How to Master A Skill: First Steps | B Chic University | bchicu.org

How to Master a Skill: First Steps in Building a Strong Foundation

Motivation and inspiration can be hard to find when building a new skill. Especially with something so expressive as writing, you look toward life experiences and serendipitous moments to spark your next topic. However, those moments feel few and far in between. I do love sharing on the blog but motivation and inspiration could not be my sole driving factor to keep content fresh and exciting. I came across some great advice and found it applicable to other areas. Most of the time, the solution is the problem. My problem has always been staying consistent. Consistency is also the secret ingredient to successful work.

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steaming coffee mug with latte

Morning Boosts: Healthy Alternatives to Coffee

Happy National Coffee Day! Not going to lie, I love my Grande Caramel Macchiato, Tall Double Chocolate Chip Frappuccino and Tall Café Mocha from the Starbucks menu. Outside of those staples, I’m just not a big coffee fan though. Even my college filled all-nighters were fueled by snacks, not drinks. So, there’s that. Now I do understand that coffee is truly the lifeline to many people’s mornings and other people’s full days. Once you reach that point of no return, coffee can be detrimental to your health! Addicting properties, teeth stains, budget sucking…the list goes on. For those of us, who can avoid that, or want to get out of the cycle; there is still hope for an energy-filled morning.

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productive-saturday

How to Successfully Have a Lazy/Productive Saturday

Whatever happened to the lazy/productive Saturday? The one that you look back on Sunday evening, and don’t regret how much time you wasted. I find myself often waking up earlier than I want, wasting time on social media or lounging around the house, and then heading out to run errands that seem to consume the better part of my day.

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Stay Ready: A Guide to Professional Readiness

“When you stay ready, you won’t have to get ready”. But how do you get to that point in the first place? I experienced from first-hand pageant experience that it’s much easier when you have all your ducks in a row beforehand. Although this quote, spoken to me so eloquently by my babe, was birthed from a conversation of pageants, I believe it is applicable to professional women all around. Looking to feel and actually be put together despite the circumstances? Dive into my helpful tips.

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7 Tips on Surviving College Freshman Year

7 Tips On Surviving College Freshman Year

So you want to go to college, huh? Well, that’s awesome! But I can guarantee you that it will be different from high school, very different. However, I am here to make that transition a lot easier.

Want to know the easiest ways to make it harder for yourself? Not being mentally prepared, and not having your priorities straight. So, let’s talk about the mental prep misconceptions of college and how to prioritize your life. I promise it’ll become a lot easier than you expect by implementing these small, yet crucial things.

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Playing Big Brother: Surviving Workplace Game Play

Big Brother, a summer series aired on CBS annually, is one of my favorite shows on TV. I almost always watch each season in anticipation of the new themes and game play twists. Although this is reality TV, there are some uncanny parallels to the real world. Further, there are many lessons to be learned from the players of the game and how it can further you in the workplace.

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Planning Your Passion: Why You Need A Passion Planner

Have you ever felt your life and all its responsibilities slipping out of your grasp? I know that’s pretty dramatic but times like that happen! You end up with random scraps of paper and Notes on your phone of things to do but no clear organization. Things started to fall apart for me when I finished graduate school and life no longer fit into neat little semesters and quarterly budgets. I got a full-time job that took up much of my day, and my broader reaching goals faded into the background. With the help of my new Passion Planner, I was able to hone in on my “purpose” and what to do on a daily basis to maintain consistent strides towards my goals.

The Passion Planner is a growing planner design, birthed from the mind of Angelia Trinidad. After much success with her Kickstarter campaign in 2013, her brand has expanded far beyond the United States.

Each Passion Planner begins with an introduction to the planner, welcome, and “Passion Roadmap”. The Passion Roadmap leads you through various activities (totally in about 10 minutes) to complete in order to identify your “Game Changer”. From there, throughout the planner, you revisit these topics and plan out your journey to success through meaningful steps outlined each week. For example, each monthly spread provides a section for you to map our your Game Changer and how you will move one step closer to the end goal. Weekly planning spreads additionally offer places to identify your weekly and daily focuses, celebrate good things that happened in the week, list priority tasks for the week, and lastly, a notes section.

Amazing or Naw?

Monthly Reflections

I am in love with the monthly reflection questions. Of course, the questions are something I could’ve found on Pinterest, but I didn’t. The planner walks you through the previous month and revisits notes taken throughout the weeks. I truly appreciate the small wins that were celebrated and lessons learned. Additionally, the layout simply encourages mental organization beyond immediate to-do lists. I am already thinking about major plans to prepare for in September (and that’s not just because my birthday is in the latter half of the month).

