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.

Gratitude

With the advent of Thanksgiving upon us, it’s necessary to take the time away from our busy schedules and reflect on all of the blessings we’ve received throughout the year.

All too often, we get caught up in the craziness of our day to day lives, and don’t take the time to appreciate and thank God for everything both big and small in our lives. I challenge you to take your blessings and use them to give to others during this season of giving. Whether it’s simply paying forward a previous favor someone did for you, or paying for the person behind you in line at Starbucks.

“Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our Thanksgiving.” – Betsy Farrell

I am truly grateful, thankful, and blessed for an incredible year thus far. I have so many things to be thankful for, including the opportunity to travel to another country for the first time, my family is going to be together for the holidays, and my Airman is FINALLY coming back to the states in just a few more days!

What are you most grateful for this year?

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

-K.

Surviving My First Post-Grad Job: A Year in Reflection

“There is no substitute for hard work” – Thomas Edison

I’ve been at my first post-grad job for about a year and a half now, and thus far it has been a whirlwind of learning experiences. If you’ve stuck with me this long, you’ll know that I did a brief reflection after my first week on the job. Needless to say, after only a week on the job, I had no idea what lay ahead for me in my position.

A Brief HistoryInitially, I was hired on to take over our Social Media Strategist’s position while she was on maternity leave. She’d been at the company for about five years at the time, and is  beyond fantastic at her job. Daunting was an understatement. As turbulent as it seemed at the time, I found that I really enjoyed the position, namely because I was gaining more global experience than I ever thought I would. Upon her return in January, I was handed over some of the same responsibilities I was doing in her position, such as branding/merchandising, writing press releases, and managing local trade shows and conferences. These items, as well as a few others, are what I’m currently responsible for in my position.

Here are a few lessons I’ve taken away from my first year in corporate America:

  • You will make mistakes. Accept them. Learn from them. Early on, I was terrified of making any mistakes, but it turned out that I was preventing myself from learning. After a series of events and some self reflection, I finally acknowledged that it is all part of being human, and the learning process.
  • Be hungry to learn. Take on every learning opportunity you are given even if it scares you; something truly great could come out of the experience. If an opportunity is not directly presented to you, it does not hurt to ask! In fact, it will make you an exemplary employee.
  • Ask questions unapologetically. I’m not going to lie, it took me a while to figure out that my co-workers are not going to get mad at me or annoyed with me if I have a question. It’s always better to ask a question, rather than assuming and doing something wrong. You are not expected to know everything when you first start out. Be sure not to ask the SAME question over and over again – this is where you’ll piss people off.
  • Find yourself a mentor. Being one of the youngest people in the company is a challenge in itself. Luckily, I’ve been blessed with an awesome team that genuinely wants me to succeed.
  • Don’t take things too personally. This is something that I’m still struggling with, and – quite frankly – I think it takes a while to learn.
  • Leave work at work. I CANNOT emphasize this enough! You will have a much healthier work-life balance if you leave anxieties and stress pertaining to work at the door on your way out. You work to live, you don’t live to work.
  • Take care of yourself outside of work. If you’re not at your best outside of work, there’s absolutely no way you can bring your best foot forward at work. Take at least an hour out of your day to relax and “treat yo’self”.

Not too shabby for YEAR 1! It was no easy feat, yet I’ve learned a lot about myself and grown immensely throughout the process. Obviously there is still much more to learn throughout my career, and I’m beyond excited to see what the future holds!

-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.

Closet Staples for Every Professional Woman

Transitioning into corporate America from college life is no easy feat, especially in the wardrobe department. Luckily for me, I had my sorority Sundays and numerous internships to help me build my professional wardrobe and keep me on the right track to know what is and is not professional. However, my current workplace has everything from casual jeans to full business attire depending on what team you’re on, so it took me a bit to get in the groove of what is and is not acceptable.

I’ve found that having a business capsule wardrobe helps make my outfit planning for work a lot easier. Here are a few primary closet staples every boss babe needs in her wardrobe!

Classic White Oxford // Ralph Lauren never fails in the Oxford department. An Oxford can be paired with most everything, and is perfect for layering in the cooler months.

Feminine Blouse // While an Oxford is extremely versatile, a feminine blouse can make an outfit. Add a little extra embroidery like this Zara high-collar blouse, and you’ll instantly make a statement.

