5 Tips for Balancing a Side Hustle

The days of working simple 9 to 5 jobs are over. So many women, us included, are spending free time doing meaningful work. Side hustles can be rewarding in many ways, but they can also be difficult to balance. After all, we know how important it is to rest and relax. So how can we do it all? 

Meet Erin Cairney. She is the queen of side hustles. Erin is a full-time manager and instructor at Recycle Studio, a running coach at MyStryde, as well as a brand ambassador for Crane & Lion. Damn! Here's how she makes it all work:

1. Carve Time Out to Dedicate to Each Gig

Playlisting for classes, planning my workouts and writing fitness content takes up a lot of my time. Trying to keep workouts different, challenging and fun requires me to sit down and plan. I see a lot of the same faces each week so I try to change things up and keep my workouts and songs new and interesting. Whether I’m creating hill intervals for MyStryde or making an endurance-heavy playlist for Recycle, I make sure it’s fun, but will also leave clients feeling like they were pushed to the limit! Prioritizing my time to plan for each gig helps me feel like I’m able to deliver the best workouts. 

2. Be Prepared Going Into Each Week

Sundays are not just a day for my bod to recover, they're also a chance to get set up for the week. I’ve usually got my calendar, notebook, and Spotify in front of me organizing what I’ve got coming up. Whether I’m creating a playlist for Recycle, jotting down intervals for a PowerStryde class at MyStryde or collaborating with Crane & Lion, I try to put aside enough time for each gig so I feel confident going into another jam packed week! 

3. Grab n’ Go Snacks

Most days I’m all over Boston from the South End to the North End to Back Bay depending on my teaching schedule. I try to keep a few snacks in my bag (e.g. bananas, granola bars) for energy, especially if my day is packed with classes. My favorite places to grab a quick snack on the way to class is Boston Public Market for a smoothie from Mother Juice or cocoa pudding from Jugos! It’s important for me to stay fueled so I can feel energized and ready to go! 

4. Find Time to Unplug

With instructing, coaching and managing two studios, it can be hard to pull away and turn off technology. Some weeks are crazier than others and I’ve found that making time each day to put it all away for a second helps me stay happy and focused. I have a 13-month-old Labrador who loves running more than I do, so I’ve found a good way to unplug is to enjoy time with her. Every day we take at least 45 minutes to run and play at the park. She makes it easy to put technology away and enjoy her happy personality. She makes everyday so much more fun and reminds me that playing a good ole fashioned game of fetch can be just what I need to reset! 

5. Remember Why You Work So Hard

Bottom line, if you don’t like what you’re doing, it’s going to reflect in your work. The most important part about making your side hustle work is to remind yourself of why you do it! I get to be surrounded by driven, motivated and inspiring people every day. My coworkers, fellow coaches and instructors aren’t the only ones who keep me inspired. It’s also the people in my classes who make it all worth it when they tell me about their success stories. Having a meaningful job where I get to help people stay healthy and work alongside such determined women fuels the fire for each day! 

Stay motivated by following Erin on instagram, or following her running account here

Italy Travel Guide

When you think of Italy, what comes to mind? The food and wine? The fashion and leather? The renaissance art? The Tuscan countryside? These are all things I imagined Italy would be, and to my surprise, my mind could never have imagined all of what Italy has to offer. 

After traveling to Italy this fall, we have some wonderful travel suggestions to share. We spent the majority of our time in Florence but stayed in a beautiful woman-owned hotel in the town of Montecatini, about an hour train ride to Florence. Our last day in the beautiful country was spent on the Borromean Islands, exploring the stunning gardens and architecture. But more on all of this later. 


Montecatini is the spa capital of Italy. The town is located between Milan and Florence, which we accessed by high speed rail. Besides the spas, the town was full of small restaurants, each with outdoor seating, and skin care boutiques. 

