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.

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      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.

Love,

Nadia

 

Everything You Need to Know About Create & Cultivate Conference

Everything You Need to Know About Create & Cultivate Conference

       Create & Cultivate is a conference with dozens of inspiring female influencers and entrepreneurs. For the most part, this conference takes place in big cities, and I was thrilled when I found out it was coming to Chicago! I bought my ticket right away before they sold out, which happened super fast. So if you are planning to go next year, please make sure to buy your ticket right away. The hype around this conference is huge, which means tickets are only available for a short period of time.

      One of the reasons that I’m here today is to shed some light on what this event is all about, what to expect, and how things actually proceed. I would have loved if someone had shared those tips with me before my first conference. Ready! Set! Go!

        Pre-conference:

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#ootn: Zara black one shoulder shirt, Zara jeans, Nordstrom shoes, BaubleBar necklace, & Zara bag

      A week before the conference, you will receive a box containing all the things you will need for the day of the event. This includes: a badge with the track you will be on (track 1 or track 2), your mentor card with the name of your mentors for that day, a pin to wear, and a card explaining what you should bring with you the day of the event. The day before the actual conference, you get to go to the happy hour where you can network with fellow attendees. Technically, that gives you  two legit days getting to know people in the beauty and fashion industry. Isn’t that amazing? You will need to bring your badge or show you email confirmation along with your license upon arrival.

        The day of the conference:

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Guest Speakers included: Shay Mitchell, Jaclyn Johnson, Marianna Hewitt, Whitney Port, Chriselle Lim, Ashley Tisdale, Jennifer Hudson, & Alli Webb from Drybar

        Check-in time is from 8 to 9am. The minute I heard the time I was like OMG, that’s so early! But these are the things you do for success :). A huge line shouldn’t surprise you since everyone is getting there practically at the same time, so just be patient and use it as another chance to network with people around you.

       There will be two tracks going on at the same time the entire day, each switching stages with different speakers. Track one was more business oriented and the speakers were mainly focused on finance. One of the most memorable ones for me was Vital Proteins. Meanwhile, track two focused on creating content and influencer marketing with speakers like Whitney Port and Chriselle Lim. If you want a good seat in the front, I would suggest waiting in line early to walk into the next track because space fills up really quickly.

     There are plenty of vendors to keep you entertained if you aren’t interested in listening to certain speakers, but if you are like me and wouldn’t want to miss any speakers, don’t worry. There is a break time for you to explore all the vendors! Besides that, you will receive a swag bag with so many products from the vendors, so make sure you either bring a bigger bag with you that day or grab a bag one of the vendors are handing out so you can carry everything! Side note: You won’t get your swag bag until you leave so you don’t have to carry it around the whole day.

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Vendors at the conference included: Living Proof, Nordstrom, Big Sexy Hair Products, Sephora, JC Penny, McDonalds, Sweet Greens, La Croix, Oui Atelier, Kombucha, Vital Proteins, WeddingWire, & Bic Soleil

        Side note: there is also breakfast in the morning, lunch, and evening snacks so you won’t starve!

        Okay, last but not least! BRING YOUR BUSINESS/CONTACT CARDS WITH YOU. There is so much networking to be done at these events. Don’t be shy to talk to anyone or ask for their business card. Everyone is there to learn, and learning involves making new connections and developing relationships with people. FedEx can make the most simple business cards for you to bring to the event. Even if you don’t have a business yet, you can always have ones made that just have your name, email and phone number on it. You don’t want people to have to find somewhere to write it down when you exchange information. (That’s just not professional.) Business cards are the most efficient way to go.

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This is talent right here. La Croix had the talented artist Lindsey Kate drawing everyone who came up to their booth. She is a Fashion Illustrator.

That’s it for now! If there is anything you would like more insight on from the conference, just comment below!

XOXO,

NDS duo

8 Best Podcasts We Listen to on a Daily Basis

8 Best Podcasts We Listen to on a Daily Basis

“Those are series that spotlights successful women who’ve made major career changes—and fearlessly mastered the pivot. Hosted by Hillary Kerr, co-founder and chief innovation officer at MyDomaine’s parent company, Clique Brands, each episode will give you a direct line to women who are game changers in their fields. Think of it as a virtual mentor: Beyond inspiring career stories, they’ll share the wisdom and advice they’ve learned along the way, from side hustle and startup attempts to searching for investors, hiring superstar staff, and everything in between”.

