Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Summer Fashion Picks

One piece swimsuit by Zimmerman, at net-a-porter. This one piece, not only looks pretty, but draws attention upward, focusing on your face and chest, and also has a waist creating element, making it flattering to all body types.

Free People New Romantics Sugar and Spice Dress, is a fun, summery wrap dress, sure to flatter all body types and extremely comfortable for hot summer days. At

Zigi's Arrow Sandal at nordstrom. This sandal has a funky animal print detail that doesn't overwhelm, and since it's in a neutral color, it will match with everything!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Lessons Learned

You know how sometimes things go horribly awry in every possible way, right when you least need it to happen because your guard is totally down and sense of self so fragile? Well, here are some lessons learned about just that sort of thing, so that maybe, just maybe, you can avoid learning the hard way, what I found out:

1. Do not expect people to be nice and normal. This may sound jaded but seriously, don't walk around in life all snow white like and doe eyed assuming that everyone has noble intentions and nice interaction habits. They don't. I am not telling you to shut out nice people, but really, keep your guard up, even in supposed professional or academic institutions.

2. Always keep your personal boundaries in tact.  Seriously. I cannot emphasize this enough. How you feel about you is up to you and you alone and is not any other human being's business. Do not let your sense of self, and self worth rest on another human, institution or concept. Develop a meditation practice to hone this, or some other zen like activity.

3. Don't reach for the bait, do not argue with crazy people or engage them. Some people want to be nasty, despite logic or anything else you throw at them. Disengage, surrender, do not take their bait. It is not worth it. Surrender is not weakness, it is embracing change, and your own sanity for that matter.

4. At all costs, manage your own stress levels because nobody really cares how you feel. If you whine, are dramatic, or generally dependent on outer circumstances to make you happy or peaceful, learn some new coping mechanisms. People can only tolerate your complaining so much. At some point, you have to self rely on your own stress management skills. Nobody cares if you are oversensitive, or keep getting dealt a bad hand. Its harsh but true, and if you can make yourself feel better, you can just spend time with others not complaining, and rely on yourself for your own needs. Everybody wins.

5. Even if you are sensitive, force yourself not to be. Sensitivity has a time and place, like if you are an artist, a writer, or a song writer. But in the rest of the western world, nobody cares about your feelings. Again, this is harsh, but for you sensitive types, it is better to accept this, forge some strong skin and mental boundaries, and self-help. The western attitude is not sympathetic to your princess and the pea complex.

6. Brainwash yourself to believe that the things that other people do that bother you, really don't. Just keep telling yourself, "this doesn't bother me" over and over again, and learn to put other people's actions away, somewhere else, and enjoy your life

7. Be thankful for the things that you desire and they will magically appear in your life. What you appreciate, appreciates. Make your attitude, gratitude. Appreciate the bird in your hand instead of chasing two on the roof. Really, trust me, this works. Write ten things a day that you are grateful for. Every day, and write even more if you can think of them. Or write the things that you are grateful for that you wish you had. Do both. Knock yourself out. Trust me. Good things do happen.

8. Make sure you have a life outside of work or school so that when things disappoint you, you actually have something else to focus on, besides the things that are hurting you or pissing you off.

Some people are talking to God and begging for him to talk back. I am one of those people. But I have learned, that God's strongest language is experience, how you feel about those experiences, and letting the logic of others who care for you, sink in, and tempering the three together to distill your own truth. I am not religious, but I once heard a preacher say that all of your experiences and the things that people are doing TO you, are God's tools, and he is telling you something with them.  So don't take my word for it, everyone's journey probably has something a little different to teach them. And if you are uncomfortable with the word God, replace it with the word, Universe, Nature or Mother Earth, and re-read those sentences. Meditate, listen, find your truth, and be well.

if you have a suggestion, or experience or helpful tip, share it!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

If life sends lemons, go into the lemonade business

Breaking up is hard to do. Your twenties are a time of understanding who you are, what you want, how you want to live, and what you should do with your life. This is especially true in terms of romantic partners, and lifemates. These questions can get tricky, especially the ones pertaining to love. What is love and who should I spend my life with? You should definitely have a list of 3-5 non negotiables in a partner. But what if your partner meets every non negotiable except one, very important pre-qualifier? Do you compromise on one of your needs because you are in love? What if you try to compromise for years but you can't help the feeling of something missing? How do you let go of a person who is wonderful in most all other aspects?

