More stories

  • in

    The Matching Set I’m Living In

    Prior to 2020, my loungewear game was truly and utterly embarrassing. When I got home every day stripped off my work clothes, I’d change into a five-year-old sorority sweatshirt, and even worse, a pair of sweats from some high school sports team. If I was going to spend my money on clothes, it was going to be something I could wear out for the world to see—who cared what I wore when I was at home?Obviously, spending the entirety of 2020 confined to my home changed my mentality on that. After buying a couple of new pairs of sweats and realizing how much better I felt in cute loungewear, I made it a priority to buy a few things I could work in comfortably, but that still made me feel put-together. It didn’t matter if I was the only one on earth who would ever see them, it made all the difference in how I felt throughout the day.
    Pretty quickly, I learned that the loungewear I gravitated toward the most–like the rest of the world—was matching sets. They feel like chic and calculated, and I loved how I could throw on a jacket over and run any errands I needed to—they felt like a look, rather than something I should just be sleeping in.
    My phone and computer also learned quickly that that’s what I was into, and gave me about a billion ads for matching sets throughout the past few months. Most of them I could resist—until a couple of weeks ago, when I kept getting an ad for this one.

    I couldn’t get the image of myself sitting on the couch next to my Christmas tree working away in this set out of my head. It was perfect: the colors, the ribbed details—frankly, I had a feeling it would be the set of my dreams, and to no one’s surprise, I was right.
    When it arrived, I couldn’t believe how high-quality it felt—the material it’s made out of is thicker than it looks, and it makes it ultra warm and cozy. Since I got it, I’ve been working from home in it more days than I’d like to admit, and have debated ordering it in more colors. It’s rare that I find a piece that’s so good I need to shout it from the mountain tops, but I couldn’t keep quiet about this one. Everyone I know should own this, and I hope my sister doesn’t read this, because it’s going to be one of her Christmas presents from me. Bonus: It’s on sale right now, and comes in eight different colors. Trust me: you’re going to want to be living in this too. More

  • in

    25 Pick-Me-Ups You Can Order Now and Use Next Week

    I rarely look to retail therapy, but when it works, it works. You don’t have to buy a Chanel bag every time you get stressed at work, but a mere $10 new candle can have quite the impact on your mood (if even for a short period of time). I’m all for free acts of self-care, but if you want to upgrade your life just a little bit, these small gifts to yourself fit the bill. They’re the kind of purchase future you will thank you for. Get a head start on a better next week by adding a few of these to your cart.

    Nécessaire
    The Sex Gel

    A fancy lube is the exact life upgrade I need. It’s so cute, I might even leave it out. *gasp!*

    PLANT Apothecary
    Start Happy Organic Body Wash

    This editor-favorite body wash is everything you want: it smells good, it doesn’t dry out your skin, and it’s not a million dollars. Plus, this Black-owned brand is also clean, so you can feel good about the products you’re putting on your skin.

    Essie Expressie
    Quick-Dry Nail Polish

    Give yourself an at-home manicure in a seasonal shade or your classic neutral. The Expressie line is one of my favorites because the polishes look high-quality and dry exponentially fast—a plus for impatient polishers everywhere.

    Equilibria
    Balance Bath Bombs

    A cozy bath is a dream at the end of a long day, and these luxe CBD bath bombs make it feel like a spa night without leaving your home. Our editors swear by these for the best sleep ever!
    Use code EVERYGIRL for 20 percent off your first order!

    Olive & June
    Shooting Stars Nail Art Stickers

    Ready to up your manicure game? These nail stickers are so easy to use and under $10. No one will know you didn’t magically become a nail pro during quarantine.

    Rattan Sandalwood Vegan Candle

    This is my current favorite candle. The scent is lightly fall because of the cozy woodsy/sexy scent, but you could easily burn it all year round. The throw is great (I burn it and smell it throughout my whole apartment AKA a mere 300 square feet LOL), and it never tunnels for me, burning evenly and cleanly.

    Out of Trouble 10 Minute Mask

    A 10-minute mask that targets breakouts, irritation, dryness, oil, AND dullness? Perhaps I’ll stock up on no less than eight tubes.

    Pore Treatment Strips

    These are my new obsession, and I am lusting after them like crazy. Ever since I watched this video, I think about them every single time I look at my pores and blackheads in the mirror. They’re a bit of a splurge for pore strips, but this comes with eight different strips to use on the days your skin is the most congested.

