The 5 Best Apps for Grown Up People

Just some very practical apps to help you survive & thrive in your daily adult life, Yippee!

1. Mint this app can be connected to your online banking accounts to track your spending. It allows you to set limits on how much you spend on different categories, and even auto-categorizes your expenses for you. Saving money made simple!

2. Walmart- as if Walmart wasn’t cheap enough, the savings catcher feature can be used to scan your receipt and it will automatically check the surrounding area for better prices and refund your credit card with the difference. You don’t even have to get off the couch.

3. Southwest Airlines- if you travel a lot, this app is a lifesaver. It lets me know if there are delays, saves me from having to print a boarding pass, and is especially helpful for early flight check-in so that I am guaranteed an aisle seat.

4. Sunrise- I recently wrote about this calendar app in my blog post about getting life back on track. I don’t know about you, but if it’s not in my calendar, it’s not happening. Sunrise helps me feel organized and syncs to all my devices so that I am never late or out of the loop!

5. MyFitnessPal- this is ideal for tracking your diet and exercise because it allows you to make goals based on calorie intake and daily activity. Plus they have a database of nutrition info, so it’s easy to find a specific food or scan the barcode to enter it into your diary for the day.

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Why You Should Always Carry UNO In Your Purse

This is both a metaphorical lesson and a literal occurrence. The other day I attended happy hour with some girlfriends. After finishing her margarita, my dear friend Anne pulled out the box of cards. Yes, we played UNO in our corner booth. No, we did not think twice about it. A few valuable lessons can be derived from this situation:

 

  1. Don’t forget to play. Yes you may be an adult, but understand tat we never truly realize the value of playing until society tells us we no longer have the time for it. IMG_0979Your work will still be there in an hour–this moment, however, is fleeting. It would be a shame if we forgot how to do something for the sake of pure enjoyment.
  2. Make time for conversation. It is so important to spend time with people you care about, so make it a priority to share a meal or have a brief phone conversation with these people no matter how many things you have on your to-do list. Friends keep us sane, and success means nothing if we have no one to share it with.
  3. Celebrate small wins. Did you nail a sales pitch? Finish a paper? Finally get around to folding that mountain of laundry that has been growing for two weeks? However small, take time to recognize the things you have completed today. Too often we rush to begin the next task, blind to our accomplishments because we are absorbed by other daunting deadlines.

Do you have your own UNO story? This is just one example, I’d love to hear yours! ❤

Vulnerability: your best friend and worst nightmare

Yeah, it’s difficult putting yourself out there for others to judge however they want. Sometimes it’s downright naive to trust people with your secrets. But what happens when you give another person the opportunity to know your thoughts, and see into your world? They just might become a big part of it.

Some of our deepest relationships are formed from uncomfortable circumstances. We are humans, programmed to resist weakness and vulnerability yet we crave connection and intimacy with others. When people share things with us, we feel our connection with them strengthen. Finding someone you can count on is both relieving and empowering, yet it can only be done when we are authentic. Bring vulnerability into your relationships and watch your connections grow; be unafraid of the repercussions because the reward is far greater. ❤

 

My Shower Playlist

10 songs: Perfect for those post-workout showers & “it was a long day” bubble baths.

  1. Mr. Brightside- The Killers To make you feel like an angsty teen again.
  2. Rockstar- Nickelback No one has to know you still listen to Nickelback.
  3. 400 Lux- Lorde Lorde reminds us how badass we can (pretend to) be.
  4. Holy Ground- Taylor Swift A little Taylor is good for the soul.
  5. Clothes Off!- Gym Class Heroes Hitting the high chorus is a must.
  6. Louise- Mipso I’m no hipster, but sometimes I pretend in the shower.
  7. Little Talks- Nico & Vinz Overall a great song to belt out.
  8. Chances- Five For Fighting What’s alone time without a mid-life crisis?
  9. Beachin’- Jake Owen Trust me, you need this virtual vacation.
  10. Piano Man- Billy Joel Some practice for when this is played at the bars this weekend.

Have any to add?! Comment below! 🙂

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The “Get Your Shit Together” Guide

Maybe things didn’t work out as planned. Maybe you’ve been in a slump lately. Maybe you have never had it all under control to begin with. Regardless of where you’re coming from, here’s a little life organization manual to get you where you want to be.

  1. Make a list. Start small, and write down 3 things that need to get done this week. Then, add two thing’s you’d like to finish within the next month. These can be goals or simply to-do items, but either way putting them in writing (or typing) will make them more likely to actually happen.
  2. Use a calendar. My favorite app is called Sunrise and it works for your Desktop, iPad, iPhone, and Android. Now place the items you listed above in the calendar, assigning appropriate due dates and reminders to ensure they are completed. Merge all your schedules/obligations into this one location, and follow religiously.
  3. Be good to your body. Take care of any necessary health-related tasks that have not yet been attended to. Are you in need of a haircut? Did you do something active this week? Have you been eating well? Did you shower today? How much sleep did you get last night? These may seem unrelated to getting your shit together but I promise that treating your body well is crucial for high performance!
  4. Fill up the trash. Rid your email inbox of clutter, donate the 40% of your wardrobe that hasn’t been touched since 2008, put away the piles of junk you have accumulated on your bedroom desk and kitchen counter. Life feels so much better when you don’t have all that baggage weighing you down.
  5. Clean. Never underestimate the power of Clorox wipes and a vacuum cleaner. If you take some time to clean your surroundings, you will feel more focused and productive in other aspects of your life.
  6. Add to your social calendar. If you don’t already have something on your calendar for the next week, make a plan! Visiting with friends will not only motivate and uplift you, it will actually serve as something to work toward while you are busy conquering the world. No matter how driven you want to be, time to enjoy yourself is needed to maintain a healthy life balance.
  7. Smile. Even if things aren’t perfect yet, you’re headed in the right direction. Positivity will get you so much further in life, have faith!

I’d love to hear your story. Feel free to leave comments about what has (or hasn’t) worked for you. Best wishes as you embark on this personal journey! XOXO.

 

“That is so not a thing anymore”

Here lies a list of things I wish were still around, but have been discontinued for one reason or another. Fond memories of their existence still live on.

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1. PB Loco Peanut Butter
I have scoured the shelves of every food supplier for peanut butter that even remotely competes with their raspberry white chocolate flavor… None suffice. Not only is this delectable flavor gone, the entire store no longer exists.

 

2. Wildcard was my favWildcard-Logo.pngorite news app because it allowed for easy scrolling and scanning between classes. It kept me up to date on recent events without requiring too much reading time.

 

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3. All of the retired Vera Bradley patterns because there were so many cute patterns I became attached to just before they were replaced with new ones. Sometimes I visit the retired patterns page to reminisce on all the good times. Good thing I bought like every item in Va Va Bloom before it vanished…

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4. Crispy M&M’s are so delicious that I wish it would have been possible to buy them in bulk and preserve them. They were taken off the shelves for 10 years… PLOT TWIST they’re back!!!

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5. Victoria’s Secret Gorgeous Perfume because after years of searching for the perfect scent, it’s only fitting the product would go extinct the same year I found it. Needless to say, I spray sparingly.

 

 

 

In the words of Counting Crows“Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone, they paved paradise and put up a parking lot…”

When Your Obsession Becomes Your Profession

I come from a family of four kids: I have two brothers and one sister. Collectively, my family is my world. Growing up my dad would take us hunting and fishing. Over time, my sister and I gravitated toward trips with mom since the boys started to take very intense excursions (battling the elements and not showering for days).

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My dad & his record-breaking musky

They started young. My brothers shared this passion for hunting and fishing that grew exponentially as the years passed. Eventually, they became known for it. High school rolled around and whenever anyone wanted to take a trip–even if just for the afternoon, they’d call up Parker and Cole. My parents began to worry. Are their priorities in check? Do they realize they need to go to college and get a job? Their other activities began to cut into the time they could spend outdoors: “Mom, can I skip my basketball tournament this weekend? It’s opener of fishing!”

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As their passion became an obsession, it branched off into other hobbies. They created an Instagram account, and posted pictures of their limit of geese or catch of the day. People liked it–they even wanted more.

