gratitude journals + what i’m thankful for
i know it’s not thanksgiving anymore, but that doesn’t mean that that being thankful and acknowledging our blessings should stop. to be completely honest, taking time each day to note what we’re thankful for can help put our entire lives into perspective [which, let’s be honest, we need sometimes].
gratitude journals have become quite popular. it’s been proven that keeping a gratitude journal can help lower stress levels, improve sleeping patterns, boost self-esteem and increase happiness, just to name a few. seriously, they’re even written about it in forbes.
and it’s a pretty simple thing to do. the steps are:
- buy a journal.
- keep it by your bed.
- every night before you go to sleep write down three things you’re grateful for and why.
- start reaping the benefits!
so today, the day after the day of giving thanks, i wanted to take a minute to note 27 things i’m grateful for [one for each year of my life]. here we go [in no particular order]:
- my amazing, loving, supportive, weird, crazy family. every last one of them.
- my friends [who are basically my family, too].
- my health [both physical + mental].
- a job that i love so much it stresses me out more than anything else does.
- yoga + how it’s changed my life.
- travel + adventure.
- this blog, my creative outlet.
- the beach.
- leonardo dicaprio.
- my [currently] minimally furnished apartment.
- having a car again + living in a city where driving is a requirement [seriously, eff the nyc mta].
- every single person that’s ever treated me poorly … you showed me exactly how not to act and who not to associate myself with.
- living in l.a.
- the idea that my biggest problems can typically be solved with retail therapy.
- long weekends.
- people who keep it real.
- music festivals.
- the 5 years i spent living in new york city, which will always hold the #1 spot in my heart [but seriously, eff the cold/snow].
- the good that comes out of terrible situations.
- healthy, hippie sh*t.
- like-minded, creative, passionate people.
that’s just a starting point, as i really have so much to be grateful for, but i’ll save all of that for another post.
do you keep a gratitude journal? how has it changed your life? share in the comments below!
3 tips for staying balanced this thanksgiving
thanksgiving is one of those holidays that most of us have a love/hate relationship with. on one hand, it’s amazing because it brings family and friends together over a big, home cooked meal where old traditions are carried out and new memories are made. on the other hand, family drama can come up, your entire life can be picked apart by judgmental aunts and uncles, and the big dinner can be the kickoff to the holiday weight gain we all dread so much.
anyone feelin’ me here?
while no one should be feeling like they need to take such drastic measures as drugging their family to survive thanksgiving, i think it’s so funny in the first place because it really is so relatable … amiright??
here are my 3 tips for staying balanced this thanksgiving, both mentally and physically, so you wake up monday morning after this long weekend not only feeling like yourself, but feeling better than you did today!
1. set aside some time for yourself. i’m not going home for thanksgiving this year because l.a. and my hometown are just too far apart and flights are too expensive, but somehow i still managed to fill up every single day of this long weekend with some kind of activity or adventure [not that that’s a bad thing]. however, i know the importance of taking some time for myself to chill the eff out, so tonight, when i leave the office, i’m heading to a yoga class to start my weekend off on the right foot. it’s very easy to get wrapped up in the go-go-go of a holiday weekend when you’re hopping from party to party, traveling or prepping for the big day, but it’s so essential to set aside some time for you! sleep in tomorrow, take a relaxing bath tonight or head out to your favorite workout class friday morning. whatever it is that helps you unwind and makes you feel good, make time for it!
2. eat mindfully. i obviously talk about this a lot [this is a health and wellness blog, after all] but this is even more important on thanksgiving, the holiday centered around eating. before you dive into your thanksgiving dinner, scope out all of the options and see what you’re workin’ with. fill your plate up with mostly veggies, and then add potatoes, turkey [if that’s your thing] and whatever else might be calling your name [obviously leaving some room for dessert, too!]. and when you do dive in: slow. the eff. down. take small bites. chew your food. breathe. it’s not a race. enjoy your food. by the time you’ve finished, you’ll feel full and satisfied, not like you need another huge plate to get the job done.
3. take 5 minutes to acknowledge what you are thankful for. this should be the obvious tip, as this is thanksgiving, but i think that the majority of us have lost sight of the holiday’s true meaning. thanksgiving isn’t about eating a turkey, it isn’t about leaving your family gathering early to head to the mall to trample other people in the name of “getting the best deals” … it’s about being thankful and appreciating everything you have. there are so many people in the world who would kill for your sh*tty studio apartment that you pay way too much money for … they would love to have a family as annoying and crazy as yours … and yes, they would probably do anything to have the job you complain about day in and day out. if you’re reading this from a computer or a smart phone, i guarantee you are luckier and more fortunate than most of the world’s population. take 5 minutes tomorrow to write down … yes! write down! what you’re thankful for and why. keep those things in mind when things aren’t going your way this weekend. an action this small can take you leaps and bounds … you’d be surprised!
happy thanksgiving, everyone! i hope you have an amazing day celebrating with your family and friends, and take some time to unwind the rest of the weekend … you deserve it!
