Tag Archives: essentials

Adulting Essentials

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Adulting Essentials
Hello everyone and TGIF! I hope all of you are having a fabulous day so far and have a bright and exciting weekend to look forward to. If there’s one thing that I know as a twenty-something, it’s that I constantly feel under-prepared. Everything up until the late teens and early twenties was great, right? A la-di-da world where the only thing that you needed to worry about was what to wear to school and your hours at your weekend job. Fast forward to the ripe age of 23. Freshly graduated from college, moving out of your dorm to your own apartment, and (sort of) ready to take on the world. This is basically what your teenage self has been dreaming about since forever. So why does it feel so stressful?!

The life of a twenty-something is a bumbling and haphazard mess 90% of the time. Job hunting, grad school, moving out of chez mom and dad. You’re stretched thin in all directions and all you want is some literal direction in your so called life. As the baby of the family, I’ve watched three older siblings do the growing up thing. And now, as the 23 year old baby of the family, I guess I have to do the whole growing up thing myself. Gross.

So what comes with growing up? A big girl job, your own place, squeezing some time in for fun between binge eating or binge studying – that all sounds about right. For a big girl job you’re armed with your education or experience. For having some fun, you have your high school or college BFFs to schedule a GNO with. But your own place? A place that you need to pay rent for, furnish, AND do your own laundry in? Well, you’re gonna need a few things:

1) Stationary: From calendars and notebooks to agendas and business cards, stationary is a total must. You know how the life of a twenty-something is a bumbling, haphazard mess 90% of the time? That, my dear readers, is what the planner is for. The calendar, the to do list, the agenda – whatever you call it, is a twenty-something essential. Doctors appointments? Job interview? Date night with the SO? Drinks with the girls? Yeah, there’s a planner for that. Hang your calendar with pride wherever you can see it and take a stab at sitting down with a glass of wine and organizing your week. You will be amazed at how your days will open up once you begin utilizing the free space that you have in between work till four and cardio at 7 on Monday and Wednesday.

2) The Perfect Mattress: The first thing that my sister did when she moved into her own apartment was buy herself a queen sized bed. Okay, girl. I see you. Now, I don’t usually say this, but she had the right idea. There is nothing better than tucking into bed with a good book and Enya on your iPod after a long day. Get comfy cozy in your boyfriend’s shirt, throw on an overnight face mask, and snuggle up on your new mattress compliments of Casper. Breathable, lush, plush, springy, and supportive, you’ll be traveling to the land of nod in no time as soon as you get curled up on the mattress of your dreams. Just make sure to put mattress shopping with Casper on your to do list before dozing off tonight! 😉

3) Business Casual Wardrobe: This isn’t necessarily an apartment essential as much as it is a life essential. I think that it is so important for twenty-somethings to begin investing in business casual wardrobe staples. Whether your ideal job setting is laid back or totally formal, you still need something to wear to the interview, right? Start supplying your closet with sharp, chic pieces that scream “boss lady” as soon as you walk in the door. I’m talking pencil skirts, crisp button downs, trench coats, blazers, cardigans, and a smart pair of trousers.

When I began shopping for my job with the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (which is about as business cashe as it gets), I gradually began making an effort to instill a more professional feel into my wardrobe. I hit up stores like Loft and Express for clothes that were unquestionably cute, but still looked put together and work place appropriate. Look for simple, well tailored pieces and let your accessories or a funky patterned cardi showcase your personality. There is no rule stating that business casual means boring!

4) Culinary Cool: One of the things that comes with moving out is not having a delicious meal prepped for you every day by the rents. I, personally, am a firm believer that everyone should have a basic understanding of cooking and finding your way around a kitchen. Unfortunately, not everyone shares this mindset with me, so cooking on your own might be a rude awakening to burnt pizzas or blowing a fortune on takeout every night.

BUT IT’S OKAY!! I promise. I absolutely love cooking and baking and my golden rule is that if you can read, you can cook. Go to the library or bookstore, snag some cook books (even if it is Making Eggs For Dummies!), and practice. Hit up your local Aldi’s or Save A Lot for ingredients, follow the directions, and you’ll have a meal that you made all by yourself in no time. I swear that it is not as daunting as it might seem and, within time, you might find yourself actually enjoying your meal preparations in your kitchen.