    American Eagle
    Strappy Back Sports Bra

    Two of our editors (including me, the person writing this; she goes by Beth) tried this sports brarecently, and both called it an absolute winner. It’s comfortable and somewhat modest without pushing your boobs down and hiding them from the world. We love it for working out and for lounging!

    Rare Beauty
    Soft Pinch Liquid Blush

    Since I started working from home, blush has become my favorite beauty product ever. It’s surprising how much better I look on a Zoom call when I pop a little bit of blush on my cheeks. You can wear no other makeup, and blush just makes you look alive and well. This is a new favorite in my arsenal for its high-pigment and blendable formula.

    Safe and Fair
    Snack Bundle

    What’s a better pick-me-up than some really awesome snacks? This is a mix of my favorites from Safe + Fair, a company that makes snacks without the top 16 food allergens. The Pea Protein Chips are my favorite chips of all time—seriously, I would give up Doritos if I had a constant supply of this in my home, but their Drizzled Popcorn is another staple in my cabinet for movie nights and for a fun snack while working from home.

    Real Men Kit Hardcover Book

    What better way to cozy up than with a new book? Thrillers are good and all, but sometimes I just want something with a little love. This book follows Jesse after his foster-turned-adoptive mother dies, leaving him and his brothers her knitting shop in Harlem. Jesse wants to keep it open while his brothers want to close the doors, so he enlists the help of part-time shop employee Kerry to learn the ins and outs of the business… and of course, she has a secret crush on him. It’s the cozy romcom you’ve been dreaming of.

    Pottery Barn
    Velvet Pom Pom Slippers

    The criss-cross fuzzy slipper was a major player in 2019, but I’m calling these 2020’s answer. I’m an Instagram girl, what can I say? And these are close-toe, meaning I’ll never have to stress that anyone can see my disgusting unpainted toenails when I snap an inevitable pic with my hot cocoa or while I’m watching holiday movies on end this year.

    Range Beauty
    True Intentions Hydrating Foundation

    Glowy, flawless skin just feels good. When you catch those little glimpses in the mirror throughout the day and your skin just looks *heart eyes*?! It’s life’s little pleasures. This Black-owned brand has been on my radar for a while now, and their hit foundation just launched at Target!

    BYBI Beauty
    Blueberry Oil Booster

    After staring at a computer screen on end for the better part of the last eight months, we can’t help but wonder what all of this extra screen time could be doing to our skin. This affordable facial oil is made of 100 percent cold-pressed blueberry seed oil, which is said to reduce the negative effects of blue light on the skin by blocking the light before it penetrates the skin. Our editor uses this in her skincare routine every morning!

    Jordan’s Skinny Syrups
    Happy Holidays Gourmet Coffee Syrup Trio

    Once I found these coffee syrups, I broke whatever was left of a Starbucks habit for good. I make amazing coffee every single morning with these, and I love that they’re not filled with sugar because they don’t taste like my teeth will fall out at any moment. Trust me: “Christmas Cookie” is going to be a staple in my kitchen until approximately June 2021. Don’t love holiday scents? Might I introduce you to this staple set instead.

    Satin Face Mask

    A gorgeous face mask that makes you feel like a million bucks when you step out of your apartment for the first time in 10 days? Sign me the heck up.

    Vicks VapoShower
    Shower Bomb Tablets

    Did your grandma tout the miracles of Vicks VapoRub like mine? I was convinced it would cure my acne, period cramps, mosquito bites, broken hearts, headaches, and everything in-between. This is a new find that I think will save my sinuses come December when my allergies are out of whack. Don’t have time for a luxe bath with your CBD bath bombs? No worries, pop one of these in the shower for a steamy, sinus-clearing experience.

    Stella & Haas
    The Simone Huggie

    A fun, new spin on your classic gold hoops will live in your wardrobe for years—and always bring you a little extra joy. I mean, look—they’re so cute!

    Dream Coat Supernatural Spray

    If sleek, shiny hair is your goal, add Dream Coat to cart ASAP. Hairstylists swear by this product for that glass hair look. Use it all over your hair before heat-styling (it has to be activated by heat!), and see your strands glisten and glow!

    Glass Water Bottle with Protective Silicone Sleeve

    Our editor got this water bottle recently, and I haven’t seen her drink out of a single other vessel since. Not only is this water bottle chic and sophisticated, but it keeps water and other beverages cold. Plus, the silicone makes it easy to carry without worrying you’ll drop it—my absolute biggest fear as a reformed klutz.

