READY FOR THE REAL?

I had to share this because I have decided that this year my blog was going to focus a little more on REAL life. I am currently living up to my goal of one blog post a week and I thought that this post was kind of necessary. January 15th (two weeks into the New Year) I decided I needed a do-over. Let me preface this by saying that my boyfriend and I had an incredible first day of the year. We spent the day together and went to dinner to write out all of our combined goals. The reason I needed a do-over was because there was a lot going on in the first couple of weeks and self-care was out the window. The main thing I want to talk about when mentioning self-care is friendships, relationships – family included — and  everything in between.

I was doing my part throughout all the chaos in the beginning of the year to reach out to everyone and really put in an effort with many people. I was trying anything to make plans, see people, have conversations, etc. Then, my dog passed away. It sounds crazy but even though he was definitely my brother’s dog – this whole situation just had me so upset. I didn’t post about it but then my brother decided to post about it. Immediately we received an outpouring of comments, DMs, texts, etc. It’s crazy how much a dog really is a part of the family and your everyday life. I noticed that people I haven’t talked to just reached out to ask “how he died” and “what was wrong with him” – that annoyed TF out of me. Like “hey, how are you? Where TF have you been?” Then I had the amazing texts from people who just genuinely get it or at least were sympathetic. It really was eye opening: some people are genuinely so caring and nice – some people are just plain nosey. That’s when I made the decision to stop putting in effort. Let me explain – I still put in effort every single day of my life – but now I am only doing it for people who make the same effort. If I am asking to hang out with you for months and you can’t figure it out…bye. If I am only hearing from you to get information on the sickness my dog had…bye. If you can’t even text me back and have a real conversation with some real SUBSTANCE…bye. Since when did emoji’s become a response to things? Over it. And let me just say – NO HARD FEELINGS. I feel WAY better about this. I am just not reaching out. Ball is in their court.

Maybe people will notice, maybe they won’t, maybe we’ve outgrown each other – whatever it may be – I am okay with it. Over the past year (specifically last year) – January 2017 and on—I have remained so very grateful for everything in my life. And I realized that a lot of my efforts with people were just going to waste. I am still so grateful – I have just decided to put my happiness first. I have learned that those who are truly happy in their own lives will be happy for you too. It just is what it is. I have had many times where I’ve been in a shitty situation and have still found true happiness for others – it’s called growth, love, support…you get it. I highly suggest you take the time to reevaluate who is around you and what those people bring to your life. Life is about give and take—I’m done giving freely—some might call it being selfish…I call it SELF CARE. XO

 

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2018 – I’M COMING FOR YOU!

HELLO AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I really want to spend some time (soon!) and write up a blog post about 2017 – it was an incredible year for me and I want to open up about it. I learned a lot about myself last year and as the first week of 2018 has just ended, I wanted to make sure I add some quick advice for the New Year. I told my boyfriend yesterday: 2017 = grow up, 2018 = glow up. LOL but really, I learned so much about myself in 2017 – I wouldn’t even know where to begin. I am just very thankful that throughout the ups and downs (mainly ups) I have remained incredibly grateful and positive. I absolutely loved 2017 and I am so excited for this year.

I wanted to leave you with some advice that I’ve read up on recently. Some quick suggestions to really make the most of your year. Try your best to make sure that 2018 is your best year yet – perspective is E V E R Y T H I NG!

DECLUTTER

Even if you’re just tackling a messy drawer or one closet a week, start getting your place in order. Seriously—a clean home is a happy home.

WRITE DOWN YOUR ROUTINE

Writing or journaling is a great way to process your thoughts and reflect on your life. I write down a lot of things – I just bought a new journal today. I have a million agendas, journals, and places where I write down thoughts, ideas, things that have happened throughout my day, etc.

EXERCISE

I took the first 6 days off and managed to get in a light work out today. So necessary! You need to awaken your body. Re-energize and get moving earlier than you would have last year— now that’s an accomplishment to be proud of before the clock’s struck eight!

