Jun 27, 2012

Tips for Working Gals - How to Simplify Dressing in the Morning - guest post by Glee

Please enjoy a guest post by Glee while I'm having a mini vaca in Northern CA with my BK!


For eight years I was a career woman in the Education field and on all working days, mornings were the most challenging. Because I was usually overworked, juggling my teaching day job, private tutorials and part-time writing and blogging business, I only had time for me past eleven o´clock at night. And often, I was too tired.

Since I go late to bed, I could hardly get up earlier in the morning to prepare myself for work. But despite my hectic schedule I always made sure that I go to work presentable and stylish, thus I learned important tricks on how to simplify dressing in the morning.

1. Organize Your Closet

organize your closet 
Organizing your closet is advised to every fashionista in order to make the most of what she has. But this is even more important to working gals. When you´re cramming in the morning and your closet isn´t organized, you tend to grab what´s at sight and you also tend to repeat the same looks, making your work outfits very predictable.

The best way to organize your closet is by grouping your clothes by color and purpose. Group together all the neutral colored pieces - the whites, the blacks, the browns. Then group together the bright pieces segregating the tank tops, the ready-to-wear tops, and the most versatile pieces. You can also choose to separate the dresses because they´re already complete and simply need little finishing. Your third group would be the “wow!” group. Here belongs the party dresses and bedazzled pieces which you´d wear when it´s time to impress.

Your accessories should also be organized. The scarves need not be stashed together, instead, group them according to colors, sizes and functions. Your belts should be neatly hanged using an accessory organizer so they´re accessible when it´s time to dress up. Identify your best to-go to pieces for times when you need to dress in a very limited time. You need the basic black shoes, basic black bag, and the basic trousers which will always work with anything.

An organized closet simplifies planning an outfit. For example, if you get a floral tank top as the base of a work outfit, you can easily move to the neutral colored side and decide which neutrals will complement the floral top. Then finally, move into the accessory side for the perfect finishing.

2. Plan Your Outfit at Night

planning your outfit at night  
Photo licensed: Fotolia 

Because time is very limited in the morning, and especially if you´re required to log in the automated clock before 7:30, it´s helpful to plan your work outfit the night ahead. This gives you more time to think and to be more creative. This also saves you from stress early the next morning.

Now that your closet is already organized, it won´t take long anymore to think for an outfit. It´s now more than functional, thus your creativity has more room flourish. It´s time to think for that little twists and tricks which will add surprises to your working look.

This is the time for you to iron what needs to be ironed and to decide for the perfect shoes to complete your outfit.

3. Prepare and Style Your Hair at Night

doing your hair  
Photo licensed: Fotolia 

When I was still in Asia, I used to quickly have my shower in the morning. It was no problem because drying my long hair was quick. But now in Europe, I found it better to prepare my hair at night. This saves me from cramming in the morning drying my long locks.

When at times that you want to wear a different hair look to the office but barely have time to use the straightening iron to straighten your hair or to create wavy or curly hair in the morning, you can do it at night.

One quick trick to wear a curly look the next day without spending hours trying to do it with an iron or curlers is by taking a shower at night and while the hair is wet, braid it into sizes that you prefer. Leave the hair all night and then remove the braid the next morning; you have an instant curly hair.

How do you simplify dressing up in the morning? What other quick tricks do you use for an instant but stylish work look?  

Glee teaches women how to be creative and joyful fashionistas through her blog, Creative Fashion. She believes that gleeful fashionistas are creative and upbeat. Visit her blog for more styling tricks and practical lifestyle tips. She also explores the ways to achieve happiness on extra-challenging marriages at Offbeat Marriage.

