Time Blocking And Calendar Hacks

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Juggling between school, work, blogging and a social life can get pretty intense. Not to mention trying to throw a healthy routine in the mix. Back in my rookie days, I would rely solely on my memory, maybe a couple calendared events here and there, when it came to my schedule. But by incorporating the use of time-blocking and google calendar, my productivity has been better than ever.

Google Calendar –

First let’s talk about your new best friend. Google calendar is connected directly to your Gmail, making it easy to access with any device, anywhere. The color scheme is extra cute, with several options of pastels colors to coordinate events. This makes it easy to stay organized and know exactly what you have planned for the day at a quick glance. Pick a color for work meetings, school events and/or assignment due dates, workouts and even drive time. My drive time is yellow, so if I have a phone call to make or something I can do while driving, I’ll know when I’m able to do that based on my calendar color. I try to literally plan my whole day between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. into my calendar to keep myself on task and prepared for the day.

Multitasking is great for maximizing productivity, but there are certain things you can and can’t do while multitasking. The phone call while driving example is a good time to do so, along with checking emails while walking on the treadmill or listening to a podcast while getting ready. But in order to avoid multitasking more demanding tasks, time-blocking is the way to go.

Time-Blocking –

Time-blocking is a method that trains your brain to focus on one task for a given amount of time – and only that one task. It’s very common for people to look at a list of things needing to be done and start working on all of them throughout a large time period, bouncing from one task to another. This makes it hard for your brain to focus on what you’re trying to do because as soon as it’s acclimated, there’s another switch. By time-blocking you avoid the clutter and tell yourself the task in front of you is THE MOST important thing for X amount of time.

Every morning I’ll check my calendar, (usually on the treadmill or on the Stairmaster) and see what is on the agenda for the day. Then I open my Notes app in my phone and write down each individual task that needs to be done, most often through the 5-6 hour slot when I’m in the office, along with phone calls, workouts, laundry, even checking emails. Then I put in parenthesis how long each task will likely take. At work, I’ll put a timer on my phone with the allowance I’ve given a task and when the timer goes off, it’s time to move to the next item on the list. I can’t tell you how helpful this tool has been for me. Productivity maximization through the roof!

(Amazon has a cute little white block that will serve as your timer as well, but your phone timer will work just fine.)

The key idea is to stay focused on one thing at a time. By temporarily blocking out the entire day’s to do list and giving the task at hand your undivided attention, you’ll be able to accomplish much more in small bites than if you were to try and swallow the day whole.

If you have any productivity enhancing hacks, share below in the comments!

 

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-xoLK-


Outfit Deets: – AG jeans – Hologen cardi – Treasure & Bond shoes 
– Bobeau tee – Nora NYC sunnies –

Photos by: Madison Katlin Photography

Travel Guide For The Girl With Too Many Things

Raise your hand if you’ve been personally victimized by a 50lb bag weight restriction at the airport. *raises hand*

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Traveling can be a bit stressful – especially the preparation part – and even more so as a girl with a sense of style and too many things. How could you possibly neglect your favorite shirt by leaving it behind?! Or that dress with the tags still on it that’s been waiting for the perfect opportunity to be worn? And don’t even try to say only one pair of shoes is necessary for a week’s vacation.

With a family states away, a previous job that brought me to 12 different cities and forced me to live out of a suitcase, and the spirit of a wanderlust gypsy, I’ve gained quite a bit of airplane-incorporated experience. And along with it, some pretty sound traveling advice. So seeing as I have just begun a 20 day, 2 country trip, it seemed fitting to share some traveling tips with you:

 

