International Women’s Day

Hello Glam Girls!

Happy International Women’s Day! Whether it is an 8 year old girl who is starting to find interest in fashion or a 90 year old grandmother who now enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, we all share the common bond of being a woman and knowing how to overcome the hardships that come on our paths in life. Today I wanted to share my thoughts on what being a woman has always meant to me.

As women, we face the biggest challenges in our society and continually have to surmount them while being caretakers. We are daughters, friends, coworkers, mothers, wives and the list goes on… As women, we are usually our toughest critics as if society did not already set the bar to a surreal level! We are expected to be the exemplary role model but are the most neglected members of society and yet we still hold our heads high doing it all. We are never too tired to help a friend in need, help with homework, cook a warm meal, or finish a project that was assigned at the last minute. You name it, we handle it.

We multitask by nature! And we are climbing the steps in our society and becoming judges, doctors, fashion designers, governors, teachers, world leaders, and CEO’s while balancing these titles with our personal responsibilities and are still expected to excel at both. However as we climb in the ladders of the professional world, the criticism becomes louder and unfortunately many times it comes from other women. We must learn how to uplift each other better and recognize each other’s achievements without any source of envy and criticism. If we don’t do so, how do we expect the men who are still held back in the archaic age to ever view us as equals?

No one faces more criticism than the independent woman who works hard and does not rely on someone else to sustain her life. We get labeled as bitchy, bossy, difficult etc. However, as an independent woman who has heard it all and know many ladies who are living similar lives I can say that we are simply a mystery to those who have chosen a different path from us and to the opposite sex! We are a mystery because we have managed to fit into our day all of the responsibilities and still have time to look fabulous doing so! We are not bitchy or bossy, we simply know what we want and our time is precious so we do not waste it. We are not difficult, we just know our value and will not settle. Ladies, do not ever feel like you should apologize for knowing what you want in life! It is not about being nasty, and it is not about emasculating the men in our lives, being a woman is being able to build your life and follow your dreams while being able to uplift those present in it. In the end, we have dreams and goals in life just like a man, we just achieve them in stilettos!

Check out this amazing article that Cosmopolitan posted earlier last week:

Keep reaching for your dreams ladies!



Using Third Party Services

We live in the age of third party sites who offer deals and services for less. While they offer a great way to save, there is also some risk that come with dealing with some of these sites. Certainly, the risks vary from low to high depending on what deal you are looking for. I want to share with you some of my tips on how to get the best experience when using a third party service.
Shop around and compare – Whether you faithfully use Groupon, LivingSocial, or TravelZoo to name a few, you must always be aware of the competition. Some deals are sometimes offered through more than one of these sites and a lot of times, the prices vary. My suggestion: do not be faithful to just one of these sites! Sign up for all of those that appeal to your needs most and compare them. Hey, the sign up is free, and if you are worried about your email inbox being flooded with daily emails, have one email address dedicated for your deals emails! The best part about this? These sites always have days of the week (or time of the month) where they will have an extra discount off of any deal purchased during a specific time frame!
Always do your research – No matter what deal you are looking to purchase, always research the product, the company, or the individual with whom you will be doing business with. Be aware of the fine print included in the deal such as “valid only on these days”, expiration dates, company or individual’s reviews. And lastly, trust your instinct! If you don’t feel comfortable with a company or with an individual, do NOT go into business with them! This is especially true if you are spending a high amount of money on the deal.
One of my favorite third party sites is AirBnB! However, if you follow the news, you have probably heard of some stories that may make you weary of using their services. This is probably one of the areas where research is crucial! Do not ever book a place without the following:
Having verified basic information for the host/owner of the place – name, phone number, and email contact. Prior to booking, you should be at least able to see whether or not the host is a verified user, a picture of them and a link to contact them. Once the place is booked, you will definitely be provided with a private email address and a telephone number from AirBnB.
Seeing verified pictures of the place – AirBnB sends employees that will take pictures of the place that is listed and is very good with taking all important rooms (bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom) along with a street view or neighborhood picture.
Having the complete address of the place – This will be helpful for you to then search it on google map. Don’t feel like you are being paranoid! I’d rather be viewed as “paranoid” than be viewed on a billboard with the words “have you seen me” above my picture! Be sure that your rental is located and ensure that it is safe and also near major hotels or major tourist attractions which means that there will be higher police and/or security presence. You should even be able to pull a neighborhood report on crime in the area.
Reading every single review of the owner – most AirBnB users are very good at leaving a review for their hosts and the company usually will send you reminders after your stay as it also helps them rate their hosts. These are very important! I normally would not suggest staying in any place that do not have at least 5 reviews with a paragraph or so detailing their stay.
Overall, as I mentioned before, always go with your instinct when in doubt. Also, I would not suggest to use this site for a stay if you will be alone in the apartment or home. In that case, bite the bullet and spend a little more for a hotel and look through third party sites such as Expedia or CheapTickets first so you can find better pricing. Lastly, always share your travel information with a friend or family member with whom you are in regular contact. You can never be too careful. However, once you have done your homework and it all checks out, be sure to enjoy your deal to the fullest!

