Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Inspirational Books To Read This Year

One thing I hate about the New Year is some peoples idea that resolutions can only be successful if they are begun right at the beginning of the year. That definitely does not have to be the case! One can be inspired just about whenever. I know I constantly get blog inspiration from pinterest and reading others blog, fitness motivation from cute workout clothes, and life goals by reading books. I am such a sucker for a good inspirational book! While these are definitely not novels they shouldn't be classified as self help either. Two of my absolute favorites are The Happiness Project and Love Does, I constantly recommend them to friends and my current read which I've already found myself recommending to friends is The Best Yes. 

If you are in need of a little motivation or even a good new read these are books I've either read or want to that would definitely fit into the "inspiration"or "advice" category. I've also included their Amazon description so that you can easily decide if they are ones you'd be interested in. Also if you've read any of the ones that I haven't please let me know what you thought!

Books I have read are signified by italics!

Make It Happen is the story of how I surrendered my fear, took the leap, and got a life. In my case, a perfectly imperfect, fulfilling life as a mama, a working woman, and a grateful wife. This is the story of how I chose to make "it"—a greater purpose than mine—happen, and how you can too.

Make It Happen is for
  • women who find themselves worried, anxious, and completely overwhelmed by the constant chase for perfection
  • those seeking the courage to jump into a new venture
  • working women who are struggling to "do it all"
  • weary wives and moms looking for relief from burning the candle at both ends
  • anyone who dreams of a life lived not by accident, but on purpose
Your time has come to take a leap of faith. Join me as we surrender our fears, end the chase for perfection, and say yes to cultivating the meaningful lives God desires for us.

You know all those things you've always wanted to do?
You should go do them.

Researcher and thought leader Dr. BrenĂ© Brown offers a powerful new vision that encourages us to dare greatly: to embrace vulnerability and imperfection, to live wholeheartedly, and to courageously engage in our lives. 

(This one is a bit different than the other ones but a great look at etiquette and advice for how to handle situations in our 21st century society where communication isn't always in person.) 

For nearly a century, one name has been trusted above all others when it comes to proper decorum: Emily Post. In this completely updated 18th Edition of the classic Emily Post’s Etiquette, the mantle is picked up by the great-great-grandchildren of the First Lady of Etiquette, who tackle the latest issues and demands of the twenty-first century—from texting and tweeting to iPhones, Facebook, and all forms of social media. The perfect guide for Millennials living on their own for the first time who wish to establish themselves properly in the workplace—as well as for Baby Boomers in the midst of planning their children’s weddings, entering retirement, and helping to care for elderly parents—Emily Post’s Etiquette, 18th Edition, remains the essential handbook to proper social behavior.

When Love Does, life gets interesting. Each day turns into a hilarious, whimsical, meaningful chance that makes faith simple and real. Each chapter is a story that forms a book, a life. And this is one life you don't want to miss.
Light and fun, unique and profound, the lessons drawn from Bob's life and attitude just might inspire you to be secretly incredible, too.

Lysa TerKeurst is learning that there is a big difference between saying yes to everyone and saying yes to God. In The Best Yes she will help you:
  • Cure the disease to please with a biblical understanding of the command to love.
  • Escape the guilt of disappointing others by learning the secret of the small no. 
  • Overcome the agony of hard choices by embracing a wisdom based decision-making process. 
  • Rise above the rush of endless demands and discover your best yes today.

Annie Downs admits she’s not exactly the bravest girl in the world. She still cries sometimes when she leaves her parents’ home in Georgia, she’s never jumped out of a plane, and she only rides roller coasters to impress boys. But Annie knows that courage resides inside each and every one of us, and she’s on a mission to triumph over her own fears while encouraging the reader to do the same.
As a single young woman, writer, speaker, and blogger, Annie Downs shares her journey toward bravery with honesty and humor. Using wonderful stories from her own life, contemporary real-life examples, and fascinating historical and biblical references, Annie encourages readers to grab hold of the brave life that they desperately desire.
How often does fear hold us back from the very things we most want to taste, touch, and experience? The call to be brave isn’t just for one person—it’s for everyone. Let’s All Be Braveis more than a book, it’s a battle cry. Annie challenges us to live boldly, she calls us to step into those places that require courage, and she gives us the help to take the next step forward—even when it’s scary.
This non-fiction, essay-driven book opens the door to many different views of courage—nudging, encouraging, and inspiring readers to be brave whenever given the chance.