CHANGE YOUR LIFE

Meditate, pray, breathe deeply or just enjoy the serenity of soundlessness. Take this time – at any time of day- to recognize all you’ve accomplished. Sometimes, all I say to myself is “thank you, thank you, thank you.” It sounds weird but I am thanking God, the universe, and myself over and over again to make sure gratitude is front and center.

SIMPLIFY EVERYTHING

When you feel like you have tons of commitments that aren’t always for you, carve out some time to try a new hobby or pick up an old one. My cousin posted a quick IG story today saying “filling my cup.” She was on a hike without her babies and I got seriously inspired. As a mom of two I am sure it’s hard for her to find me-time – so I really should have no excuse!

SET INTENTIONS

The purpose of an intention is to choose an action, feeling or state of mind we wish to cultivate over the duration of our practice. I sat down with my boyfriend on January 1st and set some serious intentions and goals. Nothing better than having someone there to help hold you accountable.

Lastly, I wanted to share some extra goals to keep in mind that are kind of random but still so necessary! 🙂

  • Start budgeting—or continue to do so
  • Learn how to cope with stress
  • Practice gratitude daily
  • Drink more water

I hope some of these suggestions help inspire you to have an awesome Monday morning tomorrow and an AMAZING YEAR IN 2018! HAPPY NEW YEAR BB’S!

WHERE DID 2017 GO?!

HAPPY DECEMBER!

I wanted to check in and share a quick thought with you all…let’s start here: THE. LAST. MONTH. OF. 2017. I can’t even believe it. I have two very special birthdays to celebrate this year before the holidays. And then BOOM – 2018. I CAN’T EVEN BELIEVE IT. I had a conversation with CA last night about where my life was last year and how I was feeling versus how I’m feeling this year. Last year, nothing really seemed to work for me. I wasn’t happy, I wasn’t happy with my surroundings and I was constantly on edge. I thrive on structure, consistency and just being in THE KNOW. Looking back, I’m KIND OF mad at myself for taking so long to make major life changes but I am also so grateful for it because I truly value where my life is now. Every single day I am grateful. For my family, for my friends, and most importantly, for my boyfriend. I wake up every morning SO excited. I am so happy about how 2017 has unfolded and I am excited to finish out the year STRONG. I hope that everyone takes a moment to really enjoy this first Monday of December and this LAST MONTH OF 2017!

BTW- THREE WEEKS UNTIL CHRISTMAS!!! Who has started decorating? XO

VEGAN LIFE

Just kidding! I am definitely not a vegan and neither is CA. About a month ago my boyfriend decided we should be vegan for the day – that lasted all of 2 hours – and that’s because for 1.5 hours he wasn’t eating and after that he was eating pork AND chicken at a Mexican restaurant. Shout out to that vegan life. Fast forward to the past couple of weeks and he decided we try to do things a little differently – vegan dinners. And so we did. The verdict – we loved it, we were full, and we felt good. I wanted to share three of the vegan restaurants we went to, what we ordered and what we liked. I think it’s important to switch it up every once in a while – CA is an athlete by nature and his body is always on point regardless of what he eats (I know, so annoying) but it was still cool to try something new!

Check out the three restaurants below, what we ordered and what we liked the most!

SUNCAFE ORGANIC [STUDIO CITY]

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BBQ Cauliflower – pan seared cauliflower w/house BBQ sauce, ranch dressing,
pepitas, green onions & dill pickles, GF (YUM!)

Sheperd’s Pie – a rich stew of navy beans, potatoes, mushrooms, carrots & peas. Topped with dill & rosemary whipped potatoes & finished with fresh
herbs. Served with a mixed green side salad. GF

GRACIAS MADRE [WEST HOLLYWOOD]

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Grilled Street Corn – chipotle aioli, pumpkin seed parmesan, lemon (WE BOTH LOVED IT!)

