Things We're Too Lazy To Blog About Podcast: Bonus With Dani Havasy Of Core Chakra

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We know it’s been a difficult week to say the very least with everything that has been going on, so we thought we would cheer you up with a bonus episode featuring one of Amanda’s best friends Dani Havasy, who created the fitness/lifestyle program Core Chakra. Dani talks about the process of creating her business, chakras, meditation, workshops, chakra readings (yes, we have a special discount if you want your chakras read by Dani and yes, she can do it through Facetime, Skype, etc), finding your true self, yoga, pilates, fitness, self-care, haters and so much more. It’s actually a very fun and funny episode, which I’m sure all of you need right now. 

Don’t forget, you can EARN EXTRA KARMA POINTS by subscribing and leaving us a five-star review on iTunes. All you have to do is click the Ratings and Reviews tab. Then, Click Write A Review. Then actually write a review.

In the Podcasts App, search for the podcast even though you already subscribe, then click Ratings and Reviews. Click Write A Review. Write about how much you love being a Blogette. It might not show up immediately, but just Ali going to an event, she’ll get there eventually.

Core Chakra Bloguette Special

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So Last Week...I Fly Like Paper, Get High Like Planes Edition

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What a week. Sorry if I’ve been a little MIA on the blog and social. I went to New York to see my mom for her birthday. It’s been fun, but I miss LA so much. I just want to go home and ignore everyone. But everyone knows that will most likely happen never. I've never needed a vacation so badly in my life. Does anyone want to send me on a press trip? Please? 

Here are a few links I found while 30,000(ish) above the ground or while having my patience tested completely by the TSA. Can someone please tell me why are drug sniffing dogs so darn cute?

My Domaine: IKEA Just Launched Its Most Un-IKEA Line Yet

WOW! None of these products from Ikea actually look like they are from Ikea. Get yourself to the place I have dubbed “Swedish Maze Hell” right now. Or just buy online. That’s probably easier.

The Mighty: Why I'm Coming Out About My Invisible Disability

Although my condition is far less severe, as someone with chronic debilitating lower back pain, I related a lot to this. It’s an important read.

The Village Voice: Just Say Julie

I am obsessed with Julie Klausner and her Hulu show Difficult People. She’s my redheaded spirit animal and a comedic genius. Don’t miss this interview with her and watch the show!

Architectural Digest: Carole Radziwill Gives AD A Tour Of Her SoHo Duplex

Carole Radziwill took her apartment from pad to palace. She is a Princess after all. You will want to steal her style hard. Your jaw will drop!

Bulletproof Blog: Why Coconut Oil is Better than Vegetable Oil

I feel like I’ve had this conversation with everyone I know. Can we just end this argument once and for all? Team Coconut Oil for life!

 

 

Things We're Too Lazy To Blog About Podcast: Episode 15 With Nutrition Coach Chanel Gold Kenner

Let’s cut to the chase. Listen on iTunesGoogle PlayStitcherAudioBoom, or stream/download below. And we are coming to more platforms soon! 

In this episode, Ali and I interview Nutrition Coach, Chanel Gold Kenner. We talk about eating clean and healthy meals, wellness, exercise, losing weight, smoothies, and snacks, as well as making delicious food that is both easy to prepare and cost effective. We also discuss among other things, healthy nachos vs Taco Bell. Fun fact: I’ve never had Taco Bell. Chanel shared so much great information and we were so excited to learn from her. We know you will enjoy listening to this episode as much as we loved recording it.

Chanel’s Website

Recipes

Chanel’s Instagram

Fit Fab Well By Chanel Facebook

Ali’s Website

Get Styled By Ali

Follow Ali on Twitter and Instagram

Follow me on Twitter and Instagram

Consider this your invitation to join our closed Facebook Group

Want to collab? Write us love letters? Please email thingsweretoolazytoblogabout@gmail.com

Like us on Facebook because we really want to be liked.

Don’t forget, you can EARN EXTRA KARMA POINTS by subscribing and leaving us a five-star review on iTunes. All you have to do is click the Ratings and Reviews tab. Then, Click Write A Review. Then actually write a review.

In the Podcasts App, search for the podcast even though you already subscribe, then click Ratings and Reviews. Click Write A Review. Write about how much you love being a Blogette. It might not show up immediately, but just Ali going to an event, she’ll get there eventually.

So Last Week... Things I Read That Are Totally Worth Your Time (Blogger Love Edition)

Happy Sunday! I hope all of you had a great weekend. This week, I crowd sourced most of the posts in this round up by asking other bloggers who I’m in private Facebook groups with to share. I was really excited to get to know some new people and learn about their about their perspectives on travel, wellness, beauty, and self-love. Think of it as a mini-collab. If you are a blogger and want your posts featured here, please get in touch. Also, if you love private Facebook groups, my podcast, Things We’re Too Lazy To Blog About has one. We would love to have all of you be a part of it.

Handbags & Hotels: Exploring The World- Paris

If you don’t love Paris, I don’t know what to tell you. It’s one of my favorite cities. Sabrina Forscutt took the most stunning pictures and shares some great travel tips. This is a must read if you are planning to travel to this beautiful city.

