A Weekend in Madison

A Weekend in Madison

Last Saturday, I made a mini-trip to Madison to visit a friend. Per usual, it was a great time! I figured I’d recap it on the blog, so you have some recommendations in case you ever find yourself in Madison.

I got in town at around 6:00 pm. Right away, my friend and I hit the shops. Ragstock was our first stop; they always have the best vintage pieces and fun new items. We also checked out Singlestitch. They had a pretty cool TV set up in the corner of their store, and I loved their fitting rooms. If you’re a fan of vintage t-shirts and hats, you should definitely check Singlestitch out.

After resisting some impulse buys, we grabbed dinner at Canteen. I ordered the spicy shrimp tacos and a spicy marg. It was absolutely delicious. I’ve also had and enjoyed their portabella mushroom tacos; they are a great vegetarian option!

Later that night, we ended up hanging out at Sotto for a bit and then Red Rock. Sotto is the spot to go to if you want a neon sign photo opp (pictured below). If you want to challenge your friends to ride a mechanical bull, check out Red Rock.

The next day, we got up bright and early for a Basecamp workout. Shoutout to them for inviting us to a class! It was high energy, fast-paced, and fun. I typically do at-home workouts with Obé, but I wouldn’t mind mixing in some more in-person classes.

For brunch, we grabbed Colectivo. The honey lavender latte and veggie burrito I had hit the spot. This is a coffee shop that I always like to stop at when I can.

Around 3:00 pm, I hit the road back home. Since Madison is only a two-hour drive away, I’m sure I’ll be back soon.

Have you ever explored Madison, WI? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments or on Instagram. Let’s chat!

How To Style Blazers *After Hours*

How To Style Blazers *After Hours*

Blazers are a classic style staple that can be utilized for more than just your 9-5. In fact, you may get more use out of your blazers if you break them out after hours.

In this post, I’ve compiled a few ways to style your blazers with a touch of moxie. In the pictures, you’ll see a navy blue pinstripe vintage blazer that I thrifted. I highly recommend thrifting before buying new when it comes to blazers. Sure, you may have to cut out some shoulder pads, but you’ll get a better deal and a more unique look. Also, I’d recommend going for a neutral color like navy, grey, black, or brown. This will allow for your blazer to be very versatile.

Anyways, let’s get into a few looks that you’ll look great in.

Look 1: Little Black Dress

There are a couple of ways that you can style this look. It just depends on what feels best for you.

Option 1: you can simply throw the blazer on top of your little black dress and leave it open. Option 2: you can close the blazer and cinch your waist with a belt.

Personally, I love option 2 since it helps to show off some shape. The cinched waist offers a gorgeous contrast to the blazers’ boxy shoulders.

Look 2: Tank, Blazer, and Blue Jeans

This look keeps it simple, but you can do a lot to make it your own. Once you have the base of a white tank, a dark-colored blazer, and blue jeans, you can add on accessories like hats, jewelry, purses, etc.

If I wore this outfit during the day, I’d pair it with my white Reebok tennies and Johnny Cash baseball cap. If I wore this outfit out to dinner, I’d probably throw on strappy black heels and grab my Edie Parker Bodega Bag.

Look 3: Monochromatic

Hot take: pattern mix-matching and monochromatic looks are fun. In some cases, I believe that style rules were made to be broken.

To recreate this look, simply pair your blazer with pieces that it shares a color with. This is a look that can challenge you to try something new and get creative.

Look 4: Sporty Spice

I saved the comfy-ist look for last. All you need are biker shorts and a t-shirt to pair with your blazer. Then, feel free to accessorize!

This is another outfit that I’d pair with my Reebok tennies. I’d also add on my oversized black sunglasses and a black crossbody purse.

This is the type of outfit that is so easy to put together, but you can still look chic.

I hope this post helps you look at your *professional* wear in a new way.

Which look will you try? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments or on Instagram. Let’s chat!

Life Lately: Let’s Catch Up

Life Lately: Let’s Catch Up

Whew! Recently, life has been busy in the best possible way. I don’t know about you, but I do find an eventful calendar energizing.

