Moving To San Francisco

This is it! I have finally found an awesome job at an awesome company- of course that job just so happens to be on the other side of the country. San Francisco, here I come.

I am so excited to be starting my career, and I have always wanted to live in California, but as the day I move to the left coast arrives (tomorrow), I am feeling a little sad to be leaving all of my friends and my family.

This morning my mom came up to me and started crying, which then made me start to cry. Come onnn, mom! I know that this is the right thing to do, and I am at the perfect time in my life to start a big adventure. I will truly truly miss all of the amazing people in Massachusetts, but I know that I will be back someday.

For now, I am going to use this blog to chronicle my adventures in SF! Hopefully I’ll be able to go to farmers markets, Napa Valley, Bike across the GG bridge, go to at least one day of Outside Lands, and make it to Lake Tahoe. That is my SF bucket list and I fully intend on doing all of those things while I’m living there- or before I go broke because of how crazy expensive the housing is!! #HelpMeI’mPoor

Looking forward to a crazy ride and can’t wait to share it with everyone- please visit!

L

11 Songs I Can’t Stop Listening To (This Week)

1) Stay With Me- Sam Smith (Rainer & Grimm Remix)

2) From Nowhere- Dan Croll

3) Keep You- Wild Belle

4) I Can’t Keep Up- Tourist, Will Heard

5) Klapp Klapp- Little Dragon

6) Habits- Tove Lo (The Chainsmokers Remix)

7) Maps- Maroon 5 (Sorry, I’m a sucker for M5…)

8) Boom Clap- Charli XCX

9) Big Poppa is Sleepless/B.I.G. Flume- Jaymee Franchina & Jeremy Smith remix

10) After Light-Rustie (ft. Aluna George)

11) White Lie- Jhameel

Missing the two Soundcloud songs (Stay With Me, and Sleepless remix) in the embedded playlist ^^

 

Tips For Finding Cheap Airfare

Image Have you ever gone to look at airline ticket prices one day, and then check them again the next day and they’re either $300 cheaper/more expensive? I know I have! What gives? I was curious enough to do some research and discovered that the airline industry has a crazy pricing system that changes fares daily using algorithms and data I’ll never understand (nor want to).

I am in the midst of planning a cross-country trip, and am trying to find the cheapest way to get there. Although a road trip would be fun, I’m not sure my faithful Toyota Highlander from 2001 would make it there with me. So, flying it is…

Just last night (Sunday), I had checked ticket prices for a roundtrip fare from Boston to San Francisco, and the cheapest flight was over $700! Now, today, the prices have come down to the low $600 range. I checked out a few articles online for tips and tricks on finding the cheapest flights possible and here is what I found:

  • According to this Wall Street Journal article, “Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz, the three big online ticket-sellers, all say their busiest day for bookings is Tuesday and the slowest day is Saturday. Expedia says Saturdays have about half the volume of Tuesdays.”  So Tuesday is your best bet for finding the lowest fare.
  • Kayak has a tool called Explore that lets you set your desired fare. That way, you can plan your trip around what you’re hoping to spend and not change your entire itinerary because a round trip ticket is upwards of $800!
  • FareCompare.com suggests booking departing flights on Wednesday. According to the website, mid week is the least expensive way to fly.  “The day with the most seats is likely to have better supply, and thus … more empty seats that require discounting to fill the plane—meaning they’ll have to release more seats at their cheapest price point.”
  • Check Twitter and Facebook for travel deals. I follow JetBlue’s twitter handle @JetBlueCheeps that regularly announces sales- last year I was able to book a flight to California for under $300, which is basically like seeing a unicorn, these days.
  • Download SkySkanner– a mobile app that lets you check and compare cheap flights at your convenience.
  • Lastly, check out this Business Insider article which offers creative ways to find the cheapest flights possible! Don’t forget to check on Kayak, Expedia, or Travelocity.

