Week In Review, Vol. VI

Well guys, we made it through the first full week of 2019, and I have to say, I’m killing it in the goals category! Believe it or not, I’ve been super good about sticking to my 2019 plan, doing my best to incorporate my goals into my routine in order to banish bad habits, and form new, healthier ones. How are you guys doing with your goals so far? I admit that midway through this week I had that “ohhhh do I HAVE to work out today??” feeling; however, once I pushed through my workout, I felt SO much better, and managed to have some of the best sleep I’d had in a while that night.

I managed to do a little post-Christmas sale shopping within the last couple weeks, so I have plenty of great finds to share with you today. Both of the sales that I shopped the week after Christmas are still going on so be sure to check those out; it’s a great way to get more bang for your buck on any gift cards you received over the holidays!

Quick Reads:

What I’m Reading: The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

What I’m Watching: Dirty John and Vanderpump Rules on Bravo!

What I’m Listening To:

Sunflower // Post Malone, Swae Lee

Hospitalized // Broods

No Place // Backstreet Boys

Favourite Thing // Fleur East

Recent Purchases:

  • I’ve been looking for a new, affordable skin care line since I randomly had a reaction to the Clinique set I was initially using. My aunt recommended OLEHENRIKSEN’S A Brighter Truth vitamin C products. In researching these products, I found the A Brighter Truth Brightening Essentials Kit. Since I’m one of those people who likes to try sample products before I commit, this kit gives me the opportunity to try out the top three products I was looking at. I’ve already noticed a difference in my skin after two weeks, and will include more about this product in an upcoming post.
  • J. Crew Factory is having an awesome sale at the moment, so I picked up this adorable gingham dress, which will be perfect for summer parties or my upcoming trip to France!
  • Also at the J. Crew Factory sale, I purchased the work blazer simply because my current blazer has seen better days.
  • At the Banana Republic sale, I found this plaid racer-neck sheath dress, which will be perfect for work, as well as the Daria sunglasses. Unfortunately, they don’t have the exact tortoise shell print ones that I have, but the black are super chic. Plus, the shape will look fabulous on any face shape!

Looking Ahead:  Today’s goal is to purge my closet after telling myself that I’m going to for over a week now LOL. I’m still working on a content calendar for Q1, so – as always – feel free to comment below what topics you’d like to see on the blog this year!

What have you accomplished in your first week of 2019?

-K.

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram |Pinterest

Advertisements

Hello 2019!

Gearing up for the year ahead

Happy New Year, everyone! I can hardly believe it, but 2019 is here and I’m gearing up for a big year ahead of me. Not only do I currently already have big plans in the works, but I have some BIG expectations for 2019. I’m not usually the girl to claim that this will be “my year”, but I have a really good feeling about this year. Heading into 2019 with a positive mindset, solid goals, and enthusiasm is the formula for creating a great year for yourself.

Goals

It’s safe to say that I have the tendency to get a little too ambitious when setting goals for the year. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, it doesn’t allow me to actually focus on achieving these goals, and I tend to slack on more than one (oops). As a means of holding myself accountable for these goals, I discovered and downloaded the HabitBull app on my phone. I’m using the free version that allows you to track up to five goals (there is a small fee to upgrade to the premium version that allows you to track more). It’s only been about a week, and I already feel as though I’ve progressed a lot in such a short time with these goals, so I’m excited to see how the rest of the year plays out!

  1. Be Mindful // This is my biggest priority this year. My intention with this goal is two-fold: to be conscious about what I’m putting in and on my body, as well as who and what I’m giving my energy to. Last year, despite physical and mental health being a major goal, I didn’t get where I wanted to be with it. I looked at it more as a chore, rather than a blessing that I have the ability to work out and choose what I eat. This year, I’m being hyper-conscious of what I’m eating, what workouts I’m doing, and how my body feels every day in order to be a healthier person; after all, we are only given one body, so why not take the best care of it. Additionally, in being mindful of who and what I’m giving my energy to, I plan to accomplish tasks one at a time and slow down in order to enjoy what I’m spending my time doing and who I’m with. In doing so, I’m cutting out negative people and tasks that aren’t necessary/don’t help me achieve what I need to or nourish my soul.
  2. Meditate, pray, and/or journal everyday // While I did this for the past few years, I didn’t make as much of a conscious effort as I would have liked to, and certainly didn’t go it every day. This year, I’m making it a part of my nightly routine. So far I’m finding that it is incredibly peaceful sitting down with my journal and Bible before bed and taking that quiet time for myself and God.
  3. Continue to expand my knowledge through an online class and Duolingo // I’ve said it before that if I could be a professional student, I would! Since I can’t, however, I plan on continuing my post-grad tradition of taking another online course to expand my knowledge. I adored the PRISM course by PR Couture that I took last year, so I’m debating if I want to do something similar to that, or take a different route with a field I’m not as knowledgable in. Additionally, I learned that one year is not enough time to become fluent in another language, so I’m continuing on with the Duolingo app this year.
  4. Be kind to myself // It is easy to get angry with yourself when things don’t go as planned or you’re not hitting your goals you’ve set as quickly as you’d like. I know I’m guilty of this and beat myself up about my shortcomings last year, so I’m making an effort to change that. This year, I’m not going to be as hard on myself — taking a rest day if I need it (not a rest week), eating a sweet treat on special occasions, etc. This way, I’m helping myself both physically and mentally.

Health Goals

  1. Drink more water // I’m really good about this most of the time at work; however, when I’m home and running around, this is something I’m HORRIBLE at. I’ve started carrying around a water bottle at all times so that I don’t have an excuse to not drink it. Also, I eliminated pop and most fruit drinks and cut down on (and mostly out, save special occasions) alcohol, so water, coffee and tea are really all that I have to choose from at the moment.
  2. Be active for a minimum of 30 minutes 5-6 days a week // Fun fact: I HATE working out, but I love the feeling after a good workout. I have a hard time with clear cut workout plans because I get bored with them. Plus, I do not like going to the gym so all of my workouts are done at home. Luckily, YouTube has a ton of FREE workout videos ranging from yoga to pilates to Barre and so much more, giving me the opportunity to switch up my workouts daily if I wanted to. By using this free resource, I’m saving money while still getting my sweat on.
  3. Cut out pop // This is a big one for me because I love Coca-Cola! So far, I’m doing well with this and not even craving it — then again, it’s only been a week, so we’ll see where it goes from here.

What’s Next?

As aforementioned, my calendar for this year is already filling up. I’m super excited to return to Europe this summer on a girls’ trip to take on FRANCE! This means that I’ll need to be more diligent in completing my Duolingo French course these next few months. In other exciting news, next week, Ry and I celebrate five years together, but that’s not even the best announcement… 2019 marks the end of long distance for us! Furthermore, I’ve received a few save the dates for weddings this year, plus I get to be the Maid of Honor at my best friend’s wedding this fall! My heart is soaring just thinking about how many exciting things are happening this year, and I can’t wait to share my stories with all of you for yet another year!

What are some goals/things you are looking forward to in 2019?

-K.

New Year, New Goals // 2018

New Year, New Goals // 2018

Happy New Year!

Every year I share my goals for the year with my readers as a means of holding myself accountable (see last year’s goals here).  At least once a month, I take a look back at the post to remind myself of my priorities and altar my strategy to reach my goals, if need be.

As you continue reading, you might notice that a lot of the goals are the same as last year’s. Why, you ask? The answer is quite simple – last year I failed to hold myself accountable or give myself the ability to measure my goals. Reflection on the pure laziness I exhibited last year lit a fire in me to be so much better than I was last year. So, here are my measurable, attainable goals for 2018:

  1. Work towards my goal of being fluent in another language by utilizing Duolingo at least 3 times a week – I used this app before my trip to Italy and it helped immensely. This time around, I will be using it to freshen up on my French!
  2. Explore a new place once a month – either local or out of town
  3. Be mindful of what I’m putting into my body, and log it daily
  4. Go AT LEAST an hour without technology a day
  5. Continue my education either through grad school or online courses
  6. Workout at least 5 times a week – I just started the Body Love app by Anna Victoria and, surprisingly, I actually love it! I’ve mentioned before that I loathe working out, but this time around, I’m actually looking forward to my workout for the day which is a HUGE improvement. I will be giving updates throughout my new fitness journey on my social media channels which are linked in the sidebar if you do not follow me already!

What are your goals for 2018? If we have similar goals, what are you doing to reach them?

-K.

5 Improvements I’m Making on my Daily Routine

5 Improvements I’m Making on my Daily Routine

My first post of this year consisted of nine goals I had for myself for this year. The number one goal on that list is to take better care of myself, which is something I’ve been focusing on a lot lately. Self care is so important; without it you won’t be performing at your best in work or school, or in life period. I always feel at the top of my game after a day of self care. It doesn’t even have to be a day; take at least an hour for yourself a day to help you feel refreshed and rejuvenated.

In the process of taking better care of myself, I’ve added a few new steps to my daily routine to see what fits in with my lifestyle. Here are five that I’ve found aid me immensely throughout the day, week, and so on:

One // Taking better care of my skin.

In my previous blog post, I discussed how I’ve finally found a skin care routine that works for me. Every night I set aside a half hour to floss, brush, and do my brand new routine. I’ve discovered that if I use certain products or cake on makeup multiple days in a row, my skin likes to retaliate and break out. It’s totally okay to give your skin a break and only throw on some mascara and lip gloss for a day at the office.

