Monday, August 31, 2015

How to Save When Planning Your Next Trip | LADY BOSS

The world of airline tickets, tracking cheap flights, and navigating deals on hotel rooms is, quite frankly, a pretty strange one. We're all left wondering if there is a top secret formula savvy travelers use to score the best flight deals and discounted hotel rooms—and it’s not always clear what that formula is exactly. Where do we (us normal average travel folk) begin? And why do I somehow always end up in the middle seat? While there isn’t one magical answer, these simple tips and tricks will help you achieve affordable travel. And may even take the stress out of trip planning. Happy travels!

1. Last minute deals

The borderline obsessive planner in me cringes at this, but there are some incredible last minute deals to be had. Sites like Expedia or Cheap Carribean have entire sections dedicated to travelers looking for a quick turnaround deal. Hotel Tonight specializes in last minute hotel bookings (you can book up to seven days in advance) that are both affordable and stylish. Whether you need a hotel, flight or an all-inclusive vacation, the travel industry as a whole offers deep discounts for these last minute bookings to avoid unsold rooms or empty seats. If you don’t have a strict timeline or find yourself wanting to get away on a whim, this option might be perfect for you. Remember, last minute travel doesn’t mean you can’t go on a well-planned, thoughtful trip! The key is simply to be ready to book at a moments notice (and be flexible!). Maybe good things really do come to those who wait. 


This website is a lifesaver. If you’ve never heard of it, do yourself a favor and bookmark it immediately! Skyscanner compiles flight data from hundreds of airlines in order to provide you with the best deals on flights. In addition, the site allows you to customize your search depending on how flexible you are on dates and locations. For example, if you want to take a vacation in the month of March and have a few destination ideas in mind, Skyscanner will do all of the legwork for you. Simply enter your home city and the dates (exact dates or review prices for a whole month) and set the destination airport to “everywhere.” The site will show costs to travel to just about any city in the world. This feature is helpful when you have a budget of say, $500, but are unsure how far you can go. Hipmunk is another good resource that allows you to review flight costs over the course of a month. 

3. Be flexible

Deep breath, my fellow type-A ladies. Sometimes it can be hard, but one of the absolute best ways to save on your next vacation is to be flexible in any and all ways possible. I’ve been known to take it to the next level when it comes to planning a trip so this was certainly a hard one for me to accept. Even just the tiniest ounce of flexibility can really help! This includes things like adjusting the timing of your trip to avoid traveling during high season or flying on a weekday morning instead of on a weekend. Also, be strategic in your planning. Obviously everyone wants to escape winter weather and travel to the Caribbean in mid-January but it’s also one of the most expensive times to travel to the region. So something as simple as waiting until March or April can save hundreds of dollars on flights and hotels. Also consider alternative lodging such as apartment rentals or hostels which are often much more affordable (but still comfortable and stylish) than your average hotel. If your vacation itinerary is a whirlwind of five cities in two weeks, consider paring down a bit. You’ll save on transportation, and you’ll find the trip more enjoyable if you aren’t unpacking and repacking every other day. When you’re traveling, plans change often and unexpected surprises come up. Being flexible and keeping an open mind from the get-go will make your entire trip more enjoyable. 

4. Consider Nearby Airports

Many major cities in the U.S. and abroad have secondary airports that can often be much cheaper than the main city airport. Why? Landing fees vary from airport to airport and can play a big role in the cost of the ticket. Flying to or from an airport that has lower fees can ultimately mean lower prices for you. If you’re flying to or from a smaller airport (especially if your airport is regional instead of national or international), the limited number of available flights and airlines can drive the cost up. The bottom line is that airlines have a complicated system that determines ticket prices, and your best bet is to check nearby airports. Sites like Travelocityand Skyscanner allow you to search for nearby airports (and are a great place to start). Why fly to Miami when you can fly to Ft. Lauderdale (just 30 miles away) for $150 cheaper? Tip: Factor in extra ground transportation costs to ensure that you’re actually saving money by flying to a secondary airport. The last thing you want is to spend even more money and time on transportation when you arrive.

5. Loyalty Programs

Building a relationship with an airline or hotel via loyalty programs can be a huge money saver. This option takes a bit more research, but if you frequent the same airports or hotels, a loyalty program is a great option! Since it feels like there are approximately two million different airline and hotel loyalty programs (just me?) each with their own pros and cons, take the time to sit down and assess your travel needs. Some programs are free while others require you to sign up for a credit card and pay an annual fee. Think about the places you travel to most frequently. Include cities you travel to in order to see family, places you go for work, or even the city you’re originally from. What airlines fly out of those locations and which one are you flying with the most? Are there certain hotels you go back to time and time again? This can help you determine which program makes sense for you. All of your hard work will pay off when you enroll in a program—enjoy free checked baggage, priority check in, free wifi, and discounted upgrades. Happy trails!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

How to Exercise More Without Overeating | HEALTHY

As the warmer weather approaches and the sunshine is upon us, our fitness goals begin to come into focus. We think about slipping on those sundresses and tying up those bathing suits. We consider our health and exercise habits and ask ourselves, “Well…what are you waiting for?”

Spring is the perfect time to set goals and begin a new training routine. And as we start to take the time to exercise we are filled with a vision of discipline, achievement, and newness. Yet there can be snags along the way. Overeating is one of those problems that comes up over and over. During a workout we are expending calories, so it completely makes sense to find ourselves extra hungry after a killer workout. And we absolutely have to replenish our nutrients in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle and receive all of the benefits of our workout.

We should find comfort in knowing that it is normal to feel hungrier on the days that we are more active. But how can we control our cravings, while refueling properly, and avoid eating more than we’ve burned? Nutrition and exercise work together to bring us to our optimal point of health and a balanced lifestyle. If we harness our food intake in a way that supports our bodies, we can avoid those crazy "post-workout cravings," avoid overeating, and achieve our fitness goals. Here are a few tips on how to achieve that balance.

1. Drink lots of water.

When we are dehydrated, our hunger sensations are triggered and during workouts we are losing water through sweat while also expelling our sodium. If we don’t rehydrate by drinking water and eating hydrating foods, we often assume the emptiness we feel from lack of hydration is hunger. Most people only drink water when they are thirsty or to wash down food. But we need to be drinking water all of the time, even when we’re not feeling an immediate craving. Sipping cool water all day eliminates bloating, soothes our muscles and organs, and also allows us to tune into our true hunger.

2. Have pre/post-workout meals.

It is important to have a small snack or meal one to two hours prior to working out. Having the proper fuel in your body will enhance your workout and will also help you avoid feeling starved afterwards. A piece of fruit with a handful of nuts is a perfect example of a healthy, energizing pre-workout snack. Within a half hour after working out, allow yourself to have a small post-workout snack. A complex carbohydrate and protein would be the ideal combination to replenish the glycogen you expelled during your workout and to heal and strengthen the muscles you’ve worked. An example of a great post-workout snack would be a Greek yogurt with a half cup of blueberries.

3. Have healthy snacking food on hand.

Always having a healthy snack with you in your bag or at your desk is a great way to avoid overeating. Especially if you’re in high exercise mode, when a craving hits, instead of running to the vending machine it helps to have a nutritious snack on hand. In order to feel more satisfied choose a high protein snack, such as a handful of nuts or a rolled up piece of organic turkey. If you feel more satiated throughout your day, by the time you are ready to sit down for a nice meal, you are a lot less likely to make an unhealthy choice or eat extra helpings.

4. Treat yourself once in a while.

Allowing yourself an indulgence once or twice during your week will truly help avoid those crazy cravings without having a negative affect on all of your hard work. It has been scientifically proven that we always crave what we can’t have. When we give ourselves the option to indulge once in a while, we shift our perspective from one that says we’re sabotaging a new program to one that allows us to truly enjoy a treat after a week of challenging workouts. When we allow ourselves a few squares of dark chocolate or a frozen yogurt we will both get what we need and have less cravings for the kinds and amounts of food we are trying to avoid!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Crafting the Perfect Bath | BEAUTY

De-stressing is certainly in order after the holidays—and so is a little, extra warmth and tender loving care. While we'd all love a day at the spa, treatments can get a bit expensive, especially when we're trying to be smart with our budgets at the beginning of the year. So we recommend unwinding with a toasty and luxurious bath at home to feel refreshed and calmly reflect on your new year’s aspirations.
With that said, we thought it helpful to design a go-to shopping list for crafting a delicious at-home bathing experience complete with our favorite body cleansers, salts, soaks, moisturizers and the little extras that turn routine cleansing into a nighttime treat. The holidays are over—this shopping list is solely for you...enjoy!


For Cleansing and Foaming

This insanely yummy bath foam cleanses, moisturizes and soothes delicate skin while enveloping you in a soft scent of natural olive leaf extracts. Available at Amazon.
Rich like milk blended with vanilla, coconut and cream, this pure vegetable soap is a Godsend in winter. This 8oz bar is enhanced with shea butter and olive oil to both moisturize and protect your skin. Rich and creamy, this triple milled soap will last all winter long. Available at Amazon and

For Brushing

Made with natural cactus sisal bristles, use this to leave your skin looking bright, fresh and even. Use before bathing to dry: brush gently all the way up the body towards the heart to stimulate circulation or take inside the bath for an invigorating massage and cleanse. Beauty bonus: Promotes healthy skin circulation and removal of dead skin cells. Available at Aroma Therapy Associates.

For Lighting

Try this radiant mercury jar that shimmers like the starry winter night. This rich golden amber fragrance leaves your bathroom smelling cozy and inviting. Rich cedar wood and golden amber are infused with mandarin, vanilla and tobacco to enrich your nighttime bath with a warm, irresistible aroma. Available at Illume.

For Soaking and Scrubbing

This muscle soak is scented with pure sweet birch essential oil, known to naturally soothe sore muscles by stimulating sweat glands—allowing the body to release harmful toxins. Its wintergreen scent is perfect for the chilly months ahead and for opening up sinuses and relieving foot, neck, and muscle aches. We also love Pacha’s social initiatives to create better standards of hygiene in developing nations. Sold at Whole Foods and
We like to call this Pink Gold. Colored naturally with Hawaiian red salt and scented only with true geranium and rosewood essential oils, this bath soak truly leaves you feeling energized. Also works great as a full body scrub, too. Sold at Whole Foods and

For DIY Crafting

Feeling a bit worn out from the holidays? This DIY milk soak by Indie Lee will help you detox from the dancing and drinking. (As seen on Byrdie.) 

For Moisturizing

We can’t get enough of this luxurious nighttime mask designed to quench our skin’s thirst. This intensive moisture replacement mask complete with avocado and apricot kernel oil deeply and instantly quenches dry skin, with Japanese seaweed forming a barrier to prevent future dehydration and signs of premature aging. Beauty Bonuses: It’s free of parabens, sulfates and phthalates, removes dry elbow patches and aids in shaving. Available at Sephora.
This rich, non-greasy, hydrating body moisturizer is a favorite of ours—and many a beauty guru. Enriched with the finest skin-nurturing ingredients, this seductively rich cream leaves skin soft, smooth and beautifully moisturized. Works wonderfully as a hand lotion as well. Available at Kiehls.

For Snuggling

We adore this yummy knit for lounging and even throwing over our shoulders while on our computers. This toasty throw was designed for snuggling with after a nice bath. We love the warmth and style delivered by its cozy and luxurious ruffles. We also love layering this over bedding for added warmth and fashion appeal; file under “obsessed.” Available at Kohls.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

10 Steps to Self-Love | LIFESTYLE

Many people define success differently. To you, success may mean becoming a millionaire, finding the love of your life, or waking up every day on a tropical island. No matter how you define success, the first step to getting there is the same. Self-love.

Self-love is the first step towards becoming successful because you must first know that you deserve that success. If you don’t love yourself, you don’t fully believe you are good enough to reach success. You’ll always be one step behind. Almost at the finish line, but suddenly you’re too scared to cross it so you never do. You’re just watching people run by you while you stay in the same place.

When you love yourself, and I mean really love yourself, you have the power to accomplish anything you dream. You know you deserve to be successful, you know you deserve to be treated right, you know you deserve to eat healthy, and you know you deserve to live a life you love.

You also have to understand that self-love is not a destination; it’s a life long journey that we’re all on together. You may love yourself by leaps and bounds today, but tomorrow if you get fired from your job or your boyfriend/girlfriend breaks up with you, that self-love may diminish slightly. And that’s okay, we’re human, but what is not okay is to let outside forces determine our lifelong path.

We don’t have the choice to eliminate all pain and suffering from our lives because many times that pain is coming from an external force like family, society, or a loved one.

What we can choose though is the time we allow the negativity to affect us. We can sit in sorrow for months or we can feed ourselves with positivity and get back on track knowing and fully understanding that we are worthy of self-love.

When you get off track, come back to this post and follow these steps (in order) on how to love yourself.

1. Breathe.

2. State this mantra throughout the day, over and over: “I am love.”

3. Dress in attire that makes you feel confident. Wear what you love.

4. Walk with your shoulders back, head up, and smile on.

5. Be kind to everyone you encounter.

6. Have a spa day, get a massage, read a book in the park, pick up your favorite five-dollar coffee, take a hot bath with candles… Treat yo’ self!

7. Come back to the mantra, “I am love” and add, “I am love. I am worthy.”

8. Put your hand to your heart and sit in silence hearing and feeling only the sound of your heartbeat. Do this for at least one minute.

9. Breathe. Inhale exhale deeply and slowly.

10. Say this out loud: “I AM A SELF-LOVE WARRIOR!” (I recommend screaming it!)

Boom… you are now a Self-Love Warrior! Come back to these ten steps any time life gets in the way of your path towards success.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

5 Weekend Road Trips in the Mid-Atlantic | TRAVEL

We are back again with our weekend road trip travel series highlighting amazing cities and adventures that are easily accessible without spending much money or time traveling. We’ll be covering each geographical region of the U.S., and this time around we’re headed to the mid-Atlantic!
Not quite in the north or south, the mid-Atlantic enjoys the best of both worlds. Throughout the region there are many unique destinations that are easily accessible, budget-friendly, and incredibly charming. Though it wasn’t easy choosing just five, today we’re sharing our favorite mid-Atlantic spots for a quick weekend getaway.

Annapolis, Maryland

photo via

If you’re looking for a relaxed weekend and waterfront charm, look no further. Annapolis is a small town situated on the Chesapeake Bay, home to character, beauty, and history. Because the city is situated right on the bay, those who love being on the water will be head over heels for all that the city has to offer. In the warmer months, waterfront options are limitless. Sailing, cruises, kayaking, and canoeing are all part of the Annapolis experience.
If you’re keen to stay on land, there are still a number of fantastic options for you. From early on, Annapolis was often referred to as the “Athens of America” due to the city’s host of cultural activities, and that still holds true today. A stroll through historic Annapolis, the Banneker-Douglass Museum, and one of the city’s many festivals should absolutely be on your list when visiting. In the summer months, you can’t miss dining outdoors on a breezy patio, and feasting on Maryland’s famed steamed crabs.

The Appalachian Trail

photo via

It’s rare to find a quick destination that is easily accessible regardless of where you are in the mid-Atlantic, but if one exists, it’s the Appalachian Trail. Spanning from Georgia to Maine, the Appalachian Trail winds through just about every mid-Atlantic state, creating a number of mountainous areas to explore along its path. While the trail itself spans approximately 2,200 miles, most of the popular parts are located within various national and state park areas.
Though the full trail is daunting, taking in small portions along its path can be a breathtaking experience of scenery and history. Even though hiking is probably the first activity that comes to mind when thinking of the trail, there is much more to experience. A number of historic towns and sites dot the region including Harpers Ferry, a small town containing civil war remnants, and if you’re feeling adventurous, there are several camping sites throughout the area.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

photo via

If you’re hoping to get a city feel without the high prices of New York City, Philadelphia is the perfect pick. Though it’s chock full of beautiful art galleries, great food and shopping, Philadelphia is considerably less expensive than New York, and much easier to access for mid-Atlantic residents. There are a countless number of unique neighborhoods, unlimited food options, and fun cultural sites to explore. A few musts on your exploration of the city include Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, South Street, and Independence Park.
If food is your focus while traveling, Philadelphia won’t disappoint. Despite the clich├ęs, the Philadelphia food scene encompasses a lot more than just the cheesesteak (though we'll take one any day!). There are several neighborhoods and areas throughout the city, each with their own culinary flair. We love Honey’s Sit N’ Eat for an easy, inexpensive breakfast whileSerpico is a must if you’re looking for a special dinner spot.

