Self Care

10 Things That Improved My Life

Looking back at 2019, all I can say is WOW. Profound, I know haha. But truly, this year surprised me in the most wonderful ways… There were SO many unexpected twists and turns and I am so grateful for what it taught me! I wanted to share 10 things that improved my life this year with you. These things all deeply impacted me, inspired me, and changed me for the better. 10 Things That Improved My Life Meditation I’ve spoken about how beneficial meditation has been for me several times, but in case you’re new here, I have an entire blog post outlining my journey to meditation. I’ve been meditating everyday for almost 4 years now and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. I know it will be a lifelong practice for me. Therapy I’m a huge proponent of therapy and have been going weekly since I moved back to NYC. It has helped me process so many things that have gone on this year and made me a more level headed, clear, calm person. I wrote a blog post on How To Find A Therapist here! Personal Trainer I have a standing appointment once a week with a personal trainer. We box on and off, and do short circuits on and off for an hour. Having that weekly appointment holds me accountable and honestly is some of the best money I’ve ever spent. I’m so much stronger than I was when I was doing classes and cardio, and have way more energy than I did last year. I only workout once a week, unless I squeeze in a yoga class. Podcasts Listening to podcasts regularly has kept me inspired, taught me SO much, and helped me think outside the box. My favorites are; The Skinny Confidential Him + Her podcast, the Highest Self by Sahara Rose podcast, the Skimm’d from the Couch podcast, and the Second Life by Hilary Kerr podcast. Taking Social Media Breaks Social media is a powerful tool that comes with both positive and negative side effects. This year, I’ve made more of a conscious effort to live in the moment and be present! While I love sharing parts of my life online, not every single thing needs to be shared or documented. I encourage you to relish special moments – uninterrupted and phone free – with your loved ones! Permission To Relax Speaking of living in the moment and being more present…I’ve never been good at relaxing, sitting still, or straight chilling. As an older child, type A, over achiever, I’m always working, striving and achieving toward something. While those qualities are great and have no doubt helped me throughout my life and career, they can also lead to burnout and exhaustion. This year I gave myself permission to relax and surrounded myself with people who had a healthy work/life balance. At first I felt guilty for not being hyper productive 24/7 (sounds crazy I know!), but then I realized that some of my best ideas actually came during that down time. The Quiet Book This book has truly changed my life for the better! As someone who is half introverted and half extroverted, I’ve always struggled with understanding and embracing my introverted side. Society doesn’t celebrate the introvert. Introverts are often labeled as socially awkward or shy, but wanting a few hours of alone time to recharge and think doesn’t make you either of those things! I love that this book breaks down what makes an introvert an introvert, why it’s crucial to brainstorm solo, and celebrates introversion! Regular Closet Clean Outs I’ve always been an organized person, but living in NYC you have to be even more organized due to limited space. Living in an apartment again has pushed me to really evaluate what I need vs want. With less stuff I’ve been able to think more clearly and I just feel lighter. I have to be OBSESSED with something to buy it or bring it into my apartment these days, which honestly is great for my bank account haha! I wrote a post on How To Clean Out Your Closet here with some helpful tips. Selective With Time I’ve never been more selective with my time – and I’ve never been happier. I used to say yes to almost every incoming request and answer almost every email, DM, and comment. Week after week, my calendar would be packed with appointments, coffee meetings, events, parties, and calls that would drain me. I would spend HOURS answering DMs and comments and then barely have time to run a simple errand, create content, or even have a social life. Luckily, I learned how to delegate and Jesse from my team now does an amazing job filtering and answering the majority of correspondence. Don’t worry – I still get to read thoughtful personal comments or answer specific questions you send via a daily summary she creates for me – and btw I’m so grateful for them! Being more selective with my time has allowed me to think bigger picture, longer term, and create more meaningful content. Embrace Compliments As women, we often downplay ourselves – our achievements, our brains, our abilities. At least I have – especially in male dominated situations. I really started to think about this in the last year. I reflected on how, throughout my life, I’ve constantly filtered, downplayed or withheld my true self in an effort to be “socially appropriate” or not “outshine” anyone. I used to never be able to accept a compliment or comfortably talk about my career in a casual, conversational setting! For example, if someone would come up to me and say, “Your skin is glowing it looks so great!” I would awkwardly laugh, shake my head and look down, then say, “Oh it must just be the lighting, it’s not usually like this, but your skin looks incredible!” I deflected the compliment, instead of accepting it. I now say something like, “Thank you so much – that’s really kind of you!” I am happy that I can confidently and graciously accept compliments as well as openly talk about my career with enthusiasm and pride. My advice to you – is know your value, and own it! Be proud of it and let it shine bright! Thank you! *Lastly, how can I not mention one of the biggest things that has happened to me this year… I met my soulmate, my other half, the love of my life! I have so much more to say, share and talk about on that subject, but for now I will just say that it really does happen when you least expect it! Here’s to a happy, healthy, and successful 2020! Thank you as always for reading, supporting and sharing. It’s going to be the best year yet!
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How To Find A Therapist