Update: I practiced what I preached and checked out the flight prices on Tuesday around noon- down to $370! I am now the proud owner of a round trip ticket to San Francisco! Can’t wait to land in the Bay area next Tuesday:)

If you have any other travel tips for saving the big bucks on fares, please send them my way! -L

My Favorite Green Smoothie Recipe

Happy Sunday, everyone! I know I have seriously been neglecting my blog lately- fully blaming it on my job search. I have been really active with interviews these past few weeks and have started considering places outside of Boston- fingers crossed for San Francisco!

It’s always been a dream of mine to move to the West Coast, namely the SF area, so when I had the opportunity to interview with a few companies there I was extremely excited! One of the reasons why I love SF so much is it’s laid-back and health-oriented residents. I love being outside and eating healthy (most of the time), and I really felt at home when I visited the Bay area last May.

Now, the reason for this “healthy” blog post: my favorite Green Smoothie recipe! I started to change the way I ate last November, and replaced one meal a day with this green smoothie recipe. The results were amazing! I lost 15 pounds (see ya later senior year party weight) and had so much more energy.

I can really tell the difference when I cut back on the carbs and drink one of these a day. My 2 mile struggle of a run became a 4 mile run that left me feeling awesome! Check out this delicious (and super simple) green smoothie from SimpleGreenSmoothies.com.

*Disclaimer: I know that it can be a little weird to see leafy greens blended up, but once you get past the fact that it is not going to be as sugary as a loaded fruit and yogurt smoothie, it is really surprisingly good!

Let me know what you think, and if you have any good smoothie recipes, please share.

-L

Image(Image via: SimpleGreenSmoothies.com)

I adapted the SimpleGreenSmoothies recipe so it serves one:

Ingredients:
  • 1 Cup Spinach or Kale
  • 1/2 Cup Orange Juice
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 1/2 Cup Strawberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 Cup Blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 Banana
Directions:
  • Blend Spinach (or Kale) with water & OJ until smooth
  • Add in rest of ingredients (Be sure to add ice if you’ve used all fresh fruit- 4 or 5 cubes will do)
  • Enjoy!!

 

 

Monday Workout

There is no better way to kick off your week than kicking your butt at the gym. I love to mix up my workouts with different types of cardio and strength training, but the following workout is definitely one of my favorites. I try to do this three times a week, and I can definitely tell the difference when I do. Created by a friend of a friend who played football at UMaine, you know it at least has a little bit of cred for being a kickass workout. Prepare to sweat! 

Conditioning Workout (3x Week) — be sure to modify weights to your ability.

Circuit overview:

Run, Arms Circuit, Run, Arms Circuit, Run, Legs Circuit, Run, Legs Circuit, Stretch.

START:

TREADMILL RUN #1 at 5.0 incline, 6.0 speed, Run for 3 minutes. (Will do this 3 more times throughout circuit)

ARM CIRCUIT:

20 Highsteps: 8 pound dumbbells (Step up onto stool, stacked cardio steps, or high surface- 10 starting with left leg, 10 starting with right), holding 8 pound weights in each hand. Try to go as fast as you can.

20 Pushups (Check out correct Pushup form here)

20 Back Flys & Row Combo: 10 pound dumbbells (How-to video here– sorry for the ridiculous music)

20 Chest-press: 10 pound dumbbells (on bench or stability ball)

20 Bicep curls: 10 pound dumbbells

20 Tricep dips off of bench ( I modify here b/c I have horrible wrists, and do overhead triceps extensions w/ 10 pound dumbbells)

20 Russian Twists with 10 pound weighted ball

TREADMILL RUN #2 at 5.0 incline, 6.0 speed, Run for 3 minutes. 

REPEAT ARM CIRCUIT (Highsteps, Pushups, Back Fly/Row Combo, Chest-press, Biceps, Triceps, Russian Twists)

TREADMILL RUN #3 at 5.0 incline, 6.0 speed, Run for 3 minutes. 