With Purpose And Kindness: Being Comfortable In Your Own Skin

Self-love is something I know many of us need to work on. I’ll readily admit, it’s not always easy for me. I’m super hard on myself. But experiencing another woman’s perspective and understanding her experience, made me realize I’m not alone.

The Blonde Aesthetic: 3 Ways To Hide Your Roots

Being blonde is great. Having roots is a nightmare. In this post, The Blonde Aesthetic suggests three really clever (like I could never have thought of these myself) ways to hide your roots. These tips apply to non-blondes as well.

Healthistic: The Master Cleanse

I love it when people do things like cleanses because I’m pretty sure I never will. This post is all about Jaclyn Doyle’s experience doing the Master Cleanse for ten whole days. That’s beyond impressive. She reflects on her journey and gives some great tips. As for the results, spoiler alert: she looks fantastic!

Entrepreneur: 4 Tips For Hosting An Unforgettable Marketing Event

The brilliant Jeana Anderson Cohen, who founded A Sweat Life, which is a fitness website I write for, is quoted in this article about connecting to your audience IRL. By the way, if you are in Chicago, A Sweat Life’s calendar lists a seemingly endless amount of fitness events, many of which are free.

Man Repeller: A Celebrity Eyebrow Guru Changed How I Think (and Look)

From microblading to brow gels and even prescriptions, brow guru Joey Healey breaks down everything for Harling Ross, who finally finds her best brows ever.  Warning-- reading this might change the way you feel about microblading.

 

 

 

So Last Week... Things I Read That Are Totally Worth Your Time

Happy Sunday! I read so many good posts online this week. From food to travel, style and beauty, if you only read five posts on the Internet today that are not on my blog, make it these. I promise you will be inspired.

Dope+Broke: 13 Top Bloggers & Podcast Hosts’ Favorite Sites To Shop Bathing Suits & Swim Cover Ups This Summer

This was one of my favorite posts of the week and not just because I was featured in it. The summer is not over and if you are still looking for the perfect bathing suit or cover up, Dope+Broke shares great style tips from bloggers and podcasters including Annabelle Desisto, Lauryn Evarts and of course me!

Fit Fab Well By Chanel: Fab Smoothie

My friend Chanel makes the most delicious and healthy smoothies. I’m obsessed with them. If you need a super healthy, quick breakfast or lunch, these smoothies are game changers. They also keep you full forever. Seriously, whenever I have one for breakfast, which is often, I’m not hungry for lunch until 3:00. 

Elle Décor: Betsey Johnson’s AIR BNB in Mexico

Are you looking for feminine décor inspo that won’t scare the dudes away? Look no further than designer Betsy Johnson’s Betsyvilla in Guerrero, Mexico. This house is so pretty but also really sophisticated. Does anyone else feel a Dresses To Décor coming on?

The Teacher Diva: How I Get My Everyday Loose Curls

I give the Teacher Diva an A+ in hair. This blogger has seriously perfect curls and shares her secrets in this super easy tutorial.

A Model Recommends: Is This My Perfect Hair?

On the other end of the spectrum, a model shares about her personal hair struggles and how her current haircut, which she doesn’t blowdry (OMG, that is my #goal in life) works well for her lifestyle. 

How A Fitness Instructor Should Make You Feel

Photo by  Hayley Fisk . Makeup by  Kinx Active . Location  dr pilates  Los Angeles.

Photo by Hayley Fisk. Makeup by Kinx Active. Location dr pilates Los Angeles.

I’m not sure if you know this fun fact about me, but I’ve taken close to 550 group fitness classes in the past two or so years. I’m not trying to brag or say “Look at how fit I am,” but I want to share what I’ve learned through the process.

Last week, A Sweat Life published an article I wrote about group fitness. I briefly mentioned a horrible experience I had with an instructor. If you haven’t had a chance to read that post (and you really should), let me recap.

Two years ago, I unknowingly signed up for a West Coast Pilates class. If you aren’t familiar with West Coast style Pilates, it’s essentially Pilates on crack. It was my first time at that studio and I felt like a complete idiot. I had no idea what was going on or what to do. To make matters worse, the instructor was particularly unkind to me for no reason. While I have seen so many instructors go out of their way to help first-timers, this guy seemingly enjoyed making me feel unwelcome. I had to hold back tears. I felt like my body didn’t work right. A good instructor will gently guide you and NEVER shame you. Luckily, I gave the studio another chance and found several instructors who were nothing like that guy. I’m happy I didn’t let him ruin it for me entirely.

A good instructor should be able to teach multiple levels at the same time, beginners to advanced.  Everyone in a group fitness class will have different strengths and weaknesses anyway. For example, some people have strong arms, but weak legs. A decent instructor should at least try to accommodate everyone. And if they can’t, someone doesn’t have a challenging workout and someone else inevitably ends up injuring themselves.

