The Ultimate Guide to Making the Most of Your Day Off

As someone that works full time from home, I can get in the habit of blending together my work days and my weekends or other “down times.”  I’ll find myself writing up drafts on Sundays (currently guilty of that right now), emailing sponsors on Saturdays, and editing photos in the middle of a date night with B.  It can be a challenge to truly disconnect and just enjoy a day of rest, but I’ve also found that it can be incredibly healthy to do so.  Whether you’re a blogger or not, here is my guide to making the most of your day off.

Schedule

I find I’m the most accepting of my day off if I’ve scheduled it into my calendar ahead of time.  Expecting a day or evening of the week to be work-free helps me mentally prepare to turn off and live in the moment.  It also helps me make plans to get my work accomplished in advance so I can truly relax without worrying about a deadline.

Wear comfy clothes

A day off, especially if spent at home, should be as comfortable as possible.  Stay in your pajamas all day, because who says you can’t?  Or get yourself some new cozy digs.  I found that this ballet sweater from Wooden Ships is the best “day off” piece.  It’s the softest cotton material, and I can literally throw it on over a bralette, and still appear put together.  So I don’t have to be embarrassed if the mailman comes to the door and I’m not fully dressed.  This piece can also be worn as the perfect bikini cover-up if you’re spending your day off at the beach, or wear it untied over a dress for a no-work-allowed date night!

Feel young again

When you were a teenager in high school, what did you do on your day off?  You shoved away your homework and hit up the mall, the nail salon, the movie theater, or the ice cream shop and forgot all your cares.  For me, I loved to curl up with my current magazine read (usually Cosmo), take all the quizzes, and then use the outfit inspiration from whoever the cover star was on my afternoon shopping trip.  Sometimes it’s during your day off that you will find the most inspiration.  Write those things down while you’re relaxing, but don’t put them into motion until the next work day.

Indulge

Treat yo-self.  I mean, but really.  Indulging doesn’t necessarily mean spending.  DIY some face masks, paint your toenails, and eat a whole bag of Dove dark chocolates (or learn from my mistake and don’t – just eat half the bag 😉) while binge-watching your favorite show.  Or, if you have it in your budget, treat yourself to a mini shopping spree (don’t forget to buy yourself the Wooden Ships ballet sweater) and get the venti at Starbucks. You deserve to be rewarded after all your hard work.

Do something new

I love discovering a new interest on my days off.  Sometimes I’ll find a craft on Pinterest to try out, I’ll visit a new cafe in the city, I’ll head to a greenhouse and get myself a new plant, or I’ll even just go to the library to borrow a new book.  You never know what you’ll be able to enjoy on your day off, but keep it creative, this might end up being something you add to your regular schedule.  I love to read a chapter in a book each night before bed, and that love started on my days off in school when I was younger!

Go on an adventure

If you have the capability, go somewhere on your day off.  It doesn’t have to be far.  I have a few places I’m hoping to explore over the next few weeks, and each one is only about an hour and a half away.  Throw on your Wooden Ships ballet sweater, pack a picnic lunch, grab your boyfriend, your best friend, or your dog, and escape for the afternoon.  Blast some throwback tunes in the car, and keep the conversation topics away from work!

Unplug

This one is the most important, and probably the one you’ve heard the most as well!  I’m not saying to completely turn off your phone (although props to you if you have that kind of willpower), I’m just saying to avoid the stressers.  For me, that means I don’t open my emails, I don’t check my Instagram followers, and I don’t read my messages on Facebook.  Sometimes it means I’ll only post once on social media in a day, when I typically post twice.  You also don’t need to record everything you do.  This one is the most challenging for myself because I tend to Insta story literally everything – but it can truly get exhausting, feeling the need to capture every moment.  One of the best feelings ever is when there’s a sunset, and my phone is in the car, and I actually get to experience the glowing, golden sky, without holding a phone in front of my face.  There will be other things to document, but on a day off, it’s of utmost importance to just LIVE LIFE.

These are just a few of the “guidelines” I follow on my days off, and they have helped me recharge and feel inspired when I go back into my work the next day.  What do you do to wind down?