Bowl Dos – braised lentils, peanut sauce, spinach, pico de gallo, coconut rice, pineapple salsa, pumpkin seeds, avocado

Enchiladas Verdes – tomatillo, zucchini, avocado, potato, cashew crema, black beans

BY CHLOE [SILVERLAKE]

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Avocado Pesto Pasta – avocado-cashew pesto, grape tomatoes, fresh basil, almond parm

Whiskey BBQ Burger – smoky Portobello mushrooms, seitan, sautéed kale, onion marmalade, grilled pineapple, bourbon bbq, potato bun (TOO GOOD!)

Mac N Cheese – sweet potato-cashew cheese sauce, skitake bacon, almond parm

 

THE VERDICT – WHISKEY BBQ BURGER WAS THE BEST! We’ve actually gone twice since then just to have that burger. Honestly, I am salivating thinking about it now.

Any vegan restaurant recommendations for us? XO.

BOSCIA BOSCIA BOSCIA – MY SKINVESTMENT

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I AM SO EXCITED to share my BOSCIA obsession with you all!

I am well aware that water, sleep and your diet play a HUGE role in how your skin looks and feels. For starters, I suck at drinking water – my best friend is always screaming at me to put on my seatbelt and DRINK MORE WATER (LOL oops)!

I find that drinking water is such a hassle when I am trying to work work work and not get up from my seat. NOW – with that being said – WATER IS CRUCIAL for your skin…especially if you’re drinking coffee the way that I do. I truly believe the only way to have good skin is with water (and good product…but I digress).

Next – SLEEP. Well, well, well – the good ol’ Zz’s! I have to say, I was sleeping really well for a while and then something shifted and my sleep patterns have been nothing short of LAUGHABLE. I am someone who truly values sleeping at 11 pm and waking up at 7 am LOL, I LITERALLY VALUE THIS. Yet for some reason I have not been able to sleep lately and it’s awful. I recommend a few things to get those Zz’s right – valerian root, melatonin, stress relief drops, lavender oil and white sage. Try them – tell me how you feel. I slept 6 hours and 43 minutes yesterday according to my Fitbit and that’s because I basically did all of the above. Go figure HA!

Last – DIET. I would love to tell you that I have a green juice in the morning, no sugar, and tons of protein throughout the day – but I’d be LYING. My day consists of 2-3 cups of coffee with nonfat, vanilla soy or unsweetened almond milk. I have sugar every single day. And I do not eat properly – the one thing I definitely do is have a salad basically every single day (lettuce, carrots, sunflower seeds, tomatoes, cucumber and a scoop of tuna)…but SUGAR. I am a caffeine and candy fiend. I find myself snacking on a Tootsie Pop before I snack on hummus and carrots. I live for a good piece of candy (let me digress once more and give you a quick list of my favorite candy –  Boston Baked Beans, Caramello, Twix, Dots, Sour Patch, Twizzlers – the list goes on and on).

Now, because I find myself not sleeping, drinking enough water or eating as well as I should – I RELY on good products. BOSCIA (pronounced boe-shuh) is where it’s at for me – it originates in cutting-edge, preservative-free Japanese skincare – it’s called boscia, for “botanical” + “science.” The main reason I fell in love with boscia is because the girl who told me about it had gorgeous skin and let me know that all their products were natural and had an expiration date. Do you drink milk after it expires? Me either. SOLD! Being able to know when my product is not at its best is crucial for me – boscia’s innovative formulas combine advanced technology with nature’s very best. They combine soothing botanicals + high-levels of active anti-aging ingredients to fight fine lines, wrinkles, uneven skin tone, sun damage & enlarged pores.

I wanted to share my 4 step process with you below. Please note that this is a morning/night time routine and it does not change. Have any of you tried boscia? Let me know! 🙂

STEP 1 – PURIFYING CLEANSING GEL

STEP 2 – SAKE HYDRATING AND BRIGHTENING ESSENCE

STEP 3 – TSUBAKI BEAUTY OIL

STEP 4 – SAKE BALM

I have linked everything above – feel free to click on each item to see the price and what each product is used for. XO!

