BootayBag: The Ultimate Subscription

Lately I’ve been looking into different ways to interact with my community and give back to the world, even if it’s by doing something small. There’s so many worthy causes, that I sometimes get overwhelmed by where to turn. I know, I know, #FirstWorldProbs, right?

I kept seeing BootayBag posts allll over the place on Instagram. Literally, in any given insta sesh, I’d come across at least 5 posts with a photo that included cute undies and the “Hey Babe” bag. V cute. Not gonna lie, that’s initially what caught my eye. So I clicked on someone’s bio link to learn more about it, and ended up really liking what I saw.

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For $12 a month (+ free shipping!) you get two new parents of underwear- you choose the style – sent to you. That’s actually the same as Victoria’s Secret but without the annoying salespeople and Angel posters where you see Adriana and Gigi silently judging you! Anyways, for the $12, you get 2 pair of cute undies, and you end up giving back!

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Per their website: “BootayBag is a philanthropic based company through our subscribers support! Whenever someone posts a picture with the hashtag #undermatters on social media, BootayBag donates $1 to the Melanoma Foundation! We want to raise awareness that everyone has their own battle, but that does not mean you have to fight alone!”

So there it is ladies- look good + feel good. What could be better? Click here to order your first pair now! BootayBag Subscription – don’t forget to post a selfie and hashtag #undermatters !

Do you have any other services that you use that also give back? Let me know! I’d love to check them out and possibly feature them 🙂

xo, AJ

How to Become #HairGoals AF

Considering my handle is The Laughing Blonde, it really comes as no surprise that I’m a fan of my hair, right? I’ve written about my struggs with my hair in a previous post. In case you’re lazy and don’t wanna read it, here’s a quick recap: I have pretty long hair that I’ve been color-treating for at about a decade, and up until recently I was freaking out because I thought it was falling out at an alarming rate and I was f*cking terrified I’d wake up one day with a giant patch missing. I asked both my doctor and my hair stylist if she was concerned and after giving me the shadiest eye roll ever (stylist, not doctor), she said that I was being dramatic and that my hair was actually just breaking, not falling out (p.s., uhm yeah that didn’t comfort me that much more, because now I’ll just have random spikes all over my head??

So I’ve been on this hair care regimen the last few months to do whatever I can to keep my hair as healthy as possible. Within reason, of course, because there’s now way in hell I’m giving up these blonde locks any time soon, that’s for sure. I can be all, “help me, I’m poor!” but still manage to find $225 to shell out for the ride color mix and toner, ya feel me ladies? #Priorities.

I would be remiss to not point out that although I’m forreal confident that the products I’m talking about in this post actually do positively impact my hair, the best thing I did for it was get it cut. I was shedding like a dog in August at one point. Once I remembered that it had been like 11 months since my last trim and that my split ends were practically crying to be hacked up, I made an appointment, got a cut, and my hair immediately looked + felt healthier. That said, here are my current favorite hair products that I use on a daily (or weekly) basis:

  1. Serum

The winner is: Kerastase Initialiste: Advanced Scalp and Hair Concentrates — I can’t lie to you guys, this is not cheap. Nothing Kerastase produces ever is. I know that they say, “the best things in life are free.” Well that might be true, but the best hair products typically freaking expensive. HOWEVER. You need to know that it actually works. When I was in tears with my stylist telling her that about my balding fears, she told me that this would fix it right up. She was SO right! After I take a shower and comb out my hair, I put 4-6 drops of this on my scalp and massage it in.Just remember that it only really works if you use it every time you wash your hair. You’ll start seeing results in about two months!

Kerastase Advanced Scalp and Hair Concentrates: Amazon, $44

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2. Dry Shampoo

Who remember LC from Laguna and The Hills? I mean, who could forget the intro set to Hilary Duff’s “Come Clean” when LC licked whipped cream off on Stephen’s nose?! Iconic. Anyways, LC grew up and is now Lauren Conrad: Insanely Talented/ World Renowned Lady Boss. WELL. Her personal hair guru came out with a product line at Target with all these fantastic hair products that everybody in my office was dying over, so naturally I had to order because lol what’s a savings account?? TFG for my lack of self control, because I finally found my favorite dry shampoo EVER! This one just actually makes my hair look clean instead of looking like I sprayed some random sh*t in it. How many days is too many days to substitute actual shampoo for dry shampoo? The limit does not exist, amirite?

Kristin Ess Style Reviving Dry Shampoo: Target, $14

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3. Shampoo/ Conditioner

This right here is a dead tie. Blondies, you’ll understand the struggle. Initially, my favorite shampoo/conditioner combo is Function of Beauty. I wrote an entire post about it last month – this company let’s you customize your own products based on your #HairGoals. You can even choose the color and scent you’d like! It’s amazing, and I still firmly believe that it has changed my hair for the better. If you have any color hair besides blonde, I will recommend this stuff until the day I die (or until some research scientist comes out and tells me that it’s ruining my hair, then I’m suing for $10MM, minimum. Girl’s gotta pay bills, ya feel?). BTW, they use a referral program. I highly recommend that you read my whole post on this stuff and if you like it and order it through my link, you’ll get $5 off your order. You’re welcome!

Ok so now onto the struggle for me. I recently started using BLNDN, which is a company that caters exclusively to blondes. You know me, send me a product that highlights my highlights (see what I did there 😉 ) and I’m all for it! Anybody who has color treated blonde hair knows that Purple Shampoo is what you should be using. I’m not a chemist, but it has something to do with the way the purple reacts with your hair to make sure it doesn’t get brassy and gross. The first thing you should know is that I noticed immediate results after the first time I used the shampoo. My blonde was a little brighter than it had been before, noticeably so. After weeks of using this now, I’m still insanely happy with the product. So what I’ve been doing is using the Function of Beauty conditioner each wash, and alternating between the BLNDN and Function of Beauty shampoos. My hair has never looked so good! PS- For $15 off your order, use the code “laughingblonde” at checkout!

Function of Beauty, $25          BLNDN Brightening Shampoo, $28


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4. Smoothing Cream

Once again, we have a tie.My typical hair style is using a curling wand on my hair, brushing it out so it’s more natural looking, and then using a smoothing cream on it to tame the frizz and make it look like #IWokeUpLikeThis ya know? For years, I’ve been using Garnier Fructis Anti-Humidity Smoothing Milk. It. Is. Incredible. I use a drop the size of a quarter on my dry hair after I’ve brushed it out, and it always looks good! And I love the smell, too! This is one of those products that if someone said, “you’re trapped on a dessert island and you can only bring one hair product, what do you choose?” I would say this stuff. It’s a drugstore product and it works, so there’s really very little downside there.