    McBride Sisters
    Black Girl Magic 2018 California Red Blend

    What’s a night in without some adult libations?! We love red in the fall and winter, and this bold, sexy red blend (with notes of tobacco, vanilla, raspberry, plum, and blackberry) has our names written all over it.

    Golden Pulse Facial Massager

    Don’t leave all your facial massaging to your hands. This vibrating T-bar facial massager is a luxurious addition to your skincare collection, but it’s actually so affordable. Facial massage is great for your skin, but for me, it’s a practice that saves my mental health and helps me fall asleep more easily at night (and that’s on anxiety!).

      More

  • in

    How to Navigate Thanksgiving in a Pandemic

    Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and if you thought that we’d still be where we are (staying home, washing our hands, wearing masks, social distancing) all of these months after March, well, then I guess you’re vindicated. Thanksgiving is going to look a lot different this year for millions of people across the country. Some will travel early with enough time for quarantining, isolating, or a COVID-19 test (or some combination of that), others will forego their usual bustling holiday table for something more low-key, and still others are scrapping plans entirely, planning on a Thanksgiving dinner for just one or two. It’s hard, this navigating life events, milestones, and holidays during a global pandemic, and while we certainly all hope that next year is an altogether different kind of situation, you don’t just have to ignore the holidays entirely (unless, of course, you want to—this year, all bets are off). The precautions you ultimately decide to take will be dependent on many different factors, but there are some things that you should keep top of mind so that you can (hopefully) celebrate safely this year.

    Source: Adrian Cotiga | Stocksy

    If you’re traveling
    Airports and interstates are notoriously busy during the week of Thanksgiving. But this year isn’t most years and many more people are likely staying closer to home than they would otherwise. The CDC advises that you stay close to home rather than travel because any travel can increase the risk that you’ll be exposed to or come down with COVID-19. If you’re still planning on traveling, the precautions you need to take vary based on how you’re traveling.
    If you’re planning on a plane, train, or any other kind of group transportation, make sure you have masks with you (and wear them while traveling). According to Healthline, mask-wearing is required by all major airline carriers. Some airlines still have social distancing measures in place, while others are again approving filling flights to capacity, so if you feel strongly about trying your best to continue social distancing on the plane, you may need to do a little research. Delta, Southwest, JetBlue, Alaska Airlines, and Hawaiian Airlines are still blocking some seats, according to reporting from the Washington Post, but they’re not all doing so for the same length of time, so if you’re flying closer to the end of the year, your airline options may change.
    Driving in your own car gives you more control over the precautions taken, but don’t forget to think through how you’re going to handle staying safe if or when you need to stop—for gas, for food, for the night, or to use the bathroom.
    No matter how you’re traveling, make sure you pack plenty of wipes and sanitizer, wash your hands frequently, wear a mask, and stay conscious of if or how often you’re touching your face.

    Source: Cameron Whitman | Stocksy

    If you’re staying closer to home
    Staying home doesn’t mean that you don’t have any difficult decisions to make. If your Thanksgiving normally looks like tons of family and friends gathered in one place (indoors), it may need to look a little different this year.
    Michael Osterholm from the Center for Infectious Diseases Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota told STAT News that no one should gather with anyone who lives outside of their household this year because the risk is just too great. The CDC, however, lists a few other suggestions for people who are concerned by the idea of essentially canceling Thanksgiving altogether:

    Make traditional recipes for people who can’t gather with you and do a no-contact drop-off.
    Take your Thanksgiving virtual.
    Skip Black Friday shopping and shop from the comfort of home (or in person later on).
    Skip in-person sporting events, parades, and more and watch from home or participate virtually.

    If skipping a dinner just isn’t something you’re willing to do this year, taking as many precautions as possible can help keep the risk lower. One basic thing you can do is to just continue to make sure you’re following expert guidance to wear a mask, wash your hands, don’t touch your face, stay apart, and get together outside, Stephen Morse, an epidemiologist at Columbia University, told The Atlantic. The CDC’s guidance for hosting or attending a gathering can also help you lower some of your risk. Restricting attendance to your “pandemic pod” (as long as everyone is doing their part) might feel safer to you this year. Keeping an eye on what conditions are like where you are and using that to help decide if you’re going to pare back this year (or even make the transition to FaceTime) may also be a good idea.
    If you live somewhere that outdoor celebrations are possible, consider moving dinner outside this year, a 2020 move if we’ve ever seen one. Experts say that being outdoors is safer than being indoors, so that’s one more way you can try to mitigate some of the risk.

