Coffee Talks: Hitting the Reset Button

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This post is more for about what I do when I am feeling drab. As in, I have no motivation and I feel gross and I feel like my life is falling all over the place. It can become a nasty rut for me and snowballs until I end up having an anxiety attack from being so overwhelmed with everything around me. Full disclaimer, the drab feeling is usually after a long weekend of doing nothing and being lazy (it is the initial little pile of snow the is about to roll down the hill collecting). I noticed I need to nip it in the bud quick, the earlier in my week the better.

This past weekend is a prime example, hence why this is what I wanted to talk about today. I had company staying with me over the weekend and we had a wonderful time continuing to explore the city and relax with friends. We wined and dined and spent lazy afternoons in the sun. Honestly, it was wonderful! By the time Monday rolled around I wanted to stay in that sunny haze weekend mindset rather than jump back into work and planning out my week. So I sit down, write out a list of everything I need to do that week (i.e. like school assignments and housework) and allocate certain tasks for certain days so it doesn’t seem as bad.

The first thing I like to do is to get back to my usual diet. Going to restaurants and drinking wine is fun but leaves my body feeling a little bleh. I typically stick to a diet with as few grains, dairy products, and additives, like salt and sugar, as possible. Monday, I still ate leftover pizza and cookies from the weekend but this morning I packed a clean lunch and snacks while chugging lemon water. I like to meal plan and prep as I’ve mentioned before so tonight is prepping central for the rest of the week. Another one of the best ways to reignite my body is to drink lots of water. I have the terrible habit of not getting enough water but I work to try drinking at least two glasses before each meal and sip throughout the rest of the day.

The second thing I like to do may seem the silliest but it helps me so much. I do what my mother always told me growing up and clean my room. I throw all my dirty clothes, towels and linens in the wash (because starting the week out with clean, fresh scented sheets, warm towels, and a plethora or wardrobe options is almost enlightening). While those are being cleaned, I go around picking up whatever else is out. At first it always seems like a daunting task but in the end, it only takes ten minutes maximum.

These last two are combined since they’re short and focus on the body as well. My skin always needs a little pick-me-up so I pull out a brightening, purifying face mask and exfoliate my body. Sounds simple but it perks me right up. I also do something active. It doesn’t have to be a full body intense workout that makes me stop halfway through to cry for a moment about the pain, just something as simple as walking around the neighborhood for 30 minutes. It reawakens my muscles so I don’t feel weak and lazy but strong and powerful. That strength never leaves me if I spend a few days on my bum but can leave if I don’t do anything to after the days of bumminess.

A Week’s Worth of Outfits Days 6-10

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I am still figuring out how exactly I want to stylize this post series with outfit photos and titles. Regardless, I really love how easy it is to plan my outfits but how creative I need to get to keep them fresh. The weekends are when I don’t worry about wearing the same thing twice or being super casual so I’m not including them in the series.

Monday: I wore my black pants from Ann Taylor, a white cold shoulder blouse from Express and a light pink blazer from H&M. For shoes I wore my simple nude heels from Justfab. I wore my hair in a straightened blowout.

Tuesday: I wore a black and white checked dress from Old Navy (it was more white than black as opposed to the one in the picture) with a light blue linen blazer from (Gap? I’m still not sure). Then the same nude heels. I love how the lining of the blazer is white and black polka dots because it created a fun cute contrast with the dress. I had some with my hair creating two french braids that turned into one, then I twisted that one braid around and pinned it into a low bun.

Wednesday: I needed professional and practical. I wore a bright blue blouse from Ann Taylor with some black and white checked pants from Old Navy (more black than white, opposite of the dress I wore the day before) and my nude heels. Again, I wore my hair in a straightened blowout.

Thursday: The experimental day! There was a PR photoshoot in one of our store locations so I wanted to dress up a bit and have some fun. I wore a fitted white button down in a full khaki skirt. It had a little bow on the side and I got it from Goodwill (best purchase ever!). I pulled out some fun heels, black and white polka dot strappy heels from Justfab. I attempted a new Cindy Crawford-esque hairstyle with big beautiful voluminous curls (it turned out so-so, I’m working on perfecting it).