  1. Helpful Applications – My new favorite flight booking app has a lot of people buzzing, and airlines pissed off. Enough so that United Airlines actually sued them – and lost. Meaning the app is not only genius, but legal.
    Skiplagged finds inexpensive flights that don’t necessarily end in your desired city, but have a layover where you’re wanting to go. For example, if I wanted to fly to Los Angeles, I would take a flight going to Seattle that stops in LA and San Francisco. Then instead of getting on the next connecting flights, you just walk right out of the airport and bam, you’re in LA.
    (I just looked for flights DFW-LAX and found them for $93 round-trip. SCORE.)
    The only catch is you can’t check a bag, but continue reading and I’ll tell you exactly why you should never be checking a bag anyways.
    Another good thing to utilize is frequent flyer miles. Try to stick to one airline so the points will accumulate, but always make sure you’re using a miles membership anytime you fly, or those points just vanish into thin air for no one to use in the future.
  1. Pack Based Off Itinerary – Knowing what you will be doing on your trip is critical information when packing. Will it be warm or cold? Are there special events planned? Or will you be working out or doing active things? Knowing the answers to these questions will tell you how much of what to pack, with a little wiggle room of course. If it’s a business trip, then be sure to bring enough business casual pieces that are interchangeable, giving you more options and room for your creative style to come through without bringing your whole closet.
    Undergarments are an item that are always over-packed. If you’re gone for 10 days, you honestly don’t need 10 bras and underwear. Hotels and rentals have these wonderful things called soap and sinks that you can use to wash your intimates so you don’t have a bag full of underwear. Sure, they may be small, but space is a hot commodity when you’re packing all your things in one bag. The main idea is don’t over-pack. If you can pinpoint at least the type of outfit you need for each day and minimize your belongings you can avoid checking luggage and save everyone some time and money.
  2. Carry-On When Possible – Trust me, you and your Uber will be much happier if you can manage to keep your things in one or two carry-on bags rather than waiting for your bag to come through baggage claim. And it’s more than possible depending on the destination! If your trip is a week or less, and you’re not needing mountains of winter gear, there’s no excuse to avoiding checked luggage.
    All airlines allow one larger carry-on bag and a personal item. Ladies, this includes your purse. The best trick to utilizing these allowed items is to pack as normal in a carry-on approved roller bag, (and pack that bitch tight), then instead of just bringing your purse by itself, grab a backpack that will fit your purse, along with other items such as your laptop, make-up, jewelry etc., and use that as your personal item to be stowed under the seat in front of you. It allows for easy access to the things you’ll need in-flight and avoids wasting that second bag opportunity.
    For international or long-term travel (like I am doing currently) put your shoes in a roller carry-on bag so your checked bag isn’t as weighed down. As for inside the checked bag, I put my nicer clothing in the zipped side and my athletic wear in the other side, then as my trip progresses, use the non-zip compartment as dirty laundry and keep my good clothes fresh in the zipped side.
  3. Avoiding Jet-Lag – This topic seriously deserves its own solo post (OK, maybe they all do), but I’ll give as brief of a break down as possible. The biggest thing to remember when traveling to a time zone V much off your home base is to get your body acclimated to your destination’s zone ASAP. It’s best to start a day or two before your flight if possible. For example, if you were traveling to a time zone 8 hours behind, stay up as late as possible and sleep in later than usual. Vice versa for heading in the other direction.
    When you’re on the plane, remember this rule as well. Don’t give in to temptation and try to sleep the whole flight, you’ll just end up overly exhausted and even more jacked up when you land. Airlines typically have the destinations current time available, so keep an eye on it and act accordingly as if you were there and not on the plane. Know what time you’ll be landing – if you’re getting in at night, you’ll want to be nice and sleepy, and if you land in the afternoon or morning, you’ll want to be well-rested to make it through the day. If you mess up and are super jet lagged your first day, resist the urge to sleep until it’s actually sleep time. It’s hard, I know, but one day of suffering through tiredness is better than a whole trip ruined because of jetlag. I find that exercising as soon as you get to your hotel helps too.

 

I know it’s a lot of information, but traveling happy is important! No one wants to spend a bunch of money on a trip just to get there tired, unprepared and missing home. If you have questions or want to know more about any of the above topics, comment below or shoot me an email.


