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!
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:
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.
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.
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.
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!
Q: I believe that when we talk about sex, we also have to talk about consent. What misconceptions have you noticed around the conversation of consent?
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.
“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!
It has been a while since I’ve done “Monthly Recaps” on the blog, and I’ve recently brainstormed a new blog series to replace it: “Shines & Wines.” This new series will be an opportunity to chat about recent happenings, as well as an opportunity to try something new.
I consider “Shines” to describe things that have happened that I’m excited to share, things I’m grateful for, and/or wins! “Wines” are just that, wine. I want to share some wine recommendations so we can share a cheers no matter where in the world you’re reading this blog from.
You can expect a new “Shines & Wines” on a quarterly basis, but I may publish more in addition to regularly scheduled content. It just depends on what’s all going on (and how many different wines I have to recommend). Let’s jump in:
I finally updated my professional portfolio! Honestly, I haven’t touched my portfolio website since I graduated in May. It felt good to get the website revamped and updated with current projects. If you’re ever curious about my day jobs, feel free to check out my portfolio here. Also, shameless self-promo: If you have a business and you need help with photography, digital design, or social media, feel free to reach out! I’m always excited to explore collaboration opportunities.
I made an outside-of-my-comfort-zone clothing purchase: leather jeans. As it turns out, I absolutely love them. While getting a pair of shiny pants isn’t the most groundbreaking thing, I’m happy that I tried something new. Here’s your sign to challenge yourself to a new style statement piece!
My life feels different than a year ago. One year ago around this time, I was stressed. I was approaching graduation with a very vague plan of what life would look like after. I was applying for a bunch of jobs, and I didn’t know what city I’d call home. Now, one year later, I am happy and grateful for where I ended up and what I do. If you’re approaching college or even high school graduation, know that things work out in interesting ways (and no one else knows what they are doing either).
Naughty Girl by Von Stiehl. I’d be lying if I said the name wasn’t the reason I tried this wine. But, hey, it has become one of my favorites.
Growlers’ Reserve Merlot by Trader Joe’s. This was a staff pick at the Trader Joe’s I went to in Milwaukee, so I tried it. It’s perfect if you want a good and cheap merlot.
Pink Door from Door 44 Winery. If you’ve been reading this blog, you know I enjoy rosé. This one is not too sweet, and not too dry.
There we go; the first Shines & Wines is on the books (or on the blog, I suppose). Let me know your thoughts in the comments or on Instagram! What are your recent Shines & Wines?
On my latest Goodwill thrifting adventure, I found eight new pieces for my wardrobe for just $50 and some change. In my haul, I scored brands like Madewell, BDG, and BB Dakota. I adore each piece and think they will compliment my wardrobe well. Also, I believe this haul contains a lot of nice wardrobe staples/basics. If you need some ideas of what to add to your thrift shopping list, you’ve come to the right place.
First up, I found a striped button-up and some classic ripped jeans. The cut of the top is perfect for me, and I love the button detailing on the side. Thrifting jeans is my favorite thing to do because then they are already a bit worn in. Uncomfy jeans are just not for me.
Next, I found a blouse-style black tank and three cozy cardigans. Wintertime in Wisconsin is chilly, as you may imagine, so I knew I wanted a few new sweaters in my closet. The light grey, dark grey, and green cardigans will go nicely with many of the tops already in my closet.
Lastly, I found one of my new favorite outfits: a simple grey tank and black wide-legged paper bag waist pants. I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t squeal with excitement when I tried these pants on. The fit, the style, and the look was spot on for me. I will definitely be wearing them out soon.
What’s your favorite thrifted find? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments or on Instagram. Let’s chat!
Happy New Year! It’s that time again to reflect, reset, and move forward with a plan. While new goals can be made anytime during the year, around the beginning feels like the perfect time. For 2022, I created a list of five things that I want to accomplish:
Continue to learn and grow in my career. I primarily work on marketing efforts and social media management between my day jobs and freelance opportunities. Sometimes I wear the hat of a content creator, and other times I am a brand manager. I want to continue to improve my graphic design skills, photography skills, and my knowledge of SEO.
