Gift Ideas from The Little Market

A couple nights ago, I was doing my nightly check of Instagram when I stumbled upon a post with incredible salad spoons (see below) from The Little Market. Immediately following that, I decided to check out their website to see what other goodies were available and what this company was all about.

As it turns out, one of the stars, Lauren Conrad, of a tv show (The Hills) that turned into my guilty obsession in high school has been doing big things since the show ended. LC, as she’s commonly referred to, has partnered with Hannah Skvarla to found the company, The Little Market (love this name). The Little Market seeks to “empower women artisans to rise above poverty and support their families”- read more here.

Now, how incredible is that?

 As it turns out, there are so many beautiful pieces that make great gifts (for others, or even for yourself!)

Under $75

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Seaside Round Platter

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French Blue Tall Glass Pitcher

Under $50

Large-Twisted-Servers-The-Little-MarketTwisted Wood Salad Servers, Large

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Ombre Scarf, Blue

Under $25

Pomegranate-Candle-_The-Little-MarketSoy Blend Candle, Pomegranate

blue-rectangle-trays-the-little-marketRectangle Hand Painted Floral Tray, Turquoise

xo

-j.

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5 Little Notes…on All-Nighters

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Happy Weekend!

This week turned into a blur- After creating a serious to-do list on Sunday night, I felt completely prepared for the week. I knew exactly what I wanted to accomplish by the week’s end, and I knew the priority of each. I have to say though, as much as I was prepared to throw myself into my work and get started, random things kept coming up. By Wednesday, I knew that I’d have to stay up late to play a game of catch up or else I’d feel unsettled going into this weekend.

This game of “catch up” isn’t quite new to me, but it’s been a while since I’ve played it. Specifically in college, I remember venturing with my roommate down to the university’s 24 hr. market to pick up coffee flavored ice cream and other snacks to rev up my energy levels to get work done. Now of course I know that sugar is definitely a no-no for being productive late at night; for me it’d often result in a crash around 1am.

After playing “catch up” in college, I can confidently say that I’ve learned a couple things:

  1. Music is my friend. Back in college, I used to listen to a group called Owl City because I found them to be energizing- now I have a long playlist of super upbeat 90’s music that often has me dancing while sitting at my desk! Even if I feel my energy levels slipping, I know I can rely on that playlist to boost my spirits and productivity levels.
  2. High sugar snacks are a big no-no! My roommate used to snack on goldfish or oreos, and I used to devour nearly an entire pint of ice cream…and then a couple hours later I’d be falling asleep at my desk. There’s nothing quite as disappointing as waking up super early in the morning only to realize a project is still unfinished. When I have a late night craving, I often resort to nuts or a tablespoon of Sunflower Seed butter. Both options provide a boost of energy from the protein, and never leave me conked out at my desk.
  3. Even if I create a to-do list with the most enthusiasm about getting each and every task done, life can (and often does) throw curve balls. It can just take a subway diversion or (in my case this week!) a stalled car battery before your entire day is thrown off! That is why I remember that it’s important to prioritize my to-do lists. I’ll typically write down each task I need and/or hope to get done for the week, and then number each one in order of priority. That way, even if the line at Starbucks is extra long or even if an appointment runs late I can feel satisfied with getting the most important things done.
  4. Lights, lights, lights. Since I don’t have an official “office’ (one day!), I often work in a section of my basement. Our basement is not finished (also one day!) and we have a lot of overhead lighting…which is definitely not helpful for having a power hour at midnight. To help combat this problem, I’ve brought several table lamps down to my work area to brighten things up.
  5. Know when it’s time….to hit the lights, and hit the sack. As much as I think these games of “catch up” as vital to my overall feeling of satisfaction at the end of the week, I also know that a good night’s sleep is crucial to the success of the next day. Even after I have a small handful of nuts, or I have a two minute dance party down in my basement I try to be as mindful as possible of when my energy levels are really falling. By sleeping right, I know I’m setting myself up for a good next-day so I will turn off the lights and head up to my bedroom if I know my energy levels are sloping down and plateauing out.