Feel free to share some of your tips in the comment below!

Have fun saving!

Making time for friends amidst a busy schedule

If you are a glam girl, chances are you are juggling many hats every day! Whether it is work, kids, school, or social responsibilities, it just seems like the weeks seem to fly by and before you know it it has been months since you last saw some of the people dearest to your heart. I have a group of girlfriends with whom I’ve been friends for over 20 years, and even with some of them residing in the same town as me, it is still hard for us to get together.
Last year, I made a resolution to not wait until a major life event for me to make plans to see my friends. Now to ensure that we catch up on a regular, the girls and I use small events as opportunities to get together. Here are some of the gatherings we usually plan:
– Cooking nights – since some of my girls are not big in the kitchen and I love to cook, whenever I have a new recipe that I would love to try, I call a few of them and plan to have them over for a night during the weekend. Each person brings something to the dinner and we usually catch up on either some good DVR or with a good newly released DVD. I would recommend these gatherings especially for the glam girls with families as it is informal and the kids will then have a chance to play together.
– Dinners – if we have been having hectic weeks, we might simply gather together over a nice dinner at a new restaurant that we have been wanting to try. These are especially great because then no one has to worry about the cleaning! These are especially great for the ultimate busy career glam girl who is trying to catch some time with her girls in between work projects.
– Movies – sometimes our schedules are more limited and do not permit for us to catch up as we would normally do. In those days, we would plan to catch a movie together. Sometimes it’s the latest showing possible and usually at the little movie theather around the corner where $15 will get you a ticket and some snacks! However, we still have the chance to get together and let some stress melt away. These gatherings will fit any glam girl and more particularly the one with a budget.
Overall, whether it’s your friends or it’s your family, we all need to catch up with those that are dear to us on a regular basis. They are a part of who we are and have been there with us through the struggles and the successes. Furthermore, I’ve found that my gatherings with my ladies have provided us with with an informal therapy session. I hope that my suggestions will help you spend some time with your loved ones a little more often.



Scheduling your time

It is easy to say you will keep a schedule, however, I’ve come to realize that action a lot of time does not follow that intention. For many of us, it is not due to a lack of interest but rather due to busyness! When you are running around and trying to keep up with your daily agenda, it usually slips out of your mind to write your schedule down, and by the end of the year, those planners are still empty.