Hotel Puccini, Montecatini 

Located literally in the middle of it all, Hotel Puccini a family-friendly hotel complete with a dine-in restaurant and bar. Everything about the hotel was as European as I could imagine - espresso machines everywhere you turn, tiny bathrooms, and old fashioned elevators so small only one person could fit. Definitely would recommend this hotel for a romantic vacation, the dining room was all white and red with roses on each table and the furniture in the waiting area were all red leather armchairs and loveseats reminding me of Valentine’s Day. The only negative was the lack of air conditioning, but it definitely didn’t ruin the stay!


Florence is known as the capital of the Renaissance, so naturally the city is full of churches and museums, most of which were converted from Medici family mansions. 

Uffizi Gallery, Florence

The Uffizi Gallery is easily one of the most well known museums in Florence as well as the largest. It has one of the most spectacular collections in the world. The artwork is arranged gallery-style: the hallways are packed with statues and lined with portraits at ceiling level. Botticelli’s famous works “The Birth of Venus” and “Primavera” are both housed in the museum, as well as masterworks by Michelangelo, Raphael and Titian. The sheer amount of art is overwhelming, so it’s best to schedule out a good portion of a day in the gallery. 

Borromean Islands, Stresa

Located about 50 minutes from the Milan airport is the Italian town of Stresa. Stresa is near the Swiss border and is the home of the Borromean Islands on Lake Maggiore. Isola Bella is the most visited of the islands due to its Borromeo family estate. The estate has been opened up as a museum which allows visitors to roam the mansion and its beautiful garden. Even on a cloudy day, the immaculately landscaped grounds are breathtaking, making the islands are MUST for anyone wanting a different take of Italy. 


The Leather School, Florence

Picture a 400 year old functioning church with a shop and production space for leather goods attached. This is the leather school. The school is packed full of student-crafted wallets, duffle bags, purses and belts, all priced well below their market value. There is no other place in Florence to get a forest green, braided leather, tri-fold wallet for $120, or in the world, for that matter. The school offers free engraving and the chance to watch the students assemble a custom-made belt right before your eyes. 

Ponte Vecchio, Florence

This is the only bridge connecting both sides of Florence that is strictly pedestrian only is lined with jewelers and their shops, most of which are exclusively selling gold. The bridge is located right across from the Uffizi Gallery providing beautiful views of the Arno River, all while temping tourists and locals alike to purchase florentine-styled gold earrings and necklaces. 

Ferragamo, Florence

The Ferragamo store is located in a centuries old, block-long building with the designer’s museum housed in the basement. While the prices may still cause sticker shock, the interior alone is worth the visit. Plus, it’s considered shopping local if the designer’s homebase is Florence, right? 


Grand Hotel Illes de Borromees, Stresa

Looking like a more pastel version of a Wes Anderson film, the Grand Hotel Illes de Borromees is the definition of gilded luxury and detail, with Ernest Hemingway setting his novel “Farewell to Arms” in the hotel after visiting. The lavish decor and architecture of the hotel definitely outweighs the gourmet food being served in the formal dining room, still making the Grand Hotel Illes de Borromees a destination worth adding to the itinerary. 

Ristorante W.O.W., Montecatini

Located at the top of Montecatini Alto is Ristorante W.O.W. This excellent seafood restaurant offers panoramic views of Montecatini through its wall of windows, but it’s the journey to W.O.W. that makes the restaurant so great. To get to Montecatini Alto you must take the Funicolare, a single cable car, from the base of the mountain to its peak. The car’s capacity is about fifteen and encourages passengers to bring their own to-go drinks from the bar located in the Funicolare station. If you get the chance, it is recommended that you travel to the top before sunset, providing the most spectacular views of Tuscany imaginable. 


Faith Kelnhofer is a new content contributor for JUGs! Learn more about her and the rest of our team on the 'about us' page. 




The Week of February 20th

Around Boston

Try something new this Friday night and join The Third Piece at The Street's brand-new Pop-Up Makery Space for a knitting workshop. The Third Piece team will show you how you can make your own luxury knitwear! 