Favorite Episodes:

Episode 4: Everything But the House Chief Brand Officer Mandana Dayani;
Episode 9: Jessica Alba, Actress and Founder of The Honest Company;
Episode 11: Sophia Rossi, HelloGiggles Co-Founder;
Episode 10: Tracy Sun, Poshmark Co-Founder;
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“The Business of Fashion has gained a global following as an essential daily resource for fashion creatives, executives and entrepreneurs in over 200 countries. It is frequently described as “indispensable,” “required reading” and “an addiction.”
Favorite Episodes:
Episode 51 |May 21|: Why Age Is Irrelevant;
Episode 68|April 30|: Inside Kim Kardashian West’s Burgeoning Beauty Empire | Inside Fashion;
Episode 54 |May 11|: Inside the Magic and Math of Digital Marketing;
“Behind every best-selling beauty product, there’s a damn good story. Two longtime magazine beauty editors, Jill Dunn and Carlene Higgins, chat about the breakthrough beauty products lining store shelves, and how they came to be. Each month, we talk to the industry’s most genius founders, and find out how they broke into the biz, with a little beauty idea that blew up into a million-dollar success story. Find out which products beauty editors and insiders really hoard, while hearing the struggles and successes behind the world’s buzziest beauty brands. Plus, check out their mid-month series, #TheGlowDown where they interview industry insiders and chat about beauty news and the best new products that are worth the spend”.
Favorite Episodes:
Episode 11: Glossier Founder Emily Weiss;
Episode 09: Nudestix Founders Taylor and Ally Frankel;
Episode 13: Drunk Elephant Skincare Founder Tiffany Masterson;
Episode 07: Rodial and Nip + Fab Founder Maria Hatzistefanis;
Episode 10: The Glow Down Ft. Patrick Ta, Petra Collins, Fenty Beauty & ELLE Canada’s Victoria DiPlacido;
Podcast by Danielle Bernsteinm founder of WeWoreWhat.
Favorite Episodes:
Episode 12: Rachel Zeilic – Founder of Majorelle & VP of Marketing / Influencers at Clique Media;
Episode 4: Jen Atkin – Celebrity Hairstylist, Creator of The OUAI, and the ultimate boss babe!
Episode 11: DJ CASSIDY (Legendary DJ, Producer, and Fashion Icon);
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“Week after week, host Jenna Kutcher brings you the the productivity tips, social media strategies, business hacks,, and inspirational stories that can help YOU design your dream career. Jenna shares tangible tips and hacks that she used to become a self-made millionaire in photography, online courses, Instagram sponsorships, and navigating the world of being a #girlboss social media influencer. Along with sharing her best kept secrets, she interviews the best in the industry (Amy Porterfield, Jamie Ivey, Melyssa Griffin, Lori Harder, Cathy Heller and so much more) who will share their secrets to ensure you are seen, heard, (and hired!) With millions of downloads and counting, the Goal Digger Movement is growing every day and now it’s YOUR TURN to hear from the experts, get inspired, and tackle your biggest goals along the way. What do you say? Are you in? Because we believe that work doesn’t have to feel like work. For daily business tips, inspiration, (and free resources!)”.
Favorite Episodes:
Episode 157: What’s a Visual Brand and Why Do You Need One?
Episode 150: Chatting with a Lawyer: How to Legally Protect Yourself;
Episode 146: Writing a Book 101 with Rachel Hollis;
The Influencer Podcast is an innovative podcast that explores the secrets behind the ever-changing trends of influencer marketing and the careers of today’s top social influencers. Hosted by marketing strategist, New York Times best-selling publicist and influencer Julie Solomon, Julie and guests join in the conversation to share how they engage, persuade and grow their unique influence, and how their work impacts the influencer industry. Julie brings you marketing and branding strategies with Marie Forleo, Amy Porterfield, Lauryn Evarts of The Skinny Confidential, Melyssa Griffin and more. Through each episode, learn how to strengthen, monetize and build your own industry-leading influence.
Favorite Episodes:
Episode 008: Why Live Streaming is Essential for Influencer Marketing Deals & Growth;
Episode 009: How to Set Goals and Stay on Track this Summer;
Episode 055: Figuring Out Who You Are + Overcoming Fear with Amber Lilyestrom;
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“Awaken, discover and connect to the deeper meaning of the world around you with SuperSoul. Hear Oprah’s personal selection of her interviews with thought-leaders, best-selling authors, spiritual luminaries, as well as health and wellness experts. All designed to light you up, guide you through life’s big questions and help bring you one step closer to your best self”.