Blazer // I love love love a good blazer! I believe that a well-tailored blazer can instantly dress up any outfit. My personal favorite is the J. Crew Factory Schoolboy Blazer in Navy, as seen on Instagram.

Pencil Skirt // Pretty sure it goes without saying, but every boss babe has AT LEAST one power pencil skirt in their closet. J. Crew Factory has a ton of pencil skirts in varying colors and great for all seasons. Some of my favorite pencil skirts also come from New York and Company; they have everything from a classic black pencil skirt to a fun, flirty patterned skirt.

Sensible Pumps // I used to be that horrible person that buys shoes because they’re cute without really thinking about their comfort level. Don’t be that person! I promise your work conferences are so much more enjoyable when your feet aren’t killing you. Some of the most comfortable (and fashionable) pumps were nearly identical to these black leather pumps from Nine West.

Loafers/Chic Flats // Lately I’ve been obsessed with loafers and pointed-toe flats such as these Sam Endelman Loafers and these pointed-toe ballet flats from Target. Bonus points if you have them in fun colors!

Here are a couple ways to style these classic pieces:

Professional Staples 1
Professional Staples 2

Professional Staples 2 by kerogus featuring a j crew jacket

What are some of your favorite staples for the office?
-K.

 

25 Bucket List Destinations

Ever since I was little, I dreamt of seeing the world. I always knew that there was so much more than my little hometown, but it always seemed to be one of those places that was like a black hole – once people were here, they never left. Luckily, my parents have blessed my brothers and I with some amazing family vacations since a young age. Although, we were travelling in the US – with the occassional trip across the border to Canada –  I was so fascinated to see how different parts of the country lived. It’s amazing to see the beauty in every single state.

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Photo provided by Jessah of ReadyJessSet

 

If you’ve been following my blog, you know that this past April, I traveled out of the country for the first time. Let me tell you, I have been bitten by the wanderlust bug! I’m already planning some trips for the next year, and I cannot wait to share them with you, but, for now, here are 25 destinations I need to see in my lifetime (in no particular order)!

  1. Dublin, Ireland
  2. Edinburgh, Scotland
  3. London, England
  4. Paris, France
  5. Boston, Massachusetts
  6. Savannah, Georgia
  7. Charleston, South Carolina
  8. Santorini, Greece
  9. Casablanca, Morocco
  10. Bali, Indonesia
  11. St. Lucia
  12. Salem, Massachusetts
  13. Nashville, Tennessee
  14. Maui, Hawaii
  15. Nantucket, Massachusetts (okay so maybe I just want to see all of MA!)
  16. Newport, Rhode Island
  17. Positano, Italy
  18. Prague, Czech Republic
  19. Vienna, Austria
  20. Athens, Greece
  21. Madrid, Spain
  22. Berlin, Germany
  23. Zurich, Switzlerland
  24. Porto, Portugal
  25. Budapest, Hungary

Launching soon: ReadyJesSet a travel and lifestyle blog to fuel your wanderlust! Learn more about Jessah and her travels on Facebook and Instagram.

What is your must-see destination?

-K.

October Playlist

October Playlist

Mi Gente // J Belvin, Willy, Beyonce

Thriller (Steve Aoki Midnight Mix) // Michael Jackson, Steve Aoki

Bodak Yellow // Cardi B

…Ready For It // Taylor Swift

Meant To Be // Bebe Rexha, Florida Georgia Line

One Man Army // Sleeping With Sirens

All My Love (feat. Conor Maynard) // Cash Cash, Conor Maynard, Shaun Frank

Too Much To Ask // Niall Horan

The Last of the Real Ones // Fall Out Boy

Havana // Camila Cabello, Young Thug

 

50 Ways to Practice Self Care

50 Ways to Practice Self Care

Self love is a huge buzzword lately. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that I recently shared a post stating that I have always struggled with it. Once I reflected a bit on my post and thoughts about the topic, I really started to think about what things I currently do and what I could do to aid with my practice. I consulted some of my closest friends on ways that they cope with the bad days, and practice self care. Creating self love takes time, but practicing everyday helps to improve it little by little.