Passion Roadmapping

I assume that I’m not the only one who needs motivation from time to time in pursuing my passion. It’s possible to be “on fire” for a topic but sometimes that flame dims just a bit. Every now and then, I luck up on a quote, conversation, or brief interaction that pushes me to move forward. The Passion Planner provides that without the coincidental aspect. Mini challenges each week inspire me to reach passion goals and quotes remind me of the importance of intentional planning.

The Passion Community

I admire the community that has formed around the Passion Planner. Through great branding, The Passion Planner social media outlets showcase how others use their planner and the awesome developments of the product. Getting inspiration too from other users keeps my own usage fresh. I can change up the way I use my weekly spread and find best practices for my own planning system with the same planner.

Free Resources & Expansion

One of the great aspects of the Planner Passion is access to digital components right away. All Passion Planner purchasers get access to the digital version immediately after purchase. There are a variety of page sizes and layouts. Having the digital version of the planner allows me to print a weekly, monthly, or planning spread one at a time for further brainstorming. Sometimes I find myself filling up my planner that I have little to no room to add any more notes. The digital copy provides more flexibility and room as needed. I also love the expansion worksheets. There are inserts such as water, calories, workout, finance, and habit trackers. There are other page inserts, but you’ll have to discover them after purchasing the planner!

So what are you waiting for? Get your new Passion Planner today!

*This post contains affiliate links.

Useful Skills For All Careers

Now you’ve landed the new job but you want to make sure that your outstanding resume meets the skills needed for your new positions. No matter the industry, some skills are standard and universally beneficial for anyone who wants to be successful at work. Whether you are working at a non-profit, tech startup, or even retail; these skills are sure to help you be more effective, productive, and stress less.
useful-skills-for-all-careers

People Skills

Although often overlooked, people skills can get you very far in the workplace, more so than any technical skills. We live in a collaborative world where you must juggle different projects with people of different personalities and perspectives of the project, which also means different interpretations. Having the ability to see the world through different lenses will allow you to work well with others. Of course, we all have typical personality types that we “gel” with, but the better you can communicate with someone who is “different” from you, the more you’ll be heavily relied on to get the job done.

How do you master “People Skills”? Here are a few guiding thoughts to get you started.

  • Stop and think how others may perceive a particular situation differently from you.
  • Ask how someone perceived a particular situation to determine the differences from your own perception.
  • Consider what is important to others in contrast to yourself. (ex. the project designer has different priorities from the project marketer or manager)

Databasing/Analysis

coding-skills

I remember putting together simple excel spreadsheets for experiment data in high school Chemistry lab. For a while, that was the extent of my experience, two columns/two rows and a bunch of numbers to create a chart. However, once I got to college I gathered how to filter data and use spreadsheets more efficiently to organize a budget or even a mailing list.

Basic skills as these are helpful in analyzing data and effortlessly navigating spreadsheets given to you by your supervisor. Learn these basic excel skills to feel confident in database and analysis competency:

  • Utilizing multiple sheets in a single workbook effectively
  • Creating and using basic formulas
  • Quickly copy data and create sequences down your spreadsheet
  • Freeze panes for easy viewing
  • Analyze with pivot tables

Mental Recall/Short-Term Memory

Have you found yourself talking to your boss and quickly trying to repeat ten commands in your head throughout the conversation? Random conversation can strike at any moment, prompting you to think fast, work efficiently, and rely on your short term memory to get the job done. At one time, I diligently kept a notebook in hand at all times in anticipation of these moments. But that’s an ideal situation, and rarely is every day at work ideal. Keeping your mind sharp will help with unexpected work. Download a mind game to your phone to exercise your brain muscles. My favorite game for this is Elevate.

Time Management

skills-time-management

“Time is money.” We all know the phrase but do we really understand the concept of properly using our time for productivity. There have been many studies to show, to the point of corporate adoption, that most jobs can be done in a 25-30 hour work week. This is contrary to our typical 40 hours. This means to me, that I have additional time to strategize, brush up on skills, and better plan out my projects.

We should all have a decent understanding of how our mind works and what promotes productivity for ourselves. Is it background music? Prioritizing items on a to-do list? Or how about taking short breaks every 30 minutes? Maybe it’s simply taking out time to organize your thoughts or tasks each afternoon following lunch.

Whatever it is, incorporate it into your daily routine to be more strategic and productive. You will find that this will lead to better time management. The key is not to count every minute or time each project, but to find the most productive approach and plan accordingly.

How do you master time management:

  • Prioritize your tasks. You will feel productive and time efficient if the most important tasks are completed first.
  • Find a routine that will keep you up to date with all your recurring projects that somehow fall through the cracks.
  • If you’re still having problems, log your projects and the time it takes to complete each. Analyze your results and consider ways to cut time off particular projects.
  • Also, log achievements and list what made you successful. Try to duplicate that process.

