How to Stay Productive When Working Remotely

How to Stay Productive When Working Remotely

     Not in million years would I have thought that working remotely would be a possibility for me. But, those are just the perks of our generation that we all should be grateful for and I hope everyone who reads this can experience that one day (including my NDS partner, Caroline). The real question is, how do you stay organized and still get everything accomplished with all of the freedom that comes from the blessing of “working remotely”?

          I will be honest, it ain’t always easy. If I’m going  to be completely honest, I am still figuring out my way in this 100% digital workspace. Today I’m going to share a few things that have been working for me so far:

        1. Working from Home: For anyone that has tried it, you likely know about all of the distractions that come along with working remotely. Things that can help you stay in check include starting your day by taking a shower and making your bed. Working in pajamas doesn’t bother me, but I certainly can’t work from my bedroom. Don’t skip your usual routine just because you are staying at home. The only thing I would suggest is skipping your makeup, and instead try a mask so your skin gets some benefits while you work, too.

          2. Coffee Shops: I love coffee shops. If I had to pick the perfect place to work from, it would absolutely be the coffee shop. The atmosphere helps me to stay focused. I had to try a few in order to find the one that works best for me. Call me picky (well, maybe because I actually am!), but the music has to stay at a certain volume, seats have to be comfortable, and having healthy snacks available is always a plus. You don’t always stumble upon a coffee shop that has that, and there is nothing worse than being overly caffeinated and hungry. So make sure to bring some snacks with you if you know that the coffee shop doesn’t offer it.


      3. WeWork: This is also a great option. Where do I begin? I think those three months that I worked from a WeWork location were the most productive months ever. For those who have never heard of it, WeWork is a shared workspace for people that work remotely. You can rent a dedicated office or try one of their first come, first served desks for a lower commitment. The atmosphere has my working mood on point. Everyone there is extremely quiet and respectful of your space, so there are literally no distractions. You have a separate space for phone calls, which helps you maintain some privacy, and you won’t risk annoying people around you while you chat on the phone.  Plus they usually have free coffee and beer…I mean, you pay a decent amount of money for the membership, so that’s one of the ways it pays off. Also, many are open 24/7, unlike your hometown coffee shop.

      4. Prioritizing is important. Whether you are working from home or a coffee shop, the only way to get things done is to actually be doing something. Prioritizing is the key, and what really works for me is writing everything out. Plan your goals for the week, and then for every day. Having a game plan ahead of time will help keep you organized as the week unfolds, since distractions tend to pop up along the way. I always try to plan at least a day in advance, adding things to my list as the day progresses.

     5. If you work from home, create a dedicated workspace. There is nothing better than having everything you need handy and your desk cleared off. But if you have a million projects going on, good luck with that one. I’m praying for this to happen for me, since my desk can is home to everything from magazines to measuring tape, and sometimes even fabrics. But I do feel more productive when everything gets cleared off, that I can say for sure.

     Share in the comments what tips have been working for you, and hopefully we can learn from each other.




7 Tips to Help Your Photoshoots Run Smoothly

7 Tips to Help Your Photoshoots Run Smoothly

     You would think that being a blogger puts me in a category of people that feel very comfortable in front of the camera. Photoshoots are my least favorite part of the blogging journey, but it happens to be the most important one sooooo long story short, there are some things you simply must do as a blogger. The day we decided to launch Next Destination: Style, we also made the decision to hire a photographer. And here are just a few reasons why: 

  • I personally don’t know much about cameras, and that would have just added another thing that I would have needed to learn to start blogging. Hiring a photographer simply saved me lots of time.
  • Quality photography is something you must invest in if you are trying to make your blog look professional, and trust me, people will notice the difference.
  • Photographers are professionals, and the pictures they take are better quality than photos taken by your annoyed friends or a family member.

Here are some tips for making your photoshoots go as smoothly as possible:

       1. Decide on the mood. Photography is an art. Remember that every picture will have its own spirit and a message that it sends. Think of what you are trying to show off. Do you want to highlight certain pieces of your outfit, the location you are shooting, travel vibes? In this photoshoot, I wore this purple scarf in a couple of different ways while also trying to channel a California vibe here in Chicago, which I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish without my amazing photographer: Lua Photo.

Circle Woven Crossbody Bag from Urban Outfitters

Hoop Earrings from Urban Outfitters Trends of 2018Photography: Lua Photo; BDG Essential Mid-Rise Denim Shorts (only $49); Uo Poppy Pointelle Turtleneck Sweater (only $49); Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Low Top (only $50); Large Hollow Hoop Earring (only $18); Circle Woven Crossbody Bag (only $34); Paisley Silky Mini Square Scarf (only $14)

    2. Location. In my book, location comes even before the outfit. The backdrop and scenery sets a particular mood that I use as inspiration when shopping for pieces to create my looks. But that’s not it. Scouting locations beforehand will save you time and money. Looking for locations at the last minute can be pretty stressful. You might get lucky and find someplace that is insta-worthy and cute along the way, but it’s better to plan ahead. That’s the best tip to consider when you are planning to get some shots in a local restaurant, hotel or coffee shop. Trust my experience: Call and ask first before strolling in with a professional photographer because some places won’t allow that. It’s also a great opportunity to ask if you can come in before the place opens up, which will give you much more freedom to get creative with the place. Plus, doing so means there is no need to photoshop people out of the image later on.