Jun 25, 2012

Fashion to Go - guest post by Ash

While I'm headed up to Northern CA with my BK, please enjoy a guest post by my friend Ash! 
If you’re like me, you love an organized closet, but lack a personal maid to keep track of you and your belongings. It’s hard to remember to pack the right shoes and accessories for a short weekend jaunt.  So, you can imagine that it’s even more difficult to pack efficiently so that cross country movers can make long distance relocation easy. 
With a little thought and planning, you can make any packing endeavor a stress-free experience. Summon your inner fashionista and download a checklist from the Container Store website to help you get started. Packing your clothes in vacuum-sealed storage bags helps to save space and prevent insects, moisture or odor from damaging your outfits. By carefully folding and arranging your clothes, you can minimize wrinkling and arrive at your destination ready to step out on the town, get to class or go to work.
Take Inventory
When you make a big move, take the opportunity to clean out clothes that no longer fit you, clothes your roommate left behind or clothes your grandmother gave you in eighth grade. Take inspiration from the Clos-ette website and be ruthless. Don’t be sentimental. You really don’t need those jeans from high school anymore. Donate clothes you don’t want to a homeless shelter and experience the rush of altruism. It’s a double win. To make decisions about what to keep, go through your clothes and decide:
·                           Will you ever wear the item again?
·                           Would you buy the article of clothing again?
·                           Have you worn it in the last year?
·                           Is the item in good condition?

Categorize Clothes
Once you’ve got your keepers, organize your clothes and accessories in smaller piles so you can pack them most efficiently. Gather all your shirts, pants, skirts and dresses into separate piles. Follow the tips from Fodor's when you move or travel so you can keep your clothes clean, dry and wrinkle-free:
Ø      Keep your most expensive dry-cleaned items, including suits and evening wear, in their bags and on their hangers. Linen and cotton tend to wrinkle easily. Polyester tends to pack well and resist wrinkles. Silk absorbs moisture, so take care when packing it.
Ø      Put your shoes, jewelry and other smaller items in zip-top plastic bags. This keeps pairs together!
Ø      Roll up your t-shirts, workout sweats and jeans to save space.
Ø      Fold bulky sweaters and other tops. For each item, button any buttons and lay the item face down. Lay the arms across the body of the item. Fold up the bottom and then fold down the top, overlapping the first fold. Need inspiration? Think about those chain retail-clothing shops! Arrange your clothes by color or fabric type if you really want to be organized – that might be overdoing it?
Ø      Roll up socks and throw away any orphans. Only pairs make the move!
Ø      Buy mesh laundry bags to pack your underwear, lingerie, pantyhose and tights.

By labeling your boxes, you’ll be able to find your clothes easily once you reach your destination. Using a simple checklist, you can ensure that you bring everything you want and need to be comfortable, confident and coordinated.

Jun 19, 2012

Useful Tips on How to Live a Frugal Life Comfortably - guest post by Jonny

Even though it is challenging, I've been trying to get a better grasp on saving money. You all know I love fashion and hence I love to shop, but shopping comes at a price. So instead of shopping, I'm trying to take the much needed steps to save money. So every day I'm creating new goals to save money. I would encourage you to do the same! Enjoy this guest post because it is a great reminder as to how to make a frugal life come true! 

Frugality is something that we must adopt to cope with the topsy-turvy global economy. Today, maintaining a family of 3 or 4 on one’s earning is really difficult. However, a well-planned, strict and frugal budget can help you meet your financial goals as well as running your family comfortably. Whether shopping, traveling, meeting your kids’ expectations or anything else, frugality is the best way to manage the cash crunches cropped up in any aspect of your life. Some people talk about increasing income to handle the rising monetary demands of the life, but it is not possible always. Rather it is better that you start living a frugal life and emphasize on savings. Always remember that money saved is money earned; this is an eternal truth applicable to everybody’s life.  

Enjoy frugal fun

Frugality can be a fun if you can take it in the right spirit. Here are some tips that you can follow to get the frugal fun and at the same time live your life comfortably without spending a fortune. 

·         Collect coupons – With a little sagacity and creativity you can save as much as 25% or sometimes even more on your grocery bills. There are many grocery stores that offer grocery coupons. Find a grocery store in your locality that offers such coupons. Spend some time for clipping those coupons for the grocery stuff that you purchase regularly. This rule is also applicable to any item that you buy from a departmental store as most of such stores offer coupons to their customers. Cash back facility is also offered sometimes. If you want to save more on your shopping bill, you can switch to online shopping. There are many cash back websites that offer cash back facility for buying any item from any of the online stores listed on their website. You can also find coupon websites that offer saving coupons as well as freebies.

