lifestyle

My Most Used Phone Apps

Hey everyone,

Today I want to talk about my most used phone applications, including the ones that I use most for blogging as well as in my personal life.

I do try to limit my screen time, but like most other people today, I am on my phone a lot.

The cool thing is, there are so many apps that help with productivity and tracking progress, and that’s what most of my frequently used apps help me with.

Here’s a list of my go-tos and what I love about them.

Notes – The notes app is standard on iPhones and I’m sure there’s an equivalent on other phones, as well.

As a writer, I use the Notes app to take down random ideas or inspiration all the time.

I use Siri to create notes while I’m driving so i won’t lose a good thought, and I even write some blog posts on here while on the go and then transfer them to my laptop to add into WordPress when I’m ready to finalize and post.

This app is free and easy to use, and is continuously getting more advanced, which I think is pretty cool for a standard phone app.

Image result for instagram app icon

Instagram – As much as I complain about social media, I do love Instagram.

I like being able to see little snippets of people’s lives and am always surprised by the photography skills of some of my friends and acquaintances.

I like Instagram better than other social media apps like Facebook and Twitter. I feel lien people just use those to complain or be nasty to others these days, and it’s a little easier to ignore that stuff on Instagram.

I also just like posting and browsing pictures of outfits and other lifestyle inspiration that people I follow post.

I definitely have not had as much time as usual for Instagram lately, but I do enjoy using it for both blogging and personal purposes.

Image result for goodreads app icon

Goodreads – Those of you who read regularly are probably familiar with this app, but if you aren’t then you should definitely check it out! 

Goodreads is an awesome community, reading tracker, and review system for readers all rolled into one.

It allows you to rate books you read and see ratings from others if you’re considering a book.

It allows you to keep lists (i.e., shelves) of your read, to be read, and currently reading titles and has challenges that you can set for yourself; Goodreads is what I used to track my 50 book reading challenge last year.

Another cool thing about Goodreads is that a lot of authors get involved with it, so I’ll occasionally get emails about virtual Q&A sessions with my favorite writers or other updates directly from them.

Image result for nike+ run club app icon

Nike+ Run Club – I’ve been using this app for almost 10 years and, although it has changed a lot over time, it’s still my favorite run tracking app.

I find it super easy to use, plus it has all of my running data (and all of my PRs) from throughout the years.

My favorite feature on the app is that your friends can send you “cheers” in real time when you go on a run and you literally hear cheering cut into your headphones at random times throughout your workout.

It’s so fun and motivating.

Image result for shoptagr app icon

Shoptagr – I recommended this in a previous post about saving money while shopping, and I still think it’s such a great app to have.

I hate paying full price for things, so if I see something I really like I save it on the app (super easy to do once you download it) and I get notifications about it from then on!

The app notifies you if something is low in stock/out of stock, back in stock, and on sale.

I just got some great new shoes this weekend because the app notified me that they finally went on sale; I may have had to wait a couple of weeks, but I got the exact pair of shoes I wanted without having to pay full price for them.

Ebates – This is another app I wrote about in my save while shopping post, and have buzzed to my family and friends about for a couple of years now.

Ebates is an app that you use to shop, or a browser extension you can add, that track what you buy and gives you cash back on purchases from qualifying stores.

It’s a free and easy way to get additional discounts on things you want to buy!

Those shoes I mentioned buying this weekend? I got them for 30% off from Macy’s thanks to Shoptagr notifying me that there was a sale, and then got an additional 10% cash back from Ebates.

All of that discount came just from downloading a couple of apps on my phone…so awesome.

PicMonkey – So, I prefer to keep it as real as possible whenever possible, but sometimes you have to do a little photo editing for your blog.

My editing app of choice is PicMonkey, which I found by reading through a few lists of the best apps for bloggers.

It was an app that I had to buy in the app store; the only one on this list that requires payment, but it wasn’t expensive and it’s been useful to me since starting this blog.

The app is great for adjusting lighting, color, and adding some cool filters or effects

Image result for pinterest app icon

Pinterest – I can’t even count the number of amazing tips I have found on Pinterest, especially while planning my wedding.

Between my husband and I building a house, me being a Matron of Honor for my sister, and me constantly needing creative stimulation for my job, Pinterest has been a bottomless well of information and inspiration for me.

I can get caught up and spend hours poring through all of the great posts and pins, but my favorite thing about Pinterest is that I’m not just killing time on it, I’m actually finding things that will help me with what’s going on in my life.

There are a bunch more apps that I use regularly, but I think seven is a good amount to highlight for now.