THE WILL TO WIN

This weekend was exactly what I needed…I spent the whole weekend indoors and basically left the house just to get food. My poor boyfriend has been sick but I like to smother him so I sat in his house for three consecutive days while he was ill/in and out of sleeping/coughing/etc…You get it. He couldn’t do much and I really didn’t want to do much so we spent much needed time indoors doing a whole lot of nothing. It was SUCH a dream. LOL. We’re always doing SOMETHING…it’s the only time I’ve ever gotten him to sit still and do nothing. Some quick insight: Even when we’re laying out by the pool he has his laptop out doing work, or he’s going downstairs to get us boba or he’s playing with the dog…SIT DOWN. It was so nice to watch him relax…Sorry babe! 🙂

We watched lots of cool documentaries, some on interior design, algorithms, and even math (sounds boring but I PROMISE they were all interesting)…BUT MY FAVORITE ONE was the Tony Robbins Netflix documentary: I Am Not Your Guru. I’ve heard many people talk about it but I needed to see it for myself. Needless to say, I loved it. He talked about living a deeper life, being fulfilled and how to have more meaningful relationships. I don’t want to give too much away because I HIGHLY recommend everyone see it for themselves but I do want to share one thing from the documentary that stuck with me…

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Tony describes a life changing moment where he “felt the grace of God.” Sometimes things happen by chance or because you put it in motion, but MANY times, we fail to see where God’s grace could be the real reason certain things happen for us. Tony describes a poem that was given to him by a professor (I won’t go into detail as to how this poem changed his life) but it is a poem I now love and wanted to share with you!

Read below and HAPPY MONDAY!

PS- I am looking to buy a book by Tony Robbins and I’m unsure which one to choose! Any suggestions?!

The Will To Win Speech

By Vince Lombardi

Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all the time thing. You don’t win
once in a while; you don’t do things right once in a while; you do them
right all the time. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.

There is no room for second place. There is only one place in my game, and
that’s first place. I have finished second twice in my time at Green Bay,
and I don’t ever want to finish second again. There is a second place bowl
game, but it is a game for losers played by losers. It is and always has
been an American zeal to be first in anything we do, and to win, and to win,
and to win.

Every time a football player goes to ply his trade he’s got to play from the
ground up – from the soles of his feet right up to his head. Every inch of
him has to play. Some guys play with their heads. That’s O.K. You’ve got to
be smart to be number one in any business. But more importantly, you’ve got
to play with your heart, with every fiber of your body. If you’re lucky
enough to find a guy with a lot of head and a lot of heart, he’s never going
to come off the field second.

Running a football team is no different than running any other kind of
organization – an army, a political party or a business. The principles are
the same. The object is to win – to beat the other guy. Maybe that sounds
hard or cruel. I don’t think it is.

It is a reality of life that men are competitive and the most competitive
games draw the most competitive men. That’s why they are there – to compete.
To know the rules and objectives when they get in the game. The object is to
win fairly, squarely, by the rules – but to win.

And in truth, I’ve never known a man worth his salt who in the long run,
deep down in his heart, didn’t appreciate the grind, the discipline. There
is something in good men that really yearns for discipline and the harsh
reality of head to head combat.

I don’t say these things because I believe in the “brute” nature of man or
that men must be brutalized to be combative. I believe in God, and I believe
in human decency. But I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the
greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has
worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of
battle – victorious.

5 SUMMER READS!

SIX WEEKS LEFT OF SUMMER! I love this season, honestly, keep me in hot weather for the rest of my life. Sun worshiper over here! I wanted share some of my favorite books that are perfect for laying out under an umbrella and diving into. How often are you guys buying books? I just ordered a book on Amazon before I wrote this post. Honestly, I can’t help myself. Today happens to be National Book Lovers Day, so I thought I’d share five of my favorite summer reads at the moment. Check them out below.

HOW’S YOUR SOUL

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This is a book about being okay on the inside. It’s a book about being satisfied, stable, and healthy on a soul level. The author explores what it looks like to cultivate a healthy soul. This book takes you through the journey of realization where we come to terms with the fact that our soul’s only true home can be found in one person, God.

