Full-time big girl, part-time blogger & am ready for 2017!

Happy Thursday, babes! It’s time to add a little Sparkle and Shine to the start of your holiday weekend and find out more about my blog hiatus.

I mean helllllllo, my blog presence is a present!

In the past few weeks, I’ve posted about College Fashion Week and shared my Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide, but those were my first posts since September. I disappeared. Call me Carmen Sandiego because where in the world did I go?

I know it’s only a little over a month, but it feels like an ETERNITY. I have never, EVER taken a break that long from blogging or from Total Sorority Move once I started contributing for them. Yes, life got stressful when I was at school – tons of school work and extracurriculars, but never to the point that I just completely stopped. Dropped down to only a few posts a month? Yes. Absolutely. But to just disappear out of the blue – never.

And the reason? Because I’m now working in the real world!!

If you don’t know, I graduated in May from Quinnipiac University. Since then, I’ve become an Account Coordinator at the PR firm Access Emanante. I’ve been doing PR for Philips Zoom, Philips Norelco, Philips Sonicare and assisting with a few other beauty consumer brands. I’ll be continuing to expand my consumer beauty/grooming niche in 2017 by adding NIVEA Men to my list of clients.

A little fun fact I wanted to share – I got interested in PR because of Sparkle and Shine. Over the years, tons of different companies and influencer programs have reached out to me. I love getting to know the brands that I am working with, finding out their goals, and helping them achieve their goal. It absolutely I’ve always seen one side of the realm, but wanted to see the other – see the decisions behind working with certain influencers, crafting the program, and activating it. After interning, I was hooked and knew that this was what I wanted to continue to do for the rest of my life. And now, here I am, living out my dream!

I’ve always dreamed of working in the city – that Sex in the City magic in the air, the lights, the people, the hustle and bustle. So landing a gig here was a dream come true. Except, the wonderful hour-fifteen minute commute was not something that got factored into the dream. I’ve traded in my noon classes for 5:30 AM alarms, yoga pants for business casual, and am on NJ Transit more than I am in my own car.

And in all these changes and getting accustomed to my new lifestyle, I had to put Sparkle and Shine on a little hold. I had to focus on myself and my future in the PR world- making sure I’m eating right and sleeping enough hours, finishing and starting tasks on the train to the office, and so much more. Many mornings, I would wake up and say I would start a blog post on the train or would say that I am going to answer blog e-mails. Then after showing the conductor my monthly train pass, I would shut my eyes, open my Nook app, or start answering all the text messages from my friends I was too tired to respond to the night before. Before I know it, I would by at Penn Station and ready for the work day. No blog work done and another promise to push it off later. Later, later, later – but wouldn’t happen.

So here I am now – December 22, 2016. A full-time PR professional, a part-time blogger, and ready to revamp myself as a blogger, re-finding myself in the blogging world, in 2017.

This is more than just an update on where I have been and it is definitely not a PSA about less posts coming in 2017. Instead, this is my promise to you for 2017. I’ve begun thinking about my content calendar, channeling in work strategies to Sparkle and Shine, been in touch with brands, and drafting posts.

Sparkle and Shine may have gotten but on the back burner, but for 2017 it’s the full course Thanksgiving style meal on the front burner.

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Get ready for the holidays with Sparkle and Shine & my ULTIMATE gift guide

Hey everyone!

Every time I get to write a blog post anymore, I am over-the-moon ecstatic.But when I’m surrounded by Christmas lights while listening to Jessie James Decker’s Christmas album, I don’t think I could be happier.

And with Christmas lights and Christmas decorations surrounding me, that means it’s time to Sparkle and Shine’s gift guide!!

This year, I’m not going to do my gift guide a little bit differently. As you know, life has been crazy since I started my full-time job (and I promise I’m working on a post about it!) – leaving me little time to review a bunch of different products for you.

