Top 5 E-Newsletters to Kick-Start Your Morning

Top 5 E-Newsletters to Kick-Start Your Morning

Looking to stay more informed with what’s going on in the world? You’ve come to the right place! Beginning in high school, my teachers preached the importance of staying on top of current events. Throughout college, I went about my days with a lack of television which was my primary source for news growing up as I did not read the newspaper. I had several news apps on my phone and newspapers were always available on campus, but I never really took the time – or had the time – to read the articles.

It wasn’t until my senior year of college that I discovered the beauty of e-Newsletters. I could digest the top news stories from around the world in 5 minutes and under. They provided me enough information to develop my own opinion on world affairs, and hold an intelligent conversation. Thus began my love for these quick, information-packed news sources.

The Skimm //  Top world news stories, current events, and the latest products and reads curated by two former producers and delivered to your inbox every weekday with no bias, no jargon, and much needed humor. Join the Skimm Life here!

The Newsette // Delivered to the inbox of career-focused women every weekday, the newsletter covers several topics including current events, wellness, beauty, fashion, and more. Sign up for  The Newsette here!

New York Times: What We’re Reading // Delivered twice a week to your inbox with articles from around  selected by NY Times reporters and editors. Sign up for NY Times: What We’re Reading here.

Career Contessa // This career site was built exclusively for women seeking empowerment and looking to cultivate successful careers. Their newsletter includes free downloads, workplace adivce articles, job openings across the USA, and more. Subscribe here!

WhoWhatWear // Daily fashion news delivered straight to your inbox including trends, celebrity style, street wear, and more! Fellow fashionistas can sign up here.

What are some of your favorite e-Newsletters?

-K.

2018 Reading List

I have this problem — the first step is admitting that, right? It’s this thing where I continuously buy books even though I know there is no way I’ll get through them all in the span of a year, yet I continue to build my personal library. In all honesty, there are far worse addictions that I could have than buying books (I know, I know, this is just me justifying it to myself).

My love for books and reading began at a young age. I would “read” books to my  then-infant brother Owen as a toddler, and force my parents and grandparents to read to me since I couldn’t read myself. I still remember the very first book I learned to read in kindergarten about a firefighter and his Dalmatian — ironic now that I’m dating a firefighter, amiright?! I even have a list of places I want to visit just to see the resident library; the Biltmore Estate being one I checked off my list this past year (you can see this post here). Additionally, you can bet that I’m always carrying a book on me for when I have down time or during my lunch period at work.

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Thank God for boyfriends who take great candids! Shoutout to Ry for snapping this during one of our many Italian train rides.

This year, I’ve made it a priority to get through those books that I own that I have yet to touch THEN and only then will I allow myself to purchase more … Oh who am I kidding?!? We all know that I’ll be buying more as soon as I discover a new book I want to get my hands on! As you’ll see below, I have a huge soft spot for historical fiction (i.e. Outlander die-hard over here!), but I’m open to various genres. Here are the primary books I have on my list to read this year:

Outlander Series: On A Breath of Snow and Ashes // Diana Gabaldon

Outlander Series: An Echo in the Bone // Diana Gabaldon

The Room on Rue Amélie // Kristin Harmel

Love & Luck // Jenna Evans Welch

The Thousandth Floor // Katharine McGee

A Fine Imitation // Amber Brock

The Heiresses // Sara Shephard

Beautiful Ruins // Jess Walter

America’s First Daughter: A Novel // Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie

What books are on your reading list this year?

-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.

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.