Furthermore, an instructor needs to make sure everyone knows how to the machines and equipment properly. Being short (5”3 on a good day) can be a challenge for me because most equipment is designed for taller people. Some exercises have to be modified or I sometimes use equipment differently than someone who is six feet tall.  We all deserve to get the most out of our workout and if you aren’t comfortable working with equipment, it becomes impossible to have correct form. If you feel something isn’t right or you just aren’t sure if you are performing an exercise properly, ask the instructor. Their job is to guide you.

Then there’s the playlist factor. Musical taste has no correlation to teaching, but we all know there’s only so much EDM a person can take if they aren’t on molly. But, in all seriousness, we know how much easier it is workout to music we actually like or at the very least provides a beat that’s compatible to the tempo of the exercise at hand. I once walked out of a spin class and canceled my membership to a gym after an instructor played this song. If you aren’t sadistic enough to click, it’s a super slow, annoying song and by annoying I mean pretty much a musical abomination. Not surprisingly, I wasn’t the only person who walked out of that class. As a result, my current standards for playlists consist of anything that isn’t that song.

But I’ve also had lots of positive experiences. Because I’m rather petite, if you tell me I’m strong, you win my undying love, appreciation and extra karma points. Say I have great form, then I will think of you as the American Express Platinum of fitness instructors. Because of my stature, many people perceive me as weak. I even use to think of myself as weak, until I had instructors tell me otherwise. While anyone has yet to describe me as the kind of person you “wouldn’t mess with in a dark alley,” you wouldn’t want me to accidentally kick you. 

Fitness can be transformative. It’s a cliché, but changing your mind can change your body. Instructors should encourage you and safely push you to try harder. I think this is all part of body positivity. If you are going to do something to improve your physical and likely emotional wellbeing, you deserve to do it in a supportive environment with people who make you feel more confident. It doesn’t matter what your ability is, what your body looks like or what your goals are.  And if you’re really lucky, they like Beyonce just as much as you do.

 

Things We're Too Lazy To Blog About Podcast: Fitness

Let's cut to the chase, it's easiest to listen on iTunes or Stitcher.

This week, we get into it about fitness. I talk about inconsiderate people at the gym, my love for AKT, ClassPass, the car accident that changed my life, anxiety, the wisdom of Keltie Knight, The Hamptons, my favorite Pilates studio in LA (dr pilates) and what I has learned after taking 500+ group fitness classes. Ali chats Krav Maga (not to be confused crab dip), working out at home, DVDs (remember those?), feeling good, Danette May and more.

Things I Said I Would Link To In This Episode

AKT

Use promo code ALAKT4U for 50% off your first month of AKT On Demand.

To take a free class in LA, register on AKT. Then email clientservicesla@aktinmotion.com and tell them you heard about AKT through the podcast, as well as the date of the class you want to take.

I wrote an article for A Sweat Life which further details my experience at AKT. So, obviously if you haven't quite had enough of me talking about AKT, give it a read.

Fab Fit Well by Chanel

dr pilates

Wanna collab? Write us love letters? Please email thingsweretoolazytoblogabout@gmail.com

Like us on Facebook because we really want to be liked.

Don’t forget, you can earn extra karma points subscribing and by leaving us a five star review on iTunes or Stitcher

 

Balance Blends: A Line Of Supplements Created By An Actual Person

This post is sponsored by Balance Blends.

Let’s talk about vitamins and supplements for a minute. Does anyone else feel completely confused buying them? I feel like you never really know what you are buying. Where did it come from? Is the product safe? Who chose the ingredients? Is this worth the price? Most importantly, does the product actually do what the label says it will? Or am I just overthinking about this? In all fairness, let’s say all of the above.

That’s exactly why I’m obsessed with Balance Blends, which is a line of supplements containing a blend (hence the name), of vitamins and herbs personally formulated by Colette Widrin, L.Ac., MTOM*. Colette is a holistic practitioner in Beverly Hills and Malibu, who has been making bespoke supplements for the rich and unbalanced for years (and maybe even Real Housewives, but obviously she can’t tell).

The ingredients in Balance Blends are hand chosen by Colette herself, as opposed to a nameless cog in a large corporate wheel. These formulas are affective in treating a variety of health issues. We will get to what those are in just a minute.

All of the herbs have been sourced from wholesalers who are compliant with the Food and Drug Administration’s Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) as well as the Natural Product Association (NPA), using third-party quality control. Everything is triple-tested for safety and authentic. The capsules are 100% natural, and free of GMO starch, gluten and chemicals. On a side note, who would think those things are okay to put in a nutritional supplement anyway?

If you have a medical condition, are pregnant or taking any prescriptions, be smart and consult your physician before integrating supplements into your routine. But, you’re smart, so you probably knew that already.

Let’s take a look at the blends.

Just Breathe

I feel like if there were one Balance Blends product that everyone needs, it’s this. Just Breathe (which is a good idea, always breathe), releases stress, moves Qi and helps you relax. I like to take this before bed to wake up feeling peaceful and ready to start the day.

Quiet Please

If Just Breathe isn’t enough to just knock you out, Quiet Please could be exactly what you need. This formula stops your mind from racing (doesn’t that always happen when you can’t fall asleep? So annoying, right?), promotes deep sleep and nourishes the blood.

Acne Be Gone

When you are breaking out, all you need to do is go to the mirror and say, “Acne be gone” to yourself five times. Just kidding! If your breakouts can’t be controlled with topical creams, it’s probably time to nourish your skin from outside in. Acne Be Gone clears and prevents acne-causing toxins from ruining your skin and probably your day, possibly your life.

Cramp Whisperer

Speaking of breakouts, let’s talk about another awful side affect of PMS, cramps. Cramps cramp up your body and usually at least one week of your life. Cramp Whisperer whispers to your cramps to go away (and perhaps bother that annoying co-worker instead, she totally deserves cramps), nourishes your blood and reduces spasms to restore balance in your body, life, etc. 

Force Field

If you feel illness coming on, you probably pop a Vitamin C or Echinacea, but we all know that doesn’t really cut it. That’s why you need Force Field. Think of this blend as a personal trainer for your immune system, strengthening your body’s natural defenses, lifting Qi and restoring balance.

For more info or to purchase, please visit Balance Blends and use Code Amanda30 for 30% off through June 10, 2017.

* Licensed acupuncturist, Master, of Traditional Oriental Medicine, if you were wondering. And I know you were.

 

Slumber Party Series Part Three: Sheets, Duvets & A Giveaway

Happy National Sleep Awareness Week and welcome to part three of the Slumber Party series! This installment is all about my favorite duvets and sheets. But first, a giveaway!

I’ve teamed up with Slumbr, which is a company that makes the most amazing pillows (they make you relax faster than a valium and champagne) and Poéthique, which is an eco-luxe brand of 100% plant-based skincare products. 

Everything you need to know is on Instagram. Good luck. You can also click here for the official rules and other things the law requires me to post, etc.

Now let’s get the party started on bedding. I’m a duvet girl and down insert (aka down comforter) kind of girl. I know some people like regular comforters and no duvet, but I don’t. Sorry. If you enjoy a good comforter vs duvet debate, there’s a great post on Apartment Therapy.

Also, I know there are alternatives to down, but for me, there is no alternative. Would you rather drift off to sleep in a comfy cloud of down or sandwiched between clumps of cotton/polyester fill? Didn’t think so. Down is just so lux. Furthermore, a decent down comforter will last you forever. I took my parents’ old one with me to college and I still use it for guests to this day. Honestly, it's probably like 15 years old at this point. So buy the real thing. It's worth it. 

Here are some of my favorite duvets along with sheet suggestions for maximum style and comfort.

Dwell Studio Chinoserie Duvet

If you couldn’t tell from the picture above with my dogs, I love my Dwell Studio Chinoserie Duvet. It’s soft, stylish and looks good with any style of bed or headboard. As they say in Portlandia, put a bird on it

Marimekko Kesahelle Sheets

While I’m normally not a fan of mixing patterns, I really like the way Marimekko’s Keashelle sheets coordinate with the Dwell Studio duvet. The stripes contrast the birds without getting too busy.

Missoni Patrick Duvet

Missoni bedding is kind of my dream. It’s Italian (omg, do you feel a Dresses to Decor coming on, I know I do!) and impossible to mistake for anything else. The Patrick Duvet provides a great focal point for a room, especially if you have simple bedroom furniture. 

Sky 500 Thread Count Sheet Set

If you’re going to have a Missoni duvet, you can’t go crazy with patterned sheets unless you want to give the person you are sleeping with a seizure. Sky’s 500 Thread Count Sheets are available in two perfect colors to work with the Missoni Duvet, which are orange (I get it, not for everyone) and lavender (the safer choice). 

Anthropologie Georgina Duvet

Anthropologie’s Georgina Duvet is like that person who walks into the party and everyone stares and gasps at their beauty. An interesting update of the Shabby Chic style, it is available in white and cream as well as the muted blue color that is pictured. 

Anthropologie Embroidered Sateen Sheet Set

With a classic scalloped edge, Anthropologie’s Embroidered Sateen Sheet Set is the perfect compliment to balance the Georgia Duvet. Remember, no one wants to get busy in a bed that looks too busy. 

Anthropologie Tolouse Duvet

The Toulouse Duvet by Anthropologie is what you choose if the person you are sharing your bed with thinks the Georgina is too feminine for their taste. A little more muted and modern, it has just enough ruffle going on. 

Sweet Home Collection 1800 Thread Count Sheets

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Dark on dark starts to look goth. Don’t be a downer. The crisp mint color of these shockingly affordable 1800 thread count sheets from Sweet Home Collection is a fresh compliment to the dark Tolouse Duvet.

Serena & Lilly Cherry Duvet

Serena & Lilly’s Cherry duvet is technically kids bedding (so it’s only available in twin and full/queen sizes, boo), but it was too cute not to include in this roundup. What adult wouldn’t love these cheery cherries?  I die for this to dress up a guest room. 

Comphy Sheets

Sometimes, less is more. I think if you are going to use a fun fruit print duvet, plain white sheets are best. And I found the most comfortable ones are from a brand called Comphy. I swear, I can’t make this up.