Extra Goodies: Special Offer from Nomad x Florence

Ipsy made a smart move including me on the weekly offer email for the Nomad X Florence Bella Travel Bag Set. Although my July Glam Bag was already en route to my house, I had to get these items. I was instantly intrigued by the simple combination of red lipstick, black eyeliner, and neutral eye shadow compacts to complete a flawless face on-the-go. I was able to snag the bag for $16 from Ipsy.

Captured from: Ipsy Offers

Although the bag is not as elegantly made as the others, the slightly larger size and practicality of the material has landed it into my top 5 rotation of my purse cosmetic bags. It’s simple black shade and red writing hit home for me, with that being my favorite color combination.

Back 2 Back goodies

Of all the items, I am most impressed by the black eyeliner. The product description provided information about the perfect application but I discovered that for myself and was instantly sold. Thank goodness this bag included full-size products. The Nomad “Perfectly Lined” Eyeliner pen will be my absolute go-to for all things winged-eye and cat eye for now on.

Honorable mention goes out to the long lasting red lipstick (a perfect finish in between my matte lippie and glossy one) and the earth tones of the eye shadow “duo”. These will surely be apart of my weekend look. Stay tuned for my adventures at Splash Studio Painting Bar and Bel Aire Cantina, my fave taco joint!

 

ipsy July 2017 products

Ipsy Unveil: A Look Into My July 2017 Glam Bag Products

After being subscribed to Ipsy for almost a year, I gave up. There were too many makeup products to keep up with and the bags were piling up as well. So I unsubscribed. Although those few months were refreshing, I got the itch to sign back up.

I am so excited for my July bag! The versatility of the items are amazing and I plan on sampling them all over this month! It also helps that I’ll get to experiment with trending items I’ve been eyeing…highlighter and cleansing gels.

Ipsy is a subscription service dedicated to the makeup novice up to expert level. Each month the service provides five hand selected products in a chic little makeup bag.  These samples lead makeup enthusiasts to new brands and products that otherwise might not have been sampled. All of this is provided for just $10/month. So enough of that, let’s dig into the items.

Illuminator Brush from Beau Gâchis & Illuminating Highlighter in Midnight Sun from Nomad Cosmetics 

Obviously, I used these items together. Highlight is a newer addition to my makeup routine. Some days I will go with that and leave out the blush. So I was excited to see how this would turn out. The brush paired well with the highlighter, despite them originating from different brands. The bristles fan out nicely, giving a little more coverage than an eyeshadow brush. The highlighter is a little larger than an eyeshadow compact from Nomad as well. The brush allowed for easy application to my cheeks in one simple sweeping motion. I was satisfied with the final look, having the perfect illuminated cheekbones. This highlight is also very pigmented. Not much product was needed to really show off my cheek bones. Nomad is becoming one of my new favorite brands! 

Mineral Hand Cream from AHAVA 

Nothing is spectacular about a hand cream except the fact that it can keep the ashy feeling away! This hand cream surely delivers on the light fresh scent I prefer and simple moisturization. I tried it only once but that’s all it takes! Hours after application, my hands are still sufficiently moisturized. Plus, the hand cream is very lightweight and absorbing.

Wonderwand Gel-Kohl Hybrid Liner in Black from Ciaté London 

I haven’t had a gel liner in a while, let alone a pencil too! I only used the liner (not the brush on the opposite end) and it worked very well. The pencil glided under my lids effortlessly and the strong black pigment stayed on my eyes all day. Major plus, no allergic reactions to the brand. #allergyproblems #makeupwins

Rainforest of the Sea™ deep dive cleansing gel from tarte cosmetics

This being the first product I tried, you know that I was very excited for the cleansing gel. Skincare products have been my favorites from Ipsy since the beginning. I only supplement them to my standard Mary Kay Botanicals daily regimen but they truly shine on their own as my travel products. Luckily, every brand’s formula has mixed well so far. For this product, I used it as my night facial cleanser to remove my makeup. I instantly fell in love as it began to foam up and reach every inch of my face. The gel rinsed easily and what else? It did not dry out my face! I am diligent about using toner and moisturizer afterward as well, but a drying cleanser can still have a lasting effect. Not with this little guy! This one will be added to my list as a possible full-size purchase!

Gudetama from Ipsy 

When the monthly bag design was unveiled a little over a week before shipment, I was disappointed. A picture of a characterized egg yolk, sprawled across my bag and it was creepy. I was not a fan. After receiving my bag, I realized that it was funnier than creepy. Although this is still not a fan favorite of mine, the size is finally something realistic. I’ll be able to fit my brushes into this one for travel!

This Ipsy bag was so fun to receive this month. I think I will really enjoy the items all month and I even purchased the full skin care set from tarte. In addition to my monthly bag, I also purchased the special offer for July from Nomad. I fell in love with the bag design, red lipstick, and perfect eye liner. Look out for my post about it too coming soon!