Real Talk · Uncategorized

15 Self-Care Strategies for Better Work/Life Balance.

Previously, I wrote a post about how to find balance when you’re busy and then another post after that about how my life was incredibly unbalanced and my journey to figuring out why. After publishing both of those, I realized how important it was to talk about balance. It goes back to one of the basic reasons I share my life on this blog and that’s because if I’m going through it, that means some of you probably are too.

I still feel like the word “balance” is kind of unicorn word. Like, is it actually a real thing to have work-life balance? The short answer is I believe there are ways to avoid feeling like we’re sacrificing everything for work and to make taking care of ourselves a priority. It’s just a little more involved than we want it to be. It truly takes conscious thought and effort.

Now, I’m 100% not an expert at having work-life balance or self-care, but I do feel like I had a breakthrough in these areas over the last year. They helped me see some of the things I can do on a daily basis to maintain my sanity and, most importantly, avoid burnout. It’s going to be different for everyone, but I hope these strategies provide some guidance on how you can have your own breakthrough!

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Start small.

If you’re in desperate need of a better work-life balance, the number one trick is to start small. If you start out with this giant goal of having more balance in your life, that’s great, but what small steps are you going to take to get there? Don’t be afraid to really break things down and get super specific with it.

Prioritize.

You know I could talk forever about prioritizing. It’s become a huge passion of mine as I’ve gone through this journey of finding balance. Learning to prioritize is a great tool to have in your belt when it comes to self-care and creating a work-life balance because it helps you determine what’s actually important. If you’re sitting there like, “Great advice Becca, but everything feels important!” Start with this post and then move on to this one. I don’t want to say they’ll change your life because that’s a pretty crazy thing to say, but they kinda will.

Create a schedule and stick to it.

One big lesson I’ve learned in the last year is the importance of sticking to a schedule or to a routine. I don’t necessarily mean that in the way of productivity, though. More like, if I say my workday ends at 5 pm, my workday absolutely should end at 5 pm. Does that mean I need to make sure I’m productive and manage my time well throughout the day, YES, but it’s also about me keeping the commitment I made to myself, which I’ve learned is pretty dang important.

I used to (and sometimes still do, to be honest) tell myself, “I’m just going to work for 1 more hour.” Then all the sudden it’d be 10 pm and I bailed on spending time with friends or family. That’s no way to live, friends, trust me. End your day when you say you’re going to and spend some more time indulging in these self-love solutions.

Know what gives you joy and what doesn’t.

In the spirit of Marie Kondo teaching the world what material objects spark joy, why shouldn’t we also learn what sparks joy in other areas of our life? Obviously, not every single task or project at work is going to give you tons of joy, but try to pay really close attention to what you like about your job. Then do the same thing with your personal life. You’ll probably be surprised at what you notice really isn’t serving you at all. Once you learn what isn’t, move forward only with the things that do.

Only spend time on things that go towards your goals.

I challenge you to sit down some night this week or this weekend and write down your ultimate goals in life. Like, what would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail? The sky is the limit! Whatever it is, think about what you need to do to achieve it. Next, think about your list priorities. Is there anything on that list that doesn’t work toward your goal? Eliminate it!

I’ve been seeing this quote all over Pinterest and it has really stuck with me – “Decide what kind of life you want. Then say no to everything that isn’t that.”

Be choosy about who you spend your personal time with.

Finding work-life balance isn’t just about managing your work schedule or shaving down the number of hours you spend at the office. You have to refine your personal stuff too otherwise you’ll still find yourself being pulled in a million directions.

As hard as it can be sometimes, prioritizing (there’s that word again!) who we spend our personal time with does matter in the grand scheme of things. Think of it this way, eliminating the people who don’t really make you feel great about yourself will only make more time for those that make you feel like you’re at your best when you’re with them. Now doesn’t that sound amazing?!

Create boundaries.

Boundaries have been huge for me this year. I try to be an open book as much as possible with you, but for me personally, I know I’m better off when I keep some things just for myself.

For you, this could mean not bringing home work from the office or not sharing about your personal life with your co-workers. Whatever boundaries you need to create to make sure you’re putting yourself first will definitely help in adding a little balance to your life.

Have dedicated “you time”.

Schedule time for yourself. Part of having self-care strategies for work-life balance is making sure you’re showing yourself some love. Self-love and self-care are more than just bubble baths, though. Although, bubble baths are pretty great in my opinion.

Automate and delegate.

One of the best things about life right now is all the technology we have. USE IT! Groceries? I have recently become a big fan of ordering my groceries online and having them brought to my car as soon as I pull into the parking lot. Emails? Set up rules and filters so they go exactly where you need them to be to save time. Spending too much time on things you don’t enjoy or aren’t good at? Delegate! Budget to have someone clean your house once a month. Take advantage of the eager interns at your job who want to help you out. There are a million small things you can do that add up to making a big difference in your daily life. And let me tell you, for your sanity’s sake, do these things!

