Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!

This week flewwww by. My boss was out of town on vacation so I had a very laid back week at work and am ready to get this weekend started! Here are some of the things I’m loving on this particular Friday. Enjoy!

Working Out // I stopped for awhile and am finally getting back into it. I feel so good afterward both mentally and physically and it is so worth it. I am currently doing the Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide and I’ve seen some of my friends have amazing results with it. She kicks my butt but I know that’s the best way to see results!

Workout

Flow Chart // At work I have a flow chart that tells me what specific tasks need to be done on that day of the week. I decided to take this concept and incorporate it into my own life because I am terrible at time management. It helps me to stay organized and I’m able to figure out what I should focus on for the day instead of running around like a chicken with it’s head off.

Flow Chart

Friends // I was able to see all of my college friends last Sunday and was able to cross something off my Summer Bucket List when we all met up for a beachy brunch. We’re all so different but we somehow all get along and we always have each other’s backs. I also got to Facetime with the missing member of our group who is currently living in Spain. Moments like these make me feel complete and give me such a sense of peace. Friends are so important.

Travel Vlogs // Right now I don’t have vacation time and it’s killing me slowwwwwly. I am DYING to travel again but since I can’t I’ve been enjoying summer at home and living vicariously through other people. I’ve mentioned this before but Mimi Ikonn has the best travel vlogs on YouTube in my opinion so I’ve been watching and re-watching all of them.

Pac Sun // Pac Sun is having a HUGE sale right now and a lot of items are 70% off. I’ve been looking for a one piece for awhile and decided on this one. 27 bucks!? I’ll take it! Keeping my fingers crossed that it fits well once it comes! If you’re looking for summer clothes or bathing suits definitely take advantage of the sale.

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image via Pac Sun website

Ben and Jerry’s Dairy Free Cherry Garcia // My mom picked this up for me and I didn’t think I would be a fan but YUMMM. It tastes like a chocolate covered cherry and is deliciously creamy. After work I love coming home, sitting outside in the shade and eating it straight from the container.

New Planner // I just picked up a new planner and a notebook from Target. I feel like having a cute planner gives me more motivation to actually use it and these two remind me of mermaids or something. I couldn’t find mine on Target’s website but they have so many to choose from.

planner

As always thank you for reading and be sure to leave me your favorites down below.

Have an amazing weekend!

XO

5 Dairy Free Must-Haves: Sweets Edition

Hello all!

Today I’m focusing on my favorite dairy free sweet treats! I’ve been lactose intolerant since I was a year old. Despite that, I still ate some dairy as a kid with the help of Lactaid pills but as I got older it really started to negatively affect my digestion and my skin so I decided to quit dairy cold turkey. I felt better, my skin was clear and I even lost some weight. Over the past year I’ve gone back and forth between eating it and not eating it and I definitely slip up.

Unfortunately, now my body reacts even worse to dairy and I break out in eczema! So basically my intolerance turned into what seems like a full blown allergy (can that even happen???) and I’ve had to get creative when it comes to finding amazing dairy free alternatives. I hope you all enjoy these finds!

Steve’s Dairy Free Ice Cream // Every flavor I’ve had so far has been amazing! So creamy, sweet and delicious. You would never know it’s not real ice cream. It seems to be sold out online but I find mine at my local grocery store. My favorite is a tie between the salted caramel and chocolate chip cookie dough.

Zen Dairy-Free Pudding // Nothing will take you back to childhood like a chocolate pudding cup. These are so good and perfect if you’re looking for something sweet and light for dessert or a snack.

Silk Creamer // I couldn’t live without my coffee in the morning. And my coffee just isn’t coffee without my creamer. This is the best dairy free coffee creamer I’ve tried. Caramel and vanilla are favorites of mine!

A Good Vegan Bakery // If you’re like me and you love sweets, definitely find a local vegan bakery where you can get the goods. If you live in Central Jersey I recommend Papa Ganache in Matawan. Their cupcakes are delicious, they have a wide selection and I’m able to satisfy my sweet tooth without harming my stomach!

Almond Breeze Chocolate Milk // Chocolate milk was by far one of my favorite things to drink growing up and it always brought me such a sense of comfort. I’ve since switched to this one by Almond Breeze and I don’t even miss the regular stuff. I’ve never been much of a milk fan anyway so I like that almond milk doesn’t have that nasty, milk after-taste. Besides drinking this straight from the carton you can also blend it up with some ice, chocolate protein powder and a scoop of peanut butter for a delicious shake.

