It's finally the last day of January and as I mentioned yesterday, it was the longest month ever. Today I'm working from home because it was a tough week physically and mentally; I had a lot of anxiety and I feel like I'm really getting sick so I needed a day at home. It's such a blessing to be able to work from home when I just need some introvert time.

This weekend I'll be laying low: catching up on a lot of tvs, a Trader Joes & Target run and then on Sunday, I'm heading to Soul Cycle for the 2nd time EVER. Back in 2013, I went with my sorority sisters and I couldn't walk for days. My legs were like jello and I almost fell down the steps; I've been scarred ever since. My sister has become a loyal Soul Cycle goer so she's bringing me along and giving me pep talks along the way.

We'll see how it goes and I'll be sure to update you next week.

In other news, I have been sick over the Kobe Bryant news. It's heartbreaking on so many levels, for so many people and it's so eye-opening, that things could change in a minute. I know you all have been seeing it all over social media and the news, but I just had to say my piece... it's been a lot.

On a happier note, let's get into the links I loved this week.
I went to a creative wood making workshop with my friends and made this
serving tray! I stained the wood, painted, and did everything myself. It was so cool! 


Links I Loved


What You Missed on Royally Pink

I had to replace my camisoles because they were just in really bad shape and unwearable. I purchased two from American Eagle and they were on sale, woo! Stay tuned for an update on my low-buy soon!

Have a great weekend everyone!
xoxo
B
It's the first favorites post of 2020! This month was very long and not what I expected. I had a vision of what this year was going to bring and only four weeks later, that has been totally changed. Now, my family and I will spend the year grieving the loss of my aunt and it's just such a huge blow that no one can plan for.

Because of that, my podcast and Youtube took a blow this month and I didn't do anything with my blog in terms of behind the scenes.

I hate that I put expectations on the year because then when things don't turn out the way you planned, everything feels off.

All of that being said, two things that have stayed consistent: my eating/healthy lifestyle and my low-buy. I have stayed strong in not shopping, have *tried* to be disciplined in eating right and I have actually been working out 3-4x a week which was my goal. It makes me feel really great that I'm able to stick to a few goals.

*I will be doing a monthly update on the low-buy so stay tuned for that soon!

And now, we have come to the point in the post where I talk about the items I've been loving all month long!


Cooluli Mini Fridge


I received a pink mini fridge for Christmas and it was the best gift ever. A skincare fridge is something I would've never purchased for myself but oh my, I'm so excited to have one now! I have it hooked up in my room, near my bags & beauty drawers, and have all my fun skincare items in there! It includes my Tula Eye Balm, a few eye creams, my face & eye masks, and of course a rose quartz roller. I love waking up on a lazy morning, rolling with an ice-cold facial roller and applying cold under-eye masks. It is a delicious, calming ritual that makes me incredibly content and happy. It's not a necessity but it is fun to have!

Billie Razors

This has been a favorite for a few months but I haven't talked about it yet. I've always really hated drugstore razors; I never could find one I loved, they constantly broke, and the price tags are outrageous. I finally decided to try the Billie Razors everyone has been raving about and they were right. The razor is pretty, petite, easy to use and gets the job done better than other razors I've had in the past. However, my favorite thing is price and convenience. For $9 I got my razor and some replacement blades and then for $9 every other month (I chose every other month for the delivery because I just don't shave that much LOL), I get 4 razors delivered to my door. 4 blades in the drugstore cost $30+! That is a buttload of money to save when you need razors. There is also not a guessing game of what blades fit which razors and I don't have to go out, they're just delivered. I loved my Billie so much, my mom and sister subscribed too so we're officially a Billie razor household.

Hydro Cortizone Cream

This is the most random, the weirdest favorite I've ever had on this blog but I have to mention it. My skin has been out of control lately. I'm not just talking about my eczema but I've been having really bad facial reactions where my skin is waxy, hot, and bumpy. The cold and windy weather has also made my skin really itchy and irritated. None of my fancy lotions and potions were working so I went old school and purchase cortizone cream. With one application and some icing, all my reactions were gone. Now, I will never be without cortizone cream because it's a savior when it comes to winter skin.

What have you been loving this month?
xoxo
B
I received this book from NetGalley but all opinions are my own.

This book has been sitting in my Kindle queue for a while and I finally got around to reading it a few weeks ago. I just have to say... what took me so long?!

"The Divorce" by Victoria Jenkins was a novel with more suspense than I ever remember reading in recent memory. It was slow yet fast at the same time and I finished it within a few days.


Publisher's Summary 

They seemed like any other couple

Josh and Lydia Green. A doctor, and a stay-at-home mother. They met at a party, which led to a dinner, which led to a happy and comfortable life together. They married young, and had children earlier than planned.

Their marriage seemed like any other marriage

They have their moments, of course – who doesn’t? With Josh working longer hours in the hospital, and Lydia feeling increasingly isolated at home, the strain is starting to show. They don’t talk as much as they used to.

But they have a secret like no other

Not every wife is as scared as Lydia.
Not every husband is hiding as much as Josh.
Not everything you think about them is true.

And this book contains a twist like no other…


My Thoughts

My expectations for this book were all over the place because right in the summary it says that the twist is unlike anything else before. I went into the book knowing that something was going to happen, knowing that the couple was not right and even if you didn't read the summary, Jenkins wrote Josh and Lydia perfectly.