Favorite Episodes:
March 12: Salma Hayek Pinault: Making Peace with Yourself;
February 14: Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling: Brave New Worlds;
March 14: Jimmy Kimmel: What Do You Stand For?
April 18: Timothy Shriver: Fully Alive, Discovering What Matters Most;
April 16: Madonna Badger: Finding Light After Unimaginable Tragedy;
April 30: Jay Williams: You Can Survive Your Worst Mistake;

Tony Robbins, the #1 Life and Business Strategist, has helped over 50 million people from 100 countries create real and lasting change in their lives. In this podcast, he shares proven strategies and tactics so you, too, can achieve massive results in your business, relationships, health and finances. In addition to excerpts from his signature events and other exclusive, never-before-released audio content, Tony and his team also conduct deeply insightful interviews with the most prominent masterminds and experts on the global stage.

Favorite Episodes:
November 17, 2017: Success Strategies from a Self-made Billionaire;
February 6, 2018: The Entrepreneur Playbook;
February 27, 2018: How to Crowdsourcing Can Ignite your Business;
March 7, 2018: It Matters How You Get There.
Hope you get to listen to all of them!
Your NDS Duo,
xoxo

How Do I Find My Everyday Motivation

How Do I Find My Everyday Motivation

       How do you keep those engines of motivation roaring? Sometimes a cup of coffee simply won’t cut it. No, you need REAL motivation. Where do you get yours?

      I’m a huuuuge fan of “how it all began” stories. I love learning about how brands were created and how successful companies were launched. There’s just something about reading the backstory of how a company started, often from humble beginnings, that makes anything seem possible. It lights me up and gets those creative wheels turning!

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      These kinds of stories might give you a better idea of what a company is all about, what their mission is at the core, but most importantly get some stories and experiences that inspire you to believe in your own ideas.

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        One of my favorite podcasts in the beauty industry is @breakingbeauty. This is how I got to know and trust brands such as @drunkelephant, @glossier, @smashbox, @lancome, @caudalie and many more. It’s very interesting to take a look behind-the-scenes, get the inside scoop on what sparked a great business idea, learn how they started, find out how much money they invested at the very beginning, and how many years it took them to create another unicorn in the ultra-competitive beauty industry.

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     As I was going to our meeting this morning, I finally finished an episode about my favorite hair tools company, @invisibobble, which has changed my hair-ties game forever. But we won’t be talking about hair today. Instead, I want to share some advice that Sophie would like to give to those who are trying to navigate the business world:

“Do as much as you can possibly do, meaning only hire people on board if you really require them. If you can still do work yourself, do so, because as soon as you hire people, that’s a task you give away, which means you are farther away from that task and you have less control or understanding of that area. It’s very crucial in the beginning that you don’t hire too many people and you yourself don’t quite know what you are doing. That’s why you can’t pass that on to the rest of the team.”

Hope you’re feeling inspired! Happy Friday!

Your NDS Duo,

xoxo

My Whole30 Challenge

My Whole30 Challenge
     “Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Fighting cancer is hard. Birthing a baby is hard. Losing a parent is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard. You’ve done harder things than this, and you have no excuse not to complete the program as written. It’s only thirty days, and it’s for the most important health cause on earth—the only physical body you will ever have in this lifetime” – all I needed to hear to eliminate: 1) added sugar, real or artificial; 2) alcohol; 3) grains; 4) legumes; 5) dairy; 6) baked goods, junk foods, or treats with “approved” ingredients from my diet for whole 30 days with no exceptions (unless we are talking about my trip to Vegas – one glass of wine and a dessert, not too bad for Vegas, right?) So what’s there left to eat? Honestly, not much.
     I’m not a huge fan of the word “diet” since I feel like this one word kills the whole purpose of the program. Whole30 was created to help you change your emotional and physical relationship with food. This program exists so you can learn which food makes you feel good and which doesn’t, and if you loose weight that’s great, but be realistic and don’t expect crazy results.
      So here are a few things that I would like to share with you:
  1. It requires lots of cooking. Tons of cooking. So at some point I realized all I was doing is cooking and cleaning, and we are talking about hours and hours. I was physically exhausted and I’m not exaggerating. What was helpful is their app – Real Plans. The app will plan out everything for you: from recipes to how much of groceries to buy for a week ahead. It took me a second to get a hang of it, but once I did, everything got so much easier. Learn more about it here.
  2. Eating out is not an option. You will just annoy servers and everyone around you. Trust me. I’ve tried.
  3. Snack is not an option either. You have breakfast, lunch and dinner and you must stick with that only.
  4. Sugar. Oh my. That was my biggest fear. I still have no idea how I pulled it through, but I did. The hardest part is that you are in it alone. Watching people eating chocolate around me was intense.
  5. You will loose weight, but be realistic. It’s only 30 days. I started seeing results on day 12. Overall I lost 12 pounds, but I think working out did its part as well.
  6. You will feel sick. At least I did. I felt light headed here and there. And you can start rolling your eyes right about now, but in my opinion that’s what happens when you start changing your eating habits, your body will react to it in some way.
  7. Your skin will change. I think that was something that literally blew my mind. Again I was never into nutrition or anything in that sort, but seeing how flawless my skin was for 30 days really changed the way I look at food now.
  8. Around day 12 you won’t care for sugar, dairy or carbs. You could have drank or eaten anything in front of me and I didn’t care a bit.
  9. Be ready to feel sick once you start introducing food back into your diet. It took me about 2 weeks before I stopped feeling sick after consuming any kind of dairy or carbs. I was nervous for a second thinking maybe I messed my health up, so I started reasserting and looking for answers. Here is what I found on their forum:
       “One thing that happens when you eat foods that irritate your body is that your stomach develops a thicker mucosal lining to protect you from the irritation. When you do a Whole30, part of that lining sloughs off because it is no longer needed. So when you eat irritating foods again, your body is not as prepared to protect you as it was and you feel the irritation more notably than you did before. However, if you keep eating irritating foods, the mucosal lining will thicken again and begin to provide you the protection it did before”.
      It’s important to listen to your body and make healthy choices. Watching how my body and skin were reacting to certain foods changed my relationship with it forever. And don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying no to burgers and chocolate, I believe that everything is good in moderations. 
     So who is joining me in my next Whole30 challenge?
     Your NDS Duo,
     xoxo