·         Avoid eating out – Eating out is no doubt a fun, but at the same time expensive. You can have the same fun at your home. Arrange a candle light dinner in the yard or terrace with your favorite dishes cooked at home and have the fun of eating out. Your kids will also love the idea.  Search the Internet for recipes of your favorite dishes and cook it by your own. When you can cook same delicious dishes that you buy from outside for hundreds of dollars, then why should you spend so much? 

·         Become a member of local library – Nothing can be more entertaining than books and movies. Unfortunately, buying books or movies is very expensive option of entertainment. Why don’t you go to the local library and become a member? Most libraries are equipped with latest as well classic movies and books. You can get any of them for as low as one dollar. However, make sure you return the stuff damage-free.

·         Pay bills online – Start paying your utility bills online and avoid late payments and thus penalties. Moreover, if you pay online, you can avail some discounts from the concerning authority. 
Frugality is something that does not take anything, but gives mental peace of staying out of debt. Frugal life ensures a stress-free life without compromising with your wishes. 

Author’s bio – Jonny Pean is a veteran finance writer. He writes for many online finance communities like easyfinance.com. He helps people to resolve their credit card problems and also problems related to home equity loan, personal loans, and other loans.

Jun 18, 2012

Use Incense to bring Aromatherapy for Relaxation into Your Home! - guest post by Roger

Tonight I took some time for me and
had a relaxing bath with a candle lit nearby.
It was so nice to just relax and rejuvenate!
So when I received Roger's guest post it was the perfect
timing really because it reminded me how important
it is to take some time out of your day and relax.
And what better way to relax then with aromatherapy!
Enjoy this guest post by Roger, thanks Roger!


Use Incense to bring Aromatherapy for Relaxation into Your Home! 

The relaxing, healing and therapeutic qualities of aromatherapy are quite well known and trusted by many. Aromatherapy involves the use of natural aromatic woods, fine oils, herbs and resinous products usually in a small comfortable room within your personal space. Aromatherapy provides relief to mental, physical ailments and stress due to the everyday routine!

The best aromatherapy incense is made from rare woods, resinous blends and pure herbal oils. Healing and relaxation is initiated by the release of healing fragrance when skillfully incenses blend are used. Here are some very useful fragrances for various effective results.

1.  Jasmine:

Jasmine will bring an aroma which can aid in a relaxation and calming.
2.    Sandalwood and Frankincense:

Aromatherapy herbal blends with sandalwood and Frankincense have warm and sweet aroma that blends well with bergamot, lavender and rose. These are very sensual and relaxing apart from stimulating the imagination and providing positive emotional effects.
3.    Peppermint:

Menthol present in peppermint extract acts as a mental stimulant. It is also rejuvenating, refreshing and cooling and helps in relieving nausea and travel sickness.
4.    Lavender:

Essential oils present in lavender flowers helps in alleviating insomnia, stress related headaches and other forms of stress. The lavender oil has a sweet floral aroma which helps in achieving healing, balancing and soothing effects when blended with pine oil, rosemary and citrus.
The essential oils as mentioned above are considered as active healing and medicinal components by many people and even by medical experts. Hundreds of combination of these ingredients can be found in the better grades of fine incense, the better quality incense, the better the effectiveness of the ingredients.

The good news is that incense is a much less costly option as compared to other forms of treatments and you never have to leave home.

The burning of incense produces aromas which research has proven to help the brain to release useful chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine which brings about a feeling of happiness and well-being. Using Incense and aromatherapy are believed to bring about improved sleep, relaxation, concentration and enhance levels of meditation and spirituality. 

Enjoy … Namaste’ Roger

Author: Roger Marlow Owner Proprietor of Incense-Incense.com. Your Premier source for the Finest Incense in the World!

Jun 13, 2012

the ocean: part of a great fitness plan - guest post by Melanie

If you are overweight and out of shape, chances are you have spent a lot of effort trying to lose that weight and become healthier and more fit. Many people fail to accomplish their personal fitness goals for a number of reasons. If you are fortunate enough to live near the ocean, the solution for success is close at hand. The best news is that once you have the body you want, you will enjoy staying in shape.
The ocean provides some wonderful benefits when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. There are many ways you can take advantage of them in your quest to look and feel your best.