The book is mostly told in the POV of Josh and Lydia's therapist, Karen, who is trying to help them through their issues. She has her own issues that we don't get a real insight into until the end of the book but we do know that she is mourning the loss of her beloved husband.

She is a little paranoid because of something that happened in her past but things keep happening when Josh and Lydia are around that make Karen unsettled. Picture frames moving, someone mouthing the words 'help' during their sessions, and more than one screaming match.

Something was not right about this couple and you really think you know what it is, it seems a little too obvious to the reader, and I guess to Karen. However, Victoria Jenkins does a fantastic job at setting the twist up without giving you any insight as to what is coming.

When the twist happened, it was well worth it! The way the purpose of the novel was revealed and how it played out after was super interesting and intricate. 

I really enjoyed every moment of this book. I thought it was really well written, a simple idea without too many characters or settings (the entire book took place in Karen's house, it was super interesting) and a twist that made sense.

My one gripe with the book? The ending. It was very open-ended and left me feeling unsatisfied. I'm the type of reader that likes everything tied up with a neat little bow and this just didn't do it for me. However, that didn't ruin the book and because it was such an easy, interesting read, I feel like I would read this again! 

If you're in the market for a quick thriller that isn't necessarily scary and definitely not gory, you'll enjoy "The Divorce." I'm excited to read more from Victoria Jenkins and her lovely writing style!

xoxo
B
I've been on a beauty kick lately, trying different products in my collection and resisting all the new launches thanks to my low-buy.

January is a huge time for new releases and there are so many good products being put out, I can hardly resist it.

My makeup routine before work has been less than extraordinary; most days I'm just applying concealer, mascara, and brows which so conveniently, all appear on this list today! Beauty makes me so happy, I simply cannot get enough.

Below are the standout items I've been loving this month!

Too Faced Born This Way Sculpting Concealer

It took me a very long time to purchase this concealer which is so many people's favorites. It was once compared to Tarte Shape Tape but not as heavy; it intrigued me but I just never got around to it. Finally, in December, it was 20% off a Sephora and I picked it up... wow. My life has been changed. It's a beautiful concealer; full coverage, easy to blend, and a beautiful natural finish. It applies great with foundation or alone, with nothing underneath. Since purchasing this, I have no desire to repurchase Shape Tape, the two are interchangeable but it's true that this is not as heavy. It's the ideal concealer if you have dark circles or blemishes you really want to take care of.

It Cosmetics x Drybar Lash Blowout 

This might be cheating because I only have a sample of the Drybar x It Cosmetics mascara, and I've only had it for a week but I don't care. This was another item that I've had on my wishlist since it's release date but never bothered to pick up. Finally, when I saw that it was a 100 point perk, I jumped at the chance to try it. The brush is thick, but not oversized and is a little tapered at the tip. When I use this, my lashes touch my eyebrow bone. It builds really nicely and you can apply multiple coats without it clumping up. It separates and lengthens my lashes more so than other mascaras I've tried in recent memory. I can't wait to purchase the full size... it's a fabulous mascara. 

Physician's Formula Organic Wear Brow Gel

I received a portion of the Physicians Formula's Organic Wear line from Influenster a few months ago and this brow gel was one of the items. It took me a little while to try it out but this brow gel is just what the beauty doctors ordered. The brush is super tiny... it's probably the smallest eyebrow brush I have ever used but that's what makes it so perfect. The formula is a little on the drier side which I prefer so the tinted gel doesn't smear all over the place. It grooms my brows, keeps everything in place and adds the perfect amount of color. This could definitely replace my Glossier Boy Brow and is better for my wallet! 

IGK Good Behavior Smoothing Spray

Months ago I heard Kathleen Lights talk about this hair product on her Instagram stories. I screenshotted it, put it on my list and thought about it every so often. A few months ago the IGK Good Behavior Smoothing Spray was a sample at Sephora and I redeemed it on an order. I recently used it for the first time and my hair game has been changed forever. I am not good at blow drying my own hair and it always comes out super frizzy and poofy. Not with this spray! Good Behavior mimics a keratin treatment so it smooths out your hair once you add heat. Therefore, you spray it all over your wet hair, in sections, and then blow-dry and straighten. My hair looks like I just got out of the salon. It makes my blowdrying experience much more enjoyable and a lot easier. 

What did you love this month?
xoxo
B
When I got fired back in April and was on a serious job search, I purchased a free trial of LinkedIn Premium. I had been advertised it multiple times over the years but never took the plunge. I didn't really understand what it was or if it was worth it but I was so desperate at that point I decided to look into it.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that LinkedIn Premium was completely worth it if you are trying to be very active in your job search. That's the spoiler of this post... if you're trying to get serious about your job search, you should try the free trial of LinkedIn Premium.

Credit


The Facts

LinkedIn Premium has three different tiers of memberships but I chose the one that costs $24.95 a month. It's called "Career" and I'm sure that is the one most people choose because it is geared toward people looking for jobs and career advancements.

When you sign up for 'Career' on LinkedIn Premium you are granted access to new features that are going to be beneficial when it comes to applying for jobs. I'll go into more detail in the 'pros' section of this post but for now, these are the major differences in LinkedIn Premium compared to regular LinkedIn.