I would love to hear your dairy free suggestions down below! And stay tuned for an upcoming post where I’ll talk about my savory dairy free must-haves.

I hope you’re having an amazing day wherever you are. Until next time!

XO

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday friends!

I just love that Friday feeling. Don’t you? I want to try my best to start doing a weekly Friday favorites series here on the blog and I hope you all enjoy it! Here are some of my favorite things this week: 

Seth Godin // If you’re interested in marketing or business and/or you just need some inspiration, I recommend listening to him. He’s insightful, intelligent and easy to listen to. I just got done listening to him on this podcast and I’ve just started listening to his book Linchpin.

The Weeknd- Secrets // The ultimate feel good jam! It’s a great driving song for the summertime. 

Blogging // I didn’t blog much when I was out of work because I was constantly looking for jobs but now I’m getting back into it and really enjoying myself. It’s such a great way to get things off your chest and connect with people. 

These gluten-free blueberry muffins // They are so delicious and contain no refined sugar. The honey and blueberries gave them all the sweetness they needed. 


This American Eagle top // I got this top on sale at an outlet store in the plum color. It’s simple but it fits well and looks really pretty with gold accessories and a tan! It’s a crop top which I’m not at all into, but I wore mid-rise white shorts with it and my tummy was covered so it’s not super cropped. It was the perfect summer outfit and super comfortable.

Popsicles and wine // I can’t remember where I saw this idea but I knew I needed to recreate it for the 4th of July with some bomb pops and sparkling moscato. The popsicle melts into the wine and it turns into a sweet and delicious concoction. Yummm!


I hope your weekend is as sweet as moscato and that you all enjoyed this post. Let me know what some of your favorites are this week down below. 

Cheers to the weekend!

XO

My Quarter-Life Crisis

I’m writing this post in hopes that it will help someone who is going through something similar. I’m also apologizing in advance for the rambling I’m about to do. I’m in a period of my life right now that I can only describe as a quarter-life crisis. Now technically I’m only 23 and maybe I shouldn’t be going through something like this quite yet but let me explain.

I’ve always been a highly motivated person. When I was a child I dreamed of being a doctor or an actress or an editor of a major magazine and I constantly fantasized about my adult life and what it would look like. Going away to college was a huge step for me and really helped me to become the person that I am today. I make very BIG goals for myself and quite frankly sometimes those goals screw me over. So my big goal out of college was to get a job right away, which I did. I interviewed a week before graduation and two more interviews and a whole lot of patience later I got the offer. I was put in customer service (which is not at all what I wanted), but I took it because it was a job and helped me to meet my goal. Although the company was awesome, my actual job wasn’t and the most important aspects of a job weren’t all there. I got a salary (it was a measly salary but still), benefits, 401k options, free drinks (it was a beverage company), fancy parties, great friends, 12 paid vacation days and paid holidays. But what I didn’t get was a good paying salary, the promotions I was promised time and time again, growth in the company, trust in management, support, or help from HR. They were also bought out by a bigger company which created a lot of unrest between employees and I watched as moral dropped.

I was so overwhelmed and stressed by the amount of work that I had that after almost a year of working there I went in one Friday morning and put in my two weeks. WITH NO PLAN. This lead to two months of unemployment until I landed the job I have now which is completely different. I work for a nutritionist in a very small office and I’m technically an assistant but I really just run the front desk. There’s usually no more than 3 or 4 of us in the office at a time. I don’t have a salary, I don’t get paid vacation time until I’m there for a year (and then I get a week), no paid holidays, no 401k options, no lunch break (you eat while you work) and it’s an hourly wage. I’ve only been in this job for a month and my idea in getting this was that it was different. It’s not a large company and I felt like maybe I could learn something here and eventually become a nutritionist myself. But now I’m honestly not so sure that’s even what I want or if it’s even a possibility. I also thought it would be a much less stressful work environment (I was wrong).

I guess it’s like the expression, “you never know what you’ve got until it’s gone”. And quite frankly sometimes I miss the perks of my old job. As I mentioned in my last post, I’m now working a lot less hours. I went from 42 hours per week to about 30 for the summer, which is nice but with an hourly wage it’s kind of stressful. Being completely honest (and I know it’s still new) I don’t love this job either. But I’m sticking it out because they took the time to train me and I owe it to them and myself to give it a good shot.

