motivation mondays: week 23
the cold temperatures that we’re experiencing in the northeast right now are seriously killin’ my vibe. i left my apartment wearing a regular shirt, a sweater, leggings, knee socks, leg warmers, uggs, two jackets, and more winter accessories than should be considered normal. because i can barely feel my extremities let alone put my thoughts into words this morning, today’s motivation mondays post is going to consist of motivational imagery instead of words. beach, anyone?
i’ll be spending the day listening to my “sunny days” playlist in an effort to transport my mind to the beach. i’m going to miami in just under two weeks, so i’m doing my best to keep my eye on the prize.
i hope everyone has an amazing week and most importantly, stays warm.
is it summer yet?
love + light on valentine’s day 2015
happy friday, loves! i hope your week has been amazing and that you’re all ready for the weekend [i know i am]! valentine’s day is tomorrow and i’ve talked about it a lot over the past week. i shared some gift ideas and talked about the importance of not stressing over this holiday regardless of your current “situation”. i’m not hating on valentine’s day at all, i’m just not worrying about it, and you shouldn’t be either!
don’t put any pressure on making tomorrow the best day, like, ever. honestly, my most memorable and fun valentine’s day was spent with two of my friends getting drunk, attempting to go out [and failing miserably], coming home early, changing into sweats, and eating drunk food while watching the office until we fell asleep.
it should only be about making the most of the day, whatever that means for you. relax. go out. cook. watch netflix. ho to yoga. hit the gym. drink some wine. book yourself a massage. plan a trip. do you. and don’t let anyone tell you there’s something wrong with that.
so, that’s my spiel. i’ll leave you with just a little valentine’s day inspiration…
happy valentine’s day!
peace, love, light + xo’s,
image #1 courtesy of glitter guide
5 winter skincare tips you need to try immediately
the winter months can do serious damage to our bodies. the constant fluctuation of temperatures, the bone chilling winds, the dry air… not only is being cold literally the worst, the winter can also impact our mood, our weight, our appetite and finally, our skin.
i’m pretty lucky in the sense that my skin tends to run on the normal side. i don’t have to do too much to keep it clear and since i’ve switched over to an all-natural skincare regimen, my skin has looked [and felt] better than ever… that is, until the temperatures dropped. over the past few weeks, between the cold, dry air outside and the hot, dry air in my apartment, my skin is freaking out in a way it normally doesn’t. i’m not surprised, as this tends to happen every year, but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating.
sound familiar? if so, here are five things that i recommend you do every day to protect your skin from the elements and keep it looking fresh throughout the harsh winter months.
1. exfoliate. i cannot stress enough how important this is. exfoliating the skin will get rid of dead skin cells, help to remove dirt/makeup from your pores and reduce the size of your pores in general, helping to maintain a glowing complexion all year round. for my face, i swear by my clarisonic brush and highly recommend this to everyone. for the rest of your body, use a dry skin brush right before hopping in the shower!
2. cleanse with a cream cleanser. cream cleansers are a total game changer in the winter, as they help to add more moisture to the skin, while many standard cleansers just dry us out even more. a cream cleanser is also a great option for sensitive skin any time of the year. i recommend an all-natural cleanser, like this one from acure, that contains cocoa butter and argan oil.
3. moisturize. a sh*t ton. this may seem obvious, but you really can’t go overboard with this in the winter months. i slather coconut oil all over my body, including my face, every single morning and right before i go to bed. i know it sounds pretty counter intuitive to put oil directly onto your skin, as we’ve always been told that having oily skin is bad, but trust me, it needs it. if we strip our skin of natural oils, it will start to overproduce them and, trust me, you don’t want this to happen.
4. invest in a humidifier. as if battling the cold air wasn’t already enough, we also have to deal with the warm, dry air when indoors. one great way to do this is to invest in a humidifier. humidifiers add moisture to the air, which not only can help our skin, but can also help alleviate that dried out feeling we tend to get in our sinuses. i keep one on my desk that i run during the day and one on the floor next to my bed that i run while i sleep.
5. wear spf. even on those overcast winter days, our skin can still be damaged when exposed to the sun and using a daily moisturizer with spf is highly recommended [i’m sure this isn’t the first time you’ve heard this]. like i mentioned before, i use coconut oil, which just so happens to be a natural spf, to moisturize daily, so you can kill two birds with one stone here.
bonus tip: sometimes, even if we do everything imaginable to take care of our skin, we can’t avoid a breakout. when this happens, i suggest using organic tea tree oil as a spot treatment. it’s a natural antiseptic, so it works quickly to zap out the bacteria and reduce the appearance of blemishes. just put a few drops on your finger and apply directly to the breakout after you’ve gone through your regular skincare routine!
do you have any other trusted methods/products for combatting the cold weather?
motivation mondays: week 22
okay. real talk for a minute. i mean that’s what motivation mondays is all about anyways, right?
this week is leading up to what can be one of the most dreaded days of the year for many people… valentine’s day. for some of us, the thought of spending valentine’s day without a significant other makes us feel like we are missing out on something or failing at life, especially if our friends and family are all coupled up, posting sappy sh*t on social media and flaunting their “perfect” relationships everywhere. on the other side of things, those who are spending the holiday with someone can seriously stress themselves out over the “right” thing to do and they will typically put pressure on the other person to make sure everything is “perfect”, as well [ladies, i’m talking to you]. it can really take the fun out of a day that’s supposed to be about love, something that shouldn’t make anyone feel down on themselves or angry at their significant other.
