Dust Differently: Typical dusting feathers can aid with removing dust from surface areas, but the dust is kicked into the air and circulated. To properly remove dust completely, I switched my feather duster for unscented micro-fiber cloths which attract unhealthy particles instead of spreading them around.
Fresh Air: If the weather permits, my windows are opened daily. Luckily, I was careful to select a home with lots of greenery and sunlight surrounding my courtyard; being that sunlight and fresh air is so important. Opening your windows will allows your space to breath. Indoor air is generally 5 times more polluted than outside air.
Toxic Dryer Sheets: Dryer sheets contain high levels of toxins that are absorbed into the skin through your clothing and wash cloths and contain chemicals like quaternary ammonium compounds that contribute to asthma and respiratory problems. I’ve switched to Honest’ plant-based cloths and I feel a lot better making small steps and healthier choices.
No shoes in the house. (as most household dirt, pesticides and lead come in on your shoes). Instead, you can go barefoot or wear house slippers. This is a hard rule for me, and it’s a great concept to adopt. Leave the germs at the door.
Get a shower filter (as many of the contaminants in tap water become gases at room temperature). A shower filter can help keep these toxins from becoming airborne. I’ve decided to invest in water filters that remove contaminants and metals from the water. These filters work wonders and the water is much softer. Filtering has direct effects on the hair, skin, and respiratory system. Be sure to shop for filters by doing research on the components that you’d like to remove. All filters are not created equal.
Grab A Humidifier: Humidifiers are life savers for me. In the colder months, running the heat can cause dry skin and a loss of moisture in the air. Humidifiers help to prevent dry skin, snoring, the spread of airborne viruses, dry nasal passages and eyes, they also help to prevent static and wood damage. In California, the air is much drier, so it feels much more comfortable indoors with an adequate balance of moisture circulating throughout the home.
My general rule of thumb is that I try to stay away from eating foods with excessive ingredients and names that I can’t pronounce. Natural and organic foods are pretty simple and to the point. It’s like a math equation, what you put in is what you get out of it. If there’s anything that your body needs for nutrition, healing, energy, and even aesthetically, it’s best to look to mother nature for answers.
Change is good! I promised myself that I would be in the best shape of my life this year and that I would seek to feel great both inside and out, and I’ve finally found my lane. Less is more and I have a few “rules” to live by that I continue to embrace. It feels great to know that I’m feeding myself and my family food that was handmade by the creator. Raw and organic dishes don’t have to be boring. I’ve really enjoyed creating recipes, making my own bread, and feeling better. I’m very fortunate to live in a city that really embraces healthy living. There’s matcha and greens on every corner in LA. Here are a few tips to kickstart your switch to clean eating:
Gracias Madre- Favorite Vegan Mexican CuIsine with the best Margaritas!
Erewhon Market – My go-to local market in Calabasas. You’d have to be familiar with the neighborhood to spot this jewel. It’s an organic market tucked away off of Las Virgenes Canyon; and is a neighborhood staple for organic shopping. The hot food bar is great for nights where cooking isn’t an option.
Urth Cafe- A Melrose Avenue Staple for an organic coffee date.]]>
The great balance is found in the city’s most beautiful Riads. You’ll find these to be particularly charming and relaxing, away from the noise of the city. Most Riads are tucked away in the most quaint of places throughout the city. These boutique style accommodations offer a bit of peace and relaxation after a day in the market place. Be sure to end your day with traditional Moroccan mint tea and local pastries. They will most-likely be offered to you wherever you go being that it’s a local staple. The beautiful mix of varying cultures, colors, and languages is the perfect mesh for anyone (like myself) who loves a nice dose of culture during their travels.
I know that one of the biggest questions will be about food. And, since I’m a true foodie at heart, of course I have answers. I was in search of the perfect Moroccan dining experience when I came across Comptoir Darna. The restaurant, club, and patio bar has mastered the perfect ambiance with low lighting, spicy colors, eclectic music and flavorful dishes. Once your dining experience is complete, you can head upstairs to the nightclub equipped with entertainment (Moroccan Belly Dancers) and live music. I had to make a second trip to Comptoir Darna just for the vegetable couscous which has to be one of the best dishes I’ve ever tasted. It was the perfect experience and encompasses everything that you would need for the perfect night out in Marrakech.
