminars or conferences, and provides you with opportunity other than sitting at your desk (unless that's your jam).
Fun- Work is work, but work can be fun sometimes!  I don't want to live a life where I'm doing the same thing day in and day out.  I want some excitement and fun thrown into the mix, even if it's a quarterly happy hour or bowling outing.  SOMETHING!
Culture- I need an environment with some workplace culture.  Trust me, there are places that have none and it completely sucks the life out of me. 
Diversity- I don't necessarily want to work with all women or all men.  I work best in an environment with a little bit of everything: both genders, all ethnicities, different ages, etc.
Kindness- Don't we all love nice people?  Kindness goes a long way, especially at work where you're probably spending 8+ hours of your day.  People who say "hello" when you pass them in the hallway or run into them at the coffee machine, say "Thank you" if you hold a door open for them, and just have a positive energy about them.

What I avoid
Micromanaging- This just grinds my gears.  I don't like to be checked on every hour - I don't need a babysitter.  If I have a job to do, I hope that my colleagues and supervisors trust that it will be done. Plus, micromanaging does nothing except annoy others and creates a negative work environment...in my humble opinion.
Closed environment- I don't want to work somewhere where everyone camps out in their cubicles, pops their lunch in the microwave, and returns to their cave until the clock strikes 5.  I want an open, "energetic" environment.
Pigeon-holing- This one's tricky.  I've seen jobs and positions where you are essentially stuck and there's no room for growth.  Don't sell yourself short.  If you're happy in your position and can see yourself doing it forever, then keep doing a good job.  But if you're like me and hope to always do a bit more and advance, don't settle for a place that keeps you in your corner.
Robots- You know those people who walk around with zero emotion or expression day in and day out?  They perform the same tasks M-F and are powered by coffee, plus they aren't friendly at all?  I call them robots.  I want to work with warm blooded, regular people.  Please and thank you.
Misery- Kind of like the robots, but a bit deeper.  We all know many people who are unhappy at their job.  But if you work with a group where the majority is miserable in the office/at their job, chances are that will rub off on you or take a toll on your day.  And taking a toll on your day, where you're spending 40+ hours a week, just isn't a good time.

I know this is a wordy post, but there's a lot that can be said.  I encourage you all to comment with what makes YOU happy in a workplace and what doesn't do it for you.  I'm interested!

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22 August, 2016

The Estee Edit

Estee Edit Sephora
You know when you see products all over the Internet and really wish a fairy godmother would magically deliver them to you and it just doesn't happen?  Well somehow I had this thought again, and Influenster came through with an epic (and I rarely use that word) delivery.  Major props to Influenster for giving me the chance to try a few of the products from the new Estee Edit collection!

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10 August, 2016

Credit Cards For Dummies: The Best Options

best credit card for your 20s
I've been wanting to do this post for about a year now, but I didn't want to do it until I had seen a few options, talked to others, asked my questions, and gotten a few statements under my belt.  Now that I've gotten a few bills and researched what seems like a million cards, I'm writin'!

I'm by no means a banker, Accountant, credit card specialist, or a professional budgeter.  I have a lot of work to do myself.  But I know there's always someone out there who's confused and looking for the right card for them, so here's the skinny on what I've found.

A little about me so you all can get the gist of who I am and what type of card I was looking for: I'm in my 20s, two and a half years into the corporate workforce, have had the same car since I was 16 which is paid off, and I have normal/decent credit for a young 20-something.  My ideal card (initially) was one with zero annual fee and offered cash back, perks, or miles.

Let me know if you all would be interested in reading a separate post on my tips to keep in mind if you're considering applying for a credit card -- Would be too lengthy to include all of this together!

