Posts in Life
Mental Health Awareness Month: How Therapy Changed My Life

…But the other day as I walked out of my therapist’s office onto a sunshine-doused sidewalk with spring blossoms scattered about, I closed my eyes and stood there for a moment; overwhelmed, not only by my gratitude to my situation that allows me to see a therapist regularly again, but also the fact that I started on this journey some 5 years ago. I was then reminded that May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and it finally felt like the right time to talk more in depth about my process with therapy over the past few years and why I think there is not a single person on this earth that can’t benefit from it in spades.

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My Thoughts on Wellness Trends, Celery Juice, and What 'Detoxification' Actually Is

I’ve been asked many times from followers, media outlets, and friends about what my thoughts are on certain diets of the moment (paleo, keto, IF, etc.) and trends (bulletproof coffee, adaptogens, and now the infamous celery juice). I decided to put this blog post together to hopefully clarify my perspective that really applies to ALL trends, no matter the year— a perspective of understanding based on my education and experience over the past nearly 7 years in this industry. I am always a proponent of providing tools to people for them to make the right decision for themselves, rather than encouraging them to do or not do something….

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My Hormonal Acne Journey: Healing + Managing Acne

One of my most requested blog post topics, hormonal acne has also been one of the harder things for me to talk about. Not only because I’ve had quite the ups and downs with it and that it has been an emotionally difficult issue for me over the years, but also because it’s still an ongoing journey for me.

So for me, I struggled with the insecurity and discomfort of sharing my past and current photos of my skin, but also a bit of “imposter syndrome;” as in, how could I talk about healing my hormonal acne when I still have skin that is far from flawless? Then I realized that mentality is exactly what I fight against when it comes to speaking about body image issues, so why should this be any different? If anything, those of us who have dealt with problematic skin are usually far more well-versed in skincare than those with not many skin issues because we’ve had to figure things out!

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The Best of Paris: My Guide to the City of Lights

My favorite city in the world after NYC, Paris is actually as magical as they say. There is something there for everyone— knockout food, amazing wine, stunning architecture, art for days, famous sights, shopping, design, oh là là! I wanted to create this post for you guys because I have sent these recommendations to about 15 of my friends now— everyone has said how helpful this guide was because it’s honest, written from a local city-girl perspective, and it’s organized by arrondissement (district/neighborhood— Paris has 20 arrondissements), so it’s easier to plan a more efficient trip rather than having you bounce between 6 neighborhoods unnecessarily in a day. Plus, I have all the highlights of where to get the best croissant in Paris, the best gluten-free food in Paris, and streets to stroll to make you feel right at home.

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How I Learned Photography, FAQ's, and Starting Film Photography

One of my most frequently asked questions on my Instagram is what type of camera and lens I use to create my blogging content, what editing apps I use, how I learned photography, and now most recently, why I started shooting film and what that’s all about.

SO. I’m writing this post for you guys to answer all those questions honestly, help you guys level up so you can go kick ass by providing some insight into my journey and tips with photography, and then share more about my current stage of photography aka my love affair with film photography because I am seriously obsessed. Side note, all the photos in this blog post (except the cover photo) are shot on film.

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LifeMinna LeePhotography, Career
Holiday Gift Guides for literally EVERYONE.

It’s that time of the year! Holiday season is upon us, and it’s time to start thinking about how you can show the people in your life the love and gratitude you have for them. While I’m not the most shopping obsessed of people, I have always actually loved getting gifts (and always writing cards!) for people. It’s a little chance to not only show that you cared enough to get them a little something, but showing your relationship with them and how well you know them.

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LifeMinna LeeGift Guides
A Guide to Clean Beauty: Makeup, Skincare, Haircare + Bodycare

Why did I switch over to non-toxic, clean beauty? I got slammed with my autoimmune diagnosis and after desperately researching for anything that could help ease the massive load of stressors on and symptoms of my body, I dismayingly realized just how INSANELY toxic some of these ingredients in these products are. The BIGGEST thing is how it affects your endocrine system— aka your hormones. I wanted to make this super comprehensive guide of recommendations and helpful links to help you guys find the best non-toxic, clean beauty products (bodycare, haircare, oral care, everything!) for YOU.

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A Berry Good Trip to Wisconsin

I don’t think I ever thought I would be wading in a cranberry marsh, but holy cow was that cool or what?! My job takes me to some pretty cool experiences I wouldn’t have otherwise, and this trip to Wisconsin with Carmex was no exception. I truly love brand trips because they’re such an immersive, personal experience that allows you to get to know the company, the people behind the product, and the product itself in a way you just can’t from email exchanges.