There are certain things that people need to feel comfortable and okay in their everyday lives. Every person has the divine right to decide on these needs and to seek the relationships and circumstances which foster them. You have a divine right to do what makes you feel good and feel happy.

I guess what I am trying to say is that life is messy and the decisions that go with it are messy as well. Learn to love the mess. Don't judge it. Accept it, and relentlessly accept yourself as you find it within that mess.

You need a balance of being ruled by your head and your heart. You should know what you need to feel good. The most important thing to remember is that you are in control. You are creating your own reality. You are the boss. And you can get what you want and what you need out of life. Decide what you are willing to live with, and without, and hold strong to those requirements. Do not compromise to make anyone else happy - except yourself. And remember, learning comes in phases.

There is nothing wrong with learning and the experiences that it brings you.What happens to you is not good or bad, and you are not good or bad for how you act in those experiences. Simply allow the experience, and learn from it, take your power, and make the decisions that suit you, based on what you are learning.

Unfold and be well.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Keeping It Together

Sometimes, drama erupts when you least expect it. It can be anything, your mom is guilting you about something that doesn't make any sense, a coworker or acquaintance has it out for you, you lose your job, you got your period, you got dumped, you are broke - whatever. The most important thing to remember in this situation is to remain calm, ride the wave, let your emotions come out privately, to a close friend, relative or your therapist and carry on with life as normal as possible. Remember, this too shall pass, and problems are really just opportunities for solutions that lead you to bigger and better things.

When bad things happen, you may be tempted to self indulge and not work out. I highly recommend continuing your workout routine, because this is a great way to channel frustration, relieve stress, feel good about yourself and can lead to some creative problem solving. The best way to lose weight, is to not fluctuate too much in the first place. If you are having a tough time and need motivation, just tell yourself you will only work out for 20 minutes. It takes about 20 minutes for your body to fully warm up, so more than likely, after 20 minutes you will feel good enough to continue your session.

Keep your diet clean as clean as possible, even when you are stressed. Indulging really isn't going to make you feel better in the end. But if you do feel the need to treat yourself, I recommend a healthy alternative, like a fruit smoothie. Or a piece of chocolate, with no added sugar. My favorite is a ricemilk bar by enjoy life. Only 170 calories, and can be found at your local health food store. Or, Go Raw, real live chocolate at just 32 calories for a 1 inch square. Another fairly healthy treat is a raw pie, made from soaked almonds and natural sugars, found at Whole Foods or your local natural food store. It is calorie dense, at around 300 calories, but made from healthy components, like nuts, honey and fruit, and it's so rich, since it is nut based, you may not even need to eat the whole piece.

However, if there is something you are truly craving, go ahead and eat it, in a portion appropriate size, taking care to pay attention to your body and emotions as you eat it, and make sure to stop when you are full. There are some great books on intuitive eating, the healthiest way to approach your eating habits, called, Overcoming Overeating, and another called Break Free From Compulsive Eating, by Geenen Roth. On a similar note, Geneen has another book called Women Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything, which is a really great book on being in your body and living in the moment.

Anyone else have real life suggestions on dealing with the ups and downs of life?

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Dating 101

Dating can be an exhausting proposition. After ending a very long term relationship I took a foray into the singles scene and was going on anywhere from 1-3 dates a week. I have since decided to take a break from dating and focus on myself. But I learned some things along the way and I would be remiss to not share them.

There are a couple types of dating; serious dating and casual dating. Serious dating is when you intend to find a person to seriously date, and enter a long term relationship. Casual dating, is really just dating for dating's sake - not looking for anything serious. Casual dating is a great way to explore new restaurants, enjoy pleasant company and generally appreciate the company of men with no intentions of commitment. Plus, you can take a tour of all kinds of great restaurants, at zero cost to you. It is important to note, that if you would like a second date, you must engage in the first date kiss. If you refuse the kiss, there will rarely be a second date. Only the most chivalrous or persistent of men will bother spending more time on you. And if at the end of the date, the man says "keep in touch," he has no intention of seeing you again.

Some tips on double booking dates in one night. I recommend an early dinner with the first date, and a later dinner and drinks with the second date. If you time it right, you can try about 4 establishments in one night, 2 establishments per date, one for dinner, one for drinks. This is a great opportunity to check out the scene at different establishments at varying times to see when they are busiest or what age groups of people show up when.

If you are dating with the intent of entering a serious relationship, I would recommend quality over quantity. I think the phrase "its a numbers game" does not mean you have to test out every single person to make sure they are right or not right for you. If there is no chemistry within the first 10-20 minutes of conversing with that person, there probably will not be any chemistry, ever. Plus, its exhausting going on dates with people who you really see as more of a friend than a potential mate.

Do not feel bad if you need to take a sabbatical from dating. Dating yourself can be just as fun. Going out for happy hour, or a classy restaurant alone is a great way to get to know yourself, feel comfortable in your own skin, enjoy great food, and network with like minded people. Strike up small talk with the people next to you, or bring a book to read. I also recommend not over-drinking at the bar or restaurant. In fact you can easily turn 1 drink into 2, with the same amount of alcohol. For example, if you usually order a martini, which generally has 1-2 servings of liquor, you can ask the bartender to use a single shot in two glasses and just add a little extra mix. Or, ask for you drink in a tall glass, single shot, so you can sip longer, with the same amount of alcohol. Or abstain from alcohol altogether and order a soda water with lime - make sure they put it in a drink glass, not a water glass, with the bar straws so no one will know the difference. Or simply order a tea at the bar, which, by the way, is just as relaxing as imbibing liquor, but even better, because there is no hangover or blood sugar upsets.

Dating yourself, and meeting new people can be one of the most enjoyable ways to spend your time. Going out alone, and spending time with good friends is the best way to truly be comfortable with yourself and attract the right partner in the long run. And while you are not trying to meet someone, that just may be when that special person, shows up.

Have any great tips or experiences to share? Please comment!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Summer Skinny

Losing weight in a healthy way, the fastest way possible can be done. I have tried just about every weight loss trick and there are some that actually really work, are really healthy and get results quickly. Number one, pre-requisite, is eating healthy, which means no bread, no wheat, no dairy. Eat every 3-4 hours, and no eating late at night, which means, stop eating after 7 pm. On top of diet, cardio, every day, 30 minutes minimum is a must.

On top of healthy diet and daily cardio there are some great tips and tricks that have really worked for me. 

1. Detox. I think liver detoxes and bowel detoxes are really effective, but you should check out your local whole foods or independent health food store and see which product you really vibe with, or which cleanse resonates with you. One of my favorite detox lines is Renew Life. I have tried several of their products and this is a very reputable and effective brand.

2. Infrared Sauna. It essentially speeds up metabolism, burns calories and detoxes you. There are a few different types of these, one is a traditional sit down sauna, but my favorite is the slimline pod. Depending on where you live, this can be expensive. In Los Angeles, it can cost about $20 a session or more, but in my area, Tampa, Fl, there are a lot of gyms/automated spas (i.e Planet Beach) which will offer you an unlimited membership for about $50 a month. The products that go along with the sauna session are a must have and help you sweat and lose weight, slimline slender serum as well as the slimline celiminate cream. The infrared sauna in conjunction with these oils also work really well for spider veins.

3. Body Wraps are another great way to lose weight and I have had a lot of success with this for problem areas such as thighs. I have used oils, such as olive oil, and plastic wrap (cheap, easy, effective) as well as a store bought box from planet beach called, Slim Body Wrap Kit. Both of these methods  can be made even more effective by putting shapewear over top the cellophane. I recommend wearing these for a minimum of 3 hours for maximum effectiveness, or even overnight, if you can make it through the whole night.

4. Slendertone. I recently tried the slendertone, and I have to say that this product really works. Essentially, it is a belt that sends electric pulses to your core and causes those muscles to contract at varying levels of intensity. Every day that I use it, my stomach gets a little tighter. It can be uncomfortable and weird but it is worth it, and it really works.

These are some of the tricks that work for me, let me know if you have any of your own!