  • The ocean air is invigorating. It makes you feel good and gives you energy. When you exercise, this is the air you breathe, and it gives you the opportunity to exercise more while feeling less tired.

  • The sand gives your feet a great workout. It is good for developing arch support and keeps your feet strong. It takes more effort to walk, jog or run in the sand. You will feel it in your calves. You may experience some soreness while you develop strength and stamina, but that will disappear over time. Even though you are working harder, the sand cushions your feet, legs and body. That means you should not get shin splints which are often the result of running on hard surfaces like asphalt or concrete.

  • The ocean shoreline is stimulating. There are many interesting things to look at. The time passes pleasantly and, before you know it, you have worked off pounds worth of calories. The waves are soothing. You can walk for hours and never feel it. You can combine walking, jogging and running for a varied workout that gives you the chance to recover a bit by walking before getting back to jogging and running. The seashore is such a fascinating place, you might want to set an alarm on your waterproof watch to make sure you do not lose track of time.

  • For an even more varied workout, you can add swimming. If you are just starting out, walk in the direction that is against the current and swim back, or swim in the direction of the current and walk back to where you started. Once you have worked up strength, you can reverse the process by swimming against the tide. You will be burning even more calories, but your exercise regimen is easier to stick to because it is so enjoyable.
Once you have gotten your figure and your body in shape, the ocean is the perfect place to show off your success. That bathing suit that has been haunting your drawer can testify to your efforts. Since you will be out on the coast several days a week, it is a great time to buy some more bathing suits. Show off, you have earned bragging rights.

Melanie Buckner is a freelance writer for SurfWear, a UK online clothing retailer.

Jun 12, 2012

Summer Road Trip - What Adventures are in Store for You?

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of PA Tourism for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

You all know how much I love to travel and though I've traveled to many states in the West coat, I have yet to explore the East coast and I know many adventures await me there as well. That's why I'd love to visit Pennsylvania. Plus, with interactive sites like pa-roadtrips, it makes going on a road trip all the more appealing and not to mention easy.

A few weeks ago my aunt and uncle went on a road trip on the East coast and I was super jealous. They told me all about their adventures and the places they visited (I think it was a totaly of 6 states or something crazy like that), and I told myself that I would plan a trip to the East coast soon. In fact, that's exactly what I plan to do. Because after all, roadtrips are a blast.

If you check out the site www.VisitPA.com, you'll see that they have an entire interactive guide for you, making it easy to plan your stay. Plus - the site is so cool looking with all of their fun grahpics - go check it out and see what I mean!

I explored all of the road trips available and of course the one that popped out the most to me is The Shoppers Roadtrip. Of course I would take my mom and aunt (same aunt that just went to the East coast), because they love to shop just like me! From chic boutiques from high-end malls, there is plenty to keep me, my mom, and my aunt busy! Of course we should shop until we drop while enjoying the countryside, I might add.

One mall in particular, called the King of Prussia Mall sounds amazing. What are some other shopping destinations that sound appealing on this road trip? I would love to visit the eclectic boutiques that are near 12th and Sansom Streets, which are known as Midtown. Also, The Hudson Beach Glass Studio also sounds appealing - it has homemade glasswares and more. Anything that says the beach is lovely to me. I can't wait to shop!

After exploring the roadtrips available, while on the site you should also check out these features and get planning for your Road Trip:

  • Things to Do
  • Places to Stay
  • Destinations
  • Trip Ideas
  • Travel Tools

You can find all of these awesome tips and tools on their site. I just spent some time surfing the site and not only it is cleverly designed, but it has some awesome pointers for your road trip! I'm super excited to plan a road trip to Pennsylvania in the near future. Hitting the road and turning on your favorite tunes while you're in the car is the best. Even more importantly, it's amazing once you've arrived at your destination (not to mention shop). Because once you are there it's time to check out the town!!

What adventures are in store for me? I can't wait to find out! You should find out too!


Visit Sponsor's Site

Jun 7, 2012

dreaming of planning a garden party - food, fountains, and magical moments

Lately I've been thinking about garden parties and what kind of decor, food, desserts, and fountains I would have if I hosted one. My garden in Utah is gorgeous (well essentially it is my parents and brother who do the hard work), but I love seeing all of the flowers bloom and spending time in it every summer. The only thing we have missing is a garden fountain, which I think would complete our garden and make it look absolutely stunning. Which in my opinion it already is beautiful with its flowers and other charming elements, but adding a garden fountain would certainly add to the already gorgeous appearance.