The Best Options

No Annual Fee:

Discover IT - This was my first "real" credit card aside from my Target Credit Card.  I signed up for the Target card in college since I was buying so many of my purchases there, from sheets to groceries to cleaning supplies, and they offered 5% off all purchases.  I knew I'd be able to pay the balance, and I was approved for a super small limit.  The Discover IT card offered everything I wanted and focused on cash back.  At the time, this sounded like the best option to me since it was literally money being put back in my pocket.  This card offers specials every few months where you receive 5% cashback on select purchases.  Sometimes it's gas, sometimes it's ground transportation (cabs, uber, etc), and sometimes it's online shopping.  Some of the best perks:
  • Dollar for dollar cash back at the end of your first year (if you're a new card member).  So, if you earned $500 cashback at the end of your first year, Discover will put another $500 in your pocket once your year is up.  
  • 1% cashback on all purchases, any category.
  • Cashback doesn't expire -- It can be transferred into your checking/savings account, applied to your balance, or used during checkout at select retailers.
  • Customer Service is on point.  I have to give huge props to Discover for their quality of customer service.  They mailed me a couple Starbucks cards just because, were always quick and helpful on the phone, and answered all of my questions when I didn't understand anything. 
Discover IT Miles - I ended up switching from the Discover IT card to the Miles card.  The cashback that I was earning from the Discover IT wasn't  impressive, and I wanted to start using a card that I could redeem travel rewards for.  Perks:
  • 1.5x miles on every dollar you spend
  • Discover will match your miles at the end of your first year
  • You can apply miles as a travel credit to purchase you've made (Keep in mind this is essentially the same thing as cash back, just a fancier name).
  • $30 towards WiFi while traveling: It's usually about $8-$10 for WiFi purchase on a flight, so this covers you for about 3 trips.
Chase Freedom - I haven't used this card personally but have heard great things.  Perks:
  • 1.5% cashback on all purchases
  • $150 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months. 

Annual Fee:
OK, so you might be wondering, as I was, why anyone would sign up for a card with an annual fee when there are tons of other options without one.  I think the phrase "You get what you pay for" applies to credit cards as well.  The perks of cards with an annual fee (which usually doesn't kick in until your 2nd year) are better, but it all depends on your preference and budget.

United MileagePlus Explorer - My current card.  I debated this for over two years because of the $95 annual fee which applies after your first year, but damn I wish I had signed up earlier.  I usually fly United, so the perks here benefited me more than the others had.  What got me to apply:
  • 30,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of opening.  This is potentially a round trip flight if you shop smart.  You can get one-way tickets on United for about 12,500 miles depending on where you're going.
  • 5,000 miles after you add an authorized user.  Add your mom, dad, whoever.  They'll send you 2 identical cards, so you don't even need to give this person a card if you don't want to.  But get them miles, honey.
  • 1 mile per $1 and 2 miles per $1 spent on United.com
  • Free checked bag and priority boarding.  I was spending $25 to check a bag if I needed to each way which pissed me off.  That's $50 per trip on luggage alone.

Chase Sapphire - If I didn't travel so frequently with United, this would have been my pick.  I read this post by Courtney from TheBWerd and did some digging to see if it was the best card for me.  All of the perks are great and are pretty similar to the United card.  Perks for the Chase Sapphire:
  • 50K bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months (note that this is $3,000 more than United)
  • 2X miles on travel and dining purchases
  • Redeem for any airline

Does your head hurt yet?!  Let me know if you're familiar with any of these cards or if you think I left a good option out.  Let's work together, build our credit, and keep being a group of Girl Bosses!

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09 August, 2016

Lust List

YSL and Gucci black purse
I've realized that I spend a huge majority of my time perusing the internet for new pieces, sales, the best deals, and adding items to my cart.  I'm the classic online shopper who's a sucker for ads and anything "on sale", but I also like to think that all the time I've spent browsing online boutiques has allowed me to become a pro online shopper.  Is that a thing?  Because I'm pretty sure I'd get a gold medal.

Since I spend so much time searching, I've decided to create a new page on the blog: "Lust List".  This page will feature a handful of pieces I've seen online that I've either added to my cart, eyeing for a future purchase, or things that I'm lusting after and hope to purchase some day.  Think of this tab as me doing the dirty work: If we have similar taste, you can come check this page out and see if anything grabs your attention!

But really, online shopping and clicking through page after page, squinting over tiny icons, and searching for something specific can be a headache.  The Lust List tab is a one-stop-shop for everything I'm loving at the moment -- I'll probably come back to it myself from time to time when I'm ready to purchase!

I'll never be the girl constantly promoting pricey items or blabbing about things that I know I can't afford myself.  The majority of the pieces I feature are ones which I would add or have already added to an online shopping cart.  A few will be more luxury items that I love, but they're on the wishlist for now!

