Happy Monday! Apologies for being completely off the grid over the weekend, but I was taking some time off to fight off a bug I caught last week. Nothing like the combination of winter and germs everywhere to start off the year, am I right? At least I was able to online shop from the comfort of my couch, there are so many winter sales going on at the moment, including one of my new favorite sites Blue & Cream.
I really want to share because I only just discovered Blue & Cream a month ago and can’t believe I had never heard of it! If you’re big on online shopping I highly recommend (especially the crazy good sale going on right now). One of my fashion resolutions for the year was to not buy fast fashion and focus more on adding well crafted contemporary pieces to my closet. This means expanding beyond the usual sites and brands I shop at and integrating more forever pieces into my wardrobe. As you can probably tell, I spent a lot of time this weekend browsing Blue & Cream.
Why I’m Loving The Faux Fur Trend:
Speaking of winter sales, I’m sure you’ve noticed how hot of a trend faux fur jackets have been for the past few years. Personally, I am such a fan of this trend. I would love to see it continue into the future as well. Aside from it being more ethical and affordable than real fur, there are so many different varieties of faux fur jackets available to consumers at different price points.
One of the first pieces I highlighted when I started my blog a little over two years ago was this faux fur jacket from Unreal Fur. I still have this jacket in my closet and continue to wear it. I’ve been so happy with the quality and how well the jacket has held up over time. This year, I added a new Unreal Fur jacket to my closet – how cute and different is the peach color?!
See below for my favorite faux fur picks (including Unreal Fur!) at different price points.
While the east coast is getting bombed with snow and cold weather, we’re still enjoying warm weather over here in SoCal. I used to hate it when my friends from Southern California would rub the good weather in my face all winter long when I lived in Chicago, but now I totally understand the sentiment that seasons are overrated. But regardless of where you are right now, it’s technically still winter, and that means hot chocolate season! I tried my hand at making hot chocolate and the verdict around the house? It tastes SO much better than the packaged powders. Of course, I had to make a boozy hot chocolate recipe as well in this case. Not surprisingly, chocolate goes well with alcohol, and it’s officially one of my new favorite winter drinks.
How to make boozy hot chocolate + some variations
If you’ve never tried an alcoholic hot chocolate recipe in the winter, you’re missing out! Making boozy hot chocolate is easy (make hot chocolate and add the alcohol of your choice), but there are some different variations you can take with the recipe to suit your personal tastes. Of course, the easiest thing to do is mix pre-made hot chocolate mix with milk or water, and then add booze or liquor, but what’s the fun in that? If you’re feeling a little extra, you can make homemade hot chocolate, which tastes SO much better. There’s nothing better than a mug of hot chocolate during the cold weather months!
Ingredients for easy boozy hot cocoa:
+ Chocolate to melt (I prefer semi-sweet, but it’s really up to you!)
+ Milk of your choice (non-dairy is ok!)
+ Booze of your choice (suggestions: whiskey, rum, bourbon, red wine, peppermint schnapps)
+ Mini marshmallows
Luckily, this recipe is so easy to make! All you have to do is warm up the milk of your choice in a small saucepan (you can microwave it too if you’re in a pinch) and slowly whisk in the chocolate until it melts. Make sure the milk does not boil! Once the liquid is smooth and creamy (like, you know, hot chocolate), you can pour into a mug, add powdered cinnamon or crushed cinnamon sticks, and stir in the alcohol of your choice. One part alcohol to four parts hot chocolate is the ratio I usually work with, but you can adjust up or down as you prefer. Top with lots of mini marshmallows and whipped cream or the garnish of your choice and drink up!
+ Add sugar or honey to taste if you prefer a sweeter drink
+ Toast your marshmallows and rim your mug with chocolate syrup and graham cracker crumbs for a S’mores hot chocolate
+ Add nutella for an extra indulgent drink
Other tips for making boozy hot chocolate: make for friends (how cute would a hot chocolate bar be for a winter themed party?!) and serve with copious amounts of marshmallows in cute mugs. Sit back at an outdoor fire pit (so perfect for après ski!) or in your pajamas at home for a movie night. Make for dessert or an everyday treat. Enjoy! xx
Happy New Year, everyone!! Is it just me, or is there an inspiring energy in the air this week? I have been loving all of the motivational posts and quotes I’ve been seeing on social media and around the internet. The energy has been palpable so far… I walked back into my office yesterday and it seemed like everyone was glowing, motivated, and all around on fire. I love that type of energy in the environment around me! I don’t know about you, but I find it’s easy to ride a wave of motivation & inspiration when everyone around you is setting goals and working hard on achieving them.
You might remember my New Years Resolutions. I’m really trying to bring some of my visions to life this year, and there’s no better time to start than now. I thought I’d kick off the year’s first post with all the things that inspire me to keep pushing towards my goals (even when the going gets tough!) and will hopefully do the same for you. I find that finding motivation and inspiration around me is so important to keep going, no matter what my goal is.
As much positive energy there is in the air right now, inevitably by the time the end of January rolls around, most people will be onto the next big thing. If this is the year you’re set on achieving your goals, it’s important to play the long game and stay focused for longer than a few weeks. For me, this year is about cultivating a vision around growth and intention. Knowing my worth and and continuing to work on myself, my career, and my side hustle.
Inspiration comes and goes. There are some days I wake up so ready to take on the day and tackle my to-do list. Then there are days when all I want to do is lay in bed and binge watch TV (and I definitely allow myself these days!). Again, I’m a huge believer in the long game – small, consistent changes and actions add up over time and give you the results you want over time. It’s impossible to be completely fired up and motivated ALL DAY EVERYDAY (if that’s you, please share your secrets!) – and that’s not what I’m advocating for at all.
Some of my favorite quotes that inspire me all have a similar theme – the belief that you have control over your life and have the power to make positive changes and accomplish your goal. Of course there is always an element of luck in life, but rather than feeling sorry for yourself or wishing you had different circumstances (which is out of control), why not focus on the things that you can control?
What inspires and motivates you?
Where do you go to find motivation and inspiration? I’m sharing some of mine below:
+ The people in my life.
Invest in people who care about you and your personal growth. Having a mentor in career and life is so incredibly important when it comes to stay laser focused on a goal, knowing when to deviate, and learning how to deal with setbacks. I owe so much to the ones I have in my life.
+ Motivational and inspirational podcasts.
As you know, I am such a sucker for a good podcast. The ones that never fail to inspire me? How I Built This, Ted Talks, and Girlboss Radio with Sophia Amaruso (< I love Sophia Amaruso and find her to be SO inspiring. Regardless of what you think of Nasty Gal, listening to her podcast you can tell she learned so many lessons from her mistakes and is growing as an entrepreneur).
There’s something incredibly inspiring about listening to successful entrepreneurs and people share their stories and talk about how they got to where they are. These make my long commute to work fly by : ). One question that is always asked on How I Built This that I absolutely love – how much of your success do you attribute to luck vs. your talent and hard work? The answers vary, but most of the entrepreneurs interviewed on the podcast acknowledge the element of luck (being in the right place at the right time), but also give themselves credit in being able to take an idea and turn it into something greater.
Every year I set a goal to read a certain number of books, this year is no exception. It’s always a balance between the latest fiction and nonfiction best sellers and recommendations from friends. I always try to include some inspirational and motivational books in my reading list. Some of my favorites from last year: You are a Badass, Option B, and Grit. (< definitely want to do more book posts this year!)
There are so many inspiring people on the internet just living their everyday lives and crushing it. One of my favorite series right now – New York Magazine’s How I Get It Done.
+ Motivational Quotes and Positive Affirmations.
I keep a list of some of my favorite motivational quotes on my Pinterest and in my iPhone notes and daily journal. These remind me to keep my eyes on the prize and focus on myself and my goals. I find affirmations to be incredibly powerful – not in their ability to manifest change or growth out of thing air, but in how they constantly remind ourselves of our goals and intentions. One thing I’m trying this year is setting a daily calendar alert with a positive, goal-oriented affirmation.
I find I’m able to think more clearly and stay more focused when my mind is rested and calm. When I feel tired or unmotivated, I make sure to get some extra sleep and spend more time looking inward – the combination of hot yoga with meditation almost always does the trick and gets me back on track ASAP. I’m a huge believer in the mind-body connection and swear that when I take care of my body, my mind follows.
What is your motivation and inspiration to crush it this year?
What inspires you to keep going? Some of the best advice I’ve received – start early and start now. Excited to share more with all of you this year!
New year, new me. Every year around this time, we start thinking about new years resolution. A new year signifies a fresh start, a new chance to be a better person. Most of us like to think that when the clock strikes midnight, we’ll begin working on our new and improved self. Maybe this will be the year you finally reach your health and fitness goals. You might put more time into your career, or focus on spending more quality time with the people you care about. No matter how big or small your resolution is, when it comes down to it, how determined are you to follow through?