All of these help me be productive in some way, and I’m happy to know that a lot of the time I spend on my phone is used to get things done.

It’s so important to relax and be able to do things that you enjoy, but it’s also important to spend the necessary time on your responsibilities.

It’s all about balance, and I’m glad that my cell phone and the apps that I use every day help me find a balance between work and play. ❤ 🙂

books

Spring Reading List

Happy Hump Day!

The weather is so perfect today and I feel like Spring has finally arrived in New Jersey.

If I’m being honest, I’ve been slacking when it comes to reading this year; I’ve been so busy with work, house planning, and Matron of Honor Duties, but I need to get back into reading on a regular basis.

To help motivate me, I’m giving myself a Spring reading list.

These are all books that I currently own and have been meaning to read for a while, so now I can push myself to finally get to them!

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

I actually just started this book and already like it a lot. I’d never heard of it until the Netflix series came out, but it’s well-written and interesting so far. Once I finish it, I’m definitely going to check out the TV adaptation, as well as some of the other books by this author.

Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King and Owen King

Stephen King is my all-time favorite author, so I try to fit in at least one of his books every year. He wrote this one with his son, which makes me even more excited to read it. There’s also a rumor that this is being developed into a TV series, so I want to read it now and be ready to watch the show once it comes out.

The Kept Woman by Karin Slaughter

I haven’t looked into what this book is about, but judging by the sinister-looking cover I think I’m going to like it. I read a book called Pretty Girls by this same author a few years ago, and I loved it, so I’m hoping to enjoy this one just as much.

The Enchanted Hour by Megan Cox Gurden

My husband’s aunt was nice enough to get me a signed copy of this book when she went to the author’s reading a few months ago. I’ve never read anything by this author or about this particular topic before, which makes it extra exciting! I’m interested to find out more about the benefits of reading aloud and potential ways to stay focused while reading.

Small great Things by Jodi Picoult

I used to read a LOT of Jodi Picoult around the time that My Sister’s Keeper came out, but then took a break because I felt like a lot of the story lines in her books were the same. Last year, I started reading her again and was reminded of how much I enjoy her writing. I got Small Great Things as a Christmas gift last year, and I can’t wait to dive into the story!

Comment below to let me know what’s on your current list of books to read, or ones that you think I should add to my future lists!

My goal is to get through all of these before the Summer starts, but once I’m finished with this list I’ll surely be making another one.

I’m hoping that having this list will help me keep myself accountable and make sure I’m taking the time to read (when I have the time, that is).

It’s always a challenge to be able to do the things we love, but it’s so rewarding when we’re able to successfully make the time.

That’s my goal with these next few books, and I promise to share some details about them and how they are as I’m reading.

❤ 🙂



lifestyle

Work Desk Essentials

Hi everyone,

Here we are again at the start of the work week.

I hope your Mondays weren’t too rough…I for one can say I’m super excited to be home and relaxing for the rest of the night.

Since I’ve got work on the brain, I figured this was a great time to do a post on my must-have accessories for work.

I spend a LOT of time at my job and, therefore, at my desk, so I try to make sure I have everything I need––or could possibly need––there with me.

Here’s a quick list of my work desk essentials.

If you’re getting into a new job or are just looking for a list of things you should keep at work, this may be helpful for you.

  1. Some cute writing utensils and stationary; my job provides me with basic stuff like this, but it’s always fun as a Creative to get inspired by pretty pens or paper)
  2. Gum; you never know when you might need to freshen up your breath, or when the 3pm snack urges will arrive and you won’t want to give in to them yet again
  3. Water; I keep a washable bottle at my desk and fill it up at our water coolers a few times a day. The bottle includes volume measurements on the side so it helps me keep track of how I’m hydrating and set goals to keep myself drinking throughout the day
  4. Lotion; those bathroom hand soaps make my skin feel so dry, so I always keep a nice-smelling lotion on my desk
  5. Tissues/napkins; tissues are obvious, but it also helps to have napkins in case you’re eating (most of my lunches take place at my desk during busy months) or have a spill you need to clean up
  6. Tea; I did a post not too long ago about my love of tea, so it’s nice to have a few different flavor options with me at work
  7. Chargers; especially one for my phone. I can’t count how many times that thing has saved me
  8. A blanket; or sweater…most offices keep the temperature pretty cool (I’m sitting at my desk shivering regardless of the season), so I keep a blanket at my desk to keep my legs warm when I’m feeling chilly. My blanket has Spongebob on it, so my coworkers get a kick out of it
  9. Headphones; my office recently changed to an “open seating” layout, which doesn’t bother me too much because I’m great at tuning out pretty much anything. However, on days when I’m tired or frustrated and need to shut out all the noise, headphones are a Godsend
  10. Snacks; I try not to keep too many snacks at my desk, because if I did I’d probably just sit there munching all day. I do keep some granola bars, oatmeal, and other emergency foods with me in case I’m feeling extra hungry or forget to bring food with me that day

So, what am I missing?