SO, I’ve compiled some of my favorite posts and gift guides together to give you the ULTIMATE Sparkle and Shine gift guide! Check it out –

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For your sorority family…

Letters from Greek Streak

Dirty Rush novel

Reasons Why I Love You mason jar craft

Make your own canvas

New letters from Designs by Di

Jewelry from College Standard

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For your best friend…

DIY bejeweled photo collage letters

Concert tickets

Monogram sweatshirt from Gone Greek

DIY Sharpie Mug

Photo collage frame

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For your on the go friend…

A Vera Bradley duffle bag

An at home iced coffee machine

Wearsafe

On Location tours

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For your favorite fashionista…

A collection of trendy chokers

Skinny Coffee subscription

Rocksbox Subscription

A Lilly Pulitzer dress in her favorite print

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Don’t forget these perfect drug store beauty finds – perfect for stocking stuffers and white elephant grab bags!

Make sure to follow me on Pinterest, so you can pin some of your favorite crafts to your DIY board or pin your favorite gift to your wishlist board!

Happy shopping & happy holidays! 

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Hey! Remember when I went to College Fashion Week? Find out more about the event!

This post is sponsored by Her Campus Media and its College Fashion Week brand partners. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Sparkle and Shine possible!

Hey babes, miss me?

Let’s be honest, I know you have.

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Source: Jezebel

Life has been so totally crazy cause I started my big girl job as an Account Coordinator for the PR firm Access Emanate in NYC! (Post coming soon to tell you all about it – don’t worry!  As well as many other posts as I get my footing as a full-time working gal and part-time blogger) Because this post isn’t about that, it’s about my incredible experience at New York College Fashion.

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So for the longest time, during my commute to and from the city, I would try to put into words how much of an amazing time I had at New York College Fashion Week with my mom. Each time, I struggled – there are no worries to describe one of the most fabulous nights of my life with fellow bloggers, fashionistas, and some amazing brands!

If many of you know me, you know I’ll probably be late to my wedding (is the phrase wedding? Or is it funeral? If it is- that’s rather depressing. Either way, I’ll probably be late to both tbh), but my always early mom came with me. This meant I had plenty of time to stop by the different booth of the fabulous sponsors (Thanks, mom!)

If you followed along on SnapChat or Instagram, you were able to see so many of the awesome sponsor booths – such as MaidenformEuropean Wax Center, Boxed Water, Hanes, and Bertha Watches. There was so much time to interact with the vendors, learn more about their products, meet other bloggers, and eat some yummy Insomnia Cookies and candy!

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And when I did not think I could be enjoying the night anymore, it was time to kick off the show – where I got to sit front row as a VIP Press AKA coolest moment in my twenty-two years of life!

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The show itself was absolutely incredible! The models were all real college girls and they absolutely nailed it  – they looked so gorgeous and so confident. I love working with Her Campus because of how much they always empower women to be proud of themselves, love themselves, and be confident. In a room full of bloggers and Influencers who took opportunities upon themselves, real-girl college models, and upcoming-and-coming fashion designers, this empowerment was an incredible force!

The girls modeled in  four different shows (Study Chic ft. My Social CanvasFestival ft. Foray CollectiveGirl’s Night Out ft. Bow & Drap, and Rush ft. Ali & Ariel and Frill Clothing), which represented the many different moments in a college girls’ life. Just another way Her Campus keeps it real with us- they get what life is like!

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And of course my favorite look that repped Alpha Delta Pi!

Completing the looks were accessories from Rebecca Minkoff, shoes from Vince Camuto, perfume from Perfumania, and the perfect blowout from DryBar. No need to be Gigi or Kendall for that sound like a dream. And let me tell you, readers, those finishing touches all made the looks absolutely perfect. Just look at the pictures – they were stunning!

Hope you don’t think the fun is over…. Because it isn’t! What does every press get at events? Swag bags!!

I was so excited to get my first ever press swag bag, and let me tell you, Her Campus sure did not disappoint! Some of my personal favorites are pictured below – including  a FitBit Flex 2, Vince Camuto perfume, a free blowout from Drybar, and this super cute Rebecca Minkoff makeup bag!

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Here’s to this press event and many more experiences, thanks to Sparkle and Shine, now that I am back on my blogging grind! Hope you’re as excited as I am because I am back, baby!