Save your spot now for She Geeks Out's February 28th event hosted by edX. Speakers include: Nimisha Asthagiri, Principal Software Engineer, edX, Emily Rawitsch, Director of User Experience Design at Invaluable and Beth Santos, Founder and CEO of Wanderful.

Around L.A.

Liam Neeson's film Love Thy Nature will be screened this Wednesday in Santa Monica. The film will show us that a renewed connection with nature is key not only to our well-being, but also to solving our environmental and climate crises. 

Are you a freelancer in need of some company? Sign up for Maker City LA's monthly Free Coworking Desk Day and experience a new way to work away for yourself in the middle of the vibrant DTLA.

Career & Finance

Didn't snag a ticket to Girlboss' March Rally event? Fear not, for $65 you can watch it online! Get your digital pass.

In honor of Black History Month, here are 17 black women who made history that we need to get familiar with.

This 27-year-old girl just became the first woman to visit every country on earth. And she did it to promote peace through sustainable tourism. #GirlCrush

Health & Beauty

These are the hot new gym bags we're adding to our wishlists. No one wants to be a messy bag lady!

3 hydrating DIY face masks for your next girl's night in....or the next time you're snowed in.

Style & Decor

The model everyone can't stop talking about might surprise you, and we love it.

16 women affected by breast cancer walked topless in this NYFW show and it was incredible.



Who's That Gal: Kristina Tsipouras of Boston Business Women

Kristina doesn't consider herself the ultimate "busy girl" for nothing.  Diving right in...!

Name: Kristina Tsipouras
Age: 31
Occupation: Founder of Boston Business Women & Moroccan Magic lip balms
Hometown: Newton, Mass
Current ‘hood: Milton, Mass

What is one of the major lessons of success you have held onto from your start in wedding and event planning?

Your network is your network. Never burn bridges and treat everyone with kindness and respect. Your reputation is everything in business.

You started a company at the age of 27, how did you curate the idea and brand (the first of three!)?  How has this processed changed with the progressive evolution of each brand?

I had a notebook filled with ideas starting in college. I think by 27 I had enough confidence and experience in corporate behind me to feel confident enough to move forward. I weigh out options, who do I know in my network who may be able to open some doors for me? Is it a low cost start up, etc.

You took part in MassChallenge! Tell us what that experience was like.

I was a top fifteen finalist in Mass Challenge. It was a great experience because of the mentorship I gained going through the experience. I grew a lot as an Entrepreneur and young business woman in that program.

What would you recommend to a gal as she works on fine-tuning her strengths, weaknesses, and skill sets to be her best, marketable self?

You need to work on yourself. If you want to stand out from the rest, do the hard work. Look really closely at your weaknesses and make sure you have people on your team who can make up for them. You have to know yourself really well and have a lot of confidence to be successful.

Boston Business Women (BBW) has nearly 7,500 active members, quite a feat in a short few years!  How did you go about founding this group and growing so quickly?

We are growing very quickly and now have over 7,700 active members! I created it because I didn’t feel that any other networking groups in town gave me the experience that I was looking for. I believe it grew so quickly because we don’t have many rules, we just focus on being positive, supportive and having fun.

Two of us attended your innovation conference last spring, and you had some fantastic speakers!  What is your pitch like for such inspirational women to be a part of this motivational day?

I share my personal story with them and why Boston has needed a conference like this for quite some time. I think of creative ways to get their story and brand across to not only the audience attendees but our quickly growing group throughout the year. I like to focus on long term partnerships and big picture and brands and speakers can see the opportunity more clearly speaking in these terms. LinkedIn premium and instagram have been my secret weapons for asking really high level women to join us.

"Your reputation is everything in business."

As a business owner, which motto (or multiple) do you try to live by?

Go with the flow. I have off days, we all do. I don’t push against the grain. If something isn’t feeling right and flowing easily, then it probably isn’t meant to be. I remain really open to all possibilities that come my way.