motivations mondays: under construction!
so, last week marked the 52nd installment of motivation mondays … an entire year worth of inspiring quotes … hard to believe it! i love these posts … they’re so fun to write and such a great way for me to start off the week [we all know how much the “sunday scaries” or a “case of the mondays” can impact our mindset] but i’ve kinda been feeling like they needed a little revamping …
with that being said, i’m still in the brainstorming stage of making this a reality. i know i don’t want to completely do away with the positive quotes, but i think motivation mondays could use a little more … weekend recaps? more links i love that lead to content directly related to the week’s quote? images that offer an escape? interviews with inspirational people? i’m just not sure yet!
i hope to have this figured out and LIVE in time for next week’s post … and i would love to hear your ideas, too! what would you like to see? email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with anything that comes to mind.
in the meantime, here’s a quote that kind of aligns with where i’m at to start the last week of november [like, WUT?!] off on the right foot:
no further explanation needed, right?
p.s. prepare to see a lot of thanksgiving themed posts going up this week … check back wednesday and friday for brand new content … and a newsletter will be going out this week for the first time in a while … so make sure you sign up! only 3 days of work until we can begin 4 days of rest and relaxation!
motivation mondays: week 52
good morning, ya’ll! hope you had a fun weekend … i had friends from new york in town last week and one of them stayed through the weekend, so the past few days have been full of eating, drinking, and playing tour guide!
we hiked temescal canyon trail saturday morning … couldn’t have asked for better weather or a prettier view! i love how l.a. gives you so many options for things to do outside … all year round!
week 52 of motivation mondays … a whole year worth of inspiration, good vibes and straight up motivation. i can’t believe it! in the coming weeks, i’ll be re-vamping the appearance and structure of the motivation mondays posts … just because change is sometimes necessary and i think after a year, it might be time to re-evaluate, but …
today, i just want to leave you with a simple message about love and happiness. with everything going on in the world, it can be easy to lose sight of what’s most important in life … to be angry and feel hopeless. in tough times, we need to remember that love is what conquers everything in the world that hurts us.
you have the power to spread happiness and sometimes the smallest act of kindness can go farther than you can imagine. don’t overlook any chance you have to make someone happy, and never underestimate your ability to help change the world, one small step at a time.
i’m not going to do any links this week, just because i think it’s important to focus on what’s most important to the world right now. i’m sending all of my love to anyone who has been impacted by the awful events of the last few days, and trying to remain as hopeful as possible. never let the actions of some discolor your views of humanity as a whole. there are more good people in the world than bad, and there is more love than hate.
oz recap part 6: sydney
well. i’ve put it off for long enough … but it’s time to do the final recap from my trip to australia … and this is one of those cases where i definitely saved the best for last!
sydney was hands down my favorite australian city [broome was a very close second because of how beautiful and secluded it was, but sydney offered a completely different vibe]. i was on my own in sydney, as i was in brisbane, and i rented a cute little studio apartment on airbnb in bondi beach … best decision ever.
this was the final leg of my trip … so by the time i arrived in sydney i had been on many planes, traveled prettttyyyyyy far, and seen and done a lot, so as much as i wanted to explore the city and experience it for everything that it was, i was also in need of some relaxation.
day 1: it was raining and cold when my flight landed at 7am [remember, june is winter in australia] and i was beat. i took advantage of the bad weather and used it as the perfect excuse to go to sleep immediately upon arrival. i hadn’t napped that hard in months and it felt so. freakin. good. that evening, i found a yoga studio down the street from my apartment and it became my sanctuary for the next few days. if you’re ever in sydney, go to yogatime! it was so cute, the prices were reasonable and the instructors were awesome.
day 2: i was so happy to wake up to see that the weather had done a total 180 and it was sunny out. i was about 5 miles from the city center, and because i love exploring on foot so much and was alone [aka: could do whatever the eff i wanted], i decided to walk from bondi beach into sydney proper. it took me about 2 hours, but there were so many shops and cool things to look at along the way that i didn’t mind at all!
when i got to the city center, i stumbled across hyde park where i saw the archibald fountain and st. mary’s cathedral, and also caught a nice view of the sydney tower eye.
[archibald fountain, hyde park]
[st. mary’s cathedral]
[sydney tower eye as seen from hyde park]
next, i walked over to the royal botanic gardens, which run along the sydney harbour. even though it was “winter” the plants, trees and flowers were still so beautiful!
[royal botanic gardens]
from here, the views of the sydney harbour bridge and the opera house were amazing … selfies happened [again, #solotravelproblems].
[sydney harbour selfie!]
from this point, i basically ran over to the opera house because i was so effing excited to be at this iconic landmark … and it’s just as stunning as you would imagine it to be in person. on the opposite side of the harbour in the rocks district, i [naturally] walked right into a foodie market, where i grabbed lunch before stopping for some more photo ops.
finally, i walked across the sydney harbour bridge. and … again, views. for. days.
