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.
You guys know I love me my coffee. There is nothing quite like the smell of freshly ground coffee beans and then coffee in the making. I'm non-discriminatory when it comes to my coffee too-- I appreciate a classic drip, french press, espresso, cappuccinos, and pourovers. They all have different characteristics! I used to primarily do french press at home in my old apartment because I had zero counter space to keep a grinder or other equipment, but when I moved into my new place, my housewarming gift to myself was a full pourover set and it quickly became my favorite way to brew at home. I've instagrammed this so often on Stories, and I've gotten enough messages asking how to do a proper pourover that I thought it was time to do a formal blog post!
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.
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.
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 Bedcopper-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--
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...
Struggling with health is not a foreign concept to me. I've had countless sprains, breaks, stitches, 3 concussions, bad allergies, a hip surgery, and an eating disorder. But my Hashimoto's autoimmune disease and journey has been an entirely different animal to live with, for me personally. There are 26 million of you with autoimmune diseases out there, so it is no small crowd. I love the phrase, "autoimmune warrior," as the noun to describe us-- because that is exactly what we are. I'm sharing my story with you today in hopes that anyone who is struggling to find out what is wrong with them, struggling with a new diagnosis, or whatever, can feel a little less alone and a little more hope...
Going to work, eating dinner, flopping in bed with some Netflix going, wake up, repeat; it's a vicious and mindless cycle that can make it feel like you never have time for yourself to just take a breath. I know, because I've been there. I've grown to understand the enormous impact a solid nightly routine and wind-down can have on your stress and overall health...
So as I'm sure you guys know, I moved to Brooklyn almost 3 months ago!
While I was SO excited to move, the actual prospect of moving scared me....
Not only do you have to be concerned about packing and protecting your stuff on the move, there are A LOT of logistics when it comes to moving in NYC. Insurance, permits, elevator reservations (if you have one); it's enough to make your head spin. I know what I'm an expert in and what is valuable for me to be spending my time on, and it is not this😂 I wanted a moving company that was very all-inclusive and it was actually quite hard to find one...
How I start my day is so important to me- having a healthy morning routine in place can totally set the tone for the entire day. Clearer mindset, better mood, and increased productivity are some major benefits you can experience when you have a calmer morning routine established, instead of that frenzied 10 minute rush to get out the door after 5 alarm snoozes that we are all familiar with.
Morning routines are also the perfect opportunity to establish some healthier habits towards a better lifestyle shift. I've written about my 5 easy hacks for a better morning routine, but I wanted to share some specific things I've been doing lately in mine that have made notable differences.
This is 27?? This year, my birthday TOTALLY snuck up on me. Is this what it means to reach your late 20's? 😂
I don't have time to go through old photos to piece together memories from this past year, but I really wanted to notate a few things that I could look back on a year from now, to see how much has happened since then too!
So on the fly (in no particular order), I'm listing off 27 impactful things that have happened + lessons I've learned this year that I am really grateful for.
Oh, being an introvert. While I wouldn't trade it for anything, there's no denying that having this type of personality poses for some unique challenges in a world that is more social and connected than ever before. From balancing your own special set of self-care needs with work obligations, not to mention your social life, it can feel like you're constantly struggling in that perilous 5% zone of your battery. It's been a process to learn how to be an introvert in an extroverted world and industry-- and I still don't have it nailed down yet, but I have found things that have helped me thrive.
Okay, this one is LONG overdue but it's all good because it's an awesome one. I asked my good friend Jules of the beautiful Om and the City blog to take part in my Women Who Inspire Interview series because this lovely soul is indeed a force of nature that has created a hub of inspiration for women everywhere. And I'm so happy I got to shoot her for this interview, since we're Brooklyn neighbors!
The female entrepreneur community has been an amazing thing to be a part of since I became one, but it became particularly so this year. Meeting, collaborating, and...
