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Tips for Working (and Blogging) Smarter, Not Harder

By  April 16, 2015

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As a blogger and freelance writer, I work in a lot of remote destinations — including coffee shops, hotel lobbies and moving vehicles, just to name a few. I’m the type of girl that wear a lot of hats – so whether it’s my work or my wardrobe, I’ve become a minimalist at heart. Work/life balance has always been something that’s evaded me (even after I quit my full-time job, surprisingly).

As a result, I’m constantly looking for ways to work more efficiently. Here’s two of my top tips for working smarter – not harder. (For the rest of ‘em, click on over to read this post).

  • CANNED RESPONSES: I use Gmail’s Canned Responses feature religiously. For instance, I often receive emails asking for everything from my media kit to advice on how to start a blog. I have responses set up for most of these inquiries, so I just click the appropriate response and voila.
  • STOCK IMAGES: You know those cute brunch Instagrams you take 10 hours to stage? Or that awesome photo of your city’s skyline? KEEP THEM! Maintaining a folder of my own images to use for blog posts has saved me tons of time — plus, it’s a great way to back-link to your own content and social channels. I organize mine in a way that is easy to search (travel, cold weather style, food pictures, etc).

Contributing Editor, Hallie Wilson is the blogger behind corals + cognacs, an almost-daily dose of life and style. Here, she shares outfit inspirations, wardrobe creations and general musings on her evolving list of latest obsessions. Offline, Hallie takes time to enjoying life’s little luxuries – like shoe shopping, manicures, and Zara.

Diane Kruger Is the New Face Of Martell

By  April 15, 2015

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Diane Kruger is making moves beyond the best-dressed list and the beauty counter to spend some time at the bar.

The Bridge actress was just named Martell Cognac’s Tricentenaire Celebration Ambassador to toast to the brand’s 300-year anniversary. The self-confessed Francophile stepped in front of Mary McCartney’s camera at the iconic Palace of Versailles in Paris to launch the search for Martell’s next 300.

Kruger will identify 300 “ones to watch” around the world whose combined cultural contribution across gastronomy, art, fashion, mixology, and entertainment that epitomize French Art de Vivre in the 21st century for one of the oldest of the great cognac houses. “Although I still consider Paris my home, I spend a lot of time on the road and am pleased to see how the French Art de Vivre lifestyle is truly permeating contemporary society on an international scale,” Kruger said in a statement.

The honorees will be announced in June in a series of celebrations worldwide as well as a spectacular at the Palace of Versailles on May 20. Plus, the brand will release four new limited edition blends that rested in barrels made from a 300-year old oak tree in homage to the brand’s founder.

We’ll raise a glass to that. Cheers!

How to Make More Space in Your Closet

By  April 14, 2015

Not everyone is blessed with killer closet space. If you live in a big city like New York, then your chances of having a big closet are slim to none. Lucky for you I have some tips on how to maximize your closet space like a champ.

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Slimline Hangers
If you haven’t upgraded to Slimline hangers then you clearly have been living under a rock. These hangers have changed more closets than I can count.  Not only are these hangers great looking, they will add more space to your closet than you could ever imagine. 

Hanging Jewelry Bags
Don’t sleep on a hanging jewelry bag. Most people think of these for traveling purposes only but they can be really useful in your closet too. They have tons of different options at places like the Container Store, so find a few that you like and maximize your dressing space pronto.

Stylish Boxes or Luggage
Incorporating fun hatboxes, vintage luggage, and trunks into your space not only looks amazing but it adds additional storage. Try keeping your scarves, hats, belts, and other random accessories in these boxes to save space.

What techniques are you using to maximize your closet space? image via http://gcinteriors.co.uk 

Lauren Messiah, is a Los Angeles based stylist and the creator of LaurenMessiah.com, a blog about designer deals, the hottest trends, and Lauren’s life as a fashion stylist.Lauren styles some of Hollywood’s most successful women in entertainment, celebrities, fashion editorials, and national ad campaigns. Lauren has been featured in Marie Claire, Vogue Italia, Grazia, WWD, OK! Magazine and Health Magazine.