I’ve just started switching in the BLNDN Balancing Leave-In Cream into my hair care routine. I just feel like ok, if I’m willing to pay $200+ every few months to get the right shade of blonde, then I should probably forgo a few of those late-night burritos that I DON’T NEED to spend the money on something I do need, which are products designed for blonde hair. The BLNDN cream is just as good as the Garnier one, and it’s meant to protect + preserve the color that I want, which is why I’ve recently made the switch. If your’re trying to squeeze an extra few weeks between appointments, this is def the way to go. Use code “laughingblonde” for $15 off your order!

Garnier Fructis Anti-Humidity Smoothing Milk: Target, $3.42            BLNDN Balancing Leave-In Cream, $19

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5. Brush.

Trick question, because I use a comb! I have done a disturbing amount of damage to my hair with brushes. I was so pumped when the Wet Brush came out a couple of years ago, because it seemed like it cut right through all the knots + tangles that seemed to magically appear. TBH, sometimes my hair feels like earphones. You know how when you put your earphones in your bag and there’s no knots but when you take them out, you’re like WTF did you do in there for 3 minutes?? That’s how i feel about my hair. If I have it down while I’m working all day, I’ll still go home at the end of the day and have a giant clump of knots near the base of my neck. Using a big wide-toothed comb the last few months has drastically minimized the amount of breakage I get from brushing out my hair because it forces me to brush from tip to root, instead of the other way around (which is what causes more knots + eventually more breakage.) Added bonus: You can get one at your CVS for $2.

There’s always an exception to every rule. Like I said, I’ve done away with the brushes… except for when my hair is dry and I’m on the go. Then I use my Milk + Sass Macaron brush, which is this cute little compact brush that fits in any purse (or desk drawer, which is wear I keep mine at work). I still feel like it’s gentle on my hair and the design of it actually prevents me from ripping through the knots and ultimately destroying my head. Bonus points that it comes in a ton of really cute colors!

Milk + Sass Macaron for Hair: $15


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6. Hair Ties

Until last summer, I lived in ignorant bliss of the damage that my hair ties were doing. It wasn’t until my little sister said that she stopped putting her hair in pony tails because the hair ties were causing her breakage and giving her lil ugly baby hairs that I even thought about it. As soon as she said it, I put my hair in the position in a pony tail position and ran my hand against my hair in the opposite direction so I could separate the pony from the hairs that had broken off around the hair tie. OMFG IT WAS TRAGIC AF. there was SO MANY, I wanted to cry! Damn you, elastic bands, for doing this to me! For basically all of fall + winter, I suffered through workouts with my hair down because I didn’t want to put the bands in my hair and ruin it any more than I already had. The sweating this caused was gnarly and disgusting and I can’t even talk about it. Ew. That’s all I have to say.

The only hair ties I use now are the Milk + Sass Sugar Twists. They look kinda like the bracelet things you put your keys on which was weird at first, but I’ve moved on from the appearance because I’ve fallen in love with the performance. They never pull my hair out, they fit securely around my pony tail, AND they don’t leave an indent mark in my hair.#Winning.

Milk + Sass Sugar Twists in Caramel Toffee: Milk + Sass, $7.99

Well, that’s all I have for today, friends. Now you know why my hair is so big. You know all the secrets its filled with..

xo, AJ

Where To Buy:

Kerastase: Advanced Scalp and Hair Concentrates: Amazon, $44

Kristin Ess Style Reviving Dry Shampoo: Target, $14

Function of Beauty Shampoo + Conditoner: $25 or $50

BLNDN Brightening Purple Shampoo: BLNDN, $28

BLNDN Balancing Leave-In Cream: BLNDN, $19

Garnier Fructis Anti-Humidity Smoothing Milk: Target, $3.42

Milk + Sass Macaron for Hair: Milk + Sass, $15

Milk + Sass Sugar Twists in Caramel Toffee: Milk + Sass, $7.99

5 Secrets to a Great Night’s Sleep

I’m about to let you in on a little secret. I’m not necessarily proud of it, but it’s my reality, and I’m all about trying to be real with you guys, so here it is. There’s literally not been one weekday morning where I wake up and don’t lay in bed for 5 minutes thinking about calling in sick.

Ok, so that’s not that big of a secret because tbh, I know you all do it too. You can lie and shake your head no and be like, “omg me? I could never do that!!” But we all know you’re lying, so save it, sister. Just accept it and own it and know you’re not alone.

It’s not that I don’t like my job – I do! And honestly, the only reason I never actually do it is because I’m too terrified of the workload that would pile up for the day that I’m out. Not to pat myself on the back or say I’m special or anything, but the place would fall apart without me  (lol kidding, mostly.) I just really am terrified of coming back into the office with 193 unread emails. You know the classic dad joke, “I need a vacation from this vacation”? That’d be me – I’d need a legit sick day from taking a “sick” day.


Part of this stems from the fact that I’m 24 and I still sometimes sit there and think, “lol ok guys, we get it, adults have jobs and bills and stuff but like, I’ve proved I can do it so when can I stop now??” But most of this stems from the fact that there’s no way in hell that I get enough sleep. And it’s not because I’m soo0o0 busy. Nope, it’s because I plan to go to bed around 10pm, and then I whisper to Netflix, “just one more episode.” Before I know it, I’m three episodes deep, I’ve re-painted my nails, organized my closet and started creeping my little brother’s ex-girlfriends new boyfriend on insta (I’m not impressed by him at all, if you’re curious). It’s sad how little willpower that I have. Also, This Is US on NBC controls my life now, and my schedule revolves around watching that show whenever I feel like I’m ready to cry. (Pro tip: If you’re not watching This Is US, you’re doing life wrong, and you should re-think your choices.)

I’m not here to be your mom and tell you to go to bed early so you can get 8 hours of sleep. That would make me a huge hypocrite. Instead, I’m here with 5 ways to work with the amount of sleep you’re currently getting and adding in a few tips + tricks to optimize the energy you have!

1) Make sure that your bedroom is set up as comfortably as possible.

I need my room practically pitch black and cool when I’m trying to sleep. I will never understand the people who can sleep in sweatshirts with 3 different blankets on top of them. That’s Satan’s way, IMHO, and I’m sorta judging you. Also, I’m about to hit you with some science. Your body temperature rises up to 2 degrees Fahrenheit while you’re sleeping, which is why if you do fall asleep with a sweatshirt on for some ungodly reason, you usually wake up at 2am sweating like a whore in church. I did a bunch of Googling for this (v. reliable info), and found that the ideal temperature for your room while you’re sleeping is between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit. Some other lil fun tips to throw in there – I keep a large standing fan on all night. The white noise is good for blocking out the obnoxious sounds my neighbors make when they decide to smoke up on a random Tuesday at 2am (it’s a work night, damnit!). I also love having my room as dark as possible. I’ve started putting wearing a sleep mask at night so it blocks out all the light that comes in through my curtains and it’s been a freaking game-changer. Phina’s Place has a few different ones on sale, but I’m obsessed with this one here, because it’s so freaking chic and glam. This lady looks like a boss!



