5 Ways To Be A Better Version Of Yourself

Ways to be a Better Person During National Self Improvement Month

September is National Self Improvement Month and if I am being totally honest, there is room for improvement in all of us. Take me for example, I can be quite the pessimist. I often try to just look at the worst in situations so if something doesn’t meet my expectations, I am not disappointed because I was expecting the worst to happen anyways. Even though I often have a negative perspective, I am constantly trying to be more positive and be a better person than I was the day before.

This month, I am celebrating National Self Improvement Month by making a more conscious effort in leading with a positive mindset. If you are wondering what you could be doing to be a better version of yourself, here are five simple changes.

5 ways to be a better version of yourselfSelf-improvement really starts with starting the day on the right foot. Before you get out of bed and start your day, or even look at your phone to check emails or social media, really think about what you want to accomplish that day. Think of the things you might not have finished the day before or new goals you would like to set for the day and really focus on accomplishing those things. Starting your day off with good intent really helps put things into perspective and makes it clear as to what you need to focus your time and energy on. Another great thing to do in the morning when you wake up is to just simply meditate and focus on starting a clean slate.

 

5 ways to be a better version of yourself

It’s always important to be cautious about what you’re putting into your body and also what you’re exposing your body to. I can’t think of how many times I’ve eaten something and instantly regretted it five minutes later.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s okay to #treatyoself every once in a while but it’s important to ask yourself do I really want this, will I regret eating this in an hour? Most of the time the answer is no, you don’t really want this. If you really want something, just ask yourself, if I still want this in an hour, I’ll treat myself.

It’s also important to be conscious of what you might be exposing your body to. Chemicals in beauty products and going in the sun without sunscreen on are the top two things that come to mind. Before you purchase a beauty or skincare product, look at the ingredients and make sure you know what you’re putting on your skin. Before you go out in the sun make sure you’re putting sunscreen on and make sure you’re reapplying. Burt’s Bees and YesTo are two of my favorite nonchemical beauty brands. Remember, you only have one body so take care of it.

 

Ways to be a Better Person

I think social media can be both a blessing and a curse and it can very easily make you feel insecure, unaccomplished, and give you negative vibes. It’s so easy to get caught up on other peoples Instagram feeds and let it affect how you view yourself. You see a friend buying a new car and another friend going on a nice vacation and you think to yourself, ‘Wow they’re doing a lot better than I am’ and you compare yourself to them. But a lot of times what you forget is that a picture on Instagram is just a tiny glimpse inside someone’s life.

Maybe they did buy a new car but now they’re $40,000 in debt and maybe they did go on a nice vacation but they saved for two years to go on that vacation. It’s okay to feel happy for people’s accomplishments but we need to stop comparing ourselves so much to others and focus on ourselves. If you feel like what you see on social media just makes you anxious, jealous, or give you negative vibes, then take a break. Your mental health is much more important than seeing what your friend from high school, that you haven’t talked to in eight years is up to.

 

Ways to be a Better Person

I always try to end the day with self-reflection. Before I go to sleep, I try to think of two positives and a negative from my day. I then think about my negative and ask myself, was this something out of my control, could I have done something differently, has this been a frequent negative for me? If possible, I try to turn that negative into a positive. Maybe something didn’t go as planned, I’ll then think, ‘What did I learn from that experience’ or if I didn’t accomplish something I wanted to, I try to remember tomorrow is a new day. If it is a recurring negative thought, then there is a bigger issue that I need to address and work on.

 

5 ways to be a better version of yourself

The biggest thing to remember is that nobody is perfect and everyone is a work in progress. Just because someone has a flawless Instagram feed does it mean that they don’t have insecurities or that they’re perfect. Everyone has both good and bad qualities and what is important is to focus on being the best person that you can be and work towards the goals that you want to achieve.

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Cute Desk Supplies That Will Make You Want to Sit at Your Desk

Lilly Pulitzer agenda with Apple Macbook Pro

Call me a total nerd but, there are few things I love more than a Lilly Pulitzer planner and a cute workspace. Whether you’re going back to school or working a full-time job, a workspace that puts you in the mood to get shit done is super important! If you have never been to my blog before, I post new computer wallpapers every month and they are sure to spruce up any workspace. You can check those out here! Here are some cute desk supplies that I use to keep my desk organized and get me in the mood to work!

Lilly Pulitzer Flamingo Planner with Marble Apple Macbook Cover

A Good Planner

I use my planner every day and I honestly can’t imagine life without it! It has all of my important dates and everything I need to accomplish each day written down. I seriously can’t imagine life without it. On top of my planner, I have a monthly desk calendar too so I can look at dates more easily. Check out some of my favorite agendas and planners below:

Fun Desk Accessories

In my opinion, desk accessories are just as important as your planner. There are tons of fun post-its, notepads, and notebooks. This might sound weird but I am a sucker for a good rollerball pen. Writing with them feels so good, I just want to keep writing. Here are some of my favorite cute desk supplies and accessories, including some Glaze gel pens!