Now, when I say eventful, I don’t mean jam-packed. Instead, I mean to describe a schedule that has a fair balance of productivity and play. We all deserve (and need) some breaks and downtime to unwind.

In the past couple of weeks, my unwind time has been spent just binging Ozarks, so I won’t bore you with those details. But, what I do want to chat about is some of the more exciting things that have been happening lately.

First off, I had the opportunity to create some on-site content with Goodwill NCW. As you may already know, I work as an ambassador with them. Not only do I love thrifting, but I love what the Goodwill organization is all about. It’s always fun to get the chance to work with them in person.

As soon as I can share what we shot, I will! I’m definitely looking forward to seeing the final product.

Also recently, I went to the Eric Church concert in Green Bay. I am thankful to have concerts back in action at my local venues. It was such an amazing Saturday night show. It started at about 9:00 pm and wrapped up at midnight. If another Eric Church tour comes to town, I’ll be there!

Lastly, I’ve been working a lot on the goals that I set in a blog post early this year:

  • I’ve been sharpening my photography skills at one of my day jobs.
  • I’ve built a few new relationships with brands, and I’m continuing to have those conversations behind-the-scenes (stay tuned!).
  • I’m prioritizing movement as much as possible. But, I’m not hard on myself when a workout doesn’t happen.
  • I’ve made some decor upgrades to my apartment, and I’ve even added a coffee cart. I think I owe you a blog post soon with some updated pictures of my place!
  • I’ve been getting out and exploring more of my local area. In upcoming blogs, I want to share more about Green Bay and my local recommendations.

For almost a quarter of the way through this year, I’m feeling good!

What has been going on in your life lately? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments or on Instagram. Let’s chat!

Upgrade Your Lock Screen No. 2: Custom Phone Wallpapers

Upgrade Your Lock Screen No. 2: Custom Phone Wallpapers

New season, new wallpapers!

This past fall, I published a blog featuring some minimalistic phone wallpapers (you can check it out here). So, with spring quickly approaching, I thought a refresh was in order!

In this blog post, I’ve compiled a few different options to spice up your lock screen. You may recognize some of these designs from my Instagram. Lately, I’ve been sharing a behind-the-scenes look at my design process via reels. If that sounds like something you want to see more of, be sure to follow along.

Feel free to download the images and let me know what quotes/designs you may want to see next!

Bettie Page Inspired Wallpapers

Framed Quote Wallpapers

Kacey Musgraves Inspired Wallpapers

Which design was your favorite? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments or on Instagram. Let’s chat!

It’s Time for a New Vision Board

It’s Time for a New Vision Board

Over the past two years, I’ve shared a couple of vision boards on the blog. I like to create these every so often to visualize my goals. It’s always interesting to look back on old boards and see how my wants have stayed the same or changed. It also allows me to visually see progress.

When I most recently reflected on my old boards, I noticed a lot of change. I think this is a result of my life changing a lot. For example, this year is my first in a while that I’m not in school. Now, I have my degree and am working in my field. My priorities overall have shifted, and now I have more time to create the life I want.

With that said, I felt it was time to create a new vision board that more appropriately reflected my current goals and attitude. Here’s how it turned out:

Let’s break it down:

  • My new vision board is loaded with some words and quotes that really speak to me. I love quotes that relate to individuality and taking control of your life. They are on my board to remind me to always be intentional and always stay true to who I am.
  • You may notice the b&w picture of the extra fringe jean jacket. TBH I want to recreate this jacket for myself. I’ll update you with a DIY project if I do. Also, I love the quote on the back: “Ain’t My First Rodeo.”
  • I put some dollar signs on the board because I want to focus more on saving. I’ve always been a saver without thinking much about it, but I want to get more intentional about how I manage my money.
  • There’s a lot of pink. This wasn’t really on purpose, but *surprise* it’s my favorite color.

