Make up Hack!

For those of you that use powder foundation, blush or shadow you know the frustration of seeing that you have product left and not being able to get to it.  This hack however will allow you to get to everything, needing only a quarter and a little leverage.

Take your product and with your container sealed tight turn it over. Most plastic powders have a ridge in the bottom. Place the quarter in said ridge and pop out the bottom. Easy as pie and will allow you to use all your product!

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-K

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AKA Reads

We both love to read!

Reading can be the perfect thing to do before you fall asleep at night, or the most amazing Sunday afternoon activity.

harry potter

We are both currently re-reading the Harry Potter series, as we are both huge Harry Potter fans. It has been really fun to re-read and rediscover the series.  Its fun to find and discuss all the new links we’ve found and all the details we might have missed or forgotten since we were reading them as kids, as well as revisit some of the major differences between the books and movies.

Ashley is currently in a book club with one of our close friends and it has been a great way for them to read different styles of books and to keep each other motivated and on track with their reading. We thought it would be a fun idea to do with each other and anyone elsewho wants to join in!

great gatsby gone girl

all about love life of pi

Click on the books above to check out what we have been reading recently

(and where you can purchase the books in the East Bay!)

So grab a book and a friend and spend some time away from a screen (as I type and you read via a screen). Its really nice to read for yourself, rather than school or work. It can be a free vacation and great for relaxation if you let it. Revisit old books like we are and keep fining new favorites!

Let us know what your reading!

-A&K

(Social) Networking 101

In my line of work I have to do a lot of networking with people in my area. I go to at least one or two networking mixers each week to meet new people and talk with clients. I have met tons of different types of people at these events, some came across incredibly reliable and interesting, while others did not. I have put together a little list of do’s and don’ts when it comes to professional networking, however I do believe these can be tips for many other types of connections as well. These can be helpful when it comes to any kind of work event, first date, or even what you put on social media.

Do bring plenty of business cards. This will be key in making new connections in your field.

Do smile – it is a great way to show others in the room that you are excited to be there and meet new people. Smile while you are approaching a new person, some people might be intimidated or not know how to start a conversation. Personally I like to find a group of 3-4 people and talk to them as a group about something – the location of the networking event, someone’s great shoes, or what the specialty cocktail is.

Do dress appropriately. A nice dress, skirt and top combo, or slacks and a cardigan are a great way to go. Also, make sure you have comfortable shoes. You will be standing most of the event.

Do be willing to talk to new people. Sometimes I have talked with people that I didn’t think I would click with and they have ended up being great connections! Ask simple questions about their business, where they live, or how they heard about the networking event. These are good questions that you can then follow up with.

Do follow up with the people you met the next day so you will still be fresh in their minds. Ask them to get coffee the following week or ask for a tour of their business. If you wait too long you will loose that great contact.

Don’t talk negatively about your company. You never know who might be listening.

Don’t discuss your weekend plans, or how drunk you got at that fun concert the night before – leave that talk for your friends.

Don’t flirt! If you meet someone good for you, however leave the flirting and hand-holding for another time.

Don’t  get drunk, I met a woman at an event once who was so drunk they had to call her a cab to get home. Talk about making an impact!

Don’t be nervous! Networking can be intimidating, so remind yourself before you go that you are there for a reason and to make great connections with people in your field!

-A

Drink it up!

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When you first turn 21 going to a bar can be both exciting and a little daunting. What do I order? How do I order? What are some good drinks? Well here is a go-to guide for drinking out at bars and restaurants!

Dive Bar

When you go to your local dive bar think of a couple simple drinks to make your signature. Most of the time a spirt (like Vodka, Gin, or Rum) mixed with soda, juice, or tonic water is the way to go. Our go to favorites include gin and tonic, rum and coke, rum and ginger ale, and vodka cranberry. When ordering, the bartender might ask you what type of alcohol you want (top shelf, well, or a specific brand). We always go with well, it is the cheapest, but still tastes just as good. Additionally, a beer is always a good way to go at your local bar, see if they have any local brews on tap.

Swanky Evening 

If you are headed to a nicer bar with friends for a special occasion it is nice to have a go-to special drink. Ashley’s go to drink is a cosmopolitan, while Kira’s is a mojito. If you are at a nicer bar many bartenders can create you a special drink.  Just tell them your favorite liquor or taste. Kira likes rum and ginger, or some thing fresh or springy (think basil, mint, cucumber). These simple suggestions can lead a great bartender to a make you a great drink.

Restaurant Drinking 

If you are going to a restaurant first check if there is happy hour. See if they have any specials, sometimes certain restaurants will offer 1/2 off a glass of wine on certain days, or pitcher specials. It is always good to ask about specials as many waiters will not always bring it up. Lastly, think about the restaurant and what their specialty is, at an Italian restaurant they will have great wine, when you’re at pub probably some great beer, many restaurants will also have seasonal cocktails you can take advantage of. Keep in mind what you are eating at the restaurant as well as you’ll want to pair your drink.