The Ultimate Guide to Making the Most of Your Day Off The Ultimate Guide to Making the Most of Your Day Off The Ultimate Guide to Making the Most of Your Day Off The Ultimate Guide to Making the Most of Your Day Off The Ultimate Guide to Making the Most of Your Day Off The Ultimate Guide to Making the Most of Your Day Off The Ultimate Guide to Making the Most of Your Day Off The Ultimate Guide to Making the Most of Your Day Off The Ultimate Guide to Making the Most of Your Day Off The Ultimate Guide to Making the Most of Your Day Off The Ultimate Guide to Making the Most of Your Day Off

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“ballet” sweater c/o Wooden Ships | shorts

photos by Brandon
thank you so much to Wooden Ships for sponsoring this post.  all opinions are mine as always!
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About a month ago, my mom came to me, frustrated that she couldn’t find any place that had pants which fit her build.  She said, “I wish there was a website I could go to that had multiple, differently-shaped women showcasing where they purchase items that suit their body shape.”  That sparked an idea for me!  After searching high and low through the blogosphere, I gathered 20 of my dear blogger babes together in this one post to share where they purchase pants, swimwear, and dresses that best fit their build.  Whether you’re petite, pregnant, curvy, or straight, this guide will help you easily find where to shop.  If you’re interested in learning more about a particular blogger’s wardrobe, just click on the photo to be taken directly to their website for more details.  Here’s to all my fabulous, uniquely-built girlfriends: you’re so beautiful!  Never forget that! ❤️

Clothing For Different Body Types: 20 Bloggers Share Where to Shop For Their Shape

Clothing For Different Body Types: 20 Bloggers Share Where to Shop For Their Shape Clothing For Different Body Types: 20 Bloggers Share Where to Shop For Their Shape Clothing For Different Body Types: 20 Bloggers Share Where to Shop For Their Shape

Clothing For Different Body Types: 20 Bloggers Share Where to Shop For Their Shape

Clothing For Different Body Types: 20 Bloggers Share Where to Shop For Their ShapeClothing For Different Body Types: 20 Bloggers Share Where to Shop For Their Shape Clothing For Different Body Types: 20 Bloggers Share Where to Shop For Their Shape Clothing For Different Body Types: 20 Bloggers Share Where to Shop For Their Shape Clothing For Different Body Types: 20 Bloggers Share Where to Shop For Their Shape

Clothing For Different Body Types: 20 Bloggers Share Where to Shop For Their Shape

Clothing For Different Body Types: 20 Bloggers Share Where to Shop For Their Shape Clothing For Different Body Types: 20 Bloggers Share Where to Shop For Their Shape Clothing For Different Body Types: 20 Bloggers Share Where to Shop For Their Shape Clothing For Different Body Types: 20 Bloggers Share Where to Shop For Their Shape Clothing For Different Body Types: 20 Bloggers Share Where to Shop For Their Shape Clothing For Different Body Types: 20 Bloggers Share Where to Shop For Their Shape Clothing For Different Body Types: 20 Bloggers Share Where to Shop For Their Shape Clothing For Different Body Types: 20 Bloggers Share Where to Shop For Their Shape Clothing For Different Body Types: 20 Bloggers Share Where to Shop For Their ShapeClothing For Different Body Types: 20 Bloggers Share Where to Shop For Their Shape Clothing For Different Body Types: 20 Bloggers Share Where to Shop For Their ShapeClothing For Different Body Types: 20 Bloggers Share Where to Shop For Their Shape

Where do you like to shop for pieces that fit you like a glove?  Be sure to let us know in the comments!

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The Bags Under My Eyes are Designer: Top Tips for Looking Well-Rested

Sometimes I wake up in the morning, look at my baggy under-eyes, messy hair, and lifeless skin, and I wonder if I ever actually sleep at all or if I spend the entire night sleepwalking a marathon and don’t even realize it.  It’s hard to constantly get good rest, and even harder to look well-rested, but I’ve narrowed down a pretty good routine to give my body the best night of sleep possible, and wake up feeling (and looking) refreshed.  Here are my tips:

Stop looking at screens at least 30 minutes before bed

Most research articles will tell you to even go an hour or two, but sometimes I have trouble turning mine off that far in advance.  All I know is that if the bluelight causes your brain to continue working hard right up until the second you close your eyes, it’ll be harder to lull into sleep.

Practice meditation and/or deep breathing

Another reason I like to keep my phone out just a bit longer: I use the Headspace app for ten minutes of concentrated meditation and centering before bed.  I also love using it in the morning, but when I use it at night, it’s primarily to help slow my breathing and heart-rate so I get tired faster.

Drink a cup of (decaf) tea

My favorite is the “Calming” tea by Yogi.  If I don’t have that on hand, chamomile will do just fine.

Take a hot bath

In the same way that hot tubs relax the body and make you sleepy, a hot bath will knock you out in no time.  Throw in whatever LUSH products you have on hand, and let the stresses of the day melt right off of you.

Read a good book

I actually like to do this while in the bath.  Somehow I’ve managed to never drop my book in the water.  The only hard part about this tip is if you’re a bookworm like me, you might want to stay up even later because …. just one more chapter, please!

Do some bedtime yoga

I use this yoga routine almost every night, and let me tell you, by the time I’ve wrapped up, I can’t stop yawning!

Diffuse lavender essential oils

I love to put a few drops of lavender essential oils into my diffuser before bed.  Sometimes I even put a little in my bath, then again on my pillow.  The scent is incredibly calming and almost like an all-natural muscle relaxer.

