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How To Stick To Your New Years Resolutions

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They say the 1920’s were “roaring,” but what about 2020? This year has been hard. Luckily, a new year is just right around the corner. A new year means a clean slate and new beginnings. New years are also synonymous with the creation of “resolutions” or goals that we want to accomplish in the year to come.

For many, these resolutions include losing a few pounds, saving a few bucks, and spending less time on technology, and reading more books. Sometimes, we set our expectations way too high, which leaves us feeling defeated. Luckily, we have some tips and tricks up our sleeves to help you stick to those goals and absolutely crush them!

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For the Weight Loss Resolutions

Keep a Food Journal

Inc. Magazine

A food journal is a mentally sound way to keep your weight loss goals in check. Before you start your diet plan, consult your doctor to be sure it’s right for you! Once you’re given the green light, buy yourself a notebook and some pens so you can journal your journey!

Each day, document the meals you had. Make note of how certain foods and meals made you feel. Did you feel energized? Maybe you felt bloated or guilty? Maybe you had a killer at home workout. Document that so you can see what does and does not work for you. You can even print out progress pictures and tape them inside to keep track of physical progress. Once you’ve finally reached your goal, the journal will serve as a great keepsake and memento for your journey and accomplishment!

For the Money Saving Resolutions

There are so many useful tips when it comes to money saving, so we’ve boiled down a few simple ones that can make a large impact!

Make a Budgeting Spreadsheet

Money Under 30

You don’t have to hold an MBA to know how to budget! Budgeting is super helpful when it comes to managing your money. Thanks to the internet, there are even pre-made spreadsheets that help you calculate your expenses, income, and even leftover money that can be put towards debts you may owe.

For the Less Screen Time Resolutions

Let’s face it. These days, we’re all spending much more time on our screens than we’d like to admit. This is pretty high up on our resolution list, and we’re sure we aren’t alone on this one.

Set a Limit On Your Device

The Atlantic

Luckily, most devices come with screen time limitation settings, that can be adjusted based on how many minutes or hours you’d like to restrict yourself to each day. If you don’t wish to set a limit, you can set a schedule for time away from the screen. This means you’d only have access to certain applications during windows of time that you choose. At the end of the week, you’ll receive a report with insights about your screen time so you can monitor your progress!

For the Alcohol Free Resolutions

We’ve all probably coped with the havoc of 2020 by (responsibly) enjoying a beverage…or several. Not only is drinking harmful to your health, but it can also lead to addiction or impair our decision making when not consumed in moderation. Maybe you want to cut your consumption this year, power to you! Here are some of our suggestions!

Make a Mocktail!

Eat This, Not That

Mocktails are an amazing solution for those that want to enjoy a tasty beverage sans the alcohol! Mocktails often taste and look exactly the same as some of your favorite cocktails, but are alcohol free. Did someone say Shirley Temple?!

So, what’s your resolution this year? No matter what it is, with a little bit of determination and discipline, you’ll be killing it in no time.

Happy New Year!

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LIFESTYLE

How To Boss Up Your “Work From Home” Space

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Information Week

Anyone else totally not missing the days of water cooler small talk? Oh, and the feeling of stiff legs after not leaving your desk chair for literally hours? Yeah, us either. Though we totally could use the sense of normalcy associated with going into work, we have been trying to make the most of working from the comfort of our own home. It’s all about finding the silver lining, people!

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For most of us, March marks one year since offices and schools shut down. In the past year, we’ve had to adapt and adjust to hours of Zoom meetings, eye strain, and social isolation. Dare we say we have it mastered? But really, we’ve got it down to a science over here, and want to share with you some of the best “work from home” hacks in the game.

Zoom Aesthetic

If you need a quick fix…

Hamlet Hub

Be honest, how many times have you taken an online class or meeting from the comfort of your bed or couch? We’d be lying if we said we haven’t. Not gonna lie, it’s what the cool kids these days would call unprofessional “AF.”