Two // Taking the time to eat breakfast

There’s no denying how much I love to sleep and how I will soak up every last ounce of it I can get. That being said, I wouldn’t always eat breakfast before leaving for work. When I realized just how much skipping breakfast was affecting me. This Reader’s Digest article explains the negative effects of not eating breakfast on a daily basis.

Three // Ensuring I take small “brain breaks” throughout the day

The older I get, the more I find it difficult to sit or stay focused for long periods of time.  I always ensure that I allow myself to get up and take a brisk walk around the office to keep semi-active throughout the day, and give myself a break from staring at my computer. Also, during lunch I’ll bring a book or work on my blog to take my mind off of work for a bit.

Four // Reading before bed instead of checking my socials

I’ve always been a big reader, but during my college years, I found little to no time to read between coursework, sorority events, dance team and work. I decided to try to dedicate at least 30 minutes to read for enjoyment before bed – it didn’t always happen. However, in the last few years, I have discovered that I get a much better night’s sleep if I read rather than checking social media.

Five // Going to bed at a decent time

Every night (save for some weekends), I’m in bed by 9pm. I know this makes me sound like a grandma, but I am super cranky if I don’t get enough sleep. Every morning I wake up at 4:30am preceding my hour commute to work so going to bed at a decent time in order to get the recommended 7-8 hours is crucial for me.

What are some things you do to improve your daily routine? Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear from you!

-K.

101 Goals Update 2.0

101 Goals Update 2.0

It’s amazing what can happen in only a year! Exactly a year ago today I posted my first goals update (you can view this here) a little over a year after creating my original list of 101 goals (original post here) for one of my internships. A year later, so much has changed: I’ve been at my full-time job for a year now, Ryan and I are over halfway through beating long distance, and the thought of grad school has become very, very real.

Here is where I’m at so far:

  1. Graduate college – completed April 29, 2016!
  2. Swim with dolphins
  3. Get published
  4. Visit all 50 states – Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Louisiana, New York, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Texas, Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, bonus: DC
  5. Travel to Europe multiple times – first trip to Italy completed April 2017!
  6. Go sailing
  7. Be spontaneous for a whole day 
  8. Rescue a dog from the shelter
  9. Buy a puppy
  10. Get married to the man of my dreams (he knows who he is;))
  11. Have children
  12. Start our own family traditions
  13. Own a boat
  14. Be a role model
  15. Take up yoga regularly
  16. Eat more vegetables – try to have them with every meal!
  17. Try a new food/drink every week – I’ve actually been very good with this one
  18. Own a house
  19. Be generally successful in all of my endeavors
  20. Become an exceptionally strong writer
  21. Learn not to get frustrated over mistakes – still working on this, but I’m getting better!
  22. Live a happy life
  23. Own a pair Louboutins
  24. Make six figures before I die
  25. Finish reading the Outlander series – I’m nearly finished with book 5!
  26. Write for a magazine
  27. Have a fun career
  28. Get a tattoo– BIG maybe
  29. Make at least one person happy every day for the rest of my life
  30. Make a difference in someone’s life
  31. Host a holiday meal for my family
  32. Cuddle a pygmy goat
  33. Make a second job out of blogging
  34. Donate a copious amount of money to charity
  35. Complete at least five Pinterest projects I’ve pinned by the end of the year – Didn’t get it done by the end of the year
  36. Read at least half of BBC’s Top 100 Book List – Pride & Prejudice, HP & the Goblet of Fire, Winnie the Pooh, The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe, Catcher in the Rye, HP & the Sorceror’s Stone, HP & the Chamber of Secrets, HP & the Prisoner of Azkaban, The Hobbit, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Anne of Green Gables, The Great Gatsby, The Count of Monte Cristo, A Christmas Carol, Of Mice and Men, The BFG, Black Beauty, Artemis Fowl, A Tale of Two Cities, Holes, The Princess Diaries
  37. Take my mom on the vacation of her dreams
  38. Buy my dad a boat – Dad just purchased his own boat so this is no longer a thing!
  39. Be in Times Square for the ball drop
  40. Go on a wine tasting tour–  completed at the Biltmore!
  41. Spend an entire day without touching my phone or laptop – I’m discovering that this is more and more difficult especially being in my field of work
  42. Sleep under the stars
  43. Take a cooking class
  44. Read the Bible in it’s entirety
  45. See Les Miserables on Broadway
  46. Go to Disneyworld and ride every single ride
  47. Make diamond boards for my littles  – Became an alumna
  48. Take the train to Chicago
  49. Speak French fluently
  50. Win the lottery
  51. Have excellent credit
  52. Pay back my student loans by the time I’m 40 – I will if I continue on my current path!
  53. Watch the sunset in Hawaii
  54. Honeymoon in Paris
  55. Start an IRA  – Shoutout to my full-time job!
  56. Perfect my ice skating skills
  57. Maintain a budget
  58. Road trip to Alpha Delta Pi’s Executive Office
  59. Learn to sew
  60. Make my future husband breakfast in bed
  61. Learn to drive a manual
  62. Visit Nantucket
  63. Obtain my CPL
  64. Have my own business cards
  65. Volunteer at least once a week
  66. Purchase a new laptop – bought my first Mac in June 2017!
  67. Get an international phone plan– lame goal, but necessary for my long distance relationship – We’re making it work with different messenger apps!
  68. Give up caffeine for a month – gave up pop for Lent last year, now only if I could give up coffee
  69. Meditate regularly
  70. Stop biting/peeling my nails
  71. Purge my bedroom at my parents’ house before I move back in – Done!
  72. Leave a lasting impact on my sorority; I want to be remembered – Became an alumna
  73. Have a date night at least twice a month (girls’ night when Ryan is away)
  74. Strive to learn at least one new thing a day
  75. Keep a journal of something I learn every day
  76. Buy coffee for a stranger
  77. Send flowers to a friend
  78. Answer the 50 questions that will free your mind – Completed on my blog in two separate posts (first and second)
  79. Write a freelance article
  80. Get a massage – Treated myself post-graduation
  81. Drink only water for a month
  82. Explore New England/the east coast in it’s entirety
  83. Perfect my handwriting
  84. Attend a conference (nothing that has to do with my sorority) – Women in Automotive Conference last year for work!
  85. Actually bake cookies instead of just eating the cookie dough – Made them and sent to Ryan May 2017
  86. Try Tropical Smoothie – Done and I’m obsessed!!
  87. Get head-shots taken
  88. Go on a spontaneous trip
  89. Attend New York Fashion Week
  90. Attend the Kentucky Derby
  91. No fast food for a month
  92. Become a morning person
  93. Strengthen my Instagram game
  94. Get a professional blowout
  95. Read for 30 minutes every night – So far, so good!
  96. Upgrade my iPhone – Done this past Christmas
  97. Throw diamonds with Luke Bryan
  98. Go on a road trip with Ryan  – Done May 2015
  99. Make a blog friend
  100. See 10 classic movies – Half way there! Gone with the Wind, Wizard of Oz, Schindler’s List, Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs, Jaws, Westside Story,
  101. Buy a monogrammed stationary