But, of course, you can’t cook without the proper tools. You don’t need to go overboard, but do invest in some quality but not too costly gear to help you out. Spatulas, measuring spoons and cups, mixing bowls, and a sheet pan for your pizza rolls will go a long way. And, like any well stocked arsenal, it doesn’t become that way over night. Pick up odds and ends for your kitchen every so often when you’re out and about and you’ll have all of the necessities before you know it.

5) TREAT YOSELF: Adulting can sometimes really suck. Like a lot. Believe me, I get it. Full time job, college, bills? It’s like a whirlwind of misery. That is why I am all about incorporating a TREAT YOSELF attitude into my adult lifestyle. Seriously. Get out, have some fun, and let the destressing begin. This can range from going out to get your nails done after a long week in the office to buying that sassy dress from Target because it hugged your curves in all of the right places. Do things that make you feel good (within reason). Buy things that make you feel good (within your budget), and you’ll find yourself breezing through adulthood like the boss lady that you are. YOU GO, GIRL!
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Adulting can be unquestionably overwhelming, but you’ll be just fine with the right Essentials! What are your adulting must haves? How do you destress after a long day of being a grown up? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah
Featured Image By: ZootScoop
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College Kid Essentials

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College Kid Essentials

Whether you are packing up your cases for your first semester or your last one, there are some things that you just can’t do without when you head off to college. Some of these are practical, some are fun, and some are downright luxurious, but all are simply essential. Read on to find out what they are and then get back to studying:

A Decent Bag: One of the major rules of college is that you will spend half of your time lugging your laptop and a boat load of big thick textbooks around with you. That is why you need a bag like a sturdy backpack for heavy books and all of your lecture notes. If you think that you are going to be able to work it out Legally Blonde style with a trendy backpack, then you are just setting yourself up for a world of pain. I’m not saying don’t take a cute handbag or two (or ten), because you can always use them on your nights out. Just make sure that you have something a bit more sensible for the day time when you’re hauling all of your homework.

Shower Shoes: Okay, things are going to get a little gross here, but that’s what a dormitory bathroom is! Sharing bathrooms and showers is a hazard in college that most people cannot avoid. Yes, dodging dirty underwear left in there by mistake just might happen. But you just don’t know who has walked on the floor in their bare feet. That is why it is a genius idea to take some thongs with you to wear in the bathroom! Not today, athlete’s foot. Not today.

A Frying Pan: Did you know that you can pretty much cook all meals in a frying pan? Get one deep enough like a wok, and you can boil vegetables and make sauces in it, too. In fact, it’s the most useful piece of kitchen equipment that you should have apart from a tin opener and corkscrew! So make sure to pack yours when you head back for the first day of term.

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Your Laptop: Obviously, the only time that you hand write anything at college these days is in exams, the rest of the time you will want to be taking notes and writing up your essays on your computer. For security and portability reasons it’s best to invest in a laptop. Then, you can take it home during the holidays as well as along to lectures. It really is the college essential that you can’t do without.

Pictures From Home: Obviously, you’ll have pics of your family on your phone and computer. But, it is always nice to have paper copies, as well. Get some prints of your favorite images done, so when homesickness hits, you can glance over and remember that you’ll be back with them soon. You can display them in a frame or with mini pegs on a string for a cute boho look.

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^^^ Kind of like this!

A Scented Candle: Lastly, just because you are a student does not mean that you can’t have a little luxury in your life. Why not treat yourself to a nice scented candle. Not only will this relax you when you have a test or a deadline to study for, but it will also stop you from having to smell the scents of everyone else’s cooking in your accommodation. Which can be a total godsend!

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And don’t forget coffee or tea for binge studying sessions!

Need To Shed Some Extra Weight? Here’s How To Beat The Baggage Allowance!

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Need To Shed Some Extra Weight? Here’s How To Beat The Baggage Allowance!

So you’re going on vacation. It’s an exciting time right? Ah, yes, there is the stress to think about. There are flights to book, hotels to secure, and activities to plan. Not to mention the dreaded packing! If you’re going away this year, you might want to travel light. Baggage allowance is always getting less and less. Plus, having a heavy bag to drag around is never fun! If the idea of traveling light gets you weak at the knees, you’ve come to the right place. This guide should give you an idea of how to pack light without doing yourself out of your must have essentials!