I’m so excited to get back to regular programming with my Wellness Wednesday posts. I’ve let them take a back seat these past few months as I’ve been busy sorting out my move, but they’re actually one of my favorite parts of the blog so it feels good to be writing them again. Today’s post is a topic I’ve touched on briefly through my “Self Care” and “How I Got Over My Breakup” posts, but I wanted to delve into it further and share my own experience with therapy! My dad has been a psychologist for over 30 years, so therapy was never taboo or something I was unfamiliar with growing up. I’m incredibly proud of the positive impact my dad has made on hundreds of people’s lives so I’ve always been very open and supportive of therapy. Within this post, I’m going to talk about a few of my own personal experiences with therapists, and of course, how to find the right therapist for you! How To Find A Therapist I’ve used two different methods to find a therapist; I’ve gone through my insurance company’s website, and I’ve done an independent search on ZocDoc. The benefit of going through your insurance company initially, is that they list out doctors within your area that accept your insurance. Some insurance plans cover a therapist’s fee, others cover part of it, and some cover none of it – so be sure to check online and call your insurance company to confirm. Once you’ve created a login through your insurance company’s website, click on the psychologist/psychiatrist section, and then type in your area. Browse through the list of names that pop up, and copy and paste the names that jump out at you into Google. Many therapists today have reviews from other patients online or have written articles which will give you a sense of their reputation and style. After you’ve settled on a therapist or two, call them to check that they do in fact take your insurance, ask what their fee is, and book an initial consultation. If it’s your first time going to therapy, it’s probably a good idea to book consultations with 2-3 different people, and then see which one you like best. If you don’t want to go through the insurance route, or you already know your insurance doesn’t cover therapy costs, then I like to use ZocDoc. You can narrow therapists down by neighborhood (pick somewhere close to work or home because if it’s far away, you’re not going to go – trust me!) and read over their patient reviews. Once you’ve found a few potentials, reach out to them and ask what their rate is, see if they happen to take your insurance (they just may!), and schedule your appointment(s.) How Much Does Therapy Cost?Therapy can be really expensive. But it’s an investment in yourself. Therapy has made me happier, more positive, more thoughtful, more accepting, calmer, wiser, a better daughter, a better sister, a better girlfriend, a better friend, a better boss, and a better human. Therapy costs vary widely by city, insurance plan, and doctor, which is why you need to call both your insurance company and the doctor you’re interested in to find out. Online articles state that therapy can be anywhere from free (or a small co-pay like $15) to $600 a session. I’ve personally paid everything from a $30 copay for an in-network therapist to a $300 fee for an out-of-network therapist. This article does a great job explaining why therapy costs so much in case you’re curious. Therapists have to pay for; malpractice insurance, office space (which in NYC is $$$), office supplies/furniture, advertising, and of course their own health insurance, rent and other expenses. Often times, if they do take insurance, filling out that paperwork and filing claims becomes a full time job in-and-of itself thus stopping them from having time to see more clients so it’s extremely generous of a therapist today to take insurance. Bottom line – do your research on both in-network and out-of-network doctors – and set up appointments with the one that feels right for YOU. Sometimes out-of-network doctors will give you a break on their fees depending on your income, so don’t be afraid to ask! How To Choose The Right Therapist For YouThis all comes down to a gut feeling when you’re one on one with the person. Again, if you’re new to therapy, I suggest seeing a few people so you can compare them and think about how you feel after each session. Every therapist has a different style. Some therapists are more hands on, interactive and vocal, while others are more hands off, observant, and ask a few poignant questions per session. I’ve had therapists who I don’t vibe with at all – and therapists who I totally clicked with and who felt like mentors/friends. After seeing both male and female doctors of all different ages over the years, I have found that I work best with a female who is relatively close to my age. Being relatively close in age has been helpful when communicating about current social situations, social media, social norms, dating in the modern world, etc. AKA they just get me more! How Often Should You See A TherapistThis really depends on you and your situation, but most people go once a week. I’ve gone more than once a week in the past and didn’t like it because I like having a few days to process and decompress after each session – sometimes they can be really intense! Many New Yorkers, due to their busy schedules, make it to therapy 2-3 times a month which is totally normal/fine too. You can also do phone or Skype sessions if you’re out of town. Again, everyone’s schedules, needs and preferences are different so do what works for you + your life. Lastly, if you’re wondering what period of time you should go to therapy – this is also solely based on the individual and situation. I’ve gone to therapy anywhere from 2 months at a time, to pretty consistently for a year. Again, it just depends on what you’re going through. Sticking with therapy consistently for a long period of time has definitely been the most beneficial for me. I hope this post helped answer some of your therapy questions!Remember you don’t have to be depressed to go to a therapist – therapy is for anyone and everyone – and can be a great place to just vent, bounce ideas off of a neutral person, or process changes! The right therapist will have such a positive impact on your life and give you the tools you need to get through anything. Therapy is a safe place, free of judgement – where you can just be yourself. I encourage you to give therapy a try if you haven’t already – and feel free to leave me any other questions you may have below!
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My Valentine's Day Self Care Rituals