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

photo via

Rehoboth Beach is a small, beach town just a little over two hours away from Philadelphia, and just under three hours away from DC. As one of the most easily accessible beaches in the mid-Atlantic, the spot makes for a perfect day trip regardless of where you are. Though you don’t necessarily think of the beach when you think of Delaware, the town’s boardwalk, white sands, and lively bars and restaurants will have you sold in no time. Just make sure you get there early—the beach and boardwalk area does tend to get crowded during high season.
Spend your morning sunbathing on the shore, stop in to Zogg’s for lunch, and finish off your visit with a bit of shopping along the boardwalk. Though there are a lot of quaint shops lining the boardwalk, you’ll find the Tanger Outlets just a few miles away from the beach, a good option if you’re truly serious about scoring a deal. If shopping isn’t your style, a stone’s throw away from the coastal area is the Dogfish Head Brewery, a true institution of the mid-Atlantic. Pop in for a free tour and samples. 

Shenandoah Wine Trail

photo via

Wine country on the east coast? Yes, really! Believe it or not, Napa Valley isn’t the only place in the U.S. for wine lovers. In recent years, the Shenandoah wine region has exploded with a countless number of vineyards and wineries, making for the perfect weekend road trip with the girls. Because many of the vineyards are close together and often family-owned, you get the benefit of really getting to know about the wine region you’re exploring. There are many tours throughout the area that remove the guesswork if you’re unsure where to head.
We recommend staying at one of the area's quaint B&Bs or guesthouses while visiting in order to keep things simple. If you need to be sold any further, the region is nestled within the Shenandoah Valley, meaning you get beautiful views of serene mountains year round. Tip: Though you can go anytime, the fall is extra-spectacular as you are able to watch the leaves change across the valley. Some of our favorite vineyards in the region are Linden VineyardsBarrel Oak, and Glen Manor.

Friday, August 21, 2015

How to Break the Gossip Habit | LIFESTYLE

If you find yourself constantly dying to dish, lend me your burning ears. The secret you really need to know? All of this gossip can have a corrosive effect on your psyche and your social life.

It’s perfectly understandable. Human beings grow ever more connected by technology, which urges us to learn more about each other. Gossips, however, don’t seek connections, even if they say so. Hearsay happens in most social circles, but habitual gossips tend to derail dynamics, focusing too much on what might be instead of what is. Meaningful relationships require forward motion, so in order to build strong bonds and avoid isolation, one must resist the circular nature of gossip.

Sometimes, gossiping starts as a bonding mechanism. One individual shares a juicy secret with another, and now both have a secret to share. But then comes doubt: The gossip that blithely shares sensitive information loses credibility, because they have revealed themselves as someone not to be trusted. The act of gossiping might inspire a superficial bond at first, but it ultimately creates feelings of mistrust. Habitual gossips favor short-term gains over genuine connections, shirking the richest aspects of social life.

Gossiping is never subtle. People sense patterns and will pick up on the fact that gossips speak negatively of others more than they speak positively of them. All this and more, leads to unnecessarily complicated and often unfulfilling social lives.

Your social life informs your mental wellbeing. Gossips lock themselves into a social life that requires multiple faces at the cost of emotional energy they could be throwing into meaningful bonds or even self-care.

The effects might not take hold right away, but gossips will always outwear their welcome. If gossiping is a problem for you, consider how gossiping makes you feel. Does it give you a little rush? Does it leave you wanting to know or discuss more? Discerning the emotional link to habitual gossip will help you discover more positive means of creating those feelings. 