A Functional Work Bag

So technically these aren’t cute desk supplies but, they are still cute! If you’re like me and bring your laptop home from work, a good work bag or tote bag is a must! I have several tote bags that I use but one of my favorites is a Kate Spade bag that has cupcakes and french macarons all over it. In my opinion, a perfect bag has pockets inside, is big enough to fit my Macbook, and has a strap long enough for me to put it on my shoulder. Here are some of my favorites including a Dagne Dover tote, which I am dying to buy!

For the Classic Gal

If you want to give your desk a more modern and sleek look, Kate Spade is a must! Their desk accessories and witty and classic looking so they will never go out of style. Here are some of my favorite desk Kate Spade supplies!

For the Quirky Gal

If you’re more quirky like me (I have a tape dispenser in the shape of a shoe), these Ban.do desk accessories are right up your alley. Ban.do is more colorful and playful than most desk supplies but that is why I love it!

For the Rustic Gal

Anthropologie and Rifle Paper Co. have some really cute desk accessories if you want a more rustic look. I can honestly say that I am obsessed with Rifle Paper Co. and everything they create. Below are some of my favorite picks from Anthropologie and Rifle Paper Co.

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My Favorite Thrift Stores in Manhattan

best thrift stores in manhattan

Something my mom and I love to do together is going to thrift stores. We love looking around at all the different knick-knacks and finding good deals on designer stuff. So when I was planning our trip to New York City, of course, I had to do some research on thrift stores. We went to both thrift stores and vintage shops while we were in New York City, but I found that a lot of the vintage shops offered truly vintage stuff, like stuff from the 60’s and 70’s at a much higher price point. I was more interested in finding designer stuff and unique knick-knacks. Below are four of my favorite thrift shops I visited well in Manhattan. I also created a Google Map with all of these stores in Manhattan.

Be sure to check out my 7 Sweet Spots in NYC blog post to read about my all my favorite bakeries and desserts in Manhattan! Or check out the travel section of my blog to see all my travel posts!

 

Housing Works Thrift Shops Manhattan_best thrift stores

While we were in New York we stopped at three different Housing Works thrift shops. They have many locations all throughout Manhattan and each location has a variety of items. The first two we went to, we didn’t really find anything worth purchasing. We found a lot of the items to still be expensive. I’m talking like $75 for a visibly used Banana Republic dress. But at the last location we went to, I found a brand new, still with tags, Bloomingville pitcher for only $8 and it was still selling online for almost $30! There was also a set of matching Bloomingville mugs for $3 a piece! I highly recommend checking out Housing Works, but be aware each location is different and some stuff can still be expensive.

bloomingville pitcher and mugs from housing works thrift shop in manhattan
The cute Bloomingville pitcher I found and the matching mugs.

 

angel tree thrift shop manhattan_best thrift stores

We also stopped at Angel Street Thrift Shop and found it to be very similar to Housing Works Thrift Shop. Some stuff was still kind of expensive and other stuff was honestly just junk. Although I will say that while digging through a pile of tops, I was able to find a grey wool Lacoste sweater for only $6! Score!

Lacoste Sweater From Manhattan Thrift Store
Only $6 for this wool Lacoste sweater!

 

Chelsea Flea Market Manhattan_best thrift stores

I know Chelsea Flea Market isn’t a thrift store and it’s only open on Saturday and Sunday but this place had the coolest stuff.  One of the things I loved most about Chelsea Flea Market was that it is a traditional flea market that sells antiques, art, vintage jewelry, and clothes. There were a lot of knick-knacks, artwork, and vintage clothing and jewelry. My mom managed to find a gorgeous Ted Baker London Dress for only $10! I also saw a pair of Tory Burch jeans that were only $12 but unfortunately, they weren’t in my size.

 

Goodwill Manhattan_best thrift stores

My favorite of all the thrift stores we went to was Goodwill. We went to a location in lower Manhattan but they have locations throughout Manhattan. I swear, I honestly could have spent all day going through the racks of stuff. There were tons of J.Crew and Banana Republic for super cheap. You can find a nice Banana Republic blouse for just $8. I found a really cute Marc Jacobs sweater that was only $30, but I couldn’t justify purchasing it because I live in Florida and it never gets cold. If you have time to go to only one place, I would highly recommend going to Goodwill. Just remember to give yourself time to go through all the clothes!