    Source: Felicia Lasala for The Everygirl

    If you’re celebrating solo (or with very few others)
    Celebrating solo might not be your usual Thanksgiving plan, but it very well could be this year, particularly if you live far from family. It might not be the most cheerful Thanksgiving you’ll ever have (or maybe it will—no family feuds to combat or politics to talk over dinner), but it doesn’t have to be the worst either. Consider scrapping your traditional menu and making whatever you think sounds good. Conversely, maybe this year, of all years, is when you feel especially attached to your family’s traditional menu—call your relatives and gather some recipes so that you’ll feel at least some things are still the same. Try upping your holiday decor game with new Thanksgiving duds or just scrap that and put up the decor for a holiday you love. Maybe that means a Christmas tree, maybe that means leaving Halloween decor up far longer than usual, or maybe it’s something else entirely. You’re the one there, so you’re the one who gets to make those rules.
    If you’re celebrating alone or with just a few additional people and you don’t want to put in the work for a full dinner, consider ordering a restaurant-quality Thanksgiving dinner or opting for your favorite local fare. There’s no rule that you have to eat a certain meal on Thanksgiving, so do what feels best to you and what will make your holiday special. Prop up a computer or phone for holiday FaceTiming or embrace the minimal interactions and plan a self-care day all your own.
    The best part of celebrating alone is that it truly gets to be whatever you want it to, so don’t overthink things too much. Plan a day that you’ll enjoy and consider going back to your usual traditions (whatever they may be) next year or the year after.

    Whether you’re staying at home or traveling across the country, if you’re getting together with family members or friends, don’t be afraid to ask them what sorts of precautions they’re taking in their everyday life (or, at least, within a few weeks of Thanksgiving), especially if you or someone else there is at greater risk. After all, when it comes to an infectious virus, what you do doesn’t just affect you, it also affects anyone with whom you’re spending time. If you’re planning to spend time with people who are higher risk or older in age, consider taking even more precautions or canceling the event entirely. Determine if the precautions your fellow family members and friends are taking are things you’re comfortable with or not, and don’t be afraid to tell them what you need so that you do feel comfortable. They may or may not agree to those kinds of guidelines, but at least then you’ll be able to feel more confident in your decision to either gather or skip it this year. Hopefully next year, the COVID situation will be different.
    There are going to be some really hard choices to make this year. No one wants to have to completely overhaul times often spent with family and friends, particularly if it means that you might end up spending that time alone (no matter how festive that time might be). Ultimately, the best you can do is do your research, have honest conversations with friends and family about what you think is best and what you’re comfortable with, and try to make the choice that feels best and safe for you and those around you. More

  • in

    Every Coat We Need to Discuss From “Emily in Paris”

    OK, confession time: The plot of Emily in Paris wasn’t exactly my thing. I scoffed every time yet another perfect French man strolled into Emily’s life and rolled my eyes at her rapid Instagram growth with little effort. So what made me finish all 10 episodes in a mere weekend? Her clothes.Emily’s wardrobe is, in a word, perfection. It’s eclectic and fun and colorful and everything unexpected that we actually wanted this year. And my personal favorite part of all of it? Her coats and jackets. There is absolutely nothing that can steal the show like a fabulous jacket can, and Emily proved that in just about every scene in the show. I didn’t know I needed a metallic green jacket, but hell, I guess she showed me that I do now.
    Sit back, enjoy the show, and leave the frantic Googling to us—these are the closest dupes on the Internet to Emily Cooper’s swoon-worthy coat collection (all at price’s that are a lot less than her Chanel habits). 

    1.

    Of course Emily was on the shacket trend before anyone else. This red, plaid one is perfect to cozy up in for the holiday season.

    2.

    A classic blush coat is something you’ll never regret having. For extra Emily points, pair it with something bright underneath.

    3.

    Never did I think I’d want something turquoise in my wardrobe in 2020 (the same exact color as my senior year homecoming dress), but leave it to Emily to show us how fun and different it can be.

    4.

    One of Emily’s more classic looks, this plaid blazer pairs well with just about everything—and the beret to top it off is icing on the cake.

    5.

    This coat was, arguably, my favorite of the entire season and made me want to toss my black coats out the window immediately. If you ever needed inspiration to have fun with your outerwear, this is it.

    6.