Overall, this new vision board feels very me. I also feel like it gives off a very romantic vibe, which is what I wanted. I believe it’s important to romanticize your life and everything you got going on! In the words of Novalis:

“To romanticize the world is to make us aware of the magic, mystery and wonder of the world; it is to educate the senses to see the ordinary as extraordinary, the familiar as strange, the mundane as sacred, the finite as infinite.”

What’s on your vision board? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments or on Instagram. Let’s chat!

My Must-Have Apps

My Must-Have Apps

Apps can make your day-to-day life easier rather than simply clutter your home screen. For example, they can help you automate tasks, get things done in a pinch, and even explore. You just have to find the right apps for your lifestyle.

I occasionally work from my phone and create content from my phone. So, I like to have apps that assist accordingly. I’d say that my must-have apps each fit into one of three categories: Lifestyle, content creation, and organization/work. If you’re looking to get things done more effectively in any of those areas, read on for some helpful tools to download!

Lifestyle

OpenTable: This app is great for making local dinner reservations, and it comes in handy when you’re traveling too. When I was on my Nashville trip, I used OpenTable a lot to search for spots to go and manage reservations.

Obe: As you may already know, I subscribe to Obe for at-home workouts. I’d recommend getting the app and joining if you’re looking for a fun way to move.

Starbucks: I use this app on at least a weekly basis. If you frequent Starbucks too, getting the app is worth it!

Fetch: This app gives you rewards for scanning your receipts. Seriously, it’s as simple as that. I’ve gotten a few free Starbucks runs from using this app. Here’s my referral link.

Content Creation

Lightroom: If you need to edit photos on the go, this app is perfect for you. I like to use the “bright” and “natural” presets for quick edits.

InShot: This is my favorite app for editing video content for Reels.

Canva: I love using Canva at my day jobs and for personal design work. I’ve been having fun keeping up with the #CanvaDesignChallenge each week on Twitter.

Organization & Work

GoodNotes: I use this app on my iPad with my Apple Pencil. I appreciate the organization of the app and how easy it is to backup my notes to my Google Drive.

Google Drive Apps: While I regularly use Google Drive on my MacBook, it comes in handy to have the apps on my phone. It makes sharing files and making last-minute edits convenient.

Gmail: I understand that not everyone is a fan of having their emails on their phone, but I like having it to keep up with my freelance work. I also have a more manageable inbox when I periodically check it throughout the day.

What are some of your must-have apps? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments or on Instagram. Let’s chat!

4 Tips for Beachy Waves

4 Tips for Beachy Waves

If you keep up with me on the ‘gram, you already know my love for a beachy hair look. Since I started working with Beachwaver last year, I’ve learned a lot about hair care and styling. I have to credit Sarah Potempa for being an amazing teacher.

Here are my top 4 tips for achieving beachy waves:

Prepare your hair with a heat protectant. This helps to keep your hair nice and healthy. When you use a heat protectant, you can get the waves without the frizz! I like heat protectants that also add a bit of shine to my hair.

Clamp your hair a couple of inches from your ends. When you go to curl, don’t start from the bottom. Starting a little further up helps you to get an effortless and beachy look.

Rotate your curling iron away from your face. This is what gives you gorgeous volume. This also allows you to frame your face with your hair.

Brush out your curls. Trust me on this. Allow your hair to cool and use some hairspray, then brush it out. This will loosen up your curls just a touch which helps them to look more beachy.

What are your best hair-care tips? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments or on Instagram. Let’s chat!

Curate Your Day: Daily, Weekly, and Monthly Planner Templates

Curate Your Day: Daily, Weekly, and Monthly Planner Templates

As you may already know, I’m a big fan of planning. I believe it can add value and purpose to your days as well as keep you on track and organized. I find that when I create a schedule for my day and list my to-do’s, I have a better and more productive time. When I don’t plan, I lack direction and motivation.

In my previous blog post about becoming “That Girl,” I touched on goal setting and planning. In this post, I want to give you some tools to do just that! Below are three different planners I created to assist with daily, weekly, and monthly planning. You can open them with Canva to download and/or edit how you like.

Here are a few things to note about each planner:

The Daily. In this planner, there is space for work-related items as well as life-related items. I believe it is important to see both your work and life plans on the same schedule. This can show you exactly how balanced (or not balanced) your work and life are.

I intentionally left space under the schedule for “tonight’s plan.” I want that to serve as a reminder to either take some time for yourself or make time to go out and do something. Of course, we don’t always have big events happening every night, but I think it’s important to have something to look forward to (even if it is just watching a new episode of your favorite show).

The Weekly. This planner is less structured and allows you to simply layout the week ahead. I personally like to view my upcoming meetings and important appointments in a weekly layout. It helps me to visually see which days have more flexibility than others.

The Monthly. This is where you can set your bigger goals and view the full picture of your month. Monthly, I always like to write in when bills are due, work deadlines, and plans with family/friends.

I’d love to see you putting these planners to use, so tag me on your Insta stories if you do!

Do you typically plan on a monthly, weekly, or daily basis? Let’s chat in the comments below!

Let’s Talk About *Safe* Sex: Q&A with Slipp Health

Let’s Talk About *Safe* Sex: Q&A with Slipp Health

Hormonal birth control isn’t your only option. Yet, for many reasons, it seems to be the option most favorably promoted to women. Slipp, a “female-first” condom brand, is changing that. Simply put, we deserve to have more shame-free options when it comes to birth control.

I first came across Slipp on Instagram. I was captivated by the content I saw because it was honest, unfiltered, informative, and very relatable. The message that “safe sex is self-care,” stuck with me. I appreciated how conversations around sex and sexual health were happening on the page. I knew that I wanted to bring some of that conversation to the blog, so I slid into Slipp’s DMs and got in touch with Victoria, the founder of Slipp.

In our Q&A discussion, we chat about shame-free protection, setting boundaries, and consent. I’m excited for you to read along and join the convo!

Q: First, can you share a bit about yourself and Slipp?

A: My name is Victoria Lyons and I’m the Founder of Slipp Health – a “female-first” condom brand (not to be confused with ‘female condoms’!).

Our mission is to minimize the barriers that prevent women from buying/carrying/using condoms and help people feel in control of their reproductive health.

Our condoms are delivered discreetly to customers’ doors so they can avoid the awkward trip to the condom aisle; and developed with simple ingredients for optimal vaginal health.

Q: What inspired you to start Slipp?

A: I have personally sought out non-hormonal birth control methods and been frustrated with the lack of options on the market. 

In doing so, I found condoms to be a great option: they are highly effective; they don’t come with the side effects of many other methods; and they’re pretty affordable (relatively speaking).

But I learned that women, in particular, feel awkward about condoms.

  • 68% of women say they feel uncomfortable buying condoms
  • 82% of sexually-active women say they don’t carry condoms with them
  • And women are more likely than men to feel uncomfortable enforcing the use of a condom

On top of that, I felt like the condoms on the market weren’t speaking to women about their reproductive health concerns. So I decided to step in and try to fill that gap in the market.

Q: What have been some challenges and successes so far in starting your business?

A: Challenges: Where to begin?! There are so so so many components to starting a business. I think one of the hardest things is not knowing what you don’t know. There’s no guidebook to starting this specific business. So I’m constantly learning on the fly. The good part is that since there are so many challenges, there are lots of opportunities to overcome them and become more and more confident in my ability to do so.

Successes: I am honestly just so happy to have gotten this far! To have a physical product that I can see and touch is so exciting. I can’t wait for our upcoming launch and to continue to grow from here.

Q: Why do you believe there is such a stigma around condoms?

A: I think women, in particular, experience a stigma around buying/carrying condoms. There actually used to be a law that carrying condoms as a woman could be used as evidence of prostitution (crazy, I know).

There’s this notion that carrying condoms as a woman is promiscuous. Yet, when a man is carrying condoms they’re generally seen as responsible. I think the reasons for this are complex and deeply rooted in the history of gender inequality and purity culture.

I think it’s important to normalize women carrying condoms so that more of us can feel in control of our sexual health.