Spend time with people who value the same things as you.

When you surround yourself with people who have similar values to you, life is just bound to be much easier. Work with people who understand that your family has to come first. Have friends who build you up and encourage. What’s that saying about we are who we spend our time with? Keep that top of mind!

Don’t take on more than you can handle.

I know this isn’t something that’s done intentionally, but whenever you’re filling your schedule, do it with a little more consciousness. Trust me when I say I know what it’s like to feel like you’re capable of doing it all. But just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. There is NO SHAME in being done with your workday by 5 pm or having time to binge a Netflix show on the weekend.

Check in with yourself frequently.

If checking in with yourself isn’t part of your current self-care plan, add it on there ASAP. It gives you a moment to reflect and find out what’s working for you and what’s not. I try to work this into my evening quiet time at least once a week, which works great for me because I love evenings and am not a morning person. If you’re more of an early riser, do it before getting out of bed and maybe do a little journaling while you’re at it. You never know what thoughts will start pouring out of you!

Stay organized.

I like to organize basically everything. From my fridge to my closet to my wallet or my kitchen pantry, I thrive when things are in their place and have order. These things help me feel like I have my life together. If your life and your surroundings are organized, I promise you’ll feel so much better!

Disconnect often.

I’ve talked a lot about digital detoxes a few times now and that’s because I’ve learned how magical they are! I used to feel anxious about being unplugged from my phone but now, I legit look forward to it. It’s kind of become second nature to the point where I’ll be so present in what I’m doing that even though I mean to post, I don’t. And I freaking love it! Taking a break from social media and technology, in general, is so good for your soul whether it’s part of your job or not, so I highly recommend it.

Let go of perfectionism.

I’ve struggled with being a perfectionist my entire life, but am happy to report that you CAN move past it. While I’m not completely there, I feel like I’m so much more relaxed and easy going than a couple years ago, which has done wonders for my mental health. I share all my best tips for overcoming the need to be perfect in this post.

The point to all of this is take care of yourself, k? Stop obsessing over the idea of having work-life balance and instead just do things every day to work towards it! Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Don’t forget to subscribe to LiveLaughLearn.blog to stay up to date and follow on Instagram @LiveLaughLearn.blog

XOXO.

B.

Fashion · Uncategorized

Spring shoe round up.

Hi lovely people!

Spring is finally here! For the last few weeks, I have been purging my shoes and bringing out all my faithful favorites for warm weather and looking forward to finally parading around in some of my new additions as well! In the spring and summer I naturally gravitate more towards sandals and slides with the warmer weather, so I wanted to share some of my favorites with you today.  These are just some of my go-to shoes for a neutral, basic spring look that I wear all the way through the summer. PLUS I found some great dupes for some of them so you can totally find something to fit your budget, whatever that may be!

Some of these I’ve had by my side for over a year, some are new to me this season and a few I’ve actually purchased for a second time! I wanted to share reviews and first impressions of everything I’m rounding up for you today and hopefully you’ll find it helpful as you start refreshing your spring wardrobe.

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Vince ‘Blair’ Slip-On Sneakers

I had to include my favorite sneakers because this is actually my second pair!  And for a pair of sneakers as expensive as these, you know I had to love them to splurge a second time. I have wore these with everything and walked a ton in them.  They’re still my go-to shoes because they go with so much; dresses, jeans, shorts- everything! I wear them with these no-show liner socks just because that’s my preference, but you could totally wear them without if that’s your thing!

They fit true to size and the slip-on style makes them SO easy to get on and go especially if you’re a mom with a car-seat to handle or a pup to walk!  These also make a great travel shoe because they come on and off so easy for any security checks you have to go through. Definitely worth the price!

A really cute and more inexpensive option would the Keds ‘Double Decker’ or another favorite of mine – the Steve Madden ‘Gills’.

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Sam Edelman ‘Odila’ Nude Block Heel

I wanted to make sure I included a heeled sandal because I feel like everyone needs a good nude sandal for spring and summer and these have been a favorite of mine.  I recently bought this pair after owning the suede version and wearing them so much that the strap broke!  The reason I love these so much is because you can wear them with any dress you’d wear to a wedding- they go with literally everything!  And let’s be real, who doesn’t have a wedding to go soon – it’s the start of wedding season after all. These are a leather rather than suede so I think they’re going to last a lot longer.  The scalloped edge is so adorable and fun and the heel height is great which makes them super comfortable.  If you’re not used to wearing heels they might be a little bit uncomfortable but it’s a great option if super high heels hurt your feet!