Living in Brooklyn for 11 years provided me with a lot of time to explore the second most talked about borough. Soho is by far my most favorite area in the city. Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn have a unique aesthetic that are reminiscent of “old New York” with cobble stone streets and tiny alley ways that take you back in time. On a good day, I like to grab ice cream from the famous Milk and Cream and stroll around looking for vintage finds. SoHo is a great place for a unique shopping experience that showcases some of my favorite shops like Marc Jacobs and Ralph Lauren. It’s also where I’ve found many of my most loved finger rings. I really enjoy areas that have their own unique flavor, so it’s no surprise the I gravitate more towards the not-so touristy areas of town that are often overlooked. If you happen to be so lucky to take a trip, be sure to stroll through my favorite part of town. Enjoy!
1. Air Quality- Some plants are great at eliminating toxins and enhancing air quality. I’m a big fan of Peace Lilys. They’re great at ridding the air of the VOC benzene, a carcinogen found in paints, furniture wax, and polishes. They also soak up acetone emitted by electronics, adhesives, and various household cleaners. Additional plants to consider include: English Ivys, Boston Ferns, and Aloe Vera.
2. Combating Illness- Indoor plants have been shown to reduce cold-related illnesses by more than 30%. This is due to their ability to decrease dust while increasing humidity in the home.
3. Natural Humidifiers- Instead of buying a humidifier, grabbing a plant or two can add moisture, increase feelings of well-being, reduce stress levels and combat allergies. Be sure to research plants that fit your specific needs.]]>
Q: What’s the most important thing in a relationship?
A: Ah, that’s a loaded question. I recognize that everyone has their own individual needs and things that they require in-order to feel satisfied within the scope of a partnership. For me, I really thrive on communication and transparency. If I’m aware of an issue, I feel that I can better navigate in an effort to find a solution. When there’s a breakdown in communication things start to get tricky. I like to use the word “partnership” because ultimately you need to have two people on board who are equally willing to build together. Communication, transparency, and FUN! I can’t stress this enough… have fun in your relationships. There will be necessary moments of seriousness, but you truly have to be a source of light and laughter for yourself and your partner. I think that’s extremely important. Create memories, and laugh a lot in the interim. Never forget that.
Q: Do you cook?
A: Ha! Why is this a question? These days I’ve really been trying to chef it up a bit more. I enjoy making meals and hosting at my home, but I typically don’t have much time to be as awesome in the kitchen as I would like to be. Cookbooks have saved me, since I tend to get bored easily with meals that I’m a pro at making. Clean eating is also something that’s really essential for me and finding ways to make it fun has taken away the mundane aspects of prepping a meal. I’ve found a ton of vegan recipes that are just amazing and I would like to ace this part of my life. As the woman of my household, I really want to be able to make healthy dishes that my family and friends will love and thank me for.
Q: Do you plan to have more kids?
A: I do! I’m a natural nurturer and I love little ones. Motherhood is such a unique blessing that allows you to practice selflessness. You can’t be great at this without learning to share your time, space, and energy with another person. The wonderful thing is that I don’t mind. I was an only child for thirteen years, so I learned quickly that I had to be creative in-order to entertain myself. Consequently, it’s never been a desire of mine to have a tiny nest. All in due time.
Q: How do you balance a busy schedule?
A: Write. Write. Write. I’m the woman with a planner attached to my hip at all times. I’ve never been able to get into adding events to my phone, instead I prefer to write things down in a traditional planner. I also have to remind myself not to go crazy with post-its (my bffs). There’s something very special about seeing your ideas and plans on paper. I try to create a balanced day for myself. I wake up at 5am to stretch, jump rope, and hit the 6am Pilates class before I fully start my day, and when I’m tired I rest without hesitation. By keeping organized I’m able to avoid being trapped into having terribly stressful days where I’m rushing and flustered every second. Plan things out the night before if possible and find ways to stay in a space of peace and ease each day.
Q: What is your biggest style inspiration?
A: Olivia Pope, does that count? I’m really into simple, feminine attire. I find myself gravitating more towards earth tones, and subtle hues. I’ve never been into bright, showy colors. I guess you can say that I’m more conservative with my style of dress, but It gets fun for me when I have an event or girls night out. Cocktail dresses are my thing. It’s when I can be a little more expressive and saucy with my choices. Olivia Pope during the day and Sasha Fierce at night. I think that does it.
Q: How do you decide what to write about?