Goodwill Manhattan_Marc Jacobs Thrift Store Find
This Marc Jacobs sweater would have been a steal at $30!

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7 Sweet Spots in New York City

sweet spots in new york_ dominique ansel bakery_cronut

My recent trip to New York City was filled with lots of tasty foods and if you know me at all, you know I am all about the sweets! I did a lot of research before going to New York City and am happy to share with you all, my favorite sweet spots in the city. Trust me, there were a couple of spots that I wanted to go to but because I can only eat so many cookies before going into a diabetic coma, I didn’t get a chance to go to them. I plan on going to New York City again so if there are any bakery spots or food places, in general, you want to recommend, let a sista know! I also wrote a post that includes my Favorite Thrift Stores in Manhattan so be sure to check it out! Or check out the travel section of my blog to see all my travel posts!

sweet spots in new york city_doughnut plant

Doughnut Plant

Doughnut Plant invented the crème brûlée doughnut so of course, we had to try it. We ended up getting a creme brulee doughnut, pistachio doughnut, strawberry doughnut, rose doughnut, strawberry doughnut, and a cinnamon roll doughnut. The Rose doughnut was a little pricey at $5 but, I had never tasted something like that before. It was a traditional yeast doughnut glazed with a combination of donut icing and rosewater. The crème brûlée doughnut was also delicious. The inside custard reminded me of acrème brûlée and the hard sugar outside added a really nice touch. We weren’t too impressed with the other doughnuts we got but they have many different options on their menu that include both cake doughnuts and yeast doughnuts.

sweet spots in new york_doughnut plant rose doughnut

The crème brûlée doughnut on the left and the rose doughnut on the right.

sweet spots in new york city_laduree_french macaron

Ladurée

French macarons are one of my favorite desserts and even though I’ve been to Ladurée before, I couldn’t help but go again in New York City. I’ve had many French macarons but somehow, Ladurée manages to make the best french macaron I’ve ever had. They’re definitely not cheap but boy are they good. I wanted to try one of their French pastries but since we had just eaten at Dominique Ansel Bakery, I couldn’t imagine eating another rich pastry again.

sweet spots in new york ctiy_waffles and dinges_belgium waffle

Waffles and Dinges

We came across Waffles & Dinges while we were walking around Central Park and I’m so glad we did. The smell from the stand took me back to my trip to Europe and the Belgian waffles tasted almost good as eating them in Belgium. They offer a wide range of toppings and you can eat it on the go. We got a strawberry and whipped cream waffle and a speculoos waffle and I’m honestly drooling right now talking about it.

sweet spots in new york city_dominique ansel bakery_cronut

Dominique Ansel Bakery

The whole reason we went to Dominique Ansel Bakery was because they invented the cronut. Once we went in and saw all the other delicious pastries we couldn’t help ourselves but order a bunch of other pastries. Of course, we got a cronut in the flavor of the month, which happened to be a strawberry and cream flavor but, we also got Nutella pastry, a DKA, a peanut butter and jam pastry, and an almond pastry. The Cronut was so much better than I had imagined and I highly recommend getting one. I also recommend getting a DKA, or five. They’re soft and flakey in the center but kind of hard and sweet on the outside. If you can, try to get there early and also on a weekday otherwise you’ll be waiting in line to get your hands on a cronut during the weekend.

sweet spots in new york_dominique ansel bakery_cronut_dka

Love at first sight looking at a cronut. On the right, a DKA and almond pastry.

sweet spots in new york city_milk bar_crack pie

Milkbar

Before we went to New York City, I watched the Netflix episode of Chef’s Table with Christina Tosi, the creator of Milk Bar. I heard about Milkbar before but, it wasn’t until after I watched the Chef’s Table that I was dying to go there. While we were there we got three cookies, Birthday Cake Truffles, Crack Pie, and Cereal Milk soft serve. When I tasted the Cereal Milk soft serve, I was instantly taken back to being five years old, sitting at the breakfast table, eating a bowl of cereal, watching cartoons on the weekend. The Crack Pie was also really good but a little too rich for me. The cookies were also both hard on the outside and soft on the inside. Before we left New York City, we stopped at Milkbar one last time and I got some cookies and Birthday Cake Truffles to bring back to Florida.

sweet spots in new york city_milk bar ice cream

The original Milkbar Cereal Milk soft serve with cereal. Right, my mom and I eating Cereal Milk soft serve.

sweet spots in new york city_magnolia bakery

Magnolia Bakery

Magnolia Bakery is also a must if you’re in New York City. They are most well known for their cupcakes and banana pudding. When I was there we got an order of banana pudding, two cupcakes, and a Blueberry Jamboree Icebox Dessert. The banana pudding was the best banana pudding I have ever had and I live in the South so that’s saying something. It wasn’t heavy like the traditional banana pudding that I’ve had, it almost seemed like it was a combination of pudding and whipped cream because it was on the lighter side. The cupcake was also really good but, if you’re going to get one thing here, get the banana pudding.

sweet spots in new york_magnolia bakery banana pudding

I was so excited to try Magnolia Bakery’s Banana Pudding that I put too much in my mouth.