My last real post was May 10th. That was 74 days, or about 2.5 months ago 😱😳😭
Over 100 client training sessions, 12 freelance photography projects, over 20 blogging events, 3 freelance articles published, about a dozen shoots + collaborations, 1 wedding, 3 Hamptons trips for work (and 1 for fun), my niece's 100 day birthday, yoga in Times Square, furniture selling on craigslist, and finally now packing for my big move tomorrow:
This is all the stuff that happened over that span of 74 days. Given all the exciting things that are happening around here that I cannot WAIT to share with you, I hope you guys will forgive me for my going AWOL. I was absolutely taking on too much with my commitments, and I had to hit the pause button on this in order to create space for the other things and to well, not die.
Read more for announcements, ICYMI, and what to expect on the blog over the next few months:
If this were any other year, I'd be writing you a Father's Day card. But this year is the first year of my life that I am not experiencing a hand cramp from writing in such tiny lettering, trying to fit all my sentiments and gratitude within the never convenient spaces that card-making companies tend to leave.
Happy Friday, everyone! What a whirlwind of an April it's been-- I'm jetting off again today! This time for one of my best friend's bachelorette party and I get to see a bunch of friends I haven't in quite some time, which will be awesome. And last week, I finally got to meet Sara of @shisodelicious in person, while I was in London! True to both of our predictions, we couldn't stop chatting and stayed up until 2:30am talking. Lately, Instagram might not be my BFF with all the changes, but I am forever grateful to the platform for connecting me with some amazing people I may not have met otherwise, like Sara.
Sara was my first interview for the Women Who Inspire interview series, and I'm excited to pick back up on the series this month! This week we’re jumping back into things with a very special foodie friend of mine, Dale of @thedaleyplate. This interview is a breath of fresh air and unique perspective, so you will want to read this whole thing through for some major inspiration and bosslady vibes...
First of all, I'm having a bit of whiplash from the disbelief that my trip has already arrived! With all the craziness lately of my life in NYC, this trip totally crept up on me. Now it's time to go off and make some new memories and experience some familiar cities with fresh eyes and see new ones for the first time!
While I contemplated uploading a bunch of pre-scheduled posts for the duration of my trip, I had to stop myself. I haven't taken time away from this space in a very long time, and I need to just cut loose for the time I'm there without worrying about this blog, my baby, back at home. I'm hiring a babysitter, aka this post here, to entertain you guys while I'm gone. Of course you guys should make sure to follow my adventures along on my Instagram if you want up to speed content, but over here in this space, I've rounded up some of my favorite posts in each category-- to keep you busy with reading and growing...
When it comes to understanding ourselves, we tend to stick with what we've known about ourselves or been told about ourselves, rather than thinking about the current reality.
We like labels. Labels help our brains classify and understand things; psychology research says that upon seeing or hearing something novel, our brains immediately try to categorize it within familiar labels to understand what it is...
Here's the thing. Living authentically doesn't mean being chipper and happy all the time-- living authentically means owning your reality, facing our fears, and chasing wholeness over happiness. For me, it was only lately that I realized how out of touch with myself I had gotten this past year, because I have been feeling more like myself than I have in a long time. After all, it's only when you come up for air, do you realize you had been holding your breath...
Of all things, a tweet about the recent Bachelor finale got me thinking about how we as a society regard the display of emotions. During the finale, the bachelor had to break up with one girl before he went onto propose to another, naturally (lolz), so this girl gets her heart broken on national television; which, is feasibly quite a mortifying and emotional event.
Then former contestant of the show applauded the runner-up on Twitter as "the strongest bachelorette I've ever seen. She didn't fall to pieces after all that. Bravo."
Happy Friday, everyone-- hard to believe it's St. Patty's day, and there is a lot of snow still getting cleaned up here in NYC.
I've highlighted 4 amazing women so far on my Women Who Inspire Interview Series, and while we will certainly be returning with quite a few more awesome women to come, I've been stockpiling some amazing finds that I wanted to share before some of them become irrelevant. So, Favorite Friday Finds is back for this week!
9 awesome reads are coming your way + 1 RIDICULOUSLY cute surprise at the end. So either save it for reading over coffee tomorrow morning, or tear through some of the stuff that will make you feel all the feels, and inspire some thought!
