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    Wellness + Healthy Snacks

    For me, eating healthy snacks is definitely the hardest, just because I have a horrid sweet tooth, and sometimes I need to really prep early in the week to keep myself on track!

    healthy snacks

    Apples + Nut Butter: Lots of protein and just the right amount of sweet!

    Carrots, Celery, Peppers + Greek Fiesta Ranch Dip: Mix together plain greek yogurt and hidden valley fiesta ranch mix to your liking. It’s a great, healthy dip for your veggies.

    Cucumbers + Hummus: Such a yummy combo! Make your own hummus, it’s easier than you think!

    6 Strawberries + Tablespoon of Chocolate Chips: Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave (1 minute, stir, another minute), dip the strawberries in the chocolate, and enjoy!

    Celery, Nut Butter + Cranberries: An updated version of ants on a  log that you loved as a kid! Protein and something sweet!

     

    What is your favorite, easy and healthy snack? Have you tried any of these before? Let me know in the comments!

    xoxo

    Ashley

     

    Adulting + Helpful Apps

    There are about a million apps out there that claim to help you. Here are my favorite helpful apps, and a few that may not be too helpful!

    helpful apps

    Splitwise: This is great for splitting costs between my roommate and I, as well as my friends when we do things together! It’s the best app that I’ve used so far.

    Banking Apps: Download your banking apps so you can keep track of charges, withdrawals, and deposits in you accounts. It’s savvy to stay on top of your finances

    Uber: Don’t drink and drive, or let one of your friends. Take an Uber and split it with your friends! Also super helpful if you have late/early travel plans.

    Buzzfeed: Who doesn’t read their articles everyday? The perfect way to stay on top of actual news and pop culture!

    New York Times: There isn’t an industry out there where you don’t need to be on top of world, national, and regional news.

    Google Maps: This is my favorite app for navigation, whether it’s driving, walking or using public transportation!

    FitBit: Other than being obsessed with getting my steps in, it’s really important to be aware of your physical activity. Starting you adult life with good habits will help you the long run.

    Calendar App: While I use Apple Calendar because Matt  and I can share events, and it takes all my calendars (home, blog, work, wedding and family) and puts it into one easily viewable calendar. There are other apps out there, but this one is my favorite!

    Mail App: This is great, but I think that I am going to have check out new ones, which one do you use?

    Southwest Airline: While flying I make sure to download the airline’s app that I’m using. So my next flight is using Southwest, as will a majority of mine in the coming years! I love how easy it is to work!

    MyVerizon: Gotta stay on top of the data limit, so I use this to make sure I’m not going over!

    Weather: Dressing for what’s coming has never been so easy. I also use this to predict what I should pack!

    Instagram/Snapchat/Facebook/Twitter: Obviously  girl needs to stay up to date with my favorite bloggers, PR pros and family!

    LinkedIN: Seriously, please download this. It’s the easiest way to stay up to date with your connections and maybe your job search?

    The Knot: Wedding planner bride right here, I’m doing everything myself. This is such a great resource, and it keeps me organized!

    Nordstrom: So this is my favorite place to shop right now, so this is perfect for tracking my packages and shopping on the go!

    Mint: This is perfect for managing you budget, and you can track your spending here too.

     

     

    What apps do you use everyday? Any that you can’t live without? Let me know below or by tweeting me @ash_vickneyPR

    xoxo

    Ashley

    Lifestyle + International Badge Day Link-Up

    Happy Monday! I can’t believe that we’re already into March! Today I am linking up with Annaliese at Southern Belle In Training to talk about what my sorority pin means to me!

     

    sorority

    Sisters during initiation last spring

     

    Even though I graduated in December, my sorority still continues to change me life! When I rushed the only sorority on campus almost 4 years ago, I was looking for apace to fit in and get involved. What I found were women from all walks of life that were there to support and encourage me! Now as I transition to being a full-fledged adult, they are still there to cheer me on and encourage me! I know that #BeineEverAfter is going to be a blast because I’ll have my sisters around me!

     

     

    sorotity2

    Pledge class fall 2o12 (this past fall)

    Being a sorority has taught me to be less selfish, how caring just a little about someone’s day can make it all the better and that when women get together there is no stopping them. While I will always love the men in my life, these women that are my eternal sisters will remind me that women are capable of anything and everything.

    sorority3

    If you’re in high school or college and are wondering anything more about what my experience was like or have any other questions, please comment below, or email me at blondenabriefcase@gmail.com

    Are/were you in a sorority? What is your favorite part?

    xoxo

    Weekend Briefcase v.5

    The weekend is over!

    Weekend Briefcase v5

    via

     

     

    Be more present in your friendships, we could all use this!

    Tips on how to be more productive from Cristina Was Here

    4 creative LinkedIN summaries

    How to write a killer conclusion!

    Ask your co-worker about something other than her wedding 

    6 ways to hack your evening to make your side hustle easier!

     

     

    For Your Cart

    21 Kate Spade -Inspired office supplies — these are seriously the cutest!

    I love the color of this top!

    Anything navy and striped, I’ll take it!

    This white dress is adorable!

     

    In Case You Missed It

    Check out how I organize my dresser!

    A great, easy and healthy dinner to make for one or two people!

    Tips on how to organize your important papers, photos and documents!

    Really simple savings tips to help save right now!

     

    High: Last weekend was so fun! I got to hang out with two of my closest friends

    Low: It’s snowing, right now. And I just happens to be right around the time I finally want to start wearing spring clothes too. #badtiming

     

    How were your weeks? Highs? Lows?

    Lifestyle + Dresser Design

    Dresser Design & Layout

    The other day I had the weirdest realization that at the end of May, I will no longer have my own room that is completely my own. I thought I would share with you what my “grown up” college senior room looked like! I love seeing how other people organize their rooms, so I thought I would show you the design of my dresser!

    design

    It’s easy to see all my options, and honestly everything here was not expensive at all (what I store my jewelry in that is.)

    design

    About 95% of my nail polish is Essie, I love the brand and the colors.

    design

    This little glass box was an impulse buy at Hobby Lobby (anybody who goes there knows how hard it is to leave empty handed) I love keeping my like 3 rings in it!

     

    design

    My best friend made that monogrammed canvas for me, and I seriously love it. For the past 2ish years my bedrooms have been navy and pink. After being frustrated with lack of space for my jewelry, I bought this key holder from Target. It’s perfect for holding my longer necklaces, and is normally more organized than this. (Also a little reminder behind them to HUSTLE)

    design

    I don’t have a lot of fake flowers, but I love this one because it adds something extra to my dresser! This photo of my parents and I is there as more of a reminder of where I came from, and how far I’ve come!

    Similar storage:

    glass box

    acrylic jewelry tray

    hooks

    A side not, this is legitimately how my dresser looks, with the exception that I threw away some price tags! I strive for authenticity on the blog, and wanted to show you what it actually looks like. It’s a little dusty, but I love it! This is definitely my favorite part of my room (other than my bed) because no matter what I’ve done with it, it still looks perfectly put together, something I rarely achieve!

    What is the favorite part of your room? What was your favorite to decorate?

    xoxo

    Ashley

     

     

    easy healthy dinner

    Wellness + Easy Healthy Dinner

    Cooking can take so much time especially after working all day. It can be really difficult to make something Pinterest worthy. So instead I found this great recipe that I can meal prep for at the beginning of the week and then eat all week with little prep. I tweaked it myself, so it’s a really easy dinner to make!

     

    easy healthy dinner

     

    Pasta with Tomato, Mushrooms & Basil:

    Ingredients:

    -3 slices of tomato (I use roma), quartered

    -3 mushrooms, thinly sliced

    -3 leaves of basil, cleaned.

    -2 tablespoon of olive oil

    -2 cups of cooked pasta (what ever you like, I prefer bowties of faffle)

    -Onion powder, garlic or seasoning of your choice ( I like onion & garlic powder with a pinch of pepper)

     

    Directions:

    1. Combine the tomato, mushrooms, basil and olive oil into a small sauce pan.
    2. Sauté until the tomato is soft.
    3. Add pasta to sauce pan
    4. Add desired seasoning to sauce pan
    5. Leave over heat until the pasta is warm.
    6. Pour into bowl, and enjoy!

    makes one serving | 15 minutes

    This is really easy, just chop up your mushrooms and tomatoes early in the week, and cook your pasta as well. Then you just have to take 10 minutes to throw together this easy and healthy dinner!

    I’m actually eating it right now, and I’m hoping that Matt will try it once we move in. You may not have a lot of spices, but I encourage you to ask your parents or take some of your favorites to experiment with. This is such an easy dinner, and can help build your confidence with cooking, especially to taste! Growing up that’s how my dad cooked, was to taste so I’m a little more confident experimenting! If I can do it, so can you!

     

    What do you like to cook?

    xoxo

    Ashley

     

    Adulting + Organizing Your Life

    With graduation comes a lot more paperwork. You set up bank accounts, maybe get your first credit card (or second or third). Then you get bills, insurance, 401ks, IRAs etc. You should probably start remembering birthdays and sending your own cards, and there are anniversaries as well. Don’t freak out, take a deep breath organizing your life isn’t as hard as it seems, if you start right away.

     

    organizing your life

    Here’s what you’ll need:

    -An external hard drive

    File Folders

    -A place to keep your file folders (preferably somewhere accessible)

    -Labels

    Address Book

    Perpetual Calendar

    -Papers you should probably keep, and those you should maybe keep.

    How to do it:

    Make File Folders: Sort your papers into different categories: i.e. medical insurance, car insurance, retirement funds, and credit card information. Put them in file folders label them, and then put the folders in your cute filing box. Keep folders together by year, and make a reminder on your calendar in January to make new folders (it should reoccur each year) As soon as you get more information file it away so you don’t misplace it, or have it pile up.

    Start Gathering Addresses: Now that you want to start sending birthday cards, start by gathering your family’s addresses and your friends as they move. Write them down in pencil though, so that you’re able to change addresses and last names as time goes on. You can also do this in Excel, but I love the idea of both. Since I’ll be printing a lot of address labels in the next couple of months, I am going to do both in order to make it easier. (Yes it’s double the work, but I love address books)

    Start writing down birthdays & anniversaries: My grandma has this calendar that doesn’t have weekdays, and she writes everyone’s birthdays and anniversaries down. (I literally didn’t know what it was called until I googled it writing this post, it’s called a perpetual calendar.) These you can do in pen, but you may want to write small so you’re able to add people!

    Store your photos, documents and more: We live in a digital age, and while I love paper products, not everyone else does. Use your external hard drive to move over old documents and photos off your computer and to back it up as well. I have found that organizing photos by date and year is easier, and also adding in a special title after that if you want to organize them by trip or event.  You can start organizing your documents by year now too, and it’s a lot easier to find things as well! Start moving photos and documents over from college, high school and 2014. You really don’t need them!

     

    These are weekend projects, or something you can break up throughout a week or month. If you start your adult life organized, it’s going to be some much easier than trying to do it in the middle of it. It can be a little overwhelming, but you’ve got this.

     

    How do you organize your information?

    xoxo

    Ashley

    Money + Simple Saving Tips

    Saving money can seem a lot harder than it needs to be, I, for one have a really hard time saving money during certain occasions. Here are my tips on how to save money simply, and without sacrificing your favorite things.

    saving

    Set up automatic transfers: On the date around each paycheck, set up an automatic transfer of the amount of money you want to save from each check. It can be as little at $5 or as much as $100. It’s simple and effective.

    Mentally make your savings account a no-go zone: Instead of seeing your savings as an extension of your checking, mentally make yourself think of it as a last resort in case of emergency or something you only use when you really need it. By not using it as an extension of your savings account, you will actually start making progress on your goals.

    Collect you change: Who remembers their grandparents having jars of change around the house? Take a hint from grandpa and start collecting your change in one spot. After you fill up your container, take it in to a change counter and convert the coins to bills. Then take that money and deposit it in your savings account!