2) Get some protein in you, ASAP.

I know that we’ve been told our whole lives that breakfast is the most important meal of the time, and I don’t disagree. But the breakfasts that I’ve been having the last 24 years aren’t cutting it. Protein is actually the best thing you can eat in the morning, because it gives you tons of energy and keeps your body moving + alert. If you’re a chef then by all means, whip up something super fancy for yourself. If you’re like me and you legitimately haven’t cooked yourself a meal since 2013, then either suck it up and snack on a couple pieces of deli-sliced turkey, or splurge on a protein pack from Starbucks. I really like those (yaaas give me all the snacks), but they’re not that cheap and if you’re buying them on the daily, it adds up. The takeaway here: protein is your friend. Eat it , often.


3) Get some sort of exercise during the day.

You know how parents with little kids always talk about how much they love when their mini terror runs around all day with energy that you could never dream of? The reason they love it so much is because of what every single one of them follows up with: “they’re going to sleep like a pro tonight!” Truer words have never been spoken, friends. Think about every time where you have a really active day – you go home and pass tf out into a sleep so deep, you’re actually worried you wouldn’t wake up for a fire alarm. That’s because your body is soaking up the time it has to replenish. Even if you can’t exercise every day, make a point to get up and move around once an hour. I read that somewhere once and in the interest of full disclosure, I have no idea if that works or not. But it can’t hurt, ya know? PS.. If you need some motivation, check out my 3 Ways to Get Motivated for the Gym post, or my Best Cardio Playlist Ever post!


4) Don’t you dare hit that snooze button.

You, me, Beyonce and the pope are all guilty of hitting the snooze button once in a while. Apparently that’s like, a really bad thing to do. I’m v. interested in why the world hates me enough to try and take away the one thing I value in the morning, so I did some research. Thankfully, the nice people at Brown University summed it up pretty well.

“The body needs some time to get you ready to wake up. When you let yourself go back to sleep, your body thinks, “False alarm! I guess I didn’t need to do anything, because we’re not getting up after all,” and settles in. When that buzzer goes off a second time, Pelayo says that your body and brain are taken by surprise, resulting in that The body needs some time to get you ready to wake up. When you let yourself go bagroggy, fuzzy-headed feeling called sleep inertia. The more you snooze, the more confused your body and brain get (“So are we going back to sleep or not?!”), so you’ll probably feel more out of it even though you actually spent extra time in bed.”

Moral of the story? Stop being a bum and get up and get going.



5) Cave in to the caffeine.

Science is nice or whatever, but you’re not able to tell me I shouldn’t be having caffeine. I don’t care if it stunts my growth or causes an addiction. Whatever keeps me from falling asleep in a meeting with my boss and getting fired is OK by me. Weirdly enough, I actually hate coffee so I need to get my caffeine fix elsewhere. (Pro tip: Go to Starbucks and order a Dirty Chai. It’s a Chai Tea Latte that they pour a couple of espresso shots into. You can’t taste it, but you still get the caffeine jolt coursing in those veins. Ahhh, Starbs. My first love <3.)

Also, get yourself a cute mug, one that’ll make alllll the other mugs jealous. Mine is perfect and you can get it from Phina’s Place.

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Do you have any other tips + tricks to handle insufficient sleep? Let me know about them!

xo, AJ

Where To Buy:

Sequin Eye Mask: Phina’s Place, $24

Eyelashes + Lips Mug: Phina’s Place, $14

The Best Cardio Playlist You’ll Ever Download

Happy Monday! This post will be short, sweet and too the point because uhm, it’s Monday, and I know you need all the time you can get to answer the emails you ignored Friday when you left the office and little earlier than you should’ve… I won’t tell.

One thing you should know about me is that when I commit, I commit. Therefore, I have gifted you with a freaking fabulous cardio workout playlist that will get you movin’ and groovin’ those weekend brunch calories right off! I’m no slacker, and I have a self-proclaimed fantastic taste in music (despite what my mother thinks). This 60-song list is packed with upbeat popular classics, with a few throwbacks to the middle-school days, and a few throw-WAY-backs to your mom’s middle school days.

Pro tip: Even if you don’t think you’ll make it to the gym today, throw this playlist on anyway. If your third cup of coffee just isn’t cutting it, these songs will get you feeling energized and ready to take on the day!

3 Ways to Get Motivated for the Gym- Without Actually Going to the Gym

Can I get really real with you guys for a sec? I honestly don’t like working out. Not in the traditional sense at least. Big shock, I know, since I’m soOoOo tiny and whatnot!!! But forreal, there’s very little about that act of exercising that appeals to me. Yeah, I know it keeps you from having clogged arteries at the age of 37 or whatever, but I just really don’t love the idea of sweating profusely and barely being able to breathe for an hour and a half if nobody is chasing after me with a knife, ya feel? I’m just saying, I’d prefer to live in a world where I can simultaneously never go for a run again in my life, while also being able to consume 3,000 calories a day and also looking like Kate Upton.

Sadly, scientists have yet to discover a pill that eliminates the destruction that the calories in my blueberry muffin from Starbucks causes (side note: it’s 380 for that f*cking “reduced fat” muffin, never ordering one again.. ), so here I am. Planning yet another workout plan for me to drop the next 10lbs. To be completely honest + transparent with you guys, I have always had self-esteem and body issues. It wasn’t until August 2015 that I decided to start getting healthier and actually sticking to it. The thing you should know about me is that I can never diet + exercise for longer than a few months at a time. I’m more of a lose, then maintain, then lose more kinda girl. From August-October 2015, I lost 30lbs. I put probably 10 or so back or during the winter and then started a new job. This job freaking KILLED me man. I literally didn’t eat lunch for 3 months and was running around like a crazy person, so those 10lbs came off by themselves, along with an extra 5 or so. And I maintained for a while. And then my office decided they would create a weight watchers group and pay for it if we went to 9 out of 12 sessions. So I joined. From August- October of 2016, I lost another 30lbs. And the compliments came pouring it- people couldn’t say enough nice things to me. It’s addicting, let me tell you! Motivating for sure. I was going to the gym almost every single day, being super careful about what I was eating, and I was happy.