A: It’s interesting because my posts are almost always spontaneous. If I come across something that I think others will love, then I’m willing to share. I also find that a lot of my inspiration comes from subjects that I’ve learned and expounded upon through research and experience. Whenever I face challenges, I don’t turn a blind eye to my problems. Instead, I try to take something away from it in-order to strengthen myself as a woman. If I think that it may be beneficial to share an idea, or story then I grab a blank sheet of paper to get started.
Q: What would we find on your favorite playlist?
A: I have such an eclectic ear for music that you’ll likely find that most of my favorites aren’t mainstream artist. I like music that reaches me, soulful, relatable, personal. I do have a few favorites at the moment:
Solange “Borderline”– is beautiful. It’s about taking time to sort out issues with the one you love and letting go just long enough to make it right again. ( Also: “Cranes In the sky“)
Quadron “LFT” – will always be a favorite on my playlist. I like to listen to this when I’m getting ready to step out.
Dele Sosimi “Too Much Information” –is that one song that I always want to hear at a nightclub. I first heard Sosimi’s AfroBeats in London and fell in love with the music. I enjoy music that is culturally distinct. It’s different and interesting to me.
Nouvelle Vague “Just can’t get enough” – I’m sure that I listen to this song at least once a day. This is my favorite french band and they mix classic french romance with Bossa Nova… It’s great.
Coldplay- This will always be my favorite group of all time. I’ve really grown to love every album that they’ve released. Their music just feels great to listen to and puts me in a good mood.
Sade- “Your love is king“- This will never be removed from the playlist. Sade is my favorite singer, so her albums are always in rotation. Most of my shower singing happens with this song along with “Nothing can come between us” her music is timeless.
1. Books- Knowledge is power! It’s my experience that most people don’t realize that they have a problem until they’re forced to face it socially. Whether it’s through relationships, working environments, or everyday social interactions, whatever issues that you may have tucked away will inevitably surface in the form of failed relationships, unsettled arguments, pride, and stubbornness. All of these things keep you from the life that you dream of. I’ve always envisioned a very peaceful life and I realized that I would have to actually learn HOW to be at peace within myself before that would ever be a reality. Here are a few books that have been life-changing for me: The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer, Anatomy of the Spirit by Caroline Myss, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (I re-read this one every 3 months), and The Power of Intention by Wayne Dyer. I’m constantly on the hunt for new reads that challenge my way of thinking and inspire me to be my best self. Reading has truly helped me to grow and find ways to manage stress, smile a lot more and to feed my mind with positive affirmations.
2. Pampering- Oh yes… I have a fund set aside for things that relax me. This includes traveling, nice dinners, and purchasing things that are special to me. Most of my pampering involves relaxation and stillness. I’m often managing a pretty hectic schedule with working, being a mother, and building a business. I also have to make time to socialize with my friends and family even if it’s just a fun face-time date. I really enjoy collecting nice wines. In California we’re surrounded by amazing hillside vineyards, so my wine shelf is rarely ever empty. A nice glass of wine, aromatherapy candles, and a great book does the trick when I’m home. It’s how I unwind from long days. Find things that bring you peace and relax your mind and body. I also make sure to treat my self to an all out spa day at least once a month (this one’s my favorite).
3. Exercise- I’ve been an avid yogi for quite some time, but I’ve recently found that I really enjoy doing Pilates for my personalized workouts. Pilates helps to strengthen and tone the body. I’m someone who gets tense very easily and Pilates has helped me to keep a fluid and flexible spine along with an overall feeling of strength and wellness. I’m usually one of those people who you see running at 5am, but I find it harder and harder to find the time to mix up my cardio and strength training. Luckily Pilates gets your heart rate going and works your core while targeting all of your major muscle groups. Staying active gives me energy and the added confidence that I need.
4. Stay on your path!- Everyday won’t be roses and sunshine, but keeping a positive perspective will move mountains and clear a path in the right direction. Everyday I make a decision to try and feel my best, to be filled with energy, and to be an example to my children and the people around me. Being a source of light and laughter for my loved ones is something that’s genuinely fulfilling for me. And, it inspires others to be in a good mood as well. Living a life of integrity and thoughtfulness has helped me to be a better person, and it has most certainly increased my confidence and solidified the importance of my life as an individual. I matter, and knowing that you matter will give you the strength to go out and face anything!
How do you build self-confidence?]]>