I used to invest in planners every year! I’m a girly girl and would take my time to select my planners: retro style, beaches, flowers, you name it, I’ve probably had it! However, by the end of the year, I would look back and realize that more than half of the pages were still empty and that I would have been better off using that money otherwise. I was left with an out of date empty planner and still in need of a better way to organize my time. Since I became increasingly more reliant on my smartphone, I figured I’d put the apps in there to good use. It’s simple to say to use your phone as your planner but you must also know which app to use and when.  So these are the ones I used and how:

Calendar App  – This is my to go app where I schedule reoccurring events such as appointments, meals (yes if you tend to forget about eating when you’re busy like I do, you NEED to!), and major life events such as birthdays, anniversaries etc… Most phone calendars should be able to sync with your email calendars, so be sure to sync all calendars regularly so that you don’t miss an important event. The calendar app will give you the option of setting reminders which I strongly encourage. In addition to reminders, you are able to set a start and end date for these appointments on your calendar, invite others via email, include an address and notes related to the event.

Reminder App –  This app I use for quick reminders that are not part of your regular schedule such as a quick run to the post office, running a quick errand during lunch time… Anything that usually becomes part of your schedule at the last minute. These are always the ones that we forget about! The new iOS softwares come with this app built in and it allows you to set the priority level, an alarm, and even set a location where it can remind you of the task.

Shopping List – There are various apps out there available to help you make a quick shopping list for the house. They are user friendly and typically include preloaded items which makes the job much quicker for you. As you go through your day, it is a quick way to add anything to your list.

Remember, technology is always evolving, be sure to put it to good use and let it make your life a little easier. I hope these quick tips will help you manage your schedule a little easier. Feel free to leave some tips that you use in the comment section below.



Making the best out of a busy schedule!

We all have busy lives nowadays: work, house chores, and many other responsibilities! And if you live in a metropolitan area, traffic can add an extra 2 hours each day to your schedule! Therefore, by the time you reach home, all you feel that you have the energy for is a quick bite to eat, a glass of wine and your favorite shows! While it is the most appealing route, you can’t simply drink away the responsibilities as I so often wish I could!

As I have had to balance work, life, studies throughout my adulthood, I’ve found it very helpful to follow some of the following tips that I’d like to share with you below. Unfortunately they don’t make the chores disappear but they definitely make it possible to enjoy that glass of wine!

Tip #1 – Keep a schedule!

Yes, it might sound tedious however, keeping a schedule will help you divide and conquer. Assign specific tasks to specific days. For example, make Thursdays laundry day, Friday evenings grocery day or Sunday afternoon meal prep day.

Tip #2 – Keep healthy and quick meal options

Some of my favorite items to keep in the kitchen are crackers, tuna, salami, cheese, hummus, eggs, bagged salad, and pita bread. These items give me access to a quick healthy meal. On days that I don’t return home until the sun is setting, these become main ingredients on my dinner plate whether it is a tuna salad with crackers and cheese or a salad and some boiled eggs. Make sure that the options that you keep are as natural as possible and will enable you to have a sustainable meal within fifteen minutes or less.

Tip #3 – Put technology to good use!

My phone has become my personal assistant. With everything going on in the day, sometimes I forget to eat! Smartphones are now the norm and even though most of us have one now, very few of us are using them to their potential! With my phone, I not only stay in touch with my friends and family, I keep track of what I eat and my exercise routines, I access my financial reports and bills (be sure to always have a secure passcode and NEVER share your access), I create my grocery list, access my Starbucks card, and keep up with the news.

Tip #4 – Save some time for you!

I tend to have the tendency to put myself on the back burner in the midst of my every day hectic life and unfortunately, it took fallin ill a couple of times for me to finally register that if I am not healthy, I will not be able to carry on my responsibilities. So now I create down time for myself on a weekly basis. The actual day varies by week depending on what I have going on but I make sure to take that time. Whether it is to enjoy a movie or dinner with friends, or catch up on hours of DVR, I keep a few hours one day a week to totally take a step back and simply enjoy the simple pleasures of life.

I hope that you will take these tips into consideration, make them into your own and start making the best out of your busy schedule!

Life is short, so remember to keep the positivity and live it to the fullest!