I'll be updating this page frequently, removing sold out pieces, and adding new seasonal items as we near into Fall.  Let me know your favorites + your favorite online boutique! 

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08 August, 2016

Marble Crazed

Marble computer case
PHONE CASE: ETSY | PLANNER (SIMILAR) | COMPUTER CASE: AMAZON

Another Monday, and back to the grind (but does it ever really stop?).  The idea for this post came to me while I was stacking all of my things to take downstairs, because I obviously can never take more than one trip.  I threw my planner onto my laptop and put my phone on top, looked down and thought "photo-op"!
Marble Phone Case
Marble Phone Case White
I'm one of the many who's loving everything marble: from cases, to home decor, to luggage...I'm a sucker.  I've been on the hunt for the perfect marbled phone case and recently purchased this one from Etsy -- I couldn't be happier with it!  
Marble Mac Computer Case
Marble Computer Case
My computer case is an all time favorite and probably will be until it bites the dust.  Mine's from Amazon but here are a ton of other marbled cases and decals that are gorgeous and will give your computer a sleek look.  Hey, it makes working a little more fun, no?


Cute planner
planner for back to school
Marble Planner with Month
And yes, I'm mentioning my planner again because I'm mildly obsessed.  I snagged mine at Home Goods for $7!  You can also see some of my favorite planners here!

I still can't decide if I prefer the white or black marbled look best.  I love both and have a black marbled phone case that I swap here and there.  What's your favorite?


SHOP THIS POST:


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04 August, 2016

Back to College Tips

Advice for going back to college
Let's all take a moment of silence quickly and recognize that we are in the month of August.  I know, I know, same crap that we all say every month, but...summer is almost over, and I'm not sure how that happened so quickly!

If you're livin' the college life and headed back to University soon, you might be scrambling to pack or worried about the ridiculously difficult classes on your schedule for the Fall.  Maybe you're an incoming Freshman (I could do an entire separate post on that).  Regardless, if you're packing your bags and heading back to the grind, here are my tips!

Get your sh*t together
You've been enjoying your summer, so you've probably been drinking, eating ridiculous amounts of fast food, and waking up at noon.  Of course you'll still be partying and enjoying your semester, but balance is the key.  Now's the time to start waking up a little earlier, set your alarm, and actually get up and train your body.  It will make everything easier if you have the much dreaded 8AM class.  News flash: You might have to get up this early for the rest of your life with your job.

Get yourself a planner
I don't understand how people make it through college or parts of life in general without a planner.  A good old fashioned, paper to pen planner.  It makes the world of difference when you can see your assignments, appointments, plans, etc. laid out by day on paper.  I always operated better in school with a physical paper planner.  Here are some of my favorites that are so cute and won't break the bank.  I'm in love with this marble notebook and it's only $7 (I'm using a similar one from Home Goods)!

Start Networking
I can't stress the importance of this, and I'm only saying that because I didn't take full advantage.  Join clubs that you're interested in, get involved, pick your professors' brains if they work(ed) in a field you're interested in.  Play the sports you like, join intermural leagues...use the resources that are at your fingertips!  Seriously, take full advantage of them because you can. 



Get on a schedule
Reiterating the above, start setting an alarm.  Train your body to get up a little earlier and give yourself a chance to warm up.  Start incorporating workouts back into your schedule if you've fallen off of the summer body train.  Keep enjoying your summer and sleep in when you can, but don't sleep all day err'day.  Get yourself on some sort of a schedule.



Subscribe to internship/job notifications
If I could go back in time and give some advice to myself, it would have been to subscribe to job notifications and internship alerts, and to start early.  If you're not familiar with Indeed, start familiarizing yourself!  They post tons of great internship opportunities in every city.  I see them all the time.  Whether you're wanting to work in PR, Event Management, Social Media, Graphic Design, etc. there is something for you.  Just search for the industry or job title you're interested in, type it in with the location, type your email in on the right where it says "Get new jobs for this search by email".  You'll get an email every day (or depending on your selection) with jobs that match your interests!

Stay humble
Don't get it twisted.  When things get stressful, you have a not so exciting professor, you had a bad day, whatever it may be, remember that you are damn lucky to be able to get an education and that someone would give anything to be in your shoes.  Work hard and make the best out of the time and money you're putting towards your school!
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