How to Completely Reset in 30 Minutes

I've been doing this every weekend for the last month, and it's done miracles for my workweek. 

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Let's be real. $14 for a cocktail when what you really want to do is just catch up with a person is exhausting. It's exhausting, because it would cost $2 if you made it at home, and it's loud at the bar, and you're already thinking twice about your goal to wake up the next morning and go for a run before the sun comes up -- if GNI is any indication, I'm not the only one here. 

Those nights can be capital F U N -- and I mean fun, because last Saturday I was sipping a cocktail and playing some (very bad) pool in the East Village. But, on the off chance you find yourself midweek drained emotionally, financially, maybe physically you might be looking for something that lifts your spirit. 

I've started doing this thing once a week. It's simple, costs less than $5, and has helped me grow my network and improve my well-being immensely. 

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I've started going for coffee dates on Saturdays.

I've gone by myself to read, I've met a friend I hadn't seen in a little while to truly catch up, and I've used it as the perfect segue when establishing a new friend/connection after swapping information at a group event. 

Why.

When I say it has been lovely, those aren't even the right words. I used to do this every so often but didn't make a concerted effort to keep up with it until now. Now that I'm making it a priority, it isn't daunting! They normally last between 30 and 45 minutes, are inexpensive, because hello drip coffee, you are a goddess, and I've found that the relaxed nature on the weekend is great fodder for conversation -- there was a dog who was so cute on the way! have you looked at this brunch crowd? how was work this week? 

It's also an excellent reason to stay in on the weekend nights. My budget is a little tight right now. I've been wanting to still stay in touch with my best people but not at the expense of being unable to buy groceries for the week. This is the best of both worlds. I actually find that my network is growing and my friendships are strengthening, because, well, we're not drunk, and we're actually paying attention. 

But what do I order.

Simple. Coffee! Or tea! Maybe a pastry or a more substantial bite depending on when/where you are catching up. I've been sticking to drip coffee (max $3) and splurged last weekend on an almond milk latte ($5). 

Dress me. 

You're meeting for coffee, woohoo! That means relaxed comfort and casual brunch vibes. Thankfully, athleisure is here to stay. I've included my favorite looks below. 

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Layers, Jeans, & Pop

Honestly, nothing is easier than a half up / half down hairstyle, a t-shirt (maybe the one you slept in? I'm not judging) underneath a crisp sweater, and a nice pair of jeans. The pop of color from the shoes is an unexpected surprise, and with everything else neutral, it really adds some great energy to the look. I might throw on a gold bracelet or a hoop earring for a little something extra. 

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Neutral Game Strong

First of all, those joggers are gorgeous -- and so are any athleisure style garb you might have in your closet. A cute sweatpant might work here too. I'm loving this look because of the camel colors, really. They play a nice wintry vibe on what could be a very summery outfit. The jacket and turtleneck for warmth, yet the crop keeps it interesting and plays well against the high-rise of the pant. This is a throw on and run out the door kind of outfit (but cute enough that you could have spent all morning putting it together). If heeled booties aren't your thing, try nude flats or white sneakers. 

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Here. For. This.

I will always celebrate leggings, a chic sweater, and an equally fabulous and over-sized scarf. It's my favorite look to fall back on and the best one, in my opinion, to rock on a Saturday. Simple rings and hair in either a top-knot or loose and flowy always pulls the look together. 

I'm side hustling hard this Saturday for my coffee rendezvous. Can't wait. Cheers to calmer vibes and energized souls! Xx. 


+ What do you think? Coffee dates yay or nay? Tell me in the comments below!


How to Unwind in 19 Seconds

Sometimes, anxiety happens. Here's how to unwind in 19 seconds. 

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Sometimes life is stressful. There are days where the workload is high, the ability to compartmentalize personal from professional and vice versa is difficult, and anxiety threatens to take over completely. I think it is safe to say we have all had that paralyzing moment of not being able to mentally take it down a few notches. 

I use this breathing technique to relax my mind and body for various situations; before an interview or big meeting, if I can't fall asleep, or as a way to exit work mode. It takes less than a minute to complete three rounds and can be done anywhere. 

It's fairly simple yet highly effective. Here's how it works:

1. Close your eyes or drop your gaze to the floor. 

2. Breathe in for a count of four.

3. Hold your breath for a count of seven.

4. Exhale for a count of eight.

5. Repeat at least three times. 

How do you feel? Relaxed? Was it helpful to count or was it distracting?

Happy almost long weekend. Xx. 


+ What do you think? 



How to Shake Hands with Someone

Never break eye-contact. 

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Did you know when it comes to a handshake, if you don't make eye contact, you're immediately seen as less confident? I learned this is one of my professional training seminars. It is easy to be nervous walking into a social situation and look down to make sure you don't miss a person's hand. This makes you appear uncertain and unsure. In actuality, you can see your hands out of your peripheral, so you would rarely miss, and can thus maintain eye contact and exude the aforementioned confidence. 