Comment below to share some additional things you keep at your desk…you may be helping me think of something I’ll need in the future!

As much as I wish this weren’t the truth, my job has become a bit of a second home to me.

I spend a lot of time there, and in recent weeks I spend a lot of EXTRA time there, so it helps for me to have things I need there and to make the space feel a little more comfortable.

I think part of dealing with a stressful job is making sure you take care of yourself as much as possible, and having some items that I need or enjoy at my fingertips every day helps make that a little easier for me.

I hope you all have a great Monday night, and are able to rest up for the rest of the week ahead.

We’ve got this!

beauty, lifestyle

My Daily Skincare Routine

Hi all, and Happy Easter to those who celebrate!

I’m on my way to our second family dinner for the day, but wanted to make sure I get today’s post in.

I’m going to share my daily skincare routine, including the products I use to wash and moisturize my face.

I don’t wear makeup on a regular basis, so I won’t be including that in this post.

I’ll probably do a future post with the makeup products I use and how I use them, though, if you guys are interested!

So here we go…daily skincare routine!

Step 1: Morning Wash

I wash my face once per day, in the morning.

I use a basic Cetaphil daily cleanser, which is unscented and great for sensitive skin.

I had a lot of acne and skin issues when I was younger, so I try to stick to tested and true products that are dermatologist recommended, which is how I found this cleanser.

I use it every day and it leaves my skin feeling clean and refreshed without drying out my face.

Step 2: Moisturize

After washing my face, I rub it dry with a clean hand towel.

I have been told in the past to pat my skin dry, but I actually feel that rubbing it with the towel helps add some extra exfoliation to my daily routine, and that’s been working for me.

I use Neutragena face lotion on my face immediately after washing and drying.

There is a sensitive skin version that works perfectly for me, but when I’m going to be running or spending time outside I use the one with SPF 15.

I do feel that the one with sunscreen in it makes my face feel just a little bit greasy; it’s not enough to make me break out or anything like that, but still enough of a reason for me to use the one without sunscreen if I’m going to be sitting in the office all day.

That’s really all I do to my face in the morning, and I don’t wash it at night unless I’ve had makeup on.

I use this Garnier makeup remover when I do wear makeup, and it works really well.

It is great for getting off any kind of makeup, including waterproof, and is gentle on the skin.

It even works well for removing eye makeup, and I obviously avoid getting it in my eyes but it doesn’t irritate them when it’s close to them or anything like that.

The only other thing that I do for my skin is derma roll about twice a week.

As I mentioned, I used to have a lot of acne as a teen, so I do have some scarring on my face and I just feel that my skin has gotten damaged over the years.

For those who aren’t familiar, derma rolling basically involves taking a tool with a spiked roller on the end and rubbing it over your skin.

It feels a little prickly but isn’t too painful, and it helps your skin regenerate itself.

I get lazy with rolling sometimes and don’t stick to the twice weekly schedule, but I do see an increase in smoothness, softness, and radiance of my skin when I’m doing it regularly.

There are also people who use derma rollers on areas of the scalp where their hair is thinning, and some see hair regrowth after doing it for a little while!

Those are basically all of the things that I use on my skin.

This is a bit of a simple post, but I feel that the less stuff I am putting on my face, the better.

When I was younger I put so many creams and treatments on my skin, I felt like it was always irritated and it got red so easily.

When it comes to skincare, I’ve definitely learned that less is more, and hopefully this approach can work well for some of you.

I hope you enjoy the rest of your day and have a great week! ♥️😊

See you next time.

fashion, lifestyle

Easter Sunday Outfit Inspiration

Hi all,

Hope you’re all enjoying the weekend.

For those who celebrate Easter, I’ve got some great inspiration for your outfit tomorrow!

See below for a few different outfits I put together, with links to buy.

Top | Jeans | Heels

This top from Venus is one of my favorites lately. Between the ombre pink color, the sparkles, and a little criss-cross detail on the sleeves, it has so many little details that make it unique and pretty.

Top | Skirt | Heels

I love this yellow skirt for Spring, but it’s especially perfect for Easter. Since it’s so bright and stands out on its own, I’ve styled it with a simple but pretty white top and nude heels.

Dress | Shoes

For those who prefer to wear darker colors, this black dress from Guess is great for many different occasions. I’ve added a mint colored Kate Spade purse to brighten it up for Easter.

Denim Jacket | Shoes

Here’s another way to style the Guess dress shown above. I’ve changed up the purse for an even bolder color, added a cute denim jacket, and swapped the sandals for a flat pair.

Dress | Shoes

For a dressier Easter look, this baby pink midi dress is perfect. It’s light and flowy, and has a beautiful off-the-shoulder sleeve detail. I added these Madden Girl sandals for extra sparkle.

Top| Jeans | Shoes

Here’s another casual outfit if you’re keeping it low-key tomorrow. This light colored top is great for Easter, and the black jeans are super comfy.

Do you already have your outfit picked out for tomorrow, or are you going to figure it out then?

I will probably choose one of the above to wear tomorrow, depending on my mood.

I hope you all have a great rest of your weekend, and enjoy the holidays if you celebrate! ❤ 🙂

lifestyle

My Favorite Blogs

Hi friends,

For today’s post, I want to share three of my favorite fashion and lifestyle blogs.

I’ve followed these bloggers for a while and they were a big part of my inspiration to start my own blog.

Their blogs have great content, I love their style, and they are so personable.

1. Little Blonde Book

My favorite thing about Little Blonde Book (Taylor) is how real she is.

She is beautiful and has great style, but she also isn’t afraid to share videos where she isn’t wearing makeup or even when she’s sick.

I feel like a lot of blogs are so fake, so I enjoy seeing a lot of her “behind the scenes” moments and just feel that she’s very relatable.

2. Champagne and Chanel

Champagne and Chanel is one of the most popular bloggers I’ve come across on social media, and it’s not hard to see why.

I’ve never met or spoken to her, but she just seems so sweet and genuine.

I love her style too (of course) and she posts a lot of great content every day!

3. 1st and 10

I found 1st and 10 (Meg) through a google search when I was trying to find information about the best way to start my blog.

In addition to a cool style and interesting content, she has a lot of great posts and resources for bloggers on her site!

Who are your favorite bloggers? I love to read others’ posts and see what they’re up to on Instagram.

It’s great for inspiration, plus I just love supporting other bloggers out there because we all share the same passion.

Comment below with your favorite blogs so that I can find even more to visit regularly! ♥️😊

lifestyle, travel

My Top 5 Travel Destinations

Hey everyone,

I’ve done a fair amount of traveling in my life, but there are still so many places I want to see!

I’m narrowing it down to the top 5 places I’ve never been, but want to go to.

Here they are!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Alaska
I’ve been dying to go to Alaska since I was 18 years old. My husband and I are planning to go this year, and I can’t wait to check this one off of my list! I’ve heard so many wonderful things about the amazing views and the parts of nature unchanged by man. I’m also really hoping we’ll get to see the Northern Lights when we go.

Photo by Tyler Lastovich on Pexels.com

New Zealand
On of my college professors spent her honeymoon in New Zealand and I loved hearing about all of the adventures she and her husband went on there. It seems like such a gorgeous and exciting place. I like to be as active as possible when traveling, and that likely wouldn’t be a problem for me at all in New Zealand.

Photo by Abby Kihano on Pexels.com

Glacier National Park
You may be noticing a trend here…when I travel, I’m not just looking for warm weather or beaches to lounge on; I’m all about the views and what type of nature will be there. Glacier National Park in Montana looks absolutely breathtaking, and I’d love to hike there someday in the future.

Photo by James Wheeler on Pexels.com

Banff National Park
Most of us have probably seen that iconic Instagram shot in front of the water at Banff. That is where I first found out about this amazing park in Alberta, Canada, but it’s not the only reason I really want to visit it one day. One of my coworkers goes there regularly to ski and it sounds perfect for winter sports as well as hiking and canoeing. I’ve never been to Canada, but this is for sure my top Canadian destination.

Photo by Ibrahim Asad on Pexels.com

Aruba
My husband’s family used to go to Aruba every year, so I’m still trying to convince him to take me. I’ve heard from so many people that Aruba is amazing and that the beaches are unlike anywhere else. Even though I like to stay active on my vacations, I’m definitely not against spending some time on these beautiful beaches.

What destinations are at the top of your list?

Have you visited any of the places I mentioned above?

Make me envious by commenting below about how awesome your trips were!

Until tomorrow…<3 🙂