    Mindy’s chic python blazer dress steals the show here, but we also can’t deny how fabulous this metallic, emerald look is either (again, who would’ve thought?). You can’t go wrong with either of these for a go-to for a statement look.

    7.

    Can you imagine walking into a Christmas party in this? Enough said.

    8.

    When Emily walked on-screen in this coat, I stopped what I was doing and searched “green coat” on every site I could think of. While this Chanel one is a liiiiiittle out of budget, you can get a similar look with these:

    9.

    This slouchy, black denim number captures that effortless Parisian vibe with little-to-no effort.

    10.

    A leather blazer was already on our 2020 wish list, and this solidified it near the top of the spot. Mindy also looks incredible in this out-of-the-box number, proving how fabulous bright patterns can be.

    11.

    Of all the blazers I’ve seen frequently, a classic red one isn’t on that last, and after seeing this one, I can’t figure out why that is. Wear it for the holiday season and beyond by pairing it with all your neutral pieces (or if you want to channel Emily even more, with something bright).

    12.

    While the leather beret is an obvious talking point here, this mid-toned green jacket checks a box that few other things can: it somehow is both classic and fun.

    13.

    A red, plaid blazer is the investment piece that will have you patting yourself on the back again and again. Pair it with one of this season’s out-of-the-box collared tops to capture this look seamlessly.

    14.

    When you’re covering your entire outfit with a coat, the coat might as well do all the talking; and what talks more than this bad boy?

    15.

    This classic coat would look just as amazing with black or white underneath, but Emily shows how versatile it is with these fun, bubblegum pink pieces.  More

  • in

    If Your Bedroom Is Your Desk, Here’s What to Do…

    If I had a dollar for the number of times I’ve heard the warning, “You shouldn’t work from home in your bed,” I’d have enough money to move out of my cramped studio apartment and look for a more spacious option that would allow me the luxury of the desk/office space I’m missing. I can see where critics are coming from: a bed is a place for sleeping and, in an ideal world, having an out-of-bed workspace can have a positive impact on productivity, sleep, and our mental health. As much as I’m sure we’d all love to have a designated workspace that isn’t our bedroom, sometimes there’s just no getting around it. Whether it be having a small space to work with, attempting to work where kiddos are running around, hiding from a pet who has an affinity for your laptop keys (my cat is the queen of this), or sharing a WFH space with a partner who needs the living room for a conference call, sometimes working in bed might be your only option.
    So, let’s normalize working from home in bed! If working in your sleep space works for you, that’s 100 percent OK and totally doable. Here’s how to make the most of it.

    Separate sleep time from work time
    As tempting as it is to snooze your alarm until 8:28am to make your 8:30am start time, stay snuggled in your blanket burrito, and keep your pajamas on all day, don’t fall into the trap! In the interest of separating sleep time from work time, get up early and partake in a morning routine to get you out of bed and to signal to your brain that it’s time to wake up and seize the day. When you return to your room, transform it into a workspace. Open your blinds to let the light in, make your bed, set up your laptop, change into a designated work-from-home outfit, set your favorite productivity playlist, and get going. 

    Invest in a back pillow to improve posture
    While sitting up in bed is a good alternative to lying flat (which may put one on the fast track to a fatal, accidental nap), it offers little to no back support. These back pillows will help your alignment, assist in improving your posture, and are an absolute must for working from your bed.

    Get a laptop tray
    No desk? No problem. If you don’t already have one, laptop trays are such a game-changer for working in bed. Having a flat surface to rest your laptop, notebook, planner, and coffee is so necessary and serves the function of a desk without the bulkiness.

    Buy non-spill drinkware
    If you’re like me, no workday is complete without multiple cups of coffee, hundreds of milliliters of lemon water, and several glasses of matcha tea. I used to have a very horrible habit of placing my beverages on the corner of my laptop next to the keypad—I know it’s bad, please don’t yell at me! Now I am older, I am wiser, and I bought spill-proof cups with lids that have offered the perfect solution. The idea of past me alone gives me a mini heart-attack and sends shivers down my spine. 

    Add to your extension cord collection
    Unless your bedroom is stacked with outlets, you’re going to need to invest in additional extension cords and outlets to fuel your electronic lifelines. Most bedrooms weren’t designed to be offices and don’t have many/close enough outlets to allow us to have all of our devices charging in cord length distance of our beds. Alas, we shall adapt.

