greetings from south beach!
guys… i’m so happy to finally be able to say that bananas + bellinis is comin’ atcha from warm and sunny south beach!
after weeks of subzero temperatures, snow storms and slush puddles back in new york, this little beach getaway has been basically the only thing keeping me from totally losing my sh*t this week [even though i still kinda did just a little bit on monday night… but that’s neither here nor there].
we arrived last night and i’m beyond ready for a weekend away filled with my fraaannddssss, warm temperatures, sunshine, the beach, summer clothes, flip flops, this hat, which i don’t plan on ever taking off, and most importantly, cocktails with effing umbrellas and flowers in them. there. i said it. sue me.
i’ll fill you in on my weekend more formally next week, but be sure to follow along with me this weekend on instagram to see what I’m up to… a.k.a . what i’m eating and drinking. [disclaimer: i plan on taking the idea of balance to a new level this weekend.] we have a few restaurants/bars scoped out [as i always do anytime i go on vacation], but i would still love any recommendations you guys might have for food/drinks/activities, so leave ’em in the comments below!
stay warm and have an amazing weekend! any big plans?!
image courtesy of national geographic
diy aloe spritz for sunburnt skin
having been hashtag blessed with the gift of fair, sensitive skin [that was sarcastic, incase you didn’t pick up on that] no matter how high the spf i wear or how often i re-apply sunscreen, i will always, without fail, end up with a sunburn if i expose my skin to the sun for over 30 minutes. if i’m being diligent about applying sunscreen throughout the day, usually my burn will eventually turn to a tan, but the transition from bright red, burnt skin to a healthy, bronze glow can be quite painful.
i’m headed to miami this weekend and in addition to the natural sunscreen i’m packing, i’m also bringing along this homemade post-sun aloe spritz. aloe vera is an obvious choice when it comes to soothing sunburnt skin, but i also added a little lavender essential oil, which has many healing properties, and eucalyptus essential oil, an anti-inflammatory, both of which can help ease the pain of a sunburn and speed up the healing process.
this aloe spritz takes about 15 minutes to make and will definitely be coming along with me on all beach trips from here on out. to make your own, you will need:
- 1 part pulp of aloe vera leaf [see steps 1-3]*
- 2 parts filtered water*
- 10-15 drops lavender essential oil [optional]
- 5-10 drops eucalyptus essential oil [optional]
*ex: if you are using 1/4 c. aloe vera pulp use 1/2 c. water.
to make the aloe spritz:
step 1: first, you’ll need to scoop the pulp from the aloe leaf. to do this, cut the bottom of the leaf off and prop it upright in a bowl/cup for about 10 minutes to allow the yellow resin to drain out. the resin can be a skin irritant, so make sure you don’t skip this part!
step 2: once the resin has been drained from the leaf, slice the skin from the inside of the leaf with a knife or a vegetable peeler, being sure to cut through to the gel-like substance that’s inside.step 3: with a spoon, scoop the desired amount of pulp from the leaf and place it in blender. it may have a pinkish hue to it – this is normal!
step 4: add the water and oils to the blender and blend until well-combined.
step 5: pour the mixture into a spray bottle and spritz onto sunburnt skin!
a couple of things to note: because aloe vera is perishable, this will only keep for about a week, so i don’t recommend making it in large batches. also, the mixture might settle and separate naturally, so shake it up a little bit before spritzing!
motivation mondays: week 24
today on motivation mondays, i want to cut right to the chase and talk about something really important that i had to remind myself of this weekend: sometimes saying “no” is the best thing that you can do for yourself.
saying “no” to that party you don’t really feel like going to, skipping the gym, taking a night to be as unproductive as possible and vegging out in front of the tv… anything that you’re not feeling [within reason] is absolutely okay to say no to every once in a while. we live in a go-go-go society, where we are often made to feel important and successful based on how busy our lives are.