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LifeMinna LeeTravel, Beauty
How to Support Your Skin from the Inside Out

One of the most emotionally frustrating parts of my Hashimoto’s and hormonal imbalance issues has most definitely been the onset of hormonal acne. I know at first glance, it can seem like an insignificant thing compared to some of the more dramatic physiological symptoms I’ve experienced— but having skin issues can be something that really impacts your self-confidence, causing more stress, which then just makes your skin even worse. It can be a nasty cycle that can feel really hopeless in a lot of ways.

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#MarketMinnaly Wallpapers

They’re here!! You guys know that I adore sharing my snaps of my farmer’s market perusals on Fridays, and I’ve been putting up on my Instagram Stories for months now. I got a bunch of you guys asking me to stop putting text over the images or to DM them the original, so they could screenshot the images and use them as phone backgrounds— so naturally, my brain wandered into thinking how I could make this beneficial for everyone and do this right?

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Happy 10 years, NYC

I tried finding the exact date of when a bright-eyed 17 year old me moved into my freshman year dorm (a building they affectionately called, "the cinderblock prison" at NYU, back in August of 2008), but I could not find it for the life of me. But I oddly feel like that is rather representative of how life is in NYC-- it flies by all too quickly most of the time. 

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LifeMinna LeeLife, NYC
5 Ways to Gain Genuine Self-Confidence

The concept of confidence was demonstrated and told to me in so many different ways while growing up. Particularly in my formative years, while struggling to transition out of an athletic career that was all I had known my whole life, knowing who I was outside of the bravado of competitive skating was a completely disruptive experience. All I desperately wanted was to feel confident and comfortable in my own skin, so I started chasing after what I had been told what confidence truly meant.

After reflecting on what helps root my self-confidence now, I narrowed it down to these 5 specific habits that I've established over the years to help me gain genuine self-confidence-- and I hope these help you!

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How to Start Reducing Waste + Live a Greener Lifestyle

Chalk it up to getting older and feeling more of a responsibility to this earth we call my home, but my conscious knew it was time to start changing the way I lived. My endocrine (hormonal) issues with my Hashimoto's were the other major catalysts that made me spring to action to be a more conscious consumer and to clean up my lifestyle. But previously? I had eschewed all the ways to reduce my carbon footprint that I had then deemed too "extreme" and impractical to adopt into my life.

When I look back at all the swaps and practices I've adopted over the past few years, I'm proud at my efforts but I continually realize more changes I can and want make moving forward. For the person just starting out, I know this entire list can seem intimidating, but it's really just about starting. It doesn't matter how small, just begin-- and once those become a naturally effortless part of your routine you don't think twice about, think about the next change you can make.

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All about Menstrual and Reproductive Hormonal Health

I'm sure my mother is going to be a little shocked somewhere because I'm about to say the word "period" and "menstrual" and "uterus / vagina" about a million times in this blog post, but that's exactly the point. To little fault of her own, but rather the societal culture around us (particularly in our generation), women's reproductive health and menstrual cycles were never something to be talked about openly without some sense of shame and an "ew gross" attitude around it. Because of these stigmas, I felt the same way and I failed to understand my cycle, my hormones, and my reproductive health in a real way until my mid-twenties.

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New Year, Same Amazing You

I always love the concept of taking stock of the progressions that have happened in a given period of time in order to appreciate and remind myself of the bigger picture, but I didn't think I wanted to write a 2017 recap post until yesterday. I did little recaps the past two years (2016, 2015), but this year I want to do a little bit of a different recap than just taking this past year into stock. I want to remind you that it is a New Year, yes, but you are the same amazing you you've been in all the years past-- and that is the same person entering 2018.

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Settling my Mom into Brooklyn

You guys all know how insistent I am on proper sleep and my nightly rituals. I first became a spoiled little child with my favorite silk pillowcase and linen sheets, and then I fell in love with these Pangea Bed copper-infused pillows a few months ago for their support, breathability, and anti-bacterial / anti-microbial properties (hormonal acne will make a girl get OCD about anything dirty touching her face!). So when I started looking into mattresses for my mom, the first place I looked was Pangea Bed, as I knew they had a copper-infused mattress as well--

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LifeMinna LeeLife, Personal
Thank-Full: The Skill of Gratitude

This is not just a post about paying gratitude and wishing everyone a happy Thanksgiving-- while I will do that here as well, the series of events that happened over the past 36 hours made me think about gratitude in a deeper way. 

The word, "gratitude," is thrown around so often nowadays in this age during which people are realizing more and more how integral our mental health + mindset is to our quality of life. But the concept of what it means to live with gratitude and having an active practice of gratitude tends to get a little muddled up along the way. And sometimes the way we describe it can feel...

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