If an eighteen-year-old girl's search for the ideal matte lipstick can turn into a multimillion-dollar company, anything is possible. When Poppy King finished high school, all she had to show for herself were some lackluster grades and a hundred and one ways to get out of phys ed. Within three years, however, she was president of her own hugely successful lipstick brand, Poppy Industries. 

In a world where everyone is eager to get ahead, it's essential to think like an entrepreneur. Much more than just a guide to success, Lessons of a Lipstick Queen is a candid adventure story designed to take you on a journey of self-discovery. 

Filled with exercises, concrete tips, and Poppy's personal and professional anecdotes, this motivational book will help readers get in touch with their inner entrepreneur.

Gretchen Rubin had an epiphany one rainy afternoon in the unlikeliest of places: a city bus. "The days are long, but the years are short," she realized. "Time is passing, and I'm not focusing enough on the things that really matter." In that moment, she decided to dedicate a year to her happiness project.
In this lively and compelling account, Rubin chronicles her adventures during the twelve months she spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, current scientific research, and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier. Among other things, she found that novelty and challenge are powerful sources of happiness; that money can help buy happiness, when spent wisely; that outer order contributes to inner calm; and that the very smallest of changes can make the biggest difference.

And for you to document your own story and focus on the highlights of each day the One Line a Day Journal is the perfect way to show gratitude of the little things and document your life day by day for five years. This makes a great gift too!

Written by Dorothy of Prep In Your Step

Monday, January 26, 2015

Time Management

The older you get, the more important it is to have time management. Your life will get so busy, but you want to make sure that you have enough time to do everything that you absolutely need to do. Check out these tips below in order to manage your time wisely.

one // have a to-do list
I have a to-do list notebook that I absolutely love. It's pretty much my whole life! This notebook contains everything that I need to do along with the date each task needs to be completed by. My to-do list notebook not only ensures that I won't forget about anything, but it also makes me realize how much stuff I actually have to do. If I see that I have a lot of stuff going on, it will help me to realize that I really need to spend time getting work done instead of watching Netflix, going out, etc.

two // use an agenda or calendar
My Kate Spade agenda is just as important to me as my to-do list notebook is. This agenda has all of my work hours, when assignments are due, babysitting hours, when I have tests or quizzes, and more. My agenda kind of takes the tasks from my notebook and puts them into perspective as to when I actually need to have them completed by. It allows me to get an idea of how much time I have to do my tasks.

three // limit yourself
This one is the one I have the most difficulty with. I often come across little gigs or opportunities that sound so interesting, so I agree to them without even really thinking if I have time for them. I quickly say to myself that I'll have time, but then I soon realize that I don't. If you ever come across an internship, writing position for a magazine, etc. that you would really like to do, really think about it before making your decision. Take a look at your to-do list and agenda to see if you can make time for it. If you aren't 100% sure that you'll have time, don't agree to the position.

four // make a schedule
Sometimes I make a timed schedule for myself if I have a super busy day in order to make sure I have enough time to get everything done. I'll assign a certain time period for each task depending on how long I think I will need. If I finish before the designated time slot ends, I move onto the next task. If I don't finish in the designated time slot, I stop and move onto the next task. I always go back to unfinished tasks later on because I always end up having time leftover somehow. Seeing how much time I have for each task also really motivates me because it makes me realize that I have to get moving before time runs out!

How do you handle time management?

Written by Ashley of Private School Prepster

Friday, January 23, 2015

FF: Pink Cardigan

Pink has always been my favorite color, but I usually wear pink accessories, instead of clothes. Over the past year, however, I have started to add more of this color to my wardrobe, especially the lighter tones. When I spotted this light pink cardigan, I knew it would be versatile and an item that will withstand time. I hope everyone had a nice weekend! It went way too quick, per usual, and was an especially cold one here in NYC. Here is to hoping for an equally quick, but less cold, Monday!
pink cardigan sweater, pink infinity scarf, light pink sweater
pink cardigan sweater, pink infinity scarf, light pink sweater
pink cardigan sweater, pink infinity scarf, light pink sweater
pink cardigan sweater, pink infinity scarf, light pink sweater
pink cardigan sweater, pink infinity scarf, light pink sweater
pink cardigan sweater, pink infinity scarf, light pink sweater
pink cardigan sweater, pink infinity scarf, light pink sweater
Pink Cardigan (on sale!! + also here) // Tee // Distressed Skinny Jeans c/o // Booties c/o // Shiraleah Infinity Scarf c/o (similar) // Crossbody Bag, old (similar) c/o // Aviators

Written by Kendall of Styled Snapshots

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Top 10 Inexpensive January Date Night Ideas

During the winter it can be hard to find good ideas for things to do with friends or family. I am here with some unique ideas to kick-start your brain and to help you get out and about even in the colder months.

