Want inspiration, motivation, + all things CHAARG straight to your inbox?

9 Tips on Making the Best of a Bad Day

Everyone has bad days, + in college, they can seem a million times worse. For example, a few weeks ago, I woke up late on the morning of an exam, rushed to class + still got there a few minutes late… + then, completely failed it. I definitely overreacted a bit at first, but I had to remember that my mindset is everything + I am in complete control over how I react to the things that happen to me. I did a lot of things to turn my day around + it ended up being great! Below are some of our favorite tips on getting through bad days.

. . .

#1] Cry if you need to — Know that it’s okay to let your emotions take over for a moment + cry. It is a completely human reaction to something bad happening to you, so let it happen!

#2] Start over — Wash your face, change into a new outfit, or even take some time to rest if you can before continuing your day. This act of starting over can make you feel a lot better than you think.

#3] Eat something — Have something healthy if you think that will make you feel better or maybe indulge a little with your favorite food or dessert. Better yet, have a meal with a friend or a family member that you can talk it out with!

#4] Talk with a friend — We all know how much better we feel about a bad situation after we rant about it with a friend, but choose this person wisely! Try to talk with someone you know can help you spin it in a positive way, rather than someone who will sulk with you + respond with “that’s too bad.” 

#5] Give a few compliments — This can be in any form you want! Write a note, compliment a random stranger, or text a bunch of your friends your favorite qualities about them. Spreading the love to others can help you find it within yourself! 

#6] Journal about it — Getting all of your negative feelings out on paper helps you to put things into perspective, so do just that! Write down all that you are feeling + we guarantee that you will feel at least a little bit better. Also, you can practice gratitude journaling to make even your best days even better! : )

#7] Meditate on it — Meditating, or even just simply slowing down for a few moments to breathe in the middle of a hectic day can do wonders for your mental state. Need somewhere to start? Click here!

#8] Sweat it out — Channel all of your negative energy into a workout! This is a tried + true method that always helps put us into a better mood! Check out some of our favorites here!

#9] Keep up the self love — Don’t blame yourself. Everyone has bad days, + it’s important to remember this. You’re doing great, just keep in mind that it will get better! Need some inspo? Check this out!

. . .

Above all, just remember that mindset is everything + you are in control of all that you feel. How do you get through bad days? Let us know on Instagram with #inCHAARG!


My 12 Favorite Episodes Of The CHAARG Podcast… So Far!

It’s been almost two years of The CHAARG Podcast! Elisabeth has interviewed some incredible guests + to celebrate The CHAARG Podcast’s two year birthday, I’m sharing my personal top 10 favorite episodes of the podcast… perfect to listen to while traveling over the holidays : )

#1] The Story of CHAARG

Why I Love It — Whether you have been a CHAARG girl for years or are new to the movement…this is the perfect episode to learn everything about how CHAARG came to be!

Mic-Drop Moment — “CHAARG was so much more than my work.  I didn’t even call it work.  It really was my baby in my life.  I had a mission that I needed to accomplish + I was going to do whatever I could to keep it alive + to change girls’ lives.”

#4] Starting The Conversation On Body Image

Why I Love It — In this episode Elisabeth [@etavierne] + Sarah [@sarahkclem] talk about body image + how they work to eliminate negative thoughts + comparing themselves to others.

Mic-Drop Moment — “Our minds distort our mirrors… Acknowledge that our minds can really manipulate what we’re seeing in the mirror + take those times to be present with yourself in the mirror + allow you to really see what there is rather than allow your mind to play these games.”

#16] Simi Botic: Healing Your Relationship With Food

Why I Love It — Simi [@simibotic] chats all about intuitive eating, eating disorder recovery, + what it’s like to be a holistic health coach! Ps — check out her book Letting Go of Leo!

Mic-Drop Moment — “Intuitive eating is a set of principles that guides us back to the way that we are before society told us how we should eat.  Essentially it’s a set of principles that helps you tune into your hunger, fullness + satisfaction to honor your body in very normal natural ways that diet culture can take away from us.”

#19] Melissa Manilla: Functional Medicine, Essential Oils, + “Imaginary Friends”

Why I Love It — Melissa [@thewellness_space] is a chiropractic doctor + functional medicine expert.  She shares her experiences with essential oils, cupping, + the power of the mind!

Mic-Drop Moment — “You have to work to re-establish a relationship with your body… or with food… or with exercise ++ realize that your mind works in harmony with your body.”

#25] Cat Aldana: Ayurveda — The Oldest Medicine System In The World

Why I Love It — Cat [@cataldasana] is a three time guest on the CHAARG podcast [she was also on Episode #7 + Episode #49]… soon to be four — stay tuned for January 2020 ; ). This episode is my fav because she breaks down the ancient science of Ayurveda + how to find your mind/body type.

Mic-Drop Moment — “I like to describe being balanced in your Dosha as when it feels like life is giving you all green lights.  When you float through life like you’re able to respond + not feel thrown.”

#30] Kate Lemere: Getting Real On Calorie Counting, Fasting, + Botox

Why I Love It — A Barry’s Bootcamp LEGEND.  Kate [@katelemere] keeps it real about all things fitness.  I  love her advice to, when you’re feeling overwhelmed, ask yourself “Would my 80 year old self care about this moment?”

Mic-Drop Moment — “Self care is this, like gift wrapped bow, we wrap around choices that we make to justify behavior + face masks are not going to solve your problems.  You don’t need some label to make yourself feel better.”

#39] Anna Wassman: Breast Cancer Warrior At Age 25

Why I Love It — Anna [@annamazingjourney]’s story of surviving breast cancer at age 25 is incredibly inspiring, the epitome of strength + a great reminder of the gift of health.