    Schedule breaks to get up and moving
    As with sitting at a desk all day, sitting in your makeshift desk-in-bed situation for prolonged periods can have a detrimental effect on our health. Dr. Jasmine Marcus, PT, DPT, CSCS told Popsugar that getting up and moving “anywhere from every half hour to every two hours” can be beneficial in combatting an otherwise sedentary workday. Schedule deliberate stretch and walk breaks throughout your day to relieve pressure on your spine.and to keep blood and endorphins flowing.

    Having a set nighttime routine
    When your workday ends, clean up your workspace, say “goodbye” to your bedroom for a few hours, and treat yourself to a change of scenery to dissociate from your workday. Just as with a morning routine, perform a night routine of choice to help you wind down and to signal to your mind and body that it’s time for bed. Set the mood for bedtime, dim the lights, get in your coziest PJs, light a calming candle, and do a relaxing activity such as journaling or reading. Try your best not to scroll on IG or TikTok—your eyes and mind deserve a break! More

  • in

    I Never Spend More Than 30 Minutes on Dinner—Here Are My Secrets

    My first year living on my own, I ordered a take-out burrito bowl basically twice a week. I would rather starve all day and eat one hefty, greasy meal I picked up somewhere than spend the energy and time to cook myself something. For one, I barely knew how to cook eggs, let alone a meal, but I also found myself struggling with all the time it’d take to cook. I relished my free time way too much to spend it cooped up in the kitchen. And I couldn’t dare picture how some people actually found cooking to be a self-care activity. Isn’t that what the eating part is for? Fast-forward and in 2020, I’ve done basically a 180. Do I get takeout sometimes? Absolutely. But for the sake of my finances and my health, I began teaching myself a little here and there about cooking at home. But even while I’m spending all my time at home, I don’t enjoy spending a ton of time in the kitchen, so I vowed that every meal I made would be under 30 minutes (a good motivator, if I do say so myself). Over time, I’ve gotten more comfortable in the kitchen, but one thing’s remained: I spend way more time doing my skincare routine than I do cooking dinner. Here are my secrets:

    Source: Blue Apron

    One of the hardest parts of cooking is meal planning and getting everything from the grocery store. Although your meal might only take you 30 minutes, it might take you three hours to figure out what to make, create a list, wait in line at the grocery store, and get everything—and I forget something almost every single time. A meal-delivery service like Blue Apron takes away all of that time and energy planning and buying groceries, so your meals actually can take under 30 minutes.
    My favorite thing about Blue Apron is that you can easily see the recipes when you order, and they always tell you how long it takes to prep and cook. I’m able to order meals that exclusively take under 35 minutes to make, plus I can see how much prep work is involved. I’m making exciting new dishes I never would have made, but they feel easy and doable like everything else I cook. This has led me to keep all of my recipes handy to recreate them again, helping me to build an arsenal of quick and easy meals I know I already like. 
    New customers: click here to save over $60 on your first 3 boxes!

    Source: rawpixel

    2. Save everything you see on IG, Pinterest, and YouTube
    One of my biggest sources of cooking inspiration as of late has been Instagram and Tik Tok. I’m constantly seeing new ways people are making delicious, easy meals that take seriously no time at all. However, it’s easy to forget them all. Lately, I’ve been saving all of my meal ideas in one place so that I can easily come back to them. I use Pinterest because you can Pin anything from the web right there, so pictures I see on Instagram, YouTube videos, and Tik Toks can be saved amongst all the other great recipe content on Pinterest. Every Sunday I look through this catalog of ideas and pick one or two to try for the week. 

    3. Eat breakfast for dinner!
    Once I got out of the funk that breakfast foods need to be eaten for breakfast and dinner foods can only be eaten at dinner, my world changed. Although I absolutely love breakfast foods, sometimes I’m craving a heartier meal when I eat in the mornings and opting for something that would ordinarily be a lunch or dinner for me has been a lifesaver. But like I said, I love breakfast foods (I could eat exclusively sunny-side-up eggs and hash browns with hot sauce for the rest of my life and be the happiest person on Earth), so when I’m in a rut about what to cook for dinner, I go with my go-to breakfast. As long as it has some protein and maybe a side salad (hence the maybe), I’m good to go.

    Source: Anthropologie

    4. Keep a go-to grocery list and meal ideas list on your phone
    This was one of the first pages I made when I started a Bullet Journal, but you can put it basically anywhere: a note on your phone, a page you keep in your purse, on your computer, or even in your car. I first created a list of all of my favorite easy, go-to meals. I started with things like chicken quesadilla, turkey tacos, chicken caesar wraps, pita pizzas, spicy noodles, and an egg scramble. Then, I broke each of those meals down into all of their ingredients and wrote that as a master grocery list. Then when I’m feeling uninspired in the kitchen, I already have a pre-made meal plan and grocery list to get me through the week. This has truly saved me on nights when I’d rather do anything but cook, but if I have these on hand, I know I can make a meal I absolutely love.