Expand brand partnerships. I want to continue to collaborate with brands that I love and share them with you! When I say expand, I don’t mean quantity over quality. I still only want the best things for us.
Prioritize movement. I’ve chatted about my Obe obsession on here before, and it’s only continuing. I love the feeling of starting my morning with a cardio or sculpt workout. In 2022, I want to continue prioritizing movement.
Create a beautiful home. The apartment that I am currently in is absolutely the favorite that I’ve had. The location and the aesthetic are perfect for me. I’m looking forward to decorating and customizing it more. Hopefully, I will be able to host more in the new year!
Seek new adventures. I mean this in a big and small way. I want to plan some trips, and I also want to explore more locally. It’s reasonable to say that I could try a new thing each month in my city whether that’s a new local restaurant or attending an event that’s happening downtown.
What are your 2022 resolutions? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments or on Instagram. Let’s chat!
I couldn’t have asked for a better time for my first time in the Music City. On my recent trip to Nashville, I enjoyed late honky tonk nights, lots of drool-worthy food, and an endless ambience of country music.
I’d say that my S.O. and I planned just the bones of our trip before visiting. We knew where we were staying, how we were getting there, and we had tickets for the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Grand Ole Opry. Yet, we left quite a bit of room in our itinerary to explore.
We decided to stay right in the heart of Downtown Nashville at the Moxy for a few nights. This hotel was very different than your average stay. The lobby had live music, games, a swing, and lots of lounge space. On the first night, we checked in at the Moxy bar and got our hotel keys along with a couple of drink chips.
The rooms at the Moxy were very clean and modern with an industrial style. If you ever stay at a Moxy hotel, definitely click the “bedtime story” button on the phone in your room for a laugh.
It was around dinner time by the time we settled into our room and got ready, so I booked us a reservation at The Diner. This place was a quick walk away from our hotel. I’m still thinking about the shrimp and grits that I had; it was seriously the most delicious start to our trip.
After dinner, we walked over to some of the bars. Our first stop was Johnny Cash’s bar. Here we learned that you better pay attention when the band tells you to raise your glass. My S.O. and I may have been distracted in conversation and a bit surprised when the bar went silent (and everyone was looking at us). I’m thankful for the bartender that tapped me on the shoulder so we could all get on with a “hell yeah” cheers.
After Cash’s, we checked out Kid Rock’s Honky Tonk. This spot became one of our favorites. The music was great, and the atmosphere was very fun. According to some locals, it’s one of the louder bars. That night we also went to Ole Red; it was a good time with a more laid-back vibe.
We began day two with a tasty brunch at Another Broken Egg Cafe. Pro tip: make reservations ahead of time for this place, so you don’t have to wait as long as we did.
Once we were full of coffee and beignets, we headed to the Johnny Cash museum. It was conveniently across the street from our hotel. If you’re a fan of Johnny Cash or country music history, I’d say that this is a must-see spot.
Later that day, we grabbed a quick dinner and went over to the Grand Ole Opry. It was an incredible experience to see a show at the Opry, and it was an added bonus that we got to see Jon Pardi take the stage.
The next day we went on a tour of Studio B and explored the County Music Hall of Fame. Overall, it was a really cool experience. At Studio B we even got to sit at the piano that Elvis used to record his music.
As we walked around downtown, I did some window shopping at Boot Country. But, all I got was a photo with their giant boot. Unfortunately, I was not going to fit new boots in my luggage.
The following day, we checked out of the Moxy and into the Graduate. We thought it would be a nice place to spend our last night in Nashville. Full transparency: the hotel was gorgeous, but the service was not. I wouldn’t book a stay there again, but I would probably stop by to snap some insta-worthy pictures.
Soon after we got into our room, we went to the rooftop bar, White Limozeen. I had a “Queen of the Rodeo” cocktail, which was absolutely delicious. Later, we grabbed dinner at an Italian restaurant across the street and then watched a movie in our room. It was a good and relaxing night before traveling home the next day.
