How Do You Celebrate The Bright Side of Life?

Eating Mango Frozen Fruit Bar

As you can probably tell by my travel adventures this summer, I’m attempting to be a little more spontaneous and embrace the bright side of life. Traveling to Europe for a few weeks, maybe a few months (still unsure, ah spontaneity) was not an easy decision for me since I’m a frugal spender and a planner. But I had an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up so I’m doing what makes me happy, spending time outside, traveling and treating myself, even if it’s something small like a frozen fruit bar on a hot day!

I’m not letting work dictate my life, although I am working part-time while I travel but I’m really trying to embrace the adventures by breaking routines and taking in my surroundings. Before leaving for Spain I tried these amazing mango fruit bars from Fruttare (so yummy and perfect on a hot New Orleans day) and during my travels I have been indulging in local sweets like chocolate and churros and gelato! How do you celebrate the bright side of life?

Mango Frozen Fruit Bars

Mango Frozen Fruit Bar

Ciera With Mango Frozen Fruit Bar

Fruttare Mango Frozen Fruit Bar

Holding Mango Frozen Fruit Bar

Mango Frozen Fruit Bars on Board

Fruttare Frozen Fruit Bars are made with real fruit and refreshing juice and are available at retailers nationwide.

Photos by Kaylynn Marie Photography.

Thank you for supporting this blog by allowing me to post occasional sponsored content. All sponsored posts feature products or services that I truly feel would be of interest to you. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

What I Wore // Snowball Season

Summer time in New Orleans also means snowball season, woo hoo! As soon as the heat hits, so do the cravings! Snow cones got nothin’ on a snowball y’all! Unlike sno cones, the ice making up a snowball is shaved very finely resulting in an incredibly soft ice. My favorite snowball spot is Plum Street, it’s a small shed-type store that’s right in my neighborhood. They serve their snowballs in Chinese take-out boxes with a plastic bag on the bottom to catch any syrup or melted overflow. I usually keep it simple with cherry but when I mix it up I like dreamsicle or add condensed milk!

Ciera wearing olive shorts, yellow top and brown leather bag

Plum Street Snowballs New Orleans Doors

Ciera eating snow ball

coral nails + jewel necklace + snoball

Ciera Sipping Snow Ball

Plum Street Snowballs New Orleans Menu and Syrups

coral nails + yellow top + jewel necklace + snoball

photos of me by Hannah Colclazier from last summer / photos of Plum Street by Jasmine Holzenthal / ring c/o Dixi

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My Fitness Motivation

I’m finally feeling like I am in a good workout stride after years of being off track. I joined a gym a year ago for the first time in forever. My gym teaches the Les Mills exercise programs and I’m totally obsessed with them! Doing the same workout bores me and I need to be having fun, otherwise I’ll stop going. So right now my favorite class is Body Combat which is inspired by mixed martial arts and draws from a wide array of disciplines such as karate, boxing and taekwondo. It’s super hard, fun and a great stress reliever! Since they are always releasing new classes it never gets boring which keeps me going back!

Another motivating factor is keeping a fresh workout wardrobe. Since I work from home, there are lots of days when I put my gym clothes on in the morning even though my classes are not til the evenings. I’ll work and run errands in them and then head to the gym. I don’t want to wear faded old t-shirts and old sweats, I want to look presentable even though it’s just to the grocery store and the gym!

Cute workout gear: Cobalt Leggings, Top With Thumbholes, Hairbands, Nike Running Shoes, Sports Bra, Headphones

I usually wear black bottoms but that gets boring, so I recently decided to try out, Albion Fit. They have some really cute options in fun colors! There stuff is so comfy that I’ve found my self throwing it on even when I’m not heading to the gym. They actually have a bunch of items that work as normal clothes AND they have swimwear!

Woman in Blue Leggings Tying Laces for Workout in Park Woman Putting Hair In Ponytail for Workout Blue Leggings and Gray Top for Workout in Park

I’ve been putting my hair up with Haybands hair ties and headbands, this is a local New Orleans company! And when I use headphones, Sol Republic’s Relays are great! They come with a clip so they don’t flap around and are designed to stay in while working out.

Woman Putting Hair In Ponytail for Workout

I hope you enjoyed this little insight on how I stay motivated to work out! I’ll be back next week to share how I’ve been updating my breakfast and lunch for a healthier diet! Do you have any motivational tips for staying in shape!

Woman in Blue Leggings and Gray Top for Workout

Go Long Leggings in Cobalt c/o Albion Fit / Go Long Crew in Charcoal c/o Albion Fit / Hairband and Headband c/o Haybands / Relays Headphones c/o Sol Republic / Sports Bra Avia via TJ Maxx / Nike Revolution Running Shoes via DSW / Photos by Zander White

Giveaway Time! Closed

If you are having a hard time getting in gear, I thought I’d do a fun giveaway to get you motivated! One lucky winner will receive:

  • $50 Albion Fit Gift Card
  • Sol Republic Relays Headphones
  • Music download from RUN DMT (whose song is in the new Relays video)
  • Miscellaneous selection of Haybands hair ties and headbands

Discounts!

15% off any albionfit.com purchase with code ciera15 (valid through the 11th) and 15% off your Haybands purchase with code HAYCIERA (valid through the 18th).

Enter using the Rafflecopter below. Giveaway open to US and Canada shipping addresses only. Winner will be chosen at random. Good luck!! Have any questions? Feel free to contact meIf you are in a reader click out to access the Rafflecopter entry form. Please note that your entry will be removed if you do not complete it correctly.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I have always been a Puma and Converse person for tennis shoes, but those were  just not right for the gym so I finally got a good pair of shoes that I love for working out! I spent way to much time researching them and finding a good deal, so I have included some of my faves below.

received free goods as compensation for this post however all opinions are my own.

What I Wore // Working At The Coffee Shop

I thought it’d be fun to tell y’all my history with PJ’s Coffee of New Orleans, my favorite coffee of all time! It was founded with a single shop in 1978 and has spread throughout the Greater New Orleans area, then the Southeast and has even made it to other parts of the United States including California.

My grade school was only a few blocks away from the original location on Maple Street, so in 7th and 8th grade we used to walk there after school and hang out in their courtyard. Then in high school my best friend lived next door to a PJ’s which we frequented at least once, sometimes twice a day. I don’t even want to know how much money I spent there during those four years! Now I’m back in the Maple Street area and their iced coffees are still my absolute favorite coffee, ever, anywhere! Not to mention their amazing spinach and feta croissants and a granita when I really want to treat myself!

Most days I make coffee at home to save money but I get cravings for their yummy coffee all the time and I usually give in… hey, I deserve it! I also love to go and work from their courtyard every once in a while when the weather is nice. Crazy how constant some things in life can be! And just excuse my bitchy resting face in the third photo.

Ciera Holzenthal with MacBook Pro at Coffee Shop

Ciera Holzenthal with MacBook Pro at Coffee Shop Courtyard

Graphic Designer with MacBook Pro and Coffee In Courtyard

Striped Dress, Brown Leather Purse and Coffee

Ciera Holzenthal with MacBook Pro and Coffee

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Photos by Hannah Colclazier

What I Wore // Striped Maxi Dress and Moto Jacket

Hey friends! I haven’t done one of these post in quite some time but I found a new online shopping experience that I really want to share with y’all! It’s called Golden Tote and it’s the ultimate surprise grab bag!

I have never mentioned this on the blog, but I am not a fan of shopping. I’m very picky and have trouble finding clothes that fit well so I get frustrated and moody when nothing works out. I have come home empty-handed so many times, so I decided to try a different method.

I tell Golden Tote my size and let them do the shopping for me! This is also a good way to help me try new items that I might not choose on my own. They curate tote bags with a variety of items from different brands at prices 70-80% off original retail. In September I chose the $149 tote, which meant I got to choose two items and then I was surprised with the rest! I ended up with six items total which averaged $26 a piece after shipping!

Striped Maxi Dress and French Terry Moto Jacket 1

So this striped maxi dress and moto jacket (which was one of the items I picked) were my favorites from the tote and you can see the other items at the end of this post! The bracelet I’m wearing here is from Pradman Jewels, another site you should check out, they have some amazing stuff! And psst, I’m going to be doing a giveaway with them next week!

Striped Maxi Dress and French Terry Moto Jacket 2

Striped Maxi Dress and French Terry Moto Jacket 3

Striped Maxi Dress and Brown Knee High Boots 4

Gold Watch and Engraved Monogram Initial Bracelet 5

Striped Maxi Dress and Brown Knee High Boots 6

Striped Maxi Dress and Brown Knee High Boots 7

Striped Maxi Dress Golden Tote / French Terry Moto Jacket Golden Tote / Watch BCBG via Rue La La / Boots thrifted / Purse Free People / Bracelet c/o Pradman Jewels

P.S. This post is not sponsored by Golden Tote, I’m just really excited about finding their site and think it’s really going to help improve my wardrobe! Affiliate links are used.

Four Years of Blogging!

When I started my blog, I could have never imagined where it would be today! Since I’m celebrating four years of blogging this month, I thought I’d give y’all a little history of how it all got started. Then for the rest of the month I will have some other special posts and surprises for y’all!

Ciera Design Four Year Blogiversary

In 2009, I had been at my agency job for a few years and I wasn’t really feeling satisfied by the design work I was doing anymore. I decided to start a blog to get some of my ideas out. It started as a photo dump. I would post my random iPhone pictures with a little caption and might expand a little here and there. I had no plan and no organization. Soon after, I left my job to start my own business and I knew that I needed to create a portfolio site that potential clients could check out. So in 2010 I decided to take my site and blog to the next level. I started posting on a regular basis with relevant and consistent content. It has been growing ever since into what you see today!

I love networking and meeting new people who I probably would have never had contact with if not for blogging. In January, blog friend and contributor, Mariah and I roomed together at Alt Summit and at Circles Conference last month I got to be roomies and hang out with another blog buddy, Patti! I love hearing about adventures of other bloggers who work for themselves and love following along with other creatives!

One of my favorite opportunities that has come from starting this blog was being able to attend Alt Summit this year! It was SO inspiring! When I walked into the Bing It To Life Lounge at Alt Summit the LAST thing I expected to see was my travel map pin board, but there it was, and it was huge! Bing took submissions of ideas to showcase and my DIY creation was chosen to come to life! It was really special to see bloggers from all over interacting with my idea and pinning their business cards to the map! It was so surreal to see it all over Instagram and it was such a cool way to see where everyone was from.

I’m always trying to take this blog to the next level and I can’t wait to see where it takes me in the next four years! Thank you so much to all of my readers for encouraging me, challenging me to keep creating unique content and for all of your comments over the years, it really means the world to me!

Jasmine took these photos for me.