Cassey Ho's Fabulously Fit Summer Slim Down Tips

By  April 09, 2015

cassey-ho-hot-bodyIdeally, we wish Cassey Ho would just be our personal morning wakeup call, boosting us out of bed with a nutritious breakfast and a private class of her POP Pilates© workout to start our day with. But while we can’t have the internationally renowned fitness instructor and Blogilates founder all to ourselves, having all of Ho’s tricks and tips at our disposal in her latest book, Hot Body Year-Round, is pretty much the next best thing. While the specifics surrounding achieving your happiest, healthiest body yet are in this must-have bestseller, here are Ho’s fundamentals to serve as the foundation of your summer slim down plan.

1. Always carry a water bottle with you at all times to stay hydrated! Drinking enough water is essential for keeping you from being bloated, it fuels your workouts, plus it is essential for keeping your intestinal tracts moving! Try to drink around 2-3 liters a day or until your urine is nearly clear.

2. Find a workout that you actually look forward to. If you’re dreading your next workout, then that is not the workout you should be doing. Your exercise regimen should challenge you, but it should also be something you jump out of bed wanting to do everyday. If it doesn’t bring you happiness, you’re less likely to stick to it – meaning you’re less likely to lose those pounds.

3. Replace your refined carbs with veggies! This will cut out excessive calories from your diet plus add in a bunch of vitamins and minerals to keep you glowing. For example, instead of having a burger with regular buns, have a burger wrapped in lettuce!

4. Write down everything you eat in a Fit Journal. By recording your food, you will be more conscious of how much you’re eating. When you become mindful, then you begin to understand when you’re hungry vs. when you’re craving. Recording food is a big help for many people looking to lose weight.

Day in the Life: Kara Goldin, Founder and CEO of Hint Water

By  April 09, 2015

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She’s a mother of four, a former tech exec, a current brand CEO, and a dog lover, but we think the definition “a very busy woman” is most fitting for Kara Goldin. As the founder of the oh-so-delicious, zero calorie, preservative and unnatural sweetener-free Hint Water, developed in response to the growing number of drinks containing unnecessary additives and sweeteners, Goldin has the whole balancing act pretty much perfected. She’s had years of practice, though, having been the Vice President of Shopping and E-Commerce at AOL in the past. Selected among only 10 other women as Fortune’s 2011 “Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs,” her business smarts and inventive nature is inspirational. Future female CEOs, take note!

5:30 a.m.: Wake up. Latte! Scan email quickly. After the dogs, Sadie and Buster, have been fed I throw on my workout clothes and head out the door with them (and my husband). We live in Marin and hike a few miles into the Marin Headlands. Its my meditation and daily exercise… I grab a bottle of hint® to keep me hydrated.
6:30 a.m.: Run one of my kids to the bus to school. Scan more emails… Drink a protein shake or green juice of some sort (which I make—still has all the fiber). Grab a bottle of hint® for the road. That’s two bottles under my belt before my shower!
7:30 a.m.: Quick shower. While my kids are eating, I chat with them about the day ahead. Get dressed and head out the door to run them to school.
9:00 a.m.: I’m usually on a conference call during my 30 minute drive into my office in San Francisco. Dogs join me on the drive and at the office.
10:00 a.m.: Monday morning Senior Team meeting today! Excited about all of the amazing progress we are making on our e-commerce and subscription business. We also take a look at all of the great customer feedback—so nice to know who our customers are and their love for the hint® brand!
12:00 p.m.: Lunch with the American Heart Association Go Red team! I am chairing their luncheon this year. We all agree that sugar and sweeteners are the number one indicator for heart disease. Its nice to be working towards similar goals.

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1:30 p.m.: Check in with the Marketing and Sales Teams. They always have something exciting to share!
2:30 p.m.: Catch up on emails: over 1,000 today!
3:30 p.m.: Working on major celebrity deal. Conference call needed to iron out more details. Can’t wait! Drinking a hint® while discussing.
4:15 p.m.: Quick meeting with two of our great investors—Porter Gale and Leslie Blodgett. No particular agenda, just catching up and asking me how they can help. How great are they! And they try our newest flavors in the works… the advantages of being an advisor!
6:00 p.m.: Home for dinner. Catch up with the kids on their homework and their day. I’m famous for asking them what they liked and what they didn’t like about their day. I think its important to celebrate both.
7:30 p.m.: Hang with the family and with the dogs. Breathe!
9:00 p.m.: Hug kids before they are going to bed. Come back upstairs to finish looking at important emails.
10:00 p.m.: Read by the window or a little TV. Netflix is my favorite!
10:30 a.m.: Sleep! I need 7 hours sleep minimum a night when I am not traveling. I go to sleep thanking “whoever” for allowing me my life and this day above ground. Thankful!

