15 Things You May Not Know About Me

15 Things You May Not Know About Me

What I’m wearing: | Blue Floral Dress | Tan Crossbody Bag / Similar / Similar | Sandals – Similar / Similar |                                                                                                                      

1. Aunt

Being an Aunt is THE BEST! My little niece (my sister’s daughter) turned 3 in July and is just the funniest little peanut. We also have a 2 year old nephew, a few day old niece and another nephew on the way. So many littles!

2. Chicago

I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. My parents live in a rural neighborhood right next to a corn field with some land and a pond. My Dad had a gigantic garden and we hardly had to buy produce in the Spring/Summer/Fall because everything came from it. Minus any farm animals, my siblings and I were quite outdoorsy growing up. (But, TBH, if I never had to go camping again my life I would be okay!)

3. When We Met

My husband also grew up in the same area but we went to different schools so we didn’t know each other. We met one summer when we were both back from from college and ended up doing long distance for about 4 years until we got married.

4. Cheerleader

I was a dancer, gymnast and cheerleader when I was younger. I think I may still have it in me so do a few flips. I did try out for volleyball in high school once but the coach told me I would probably be too short so I stuck to cheerleading after that 🙂

5. Side Hustle

In addition to my full-time career, I held a styling retail job for about 8 years on the side. I’ve always had a passion for fashion and helping women and I think they ended up making my day more times than I probably made theirs!

6. The Mountains

I absolutely LOVE the mountains. Growing up in flat IL has made me appreciate them so much. I’m always just in such awe of God’s beauty and the views never get old. T and I try to take hiking trips often and we’re actually heading out for one in a few weeks – I can’t wait! Oh and pictures *never do it justice!

7. Grandparents

My Grandparents are two of my favorite people on this planet. (We text on a regular basis!) I lived with them for about two years when I was working and finishing up school and we became super close. Grandparents have so much wisdom to share and a different perspective on life – I’ve learned so much from them! We travel to Naples, Florida each winter to spend time with them.

8. Superpower

If I could have any superpower it would be to fast travel anywhere so I didn’t have to deal with traffic and other drivers! (And to not have to wait in the Starbucks line!)

9. Foods

I’m not a fan of tomatoes, green peas, raw sushi, sugary drinks and can go without meat. I love coffee, any salad with avocado, sweet potato fries, and overall enjoy eating a healthy/balanced diet… that also includes pizza! My Mom is an amazing cook, my Dad is an amazing baker and I am neither. If I could hire a chef for the rest of my life I would be so happy!

10. Work

I had the opportunity to work for a startup marketing agency (first official employee!) when I first moved to Indy. It was an exciting, challenging and rewarding experience for my career being on the ground floor of a new, growing company. If you have the opportunity to take a risk in your career – go for it! You’ll learn so much both professionally and personally. Currently I work full-time in Brand Management for a national company in downtown Indy and love my job!

11. Hidden Talent

I can recite all 50 states alphabetically.

12. The Name Syndrome

I’m one of those who has dealt with “wrong name syndrome” my whole life, despite my bias opinion thinking my name is super easy! It’s pronounced “Rah-Lee” (although most of my family and close friends call me Ral) just like the capitol of North Carolina. I’ve actually never traveled there but it’s on my list! My middle name is Tay so whenever I go to Starbucks or need to order anything I always just go by Tay. It usually mitigates any confusion 🙂

13. Movies

Some of my favorite movies include The Devil Wears Prada, Bridesmaids, Pitch Perfect and The Proposal. I do however, love and find crime shows, podcasts, etc. so interesting. If you haven’t listened to the Crime Junkie podcast yet, I highly recommend it!

14. Four Eyes

I’m near-sided so I only need my glasses for distance or when my eyes are really tired a.k.a. usually by the end of the work day but Blue Light Glasses have been a game changer for me.

15. Blogging

I originally started a blog back in 2011 but other life priorities were more important and I ended up taking down my site. I’m so excited to be back and now have this creative outlet! It’s amazing how God allows room for the things you’re passionate about when the time is right for you.

And that’s it for today!

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit more about me! Whether you’ve been following for awhile or you’re new around here, I’m so glad to have you and excited to learn something fun about you as well! Head back to my Instagram Post and share a fun fact about yourself! I can’t wait to read all your comments 🙂

xoxo

 

 

My Teeth Whitening Routine for Sensitive Teeth

My Teeth Whitening Routine for Sensitive Teeth

Hello White Smile!

Hi friends!

For today’s Wellness Wednesday post, I’m excited to collaborate with Smile Brilliant to give you the inside scoop on how I’ve been whitening my teeth at home!

Head to the bottom of this post to find out how you can enter to win an at-home whitening system for yourself!

Of course, everyone wants a beautiful smile but with the multitude of whitening options out there it can be not only hard to choose from but sometimes difficult to achieve the results you’re looking for.