Keeping Ideas Alive

Keeping Ideas Alive

     Do you ever stop in the middle of the day asking yourself “what am I doing”? Meaning: what am I doing with my life, where am I going, what’s my future going to look like. I’m pretty sure everyone has thought this at some point in their lives. Even the most successful people doubt and question themselves.

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        I believe that we can only reach the point of self-discovery through struggle and self-search. Only through the struggle we get to learn who we truly are. We have to get lost to discover things we wouldn’t have if we continued on the same, safe path.

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     Driving or being on the train is usually time when I get to stay alone with my thoughts. I get to think (sometimes overthink) about what’s happening in my life right now and where I am headed. And that’s when this familiar feeling of an anxiety in my chest comes around. The sense of confusion and overwhelming urge to escape is what takes over and I feel paralyzed. I lose control. I start thinking of everything I haven’t done, as people tend to concentrate on the negative more than the positive.

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      Do you ever feel the same way? Do you ever feel lost? It usually takes me a few minutes to calm down, to get back in control. In one of those moments of weakness I realized that the reason of me freaking out is because I lack a clear direction, or a direction at all. Sometimes the trains of thoughts and plans and ideas are so long that I just can’t see the end of them. So I started to write everything down. Once I had it all on paper (I’m an old school kinda soul), I felt somewhat relieved. You don’t always need to have that one perfect plan because things constantly change, but you do need to have a goal, and if you have more than one goal, write it down. The reason for this is because we tend to get distracted by our routine — be it school, job, relationships or the holiday season. It’s very easy to get off track, so write it all down the moment you have a new idea, plan, or just anytime you come up with something that might help make your life better down the road. Don’t be lazy. Be in control. It’s so much easier to see it all on paper rather than just in your head. When I write it out on paper, it makes me feel like I’m giving those thoughts power and it helps keep those ideas alive.

Your NDS Duo,

xoxo

 

 

Choose Us. Love Us. Connect with Us.

Choose Us. Love Us. Connect with Us.

         Our concept is simple. We want to truly connect with you and dish on everything we know about all the topics you care about – from love and dating, relationships with family and friends, what to wear and how to style it, new ways to treat yourself to the very best skincare, honest product reviews, and how to become your very best self.

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           Our words are here to be an inspiration to girls just like us. We’re not another faceless online magazine or just another picture-perfect blog that doesn’t connect to your real life in a meaningful way. We will get down and dirty on real topics and will share our honest opinions on all the things that matter most to girls like you who share our passion. We are a conversation that you have with a friend over text or while at the coffee shop sipping on your favorite latte. We are a conversation about an eye cream that actually works, a trend that is taking over the fashion world, a cool new shop where you can find your favorite looks, and a book that is worth reading. We are a conversation you have with a friend when you are ready to take on a new career. We are a conversation about the project you’ve been dreaming about accomplishing, a project that brings joy and excitement to your life and defines your purpose. We are a conversation about your heart affairs and the ups and downs of friendship.

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              We are here for you. So choose us and love us, because we want to share in all these conversations with you. We get who you are – you’re smart and strong, stylish and fashion-forward, and perfectly imperfect, just like us. Let’s lean on each other and dig deep into all the things that give you and your life such great style.  

Thanks for joining us!

Nadia and Caroline: Your NDS Duo

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