Favorite Things To Do While Traveling

I currently have a serious case of wanderlust, and it’s really not surprising – we normally travel quite a bit in the summer. The past two summers we’ve been to Europe, among other smaller trips, and I’m eager to go back. Ironically, I’m not going anywhere – I don’t even have plans to leave the STATE for the next few months. Yikes. Part of having a baby, I guess….. ­čÖé

 

Since I can’t travel right now, I thought it might be fun to share a few things we enjoy doing when we are traveling, specifically overseas. My husband and I always say to each other that some of our very favorite memories together are from our travels, and it’s so true! Here are a few of our favorite things:

 

  1. Try out a local coffee shop

 

 

2. Bring home a bottle (or more…) of wine

 

3. Buy a mug

 

 

4. Walk somewhere (unplanned) for dinner

 

 

5. Get away from other tourists and venture off the beaten path

 

What Are Your Secrets For Productivity?

I am currently in a busy season of life, which is kind if ironic for me to say since it feels like the past three years have all been categorized as such (and accurately). Between working full time, preparing for our baby’s arrival, trying to complete several house projects not to mention keeping our house (and yard!) clean and tidy, and visiting family, there just isn’t a whole lot of extra time. I have managed to keep most of my weeknights clear and have found that the few hours between dinner cleanup and bedtime are some of my most productive of the entire week. Here are some tips that I’ve found work well for me:

 

  1. Keep Your Phone In Another Room.

I plug my phone in to charge in our kitchen when I get home to work and try to leave it there until I go upstairs for the night. Now, this doesn’t always work out as there are some evenings that I need my phone. But, for the most part, I stay off my phone in the evenings and it makes such a huge difference in getting things done – since I’m not mindlessly scrolling!

2. Complete Your Least Favorite Task First

When I do the task or chore that I most don’t want to do first in the evening, it makes me feel that much more accomplished when it’s out of the way. For example, if my goals for the evening are to clean the bathroom, respond to emails, and work on wall art for the nursery, I will always clean the bathroom first so I can get it out of the way and enjoy the other tasks.

3. Show Yourself Grace

I saved this tip for last because I believe it’s the most important. Productivity isn’t everything – and it certainly isn’t worth sacrificing relationships or rest in order to get things done. I think I make it through my to-do list about three quarters of the time during the week, and I’m pretty happy with that. If all I’m ever doing is being productive, than it means I’m failing in other areas of my life. Know when to get things done and know when to lay them down, or, as I’ve been trying to remind myself lately, life is not one giant to-do list.

Three Things Worth The Splurge

Happy Friday! Today I’m sharing three things that I think are always worth spending a little extra money on. These types of items don’t usually go on major sale anyways, and whatever their additional cost ends up being, I can assure you the benefits far outweigh it.

 

  1. Skincare Products

If you take shortcuts (or simply don’t do anything) now with your skin, it will show later. A good skincare regimen is an absolute must and something you’ll benefit from over time. Also, I recently learned that women are supposed to begin using anti-aging skincare products at age 25. Twenty five. That means daily sunscreen like the one I use below, and creams or serums that contain retinol.

 

 

2. Casual Sandals

I should specify: casual, supportive sandals. Sandals that you can wear anywhere, day in and out, all summer long, and that won’t hurt your feet when you wear them and walk all over the place. As much as I love a cute pair of wedge sandals or trendy slides, I’ve found that I wear my everyday supportive and versatile sandals so much more (practically every day). Salt Water Sandals, which I currently have, are comfortable, versatile, and fairly supportive. And, as you already know, Birkenstocks are on my wish list – similar to Salt Waters but more supportive.

 

 

3. Statement Purse

I’m sorry, why am I explaining this one again? Ha. Every woman needs a good, solid statement purse that she can carry year round (if she chooses) and that complements any outfit. Whether it’s a super cute Kate Spade, dark-toned Coach, or urban chic Fossil, this is a piece meant to be carried every day and worth the extra cost.

 

 

Five Years Later

Today’s post has a little different flavor to it because I’m feeling contemplative: this weekend marks five years since I graduated college. FIVE YEARS. That seems like so long ago, but I also realize that in a few years I’ll look back and I won’t think it was that long after all!

Like any college student, I was full of hopes and dreams about my career and eager to see my hard work for my degree pay off. A question that was asked frequently to me in interviews was, “where do you see yourself in five years?” My answer was always confidently “as a senior designer,” which was typically met with some surprise. And understandably so, considering I had no idea just how difficult it is for me, for anyone, to work up that many levels in that short of a time period. Now that five years have passed, in case you didn’t already know, I am most definitely not a senior designer. Not even close- I’m a freelance merchant and I’m also 7 months pregnant. The span of those five years has covered a whole lot of ups and downs, of high hopes and discouragement, and there’s been a theme of heartache and adjusted expectations throughout. You can read more about that here.┬áToday, however, I’ve decided to be a little more positive as I look back over the past five years. Yes, my career hasn’t turned out the way I wanted it to be, but I’ve also learned a lot along the way and had a lot of really wonderful experiences – and at five years in, it’s still really just beginning. So I’m sharing what I’ve learned, so far, five years in. I realize some of this may not apply to you, and I’m not trying to make blanket statements! Everyone’s career is spun from a different web. These just happen to be true for me.

  1. Following Up Doesn’t Always Make A Difference.

I’ve followed up on jobs I’ve applied for – lots and lots of times. However, for each job that I’ve gotten (I’ve had six), it’s never been one that I’ve followed up on. So while following up certainly can’t hurt, it’s never made a difference for me.

2. Where You Work Is Just As Important As What You Do

I can’t stress this enough and how true I’ve found it to be: I’ve held a couple of positions doing just what I want to do, but each time they were for companies that didn’t treat their employees well, and it soured my overall experience. Conversely, some of the jobs I’ve enjoyed the most are actually jobs that I didn’t particularly like or find meaningful, but were at companies that treated their employees well and promoted a healthy work environment.

3. What You’re Doing Now Doesn’t Have To Last Forever

I’ve reminded myself of this from time to time when I’ve had a difficult day or felt down about where my career is. And it really has been true in my career – I’ve had, on average, more than one new job every year. And while I’d love to one day work, for myself or for someone else, doing what I love and staying there for a long time, it’s helpful to remember this when I’m not able to do what I truly love.

4. Don’t Let Anyone Make You Question Your Own Intelligence

This has not been something fun to learn, that’s for certain. While I’ve been in some of the lower level positions that I’ve held, I’ve been treated like I don’t know anything or looked down upon and presumed to only know so much because of the job I’m doing at the time. And let me tell you – it’s pretty frustrating to be treated like an intern when you have a college degree, a master’s degree, and years of experience in the industry! Slowly, however, I’ve learned to overlook it when people treat me like this. One, because it gives the impression that they themselves are insecure in their position, and two, because I know my own capabilities and intelligence – they don’t.

5. Dreams Are Still Important

Five years later, some of my professional hopes and dreams have changed, but a lot are exactly the same. They’re not going anywhere and I’m not going to let them. I will still hold on to them and hope and pray that someday, they might be fulfilled, because I believe that I have these dreams for a reason. And really, it’s still just the beginning.