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WHAT’S IN MY BAG?! {NEWEST VIDEO BLOG}

Happy Saturday, everyone!

So I know on Twitter, I keep mentioning that I’m going to do a video blog. Every time I planned to film, something ended up happening. BUT this week, I made sure that nothing stopped me from filming and editing a vlog for you.

To start my kick back (is that a term?) into vlogging, I decided to do one of my favorite videos to watch other vloggers do….

So head on over, subscribe to my channel, and find out WHAT’S IN MY BAG?!

 

Comment below with what some videos you want to me! I’m thinking about doing a “Chit Chat Get Ready With Me (#GRWM)” video about some exciting news. Let me know if you would want to see that!

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Head into the weekend with my current playlist

My weekend playlist

So confession time… I usually mooch off of two of my best friends’ Spotify playlists. Why make my own when Paul has the perfect country and going out playlists and Lo has everything I need when I want to drive with the windows down or cry over a boy with a giant container of chocolate icing?

However, I finally decided to make my own playlist for going out in the summer and I can’t.stop.listening.to.it. Even if I’m not going out, whether it’s in the car, the shower, or going for a run, I’m blasting this playlist!

I’ve added and adjusted to it, making it the perfect playlist for you to jam out to this weekend when you’re getting ready to go out with all of your friends (shoutout to everyone who’s back at school with their friends, I’m having serious graduate FOMO).

Here are some of my top picks for your pre-game playlist this weekend:

Closer by The Chainsmokers and Halsey // Girls Like by Tinie Tempah // My PYT by Wale //

How I Want Ya – Dawin Remix by Hudson Thomas // Bad Intentions by Niykee Heaton //

Does Ya Mama Know? (Dance Like That) #HEYNOW by 99 Percent // Sex by Cheat Codes 

Grove St. Party by Waka Flocka Flame // Say My Name by ODESZA //

R U Crazy – Radio Edit by Conor Maynard // Cold Water by Major Lazer and Justin Bieber //

I Can’t Stop Drinking About You – Chainsmokers Remix by Bebe Rexha //

Don’t Mind by Kent Jones // Mamacita by Travi$ Scott // White Girl by Shy Glizzy //

And of course my go-to jams that I’ve talked about in the past.

Check out the rest of the playlist here.

What songs can you not stop listening to this right now? Comment below and let me know!

 

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Lose weight and never step foot inside the gym…

So like every college kid this summer, I came home and realized that all those nights of drunk eating, sugar-filled drinks, and easy-to-grab chicken finger meals from the cafe really added to my waistline. And like every other college kid, I decided I wanted to make a change.

Except, I wanted to do more than just lose the weight I gained, then fall back into the old habits. I was now a college graduate and had my whole life staring back at me (which is like, really freakin scary). I ultimately won’t be going back to two AM diner trips after all night studying, tour de Franzias, or living life without a full kitchen. So much was going to change about my lifestyle, why not make fitness more of a priority?

At school, I would go to the gym a few times a week (well, I’d try to), but was always guaranteed one day a week because of a set Tuesday spin class with my GG-little, Taylor (who is now teaching! Go Tay!). I was never a fan of the gym because whether it was true or not, I feel like everyone always stared at you, peek over at how fast you were going on your machine, or judged you. In spin class, I liked how everyone seemed to be so focused on getting the most out of their own 45 minutes and listening to the instructor, that everyone was pretty much in their own little world with the instructor.

But now that I graduated, spin classes aren’t free….. unless you have a gym membership. I was always self-conscious at the gym, so why waste money on a gym membership? Or even worse, drop ten dollars per spin class? No, thank you! There had to be free, fun ways to work towards being healthier and avoid the gym.

So, I spent my summer rounding up great ways to get fit, lose weight, and avoid a gym! And after months, and weight loss and muscle gained, I’m sharing with you my fun ways to workout and never step foot inside a gym…

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Get off the couch and go for a run! // Trust me, I know it’s easier said then done. But I’m not talking easy, I’m talking free and easy right now.

The fall season is quickly approaching (buh-bye humidity, my hair can’t wait to see you leave), so the weather will be perfect for a morning run or after dinner to relieve stress from work. Put your earbuds in, relieve some stress, and get some fresh air!