LEG CIRCUIT

20 Highsteps (like in arm circuit- only do this during the first leg circuit)

30 Walking Lunges with 8 pound dumbbells 

20 Seated Leg Press (Adjust weight to your ability)- suggested is 45lbs on each side.

10 Burpees

20 Deadlifts with 10 Pound dumbbells

1 Minute Plank

TREADMILL RUN #4 at 5.0 incline, 6.0 speed, Run for 3 minutes. (No more running after this- YAY!)

REPEAT LEG CIRCUIT (NO high steps this time, Walking lunges, Leg Press, Burpees, Deadlift, Abs Plank)

Collapse on the floor and stretch!!

 

 

 

 

Mother’s Day Gifts

I am going to stray away from my 11List model today for something a bit different! Tomorrow is Mother’s Day, and I have been running around trying to create some thoughtful gifts for my lovely mom. That being said, my mom is the hardest woman in the world to shop for because she LOVES to shop and usually buys herself the things she wants before I even get a chance to ask what it was she wanted.

For example, when we moved to our new house, she had to leave behind one of her favorite plants, a yellow peony. We were joking the other week about going back to the old house in the middle of the night and digging up the plant to bring to our new house. That sparked an idea for Mother’s Day– I could get her a new yellow peony plant for our new garden, without stealing from the poor, unsuspecting family! But of course, I get home the other day, and what is sitting out in the driveway to be planted? A new yellow peony plant. Classic.

So, this brings me to what I decided to do for the woman who has it all: bake, arrange flowers and create a homemade card! These things she can all do, but it’s (hopefully) more special coming from me.

Homemade Card

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I had a lot of fun creating this watercolor card for my mom, complete with a photo from the early 90’s– check out that floral print! My parents are huge fans of homemade cards, so every occasion I can, I’ll spend a little time making something special for them. Today I headed to Target and picked up a set of watercolor paints and paper (inspired by Taylor Swift’s recent Instagram-I should be embarrassed, but I just love arts & crafts!!)  Next up, I put together a flower arrangement and made my mom’s favorite cupcakes.

Below are a few tips for arranging a bouquet and my super-secret (just kidding- its from Pinterest) DELICIOUS Peanut Butter Cup Chocolate Cupcakes recipe– you can thank me later. So good.

Tips for flower arrangement:

-Consider the season & occasion you are arranging for. Since it’s Spring and Mother’s Day, I tried to incorporate bright, happy colors. I also know that my mom is a huge fan of the color orange, so I tried to base my arrangement around a bunch of orange Rununculus.

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-Try to vary color, type of flower, and/or texture. You want your arrangement to have different visual interest points- even if you choose all flowers of the same color, try to pick some taller flowers or fillers (leaves, grasses, etc.) to create height and drama. You don’t have to go crazy with a million different types of flowers either, you can cut the flowers at different lengths to create texture and height that way, too.

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-Use lukewarm water & add in plant food if you got it! I usually buy my flowers from Whole Foods, and they generally come with a packet of plant food. Add that in with lukewarm water and your plants should last a bit longer. Also, be sure to cut the stems a bit (if you don’t plan on cutting them for height).

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-Choose a fun vase! Don’t just throw the flowers in a cup of water! To me, the vase is one of the most important parts of the arrangement. I personally love square vases or mason jars, which always add a little extra something to the bouquet.

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Finished Product!

And lastly, my “Famous” Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes w/ Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting– yep, you read that right. They are really simple and ridiculously good. Probably the best cupcakes I’ve ever made…

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes w/ Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting

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(Pre-amazing frosting!)

