Long Commutes

During the month of July I expect to have long commutes one day a week. Of course my OCD-like behavior (as well the well-known dreadful Atlanta traffic  conditions) has me researching how to best maximize my travel time to/from work. There are lots of services available out there that seek to capture and keep your attention, so how do you pick which services/features to pay attention to? How do you know where to start? Keep reading below for my recommendations!

Since the obvious goal during a long to commute is to get home as quickly and safely as possible, we MUST start with a travel app. There are many available including Google Maps, Apple Maps, Mapquest (yes… that still exists ūüė≥) and Waze. I’ll just jump ahead and tell you right now that Waze wins and will be at the center of my long commutes. Not because it’s such a great app (it is! users report crashes, cop sightings, slowdowns, etc.); but, more so because Waze plays nice with others.

Let me explain. Yes, I will be commuting; but, I also want to do other things to help the time go by faster and ease the pain. I want to do things like listen to music, audiobooks or podcasts. When I say Waze plays nice with others I mean it seamlessly integrates with other apps or services. For music, it’s Spotify. For Podcasts, Stitcher and for books, Audiobooks. These tight integrations or hook ins allow you to select songs/playlists/books right from within the Waze app itself. There’s no need to leave the Waze app itself to start listening to another service.

(By the way, this post is a great synopsis of what I do for a living… software and process integration. I spend my days focusing on optimizing user experience for the software we use to run our business for things like taking orders, billing customers, etc. and automating those processes. I identify opportunities for integration/automation, lead projects to implement them and also streamline (or lean) complex processes to make them simpler #techie ūüíĀūüŹĹ‚Äć‚ôÄÔłŹ)

WHAT IS LEAN SIX SIGMA

Now, you may prefer Apple Music over Spotify; but, for me the days of tech giants producing great isolated products/services are over. Partnerships (or tightly integrating with others) will always prevail and Apple is not so good at that part yet. Waze, on the other hand, makes integrating easy. Because Waze will be at the center of my long commutes and I value integration, I choose the following:

Now, don’t get me wrong. All of these services are great and honestly, any one in isolation will do the trick; but, if you want MORE, go with services that tightly integrate with other services/features you also value. Your life will be easier because of it!

5 reasons you’ll use Waze over Google Maps


 

#girlboss

It’s a term I absolutely love! According to a popular¬†Netflix movie, a #girlboss is strong, smart, resilient, opinionated, confident and feisty! Do you agree? If not, no worries! Everyone has a different definition. While the point is to define what being a #girlboss means FOR YOU, the more important thing is to BE THAT. In your personal life, work life or however else you define your life.

BE. THE. BOSS. OF. YOUR. OWN. LIFE.

Not someone else’s. Live your best life. Stay in your lane and mind your own business. ūüôčūüŹĹ If you need to find (or re-find) inspiration you can listen to a #girlboss playlist (Spotify), read a #girlboss book, check out #girlboss quotes on Pinterest, set up a #girlboss lockscreen on your phone or take a #girlboss¬†trip. #whateverworks

LIVE. THE. LIFE. YOU. WANT. MAKE. IT. HAPPEN.

You can be 20 or 30 or 40 or 50 or 60 or 100+! Just know that while you are doing all those things, so are others and it’s okay! For me, being a #girlboss¬†means protecting my space and my peace. I guard that very closely because most times I just CANNOT!!!! ūüöę

FIND. YOUR. PASSION. AND. DO. THAT.

FACT: I like writing and paper. And guess what? So do A LOT of other people. As normal, we take the things we love whole new #levels! See also: Planner Situation, my current favorite pen¬†(there’s nothing wrong with a little bling!) or Shop PaperSource. Another one of my personal #girlboss criteria is to have order in my life – in written form of course – (and to look the part ūüėČ)! The essential item I use to do this is an agenda. Mine is currently being repaired and I feel SO VERY stifled. ūüė©

You may have noticed I underlined a few words above: FIND, BE, DO, LIVE. They are all verbs because at the heart of being a #girlboss is to take ACTION.

GO. GET. IT. ūüĖ§

DIY Travel Journal

Do you have any trips planned this summer? I certainly do! If you want to chronicle your experiences in a unique way, check out the video below for inspiration!!!! I only wish I had started this YEARS ago when I traveled to exciting cities like Prague, Rome, San Francisco, New York, Shanghai, Amsterdam, Brussels, Beijing, Budapest and more! The good new is, IT’S NOT TOO LATE!!! You can absolutely GO BACK and document all the places you’ve been – just go online and find clip art or pics of all the places you’ve been OR¬†of all the places you want to go!¬†ūüėć

Check Amazon or The Paper Source for cute journals. YouTube Pinterest for more inspiration.

Small Things (tech, fashion, beauty, accessories and more!)

I am not a fan of large things: from pieces of meat (i.e. steak) to handbags to jewelry, large (desktop) computers, bottles of lotion, you name it. Yes,¬†I know that in most some cases you get a better “value” by¬†purchasing things in the larger size or in bulk as we like to call it – I just tend to not do that. Particularly when it comes to beauty, my Small Things approach allows me to “cycle trough” products¬†faster¬†and try new things more frequently (fun!) without becoming a hoarder! When you purchase the big/value size you¬†are locked in for what feels like forever!!!! ūüė© The smaller version also¬†makes for easier travel – you don’t have to spend time figuring out “what fits” in this bag or what fits in that bag, you can just take everything! One¬†other factor that has recently become a bigger influence in my purchasing¬†decision is¬†packaging. For example, beauty products with no pump, spray or that doesn’t come in a tube? Count me out!

This post features a few of my favorite Small Things¬†in tech, fashion, beauty, accessories and more! Some items I¬†own and a few¬†are on my¬†*wish list. Most are also great ideas for Mother’s Day. ūüĆł Enjoy!

 

Compact mirror – Yes, darling! A super cute item to splurge on. Keep it in your purse or give it as a gift!

 

 

 

 

 

Key pouch – This is¬†my wallet… really! Why carry around 10 or 20 cards everyday?? On a typical day I only need 3¬†cards (ID, credit card, insurance card) and they all fit comfortably in this pouch with room to spare. Hook this to my keys and I’m out the door! Need¬†to add cash?¬†Also no problem. (I do own one¬†regular-size wallet¬†but I rarely¬†use it!) #downsize

 

 

 

 

 

Hand cream and hand sanitizer in the smallest sizes available. OK, this one is really a twofer; but, they go hand in hand (get it? ha!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TSA Approved Quart Size Bag. Great for short weekend trips home or take it with you to the beach!

 

 

 

 

 

Bluetooth Speaker РCompact,  cute and the sound is good enough.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everyday¬†Handbag: LOVE! Do I have larger handbags? Yes (a couple)! BUT if I’m not traveling or going to work this beauty will likely be¬†at my side.

 

 

 

 

*Jewelry¬†case. How much jewelry do¬†you own? (I’ll wait…….) How many pieces do you consider to be staples, meaning pieces you wear regularly…. ūü§Ē For me, it’s¬†2-3 rings, a couple of bracelets, 2 pairs of earring studs (pearl, *diamond) and 1-2 necklaces, that’s it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laptop – Small, portable, gorgeous! Get rid of your dinosaur and DOWNSIZE!!!

 

 

 

 

 

Moisturizing cream (night time only) РThis is 1 of 2 of my pot-type exceptions for packaging; but, I do always buy the 0.5 ounce size for maximum freshness. This is one of very few exceptions for me when it comes to packaging, thanks to these mini disposable spatulas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lunch box. The perfect size, easy to clean and also includes a fork, knife and spoon. Plus it looks cooler than the typical¬†tupperware ūüė¨