Friday: I had a team t-shirt for an event that morning that was a white and gray baseball tee. I wanted to wear boyfriend jeans but it was too baggy overall so I tucked the shirt into some skinny jeans from Levi. I was running around a lot so I just threw on some brown ballet flats from Target (I wear my flats so often I don’t bother spending much on them since I know they’ll be demolished within a year). I attempted my Cindy Crawford curls again with a bit more success.

Like I said, I have been loving experimenting with different clothes combinations these past two weeks so hopefully I can keep it up for 7 more!

Online Summer Classes

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I honestly didn’t know what to expect when I signed up for an online class back in April. I wanted to work ahead with an extra few credit hours over the summer to help ease my oncoming senioritis this next year and figured adding a class would help. It needed to be online since I wouldn’t be on campus for the entirety of the summer.

Let’s get something straight right now though, I am terrible when it comes to anything online. Horrible! I forget assignments right and left or am always submitting them late. I know it makes me look like a lazy student who doesn’t care about their grade but no matter how many times I write it down or tell myself to do it, I always forget.

I haven’t taken an actual online course before but I have taken several where there are homework assignments and quizzes due several times each week. I can never keep track of which ones are due on what date or that there is an assignment in the first place since I physically go to class everyday.

So you can see why I was so hesitant about how well this class would go (especially since I have another online finance class in the fall semester). However, it’s actually gone pretty well. Thankfully the only thing I have during the day is internship but exams during the weekend have been difficult trying to make time for since I just want to be out exploring.

What I love the most about online classes is you can work semi at your own pace. Some days I may be swamped with work and others I don’t have nearly as many things I need to get done. It’s then that I sit down and crank out a couple of chapters and lecture videos. The hardest part is still remembering when assignments are but I have started blocking off a section of my day (every Thursday) to sit down and do all of my assignments for that week. Knock on wood but I haven’t missed an assignment yet!

Every school has different requirements or rules with regards to courses that can be taken online, over the summer and/or located at a different school to transfer (I have plenty of friends who take classes at local schools in their hometowns that they can count as credits for their universities). Just be sure to check with an adviser before signing up for anything. You don’t want to go through the whole process of registration, tuition payment and studying to have it count for nothing. They may also be able to help with financial aid for those summer courses.

 

Fitness You Love

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I am sure that I have said it before but in case I haven’t here it is, I am in no way an expert on health/nutrition/fitness. But I do love taking care of myself and feeling good everyday, whether it is through diet or exercise. I have talked before about Paleo diets, something that I would do off and on as a way to hit a refresh button. I’ll post again about it more later on but today I wanted to focus more on exercise.

I don’t like working out. I have to lug myself to the gym, figure out what the hell I want/need to do while there, pretend I know how to use the machine and then go home to shower off the sweat so I don’t breakout. It’s time consuming and painful. I get tired trying to schedule my mornings or evenings around the gym. It’s like a chore almost.

These past few months though I have started loving to workout and the reason is because I have found something that I enjoy doing and feel empowered by. Call me basic but I adore cycle classes. I stopped dreading trying to fit the gym in but started to plan my day around a class because I wanted to go so bad. I felt so good walking into a class and even better walking out. To top it off, they’re great workouts!

I’m not saying that cycling is the answer for everyone’s gym woes but I am saying that once you find something you love, it makes working out so much more fun. Going to the gym won’t be a chore anymore but it’ll be something that you are eager to go to however many times a week. If you’re someone looking to get active, most fitness centers offer a wide range of classes that give discounts or free classes if its a first time in that class. Try them out, see what you like. If you don’t like a class environment try out other forms of exercise. It doesn’t have to be something that is done every single day but maybe a couple times a week. Its an energy booster (like drinking a cup of coffee without the caffeine).

Also, and this is a little side note, drag some friends with you if you go to check out the classes. It helps with motivation and makes it a lot more fun to experience. My friend and I would go cycle together and chitchat in the back of the room half of the time and head somewhere to eat afterwards. Its a great way to catch up with friends and turn a boring activity into a fun event!

Summer Skin Savers

Recently, I’ve been posting more and more about life and a less about cosmetics. Today I wanted to share a bit about some of my favorite skin savers. I want to protect my skin during the sunny months and maintain and glowing complexion.

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For a long time I didn’t care about sunscreen, I didn’t care if I burned and I didn’t care if I wore SPF on my face everyday.  Over the past few years I started to care after my skin (and not just caring about the breakouts but actual healthy skin overall).

I wrote a post months ago looking at new face washes and finally landed on the Origins Checks and Balances Cleanser.  It is so refreshing and cleanses my skin without stripping it (it also gets super foamy which I love). One product that is new to the routine is tea tree oil. The one I use is from Trader Joe’s and I just dilute a bit on a cotton ball with some water and massage it all over my face after washing it. It keeps my pores feeling fresh and clean.

Mario Badescu and Aveeno have been growing as two of my new favorite skincare lines (and both can be purchased at Ulta for not very much). I got the Mario Badescu Ceramide Herbal Eye Cream back in the fall and it has helped significantly with my under-eye circles. I got the Aveeno 60 Second In-Shower Facial a couple of weeks ago and so far I adore it! During the week I don’t have a lot of time to keep up with a super intense routine, with this I can put it on while in the shower, rinse off and I’m good to go. My skin looks bright and feels amazing.

I have become obsessed with making sure I have some sort of SPF on my face everyday. I look for it in my moisturizers and even foundation (despite the flashback). It is so important for keeping skin young and healthy. My absolute favorite CC cream with SPF is the It Cosmetics CC Cream. It has an SPF 50 without the weird sunscreen smell and beautiful coverage with many other benefits. I turned several of my friends onto it and it has gained a few new loyal followers as a result.

The last two products I want to mention are a normal body sunscreen and lip balm with SPF. Call me crazy but lips do burn and its painful when they do. Typically my favorite is the Blistex Raspberry Lemonade (holy moly it smells so good) but my roommate this past year introduced me to Tony Moly (their packaging is so stinking cute). Then any sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher is a must when spending time in the sun (Sun Bum smells yummy but I still love the classic Banana Boat smell).

Exploring A Temporary Home

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Every year I start stressing by the time Spring rolls around about finding a summer job or internship. For the past two years I have been extremely lucky in getting offers early on. Last summer I was an orientation leader for my school and this year I am a corporate communications intern for a fashion company in Florida. At the start of my internship I found myself, once again, in a city where I didn’t know anyone that was extremely far from home. Something I haven’t done since my freshman year of college.

There are around 20 or so other interns for the company I work for so one would think we would have banded together from the start. However, given the size of the company and the fact that we all are working in separate departments, we hardly saw one another. This past weekend a group of us were finally able to spend time hanging out and getting to know one another. So few of us are from this area that we decided to spend the weekend exploring. Last weekend my roommate and I checked out a few of the local shopping centers and had a wine night while watching a few episodes of Chopped Grillmasters.

I received text messages from a string of numbers I didn’t recognize making plans to hangout by the pool and order pizza Friday night. Those plans were altered and we all ended up grabbing pizza and wine at a restaurant called Grimaldi’s. We sat around our table for hours chatting away and making plans to meet up the following morning for a trip to Captiva.

I love going to the beach and thought I had seen quite a bit but nothing compared to Captiva Beach! The weather was warm and balmy, the sky was a brilliant shade of blue and the water refreshing despite it not being cold. We would wade into the water and see pods of sting-ray swim past us. Dolphins weren’t much too far off from the shore, surfacing and flipping in the water. Whenever we started to get pruny, we would head back to our towels and lay out for a while. There were so many beautiful shells (something my grandmother used to always love looking for whenever we went to the beach growing up) that one could just walk down the strip and have an instant collection.

Later that night we tried out a restaurant and bar that someone had recommended. Although it wasn’t our scene, we stayed for a short while and left for late night IHOP pancakes. I had no clue they came out with cupcake pancakes and holy moly those things are so sweet and tasty! Within 48 hours a group that hardly knew one another were already becoming close-bonded friends.