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A night out at District in Oakland

-A&K

For the Love of Crayons!

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If you were a crayon what color would you be?

Last year I was working at an after school program with first and second graders. At the end of the year I wanted to give my students something special, so I made them crayons. You can do this as a gift or with your own kids or kids you babysit. It can be a fun rainy day activity or just something to do with all your old crayons.

I got the idea from Pinterest and started collecting crayons earlier in the year. I used mostly broken or old crayons in order to recycle them, but any crayons will do. The brighter the better! Dark colors seemed to wash out the other colors and just became dark blobs.

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1. I bought silicone baking molds to melt the crayons in.  The silicone makes the crayons easy to pop out and are easier to clean.

2. Make sure all crayons are peeled! (I had students help me with this task, they thought it was fun)

3. Break or chop up crayons into smaller pieces. Pre-heat oven to 250 degrees.

4. Fill molds with crayons. They will melt and expand so no need to fill them all the way to the top. Half way or three quarters full will do.

5. Place the baking mold on a baking sheet and put in the oven.

The crayons will take about 10-15 minutes to melt. Once they are melted you can take them out of the oven. They will need to cool and harden for the next 10 minutes. Once they have cooled down you will be able to pop them out of the molds. Have fun!

-Kphoto 1

It’s a challenge

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During the summer months it is easy to get out of a routine – even when you work full time. Lazy summer dinners with friends turn into long nights of bar hoping, and sooner then you know it you have to be up the next morning. After hitting snooze a couple of times you finally manage to get out of bed, with just enough time to grab a cup of iced coffee and run out the door. I realized in the beginning of fall that I really wanted to get back into a healthy routine, mostly of going to the gym and eating better. I also realized that I love a good challenge, so in September I did a full on cleanse. After Kira, some friends, and I went up to a cabin over labor day (a long weekend of lounging around and many cookie chips!) I came to the conclusion that it was the perfect time to get back into a routine!

I started off by planning out meals for each week, including snacks, so I would eat a small meal about every 3 hours to keep my metabolism up. I also made a plan to only each fruits, veggies, lean protein, and limited complex carbs (i.e. brown rice, corn tortillas, oats) and to drink lots of water. I also included some multivitamins, fiber pills, and protein shakes. Along with eating healthy, I also made a plan with a friend to go to the gym early in the mornings to start our day. Let me tell you – I am definitely back on a routine! Set yourself a small goal (mine was 24 days) in which you will accomplish something. It makes the ending point attainable and less scary.

Kardashian Squat Challenge

For the month of October I am doing the “Kardashian Squat Challenge”! I’m not really positive if the Kardashians made it up, but I saw Khloe post it on Instagram, so that’s where I got the idea! I like that it is only 30 days, so by Halloween I will hopefully see a difference, or at least feel a difference!

If anyone has a good tip for a fun workout challenge for the month of November – I’m all ears!!!

-A

Let’s get organized, organized!

Ashley, Kira, and decorating.

In my head, the title of this post is inspired by this fabulous 80’s song! I was recently catching up on one of my all-time favorite blogs, the wonderful Emily over at Cupcakes and Cashmere, and was totally inspired by her closet organization post from a few months back. I think that changing things up every few months, especially with the switch of the seasons, can be great for anyone.

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On my dresser I keep everything that I need on a daily basis and some fun little extras.

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I got these fun chevron printed bracelet and necklace holders at Z Gallerie about a year ago. To be honest they are actually a bowl and plate! I think looking out for your favorite patterns and colors should be your top priority next to functionality. It makes a huge difference when grabbing for your favorite bangle or necklace.

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Okay, I need to be honest – I just recently fell in love with rings. I have always had a lot, but because they were in a little box I never grabbed one in the morning. Since I got this fun ring and earring holder at Target my life has changed. It makes picking something super easy, and since they are right in front of you all the time it is easy to remember what you have- especially if you have been on a ring buying binge like me! Find whatever ring/earring holder works the best for you – in college my best friend, Amy, put her rings on the ears of a wooden giraffe sculpture she had!

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Perfume bottles are so pretty you want to make sure they are a focal point of your dresser. Don’t have them in the back of your cabinet collecting dust. This way it also makes it easier for you to switch it up in the mornings depending on your mood.

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Lastly, make sure you bring in as much of you as you can! It’s YOUR room! Include pictures of family and friends, quotes and momentum’s from travels, candles, and what ever is inspiring you at the moment!

Happy organizing!

-A

Clean Sweep

We wash our hands, we wash our clothes and we wash countless other items but we may be forgetting to wash our makeup brushes.

So from me to you, here’s a reminder to do so!

To clean my makeup brushes I use Bare Essentials brush conditioning shampoo. You can also use other drug store versions or any other mild soap or shampoo of your choice. I’d suggest you’d go with a gel like soap or shampoo for best cleaning results.  The rest is pretty easy!

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  1. wet brush, room temp water is best
  2. use just a drop of brush cleaner and work the product through the brush
  3. rinse brush until water runs clear (here’s where you’ll see all the left behind gunk)
  4. squeeze out excess water and re-shape brush so that it dries correctly
  5. lay brush out on a towel and let air dry, only use brush when it is completely dry!