-xoLK-

Outfit deets: – Zella hoodie (the BEST for travel. The hood has a hole for your headphone cord to go into so you’re not all tangled up!) – Zella leggings (in black)
– Nike shoes – Nora NYC sunglasses –

Formulating… And Actually Sticking To NYE Resolutions

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It’s that time of the year again. The holidays are over, everyone will be going back to work soon and all conversations will pertain to self-improvement and trendy, unrealistic resolutions. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about bettering oneself, but some goals people go around bragging about are complete BS. And they’re always so vague, like “I’m going to get healthy this year,” or “In 2018 I’m going to save more money.”

Without a clear goal and plan, success is impossible to reach. And making ridiculous goals like getting in the gym 5X a week or completely cutting out added sugars is a recipe for failure. A healthy balance is necessary to get yourself down the road to actual improvement.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when preparing for a new year and to help you stick to those resolutions.

  1. Don’t choose one single, broad resolution –

If you’re wanting to get in shape this year, find one thing that you enjoy doing like yoga, cycling or weight lifting, and commit to doing that activity a realistic number of days a week. If you’re not a frequent gym-goer, 2X a week is a great place to start. If you end up going 3-4X, great!

Same goes for financial and organizational goals. Budget your income and expenses, then choose a reasonable amount of money to put into a savings account each week. You can always increase the amount as you go, and it’s not as intimidating as stashing away all your extra income. Or decide on one project to tackle a month, like clean out your home office, reorganize your closet, etc.

Starting out with a realistic goal will keep you on track and prevent you from getting discouraged when that goal isn’t met.

  1. Daily, Monthly, Yearly –

This year I’ve made three resolutions that can be done on a daily, monthly and annual basis. It seems like a lot, but each is totally doable and will greatly improve my quality of life. They say it takes 30 days to make a habit, so come February, these things will hopefully be ingrained into my routine. Write them on a sticky note or paper and tape it somewhere you’ll look every day like your bathroom mirror. (Mine’s on my laptop right when I open it.)

And it’s important to remember that failure is OK! If you fall off, just hop back on the next day.


My 2018 goals are:

Daily – Get on my yoga mat EVERY DAY (even if it’s just 5 minutes.)

Monthly – Read one book off my must-read list.

Yearly – Learn a new skill (this will likely come naturally through school, but it’s a good goal to keep in mind throughout the year.)

  1. Plan it out –

Like I said, without proper planning, you’re setting yourself up for failure. I’ve become a slave to my Google Calendar – and I’m not mad about it! Between over planning my weeks and time-blocking, I’m able to get an insane amount done throughout the day all while sticking to my goals.

Daily reminders of your resolutions can help keep you on track and is a useful tool for tracking your progress. For example, schedule your work-outs in your calendar like a meeting, and at the end of the day write down in the notes what you did to be active – or if you totally missed that day. Then look back on previous weeks to see what works best for you and adjust accordingly.

(I’ll be posting an in-depth blog about calendar organization and time-blocking soon – subscribe to my site so you don’t miss it!)

  1. Avoid negative word choice –

When formulating your resolutions, word choice is SO important. Instead of using words with not after them (can’t, won’t, couldn’t etc.,) replace them with a more positive tone. Same goes for eliminating things from your life. So instead of saying, “I will not eat candy in 2018,” change it to, “I will eat more vegetables in 2018.” By focusing on the things that will improve your health and life instead of prohibiting yourself from the bad, you’ll trick your brain into positive thinking and healthy actions rather than constantly telling yourself what you can’t have or do.

 

Hopefully this will help get you motivated and focused on making 2018 your year!

Comment below what your New Year’s resolutions are!