I'm a huge advocate of being forward when it comes to your business. It may go against my introvert tendencies sometimes, but as an entrepreneur or a small business owner, you are essentially your only advocate. If you don't drive your business's train, it just doesn't move.
When you are trying to create a business or further your career, you can't be complacent and wait for opportunity to come to you. You have to get out there, and yes, that tired word: network. Cold-emailing and asking people for a breakfast meeting or to coffee can be intimidating, because no one likes to be ignored or rejected right?
Well, that chance of rejection is always still there. But today I'm going to help you guys boost your chances at getting responses from people, as well as covering THE most important thing when cold-emailing someone: HOW you ask them. These are absolute musts when cold-emailing, pitching, or asking someone to meet over coffee.
It was International Women's Day on Wednesday, and March is Women's History Month. I am feeling all the amazing female power filling my life lately, and it could not be more inspiring. Not only am I surrounded by strong and wonderful women in my family, but my best friends, colleagues, and clients. Then this wonderfully crazy world of blogging and Instagramming has injected my life with some genuine female friendships that I had no idea would come of all this. Not only have I met so many people IRL thanks to Instagram, but the daily interactions I have on there with amazingly impressive souls spanning the globe is something to be truly thankful for.
So, continuing on with my Women Who Inspire series! If you're just joining in now, this interview series taking place every Friday...
When planning this Women Who Inspire interview series, I wasn't even thinking about the fact that March was going to be Women's History Month.
As I said in my Instagram post yesterday, this month has special meaning. So I could not be happier that I am highlighting a collection of incredibly diverse and inspiring women during a very fitting month. From multiple different continents, specialties, backgrounds, beliefs, and more-- these women all inspire me with their kind hearts, talent, and willingness to discuss some more challenging topics. If you're just joining in now...
We all fail. I'm not talking about the inevitable life failures that happen. I'm talking about the fact that we tell ourselves that we fail, all the time. And that is the one way we sabotage our contentment in life.
Don't think you do this? Sounds ludicrous, right-- why would you tell yourself you fail, all the time? Have you guys thought any of these things, even just this morning?
It's the last Friday in February, yet it feels like Spring outside-- it's going to get up to 66ºF today here in NYC! Happy Friday, indeed!
Last week, I kicked off my Women Who Inspire Interview Series with Sara of Shiso Delicious, and I could not be happier with the amazing reaction we received from it. This was exactly what I was hoping for: a more in-depth discussion about the realities that happen offscreen, with women who are innovators and creators. We tend to forget that these people who command large followings on social media and/or are public personalities are just as human too. A human with their own struggles, insecurities, half the hustle you don't see, triumphs, and more. You guys know I'm all about embracing your NOW, rather than the living for the "after" pictures. I wanted to look beyond the pretty feeds and filters into reality.
If you haven't seen her mouth-watering creations and wanderlust-inspiring captures of Amsterdam on Instagram yet, I want to introduce you to the beautiful Paola Holthausen of @CravingsinAmsterdam!
Today, I'm so so SO excited to launch this interview series that I've been cooking up for you guys for several weeks now. As a biweekly complement to my Favorite Friday Finds that is every other week, on the other Fridays I will be sharing an interview with a woman who inspires...
Being a strong communicator is one of the few key skills that helps you in every single aspect of your life. Good communication helps you be a better colleague, boss, intern, parent, husband/wife, boyfriend/girlfriend, friend, daughter/son, sibling, and the list goes on.
When I ask you, "what's the best way to be a better communicator" what is the first thing that pops into your mind? Word-choice? Body-language? Thinking through your thoughts before you speak? Talking confidently and clearly?
Actually, I really don't think the answer doesn't have anything to do with talking at all...
This edition of Favorite Friday Finds is coming to you a day late, because this past week has been quite topsy turvy in terms of changed schedules and last-minute appointments- sorry guys! But I've got a great roundup for you that I've been amped to share, because there have been a lot of great reads I've stumbled on in the past two weeks. This will also be an abbreviated version like this one for time's sake (on my end), so you can have some fun weekend reading while sipping that morning coffee 😊