What happens to most new years resolutions?
The truth – not much. Most of us are completely guilty of setting lofty resolutions, only to forget about them come February. Apparently only 8% (!!) of people keep their new years resolutions. Some of the reasons? Overly ambitious goals, getting thrown off by setbacks, and losing motivation. Um, not too promising, right?
What’s the point of even setting a new years resolution, then?
Even if statistically most resolutions fall to the wayside, there’s still some benefit to setting them, especially if you’re goal oriented. A fresh start can happen any time of year, but something about January 1 just feels right for most people. It also depends on how you like to look at things – I tend to be more optimistic, so I still set resolutions. Let’s face it – we all have areas we could and would like to improve in. Why not use a new year as a chance to take a stab at making ourselves better?
How to set better new years resolutions:
My new approach – have a vision rather specific goals. The reason? Goals can lead you down a narrow path, and we often underestimate how much our goals will change over the years. On the other hand, a vision is broad, which allows us to explore more opportunities and remain more open minded.
This year, I’m trying to focus on themes that I can revisit throughout the year, regardless of the time of year. In the past my goals have very specific (i.e. exercise X times per week, read X books per month, etc.), but this year I really want to focus on cultivating a broader vision vs. such specific goals.
So, how do you actually keep your resolutions?
+ Focus on small, actionable changes. Take your “big resolution,” and distill it into something small you can work on daily.
+ Create a mantra – something you repeat and think about daily. Set a reminder – a daily alarm, a calendar note, journal – that brings your resolution and vision to the front of mind every day.
+ Force yourself to be accountable. Tell people you feel close to, join a group of like minded individuals with similar goals, and place yourself in an environment where not only do you feel like you can’t fail, you won’t want to because of the support group you have in place.
My new years resolutions:
+ Be more present and spend more time offline. This is something I started doing the last few months of 2017, and the single thing I’ve found most beneficial to my mental and emotional well being. Going offline, unplugging from social media, and staying off my phone when in the presence of other people is one of the biggest things I want to focus on in the new year. This isn’t always easy when you’re a full time content creator – but I’m not. At the end of the day, striking a balance between capturing the moment and living in the moment is something a lot of millennials seem to struggle with. Anyone else with me on this one?
+ Quality, not quantity. This one is hugely important to me – learning to say “yes” to things that matter and no to the things that are not. Being more selective with my time and energy. Basically, making sure that everything I do is done with intention.
+ Enjoy life – this might sound silly, but between balancing work, blog, life, & everything in between, sometimes you forget to take a step back and just enjoy the life you’re living. A lot of us try to focus on gratitude and appreciation as a resolution, but how often do we give ourselves permission to have more fun?
Happy holidays! Only 9 days left in 2017… we’ll talk about resolutions next week, first let’s talk holiday + NYE outfit ideas. It’s not too soon to think about what you’re wearing on NYE. You can never go wrong with sequins, silk, or a jumpsuit! The way I see it, there’s no reason to reinvent yourself on NYE – want to wear a mini dress? Go for it! New year, new you? That can start later. Some of my favorite holiday + NYE pieces are from Michael Costello’s amazing collaboration with Revolve. I especially love this silk black bodysuit that’s versatile and goes beyond just NYE. For more holiday outfit ideas, shop my favorite picks below!
Holiday + NYE outfit ideas
Personally, I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel when it comes to NYE events. For most settings, you can’t go wrong with a great mini dress with stand out details. I’m also not usually one to worry about being overdressed, but you may want to keep in mind the venue you’ll be at. With that said, if you’re looking for a killer mini dress, some of my favorites this season have been from For Love and Lemons and NBD. I really love everything in the Michael Costello x Revolve collection as well. Again, some safe choices are always: black, silk, glitter/sequin, and velvet. Festive and appropriate for the occasion.
Hope everyone has a beautiful holiday weekend with their loved ones and enjoys some time off. I know I’ll be taking a much needed week away from work and with my loved ones. Stay tuned for the best after holiday sales (IMO so much better than Black Friday sales!) and more new content in the new year! Sappy moment (sorry), but I feel so truly incredibly blessed to have this area to share my thoughts with all of you, I appreciate every comment + email so, so much, and hope to continue sharing more in 2018.