Recipe From: http://olivialuse.blogspot.com/2012/04/reeses-chocolate-cupcakes-with-peanut.html

For Cupcakes (24 total):

Bake @: 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes (start at 18 and check with toothpick)

Ingredients:
-1 pkg. Duncan Hines Devil’s Food Cake Mix
-1 pkg. Instant Chocolate Pudding
-1 cup sour cream
-1 cup vegetable oil
-4 eggs
-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
-Miniature Reese’s Cups
Directions:
-Mix all ingredients together (except Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups) in a mixer until combined.
-Line 24 muffins tins (you can get creative here with the muffin tins)
-Fill each tin with about 3 tablespoons of batter.
-Press a Reese’s Cup into each tin, making sure to not push too far down. (Batter should not cover Reese’s)
-Bake at 350 degrees for about 18-20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick will come out clean. (Remember when doing the toothpick trick to not poke directly into the center since the Reese cup is there. The center of the cupcake will look fallen even if completely baked due to the tiny chocolate morsel of amazing-ness hidden inside)
-Leave cupcakes on rack to cool completely before frosting.
For the Peanut Butter Buttercream Icing:
Ingredients:
-1 cup peanut butter
-1 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
-2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
-2 lbs. powdered sugar (2 boxes of confectioners sugar)
-3 or 4 Tablespoons low-fat milk, depending on desired thickness
*note: I usually half this recipe as it always seems to be WAY too much frosting. It does make for good leftovers, though:)
Directions:
-Cream together the butter and peanut butter until smooth.
-Mix in vanilla and alternate powdered sugar and milk until you reach your desired thickness. *I generally add 4 tbsp or possibly 5 because the icing is so thick.
-Decorate your cupcakes! You can even add a mini-Reeses if you want peanut butter overload (who doesn’t?!)
There you have it, my three “homemade” gifts for my mom, that I know she will love!
Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there! Let me know if you have any ideas that you’d like to share on fabulous gifts for mom.
-L

Playlists for May

After a month-long hiatus, I am back! Since SIB is over and I am back to job hunting, I’ve had a bit more time to focus on my other loves- running and making playlists– which actually go hand in hand.

I have created and tested (and made my friends test) 11 playlists for different moods/situations, on different platforms (Soundcloud & Spotify). They are as follows:

1. Beach – (Spotify) I created this last year before I went on my senior Spring break. There are tracks from Bob Marley, Kenny Chesney, Jason Mraz and Fleetwood Mac, to name a few.

2. Hipster Paradise– (Spotify) These are based on the songs that I listened to while working at an Indie record label in NYC (Hi, Glassnote). Featuring bands like The Black Keys, Vampire Weekend & Mumford & Sons.

3. Run (Spotify)- This monster EDM-based playlist has been a few months in the making between my friends and I- perfect for some Cardio or the weekend:) Featuring artists like Calvin Harris, Avicii and Major Lazer.

4. Chill Out (Spotify)- Another big playlist full of my current genre-obsession, Chillstep? Garage-step? Even the Djs don’t know what to call it, but its electronic-ish, chill-ish and drum and bass-ish… Flume (obviously!), Disclosure, Odesza and many other cool artists featured here.

5. Sitting in Sunshine (Spotify) One of my favorite playlists for the Spring/Summer, featuring all happy and upbeat songs. Featuring John Mayer, Tori Kelly, Ed Sheeran, etc. Think happy!

6. Funky (Spotify) After binge-watching two seasons of Scandal on Netflix this winter, I was inspired by the funky soundtrack that was featured throughout the show. Stevie Wonder, Otis Redding & Michael Jackson!

7. 90s Kid (Spotify) Some nostalgia for the Millennials- DMX, Ja Rule, T-Pain, Backstreet Boys… need I say more?

8. All that Jazzzz (Spotify) After several music history classes for my degree in Music Industry, I have a lot of appreciation for Jazz. A little playlist featuring some of the greats like Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday.

9. Jamz (Soundcloud)- A good playlist for slow jams and remixes, featuring artists like Kill Paris, Chris Brown (I know, I know), and the Weeknd.