If you aren’t currently a runner, there are tons of different apps to help you change your ways. If this past sentence described you more than you would like to admit, then the C25K app is definitely for you! All it takes is 3 days a week, 30 minutes each day, and in 8 weeks, the app will have you ready to run in your first 5k.

But if you are going to start running, you will need to download the free Nike+ Running app. It will monitor the distance you ran, how far you ran, and your average pace rate. Plus, another great feature is that the app will let you sync up your Spotify playlist! You can’t workout with a good playlist, am I right?

Count your steps // This one goes hand-in-hand with the last tip, but you don’t need to run to count your steps. Even better, you don’t need any fancy technology to do so, either. Before I bought my FitBit, I had the Pacer app (free, of course- can you tell I don’t get an app unless it’s free?). My entire family had it and we were able to add each other as friends and make a group, where we could all see who had the most steps per day. It created a competition between us- who had the most, who could reach their goal the fastest, etc. It added fuel to my fire to help me find ways to get extra steps – taking the stairs instead of the elevator at the mall, parking my car farther away when doing errands, and even marching in place when I would brush my teeth. I never realized I was supposed to be aiming for 10,000 steps a day. Before I started counting my steps, I wasn’t even close to getting this number. Now, I make sure I hit 10,000 steps every night before I go to bed. It was such a great step in kicking off my fitness journey.

Free fitness videos on YouTube // In high school, once I quit swimming, I would do Zumba Fitness on the Wii to stay in shape (despite my lack of rhythm..thanks mom and dad). However, as four years has now gone by, I knew most of the songs and dances already. I figured to take to YouTube one day to try to find routines. There were tons of videos and playlists put together for different levels of workout, different time lengths, and more. There were so many options!

After a few days of this, I got to thinking that there had to be some dances out there to some of the Billboard Top 100 songs. I searched “Cardio Fitness” and came across two fitness vloggers that I now do everyday…

The Fitness Marshall

As soon as I found Caleb on YouTube, I was obsessed with his channel. His personality comes through in each video, leaving me laughing as I work up a sweat. Caleb has dances to not only current hits, but as well as some of Britney Spears’ greatest hits – which can always get anyone dancing!

 

Dance Fitness with Jessica

One day in the car, an Ariana Grande song came on and I found myself moving along to The Fitness Marshall’s moves. I decided I wanted to switch it up and found Jessica, by going through my recommended stations. Jessica always kicks my butt, whether it’s a workout at home with her kids, a class routine, or a cell-phone recorded video (like my personal fave down below!)

Lastly // To kick off my fitness journey, after hearing a ton of positive reviews from many of my sorority sisters and vloggers, I decided to take the 28-day Advocare challenge. Though this wasn’t free, it definitely helped put me in a better mindset to start this journey. It helped rid my body of the different toxins that would weigh me down, help me feel more energized, and helped me learn more about what I should and should not be eating. For an extra jumpstart, I highly recommend Advocare!

I’d love to hear how you workout without the gym! Comment below and let me know. PLUS, if you decide to try any of these methods, I want to hear! I promise to respond back to all comments on this post and Instagram!

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Red Solo Cup, I fill you up! {Toby Keith Concert}

Happy Tuesday, babes!

This past weekend, I got to head back to my college stomping grounds (4o days post grad and I feel like it’s been forever) to see some of my best friends and then go to the Toby Keith concert at the Xfinity center in Hartford, CT.

After creating my first ever vlog of our annual country concert last year, I wanted to try again this year…..and in the excitement of seeing all of them since my graduation, I completely forgot to even record. I barely even posted a snap story of the concert cause I was just so excited to see them and be back together with them.

However, thanks to my little’s unlimited use of phone storage, we managed to take tons of pictures! Check them out below: 

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Make sure to go and check out the pictures on my Instagram – here’s the silly group shot and here’s my favorite of me and Paul! I’ll be commenting back on YOUR pictures if you stop by my Instagram TODAY!

Time to look into tickets for another concert – who do you recommend seeing live?

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