But as always, life gets in the way, and you adjust. So for the past 5 months or so, I’ve just been working on maintaining + not gaining anything back. Work has been stressful, I’ve put in more effort to spend time with friends, and I have a boyfriend who I need to make time for too. Some of my personal needs get lost in the shuffle. So I ask you – Raise your hand if you’ve ever been personally victimized by other people’s schedules!! Errrrbody should be putting their hands up on that one. Now put your hands way the f*ck down, because we’re done making excuses. From this point forward, you and me, we’re going to make the time + effort for ourselves that we deserve! As much as I freaking despise the thought of it, I actually don’t hate the gym so much once I’m actually there. I typically make peace with it by the time I’m 5-10 minutes into my hour-long cardio workout. Actually, it’s kinda nice being able to catch up on all the Bravo! drama – those housewives are like crack to me. Side note- comment below with your favorite show to watch during your cardio workouts! I’m in the market for a new series 🙂

Here are my top 3 tips to getting motivated:

1) Get a good night’s sleep

Yeah I know, you’ve been hearing since the dawn of time that you should be getting 8 hours of sleep a night. I can practically see your eyeballs rolling to the back of your head as you read that. But it’s actually doable. I used to go to bed at no earlier than like, 12:30 am bc tbh, prime Bumble trolling doesn’t start until at LEAST 11:00pm. Then I started dating my boyfriend who is like a 95 year old man and goes to bed at 9:30 the latest most nights, and I got super bored watching the 8th season of friends for the 23rd time, so I started going to bed around 10:30 or 11:00. It actually makes a difference, I swear!! I started waking up before my alarm. The first few times it happened, I immediately bolted out of my bed and tripped over one of my 35 throw pillows I threw on the ground because I thought I was running late. NAY. I was ahead of schedule. Since then, it’s been a whole lot easier to make some time to go to the gym in the AM. I actually kinda like it. The only downside is that for some reason, I’m super emotional in the morning so this one time I was on the treadmill and a commercial for a lacrosse team in Harlem for underprivileged kids came on and I actually started crying. Sorry I’m not sorry that I have feelings, bye.

2) Stay hydrated

I am the WORST at this. I can legit sit at my desk all day and not eat or drink anything for 8 hours because I’m so zoned in (side note: why am I not like 110 lbs LOL fml). And I love water! I just need to force myself to remember because it I don’t, I wind up feeling sluggish and having a headache and make excuses for not working out. NO MORE. TriCoastal designs sent me this super cute water bottle that I carry with me legit everywhere. It’s adorable and inspiring (stop judging me), and I make a point to drink three full bottles of water from it a day. It keeps my mind working right and I end up feeling a lot better and ready to sweat when I’m not depriving myself of the most basic necessity my body needs to function.



3) Pick out cute workout clothes

There’s never been a day in the history of my life when I’ve turned down the opportunity to shop, and shopping for workout clothes is no exception. It’s a huge motivator for me because helloooo, look good/feel good, ya know? You don’t have to shop at crazy-expensive brand name stores to get the cute stuff either. Some of my favorite pieces are from Target and Forever 21 bc let’s be real, I’m 24 and I work in an industry where I’m on a Natty-light type of budget, even when I’d rather be on one that supports a champagne lifestyle #goals. (Side note: Forever 21 did NOT sponsor this post. I actually just really like their workout attire. You can find links to all items pictures at the bottom of this page.)

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So, my friends, here we are. I’ve imparted my wisdom unto you, and you must now get your lazy butt up from the couch and slide on into your bed and get some sleep bc RULE #1 = GET SLEEP, DUH. While you’re at it, go chug a cold glass of H2O, and also order some cute new sports bras. Do yourself a favor and spring for the 2-day shipping so you don’t lose your motivation while you wait for UPS to take its sweet time getting you your package. And stay tuned because I have a gym motivation playlist coming your way in the next few days that’s going to rock your world harder than the moment you found out Ben + Jen were calling it quits (still sad about it). TTYL!

Where to Buy:

Black Forever 21 Sports Bra – $14.90

Pink + White Forever 21 Tank – $17.90

Forever 21 Mesh Panel Leggings – $22.90

Feed Me and Tell Me I’m Pretty

If you haven’t caught on yet, I’m like, a really big fan of food. Sadly, not a huge fan of healthy food (I place 95% of the blame on my parents for force-feeding me vegetables and not letting me leave the table until all the greens had been eaten for this #traumatized). I supposed I should make it one of my goals to eat healthier, but it I’m being real, INSIDER Food doesn’t post videos about salads and grilled chicken, so I’m not impressed.

Luckily, they DO post all kinds of videos about fun places to try all over the country, but especially NYC. If you’re anything like me, your thought process goes like this:

  1. “Holy sh*t that looks delicious omg must have!”
  2. *Shares video on FB and tags 3-4 friends and captions “GET READY- we’re going to this.”*
  3. *Realizes that there are literally millions of other people who’ve seen this video in the last 2 days and that the line will be 4 blocks long*
  4. *Never goes*

Well friends, I decided to be adventurous this weekend. On Sunday afternoon, I shut Netflix off, changed out of my Lulu Lemons and into actual jeans, put on my toasty warm black coat (it was 25 degrees max this weekend in NYC) and texted my best friend and begged her to brave the cold for me – in the name of food. Since she’s the best and agreed immediately, we were off!

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Stop #1 – OatMeals NYC

OatMeals is exactly what it sounds like- an entire cafe dedicated to oatmeal. Be warmed- this isn’t your mother’s oatmeal. This stuff is the real deal. I was initially tempted by the Cinnamon Bun flavor, but sided with the Unicorn bowl bc #trendy. My Nana would’ve slapped my wrist if she thought for even a second I was pairing a breakfast food with so much sugar, but I’M AN ADULT SO I DO WHAT I WANT. Not gonna lie, it was a little odd do have a piece of sour candy in my oats, but it was the experience that mattered, and I had to do it for the ‘gram.

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Stop #2 – Goa Taco

Full disclosure, Goa wasn’t even on my list of places to visit on this self-planned Food Tour. But when we were walking to our next location, I saw their neon sign on the wall inside and immediately dragged Yasi through the door. “Just need to warm up” was how I justified it to her. Ordered a quick little snack and continued to admire the decor because the wall color is PERFECT and the hot pink neon sign is something that I honestly need for my room because really, wtf else would I need besides tacos and someone to tell me I’m pretty? That’s #goals my friends. I knew what stops we still had left on this little tour, so I ordered a bag of chips + salsa and stuffed them in my bag for later which, to be fair, I chowed down on later that night and immediately decided I need to go back to get some tacos. Follow-up post to come on that 😉




Stop #3-  Sweets by Chloe

Not gonna lie, I was skeptical. I know this place is part of the Sweetgreen family, which is a super healthy restaurant that rarely appeals to me unless I have an event coming up that requires me to lose 5lbs by consuming water + rabbit food. Not a fan. As my favorite quote says, “I’m just a girl, standing in front of a salad, asking it to be a doughnut.” But I digress.

I’m thrilled that I didn’t pass on Sweets by Chloe, because a) very cute front door (even though the hinge on it will knock you out if you’re not careful – almost got a concussion #bible) and b) their stuff is absolutely delicious. Even thought it was like, below freezing out, I had to go with the double-chocolate push pop. IT’S SO DAMN GOOD! People passing by on the street probably thought I was deranged for eating a frozen dessert outside in the dead of winter, but NO REGRETS, MAN. It was chocolaty (obv) and creamy and had a little bit of cake in it and just YES. See ya super soon, Chloe. Love you, mean it!


