Treating the Gals to Galentine's Day

Oh, February! The shortest month but with the biggest bang around when it comes to birthdays (wink, wink) and festivities! Over the last year, I got to reconnect with my friends and really bond over our sisterhood. It may or may not have been frequently fueled by bad food choices.

I've been feeling particularly blessed over our friendship that I teamed up with Babbleboxx to give my Galentine-enthusiast readers the top gifts to give. Less time searching, so you can have more time bonding.

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Below, you'll find the perfect gift that will be sure to bring a smile to that someone special.

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For the Beauty Maven: Perfumania Has Got You Covered
Ever since I first stepped into a Perfumania, I've been obsessed with their vast array of delightful scents. Back then I used to pester my dad into getting me the latest scents but now I'm old enough to treat gal pals to a new signature scent. I tested out the Dolce by Dolce & Gabbana at Perfumania and fell in love with the floral feminine mix that blends Neroli and White Amaryllis. The end result is a flirty but sophisticated scent.

Have a gal pal that's more undecided (i.e. she's a chronic returner) then the next best gift is a Perfumania gift card. With the help of fragrance experts, she'll be able to find her very signature scent in store or online.

Save while you shop with my code too! Get 25% off and free shipping at Perfumania.com with code STYLEBRO25. Offer ends 2/14/17.

For the friend with a Sweet Tooth: Let her Know Edible Arrangements Are Meant for Sharin
Go above and beyond with Edible Arrangements Edible Signature Chocolate Box or their Valentine's Day Bouquet. The brand is synonymous with the holiday of love, and who can blame them? Their fresh fruit and gourmet chocolate are a crowd pleaser. My favorite part about getting any of their bouquets are chocolate covered strawberries - so good! In case you'd like more chocolates to share I recommend adding on the Signature Chocolate Box which features recipes by master chocolatier Jacques Torres. There's a hazelnut crunch flavor in it that's absolutely amazing.

I'll be placing an order for Galentine's Day so dessert is covered on my end :). I highly recommend getting in your order sooner than later, but hey life happens which is why they offer same day delivery too.

Check out their website here and let me know what you get :).
Right now they’re offering everyone $10 off when they spend $39+ through 2/11/17 with code SAVE3966!

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The Adventurous Friend: A Casio Watch that Won't Quit
If you haven't noticed by now, Casio is making a comeback and in the best way possible. Their watches are equal parts tough yet equal parts trendy making this perfect watch for the friend that's done for anything. Right now, I'm showcasing their G-SHOCK S Series GMA-S110CM-2A watch which features advanced technology, is water resistant, shock resistant, and so much more.

You can learn more about this watch and others here.

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For the Creative Subway Dweller: Faber-Castell Adds New Dimension to Every Commute
As an art-school dropout, I would absolutely love to get gifted anything from Faber-Castell. Everything I've used is such great quality. But since this post isn't about me, it this whole shebang would make a great gift for friends that dabble in the arts or spend their subway commutes doodling to pass the time. You know, the creative type :).

Here's a quick rundown of my all-time favorites:

  • Castell 9000® Graphite Design set: a favorite among illustrators thanks to its 16 degrees in hardness (great for writing, drawing, and sketching)
  • PITT® Artist Pen 8 count Wallet in Black: another favorite among illustrators and doodlers
  • PITT® Artist Pen Studio Gift Box of 24: lightfast inks in vibrant colors wont bleed through most paper (great for coloring books)
  • Gelatos® Dolce 2 Gift Set: these are super pigmented and are great for mixed media projects since they're so easy to blend

You've been warned, their site is like heaven for those that love to color outside the lines. Check it out here.

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For the Office Gals: Sunsweet PlumSweets are Healthy + Yummy
Stand out with sweet and delicious decadent dark chocolate plums. These bite-size scrumptious pieces are always a hit at the office or a cute way to thank your work wife. I definitely love how chewy these are when you first bite in. If you're still following your resolution diets (go you by the way!) you'll appreciate the fact there's no high fructose corn syrup and eating prunes support bone health. There's a tons of facts out there on why prunes, especially these tasty ones, are great for you but it's better just to pick up a package of Sunsweet PlumSweets.

