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My 10 Gym Bag Essentials

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Two weeks ago I started a fitness program at work that allows me to fit in an hour for workouts, three days a week. I tried going to a nearby gym for a few weeks (Equinox) but between my schedule and not waking up on time it just didn’t work out for me. I joined mainly because of the classes but I could never make it on time to any of them. Luckily I only had a three-month trial membership and didn’t have to commit to an entire year. Even though I tried going every day I just didn’t make it there on a regular basis… at least not enough to justify the expensive monthly fees.

So…. I brainstormed ways to get in workouts during my day. I worked out on weekends and whenever I had the chance at home… but I needed consistency. I needed to get back into the habit of working out regularly because it helps me relieve stress and just makes me feel better overall. I heard about this awesome program offered to UCLA staff called BHIP (Bruin Health Improvement Program) and although I had been accepted last quarter I wasn’t able to make it work with my schedule. Fast forward to August… I decided to talk to my supervisor and asked if it was okay to take the afternoon session during my lunch hour. Luckily, I have the best supervisor ever and was able to work out my schedule. I am now on my second week of BHIP, yay! I’m learning you guys, you never know what the answer will be until you ask.

One of my concerns with an afternoon workout was having enough time to shower and freshen up right before getting back to the office. Unlike Equinox, John Wooden Center wasn’t going to provide Kiehl’s and razors at my disposal, lol. I had to figure out what things to pack in my bag to make sure I would be as fresh as possible after sweating it out in the hot sun for an hour. So… I wrote a quick list and took the basics but later added on items that have now become lifesavers after my workouts. Here are the items that I am currently carrying in my bag and can’t live without:

1. Takeya Water Bottle

I love that it’s eco friendly and I know it will not have any nasty chemicals oozing from it because it is made from glass. The silicone sleeve gives you a good grip so and it looks pretty too. 

2. Ban Total Refresh Cooling Wipes

On days where the workouts aren’t as strenuous and there isn’t a need to shower right away I like to use these cooling body wipes. They have a fresh powdery scent and are silky to the touch. 

3. Pacifica Purify Coconut Water Facial Cleansing Wipes

They smell great and are perfect to use right after class. I wipe away any sweat until I am able to walk to the locker room to shower (it’s a bit of a walk).

4. Batiste Dry Shampoo

I wash my hair on most days but if I am in a hurry or don’t feel like washing (I have really thick heavy long hair) I’ll use the dry shampoo and just wait to wash it at home. 

5. Comb

A comb to untangle knots… pretty self explanatory.

6. Gym Bag

A roomy bag to put everything in.

7. Anti-Perspirant/Deodorant

Whatever your anti-perspirant/deodorant of choice- just use one!

8. Hair ties

These look pretty on your wrist or wrapped around your hair and they come in all sorts of colors. The won’t damage your hair like other elastics and are fairly sturdy.

9. Shoes

I really like my Nike Performance Free Bionic shoes. They are super light and comfortable and are made of very breathable material. They are easy to move around in and I get a lot of compliments when I wear them. 

10. Earbuds 

Although I don’t use earbuds during class since I am usually working out in a group, any other time I workout alone I like to listen to music to keep me motivated. These earbuds are cute and they are currently on sale for $49 at NastyGal.com

In addition to these items I also bring along my makeup bag (I need that cc cream!), shampoo/body wash in travel size bottles, flip flops, sunscreen and a change of clothes. 

What are some things in YOUR gym bag that you can’t live without? 

Notes

August 2014 POPSUGAR Must Have Box

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I love this month’s POPSUGAR Must Have box because I will use EVERY SINGLE THING in it. Check out all the goodies included in this month’s box and- if you like what you see- I have a coupon code at the bottom for you ;) 

  1. PaddayWax Ocean Salt Candle smells great and it’s a perfect accent candle for a nightstand or end table. 
  2. Bite Beauty Lip Gloss in PopSugar Pink. This lip gloss has a very pretty sheen and I love the sheer color. It is perfect for layering over an opaque lipstick.. but I am wearing it on its own in the picture below.
  3. Goodbyn Small Meal Box  I used this right away. I have been making more of an effort to pack a lunch every day for work so this is coming in very handy for me. It’s light and does not spill… it’s perfect!
  4. Kendra Scott Elisa Necklace in Black Cat’s Eye. I love this necklace- so pretty and dainty. It comes with care instructions as well as a signature pouch for storage and a 20% off coupon code for any purchase from the Kendra Scott shop. Some boxes come with a pair of earrings…. I might just use the coupon for that!
  5. The Mason Jar Cookie Company Festive Celebrate Cookie Mix The packaging is so fun and I can’t wait to bake some cookies this weekend :P
  6. Lollia At Last No.17 Perfumed Shower Gel I wasn’t crazy about the scent… but I will give it a try anyway. Scents tend to change when they evaporate on the skin (as opposed to smelling it from its packaging) so who knows, it might smell differently on me later?
  7. ThinkThin Protein Bar I have been buying these bars for a while now and they are one of my favorite in terms of taste. It is one of the few protein bars that don’t taste like dirt. 

And now…. here is a closeup of the beautiful Kendra Scott necklace:

I love this gorgeous dainty necklace… It’s so pretty in person and I can’t wait to wear it for a night out. 

To get your own box:

Disclaimer: POPSUGAR provided me with a complimentary POPSUGAR Must Have box. The opinions I have shared about the box are my own and POPSUGAR did not tell me what to say or how to say it.

1 Notes

Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens

Had the pleasure of going to the Huntington Library for the first time this weekend and it was amazing. Breathtaking views and incredibly relaxing walkthroughs. I wish I could live there and just sit there and meditate or just nap for hours. My little one had soo much fun playing in the Children’s Garden- miles of grass for him to run around and play. I always wanted to visit but never got around to it. From this point on it’s all about doing those things I haven’t made time for. 

We also saw a giant plant at the gardens- the Corpse Flower-  it gives off a terrible scent when it blooms. The Huntington dedicated its twitter feed to following its growth and it finally opened up this weekend…. two hours after we left! haha. We missed it in action but at least we got to see it in person. 

I must say, the Japanese Garden was my all time favorite….

Such beautiful sculptures everywhere we looked:

1 Notes

Altuzarra x Target

Another season, another Target collaboration. By the looks of it, I might have to save the date on my calendar for the upcoming Target x Altuzarra designer collaboration. There are some pieces that I absolutely love- so feminine, so sophisticated…. so chic! Check out some of my favorites from the lookbook, below:

Mark your calendars for September 14th- items will be sold in stores and online and from the looks of it, they will probably go fast. 

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Girl Power at Merry Karnowsky Gallery

I had such a fun time at Merry Karnowsky Gallery for the opening reception of Tara McPherson, Audrey Kawasaki and Deedee Cheriel’s art exhibit. The event had a great turnout and it was amazing to see their art up close and personal. I am a huge fan of Tara’s work (finally got to meet her!) as well as Audrey’s. Every piece is amazing and I loved the fact that it was an all-women show.

Here are some pictures from the event:

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Supernova by Tara McPherson

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and by Audrey Kawasaki:

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Deedee Cheriel

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If you’re in L.A., make sure to stop by Merry Karnowsky Gallery to check it out in person. Exhibit will be up until August 30, 2014. 

1 Notes

Meditation for a Happy Mind & Body

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Just moved into a new apartment last month, and needless to say, it was a tough few weeks leading up to (and following) the big day. Now, add to that, a new work commute and a 3-year old going through a separation anxiety phase… it has taken us a while to adjust to our new surroundings and schedules.

I was stressed out for almost two weeks trying to unpack boxes, organizing our new space and convincing the little one that yes, this was indeed our new home. To be honest, it wasn’t until last week that I started to (slowly) feel like myself again and felt a little more in control of my daily routine. For a minute I was worried that our place still did not feel like “home” …even after a few weeks.

Instead of dwelling on it more (it was really hard for me to get out of that mindset) I took all of the energy I had left in me to ‘get myself together’. I started out by taking deep breaths and focusing on my breathing whenever I started to feel anxious or tired. This reminded me of how good it felt practicing meditation back when I was younger and had “more time”. Then I realized, I have to make time for things that will make me feel better… so I started to spend a little bit more time on it each day.

Fast forward to this week and thankfully I am feeling a lot better. I even mustered up the energy to attend the free yoga classes offered at work. I always seem to forget how much of a difference meditation and deep breathing/relaxation makes when life feels a little out of control. 

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I’m sure everyone has heard the benefits of meditation over and over again but I can’t stress enough how important it is to take a moment to ourselves each day- even if only for a few minutes.

Here are 5 things YOU can do now to take a little breather every now and then:

  1. Sit at your desk and take a deep breath (imagine your tummy inflating with air as you do this) and s l o w l y exhale and release. Do this for at least 5 breaths. 
  2. Practice mindful meditation in the shower and focus on how the water feels when it washes over you. Focus on the smells of your shampoo or body wash… listen to the water as it falls. It sounds silly but being mindful helps to relieve the mind of clutter. 
  3. Start slowly. If you happen to have a quiet area that you could escape to at home or at work, dedicate 2 minutes to sit down and close your eyes. Take this time to practice some breathing exercises.
  4. Take a quick walk. Just stepping away for a few minutes from the environment that is causing stress works wonders. 
  5. While eating lunch, really pay attention to your food. The taste, the texture- pay attention to every bite. Don’t talk on the phone, text or scarf it down quickly. 