You’re a strong believer in work-life balance.  What do you recommend to your clients for attaining and consistently having this in their lives?

Work on your business and in strategy/big picture mode on the weekends and work in your business during the weeks. This way your organization and goals will be clear and concise. It is all about working smarter not harder. My to-do list will never be complete so I time out my days and schedule downtime and date night just as I would an important meeting.

What makes Boston the best place to call your home base?  How do you think networking is here compared to other cities (in general, and/or for women)?

It is truly a privilege to live in such an amazing city with so many programs and funding for Entrepreneurs. The innovation in this city is unlike any other.

Being the ultimate “Busy Girl,” what else are you looking to conquer in the years ahead?

I am looking to hire and scale both of my businesses. I would love to move into an office downtown and I am trying to keep my other ideas on the back burner and focus on the two growing and successful business at hand. Moroccan Magic is entering select CVS stores next month nation wide, so being successful in CVS and having an amazing 2017 BE BOLD conference in May are my top 2 priorities at the moment!


Currently Reading: Big Magic
Best place to find girlboss inspiration: The Boston Business Women’s facebook group
Go-to place to unwind: Mykonos, Greece (heading there this Summer!)
Best business advice you’ve received: The amount of uncomfortable conversations you are willing to have, often translates into how successful you will become.
Role model: Currently, Suzy Batiz, Founder of Poo-Pourri. She is such a badass and inspiration. She is also speaking at our conference this year!

Come meet Kristina at tomorrow's Ladies Lounge, and find Kristina on social media!

Who's That Gal: Shelley Yen-Ewert & Kristy Cullivan Sierra Of Boston Area Rape Crisis Center

Name: Shelley Yen-Ewert
Occupation: Director of Organizational Development and Learning
Hometown: Upstate NY
Age: Guess
Current Hood: Dorchester
Currently Reading: Wednesday is Indigo Blue by Richard E. Cytowic MD
Favorite Winter Outing: Playing in the snow with my daughter

Name: Kristy Cullivan Sierra
Occupation: Development Director at Boston Area Rape Crisis Center
Hometown: Rockland, MA
Age: In dog years?
Current Hood: South Shore
Currently Reading: Toddler books, lots and lots of toddler books & slow progress on Rad Women Worldwide
Favorite Winter Outing: Skiing

Hi Shelley and Kristy! Please tell us about BARCC. 

The mission of the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center is to end sexual violence through healing and social change. BARCC provides free, confidential support and services to survivors of sexual violence ages 12 and up and their families and friends. We define sexual violence broadly as any sexual act against someone’s will and examples include rape, verbal sexual harassment, and sexual activity with someone who is unable to consent (eg.g. intoxication). We work with survivors regardless of when the incident(s) occurred and our goal is to empower survivors to heal.  We also work with a wide range of organizations and communities, including schools, colleges, and police, to advocate for change. We provide training in how to respond to survivors and create cultures that prevent sexual violence in the first place. 

What do you do and how did you both get involved?

Shelley: I’m the Director of Organizational Development and Learning. In this role I work on improving inter-agency processes and fostering staff professional development to help BARCC more effectively live out its mission of ending sexual violence. I also lead a collaboration between BARCC, the Boston Center for Independent Living, the MBTA and the Transit Police Department to improve response and services to survivors with disabilities. I started on this path soon after college as a volunteer at a different rape crisis center where I developed a passion for social justice. Over 10 years ago I landed at BARCC as its Volunteer Coordinator and have been in many different roles since then.

Kristy: As the Development Director at BARCC, I lead the efforts to fund BARCC’s mission of ending sexual violence through healing and social change. As a fundraiser for BARCC, I particularly enjoy being able to offer people opportunities to support a survivor's path to healing by funding BARCC's free services. I reached a point in my career where I wanted to put my 15 years of professional experience to work at a place where I truly connected with the mission, somewhere that I could wake up every morning and be excited to go to work. For me, this place is BARCC!

What are some of the challenges and rewards of working at a non-profit?