Levain Bakery

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to go to Levain Bakery while I was in New York City but a co-worker who was in New York City the week after me brought me back some cookies from the bakery so I got to try some. Let me tell you I am so sad that I wasn’t able to try them while I was in New York City, fresh out of the oven. Even though they were a day old, they were still incredibly delicious and I honestly can’t imagine how they must have tasted fresh out of the oven. The cookies were nice and hard on the outside yet, soft and doughy on the inside. Needless to say, they are 100% worth $4 and worth the wait.

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My Bone Broth Diet Experience

bone broth diet review

So after I gained five pounds during the holidays from all the cookies and cheese, I knew I needed to reset my body and get back on track with eating healthy. I already tried the 21 Day Fix and Whole30 so I wanted to try something different. I heard about the Bone Broth Diet through someone at work and decided to give it a try. Not to mention, I was already drinking bone broth with my breakfast. Here are some things that I liked and didn’t like while I was on the Bone Broth Diet. If you would like to read my daily diaries on the diet, I grouped them by Week 1, Week 2, and Week 3. Or if you would like to read about my other diet experiences, visit here!

About The Bone Broth Diet

The two main rules you follow on the Bone Broth Diet are that you must eat Paleo 5 days a week and you must consume nothing but bone broth two days a week. If you want to learn more about the Bone Broth Diet, visit Dr. KellyAnn’s website and also Kettle & Fire’s 21 Day Bone Broth Plan. Both of those sites were great resources when it came to learning more about the diet and its benefits.

I also want to clarify that I made my own bone broth from scratch once during the entire diet. It’s not that it was hard or time-consuming, I just enjoyed the taste of Sprout’s organic bone broth better. Not to mention, it’s much harder than you would think to find chicken feet. Who would have thought? The recipe I used to make bone broth was from a coworker but this one from Wellness Mama is very similar

What I liked…

One of the things I loved about the Bone Broth Diet was the large amounts of collagen I was consuming. Prior to the Bone Broth Diet, I had been adding Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides to my smoothies and acai bowls because of all the great benefits collagen offers. Collagen helps promote skin elasticity, stronger nails and hair, supports joint health, and so much more. By drinking several cups of bone broth a day, the amounts of collagen I was consuming was at an all-time high and I could definitely see a difference. My nails were stronger, my joints weren’t hurting anymore, and my stomach wasn’t feeling bloated.

Another thing I loved about the Bone Broth Diet was that it didn’t really involve measuring portions and I didn’t have to count any calories. I have tried Weight Watchers, 21 Day Fix, My Fitness Pal, and none of them worked for me because I had to either measure what I was eating or count calories. Dieting is bad enough because you are restricting yourself from certain foods, add in counting calories and it’s ten times worse. Don’t get me wrong, I know I shouldn’t eat fifteen bananas in one sitting but as long as it is on the approved foods list and I wasn’t fasting, I could eat as much as I wanted.

What I didn’t like…

One thing that I found very annoying on the Bone Broth Diet was that it involved quite a bit of planning when it came to my exercise schedule and fasting days. I had been going to the gym several times a week before I started the diet and I wanted to continue going but, since I was fasting some days of the week, I had to map out which days I could go to the gym and which days I couldn’t because I was fasting.

Another thing I found annoying while on the Bone Broth Diet was the lack of variety when it comes to bone broth. At my local grocery store, Publix, they sell one kind of bone broth and at Sprout’s they sell several brands of bone broth but they are all either chicken or beef flavored. As I said earlier, I only made bone broth once while on the diet and while I could have made my own different flavored bone broth, I am not sure how easy it would be to find some deer or bison bones. I am sure over time there will be more flavors available but switching between beef bone broth and chicken bone broth got real old, real quick.

Would I ever do it again?

So now you might be asking me, would you ever do the Bone Broth Diet again? Probably not. Throughout the course of the nearly three weeks, I only lost 5 pounds. I lost that in the first two weeks of the Whole30! It was discouraging to only have lost 5 pounds and also frustrating to have to plan out which days I can work out because of the fasting. While I might not ever do the Bone Broth Diet again, I will continue to drink bone broth with my breakfast.

I’m currently working on a blog post that compares my experiences with the Bone Broth Diet, Whole30, and 21 Day Fix so stay tuned for that!

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