SWEETBITTER

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Details, details, details. This book is written so well. The way the author describes everything – using every sense – especially taste and smell…SO good! Sex, drugs, rock-n-roll, New York and a love triangle are all things you can expect to encounter in this book.

HOW TO STOP WORRYING AND START LIVING

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Some great things you’ll learn in this book (haven’t yet finished it):

  1. How to eliminate fifty percent of business worries immediately.
  2. Avoid fatigue — and keep looking young.
  3. Add one hour a day to your waking life.
  4. Find yourself and be yourself.

I hope these four reasons alone are enough to have you order this book NOW.

HOW SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE LEAD

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This mini book was given to me by mom a couple weeks ago. It’s a New York Times best seller, 150 pages long and truly breaks down what it means to take your influence to the next level. When she gave me this book the first thing I did was grab a pen and hit the nail salon! LOL. What better place to read and take notes? This book is broken down into 5 levels and each level is more important than the next!

THE UNTETHERED SOUL

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I will write about this book over and over again until all of you have it in your hand/on your bookshelf. The one question this book always comes back to is this: Who are you? Are you a partner in a relationship? Are you a collection of experiences that have shaped you? Are you a teacher? A student?

So many of these questions can be answered if you think outside of yourself and truly look at yourself as an individual being with many experiences that have shaped you up until this very moment. When you think of who you are what you believe in, you become more in tune with who you are meant to be. A MUST READ.

 

If you have any questions regarding any of these books or others that I have blogged about, message me or comment below! XO.

 

FINDING YOUR ZEN.

The month of June (we’re halfway through!) has already been hectic for me. I feel like now, more than ever, I am trying to find REAL work/life balance. Most importantly for me, I have found that finding some time for rest and relaxation is Mission: Critical!

Last Saturday, I was in bed by 11 pm. Honestly, it was needed. I woke up Sunday morning refreshed, got a latte, and went on a hike. Whether it’s a massage, a manicure or some time out in the sun; taking some time for yourself will not only make you feel better, but it will have other people wanting to enjoy your company as well!

Here are some of my favorite things to do when life gets a little hectic:

  1. Go on a walk – Especially when it’s sunny! Get a tan, some vitamin D and hang out with Mother Nature!
  2. Get my nails done – Once a week, necessary!
  3. Get a blowout – I don’t do this very often but every once in a while I head over to Drybar and get a GOOD blowout.
  4. Book a massage – I got a massage on Monday and it kicked off my week perfectly. Sometimes you just need an hour of quiet time to relax the back.
  5. Read a book – On Saturday night I went to Barnes & Noble and bought 5 books LOL. I won’t lie, I am SO happy I did. I am already halfway through 3 of them! Reading also helps me wind down and get sleepy, it works like a charm every time.
  6. Listen to a guided meditation – I highly recommend the Insight Timer app! Get. On. It! 🙂
  7. Sleep early – This is my go-to stress reliever, nothing like a good night’s sleep.
  8. Go on a hike – I love being in nature, I went on a hike on Monday before my massage and it completely changed my mood after a busy day at work.

What are your favorite things to do when the world around you gets a little crazy?

PS- I did not mention yoga because lately I have not had time to go to yoga as much I’d like to, unfortunately. I like to take my best friend’s classes and our schedules conflict a lot. I absolutely love yoga and I HIGHLY recommend Corepower Yoga if you’re looking to find your inner Yogi 🙂 XO

HOW I STAY ORGANIZED

HOW I STAY ORGANIZED

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you all had an amazing weekend. I managed to have the perfect Sunday yesterday so I think I’m ready to get this week started. A lot is going on this week and I need to stay as focused as possible. I realized that for me, lists, calendars, agendas, apps — all of those things play a part in how I organize my life. A little over a year ago, I was teaching a college course and I knew that it was time for me to really kick it into high gear when it came to being organized. Lesson plans are NO JOKE. More importantly, I couldn’t look ill-prepared in front of my students. So I started researching apps, reading up on organizational tips, and figuring out key habits to incorporate into my lifestyle. I juggle many projects at work and I also strive for work/life balance; hence the need for organization. Check out the 7 organizational tips that I live by, below!