My biggest problem right now is that I’m so frickin’ confused about my life! With both jobs I felt really optimistic and proud to have gotten them. Only to feel disappointed later when it turned out to be different than what I thought it would be. Because I feel so uneasy in this job right now and in life in general, I sat down last weekend to really figure out what I value and what I really want. I’ve been talking to so many people about this and they always tell me, “if you could do anything what would you do”? And honestly, it would be this! I would love to blog, to write articles, to write books, to become an entrepreneur and have my own business, to create apps and to eventually launch a website in the ecommerce world. I want to be my own boss. But this road is not an easy one. And right now I’m struggling to find out if I should take this extra time I have and throw it into launching a business and focusing wholeheartedly on blogging or should I be considering different career options working for other people? Should I be doing a little of both?

My biggest concern with this job is that I don’t have vacation time which is incredibly valuable to me. I’m also making way less than I made at my last job (and I felt I wasn’t getting paid enough there). I’m not a very money hungry person but I came to the realization that I need to pay off some of this student loan debt, save for a home and a wedding eventually and have some extra money left over to travel or to launch a business or app eventually. And I can’t do any of that right now.

I have a vision board, I’ve made lists of my goals and I know what I want my outcome to be in the years ahead. It’s getting there that is the hard part. Everyone in my life has given me different answers and at the end of the day this has to be my decision. But between the constant confusion and anxiety every day I don’t know what to do next. I also have a raging social media addiction that needs to be taken care of and a procrastination habit that needs to die.

At the end of the day no matter what we are going through or feeling we have to be grateful. Maybe my last job wasn’t great and this current one isn’t perfect or a “dream job”. Maybe my dream job needs to be created. Maybe I’m looking for something that doesn’t exist. Maybe I just need a better attitude. But I’m grateful to have the job that I have and to be able to pay my bills. I’m lucky to have supportive parents and a home to live in. I’m lucky to have a boyfriend who I can build a life with.

This time in life can be hard and confusing and stressful but I really believe I can achieve my goals. And I believe you can too.

So, if you’re confused about your life, please let me know down below. And if you have any advice I welcome it 🙂 As always thank you for reading and following. I can’t wait to look back on this in 4 or 5 years and wonder why we ever worried.

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Hope you all have an amazing day.

XO

Summer Bucket List

Hey friends!

Summer is here and it is blissful. I recently switched jobs and although I’m still unsure about how much I like it, I do have more time which is definitely a positive. My boss gave me Fridays off and I work shorter hours which means more time to be productive, more time to do activities and more time to blog!

Each season I like making a bucket list of things I really want to do. It helps me to get out and make plans for those few months and it also helps me feel fulfilled. Sometimes on social media it can feel like holidays or seasons are just a big competition of who can do the most fun stuff and who can post the most pictures. But once I make a bucket list I don’t feel the need to prove myself to anyone and I can just enjoy the season and the holidays that come with it without any comparison.

I hope you enjoy my summer bucket list and I would love to hear some of your summer bucket list activities down below.

Healthy-ish smores // I’ve been eating a lot of paleo recipes lately and I really like the way it makes my body feel. I’m thinking of trying to make some kind of healthy-ish smores with gluten free graham crackers, marshmallows and dairy free chocolate. I feel like Justin’s dark chocolate peanut butter cups would be so delicious with this too!

 

Outdoor concerts // I don’t go to many concerts but when I do I always get lawn seats and have the best time. I saw Mumford and Sons recently but they got rained out and we had to leave early. I really want to go back sometime this summer and actually get to enjoy the experience.

Sushi date // Sushi and hot weather don’t mix but there’s a local bar that has delicious half-price sushi and outdoor seating. My boyfriend and I haven’t gotten the chance to go yet and I definitely want to get there soon! I could eat sushi every day.

Beachy brunch // The Jersey shore is so beautiful and filled with some great places to eat. The Turning Point in Long Branch is a great place to get brunch and sit outside. After brunch you can plop yourself right onto the beach and soak it all in.

NYC // I’m really trying to make my way to the city this summer. I tend to go in the cooler months because I can’t stand walking around in the heat but I would love to hit up a bar with an amazing roof top and walk around the High Line.