10. 5 (Soundcloud)- I made this playlist for long (5-mile) runs, featuring trap/chillstep/edm-style songs featuring artists like What So Not, Keys N Krates and more Flume.

11. Windows Down (Soundcloud)- A little bit of overlap of some of the songs on 5, but definitely an awesome playlist to blast when its nice out. Features a lot of remixes (Beyonce, Rudimental, Bibio)

Hopefully there’s a playlist for you on here and if not, let me know and I am very happy to make another😉 Also, I am always open to new music suggestions, so please feel free to share if you have a song that you keep pressing repeat on!

Things I Learned While Job Searching

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As a (self-proclaimed) goal-oriented, hard-working and driven individual, having a kickass job has always been a huge dream of mine. When I graduated from Northeastern University last May, I didn’t realize just how difficult it would be to achieve that goal. Frustrations and self-doubt aside, here are 11 things I learned during the past year while job searching.

1) You are not alone. You might feel like you’re the only person in the world without the job that you want, but the truth is theres SO many people out there in the same situation as you. And, even the people that do have jobs don’t necessarily have their dream job yet either. It all takes time.

2) Always try to have hope and be positive, but also be realistic- even if it seems near impossible that you’ll ever get hired. This is how I felt. A lot. I’d go in confident and hopeful to each job interview- Yeah, I’m gonna nail this one. Why wouldn’t they hire me? And then a week later, I’d be sobbing and confused after I was rejected. It’s hard not to take rejection personally, and I know I did take it personally many times. I always let myself have that day when I was rejected to feel a little sad and lost, and then reboot the next day and jump back on horse. Keep on keepin’ on!

3) Network, network, network. Network until those cows come home and then network some more. This is literally the only piece of advice my school’s career services office gave me, and unfortunately it truly is the ONLY way I’ve found that I’ll ever get a job. That good old saying “It’s not what you know, but who you know” rings all-too true.

4) It helps to have a support system. Thank god for my parents, because I’d 1) be broke and living under a bridge right now and 2) still be crying about all of the times I was rejected. It gets depressing and hard to see the light, but luckily my parents are my biggest fans and assured me that it was okay that I was rejected, and that I am talented and will one day get a job. Thanks mom & dad.

5) Start a blog. People in business are obsessed with blogs (hence this blog). If you’re looking to get into marketing like I am, I have heard countless people say that blogs are a great way to boost your portfolio, and show employers that you can actually write- in English. Us Millenialls have a lot to prove since we unfortunately talk though texting 97% of the time. LOL, IKR?  #Yolo.

6) Adults will always ask you if you’ve tried LinkedIn. I can’t tell you how many face-palm moments I’ve had when adults (baby-boomers) who found that I was job searching asked if I’ve tried using LinkedIn, “Oh, yeah, have you tried this new website thing called LinkedIn?” Nope, I’ve only been living under a rock waiting for a job to knock on my door…

*Sidenote: If you haven’t tried LinkedIn- DO!!!! (And Indeed, and Monster, and your schools career site…) A friend of mine from SIB, Spencer, has created an awesome resource for people looking to break into the startup world called GenXJobs – I definitely recommend checking it out for great job hunting tips, insights into the Boston startup community, and tidbits of wisdom that we learned at The Startup Institute.

7) Don’t be afraid to cold e-mail/call. I have reached out to several contacts of contacts this way and have had really great connections because of it. It goes along with networking, but as long as you ask nicely, you usually should get a warm response and someone willing to help you!

8) This is by no means a quick process. Sure a lucky few will get a job before or literally the day after they graduate from college, but for most of us it takes a year (or more)! This is probably the only time in your life that you won’t have a set job or direction, so give it time.