Many of us don’t have the luxury of an aesthetically pleasing at-home office. If you’re on call from your dining room or couch, there are ways to make your background look clean and fun with a few simple clicks.

If you simply do an image search for “Zoom backgrounds” there will be links to hundreds of downloadable pictures that you can use as a green screen while you’re on call. Our personal favorites are the ones that look like you’re in an HGTV designed home office or a beach bungalow.

If you’re in the mood to decorate…

Country Living

We will find any excuse to make a run to our local TJ Maxx or Homegoods. If you’re looking to level up your Zoom background and put your interior design skills to the test, here is the perfect justification!

Some of our favorite ways to spice up our office decor is to find wall decorations. We personally love the minimalist aesthetic. For us, this looks like lots of greens: think, succulents and vines. These hanging vines from Amazon add such a whimsical touch, especially when paired with dangling fairly lights.

For a boho look, use Command hooks to hang up some macrame.

Set the mood by lighting a candle. For focus, we recommend opting for a rosemary eucalyptus scent!

Personalize your space by hanging up your favorite pictures in the background. We love this wired photo grid because it’s also great to embellish with flowers and baskets for convenient storage of office goods!

Look Good Feel Good

Lighting

Etoile Collective

Nothing is worse than having bad lighting. Unflattering shadows? No thank you! Ring lights are the best way to ensure optimal lighting on camera. These bad boys ensure that you are well lit from all angles. If you don’t have the storage space, there are also battery powered miniature versions that clip right onto your phone or laptop.

Angles are Everything!

The New York Times

Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if your laptop is resting on a surface that makes the camera hit your face from a downward angle, it can get pretty unflattering. We know from experience! Laptop stands are the perfect way to ensure your colleagues see you at the best angles every time you meet. Double chin who?! No, but seriously, these are also great for improving posture and keeping your overworked laptops cool (some of them come with built-in fans)! We can’t say enough good things.

What’s your favorite work-from-home hack?

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LIFESTYLE

Self Care Products You Need Right Now

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Every February, we patiently await (or dread) Valentine’s Day. This day gives us the excuse to shower our loved ones with a little extra love, whether this is by showing affection, showering them with gifts, or spending quality time with them. Though the day has passed, why not continue celebrating the month of love by showing ourselves some much-deserved care.

Self-care is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.” Regardless of whether or not you are under stress, showing yourself love is known to improve both physical and mental health.

Don’t know where to start? We’ve got you covered with these self care essentials. Ladies, run…don’t walk!

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Adult Coloring Books

Artnet News

Sometimes, the best form of self-care is to just slow down, and tune out the world around you. One of our favorite ways to do this is by cracking open an “adult” coloring book. These books are more intricate than those you used during your childhood, and hypnotize you into a deep focus. Before you know it, the page is filled and time has allowed you to calm down. These have become increasingly popular over the last few years, so you can find them just about anywhere. Our personal favorite is this hilariously vulgar one from Target.

“Big Night In” Kit

Paper Source

Remember the days when a cozy night in was a luxury? Nowadays a night at home is typical. For many of us, our nightly routines look the same, and honestly, have become mundane. Luckily, the Calm Club has created a five-piece kit to bring your night at home to the next level. Complete with a pair of cabin sox, a mug, candle, sleep mask, and mindfulness puzzle, this set is the perfect gift to yourself or a friend who needs to take some time to themself. Though this set has a higher price point, use it as inspiration to create your own “night in kit,” and tailor it to your own desires.

Guided Journals

Very Well Mind

How many times have you bought a cute journal, used it for maybe three days and completely forgotten about it? For us, too many times to count. To be candid, journaling on blank pages can get repetitive. That’s why we love guided journals. These colorful and interactive books come full of prompts and activities that allow for in depth self reflection and evaluation. There are plenty of these sold on Amazon and in book stores, and they even come in many varieties for different goals.