I discovered these sheets when I was getting acupuncture from Colette Widrin at Askeo Theraputics last week. She had the softest sheets on her table. I was literally never so comfortable having someone insert needles into me. Comphy sheets are made from magic, clouds and microfiber from heaven. 

Five Ways To Trick Yourself Into Achieving Your Fitness Resolutions in 2017

Welcome to January! It’s the official month of no one being able to shut up about their New Year’s resolutions. Let’s be honest. Everyone is talking about changing their life forever, but if you’re anything like me, you’re still trying to recharge from the holidays and can barely change your socks.

It also feels like fitness takes so much more effort in January than it does during a more ideal time of the year like April. You have to wait for your favorite treadmill at the gym (seriously, the sign says there’s a 30 minute limit, you’ve been waiting for 33 and the person who is currently walking 1.3 miles per hour is the most selfish person in the universe), all the good group fitness classes are booked, and if one more person on Facebook asks you to join their Whole30 group, you are going to deactivate your account for a whole 30 days. Losing weight (or any other fitness goal you may have) shouldn’t come at the cost of losing your mind. So, stop listening to that person who keeps bragging about how they’ve lost six pounds since Sunday (and we all know it was water weight anyway), and listen to me.

Don’t Make Resolutions

I’m convinced the person who came up with the term “New Year’s resolution” never achieved one because it sounds intimidating. Who wants to do something they’re not current doing for a whole year? I don’t! Instead, make short-term goals as part of an overall lifestyle change. What sounds easier? Losing 30 pounds this moth or taking three group fitness classes per week? Change your vocab and then change your life.

Something Is Always Better Than Nothing

No matter how realistic our goals are, we all have emergencies, commitments or simply get tired. I try to workout five days a week. But, there are times when I get really busy and four workouts feels like a miracle. I used to feel really bad when I didn’t achieve my weekly goal, but then I changed my perspective, choosing to focus on the positive. Four is better than zero, right? I worked out four days last week. Good for me! 

The Best Workout Is The One You Actually Do

Every day, someone makes a claim that they’re invented some kind of new fitness program that burns 8 million calories per hour and will make your body look like Jennifer Lopez’s in 3 weeks. That’s awesome, but totally ineffective unless you actually do it.

We are currently in the golden age of fitness. No matter what your goals, ability, body type, patience level or budget is, there is some kind of exercise that you will like. And by like, I mean at the very least, not hate entirely. Are you a good dancer? Try AKT or a dance class at your local studio. Like to show off how tough you are and learn new acronyms? Get your WOD on at one of the thousands of Crossfit affiliates. You don’t want to sweat because you get weekly blowouts (on that note, I really want to be you)? Pilates and barre can help you achieve your fitness and hair goals. Do you love spin class but have a crazy schedule or live in Antarctica? Buy a Peloton bike. Perhaps you’re equally serious about fitness and avoiding people? Stream it up with Tone It Up. Between group fitness, gyms, old school DVDs, online programs or just getting outside and putting one foot in front of the other while listening to music or a podcast, there is something for everybody and no excuses for anyone.

Multi-Task & Get Your Friends Involved

Sometimes it’s hard to find time for your social life and fitness, so why not combine both? Instead of drinking 5000 calories worth of mimosas at brunch or beers at happy hour, why not exercise together? Group fitness classes are perfect for friend dates because you have to sign up in advance, making everyone less likely to flake out. If group fitness isn’t your thing, why not go for a hike, ice skate, ski or try a new sport together? Then grab a healthy meal afterwards.

Go Shopping

I know I’m more motivated to workout if I get to wear something stylish. Activewear should be an 100% guilt-free purchase. But getting fit doesn’t mean your wallet has to be lighter, especially if you have a spending hangover from the holidays. I’m absolutely obsessed with the limited edition AKT by Anna Kaiser X Target collaboration that launched this week. Three of my favorite activewear brands, Zobha, Carbon38 and Bandier also have some pretty impressive sales right now. Treat yourself and your body. 

So Last Week... Things I Read That Are Totally Worth Your Time

Happy Holidays! My gift to you is bringing back So Last Week (I know… You were hoping you’d get a handbag, me too). From self-love and body acceptance to turtlenecks, here are some of the best posts I read last week.

Did you read or write something that needs to make So Last Week next week? Please email AmandaLauren212@gmail.com

The Cut: Why I'm Proud To Be A Size 10

I love this essay from The Cut by Nadia Aboulhosn. It’s about loving your body and not letting other people’s standards influence your life decisions. As someone who is short, has an hourglass figure and fits into clothing ranging from size XXS to size 10 (not kidding and yes, I totally should write a post about this), I have a deep appreciation for what she has to say.

Man Repeller: Monocycle Podcast Episode 44, Hi Again

In this episode of Monocycle, Leandra Medine talks about having a miscarriage and learning to have more compassion for herself. Warning: listening to this podcast will make you laugh, cry and give yourself a big hug.

A Sweat Life: A Yoga Workout To Calm Your Mind

Want to namaste sane when you visit your family? Try this workout.

Cupcakes and Cashmere: Spotlight On Statement Tights

Living in Los Angeles, I totally forgot statement tights existed, but after reading this post, I literally want to buy every pair.