A good mantra to remember? Do you. Instead of sharing secrets, share more of your honest self.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

5 Tips to Help Shed Your Food Rut Habits | CHOW

It's Wednesday night and you've had a long, tiring day at work. You've already gone grocery shopping for the week; you have all the ingredients to make that Barefoot Contessa dish you've been eyeing on Pinterest, but you just can't bring yourself to cook it. So, you pour yourself a glass of red and browse options for takeout. So much easier right? After all, you have had a long day—Ina Garten can wait for tomorrow. Except that tomorrow still finds you stuck in the takeout cycle. 
Getting stuck in a vicious 'quick and easy' and 'too tired to cook,' cycle happens to most of us, especially when slammed at work, traveling for business or leisure, or when in a downright funk. If you're anything like me, you even hear your conscience telling you that cooking at home is the better option, but by then you've already committed to Pad Thai from your favorite neighborhood takeout spot. 
Sure, running through a fast food spot for a quick breakfast before work might not be the worst thing every once and a while, but getting stuck in a food rut can wreak havoc on your body (and your wallet). Luckily, this bad habit is easier to fix than you think! Read on for for quick and easy ways to shed your food rut habits!

image via Nicole Franzen

1. Recognize the problem, evaluate your habits and find a solution

What exactly is a food rut anyway? If you ever find yourself thinking that you're eating out or drinking way too much, you might be in a food rut; if you go grocery shopping with all intentions of cooking that night, but surrender your home cooked meal for a slice from the corner store pizza shop, you might be in a food rut; if you think your body or wallet is suffering from your takeout habit, you might be in a food rut!
Eventually, you'll come face to face with the rut and realize it's time to fix it. Think about what you're doing that's making you experience a food rut and how you can put an end to those habits. Instead of stopping by your favorite coffee spot on your way to work, wake up a little earlier and actually make yourself breakfast with home-brewed coffee—chances are, you'll feel more satisfied with your choice, especially when your midmorning reports are due and you need extra energy. 

image via Instagram

2. Research nutrition tips and develop a plan

There's nothing like watching a good food and health documentary to spin me into a craze of changing my lifestyle—researching how nutrients (or the lack thereof) affect your body is truly interesting! If you're ready to shed the food rut baggage off your shoulders, look for nutrition tips and foods that provide nutrients your body needs.
Also, research your family history. So, if your bloodline has traces of diabetes or heart disease, your small food ruts might turn into a worse habit that's harder to shed as you get older resulting in possibly damaging consequences. If you're already battling an illness, research what foods you actually need to eat to keep you healthy. 

3. Establish a daily routine 

Establishing a daily routine may keep your cravings for fast food at bay. Making the effort to get up extra early to attend a yoga class or planning meal and snack times throughout your day might establish the routine you need.
However, the key to long-term success with any routine is keeping up with it! Post reminders or daily mantras around your most visited areas at work or home or set reminders on your phone to keep your goals in check. What helps me is to enlist the help of a friend—we'll keep each other in check and hold each other accountable if we miss a workout or we skip on making a meal at home. 

image via Love and Lemons

4. Incorporate better foods

Add better foods to your diet by incorporating them into your daily meals. Find ways to make your habits healthier like swapping tea or water for coffee. If you're forced to go out to eat (it does happen) research the menu ahead of time to make healthier decisions.
This would also be a great time to try a new way of eating, not necessarily a diet, but a lifestyle change. As always though, ask your doctor or nutritionist for advice since they know your body best second to you. Your nutritionist may be able to help you come up with a meal plan, which leads me to my next tip:

image via Double Thyme

5. Plan and prep your meals

If time is not on your side, spend one night prepping your lunch and dinner for the next couple of days. It's easier to refuse fast food when you know your pre-packed lunch is waiting for you in the break room. For lunch, try prepping salads packed with veggies and protein in a jar and snacks such as fruit or nuts.
Dinner is easier: I highly suggest investing in a slow cooker if you don't already have one. Load your slow cooker ingredients in the morning and let your meal simmer all day long, so that when you come home from work, your meal is already done. Plus, you'll have plenty of leftovers for the next day! Also, one-pot meals might be your new go-to dinner solution. Throw everything in one pot on the stovetop and dinner is ready in less than 30 minutes. 

Monday, August 17, 2015


Hey friends! I could not be more excited to be fully focused on decorating our home in a little over a week. I am counting down the days to make our house an extra cozy haven with pops of color in flowers and romantic details throughout. Decorating definitely takes time, and from what I have heard, it sounds like you are never fully done {so fun!}. I don’t know about you guys, but when I have a project like this on hand, Pinterest is my go to for inspiration and direction. Scroll down to see the feel we are going for! Let me know your thoughts!