Mic-Drop Moment — “You don’t know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have… I didn’t know my body could go through all of this + I could still be okay ++ I could amazingly bounce back from so much stuff.”

#42] Alex Mazzurco: Diets, Macros, + Gut Health

Why I Love It — Ever wondered what the deal is with gut health? Alex [@almazzurco] shares how she realized her gut health was off + her year long journey to heal!

Mic-Drop Moment — “Out of each diet, women come to me + they are all eating 1200 calories for some reason.  Then they’re like, I’m not seeing progress.  You’ve been so low for so long that none of the machinery inside you is working.  You have no gas in the tank.  So the moment we start giving gas there you are happier + more energetic.”

#51] Romantic Relationships: Marriage, Conflicts, + Compromise

Why I Love It — Laura + Adrian [@adrian_on_spaceshipearth] talk to Elisabeth about marriage, compromise, + accepting your significant other! Biggest lesson: listen + be curious : )

Mic-Drop Moment — “I started to look at my chores as not chores, but almost as offerings.  How can this be my expression of love to Adrian, but also an expression to myself?”

#55] Tara Leggero: Medical-Grade Skincare, Having A “Picking Problem,” + Sunscreen

Why I Love It — THE skin care celebrity of Chicago [+ the secret behind Elisabeth’s glow!] — Tara [@tara_spaderma] gives advice about choosing medical grade products, Accutane, retinol, + of course, how to stop picking at your skin ; )

Mic-Drop Moment — “Less is more.  It’s not about how many products you’re using or the most beautiful packaging, it’s about what works + keeping it simple.”

#89] Colleen Bordeaux: Am I Doing This Right?

Why I Love It — Colleen just released her first book, Am I Doing This Right?, ++ is FULL of knowledge about careers + how to know if a job is right for you.  Ps — She wrote a blog post about how she figured out what to do with her life. 

Mic-Drop Moment —Never run from a job, only run to a job + be very clear on what you want

#93] Alissa Becker: Anxiety, Therapy, + Career Transitions

Why I Love It — An OG CHAARG girl, Alissa is now a mental health therapist in Chicago! She talks about her experience with anxiety + what therapy tools she finds to be the most impactful on her day to day life.  

Mic-Drop Moment — “It’s never about the actual action, couples will come in all the time saying things like ‘He didn’t do the laundry.’ It’s never about the laundry, it’s about not feeling loved, seen or heard. So you take whatever the the top is + just take it deeper + deeper + deeper until you figure out the core of what is being hurt or wounded.”

++ as a bonus I had to include Episode #69 AKA the live recording of CHAARG’s Mental Health Panel in May! It’s an inspiring + vulnerable conversation with 7 experts talking about all things mental health from when you need to see a therapist to how to support a friend.

. . .

What’s your favorite episode of #TheCHAARGPodcast? Who should be on the show in 2020? DM @CHAARG + LET US KNOW! : )


My Skincare Journey… Acne, Peels, Microneedling, The Works [Part 1]

Let’s all begin with a deep breath. ~*Ahhhh*~

I want to start off with a disclaimer: “I am by no means a skin expert, but I pretend to be one on social media.” (says Isaac, speaking as me) LOLZ.

Jokes. But really, I want to share my skincare journey with you because… #1] I think it’s interesting, + #2] I hope I can help you stop picking your face — if you are a picker like I was! + #3] To give you the ins + outs of all your burning skincare questions…

Let’s dive in!

I never washed my face. Literally, never. I never took my makeup off. Literally, never. The horror! I wish I could turn back time. Whenever I showered + decided to spontaneously wash my face, I used St. Ives Apricot Scrub. Yikes. PSA — if you are using St. Ives Apricot Scrub, stop immediately.

I remember always having one or two pimples on my cheeks that would pop up in the same place every time — nothing severe. However, whenever they’d come up… I’d pick at them, + now, I have a few permenant indents in my cheeks to prove it.

There was one summer, where I broke out in little bumps everywhere on my forehead. Looking back, it was probably a reaction to something — but I thought for sure I was developing acne + immediately freaked out. I remember seeing ads for Proactiv, + begging my mom to buy it for me… + she said no.

I was a swimmer growing up, so I’d get extremely dry skin in the winter from the mix of the cold + chlorene. I would put Vaseline on my face almost every night it the winter. Eeeek. In the summer, I’d lay out for hours + hours… dreaming of being a bronze babe. I used the “tanning lotions” instead of sunscreen, + would constantly would have burnt cheeks. ALSO. I got really into the tanning bed during the winter my senior year ; (.

Clearly, I didn’t think much about my skin… other than wanting it to get tanner + tanner.

Tanning — Freshman year, I was still into the tanning bed. Thankfully, by sophomore year I realized how damaging it is, + I haven’t been in a tanning bed since. During my senior year, I realized that getting a spray tan makes you tan way faster… so I utilized those before big events when needed. Don’t get me wrong — I still laid out during spring breaks + summer, but I didn’t have the same “I need to get as tan as possible” mentality as I did in high school.

Acne — I “hung up my towel” [aka quit swimming] midway through sophomore year. This may sound crazy… but I think I finally went through puberty after quitting swimming — in one month, I jumped two bra sizes! Literally! I also finally started getting my periods. Previously, I had only gotten my periods 2–3 times per year… but they were finally starting to be consistently. ++ what also comes with hormone changes ACNE!

It’s funny because looking back through photos, I barely see any acne [maybe it’s because of makeup?] + my mom shares that I really only had one or two zits… BUT, regardless, I freaked out + told my mom that we had to immediately book a dermatology appointment when I got home from break.

The doctor prescribed me Differin + to be honest, I don’t think I used it much. I still didn’t wash my face. + I don’t remember any sort of cleanser in the shower… if anything, I probably graduated from St. Ives to Neutrogena. I’m not sure! All in all, I still didn’t care too much about my skin.

I GRADUATED! Time to be an adult, right? I vividly remember when my mentality towards skincare shifted. I was a year or two out of college, + I was buying new makeup products at Von Maur + the specialist at Chanel asked me if I wanted a free makeover. Of course I did!

She used products that I had never even heard of before — toners + serums + eye moisturizers… the works! All through the process, she talked to me about how it’s so important to value your skin now — that now is the time to invest in everything anti-aging!

I told her that I had no idea what I was doing + that I was all ears! I knew Chanel was an expensive brand… so in my mind, expensive = it works! [I cringe that I used to think that…]. My skin + makeup also felt fabulous after the makeover… so I was sold. I left buying Chanel’s face wash, serum + the thickest of thick moisturizer.

That’s when the trouble began…

Instagram beauty influencers started coming out of the wood work + I dived into it all. The beauty products looked SO PRETTY, + the influencers had such beautiful skin… so it must work, right?

While I was consistent with my Chanel products still, I started introducing various serums + face masks + eye gels. Nothing that I want to call out, because none of it worked. One thing I will say is that many of the serums I tried had coconut oil as the first or second ingredient [not good for my skin]. ieieieieie.

Anways. 2–3 years after my skincare discovery, I started getting facials at Soho on a regular basis [hi Ashley!]. I wouldn’t say my skin was terrible, but it was so clogged. Even Ashley was confused. After a couple treatments, she finally asked — what exactly do you put on your face, be specific! I told her everything… finally we discovered the culprit: “ELISABETH! THE MOISTURIZER THAT YOU USE IS LITERALLY FOR 80 YEAR OLDS!”


The thickest of thick moisturizer from Chanel that I was using [hydra beauty creme riche… which by the way is 87 freaking dollars, ugh] is for people with thin, aged skin — NOT, for people who have oily, young skin. I was basically putting on a thick layer to my already oily skin… no wonder it was so clogged!

It’s crazy to think that that ONE LADY who sold me those Chanel products years ago had such an affect on me + my skin. Shame on her for selling something to a 22 year old that is clearly not supposed to be on my face… + shame on me for not giving her words a second thought [+ for believing that more expensive products means that it’s better!]. All in all, it’s a lesson + a good one. I am now very skeptical about most skincare products! ; )

Ashley recommended that I get a chemical peel around the same time that I interviewed Kate on the podcast who mentioned her skincare guru Tara. I was intrigued…


Can you spot my ONE MASSIVE pimple on my cheek?! Lol, it was ruthless! Ps — for those of you who remember the elisabeth + kara photo shoots, you are a part of my OG fam ❤ I swear that we would have been youtube stars.
To give you an idea of my skin color difference from winter [featuring the razer phone, HEY!] to the summer… + how burnt my cheeks would get!
This is how I spent my summers… for YEARS + YEARS + YEARS + YEARS!

Rooting for you!

5 Reasons Your Next Purchase Should Be a Reusable Straw

You’ve heard of reusable straws + have probably seen them around campus but what’s the rage about? Here are 5 reasons why your next purchase should be a reusable straw.

#1] For the Turtles

It is too easy for these little plastic objects to end up in oceans + lakes. The harm that they cause to sea turtles has recently come to light but there are lots of other wildlife being affected by them as well. Helpless animals see plastic straws + mistake them for food. Plastic straws are clearly not food for them, though, + ultimately leave them severely injured + even dead!

#2] For the Environment

Plastic can be detrimental to the environment in many ways. For one, they are constantly releasing toxic chemicals into the air. Furthermore, they can take 1,000 years to decompose! So, if they’re not finding their way into lakes + oceans, they’re still piling up in landfills. 

#3] For Your Insta Pics

Everyone loves an artsy Starbucks shot for their Instagram ; ). With all the straw options out there now, anything is bound to look better than a piece of plastic sticking out of your drink. You can get colors that match your cup or cute stainless-steel straws that make any drink look 10 times fancier. Who would’ve thought that your straw would be a whole new way to make a statement?

#4] For the Economy

One plastic straw may be cheaper than one reusable straw, but it’s one of the rare things that you use once + throw away. Not only are they single use, but many people use multiple every day. This adds up + can not be compared to something you can reuse for years before replacing. There are also indirect costs, including those of the environment + our personal health. All of the negative impacts that plastic straws have will continue to come back + harm us, creating more problems that need to be solved.

#5] For the Convenience

Reusable straws are being made so that you can carry them with you anywhere. In comparison to plastic straws, they’re way better all around. Nothing is worse than pulling your straw out of your bag to find that it got bent in half + has a hole in it, or worse, you forgot to grab one altogether. Now, you will have one with you all the time. Recently restaurants have begun to cut back on their use of them, if you’re someone who prefers to use one, you never have to be stuck without one. 

. . .

There you have it — five undeniable reasons you should make the simple switch. If you’re not convinced yet, research the harm done by these straws + that should do it. Now that you’re ready to make the small investment, it’s time to pick out the perfect straw for you. If you want one that is easy to carry, check out Flathead Straws. Starbucks is always rocking new patterned ones that can fit perfectly into your reusable Starbucks cups. Or, if stainless steel is not your thing, maybe you would be better off with a bamboo one. Time to upgrade your coffee pics + save the environment at the same time!


Trend I Tried: Eyelash Extensions

I don’t know if I’m simply “growing up” or if I’ve noticed more + more people getting eyelash extensions + lash lifts. Either way, I wanted to get in on the buzz.

When I was in Palm Springs [ps — guide to Palm Springs here!] there was an amazing deal for eyelash extensions at Organic Glow Skin Studio — $120, which is unheard of. Typically, your first set will be $200–300. I had only gotten extensions once before… for high school prom, lol thanks to my high school boyfriend’s mom who was an esthetician, so I was curious to try it again. I hate wearing most mascaras because I have such oily eyelids — my mascara always ends up under my eyebrows… until I discovered BLINC. a tube forming mascara [so it doesn’t smear!]

Anyways… of course, the most importantly component for me while getting eyelash extensions: documenting the entire process ; ).

The Look:

I asked for the most natural look [as opposed to bold/glam]. I got C curl + the shortest extensions she had [mostly 11s, some 12s]

The Process:

90+ minutes! eeeeek. Most people fall asleep, but I was wide awake. My eyes were twitching like a crazy person in the beginning [probably because they were confused] — but they settled down after 15 minutes.

The First Day:

At first when I saw my eyelashes I was like “OH MY GOSH they are way too long” — BUT, as soon as I dressed up, I loved them.

Falling Out:

Photos in order:

  • First Day — #flawless
  • 1.5 Weeks —lashes still look really good, although not as full!
  • 2.5 Weeks — couple long lashes still hanging in, especially near corner if you zoom in. Honestly, this looks the most natural IMO. I probably should have scheduled a “touch up” at this time!

Touch Ups:

I got my lashes touched up after exactly 3 weeks + 2 days… + as you can see [photo on the left], they are basically gone. The lash queen in Chicago [thanks to Cat!] is Lashes By Yanna. Since my lashes were basically gone, I was paid close to a full set [$200 — eeek]. Touch ups range from $55–125 for Yanna, I’m not sure the difference between treatments.

Overall Thoughts:

I can easily see why people get extensions + can’t stop… it’s so nice to wake up + only have to put on moisturizer + feel like you are DONE UP. It’s a confidence boost + I feel pretty with them. However, in my opinion… they are SO EXPENSIVE, especially because since you have to get them filled every 2–3 weeks! I’d be curious how often I’d need to get them replaced in order to qualify for the $55 treatment. Keep in mind, that does not include tip.

I wouldn’t mind paying $55 every 2.5 weeks… but $200 — absolutely not! I’d rather spend my money on massages or skin treatments. I was super turned off my eyelash serums because of horror stories on the internet, but after talking to Yana I might consider it. I’m getting them filled one more time at Christmas, so will keep you posted on if I decide to try it [+ what brand I go with… any suggestions?]

Eye serum suggestions? Let me know! [Not Rodan + Fields, plz]

Something To Keep In Mind:

OMG. I hope this photo doesn’t make you queazy, but I wanted to share! I sadly got a bruise on both of my eyes after my second treatment. It’s because the tape was too close to my eye. It was kind of uncomfortable, but not terrible so I didn’t say anything. I’m sharing because — SAY SOMETHING if you aren’t comfortable during your treatment. It’s not supposed to be painful in anyway! I wish I didn’t try to “tough it out.” Luckily, Yana says this is nothing to worry about + will go away in a few days… it’s just because there was constant pressure on my eyes for 90 minutes. Ouch.


YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL! Whether you rock eyelash extensions, rock your natural lashes, or play with a mix of both. ❤

Rooting for you always,

Health Benefits Of Weighted Blankets

Have you heard the craze about the health benefits of weighted blankets? Weighted blankets [or gravity blankets] were originally used by therapists for their patients. Now, the blanket is more mainstream + you can easily get one from Amazon! These blankets are safe for adolescents + adults, but should be avoided by infants ++ young children because of safety concerns. The blankets are filled with either plastic or glass pellets as the weight, + the ideal weight of the blanket is around 10% of your body weight. Here are some benefits of using a gravity blanket! 

. . .

#1] Improves mood. We always want to be happy but sometimes you feel upset because of hormonal issues or even just because of the day you’re having. These blankets have been found to help increase serotonin + melatonin levels which overall would help with mood + sleeping. 

#2] Alleviates restless leg syndrome. RLS is a condition that causes an uncontrollable urge to move your legs around because of an uncomfortable sensation. Since this usually happens at night, it can make people have trouble sleeping, people with this syndrome found that weighted blankets helped them out a lot with this!

#3] Reduces anxiety + stress. Over 40 million people in the United States have some form of anxiety. There are many ways to cope with anxiety including finding “comfort items.” The weighted blanket can become a comfort item that you go to when you’re feeling stressed. 

#4] Helps you stay asleep at night. There was a study done in the Journal of Sleep Medicine Disorders with adults who were diagnosed with chronic insomnia. They were monitored for a week using their own blankets, then a few weeks with the weighted blankets, then back to one week using their own blanket. The study showed that four out of five patients preferred the weighted blanket because they were able to stay asleep longer! 

#5] Mimics the idea of a big hug! The weight of the blanket is similar to the feeling of being hugged or embraced while you’re using it. The pressure around your body is supposed to give off a comforting effect. 

#6] Aids with ADHD. People who have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder may have a hard time focusing + sleeping no matter what age they are. Some have trouble focusing while others may be impulsive or restless. People with ADHD + Autism have seen an improvement in their sleep because of the deep touch pressure stimulation + sensory input of gravity blankets. 

#7] Alleviates symptoms of PTSD. Usually this refers to veterans, but anyone can have PTSD especially if they have been exposed to stressful or traumatic events. People with PTSD often experience issues sleeping because of emotional triggers. Weighted blankets can help lower blood pressure as well as pulse rates to get your body in a calmer mood! 

#8] Ease insomnia. The deep pressure stimulation gives a reassuring + cocooning effect which helps relax you. 

Your body needs appropriate rest otherwise you won’t be able to function properly! Take care of yourself, find what works for you, + we will be there to support you every step of the way! : ) Want to find other ways to improve your sleep? Head over to this post to have a little bit of it all!


Harness Your Passion Into A Side Hustle

Side hustles can look different for everyone, but to summarize: side hustles are separate projects or jobs we work on aside from the time spent at school//a full-time job. Most times, side hustles develop from our hobbies. Examples could be writing novels//a blog in your spare time, training for a variety of fitness goals//events like marathons, starting a company, creating a photography business, becoming an influencer, + more. 

Side hustles can be anything we make + want them to be. Big? Small? It doesn’t matter. Like with most aspects of our lives, side hustles are not something we should compare with others. We all have different goals + different commitments ++ unique ways of growing as individuals. 

For me, I’ve taken on a side hustle of teaching myself Korean in my spare time aside from my commitments to my college classes + involvement in CHAARG + other clubs. Some people may see this as a small side hustle compared to someone who may be working on their own company while others may see this as a time-consuming + challenging goal to have. Both may be correct, but for me, it’s the perfect side hustle because it’s something I’m passionate about + curious about pursuing.



There are a variety of reasons why picking up a side hustle is beneficial. First, it’s all about personal growth! We create side hustles to better ourselves mentally, physically, financially, emotionally, etc. Side hustles add positivity to our lives — all goals have obstacles to overcome, but side hustles should never start taking away the quality of our lives [if they do, we should reevaluate how we’re approaching them]. In a way, side hustles can become a form of self-care as we are spending time cultivating new knowledge + skills while working on ourselves.

Another reason side hustles are important to have is because they are outlets for us to explore ourselves + our interests in ways only limited by our own rules. By really applying ourselves + knowing our interests in in-depth ways, we get to discover new things about ourselves we maybe never noticed or believed about ourselves until we pushed ourselves to find it. 

Who knows, maybe our side hustles will become more than side hustles one day?



#1] Make Time For The Side Hustle

Depending on our involvement, schedule, + overall goals for our side hustles, making time for them looks different for every person. Some need to do a little bit every day to feel productive + like they are progressing. Others may be satisfied by working on their side hustles at least 3 days a week. Find a groove that works for that specific side hustle + works best in time that’s available. Personally, I do some type of Korean practice every day whether that’s reviewing vocab, learning new grammar, or watching videos in the language. 

Making time for our side hustles can be as flexible as we need it to be too! We shouldn’t become dragged down by over-committing ourselves. Sometimes I miss a lesson or cut it short if I have limited time + other days I do lessons for hours on end. It all depends on us. Ultimately, if our side hustles are something we’re truly passionate about + we have motivating goals, we’ll go out of our way ++ always make time for them. 


#2] Be *Smart* About Goals

I apologize in advance to everyone who just cringed thinking back to every time we had to make S.M.A.R.T. goals in school. But as much as we hate to admit it, they’re extremely helpful + effective. They don’t have to be too intense [unless that’s motivating] but outlined just enough to give us a framework of what we want//need to accomplish. Some progress can be more complicated than others to mark + follow, but even if we don’t have an exact goal, we have an idea on where we want this side hustle to take us ++ where we want to be at the end of it. Making smaller goals that led to the ultimate goal is helpful for productivity + progress as well.

An example of a small goal I may have is to finish a Lesson Unit every week [or every two weeks if there’s more complicated grammar involved] + then I would plan my week around tackling that goal ++ figuring out what I need to do each day to accomplish that goal. By accomplishing small goals like this, I get closer to the bigger, overall goals I want to accomplish by the end of the semester, by the end of the year, + so on.


#3] Be Accountable 

If you’re anything like me, I find it incredibly difficult to stay accountable to myself but have no trouble showing up for the things that other people are counting on me for. This creates challenges when taking on a side hustle as they are very personal goals + isolated activities unless it’s specifically made to be a group effort. So it’s crucial to find someone to keep us accountable if we struggle to stay committed to only ourselves. 

Some ways to stay diligent is to have our goals be known. Whether that’s by physically writing out our goals [+ then putting it somewhere in daily sight as a reminder], telling friends//family members, having someone else who is also working on a side hustle to confide in or posting on social media about it. Just putting our intentions out in the world makes us feel more inclined to stick with them + follow through because no longer are we the only ones that know about it. It can be frustrating if we wish to keep our side hustles a secret or on the down-low, but there are always ways to combat any obstacle. 

Becoming more accountable to ourselves is something everyone can improve on. By implementing different habits into our routines, we can become reminders to ourselves of what we want to accomplish + keep ourselves motivated ++ moving forward. Doing things as simple as setting alarm reminders or setting up rewards for ourselves can make the biggest difference.

Luckily, I have friends who are also learning the language or have offered to help me in various ways when they discovered I was teaching myself Korean. So having that support system within my friends + from my family knowing my goals as well as posting about it on social media has kept me accountable ++ motivated. But I’m always working on finding more accountability within myself by scheduling lessons into my routine//between classes, setting weekly goals for myself, + keeping myself inspired//excited to learn every day!


#4] Stay Passionate

Our motivation, our productivity, our quality of work, our goals all are impacted by our passion. We can notice a difference in ourselves when we work on something we’re actually interested in versus how we feel when working on something we’re really not feeling. We don’t want our side hustles to become something we dread having to work on. Keeping our passion fresh + ignited is vital to keeping the fire burning! I heard a quote recently that said, “My passion is my alarm clock.” 

Our side hustles should be something that makes us excited to get up every morning! Keeping our routines fresh + continuing to explore our interests more will allow us to grow our passion each day. Becoming burned out is a fear many people are anxious about or have dealt with, but by practicing self-care + knowing our limitations we learn when a change is necessary in order to keep a healthy mindset for our side hustles//life in general!

We have to remember why we started + why we were passionate//excited in the first place ++ never lose sight of our goals. We all grow + adapt our goals as well as our actions as time passes ++ as we progress. We’re all working on bettering ourselves in different ways + we all face obstacles that tempt us to give up. We should be the cheerleader everyone needs because sometimes we lose the ability to cheer for ourselves. But we’re all worth cheering for + we can achieve any goal we set our minds to! 

We support all our CHAARGies challenging themselves to reach the best versions of themselves! Share some of your side hustles in the comments below! : )


No Rush November — Recap

Wow, wow, wow. I loved No Rush November so much that I’m bringing it into December… with some added guidelines ; ). But first, I know you are all dying to know… how did No Rush November go?! [ps: if you are wondering what the heck No Rush November is — read this].

#1] Decide the three priorities for the day the night before.

Killed it at this. + honestly, this was a game-changer in so many ways. It helped me establish what was actually important vs what task could wait. I typically create my schedule for the week either the Friday or Sunday before… + while I still did this, I made sure to ALSO look [+ adjust, if needed!] my three priorities for the following day the night before. This brought me so much clarity + focus.

#2] Absolutely no texting/checking email/going on instagram until the three priorities for the day are done. Phone calls are allowed.

Killed it at this… the first week. The second week, I was on vacation with my dad so I fell off the bandwagon. Then, hopped back on it the third week… + the fourth week was Thanksgiving. All in all, I will say that I’ve been on my phone, email + instagram less. ++ I am very aware when I am on it, rather than being on autopilot. Thus, I consider this as a win, but I’m still excited to dive deeper into eliminating my time on my phone.

#3] When I enter a room, close my eyes for one breath + say: “May I be peace. May I bring peace”

I don’t think I even remembered to do this once, lololololol.

#4] Walk slower. Eat slower. Move around slower… except in my workout ; ).

Eh. I would say that I have been walking slower + I’ve been enjoying walking more… I created a “morning commute” playlist that I listen to almost every day on my walk to work. It’s a pretty random collection of songs, but they all make me happy. Anything I should add to the list? Let me know! Eating slower = help help helppppp. This is seriously an issue. I eat my food in like, 5 seconds.

#5] Above all: Am I being compassionate? Am I being kind?

I’m gonna give myself a YES in this department ; ). It might because I’m in a good mood this morning, but I really do think I’ve been more compassionate + kind towards myself + others! Focusing on kindness is definitely going to fit into my 2020 intentions.

#1] Increase to four priorities of the day… no email, texting, social media [as much as possible!] until I’m done with my four priorities!

#2] Create a time limit on social media — eeek! 30 minutes! I created this yesterday. If you don’t know how to do this, go to:

  • Settings > Screen Time > App Limits > Social Networking
  • It says, Social Network includes: WhatsApp, Messages, + 3 more… but it doesn’t tell me what the other 3 are? I know one is instagram because this appeared yesterday, lol… [I may or may not have clicked *ignore limit* a few times…]

#3] Consider implementing a “Sunday Share.” This is something that @jessicakane does [listen to her podcast episode where she speaks more on this!] — she only posts stories on Sundays + it’s a recap of her week/weekend. I love this because it’s an easy way to eliminate time on instagram story, + at the same time, it allows for more intentional stories. It fits in with the “3 priorities a day”… only posting on Sundays will make me think, do I really want to post this smoothie from Tuesday? Maybe, maybe not.

Not related to No Rush December ; ), but other intentions for December:

  • Don’t shop for holiday gifts last minute! Starting now!
  • 10 minutes daily meditation. I planned to join Isaac on his 30 minutes for 10 weeks, but alas… I got into a grove with a different morning routine, + only meditate with him ~3 times a week. However, with the craziness of holidays, I am committing to 10 minutes daily! Join me?
  • Take time to list out my 2020 intentions! eeekkkkk, you know this gets me excited ; )
  • Take time to review 2019… + you know I will be writing a blog post on that!

Rooting for you,

All Your Questions Answered On Cold Weather Running

Running is simple… right? Just throw on some shoes + hit the trail? Unfortunately, when it comes to freezing temperatures, running becomes a little more tricky. From what gear to wear, warming up, + breathing in the cold – we’ve answered your cold-weather running questions!

Before you can hit the trail, you have to be dressed properly. We compiled a list of our favorite cold-weather running gear here! But the basics that you need to know: 

#1] All about the layers. Your base layer should be a sweat wicking fabric. Your second layer can be anything from a jacket, a quarter zip, or even a fleece if it’s really cold! The final outer layer is more dependent on the elements — if it’s super windy, opt for a wind breaker. If it’s snowy or rainy — opt for a waterproof jacket. For your legs, I wear tights in anything under 50 degrees Fahrenheit [keep in mind… I’m a huge cold-weather baby!] + I double up on tights when it’s below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Remember, dress like it’s 10-15 degrees warmer than it is ; ) 

#2] Reflection! The days are shorter + the nights are longer. Chances are that if you’re running all winter long, you’ll have a run in the dark. Find reflective gear [like this!] or pieces that will make sure you’re noticed outside! 

#3] Accessorize. Hat or ear-warmer, scarf or buff, + gloves are all a must. Don’t skip these!

#1] Should you wear gloves? Whenever I run + wear gloves – my hands feel tingly! [@danieller_inCHAARG].

I personally can’t imagine running without gloves when I’m outside + it’s freezing! However, I do know some people that hate the feeling of gloves + have explained that they also feel *tingly* when they were them. The instead opt to pull their sleeves down past their hands + run like that! My first suggestion would be to make sure the gloves aren’t too tight. If they are normal fitting + you still feel tingly or don’t like running with them, then try without! But don’t stay outside too long without gloves on — our extremities are more prone to frost bite in dangerous temperatures. 

So, you’ve geared up. Now let’s get out there! After you’ve geared up, it’s time to get out on the trail! Remember – the first 5-10 minutes when you’re warming up are always the worst. 

