Healthy Organized Lifestyle

Travel Smart: The Perfect Ladies Travel Bag by SmartGirl Bags July 29, 2015 10:14 2 Comments

The importance of the right travel bag on trips cannot be overstated. As women on the go, we often need a plethora of items with us to be prepared. My kids are grown and I travel often. I have gone on domestic and international trips, and I know there are certain items I want with me at all times for convenience sake. As I first think about passing through the Security gate (sometimes a real pain), I want to keep my tablet or iPad mini in the outer side pocket of my bag, so I can pass through quickly. I also keep little booties or socks with me in summer – think of all the barefoot travelers stepping in the same place on the floor each time they pass through security with their sandals or flip flops off. Can you say “foot fungus”? As I pass through Security, I pull out my tablet, throw my Tote bag into a bin along with my purse and shoes. It’s quite fast and simple now that I travel with a SmartGirl Bag.

Now, as I think about my carry on travel bag for what I need during a flight to stay entertained, get some work done, or just have fun, I know that I want a pocket for a water bottle (which shall remain empty until I pass Security). As a snacker, I want to have access during the flight to some snacks, protein bars, and gum in another pocket. I often listen to music and play games on my smartphone, so I want my headphones and phone in another outer pocket for a quick grab. Often during the flight I have work to do – So I want my work notebooks and pens in the inner pocket of my bag as well as my travel USB mouse and mousepad. Of course I keep my tablet A/C and phone chargers in one of the 6 internal compartments in my SmartGirl Bag. I never run out of phone juice, as I also keep my backup phone power-bank (SmartBank by SmartGirl Bags) in another pocket. When it’s time to relax, I pull out my stored blow-up neck pillow for relaxation and put my work away. Everything is at my fingertips with the open style pockets and a bag that fits perfectly under the airline seat in front of me.

But, I am spoiled. I want all of this storage and access at my fingertips – but I also want a cute stylish bag with sassy design, and I want it to be fun and PRETTY. That’s why I love my SmartGirl Bag. It’s the perfect combination of functionality and glam. I have traveled many trips now with this bag and am glad to say it’s held up well.

Don’t get caught again on a long trip with the wrong bag. My recommendation is to check out the SmartGirl Bag collection, the perfect ladies travel bags/totes at and get ready for your next trip.


Aging and Weight Gain... What’s a "SmartGirl" To Do? July 21, 2015 15:03

So you’re a “SmartGirl” and do everything right. You exercise regularly and watch what you eat. In your 20’s, you’d be losing weight. But now in your 40’s and 50’s, you find your waistline expanding, your belly protruding and the number on the scale moving up. Frustrating? You bet! The experts will say it’s all about calories in calories out. If that’s the case, why do we find weight gain on 1200 calories a day? What was the ideal number to drop 5 pounds at age 25 in a heartbeat, is now our daily “maintenance” calorie allotment. Wow, who knew? The things they don’t tell you when you’re young about aging. With the hormones fluctuating, the body is in storage mode. It’s getting softer, rounder and bouncier. Uggh.

So what can we do? Are we out of hope? There are four approaches to this aging phenomenon. Unfortunately none are a magic cure, but with some strategizing, you may find peace and contentment.

  • Maintain a positive attitude. It’s easy to get discouraged. Your attitude will determine if you stay consistent at trying and achieving health. As soon as you throw in the towel and break open that bag of chips, you are increasing the battle’s intensity. Accept that the playing field has changed. You’re not in your 20’s anymore and it will take a different approach to see results. But find that inner strength. You can do it if you set your mind to it. Stay positive that you can consistently approach daily tactics to keep healthy and strong.
  • Change your approach to exercise. As I took an Insanity workout class the other day that kicked my butt (!), I was speaking with another older middle aged woman – who by the way had an excellent figure – that of a 20 something. She shared that this was her 2nd exercise class of the day and that she had a similarly vigorous class that morning. I asked her if taking two classes a day was her normal – she said that she takes two classes (2 hours total) a day and does weights 2-3 times a week. Wow!? two classes? I thought I was doing well with this one class that had just kicked my bootie. I asked her why – she said, “If I want to keep my figure at this age, I have to work twice as hard”. Okay ladies, I am the bearer of bad news – but it may just take double workouts to see the results we saw at half our age. Dare I say double up? I know, you’re thinking what I am thinking….how in the world will I find time for that? The bottom line – we must make time to increase exercise if we want to see more results at this age. Maybe it’s an extra walk in the morning, or an extra DVD routine. Something is better than nothing. Secondly, we can change the type of exercise we do. Perhaps adding more Interval training (a topic I’ll write about at a later time) is a way to shock your body. Or add a different type of exercise class --variety to shake things up. Drastic times take drastic measures.
  • Accept your new body as is – if you are living in good health – doing what you’re “supposed” to do, accept your new softer rounder body for the healthy person you still are. There are so many people out there that are suffering and in bad health. They cannot do the healthy routines we are doing. If you’re doing the best you can to be healthy (eating right, exercising), pat yourself on the back, keep doing it, and accept that this new rounder look just might be okay for the new era.
  • Treat yourself – As you continue to achieve milestones – whether it’s exercising longer, harder or more often or choosing something healthy over something not, treat yourself to something – a pedicure, a new SmartGirl Bag for the gym, or a new outfit. Stop beating yourself up and celebrate your successes!

The Perfect Mom Tote Bag: SmartGirl Bags July 15, 2015 10:50 1 Comment

As a mother on the go, this summer has been especially busy. With two boys, 8 and 10, both in summer baseball, and working full-time, it seems I’m always on the run. As I leave for the day, I am anticipating what I need for work all day long (as well as productive breaks and lunches) and what do I need as we run off to baseball practice at 5:30?

Maybe you can relate, but it seems like I carry the kitchen sink with me all the time. For work, I take my water bottle, snacks, lunch, tablet PC to surf or book to read during lunch as well as my checkbook to balance, notebook of to-do’s. Sometimes, I carry my walking shoes to get in 30 minutes too!

When it’s time to run to practice, there’s no time for supper first. So I fill my tote-bag with snacks for the kids, sunblock, hats, even a baseball glove or two. Until this summer, there’s hasn’t been a bag out there that could keep up until now. My mother-in-law gave me my new Red Hot Sizzle SmartGirl Bag. It’s the perfect tote bag for moms! She originally bought it for me because of the cute colors. I love polka dots and red! But we both quickly realized, this bag saves my life!

The SmartGirl saying is that they bridge the gap between sexy and functional – let me tell you how true that is! My SmartGirl Bag allows me to take everything I need all day and all evening with me in one tote. I love the organization of this bag! It has 5 open exterior pockets and 6 interior compartments that keep me organized! Everything has its own pocket too – not just dumped into one big black hole like most bags. The pockets and the bag’s main space are both roomy too.

I take this bag with us everywhere! I even get my husband to carry it around (a man with a bright red bag!) oftentimes because he loves that everything is in one place.

In short, my SmartGirl Bag has literally saved my life this summer. Take it from one Mom to another, this is a ladies perfect tote!


As told to SmartGirl Bags by Amanda R., Castlerock, Colorado, Summer


An Exercise To Help Determine If Your Life Is Out Of Balance June 26, 2015 01:00

A long time ago, I was an overweight stressed out workaholic. I was living a very "out of balance" life which was reflected in my body and health. From being weight, to high blood pressure, borderline diabetes and sleep apnea, my climbing the corporate ladder and my Type A personality were having an ill effect on the quality of my life.

A counselor and friend of mine, told me to do a pie chart analysis on myself to see where I was out of balance. Basically you  create two pie charts. One will reflect 5-8 key areas important in life to you and the percent of the pie you think you should be spending time in those areas. These are unique and very individualistic. What’s important for me may not even be on your pie chart. The second pie chart is a depiction of where you’re spending your time now truthfully. No one has to see these.

When I took a good hard look at my out of balance pie, I realized I had become a workaholic with no balance in fitness or fun. I had let 12-16 hour extremely stressful work days take over my life until I was one heavy set unhappy girl. When I saw these two contrasting pie chart results in front of me, I knew I had to make changes.  I saw areas I said where important that I was giving no time to. Areas I said weren't that important to me, I made a 50% slice of the pie. The numbers talk! I used this information to make huge changes in my life. I found another position in the company and committed to working only 40 hrs a week. In fact, I had a boss who insisted I cut back when he saw I was starting to overdo my commitment to the office. In addition, I committed to a life of exercise and fitness and lost weight. I committed to enjoying time with friends and time alone. And I made more time for God and prayer in my journey. I made time for romance. As you can see, knowing where to change can be the first baby step in setting yourself up for change.

Won’t you give this exercise a try today and help yourself?

Pie Chart Balancing Exercise

  1. Draw 2 large circles on a sheet of paper side by side
  2. On a separate sheet of paper, list 5-8 broad categories of important things in life to you. For instance, Spirituality, Family/Friends, Work/Career, Fun/Entertainment, Physical Fitness, Intellectual, Alone time
  3. Draw a dot in the very center of the circle. Now, draw “slices of pie” in the 1st circle that represent the ideal percent of time you should spend in each category. The dot in the center is used to draw your slice.
  4. Now draw “slices of pie” in the 2nd circle that represent the way you are spending your time now – realistically in each category. If you are not spending time in a category that you should be, this is a very narrow tiny slice of pie on the chart. Or you can leave it off altogether
  5. Now compare your charts. Where are YOU out of balance? Ask yourself why you’re allowing this. What’s driving the out of balance behavior? Revisit your ideal chart and ask yourself if these things ARE important? If so, what can you change to readjust your current pie slices to align to your ideal ones?

We'd love to hear feedback on how this exercise helped you gain a new perspective. Consider emailing your story to us at  Subject line: Pie Chart Testimony.