1. To-do list

Write everything down, don’t rely on memory. This is about as self explanatory as it gets. I no longer rely on my memory (my memory used to be spot on, not sure what happened LOL). I feel like it is MISSION CRITICAL to write down all of the important tasks for your day, week, month. Check back in on all of those tasks to make sure you’re on top of things!

2. An appealing agenda

Head over to Target and find a PRETTY calendar/agenda/daily planner, people! My cousin bought us matching Bloom daily planners that I am obsessed with. I use it for everything. It’s my favorite because every month you can add new goals for the month, there’s fun quotes, and most importantly: it’s pink.

3. Google Calendar

Maybe he’ll kill me for sharing — but my boyfriend and I have a shared calendar now (big step, big moves, we’re the real deal) LOL. It’s actually really exciting for me 🙂 I live for these things. I love that I am able to schedule things so we don’t forget anything. It’s not crazy detailed: weekly date nights, travel schedules, events — those type of things are on our calendar. Find you a man who indulges all the boring things you’re obsessed with. 🙂

4. Time blocking

Do. One. Thing. At. A. Time. I time block all day long (both at work and at home). For starters, I time block my time spent checking emails (first thing I do when I step into the office). Everyday at work I allow myself 2 hours of email time. Sounds crazy I know, but it’s not. My emails are always in the triple digits and I feel COMPLETELY on top of my game when I have under 20 unread emails. I also time block certain tasks to make sure I get everything done on my to-do list. Speaking of tasks, when I can’t finish everything, I resort to #5 below.

5. Don’t let things pile up!

Hence the reason I time block. I try to make sure I get through my to-do list each day. Granted, easier said than done. So in the instances where I fall behind, I have a rule – NO PILES. If that means, staying longer at work or going through the beginning stages of a pile at home, then so be it. I live for clean spaces and I am not afraid to throw things away. ::COUGH COUGH:: #6.

6. Don’t be scared to purge

I AM THE QUEEN OF PURGING. If there’s a box filled with things that I have not opened in a year, I will throw it out. It’s just a rule I live by. If I haven’t opened that box in a year then there’s NO point in me opening it now — Clearly, the contents are not that important. I think it’s important to declutter as much as possible. Whether it’s your office, your bedroom, your home — decluttering is good for the soul. 

7. Perfect your morning routine (separate blog post coming soon)

In a nutshell, having a morning ritual is everything. It sets the tone for your day. I always do the same. exact. thing. every morning before I pour myself my first cup of coffee. My skincare routine, my morning news apps, my puppy cuddles — all of those things fall into my morning routine. I will do a more detailed post on this soon 🙂

How do you stay organized? Enjoy your week everyone! XO

 

ULTRA-GOLDEN MILK BEFORE BED

ULTRA-GOLDEN MILK BEFORE BED
  • Better digestion
  • Happier muscles
  • A rock star immune system
  • Increased metabolism
  • Clearer Skin
  • Better sleep
  • Liver Tonic, anyone?

If you’re like me, you’re always looking for the next best thing to help you sleep better, have nicer skin, and keep you healthy. I may have found the proper remedy, although I have not tried it long enough to give a full results recap just yet! I bring to you: Golden Milk! Golden milk is basically a lightly spiced drink – similar to chai (yum!) – that has a ton of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Try it out and let me know what you think! This recipe serves two.

  • 1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk, preferably coconut milk beverage or almond milk
  • 1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
  • 1 (1-inch) piece turmeric, unpeeled, thinly sliced, or 1/2 teaspoon dried turmeric
  • 1 (1/2-inch) piece ginger, unpeeled, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • Ground cinnamon (for serving)

Whisk coconut milk, cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, honey, coconut oil, peppercorns, and 1 cup water in a small saucepan; bring to a low boil. Reduce heat and simmer until flavors have melded, about 10 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into mugs and top with a dash of cinnamon.

ENJOY! XO