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-xoLK-


Outfit Deets:

MVMT watch – Pixie&Mood wallet – LuLus dress –
Nordstrom necklace set – Nordstrom poncho –

Photos by: Madison Katlin Photography

Cyber Monday Gift Guide

So Black Friday is over and the malls may be safe at this point (probably not though). But if you’re anything like me and dread going to the mall even when it’s not holiday season, then what you’ve really been waiting for is Cyber Monday.

Cause let’s face it, nothing’s better than sitting at home with a cup of coffee shopping online in your underwear.

I’ve hunted down some of the best sales along with great gifts under $100 – happy shopping!

Target is offering 15% on basically everything in stores and online – even premium electronics. The sale goes live Sunday Nov. 27 and ends Monday at midnight. It may not seem like much, but if you’re a Target regular, you know they don’t do sales often, let alone on the whole store. & Their holiday décor this year is ADORBS. So take advantage of the discount and stock up on some holiday favorites.

Ulta will be launching their Cyber Monday sale at 9 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 26 through Tuesday at 2 a.m. This is a great spot to shop for the women in your family – and they have deals on mens products too! With Smashbox highlight palettes and Stila one-step primers at 50% off, they make great stocking stuffers. Here’s a full page of gifts under $100.

Bed Bath & Beyond is a great place to shop for relative’s gifts when you don’t really know someone’s style that well. What’s better is their site navigates you to the best gifts based on gender, age and price range so you can find the perfect present with just a few clicks, just click the “Gifts” menu and select from the drop-down options. Some of my favorites are the the food chopper for the lazy cook at only $20 and the BonJour 8-cup French press – the perfect gift for the coffee addict – so cute and it comes in 5 different colors for $50! They even have a whole page of gifts for furbabies.

Yankee Candle is having a buy three, get three special on all full-priced items. Whenever I see sales on gifts that are universal, like candles, I always stock up so I have extra last minute gifts in case I forget about someone. If you don’t give them all out, then you’ve got extra candles for yourself! That’s a win-win in my book.

Amazon is also doing flash sales that only last 12-24 hours with items marked down substantially. If you’re not sure what to get someone, browse through their deals until you see something that catches your eye. The items are very random, but they’re the kind of things you didn’t know you needed until you saw it.

(I’ll be posting my fav Amazon buys in a different blog next week.)

Here are some more discounts to take advantage of:

DSW 20% off with code: BLACKFRI20

ShopBop up to 30% off with code: MORE17

Tarte Cosmetics 25% off with email subscription.

Coach 30% off and free shipping with code: JOY17

Fashion Nova up to 80% off site-wide with code: BLACK30

Yeti Rambler bottles 25% off (no code needed.) *perfect for the outdoorsy guy!*

Express up to 50% off site-wide (no code needed.)

7 For All Mankind 30% off full-priced items (no code needed) && $20 off $150 spent when you subscribe to their newsletter.

Revolve sale up to 65% off  (no code needed.) *this may be a selfish stop, but you need to be spoiled too!*

-xoLK-

Photo from: Pexels

 

My Secret Weapon For Blinding Highlight

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So the other day I posted this photo and got a lot of comments on how blinding my highlight is.

Well today is your lucky day, cause I’m gonna share my secret weapon with y’all.

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I’ve been using the Anastasia Beverly Hills Glow Kit since its release and the colors are SO pigmented, it honestly works wonders by itself. Every color blends perfectly with my skin tone. I’ve also used it on friends with darker tones than me and it really works for everyone.

My favorite colors are Snow when I want a less dramatic look and Hot Sand when I want to be blinding AF. Amber Gold has a pretty pink undertone to it, so I sometimes mix it with my blush. I used a mix of Sunray and Hot Sand for the look above.

But that’s not my secret weapon…

By rubbing a TINY tiny dab of Aquaphor high on the cheekbone where highlight goes, the powder turns into almost a gel and makes it stick where you want it with insane pigmentation. Sometimes if I really want to shine, I’ll throw a little on my collar bones too and dust my desired highlight color over it.

Top it all off with your favorite setting spray and you’re ready to fucking slay!