Of course, there are millions of ways to meditate and these are only a few suggestions. For anyone interested in learning more, the easiest thing to do is to Google meditation and relaxation techniques online. You can also purchase a good book on the topic or download a guided meditation audio session. One of my favorite sites is Meditainment.com- they offer a free mp3 you can listen to called The Secret Garden

What relaxation techniques do you use to relieve stress? 

3 Notes

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To Tommy, From Zooey

To Tommy, From Zooey, Zooey Deschanel’s new collection in collaboration with Tommy Hilfiger is out today. I was so excited and couldn’t help but buy this gorgeous dress. I love the peter pan collar and the geometric design. I’m seriously considering in investing in more pieces if this dress looks flattering on me… if there are any more left. 

Check out some of my other favorite looks from the collection:

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Happy Birthday Marc Jacobs!

A (belated) Happy Birthday to Marc Jacobs, an inspiration in more ways than one. Look at how far this man has come. 

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Tune in to POPSUGAR Now on TVGN!

In case you haven’t heard the good news, POPSUGAR is now on TV! Tune in to TVGN every weeknight at 6pm/5pm(Central) to catch the latest entertainment news on POPSUGAR Now.

Check out the official trailer here:

POPSUGAR Now: Weeknights 6/5c on TVGN

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by POPSUGAR. While I was compensated to write a post about POPSUGARNOW, all opinions are my own.

1 Notes

Fashionable Fitness Tracking

You guys, I’m OBSESSED with wearable tech- specifically fitness trackers. I’m investing in a tracker and settled on the fitbit flex (not force, the one that was recalled because of the battery) because Tory Burch will have bracelets and pendants for it come Spring. Why the heck aren’t more designers collaborating with fitness brands to create chic wearables for the fitness obsessed? I know I would buy it as well as other people I know who like to track their progress. I know there are plenty of watches like the Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 and there are rumors of an iWatch floating around (which I have to admit looks great) but I wouldn’t necessarily call them fashion forward. They look cool but they wouldn’t be something I would wear to work with a blazer or a pencil skirt.

I recently discovered Misfit Wearables, they have a sleek disk called SHINE that can be worn multiple ways. You can purchase accessories for it to wear it as a watch, a pendant or a clasp. However, I would like to see trackers that look more like every day jewelry pieces- like that company Cuff that has gps trackers that send alerts if you need help. They are currently taking preorders and this is what the collection looks like:

I hope to start seeing more high end brands jump on the bandwagon. What are your thoughts on wearable technology? 

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I’m featured as guest editor on ShopStyle today, such an honor. Check out my favorite Spring 2014 trend and shop for your favorite crop top!

ShopStyle Featured Editor

 

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Rivet & Sway Home Try-On

1. High Fire (Color: Classic Tortoise), 2. Spit Fire (Color: Black Crystal), 3. Pillow Talk (Color: Tabby Cat), 4. Layer Cake (Color: Black Licorice), 5. Layer Cake (Color: Pink Frosting)

I’m in the market for new prescription eyeglasses so I requested a home try-on box from Rivet & Sway. They have a nice selection of quirky and stylish frames and I thought it would be fun to try them on before I decided to purchase a pair. They have options to search by your face shape, color and/or size to help guide you through their frames online. Their prices are great ($169 for the first pair and $99 for every pair after) and overall it was a pretty quick process to get my home try-on box. 

The box arrived pretty quickly and I was excited to see what the frames looked like in person. I tried them all on (a few times) and I was pleasantly surprised at how flattering they were. Ideally, I would like to have a few extra pair on hand to match my outfit/mood/makeup of the day. I have been a little obsessed with eyewear lately- I have a growing collection of sunglasses- and next on my list are prescription eyeglasses.

My top 3 favorite frames include:

Which ones do you like best? Have you ever ordered a home try-on box from Rivet & Sway (or Warby Parker)? 

1 Notes

Friendships

Making new friends is a little hard for some of us, not everyone was blessed with the ability to strike up a conversation with a stranger and instantly become friends- although that has happened to me before. As you get a little older you don’t necessarily have the same opportunities to befriend people with similar interests on an regular basis. I’m the type of person that has acquaintances but very few close friends - although I am always open to making new ones!

I thought up a few ideas to start meeting new people and possibly spark up a friendship. Join my conversation on #POPSUGARForums and share your thoughts with me: