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Refresh & Renew

I preach on Influential Gal to take care of yourself and take the time to feel refreshed and renewed. Although it is easy to say, it is tough to implement. However, I am taking a little time to focus on myself (plus, this weekend was my birthday weekend and I didn’t feel like working one bit :)). I’ll be back soon but until then, did you see the most gorgeous shoes I bought this weekend?! Well if not, I bought these beauties from Off Broadway Shoes for a little birthday shopping. Talk soon!

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Everything posted on this blog is my personal opinion and does not necessarily represent the views of my employer or its clients.

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Shining From the Inside Out

I don’t know about you but there are some days when I feel like my beauty routine needs a little boost and not from the outside. I am a huge believer in taking care of yourself from the inside to allow you to feel your best on the outside. Here are my several tips for literally glowing from the inside out. They are also perfect for those busy weeks when you don’t feel like you have a ton of time to devote to your beauty routine.

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  1. Biotin– I swear by this vitamin. It helps keep your skin clear, and hair and nails strong. My hair is always silky smooth after I have taken Biotin, You can pick them up at your local grocery store.
  2. Water – You have been probably heard this over and over but drink 8 glasses of water a day! It keeps your skin hydrated, your appetite in check and gives you more energy. Add a little lemon or fresh fruit for a twist. Start drinking!
  3. Wheatgrass – Okay so this one is a little bit different but one of my health conscious friends encouraged me to try a wheatgrass shot. You can get them at Whole Foods and it is basically a concentrated shot of green juice with plenty of vitamins and goodness.

Every once in awhile, everyone needs a little pick-me up especially during those busy workweeks.

Whenever I focus on my beauty from the inside out, it helps me refocus my energy on being healthy and happy. What are your tips for inner wellness?

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Top 5 Sites for Millennial Women

One reason I ended my fashion blog, Classy and Fab Girl is because I felt like the fashion blog world was completely saturated. Although I love reading fashion blogs, I just didn’t feel like I could contribute anything that wasn’t already out there. Hence the reason I started Influential Gal because personal/professional websites for millennial women aren’t as common and throw in a podcast, and well it’s a little different than what everyone else is doing.

Today, I thought I would share the 5 top websites for millennial women. These sites I’m recommending, I have either been going to for inspiration for years to they have become my new favorites. They all offer something just a little different but I have found all of them very valuable. Feel free to leave your favorite inspirational websites for millennial women in the comments below.

Top 5 Sites

1. The EveryGirl – This is hands-down one of my all-time favorite websites for millennial women. I actually had the opportunity to hear one of the co-founders speak last year, which made my “fan girl” experience all the more sweeter. This is a website that I go to for all sorts of inspiration but my two favorite things they offer are home tours of absolutely beautiful (not super expensive) spaces and career profiles of women who are totally rocking it in their work. I highly recommend this site if you need a creative pick-me-up.

A few of my favorite articles include:

2. Levo – I recently came across this very interesting website. Levo is community for women looking for mentoring, jobs, career advice and peer networking. What I was most interested by is the mentors they have for you to ask questions and get an inside scoop on how they reached success. They have everyone from Chelsea Clinton to a few big-time bloggers that you can ask for their advice.

A few of my favorite articles include:

3. Career Contessa (Honest conversations about work and life) – Career Contessa has everything from inspirational profiles on women who have killer careers to articles analyzing the latest health trends. What I think makes Career Contessa unique is that it lists some great job openings by city and industry.

A few of my favorite articles include:

4. theCEOffice – In this case CEO stands for Chief Encouragement Officer. This group’s purpose is to encourage other entrepreneurial women in their journey to grow their business and left’s be honest, that is something we all need while starting a new venture. They feature monthly meet-ups in cities like Chicago and Kansas City. I haven’t been to an event yet but have heard good things.

A few of my favorite articles include:

5. She Is Fierce! – This is one of the newest websites I have ran across and I am intrigued by their goal of empowering women. She is Fierce! is a social movement that gives women the tools, inspiration and community support to make their dreams happen.  They feature contributors from all around the world that cover a robust amount of topics. I love that they have a Fierce Women section where they profile women who are leading awesome lives.

A few of my favorite articles include:

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Calling All Contributors!

Are you passionate about inspiring millennial women? Do you have a knack for writing or have your own blog that you would like to drive more traffic to? I am looking for contributors to write for Influential Gal. I am specifically looking for a Lifestyle, Career and Fashion contributor. If you would love to get more exposure for you and your writing, please email lauren@influentialgal.com.

Contributors

Requirements:

  • Able to write 1 article a week
  • Shares a passion for inspiring millennial women
  • Detail oriented

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IG Podcast Ep.4 Networking Like A Boss with Nicole Regan

Today, I am talking with Nicole Regan from the popular Chicago lifestyle blog, Cedar & Rush. I met Nicole a year ago at a blog conference where ironically enough she was talking about how to “Network Like A Boss.” Her and I hit it off at dinner that night and I was so intrigued by her story that I knew I had to have her on the podcast. Nicole opens up about recently leaving the insurance industry and taking her consulting full-time, she gives you her tips on how to pitch and work with big brands, and lastly, she discusses how to network like a boss.

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Show Notes:

If you would like to reach out to Nicole, feel free to do so on Twitter and Facebook.

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Friday Inspo

Congratulations, you made it to Friday. I hope you have something fun planned and that you take some time for YOU! We have been traveling for the past couple of weekends so I am looking forward to staying here this weekend. On Saturday we are taking one of my good friends wedding dress shopping. Cant wait! Indulge in a little inspiration below while you relax this weekend.

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I keep hearing about body brushing. Has anyone ever tried it?

I LOVE how she decorated her New York apartment

J.Crew’s secrets to timeless style.

Found this article super helpful because I am struggling with this right now.

If you are ever in Kansas City, go here and order their salmon and asparagus risotto. So good!

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Beautiful Women Sharing their Beauty Secrets: Cait Fore

I don’t know about you but I love hearing other women’s beauty routines and hearing about their “can’t live without” products. However, I also like hearing what they were taught about beauty growing up and how that has shaped their perspective of what beauty is as an adult. The first feature is on one of my best girlfriends/family, Cait Fore, from Sophisticaited. Cait and I have known each other for a couple years now and one thing I have noticed is how polished Cait always looks. So I thought I would get the inside scoop on what products she loves, her daily beauty routine and more.

CaitFore pic 21. What is your beauty routine?

I have to be totally honest and say that I’m not huge into the “beauty routine” thing like everyone is supposed to be. Like, I don’t usually wash my face every night. I usually moisturize when my face is just super dry. Oh and I maybe wash my hair three times a week. So let’s say that dry shampoo is my best friend and I love the Dove dry shampoo. It smells so good and doesn’t leave a ton of white residue and gives a little bit of volume, and what’s not to love about that. Oh and I also love the Sachajuan dark volume powder I found it a my favorite blow dry bar Parlor and it also helps add volume at the top of the crown. Which I feel like is hard to get when my hair feels super heavy. And I just love the way my hair looks when there’s a bit more volume (who doesn’t right). Okay back to the beauty routine, I wear make up everyday. I literally have worn it basically everyday (even when I worked at a camp one summer in college) since like 7th grade. I think my first little bit of make up was light blue eye liner from bath and body works (back in the day when they sold make up) and I wore it like eye shadow. I’m sure there’s super embarrassing pics lingering around somewhere.  And I feel like of all things beauty aren’t really my thing, but I dabble in things anyone tells me about. But here are my favorite beauty products for my daily make up routine. I wear liquid foundation with powder foundation on top to set everything. Then I brush on bronzer on the hallows of my check bones and up around the crown of my forehead. It gives me a sun kissed look – instead of just looking like I just put a lot of make up on. Then I add blush to the apples of my cheeks. Dust on some brown eye shadow in the crease of my eye lids and a little bit of a lighter shadow in the corners of my eyes. Add some black liquid eye liner and volumizing mascara and a bold lip gloss is what completes my daily make up look. It might sound like a lot – but it usually take less than 5 minutes to do it all. Then onto my hair! It is definitely my thing and I have found what works best for my thick hair. I usually take night showers, just because it can take so long to blow dry my hair. But, if I do blow it dry, it is usually a rough blow dry, then when it’s almost dry I use a round brush to blow it out and give my hair volume. Then I use my straightener like scissors curling ribbon to create loose looking waves. And hair spray to hold it all together.

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2. What do you think makes a women beautiful?

When I was thinking about this I totally imagined a chic blonde woman wearing red lipstick. Not sure why, because I think there are so many different things that make a woman beautiful. I think confidence and lipstick are what makes me feel the most beautiful. I believe most women feel their most beautiful when they are confident with themselves. It’s just something that beams from within. It’s definitely something that my husband helped me notice. He always let’s me know when I look beautiful and can always tell when I am my most confident. And I just love that he can notice it in me. I do have to say it’s amazing how beautiful I feel when I workout! I love how I feel after a good yoga session or after lifting weight. I definitely feel taller and stronger that makes me feel confident and beautiful. Also – I think lipstick is a life saver. There is just something about a woman with a perfect red lip that I think is just so beautiful and classic.

3. What were you taught about beauty growing up?

For me I grew up with a mama that wasn’t/isn’t super girly. But, she was super supportive of all of my beauty questions and allowed me to be super girly! I loved getting to go to department stores with her to talk to the make up artists about any and every question I had. I loved getting to hear about new products and testing them on my pale freckly skin. I remember going to the Bobbi Brown counter and testing out the concealer stick and loving it. I remember my first Chanel lip gloss and how excited I was when Chanel came out with silver eye shadow (it was a big deal for the year 2000). I also taught my self how to curl my hair and never curled the back sections, not sure why that was a struggle. But, it was real. Yep, always just curled the front, and I probably did that for a solid year. Again, I’m sure the pictures of these days are just magical (adolescence is just super tough). And I have to say that when bronzer came on the market – I didn’t even know there could be such a magical product that could make me look tan all year round. Simply amazing! So basically my idea of beauty is the fun side of being a girly girl. I loved learning how to curl my hair and do my make up to feel my most beautiful.

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4. Three products you can’t live without?

This is definitely a tough one. Honestly I would have to say elf oil based concealerelf bronzer and voluming mascara and if I can add in a fourth option it would have to be lip stick! Oil based concealer is always the best way to hide those dark circles that tend to sneak up on us when we least suspect them (and never want them). This bronzer is my favorite to contour with. It’s a deeper brown that doesn’t look super orange or sparkly. And lastly this lipstick is my go-to. I love any lipstick that comes in a rich berry color and this kind has a heavier pigment that always stays longer on the lips. Whenever I go out to an event, I make sure to have at least those three (I mean four) things.

Thank you so much Caitlin for sharing your beauty routine with us!

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Resistance is more powerful the closer the idea is to the heart

Alright ladies, let’s get real about this idea of resistance and be honest when we say that we have all felt it in our life at some point or another. I recently heard someone say on a podcast (surprise! I am a podcast junkie) that those dreams and ideas that are closest to our heart and are our true desires, create much more resistance than those ho-hum ideas that don’t ignite your soul.

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Influential Gal has been a dream of mine for so long and it truly is one of my passions to share other women’s’ inspirational stories but I would be lying if I didn’t say that I have never felt so much internal resistance before. I think that when we put all our dreams and passions out for the world to see, it is SCARY! Our minds start racing thinking thoughts like “Can I really do this?” or “Who am I say this?” but you know what makes it all worth it? It’s all of the positive feedback and encouragement you get along the way.

If you have an idea that simply just feels “right” in your heart and soul, go after it! The journey will be tough, it will be full of resistance but in the end, doesn’t the resistance make the success all the more sweeter? I think so and I am not willing to let go of my dreams and passions just because they seem hard or unattainable, because girl, if you work hard enough you can accomplish anything that heart of yours desires.

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Influential Gal(s): CS Gems + giveaway

I would love to introduce you to Carrie and Stacy, co-founder’s of CS Gems. CS Gems started with two good friends from Edwardsville, IL, who decided in 2013 to go into business together selling vintage jewelry and up-cycled/repurposed original jewelry creations from found items. The idea behind CS Gems is to “make vintage modern”.  In addition to running the business they started a fashion blog that showcases our pieces with modern trends in fashion. I did a behind the scenes interview with them to get the scoop on what keeps them going and what advice they have for other entrepreneurs. Oh and they were kind enough to giveaway one of their beautiful tassel necklaces. Details below!
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1. What makes you an Influential Gal(s)?
We had an idea and acted on it. Every day people have wonderful thoughts and ideas but they never see them out. Just think of all the amazing products and/or businesses out there that would have never happened if it’s originator hadn’t actually acted on their idea! One day (while on a playdate with our children) we had this idea and instead sloughing it off and letting it go we actually went with it. We have worked very hard in the last 2 years to get this business up and running.
2. What keeps you motivated or inspired?
We have met so many inspirational, hard working and talented people through social media. Instagram is FULL of fabulous inspiration when it comes to our field of business. What keeps us motivated is just our utter desire to see our ideas come to fruition and to ultimately get compensated for them.
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3. What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs who are trying to start their own business?
The old cliche holds SO true…just don’t give up! Most businesses don’t flourish overnight, it takes serious time…and serious work. You definitely need a strong work ethic to make it as a small business owner. Also, be on the lookout for networking opportunities all the time! You can always learn something new from others in the biz.
4. What is a typical day like for you two?
Literally every day is different, but we each have 2 kids, so our days always start pretty early! After getting the school-aged kiddos off to school, there are always errands to run. We are constantly emailing/texting/calling each other throughout the day (every single day!) passing ideas back and forth. Some days consists of taking photos for our website and social media, shopping (online and in person) for our store inventory and vintage pieces, putting ads together, and searching for and coming up with new ideas for promotions and campaigns.
Keeping up with our social media sites is a job in and of itself…very time consuming!
We also both have workout routines that we stick to pretty regularly, so we usually fit a workout in at some point in the day.
Before we know it it’s time to pick the kids up from school and we have no idea where the time went! Then of course it’s dinner/homework/baths/bedtime routines and then sometimes we do a little more work before we hit the hay!
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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you CS Gems for the generous giveaway. If you would like to reach out to Carrie or Stacy, feel free to reach out on Facebook or Twitter
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IG Podcast, Ep. 3 Authentic Branding With Grace and Gold

I am so excited to introduce you to Kelly and Andra, the co-founders of With Grace and Gold. They specialize in authentic branding for small businesses and infuse a bit of fun and faith into everything they do. I met them last year at a blogging conference and was so inspired by their story that I knew I wanted to share it on the Influential Gal podcast. This duo shares how they manage multiple businesses, finding work life balance and infusing your faith into everything you do in an authentic way. Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy this latest #Girlboss chat!

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Show Notes:

If you would like to connect with Kelly and Andra from With Grace and Gold, feel free to reach out vis Facebook or Twitter.

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