Valentines Day Bags

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, which means you’ll see a lot of red, pink and hearts popping up all over. Whether it’s the color of a dress for date night or a lipstick to perfect your pout, the color scheme of Valentine’s Day is hard to resist this time of the year. Below are a few of my favorite pink, red or heart-patterned bags. Maybe send this over to your boyfriend- hint, hint- or even buy one for yourself. After all, Valentine’s Day is all about treating those you love.

Valentines Day Bags

Clockwise from top left:  Roger Vivier Small Miss Vive Heart Patent Leather Bag  |  Kate Spade Love Birds Love Tally  |  Kate Spade Love Birds Wink Clutch  |  Vivienne Westwood Oversized Bow Satchel  |  Luv Betsey by Betsey Johnson ‘Quilted Heart’ Jelly Dome Satchel  |  Forever 21 Heart-Shaped Faux Leather Pouch  |  Rebecca Minkoff ‘Love’ Crossbody Bag  |  Coach Corner Zip Wristlet in Heart Print Crossgrain Leather  |  Kate Spade Love Birds Heart Tote |  Stella McCartney Heart & Lips Appliqué Falabella Shaggy Deer Clutch

Your Career Should Not Define You

career quote

Recently I’ve been reading a lot of articles focused on the phenomenon of women being overly devoted to their careers. Specifically, women who say that their career is their life, their baby, their everything. Does this sound incredibly sad to anyone else, or is it just me?

I’m all for loving your career and job. There’s nothing wrong with being ambitious about getting that promotion, loving your boss and coworkers or even semi-bragging about your accomplishments- we all do that. But there is a fine line between having a career and letting that career define who you are.

This may be an unpopular opinion, but I am a firm believer that when you leave the office, you should leave your job behind. This means not spending hours catching up on e-mails that could easily wait until the morning, not spending your free time worrying about that recent assignment, and not staying in the office until 7 pm to prove to your coworkers that you are dedicated (P.S. the amount of hours you stay in the office is NOT an indicator of how hard you work or how good of an employee you are, despite what some annoying people may say.) If there are days when your workload is out of control and you have to take some of your work home, so be it. But it doesn’t have to be a daily thing- and it shouldn’t.

My question for these women is, “Does dedicating your entire life to your career really fulfill you?” Do you enjoy spending 12 hours a day cooped up in an office when you could be having a life? Are you okay with that fact that all your friends have boyfriends or husbands and you’re basically dating your job?

Many young women in my peer group feel that their career is something they can control, unlike things like finding a partner or finding happiness, so they dedicate all their time and energy into it. But deep down, are they really all that happy? Is working at a name-brand company really worth it if you’re paid jack shit and are basically a glorified assistant that holds a Masters degree? I don’t think so.

So many young women feel that they have to hold onto their career so tightly to show everyone their worth and happiness. And it makes me sad. You are not defined by your career. You don’t have to dedicate your life to your career to prove your worth, whether it’s gender-based or not. By all means work your ass off, learn new things, and teach others, but don’t let your job take over your life. You’re worth a lot more than a LinkedIn title or byline.

January Beauty Favorites

New year, new Sephora/Ulta order, am I right? My skin’s been a little crazy lately thanks to the wintry weather (cold temperatures and wind, mainly) so I’ve been testing a few new samples of moisturizers, face oils and cleansers to find the perfect one. In addition to that, I’ve found a few more new products I love lately- all explained below.

january beauty

RevitaLash RevitaBrow Advanced  | Acure 100% Certified Organic Moroccan Argan Oil  |  Nyx Cosmetics Illuminator in “Ritualistic”  |  Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate  |  Elizabeth Arden Red Door Red Lipstick

RevitaLash RevitaBrow Advanced- I was sent this product along with a tinted brow gel and have been using it nightly for a month or so now. It’s a brow conditioner that uses the power of peptides and botanicals for strengthening, conditioning and nourishing natural eyebrows. I’ve been letting my own grow out for the past year, and this product helps keep them strong and growing. Here’s to full brows!

Acure 100% Certified Organic Moroccan Argan OilI was excited to receive this product since I rarely use facial oils. However, with winter in full swing, my skin needs a little something extra, and this oil is the perfect one to try. This oil is rich in Vitamin E, essential fatty acids, and proteins. It helps fight lines, repair imperfections, minimize scars + stretch marks; all while restoring texture, elasticity and tone. It easily absorbs and isn’t heavy or thick (thankfully!) I’ve been applying it to my face, neck and cuticles after each shower for the past few weeks.

Nyx Cosmetics Illuminator in “Ritualistic”I’ve tried a lot of highlighters and usually prefer a creamy stick or liquid consistency, but this powder version works pretty well, too. I apply it with a small fluffy brush down the center of my nose and over the top of my cheekbones for a subtle glow.

Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate- I don’t often use products made to give you “youthful-looking skin”, since I’m only in my 20’s and look like a 16-year-old already, but this has been the exception. I apply this serum right after showering as a base and then add a moisturizer on top- the serum works to enhance the products you apply afterwords. Here’s to hoping it magically prevents wrinkles, too!

Elizabeth Arden Red Door Red Lipstick- I only wear red lipstick on fancy occasions (I worry people at work would give me funny looks), so I try not to buy too many bright shades. However, this red is worth every penny. The formula is creamy but not shiny, smells great (weird, I know, but it matters to me), and is universally flattering.

