April 15, 2015

Get 1 Month of Rocksbox Free!

We love jewelry – rings, bracelets, necklaces, and rings – but we seem to always recycle & trade the same few items that we've had for years with each other. That's why we were so excited when we were approached by Rocksbox and heard more about their It Girl program. If you're not sure what Rocksbox is, you're just like we were before we became RB It Girls. But trust us, once you give it a try, you'll be obsessed! 

How to Become a Rocksbox Shine Insider:
1. Sign up for an account on www.rocksbox.com 
take the style quiz so your Rocksbox stylist can choose the perfect pieces for your box.
2. Receive 3 hand-picked jewelry pieces in the mail 
wear them to happy hour, dinner parties, social functions, work, or around the house.
3. Return your Rocksbox whenever you'd like (shipping is included) 
receive another box with 3 more pieces of designer jewelry worth $200. 

If you fall in love with a piece, simply don't include it in your box when you return the other items. The pricing information for each piece is available in the box and on your online account, and you'll be billed automatically!

In our first box, we got the perfect mix of jewelry: a statement necklace, drop earrings, and a geometric cuff. Our favorite piece was the "Whitney" necklace by Perry Street – it's so sparkly and it's the perfect color for spring (& trips to the nearest ice cream food truck). We can't wait to see what we get next!

If you want to give it a try, you can get one month free when you use the promo code: bkcsquaredxoxo. It's free designer jewelry for 1 month, so give it a go! Let us know what you think of your first set in the comments!

March 29, 2015

10 Steps to a Stress-Free Work Week

It's no secret that we love our job, but the past few months have been full of big projects that seem as though they may never come to an end. Luckily, we're almost ready to reveal what we've been working on & we can't wait until it's ready for the world to see! When times get stressful or seem difficult to manage, it's important to enjoy the little things and take small steps during your work week to boost your happiness. 

Here's our list of 10 Steps to a Stress-Free Work Week:

1. Work out in the morning. 
Or if you don't have time, wake up a few minutes early to enjoy a moment to yourself – 
without checking work emails or starting your morning beauty routine.

2. Eat breakfast! 
Whether it's an apple, a smoothie, or a Luna bar, filling your stomach with something in the morning
 will help you prepare for a more productive day.

3. Make a to-do list for your day. 
Often times, we have so many items on our must-do lists, that it's essential to break everything down into small steps 
to make the work seem more manageable and less daunting.

4. Eat your lunch outside! 
If you "have" to eat lunch at your desk, take a five minute walk around the building 
or step outside for a moment to get a change of scenery.

5. Drink a mid-day tea, coffee, or juice
This little boost will get you through the 2pm-6pm slug. If your office allows you a "ten," 
walk to Starbucks or grab a treat from a nearby food truck.

6. Make plans with your friends after work. 
Having something to look forward to during the week – like happy hour, renting a movie, or TGIT Scandal night – 
helps make weekdays fun and not all about work.

7. Keep your room clean. 
Coming home should be the happiest part of your day after a long day at work, but coming home to a 
messy house/apartment can totally wipe out this effect.

8. Wine! 
Decompress with a glass of red wine before bed (or sleepy time tea if you don't drink). 
Not only is it supposedly good for you, but it will help you get a better night's rest.

9. Look away from screens. 
Now, we're still working on this one – but take your eyes away from your phone, computer, and television 
for 30 minutes before bed. We hear it's great for morale ;)

10. Get plenty of sleep! 
This sounds silly, but purchase a cute sleep mask & use it! Even if you have black-out curtains, 
putting on an eye mask helps you concentrate on getting that beauty sleep.

We hope these tips help you as much as they help us! 
Whether you're busy or stressed at work, school, or life in general, remember that it's just work! Life should be enjoyed & sometimes when we're really busy, we have to take pleasure in the little things. Have a great week! 

March 22, 2015

Sunday Inspiration

Spring is officially here & we are so excited for everything that we have to look forward to this season! 
Big projects at work are finally starting to come together & I'm slowly putting together the décor in my new apartment. Our best friend is getting married in Northern California in May, and we're throwing her a fab bachelorette-party weekend in San Diego next month! And what I'm so excited about? An upcoming trip to Mexico!! 

What are you excited about this spring? Let us know in the comments!

March 05, 2015

Weekend Getaway: Newport Beach

Last weekend, we headed to Newport Beach to surprise our mom with a stay at The Resort at Pelican Hill for her birthday. Though we'd seen many photos of the five-star property at work, viewing the grounds in person was incredible – 
pictures do not do it justice! 
Golf course with ocean view and rotunda at The Resort at Pelican Hill

Rigatoni pasta with pepper at Andrea at The Resort at Pelican Hill

Cafe at The Resort at Pelican Hill gelato in front of gelato cart

Saturday was spent eating the best handmade pasta & sipping Bellinis and moscato at Andrea, exploring the grounds, decompressing at the spa, laying out by the pool, and spending time in our beautiful ocean-view bungalow – which was stocked with complimentary chocolate-covered strawberries provided by the concierge for mom's birthday celebration. 

Before we left on Sunday, we took part in a meditation flow class and treated ourselves to some of the resort's famous gelato! Even though we only spent one night on property, we really made the most of our time & felt like we were spending the weekend at an Italian villa. We cannot wait to go back someday for another mother-daughter getaway!

March 03, 2015

Nous Parlons Français!

A couple of months ago, we were captivated by the Serial podcast. Not only was the true story incredible and riveting to listen to, but the 20-45 minute episodes made our commute to work so much more exciting. When Serial ended, we looked all over the iTunes Podcasts top charts in hopes of finding a new way to pass the time, but nothing kept our attention... Until we found Coffee Break French!

Twins in Paris at the Louvre museum

We've always been interested in learning new languages, and French has been at the top of our list since Paris is our all time favorite city. K & I both took French in high school and are able to read the language fairly well, but it's been great to learn proper pronunciation so we can get more comfortable speaking out loud and be able to turn thoughts and phrases into full, spoken sentences.

There are currently four seasons of Coffee Break French, and they continue to add new episodes every week! There are 40 lessons per season, and we are currently on Season One: Lesson 25. There is so much more to learn! Since we limit ourselves to one twenty minute lesson per day every weekday, we should finish our lessons in a little less than 7 months!
Our goal at the end of this is to plan a trip to Paris to practice what we've learned!

If you're not interested in learning French, the same program also has lessons in Spanish, Italian, and German. We want to learn Spanish next, and then Italian to build on what I already learned while studying abroad in Milan. 

I hope you love the easy and quick lessons as much as we do!

February 24, 2015

Must-Try Recipe: Slow Cooker Black Bean-Quinoa Chili

If you're looking for a great work-week lunch option, look no further than our adaptation of Tone It Up's Black Bean Quinoa Chili. Since this recipe is cooked in a crock-pot, it's the easiest thing in the world to make – and super healthy! Just put the ingredients into the cooker while you sleep, and voila! When you wake up, you'll have the perfect lunch to keep you energized throughout the day. 

Since there are two of us and we have this meal for four days during the work week, we double the recipe to make eight servings. If you're just cooking for one, follow the below instructions for the four-serving recipe. 
Enjoy & let us know what you think!!

Slow-Cooker Ingredients:
2 Tbs olive oil
1 white onion, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 can tomatoes
1 can tomato purée
2 cups quinoa, cooked
3 tsp chili powder
2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp coriander
pinch of cinnamon
salt & pepper to taste

Topping Ingredients:
1 avocado, sliced
spoon full of greek yogurt
chopped cilantro

1. Heat olive oil in a pan. Add in onion & garlic, and cook until onion is soft. Season with salt & pepper.
2. Pour onion/garlic mix into slow cooker.
3. Add remaining slow-cooker ingredients.
4. Set the cooker on low for 6-8 hours.
5. Serve & garnish with a spoonful of greek yogurt, sliced avocado & cilantro.

What are some of your favorite recipes? Share a link in the comments!

February 22, 2015

Oscars 2015: AMC Best Picture Showcase

Last month, AMC sent an email about their annual Best Picture Showcase – 4 Oscar-nominated movies on Saturdays, two weekends in a row – and we immediately bought tickets. Since we'd already seen most of the movies on the weekend-one lineup, we opted to attend day two to see the movies we've been most excited for.

10:00am - Boyhood
1:05pm - The Theory of Everything
3:30pm - The Imitation Game
6:25pm - American Sniper

Since we're notorious (especially me) for falling asleep in movies and getting hungry, we were pretty nervous about sitting in a movie theater from 10:00am - 8:30pm. However, we were pleasantly surprised by how energized we were throughout the experience.

Our 5 secrets for spending ALL day at the movies:
1. Have a big breakfast! (P.S. Is anyone else disappointed that Noah's New York Bagels changed their Jalapeño Salsa schmear recipe?)
2. Get a coffee to drink during movie #2.
3. Have a super-sized Icee during movie #3.
4. Eat a Chipotle burrito between the 3rd and 4th movies.
5. Indulge in movie-theater candy during the last film.

When I went home, I watched Birdman with Nick, making my day full of not just four, but five Oscar noms. 
Definitely a record!

Overall, we enjoyed all of the movies! We're hoping Eddie Redmayne wins Best Actor and are still undecided about Best Picture, but The Theory of Everything was the movie we were most looking forward to and ultimately our favorite. We're already counting down the days until the next AMC Best Picture Showcase and this year's awards haven't even started yet!

Who are you rooting for for this year's Academy Awards? 

Get in on the fun & fill out an Oscars bracket to share with your friends – that's what we'll be doing throughout 
tonight's festivities!