Here are 50 ways that my friends and I practice self care:

  1. Take a bubble bath
  2. Read a book
  3. Treat yourself to a mani/pedi
  4. Yoga
  5. Meditation
  6. Turn on some of your favorite music and have a solo dance party (or with your friends if you so choose)
  7. Light one of your favorite scented candles
  8. Unplug for at least an hour
  9. Go for a walk or run
  10. Do a hair or face mask (or both!)
  11. Splurge on that item you’ve been eye-ing to help amp up your wardrobe
  12. Ask for help from friends and family
  13. Write out your thoughts and feelings
  14. Focus your energy into a workout
  15. Clean and organize
  16. Watch one of your favorite movies
  17. Have a glass of wine
  18. Cuddle with your pet or a loved one
  19. Laugh – put on one of your favorite comedy movies or tv shows
  20. Stop comparing yourself to others
  21. Keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water
  22. Forgive yourself
  23. Remove toxic people from your life
  24. Go on an adventure to a place you’ve always wanted to visit
  25. Stop making excuses
  26. Search for the positives in every situation, regardless of how hard that may be
  27. Take an online (or in-person, if you prefer) class to expand your knowledge on a topic
  28. Allow yourself to feel whatever it is you may be feeling, even cry if you need to
  29. Pray if it fits your beliefs
  30. Take a nap
  31. Indulge in a sweet treat
  32. Plan a girls’ night out with your best friends
  33. Eat healthy
  34. Get creative and try your hand at a Pinterest craft
  35. Have a night in with your SO
  36. Check an item off of your to do list that you’ve been avoiding
  37. Try something new be it an activity, recipe or restaurant
  38. Practice gratitude
  39. Bring the outdoors indoors and buy yourself some flowers or a house plant
  40. Get a massage
  41. Watch the sunset
  42. Recite positive affirmations to yourself
  43. Change up your look with a new hairdo or applying your makeup differently
  44. Play a relaxation Pandora station
  45. Cook a meal featuring your favorite comfort foods
  46. Be mindful
  47. Call a loved one you haven’t spoken to in a while
  48. Stop feeling guilty for taking some time for yourself
  49. Switch things up by creating a new routine
  50. Remember that you’re doing the best you can, and focus on your progress

 

Do you have some self care tips that didn’t make the list? Leave a comment below!

-K.

Fall Bucket List

Fall Bucket List

As I have mentioned numerous times throughout my blog, I LOVE FALL! There’s something about fall in Michigan that makes it feel magical: the changing leaves, brisk weather, comfy flannel, and cider and donuts, of course!

Because there are so many fun fall activities in Michigan, I narrowed my favorites down to the top 12 must-do’s this year!

1. Pick up some fall closet staples.png

What are some of your fall activities you are looking forward to?

-K.

3 Fall TV Shows Worth Watching

Fall is my absolute favorite time of year in Michigan: hot cider, cozy sweaters, and some of my favorite tv shows are back on air! I really don’t watch too much tv as I don’t really have time for it, but there are a select few *cough* GoT *cough* that I always make sure to pencil into my schedule. Here are three of my favorites you won’t want to miss this fall.

    1. American Horror Story: Cult // I got into the American Horror Story franchise my sophomore year of college when my friends that lived on my floor invited me to watch the season premier of Coven (season 3), and I’ve been hooked ever since. While the last few seasons have been hit-or-miss, this season promises a good scare. Set in Detroit during the 2016 election, there is still not much known about the season as a whole. Season 7 of AHS kicks off TONIGHT at 10PM.
    2. Outlander // My love for Outlander began after I watched the first episode from the first season, and spawned from there. The series follows Claire Beauchamp as she journeys to Scotland with her husband following World War II where she mysteriously falls back in time to the 18th century and falls in love with a Scotsman Jamie Fraser. Today I’m working on the fifth book in the incredible series by Diana Gabaldon. The third season of Outlander begins Sunday, September 10th.
    3. Fuller House // Growing up, I LOVED watching Full House, so you can imagine my excitement for the spinoff following the Tanner clan today. If you don’t know already, Fuller House focuses on DJ and her children following the death of her husband. Part 1 of the third season comes to Netflix Friday, September 22 – aka Full House’s 30th anniversary!

What are shows you are looking forward to this fall?

-K.