  • You get unlimited InMail messages meaning that you can message anyone on LinkedIn, even if you are not connected to them.
  • You can see how you measure to other candidates applying for the same job
  • Full access to who has viewed your profile
  • Instant access to salary insights
  • You will be seen as a 'Featured Candidate' to recruiters and hiring managers

The Pros

Truthfully, everything I listed above is a pro. All the features you get through LinkedIn Premium is going to help you stand out but also understand the job applying process a little more.


My favorite parts of LinkedIn Premium and what I found to be the most useful was the unlimited InMail messaging and being able to view everyone who looks at your profile. I'm almost positive I was able to see the job poster more often than when I was a regular LinkedIn customer.

For example, if I was applying for a job and I see the job poster, I was able to InMail them and introduce myself. It definitely led to a few interviews so it was very positive. People on LinkedIn expect to be messaged and it's totally normal, especially if they are the job poster.

Another example is that if I applied for a job, and saw that someone from the company viewed my profile, I knew that they were semi-interested in me. It did wonders for my confidence levels but it was also useful because it helped the job stand out in mind and if I wanted to, I could InMail that person as well.

The salary insights as well as seeing how I measured up to other candidates helped immensely. It helped me understand the type of job I was really looking for if a job was worth it to me, and/or if I was semi-qualified for the position.

Applying for jobs on LinkedIn was always a lot easier for me than any other website because I felt like I didn't get lost in the applicant pool. You are able to see if your application was viewed, you can see who is interested in you and you're able to message people who have similar career paths. I just find it so much more effective in finding a job than any other website (this isn't sponsored LOL) so to me, LinkedIn Premium is like regular LinkedIn on steroids and worth every penny.

After I completed my free trial, I did, in fact, pay the subscription fee because I wanted the service throughout my job search. I did find my current job on LinkedIn and am confident that LinkedIn Premium helped me do that.

Let me also say, if you are not searching for a new job, I do not think the subscription is necessary. While it is a hefty price tag for a subscription, if you are serious about spicing things up in your job search, I cannot recommend it enough. Cancel another subscription of yours for a few months or move finances around until you get the job you deserve... LinkedIn Premium is amazing.

If you're interested in a post about how I used LinkedIn for my job search, outside of premium, please let me know!

xoxo
B

Royal Round Up, Vol 3: Week 4

in , by RoyallyPink, 5:00 AM
I didn't post a round-up last week but in honor of being consistent with the weeks of the year, this is Week 4.

After my aunt's passing, I'm slowly getting back in a routine. I was at work Wednesday-Friday, and now it's the weekend again. It'll be a fun weekend though, with a get together with my sorority sisters and then visiting my grandma and baby cousins on Sunday. I need to try to relax at some point too because without relaxing, I am nothing.

Then, next week it is back to business as usual with a full workweek. To be honest, I'm incredibly grateful to be at work, working my mind and being out of the house. It was hard being inside, with my family, grief, and emotion all day long for a week straight.

I updated you and talked a bunch yesterday so I'll dive right into the roundup.


Links I Loved

There was only one post to be missed this week... Little Loves, Vol 8. I also only bought one thing, my one purchase of the month, a Stoney Clover Flat Pouch from their Cozy Collection. I purchased the mauve one, with no patches so I can carry it as a clutch.

Have a great weekend everyone!
xoxo
B

Little Loves Vol 8

in , , by RoyallyPink, 7:00 AM
Hello for the first time in a long time. It's been a very life-changing week and not in a good way. I told you in my last post (Manicure Monday) that I was dealing with some personal things and wouldn't be on the blog much... well it's 9 days later and we're back in business.

Last week, my aunt passed away. She was in the hospital and passed away on Friday, with arrangements being on Monday & Tuesday this past week. She was young, it was heartbreaking and honestly really painful.

I'm no stranger to loss, as my dad passed away four years ago this coming March. I wrote about grief here but this grief is very different. At some point, I'll write about it because I think it's important to talk about.

My family and I are in the healing process, my mom lost her sister & my grandpa lost his daughter... it's all very sad and tragic but we'll get through.

I wanted to come on here, give a little update and try to get back to regularly scheduled programming. I'm not in the right mindset to write something of substance so we're going with a little loves post because I haven't posted one since October so now is as good a time as any!


Starbucks and my bkr bottle filled with water are staples in my everyday routine. I truly cannot survive without them. I've tried a lot of different reusable water bottles but the bkr ones are by far the best ones. I have multiple and swear by them! 


I was looking through photo before the wake and funeral for my aunt and discovered a bunch of adorable baby pictures of me. I really love my baby pictures because as the first child, my family used to dress me up and my mom would tell me to pose and then take pics. I was really cute and I'm not ashamed to say it.


I'm still burning winter scents and am truly obsessed with my winter candle holder from Bath and Body Works. I would love to get this hearts one for Valentine's Day.  


I love Turbie Twist towels and have been using them for years. They reached out to me and sent me this curly hair set. It's a micro-fiber towel for your wet hair and then their recently released satin pillowcases. I have a Kristin Ess silk pillowcase and love it so I'm sure the Turbie Twist satin pillowcase will be incredible!



There's more to come on these patches but wow, The Good Patch is my new favorite brand. The B12 patches really help keep me awake when I'm a little groggy or run down, and I'm excited to try more of their patches. Wellness patches are such a huge trend and I think The Good Patch is hitting it right on the nose. 


I ran out of my latest bottle of Simple Micellar Water and haven't repurchased (I'm testing out some others right now) but this has been my go-to for YEARS. It's the only way I cleanse my skin in the morning and does a great job. My skin isn't acne-prone but is very dry and sensitive and this is a holy grail. 


If you are in the book world you had to hear about Verity by Colleen Hoover. It's taken everyone by storm and I read it over the course of two days. It is a wild, ass thriller that is twisted beyond words. I have a full review coming soon so stay tuned! It's currently on Kindle Unlimited so go get a copy if you're curious. 


These are my favorite travel companions; a Neverfull, Kate Spade furry backpack, and a Louis Vuitton scarf. It's the perfect winter look and makes me so happy. 


Before my low-buy year, I bought a priority planner from May Designs. If you are in the market for a new planner, you need to check this out. It keeps me insanely organized and isn't dated so you can use it as much or as little as you please. I chose to go with one of my favorite Harry Potter quotes on the front, all about priorities. A full review of this bad boy is coming soon! 


I received these Pacifica vitamins in PR a few weeks back but haven't tried them yet (waiting to get through my Nature's Bounty & Olly gummies first) but I have high hopes, especially for the Insta Mood ones... I love anything calming so these will definitely be reviewed.

I hope you have a wonderful rest of the week and I'll talk to you tomorrow!

xoxo
B

*Programming note: I'm dealing with some personal stuff so I might not be on the blog too much this week


Before my low-buy, I saw that Essie released a new nail polish collection called "Flying Solo" which is inspired by airplanes, travel, and flying. The colors in the collection are all very beautiful but I was drawn to 'No Reservations', a mid-tone plum with a refined shimmering pearl reflect.

I waited until after New Years to use the color and had it on my nails last week. Well, this is a color that was most definitely missing from my collection. I don't have a ton of purple or plums right now and this is the perfect addition to my collection.

essie-no reservations-manicure monday


When I applied the first coat, I was stunned. It went on really easily and didn't bleed onto my cuticles. I applied two coats to make it really opaque and was shocked at how truly beautiful the color was.

The purple is a true purple but the added shimmering pearl makes it so much more wearable and not as harsh. I loved the way the light caught the pearl and gave an awesome reflection. It sparkled without being sparkly which is such a nice little change.

I wore this polish for about a week and had very minimal chipping. It was around day 4 that I noticed a few chips on the tips of my nails and then I just started picking it off myself but wow, this was a long-lasting polish.

For reference, I use this base coat, this topcoat, and these quick-drying drops

I don't know if I will buy another polish from this line as the colors aren't really speaking to me but I will continue to rock 'No Reservations' because it is just so beautiful!

What's on your nails this Monday?
xoxo
B
This was the longest week of my life, I'm almost positive. The first Monday after the holidays hit me like a ton of bricks and I wasn't ready for it. Everyone around me is sick and I'm pretty sure I am getting sick as well.

My no shopping survived a very long, weird week and I'm so excited and proud of myself. I have such a long way ahead of me but it's been pretty seamless so far. This week, I will make my first and only purchases of the month. I'm planning to finally go to the Stoney Clover popup in Manhattan after months of WANTING to go and then I need a restock of my Skyn Iceland eye masks which are part of the Ulta Beauty Skincare Event on Thursday. Otherwise, other purchases will have to wait until next month.

That little bit of shopping, that little bit of leeway will help me stay on track. As I mentioned, it's not a no-buy that I am doing, it's a low-buy because I am not stopping my shopping completely. I am me, after all.

Last night I introduced my boyfriend to some of my best friends from college and it was very exciting. I am finally merging my two worlds and it's really nice. Today, I went with my sister to get our hair blown out, going to go food shopping with my mom, and then head to my boyfriend's for the night. I'd also like to get some writing done in-between, we'll see how that happens.

There is also a Harry Potter marathon on all day so it automatically is cozier!

I hope you all have a great weekend, let's dive into the recap!

*PS: I recorded a podcast episode about my thoughts on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex aka Harry and Meghan and their big MEGIXT from the Royal Family. 


Links I Loved


What You Missed on Royally Pink

B
I know this week has been filled with '2020' posts but this goes hand in hand with my 'Low Buy' post from Monday. I mentioned in that post that I had been decluttering my possessions and it has been making all the difference in my life and mental health.

I've wanted to possess less stuff to have a cleaner room, a clearer mind, and just more peace in my space. I started to get really overwhelmed with everything I had and felt like I needed to really clean things out, get rid of what I don't wear or use, and prepare myself for a low-buy.

That is one of the major reasons for my low-buy as well: I just had too much stuff and I didn't know what to do with it.

Now, after this little de-clutter, I feel so much better. My space is easier to keep neat and tidy, I appreciate my bags and clothes a little more, and know exactly what is missing from my possession, which is basically nothing.


Clothes

Usually a few times a season I will go through my clothes and donate everything and anything I don't wear doesn't fit or doesn't fit my style anymore. I have a local charity come pick them up so I have a pretty good system when it comes to decluttering clothes.



However, I recently did a few major cleanouts; even as I type this on Saturday night, I went through my closet and draws randomly this afternoon to reorganize and I ended up filling an entire black garbage bag to donate... that is on top of the other garbage bag I already have ready to go.

I realized that I have a lot of clothes, especially winter clothes like sweaters so I needed to get rid of the stuff that I had been holding onto, like cardigans. I gave away three or four cardigans today because I know I don't wear them anymore and I don't need to have them in my wardrobe to just 'have a cardigan in case of something'. I threw out old jeans that I had been wearing and were a little too stretched out and old formal dresses that I knew I wouldn't wear again. It felt so good and now my closet is a little lighter, my drawers are more organized and I'm ready for the rest of the season.

Books

I don't buy a lot of books but occasionally I get sent books in PR. I end up reading them all but once I've read a book once, I'm most likely not going to read it again unless it's a self-help book, Twilight or Harry Potter. I will keep my 'favorite' books that I've read but if I read something, didn't love it, I'm going to give it away. I've had a bunch of books set aside for months (and even more books to be donated in my car) and finally, before Christmas, I took them to my local library and donated them. Over the years, whenever I want to donate books I bring them to the library. To me, it's the easiest way to donate gently used books mostly because I know the library needs them and because it's right down the street.

I love real books so much but right now, I don't have space for them. For now, until I have more space, I'm going to stick to e-books and taking out of the library, just as soon as I get a library card!

Beauty Items

This is a big one. I have a lot of beauty products and until recently, I was holding onto a lot of stuff that was old, expired, or held some sense of sentimental value. One night I got super fed up with my collection and just threw everything out. I kept the things I used, threw out the things that were too used/expired/old and whatever was new or gently used I put aside in a bag for friends and family.

I threw out so many powders, bronzers, highlighters, lipsticks, and anything that was kind of random and I didn't need/use anymore. I downsized my lipstick collection significantly and seeing space in my lipstick tower makes me feel awesome.

This entire process made me see that I really do not need any more beauty products and I need to be a lot more selective in what I buy, receive in PR and also bring home from work.

In the declutter, I got rid of some skincare but I really need to do that again because my skincare drawer is out of control at the moment. That will be my next project!

Bags and Accessories

As of three weeks ago, I had over 25 bags in my collection. I wasn't using them all and was a little overwhelmed by the collection. I have never felt like that about my bags before; I mean, they are my babies! I love them all so much and most of them, equally. However, I didn't need them all.

I knew I wanted to sell all my tote bags because I decided that I only wanted to use my Neverfull MMs from now on. There is a reason it's called a Neverfull -- it's lightweight, never seems full, and is the most comfortable to carry to work. I decided to sell my totes and save up for the Damier Azur MM Neverfull so I could have a complete trifecta collection.

That turned into my mom sitting down with me and telling me I needed to sell certain bags, that they weren't as nice as I thought they were and to really downsize the collection. I started throwing bags aside that I would never consider selling but in the end, I knew were the right decisions. I even threw some makeup bags that were in the decent condition into the box.

I didn't want to sell these on my own because truthfully, it takes a lot of time, effort, and I never seem to get the price right. I sent them all to TheRealReal which I've sold to before and have an incredible experience with them. They priced everything perfectly and I'm excited that my bags will have a wonderful new home.

I'm vowing to not buy any bags this year. Right now, there's nothing I really love or want, or fit into my budget. I'm pretty confident in this so we'll see what happens!

The most cluttered areas of my life have been de-cluttered and I feel 100 pounds lighter. I'm excited about this new step in the right direction, and I hope I can keep it up!

What areas of your life need decluttering?

xoxo
B
It's the first Book Review Wednesday of 2020 and I don't think there is a more appropriate book to kick off the year with.

I received an early arc of Becoming Superwoman by Nicole Lapin from Netgalley but really I was going to purchase it either way. I am definitely going to purchase the Superwoman Journal she published as well.

I've read another book by Nicole Lapin called "Rich Bitch" and it really opened my eyes to the world of finances. I will have to re-read it as soon as my financial situation gets in better shape. Lapin was a news anchor who talked mostly about finances which is where her first book came from.

I also have her 2nd book called "Boss Bitch" which I'm hoping to read soon! I love her advice and her writing style. All her books are written in steps which I find super helpful. It makes it easier to digest and reference back, really showcasing that these books are meant to be a tool to use in your daily life.

nicole lapin-becoming superwoman


When I first read about "Becoming Superwoman" I thought it would be a little similar to "Boss Bitch" and really about how to do it all in life. What I got was completely different and I'm really happy about that.

Publisher's Summary

For years—maybe your entire life—you’ve been told that success means having it all and doing it all. But working more and harder is holding you back, not moving you forward. In Becoming Super WomanNew York Times bestselling author Nicole Lapin redefines what it means to be a woman who “has it all”—and shows you how to find lasting success by your own definition, on your own terms.
Nicole candidly shares her own story of career burnout and an emergency hospitalization that prompted her to take her mental health seriously for the first time ever. Along the way, she discovered that not only was this priority shift, not a defeat, but it was also the key to unlocking even greater achievements. 
In her third and most personal book yet, Nicole lays out an actionable, 12-step plan to guide you in taking control and becoming the hero of your own story, with the skills it takes to be a real Super Woman—skills we should (but often don’t) learn growing up, from productivity hacks to boundary setting. She makes the case that the real secret to success doesn’t hinge on the hustle or degrees you have but in “putting on your own oxygen mask before helping others.” In fact, self-care is the biggest asset or liability in our careers—when it’s on-point it can help us soar, and when it’s neglected it can bring us down faster than anything else. 
Entertaining, honest, and life-changing, Becoming Super Woman shows you how to banish burnout, ward off a breakdown, and achieve true balance … finally.

My Thoughts

Reading about Nicole's mental breakdown, her past life, and what drives her success was really eye-opening. I would never expect someone like her, who seems to have everything together, to be suffering so deeply behind closed doors. It proves once again that you never know what people are going through.

The book is focused on what to do to prevent burnout and how to handle burnout if you're experiencing it. There are parts related to mental health, career, friendships, and relationships but when it comes down to it, this book is all about taking control of your life. Whether you lost control or you can feel yourself slipping away, Becoming Superwoman is going to help you BE superwoman. You won't become her by doing it all but by caring for yourself.

Being stressed out and tired doesn't help anyone, most of all yourself so it's important to take time to do the things that make you happy. Even if you love working, work should not be the only thing in your life.

I feel as if I have a pretty firm grasp on life and I know myself, I know I can't do too much and I burn out rather quickly. Therefore, I didn't learn much from this book. However, I think it reaffirmed the thoughts I have and gave me the justification I need to say no to certain things or leave work on time or not see my friends for a weekend. It let me know I wasn't alone and that burnout can happen to anyone, at any time, it doesn't matter how happy or sad, how successful or 'unsuccessful' you are.

The glorification of busy culture reached a breaking point recently but I think we are making strides against it, and this is going to be the book that leads the way on that front.

If career books or self-help books aren't really your thing, or you don't know if you would like the genre, I highly recommend Becoming Superwoman. Nicole's writing is like talking to your best friend; it's no bullshit, no fluff, no corny analogies -- it's straightforward and helpful. If you feel like you're on the edge of a breakdown or want to do your best to prevent one, whether it's home or work-related stress, you need "Becoming Superwoman"


What is the first book you finished reading in 2020?
xoxo
B
My mom frequently tells me that I am the best relaxer she knows. She will walk into my room on any given night, see me snuggled up underneath a blanket with my TV on; there is mood lighting, candles, and most likely a book in my hand. She says 'You're the best at relaxing' and it's very true. I have always been good at winding down and taking care of myself.

Of course, I get burnt out just like everyone else but I am really in-tune with my body and my mind so I know when I need a break. My self-care routine has always consisted of being alone in a dark room, with a good TV show on. As a natural introvert, I need to be riding solo to decompress and I relish in my alone time. 

selfcare routine-barefoot dreams blanket


As the wellness and beauty industries took hold of my brain, I have definitely added those aspects to my routine. However, my depression and anxiety sometimes make it hard to do a true self-care routine and some days it's just me throwing myself into my bed at 7 PM and not emerging until morning.

When I am in a good mood and want to take my time, this is how I achieve the ultimate feeling of self-care.

Skincare Routine

selfcare routine-jade roller-hygge mask-glossier

When I really want to get down with my self-care I pull out all the stops. I do a deep cleansing, pampering routine with all the fixings like face masks, eye & lip masks, as well as a hand or foot mask as well. 

I usually start by removing all my makeup with a Makeup Eraser, cleansing with my Clarisonic and face wash of the moment (right now, Cadulalie Milk) and then remove other makeup with Simple Micellar water. Then, I'll do my masks and finish off with serums, moisturizers, eye creams and maybe even a face mist. It makes me feel really energized, refreshed and beautiful. It puts me in the right mindset to start relaxing and unwind from the day. 

Scents

I will not have a self-care night without a scent story. That usually comes in the form of a candle, which I burn every night whether I'm treating myself or not. If I'm feeling particularly anxious, I will put some lavender, peppermint, and eucalyptus essential oils in my diffuser to really set the mood.  

Entertainment

There is rarely a time when I'm in my room and the TV is not on. Television is my number one form of self-care and it has been since I was a little girl. My self-care routine in 2020 definitely includes my television, whether I am paying attention or not. I might be watching Bravo or Disney+ or I have something random on while I'm on my phone or reading a book. 

On the flip side, I might turn the TV on mute while I put all my attention into the latest book I'm reading, whether that is my Kindle, Nook, iPad or a real book. I love having a good book to escape for a while. 

Journaling

selfcare routine-selfcare planner


Self-care isn't just about feeling relaxed on the outside, it's about confronting your feelings and getting things off your chest so you can be your best self. To take things to the next level, I will pull out my journal and write out some thoughts from the day. I don't usually journal for long unless something particularly intense happened that day but I feel really great afterward. I received this Self-Care Planner from Adam's Media a few months ago and started using it last week; it's been really interesting and I'm definitely going to continue to incorporate it into my self-care routine.

selfcare routine-pb teen peace sign light


I mentioned before that I also add some mood lighting in the form of the peace sign above my bed (from PB Teen years ago but here is a similar one) and twinkle lights near my windows. It's also pertinent that I have a comfortable, cozy blanket with me like my GILI or Barefoot Dreams.

My self-care routine has pretty much been perfected down to the last detail and I love it so much. It brings me a lot of comfort and happiness while filling with me the utmost relaxing feeling. It's truly part of my life and a good habit. If you want to make self-care part of your life, you need to set aside time to do the things that make you feel whole.

Do you have a self-care routine? What does it consist of? Let's talk in the comments!
xoxo
B
After teasing this post for a solid week since I decided to stick to this low buy, I'm finally putting pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard I guess.

I've been toying with the idea of a 2020 low buy or no-buy for a while but it wasn't until I watched this video from one of my favorite Youtubers that I decided I was going to go on this journey.

For the entire year, I will not buy anything frivolous without some parameters around it. This includes not buying beauty products, accessories, clothes, home goods -- basically anything that isn't food or personal care like body wash, face wash, etc.

My shopping habit had gotten out of control, as I've been very open with here. It hit me in November that I really needed to get a grip on things, start saving money and acting like an adult. I have been working for 5+ years and have nothing to show for it.

I also realized that my anxiety stems directly from money. I thought not shopping gave me anxiety but I realized watching the number in my bank account decrease and not having enough money to put on my Metrocard or grab a Starbucks coffee really stressed me out. Seeing money in my account and not being restricted help me immensely and it was at that point that I knew what I needed to do.

There also came a point where I looked around my room and was completely overwhelmed with the amount of stuff I have. I had too many books, too many bags, too many knick-knacks. It stressed me out and I felt like not everything had a place. It was at that point that I knew I had to stop accumulating so much stuff which is another point for this low-buy... I don't need anything else.

I will most likely write another post about my declutter... it's not anything substantial but I feel great after getting rid of a lot of stuff and reorganizing everything.

I'm hoping that this year will bring me clarity, help me save money and really kick a bad habit. Let's get into the nitty-gritty.

Photo Credit


The Rules

My rules for the low-buy are pretty straight forward and are as follows:

  • No impulse shopping
    • I would like to purchase myself a new iPad and a new Stoney Clover Duffle Bag this year. I am saving up for them in the Qapital app instead of buying it at once. Whether I go through with the purchases or not is still up the air.
  • One purchase under $100 allowed each month
    • To me, this is the easiest way for me to not go cold turkey. It will be one item/one purchase that is under $100, not multiple purchases to add up to $100. If I see a new lipstick I want, I am allowed to buy it but that is it for the month.
  • Occasions do not count
    • I have a Bachelorette party and three weddings (one being in Mexico) this year so if I need an outfit, a dress, or a new pair of shoes I will allow myself to buy them.
These rules might sound a little easy but to me, they are definitely not. I was spending over $500 a month shopping... that is $500 that I wasn't saving or using wisely. By limiting myself to one singular purchase under $100, I'm able to look at this as a true lifestyle change and will hopefully never go back to wildly irresponsible spending. Also, teaching myself to actually save up slowly for the things I want will be a really great lesson for me. 

My main issue has always been impulse shopping and buying things the moment I decide I want them. By limiting myself I am able to make smart spending decisions and truly change the way I view money and items.

Exceptions

I already listed out my one exception: occasions. However, I am not limiting myself when it comes to food purchases or 'experiences' such as pedicures or getting my hair done. I get a pedicure every 2-3 months and I have been getting my hair blown out more often but to me, they are not tangible items and a way to treat myself without spending $50+. (My pedicure is $16, blowouts are $18 - not including tips) but that amount every few months is not a lot.

When it comes to food, I spend about $70-100 every 2-4 weeks at Trader Joes and that is when I get my Weight Watchers meals and some items not included in my mom's weekly grocery shop. I also go out to eat at least once a week with my boyfriend which isn't a crazy amount. I am going to limit my coffee and snacking at work but I don't buy breakfast or lunch at work during the week so I'm comfortable continuing to spend money on the weekends on groceries and a nice dinner. 

My last exception is replacements. If I run out of my mascara, I will go and purchase one. If I run out of face wash, I'm allowed to purchase it. However, if I run out of my 'favorite' mascara but I have more in my backups, I'm not purchasing anything. I have enough makeup and skincare to probably last the entire year so we'll see. I will definitely do a check-in every month or so to keep you posted on what is happening. 

This might not be your traditional low-buy but it's going to solve my problem of impulse shopping and accumulation of items I don't need. 

I feel really invigorated and excited to see how far I take this within the year. My life needed this change and I am so excited.

What do you think? Could you do a low-buy for an entire year? Let's talk about it in the comments!

xoxo
B

Ah, week 1 of 52, it feels really good to have a fresh start, a new page. I've relished in the past three days of the new year. It kind of feels different to me this time around; maybe because I have a hard goal of not buying anything* or because I gained a little too much weight over the holidays and have the goal of losing it but it feels good.

*More news on my low-buy year next week! 

I went back to work yesterday for the first time since December 20th and it really wasn't difficult. I woke up fine, commuted fine, and got my work done. Perhaps it's because it was a Thursday and I knew that in my mind the weekend was close but still, it felt good to be back in the office.

As sad as I am that Christmas and my favorite time of the year is over, I do enjoy relishing in the idea of a fresh start as the first week of January. I rambled a lot yesterday about the new year so I won't keep you too long.

The layout of these wrap-up posts won't change much but my 'What I Bought This Week' section will be very scarce because I am not buying anything.

Without further ado, the first wrap up post of 2020.

A peek inside my new skincare fridge


Links I Loved

What You Missed on Royally Pink

What I Bought This Week

Since the new year began on a Wednesday, you bet your butt I did some shopping on Monday & Tuesday! 

I purchased two rings from Jet, Set, Candy during their 20% off sale. I've admired their jewelry for a long time and I actually do have one ring from them but it was too good a sale for me to miss. I went out with a bang surely! I purchased this Airplane Mode ring and Explore ring. I am so excited for them to arrive in the mail!

Below are a few more items I picked up before the ban!


Have a great weekend everyone!

xoxo
B
Happy New Year! It is the first day of the year and boy does it feel like it! I had a lowkey NYE last night at my friend's house. There was lots of food, fun, champagne, and laughter -- it was pretty perfect and honestly my favorite way to ring in a new year.