Q: When you say shame-free protection, what does that mean to you?

A: I think there should be no shame in taking care of your body, and no one should make you feel uncomfortable for enforcing the use of a condom. 

Q: What would you say to women who are hesitant to carry condoms?

Personally, I think carrying condoms feels empowering. It sends a message that you’re in control of your sexual health and you care enough about your body to take care of it.

Q: According to Slipp’s page, women are more likely to feel uncomfortable enforcing the use of a condom. What advice would you have for women that may empower them to set boundaries in the bedroom? 

A: Women – more than men – tend to have an ingrained belief that they should put their partner’s pleasure above their own wants/desires (you can thank the patriarchy for that!). 

However, there are a few things that might help you feel more comfortable enforcing the use of a condom:

  1. Bringing your own condoms can help you feel more ownership over your contraceptive choice, making you feel more confident asserting your desire to use one.
  2. Keep them somewhere handy! Sometimes people tell me they think condoms “kill the mood.” But often that has to do with having to scramble to find one. If you keep them somewhere handy, you can seamlessly put one on with little interruption.
  3. Have conversations about contraception BEFORE you’re in the heat of the moment. Communication is key – so take the opportunity to discuss your contraceptive choices before you’re in the heat of the moment so that all parties are on the same page.
  4. Remind yourself that healthcare is self-care – safe sex included! You don’t want your sexual experience to be tainted with worry and fear after it’s over because you didn’t take the proper precautions. Sex is so much better when you feel safe, healthy, and protected!

A: Absolutely. 

For one, I think consent is more than saying “yes.” Consent is an enthusiastic yes, and should involve continuous feedback (in other words: you can change your mind at any time). For example, try saying things like, “is this ok?” “do you want to keep going?” etc. to check in with your partner over time.

Also, I don’t think there’s enough of a conversation about the importance of getting consent before having sex without protection. If you choose to not use protection, it’s important that both/all individuals are on board with that decision, and have clearly consented to it. Don’t assume your partner is on birth control, or that they’re okay with it. It should also be agreed upon each time you engage in sex.

Q: Where can we keep up with you?

A: @slipphealth on all platforms (Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Twitter)! Or check out slipp.org to sign up for our mailing list to know when we launch (soon!).

Becoming “That Girl”

Becoming “That Girl”

“That Girl” wakes up early, works out, eats healthy, has an organized schedule, is productive, and lives aesthetically. Basically, she’s doing the things that we all strive to do. When I think of “That Girl,” I think of someone that has intention, motivation, and confidence.

The only issue “That Girl” has is the fact that she’s not real. She’s simply an idea that was popularized on TikTok. In case you’re not familiar with the trend, here’s a Pinterest board that sums up who she is.

While you can argue that the “That Girl” trend is idealistic, I believe the idea of “That Girl” can provide a lot of inspiration for enhancing our day-to-day routines.

According to “That Girl” content, here are a few positive and actionable things that we can all do:

  • Set goals and have a plan. Determine what you want and what you need to get there. I like to do this in the short-term and long-term. Each day I try to create priorities and have a to-do list that aligns with that. Yearly, I create a top three to five goals that I work towards.
  • Make time for movement. Move your body in a way that feels good to you. For example, you could find movement by going for a walk or following along with a yoga YouTube video.
  • Drink more water. Seriously, this is a basic yet very important bullet point. Feel free to sip while you read the rest of this blog post.
  • Dress in what makes you feel good. Whether it’s athleisure or a blazer, wear something that you feel confident in.
  • Try journaling, meditation, or listing gratitudes. Find time in your day to just focus on yourself and your mind.
  • Challenge yourself to wake up earlier. Even waking up 15-30 minutes earlier than you usually do can have a huge impact on how you start your day. This extra time allows you to work movement or journaling into your schedule.
  • Create a skincare routine. Personally, I view my skincare as a daily act of self-care. It’s something that I always make the time for, and I enjoy the calm it brings me.

What’s your take on the “That Girl” trend? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments or on Instagram. Let’s chat!