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The Freedom to be Happy

A happy consequence of these past few years has been the time to step away from all of life’s distractions and really focus on ME.  I spent many hours reflecting on personal and professional goals.  About 5 years ago, I stepped away from my full-time job as a Development Specialist for a non-profit agency to pursue the blog.  Giving Chicks And Salsa all my attention really allowed me the freedom to challenge myself in a way I had never done before.  I had to be specific about my goals and direction.  Without discipline, I knew I would end up disappointed.  So on this journey, there were some pivotal lessons that I have learned that I wanted to share. 

GIVE YOURSELF THE FREEDOM TO BE HAPPY

Don’t Fear Tomorrow

I used to fear the future chronically.  I took a risk, and the destination was unknown.  Learning lesson #2 is what made me look forward to tomorrow rather than fear it.

Ride The Wave

From my first post to my first collaboration to the start of Digital Chicks Media, any time an opportunity was presented, I said yes and turned wherever the tide took me.  This ended up being a rewarding and winning strategy.  

Own Your Story

I had heard about owning your story when I attended the Style Collective conference early on. In paving my own path, I got to know my story better than ever.  I had become my own boss and made every little and big decision along the way. Being intimately involved with my destiny made me own that story in a way I never had before.

Shop this One Shoulder Top Here | My TShirt Dress is Linked Here | My Straw Bag is from Amazon and is Linked Here

It may sound cheesy, but manifestation works, and it took a global pandemic to make me step back to see what I wanted from my life clearly.  This post would not be complete without a shout-out to my favorite and life-changing book, The Celestine Prophecy. This book is more than a novel; it is a blueprint on how to pay attention to the signals in the universe.  The book so accurately describes nature’s way of putting us on a path that once you see the signs, there is so much that the universe reveals to you. 

If you made this far into my post, I hope you found some of this in some way motivational or inspiring.  Thank you for being part of my tribe.

Your Chick,

Rina

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The Pop Up Life is the Best Life

I chase life through experiences; I always have. I love to ride whatever wave comes my way.  As I get older, I get more passionate about these experiences and share them with the ones I love most, my family.  Atlanta has been home to me for almost 10 years, and this city never fails to disappoint.  There is always something literally POPPING up.  There is always something exciting to see and do, from the Winky Lux installation to Slime City, the Selfie Museum, the Van Gogh exhibit, and now Candytopia.  

The excitement of a temporary installation is totally different from traditional museums that you put on your list to visit eventually.  I need the pressure to get things done in life and at work (I live for deadlines).

With so many things to do in Atlanta at any given time, be sure to check these two Pop-Ups happening now before they are gone. The Illuminarium is next on my list!

The Illuminarium

Step off the beltline and into an African Safari experience like no other! This immersive Safari is something that the whole family is sure to love! For tickets, click here.

Van Gogh

I HIGHLY recommend this experience to everyone.  The Van Gogh exhibit is a truly a unique artist profile has an immersive exhibit that is unlike anything I have ever experienced and a well-coordinated virtual reality experience.  Get tickets for this event here.

Candytopia

Candytopia

This family-friendly pop-up was a HUGE hit with the kids.  After reading this review, I knew I had to take them. This was a fun visit with a very Willy Wonka vibe and statues made 100% of candy.  They also have a photosystem set up with QR codes that allow professional photos taken during your visit to be sent directly to your phone for free. To learn more, visit https://tickets.candytopia.com/event/candytopiaatl

Here is my video with a few other (not pop up) Atlanta favorites. 

Also, if you are looking to shop, check out my post on Shops Around Lenox here.

Your Chick,

Rina

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The Juggle is Real

We have all heard about work-life balance, particularly now, but what can you do when work and home are happening all under the same roof!?!

As a work-from-home mom with a full-time career in digital marketing and two kids who have been virtually learning since March 2019, I have definitely had to learn a few tough lessons.  Thankfully, these have taught me to work smarter, not necessarily harder.  Read on to see how I am doing my best to pull it all off.

Cut Yourself Some Slack

I pride myself on productivity.  During the pandemic, my sense of accomplishment took a hit, and now, I am ok with doing just enough.  That means letting the laundry sit an extra day (or two), taking some shortcuts in the kitchen, and generally just chilling out.  

Harness the Power of Technology

I have been fighting the need to do this for years, but THIS YEAR, I have finally integrated all of my work and family calendars on Google and also picked up a few tricks to help with the clutter on my desk.  I recently purchased one of these cases for my iPad which has made doing work on the go much easier.  I also purchased an Apple Pencil to eliminate all the notebooks, notepads, sticky notes that clutter my desk.  Pro Tip: Good Notes is an app that has helped me clear my desk by allowing me to write and store them digitally.    

When my personal space is a mess, my mind is a mess.  So I have been doing little things to keep your physical and mental space tidy.

The WEE Hours

For the last few months when I wake up before everyone else, I make a cup of coffee and enjoy the peace and quiet.  The 30-40 minutes I have with my thoughts in the morning really set the tone for the rest of my day.  I use this time to JUST SIT, I look outside, check the news, maybe social media and within 30 minutes I already feel caught up and ready for whatever is in store for the day ahead. 

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I am sure all of this seems easier said than done, but after doing these things for several months, they have become a habit.  A habit, I intend to keep long after things get back to normal.

Your Chick,

Rina

All My Favorite Scents – From Detergents to Candles

I have wanted to write this post for some time because, honestly, smells are VERY important to me.  I am always on the hunt for the best-smelling everything when it comes to my day-to-day life.  To help you save some time, I have compiled a list of my favorite smelling products – everything from detergent to candles to help you enjoy life at home a little bit more.

Detergent

My guests always ask me which detergent I use because they can smell it in their sheets and towels when they come over.  After using TIDE Spring Renewal for years (a close second), I discovered Persil and have since converted all my friends and family over. It smells amazing and lingers for months!  TRUST ME; it’s the best! 

Candles

Sonia and I have a GO TO candle when we have company, and it is the Natalie Wood candle.  One candle can make your whole house smell like a garden full of gardenias.  There is nothing quite like walking into a house that smells amazing.  This one is pricey ($30), which is why we save it for special occasions. For day-to-day use, I still use my oil burner with essential oils to get that wow-effect at home!

Shampoo

Since starting Chicks and Salsa four years ago, I have been lucky enough to try various hair care products.  I compared them all in a post last year here.  There is a clear winner when it comes to smell.  Argan Coco is a unique small company. The soft, clean scent of their shampoo lingers for days.  My girls and I use it daily — and I can never get enough sniffs in when we hug.  I am an ambassador for them, and all my followers get 80% off their order with code CHICKSANDALSA (that is MAJOR savings).  Try it and thank me later.

Perfumes

There are so many good ones in this category, but I will share some mid-range and high-end ones that I think are worth it.  I always get asked about the daily wear perfume I use is a surprising find.  Woman by Ralph Lauren has staying power and an elegant lasting scent.  Check it out next time you are at the department store.  On the high end, there are two that make a statement all on their own. The first is Rose Des Vents by Louis Vuitton, and the other is Baccarat Rouge 540 by Maison Francis Kurkdjian Paris, available at Nordstrom here.  I know that a $350 perfume sounds CRAZY, but I promise it’s an experience (there is a refill kit available for less here).

There are two bottles, one for the extrait de parfum and the other for the eau de parfume. The extrait has a higher concentration of fragrance and therefore is stronger.

Other small things I do around the house to my home smell good are:

-Place one of these Baking Soda packs in the Fridge.

-Grind up all citrus peels in the garbage disposal.

-Place dryer sheets in drawers and cabinets (they also work well for a few days on air filters).

I hope you found this post helpful!

Your Chick,

Rina

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