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Stop #4 – The Meatball Shop

Crossing 5th Ave and trekking from the West Village to the Lower East Side, Yasi and I decided it was time for something more savory than sweet, which is how we ended up at the Meatball Shop. Knowing that we still had one stop left after this one, we kept the order relatively small. we went for the Naked Balls. I ordered mine with red sauce and mozzarella, and topped it with the Family Jewel (aka a fried egg). Yasi also guilted herself into ordering a side of broccoli, to which I simply ignored the entire time bc ew I have no interest in eating miniature trees, thank you very much.

Long story short with the Meatball Shop, it’s a really fun place to go. The atmosphere is casual and the menus are awesome. It’s laminated and the waitstaff gives you dry -erase markers so you can circle what you want and write any notes down on it, and then they go off of that when preparing your food in the kitchen. I’ve been here once before, and I can say with extreme confidence that if you ever go, you NEED to order an ice cream sandwich. You can customize it to your liking, but I went with the classic vanilla ice cream and chocolate chip cookies, and I definitely was not disappointed. I’m secretly glad that I don’t live close to one of their locations, because I’d for sure be going in there every day and like, my waistband just cannot afford that at the moment.


the meatball shop


Stop #5 – New Territories 

Mostly I just had to go here because I’ve seen their milkshakes on Instagram and I was fascinated. the outside is partially coated in rainbow sprinkles (yaaas, love when something is fit for a princess) and is topped with all things rainbow and sweet. It’s the unicorn milkshake (again, v. trendy right now) of your dreams. And once again, we have a hot pink neon sign FTW! This is yet another place that I’ll need to come back to again, because they had some ridiculously cool looking waffle snacks that I sadly had to pas up, lest I need to be rolled home or go shopping for a larger pair of jeans.


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Where To Find:

OatMeals  –  120 W. 3rd Street, New York, NY

Goa Taco  –  79 Delancey Street, New York, NY

Sweets by Chloe  –  185 Bleecker Street, New York, NY

The Meatball Shop  –  84 Stanton Street, New York, NY

New Territories  –  190 Orchard Street, New York, NY


I’m Sorry For What I Said When It was Winter

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m like, really over this bi-polar weather we’ve been having. First of all, It’s really upsetting that I’ve been having to set my alarm an extra 15 minutes early so I can figure out how to dress, instead of doing it the night before because #beautysleep. Second, my skin is seriously suffering! All winter long, I’ve been combating the harsh temps as best I can, but the back and forth these last few weeks have been TOUGH on my sensitive lil face. It’s funny, because I was thinking about writing a post on my all-time favorite skin products for any time of the year, but this is like, a real SOS moment and I feel it’s my duty to turn it into a two-part skin care series so you beauties can survive a few more months of this weather!

Soap & Glory Righteous Body Butter

I’m obsessed. Y’all have no clue how dry the skin on my legs gets in the winter. It’s borderline disturbing and hella inconvenient. Do you know how many pairs of tights I’ve destroyed this winter when I accidentally tear holes in them while I’m itching? This sh*t is starting to get pricey! About a month ago, I tried out the Righteous Body Butter and now I make sure to apply it every time I get out of the shower – it’s been working like a charm! It’s a great size, and it’s only $12, so well within the budget. Pro tip:  if you buy it at Ulta, they have a buy 1, get 1 50% off deal!

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Malin + Goetz Grapefruit Face Cleanser

Where Soap & Glory’s body butter is on the lower end of the scale as far a price points go, Malin & Goetz is slightly more expensive. I discovered this treasure during my stay at the Delano in Miami, where they stocked every bathroom with all Malin + Goetz products. The first thing you need to know is that every last one of their products smells incredible! This grapefruit scented face cleanser is no different. It has more of a gel texture to it, which I really like. Most importantly, it differentiates itself from most other facial cleansers because it doesn’t dehydrate your skin. It’s $34 for 8oz, but worth it, IMHO. (Pro tip: This stuff is great, but f*cking devastating if you get it in your eyes. Cried like a baby for 10 minutes when it happened)

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Malin + Goetz Vitamin E Facial Moisturizer

Obv I had to splurge on the facial moisturizer once I realized how great the cleanser is! Not thrilled with the $48 price tag, but my skin has been thanking me for it. You know when you go to the ladies room at like, 3pm during work and you pass the mirror under the unforgiving florescent lighting and you’re just like omfg please tell me my makeup hasn’t looked like this all day?? Sadly, that has happened to me too many times to count, because when my skin is dry my makeup gets all screwed up. Since I’ve been using this moisturizer, I haven’t had any tear-inducing mirror slip-ups. It’s the little things, guys.

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SheaMoisture Sensitive Skin Mud Mask- Peace Rose Oil

DAT MASK THO. I cannot express enough how sensitive my skin is. One wrong move, and I’ll break out in hives like I’m back at my second grade spelling bee trying to figure out how to spell vacuum (p.s. – I still can’t spell it. I just had to use spellcheck to get it right #transparency). I’m currently loving this mask, because every time I use it, I can see that my skin absolutely looks more moisturized + healthy than before I put it on – and that feeling lasts for days. One huge plus? a 6oz jar of this is only $15 from Target. To give you an idea, I’ve used this mask at least 5 times in the last month, and I have about 80% of the jar left.

I also really like this product, because the SheaMoisture company is committed to giving back. When I was checking out the price points for this, I found this underneath the description: “10% of SheaMoisture Community Commerce sales of this product go to support empowerment in three key areas – Entrepreneurship, Education and Equity. We invest in communities by funding training, infrastructure and safety programs to sustainably source indigenous ingredients, grow local manufacturing of high quality goods in their own villages, and provide fair prices for their goods and labor. Earning a better, more sustainable living makes a better life possible for themselves, their families and their communities. It’s not a donation. It’s an investment in an equitable world.” To me, any company that makes a great product and also gives back is so worth it!





Bondi Sands Liquid Gold Self-Tanning Dry Oil

Guys. I am SO pale. A girl should not be allowed to have skin this freaking translucent. It’s so bad that when I was in middle school, my dad took me shopping and when I came out of the dressing room in a v-neck, he asked me why I had blue magic marker on my clavicle. Nah dad, just my veins. I sh*t you not. That said, you can fully appreciate when I say I have tried every last goddamn self tanner on the market. EVERY. LAST. ONE. And 9/10 times, I become orange or streaky or it barely makes a difference. Well I am happy to report that those days are over. Before my trip to Miami last month, I took a chance on this Bondi Sands dry oil. LAWWDDD you could hear the angels sing when I applied it! It goes on super smoothly and only takes a few hours to develop. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw that I looked actually tan (not like an oompa-loompa) and I had no streaks! Not even on that super awkward part of your back that’s dead center and you can barely reach!

I have slightly sad news to report, and that is that apparently Target no longer carries this product from the Bondi Sands line. But cheer up, buttercup, because I did a lil search on the Google, and you can buy it straight from the website for $24. If you’ve ever bought self-tanner before, you’ll know that that price is super reasonable and if you’re as pale as I am, you’d happily turn over your first-born for the opportunity to not blind anyone when you take off your coverup at the beach during those first fab days of summer where it’s hot enough to be by the pool, but you haven’t had any tanning time yet. LOL JOKES, my skin legit will not absorb a tan given by the sun which is why I either wear SPF 50 or spend the next two weeks peeling off sunburn 🙂

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Do you have any tips to keep your skin healthy? Sound off below!

xo, AJ

Where to buy the products mentioned in this post:

Soap & Glory Righteous Body Butter – $15

Malin + Goetz Grapefruit Face Cleanser – $34

Malin + Goetz Vitamin E Facial Moisurizer – $48

SheaMoisutre Sensitive Skin Mud Mask – Peace Rose Oil – $15

Bondi Sands Liquid Gold Self-Tanning Dry Oil – $24


Here Comes the Bridesmaid…

* There are links to buy all of the products mentioned at the bottom of this post. For more info, please visit Jade Taylor Market

Ahhhh, March. This month is confusing af. One day it’s 70 degrees and you’re sweating on the subway and you wanna toss your Canada goose jacket into the next trashcan you see. The next day, it’s blizzarding and you didn’t check the weather before you left and now you’re running 20 minutes late and there’s just not enough time to go back upstairs to your apartment and change out of your peep-toe heels so now everyone on the subway is judging your life decisions. NYC is so fun!!!

March is also the super fun time when I check my mailbox and 47 save-the-dates and wedding invites fall out of my mailbox (probably because I only check my mail once every two months – it’s 2017 and automated online billing is a thing so why else would I check my mail??). Anyway, this month is the beginning of Wedding Szn, aka the annual reminder of how not-married you are and also a fun time to re-think those shoes you were about to splurge on because hey! Brittany + Josh invited you to their wedding and you need to be able to buy them that blender from their registry that they’ll prob use a total of 14 times during their marriage. But you’re a #goodfriend, so you sadly close out the Nordstroms app, and say so-long to the shopping cart that once held your dreams…

Anyways, my point is WAKE UP LADIES – it’s wedding season, and you need all the energy for this you can muster. Like I said, you’re a #goodfriend, so the chances of you being a bridesmaid in at least one wedding this year are pretty high. There are the engagement parties, the bridal showers, the bachelorette parties, the rehearsal dinners, the actual wedding and the super trendy post-wedding brunches that you need to prepare for. If you’re anything like me, you work at a job that you love (lolz) but that doesn’t quite cover the cost of buying 7 blenders per year, especially when none of them are for you. PS – I’m kinda kidding, but only about the job part (because I do like my job). I was not kidding about not being able to afford these pricey af blenders that everyone asks for and nobody uses.

In fact, I work for The Knot, so I know a thing or two about weddings. I know alllll about the different kinds of blenders on the market, so HMU if you need some advice. All of this is why I partnered with Jade Taylor Market. They offer these incredibly beautiful wedding boxes that I’m OBSESSED with! I especially like them because there’s three different kinds – there’s the  Bride gift boxes, the Bridesmaid gift boxes and then there’s a Build-a-box feature where you can curate your own unique box! I tested out some of the products included to be sure that the ladies of my life would be happy receiving them, and I wasn’t disappointed. Full disclosure, Jade sent me these products to test out and review for you guys, but I wouldn’t be posting it I wasn’t seriously happy with the product – bible!!! I’ve reviewed the products that I actually tried for myself later on in this post, but I’ve included descriptions of each box here:


  • Bride Boxes: There are 4 Bride boxes, ranging in price from $46 (the petite wedding planning box) to $115 (the deluxe bride-to-be box).
    • The wedding planning box helps brides celebrate with the cutest products! There’s a gorgeous kimono-style robe, a stemless champagne flute, a gourmet bath bomb, to-do wedding planning checklist (crucial!), a soy glass candle, and sea salt caramels (so. good.)
    • The bride-to-be box includes everything from the wedding planning box, as well as an adorable “cheers” gold bottle opener – perfect for popping the bubbly with your girlfriends to celebrate!
  • Bridesmaid Boxes: There are 4 of these fab boxes as well, you lucky ducks! These ones range from $30-$115, and have the best goodies! If Brittany is really your friend, she’ll love you and buy you one because you’re putting up with her being a bridezilla so you srsly deserve this. The products in this box are similar to the ones in the Bride boxes, but the robes have a different pattern (because the bride is special, obv) and the bathbombs are different (although, the bridesmaid bath bombs are named Unicorn Gourmet Bath Bomb, so who’s the real winner here??).
  • Build-Your-Own Box: This one is probably my favorite, because you can customize it with exactly what you’d like it to include.
    • You can choose your own packaging, which I love because if your rent is due and you’re broke, you can opt for the $5 box instead of the $13 dollar box and still pay your bills but be a #goodfriend and have chic packaging at the same time.
    • From there, you can choose whichever products you want to include in the box, so you can either ball-out and splurge because this is your bestie we’re talking about and she deserves it! Or you can be more conservative and add a few things but still keep the cost down. It’s perfect!
    • The last step is adding an optional card to the order. If you’re the bride and you want to propose to your ladies, there’s a card for that! Proposing to your bridesmaids is so on-trend right now, and Jade Taylor Market boxes have you covered from every angle! Even if your bridesmaid is in six other weddings this summer and kinda wants to say no, she’ll feel too guilty once she opens this box. It’s kinda like if a guy that you were like, “ehh I like you enough to hang out with you but not enough to want to spend the next 65 years with you” got down on one knee and you were gonnato say no but the ring is too nice so you say yes?? I’M KIDDING. Mostly.





Product Reviews

Ok so now you know what they offer, but like, do you really want to spend your happy hour drink money on this? The answer is yes. Go find a retired frat star to buy your 2nd cosmo and go splurge a little on your friend. I tried out a couple of their products so I would know if it was worthy, and turns out it actually is! Check out my two favorites here:

  • Unicorn Dreamer Gourmet Bath BombThis Willow & Honey bath bomb says it’s scented with guava, but I personally think it smells like a more fruity version of the Mr. Bubbles bubble bath you had as a kid. Which is probably the biggest compliment that I could think of, because that’s one of my favorite smells ever and don’t tell anyone but I actually still use it and have a huge tub of it under my bathroom sink rn (I feel you judging me. You can stop now.) Anyways, winter has been a real bitch on my skin. I’m always feeling dried out and my skin looks flaky, no matter how much moisturize I use (curse you, sensitive skin!!), but I soaked with this bad boy for about 25 minutes and actually felt so much better afterwards! I don’t know if that’s something that was supposed to happen with this product, but it certainly had that affect on me, and I’m not complaining.
  • Baltic Amber Candle: I’m actually obsessed with candles. I legitimately have not gone into a Target without leaving with a new candle in my entire life. I have at least 25 floating around my apartment – it’s actually dumb how many there are. So clearly I was more than thrilled that this Baltic Amber scent (one which I shockingly have not had in my collection before) showed up in my box. A self-described candle connoisseur, I think I’m a pretty good judge of the stuff. Anyways, I used this when I had a few girlfriends over to my apartment last week, and two of the three of them instantly commented on it the second they walked through my front door. They got all happy-faced and were all, “mmm what’s that smell??” MY NEW CANDLE BITCHES, THAT’S WHAT! It’s honestly kind of hard to explain the exact smell- just to prove to you that I’m not exaggerating, here’s the descriptions on the Jade Taylor Market website: “The amber candle has notes of vanilla, sandalwood and musk combined with citrus, lavendar and jasmine. Fragrance is infused with orange, lavandin, coaiba, basalm, lemon and grapefruit essential oils.” See? Wasn’t kidding.