1. Go to a pottery place and paint pretty pieces for your home or for gifts! The picture above in of a mug I painted at a pottery place that is near where I live.
2. Go ice skating indoors or outdoors! Where I live there is only one indoor rink that I know of, but I am hoping to go at least once this winter!
3. Bake cookies together! Browse through a cookbook or Pinterest and find a recipe that looks good. Then try to recreate it. Don't forget to taste test the cookie dough ;)
4. Try taking a new class. This could be a baking class, a dance class, or something else! If you live in a bigger city you probably have many more options, but I promise if you look around you will be able to find someone to teach you something!
5. Go to an arcade and spend some quarters on arcade games.
6. If you live near a museum, try taking an evening to check it out.
7. Visit a new coffee shop together. I know my town has plenty of little bakeries and coffee shops that I have yet to try, so I am planning to try more in 2015!
8. Go bowling! I feel like most people don't go bowling anymore, but it actually can be fun if you go with a group. If you have an alley near you, I highly recommend going one day when you are bored.

9. Go see a play or a musical together. Even if you don't live in a place that has professional plays and musicals, you can see if any local schools are putting on shows one night.

10. If you don't feel like going out, stay in and have a game night. Last summer I had a game night with some of my close friends and it was SO much fun. I recommend having a group over for this, but it would be fun as long as you had 2+ people! (Unless you are into solitaire, then go ahead and have a game night for one haha!) 

What do you do for fun during the colder months when you can't do outdoor activities easily? Share in the comments!

Written by Scarlett of The Trendy Chick

Monday, January 19, 2015

Colorful Decor To Brighten Up Your Space

Decorating a rental apartment is a tricky business. I’ve always lived in apartments where you can’t paint or wallpaper so right off the bat, you have to work with whatever paint the apartment comes with. Thankfully, the neutral color palette gives you a fresh template to add colorful decor pieces to showcase your personality and special memories.
My favorite decor pieces are the ones that hold the most sentimental value to me. An inexpensive vase turns into a vessel holding my collection of seashells from vacationing by the Gulf of Mexico every spring. A stack of the childhood books I loved the most. A colorful print spontaneously picked up at a fun day spent at a craft fair with good friends.
Which decor pieces mean the most to you?
Colorful Decor Pieces To Brighten Up Your Space - DC Girl in Pearls

Written by Lauren of DC Girl In Pearls

Friday, January 16, 2015

FF: The Perfect Casual Sweatshirt

the perfect level of casual - comfortable without looking sloppy - can be difficult to attain.  that being said, some days you just need to be casual.  enter this monogrammed sweatshirt.  it combines casual comfort with a stylish monogram making casual totally effortless!  this was the only sweatshirt i packed when i went home for the holidays because i knew it could do double duty - it worked just as easily for errands around town as it did lounging by the fire.  

so throw a button down on underneath to add some more "style" to it, some distressed denim and classic sneakers and you are ready for that roadtrip, overnight, movie date, whatever!

marley lilly sweatshirt c/o || flying monkey jeans, nearly sold out but these and these are similar for under $65 each  || ralph lauren oxford || converse sneakers || baublebar pearl earrings || marley lilly duffle || michael kors crossbody

Written by Mary-Katherine of Gold Hatted Lover

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Favorite Nail Polishes This Winter

If you were to ask my mom "what is one thing Dorothy doesn't need any more of?" she would without a doubt say nail polish. Admittedly, she is sort of right but we won't let her know that. Will that stop me from picking up new colors in the future? Nope! Nail polish brands know what they are doing and hook me with each new collection they bring out by adding something a bit different to shades that would otherwise be found in my copious collection.

I hate the way my nails look without nail polish on them and while I adore the bright fun colors for spring and summer there is something about winter shades that look so chic! If there is one color I think is suitable year round it would definitely have to be a baby pink and of course that is one color that I can't find the perfect shade of so if you happen to have the perfect baby pink polish please let me know it's name!

Here are my favorites. Essie is typically my favorite nail polish brand but lately OPI's Tickle Me France-y has been on my nails almost continuously. 

I am really interested to try out Essie's new Cashmere Matte Collection because the colors are so cute but I shall refrain myself! What are your favorite Winter nail polish shades?
PS. This is what I store my nail polishes in and it's the perfect size to fit 16 Essie bottles in!

Written by Dorothy of Prep In Your Step