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    I Cut 5 Unnecessary Spending Habits for 30 Days and This is What Happened

    Financial experts note that people tend to fall into two categories: savers and spenders. I’m the latter; I have a habit of making purchases based on what I want instead of what I need. To curb my impulsive “I can afford everything” buying mentality, I tracked my spending decisions over the past 30 days. Here’s what I learned—and how you can use these saving strategies to allow your dollars to add up in a more impactful way over time.

    Source: Colorjoy Stock

    1. I stopped buying coffee every morning
    I’m a self-proclaimed coffee junkie. I love the smell of freshly ground beans, the first hot sip of french roast on a blustery winter day, the icy jolt from a tall glass of cold brew. I also love the ritual of stopping at a coffee shop on my way to work. It feels like a special treat, just for me, before diving into the hurried tasks of my day. Oh, and I’m a mom to a nine-month-old for whom sleep is optional, so there’s that.
    However, the cost of each barista visit adds up quickly. I realized that I was easily spending around $2-6 a day. On a beverage! If you do the basic math, that is something like $500-1500 a year. Considering that is the cost of a super sweet vacation, I challenged myself to stop buying coffee for 30 days and simply make it at home.
    The first week sucked. I longingly stared out the window at my favorite cafe every time I drove past, and then took a sip out of my to-go mug of coffee made at home, which was… fine. It still got the job done; I mostly experienced the natural lows that occur from being disciplined (sigh) instead of spontaneous (yay!). Instead, I saved coffee purchases for meetings or dates with other people—moments when I could linger, chat, and truly enjoy my beverage with great company. This resulted in many upsides, such as a reduced caffeine reliance, more money in my pocket, and a better appreciation for treat yo’ self days. (Hint: it’s not a treat when you get it every day!)
    Monthly savings: $60-180

    2. I limited dining out to special occasions
    Growing up, my family usually went out to dinner to celebrate specific events: birthdays, relatives in town, Christmas Eve after late night mass. We ordered pizza a few times a year on Friday nights, complete with watching new episodes on ABC’s TGIF and drinking Pepsi out of the can. If that sounds lame, it wasn’t—because I knew that dining out marked a special occasion. Somewhere along the way I forgot that, and eating out became the norm due to a hectic schedule, lackluster cooking skills, and a taste for convenience.
    Typically, I eat out for lunch 1-2 times a week, and my husband and I either pick up dinner or visit a restaurant 1-3 times, mostly on the weekend. That can cost anywhere from $8-15 for a single lunchtime outing and $20-75 for take-out or a sit-down meal, not to mention the fact that labor costs are rising, which has led to restaurant prices inching up. To save money for 30 days, I made a conservative choice to limit weekly dining out to one lunchtime outing on my own and one weekend dinner out as as couple. I wanted to see if I could retrain myself to view dining out as a special, cherished event, rather than an everyday occasion.
    The result? I didn’t notice much of a difference; I simply needed to do a bit more meal planning for work and home. I also felt better health-wise and had more energy. Sure, pulling out a tuna sandwich and an apple at my desk felt less exciting than the Whole Foods salad bar—but spending the extra cash on a nice steak dinner with my husband and our favorite bottle of pinot noir later that week was worth every penny.
    Monthly savings: $32-60 (by dropping one individual lunch per week) and $80-300 (by dropping one dinner for two per week)

    Source: Colorjoy Stock

    3. I stuck to a list
    Otherwise known as, “how I avoided accidentally spending $100 at Target on shit I don’t need.” Even though the dollar section always calls my name and insists I need new notepads or decorative candles, I’m learning that if I actually stick to a legitimate list of items, I end up saving money. This approach proved useful at any store; before going on errands, I wrote down my list of items and then did my very best to only purchase those specific things. If I walked down an aisle and thought, “Oh! I forgot that I needed shampoo!” I asked myself if I was legitimately out of shampoo or if I was just running low. I discovered it was often the latter, and realized I could put shampoo, for instance, on my next shopping list. And at the grocery store, I learned that having a list kept me from buying (usually unhealthy) splurge items (like large packages of sour gummy worms).
    Was it less fun to shop that way? Well, yes. It feels limiting to buy what’s on your list rather than view a store as your oyster; however, I’m not made of money and need to stick to a budget. This helped, immensely. One surprising perk: I also saved a lot of time by sticking to a list because I didn’t aimlessly wander around the store every time; I got in and got out with the things that I needed.
    Monthly savings: $10-100

    4. I remembered how to have old-school fun.
    Once I became an independent adult, my idea of fun shifted to events that pretty much always cost money: drinks, dinners, concerts, plays, vacations, classes, parties… it all had a price, and I wanted to see if I remembered how to have fun the old-school way. You know, for free. Turns out there were plenty of things to do, like walking around the local art museum with a girlfriend, or running an informal 5k with my sister instead of signing up for an official race, or watching Netflix at home with stovetop popcorn.
    At first, it felt a little boring, but mostly because my expectations were accustomed to thinking about activities as being Instagram-able first and foremost. I also felt a little self-conscious and lame by offering up alternative suggestions to friends who wanted to go out. But I got over it, and my friends never honestly seemed to mind because they just wanted to spend time together.
    There’s joy in the simple things, like hanging out with the people you love with no agenda or timetable or required five-course meal. At the end of the 30-day period, I desperately felt ready for a nice glass of wine at a fancy bar; I wanted to fill up my calendar with everything fun. However, this exercise taught me to be more creative, more present, and more appreciative of people instead of things.
    Monthly savings: $15-200

    Source: Colorjoy Stock

    5. I took a break from my phone
    Earlier this year, I received a serious lecture from my husband about the fact that I went over our data plan pretty much every single month. This had become a massive habit of mine, and an expensive one since most cell phone carriers charge $5-15 for each GB of overage. To mitigate these unexpected costs, I forced myself to shut off cellular service for all applications unless I had access to Wi-Fi.
    I soon noticed that I absent-mindedly checked my phone alllll the damn time. Usually for no good reason whatsoever. Additionally, I used GPS when I didn’t need to (I mean… I know how to get from my sister’s house to my apartment) and browsed Spotify to my heart’s content during long car rides. And social media? I opened those apps constantly, just to look and basically distract myself from real life whenever I felt bored, lonely, or anxious. I also, gulp, came face-to-face with my penchant for grabbing my phone while driving, which is incredibly unsafe. I thought I was being quick at a stop light to glance down at my email, when I was really just making life on the road unsafe for myself and others.
    By putting my phone down, leaving it in my purse, or setting it aside, I not only saved money each month, I also had the opportunity to be much more aware on a daily basis. My emotional state improved, since I wasn’t continuously comparing my life to virtual reality. The data savings were great, but I felt grateful to kick a bad habit along the way.
    Monthly savings: $5-20

    Cutting these five items from my monthly budget taught me valuable lessons and put hundreds of dollars back into my bank account. Most importantly, it reminded me to make more meaningful, thoughtful financial choices, such as making extra student loan payments, money saved for a down payment on a house, and more bulk to my savings.