    Invite friends over, instead of out: Make a goal of one night a weekend staying in with your friends, family or significant other instead of going out. Have everyone bring something and watch a movie, play cards against humanities or have your own dance party.You’ll save money and still have fun! Then you can take the money you saved from not going out, and put it directly into your savings account.

     

    These little changes really aren’t that hard, and can really add up over time. A penny saved is a penny earned right?

    How do you save money simply?

    xoxo

    Ashley

     

    Weekend Briefcase v.4

    WE MADE IT! It’s the weekend and I am so excited! Is it just me or did everyone seem a little crankier than normal this week? But now it’s time to let the problems of the past week go and just relax, knock out our to-dos and sleep a lot more!

    weekend briefcae 4

    via

     

    8 wardrobe essentials every woman should have. Maybe it’s because I can start actually affording nice clothes, but I’m obsessed with wardrobe posts!

    10 must haves for a stocked pantry. Basically if you’re graduating soon or moving out, book mark this page!

    How to create an editorial calendar. Y’all this is my life savior most weeks!

    One of my new favorite bloggers just moved her blog, and I seriously love it! Check it out!

    AP Stylebook’s guide to cocktails: If you’re in journalism or PR, you will love this post, and even if you’re not, it’s worth a read!

    Please stop the negative talk about Facebook engagements, I had a really bad personal experience with this and trust me it’s not fun to be on the other side.

     

    For Your Cart

    Old Navy is having an awesome active wear sale! This top is awesome, and I really love these leggings! *

    Also from them, their swing dresses are the best! This one is on sale for $20! * these are only on sale Saturday

    A little more on the expensive side, I really love this navy blouse from Banana Republic!

    I love my white converse, and I think my current pair are getting a little too dirty, so I’m looking to buy another pair! It’s a summer, spring, fall staple in my closet!

    This dress is perfect for summer/spring, the pattern is adorable.

     

    In Case You Missed It

    Asking for a reference is weird, here’s how to make it less weird.

    Spring is in the air, and here’s how it can start to be in your work wardrobe!

    Take a look at my weekly workout plan, it’s a beginner level, trust me!

    Instead of watching Netflix this weekend, try these 5 things.

     

    High – A chill weekend ahead of me, complete with wine and popcorn.

    Low – I feel out of it, so I’m doing a social media cleanse and looking at realigning my goals!

     

    What have your highs and lows been? What are you doing this weekend?

     

    xoxo

    Ashley

     

    5 things to do

    Lifestyle + 5 Things To Do This Weekend

    5 Things To Do This Weekend

     

    5 things to do

    I have my last completely free weekend until after the middle of April. First it was weird to not have things to do, now it’s weird to be busy every weekend! I’m hoping to clean my house, spend some time with my best friend and plan out some blog things!

    Here are 5 things to do this weekend to instead of watching Netflix.

    1. Find your winter’s farmers market, and go! Yes this includes getting up early, but it’s worth it! Fresh food and flowers, even pastries are always worth it. If you can’t find a farmers market, go to your local grocery store or bakery to pick up a fresh breakfast. Get up and at it early in the morning for a productive day! Pick up some pretty flowers while you’re at it!

    2. Clean out your fridge: Seriously, that take out can go, so can that gross old avocado you never got around to eating. Clean out your fridge, wipe it with some anti-bacterial wipes and then go buy some fresh food for the next week. Trust me, it’ll make a difference !

    3. Make a care package: Send a little note or package to someone special in your life. Even if it’s some cute St. Patrick’s day socks or Easter candy, raid the $1 Target aisle and send them something to make their day (and yours) better. It’s super easy, and it can be as cheap or expensive as you want to make it.

    4. Write down some lists: Make a hope to accomplish list, a meal list, a grocery list and a list of things you’re grateful for. You’ll be thankful next weekend that you started your week off organized!

    5. Take an hour of me time: This can mean a bath, a nap, reading your favorite blogs (like tomorrow weekend briefcase) or writing down some of your thoughts. Go for a walk outside by yourself or with a loved one, and take some time to enjoy the changing season!

     

     

    What are your plans for the weekend?

     

    xoxo 

    Ashley