Jade Roller

The Everygirl

Sometimes, feeling good mentally has everything to do with how you feel physically. Our skin is the largest organ in our body, and is the barrier between our insides and the outside world. Too often, we forget to show it the tender lovin’ care it deserves. Though having a killer skin care routine is a huge part of having healthy skin, one of the latest trends in self care and wellness has been jade rollers. These skin care tools are small but mighty (and may we add, fun to use!). Some of the benefits of jade rolling include, a brighter complexion, reduced wrinkles, and stimulation of the lymphatic system, which helps rid the body of toxins. Call us crazy, but we recommend storing in a skin care refrigerator or freezer between uses!

Yoga Mat

Reviewed

Moving your body is also an integral part of caring for yourself. These days, it isn’t as easy to get to the gym, and winter weather makes it dreadful to go for a walk or run outside. That’s why we recommend yoga as a way to get your body moving and practice mindfulness! YouTube has plenty of yoga videos at no cost, for any level of experience. To ensure safety and comfort, we recommend a yoga mat (duh!). They are also a great surface to practice meditation on. Namaste!

Self Care Checklist

Barnes and Thornbug

For many of us, self-care is a luxury, when in reality, it should be a part of our everyday routine. Want to hold yourself accountable? There are plenty of daily self-care checklists available for download on sites like Etsy (nothing like supporting a small business owner!), or you can implement your self-care goals by writing them down in your planner. Need some inspiration? We love this one by BrownParcelBooks.

What’s your favorite way of practicing self care?

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LIFESTYLE

Businesses Owned by African American Women

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Career Girl

February is not just the month of the Super Bowl, Chinese New Year and Valentines Day! Each year, Black History Month is celebrated during the month of February to honor all African Americans who have faced adversity within American society. The annual celebration stems from Carter G. Woodson’s “Negro History Week,” and has since evolved into a beautiful commemoration of African Americans past and present.

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This year’s celebration of Black History Month is more important than ever, after tragic losses within the community through the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. That being said, this month, be sure to honor and support African American entrepreneurs by shopping small. Here are some of our favorite businesses owned by African American women. You’ll be sure to love them as much as we do!

Butter and Lye

Butter and Lye

Butter and Lye were founded by Monique Garraud Kofsky in 2020 and is based out of Brooklyn, New York. The company sells high quality and natural soap products that are perfect for bath time. The goal of Butter and Lye is to reduce their carbon footprint, so with that in mind everything they do is 100% environmentally friendly: from ingredients to the packaging, it comes in. Their soap products also have some amazing benefits like anti-aging, moisturizing and exfoliating.

Jade Swim

Making it in Manhattan

Ladies, it’s almost bikini season- you’re not gonna wanna miss out on the minimal swimsuits designed by Brittany Kozerski, the founder of Jade Swim. These bathing suits are HOT! No really, you probably have seen your favorite Instagram influencers rocking them while posed up on a beach. But really, the ribbed material on these swimsuits are oh so flattering, you’ll need to get your hands on a pair for the summer!

Brother Vellies

Architectural Digest

Brother Vellies was founded in 2013 by Aurora James, and has been thriving ever since! James’ goal was to incorporate African design practices and techniques while also creating artisanal jobs around the world. Her background in art and fashion have served her well clearly, as the shoes she designs are so cute.

Oma the Label

Happily Grey

Neumi Anekhe founded OMA the label in 2018. The young entrepreneur was working as a fashion stylist at the time, and wanted to challenge the “homogenous industry standards” while also creating timeless and affordable jewelry for women. She also wanted to diversify the market and build a brand that wanted to represent people of color. OMA goes beyond jewelry and sells staple fashion pieces as well.

Maya Njie

Maserati

Nothing completes a woman’s outfit of the day like a spritz of their favorite perfume. Maya Njie was born in Sweeden, but moved to London as a teenager, where she studied art and photography. She began to experiment with the element of smell in her photos (sounds crazy but she was on to something), by incorporating mediums in her photographs that are often associated with their scent (i.e. flowers). She went on to self teach herself the art of perfumery and founded her fragrance company in 2016. Something about this story is so elegant!

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