May 26, 2017

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday sweet friends! It's been a gorgeous week here in Atlanta full of sunshine, long walks with my little guy and a fun weekend ahead! As one of my favorite days of the week ( duh ! ) and as part of my favorite day I'm also sharing some favorites of mine!

If you're new around my blog, I share some favorite items in hopes to inspire you to share your own favorites in the comments below! I hope you'll share too! So let's dive into shall we?

1. LaraBars - While shopping at the grocery store I saw that my favorite Larabar flavors were on sale! Clearly I had to stock up on some of my favorite flavors including Chocolate Chip Brownie and Peanut Butter Cookie! What are your favorites?

2. Family Time - My sister and cousin flew in last night from Chicago and I'm so happy to have them here until Tuesday to spend some quality time and meet their nephew. My older cousin has always been like an older sister to me so it's so exciting to have her here as well! Family time is the best time! Make sure to follow on my Insta Stories or Snapchat to find out what we're doing this weekend.

3. Rain - You wouldn't think this would be a favorite of mine with all the rain we've been having here in Atlanta the last 4 days but I'm actually enjoying the extra quiet time and getting a few naps in throughout the day ( Hey 2 hours of sleep ). I'm not normally a napper with the sun shining in but the grey weather just makes it easier to get a bit of shut eye while Landon sleeps. It's the little things right?

4. New Dishwasher - This is going to sound so ridiculous to some people but when we first moved into our home two years ago, the first thing we wanted to get rid of was our awful dishwasher. It's SO loud ( so bad that we can never watch a show downstairs because it overpowers it! ) When my parents were here last week they offered to help us out and get a new one which was amazing! The fact that we can now talk to one another ( ha ) and have our dishes run at the same time is the best. Next year we'll get a new stove. Any advice?

What are you excited for this weekend?

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May 25, 2017

Celebrate Doing What You love

Remember the days after college where you thought the world was your oyster? You could do anything you wanted, be who you wanted to be and nothing was going to stop you and your dreams! But then you got your first job and it wasn’t everything you wanted it to be. You quit and found yourself at another dead end job. Where was your passion? Where was your desire? How were you able to achieve what you wanted to do.

I decided to share my own success story as well as two others of the success that comes with going after what you love and celebrating it! Of course not every success happens overnight but that’s the beauty of being patient and waiting for your dreams to happen. I’ll share mine first.
When I first finished college, I had a degree in Education but wasn’t sure if it was my true passion. I then decided to go into Library and Information Science ( aka a Librarian ) and after two years and a Masters under my belt, life got in the way. I married my college sweetheart and we soon after started a family. With a baby and then a huge move across the country a year later, I wasn’t sure where my passion was taking me. I had always love to write and began writing a blog.

After sharing my blog, Cait’s Cozy Corner,  with a few close friends and family members, I saw a rise of comments and social media questions asking how they could start one, advice on fashion and fitness tricks. Suddenly many people were wanting my help and I loved connecting with other people both in the United States and across the world! It opened my eyes working with brands, sharing my honest opinions on products and genuinely loving what I was doing. I also was able to find a full time job after our move and be able to do both; work full time and blog on the side. Of course it can be challenging being a Mom of now 2 kids, but if you find your passion, work isn’t really work now is it?

Let’s share another success story. Matt Anton had earned top rankings in his graduating high school class, receiving one of the 16 scholar athletes honored and began attending The College Of New Jersey, a top public college in New Jersey. Despite his scholarship, Matt looked as sports as a hobby and per usual freshman, began working out, partying, playing video games and enjoying his time at school.

By his junior year, loans were adding up and Matt wasn’t able to pay. He ended up leaving school and working jobs he hated just to try and keep up with his debt. He was hitting rock bottom and wasn’t sure where to go. He began living with his parents and three years later and kept trying to earn something of value for himself and for the debt collectors.
Image: NJ SEO
Matt’s older brother called informing him that he was seriously considering creating a social network for gamers. This simple conversation sparked a creative passion in Matt. He began researching and studying everything to do with promoting a website online. A man who used to spend hours playing video games, now was finding a passion in website developing, learning everything  about SEO tips and how to make the most of the internet. He developed his own site, NJ SEO. They can help build a meaningful relationship with clients using social media. They also develop effective content strategies for forward thinking companies, bloggers alike. A true success from having nothing to almost everything you want!
Our last success story comes from the lovely and talented Anyelis. Anyelis migrated to this country from Cuba with her mother when she was 3 years old.  As a first generation college student, she had to figure a lot of things out on her own.  She went to Drew University, a small liberal arts college in NJ where she minored in Behavioral Sciences because she’s always been curious about the inner workings of people’s minds and why we behave the way we do.  But she had no idea what she was going to do with that major as a career, she just knew she wanted to help people.  

