a note on inspiration
so… it’s been a while. about 2.5 months to be exact. i did feel pretty guilty about this for a while [what’s new?] because i love writing, i love this blog, and i love putting my thoughts, ideas, tips, and tricks out there… and i feel great when i do it… but i kinda came to terms with the fact that i also don’t even care that i’ve taken a little unplanned hiatus… and here’s why.
inspiration comes and goes. my last post, which went up right before i left for cuba, was on a topic i felt really passionately about… something i feel like i have enough experience with and knowledge about to put out into the world. i felt inspired to write the post in the days leading up to my trip because i was living it. i was in the moment, doing what i normally do when i’m preparing to go on vacation… so the post came very naturally for me… one could say that it flowed.
when i got back from cuba… it wasn’t that i was feeling uninspired… quite the opposite actually… but in a different way. i spent the entire week i was there disconnected… no cell phone service, no wifi, no TV… nothing. and i loved every second of it. that aspect of the trip was honestly a huge part of what made it my favorite vacation i’ve ever taken. i was so present… i was living in the moment… and when i got back to LA, i kinda sorta wanted to keep that feeling going.
i kept telling myself “okay this week i’m going to sit down and write a post” … “i’m going to post once per week again starting next week” … and it just didn’t happen. and that’s okay… because this is what i’ve realized:
forcing yourself to do something when you’re uninspired to do it is completely pointless. sure, some people might argue the opposite… and in some cases, you probably do need to pull yourself together and fake it ’til you make it… but, taking a step back can be a good thing… and a totally necessary thing, too. which was absolutely the case for me.
my experience in cuba [which i’ll recap soon!] was so surreal that i don’t know how to put it into words… a few weeks after that, i had one of the most fun weekends ever at coachella… then i celebrated my 29th birthday, and went all out in the process… my family came to visit me in LA allllllllll the way from PA…
i’ve also been teaching yoga, working part time at a really effing cool workout studio [which i’ll tell you guys more about later!]… i’ve met a lot of amazing new people…. gone to parties and celebrated birthdays… i’ve spent a lot of time outdoors [my truest happy place]… i had nights that turned into mornings… i’ve taken naps in the middle of the afternoon [so unlike me]… i got into a car accident [no one was seriously injured, but holy sh*t is dealing with insurance companies a nightmare]… i went camping with 23 of my closest friends in joshua tree…
i’ve had a pretty eventful few months… and blogging took the back burner. and you know what? i’m okay with it. because here i am now… i’ve had some time to breathe, go with the flow, and really live in the present… and get re-inspired in the process. i’d rather post nothing than post something that felt forced… or that was total sh*t [which i’ve done before, let’s be honest]… but now, i’m back in a place where i feel like i’m full of inspiration and i can’t wait to share it all with you!
so, before i sign off, i just want to say this: if you’re feeling uninspired… if you want to do something but just can’t find the will to do it… don’t force it. take a step back… re-evaluate your whys… maybe you’ll discover that it’s not really what you want to be doing… or maybe you’ll discover that it absolutely 100% is… and you just needed some space to figure that out. [kinda comes back to that whole idea of saying “no”, ya feel me?]
and with all of that being said, i’m so excited to be back! i have weekly posts planned for the rest of the summer… and hopefully i’ll be able to revamp some things around here in the next few months, too… so i hope you can forgive me for my little hiatus and hop right back in where we left off… it’s gonna be fun, i promise.
3 tips for a zen vacation
so… i’m leaving for cuba tomorrow… CUBA. i literally never dreamed this day would come… that i, as an american citizen, would EVER be able to visit cuba… so i’m pretty damn excited to say the least! i’m desperately in need of a vacation, so in keeping with the theme of the moment, i thought a travel-related post was necessary. let’s get right to it.
the term “vacation” has lost a lot of its meaning in 2017 america. i’m always reading about how many people don’t use their vacation days, how few vacation days many employers even offer in the first place, and how even when we do take vacation, we have a hard time actually vacationing…
you know… we check our email, we take work calls, we text with our bosses… some people will actually sit in their hotel room and work remotely because they feel so strongly that they can’t get away or everything will fall apart.
thankfully, i’ve never been one of these people. i love travelling, understand the importance of taking a break from things to reset and recharge, and just generally love being able to live life for a week or so a few times a year as if i have no real responsibilities.
so, if you’ve ever found yourself doing any of the above… or even if you’ve actually taken your vacation days, decided to check out, and had crippling anxiety over not knowing what was going on back home to the point that you couldn’t even enjoy your vacation… you’ve come to the right place.
here are my 3 tips for a zen vacation:
1. pack a journal. journaling can be really therapeutic. putting pen to paper and just writing, not even about anything in particular, can do wonders for a racing, anxiety-ridden mind. i always pack a journal when i go on vacation, and it serves a few purposes. first, i love being able to write down all of the amazing experiences i’m having, so that i can look back on everything in detail years later. sure, pictures will help keep the memories alive, but those little details can easily be forgotten. second, it’s a great way to pause, take a step back, and really start to process and get clear on things that might be going on in your life… ya know like your feelings, emotions, where you want to go with your life, if you should or shouldn’t break up with your boyfriend/girlfriend, if you should make a big, risky career move… whatever. i also love the practice of using a gratitude journal to put things into perspective and remind myself how great my life is, even when things aren’t going my way.
2. swap out your daily coffee for tea. as a society, we seriously rely on coffee to get us through the day. when you’re on vacation, you should be relaxing. sleeping in and going with the flow. sure, you might have tours or dinner reservations at specific times, but other than that, vacation is about taking it easy. instead of running to the closest starbucks to get your daily fix, pack some herbal teas instead**… especially those of the calming variety [think chamomile, lavender, ashwaganda]. it’ll help to ease the mind and reduce all of the stress you have about not being at work… which will help you be more present in the end.
[**of course, if you’re going someplace like columbia, italy or bali, where coffee is a huge part of the culture/cuisine… DRINK ALL THE COFFEE YOU WANT.]
3. get off your effing phone. i get it. we all want to be connected to our friends and family. we want to share all of the cool pictures we’re taking at all of the amazing places we’re visiting. [#doitforthegram] but, if you truly want to enjoy your vacation, if you really want to experience the culture of this new, exciting place you’re visiting… get off your effing phone. you don’t even have to go totally off the grid… [i know, scary thought, right?] even just limiting yourself to only checking social media in the evening when you’re back at your hotel can make all the difference… i mean… do you really wanna find yourself standing in front of the taj mahal or at the top of the eiffel tower scrolling through effing facebook or answering a work email? i don’t think so.
i’m planning on going 100% dark in cuba… my phone is going into airplane mode from the moment i step on the flight to havana, and staying that way until i land in LA next week. i’m really craving a little disconnection, and since wifi is hard to come by in cuba, this is the perfect opportunity to just go for it.
what are your favorite ways to check out and really keep it zen when you’re on vacation? do you have any cuba recommendations?! leave them in the comments below… and i’ll see you on the otherside… adios!
5 reasons we all need yoga right now
life in 2017… it’s interesting, right? the world is a really, really crazy place right now.
there’s lots of change happening and many of us are getting caught up in the moment of everything… we keep scrolling through the comments of those truly awful facebook posts [i’ve literally lost all faith in humanity doing this]… we’re cutting people out of our lives when their opinion doesn’t align with our own… sometimes, we’re just curling up into a ball, crying our eyes out, and telling ourselves that we should just give. the eff. up. that it’s all a waste of time and we have no control over where anything is going.
it’s easy to forget the big picture. it’s easy to feel hopeless. it’s so easy to be afraid of what’s ahead. but does feeling this way help us rise above the bullsh*t and continue to move forward, both on a personal and societal level?
i’m guilty of feeling all of the things i outlined above. i go through periods where i feel paralyzed by my anxiety… moments where giving up seems like the best option, because why fight a losing battle, ya know? and this applies to my feelings on my personal goals, my professional goals, and where i wish society would go as a whole.
my anxiety pretty much encompasses everything. it’s not picky. if i can worry about it, i most likely will, sooner or later. but there’s one thing that always, without fail, snaps me out of it. one thing that brings me back to the present moment, brings me back to my power…
probably not very surprising, considering that yoga works wonders for a lot of people, and i’ve talked about what it’s done for me personally here many times before. but sometimes, we do need that friendly reminder to put us back in our place.
a few years ago, i wrote an article for elite daily titled “5 reasons why all millennials would benefit from practicing yoga” that really hit home for me when i was writing it… and i think it resonated with others too – it was shared almost 300 times!
i wanted to share it here today, because i think all of these points are still valid… for everyone, not just millennials [although they may hit a little closer to home for us than other generations].
… and then go hit the mat… and take this little piece of yogi wisdom with you…
friday favorites: an LA edition
happy, happy, HAPPY EFFING FRIDAY, EVERYONE. is it just me, or was this week… weird? i literally had no idea what day it was for the majority of the week, and the days just seemed to craaaawwwwwlllllll. makes friday feel that. much. better.
it’s been a while since i’ve done a “favorites” post of any kind… and i felt like it was a nice way to end this long, grueling week.
and since i’ve been living in LA for about a year and a half [it will be 2 years in july… excuse me… WHAT?!] i thought… why not do a post about the things/places i’m loving in LA right now? i have to say that i really feel more at home here than i have anywhere else, so it really just feels right, ya know?
1. beaming. beaming is an amazing little superfood bar with several locations throughout los angeles. they have everything from smoothies to cleanses to nut butters to granola mixes. and everything is amazing. i recommend the kale-fornia smoothie [because duh]. they even have an online store for those of you not local to LA!
2. archlight culver city. a movie theater? yes. why, you ask? because they have a full bar in the lobby… and you can take your drink into the theater with you. talk about really transforming the experience of going to see a movie on a sunday evening! it’s possible that they do this in other theaters, too, but it’s the only one i know of so… there ya have it! i guess you could call this ~*soLA?
3. playlist yoga. this was a studio i had heard a lot about before i even lived in LA, but it took me way too long to actually try a class there. now, i’m hooked. all of the instructors are amazing, the music is LIT AF, and the lockers are all labeled with the names of musicians [think bey, kendrick, calvin, biggie]. maybe i’ll do a full class review one of these days!
4. my favorite murder. okay, so this isn’t specific to LA, but the hostesses do live here, so i’m counting it. my favorite murder is the podcast i’m currently bingeing. literally, cannot get enough of it. they cover a couple of different murders stories each week, walking you through all of the details… and they also manage to make it absolutely hilarious [in a non-offensive way]. if you’re into true crime, you’re probably already listening to it, too, but if you’re not… what are you waiting for?! oh, and their tagline is “stay sexy, don’t get murdered”… that’s all.
5. the weather. again. finally. the past few months have been pretty sh*tty here in LA, weather-wise. i know, i know you don’t wanna hear it because angelenos are spoiled and basically always have perfect weather, but GUYS. when it rains almost every day for 2 months and is grey and colder than usual… in a city where the weather is literally always perfect… it really takes a toll on you! don’t like it? don’t care. haters gonna hate, i guess. this past week has been absolutely gorgeous, and now that all of the rain has turned LA green… i’m more ready for summer than ever. can’t wait to get out and do some hiking this weekend!
what are your favorite things to do, places to go, food to eat in your city?! share in the comments below! and would also love more LA recs!
my #1 tip for amazing skin
there’s a lot of information out there about how to get glowing skin… the quickest way to get rid of blemishes… the best products to use for oily/dry/combination skin… the easiest way to prevent wrinkles…and it seems like everyone has a different answer for what solutions are the best, which makes sense… because everyone’s skin is different and will react differently to different treatments and products.
while i can’t tell you what the best this or that is [i’m still trying to figure this out for myself], what i can tell you is that there is one tip for amazing skin that works for just about everyone. it doesn’t cost a fortune, it doesn’t come from the depths of the some remote village in southeast asia, and it’s not some complicated system that takes work to integrate into your routine. in fact, it’s quite the opposite of all of these things…
keep. it. simple.
yep. it’s really as easy as that. why? i’m so glad you asked!
our skin is one of our largest organs, and it has a few pretty important jobs, including protection [from UV damage, bacteria, dehydration, physical injury] and regulation [of temperature, the immune system, excretion of waste] of the whooooollllle body. so, we wanna take care of it. like, really, really good care of it.
keeping it simple is important when it comes to taking care of our skin because, just like with anything else, when we bombard our skin with sh*tloads of products [cough*chemicals*cough] it doesn’t know what to do.
i know so many people who swear by skincare products that not only break the bank, but are loaded with harmful chemicals. they have skincare regimens that are so complicated i don’t even think they even fully understand what they’re doing or how it’s working. they just see results, see the amazing skin they’re looking for, and stop asking questions. which is fine in some situations, but this isn’t one of them.
the good news is, it can be so much easier and so much better for you than that! and i’ve got a few tips where to get started [because i know it can seem like a daunting task].
1. narrow it down. great news, guys. you don’t need 20 different products for great skin. in fact, this is one of those situations where less is definitely more. i like to keep my daily skincare regimen to a facial cleanser, toner, and moisturizer [typically an oil of some kind… right now i’m using avocado oil and i love it] in the morning and before bed. i’m also a big fan of masks 2-3 times a week. [i love pretty much all of lush’s masks, and these collagen eye pads are my latest obsession].
2. clean it up. ditch the products that are full of chemicals. anything with sulfates, parabens, and PEGs. these synthetic ingredients have been linked to cancer, among other things. yea, cancer. this sh*t is not a joke. fellow blogger kate of living pretty naturally breaks this down even further for you here. [this goes for skincare products and makeup.]
3. eat [and drink] for beautiful skin. it sounds cheesy, but it’s true… beauty comes form the inside out. berries, pomegranates, kidney beans, walnuts, and green tea are just a few of the foods recommended for glowing skin, and one thing i’ve recently added to my daily routine is marine collagen powder. collagen promotes elasticity, cohesion and regeneration of the skin, hair and nails, and it’s kinda poppin’ up everywhere in the wellness world these days. i mix it into a cold glass of water first thing in the morning… couldn’t be easier!
what are your favorite easy, natural skincare tips for amazing skin?! any favorite products? would love for you to share the wealth in the comments below!
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