When we got back to Green Bay, we had a lot of sleep to catch up on, but it was absolutely worth it. I’m looking forward to planning another adventure soon.
Have you ever been to Nashville? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments or on Instagram. Let’s chat!
If you can’t get enough of cinnamon and spice around the holidays, this drink is for you. It’s simple to make, and it will give you just the kick of caffeine you need. Also, it’s a great treat to make for guests!
Here are your six steps to a perfect Dirty Chai Tea Latte:
Step 1: Add 1 tablespoon of Vanilla Copina Co to your cup (or another vanilla flavored powder or syrup).
Step 2: Add an espresso shot or a bit of hot coffee to your cup. Mix the coffee well with the vanilla flavoring.
Step 3: Add 1/2 cup of chai tea concentrate of your choosing.
Step 4: Add 1/2 cup of milk (I used oat milk).
Step 5: Add ice.
Optional: Add a cinnamon stick for some extra spice
Step 6: Enjoy!
What’s your go-to coffee to make at home? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments or on Instagram. Let’s chat!
In my opinion, you can never go wrong with gifting candles and wine. However, I have a few more self-care gift ideas that would pair nicely with a bottle of rosé. The following items would make perfect gifts for friends or family (or even yourself).
First up is the comfiest gift idea: Woxers! These are seriously buttery soft and the best for lounging around in. Woxers come in three different cuts, so there’s a fit for almost everyone’s taste. In the picture, I’m wearing the “studs.”
Next, I’d recommend the new Glitter Beachwaver curling iron. This is the perfect gift to enhance someone’s morning routine. Also, the holiday design is a fun twist.
Like the Woxers, Beachwaver has three different designs. In the picture, I am holding the medium barrel size; this is perfect for achieving natural beach waves. If you want to see the Beachwaver and its rotating barrel in action, check out this tutorial I created here.
Another gift idea that is perfect for enhancing your giftee’s morning routine is Copina Co’s Holiday Kit. This comes with a couple of different kinds of plant-based collagen, a frother, and an adorable glass.
In case you didn’t already know, plant-based collagen can have a positive impact on nail and hair growth and your skin. Yes, you can actually drink this skincare (and it’s delicious).
If you go ahead and purchase any of these items during your holiday shopping, I have discount codes for you! You can check them out here.
What’s your favorite gift that you’ve received? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments or on Instagram. Let’s chat!
First, I want to thank you for reading this blog and keeping up with my content. I appreciate having this creative space that allows me to connect with others from all over! As this blog has grown, it has become something more than just a spot for me to type; it has become a community. I am glad that you are a part of it!
Next, I feel like I have to beg the cliche question: has it really been two years already? It doesn’t feel like that long ago that I purchased my domain and started writing weekly. It has become so integrated into my routine, and I am very happy that it has. Creating content on this blog keeps me in the habit of writing, which I adore doing.
Throughout two years of editing the website and publishing posts, I’ve learned a few things. I would say the biggest journey and lesson was finding my voice. And, what I mean by that is my writing voice. It took quite a bit of time and drafting before I truly understood my style. I’d say that blogging helped me to learn more about who I am, what I value, and how I communicate that.
For example, when I look at recent blog posts compared to blog posts from this time a year ago, I can see a difference in my comfortability to show up authentically. It’s not that I was sharing a false version of reality a year ago, but I don’t think that I was as confident in my voice. A year ago, I second-guessed myself way more than I do now.
So what changed? Well, I think time and practice had a lot to do with it. Continuously writing and creating helped me to get more comfortable with showing up in this online space. With time, I’ve allowed more breathing room in my writing process. I brainstorm, I write, I edit, and I give myself time to work with the words that I type rather than being super quick to publish. Of course, it’s good to have some structure and deadlines, but allowing some fluidity in your work and life can be good too.
In my second year of blogging, I got into even more of a groove with things than in year one. I’m looking forward to another year of creating and learning.
Cheers to the beginning of year three!
What was your favorite blog post from 2021? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments or on Instagram. Let’s chat!