Don't forget to click here for a downloadable coupon for $1.00 off!

Would love to hear if there's anything you scooped up for your BFF in the comments down below :).

Today's post has been sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com on behalf of Single Edition Media. As always, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible! 

The Fourth Wall

Time to sit down with a glass of wine and reflect on 2016. The good, the bad, and the ugly. And if I were to look back at how I rang in the year, I'd say it was a foretelling on how the rest of 2016 would turn out... Rough. My strength and patience were tested every single day. A week (or a few nights later), I broke up with the guy I spent most of my twenties with.

I wasn't happy but I was comfortable and that wasn't the way for me to live. The next decision I made was to invest in the one relationship I've neglected for a while, the one with myself. Since then I've thwarted impending relationships and burnt bridges to keep my word. And thank goodness I did. It's so easy to get lost in a relationship after coming out of one so fresh... I believe they call it a rebound.

As I stuck close to my word, I learned, accomplished, and experienced so much. There were some shit moments, but everything as a whole was amazing. I'm actually exhausted from having such an amazing year filled with firsts and memories that would've never happened if I weren't going solo. I learned a few (more like nine) things along the way too:

1. Friendships Need a Strong Base
Some friends disappear into the quicksand of relationships or work, completely neglecting their crew. At the same time, there are friends that make the effort to stay in touch through the thick and thin - these are the friends that welcomed me back with open arms. It never for a second felt odd, but more like continuing where we left off. Our random but thoughtful phone calls, frequent bedside visits just because, and impromptu girls night helped strengthen our base over the years and I'm so lucky it did. Sidenote, #GirlGang trips increased my bond tenfold so expect more adventures in 2017.

2. Society's Pressure is Bullshit
We seem to put this burden on ourselves on being the best, looking perfect or having the guy followed by a wedding. It's all bullshit. Do you and strive only for what makes you happy. I did and feel so at ease.

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3. Dating Gets Easier
At the beginning of the year, I was willing to give everyone a chance, which means I went on too many dates already knowing the unfruitful outcome. Fast forward to the end of the year and dates are now a rare occurrence. My time is precious, so my standards kept climbing and my friends have finally breathed a sigh of relief. Automatic red cards to those that text me "WYD" at 2 AM. Fouls to those lacking the motivation to cross the Queens border. Those shorter than me get immediately cut. In the end, I know my worth and if my gut says "Nah" then I'll most likely disappear into the night forever.

4. Be Nicer to Yourself
I have an issue with pushing myself to my absolute limits. Great for marathons, not so great for everyday living. This year, I let myself sleep in, treated myself to ALL of the hair appointments, and saw my doctor way too many times (preventative care at its finest). When I needed to unwind I went for a run, put off my to-do list, or gave myself a mani-pedi. I spoiled myself silly by putting myself first and will continue to do so.

5. Solitude... Scary yet Soothing
It's human nature to feel lonely at times. These were the moments I really felt myself grow as a person. (These were also the moments I found myself swiping away, to be honest.) Instead of burying the feelings with random numbing dates or an erratic online shopping spree I faced them head on. I accepted them and knew the feeling would pass. Sometimes, being alone or going places solo felt like a treat in itself. And if all else failed, I move on to #6 or continue swiping.

6. You Can Handle Shit Like a Pro
Life is always going throw curveballs but the question is, are you going to roll over and give up or stand up and figure it out. I definitely had to figure it out or get fucked. In one month, I started a new job, found a new apartment, had surgery (and needed to recover from it), and move. After experiencing all that and still coming out on top - I'm more than confident that I'll be able to overcome the next fuckery that heads my way.

7. Being Financially Stable is Liberating
Honestly, this is the best thing that has happened to me. I might be drowning in hospital bills but being able to book my own flights, pay my own rent, afford whatever restaurant I choose to eat at is AMAZING. Not having to rely on anyone is AMAZING. Being in control of your finances is AMAZING.

8. Personal Growth... It Happens
This year, I stepped out of my comfort zone a lot. Not always pain-free or comfortable but it's necessary when it comes to learning more about me. For instance, speaking up more won't kill me (even if it sounds dumb), traveling solo is really fun, doing things I hate aren't so painful, and my armpit fat is here to stay (body acceptance).

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9. Don't Settle Until You're Ready
This is the one time I was committed to doing me, from exploring new interests, traveling wherever the wind blew and growing my business. There simply so much opportunity to discover me and the world when not chained down to one lifestyle or locale. The moment I do settle down (or get knocked up), I know I will have lived a life so full it was worth the solitude. But as of right now, gaining a boyfriend/ride-or-die is not my main focus.

TL;DR Do what makes you happy instead of searching for that someone. Set priorities and reach goals - like being financially stable. Be nice to yourself and embrace the solitude - it might be the only chance you'll be able to. Get out of your comfort zone and see what you're capable of (FYI, a lot of things). And if all else fails (it won't), your friends got your back!

I'm sure the span of 2017 will bring a few more life lessons so until next year!

Five Time-Saving Hacks Perfect for Every Millennial

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CentrumFunFlavors #CollectiveBias

After five years of working in the marketing and advertising field, in New York City no less, you'll know that life moves pretty fast on my end. There's always something to do in a city that stops for no one. Add in blogging, workouts + training runs, and outings to keep my social life alive, and my schedule gets jam packed. Literally, every minute gets taken up which makes every second count. 

On mornings when coffee just won't do the trick to ease away your grogginess, these time-saving hacks (in Collaboration with Centrum® MultiGummies®) will help you move faster:
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1. Shower the Night Before
Easily shave off a good 20-40 minutes in the morning by rinsing the day away the night before. Of course, this might be harder to do in summer (cause you know... heat) but it's definitely one of my top time-saving hacks. Not only that, but you can relax and not rush through your shower routine if you have one. PLUS, you get more time to sleep in.

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2. Pick Your Outfit the Night Before
I actually take this a bit further and assemble all my looks on a Sunday prior to my week and take into account the weather, important meetings, and blogger breakfasts/cocktail hours. But, not everyone is as insane as me so I suggest looking at the weather and taking note of anything happening the next day and pulling together an outfit. It's pretty easy to lay one out (think: shoes, pants, tops, and a few accessories) and you can try it on the night before to see how you're feeling. 9 times out of 10, I'm pretty content with my chosen look.

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3. The Night Before Check Your Schedule and Pack Accordingly
Got a doctor's appointment? Pack your insurance cards. Got a blog shoot for a few outfit looks? Finalize and pack your looks and props needed. Got a fitness class in the morning? Pack your gym gear and water bottle. Are you seeing the pattern yet? And no need to fret if you don't own an organizer, the easiest (and free) way to keep track of all of your engagements is on Google Calendar. Mine is updated frequently and is the backbone of my busy life.

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4. Shorten Your Makeup Routine
I love makeup as much as the next beauty junkie but there is a place and a time for the extended contouring routine. During the work week, I keep my routine down to a science. Instead of foundation, concealer, contouring, and eyeshadow - I use a CC cream. Add in a swipe of bronzer and blush and brow gel and I'm ready to get my tush out the door. Add in mascara if you like, but I abstain from layering it on until I leave work for an event (or before an important meeting). It takes less than 10 minutes and has me looking fresh-faced for the rest of my day.

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5. Simplify Your Vitamins with A Yummy Multivitamin
There's a vitamin for literally everything nowadays but I like to keep it simple and easy as I cover my vita-essentials. Centrum® MultiGummies® is a great-tasting, easy-to-take multivitamin supplement. Another reason I prefer them is that Centrum® MultiGummies® contain three natural flavors: Berry, Cherry, and Orange. In case you wondering, these multi-benefit multivitamins include 100% or more of essential nutrients, Vitamins B12, D, and E.

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Next time you're at Walmart make sure you pick up Centrum® MultiGummies® with this coupon along with a few different CC creams and put these tips to the test! Let me know how it goes and let me know down below if you have any time-saving hacks as well!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.