"
Lemondrops and Honeybees Avatar

1 Notes

Meditation for a Happy Mind & Body

My family and I 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. 

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

1 Notes

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:

Notes

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. 

Notes

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? 

Notes

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

 

Notes

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

Wanderlust

image

I had a case of wanderlust this morning after listening to Bill Nye’s debate with Ken Ham about Creationism vs. Evolution. The Grand Canyon came up and I must admit, before today I was not all that excited about visiting Arizona, let alone driving for hours to see what I used to refer to as “a giant pile of rocks” (I know, I know- I am admitting to my own ignorance). However, I find myself having a new appreciation for it and almost immediately texted my hubby asking him when we were going- I get a little too excited about things sometimes. I started Googling “how to make the most out of a trip to the grand canyon” and then one thing led to another and I found myself thinking about all the places I wanted to visit. I tend to get ahead of myself when it comes to travel plans… to the point of obsession. I’ve kept a list in my head for years but I decided to type up a list to start bringing these dream trips into fruition. I will even take it a step further and make it tangible— but first I have to find a good place to hang it.

I had a bit of an epiphany last year while I was going through a minor “blue” period. I really put some thought into figuring out the things that made me happy, things that motivated me. After much thinking (and wallowing in my sadness) I realized that I am happiest when I travel. That gut-wrenching excitement I get when learning about a certain place’s history, discovering things around me, taking in all the sights/sounds/smells- THAT is my definition of happiness. When I travel, I see the world with a new pair of eyes and it’s the best feeling in the world- especially when sharing that with the people I love.

image

I made a list of all the places I still need/want to visit- not including my hometown (Chicago) and other places I went to when I was younger (Mexico, El Salvador). I listed them in order of preference. I know there are many more destinations to add but I was trying not to be too ambitious ;) These are the places that interest me the most now and would love to see before any place else. I also included US states I want to go to- there are still quite a few. 

  • France: Paris, Versailles
  • Italy: Rome, Venice, Florence, Tuscany, Milan, Pisa
  • Greece: Athens
  • England: London
  • Spain: Madrid, Barcelona
  • French Polynesia: Bora Bora
  • Japan: Tokyo, Osaka
  • Sweden: Stockholm
  • Switzerland: Lucerne, Zurich
  • Egypt: Giza
  • China: Shanghai, Beijing
  • Germany: Berlin, Munich

US States:

  • New Orleans, LA
  • Maui + Hawaii, HI
  • Boston, MA
  • Philadelphia + Pittsburgh, PA
  • Grand Canyon, AZ
  • Seattle, WA
  • Portland, OR
  • Denver, CO
  • Orlando+ Miami, FL

I think plans for a trip are in order, although I might wait to travel out of the country after I get a new balance of vacation days, lol. Not to mention start saving up those funds. But like they say: traveling is the only thing you can buy that makes you richer. 

What place(s) do you still want to visit? 

 

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: 

1 Notes

Cute Valentine’s Day Cards

I miss elementary school days when February came around and everyone in class would bring store bought or handmade Valentine’s Day cards to hand out. In fact, I miss receiving handwritten notes and cards from friends and family altogether. Technology has changed communication for the best and for the worst. I don’t know about you but I love opening up a greeting card from a friend or loved one because it shows how much thought was put into selecting the right card or writing a heartfelt message. Valentine’s Day cards are a tradition I want to bring back and I’m starting this year. I have made a tradition of giving my husband a card for as long as I can remember but it has been years since I sent one to a friend. After much searching, I found these cute cards that are perfect for passing out to friends, you know- just like the old days.

image

Rifle Paper Co.

image

Rifle Paper Co.

image

Sugar Paper

image

Sugar Paper

image

Personalized Card from Treat

2 Notes

28 February Mini Challenges

This February, vow to love yourself a little more by trying out new things and seeking out new experiences. We spend way too much time being critical of ourselves and over-analyzing the smallest details of our lives. By experiencing something new or improving one small thing each day we can all work towards becoming the best version of ourselves. Show yourself a little love and appreciation, check out these 28 mini challenges for February:

  1. Download a free meditation and find 15 minutes in your day to sit and relax to listen to it. Even if it’s right before bedtime, take a few minutes to relax your mind. Here is one of my favorite sites that offers a free download.
  2. Make something. A DIY project. Start off simple and take your time with it. Allow yourself to feel great once you are finished.
  3. Detox without starving yourself. Try a one-day cleanse or make extra healthy eating choices for at least one day and pay attention to how you feel at the end of the day.
  4. Try a new look. Whether a bold lip color or wearing your hair a different way- try something new and fun with your look.
  5. Read an article (or better yet, a book!) about something that interests you or would like to understand better.
  6. Create a spa experience at home. Draw yourself a nice bath. Go all out and make your surroundings beautiful- use candles, aromatherapy, rose petals, bubbles, bath bombs or scented soap… whatever you need-  to pamper yourself.
  7. Make a list of all of the things that would make up a perfect day in your eyes (cup of coffee at your favorite coffee place, jog at the beach, having lunch al fresco) and make it happen.
  8. Organize your bedroom, create a relaxing sleeping space. Check out these tips on how to upgrade your room and maximize your sleep.
  9. Invite your friends over and have a girl’s night in. Watch a movie, drink wine, chocolate, fruit, cheese- whatever your fancy- and just enjoy each other’s company.
  10. Get a massage. Ask your significant other/friend or make an appointment for a nice relaxing massage. You deserve it!
  11. Write a handwritten note or card to someone who has influenced or inspired you in some way and hand it to them or mail it the old-fashioned way.
  12. Buy flowers for your desk or home to brighten up your work or living space.
  13. Pay it forward. Perform a random act of kindness something to brighten someone’s day. Whether it be paying for the meal of the person behind you at a drive-thru or paying someone’s parking meter that is about to expire, why not put a smile on someone’s face?
  14. Make an inspiration board- use magazines and pictures or make a virtual one. Look at it often and let it be a reminder throughout the year of all the things you wish to accomplish or learn.
  15. Get organized. Tackle one thing at a time. One drawer, one closet, one room at a time.
  16. Really focus on positive thinking. When a negative thought that creeps into your head, immediately change it with a positive one instead. This will take a lot of effort but see if it changes your mood at all at the end of the day. Watch this video of a 9 year-old discussing the Universe and the meaning of life, if only more people could be this insightful. 
  17. Start a fitness regimen and stick to it. It doesn’t have to be crazy difficult, just get your body moving. Even if you are just starting off with walking, yoga or cardio 20 or 30 minutes a day- START NOW.
  18. Identify three small things that you have been tolerating and fix them (a loose or missing button on a blouse, a squeaky door hinge, etc)
  19. Write a list of all the things that you are thankful for today. Repeat every day this week.
  20. Watch one (or a few) of the thousands of educational videos streaming at TED.com.
  21. Support a charity that’s important to you and/or donate money to a good cause.
  22. Discover new music. Try to find at least one new artist/group that you wouldn’t normally listen to and give it a chance, you might like it.
  23. Look through your closet and donate at least one item that you no longer wear.
  24. Come up with a positive mantra and repeat it to yourself throughout the day. Whether you want to reach a fitness goal or need a way to cope with stress, affirmations have a way of manifesting.
  25. Research products to revamp (or start) a good skincare routine for yourself. There is no need to spend hundreds of dollars but going to a beauty counter or Sephora to upgrade your sunscreen or nightly skin regimen can make you feel refreshed and ready to take on the day.
  26. Next time you shop for clothing, try on several things you wouldn’t normally purchase for yourself. Experiment to see if any new silhouettes or cuts flatter your body type without a commitment to buy. You may end up finding something that looks great on you that you wouldn’t have otherwise tried on.
  27. Plan a mini trip or retreat for yourself and some friends and get out of your house or apartment for a day or two. A change of scenery is always fun and exciting.
  28. Eat something new. Whether you whip something up in the kitchen, go to a new restaurant or try something different on the lunch menu- try to be adventurous with your food choices today.

 

 

2 Notes

Valentine’s Day Picks

image
  1. Prettiest Nail Polish: I’m very fond of pink polish and this one happens to have two shades in one- it changes color when you go outside. It starts off a pale pink and turns into a pretty lavender color. I bought this at a random cosmetic counter but you can get it here
  2. Favorite New Blush: I’m loving these heart shaped blushes from Too Faced. Not only is the packaging adorable, the colors are great. You can blend them together or sweep them on individually. 
  3. Flirtiest Dress: This little number is simple but still very cute. You can get it at Nasty Gal
  4. Sweetest Smelling Candle: You can never go wrong with a Diptyque candle, this one just so happens to be a limited edition scent.
  5. Chicest Lingerie: For that touch of allure, I am obsessed with Marlies Dekkers lingerie, especially the strappy bras. They look so chic under tanks or heart shaped necklines. 
  6. Fun Footwear: These Vivienne Westwood x Melissa shoes with hearts are still a favorite. What more appropriate time to wear them than on Valentine’s Day? You can still find them on Ebay
  7. Funniest Cards: Julie Ann Art has a great collection of funny and naughty greeting cards. I found so many I liked, it’s really hard to pick a favorite. 
  8. Cutest DIY Craft: I love creating stuff. Valentine’s Day is my second favorite holiday.. although it probably has to do with the fact that it falls on the same month as my birthday and anniversary. These colorful mason jars are simple to make and have multiple uses. Imagine the things these can be used for? Pencil cup, makeup brush holder, flower vase…. the possibilities are endless. 

Notes

2014 Oscar Nominees

image

Image Source

I am almost halfway through watching the top nominated films for the Oscars this year. I don’t usually care for awards ceremonies but there were sooo many great films towards the end of last year that I suddenly became interested in who/what would win an award. I refused to watch any more sequels (with the exception of Anchorman 2 which I hate to say, sucked!) and stayed the hell away from remakes- although I admit, I did watch Evil Dead.

So far I have seen and loved:

  • Her
  • Dallas Buyers Club
  • Gravity
  • The Wolf of Wall Street
  • American Hustle

But still need to see….

  • The Great Gatsby (I know, I know)
  • Captain Phillips
  • 12 Years A Slave
  • Nebraska
  • Philomena
  • Blue Jasmine

Also, I have heard good things about Saving Mr. Banks and am curious about August: Osage County because, duh, Meryll Streep is in it. Also, I need to know why Amy Adams won a Golden Globe for Best Actress when she was up against Meryl- even typing this sounds preposterous. I mean, I know Meryl can’t win EVERY time but how did Amy’s performance really compare?

I have until March 2nd to watch 6+ more movies. Anyone else watch any of these films? Which ones did you like best?

Notes