    How to Save Money When You’re Not a Saver More

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    The Career Advice You Need to Hear Based on Your Enneagram

    Our careers make up a large part of our lives. We go to college to get a job, we spend time (and money!) to perfect our resumes to land our dream job in our field, spend 40+ hours a week trying to build our portfolios and make a name for ourselves, devour all the career advice we can—and we still have more than 30 years to go before retirement. So we might as well make it as good as it can be, right?
    Career advice is some of the most sought after here at The Everygirl, but it’s not one-size-fits-all. Not all of us struggle with the same issues, and what some of us have figured out keeps others up at night. But we found the best way to give targeted career advice to a large audience: the enneagram! Our favorite personality test might be the best way to learn how you can boost your career, improve your productivity, and reach all of your goals. 

    Ones are all about improving themselves. They’re called The Perfectionists because they want everything around them to be good and done correctly. They’re responsible and detail-oriented, making them strong candidates for jobs that require precision and accuracy. As an employee, you can count on them to turn in quality work.
    With their perfectionist nature, they are their biggest inner critic. They worry that their work isn’t good unless it’s perfect, which can disrupt deadlines or cause issues when working with a team. Understand what makes you a strong employee and leader and own it. Growing your confidence in the workplace will improve your quality and quantity of work. 

    10 Ways to Be More Confident at Work

    Relationship-oriented, caring, and supportive, twos are all about helping others. They make amazing coworkers and team members because they’re all about being there for every member of the group.
    When you’re creating friendships at work, make sure you set boundaries. Is this person just a work friend? Are you going to talk about work outside of the office, or is your friendship and work relationship separate? Keep these questions (and answers) in mind for a seamless relationship that is beneficial at work and at happy hour. 

    How to Set Friendship Boundaries at Work

    I’m sure there are a lot of threes reading this right now. They love leadership development and being the best employee or manager they can be. They’re always trying to level up their career, and they take a lot of pride in being career-focused. They’re goal-oriented and feel accomplished when they are appreciated and praised at work.
    Focus on building your career by finding your niche—where do you fit in your company? Are you the one who’s known for amazing customer service and personality? Or do you excel at following data leads and executing projects? 

    5 Habits That Make You Stand Out at Work

    The Romantic is idealistic and seeks meaningful experiences, especially in their careers. They long to create and show their artistic expression through their career, which makes them perfect for roles that require thinking outside of the box and discovering unique ideas and solutions for problems.
    Find ways to keep your productivity up to tackle your biggest goals, especially if a side hustle is on that list. Fours struggle with balancing their emotions with their logic mind, so focusing on your overall career goals instead of your goals within your current company will allow you to broaden your horizons. 

    9 Productivity Hacks That Will Help You Impress Your Boss

    If you’ve ever sat in your office and thought about how much more productive and efficient you’d be if you were at home, odds are, you’re a five. Fives are analytical and enjoy having time and space to themselves to work.
    Focus on building up your home office space (whether it’s a room with a view or your bed). This will give you the privacy and energy you crave to accomplish tasks and complete projects on your own time. 

    How to Make Your Daily Work-From-Home Routine Feel Fresh Again

    If you’re in an industry with a lot of competition, you’ll want a six on your team. They are trustworthy and loyal and will work hard to discover the strategies to accomplish team goals.
    Sixes are hyper-aware of what’s going on around them, so they have a sense of perception that others might not understand. However, this can also make them quite pessimistic and anxious, often causing them to focus so intently on their main goals while forgetting the small ones necessary to get them to the end. Look at your goals closely to discover the small steps you need to achieve them. 

    How to Turn Jealousy Into Productivity

    Sevens are amazing at staying in the moment, which allows them to be optimistic and adventurous. They’re the employees who will gladly take up new opportunities to travel to another office or try out that new productivity app that everyone is buzzing about.
    They love thinking ahead to future plans while keeping a fast-paced mindset on achieving and setting new goals consistently. All this can lead to burnout quickly, and the last thing a seven wants is to feel unmotivated and bored at work. To combat this, delegate tasks that bore you as much as possible and work on new, interesting projects as much as you can to get you excited again. 

    Why Your Work Burnout Might Really Be Loneliness

    Competition is a daily source of motivation and drive for an eight. In the workplace, they’re leaders who take charge and ask the necessary questions to propel their careers further. They’re always looking for the next opportunity, whether it’s a raise, a promotion, or a new leadership role.
    Keep your career thriving by asking for more duties at work. This initiative will certainly impress your boss when it comes time to discuss raises and promotions later in the year.

    How to Ask for More Responsibility at Work

    Nines are all about going with the flow, and when it comes to their career, they seek to harmonize and work with others as much as possible. They are easygoing and empathetic, so they understand and see all sides and possibilities of a conflict.
    While twos are typically considered the people-pleasing type, nines can often get caught up in trying to keep the peace in situations that actually call for a little productive conflict. Your relationships won’t suffer if you speak up about something that is bothering you—remember that, and you’ll start to feel more respected and confident in the workplace.

    How to Finally Stop Being a People-Pleaser

    How to Have a Better Relationship According to Your Enneagram

    The Hobby You Should Try Next Based on Your Enneagram More

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    The One Tool You Need To Upgrade Your Social Media

    The last year and a half has been difficult for all of us, but it’s been especially hard for female small-business owners. Some had to close their brick-and-mortar stores for good while others had to follow social media tips and ramp up their digital media strategies to compete with big-name retailers. No matter the circumstance, the changing economy required these hardworking women to think outside the box. 
    But what sounds like a tale of woe doesn’t have to be. According to a survey conducted by Adobe and Wakefield Research, 61 percent of female small-business owners say their business’s online presence is more important than their physical location—56 percent of solopreneurs rate their business’s digital and social media marketing as either fair or poor. In addition, 83 percent of solopreneurs noted that creative design will stand out and drive their business to be more successful, but they just lack the time, tools, and training to get it done.
    If you’re trying to improve your digital footprint to help your business thrive, we have a few simple-to-follow tips that will drive you to success. And thanks to Adobe Spark, one of our favorite social media and marketing tools, you can navigate today’s complicated market—whether you’re rebuilding your following, trying to get more creative, or fighting to stand out amid a sea of competition. 

    1. Develop a Cohesive Brand Image
    It doesn’t matter what type of company you run. The way your social media content looks can make or break your business. Even if your photos are top-of-the-line or you’re a connoisseur with copy, a brand without any continuity can leave consumers feeling lost and uninterested. That’s why it’s essential to create a streamlined look to help people identify (and get sucked into) your content from the moment they discover it on social media. 

    Australian craft-based designer Kitiya Palaskas built her small business around helping clients develop a brand image. Thanks to a massive collection of graphics, logos, fonts, and colors available on Adobe Spark, Palaskas finds her day-to-day branding tasks easier. On the platform, she can create tailored social graphics, videos, presentations, and more based on her client’s needs.

    2. Streamline Your Workflow
    You know that cohesive look we were talking about? A lot of what goes into that sort of linearity is repetitiveness. I’m not talking about repeating the same post day after day. I’m referring to using the same colors, formatting, and text to showcase a smooth look throughout your feed, blog posts, and website. 
    In terms of social media, one of the easiest ways to do this is by creating templates that you can use over and over again. It cuts down on the time you spend meticulously formatting your graphics and creates consistency from one post to the next. 

    When creating templates, small-business owners can turn to Adobe Spark’s resource library that houses thousands of curated blueprints from designers and other content creators. The great thing about these templates is that you can customize them by swapping out the original colors with your brand colors, or you can change up the font to match your logo, the text on your website, and more. You can also shift and maneuver things around to make them look exactly how you want them.
    After you create a template, you can save it for future posts and edit it when needed. Just make sure you have your go-to brand colors, graphics, and fonts on hand to make changing your template quick and easy. 

    3. Create Eye-Catching Graphics
    A few years back, posting photos of your products was enough to grab some attention on social media. Today, it’s the vibrant graphics and compelling videos that stop people from scrolling past your post. 

    Before you start messing around with shapes and images, remember that social media is an extension of your business, so you want your graphics to reflect your brand. Trying to evoke a lighthearted feel? Opt for pastels or bright colors. Catering to a professional audience? Neutrals might be better. Whatever you choose, come up with five or fewer colors to use from one graphic to the next. 
    If you’re using imagery in your posts, only use high-quality photos (because even the most creative design will be overshadowed by a blurry image). You also want to make sure that your graphics aren’t too busy or distracting. Contrast is key if you’re adding text, and it’s OK to have some white space on your designs. 

    4. Improve Clarity and Collaboration
    Nothing is worse than nearing the end of a big campaign only to realize everyone is on a different page. It’s frustrating, time-consuming, and it can completely derail your brand goals. So if you’re adding a few helping hands to your small business, it’s imperative to prioritize effective collaboration and communication. 
    Start by getting everyone on the same page with a clear goal. You can follow the SMART format—Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. This will allow you to clearly track your progress from start to finish. Communicate the goal to your team and ensure everyone understands it clearly. This is also a good time to address anyone’s questions or concerns. 

    When you’re ready to dive into the busy work, make sure everything you need for your project is in one location. With Adobe Spark’s collaboration feature, you can create a project on the platform and easily invite people to join. When the invitation is accepted via email, everyone will be able to edit the project in the same place (and see the changes made when the project is updated).
    This tool is a major time-saver and key to efficiency. One person may be incredible at writing copy while another is more design-savvy. Project sharing allows you to pass the same graphic, presentation, or document back and forth while utilizing everyone’s strengths and keeping everyone on the same page. 

    5. Find a Supportive Community
    It’s normal to run into roadblocks when running a small business, but when obstacles keep getting in the way of your goals, it’s easy to get down on yourself. The good news is that you’re not alone—even if it feels that way. 
    As soon as you conjure up the idea for your small business, find a group of individuals in the same boat. If you browse social media, you’ll discover dozens of support groups dedicated to improving social media efforts, running an online business, or even coming up with creative brand marketing ideas. You can also create your own community via social outreach. 

    CEO of Girl Gang Craft Phoebe Sherman consistently creates templates and graphics for other content creators and small-business owners to use for free. This strategy not only helps her build her own following but also helps her build a group of women who can rely on one another for their creative needs. 
    According to the study conducted by Adobe Spark and Wakefield Research, over 53 percent of female small-business owners use social media as a way to find creative inspiration. So if you’re needing a little more support from your community, you can turn to your favorite apps and lean on other hardworking women to keep your small business thriving for years to come.

    This post is sponsored by Adobe Spark, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board. More

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    12 Words and Phrases You Might Be Using Wrong

    Ah, grammar — people either hate it with every fiber of their beings or absolutely love it, and I’ve always fallen into the latter category. Luckily, I’m an editorial assistant and copy editor here at The Everygirl, which means my days are filled with correcting all of the mistakes my word-filled heart could ever desire.
    With this, however, comes correcting the same mistakes — over, and over, and over, and over. There are a select few grammar mistakes that people continually make, and in the same breath, words and phrases that people continually misuse.
    While I already dove into the most common writing mistakes I see, I also see the same words and phrases misused all of the time. These are the ones that are at the top of my list (and the list is not a place you want to be).

    1. Literally
    This is the 2019 version of Valley Girl diction, and is obviously frequently used intentionally wrong to be dramatic. Trust me, I get it — contrary to what I said when I got into the office this morning, I was not literally going to die if I didn’t get an iced americano.
    But in writing, literally is used frequently where it isn’t necessary — literally means that something is actually literal. While it isn’t necessary to say a jacket that only comes in four colors comes in “literally a thousand colors,” you could have “received literally 100 emails today”— literally!
    While you’re writing, your best bet is to stick to “literally” when you really mean it.

    2. Infamous
    What people think it means: A synonym for ‘famous’
    What it really means: Well-known for a bad quality or deed
    Maddie is infamously horrible at singing.

    3. Travesty
    What people think it means: A tragedy
    What it really means: A false or distorted representation of something
    Jussie Smollett’s charges getting dropped is a travesty of the justice system.

    4. Entitled
    “I watched a movie entitled Us this weekend!”
    What people think it means: A descriptor for a title
    What it really means: Entitled means believing you deserve special treatment — it shouldn’t be used to describe the name of something.

    5. Good/ well
    People always think good and well can be used interchangeably, but that isn’t the case.
    Good is an adjective, while well is an adverb answering a “how” question.
    She did a good job. (Good is describing job, which is a noun.)
    She did the job well. (Well is an adverb describing how the job was done.)

    When referring to health, use well.
    You don’t look well!
    When describing emotion, use good.
    I don’t feel good about this project.

    6. Disinterested
    What people think it means: Bored; not interested
    What it really means: Not influenced for selfish reasons; unbiased
    She gave me disinterested finance advice.

    When you want to express a lack of interest, use uninterested instead of disinterested — it does mean lacking interest.
    I was uninterested in our conversation about types of cars. 

    7. Without further ado
    Incorrect: Without further adieu — which means goodbye in French
    Correct: Without further ado — meaning without further delay
    Without further ado, here are my favorite products of the year.

    8. Plethora
    What people think it means: A lot
    What it really means: An excess or overabundance of something
    A plethora of horror movies have come out this year.

    9. For all intents and purposes
    Incorrect: For all intensive purposes
    Correct: For all intents and purposes — meaning “in effect.”
    For all intents and purposes, the beaches are open today.

    10. Dilemma
    What people think it means: A problem
    What it really means: A choice between two equally undesirable options
    I had to choose between eating asparagus and broccoli — it was a dilemma.

    11. I could care less
    When people say “they could care less,” they usually mean “they couldn’t care less.”
    Correct: I couldn’t care less — meaning that you don’t care
    Incorrect: I could care less — meaning you do care

    12. Aesthetic
    Aesthetic is a noun describing a set of principles underlying and guiding the work of a particular artist — or Instagrammer.
    “I love her feed’s aesthetic.”
    It also can be an adjective, referring to a concern or appreciation of beauty.
    “That picture gives me such great aesthetic pleasure.”
    People frequently say “that’s so aesthetic” — don’t.

    Bonus: Plural last names
    Christmastime is a doozy for me, and let me tell you why.
    Every year, my mom displays all of the Christmas cards we receive on a board in our kitchen. They’re lovely and uplifting and full of magical holiday spirit, but most of them have the plural of the sender’s last name wrong — front and center. God save the queen.
    Don’t use an apostrophe, stick to adding ‘s’ or ‘es’ — Merry Christmas from the Gillettes! NOT Merry Christmas from the Gillette’s!
    If your last name ends in s, z, ch, or sh, add ‘es.’ — Seasons Greetings from the Joneses! More

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    Still Working From Home? Here’s How to Make Your Daily Routine Feel Fresh Again

    Last week, for the first time ever, I talked about working from home like the end-all rather than as a temporary thing. And I even opted to work from home instead of going into the office when I had the choice. After 18 months of manifesting going back to the office, I’m finally at a place where I can accept and appreciate some of the luxuries of working from my living room (and the bedroom, kitchen, and occasionally bathroom). But that doesn’t mean I’m not getting a little sick of sitting in the same spot all day every day. My work routine is in desperate need of a refresh.
    Working from home, a once novel idea that then became temporary and is now what most of us consider normal, isn’t the same crux it once was, but it still comes with some questions, namely: How do I feel inspired when I’m stuck in the same place all the time? I started implementing a few tricks to keep me motivated and make my routine feel fresh again, and they’ve made a major difference in my productivity.

    1. Try blue light glasses
    One of the biggest hurdles I faced when I started working from home was figuring out how to stay productive. When my phone, the TV, and the kitchen are right there, I’m keen to get distracted. I tried afternoon walks, more coffee, and putting my phone in the other room, but nothing worked. Then, I got down to business and really focused on adding function to my routine, and WearMePro’s blue light glasses have made a huge difference in making me feel productive and actually be better at work.
    Blue light glasses are designed to protect your eyes from the continued exposure to the blue light we get from our phones, computers, and TV—which we’re all getting tons of if we’re sitting at a computer doing work all day. If you notice sitting in front of a screen for a long time gives you headaches, strains your eyes, or makes it hard to fall (and stay) asleep, blue light glasses help improve all of that. I tried a pair from WearMePro—a small, independent, family-owned business based in Arizona—last year, and it made the biggest difference in my productivity.
    With the glasses, I’m able to look at my computer screen for a while without getting headaches, and I end the day with my eyes feeling so much better and less strained. But overall, the act of putting my glasses on just makes me feel ready for the day, the same way I feel after putting on a button-down or making a cup of coffee.
    The best part: WearMePro’s glasses look super cute in all your video calls without costing you a pretty penny. All products are under $35, a pretty decent price that’ll make getting through the workday a bit easier. Plus, a portion of every eyewear purchase goes back to the Arizona Humane Society to help animals in need, so you get some while you give some—something I love.

    2. Change up your beverage
    If you typically drink the same iced coffee with almond milk every single day, varying your morning coffee order or making something else every now and then might be the extra flavor your day craved (no pun intended). I notice that drinking too much coffee is not the best for my body, so I started drinking alternatives like matcha and using add-ins that made me experience the ritual of coffee without the adverse effects. We all know the big change we feel when doing the annual switch from iced to hot drinks or when we can finally get our favorite seasonal flavors—imagine what that might do for your productivity if you feel that all the time?

    3. Schedule out your morning routine
    Instead of jamming your morning routine into those few precious hours you have before signing onto work, schedule them throughout your day. The one luxury of working remotely is flexibility. Maybe you do a lunch break workout and get ready in the afternoon before your calls rather than at 7 a.m. when you’re groggy and unmotivated. You could do your journaling in the afternoon to take a quick break from the computer screen. I always leave the chores I would normally do first thing (usually washing and putting away dishes) for a break in between signing on for work and lunch to give myself a quick moment to listen to a podcast and recharge.

    4. Decorate your desk
    I used to live in a very small studio that only allowed for one desk, so it became a vanity/desk/dining table/buffet hybrid that really just became a catch-all for every single thing I owned. When I moved, I finally had a desk of my own to do work from—and then I really just started using that as a catch-all for everything I owned. Once I finally organized it and made its place as My DeskTM, I noticed my productivity skyrocketed. I finally had a dedicated place for everything—including things that would help me be more creative—and I was able to make the space my own.
    I added a lamp to use when it starts getting dark out at 4 p.m, inspiring photos of my favorite magazine layouts, lots of notebooks to write down ideas, and obviously my blue light glasses. Now, I don’t do anything at my desk but work, but even if I was still living with the makeshift vanity/desk/buffet situation, I’d definitely make it feel like a proper workspace while I’m working. When I wake up in the morning, my makeup brushes come down and in go pencils and pens.

    5. Schedule weeknight events
    Remember when we used to go to happy hours and events and have things to do after work other than catch up on the latest episode of your favorite Real Housewives franchise? There’s something in the air when you know you have plans or somewhere to be after work that inspires you to work a little harder, have a little more creativity, and not stay on your computer all night working. Whether it’s a get-together with friends, watching a new movie, a video chat with your family, a walk through the park (Sex and the City style), or a date out with yourself, having something to look forward to after a long day of work breaks up the monotony of your day and entire week.

    5 After-Work Routines That Will Make You Better at Your Job

    7 Easy Hacks to De-Stress Throughout the Work Day

    This post is sponsored by WearMePro, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board. More

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    Try This Instead: 10 Ways to Be More Confident at Work

    We’ve all been there: Maybe you’ve been asked to take charge of party planning for your coworker’s birthdays or go on a coffee run (even if you said goodbye to the “intern” title years ago). Or perhaps one of your colleagues keeps talking over you in meetings (been there, done that!). You know you should be strong and confident, but maybe you aren’t sure where to start when it comes to empowerment in your career. 
    We know what it’s like to feel undermined in the workplace, and we’re here to help you feel like your best self at work. We partnered with our bubbly of choice, La Marca Prosecco, to help you overcome challenges and feel confident in your career. La Marca Prosecco believes in celebrating the joy in everyday moments, including all the work that so many women go through to make their dreams come true. We are proud to partner with them to bring you advice on how to overcome challenges and feel confident in your career. 
    With everything from imposter syndrome to dismissive bosses, it might be hard to feel like the powerful badass that you are at the office. La Marca Prosecco is the perfect accompaniment to celebrate the boss that you already are and how bright your future career can be. Grab your La Marca mini and read on for 10 behaviors to be aware of in order to be your strongest self at work.

    1. Instead of apologizing, share your perspectives with confidence. 
    Admit it: You’ve responded to an email or sat in a meeting and said something along the lines of, “I’m sorry, but I disagree because…” You felt compelled to share your point of view, but you didn’t want to hurt your colleagues’ feelings in doing so.
    You don’t have to agree with everyone else in the room or on the project, and you certainly don’t have to feel sorry for feeling differently. Your view is essential and additive, and you can meaningfully contribute to the conversation without worrying about how others might respond to your opinion. Instead of apologizing before stating your truth, try saying, “Let’s talk about this through a different lens.” This approach welcomes varying perspectives without the unnecessary apology.

    2. Rather than be the designated notetaker in every meeting, help empower others to do the job.
    Somebody has to be responsible for taking notes in meetings, but it shouldn’t always be you unless your job description clearly states that responsibility. There’s an assumption that women are more equipped or “better at” these types of tasks and duties, so they often fall into our laps without our permission. 
    If you’re always the assigned note-taker, consider recommending that this responsibility gets divided amongst meeting attendees or alternates. And if you still find that colleagues call on you because you “do it best,” offer to show them your note-taking strategies and say, “I’d be happy to teach you the strategies I use while taking notes so you can try them during our next meeting.” 

    3. Finish your thoughts and don’t hesitate to call out interrupters.
    Raise your hand if you’ve ever been interrupted or talked over during a meeting or presentation (We’re all raising our hands, right?). Interruptions are disheartening and happen to the best of us. It’s best to nip this behavior in the bud right away to eliminate the precedent that you will accept it in the future.
    You can shut down interruptions through a variety of tactics. In one-off situations, try continuing to talk or raising your hand to finish your thoughts. If you’re dealing with a repeat offender, address the behavior with specific instances of interruption in a private setting and talk it out. 

    4. Don’t feel pressured to say “Yes!” to everything.
    There’s a difference between being a helpful team player and being taken advantage of at work. Women in the workplace tend to take on tasks such as planning for birthdays, cleaning up the kitchen, ordering lunch for a group, sending out meeting invites, and more. While you might think volunteering to do the “stuff no one else wants to do” is going to make you more likable, you might be unintentionally undermining your value. 
    If you turn down tasks every once in a while, does that mean you’re not helpful? Absolutely not. If you get asked to do one of these tasks, offer a group of team members the rundown on how you’ve made it successful previously, and then hand it off for good. You can say something along the lines of, “While I’ve volunteered for these tasks previously, my bandwidth is currently full, but I’m happy to onboard someone else to the task.”

    5. Don’t minimize your accomplishments—celebrate them!
    Look, there’s a difference between bragging and owning your successes. Women are known for downplaying their work and not giving themselves enough credit. Imposter syndrome brings about feelings of unwarranted self-promotion, but advocating for yourself and promoting your achievements aren’t bad things.
    Take getting a promotion or landing a new role, for example. We say things like “I got promoted, but it’s no big deal!” instead of sharing these achievements with honor. Next time you catch yourself getting ready to downplay your success, try to focus on sharing the update paired with feelings of excitement: “I got promoted, and I’m excited about this new opportunity!” Celebrate your success so others will celebrate you, too. La Marca minis are what we keep on hand to celebrate successes big and small. You deserve it!

    6. You’re worth every penny, so don’t work for less money than you deserve.
    We could spend all day talking about the gender pay gap and the history behind women getting underpaid in the workplace. While we continue to make progress towards equality, the reality is that compared to men, women are underpaid, and there are more significant wage gaps for Women of Color. Accepting unfair pay sends the message that your employer can get away with taking advantage of you.
    All that’s to say that you don’t deserve to feel undervalued and receive less pay than what you’re worth. If you’re doing more work than your job description requires of you, ask for a raise. If you’re preparing to accept a job offer, consider negotiating your salary.

    7. Communicate up rather than venting sideways.
    We all have issues that come up at work. The truth is that no matter what the office environment is, miscommunications and misunderstandings are unavoidable. What matters is how you address them to remain as professional as possible in the workplace. 
    If an issue arises at work, communicate up and have a healthy conversation with your manager about what’s going on rather than venting sideways. Your manager is there to help you and can support you in these situations. While venting to a colleague might help temporarily, sharing what’s going on with your manager can help build a strong relationship built on trust and can yield a long-term solution. 

    8. Uplevel your emails by removing modifiers like “just” and “actually.”
    The way we communicate verbally and in written communication is powerful, and adding modifiers can make you seem less competent and confident. The words “just” and “actually” are often unnecessary and can easily be eliminated for a stronger message. 
    Instead of saying, “I just wanted to follow up on this!” say, “I am following up on this…” Rather than saying, “I actually have one more question,” say, “I have a question.” Practice reviewing your emails before you send them and removing these modifiers until you get in the habit of not including them.

    9. Don’t worry that you aren’t making sense.
    Have you ever spoken up during a meeting and shared your perspective thoughtfully and thoroughly, only to wrap up with a “Does that make sense?” at the end? I used to do this all the time. It can feel almost natural to close a point this way, but when you do, you imply that what you just shared makes no sense or that your audience is incapable, making you sound condescending. 
    Try avoiding this phrase and replace it with something along the lines of, “I look forward to hearing others’ thoughts on this” or “I’m happy to answer any questions or provide clarity.” 

    10. Your ideas aren’t silly or “out there,” so be proud to share them.  
    Your ideas are not silly, and you shouldn’t lead in with a preface that discredits what you’re about to share. Whether your imposter syndrome is getting the best of you or you fear judgment and rejection, you need to leave the phrase “this might seem silly, but…” in the past. 
    Look, if you don’t believe in your ideas and present them confidently, how do you expect others to believe in them? Sure, sometimes we all come up with ideas that might seem like a stretch, but there’s no need to say it out loud. Next time, jump straight into sharing your concept without any preface and ask for feedback after sharing it. 

    La Marca Prosecco is an elegant sparkling wine grown in the heart of Italy’s Prosecco region. La Marca Prosecco believes in celebrating the joy in everyday moments, including all the work that so many women go through to make their dreams come true. A focus on career empowerment has always been part of The Everygirl’s mission, and our partnership with La Marca Prosecco has helped us take that mission into the real world with live and virtual events, small business grants, and more. Let’s raise a glass to that!

    This post is sponsored by La Marca Prosecco but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl Media Group editorial board. More

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    9 Things All Successful Women Do On Sunday

    We’ve all fallen victim to a bad case of the Sunday Scaries. You know what I’m talking about: those days where all you can do is lay in bed and binge an entire Netflix series, feeling sad that the weekend is over and worried about the stressors that Monday will bring. But news flash: the weekend is not over, and how you spend your Sundays can ease a lot of those Monday stressors. In fact, the most successful women know their Sunday routine can make or break their entire week. Read on for eight Sunday rituals that successful women never skip. 

    1. Clean your home
    You might not think you’re a neat freak, but trust me when I say that you will sleep better with the shower cleaned and the dishes put away. Plus, your week will feel so much more manageable when some of those chores you put off (looking at you, pile of dirty laundry) are already taken care of. Clutter in your home leads to clutter in the mind, so a one-hour deep clean or a quick closet reorganization can make a huge difference in not only your home environment, but how you feel for the rest of the week. If those major chores (like organizing the junk drawer) feel overwhelming, start with a quick clean-up of the kitchen (doing dishes and wiping up counters), tidy up the living room (fold throw blankets and stack coasters), and declutter your bedroom (that means putting away the clothes on your “worn-but-not-yet-ready-for-laundry chair–I know you have one!).

    2. Map out the week
    If your go-to for coping with Sunday Scaries is to completely ignore the fact that work starts again tomorrow, this one is for you. You may think that not acknowledging your to-do list is the best way to deal, but even if hours of Netflix helps you “forget,” you still know Monday morning is coming, leaving you with dread, anxiety, and a whole lot of stress at 9 a.m. the next day. The ideal way to set up your week for success and feel a lot better when Monday morning comes along is to plan out the week in advance. Review your upcoming schedule, add in time to prepare for big meetings or presentations, and include time for when you’ll actually get those things on your to-do list checked off. You’ll feel much more in control and will be better prepared throughout the week. 

    3. Prep your meals and wardrobe
    Speaking of being prepared, another way to help you feel in control of the week ahead is to meal prep and plan out your outfits. We make a lot of decisions every single day, even just within the first few minutes of waking up: whether or not to hit snooze, when to turn on the coffee pot, what to make for breakfast, and what to wear (which is approximately 1000 different decisions). No wonder we all feel exhausted or overwhelmed when we’re required to make decision after decision throughout the work day itself. No matter how big or small, decisions add up–decision fatigue is real.
    But good news: you can spend your Sundays to limit your decision making throughout the week. Prep your meals in advance (whether that looks like actually chopping veggies and making easy dishes, or just writing out a plan and making a grocery list) and plan out outfits (including which shoes you’ll pack to transition into happy hour on Thursday). You’ll limit some of the decision fatigue throughout the week so you can spend more time on those really important decisions, but you also might find yourself excited for those meals or that power outfit, instead of dreading the week ahead. 

    4. Set goals
    Yes, Sundays are not just for self-care or laziness; they can also be for goal-setting. Think about what specific, attainable things you want to accomplish by next week, and how they relate to your bigger goals. For example, if you’ve always wanted to learn piano, add in a goal to practice for a total of two hours by next Sunday. If you wish you exercised more, set a goal to attend three workout classes at any point throughout the week, and then schedule in when they’re going to happen. If you want to be in a relationship, plan to go on one date this week, or if you’re dying for a promotion, set an intention to connect with your boss. No matter what your goals or intentions are, check in with what you want out of life setting them. You’ll feel more excited for your week, but will also feel like you’re making progress towards those huge life goals.

    5. Unplug
    PSA for whoever needs to hear it: you do not have to (and should not) be “plugged in” 24/7. If your weeks feel overwhelming and Sundays are scary, consider doing a temporary digital detox to reduce stress. When we’re constantly bombarded by Instagram, work emails, or even that never-ended group text, we can feel like we’re constantly missing out on something (I like to call it chronic FOMO). Turning off your phone for a few hours helps reduce that overwhelm and can allow you to actually relax. Try a full unplug and turn off all screens to read a book, take a walk with your dog, or do something creative, or just put your phone in the other room while you unwind with your favorite show for a couple hours. 

    6. Set Monday morning alarm for a few minutes earlier
    I get it: Monday mornings are a rude awakening. That 6 a.m. alarm is probably the last thing you want to hear, and you’re tempted to sleep in until the last second possible to savor the last of your weekend bliss. But hitting the snooze button can lead to a rushed morning so you feel stressed, overwhelmed, and behind before you even start your workday. Instead, set your alarm on Sunday night for 10-15 minutes earlier the next morning. Whether you spend the extra time meditating, indulging in a luxurious skincare routine, or just brewing a cup of coffee with a moment of silence, you will not miss the 10 minutes of extra sleep, and feel much more prepared for the workday and entire week ahead. 
    7. Read something 
    One of the best secrets of successful women? Reading. Many of us have a plethora of excuses when it comes to reading more often. “I’m too tired,” “I don’t have any new books,” and “How am I expected to do anything else in my free time when all six seasons of Sex and the City are on Hulu!?” are excuses I personally use on a regular basis. But reading is not only enjoyable; it’s good for you. Whether it’s winding down before bed, taking a break in the afternoon, or as a way to kick off your Sunday, fit in some time to read during the day to inspire you and help you feel motivated for the week ahead. As for what to read? Check out these inspiring books or books to educate yourself to help you grow in both your success and life goals. 

    8. Get your inbox to zero
    If your Monday mornings feel like a race against the clock starting the second you wake up, set your week up for success by getting ahead with your emails. While Sundays should feel like Sundays (rather than an extension of the workweek), spending just 10-20 minutes getting some work done will help you start your week already feeling ahead. If emails are a source of stress, tackle your inbox, or if scheduling feels like a tedious task on Monday mornings, plan out your meetings and deadlines the day before. Just think about how good your Monday morning will feel when your inbox is already at zero.

    9. Have a financial check-in
    Self-care doesn’t always mean bubble baths or face masks. Sometimes, self-care means being an independent adult and doing what you can to feel in control of your finances. While having a detailed financial plan and setting goals can help you reduce money-related stress and achieve what you want in life, feeling in control of your finances doesn’t always require a lot of time and energy. Spend fives minutes on Sunday to glance over your bank account and credit card statements. Getting in the habit of frequently checking in can help identify fraud early on and will also give you a good idea of where you’re spending and where you can be saving. Set a financial goal for the week, whether it’s to put a certain amount of cash into your savings account or invest in a course or service that will improve your wellbeing. 

    Got the Sunday Scaries? Try These 9 Things More

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    5 After-Work Routines That Will Make You Better at Your Job

    When it comes to setting ourselves up for success, we’ve found that curated after-work routines are one of the most crucial parts of our day. The hours after we close our laptops can truly make or break our week and are paramount in helping us reflect, invest in ourselves, recharge, and rest. Having a go-to post-work ritual can be the key to helping us show up as our best selves when we return to the grind the next day.
    Finding a fulfilling routine that works for you doesn’t mean packing your post-work schedule with an unrealistic, overwhelming to-do list. It’s all about keeping it simple and finding balance. We’ve partnered with La Marca Prosecco, our bubbly of choice and a brand that stands for adding some sparkle and celebrating the little wins of every day. Together, we’ve made it our mission to help you curate an after-work routine that will set you up for success and make each moment special along the way. Whether you want to completely revamp your evening routine, make small adjustments, or start from scratch, these five after-work routines will help you get out of work mode so that you can show up as your best self:

    1. For days when you feel like you can take on the world…

    When we have those high-energy, wildly productive days, you might just make the choice to keep the ball rolling. Once you get home, switch out of your work clothes into activewear, turn on some of your favorite music, and get ready to make this evening the best one yet.

    One thing your future self will thank you for:
    If you feel like you have the bandwidth for a productive evening, it’s the perfect time to finally get to that one task on your to-do list that you’ve been avoiding. Maybe that task is a project like finally hanging up your gallery wall that’s been sitting behind your couch for far too long. Maybe it’s reviewing your finances and creating a realistic budget that you can stick to, or maybe it’s getting to the DMV to renew your license. Regardless of the task, we all have at least one that we put off for a multitude of reasons. Well, ladies, today is the day. Even if you don’t check it off of your list completely, giving it even 10 minutes of attention can make tackling it next time even more approachable.

    One thing that will nourish your mind, body, or soul:
    Get ready to get your sweat on because tonight, we’re getting active. Schedule a group class that you’ve always wanted to take, hit the gym, or enjoy the sights of your neighborhood with a quick run outdoors. No matter what type of activity you decide to do, we promise you’ll be happy you did it. Hello post-workout endorphin rush, we’ve missed you!

    One thing to celebrate yourself:
    While it might be second nature for us to compliment our coworkers for a job well done, a stranger on the street for rocking a fashion-forward outfit, or a friend for having a great sense of humor, it might not be as intuitive for us to compliment ourselves. Write it down or speak five self-centered compliments into the universe and pour a glass of La Marca bubbly to elevate the occasion because you’re worth celebrating.

    One thing to wind down:
    After a busy day, winding down is absolutely critical to cueing our minds and bodies that it’s time for sleep. Tonight, we’re grabbing our notebooks and our favorite pens, and we’re journaling. Whether you prefer to document a stream of consciousness, practice gratitude, or goal-set is your prerogative. It’s the perfect end to a busy day and will help you turn off your mind and body sans blue light.

    2. For days when three cups of coffee didn’t cut it…

    Let’s be real: As much as we’d love to feel like we’re able to take on the world seven days a week, it’s not always realistic. We’re human. Whether you’re feeling under the weather, powering through that time of the month, or drained from your workday, there’s still a way to preserve your energy while setting yourself up for a better tomorrow.

    One thing your future self will thank you for:
    We get it, you’re exhausted. While hopes for productivity today may have flown out the window, we still have tomorrow. Sit down and create a to-do list for tomorrow so that when you’re more rested, you have a plan and can get back into the swing of things. 

    One thing that will nourish your mind, body, or soul:
    One of our favorite, less demanding ways to nourish our mind and soul is to meditate. Meditating looks different for everyone, but if you’re new to it, start here and here. It’s the perfect activity for days when you’re feeling low energy but still interested in investing in your well-being and promoting a sense of calm and balance.

    One thing to celebrate yourself:
    Even on what may seem like the most insignificant days, there are aspects of your day to be grateful for. Sometimes it takes a bit of digging, but if you look closely, you might just find that good things are happening whether or not you initially notice them. Grab a notebook and write down three things you did well today and celebrate yourself. You deserve it.

    One thing to wind down:
    When considering low-effort ways to spend our time and wind down, reading is one of the first activities that come to mind. Pull out your longer-than-a-CVS-receipt to-read list and channel your inner bookworm. Even just six minutes of reading before bed can help reduce stress by 68% which makes it the perfect pre-sleep activity.

    3. For days when you want to connect with others…

    When we’re working diligently and zoom on over to our evening routines, it’s common that we find that we had little to no non-work, meaningful interactions all day. Whether it be FaceTiming a loved one, hitting up a quick happy hour with an old friend, or going on a walk with a significant other, connecting with humans is therapeutic, helps to improve self-esteem, and can foster a sense of purpose in your life.

    One thing your future self will thank you for:
    Call up a friend and compare your to-do lists. Again, we’re not saying that you need to get everything on your list done, but find one or two tasks that your friend may also have to do to make what might have been a lonesome chore a social hangout. Your next trip to the grocery store, the post office, or the bank just got a lot more fun.

    One thing that will nourish your mind, body, or soul:
    Going on a walk while catching up with an old friend is one of our favorite ways to merge our social lives and fitness. Get your steps in, chat about life, and leave feeling fulfilled. It’s a win-win situation if we’ve ever seen one.

    One thing to celebrate yourself:
    Hit up your work wife and engage in a happy hour toast. As much as we love celebrating with our friends and family, there’s something about toasting with someone who understands just how special even the smallest of work wins are. Grab a glass of La Marca Prosecco and your work wife and pop, clink, and cheers to celebrating all of your wins—big and small. 

    One thing to wind down:
    When was the last time that you let your loved ones know just how special they are to you? And when was the last time that you wrote someone a handwritten letter? Get cozy, grab some stationary, and get to writing. Writing love letters to the important people in your life can instill a sense of gratitude, help you connect with your emotions, and serve as a beautiful connection point between you and those that you love.

    4. For days when you want a bit of an adventure…

    As much as we love being homebodies, there are days when we want to get out and about from the constraints of our humble abodes and see the world around us. In times like these, get outdoors, attempt something new, and get a bit out of your comfort zone.

    One thing your future self will thank you for:
    Take the guesswork out of tomorrow by laying out tomorrow’s outfit and making your lunch. Getting ready for the next day early on in your after-work routine will make you available to completely turn off work mode and focus on yourself.

    One thing that will nourish your mind, body, or soul:
    You’ve always wanted to try that one workout class, and today is the day. Trying a new workout like yoga, weight lifting, kickboxing, or pilates can be a great way to get yourself out of your fitness rut, excite you to move again, and activate new muscles that you didn’t even know existed.

    One thing to celebrate yourself:
    We don’t know who needs to hear this, but you are worthy of being wined and dined. Today, take matters into your own hands and take yourself on a date. Go to a new, fancy restaurant in your city, set up a cute beach picnic for one, hit up your local museum, or making yourself an elaborate dinner. Make the moment extra special by adding a sparkling, refreshing glass of La Marca Prosecco because, honey, you deserve it.

    One thing to wind down:
    Take a bath. Yes, we’re talking the whole nine yards including but not limited to a bath caddy, your favorite book, and that one face mask you’ve been waiting for the perfect moment to use. You don’t need a fancy bathtub situation to have the most luxurious bath of your life. All you need is a few key items, your favorite candle, and yourself, and you’re good to go.

    5. For days when you could use a little inspiration…

    When work and life demands become overwhelming, it can sometimes feel like we’re automated robots, jumping from task to task and keeping our head down until we get caught up (plot twist: we never actually get caught up). On days like these, it’s easy to lose perspective on why we started and to remember why we do what we do every day. When the workday ends, put down your computer and get ready to get inspired again.

    One thing your future self will thank you for:
    If you ask us, a messy, disorganized home can truly cost us some inner peace. When our space is clean, we feel reenergized and reinspired. While it’s not realistic to deep clean your home every day, even taking a few minutes to tidy up can make you feel fresh and can serve as a clean slate for the rest of your evening and tomorrow.

    One thing that will nourish your mind, body, or soul:
    Maybe you already have a go-to hobby that you love or maybe you’re still on the hunt for one that sets your soul ablaze. Investing time in a hobby can help us to foster joy, reduce stress, and learn new skills. Whether you opt for learning a new language, playing an instrument, painting, or crafting, practicing a hobby is the perfect intentional way to spend some “me” time and can help you escape the mundane demands of life.

    One thing to celebrate yourself:
    When you’re keeping your head down and feeling like you’re just trying to get by, it can be easy to lose sight of how well you’re doing, what you’ve accomplished, and just how far you’ve come. Consider asking yourself this question: Where was I at this time last year? If you’re feeling even more nostalgic, go back two years, five years, and 10 years. Remember who you were, where you were at, and what you wanted, and celebrate just how far you’ve come. Your past self would be so proud of who you are today and so should your present self.

    One thing to wind down:
    When you’re ready to call it a day, listen to a podcast while doing your nighttime routine to help inspire you. We love these motivating podcasts for days where we’re feeling like we could use a bit of encouragement. For extra credit, journal your thoughts during and after you listen.

    La Marca Prosecco is an elegant sparkling wine grown in the heart of Italy’s Prosecco region. La Marca Prosecco believes in celebrating the joy in everyday moments, including the tireless work that so many women go through to make their dreams come true. A focus on career empowerment has always been part of The Everygirl’s mission, and our partnership with La Marca Prosecco has helped us take that mission into the real world with live and virtual events, small business grants, and more. Let’s raise a glass to that!

    This post is sponsored by La Marca Prosecco but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl Media Group editorial board. More