The Nomadic Life: Phoenix, Arizona

By  April 09, 2015

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We are heading into that time of the year where we are really, really, really sick of winter. There is a limit to the number of days we can layer and layer until we are so bundled we actually waddle around instead of walk. Understandably, our dreams are filled with visions of a magical place that lives in a constant state of warm. A place where the polar vortex is an urban legend and you never leave home without your bathing suit. We found that place in Phoenix, Arizona. Please book us a one-way flight, and include these things below in the itinerary.

Stay: The Royal Palms Resort and Spa
This place has enough going on that you actually don’t even have to leave. Spa, yoga classes, cabanas, alcohol… just to namedrop a little.

Peruse: Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA)
Home to a large contemporary art scene, the SMoCA is a place of interest for those interested in getting their culture on.

Eat: Joyride Taco House
You can’t go to Phoenix and not expect great tacos. For that expectation we give you Joyride. Hello, their motto is “ride in hungry, ride out happy,” after all.

tomboy kc bioTOMBOY KC is a fashion and lifestyle blog written by actress Katie Cassidy and pint-sized real-life friend, Lynsey Eaton. Focused on personal style that is, well, personal, TKC is a place for smart and opinionated (read: sarcastic) women to join together and accumulate stilettos while collectively wearing their sneakers…everywhere. Self proclaimed nomads, when the girls aren’t traveling for work or buying two of everything (one apiece, you see), you can find them sitting on Lynsey’s couch eating pizza and drinking champagne in men’s pajamas while waxing poetic about the present state of culottes. Feel free to come on over.

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner: 5 Foolproof Restaurant Quality Recipes

By  April 07, 2015

Comforting, affordable, and relatively easy to prepare, chicken is one of my weekly must-haves at least once a week. Sometimes more. It’s just so easy to remix into any flavor. Asian, Caribbean, Greek, Mexican, or all-American. Sauteed or deep fried, oven baked or fresh off the grill; it’s all good. I take a special pride in exceptionally delicious chicken recipes, because so often chicken can be blah and boring. These recipes have been tried and tested so you know they’re super yummy and super easy! Here are five of my favorite chicken recipes, all found online.

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Jamie Oliver’s Chicken in Milk
I know. The name sounds less than appetizing. But trust and believe, Jamie Oliver’s Chicken in Milk will be some of the most succulent, melt in your mouth chicken you’ll ever make at home.

Skinnytaste Chicken Ropa Vieja
Skinnytaste is one of my favorite online recipe resources, and the Skinnytaste Cookbook is a must own, in my opinion. Her recipe for Chicken Ropa Vieja is light and incredibly flavorful. Next thing you know, you’ll be making your own burrito bowls at home with the leftovers!

Mushroom Asiago Chicken by CherylStyle
Mushrooms = Umami flavor and this chicken dish is all about umami. It’s got a deep, lingering deliciousness thanks to the simmered mushrooms and the tang of Asiago cheese. Definitely a keeper.

Sam Sifton’s Butter Chicken
First of all, click here for all of The New York Times popular chicken recipes. Second of all, make sure you try the butter chicken. Indian food can be easy if you just find the right recipe, and Sifton’s step by step makes it look easy despite the bevy of ingredients.

Trinidad Stew Chicken from the Naparima Girls High School Cookbook
Any Trinidadian worth their salt has a copy of the classic Naparima Girls High School Cookbook, and this has become the definitive stew chicken recipe for Trinis around the world. Succulent and slightly sweet, once you’ve tried it you’ll only want more.

Image via Sam Sifton’s Butter Chicken.

Contributing Editor, Patrice Grell Yursik is the creator of Afrobella.com, one of the first blogs to celebrate the beauty of natural hair and ladies of all skin tones and sizes. Affectionately called the Godmother of Brown Beauty Blogging, Patrice takes her readers inside unique beauty, fashion and cultural experiences.