After one particularly painful job rejection, my dad gave me a good little pep talk gem: “You’ve only been job hunting for 8 months and soon you’ll be working for the rest of your life. If you have to wait a little bit to get your dream job, then it’s worth it. This time in your life will seem ridiculous someday.”  I was able to see my dad’s wisdom and saw that it’s pretty silly to cry over being unemployed. No, I’m not a loser, and yes, I will get a job one day- and probably want a vacation…

9) Consider it Funemployment. Yeah, being jobless really sucks, but you can choose to completely slack off and fall into a Netflix blackhole, or you can set a schedule for yourself and have things to look forward to in the day. I always made sure to go to the gym, and I set out a chunk of time each day that I would be job searching. I also sold a ton of stuff on Ebay for my mom to make a little bit of extra cash. That way, the endless hours of “Funemployment” didn’t seem quite so long and unproductive. My only regret is that I didn’t get an actual part-time job because I was so hopeful and positive that I’d get whatever next job I interviewed/applied for. I definitely could have saved enough for that trip to France by now, but hey! At least I was positive…

10) Find people to commiserate with. I guess I was “lucky”, as bad as it sounds, to have one of my best friends from high school in a similar situation as me. She is living at home, looking for her first “real” job and feeling just as lost and confused as I am. It’s nice to get together and look for jobs, share networking tips, as well as plot our escape to the Caribbean if this whole employment thing doesn’t really work out.

11) Look for something to help leverage you as a candidate during your time off. For me, I knew my digital marketing skills, and to be honest, confidence in myself were lacking- so luckily I turned to the Startup Institute. I wanted to gain more relevant marketing skills that looked attractive to employers. I had seen things like HTML and Analytics required on countless applications, so finally I broke down and applied to something that would help me build those skills.

This program has truly been amazing-I have learned more about myself and business in 4 weeks than I did in five years of undergrad (darn you, student loans). There are always ways to better yourself, be it a course or even volunteering. Do something that makes you feel good about yourself and that motivates you to wake up everyday!

 

If you have any tips for job searching/being unemployed please feel free to share! Also, if you want to hire me, I’d be completely okay with that😉

-L

11 Kale Recipes

I LOVE KALE.

Why, you might ask? Kale is packed with vitamins and antioxidants, not to mention you can stir-fry it, toss it in a salad, or bake it (hello, kale chips). Here is a quick 11List to jazz up those leafy greens.

1.  Kale with Apple and Candied Almonds

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I found a similar recipe to this on the back of a bag of lettuce from Trader Joe’s (another one of my obsessions): instead of pecorino cheese, toss in some Brie and bacon bits (yum!). Also, in addition to the olive oil/lemon juice, add a splash of white wine vinaigrette for a tangier flavor.

2. Kale Chips (Basic Recipe)

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For a super-easy and healthy snack, check out this basic recipe for kale chips. You can go wild and add any spice that you want to give it some great flavor. You can even sprinkle a little cheese on top… (My family is from the Midwest, so cheese is considered a condiment). Also, if you go on Pinterest there are approximately 2347243789342894 pins on Kale Chips alone.

3. Emeril Lagasse’s Tuscan Bean Soup with Kale

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So this isn’t exactly an all-kale recipe, but it’s SO good I had to include it on this list. This soup might be my favorite soup of all-time. Bold statement, I know.

4. Baked White Cheddar Mac n Cheese with Kale and Bacon

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Is this a joke?! Obviously not the most healthy way to eat kale, but definitely a healthier way to eat mac n cheese. Plus, with the bacon how can you go wrong?

5. Kale, Apple & Banana Smoothie

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I am a HUGE fan of smoothies, and have one just about everyday for breakfast. The fruit and orange juice help mask the leafier flavor, and make for an extremely healthy way to start your day.

6. Lemon Parmesan Kale Salad

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This is a really easy way to get your daily fix of kale. The salad and dressing is so light and has really great flavor. Add in fruit or some avocado for a summer-inspired dish.

7. Hazelnut Kale Pesto

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Yes please…

8. Pan Fried Kale

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Give any stir-fry a boost with this pan fried kale recipe.