i’ve made myself a victim of this for a very long time, making tedious to-do lists filled with even the most mundane tasks just so i can visually see how “productive” i’ve been that day/week/month, but over the past few weeks, with work, yoga teacher training, posting here regularly, hitting the gym plus every thing else that has needed to get done, i’ve allowed myself to just take things one step at a time and say “no”.
specifically, i’ve done this a few times over the past few weeks in regards to my workout schedule. i’m headed to south beach later this week, so as you can imagine, i’ve spent a lot of time “getting ready” by eating super clean [but still indulging here and there, because duh] and working out… a lot. yoga, the gym, some different group fitness classes… even “two-a-days” where i hit the gym in the morning and go to a yoga class at night. and while i’m feeling great and not dreading the idea of being in a bathing suit, i’m effing tired and feeling a little bit like i don’t have time to just relax and just do nothing anymore.
so, yesterday morning, i threw my plans to attend an hour and half long yoga class before going to teacher training out the window and decided to stay in bed, meditate, make myself some coffee and do some reading/social media trolling instead. i woke up to my alarm, turned it off and literally just said, “nope”. and you know what? it was effing awesome.
we need to give ourselves permission to just say “no” sometimes. while being busy and having things to do is great, we can’t live our lives without down time somewhere in the mix or we risk burnout and once we hit that point, we’re usually down and out for the count much longer than a day. skipping one gym session isn’t going to doom you for failure or allow those few pounds you’ve lost to magically reappear. it’s all about balance and sometimes the best way to achieve that ideal balance is to just say “no”.
when was the last time you gave yourself a break?
fun stuff i’m into this week:
1. like i mentioned, i’m headed to warm and sunny south beach on thursday and i could not be more excited to escape the snow and the cold. i’m definitely making a stop at j. crew to pick up this hat before i leave… it just screams “sun, summer and drinks with paper umbrellas” to me.
2. yoga. and yoga inspiration. i’m seriously more obsessed than i have ever been. i’m seeing progress in my personal practice, even in the most minor details. and it feels awesome. i can’t wait to start teaching.
3. i recently signed up for trover, which is essentially pinterest but only for travel inspiration… pictures, stories, recommendations. considering my pinterest addiction, i’m pretty excited about this site and will definitely be using it to plan my upcoming trip to australia!
have an amazing week everyone! pledge to say “no” to at least one thing you’re really not feelin’ this week… i promise you won’t regret it!
also, do you have any recommendations for things to do/eat/drink in south beach?! would love any and all suggestions!
image courtesy of imgfave
the yoga diaries: pt. ii
this past weekend marked the completion of half of my yoga teacher training. i cannot believe how quickly the time has gone [i feel like i’m always saying that but it’s 100% true] and that in just a few weeks i will be certified to start spreading the love via yoga.
i’m excited, but also freaking out a little bit. while i’ve learned so much, the idea of actually teaching a class kinda, sorta petrifies me. what type of classes will i teach? what if no studio wants to hire me? what if my students don’t like me? all of these questions [and many, many more] have begun racing through my head over the past few days. i’m sure that in the coming weeks, as i delve even deeper into anatomy and alignment, yoga philosophy and how to actually lead a class, i’ll become more comfortable with the idea of walking into a studio to teach rather than practice, but that doesn’t make the fear any less real.
i’ve been thinking a lot about fear lately. what causes fear, how we deal with fear and how ultimately, we need to move through it to reach a higher state of being. fear is one of the five klesas, or causes of suffering, listed in patanjali’s yoga sutras. the yoga sutras talk about fear more so as the fear of death, but i think that fear of just about anything can be approached and looked at from the yogic perspective.
fear comes in all shapes and sizes and can show up just about anywhere… on the mat, at the office, in your personal life. we all have fears and we all struggle. no one is exempt from either of these things in life. no matter how “lucky” someone might seem, they will suffer and experience fear at some point in their life.. this is just a part of the human condition. the difference lies in how we tackle the fear and how we work through our struggles.