Welcome the New Year with a Healthier Lifestyle

fitbug

This post was sponsored and written by Fitbug. 

So, you made the usual drunken New Year’s resolutions in the heat of the moment, and you’re already wondering how you’ll ever be able to stick to them. If you’re like most people, the resolutions you made will be with regard to your health and general well-being. However, sticking to the promises you publicly made when the alcohol was flowing requires willpower, motivation and expert advice – all of which are available from an intuitive activity tracker.

Making New Year’s resolution is the easy bit; following through on them is where the hard work begins. Unfortunately, most people revert to their unhealthy, sedentary lifestyles after just a few weeks. But a Fitbug fitness tracker can work in conjunction with a Kiqplan fitness programme to give you the support and advice you need to succeed – as well as a much-needed kick up the backside when one is required.

Counting calories

If your New Year’s resolution was to lose weight, being aware of the calories you consume will be an inescapable part of your new, healthier lifestyle. All four Kiqplan fitness programmes continually calculate the calories you consume based on the information you supply. Depending on the specific programme you’re following, you’ll be given a target weight, and the number of calories you can consume based on your activity levels. The Kiqplan digital coach will tell you when you’re not eating enough, and give you a gentle nudge when you’re near your daily limit. And of course, your daily calorie allowance will change in line with your overall activity levels – keeping you on course to achieve your targets.

Monitoring your activity

Whether you like to cycle, run or walk, a Kiqplan health and fitness programme will constantly communicate with your Fitbug device in order to keep track of your workouts. Kiqplan programmes provide you with real-time data, and they send you workouts based on your weekly goals and performance. As you near your ultimate goal and achieve your targets, the intensity of the workouts you’re given will increase. Once you achieve your goals, you will be rewarded with performance badges for a job well done – keeping you interested, engaged and motivated.

KIQ

Managing your diet

There is very little to be gained by exercise and extra activity if you aren’t going to make the necessary changes to your diet. What you eat will determine whether or not you lose weight, get in shape and generally become healthier. Too many people fall into the trap of believing they can eat whatever they like because they are exercising – a trap Kiqplan’s four fitness programmes never let you fall into. Based on the initial information you provide, your activity levels and your ultimate goal, your chosen programme will provide you with tasty recipes that contain all the nutrients an active body needs – without exceeding prescribed calorie allowances.

Expert advice

Many digital solutions to health and fitness are designed on a one-size-fits-all basis, but Kiqplan programmes are designed to adapt to the user’s specific needs. Moreover, Kiqplan gives you the chance to take part in webinars and Q&A sessions with nutritionists, dietitians and lifestyle experts. Kiqplan digital health and fitness programmes are designed with the help of dietitians, fitness experts and lifestyle gurus – giving you the peace of mind from knowing that your wellness is in the best of hands.

Depending on your ultimate health and fitness goal, you can choose from four very different Kiqplan programmes. Although each one has been designed with a very specific goal in mind, they continually adapt to your weekly activity levels, calorie consumption and sleeping patterns – creating a programme that is unique to you.

If you have ever made a New Year’s resolution to lose weight or live a healthier life, you will know how tough it can be to achieve your goals on your own. That is why many people choose to hire the services of nutrition and fitness experts – at great personal cost. However, one of Kiqplan’s health and fitness programmes provides you with your very own team of experts – available throughout the day in the palm of your hand. The ability to call upon expert advice and guidance from this intuitive mobile app could be the difference between achieving your lifestyle goals and spending another year wondering what might have been.

Quaker Cereal Recipes

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and Quaker. All opinions are mine alone. #CollectiveBias #LoveMyCereal #QuakerUp

easy quaker recipes

Fun fact about me: I often eat cereal right out of the box. I like eating dry cereal (although I enjoy it with milk as well), and have been made fun of on occasion for it. Cereal is basically a less salty version of chips, and one that I can eat early on in the day without feeling queasy. I also am an avid cereal eater for breakfast. While most of my colleagues just sip coffee, I try to get in a full breakfast prior to coming into work so I’m not starving all day.

While shopping at Walmart, I picked up some Quaker® products for my daily breakfast. There were so many options, that it made sense to pick up a few extra products for snacking purposes. Their varieties include Quaker® Real Medleys®Quaker® Oatmeal SquaresQuaker® Simply Granola and Quaker® Life.

quaker in walmart

 I came up with a few recipes for snacks to share with you. One is my take on frozen yogurt (it’s a real stretch- but work with me here, people), and another is a simple trail mix that’s great for a work or on-the-go snack.

diy frozen yogurt

DIY Frozen Yogurt Recipe

  • 1 small serving-size container of Greek yogurt
  • A few clusters of Quaker® Simply Granola- Oats, Honey & Almonds
  • 10-15 dried cranberries, a.k.a craisins
  • A drizzle of honey

Remove the lid from your container of Greek yogurt and place in the freezer for 1-2 hours. This will somewhat mimic the consistency and temperature of frozen yogurt. Then just sprinkle on the toppings of your choice (my suggestions are included above). Enjoy!

trail mix

Trail Mix Recipe

Mix all ingredients together and keep in an airtight container or Ziploc bag.

 ingredients

life chex mix