These Are the 7 Best Places to Live in the United States for 2017

For so many of us, relocating to a new city is a daunting experience. From finding new neighborhood favorites to maintaining sociability, moving has the power to leave you mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted. But as you know the saying, “life begins at the end of your comfort zone” and it’s true in more ways than one.

The U.S. is a beautiful nation, full of vibrant cities that stand out on their own influence to attract visitors from around the world. But which of these is actually the best livable location for you and your family?

U.S. News & World Report released its list of the “Best Places to Live in America for 2017” after ranking the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas. According to the report, these metro areas are evaluated by looking at five categories: desirability, value, job markets, quality of life and net migration.

Whether you plan on moving this year or are looking to visit a fresh, desirable city this spring, we look at the top seven best places to live in the United States for 2017 with help from U.S. News & World Report.

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Swing Time: The Hudsucker’s Quintessential Spring Playlist

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In what feels like one of the longest seasons ever, winter has given us some crazy cold temperatures and dropped off its final bit of snow, but soon enough we can put all that pesky cold gear away because we’re just days away from a brand new season. And a brand new season means a fresh new playlist!

As spring makes its grand arrival, one of the best ways to cure the seasonal affective disorder so many of us experience in the chillier months is by not only heading outdoors and switching up your exercise routine for runs sans treadmill, but giving our music playlists a much needed “spring cleaning”  with hopes to boost our mood. With longer days and the smell of flowers in the air, March promises to bring warmer weather, more sunshine, and ample opportunities to get outside and do something.

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5 TED Talks That Will Completely Refresh Your Outlook on Love

{Image Credit: iStock}

With the way life has been around the world lately, it wouldn’t hurt for us to add more love to the mix. From war, poverty, famine and the fight for human rights, the Burt Bacharach classic, “What The World Needs Now is Love” has never been more certifiable.

Considered one of the most essential components to our life, love is the basis of all things good and beautiful in our world, and true love is a real motivator for purpose and perspective.

While February is known famously as the month that celebrates love in all its manifestations, it’s also just the second month of the new year, which means if you feel a bit polarized in your goals and love life, it’s time to really pick yourself up. We all love indulging in our plans of Netflix and ice cream, but it’s important to recognize that in all its various forms, love is a central part of the human experience and deserves more attention.

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8 Awe-Inspiring Instagram Travel Accounts to Follow

Whether you’re heading overseas on a romantic trip for two or hitting the road with friends, what good is traveling if you can’t find a creative and fun way to share the experience with others? Today, social media has created a trusty and inspired haven through Instagram for users all over the world to share memorable moments on their every trip, while sparking an inspired wanderlust that drives our deepest desires to explore.

The travel category of Instagram can be a bit overwhelming for some as you spend hours sifting through thousands of accounts through destinations and users. But it’s an exciting feat to undertake as it encourages you to head out and dive into an unknown world while leaving your comfort zone for a purposeful existence. If you are in the mood for travel this chilly winter, check out eight of our favorite Instagram travel accounts to follow.

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“One Is Not Born a Woman, But Becomes One…”

“There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish.” — Michelle Obama

Happy International Women’s Day to all the fearless, kindhearted young girls and women who work hard to empower others and inspire change! No matter who you are, where you are in life or who you are with, never forget how strong, capable, beautiful and important you are. You deserve better and you definitely deserve to know you are worth more than what you believe.

Acclaimed French writer and novelist, Simone de Beauvoir’s words are inspiring as she shares, “One is not born a woman, but becomes one.” It is hard to be a grown-up, but it is even harder to be a women in today’s world. Left, right and center, women are taken advantage of by those in power, hurt by those who choose to lie, and left behind due to a society’s insecurity. de Bouvier made note that while we are not born anything in this life, we only come into our own when we meet with circumstances that arm us through stronger knowledge of the world around us and the relationships we form. Everything we are at this moment is the upshot of the choices we make, whether good or bad. We don’t just create our own values and morals based on what we feel empowers us — we create our identities and who we are at this very instant in existence.

I have known women who have been cheated on, I have seen women who have been disrespected in the workplace, and I have seen women struggle to get where they want to be. But what is holding you back? If things are horrible and circumstances point to desolation, heartbreak and a continuous stream of failure, what makes you think you deserve the life you are leading right now? You are your own person and no one can take that away from you. Be bold for change and know you are worth more than you give yourself credit for.

While women should be celebrated every day and honored with respect by each and every one of us, today is the one day we take out as a familial unit in the world to celebrate women and the amazing progress, change and impact we have each made in this world. When speaking from the heart, I can say I’ve been blessed in my life with an abundance of inspiring female role models, from my two grandmothers, my mother and sister, to my amazing friends and remarkable team of Womanistas.

Some are mistaken and think today is just for women, but it’s quite the contrary. Though we honor women, the bright, intellectual male is also one who understands that an equal society benefits both men and women, and that toxic ideas of masculinity and sexism hurt all of us. I have seen a positive attitude of feminism from my father every day who raises my sister and I to be strong-willed and defiant in the face of adversity, and in past instances with my best friend, who held his mother, sister and grandmother to great reverence. The support from these two intellectual men alone and how they honor the women in their life with such love, respect and trust raises hope that as a society, we can and will do better when it comes to gender disparity. 

As a society when we work together, we enhance each other and open up dialogue for positive attitudes and increased action. So here’s to the strong women: may we know them, may we be them, and may we raise them. Amen. 

“A woman with a voice is by definition a strong woman.” — Melinda Gates

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Top: H&M
Jacket: “Neelam Jacket” by Wilfred Free from Aritiza
Jewelry: Dogeared
Lipstick: Bobbi Brown, Luxe Lip Color in “Red Berry”

Travel Guide: 24 Hours in South Bend

South Bend is a blossoming Midwestern city that offers just about everything for the thriving millennial. As someone who has had the privilege of visiting this great metropolitan more often than usual, it’s unmistakable that this northern Indiana city has it all.

As a city that changes noticeably with every season and flourishes with a congenial beauty, South Bend is a busy metropolitan featuring places that excel in culture and history, novel spots that serve unique food and drinks, and crowds that are warm and friendly. While it’s recommended you spend a lengthy amount of time in this charming Midwestern municipality, we share some popular ideas to check out when you have got just 24 hours to spare in the Bend.

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J’adore BITE Beauty: Review of #TheLipPencil VoxBox

From matte liquid lipsticks to sheer washes of color, lip products are perennial favorites for so many fashionistas because they can instantly change your look with minimal effort. While some brands focus on a full range of cosmetics, BITE Beauty is one that really stands on its own for doing one thing really well: lipstick.

Earlier this month, Influenster sent me the #TheLipPencil VoxBox from BITE Beauty and obviously, I was very excited. It’s lipstick for crying out loud! While I never experimented with their collection of lipsticks and pencils prior to receiving this package, it really piqued my interest. I love adding new lipsticks to my collection for a look that is bold, complementary to my mood and definitely one of a kind. (more…)

8 Undeniable Red Flags of Incompatibility in a Relationship

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When we seek out partners, we’re looking for someone who will be our true soul mate, our best friend — the who understands us to the core without us even uttering a word. But love and even marriage is not enough to guarantee that a relationship stands the test of time. Couples can be together for a decade, love each other very much, move to a new town, have a child, yet still not be right for one another.

Sure, relationships aren’t perfect and most will often meet with some challenge or the other, but can you really be happy if you ignore the red flags just to ensure history is left untouched?

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