Honestly, I’m not writing this because I was paid to (I actually wasn’t paid – I did get a few products for free though), or because I work for The Knot. I wrote this because I genuinely like the products. From the second you get the package and see the clean white box wrapped in the pretty pink ribbon, you just get a little feeling of excitement for this fun thing you’re about to open! The idea of the boxes is to gift your favorite bride or bridesmaids, but don’t forget- you can treat yourself, too! The price points are super reasonable ($7 for the bath bomb, $18 for the candle), so if by some miracle you were blessed with not having to gift-give to 58 brides this year, get something for yourself! Have some #MeTime, and take a much-needed break from your crazy-ass schedule and relax. You deserve it!

xo, AJ

Where To Buy:

Link to buy: Baltic Amber Candle

Link to buy: Unicorn Dreamer Bath Bomb

Link to buy: Bride Boxes

Link to buy: Bridesmaid Boxes

Link to Buy: Custom Curated Box

5 Ways to Squeeze in Some #MeTime

#MeTime… it’s necessary. If you’re anything like me, you def just read that and you were all,  “LOL yeah right, that sh*t just doesn’t exist girl BYE.” Ok yes,  #MeTime is hard to come by, but hear me out. If you DON’T factor some time for yourself into your week, you’re gonna be living a life full of dark bags under your eyes and constant sadness when you can’t join the convo on whether you love Corrine or hate her (hint: she’s the she-devil, but also kind of #BachelorGirlGoals, tbh. That girl DFAF, that’s for sure.)

My point is, you need to start giving yourself some down time. Those Bumble matches aren’t gonna just swipe themselves, ya know. Luckily for you, I’ve put together a list of 5 ways to squeeze in time for yourself so you don’t become a raging psycho who nobody wants to go to happy hour with bc you’re a buzzkill. You’re welcome.


#1: Tell all of your friends you can’t go out, a-la, “I can’t go out. *cough*. I’m sick.” Your friends will be all “Boo, you whore” Regina George style, and then they’ll leave you alone until 2am when they send you like 45 snapchats of them drunk-eating tacos at a random guy’s house whose name you’ll prob never learn because be real, your friends won’t remember, and the guys won’t be texting them ever again anyways #modernromance. A Friday night home alone? THIS IS MY HEAVEN. I love you guys so much, that I graciously dedicated a Friday night home to myself just so I could give you some direction on what to do.

  • Get into your oldest, ugliest sweats, because everyone knows these are also the most comfortable pieces of clothing you own. Since nobody will be seeing you, it doesn’t matter that you’re wearing your dad’s XL sweatshirt with the pizza grease stain and holes on the collar. Girl, you do you.
  • Turn off the lights and light some candles. I prob have at least 25 candles in various locations around my apartment. This is really not an exaggeration. But selection is key. For this, I went with a Pumpkin Chai Spice by Melt With You. This is just about the dreamiest candle scent in the world. We may be in the dreaded dead of winter right now, but this will give you all the feels of hoodie + PSL weather, which is my personal favorite. Scent is everything, ladies, and this one had my apartment smelling like something was baking in the oven, but didn’t wanna make me vom like the ones labeled “vanilla cupcake” or whatever at Walmart do, which is a plus.
  • Toss on Netflix… but make sure what you’re watching is a classic. Yes, I know you want to catch up on your shows, but there’s nothing better than being all cozy on your couch and watching a movie that reminds you of the when you were 13 (the good kind of memories though – not the ones from when you found out it wasn’t “cool” to like High School Musical anymore. I have feelings about it, it’s fine, I’m over it. Troy Bolton will always be the ultimate dream boat.

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#2: Hit the gym. I love to complain about going to the gym as much as the next person. You wanna talk about how much you love SoulCyle? Do it someplace else, because I’m not interested – I freaking HATE SoulCyle (this is a really sacrelig. thing to say as a 20-something year old girl in NYC, but it seriously sucks). HOWEVER. As the iconic Elle Woods would say, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t punch their co-workers in the face when they don’t get their coffee in time :).” Or something to that effect. Anyways, the gym is a great place to relieve some stress and just sweat it out. When all else fails and your fave eliptical is out of order AGAIN (I’m looking @ you, NYSC – get your sh*t together), sign up for a class. Most gyms offer free group classes (or you can pay for one-off classes if you don’t belong to a gym). Take a Zumba class and dance it out, or sign up for kickboxing and pretend like the punching bag has your boss’s face glued to the front. I promise, you’ll leave feeling better than when you got there. Pro tip: If you want to try a trendy NYC workout, check out my post on the class I took at Body by Simone– it was incredible!



#3: Pamper yourself. Start with going to your neighborhood nail salon and getting a mani/pedi. You’ll have an hour and a half of uninterrupted time to sit in a massage chair and scroll through your Insta feed and judge people. What more could a girl ask for? Once your nails are dry, head home and have a beauty night. *Note* this is different from calling in sick to your friends at the bar. This past Sunday, I had a beauty night for myself. I started by drawing a bubble bath. The elements to the bath are key in making sure it’s relaxing.

  • The water was hot, and I carefully selected a bath bomb to set the tone. Was I in a glittery mood? A pink + purple mood? No. I was in a birthday cake mood. So I whipped out my bath bomb from Jade Taylor Market and tossed it in. Excellent choice, I must say. It moisturized my skin, which was practically flaking off from how dry this winter weather has made it. Also, I smelled delicious and I didn’t hate it.
  • I lit one of my other favorite candles from Melt With You – this one was Sparkling Citrus scented. It was PERFECT! For me, I like clean/fresh scents when it comes to anything related to my lotions, body washes, perfumes etc., so I prefer that in my bathtime candles as well.
  • I applied my favorite pore-cleansing mask (Boscia Luminizing Black Mask). Just to warn you, this thing hurts like a bitch when you pull it off. But your skin will feel baby-bottom smooth after your done, and you’ll have no regrets. Pro-tip: Pair this mask with one of the Sephora sheet masks after (I personally like the pomegranate one). I did this once and when I walked into work the next day, 3 different people asked if I’d gotten a facial because my skin looked so good. One even said I looked like I was glowing. HELL YEAH!