many people try to completely ignore whatever it is that’s causing them to experience fear and pain… if we don’t think about it or deal with it, it can’t bother us, right? wrong. just because you are choosing not to think about something doesn’t mean that the problem isn’t there. it just means that you’re not dealing with it and letting it linger… you won’t be able to avoid it forever and the longer you wait to confront it, the harder it will be to overcome. why not just get it done and over with?
now of course, depending on the circumstances, this isn’t always a possibility, but no matter what type of situation you find yourself in, what kind of fear you’re facing, you can’t avoid it forever. yoga teaches us to confront our demons, look them straight in the eye and tell them that you are stronger than they are.
day by day, i’m tackling my fears surrounding yoga and where i’m going and in turn becoming more and more excited about the possibilities that lie ahead of me. i was terrified of getting up in front of my class to teach a pose for the first time, but once i did, i realized how much fun it was and how much truly i enjoyed it. will teaching my first class be difficult? of course. will i be nervous? yes. but what we have to realize is that progress is made by confronting our fears and that success can only be achieved when we work through the fear and come out on the other side, allowing the journey to transform us along the way. this is a part of the path to discovering our true self, our purpose, our passion. conquering our fears makes us stronger and shows us that we are capable of just about anything, as long as we put our mind to it.
my top 3 essential oils + their uses
over the past several weeks, i’ve received a handful of emails from you guys asking about what essential oils i use. i’ve mentioned some different essential oils in a few blog posts here and there, but thought it would be more beneficial to dedicate a post to talking about my favorite ones and what i use them for in more detail.
the three oils that i always have on hand [lavender, tea tree, eucalyptus] are great because they each have more than one benefit and more than one way they can be used, so there’s no need to keep your medicine cabinet stocked with twenty different essential oils at all times [although i would kinda love that, not gonna lie]. here are three essential oils that i recommend having in your home at all times.
- lavender oil: this is definitely my favorite essential oil. it smells amazing and really helps with a few different things. most importantly, it can be used to aid relaxation and promote healthy sleep patterns. staying asleep throughout the night is something i struggle with regularly, so heating a little lavender oil in an oil warmer before i go to sleep can really help me relax and set me up for a restful night’s sleep. i’ll also put a few drops in my humidifier to keep the aroma in the air throughout the entire night. lavender oil can also be used to ease headaches by inhaling the aroma or applying it directly to the temples.
- tea tree oil: i use tea tree oil for so many different things at this point that i don’t even know where to begin! tea tree oil is a natural anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-septic, so it’s uses and benefits cover a lot of ground. it does have a little bit of a harsh scent that takes some getting used to, but i still recommend keeping this one around. personally, i use tea tree oil in my homemade facial toner and as a spot treatment, as it’s anti-bacterial properties help to fight breakouts. i’ll also use it to ease cuts, scrapes or burns in place of neosporin.
- eucalyptus oil: i find that i use eucalyptus oil most often in the winter months when i’m feeling under the weather, as it offers relief to the respiratory system. there are a few ways you can use it, but what i recommend is placing a few drops at the back of the shower as soon as the water is hot, which will create a steam that when breathed in can help ease a cough, sore throat and irritation in the sinuses. because it’s anti-inflammatory, eucalyptus can also soothe sore muscles when applied and massaged directly into the affected area.
if you’re going to start experimenting with essential oils, i recommend investing in high-quality, therapeutic grade, u.s.d.a. organic versions. while they will be a little more expensive, you’re going to experience more of the benefits these babies have to offer with a higher quality oil. i personally love aura cacia products, which you can order online directly from their site or pick up at most health food stores. a few other essential oils that i also recommend checking out are peppermint oil for indigestion [place 2-3 drops in an 8 oz. glass of water] and lemongrass as an insect repellant.
have you experimented with essential oils before? what ones? how did you like them? would love to hear from you in the comments below or via firstname.lastname@example.org!
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