9. Caesar Lettuce Wraps with Kale & Quinoa

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A very interesting (and green!) take on a Caesar wrap. I am not a tofu fan, so I would swap that out for some sautéed chicken, and probably add some shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (sorry, can’t help it).

10. Quinoa, Kale & Avocado Salad

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My 3 favorite things in one salad- YUM.

11. Kale Brownies

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What?! Yes, Kale Brownies are a thing, and though they might not be Paula Deen’s recipe (another stick of butter, ya’ll), they’re a very adventurous and “healthy” alternative for a dessert favorite. Give it a try, and if you’re sharing with friends, don’t mention the kale.

Of course since kale is so trendy now there are millions of recipes out there- do you have any favorites?

-L

Thoughts On Happiness & Positivity

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the power of positivity, and how much easier life feels when you choose to be happy. Sure, it’s normal to have days where you feel down, but it’s important to shake it off quickly and get back out there.

I’m a generally positive person who tries to see the best in people and situations; however, after job hunting for almost a year, I was starting to feel a little down on myself. It’s hard not to have some self-doubt after being rejected countless times. On days where I’d receive rejections for roles that I really wanted, I would allow myself an hour to feel bad, and then quickly shift my energy back to positivity.

Sometimes I’d feel guilty for being so upset, thinking about other people who have it way worse than me. Putting things into perspective, I know my situation really isn’t that difficult, but, I think it’s important to know how you feel and acknowledge your frustrations, and use them as motivators to create a positive change.

This post might be a little too much peace, love and rainbows for some people, but I think happiness is one of the most important things in life!

Here is my 11List on ideas for positivity and happiness:

1. Dave MacLaughlin, CEO at VSnap, came into SIB today and said something that really struck a chord: he asks his kids everyday “is today going to be good, great or awesome?”. I love this. There is no negative answer, only positive. Work on making your day “awesome”, but even when it’s not, it can still be good.

2. Write 3 positive things that happened to you each day. I was talking with my friends Spencer and Martha from SIB (You’ll hear about this place a lot- I’m obsessed) and they said that they have each tried a method where they recap their days in a positive way- writing things that made them happy, or even just something small that they’re grateful for.

3. Rewire your brain for positive thinking. Shawn Achor speaks on TEDxTalks about The Happiness Advantage. An interesting way to think about positivity and perspective.

4. If you’re into adorable kids and adorable puppies being best friends, then follow MommasGoneCity on Instagram. Pretty much the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.  If this doesn’t make your heart melt a little, then you need to check yo’self…

Preview of cuteness:

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Photo: http://instagram.com/p/k2mS3NQSxj/

5. Go outside or just be active. We’ve all heard the countless scientific studies on the link between happiness and exercise. I am a huge believer in exercise as a mode to ‘tude check- when you’re running your butt off for 4 miles you don’t have the energy to be sad or mad, you just get out there and pound pavement.

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6. Listen to music that puts you in a positive place. I made a playlist on Spotify called Sitting in Sunshine, that I use to imagine that I’m sitting on a warm beach, listening to some happy, chill tunes. (I am not a hippie, I swear).

7. Download the Happier app, or follow them on twitter. A very cool and uplifting app that was created to “share happy moments with people you care about”.

8. Check out NapkinNotesDad. Not even going to tell you why- just do it. You’ll be glad you did.

9. Read The Habits of Supremely Happy People. Some nice reminders and thoughts on true happiness.

10. Happiness is contageous. Connect with people who are positive. I guarantee when you surround yourself with people who have a positive outlook, you’ll want to emulate that feeling. This is exactly what SIB has done for me- everyone there is so supportive and positive during the day that it’s hard not to feel the same!

11.  Last but not least, know it’s okay not to be happy ALL the time… just take time to reflect when you’re not, and how you can change your outlook to get back to your happiness.

Repeat steps 1-11 as needed.

-L