Sweet Spring Spirits to Sip on Easter

By  April 03, 2015

Finally, the winter frost hast melted away, making a path for Peter Cottontail to follow for Easter. If you have hosting duties for the holiday, you may need more than a chocolate egg or another treat to satiate your sweet tooth. While the little ones hunt for the Easter eggs, relax with ones of these luscious libations with the rest of your guests and sip the taste of spring!

Springtime Punch – created by Enzo Cangemi

Springtime-Punch

14 oz. Bombay Sapphire gin

7 oz. St-Germain artisanal French elderflower liqueur
1 spring of sage
6 oz. Fresh guava juice
6 oz. Lemon juice
Black peppercorn

Build with ice in punch bowl and stir. Serves 5-7 people.

Spring Peeper

Spring-Peeper

1 ½ oz. Sauza Blue Silver 100% Agave Tequila
1 ½ oz. frozen limeade
1 oz. water
1 oz. pear juice
Sugar for rimming glasses (optional)
Lemon wedge for garnish

Combine all ingredients in a glass and serve over ice with or without a sugar rim. Add a lemon wedge for garnish.

Cherry Blossom Tini

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1 ½ oz. Cîroc Vodka
½ oz. Orange Liqueur
½ oz. Cranberry Juice
¼ oz. Fresh Lime Juice
Dash of Bitters

Combine the ingredients in a cocktail shaker over ice. Shake and strain into a martini glass and garnish with a lime wedge.

Sangria Flora

Sangria-Flora

3 Cups Sauvignon Blanc or Dry white wine
¾ Cups St-Germain artisanal French elderflower liqueur
5 Fresh Strawberries (halved)
5 Fresh Raspberries
5 Fresh Blackberries
10 Fresh Grapes

Stir ingredients in a carafe. Let the mixture soak for 15 minutes (or longer if desired), then pour into ice-filled glasses. *The fruits listed are merely suggestions. Many combinations of local, seasonal fruit will work nicely with St. Germain. Be creative! Serves 4-6 people.

Peach Swizzle

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1 1/2 oz. Cruzan Peach Rum
1/2 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
1/2 oz. Simple Syrup
Soda Water
Mint Sprigs
Dash of Orange Bitters

Lightly muddle a Mint Sprig in the bottom of a Collins glass. Add remaining ingredients and stir. Add ice to the glass and top with Soda Water. Add one dash of Orange Bitters. Garnish with a lightly slapped Mint Sprig.

Spring Cleaning: Little Life Lessons

By  April 03, 2015

Here’s a frightening fact: We’re a quarter of the way through 2015. When did that happen?!

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Around this time of year, I always find it beneficial check-in with my New Year’s resolutions and do a little mental spring-cleaning of sorts.

New calendar months – and new seasons – feel like turning to a fresh page of paper in your favorite notebook, and there’s something really empowering about the feeling of a fresh start. I could write a book on “If I knew then what I now know,” (and perhaps I’ll do that in the future). I’ve learned a lot in the last 20-some years — both good and bad — and suffice it to say, I’ve finally found my rhythm in life… I think. And the little life lessons in this post read are a huge part of that.

As a result, here are a few of the thoughts and lessons I’ve collected throughout my life so far. (To read the rest of my favorite mantras and motivations, click on over to this post: 29 Things I’ve Learned in my 20’s.)

heart-balloons-urban-outfitters1. Things happen to us at different times in our lives. I’ve spent lots of time worrying that I don’t have what others do at my age, but I know that I’m living the unique life I’ve been given and that’s the way it’s meant to be.
2. You have two assets that you can never get back once you’ve lost them: your body and mind.
3. Don’t feel bad about saying “no” to activities, obligations and people that don’t add genuine value to your life.
4. Life is easier when you learn to accept an apology that never came. Don’t hold grudges — the only person you’re hurting by doing this is yourself.
5. Don’t compare your behind-the-scenes to someone else’s highlight reel. This is easy to do in the age of social media, but as they say — comparison is the thief of joy.