Side note: At the end of the day, it’s important that what you are wearing flows with the color scheme and, of course, the background of your location.

Stand out in these chunky, hollow hoop earrings, found only at Urban Outfitters. Shiny, metal open-ended hoop that puts a bold spin on a classic look.

         3. Look for inspiration. Time to scroll through Pinterest boards and save some pins for inspiration. It’s not only useful for you, but also for your photographer. A couple of days before the shoot, I shared some boards on Pinterest with mine and I think that was helpful for both of us to get an idea of the style and mood that we were going for. There is nothing more important than being able to translate your vision to the photographer, and what could be more helpful than saved Instagram pictures or Pinterest boards.

      4. Prepare you looks in advance. Staying organized is the key to success. Pull your looks together the day before. Take some pictures showing all of the details of your outfit, including shoes and jewelry. You would be surprised how many looks you can achieve by simply switching, adding or removing some accessories. And what is the best way to remember all of that when you have only two seconds to change outfits? The easiest way is to have it all stored on your phone. I would suggest creating a catalog of looks, which you may even want to share with your photographer so they can envision what you’re going for as well. You would be surprised how serious some photographers are about their job.

Side note: If you are thinking of changing your hair for one of the photos or adding a bright lipstick, for example, try to do that during the last few pictures. I have learned this lesson the hard way from trying to find makeup remover in the middle of nowhere in NYC at 8:00 am.

BDG Essential Mid-Rise Denim Short – Indigo Summer 2018 Trend

     5. Practice your poses. Find what fits you as well as the look you have created. If you’ve been inspired by poses  on Pinterest and the like, test those out in front of a mirror beforehand. I always take some quick snapshots ahead of time to see what I will look like in those poses. Keep in mind that photoshoots can get chaotic, and it’s easy to forget what you wanted to achieve in your photos while remembering your best angles.

      6. Bring makeup and hair products along. You will need to retouch after you switch from one look to the next or when you have to pull your hair up. That’s when hairspray really comes in handy, especially if your hair tends to  frizzy easily. Welcome to Chicago.

Bring bohemian charm to your summery styles with this woven crossbody bag, available only at UO. In a roped cotton fabrication + circle silhouette for a vintage inspired finish.

Classic good looks in this pointelle turtleneck sweater from Urban Outfitters. Made from a lightweight pointelle ribbed knit in a bodycon fit. Topped with a turtleneck + long sleeves. Finished with lettuce-edge trim detailing throughout.Photography: Lua Photo; BDG Essential Mid-Rise Denim Shorts (only $49); Uo Poppy Pointelle Turtleneck Sweater (only $49); Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Low Top (only $50); Large Hollow Hoop Earring (only $18); Circle Woven Crossbody Bag (only $34); Paisley Silky Mini Square Scarf (only $14)

      7. Involve a friend. It is always nice to have someone who can help carry bags around (haha). A third party can also be very helpful for the photographer when she/he needs to get the light game on, so promise your friend two professional pictures or even drinks afterwards…few friends can say no to that.

        Once you do more photoshoots, you will find what works best for you. The only thing I can’t promise is that it will be easy, but it will certainly be fun. But hey, remember that nothing that is worth doing comes easy. Leave your tips in the comments below! Maybe we can learn from you as well!

Your NDS Duo,



How to Plan your Outfit to Avoid Last Minute Stress

How to Plan your Outfit to Avoid Last Minute Stress

     How do you plan your outfits? Neither of us has an app for “wardrobe planning” because that would be just another app on the phone and another thing to get used to, and we can barely cop with Instagram (no joke)! Plus screenshots work just fine for us. BUT what to do when you travel? I feel that when I travel I don’t even have time to properly unpack (besides my skincare and makeup bag), which means good luck with picking out your outfit, and don’t you always want to make sure you look your best? Plus my brain doesn’t work under pressure, that’s why it’s better if things are planned out and my outfits as well.


         So here are few things that we find helpful:
       1. Thank you Instagram for making everything so much easier (seriously, first world problems). My phone used to be overloaded with screenshots of outfits. Now I can save them all on Instagram and come back to it. It helps you to actually remember what you like (lol). Here is what we saved in the last couple of days.
My Favorite Pinterest Picks
        2. Pinterest. Nothing will ever replace Pinterest. If you are one of the people that likes to keep everything organized, Pinterest is the way. I might like something today that would be only suitable for summer, so I create my board and and sections. I obviously started one for the summer pretty early, hoping it comes sooner than June 1st!!

Pinterest Outfits PlanningSummer 2018 Shoes Collection on Pinterest

     3. Photo Albums on my phone. No I’m not crazy, I just like my things organized. So here are a few ideas for you. This works for me when I have vacation planned sometime ahead so I have time to kind of browse around.

img_6169-1.jpg       4. And here is my favorite: flat lays. Why I love it the most… because it’s real, which means I truly get to work with everything that I already have. All of the above are just things that I get inspired with. You already know from your own experience how hard it is to actually track them down and be able to buy it. So the night I pack is also the night I take my flatlays, which turns my packing into a 5 hour project instead of an hour. It saves me tons of time on the trip I kid you not….ask my friends. Oh, and luggage space (your overweight suitcase will cost you sometimes more than your flight lol).

How are you planning your outfits?

Your NDS Duo,