I saw a tip that involved Swarovski stones and some other secrets for perfect photo highlight. Comment below if you want to see a post about this!

-xoLK-

Hurricane Harvey relief efforts – how you can help

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Harvey has hit with more power than predicted along the Gulf Coast over the weekend, and much farther North than expected. Though many cities near the coast had been evacuated prior to the storm, cities up-state were not prepared for the rain and flooding, and many were left stranded with little to no supplies.

If you are in Dallas and want to to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey, here is a list of ways to contribute to relief efforts without having to bear the storm. This post will be regularly updated as more information and events come to attention.

 

Drink for a cause locations:

(All events have passed, but keep reading for other ways to still help!

Kung Fu Saloon will be donating 50% of profits on 8/29

Parlay Sports Club is accepting supply donations for Trusted World on 8/28

Sidebar Uptown Dallas is donating a portion of proceeds on 8/29

Houston Strong party (2617 Commerce St.) – free entry with donation and all proceeds will be donated 8/29

Candleroom is donating a portion of proceeds on 8/30

The Eberhard is donating a portion of proceeds from 4pm-10pm on 8/30

Milkshake Concepts will be donating 20% of sales at their venues as follows:

Citizen: Thursday from 10pm until 2am
Nikkei: Friday from 10pm until 2am
Stirr: All day Wednesday September 6th (as part of the #DTX4HTXinitiative)

**If there are other venues holding events that are not listed above, please email details to: laurenmkeuning@gmail.com

 

Places to drop off supplies:

Trusted World in Addison (15660 N. Dallas Parkway) is accepting supply donations from 3pm-8pm daily.

SouthPaws Grill Uptown (3227 McKinney Ave.) will also be collecting supply donations for Trusted World during hours of operation daily.

CBS Radio Tower (1431 N. Central Expy) will be taking supply donations all week.

Ellum Hair Studio (3111 Canton St. Ste. 120) will be accepting supply donations through September 10th.

Stirr (2803 Main St, Dallas, TX 75226) will be accepting supply donations from 11am-11pm daily.

Katy Trail Outpost (4700 W. Park Blvd) will be accepting supply donations during hours of operation daily.

2929 Wycliff Apartments will be accepting donations during hours of operation through Friday.

Keller Williams Real Estate Offices (18383 Preston Road Ste. 150) will be collecting supply donations until Wednesday evening (no clothing or furniture).

Brookhaven College in Farmer’s Branch will be accepting donations in Room K240 until further notice.
Supplies needed include:

Cases/jugs of water

Non-perishable foods

Blankets and pillows

Basic medical/first aid supplies

Hygiene products such as soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes

Feminine products

Diapers, formula, baby food

Clothing of all sizes

 

Other ways to help:

Get yourself a Texas Strong shirt from Compete Every Day – All proceeds will be donated to American Red Cross and other organizations aiding hurricane relief.

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The Dallas Convention Center will be housing refugees and are in need of cots and air mattresses for those evacuated. You can also volunteer to help get people accommadated. More information is linked on their website.

People with boats are desperately needed! Even if boat owners are unable to travel South, there are rescue teams that can use them to evacuate people quickly. Contact Houston PD if you are able to contribute.

If you have a spare bedroom or space that you rent/Airbnb, people that have been evacuated need a place to stay. Opening up your home to refugees affected by the storm will make a huge impact! The devastation will likely continue through the end of the week, and rehabilitation will take even longer. Click HERE to be connected with those who need housing through Airbnb.

 

Donating blood is easy and totally free if you cannot help through the options above. Find local donation centers in your area HERE.

 

Here are links to donate money to various organizations aiding in the relief efforts:

Salvation Army

Red Cross

SPCA of Texas

Coalition for the Homeless

Texas Diaper Bank

 

Food Banks:

Houston

Corpus

Galveston

Victoria

 

And lastly, share this post to make others aware of how they can contribute.

Every little bit makes a difference!

LK