 

Looks like I’m doing pretty good so far! A lot of these are long-term so I’m still working hard on them every day. What are some of your goals? Share a link to your own lists below!

-K.

2017 Goal Check-in / Lenten Promise

2017 Goal Check-in / Lenten Promise

I can barely believe it, but it’s already March which means we have nearly completed the first quarter of 2017. This also means that it’s time for a goal check-in. Surprisingly, I’ve been very good about my goals for this year, and I’ve even interlaced it with my Lenten Promise.

Since I’m trying to be a healthier human being, I gave up soda pop for Lent, which is actually super hard for me since I crave Coke/Cherry Coke on a regular basis. Seriously, we’re talking insane caffeine headaches on a daily basis as of lately due to a lack thereof. Yesterday marked one week without my beloved beverage of choice, and it is turning out to be a bit more difficult than I anticipated. Nevertheless, I’m pushing through it, and I think I’m doing pretty well if I do say so myself!

I’ve been pretty good about sticking to a workout regiment at least 4 days a week. Pilates has lately been my workout of choice and I’ve come to really enjoy it. Sometimes I have an occasional slip-up due to a long work day or post-work plans, but, if that’s the case, I try to get in at least a half hour leg and ab workout. I also drink at least 20 oz. of water a day which has made a huge difference in my complexion.

As for my travel goal, I’ve booked three trips within the next three months! I’m super excited for what the rest of the year holds!

How are you doing on your goals? If you’re religious, what did you give up for Lent?

-K.

What’s Your Word for 2017?


I recently read a Levo League article that bid the question “What is your word for 2017?” And challenged readers to choose their word for 2017. Initially it seems like such an easy question, but the more I reflected on past years and my goals for this year, I found it quite difficult. This year I want to be healthy, cultured, and, above all, happy. 

After lots of pondering, I finally landed on my word for 2017: Positivity. 

I’m a cynical person by nature, and I realize the damage that my cynicism does to everyone around me and myself. This is why I’ve decided that this year is going to be different. My goal is to make positivity a habit so that negative thoughts cross my mind less often and, eventually, eliminate negativity all together. The past few years took a toll on my mental health and I currently am having a hard time figuring out my path/purpose in life which has been particularly challenging for me in terms of positivity. However, practicing gratitude daily, getting back in touch with my faith, and  are just a few ways I am taking action. 

I’d love to you what your word is for 2017. Comment below and let’s inspire each other!

-K.