After you’ve soaked in the tub until the point of turning into a prune, move on to your hair. I don’t know about you, but my hair has been dry as all get-out recently, and breaking far more easily than I’d like it to. So I’ve started applying weekly hairmasks to protect my color-treated locks from the harsh rage-like strokes with which I attempt to detangle it. While all of this beautifying is happening, feel free to catch up of the latest Housewives drama of your choosing. I’m partial to NYC and Beverly Hills, but that’s just me. You know I love me some Lisa + Giggy action!









If you’re reading this and saying to yourself, “yeah that’s great but I don’t have time for any of these things… move right along to #4 and #5.

#4) Read a book. I feel like at the age of 24, I shouldn’t be having to tell people that reading has like 2358823423 benefits and that you should be reading something at least once a month, but you’d be surprised. I’m not suggesting that you pick up War & Peace, but something quick that you can read on your subway commute will make the time go by faster and keep your brain just a little bit sharper. And it’s just one more thing that you’re doing for yourself, instead of stress-refreshing your email and waiting for that one client you hate to send over a request that will just ruin your day. Put the phone down, pick the book up, and dedicate 20 minutes to taking your mind off of work. I promise you won’t hate it.



#5) If all else fails, brew yourself a cup of tea. You can curl up on your couch, answer some emails while the kettle is boiling, and then once it’s done, put in your favorite tea bag + creamer and start winding down for bed. I’ve started doing this around 11pm every night. As soon as the kettle starts whistling, I know it’s time to shut down the laptop, get cozy under the covers, and throw on an episode of Friends to fall asleep to.


Do you have any other tips + tricks to squeeze in some #MeTime? Comment below!

xo, AJ

Links on Where to Buy Products I Mentioned in this Post:

That Time I Went to Body By Simone + Had the Best Workout Ever

Since the beginning of time, I have fought to find a way to balance my love of carbs and my hate of most forms of exercise. I’ve tried super hard to avoid many a Regina George moment – “sweatpants are all that fit me rn.” I’m not proud of the fact that college me lived in yoga pants/ norts/ oversized frat tees 85% of the time. In my defense, that was the sorority cool-girl style, but it was also super favorable for those of us embracing the freshman 15. UGH, beer + hangover food, guys. It’ll get ya every time.

Over the last year and a half, I’ve worked really hard to eat better and be more active – which is not easy for someone who really hates traditional workouts and used to hide behind the pole-vaulting mat on the track during the mile portion of the Presidential Test during P.E. in high school. Hand to God, I legit pat myself on the back if I “run” a mile faster than 12 minutes. Working out just isn’t something I’ve ever really had an affinity for, so making such an effort this last year or so has been especially tough. That’s why I’m so grateful to live in NYC, where there are literally millions of people who are just like me and hate the feeling of jogging on a stationary piece of rubber for 45 minutes while trying your absolute hardest not to start walking until at least the 5 minute mark. No? Just me? K, sorry.

Anways, one thing that I’ve absolutely always loved is dancing. I started ballet at the age of 3 and danced until I was 13, and started cheering in 2nd grade in mighty-mites and fell in love. I cheered all the way until I graduated high school, and I’ve missed it ever since. Once I started getting into a healthier mode, I looked into taking dance classes. Dancing as a workout is no joke – if you really get into it, it does more than just provide a good cardio workout – it tones you like no other. I lost 20 lbs this past fall just by doing Zumba classes 4-5 days a week for an hour each day. And the best part is how fun it is!

Which brings me to today’s post. One of my really close friends, Jenny, is a huge supporter of my health kick. She’s someone I can always count on to be down for a workout class, or choosing a healthier place to meet for dinner or lunch. She’s the kind of friend who’s super encouraging, but I’m not going to lie… when she first invited me to join her at this Body By Simone class, I was hesitant. I’ve taken a handful of workout classes with Jen, and I end up seriously resenting her about 10 minutes into every class we’ve ever done together. They’re always SO HARD. And I’m not a huge baby about this stuff, but I’m not exaggerating. Once, she took me to a class that lasted 60 minutes and consisted entirely of different exercises with a heavy-ass medicine ball. 15 minutes in, I was plotting different ways to “accidentally” drop my ball and trip my instructor just to put me out of my misery. 5 minutes after that, I literally walked out. I did it for our friendship – if I had stayed, I don’t think I would’ve talked to Jenny for at least 2 weeks. It was that hard. Ok, so maybe I am a bit of a baby but whatevs STOP JUDGING ME.

When Jenny asked, I skeptically agreed, and here’s why: I just saw an episode of Khloe Kardashian’s new show, Revenge Body, a few weeks ago, and it featured Body By Simone on it. I saw this girl get her ass kicked in this class day after day for 12 weeks, and her results were insane! So I threw on my Lulu Lemons and my hot pink Nikes and made my way up to the W 26th Street location.



As soon as the class started, I knew it was no joke. Like I said, I’ve done plenty of dance classes in my life, and I really love Zumba, so I thought that this would be a breeze. LOL, no. The “warm-up” had me chugging a half a bottle of water after just 7 minutes! Our instructor, Ashley, was KILLING it, and also killing me in the process. Her encouragement and bubbly personality are probably the only reasons I survived the whole hour, because I was sweating my ass off before the first song was even over.

The concept of this class is that it’s 80% cardio dance, and the other 20% is dedicated to toning. You have your warm-up, then you learn 2 routines, then you move on to some leg work, then two more routines, then arms, abs, and a cool-down. Even though the arms portion only lasts for probably 7 minutes, I could already feel the fat from my lunch-lady arms burning (seriously, feel the burn could not have been truer at this point). It sounds really cheesy to say this, but the most important thing you can do for yourself during this class is to let loose and have fun. Nobody else there cares if you look like a jackass and can’t get the steps right – they’re all too busy trying not to choke on their own spit while they’re panting throughout the third routine. As long as you’re having a good time, I promise you’ll survive!



The class isn’t cheap – it’s $35/hour, but I’m working on either finding a Gilt deal or selling a kidney or something (or possibly just not ordering as much Seamless bc hey – let’s kill two birdS with one stone and maybe not order Mexican/Chinese three nights a week if the goal is to shed some LBs by going to this class in the first place??). I left the class feeling happier and lighter. It didn’t hurt that it was unseasonably warm for a late February night, and Jenny and I could walk 25 blocks or so without our hair forming icicles at the tips. If you live in the NYC area, or even if you’re just planning to visit, send me a message and let’s go to a class together! I’m all about making new friends and finding fun ways to get to know someone. If there’s one way to do it, it’s letting loose and embarrassing myself on a dance floor. See you there!

xo, AJ