I’m here to make it easy for you! I’ve had the opportunity to give Smile Brilliant’s Whitening System a try for the past few months. Before I recommend anything to you, I always want to ensure that I personally love and would recommend it myself!

Gentle on Sensitive Teeth

I’ll be honest, I was quite skeptical at first. I’ve used professional whitening trays from the dentist in the past and even after the investment, I still didn’t get the outcome I was looking for and I dealt with so much sensitivity I could no longer use the gel.

Sensitivity has always been the biggest factor (and fear!) of mine when it comes to whitening. No one wants to experience that sensitive feeling after you’ve finished whitening, it’s the worst! Thankfully Smile Brilliant’s system is customized for sensitive teeth like mine by the use of their Desensitizing Gel – which has been a lifesaver during the whitening process!

Customized Whitening Trays

Another reason I’ve loved using Smile Brilliant is the fact that the whitening trays are completely customized to my own teeth/smile. During the initial process, Smile Brilliant will send the materials and instructions to create your own impressions directly to your door step. All you have to do is send them back through the mail and you’ll be returned with a set of whitening trays perfectly fit to your teeth.

All About Convenience

The convenience factor of Smile Brilliant’s system and set up has been a major WIN in my book. I’ve been able to complete everything from the comfort of my own home without having to visit the dentist. It’s been great!

This is especially helpful during the whitening process because I feel like I have the freedom to get other things done while I’m whitening (catch up on some emails, throw in a load of laundry, etc.) instead of worrying about a white strip coming lose in the middle of making dinner.

Before & After

As you know, I wouldn’t recommend something to ya’ll unless I absolutely loved it myself. Here’s a before/after shot to show you my results.

Receive a System for Yourself!

I know what you’re thinking, you don’t want to spend a fortune on a professional whitening system and I get it, except this one has been completely worth every penny just for the non-sensitivity factor alone! And it’s actually very affordable. Good news is, if you want to give it a try yourself, I’m giving away a system to one lucky follower!

Enter Here!

 

You can also shop the website at 15% off with code everydayraleightay15. If you’d like more details about my experience with the Smile Brilliant system, feel free to leave any questions below!

Happy whitening, friends!

xoxo

Raleigh

Summer Starbucks Drinks

Summer Starbucks Drinks

What I’m wearing: | Olive Green Cutoff Shorts – Similar, Similar, Similar | Grey Quarter Length Tee – Similar, Similar, Similar | White Slip On Sneaks + Similar, Similar, Smiliar |                                                                                                                          

Sweet Sweet Summertime

Rise and shine friends! Happy Saturday!

I thought I’d switch things up this morning with a fun post all about my favorite Starbucks drinks! As you probably already know, I’m quite the coffee lover so I thought it would be fun to share 10 of my favorite drink orders. If you’re heading out this morning to grab some brew, why not try something new?!

Because it’s summer time (and because I love iced coffee all year round), the below list are all iced drinks but you can definitely order them hot as well! *All Grande size orders – may need to adjust sweetness based on other sizes.

Oh and make sure you check out the end of this post for a fun surprise!

1. Iced Matcha Green Tea Latte

  • No Classic, Add 2 Pumps SF Vanilla
  • Almond Milk

If you’re a matcha lover, try ordering a Matcha Water with 1 Pump Classic – it’s essentially a Matcha Iced Tea. So refreshing for summer time and green tea/matcha powder has some great health benefits!

2. Toffee Nut Iced Coffee

  • 2 Pumps Toffee Nut + 1 Pump SF Vanilla
  • Splash of Almond Milk

3. Half Price Latte

This is like ordering a Latte but paying about half the price – such a good hack! 

  • Iced Double Espresso (Doppio) Shot – in a Grande Cup
  • 2 Pumps Vanilla
  • Almond Milk

4. Starbucks Double Shot on Ice

  • No Classic, Add 2 Pumps Vanilla
  • Almond Milk

While it sounds similar, this is quite different than the above. This Grande size menu item automatically comes with 3 Espresso Shots, 3 Pumps Classic, and topped with milk… then shaken to create a frothy goodness on the top. It’s more of a bold espresso taste as opposed to the more creamy latte option above. It’s generally two sweet for me so I ask for 2 pumps vanilla instead. 

5. Iced Shaken Teas

If I’m ordering an iced tea I like to keep it simple/not add a ton of extra sweetener so I order them plain/as is!

  • Iced Passion Tango Tea – a great caffeine-free option
  • Iced Black Tea with Pineapple Infusion
  • Iced Peach Green Tea

6. Cold Brew with Caramel Cold Foam

Super tasty as is – no sweetener needed!

7. Iced Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Latte

This is served with 2 shots of espresso and 2 scoops of Vanilla Bean Powder, with coconut milk. I think it’s delicious how it is!

8. Iced Skinny Caramel Macchiato

  • 2 Pumps Toffee Nut + 1 Pump SF Vanilla
  • Splash of Almond Milk

9. Blonde Iced Americano – Size Tall

If you’re like me and enjoy the bold taste of espresso, opt for an Americano. Order the Blonde Espresso for a more of a smooth and slightly sweet. A Tall size comes with 2 shots.

10. Pink Drink, Purple Drink, Dragon Drink

  • Pink Drink – Strawberry Refresher with Coconut Milk
    • Ask for extra strawberries!
  • Purple Drink – Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher with Coconut Milk
    • Ask for extra blackberries!
  • Dragon Drink – Mango Dragonfruit Refresher + Coconut Milk
    • This one is much sweeter/more tart than the others.

These refresher drinks are not a common order for me however they are a great option if you’re looking for a tiny caffeine boost but don’t want coffee. 

All of the items above I’ve ordered, tried and loved so I would highly recommend!

To say thank you to all of you, I”ll be giving away a Starbucks gift card so you can enjoy something for yourself! Just head back to my Instagram post and either tell me your go-to Starbucks order or something new from this list you want to try!

Have a great weekend!

xoxo

 

 

 

How to Start Your Week On A Positive Note (And Stop Hating Mondays!)

How to Start Your Week On A Positive Note (And Stop Hating Mondays!)

After the joys of the weekend, by the time Monday rolls around we can likely find ourselves dreading it more than looking forward to it. Personally, I’ve devoted changing my perspective on Mondays in 2019 and now I’m more motivated by them than ever! I use Mondays to re-focus my goals and to-dos, schedule some “me” time and overall enjoy the day a little more!

Here are some ways to start your week off on the right foot!

Change Your Perspective

The ‘Sunday scaries’ are real, but they don’t have to be! Try changing your perspective. Instead of dreading Monday, think of it as a fresh start, the opportunity to begin the week off on a positive note, and get motivated about all that you’re going to accomplish this week!

Have an Attitude of Gratitude

Along with shifting your perspective, being intentional about having a grateful attitude will help your outlook on the week. I try to spend quiet time in the morning reading a devotional, spending time in the Bible or filling out a thankful journal to re-set my mind and focus on what matters most. Checkout my post 9 Books to Add to Your Reading List for details on a few devotionals I’m recently loving.

And when I don’t have the extra time to sit down in the morning, I still make it a priority to run through a list of things I’m thankful/grateful for… the job that I’m going to, my health, my husband, the opportunity to inspire others, and even the simple things like a new pair of work pants I’m excited about. Girl, whatever is ahead of you, you’ve got this! (And have so much to be thankful for!)

I challenge you to create your own list!

Create Something to Look Forward To

Whether it’s treating yourself to your favorite latte on the way into work, making a habit of scheduling a fun lunch date, or devoting your evening to some self-care time, having something to look forward to on Mondays makes the day that much better! Whatever you choose, try making it a habit for the next month and see how you feel after.

There’s a Starbucks in the building where I work and I love going in a few minutes early on Mondays, grabbing my favorite coffee and spending a few minutes catching up on my daily reads (Everygirl.com, The Newsette). It’s nice to spend a few moments to myself and I always look forward to it.

Have Your Weekly To-Do List Already Complete

Setting aside some time on Sunday (or even the Friday before) to set your intensions for Monday and the week ahead, and having that ready before Monday morning comes, can ease some stress of understanding what you need to accomplish for the day/week.

Each week at the top of my planner I write two-three small goals I want to accomplish and focus on for the week. It may be completing a blog post, working out every day that week, drinking more water, or even seeing a friend I’ve meant to schedule a lunch date with.

Start Your Monday with a Workout

I’ve recently starting hitting my workout class in the mornings and even though it can sometimes be a struggle not to stay an extra hour in the warm covers, I always feel amazing after! Getting your body moving in the morning, even if it’s just a 30 minute walk can boost your energy and get your mind refreshed for the day and week ahead.

Get the Not So Fun Stuff Out of the Way

Although Monday can sometimes seem daunting, it’s also a great opportunity to get those not-so-fun chores out of the way. Laundry. Meal prepping. Cleaning. Getting it out of the way on Monday (or better yet, Sunday) so your to-do list doesn’t pile up as much throughout the week.

Gather Some Inspiration

What better way to start your week than by fueling with some inspiration?! My favorite way to do so is via Pinterest! Gather a few motivational quotes, look up some ideas for your new home office project, find some Summer outfit ideas… whatever it may be, exercising the creative part of your mind can give you a jumpstart of energy and re-fuel your inspiration!

I’d love to know if you’re motivated about Mondays too! What are some ways you get your week going? Let me know below!

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