It only takes a few minutes and its worth it! Cleaning can help your brushes last longer and help prevent your skin from breaking out. They will also feel great on your skin!

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-K

Concerts: some tips and tricks

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First off I love going to live shows. They do however require work. I’ve recently bought a lot of concert tickets so I thought I’d pass along a few tips to make buying tickets and going to shows easy and fun.

1. Look early and often: Some shows require tickets to be bought months ahead. The easiest way to know when shows are is to follow your favorite acts on Twitter, Facebook or good ol fashion email. Subscribe to your local venues email list or to sites like ticketmaster and Live Nation. Being in the know can also clue you in on discounts, pre sales, special passwords etc. All great when buying tickets.

2. Make a Budget: This pertains more to large shows. The stressful ones where you have to be ready to buy as soon as tickets are available, there’s usually seating arrangements to pick out and timers rushing you along. This process can be made way simpler by discussing a few things before hand, mainly money. It is sometimes difficult to see full price before hand especially with all the added fees. (Note that if you buy tickets in person at ticket window most fees do not apply, making the ticket cheaper!) Set a price limit with friends before you buy, this way everyone’s comfy with the price and can expect how much to spend. I will not go above X amount of dollars! Remember certain shows sell out right away, and web pages will time out. You may not always have time to text your friend ticket options, better to work out as much before hand as possible.

3. Plan ahead: Keep in mind the venue. Is it indoors or out. How will you get there? Is public trans available? Where can you park? Can you bring in food? Will you be sitting, standing, or dancing etc. All of these are important when planning for your concert. Answers to these questions will help determine what you wear, how you get there and what you bring with you.

4. Dress comfy and cute: Your outfit is important at a show for many reasons. Obviously you may just want to look nice because your in public, but more importantly a concert is an opportunity to dress up or express your love for the music through your fashion. I often try and let the venue and the artist inspire my clothes.

Inspiration first then functionality: Ask yourself “Does this outfit make sense for the event?” If I’m gonna be up dancing/standing for hours maybe the 4 inch heels should stay at home. It is often nicer when your feet are comfy and protected, crowds and toes are not always friends. I’ve also seen people lose shoes like sandals and flats in really packed crowds. Scarves are great for shows because if your in the sun it will protect you, in the cold it keeps you warm, its lightweight and it can add easy personality to your outfit.  One pieces, rompers, long dresses are all great until you have to almost completely undress and crouch in a gross tiny porta potty. If your indoors with nice bathrooms however romp it up.

5. Pack Light: Less is often more for a show  (all day festivals and things like that are a completely different story). Do you need your entire key ring? Do you need everything in your wallet? I always try and pair down to the essentials. Less to carry and less to lose. Car key (if i’m driving), debit card, ID, some cash, phone, camera (if you have it and want to take nicer pics then what your phone can provide) and chapstick/lipstick. That’s it. Usually all fits in my pockets or small purse.

6. HAVE FUN AND BE ADVENTUROUS! Concerts are a great way to blow off steam and just live it up with your favorite music. Shows are also a great way to discover new music. Maybe your friend wants to go to a show but you don’t really know the band. If you have the cash, take a chance you may discover some music you really like!

-K

Fall in love with Fall

 

pumpkins

pumpkins

Oh, October! There is such a different pace to the fall. People are finally relaxing after the hectic summer months, school is back in session, and pumpkins are everywhere. I love looking forward to new activities, colors, and smells (isn’t the fall smell amazing?!) I thought I would put together a little list of some things I am really looking forward to this season and I hope it will inspire you as well.

1. Go to a pumpkin patch. There are some great pumpkin patches in the Bay Area, especially in Marin and Half Moon Bay. It makes for a perfect Sunday activity with friends – and a great place to take pictures! If you live in the Bay Area check out these pumpkin patches for some all day fun.

2. Drink lots of apple cider. My aunt makes it with cloves and cinnamon and lets it sit in the pot all day – delish!

3. Wear big sweaters and boots. Nothing says fall like a comfy sweater and your favorite pair of worn in boots. I’m currently obsessing over this sweater and these boots.

4. On a rainy night, stay in with friends. A rainy night is the perfect time to have some free fun with friends; pick out a great movie, do a puzzle, or host a game night.

5. Perfect a soup. I love to cook and I love the flavors of fall, one of my biggest goals is to make a go-to soup for the season.

6. Take after dinner walks. Meet up with some friends and catch up on your day, bring your dogs along for some extra fun.

7. Go to a college football game. I’m really looking forward to November 2nd when my alma mater, University of Arizona plays against Cal! Bear Down Wildcats!

8. Become obsessed with a new show. Say it with me – fall tv!

9. Plan a great halloween costume. I already have mine all planned out, but you will have to wait to see.

10. Do something crafty with leaves. Very Pinterest stereotypical, but a nice calming activity of a Sunday afternoon.

-A