#2] Does a cold weather run change your warm up? [@katielarson8]

Regardless if you’re running in the heat of summer or freezing temps of winter — you should always do a dynamic warm-up. It’s even more important to do a warm-up in the winter though because your muscles don’t contract as forcefully in cold weather! Try warming up inside before your run — it will make it easier to warm up + will also make heading out the door a little less painful ; ) Want a great dynamic warm-up? Check out these 5 dynamic stretches to do before every run – courtesy of Runner’s World!

#3] Any tips for running in the ICY midwestern roads? [@erikalair_inCHAARG]

Sometimes when it’s icy the best solution is to stay indoors : ( However, there are things you can do to keep running outside when there are some icy patches on the road!

— Take shorter, quicker steps. Rather than trying to take long strides + *pulling* yourself forward, think about taking the shortest + quickest steps possible. Altering your gait can help with staying upright + not slipping on the ice!

— Slow down your pace! Better to slow down in areas that look icy than twist your ankle + injure yourself.

— Consider getting extra traction on your shoes! This is something I personally have never tried, but have seen devices like YakTrax that will give you extra grip in the snow + ice!

#4] I can’t breathe when I run in the cold! How do you do it? [@maureen_22]

Get a buff or scarf that you can tie around your face! I never run in the cold weather without a buff. I typically start with the buff pulled up around my mouth, which warms the air I’m breathing in. Once I’ve warmed up enough, I’ll pull the buff down + have no problems breathing [I also have asthma — so I’m pretty convinced of the magic of a buff!]. 

#5] How to get over feeling *stiff* in the cold? [@oliviarautzhan]

See above. The best way to not feel stiff in the cold is through a dynamic warm-up — preferably done indoors! Keep in mind though, running in the cold weather is naturally going to feel different than running in the summer — just the number of layers that you are running in already adds weight + can cause you to feel more *stiff* than you normally do. There is no shame in slowing your pace down + just moving through it… remember: forward is a pace ; )

#6] How long do you recommend running for in the cold? [@kentstate_inCHAARG]

Ultimately this depends on your fitness level. If you’re a runner + have been running throughout the summer + fall, then you can keep on running  your normal distances in the cold-weather! However, if you haven’t been running throughout the summer + fall, I recommend finding a couch to run type program that eases you into running. 

#7] How do you run fast in the cold? [@alexis_inCHAARG]

Focus on effort rather than time. When it’s dark, snowing, + icy, you probably won’t be able to go as *fast* pace wise as you can in the summer — but that’s OK! Instead of obsessing over the times you’re trying to hit – just focus on perceived effort. If you’re out there + getting after it, you are making progress + you will reap the rewards of winter running come spring + summer ; )

#8] The question I know everyone is thinking but doesn’t want to ask: how cold is too cold to run?

According to NBC Chicago, when the *feels like* is -20 degrees fahrenheit or below, stay inside! That being said, there is no shame in taking your runs to the treadmill this winter! If you don’t enjoy running in the cold, then don’t force yourself to do it. Running is about having fun!

#9] Finally — is cold weather running good for you?

There is plenty of research that causes me to say a resounding, YES! When you dress properly + are able to stay dry + warm, cold weather running is great for you. Want to read more about why cold-weather running is good for you? Check out these articles: 

Let’s get out there + get after it! #CHAARGRunsWinter 

11 Quotes From The Alchemist To Reflect On

I read The Alchemist years ago, + while I’ve read it a few times since — simply having it on my bookshelf lights up my soul + inspires me. I was writing my favorite quotes from the book in my journal this morning, + I thought… I should share this with you. Whichever quote inspires you the most, take time to reflect on what it means to you.

. . .

#1] What’s the world’s greatest lie? That at a certain point on our lives, we lost control of what’s happening to us, + our lives become controlled by fate.

#2] People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.

#3] There was nothing to hold her* back except herself.*

#4] Because I don’t live in either my past or my future, I’m interested only in the present. If you can concentrate always on the present, you’ll be a happy woman* — life will be a part of you, because life is the movement we’re living right now.

#5] Don’t be impatient — eat when it’s time to eat, + move along when it’s time to move along.

#6] Courage is the quality most essential to understanding the language of the world.

#7] Life attracts life.

#8] There is only one way to learn — it’s through action.

#9] The darkest hour of the night comes just before the dawn.

#10] Your eyes show the strength of your soul.

#11] When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.

. . .

Rooting for you,


We’re Adding Healing Sore Muscles To Our Self-Care Routines

One aspect of a fit lifestyle that we all endure, but bond through, is having to ask THAT question the morning after a tough workout: is anyone else sore today?! Muscle soreness is something we all experience, but it’s also something we don’t always know how to deal with. Most times we power through days of tight muscles + continue to workout without giving our muscles proper care//rest time.

We all have our own methods to try to recuperate after intense workout sessions. Taking proper care of our muscles post-workout is just as important as the workout itself. By having a post-workout routine to deal with sore muscles + refueling our bodies, our workout quality will improve as our muscle health does!

. . .


#1] Don’t Forget to Stretch

Stretching before + [especially] after a workout is incredibly influential to how our muscles perform! It helps prepare our muscles for a workout as well as helps them start to repair after a workout. It’s easy to see for ourselves after a workout. Our muscles tend to become tighter + give us muscle soreness when we forget to stretch them. 

If we continue to workout with tight muscles that we neglect to stretch out before + after our workouts, we are putting ourselves at a higher risk to injure ourselves as it becomes easier to pull those muscles — which nobody wants to deal with! Simply stretching 5 to 10 minutes before + after our workouts makes a huge difference in our workouts ++ makes post-workout life less painful!