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After a year or so of keeping up this account my brothers realized they needed an identity, and thus, iGrind Outdoors was born. I hopped on Canva.com and made a logo to put a face to their new name.

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iGrind Outdoors: Eat. Sleep. Grind. Repeat.

Today, their account has about 7,000 followers and is growing rapidly. We plan to make t-shirts with their name and logo to sell on the account this Spring. Although it’s not their full-time profession yet, I see my brothers finding a job in the outdoor industry in the future. When your passion becomes your profession, you never have to work a day in your life.

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Significance is Subjective

I’ve been in this mood of recognition lately. People are streaming through my mind and I have this urge to let them know what I’m thinking–tell them how significant they are in my eyes. Yet something is stopping me from taking definitive action. Still, the video of their response is playing over and over in my mind. They feel so special, and I do too. I am capable of making them feel like a million bucks, even if just for a moment.

“Everything you do in life will be insignificant, but it’s very important that you do it.” -Mahatma Ghandi

So I am putting it in words: I will start recognizing the people around me for the wonderful things they have done, and everything I adore about them. No more kindness kept secret! Because life’s too short, ya know?

Why don’t I say something? Recognition is free. I should let them know, I’d want the same for me.

Tips for Women in the Tech Startup Space

I am a woman who has spent time working in the technology startup space and I absolutely adore it. Here are some tips to help you thrive in this booming industry, and remain unfazed by its overflow of workers that share the Y chromosome. (It’s really not as scary as some make it seem!)

1. Do not divide them into “males” and “females”, simply label them all: competition.

Everything is not about gender. You possess skills that place you a notch above the rest, so keep those blinders on and refuse to stoop to any gossip about gender discrimination or workplace politics. If you participate in that chatter, it will only distract you from the goal.

2. If it embarrasses you, don’t show it. If it offends you, let them know it.

Part of working in a predominantly male sector is understanding that some men socialize differently than women, so don’t make a fuss over comments you could see your older brother and his friends making. Do, however, fuss about the comments that you could see your older brother punching the guy who said them around you over. There are some things you will learn to get used to, but never stand for victimization or harassment of any kind.

3. Embrace your womanhood, use it to your advantage.

Welcome the fact that you’re different! Wear skirts if you want to, buy a bright colored blazer or two, embrace who you are because no matter how much you try to cover it up you will still be a woman. Let your work speak louder than your appearance, as it should for any employee.

4. Come early, stay late.

For those of you who need an explanation, here it is: make yourself stand out by doing more than what is expected of you and don’t ever expect to be recognized for it. When most of the office is taking off early on Friday afternoon, stay and finish up those projects you’ve been putting off. Your presence will be noted.

5. Have a beer.

Startup culture is notorious for having a stocked fridge, and declining to acknowledge its existence will only separate you from the men even further. When your office breaks out the beer to celebrate a company win or an approaching weekend, make an effort to partake in the activity. Some of the best bonds are formed over such types of celebration. And if you ever attend a work event where alcohol is served, never under any circumstances order a martini.

When “She” Falls, Hard.

She is driven. She is smart. She is independent. She has it all together.

That is, until she falls in love. It’s the most peculiar thing: her friends treat it as a novelty, her family assumes it temporary. Mrs. CEO has suddenly become Allie Hamilton from The Notebook, and now everyone’s buying tickets for the show. Why is it so mesmerizing?

Seeing someone with complete and utter control over their life fall in love is like watching a car wreck on the side of the road. No matter how fast traffic is moving you still crane your neck to catch a glimpse as you roll by. Even the most untouchable people are capable of being in car accidents, as well as falling in love. It makes them more relatable.

Suddenly Taylor Swift is someone you could converse with-perhaps even chat about past relationships over coffee! You overhear she has a boyfriend, and all of a sudden your uptight boss has a soft side that no one saw coming.

This is just a classic example of the lines we draw, and the categories we come up with. Instead of welcoming those similarities, we gawk at them and wonder how they’re even possible. We have something in common?!?!

That’s the funny thing about humanity, we’re all a lot more similar than we think.