Le Fashion: How To Toughen Up A Chunky Turtleneck Sweater

Turtlenecks are everywhere this season. Le Fashion shows you how to make them chic in a way you probably didn’t even think you could. 

New York Fitness Fave AKT Comes To Los Angeles & Target Stores

If you haven’t heard of AKT yet, I won’t judge you (that much), but let me take this opportunity to inform you, it’s one of the hottest workouts right now. AKT was created by Anna Kaiser, a professional dancer turned A-list celeb trainer. After shaping some of the hottest bodies including Kelly Ripa (I know I can stop right here, but let me drop a few more names), Shakira and Sarah Jessica Parker, she opened up her first New York studio in 2013. Very quickly, AKT achieved “it” status. Four east coast locations later, they are getting ready add another one in Los Angeles in 2017. The brand is also launching a limited edition collaboration with C9 Champion, available exclusively at Target (so feel free to pronounce it Tar-jay).

Last week, I had the full-on AKT experience at their Beverly Hills pop-up. I previewed the line and was totally wowed. Everything about this collaboration impressed me, including the quality, construction and (let me be truly honest about my priorities) style. Priced between $12.99-$41.99, every piece looks way more expensive than it is. Another great thing about this collab is that it’s body positive and size inclusive ranging from XS-3X. While I wasn’t able to preview the entire line, overall, I felt what I saw was cut on the more generous side. I plan to order a size smaller than I normally wear. 

I also got my workout on, taking a Sweat Dreams class. While this sounds like something that involves napping and losing weight, don’t let the name fool you. It was a fast-paced program that consisted of circuits, which alternated between strength training with weights and cardio moves as well as mat exercises. Designed to consistently challenge the body, I found as soon as I got the hang of each circuit, it was time to move on to the next one. I really had to keep my focus, which made the hour fly by. Incredibly intense, it was a lot of fun with an encouraging atmosphere. I also give the playlist bonus points because playlists tend to make or break my motivation. 

Sweat Dreams compelled me to push myself in ways I normally don’t. Because the class was in a smaller space, we only used two props, 3 and 8 pound weights. I rarely use weights heavier than 3 pounds. It was as if I took a magic confidence pill and I was really surprised about what my body could do. The entire experience has actually made me feel more confident in my other workouts. 

I do not look this fabulous when I exercise, but at least I can buy the clothes.

I do not look this fabulous when I exercise, but at least I can buy the clothes.

The class was taught by one of AKT’s top instructors, Ariel Hoffman. I was floored by her ability to take command of such a large group, making sure no one was lost, especially because it was the first time quite a few of the participants were trying AKT. Anna herself didn’t teach the class, but she had a really good excuse because she is eight months pregnant. However, she was there to supervise and correct forms (mine included). Anna glowed hard and had such a kind, happy vibe about her. I can’t wait until she gets back from maternity leave, so I can take a class with her personally.

While AKT isn’t officially open in LA yet, they have semi-secret classes at the Pacific Arts Center. You can check the schedule and book through the Mindbody and AKT apps. 

If you don’t live in a location with an AKT studio, no FOMO is necessary because a streaming program is available, as well as DVDs. But you will have FOMO if you don’t kick off the New Year with new gear on January 1st at Target. So, don’t forget to log in at midnight. Try not to think of this as drunk shopping so much as starting your resolutions at the earliest possible moment. If you prefer to shop in store, the line is available at select locations only. 

Holiday Travel: Carry On Bag Necessities

Welcome to December. Is it really the most wonderful time of the year if you have to go to the airport? In any other situation, a complete stranger yelling at you to take off your clothes and shoes is considered a violation. But, there is one way to try and tame travel stress (other than a valium and a glass of wine), which is to be equipped with a large carry on bag that has everything I need to make my flight more comfortable. 

The Bag

I always travel with my MRKT Martin Travel bag. It has enough room for everything I need and more. I also use it on weekend trips. Made entirely of vegan felt and microsuede, it's stylish and durable enough to be squeezed under the seat.

Snacks Snacks Snacks

I always travel with tons of snacks because Terminal 3 at LAX, which is the only terminal I fly out of, literally has zero healthy food options. (Zero! If don’t believe me, read the Yelp reviews.)

I’m really into Perfect Bars right now. High in protein, they’re packed with superfood, non-gmo, gluten-free ingredients. They’re also filling, so I don’t end up eating junk food on the plane. My favorite flavors are Almond Butter and Maple Almond butter, which taste like spooning actual almond butter out of a jar, but in bar form. The Blueberry Cashew flavor is also pretty delicious. I usually bring extras so I can eat them for breakfast on the go.

I also love Heath Warrior Chia Bars. Between 100 and 110 calories each, these small, but mighty snacks have 1000mg of Omega-3, 4 grams of fiber and 3 grams of plant-based protein. There are several flavor choices, but my favorites are coconut and dark chocolate. They’re light, but filling, so they're good for before or after working out (which is something I try to do when I travel) or for those times when you know you're going to eat dinner in an hour, but you're starving. 