    5. Don’t underestimate the power of a doctored-up frozen meal
    Like most people, I live in the frozen section of a grocery store. It’s so much easier, and if you know what to look for, it’s not the worst thing for your body either. But sometimes you need a little something more, so I love taking frozen staples and doctoring them up just a little bit. I’ll take frozen cauliflower rice and cook it in a little bit of soy sauce and sriracha with grilled chicken and a scrambled egg. Add some veggies, and you have the most basic fried “rice” on the planet. Another favorite of mine is using frozen breaded chicken tenders for salads, sandwiches, and wraps for an adult meal instead of just dipping them in BBQ sauce and fries (which I definitely still do on occasion and have zero regrets).  
    I do the same with frozen vegetables, always serving them in a sauce or a ton of my favorite seasonings to make them taste a little fresher. Find whatever ways you can take the frozen items in your freezer to the next level.

    Source: @allyson.trammell

    6. Keep all of your go-to spices on-hand
    Make sure you have a constant flow of all of your go-to spices, seasoning blends, and sauces. For me, that’s garlic powder, crushed red pepper flakes, sriracha, soy sauce, chili paste, cinnamon, and taco seasoning, but your list will be different based on what you like to cook! Having these in my cupboard and fridge at all times makes it easy to doctor up a plain meal or add a little extra flavor to something.

    This post includes a sponsored mention of Blue Apron, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board. More

  • in

    10 Things to Do When You’re Feeling Unproductive

    If you’re lacking motivation or energy these days, it’s not just you. Unfortunately, we don’t have an “on” button, and we can’t be plugged into an outlet. That means that no matter how much our employers expect us to be productive from 9-5, our energy levels and motivation don’t always fall in line with our work calendars. The conversation about women “having it all” somehow fails to mention that sometimes we just don’t want to do any of it. But there are tricks and tips to check in with your body, boost your energy levels, and find that motivation whenever you need it. If it’s an important week or a busy workday and your energy levels missed the memo, here are 10 things to boost productivity and motivation. 
    1. Take a break
    Yes, you do deserve a break, no matter how busy your day is (and you can let your boss know that we said so!). If it feels difficult to get anything done or you’re just feeling low energy overall, don’t force yourself to push through; it’s probably your body’s way of telling you that you need to take a break. Even spending five minutes to organize your space or 10 minutes to go on a quick walk around the block can re-energize you when you’re feeling rundown. Also, make sure you’re taking a (real!) lunch break every single day to do something enjoyable besides eating before you get back to work. If taking breaks still doesn’t feel like a fix, you might be suffering from burnout, whether it’s emotional or work-specific. If possible, take a long weekend to reset and talk to your boss about finding more work-life balance. 

    Source: @crystalinmarie

    2. Get outside
    As humans, we’re meant to be outdoors while the sun is out. Even though that’s not always possible with 9-5 office hours and dropping temperatures, getting your daily dose of sunshine is crucial for energy levels because it can suppress melatonin production and increases alertness. Plus, fresh air feels refreshing AF and will invigorate you when you need an energy push. If you don’t have time to go on a walk or do some outdoor meditation, try eating your meals outside. Bundle up, sip on a hot cup of coffee, and enjoy your breakfast on the patio, or take your lunch break sitting out in your yard or a nearby park. You can also try taking calls while going on a walk or sitting outside instead of at your desk for a Zoom meeting. 

    3. Take a shower
    Besides just extra points for cleanliness and hygiene, taking a shower makes you more alert. I rarely shower in the morning (I’m a bath-at-night kinda girl), but on the days that I do, I feel a huge difference in my energy and productivity. In my opinion, water wakes you up better than a shot of espresso ever could, so if you’re in a bit of a slump, you don’t need a nap or another cup of coffee. Instead, take a quick five-minute shower and watch your motivation increase immediately. If you’re #extra like me, try a “shot” of cold water by decreasing the water temperature at the very end of your shower for 5-10 seconds. The cold water increases alertness and might offer a variety of health benefits as a bonus. 