Steve Madden also has a great budget-friendly option to these which are on sale right now also. They are the ‘Carrson Heeled Sandal’.

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A New Day Embellished Slide Sandals

I have amazing friends who just know me so well! My lovely galpal just got these for me at Target a few weeks ago while in the US and I think they are SO adorable!  I can’t speak to the quality of them yet since they’re so new, but they would be perfect for hanging out by a pool or at the beach AND they’re a total steal at just $22.  They run a little bit wide over my foot but I wouldn’t suggest sizing down since they’d end up being too short in the back.

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Sam Edelman ‘Natalya’ Slipper

This pair is a new find for me this season.  I’ve worn them countless times since I got them a couple of months ago and they’ve instantly become a staple for me this spring.  I was really shocked at how comfortable they are!  The woven material has some stretch to it which kind of holds to your foot so they don’t slide off.  I love them with jeans or dresses and really just can’t say enough good things about them because they are so cute and easy to slip on and run out the door!

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See by Chloe ‘Glyn’ Flat Espadrilles

This pair of espadrilles are by far the biggest splurge in this post but they’re SO adorable and I really love them. I’ve had them for over a year and they still look great so if you do invest in them, the quality is really worth it.  I think they’re super fun and unique and a great way to dress up your jeans or shorts this spring.

I found a super cute dupe for them under $140 here!

That’s it dolls, what do you think? Leave a note and let me know if any of these are on your spring and summer must have lists? What is the one pair of shoes you cannot go the season without?

Don’t forget to subscribe to LiveLaughLearn.blog to stay up to date and follow on Instagram @LiveLaughLearn.blog

XOXO.

B.

Decor · Food & Drink · Uncategorized

The best hostess gifts to give – to make sure you’re always invited back.

Happy Holiday Month!!

If you’re calender’s are looking anything like mine does right now for December, I am amazed. I am amazed that you found a few minutes in the holiday chaos to join me in my little corner of the internet.

With this being a very busy holiday season, I wanted to talk about something important… hostess gifts! Do you always bring one or do you feel your presence is enough? I think they are great and I always bring one to a party and it warms my heart when people bring them to ours. If the answer to “Can I bring something” is the expected “no”, that does not mean you should go empty handed! Ever! Take a couple minutes and come out with a thoughtful and even inexpensive hostess gift to bring! Or, read below for some great options!

You can never, and I mean never, go wrong with bringing wine! Or really, just any type of alcohol in general. However, I was getting pretty tired and rather embarrassed of tossing my wine bottle into a gift bag and away I go. So, I started doing some research and I came across Furoshiki – which is basically the art of fabric gift wrapping. Naturally, I got right into the car and headed over to Marhsalls to load up on some tea towels to use this holiday season. It’s the perfect gift combination – wine and a tea towel. I think it turned out pretty awesome and I’m really proud of myself! I’ll never purchase another wine bottle gift bag again. It just gives a little extra oompf to a simple hostess gift. Plus, less waste in our landfills!wine wrapping 2

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The holidays for me just have a certain smell. Do you know what I mean? It’s a very distinct smell and it just floods my brain with childhood memories and give me all the feels which is why I really love holiday simmering pots. These are the easiest gifts to put together and everyone loves them. I like to do a mixture of orange slices, fresh cranberries, fresh rosemary, cinnamon sticks, fresh cloves, lemon, lime and pear slices. You can swap out the pear for apple if you’d like but because I am allergic I use pear. Toss everything into jar and cover with water before sealing it tightly. Attach a cute little tag and you’re all set.

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A few years ago I really wanted to do something special and totally personalized for a few of my closest girlfriends and their families. I wanted something that would be loved, shown off and something they would keep for a very long time. It was a complete success and I just love seeing their boards used at their parties and sitting on their countertops. These do need to be done in advance so it’s not something you can put together the day of a party obviously, but something you should look into right away to make sure you get them on time. You could also package these with some cute cheese knives, some cured meats, nuts etc. I cannot remember the company I used when I did these but I know an amazing wood burner, Tanya from Burned Out By Tanya that I would totally recommend you get in touch with. You can click here to see some of her work and reach out.

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I know the I labeled this post three hostess gifts but, when in doubt don’t over holiday baking! Bonus points for adorable packaging. While you’re at it, don’t forget about the fluffy four legged family members whose house you are going to also. These are not just for Thanksgiving but can be made any time of year. I make them every holiday season and Winston and I drop them off to the furry friends in our neighborhood on our walk. Lastly, if you’re in a pinch for time – flowers! Flowers are always a good idea!O Oh, and lavender plants!

What is your go-to hostess gift? What has been the best hostess gift you have ever received?

Don’t forget to subscribe to LiveLaughLearn.blog to stay up to date and follow on Instagram @LiveLaughLearn.blog

XOXO.

B.