Tomorrow is back to reality as I've been 'off' from work aka working from home since December 23rd and it's been super relaxing. I've enjoyed every day of my flexible schedule and the ability to enjoy the holidays to the utmost degree but it will be nice to get back into a real schedule.

Today, I am enjoying my last bit of relaxation, getting my room and life in order as well as taking time to reflect... which is where this post comes in.

I've done a post like this for the past few years and I really enjoy them as it feels like a truly fresh start. I try to set goals at the beginning of the year and I have succeeded with hitting them in the past.

However, in 2019, I don't think I hit any of my goals and for various reasons... one of the biggest ones being that I got fired. In 2019 I wanted to lose more weight and save a decent amount of money which I didn't do. I was unemployed for 6 months therefore, I wasn't saving any money because I barely had any. Also, because I was home pretty much every day and was very stressed and anxious, therefore I ate a little more poorly but I did go to the gym a lot more which was amazing.



A few other 2019 goals I didn't hit:


  • Finish my book: I did not finish the book I have been writing for a few years and I think I was most disappointed in this goal. I was inspired at times and I got some done, even had some new thoughts for it but ultimately I failed... and that's ok. I am almost done with an e-book I'm hoping to release in the next few months so that is exciting! 
  • Consistency: I failed with my podcast and Youtube channel (YT was more consistent though_ but I'm trying again in 2020. They are two creative outlets I really enjoy, I just have to find my footing and not try to be anyone I'm not. 

What I Did Accomplish in 2019:

  • Writing: I wrote pretty consistently for FabFitFun starting in April 2019 and also had an editing position with Byrdie that helped bring some in some income. I am really proud of the work I've been doing with FabFitFun -- it's an amazing website that needs more credit 
One of the biggest and most unexpected accomplishments of the year was for sure discomfort. I was uncomfortable leaving my job of four years at Laura Geller, uncomfortable and very unsure of starting somewhere new and discomfort when I got fired. It was uncomfortable to be unemployed for 6+ months, to go through the stages of filing for unemployment and telling people I didn't have a job. It was one of the hardest lessons of my life but I learned a few things.

  • You can and will survive: Not having a job is not the end of the world. This might not be true for everyone but I have a really good family, live at home with my mom, and was able to get through with the savings I had, as well as some writing and editing jobs. It was very uncomfortable and scary but I survived and I realized I could really survive anything.
  • Listen to your gut: I knew leaving Laura Geller was the right decision as I had been thinking about it for a year. However, I knew the moment I received the offer letter than the place I was headed to was not right for me. I knew it when I gave my resignation, knew the first day at the new job, and was almost grateful that I was fired. I will never do that again... I will always listen to my gut and do what I know is right for me.
  • Everything happens for a reason: If I never got fired I would've never been able to look for the job I wanted or analyze what I really wanted to do with my life. I thought I wanted to get out of the beauty industry but I realized through this process that it was where I belonged. It's what I know, it's what I'm passionate about and it's what excites me. If I didn't get fired I wouldn't have realized that and I definitely wouldn't have gotten the job I have now. 

My 2020 Goals:

Let's get this out of the way... I'm putting the same few goals on my list as I have the past few years: lose weight, save money, finish the book. This is going to be the year because I refuse to fail again.

Now for the real goals...

  • Accomplish my low-buy/no-buy: There is a post coming on this next week but I hinted at it in my saving money post from a few weeks ago. I'm going to do this, I have to do it because I'm pretty sure my sanity, my finances, and my life depends on it. I am going to be purchasing virtually nothing this year in terms of frivolous items. All the details will be revealed next week as I gather myself and really set some boundaries.
  • Put more into my brand: I have been taking the past few days to really make a 'brand' for myself. I want to rethink what Royally Pink is and help identify what it means to me and to other people. I want to focus on myself and my side hustle, which includes the blog, my books, some guides & e-books, my podcast, and my Youtube channel. I want to channel my energy creatively and I need to stop being lazy.
  • Laziness and energy fatigue: I am always tired. There is never a time when I am not tired and every weekend I take a nap around 3 PM. I am somewhere between an infant and a 90-year-old. Sometimes I'm not even tired but purely lazy and I don't feel like doing anything. I want to try to combat these feelings in the new year though I am not sure how. What I might try to do is just really fight them and work through them whether that is picking up my laptop when I don't want to, putting my phone away to escape a distraction, or pick up a book. I need to be more productive at home if I want to accomplish the things I so deeply want to do.
  • Read at least two books per month: This was the first year in a while I didn't hit my reading goal. I wanted to read 50 books and only read 37 (I know it's still not that bad). Most of that is because I ended my Audible subscription to save some money and because I've been addicted to podcasts. I have a lot of books on my to-read list and would like to make a dent in it; I'm vowing to read at LEAST two books per month but I'm hoping to exceed that goal by a lot.
I definitely have a few more goals than this like finally getting my tattoo, journaling and meditating daily (or at least 3-4x a week) and de-clutter my possessions but these are the goals that will take a little more work.

What are you planning to do in the new year?

Top Posts of 2019

Top Products of 2019




These are the items that you guys loved to shop the most on my blog and social media this year! 

*Clearly it was all about handbags which is no surprise. You are my PEOPLE!
Thank you all for an incredible 2019 and I can only hope 2020 is just as awesome!

xoxo
B
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