Purely Elizabeth's Ancient Grain Minis are practically made for travel. Gluten-free, non-gmo and vegan, every bag has 2oz of ancient grain granola. You can mix into yogurt (which is readily available at most airports, even LAX) or pour milk right into the bag. It won’t leak, I promise. 

Cashmere Wrap

When I’m on a plane, I either sweat like I’m taking a spin class or shiver like I’m in a cyrotherapy session. So, I wear a light top and carry a cashmere wrap. It’s a blanket and fashion accessory all rolled into one. The one I'm wearing in the picture is from Vince and I’ve had it so long, it's practically vintage. 

Talbots currently has a beautiful cashmere wrap. While that store isn’t exactly one of my go-tos, there aren't many affordable cashmere wraps available this season. Cashmere doesn’t come cheap, but friends don’t let friends buy wool blends. Treat yourself. Traveling is hard enough. 

Neck Pillow

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I always try and catch a few zzzs on the flight, so a neck pillow is a must. Skip the ones they sell at the airport because they’re overpriced and generally mediocre. Instead prepare early and buy The World’s Best Neck Pillow. It’s comfortable, machine washable, cheap and apparently the world's best.

Decléor Aurabsolu Mist

Nothing makes your face feel gross quite the way re-circulated airplane air can. Decléor Aurabsolu Mist is travel friendly and smells like herbal heaven. You can also spray some on a cotton ball in place of your regular toner.

Thank you to Chin-Chin Hao for the beautiful photos. 

Drinking Yourself Pretty With The Food Network's Kate Von

Beauty beverages are becoming a huge wellness trend. But is this just another craze or can you actually drink yourself pretty? The answer is yes, but it’s not a miracle cure. You can’t just drink something and suddenly look like you had a vacation, plastic surgery and a nap. (But wouldn’t that be nice?) Beauty beverages should be treated like any other supplement, as part of an overall healthy lifestyle, nourishing you from the inside out. 

I asked Tatiana Ridley, who is a New York based holistic nutritionist exactly how these drinks work and she broke it down, “While the age-old quest for the proverbial fountain of youth may not have been found in beauty beverages, there is some validity to the beautifying benefits of some of the drinks on the market. First of all, the liquid form of these elixirs makes them more bio-available - meaning the nutrients are easier for the body to absorb and use because they’re already broken down. Since the main ingredients are fruits and veggies, which are packed with antioxidants and water, they work together to benefit your skin. Imagine a microscopic army of antioxidants fighting off the little mutants that manufacture wrinkles and sagging skin, (free radicals), and a fleet of water (boats) rescue the nutrients, delivering them safely to our skin cells to hydrate and plump up.” 

If you need further proof, just look at the beautiful Kate Von of the Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen and Camp Cutthroat. She makes her own beauty elixir by “blending juiced turmeric, ginger root, a squeeze of lemon and a dash of cayenne.” She says her not-so-secret beauty sauce also has other benefits, “It is the ultimate metabolism booster, beauty amplifier and toning tonic. Stimulating circulation, suppressing the appetite and satisfying your cravings will all improve your glow and keep you feeling fabulous.” I’ll totally have what she’s having. 

Kate Von's big beauty secret is out!

Kate Von's big beauty secret is out!

But, if you aren’t as ambitious as Kate is in the kitchen, it’s totally okay, store bought drinks can work just as well. Whether you prefer smoothies, mixes, liquid supplements or juices, there are lots of ways to drink your way to better skin, hair and even nails. Here are some of my personal favorites:

Project Juice Turmeric Lemonade

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If you aren’t going to juice your own turmeric like Kate Von, Project Juice’s Turmeric Lemonade might be the next best thing. With just 50 calories per bottle (when was the last time lemonade was this low-cal?), it has a mild kick. You can even drink it while working out instead of water. Turmeric is kind of a wonder herb because it reduces inflammation and free radical damage to cells.

Replere Restore & Fortify Beauty Shooters by Dr. Debbie Palmer

Developed by dermatologist Dr. Debbie Palmer, Replere Beauty Shooters come individually packaged and don’t require refrigeration, so they’re perfect if you are on the go. You can drink the shooter by itself or add to water. The formula contains a variety of ingredients including coffee Arabica (coffee fruit), camu camu, goji and açai berries, chokeberry, blueberries, pomegranate, and resveratrol. The high concentration of antioxidants helps fight against the affects of free radicals. It’s a perfect afternoon pick-me-up and a more hydrating alternative to coffee.

UVO

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If skin has one enemy, it’s the sun’s UV rays. Created by Dr. Bobby Awadalla, UVO is the only drink formulated to protect and repair your skin against sun damage. It comes bottles as well as individual packets you mix with water. The orange peach flavor is like drinking a tropical vacation. Every serving gives you 3-5 hours of sun protection. FYI, drinking UVO isn’t a substitute for sunscreen, but if you are that person who always ends up getting burned (and use SPF 100, which you reapply every 15 minutes), UVO might be your favorite new beach accessory.