#2] Foam Rollers

This post-workout technique may be more common for athletes, but it is easy for any of us to add into our active lifestyles! Foam rolling helps relieve muscle soreness + release knots in our muscles ++ can improve our flexibility! There are many different types of rollers + multiple ways to roll out almost every muscle in our body — there are countless resources available that can help explain how to properly roll out specific muscles in more depth. Many rollers are easy to acquire at stores like Target, Dicks Sporting Goods, or online as well! 

In my personal experience, foam rolling my muscles after a workout has been the most effective way to relieve muscle soreness. While this technique is uncomfortable to sit through, it is worth the results! It is also worth noting that this technique can be applied by ourselves, but it’s also encouraged to have someone else roll out the muscles for us as they will be able to apply more pressure + roll out muscles at angles that are harder for us to do ourselves. 


#3] Icing + Heating

Now, this tip is one I love to add to my self-care days! It’s simple + relaxing ++ is a great accompaniment to binging our favorite shows. There are many benefits to icing + heating routines for our muscles [of course, we are going to focus on the fact that it helps reduce muscle soreness]. Icing our muscles help numb possible sharp pains + reduce inflammation while heating helps soothe stiff joints ++ relax our muscles by increasing the blood flow to those areas. 

Routines can fluctuate, but most often icing + heating routines tend to follow time stamps of 10 minutes icing then 10 minutes heating…or 15//20 minutes each + repeating the cycle 2 to 4 times. It is not recommended to ice//heat longer than 20 minutes at a time + it is important to have a layer of something [towel, blanket, etc.] between the ice//heat pack + our skin!


#4] Anti-Inflammatories [natural — like in food + medicine]

Another way most people may already deal with sore muscles is with anti-inflammatories. This could be through over-the-counter medications like Ibuprofen, Tylenol, Aleve, + more. But there are also natural anti-inflammatories that can be healthier + more effective. 

Some anti-inflammatory alternatives include:

— Chamomile

— Blueberries

— Ginger

— Cinnamon


— Magnesium

— Vitamin D Rich Foods [like eggs + fish] // Supplements


#5] Stay Hydrated! 

Every day we should be trying to drink plenty of water, but when we’re dealing with sore muscles, staying properly hydrated can make a big difference. While avoiding dehydration, it also helps prevent even more intense muscle soreness. Drinking enough water helps speed up muscle recovery + gets rid of toxins in our bodies to keep our muscles functioning. 

When we don’t drink enough water, especially while working out, we are more likely to experience muscle cramps + spasms which are extremely painful. So if all it takes is drinking water to avoid these problems, we should always remember to bring water bottles to the gym with us + drink lots of water post-workout as well!


#6] Proper Rest 

All the tips above are great to be proactive about muscle soreness, but none of that matters if we don’t give our muscles time to properly rest. When we workout we are breaking down our muscles, so they need time to repair + grow. The recommended time to rest muscles is 24 to 48 hours between workouts. But most people do not give their muscles this much time to recover. Not allowing our muscles to recover can lead to more muscle soreness + can impede on the quality of future workouts. 

If our muscles are not properly rested + recovered, future workouts will just be doing more damage than adding to our progress. This is why many people may experience stagnation in their fitness progress + muscle growth. It’s okay + even recommended to have rest days. Sometimes rest days may need to be moved around in our workout routines or more should be added. We may think negatively toward taking days off from working out, but ultimately our muscles will thank us + we’ll come out stronger in the end! 

Resting our muscles doesn’t just mean taking days off from working out, but also means getting enough sleep as well! Proper sleep increases muscle recovery + growth. So prioritizing other aspects of our lifestyles [like sleep or hydration] directly impact our fitness abilities. 

Every part of our lives is connected + we need to pay attention to how we treat each aspect because when we prioritize all aspects of our overall health we reap the benefits! We are all in control of how well we treat our bodies + our minds — it’s important that we don’t neglect the small things that can make a big difference. 


Leave some ways you heal muscle soreness in the comments below! : )

Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi 3 Ways

Cauliflower can be transformed into pretty much anything these days — rice, pizza crust, + our favorite, Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi. We’re huge fans of the popular health food store + $2.69 for 2.5 servings can’t be beat! Whether you have a favorite gnocchi recipe or not, keep reading for 3 ways to serve up our versatile, cauliflower friend. All recipes are dairy + gluten-free!  


#1] Garlic Kale

  • 1 bag Cauliflower Gnocchi
  • 1 Head of Kale 
  • 1 Clove Minced Garlic
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes

1] Heat oil + garlic in a large pan over medium heat.

2] Wash kale + tear into bite-sized pieces. Add kale to pan with salt + allow it to wilt.

3] Once kale is almost wilted, add cauliflower gnocchi to the pan. Saute until golden brown + crispy. 

4] Top with red pepper flakes + serve!


#2] Classic Marinara 

  • 1 bag Cauliflower Gnocchi
  • ½ jar of Marinara Sauce 
  • ½ lb of Lean Ground Beef or Turkey [leave out if vegetarian]
  • Salt + Pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp Italian Seasoning

1] Cook ground beef or ground turkey in a large saucepan until browned.

2] Add marinara sauce to saucepan with meat + stir with salt, pepper, + Italian seasonings.

3] Saute cauliflower gnocchi in a separate pan until golden brown + crispy. 

4] Combine gnocchi + sauce + serve!


#3] Tomato Pesto

  • 1 bag Cauliflower Gnocchi
  • 2 tbsp Pesto 
  • 1 cup Cherry Tomatoes

1] Wash tomatoes + slice into halves.

2] Saute cauliflower gnocchi in a large pan over medium heat until golden brown + crispy.

3] Add pesto + tomatoes to gnocchi, stir, + serve!

. . .

Cooking a healthy + delicious dinner doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming! All three of these recipes are simple + take 20 minutes or less to make. What’s your favorite way to cook up TJ’s cauliflower gnocchi? Share with us on Instagram with #CHAARGeats!