Contributing Editor, Hallie Wilson is the blogger behind corals + cognacs, an almost-daily dose of life and style. Here, she shares outfit inspirations, wardrobe creations and general musings on her evolving list of latest obsessions. Offline, Hallie takes time to enjoying life’s little luxuries – like shoe shopping, manicures, and Zara.

 

Day in the Life: Theresa Krier, Founder of Big T NYC

By  March 26, 2015

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Theresa Krier understands backstage chaos behind the scenes at New York Fashion Week. After working with beauty brands to primp models for the runway, she noticed the leggy ladies seemed sleepy but still skipped the sodas to save themselves from bloat. The observation prompted the entrepreneur to seek out a better option with premium-grade, couture teas. Big T NYC took over Tracy Reese’s show in February to keep models and editors alike hydrated and hyped for the show. Glam caught up with Krier post-NYFW to see what she and the brand have brewing:

6:00 a.m.: My alarm goes off. And then I press snooze at least 2 times. I know it’s not ideal for quality sleep, but it just feels so good knowing that I get to sleep for a little bit longer.
6:30 a.m.: Make Big T NYC Unexpected Fling organic green tea… it takes about 4 minutes to steep after I’ve boiled the water so I use that time to grab my journal and find a cozy place in my living room that’s full of sunlight. Then I sip on my tea and write in my journal. I like this part of my day a lot… I’ve been keeping a journal since I was 9 years old. I write about whatever is on my mind… both personal and professional (since, as an entrepreneur, they’re so intertwined anyways). I also include something I’m grateful for. It helps set a positive tone for the day ahead.

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7:00 a.m.: I have a pop-up tea bar later in the day, so need to be ultra productive during the day in order to accomplish everything else that needs to get done. I start by checking emails while eating a light breakfast: whole grain cereal with almond milk topped with organic raspberries. Then I map out the day into blocks of time, working on 3-4 major areas of the business each day. Today is innovation, supply chain, account management, and the pop-up tea bar.
8:00 a.m.: Head to yoga. I go to Yogamaya because I love my teacher Julie. Yoga feels like a mini massage while increasing my flexibility and overall strength.
9:15 a.m.: Get home, shower, lather myself in moisturizer (hair and body! I can’t get enough) and get ready for the rest of the day.
10:15 a.m.: Start working on new products…can’t reveal too much about it, but there are several things in the works, and they’re amazing!
12:00 p.m.: Lunch meeting with an entrepreneur friend at Markt. As a start-up entrepreneur, it’s nice to swap stories and learnings with people have been through or are going through similar experiences.
1:30 p.m.: Work on the operations part of the business. Admittedly, not my favorite part, but it’s critical to keep the tea made, packaged, and shipped to customers!
3:00 p.m: Meet with one of our accounts to go over Big T NYC sales and plan for the launch of our summer teas: Cold Brew Couture Tea! We do a taste-test, and they love the Tell-Tale Glow white bold brewed tea– it’s mellow and smooth and packed with beauty-boosting antioxidants. So many exciting plans…it makes me want summer to start NOW!
4:30 p.m.: Meet with my intern and barista to prep for our pop-up couture tea bar tonight. We make sure everything is packed up and start making the tea so that it’s fresh for the event. They have both been with Big T NYC for a while, so they know the drill. We have a great dynamic and work really seamlessly together.
5:45 p.m.: Arrive at the venue, quickly set up. Each person knows exactly what to do. One person sets up the space, while the other one makes sure that the tea is perfectly steeped, and starts pouring tea for guests.
6-8:00p.m.: Event is in full swing! I love talking with everyone at the event & introducing them to what will become their new favorite tea ☺ We have shots of tea for people to try the different flavors and then we make them a full cup of their favorite. It’s so fun seeing people’s expression when they try it for the first time.

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8:15 p.m.: Event is finished! Pack up everything and head out.
9:00 p.m.: Grab a late dinner & drinks with friends. It’s important to me that I make time to have a social life besides work. It keeps me sane! And ultimately more happy and productive.
11:00 p.m.: Get home and work a bit more. I’m really a night owl, so this is when most of my creativity and long term strategic planning happens.
12:00 a.m.: Climb into bed and fall asleep almost instantaneously.

Images courtesy of Big T NYC and Fashion/Style/Beauty