A lot of times when we tell people what we do people say “that must be so hard.” It can be hard to be in the face of trauma regularly and work-life balance can be hard when you care so much and there’s so much need but not enough resources. The rewards outweigh the challenges though. We love working for a mission-driven agency and knowing that we make an impact in the lives of survivors and that we’re working towards creating a culture where healthy, safe, consensual relationships are the norm. We’re lucky to work at an agency that values and cares for each of us as individuals. And we love that we get to work with people who are passionate and a whole lot of fun!

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What are the things you do to take care of yourself?

Kristy: My self-care is a bit simple these days as I find ways to juggle being a mom with a career I love. My go-to is getting outdoors. I love hiking, spending time at the beach (at any time of year), making solo cuddle time with my adorable maltipoo to help me forget the worries of the world, and reading. I also make it a priority to live a healthy lifestyle because it makes me feel good about myself and provides me the fuel I need to get through long days.

Shelley: In our work we always remind people that it’s important for them to take time for themselves, so that they can sustain the work. I’m still trying to figure out how to balance it all, especially with an active, opinionated toddler. Some of the things that keep me going are swimming laps regularly, being outside in nature, reading a good book, and journaling (when I have the time!).

What have been some of BARCC’s biggest challenges?

Like many mission-driven non-profits, BARCC is challenged with securing the necessary funding and resources we need to provide our expert services free of charge. Additionally, the issue of sexual violence has long been an uncomfortable, taboo topic in our culture. As advocates for change, BARCC staff and volunteers work daily to educate our communities to break the silence and stigmas surrounding rape. In recent years, we’ve seen great progress in increased awareness and attention on sexual assault, but there is still much work to do.

We know that you’ve also been very involved in recent women’s movements including Boston Women’s March. Can you talk about why movements like the WM are so important and where you think our country stands as far as improving/ending sexual violence?

Rape crisis centers like BARCC exist because women and survivors created movements to advocate for changes in our society and to support each other. Women have gained many rights as the result of women and their allies coming together to fight for equality. There is greater awareness about sexual violence because of the voices of survivors. Though those before us have made many strides, we still have a long ways to go. Women still face attitudes about their sexuality that expects purity or oversexualizes them;  transgendered people don’t have equal access to bathrooms that fit their gender everywhere; black women worry about their children being killed by police because of their race, women with disabilities don’t have equal access to health care; women who are poor have fewer options for housing. Sexual violence is rooted in all forms of oppression and these factors impact a survivor’s options for safety and their healing. Our collective voices and action are needed to make a change. It has been powerful to see people coming together to fight for justice and equality through the Women’s March, protests, and political action. 

How can people get involved in the prevention of sexual violence?

Prevention is a community effort. It’s about creating spaces where people know that sexual violence is taken seriously and won’t be accepted.  Some of the ways you can do this include: 

  • Saying something or acting when you witness sexual violence or norms that contribute to sexual violence (e.g. jokes about rape).
  • Believing and supporting survivors and always putting the blame on the person committing sexual violence.
  • Advocating at your agency for policies that create safety and address sexual violence.

For an example, check out the MBTA’s anti-sexual harassment campaign developed in collaboration with BARCC.

Contact BARCC for trainings to help your communities and organizations prevent sexual violence. 

How can people get involved in BARCC?

There are so many ways for you to get involved with BARCC. Our website, provides information on a host of volunteer opportunities and community events. You can also invite BARCC to provide a bystander training or awareness event at your workplace, community group, place of worship, etc. During Sexual Assault Awareness Month, on April 23rd, you can join thousands of people to show up for survivors at our annual Walk for Change at Artesani Park in Brighton. The Walk is the largest event in New England for people to speak out against sexual violence and show their support for survivors of all forms of rape and sexual assault. It’s a fun, inspiring day with great speakers, yummy food from local food trucks, and lots of fun and empowering activities. Join us! 

Join us and the ladies of BARCC at Ladies Lounge!

All images provided by BARCC