After college, Anyelis went on to work for a non-profit organization where she coordinated personal and professional development classes and workshops for immigrant women.  Though helping these women was rewarding, Anyelis wasn’t fulfilled - she wanted to grow and have more opportunities to develop.  She tried going back to school for a master’s degree but ended up withdrawing from the program.  It took her 4yrs at that job and the onset of a layoff to really figure out what and who she wanted to be.  Like with most challenges in life, knowing she was going to be laid off gave her the fire she needed to do some soul searching.  She decided that she would turn that negative experience into a positive opportunity and pursued a Master’s degree in Human Resource Management which she completed in a year.  

Soon after graduating she started her career in Corporate HR at a major financial services company where she ended up working for 4yrs in numerous roles until she realized she wasn’t being developed or valued for what she could contribute.  Today, she works at a purpose-driven, fortune 50 financial services company, with great people, doing impactful work connecting talent to career opportunities, and she loves it.

Most recently, Anyelis decided to start a blog as a creative outlet.  Although she enjoys working in Corporate America, she’s a Creative at Heart.  Anyelis has loved writing since she was a little girl.  She’s always kept some kind of a journal.  For her, writing is how she best expresses herself.  Though she could’ve started a blog about anything, Anyelis decided that as a single woman in her 30’s CreateConnectCelebrate, would also serve as a way to hold herself accountable to living a life full of the adventures she’s always imagined.  

Once upon a time, Anyelis felt like her Corporate and Creative identities pulled her in different directions.  Now, she celebrates the fact that she’s embraced this duality and that she can be successful doing both & she loves it!

Share a success story of your own!

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Guest Post:12 Necessities to Pack for the Beach

Hey everyone! Today I have my good friend Jackie from The Blonde On Board!
Summertime is around the corner, which means that it's almost prime time for visiting the beach. Growing up with family in Florida meant that I was at the beach every summer since I was 7 years old. Despite getting sand in some not so great places, I continue to head down there for some fun in the sun year after year.
The problem is I always forget to pack the essentials, or I'll see someone else on the beach with something and think of how brilliant it was they brought that. In order to keep y'all from making my mistakes, here's a list of what I think are 12 necessities to pack when you're headed to the beach!

Water, water, water. It's so important to hydrate while on the beach, especially if you're out there for longer than an hour or two. Take it from someone who once passed out from a heat stroke while walking back to the car after a long day in the sun - you don't want to experience that too!
Baby Powder
As someone who loves and grew up going to the beach constantly, I hate sand. It gets everywhere (and I mean everywhere). And what's more annoying when you're leaving the beach and the sand stuck to you is impossible to wash off? Not a lot, but that's where baby powder comes in. Did y'all know a little bit of baby powder on your sandy skin will take the sand right off of you? I recently learned this hack and don't know how I managed 20 years of beaching without it.
Radio/Blue tooth Speaker
The only thing worse than a beach day without music is no beach day at all. Remember to pack a small radio or blue tooth speaker so you can listen to your favorite tunes while soaking in the sun. Just remember to be mindful you're not the only people on the beach!
An umbrella is the perfect way to enjoy the beach without worrying about over heating or sunburn. It provides some well deserved shade and is perfect for posting up with a beach chair. I like to hang out under mine when the sun gets a little too much for me.
Sheet or Blanket
Back to being covered in sand, obviously if I don't like being covered that goes for my stuff as well. I like to pack an old big blanket or sheet that I don't use any more and use that to lay out on. It allows me to stretch out as much as I want and also to not have to resort putting my beach bag in the sand.
Whether it's a baseball cap or one of those really cute floppy hats, remember to pack something to protect your face from the sun. You don't need to wear it all the time, but our skin is something we only get one of, so protect it as much as you can!
First Aid Kit
This is something that most people probably forget, but how many times do we all step on a sharp shell or something else in the sand? Having a little first aid kit (even the tiny travel ones) is a huge help. You never know when you'll need a band-aid.
This is important to me because I love to eat and am constantly hungry. But it's always a good idea to have some snacks packed especially if food isn't readily available for purchase at the beach you're on.

Sun blocking Hair Spray
Think SPF for your hair and scalp! Especially people with shorter hair (looking at y'all, gentlemen), it's important to remember the skin on top of our head and our hair can burn just like the skin everywhere else. This product will keep your hair and scalp looking and feeling like it's not getting burned alive from the sun.
Don't be the person who forgets their sunnies while hanging out by the ocean! They're not only cute but also necessary to help protect your eyes from the sun.
Good Sunscreen
This. If you're going to only bring two things to the beach, it needs to be sunscreen and water. Being out in the sun wrecks havoc on your skin so you need to protect it. I don't use any SPF that's under 30 and I try to remember to reapply every two hours. My last beach trip I got burnt on the back of my knees - I can't really think of a worse place for a sunburn.
I'm one of those people where I can't lay out on the beach for hours without doing something. I need something to occupy my time otherwise I'll get bored and want to head inside. My go to's are usually a book or a magazine but I'll bring a deck of cards or even a football or Frisbee to throw around.

What are your favorite things to bring to the beach?

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