Greek Girl Beauty Protein

A combination of whey protein and Greek yogurt, at only 50 calories, Greek Girl Beauty Protein isn’t exactly a big fat Greek smoothie. This powerful powder contains 8 essential B vitamins, which helps prevent dry skin, wrinkles, acne, weak hair and splitting nails. Because it’s gluten-free and contains probiotics, Greek Girl also helps with your digestion. And unlike most protein powders I’ve tried, the honey vanilla flavor actually tastes good.

NeoCell Hyaluronic Acid Blueberry Liquid

Hyaluronic acid is a very popular ingredient in many moisturizers. But did you know you could drink it?  NeoCell’s Hyaluronic Acid Blueberry Liquid can be taken by the spoonful or mixed with water. The formula also contains pomegranate and green tea polyphenols, which help plump the skin and increase elasticity. Sweetened with agave, it tastes like a liquid Sour Patch Kid.

Core Hydration Water

Water is actually one of the best beauty drinks available. Staying hydrated reduces toxins and helps your whole body function in a more optimal way. Core Hydration Water is specifically formulated to help you better assimilate vitamins, minerals and other nutrients because it has the same pH as your body. So, essentially, it makes all of your other supplements work even better. 

Intelligent Nutrients Intellimune Oil

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Intelligent Nutrients Intellimune Oil is one of the more versatile drinkable products. Organic, it is designed to prevent pre-mature aging and support healthy cell growth. Two teaspoons have the same antioxidant power as ten pounds of berries. This product is great if you want the benefits of a beauty supplement in a more convenient way. You can use the oil in salads, or blend into sauces or smoothies. Or you can simply drink it on its own. It has a mild taste, like buttery oregano. 

Reflections from Love Goodly’s Do Good Be Green Event & An Eco-Friendly Gift Guide

Two weeks ago, I had the privilege of attending Love Goodly’s Do Good. Be Green. Detox Your Lifestyle event. It was an intimate conference of eco-friendly #GirlBosses in a variety of industries. I connected with so many interesting women whose passion for an eco-friendly and sustainable lifestyle was truly inspirational. One issue that several speakers brought up is that there isn’t a perfect way to live a so-called green lifestyle. While we need to be conscious about we put into our bodies, where ingredients are sourced from, and what we’re putting out into the world,  all of us are really just trying to do the best we can. Even the experts agree that we cannot have an all or nothing approach.

One panelist who particularly moved me was supermodel Angela Lindvall, who you might remember from hosting Project Runway All Stars. Listening to her speak about becoming a mother and the effect the environment had on her boys, made me realize that trying to live a more conscious lifestyle isn’t just good for the world around me, it’s truly an extension of self-care. I felt inspired to make some changes in my life and think about things differently. 

The event was also an opportunity to learn about new eco-friendly fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands. Here are a few that stood out to me along with some holiday gift suggestions. 

Love Goodly

Love Goodly is a bi-monthly subscription box service featuring vegan, eco-friendly and natural products worth at least $85, for just $29.99. Every box is hand selected by a different guest curator (the curator for the December/January box is Emily Deschanel) and features 4-6 mostly full size products in several categories including beauty, skincare, style, home, food and wellness. Love Goodly provides a easy way to try new products, which you can later purchase on their website. A Love Goodly subscription or even just one box is a perfect gift for anyone who lives a consciencious lifestyle or aspires to.  

Want 20% off your first box? Click here

Lippy Girl

Lippy Girl is a natural, organic and vegan cosmetic line created by Darcey Diehl, a model turned chemist. When I heard her speak on a panel, I was beyond impressed with her honesty about the reality of creating natural cosmetics. Lippy Girl has so many great gift options for the holidays, but my favorite is the Lip Lover Set, which comes with four lip products packaged in an adorable bag.

Hello Mellow

Hello Mellow is a natural body care line started by #GirlBoss/healer/massage therapist/brilliant lady Tracey Feldstein. Joyfully packaged, Hello Mellow offers a variety of products including butters, oils, scrubs and energy shifting sprays (see, I told you she was a healer). There are ten mood-changing scents to choose from, all of which I can only describe as heavenly. The line has a variety of gift sets, but the one that stands out the most to me is the One of Everything Please, which is pretty much self-explanatory. In addition the main line, Hello Mellow has three others formulated for men, pregnant women and kids specifically. 

LVX

LVX is a line of vegan, toxin and cruelty-free nail polish. Designed to have a gel-like texture, it’s available in tons super stylish runway-inspired colors. Perfect for a stocking stuffer.

Hipsters For Sisters

 

Hipsters For Sisters was founded by Debra Denniston and her two daughters, Rachel and Kate. Embarrassed by their mother’s fanny pack, the trio began to design belt bags that you would actually want to show off in public. Made with sustainable, environmentally friendly materials, every bag is manufactured ethically in Los Angeles. My personal favorite is the pearl grey tweed, which easily converts to a chic clutch, so it’s kind of like getting two bags for the price of one. 

Susi Shoes

Susi Shoes is a luxury shoe line that just happens to be vegan. These shoes are absolutely gorgeous. I’m completely obsessed. If you have a vegan person you have to buy a higher-priced gift for, they will beyond appreciate a pair of Susis. The Veronica Naturals and Burgundy Matilda are my personal favorites.