    4. Turn off your phone
    With endless scrolling on Instagram or entertaining TikToks just a touch of a button away, I don’t know how anyone gets anything done anymore. Smartphone addiction is real, and social media could be severely hurting your productivity. Try turning off your phone, leaving it in another room, or deleting any apps that are sucking up your time. With the phone out of the picture (literally), you won’t be as tempted to check Facebook or scroll through Instagram and might realize it’s easier to get things done when the temptation is removed. Also, try one of these habits to help you spend less time on your phone. 

    Source: @simplytandya

    5. Put on a playlist 
    Sometimes all it takes to get out of a funk is a funky (the good kind) playlist. For me, my “Caffeine” playlist makes me want to get sh*t done; for Social Media Editor Abigail, her “Anti-Anxiety League” playlist helps her feel centered and focused; and for a productivity-boosting playlist that we all love, “The Everygirl Listens: Office Tunes” totally slaps (I hear that’s a thing the cool kids are saying). Whether “Eye of the Tiger” gets you amped to check items off your to-do list or “Confidence” makes you want to conquer the world, the goal of this playlist is to energize and motivate you. Turn on the playlist when you’re feeling a lack of energy and let the gift of Harry Styles or Taylor Swift boost your productivity. 

    6. Check off the to-do list tasks that take less than two minutes to complete
    Long to-do lists can nag at us and make us feel overwhelmed. Your to-do list might feel so daunting or exhausting that you can’t even face it. Instead, start working on all of those tiny little things on your overall to-do list that you’ve been putting off but take less than two minutes. Schedule a doctor’s appointment, answer that email you’ve been meaning to get to, or order a restock of toilet paper from Amazon. You don’t have to complete every single task to improve your mood, so checking the smaller things off will increase motivation and ease overwhelm. For the bigger tasks, just making a plan for tackling them is sufficient to help make them feel less daunting. Decide when you’ll do the task and set a reminder on your phone or a Post-It.

    Source: @waityouneedthis

    7. Get moving 
    Anything that takes you out of your head and back into your body can help with stress, anxiety, and lack of energy. If stress is causing the lack of productivity, movement that focuses on breathing helps center you. Take a break to go through a yoga flow whenever you feel motivation dip, and focus on taking deep breaths with each movement (think “inhale” and “exhale” to stay focused). Breathwork (or breathing exercises) is another powerful tool to destress that you can do anytime. If the lack of productivity is due to overall fatigue or boredom, try a fun workout like going on a jog while listening to a podcast or trying a dance cardio video on Youtube for an immediate fix, and make sure to get to bed earlier that night. 

    8. Set up your environment to make you feel better
    Your environment completely affects the way you feel. Whether you’re in a perpetual funk or just having an off-day, take some time to arrange the aspects of your environment you have control over. For example, clean the kitchen, organize the desk area, put on a playlist (see above!), burn a candle, and turn off phone notifications. Clutter in your space results in clutter in your mind, and too much clutter (in your space and your mind) can make you feel overwhelmed or exhausted. Making simple changes to your workspace or even organizing that junk drawer can transform the way you feel about the rest of your day.

    Source: @_harlowejames

    9. Identify a purpose through visualization 
    Without a doubt, the greatest tool for self-development is our imagination. If you’re lacking productivity, you probably haven’t checked in with your “why” enough. Why are you putting in the effort? Is it to achieve a career milestone, save up enough money to buy a house, or feel fulfilled in your job? Maybe you want to eat healthy foods so you can feel like your best self, or keep the house organized so you can feel relaxed when you’re at home. Once you’ve identified the purpose of being productive, visualize yourself reaching it and how your life would be different. When you visualize achieving the goal instead of just setting it, you’ll automatically feel more motivated to put in the effort. It’s like dangling a carrot right in front of you instead of a far-off goal that doesn’t seem real. 

    10. Be OK with feeling “OK”
    If all else fails, remind yourself that it’s OK to have an off-day (or even an off-week). In fact, productivity naturally ebbs and flows depending on the time of day, sleep quality, and even our menstrual cycles. Are you noticing a lack of productivity, or are you shaming yourself for a lack of productivity? We believe that we’re not supposed to need a break. In reality, it’s not only OK to have an off-day, but it’s necessary. Know that negative feelings, while uncomfortable, are also human. Despite whatever intentions you have or how hard you work, some days are just going to be better than others. Let yourself take it easy, rest, and recover today, and then pick yourself up and choose to find a purpose to get excited about tomorrow. 

    How do you find motivation when you’re feeling unproductive? More