Use VIIcode’s “Oxygen Eye Mask for Dark Circles”

I just recently discovered this amazing product, and I am hooked!  I recently shared with my Insta fam about how my under-eyes have looked like I got punched in the face since I was a little girl.  No, really, people used to think I was getting beaten up.  A lot of it has to do with allergies, and the rest is just a pigmentation thing.  However, after just 3 uses of these eye masks overnight, I am shocked with how much brighter and lifelike I look when I wake up.  The masks are meant to be worn for eight hours – a little different from your typical 15-30 minute masks – so they suggest overnight use.  You don’t need to wear them every night to see results, just 2-3 times a week.  Three boxes is considered a full treatment, and there are six packets in each box.  The gel-like material is cooling and comfortable under the eye, which I’m grateful for, since that area is very sensitive.  There’s nothing to wash off after use.  You’re just left feeling refreshed and looking much more awake!

Highlight/line your under-eyes with white

This is a relatively new trick for me.  After I put on all my makeup, I like to go back with my Stargazer powder (a bright white powder – so I wouldn’t suggest this product if you’re not fair-skinned), and dust it on beneath my eyes.  I also use a smaller brush to pack on just a little bit of the powder to my lower waterline.  This helps counter the red in your eyes, and brightens your whole face.  I’ve found that it dramatically reduces the appearance of dark circles!

So, there are all my tips.  After many years of trial and error, I’ve gotten this down to a science, and my life is all the better for it.  I no longer look like an absolute zombie when I totter down the stairs each morning, but instead, I feel and look much more awake!  What are your tips for a good night sleep or appearing well-rested?

The Bags Under My Eyes are Designer: Top Tips for Looking Well-Rested The Bags Under My Eyes are Designer: Top Tips for Looking Well-Rested The Bags Under My Eyes are Designer: Top Tips for Looking Well-Rested The Bags Under My Eyes are Designer: Top Tips for Looking Well-Rested The Bags Under My Eyes are Designer: Top Tips for Looking Well-Rested The Bags Under My Eyes are Designer: Top Tips for Looking Well-Rested The Bags Under My Eyes are Designer: Top Tips for Looking Well-Rested The Bags Under My Eyes are Designer: Top Tips for Looking Well-Rested

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oxygen eye mask for dark circles c/o VIIcode | top | leggings | coffee mug | yoga mat (only available in purple or teal now)

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Work Hard and Be Nice to People: 5 Ways to Make Someone's Day

Raise your hand if you’re happy it’s Friday! 🙋🏼 I pre-wrote this post because I’m currently on the trip up to New Jersey with my boyfriend to visit some of his extended family for Easter.  It’s going to be a long drive, so feel free to head over to my Instagram and keep me occupied!  While so many people celebrate this holiday just for the candy and the Easter bunny, I’m celebrating even more than just that.  On Easter Sunday, I rejoice that so many years ago, Jesus took my place on a cross, washed away my sins, and rose from the dead three days later, allowing me to live a joy and peace-filled life in His Father’s presence.  Just thinking on these things brings such thankfulness into my heart, and all I want to do is share that love He gave to me with others, and make their day!

Sometimes I find myself so focused on my own selfish needs and desires, that I forget how many others around me are hurting.  That one rude waitress may have just gotten a ticket on her way to work, or that mom you saw snapping at her kids could have found out she wasn’t able to afford this month’s rent.  You never know what others may be going through, so why not do what you can to make their day a little brighter?  Here are FIVE ways to do just that:

Pay it forward

This one is pretty well known.  You’re in the Starbucks drive-thru or the check-out line at the grocery store.  Instead of just paying for your own order, pay for the person behind you.  You have no idea how much they might have needed to save their money that day.

Snail mail

Paper and pen, envelopes and stamps.  It’s a lost art, but it’s so much fun to receive.  I had so many pen-pals when I was a little girl.  Write a note to your best friend and mail it to them.  I can bet you anything it’ll put a giant grin on their face.

Compliments are key

Come on, it’s not that hard to tell someone that their hair looks fabulous or that you love their shoes.  Sometimes I’m a little too shy to do this, so I’ll tell my boyfriend, and before I know it, he’s walking up to the cashier at Target to tell her that I love her unicorn locks 😂  You know what? I can spot the blush from a mile away, so it was well worth it.

Let them know you’re thinking of them

Have you ever gotten a text that just said something like, “I heard a Jonas Brothers song in my flashback playlist today and it made me think of when you loved them so much”?  Okay that’s totally something only my bestie would send me, but it seriously means so much to know that she thought of me.  Sometimes I’ll just text my boyfriend with a silly Finding Nemo gif or something random during his work shift to tell him he’s on my mind.  It doesn’t have to be excessive, just enough to let them know you care.

Bake it up

They say a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, but I think that applies to more than just men.  There’s a Christmas movie I love that at one point shows a lady baking goodies for her apartment neighbor, even though they rarely talk.  It’s always made me want to whip up a batch of peanut butter truffle cookies (my signature) and just leave them on my neighbor’s porch.  I know I would love a surprise like that!

These are just a few of my favorite ways to turn someone’s frown upside down and make their day better.  What are some of the ways you put this into practice?  Let me know so I can bring a little more joy into my life and the lives around me.  Happy Easter, everyone!

Work Hard and Be Nice to People: 5 Ways to Make Someone's Day Work Hard and Be Nice to People: 5 Ways to Make Someone's Day Work Hard and Be Nice to People: 5 Ways to Make Someone's Day Work Hard and Be Nice to People: 5 Ways to Make Someone's Day Work Hard and Be Nice to People: 5 Ways to Make Someone's Day Work Hard and Be Nice to People: 5 Ways to Make Someone's Day Work Hard and Be Nice to People: 5 Ways to Make Someone's Day Work Hard and Be Nice to People: 5 Ways to Make Someone's Day Work Hard and Be Nice to People: 5 Ways to Make Someone's Day Work Hard and Be Nice to People: 5 Ways to Make Someone's Day Work Hard and Be Nice to People: 5 Ways to Make Someone's Day

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workout tank c/o Adore Me | workout leggings & sports bra c/o Adore Me | gym bag c/o Ankit | sneakers

photos by Brandon
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A Dip in Crochet: Swimsuit Confidence at Any Size

On Monday night, I was lucky enough to see one of my favorite female artist’s live in concert.  JoJo has been on repeat for years, but especially since she released her album, “Mad Love” last year.  Not only are her vocals out of this world, but she focuses heavily on some things that are incredibly important to me: body positivity and self love.  I’m so blessed to be living in an era where these subjects are truly coming to the surface and there are so many campaigns focused on bringing confidence to those who struggle with self worth and negative body image.  I know that even just a few years ago, these were topics that weren’t touched on in the slightest.

All that being said, I still get negative remarks sometimes when I say that I’m a “body positive blogger.”  People scoff as they look me up and down and say “of course you are, you’re tiny!”  Sure, I’m thin, but that doesn’t mean I’m in love with my body at every moment of every day.  In past posts, I’ve mentioned that I had a severe eating disorder in high school.  I now have a reminder of my recovery in the form of a little tattoo on my hip (you can see it just slightly through the crochet).  Let it be known that I was already thin at that point in time, but it didn’t keep me from thinking I wasn’t.  Let it also be known that I am still thin and there are some days I wish I wasn’t.  No matter what shape or size you are, if you have stretch marks or cellulite (or both, like me), there will be someone saying you’re not “ideal” and you should change.  If you come away with anything from this post, let it be that you don’t need to change a thing.  You are beautiful exactly the way you are, and it’s something to be proud of!

For some, swimsuit season has already arrived.  For me, it’s fast approaching.  This is a season I tend to dread every year.  Despite my extra time at the gym the past few months, my legs still aren’t quite as toned as I’d prefer, and my chest hasn’t dramatically increased in size (laugh all you want, but I’m the CEO of the Itty Bitty Titty Committee)!  However, despite all my body woes, I’ll be shamelessly putting on a bikini and soaking up the sun very soon.  I believe that no matter what size you are, you have a “bikini body” and you gotta rock it!  I know I’ll be rocking mine in this darling, crochet, high-waisted ‘kini from Adore Me, all summer long!

Just as I did last year, I’m taking a pledge this swimsuit season to not retouch any of my bikini photos.  I believe that my body is worth being celebrated, and yours is too!  So if you believe that, will you take this pledge with me?  Spend a summer free of any inhibitions or need for “perfection” – I mean, what is perfect anyways?  I say it’s the beautiful body you’ve been given, so let’s ooze confidence in it this year!

A Dip in Crochet: Swimsuit Confidence at Any Size A Dip in Crochet: Swimsuit Confidence at Any Size A Dip in Crochet: Swimsuit Confidence at Any Size A Dip in Crochet: Swimsuit Confidence at Any Size A Dip in Crochet: Swimsuit Confidence at Any Size A Dip in Crochet: Swimsuit Confidence at Any Size A Dip in Crochet: Swimsuit Confidence at Any Size A Dip in Crochet: Swimsuit Confidence at Any Size A Dip in Crochet: Swimsuit Confidence at Any Size A Dip in Crochet: Swimsuit Confidence at Any Size A Dip in Crochet: Swimsuit Confidence at Any Size

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swimsuit c/o Adore Me | kimono (gift from a friend – similar here)

photos by Brandon
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