Of course, we're not talking excessive staring. Since you will most likely be talking with someone, saying things like 'good to see you again' or 'nice to meet you, I am _____', you'll be walking into a situation where natural speak should be coupled with strong contact to demonstrate self-worth and power.

We could talk about cultural customs or whose hand goes on top of whom at a later time, but for now, we'll stick with the traditional shake:
 
As your hands come towards one another, the space between your thumb and index finger will touch theirs, and your fingers will wrap around the palm and lay on the back or side of the hand. Grasp strongly.

Some people suggest squeezing only as hard as the other person if you are in the less powerful position or having a firm shake if you are displaying dominance.

Remember, at the end of the day, it is just a handshake. Some people don't even prefer them at all. As long as you are being yourself and being confident in how your respond and speak, you will be just fine. 


+ What do you think? Do you have trouble making eye contact?


How to Say Goodbye at a Party

Five words: it is an art form. 

I first read about the Irish exit here. I was a little shocked about the idea of guests leaving a party without first saying goodbye. However, the more I thought about it, the more I recognized how much of a bummer pausing conversation to say goodbye to someone can be at the height of a fun night. I think back to the latest party I threw, and I was always slightly dimmed when my favorite people (aka anyone there) had to leave. 

I've had it go both ways, though. On one hand, a large party where a few guests slip out the door without saying goodbye is fine, but a smaller party becomes more complicated. Also, at large events, like weddings, if you know the couple very personally or are in the wedding, you should never leave without saying farewell. 

If you're worried about your friends, “this is key,” says Seth Stevenson in this Slate post, “They probably won’t even notice that you’ve left." If you're a little worried, just send a thank-you email in the morning with a lovely anecdote from the event.

Since I'm a sucker for those last tight hugs before departing, I would choose to do this at a larger event or if I'm sure I'll see them again (or see them regularly). What do you think? 


+ Would you Irish Exit? 


How To Pack a Carry-On

Packing for a weekend getaway made simple by a 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 rule. 

Honestly, packing is one of my most stressful pre-trip events. Because it gives me so much anxiety, I inevitably leave it for as last minute as possible, often over-packing late into the night before my early trip time. I wake up exhausted and irritable and invariably end up on my trip without the things I actually would want or need. I discovered this post years ago, didn't think too much about it, and recently found it again. Since this month is so inspired by travel (and I'm most anxious about the various trips), I wanted to break it down and chat about the idea in my own way. Read on for the best rule for packing your carry-on and banishing packing-anxiety for good...

The 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Rule:

5 Tops

Think about your most versatile favorites, and incorporate 5 tops into your packing list. This includes any outerwear, so pack something that gets you onto the plane (or into the chilly car) and to your destination in style and comfort. My go-to tops include a silk blouse, black t-shirt, soft pullover (sunburn and AC don't mix too well), off the shoulder blouse, and a workout shirt I love for both yoga/running and going out. 

4 Bottoms

Time to toss in 4 bottoms - this includes shorts, skirts, pants, etc. Again, flexible options are your best friend here. This weekend my four include a pair of cutoffs, a green maxi skirt, a pair of white palazzo pants, and my favorite black pants. 

3 Dresses/Rompers

Honestly, I could pack for a whole weekend in just this section. Picking basics suiting the mood of your trip but not strikingly noticeable is key. Since these limit mixing and matching options as well as them being all you'll wear, make sure they match your accessories. I'll be packing my black romper with lace detailing, my black slip dress, and a simple black cotton romper. 

3 Pairs of Shoes

Here you must pick your most wearable, already broken in, shoes. In my opinion, flats are better than heels when traveling. I'll be taking my flip flops, lace up sandals, and a pair of sneakers. 

2 Bags

For bags, I suggest taking one you'll use for travel, like a backpack or tote, which transitions nicely for any longer day trips as well as a smaller clutch-sized bag for going out or when you just need/want the essentials. Make sure these match or compliment your clothing choices and shoes, as you'll only have these two options. I'll be taking my computer and chargers in my blue tote bag and tossing in my favorite pink-orange clutch for a fun infusion of color. 

2 Bathing Suits

Clearly for a more tropical destination (it is summer traveling for us here), you really don't need more than two. I suggest one bikini and a one-piece, however I'll be traveling with two one-pieces, because I'm obsessed with their design and want to get all the wear time I can with them. 

1 Hat, Watch, & Sunnies

How often do we take several of each of these and only wear one (or none) the whole trip? After the sunburn I got last week, I'm bringing a wide-brimmed hat for the pool, a watch I recently picked up and am trying to get into the habit of wearing, and my favorite aviators since I wear them 99% of the time. 

Unlimited Undies, Socks, and Jewelry

For these, feel free to pack as many as you can fit in your carry on. I usually put socks into my sneakers, roll my undergarments into the side, and place my jewelry in small bags and place them on top of my clothes.


+ I'm a notorious over packer. This rule is saving my life. What about you?