[sydney harbour … perfection]
after walking around 15 miles total that day, i met up with brian and laura, u.s. expats living and working in sydney who are friends of friends from college for a little night out … and they were the best hosts! we had an amazing italian dinner in surry hills, complete with pizza and wine … and more wine. it was so nice to be welcomed by two total strangers with such open arms [and isn’t it always a good thing to have friends in fun places?]. after finishing off a bottle of wine, i headed back to my cozy bondi beach apartment and crashed.
day 3: i took an early morning yoga class and then a nap [vacation, doe] and then had the best breakfast of the trip at bondi wholefoods. that same morning, i also found the most perfect farmer’s market [i’m starting to think i have a sixth sense for this type of sh*t] where i enjoyed a fresh kombucha on tap and some people watching.
on this day i wrote in my journal:
“bondi beach is literally the venice beach of australia … only cleaner … and better because it’s not in america. it has the coolest vibe … great shops, restaurants, and hot surfers. this is officially the part of australia i could stay in forever.”
i’ll let the pictures do the talking.
[the famous icebergs club]
need i say more? after a bit more wandering, i did the coastal cliff walk from bondi beach to coogee beach, which was about 4 miles, and some of the most scenic coastline i have ever seen. the ocean, the waves, the cliffs, the sky, everything was just un. real. if you do the entire walk, you hit bronte beach, tamarama and gordon’s bay before ending in coogee. this is a MUST DO if you ever visit sydney.
day 4: sigh. my last day in australia slash paradise slash heaven. i made it to one last yoga class, stocked up on tim tam’s and spent the day laying on the beach in bondi, people watching and reading. i really wanted my last day of vacation to be all about rest and rejuvenation and. it. was.
in the evening, i returned to the city center to have farewell drinks with brian and laura at opera bar, which as you might have guessed, sits right next to the opera house. no better way to spend my final hours in australia than looking directly at one of the most famous landmarks in the place, amiright?!
[best send off ever!]
and … that’s all she wrote … looking back, i honestly can’t believe i was so lucky to have been able to spend two weeks in the land down under. it was a whirlwind … as with just about any place you travel to, there is more to see and do in australia than a lifetime will allow … but, i’m pretty confident i’ll make it back one day!
for a full recap on everything i ate [my favorite kind of recap] on this trip [and trust me, it’s worth looking into] check out this post, and the recaps of the other places i visited can be found below!
… so … where to next?!
motivation mondays: week 51
i’m so sorry for how sporadic my posting has been as of late. i’m working a job in l.a. that i love, but it’s much more time consuming than my last gig in new york was, which means less [re: no] free time for developing content during the day like i used to. it’s an adjustment, and i’m still committed to bananas + bellinis … health and wellness will always be my passion and writing, my creative outlet, so i’m not going anywhere anytime soon … it just might take me a few months to get into a constant swing of things like i was before … so, please, don’t give up on me!
this weekend, i treated myself to some much needed r + r after … what you could call a “wild” halloween weekend. saturday, i hiked griffith park up to the griffith observatory with two of my sorority sisters, which was awesome. it was so good to get out in nature and i absolutely love how accessible a good hike is to l.a. residents [like myself now!!]. also, check out that view of downtown!
after the hike, we ate some real mexican food at a taco stand in hollywood, cactus taqueria. i had the vegetarian burrito “wet” [smothered in red chili sauce and cheese] and the freshest, creamiest guac of all time. definitely an LA “must eat”.
not gonna lie, it took me a while to find a quote i really loved for this week’s motivation mondays. the last few weeks of my life have been a little stressful and last week, after a rough weekend, i was in funk at work, my stress levels were elevated and overall i didn’t feel like myself. i was questioning just about every move i have made in the past few months, wondering if i was really in the right place. i came across this quote, which i had saved to my camera roll months and months ago, and it felt like just the perfect reminder i was in need of:
sometimes, life feels like it comes to a screeching halt. it can feel like we aren’t going anywhere, like things around us are moving forward, but we just aren’t. one second you can feel great about everything and the next, not so much. that’s the ups and downs of life, right?
we know that life isn’t always easy, and when it gets tough … you have a bad day … a rough week … or a hard couple of months … the most important thing to remember is that it’s not always about how fast you’re moving forward, but where you’re headed. don’t be so hard on yourself. don’t put so much pressure on yourself to be perfect all of the time … it’s simply not possible.
as long as you’re working hard to improve yourself … your life … your situation … and you’re growing as a person and moving towards a destination, or a goal, that makes you excited, happy, and feel alive … you’re doing better than many, many other people out there.
links i’m loving this week:
1. a sh*tload of boozy ice cream recipes for the holiday season? don’t mind if i do!
2. um … this list of tweets about exercising. cry. ing.
3. and finally … really excited about the end table i just ordered this weekend for my living room [which officially has a couch!] … my l.a. apartment is slowly starting to feel like home!
that’s all for today … short, sweet and simple! see you on thursday for a little #tbt with my final australia recap [can i go back for more yet?] and on friday with a new recipe post!
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