I think it’s important no matter where you are to make it a point to explore. Whether you’re new to the area or have been there for years, there is always a new restaurant or attraction or store to check out. It also helps someone new to an area to meet people and make friends. I know I love to be a homebody sometimes and stay within my comfort zone which is why I also love to push myself to go someplace I’ve never been before surrounded by people I don’t know. Everyday it brings a fun, new little adventure.

A Week’s Worth of Outfits

Here it is.

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Not all of these are the exact pieces I wore this past week but pieces that are similar.

Monday: I wore a light blue blouse and black trousers from Ann Taylor with nude heels from Justfab (I love getting their shoes because they’re a great way to try out a trend or style for very little, plus they’re crazy cute).

Tuesday: I had on my black and white striped dress from Tobi with a blue linen blazer (I think I got it from Gap a few years back) and black booties from Old Navy. I legitimately love buying seasonal booties from there because they get a lot of wear during the year (never want to wear good suede shoes as much as I do theirs) and they’re pretty affordable.

Wednesday: I black halter dress that used to belong to my mom. Then I added a light pink blazer from H&M and those same black booties.

Thursday: I love pairing my black jumpsuit with a blazer for a fun spin on business wear. I got the jumpsuit from Express and the blazer from H&M. Then I wore the same Justfab nude heels.

Friday: I had purchased an oversized asymmetrical sweater from the company store (I’m interning for a fashion company- I’m planning a post for later this summer). I get pretty cold in the office most days and like to dress a bit more casual on Friday’s so I paired my new sweater with some dark wash high rise jeans from Levi. Instead of the nude heels, I changed my mind this morning and wore flats instead since I was running around to meetings all day.

I figured this would be a pretty good start into cataloguing my outfits every week as well and helping me keep from wearing the same thing more than once. And I may find a way to take pictures of the actual pieces I wear everyday. Like I said yesterday, we’ll just have to see how this goes! I really like the idea behind minimalism but was always curious about exhausting my wardrobe if I tried it. Definitely miss having some of my other things but being completely honest, there hasn’t been a need for them and I doubt there will be for the rest of the summer. That being said, already starting to plan out what to wear next week!

Minimalism and Forced Creativity

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I love going all out. I love being extra. I love always having everything in case I were to ever need it. When it came to travel, I always took extra outfits and articles of clothing to change up my original outfit plans depending on weather or activity. However, it always became a much bigger deal when I would move. I didn’t go too crazy freshman year of college with all of the dorm “essentials.”  Even moving into my off-campus apartment my sophomore year I was still able to fit most everything in my car.  Moving out of my house this past month was a struggle because I could hardly see out of any of the windows and I ended up having to leave a lot of things behind or throwing them out.

This summer I am interning in southern Florida. That meant I had three weeks after finals to move out of my house at school, unpack everything at home and then repack it all to travel to the sunshine state for two months. I was not about to lug all of those things around with me (besides that, driving without any visibility for 15 hours is a dangerously bad idea). It’s in times like that when Pinterest becomes one’s best friend. I kept looking up all of the pins about packing in carry-on bags or “15 pieces 30 different ways” to help me plan out a wardrobe that included enough to work for my internship and normal wear. Everything I brought to Florida (including hygiene and apartment necessities) were stripped down to the basics. I felt so amazing while packing up my car and realizing how little room everything took up.

The most challenging aspect is constantly coming up with new variations and combinations of the basic pieces to keep them fresh. I constantly find myself falling into the same outfit patterns and wearing them over. It takes time figuring out how to rework outfits and accessories to keep them looking brand new even though you’ve already worn them about a hundred times. I’m creating a post series for the remaining 9 weeks of my internship of how I rework each piece. There won’t be huge variations between every single outfit but it’ll be enough to wear I’m not wearing the same exact thing every time. It’s forcing me to get inspired. The real question is, can I keep it up for the time remaining? I suppose we’ll see.

Getting Over The I-Don’t-Feel-Like-Its

I like to think I’m an organized person who has their entire life sorted out and who is always on top of things. Truth is, I’m not. Textbook definition hot mess (always late despite waking up two hours earlier than usual, forgetting things like assignments or house keys, etc.). At least I always remember to put my  lipstick on.

There is one specific reason that I am that way though and its because I get severe cases of the I-don’t-feel-like-its. I could work on that homework assignment after it was assigned and I have an extra hour in my day but instead I don’t feel like it so I watch an episode of Gilmore Girls. I could prep my lunches for work at the beginning of the week but I would so much rather sit with a good book and glass of wine. I could always put my clothes away when I change after work or the gym, but it is just so much easier to drop them on my floor or bed and then root through them the next morning to find my other shoe.

Some days, I think it’s a good thing to sit back and relax instead of constantly charging ahead but I also think that taking those additional few minutes to hang your jacket back up are also important. Its a mindset, if there is one thing out then the brain kind of assumes that it will be okay to leave out another item. Before you know it, that one jacket has turned into an entire crumpled wardrobe on the floor and a small pile of dirty coffee cups and snacks on your dresser. What could have only taken a few minutes turns into a decent chunk of time cleaning everything up again (or rushing on an assignment and not doing as well as you could have or running late in the morning because you had to pack a lunch only to have forgotten it as you walked out the door). It happens to me more frequently than I would like to admit.

Over the past few weeks I have really been making a conscious effort to be proactive and not end up a “hot mess” everyday. I started planning my meals out each week and doing a little bit of prep work (so I don’t get home and end up eating a can of plain chickpeas for dinner). I pack my bag for work and lay out outfits the night before so getting ready is easier in the morning. I actually read my textbook for my online class during the week instead of saving all of my reading and studying for the night before an exam (although usually its when I’m multitasking by walking on the treadmill at the gym- at least I’m trying). Little things everyday that don’t take much time but end up saving a lot. The goal is to try to build habits for myself that just become a natural part of my lifestyle.

Another thing that I’ve found extremely helpful in getting over the I-don’t-feel-like-its is unplugging more often. I wasn’t ever GLUED to my phone but I was using it quite a bit and relatively often throughout the day. Every night as part of my routine, I put my phone on the opposite side of the room and leave it on sleep mode for the rest of the night. Then I like to read for roughly 30 minutes (currently working my way through Wuthering Heights from my book list) to help me completely unwind. It’s the perfect opportunity to take a little me-time and relax after a long day.

I Overslept

Can you tell from the title that I accidentally overslept a bit yesterday morning? For some reason I kept hitting snooze on my alarm that morning and woke up with less than thirty minutes to get ready for class. I love to walk to campus everyday for class (it keeps me from having to buy a parking pass or pay for a garage everyday, plus I never have to worry about finding a spot) but on Tuesdays and Thursdays my first class – 8:30 Accounting – is on the far side of campus meaning I leave my house at 7:30. I could go to class looking like a gremlin who just rolled out of bed and call it a day but today I wanted to try making myself as presentable as possible with the time I had.

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For me, it’s all about simplifying my routine as much as possible. So instead of a full everyday face of makeup, I skip a few steps with a CC cream (I recently purchased the It Cosmetics CC Cream and it is everything) which does the job of many products all rolled into one. Then I go in with concealer, if I overslept chances are I have some circles under my eyes that need to be covered. I keep the rest of the routine simple with a pop of cheek color (a nice blush makes the face look fresh and awake), naturally filled in brows and a few swipes of mascara.

Unless I showered the night before, chances are my hair is in need of a pick-me-up. Dove dry shampoo is one of my favorites but I also really love using a little sprinkle of baby powder. You can get scented baby powders at the grocery store so you don’t go around all day smelling like a newborn. Then I always finish off with brushing my teeth and moisturizing. I actually have a hard time leaving my house without throwing hand cream or Chapstick in my bag.

While I’m doing all of this I have my coffee brewing and waiting for me at the door. I love it and it helps keep me awake during that early morning class when I’m feeling extra sleepy. In all, this routine takes maybe 20-25 minutes (which includes a quick face wash and my go-to outfit of jeans and a button down) and I am able to make it out the door in time for class.