XO

-j.

5 Things…to Keep in Mind When Traveling with Only a Carry-On

The last couple weeks, I’ve been lusting for a weekend getaway- there are just so many reasons why the summer is an ideal time to pack your bags, hop in a car (or on a train, or on a boat…) and say “Adios!” After all, the weather is ideal in many places (Maine? Alaska? Montana? Vermont?), many people are in a vacation frame of mind anyway, etc. But also…why not? Let’s pack our bags and GO!

As I’ve become more experienced with traveling, I’ve realized that it simplifies things so much when I decide to travel with only a carry-on bag. Sure, it’s not always possible or easy for that matter but paring down to only a carry-on gives me peace of mind. Caution: this is probably not the best idea for someone who buys lots of souvenirs when on vacay!

Here are some things I keep in mind whenever I travel with only a carry-on:

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5 Things…to Achieve Inbox Sanity

Once upon a time I was opening one of my inboxes, only to realize that I had over 1,000 unread e-mails- I very nearly ran away from my laptop at that point. I had no system in place to organize my e-mails, so this large number shouldn’t have surprised me yet it did (did I really sign up to receive all those daily e-mails from retail companies? Hmm…perhaps I should join Shopaholics Anonymous!). I felt completely overwhelmed…for about a minute.

As with so many things, I knew that if I swept my inbox organization situation under the rug the problem would not improve by itself. Only I could make sense of my inbox and only I could set it up to be an organizational success for the future. Luckily, e-mail servers have so many organizational tools already built in that it is rather easy to set up a system- it simply takes a bit of time and patience to achieve ultimate inbox sanity.  Here are some tips that I learned along the way…

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5 Things…to Achieve Inbox Sanity

1. Sign up for Unroll.Me – This relatively new (and free) service is absolutely genius and a total game-changer when it comes to setting the stage for an organized inbox. I highly recommend signing up for this service, as it will pull all the e-mails that you are currently signed up to receive and you will have the ability to edit your subscriptions afterwards. It will pool e-mail subscriptions that you select, so that you only receive one daily e-mail containing links to the e-mails you want to receive – that way, rather than having dozens of emails sent to you each day (like I used to), you’ll only have one Unroll.Me e-mail. For more information, visit their FAQ Page.

2. Designate specific times to check e-mail – For me, this was (and still is) a bit tricky but I find that when I stick with my routine I feel much calmer about my e-mail situation! I chose three times (6am, 12:30pm, and 6pm) that work with my daily schedule – I used to find that I would be checking my e-mail constantly, and this resulted in lots of wasted time as I scrolled through tempting e-mails (J.Crew! Nordstrom! Pottery Barn! Need I go on?), spent time deleting old e-mails, etc.

3. Consider setting up files– Some people are chronic filers/sorters, like myself, while others prefer to leave their e-mails alone in their Inbox. If you’re a filer/sorter, or a wannabe filer/sorter, find your balance so that you’re not over-filing (surprisingly easy to do) or under-filing. Generally, I find that the following folders cover my bases: Family/Friends, Promotional, Work, Reservations & Confirmations.

4. With files, come rules. Set them! – Oh the fun we can have with organizing an inbox! After setting up files, I’ve set certain rules for e-mails sent by specific people/companies so that once the e-mail is received it is automatically sent to the folder it belongs in. Once you set the rule, that’s it- you don’t have to think about it again. The e-mails will magically appear in the right folder, ready for you to read when you have the time to (which, in my case, is at 6am, 12:30pm or 6pm!)

5. When in doubt, THROW IT OUT– this rule applies to most organizing situations and your inbox is no exception. I remember when my e-mails reached over a thousand and I was terrified that I’d never get that number down. It took quite a long time, but after sorting my e-mails and throwing out the majority I have an inbox organizational system that allow me stay sane!

XO

-j.