If I had a choice of garden fountains I think I would choose something like this, because it is so elegant and has the perfect features. I can just see it nestled into our garden and it would most definitely look beautiful during a garden party, don't you think?
Once my garden is all set with beautiful flowers and the perfect fountain, I would begin to plan out what kind of desserts I would want. I've been really good about not eating dessert lately, because since I've been in CA I've tried to maintain a strict diet so I can shed some of those lbs. Easier said than done though. But since I'm staying away from the treats doesn't mean I can't blog about some treats! Here is one dessert that make me drool and it looks so delicious!

What's better than a floral themed cake with pink layers and delicious pink frosting? This cake is so beautiful I don't think I would even want to eat it! Well, actually I would, lol, but it is so beautiful, isn't it?!

Another food item that would be top on my list? Rose sushi!! I can't believe making sushi like this is even possible, but a sushi chef managed to capture what my dream garden sushi would look like, which is pink like a flower and lovely. I want to eat it right now!

Of course I would also want a summer time drink with sprinkles around the glass of like this picture perfectly portrays. I'm excited, this garden party is going to be fun!

With the perfect garden, water features, and yummy food, I think my garden party would be complete. But wait - now I need to my bloggy friends to arrive! Would you like to join in and experience some magical moments in the garden with me?

When would you like to come over 
and be my garden party guests? ;)

Jun 4, 2012

beautiful braids for a beachy vibe

Wow it's June! Can you believe it?!

On Wednesday the 6th I'm guest posting at Selma's blog, so be sure to go and check it out! Thank you!

I hope you all had a great weekend. I did. I took today off which is rare for me since having your own business takes a lot of time. I also worked out 6 days this week (or I guess I should say last week since tomorrow is Monday), thanks to my amazing boyfriend who continues to motivate me to keep going strong (even though secretly I think he's Bob from the Biggest Loser with the way he checks up on how my work out is going ha ha). We also went to the beach briefly and ate some yummy food. It was a wonderful weekend but now I'm beat.
Since whenever I'm in Cali I like to observe all of the wonderful hairstyles, one hairstyle that I keep on seeing and loving are braids. Now obviously I wouldn't be able to pull off a beach braid without having longer hair or hair extensions, (today I tried to keep a braid in my hair and failed miserably due to my semi-short hair and layers), but non the less it was still fun seeing this beachy and bohemian look on other beach goers. 
So until I grow my hair out (it's about a few inches past my collar bone), or get some hair extensions, I'll just have to be content with looking at the all of the beautiful braids I see. Plus, there is always Pinterest and other forms of social media where I'll continue to stalk braid pictures, wishing my hair was longer so I could braid my hair like this too.

Long enough to where the layers can come out yet a bit, this lovely laid shows off her locks in a long braid with a few layers poking out here and there. The side braid is simple yet sweet, perfect to go with her striped tee for a bold statement. Very cute, right?
Fishtale braids are just as cute, especially when worn during vacation or on the beach. This blogger, from Running on Happiness has the perfect fishtale braid surrounded by fun accessories like friendship bracelets and more. I love this look.
This braid is just gorgeous because of course it is a beach braid, but beyond that I love that she did a separate braid on the top portion of her hair first, followed by a fishtale braid down the rest of her hair. This entire braid is a masterpiece and perfect for the beach. 
If I could style my hair like this I think I would do it every time I go to the beach. The french braid shows off her hair color beautifully and the way it is pulled up in the back keeps her hair off of her back, which is also ideal. Love this entire beachy braid look!
At some point in time it would be so much fun to not only have longer braids in my hair once more, but to have colored hair. Maybe not hot pink, but blue or pink streaks or having tipped hair would be fun.

I'm loving all of the braids and the longer your hair is, the better the braid looks, in my opinion. So I hope my hair grows fast so that I can braid away and seize the day while having braided locks. 

Every beachy girl needs her braided hair while she's soaking up the sun and enjoying the ocean! ;)