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!


A Summer Polish - Self Care Habits

A Summer Polish - Self Care Habits

I've been saving money by painting my own nails at home. Not only does it force me to sit still and as a result, get a lot of work done, it's an act of self-care that is affordable and long-lasting. While I was on vacation, I grabbed a couple colors to spark the Great Vibes into my summertime chaos. One of my new favorites is a white color called ...

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Friday Finds: A New Ritual ...

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I've written previously (here and here) about grief and sadness and being okay with not being okay, but I thought I'd share with you the one way right now I'm finding my little moments of happiness...

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I've started buying myself flowers once a week.

It started out as a kind sentiment from a stranger at Trader Joe's who thought I could use some cheering up as I burst into tears at the checkout line. Then it was a gift from my incredibly sweet friend who wanted me to have a spark of beauty in a day that was all too tough. Finally it was about myself taking control and demanding a life a peace and love and happiness. So for less than six dollars a week, I'm buying myself flowers to sit on my windowsill and bring a glimpse of happy to the mornings I don't want to get out of bed or breathe deeply.

I wrote on social media this week the following:

"Sometimes it's not the grand gestures or the big things that get you through but the little things, the simple things, the imperfectly perfect things. A life of happiness isn't for people who have it magically figured out. A life of happiness is taking the happy moments and stringing them together through the rough and through the tough and through the awful. It's okay to be sad. It's okay to not be okay. That darkness makes the light all the brighter and all the more welcome. Let the light in any way you can. It's worth it. You're worth it. And if it's just to smell the roses, that's enough. To all those struggling today, I see you, and you are enough."

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I am enough even when I don't feel worthy, and I deserve a life of happiness based on the terms of my choosing. Flowers are a beautiful reminder of blooming when you can and soaking up all the radiant sunshine and joy in the moments you are able. Sure, the blossoms fade, and eventually I must throw them out, but the peace they bring my heart is priceless, and the snapshots I'll have will last a lifetime.

String together the little things, babes, to make a life of Great Vibes. We are enough just as we are in this moment. Take it for all it's worth and make it great. Xx.

+ What can you do to add joy and Great Vibes to your life? Comment below!


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P.S.S. Have you checked out all of the
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Staying on Top of Work | 2015

Staying on Top of it All

Whether you're going back to school, helping your kids catch the bus, or eagerly awaiting the new fashions, fall is right around the corner and with it comes the nostalgia for cooler temps and a drive to hunker down, and get back to work. It's no surprise that I (Emily, here!) have headed back to school for my next semester filled with unfortunate adventures and countless hours of working. Teaching yoga five days a week, owning my own business, and going to school full time has definitely allowed me to fine-tune my ability to stay on top of work, so I thought I'd share my three no-fail tips with you. It's important to stay organized, keep a healthy time mentality, and make time for yourself. Let's get to it ...

write it down

Master list.

This piece of paper or a Word page or a folder in Evernote (more on my favorite apps to use later) has every single to-do item. Crazy right? Nope. It's life changing. Organize them into subheaders - i.e. dreams, home, work, etc - and start adding everything and anything under them. Writing down all of those "oh! I wish/need/could do that" will help with the endless cycle of what you need to get done, what you have gotten done, and what you hope to accomplish. I have a list that's several pages long but includes things I want to do ten years from now (like owning my own home - dream!).

Weekly list.

Your master list has been created. Do not and I repeat, do not, fold up that master list and start each day gawking at how much you want to do and how much you've yet to do. Que the failure. Instead, at the beginning of each week - Sundays work for most people - sit down with your master list and make your weekly to-do list. On this baby, include things like what immediately needs to get done, meals you want to have for the week, any exercise plans, social events, etc. Pull from your master list, but don't expect to get through it all in a week. Try to be realistic with what you can accomplish. If on your master list you have "Write a Book" but you've yet to write a single page, break it up into manageable pieces like, "research publication mediums, write bio, draft outline, etc". Small tasks allow for an undaunted approach to your goals.

Daily list.

This is where you take that weekly list and turn it into your daily task sheet. Take five minutes the night before to plan out your daily list. I use the 5-3-1 formula. Five big ticket tasks, 3 small steps, and one to two personal self-care items.

For example, my daily list two days ago looked like:

+ 5 Big-Ticket Items - draft Yoga for Basketball Philosophy outline, finalize and post Foods I Take to Wake: First Edition, meet with Beth and Mason, go to Class, and start Staying on Top of Work Post.

+ 3 Small Steps: emails - reply to the athletic trainer, email my past econ professor, and send my outline to Dana; purchase my textbook for German; purchase a gift.

+ Personal Self-care: take a Barre3 class and work on wall hanging - art project.

On this list you'll also see my meals for the day - or at least where I'm eating and at what time.

I love the thrill of crossing things out or checking things off, so by the end of the day, my list normally looks like a black hole - paper copy - or all green - online app. Cross it off your weekly list too! Annnnnd if you hit something on your master list, you guessed it, cross it off! You did it! Woohoo!

Every couple of weeks or every month, sit down and review your master list: cross off things you've missed, maybe take off items in which you no longer have interest, or add even more. It's a constant process, but one that keeps your life rooted in action rather than fear.

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50 minutes of work followed by ten minutes of stretching your fingers, shaking your booty, checking out a cool blog, or sipping on some tea. Gauge your time frame of productive ability, and remember that each day is different. Some days, I operate on a 30/15 focus, while other days I can hammer out work at a 55/5 pace. It's amazing how when you listen to your mind's ability to focus, and don't force it to do anything crazy like work for three hours with only a five minute break, you can maximize productivity and cross off everything on your daily list.

self care

So you've planned your life down to a T, and you've maximized productivity in the blocks you've allotted for yourself. It's time to make time for rest and self-care too. Without it, you get sick, fall back on work, lose your drive, and end up right where you began. Burning the candle on both ends might make a bright and beautiful light, but pretty soon the light fizzles out, and there isn't anything left.

Personal self-care items can be: read a book, call a friend, or take a bubble bath. They are meant as ways of rejuvenating your system.

Still don't think it's important? Imagine if you never rubbed the belly of a service dog or let them take a nap but made them work all of the time. Think they would be the loving, capable, and incredible animals we hear about or see every day? I certainly don't think so. Self-care = most important part.

And remember it's all a process! Some days it works amazingly, and other days you throw your plan to the wind, get under the covers, and watch four seasons of a great show on Netflix. It happens. But now you have the tools to get back on track.

So there you have it! My three, go-to tips for staying on top of work. I'm sure I'll be rereading my own words when I get too stressed to think, but that's life, eh? Just remember:

  1. Write it all down.
  2. Block it out.
  3. Don't forget self-care.

+ Do these seem doable? What are your go-to productivity tips?