Clothes: Clothes take up a large part of any suitcase. As you’re going to be away from your wardrobe, the temptation is to take more than you need. You want those outfits just in case, right? Wrong. Don’t pack more than you need. The key is to take outfits that can work for many occasions. Instead of packing an outfit for each day, pack a capsule wardrobe. That way, you can mix and match the same outfits to give yourself a whole new look! For a week’s trip, you shouldn’t need any more than three outfits for the day, and three for the night. Don’t look so shocked! It’s entirely achievable if you do it right.

Don’t Take the Library: Vacation is the perfect time to catch up on your reading. Who doesn’t love the idea of lounging by the pool and getting lost in a whole other world? Even so, books are weighty. Take those hefty hardbacks out of your bag straight away. The best thing you can do for your holiday reading is to take a Kindle along. They’re easy to transport, and come with the bonus that you can buy a book while you’re away without hassle! You could even find out about the best free books on Kindle and save yourself some money!

Buy Essentials When You Get There: Bear in mind that there will be shops where you’re heading. Well, unless you’re going to the middle of nowhere! For the most part, all towns have a store that at least sells the basics. Leave behind those heavy shampoo bottles. You’re sure to be able to find suntan lotion there, too, so don’t worry about that, either! These are substantial additions to your baggage that you could do without. Buy them once you get there, and leave them behind for the next person when you leave! Check, too, to see whether your hotel provides hairdryers. If yes, you can leave yours at home.

Leave Room: You may be working towards a baggage allowance, but it’s important to leave yourself space for the flight back. We all like to spend a little money during our vacations. Don’t leave yourself unable to take back your new purchases! Too often, we have to leave behind something that we love because we don’t have room! Take your vacation purchases into consideration when you’re packing and save yourself the worry or the heart-wrenching separation from one of your favorite things.

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Lil Red’s Beach Getaway Essentials

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Lil Red’s Beach Getaway Essentials

Hey everyone and happy Saturday! I hope all of you had a great week and are getting into a lot of fun adventures this weekend. I know that I just went on vacation but I’m already in desperate need of another one and thanks to my friends at HomeAway, I’m able to discuss my must haves for a Beach Getaway this summer. Take a look at the super cute graphic that was designed with my list in mind and let’s discuss:

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When Lil Red hits the beach, the five items that I have listed above are what I wouldn’t dare to leave the house without. Let’s talk about each item in a little more detail!

  • Sunscreen: SPF One Million is everything when you’re pasty pale and are spending a day having fun in the sun. Unfortunately, I always end up burning anyways but the fact that I make an effort by putting sunscreen on makes me feel a little better about it!
  • Floppy Hat: I have three Brandy Melville floppy hats and at least one of them has to come with me for a beach getaway. I have one in black, mauve, and forest green. The black is perfect to counterbalance my bright striped bikini and the mauve one is awesome for an evening stroll on the sand.
  • Sunglasses: My eyes are incredibly sensitive so I refuse to leave the house without a pair or two of my many sunglasses from my collection. A huge pair of don’t look at me shades are definitely a necessity to save me from the squints and to give my face some extra protection from the sun.
  • Gladiator Sandals: I consider every time I leave my house a fashion show so a knee length pair of gladiator sandals to strut about in are my beach footwear of choice. Make sure to pack a cute wrap skirt and crop top for a ready to wear outfit when you leave! Whether you do some shopping on the pier or go out to dinner afterwards, gladiator sandals are totally beach chic.
  • Victoria’s Secret Bikini: The Getaway style bikini from VS is literally the best thing that ever happened to me. I have never had a bikini that has fit so well, provided perfect support, and is so fabulously cute. My bikini is horizontally lined with gorgeous lime green, teal, white, and pink stripes and features metallic gold tie strings. I’ve never been very confident in two piecers before and the Victoria’s Secret Getaway style bikini has been a total game changer. Hello, beach goddess!

I want to thank my friends at HomeAway again for providing me with such a fun graphic and I encourage you all to check out their site so you can start planning your perfect getaway!

So there you have it, Lil Red’s Beach Getaway Essentials! What are your vaca must haves? How do you sport a beach chic look? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah