POWER HOUR


Recently I have been on a quest to make more of the 24 hours I have in a day. A lot of times when I finish work and homework, I find myself just wanting to curl up in a ball and watch TV. This leads to piles of laundry, dirty dishes lingering in the sink, and an overall feeling of undeniable guilt. Recently I have reinstated a previous method I used to increase productivity, called Power Hour.

I learned about Power Hour when I read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. In this book she shares the life hacks that worked for her on her quest for happiness. Rubin found that items that did not have a due date or high priority, often got ignored, leaving her feeling drained and stressed out. This is items such as cleaning the kitchen, making a doctor's appointment, or cleaning out the pantry. By dedicating one single hour to it, the tasks seem less daunting.

If I commit to just one hour of getting stuff done, I find myself to be much more successful and feel much better about my life. Once a day I will set an alarm for one hour. During this time, I do not allow interruptions. I put my phone away, I let my boyfriend know I am working, and I just focus on the task at hand.

The great thing about Power Hour is that more often than not, I find myself working well beyond the hour. Once I get in a groove and start crossing items off my to do list, I don't want to stop.

Some tips for Power Hour?
Make a laser focused to do list! Having twenty items on your to do list won't be helpful to you. Pick 3-5 items to focus on during that hour and zone in on just those.

Respect your hour! It won't be useful to you if you spend the hour scrolling through Instagram. Put the phone away and be honest with yourself!

Reward yourself! After completing an hour of uninterrupted work, celebrate it. I usually allow myself 15-20 minutes on social media or YouTube after I complete an hour. Then more often than not, I find myself getting right back to work!




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SUNDAY SCARIES


I think we all deal with a bit of anxiety, but some more than others. I am naturally a very anxious person. Whenever there is any bit of unknown in my life, I panic. I have spent years working on this in myself and through self-development, therapy, meditation, journaling, and so many other techniques, I have been able to (occasionally) diminish my anxieties. However, sometimes there is a need for a supplement to ease the anxiety when all else fails.

Recently I have heard a ton about the benefits of CBD oil. For awhile I brushed it off, assuming it was just the hype of the recent marijuana legalization in California. However, CBD oil has NO THC, and is non psychoactive. This oil has a long list of benefits, including anti-inflammatory, treatment for nausea, treatment for anxiety, and is proven to reduce seizures in individuals with epilepsy. CBD oil can be found in many forms, but my favorite is through CBD gummies!


Cue Sunday Scaries. Named for that feeling we all get on Sunday evening when we have been lazy pieces of dirt all day after a fun Saturday out with friends. You know the feeling. When you've ignored your to do list because bottomless mimosas was more fun, and now you are stuck realizing you have seven loads of laundry, a sink full of dishes, two papers due, and have to be up for work tomorrow morning. 

Last weekend I had a case of the Sunday Scaries on Saturday and decided to take one of my dummies. My to do list was daunting me, I was feeling anxious about things going on, and none of my self care strategies could help. I took one of my natural CBD gummies and felt stress relief and hyper focused. I was ready to take on the day anxiety free. I love that these gummies allow me to live anxiety free without the scary side effects that come with taking prescription medications. I appreciate an all natural approach to subsidize the self care techniques I use such as meditation, journaling, and exercise. 

To check out Sunday Scaries, click here! They offer a variety of purchase options, including a monthly subscription. Added bonus: free shipping! 

The faster you purchase Sunday Scaries, the sooner you can get rid of them. 

FTC Disclosure: Sunday Scaries sent me product in exchange for a review. However, all opinions are honest and my own.

Medical Disclaimer: Please seek advice from a doctor before making any changes in your health regime.



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MEET THE GAL PALS


I have met some incredible women on my blogging journey. I have met mentors and friends who have all helped me grow into the blogger I am today. They encourage me to keep developing my content and motivate me to keep writing on the hard days. Two amazing women I recently learned about, Ella and Jess, embody all of this, motivation and inspiration, and lend friendly advice to millennials. The Gal Pals provide their readers with news, advice, and information on finance, health, beauty, style, and anything else that inspires them in the moment.

Before blogging, Ella studied journalism and Jess had a passion for writing. They started Gal Pals because of their passion for writing and community. They have strengths in different areas, and together the puzzle pieces fit together to create something great!
Jess: Either the Met Gala post or the Mother’s Day post! With both of them I was learning new things about blogging while writing them - like using slideshows and polls, and using ads. Both of them took a long time to finish and the end product is something I’m really proud of. 
E: I always look at what might be behind that lack of motivation. Am I tired, or stressed? Have I not put time aside for myself lately? I make sure I fix the cause first. After that it’s just a matter of starting - I write about something simple like what I did that day, or I pick something on the news that interested me, and write a few paragraphs to get that spark back. Then I pick back up where I left off and buckle down!

Here is some fun information to get to know the Gal Pals better!

What is your favorite blog post you have written?
Ella: My favorite blog post was one of the first that we wrote - interviewing Guido from Melko. Our interview was incredibly interesting, and his passion for what he does and what the business stands for was inspiring.


What motivates you when you do not feel like writing?


J: It happens quite a bit! I have random bouts of energy and then times where I don’t have the energy to do anything at all. At times like that, I remember that I was made to be my own boss -  I don’t want to go back to a job where I’m stressing myself out for someone else’s benefit.

Any advice you have for new bloggers?

E: Figure out what it is you bring to the table. There are lots of blogs out there - what makes yours different, or unique? What do you provide that others don’t?

J: Find your niche, and don’t be too broad. If you think you’ve narrowed it down, narrow it down even more! The biggest mistake Ella and I made was being too broad in our topics when we first started out. Invest in the right tools, read other blogs that are from your niche - what’s the point of running a blog if you’re not going to read other blogs? Make time to learn and connect with other bloggers.

What do you enjoy doing outside of blogging?

E: I write a lot of poetry. It’s such a different style of writing to anything else and I enjoy being able to play around with syntax in a way that you can’t do with journalistic forms of writing. I also love spending time with my dog and cat (Freya and Hero, respectively) and hanging out with friends!

J: If I’m not writing for the blog, I’m writing novels! I have so many on the go. I’ve recently found a passion for gardening and I spend most of my time there, or walking Freya, our dog.

Where is your favorite place to shop?

E: I’m a sucker for online stores, and cosmetics. I love ASOS, and I can spend a ridiculous amount of money at Lush and Mecca!

J: Honestly, Bunnings. For clothing, I like Glassons or ASOS!

What is your fall fashion staple?

E: A pair of cute heeled boots!

J: A jacket! Specifically this lilac cord jacket I have. I wear it with everything!

What are your top 3 go to beauty products?

E: At the moment, I’m trying to go absolutely minimal with my makeup. I used to wear a full face on most days, and my skin suffered for it. I’m on a journey to love my skin, scars and all, so I limit my daily use products to Essano - Rosehip Moisture Restorative Night Creme, Glossier’s Boy Brow, and Maybelline Fit Me concealer if I absolutely need it.

J: Argan Oil for my hair, Lush’s Gorgeous moisturiser and a good coffee scrub! Very necessary in these dry winter months.

For more of the Gal Pals, follow them on Social Media!
Instagram:
Pinterest:


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MOTIVATION MONDAY


Whenever I have writer's block or am lacking motivation, I can find encouragement from other bloggers. They understand the struggle to create quality content and the frustration of not having the right words to say. They understand the pressure that comes with being a content creator, regardless of the size of your following. I love to look for them when I need a little extra push. Here are some of my favorite blog posts lately from other bloggers that are keeping me motivated!

Should You Start A Blog?
This blog post from Champagne & A Carry On talks about not letting fear win and to foster an attitude of community over competition. She encourages people to share what's on their heart and mind, keep pure intentions, and quality over quantity. I have learned so much from Victoria about blogging in the past couple months than I have learned in the past couple years of running Kick Back With Cate. I recommend everyone check out this post, whether you have a blog, want to start a blog, or just need some extra motivation.

Advice from Women Who Created Their Job & How You Can Too!
In this post, Modern Day Girlfriend checks in with other boss babes to see what keeps their mojo flowing. From photographers to editors to bloggers, this blog touches on advice for women creating their own businesses and what keeps them motivated.

How to Create Less Content With More Impact
This blog post, and the podcast that followed it, had me reeling. Listening to Jenna Kutcher speak about how to create a bigger following and better work, without feeling the need to constantly push out content, really resonated with me. I have been struggling lately with my output, simply due to the fact that I am working a job that requires 55+ hours a week of my attention and working on 2 Master's degrees. While my blog is my #1 love, these other two things have to take my attention right now. However, after listening to this podcast I have a perspective shift about my blog and a MASSIVE to do list for incredible things that are going to come from Kick Back With Cate this summer.
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TOP T.SWIFT SONGS


Friday night I had the pleasure of going to the Taylor Swift concert at the Rose Bowl! It was a magical night. I have never experienced a concert quite like the one I saw Friday...heck, I wouldn't even call it a concert. It was a full on show with video, animatronics, fireworks, and incredible music. Charli XCX and Camila Cabello opened, and Shawn Mendes made a special appearance. There were so many songs by Taylor that I wanted her to sing that she didn't, but she only had a couple hours to perform. In honor of the Reputation Tour, I have compiled a list of my top 15 favorite Taylor Swift songs....I was shooting for a top 10, but it was just too hard!

1.Teardrops On My Guitar
2. 22
3. I Knew You Were Trouble
4. Shake It Off
5. Tim McGraw
6. We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together
7. Bad Blood
8. Our Song
9. This is Why We Can't Have Nice Things
10. Stay Stay Stay
11. New Year's Day
12. Hey Stephen
13. Begin Again
14. I Did Something Bad
15. Look What You Made me Do

What is your favorite Taylor Swift song?
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MEGHAN MARKLE LOOK FOR LESS


Meghan Markle first came on to the fashion scene opening suitcases on Deal or No Deal, but really started turning heads when she started accessorizing her outfits with a prince on her arm. This weekend, Meghan Markle is living out every American girls dream of marrying into royalty. One thing I have always loved about Meghan is how polished she looks. I recreated this outfit of Meghan's for just a smidge over $100. 




Total: $108.95

Please comment below with which celebrity look you would like recreated on a twenty somethings budget!


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CELEBRATE GRADUATION WITH BASIC INVITE


Graduation season is here! The past couple weeks, and the weeks to come, have been full of graduates celebrating their accomplishments. Seeing all these graduates reminds me of the feelings I felt finishing my undergraduate degree, and the excitement I feel to be nearing the end of my Masters programs.

This is a time of year to celebrate, which starts with having the perfect graduation announcements and graduation party invitations. I recently discovered Basic Invite, a company that specializes in customized invitations, announcements, and thank you cards.



Anything you can imagine on your special photo graduation card is very possible with Basic Invite. They allow customers almost unlimited color. Once you select a design, you can change the color of each element on the littlest detail. Instant previews are available online, and customers can even order a printed sample before committing to their final order! This sets Basic Invite apart from almost any other online stationery company!

The color fun doesn't stop there! Basic Invite offers over 40 different colors with envelopes, so that invitations and announcements stand out before they are even opened! All envelopes are peel and seal so envelopes can be quickly and securely closed. I highly appreciate this because licking envelopes is the grossest!

When addressing the perfectly colored and sealed envelopes, Basic Invite offers addressing printing at no cost. They also offer an address capturing service that allows customers to share a link on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or other forms of social media, to request their friends and family's addresses, which will then be stored in the customers account and can be selected during the design process.

For one final touch of perfection on your graduation announcements, invites, or thank yous, Basic Invite offers foil cards that are available in gold, silver, and rose gold. Customers can choose flat or raised foil on all of Basic Invite's foil designs.

