Reflecting on 2018: Victories and Failures

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I can’t believe 2018 is almost gone. Everyone I know has been through their fair share of ups and downs to say the least. There have been so many blessings and stresses that we got to embrace this year. But we did it. One way or another, we made it.

I want to take a moment to thank each and every one of you for your kind words and support. You all have brought so much light into my life even when times got tough. It is my hope that I can also return the favor to you in 2019. As the year comes to close, I wanted to take time to reflect on the victories and failures that faced in 2018. This is a time to look back (just this once) to learn, grow and be better in the new year.

Failures

I like to save the best for last ūüėČ We all have goals that we set for ourselves each and every year. So here are a few of the failures I faced this year:

  • I did not grow on social media as much as I had hoped. It was my goal to be at 1K on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest by the end of 2018. Additionally, it was my goal to have 5K in Instagram friends along with growing my e-mail list. None of these happened.
  • I didn’t end up finding a therapist like I had originally planned to do earlier in the year. Not taking the time to do so has taken a decent toll on my mental health.
  • It was my goal to grow my saving account this year – and I am nowhere near my original goal.
  • Being a better friend was also a personal goal of mine. I am not always the best at keeping in touch with the people I love. They deserve better and I failed them a lot this year.
  • After having kidney stones this past summer shortly after my birthday this year, I pushed myself to go back to work even when I physically should not have. ¬†Doing so has left my heart with a lot of anger since I might not have healed properly.

But this year, I did have victories

  • One of my biggest goals was to network with more bloggers and professionals in the influencer industry. And I was able to check this goal off my list this year. I had to a chance to reconnect with personal friends like Karen from Paris and A Latte plus meet mega influencers like Caila Quinn and Olivia Rink!
  • After four years, I made a shift in my career. I left my receptionist job to pursue a career in sales (it’s always hard for me to leave the businesses I work for. I stayed in my retail job at Kohls for 5 years before I left). Sales is a hard profession but so far so good!
  • There is no room for negativity in my life anymore. Earlier this year, I made the decision to cut people in my life that putting limiting beliefs in my head or frankly, we not supportive. I don’t have time for people who do not give me the love and support that I give to them in return.
  • The hopeless romantic in me is speaking now: I celebrated 7 years with my¬†man this year! Ah! Every bad romance and heartbreak no longer matter because I have true happiness with someone who makes me feel whole every day.
  • It’s nice to be recognized but it is even better when the brands you love the most give you some love. LC Lauren Conrad and TargetStyle featured me on their stories this year along with #WeAllGrowLatina. Needless to say, I did a lot of happy dances this year.
  • While I did not pitch to as many brands as I had wanted to this year, I did get to work with some incredible brands I love like Clinique, Dove and newer brands like ThirdLove and Solgaard.

So despite all the failures, I’d have to say 2018 turned out well! All my victories from 2018 are what I am going to take into 2019. I hope you do the same. May 2019 bring you all good health, prosperity and endless joy. Love you all to pieces.

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Dress: Leith (under $50)

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Holiday style & gift ideas from J.CREW

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Yesterday I had the wonderful opportunity to host a shopping event at a local J.Crew in New Jersey. We had a decent turnout! Additionally, I had the privilege to have my own try-on session! I shared on my Instagram stories what I tried on in videos. In case you want to buy some of my looks, we can do so below! Comment below on which look is your favorite.

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Simple, elegant and perfect for any holiday party you are planning on attending. For extra warm, add a pair of wool knit stockings! I am wearing the bodysuit in XS in this photo but I would rather have had a size S. The skirt I am wearing in size 2.

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Top: J.Crew // Skirt: J.Crew // Necklace: J.Crew // Boots: H&M 

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You can never go wrong with a great tweed topcoat! I am wearing this one in regular 00.

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Coat: J.Crew // Jeans: J.Crew // Boots: H&M

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Sweater: J.Crew // Jeans: J.Crew // Hat: J.Crew // Scarf: J.Crew // Boots: H&M


Here are some other great gift ideas:

Womens moccasins

From left to right:

Gold // Brown // Red

Pajamas for men

From left to right:

Flannel PJs // Jersey PJ pants // Jersey PJ short

Womens Shoes

From left to right

Wedge boots // Ankle Strap plaid glitter heels // Slingback pumps

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5 reasons why Solgaard’s original Lifepack is the perfect holiday gift

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Do you have that one person on your list that you have absolutely no idea what to get for them this holiday? It can be so hard (and stressful) to buy a gift for that one person in our lives. Thankfully, I found a solution to your problem! Today I am sharing 5 reasons why Solgaard’s original Lifepack makes the perfect holiday gift. Your holiday shopping just got a whole lot easier!

1.

A unique gift.  Your loved one is not going to expect to unwrap a backpack this holiday season. Needless to say, they are going to have a pleasant surprise! This is not your standard backpack.  It has 12 amazing features to it including a bottle opener, a solar bank that allows you to charge your phone on the go and so much more!

2.

An investment piece. The backpack is one of those pieces that your loved one would never spend on themselves. I am sure you know someone who would absolutely love this bag but would never commit to investing in themselves to have it. The original Lifepack is truly a gift that your loved ones will truly treasure and get lasting use from.

3.

A gift that is environmentally friendly. It is absolutely heartbreaking how much pollution and trash is being dumped into our beautiful oceans. Thanks to advancements in technology, Solgaard is removing plastic from our oceans and converting said plastic into thread behind the fabric of the bag. That’s right! Each Solgaard bag is made of up to 5lbs of upcycled plastic. Not only would you be a buying a back with lasting quality but you would also be helping to make the world a better (and cleaner) place.

4.

A bag that fits everyone’s style. One of my fellow blogger friends left a comment on my Instagram post saying that her finance would love this bag because he would be able to take it hunting with him. And she is absolutely right! This is a bag that can fit any lifestyle. Whether you are a student, a hiker or an avid traveler, Solgaard’s original Lifepack is truly one size fits all!

5.

A gift that provides lasting quality. There is nothing more frustrating than spending a fortune on a piece only to find that is it falling apart a year later. I love how the original Lifepack is well made. You can fit so much into the backpack and be worry free since it is lightweight. I’m a whopping 5’2 and love that the backpack does not wear me down. In fact, I walked 5 blocks in the city this past week and my backpack did not slow me down one bit!

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All of the amazing features this bag has to offer. Photo credit: Solgaard

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Thank you Solgaard for sponsoring this post! It is truly an honor to work with such an admirable brand.

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Holiday gift ideas for the coffee addict

We all have that one person in our lives that cannot get enough of coffee or coffee related items! This post is designed to make your shopping experience easier.

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First row (from left to right)

Merry Little Christmas mug ($14) // Coffee Bean scrub // Dose of Color Matte lipstick ($18)

Second row (from left to right) 

Ninja Coffee System // Tis the season mug¬†($14) // Anastasia Soft Glam Eyeshadow Palette¬†(under $50) // I can’t be trusted at Target mug ($14)

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Cyber Monday deals 2018

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THIS YEAR’S CYBER MONDAY DEALS

  • Amazon: 30% off all fashion, up to 50% off all electronics
  • Ebay: up to 60% off site wide!¬†

COSMETICS:

JEWELRY:

FASHION:

  • ASOS: 25% off everything
  • American Eagle: 40% off everything
  • Ann Taylor: Free shipping + 50% off everything with code CYBER2018
  • Anthropologie:¬† 30% off everything
  • Banana Republic :¬†50% off everything
  • DSW :¬†20% off everything
  • Express: 50% off everything
  • Francescas: 35% off site wide!¬†
  • JCrew:¬†40% off everything code ‚Äútogether‚ÄĚ
  • JCrew Factory:¬† 40%-50% off everything with code ‚Äúadd2cart‚ÄĚ
  • Kohls: 20% off with code GIVE20 + $10 off of $50 purchase with code JACKPOT. Plus you get $15 Kohls cash for every $50 spent!¬†
  • Loft: Free shipping + 50% with code CYBER
  • Macys: An extra 10% off select departments ¬†with code CYBER + free shipping with orders over $25 (no code needed)¬†
  • Madewell: 25% off everything
  • Nordstrom: Up to 60% off plus get $50 back when you send $250
  • Nordstrom Rack: Up to 60% off + spend $125 then get $25 back
  • Nike¬†: extra 25% select styles code ‚Äúthanks‚ÄĚ
  • Old¬†Navy:¬†50% off everything + free cozy socks with an purchase using code COZY
  • Revolve:¬†Take an extra 20% using code CYBER20
  • Shopbop:¬†15-25% off with code ‚Äúmore‚ÄĚ + extra 30% off sale items with code WOW18
  • The Disney Store: get up to 30% using code CYBER + free shipping with $75 purchase or more when you use code SHIPMAGIC
  • Target:¬†Extra 15% off clothing, toys and much more!
  • ThirdLove: $25 off + 30% off sale items
  • Urban Outfitters: Get up to $50 your purchase¬†site wide!

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Holiday gift ideas for Mom

Surprise your mother figure with these dazzling and unique gifts!

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Starting from left to right:

  1. Geode wine glasses
  2. Saddle Bag
  3. Colorblock cardigan
  4. Vanilla bean & dark roasted coffee candle
  5. Estee Lauder Liquid lipstick
  6. Peter Thomas Roth 24K Gold Eye patches
  7. Wrapped diamond bolo bracelet
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Small Business Saturday: Supporting local businesses in Northern New Jersey

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“When you buy from a small business, you are not helping a CEO buy a third vacation home. You are helping a little girl get dance lessons, a little boy get his team jersey, a mom put food on the table, a dad pay a mortgage or a student pay for college.”

I have a lot of love for small business in New Jersey. Each business owner I  have had the pleasure to meet or work with have been so inspirational. They are so open to collaborating, learn new technologies and come together to benefit their local communities Рnot just their personal business. Today, I want to introduce you all to some of my dear colleagues and friends who are small business owners. Please consider your small businesses for your holiday shopping. Because YOU are the reason our small business are able to thrive.

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STITCH Boutique – Madison, NJ

I have had the honor and privilege to work with Stitch Boutique. Caitlin has a create passion for fashion. Every single piece she adds to the boutique is picked with love and care. From silky textures to elegant tweeds, Caitlyn knows her stuff!

Valley Girl – Montclair, NJ

If you are a fan of Francesca’s, you will love Valley Girl. Elaine always has fun, whimsical pieces as well as trendy pieces. The store offers west coast style at reasonable prices. Be sure to stop by and tell the girls that Cristina from Timeless Optimist sent you ūüėČ

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Sweet Home Montclair – Montclair, NJ

If you had a sweet tooth, Sweet Home Montclair is going to be your new favorite place. Every event that I have had the privilege to attend in Montclair this year has featured a fun, colorful candy bar. A great idea for your next holiday party or work event don’t you think?

South Sweet Creamy – Morristown, NJ

Nothing beats homemade ice cream right? South The aesthetic has a vintage feel to it which gives the place its charm. They also bake all of their sweets on the premises. The creamy is within walking distance of MPAC in case you want to visit the creamy before or after a show.

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Cloveberry – Sparta, NJ

I love a charming coffee spot that also offers great food. Cloveberry offers organic food with gluten-free options for their wraps and sandwiches. My favorite coffee to get is their salted caramel latte (I always get mine with almond milk).

Cottage II – Morristown, NJ

By far, my favorite place for Chinese food! The food tastes amazing and I love the portions. They are not too massive and you feel fully satisfied by the end of the meal. Not to mention that Cottage II is also very reasonable with their prices!

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Chelsea Square Montclair – Montclair, NJ

Think Bath and Body works with a more elegant twist. Karalynne is the owner of this fabulous store sporting skin care brands like¬†Kiehl’s.¬†If you want a customized gift, you can purchase on of their self-care collections!

Depasquale the Spa – Morris Plain, NJ

Depasquale is one of the biggest spas on the country! Nonetheless, you can expect personalized attention at ever visit. They have coffee bar so you can enjoy a cappuccino while you wait for your appointment.

For the rest of the year, I am going tube featuring a small business every Saturday. If you have a small business that you would like me to feature, feel free to let me know in the comments below.

 

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