Beachy hairstyles // I am not the best at doing hairstyles that involve braids or any kind of complicated parts but I really want to try these cute hairstyles for the beach or by the pool. I’ve been trying to switch up my look but I end up giving up. I might have to enlist the help of my sister (who is a hairdresser) for these ones.

I hope you’re all having an amazing summer already and that you’re 4th of July was terrific. And always remember that social media DOES NOT determine what kind of life you’re living. You can still have an amazing life even if you don’t post it on social media for the world to see 😉

XO

Unemployment: How To Stay Productive When You Don’t Have a Job

No matter where we are in life, I think most of us can say we’ve been unemployed at one time in our lives or another. Last year around this time I was a ball of nerves. I had just graduated college, I moved back home, I had very little money and I was awaiting an answer from the one interview I had landed right before graduation. I had a really good feeling I had the job but the anxiety of waiting around was slowly killing me. I ended up getting the job after they took a month to give me an answer and after the relief hit I couldn’t help but feel regret for how I had spent the month off. I’ve changed so much within the last year and today I thought I would share my tips for how to actually enjoy your time off and be productive when you’re out of a job.

  1. Have a routine: I can’t stress this one enough! Sleeping in, eating junk and wallowing in self pity is not going to help you land your next job or keep anxiety at bay. I recommend getting up around the same time you would when you were employed. Getting up early is an important part of feeling like you have your life together and it will set you up for a productive day. Eat a healthy breakfast, exercise and set a routine for your day so that you’re occupied and not wasting time.
  2. Exercise: As I mentioned above, exercise is something that should be a part of your routine especially since many people with jobs fall short in this area because they lack time and energy. It doesn’t have to take long and I recommend getting it done in the beginning of the day. Working out will make you happy, it will make you feel productive and it will allow you to keep your mind off of the worry you may be feeling from not having a job.
  3. Get ready for the day: Staying in your pajamas all day is one of the perks of being unemployed! However, it can make you feel lousy and unproductive. Putting yourself together (even if it’s just throwing your hair into a ponytail and changing into yoga pants) can really enhance your mood and will make you feel like you’re still a part of society.
  4. Set goals and make plans: Don’t throw out that planner! You still need it. Wake up and write down your goals for the day. Do you want to pursue that side business you’ve been dreaming of? Is there a blog post you’ve been meaning to write? How many jobs will you apply to today? Write it all down and make it happen.
  5. Get outside: Even if it’s sitting on your front porch for awhile or running to a convenience store, try to get outside at least once a day. The sunshine is good for you and looking at nature helps put things into perspective. Life really is beautiful if you can see it that way.
  6. Guard your mental health: If you know you’re anxiety or depression prone, guard your mind. Unemployment involves many things which can cause these issues to flare up for people who are prone to them. Know that and be prepared to guard your mind against them. Whether that means meditation, yoga, talking to your therapist or writing in a journal, have an arsenal ready and try to keep these things away before they become a bigger problem.
  7. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket: I feel funny writing this since we’re so close to Easter but seriously don’t rely on that one job you think you’re going to get or that one opportunity. Try different things, apply to many jobs, and try to find what will make you happiest. You don’t have to settle just because you’re unemployed. Put yourself out there and set yourself up for many amazing opportunities that way when it comes time to choose you’ll have options.

I hope this list helps some of you! If you’re unemployed right now I just want you to know that you are going to be okay. There are some amazing opportunities out there and with the internet there are so many ways to make a living and more importantly build an amazing career. Try new things and believe you can! I wish you all the best of luck.

unemployed
image via Pinterest

April Showers bring May Flowers

Happy April!

It finally feels like Spring here and I can’t help but feel like this is a time of new beginnings. As the flowers bloom and the dead grass turns green again, I feel something blooming within myself as well. It’s the perfect time of the year to start something new. Look back at your New Years resolutions. Are you working toward your goals? Or have you fallen behind?

Always remember it’s never too late to chase something you want. You can always start over and Springtime is a great time to do that. I recently took some huge leaps in my life and really took some risks. And although it can be scary and uncertain, I’m feeling so optimistic.

In Autumn and Winter everything goes to sleep. The season is dormant. And although the holiday season and the start of the new year tells us to begin something new, our instinct is to hibernate. In the Spring there is a new awakening. Nature is alive again and inspiration runs freely. Take this time to really think about what you want out of life.

This month I’m focusing on creating a better relationship with myself. What are you working on this month? I would love to know.

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image via Pinterest