Be sure to order whatever fits your needs, whether that be graduation announcements, invitations, or thank you graduation cards! Basic Invite is currently offering 15% off when you use the code 15FF51 at check out!




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MOTHER'S DAY GIFT GUIDE


Mother's Day is quickly approaching! If you are anything like me, shopping for mom can be so hard! She has everything she needs and I don't have enough money in the world to buy her what she deserves. Here are five great gifts for Mom if you are still looking:

Girl's Night Out
For two of the moms in my life, we have discussed a new place locally that takes wine & painting to a whole new level. AR Workshop is a place where you can use canvas, wood, or plank to create signs, pillows, photo frames, and more. It is a fun way to be creative and spend time together. A great gift for a mom in your life is a place you can go together, to spend time creating, but also have great conversation over a glass of wine. Check Groupon in your area, because you will likely find some great deals on painting classes, floral arrangement classes, and more!

Staycation
Have a spa day at a local resort! While this is a pricier option, it can be SO worth it. It can also be paired with another holiday if out of your price range. For example, pair it with Mother's Day and Mom's birthday. This connects two gifts, while also allowing Mom to get the rest and relaxation she deserves.

Mantra Band 
These bracelets and necklaces are perfect for all the ladies in your life. With motivational sayings, they are perfect reminders that your ladies are absolute bosses! I have one that says "She believed she could, so she did." I wear it often when I need a boost of confidence, and also gifted it to three fabulous ladies in my life earlier this year, so they could remember the same. Their jewelry ranges from $25-$55, so it is perfect for any budget.

Concert Tickets
Treat Mom to a fun night out to see one of her favorite bands or singers. With summer approaching, a lot of musicians are on tour, or starting a tour soon. Help your budget by purchasing on Seat Geek and use the code KICK at checkout for $20 off!

Gift Card
When all else fails, give Mom a gift card! She will love being able to treat herself at one of her favorite stores when she sees something that strikes her eye. While gift cards seem less personal, it allows the recipient to pick out a gift they really will love!

What are you getting your Mom for Mother's Day?
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GET TO KNOW JENNA FROM THE CHALLENGE


Recently I had the chance to catch up with one of my favorite reality TV stars, Jenna Compono. Jenna started off on The Real World, but has since taken MTV's The Challenge by a storm. Jenna is a fierce competitor who many have underestimated over the years.


What was the Real World casting process like?
It was a little different for me, I never actually applied to be on reality TV. At the time my ex-boyfriend tried out for Real World and the theme was to bring their exes on the show as a surprise, and that’s where I came in! At first I was a little hesitant, but I am happy I said yes to going because I have gotten to experience so many other opportunities. So for that I am truly thankful

What was life like in the Real World house?
It was a little hectic in the beginning, 7 strangers living in a house, along with their ex boyfriends/girlfriends. You can only imagine the daily drama that came along with that. Also it was different for me because I was only 20 years old at the time. I wasn't allowed to party and drink like my castmates, and we all know that's ALL we want to do in the Real World house, so that was a little aggravating. But I made the best of it and made great friends.


Was it difficult going back to reality afterwards?
At first I didn't think it was going to be difficult going back to reality, but you do find yourself covering your “mic” when you are telling a secret to a friend but then realize you aren't being filmed anymore. Also you want to share the stories and opportunities you had while filming to friends and family, but it is really something you just need to experience. Other than that, it was nice to finally have our cell phones back!

How did you end up involved in the challenges?
The Challenge usually brings on Real World cast members, and I happened to fit the theme of Battle of the Exes II, having Jay (my ex) as my partner.

What is your favorite season you have done?
My favorite season I have done would have to be my first season Battle of the Exes II. I loved being the new girl and stepping outside my comfort zone. I moved into a house with 28 people with all different personalities. I really enjoyed that season, I made lifelong friends and still currently dating my boyfriend I met there.  Plus we had an amazing cast and got to experience it with Diem and Knight right before they passed.


Favorite competitor?
Oh that's a hard one. Each competitor has strengths and weaknesses. There are so many old school and new school challengers, I really can't choose my favorite!

Does it motivate you more that people underestimate what a beast you are?
It definitely motivates me that I am underestimated a lot. But let's be real,  you look at me and I do not look that athletic, so I don't blame them! But it's all down to what you bring to the table when competing. Don't get me wrong I have my good seasons and I have my bad seasons. I do try my hardest on every challenge and give it my all. So even if I lose a challenge or elimination, at the end of the day you can tell I have heart. But people back at home that root for me definitely keep me mentally in the game.

What have you been up to since the end of the Challenge?
Recently I filmed Champs Vs Stars, and unfortunately I broke my foot and have been out for over 6 months unable to walk, so I am finally getting back into my normal groove of things. I still nanny back at home which is perfect for me because I absolutely love kids, the pay is great, and it is so flexible when I have to take off weeks at a time for the Challenge.


What do you do when you are not filming a season?
When I am not filming I do work as nanny. I absolutely love it. I also practically live at the gym and hot pilates, spend time with my family, friends, and boyfriend and just going on adventures and trying something new everyday.

Top 3 go to beauty products?
I do not go anywhere without my chapstick, mascara or eyebrow gel!


For more of Jenna, find her on Instagram, Twitter, & Snapchat @jennacompono

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THINGS I'M LOVING LATELY


Seat Geek: With it being baseball season, we have been LOVING how close we live to Dodger stadium and how quick the drive to Angel stadium is on the weekends. While we are a house divided with who to root for, we take turns attending our favorite teams games. Thanks to Seat Geek we have been able to attend games for really affordable prices. The best part about Seat Geek is they rate how good the price you are getting is! If you want to attend a local sporting event, be sure to use the code KICK at checkout for $20 off your fun night out!


Drunk Elephant: These beauty products are non toxic and help revitalize the skin! I purchased them during the Sephora VIB sale, and will definitely be keeping them in my daily beauty routine. I use the Rise + Glow Duo in the morning, which includes a vitamin B hydration gel and a vitamin C serum. In the evening I use the NightBright Duo, which includes a glycol serum and a marula oil. All these products work together to hydrate the skin, while dissolving dead skin cells and producing collagen.



The Light Blonde: I discovered The Light Blonde via Instagram and instantly fell in love! Ali is a Christian woman and it is shown through all the beautiful shirts she has on her website. Her graphic tees are insanely comfortable and affordable, but the best part is the creative slogans written across them. Most of her shirts exemplify her love for Jesus. Some favorites of mine? Thou Shall Not Kill Vibes. Livin On A Prayer. Not Today Satan. The shirt I have is no longer in stock, but it says One Nation Under God. Be sure to follow The Light Blonde on Instagram because she frequently posts discount codes for her shop!


Dry Bar: I first went to Dry Bar on Christmas Eve because I felt like it was a relaxing way to start a busy day. Having someone else do my hair had me feeling so beautiful! I can basically only curl or straighten my hair, so a professional putting their touch on it really helped me have a different look. I went back again before my boyfriend's birthday party, then went last weekend just because I needed some #SelfCareSaturday. I love Dry Bar because they make my hair look great, while all I have to do is sit and sip a mimosa. Because I have several events coming up, such as bridal showers, press events, and concerts, I decided to sign up for their monthly membership. For $80/month, you get two blowouts per month, 10% off all products, and $5 off additional blowouts during the month. You get a free blowout during your birthday month (YASSSSS!) and my favorite part is that blowouts roll over if they are not used. Can I get an amen!? 

My followers: All of you babes have made my month! I know that I have not been posting as much lately, but my wheels are turning for some great ideas for changes on this blog in the coming months. I have five weeks off for summer and fully intend on spending those weeks with my blog as my full time job. I will be revamping my layout, my blogging schedule, and finding deeper ways to connect with each of you. I was overwhelmed by the response to my Sephora gift card giveaway and am definitely itching to host another one soon. I am excited to announce the winner of the gift card is Jackie R. Thank you to everyone who entered! Stay tuned for the next giveaway in July!
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