i touched on this a little bit last week when i shared my favorite ideas for valentine’s day gifts, but for motivation mondays this week i wanted to reiterate it since it’s the dreaded “week of”. please, please, please don’t let this holiday define how you feel about yourself. if you’re celebrating with someone… don’t put too much pressure on yourself [or on them] and if you’re flying solo, don’t worry about it. it’s one day out the year and it’s just not worth stressing over one way or another. and, honestly… it’s not even a real holiday. so, with that being said…
the beatles said it in 1967 and it’s one of those famous lines that still is and always will be relevant… “all you need is love, love it all you need”. this is it. love. it’s all there is. if you have genuine love in your life… from your family, friends, boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, dog, cat, kids, yourself… that’s all you need. you don’t need fancy dinners, expensive gifts or to even have a boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife at all to feel love in your life… ever.
the best thing you can do for other people is love them. the best thing you can do for yourself is to love who you are. you get back what you put out there. this doesn’t mean that love will solve all of your problems, but it does mean that love puts everything into perspective, helps you through the hard times and makes the good days even better. forget about valentine’s day… love all of the people in your life and show them that you care, love yourself and treat yourself to something that makes you happy. and most importantly, love your life every. single. day.
this year, make an effort to let all of your expectations and opinions of valentine’s day just go. enjoy yourself, do whatever the eff you feel like doing and don’t let any “holiday” tell you that it’s not good enough.
for all of you new yorkers [or anyone visiting the city] looking for a quick and healthy breakfast spot, you have to check out OatMeals. it’s the most exciting take on plain old oatmeal i’ve ever seen… the sign in front of their shop sunday morning proclaimed how proud they are of being “basic”, but honestly, their creations are anything but. they have sweet and savory options [and even a “dessert” menu] or you can build your own bowl using any of the ingredients on the menu. i decided to build my own and ended up with bananas, raspberries, toasted coconut, dark chocolate chips and almond butter drizzle… yum.
a few quick links to check out on this monday morning…
1. i’m absolutely obsessing over these mantra bracelets. there are just so many to choose from that i can’t decide which one to go with! What do you guys think?
2. these dogs and their owners serve as an amazing reminder that you should never judge a book by its cover.
3. and finally, my amazing friend and fellow health coach, blogger and yogi [who just so happens to have the same name as me], gave me the sweetest shout out on her blog last week! head over to fresh meets fierce [um, how badass is that name?!] to check out her first fierce list!
that’s all I’ve got for you today! i would love to hear how everyone is planning on spending their valentine’s day! how are you going to put today’s motivation mondays message into practice this week?
peace, love and all of the xo’s,
image courtesy of how to nest for less
the yoga diaries: pt. I
as i have mentioned a few times over the past month, i’m currently in training to become a 200-hour certified yoga teacher. the past four weeks, [and for the next two months] my weekends have been spent with a group of about 25 yogis breaking down the practice of yoga piece by piece, learning not only the postures and how teach them, but studying anatomy, yoga history, the philosophy of yoga and learning so much about ourselves in the process.
i really want to document this experience here on bananas + bellinis, so i’m gonna go ahead and start a new little series i’m callin’ the yoga diaries. i’ve already thrown some yogi wisdom into a couple of motivation mondays posts [here and here], but every now and then i’ll go beyond that and talk about my progress and what i’m learning in a way that i think will be helpful to you. but first, just a little background…
i started practicing yoga about six years ago, sometime during my sophomore and junior years of college and it truly changed my life. at this time i was struggling with a fairly restrictive diet [that was fueled by the fear of eating something “bad for me”] and poor body image when someone suggested that i give yoga a try. i found out about some free classes held on campus and decided to check it out. i loved the practice and the way it made me feel, both mentally and physically, so i started attending classes here and there. since i was a broke college student, going to classes at a studio regularly wasn’t really an option, but i began practicing almost daily, following along with the YOGAmazing podcast in my room.
with that being said, my practice didn’t really become consistent until about three years ago. i would practice here and there at different studios in new york, taking advantage of every “your first 2-weeks free!” offer i could come across until i eventually accepted a job at a company that offers free yoga to their staff members four days a week… yes, free yoga… basically my dream. having access to yoga like this really took my obsession to a new level. i saw myself improving and having the confidence to attempt challenging poses i never thought i would be able to do. i became more interested in meditation and really going inward to find peace with not only myself, but the world around me. finally, about a year and a half ago, i started exploring the idea of becoming a yoga teacher. i felt that because yoga had done so much for me that i needed to share it with other people and if i could help others, even just one person, who might be struggling with something similar to what i’ve gone through, it would be worth it.
fast forward to today and I’m four weeks deep into making that happen. i did my research, checked out a bunch of different studios and in october decided to go with yogaworks. something in my gut just told me this was the right direction to go and i could not be happier with how it’s been going. my teachers are incredible, i’ve met so many wonderful people and i really feel my life transforming. it’s a lot of work, there’s absolutely no denying that, but i love what i’m doing and how i’m feeling, both in my mind and how i go about my days, but i also feel physically stronger and notice a huge difference in how i practice already.
this weekend will be the fifth [of twelve total] and i can’t believe how fast it’s going! we’re tackling inversions this weekend… and going into this training one of my goals was to have a perfect handstand by the end of it. five weeks later, i’m less concerned about having a “perfect” handstand and focusing on being okay with where i am now, both on and off the mat. perfect, imperfect… it doesn’t matter. yoga is now and i’m working so hard to accept where i am, enjoy the ride and see where it takes me.
so, with alllllll of that being said, i would love to know what your experiences [if any] have been with yoga? have you found something in your life that just totally makes you feel at peace… and what is it? i would love to hear from you in the comments below or via email [firstname.lastname@example.org]. until the next installment of the yoga diaries…
xo + namaste,
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