Happy Valentine’s Day!  Whether you like this holiday or not, it’s a nice reminder to pamper yourself!  I wanted to share a few things I plan on doing today – and that I like doing in general to treat myself ;) Self Care Rituals Face Mask My all time favorite face mask is the Sisley Black Rose mask.  100% splurge worthy.  I ran out of that one though, so I plan on using this Eve Lom radiance mask.  It feels really good on, but it’s not nearly as moisturizing as the Sisley one feels if I’m being completely honest! Hydrate I start every morning with hot lemon water, then my signature green juice.  The recipe is; celery, cucumber, fennel, broccoli, and 1/2 a green apple.  If I can’t find fennel I use parsley and swiss chard. Lymph Drainage After I shower, I put a drop of Vintner’s Daughter serum (another splurge worthy item that makes my skin glow and totally minimizes your pores so you feel more confident wearing less makeup.)  I layer that with one of my face oils, and use the Clarisonic Firming Massage Head to de-puff my face. Makeup I wait to put makeup on until I have to – so I often try to go 3-4 days a week without wearing anything.  Tonight, Derek and I have plans to cook at home, so I won’t be doing a full face of makeup, but I still want to do a little something to look more awake!  I’ll put on a bit of Cle de Beaute concealer, Armani foundation, Bobbi Brown bronzer, Charlotte Tilbury highlighter, Laura Mercier caviar eye stick, and Bobbi Brown mascara.  This is my go-to everyday makeup routine that creates a really subtle, natural look. Candles I’ve been burning Goop #2 during the day in my kitchen, but for a more romantic evening, I love Diptyque Vanille, and Byredo Bibliotheque so I’ll probably light either of those! Bubble Bath I love taking a hot bath in the morning or right before I go out at night.  I use epsom salt from Amazon (I buy it in bulk.)  It’s the perfect way to get the magnesium we all need!  I also love the Goop bath salts – particularly these 3 scents. Comfy Clothes I like to be as comfortable as possible when I’m getting ready to go out, or working from home, so I wear either a terry cloth robe, Eberjey pajamas – or these Cuyana sweatpants that I just got from their new loungewear line.  Seriously they’re my new favorite sweatpants.  As a top, I’ll wear this cute grey Sol Angeles sweatshirt. Beauty Sleep At the end of a long day, there’s nothing better than a goodnight sleep – and getting to bed early!  I’m a total night owl (most creatives are!), but I love falling asleep before 10PM when I can.  Bliss!  I wear this silk eye mask every night, and sleep in Restoration Hardware linen sheets.  Once you go linen, you won’t go back – trust me!  I also love these sheets from The Citizenry.
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10 Books Everyone Should Read

I’m chuckling to myself thinking about when I first started reading self help books – it all started about 3 years ago.  I got SUPER into them and like, wanted to read every self help book under the sun for about a year straight.  Every week it was a new Amazon box full of self help books!!!!  I spent my weekends holed up in the bathtub or curled up on my couch, reading and reading and reading. I had been single for about a year, and dated a TON prior to that, and was just over dating and all of the bullshit in general.  Instead of constantly going out, I buried myself in my books and went on a deep soul searching dive.  I was sooooo curious – absorbing everything I was reading about and learning like a sponge.  I had some really eye opening, enlightening moments after reading excerpts from these books – and I still utilize a ton of what I’ve learned in my life today, so I wanted to share these life changing books with you! On a side note – I now go in waves of reading self help books and reading in general.  I feel like you do need to be in the mood or in the right headspace to get into some of these books.  Keep an open mind and just see which books connect with you and draw you in.  Not every best selling, self help book that I’ve ordered has jived with me – and that’s ok.   If a particular book doesn’t jive with you, please don’t throw in the towel for all self help books!  Skim through a few different ones and feel ’em out! Self Help Books1 – DVF’s The Woman I Wanted To BeThis is such a quick read and super inspiring especially if you love fashion/are in the industry and idolize Diane Von Furstenberg like I do.  She’s an extremely resilient woman and embraces the ups and downs she’s faced in life.  I love that she has made it her life mission to empower women – she’s one of my greatest role models and I am still pinching myself that I got to meet her inside her apartment! 2 – The SecretThis is a book that I truly think everyone should read and will enjoy.  It’s also a fairly quick read and shares simple life principals that we can all be more aware of and implement in our lives to thrive! 3 – The 5 Love LanguagesHoly crap talk about awakening and a-ha moments!  This book does not only apply to romantic relationships but will help you have a better understanding about your relationships with friends and family.  A definite must. 4- The Drama of the Gifted ChildThis book really helped me work through some unresolved feelings I had in regards to my childhood and my relationship with my parents.  I had a great childhood and I have a wonderful relationship with both of my parents, but of course, like anyone – there’s always family drama or sometimes uncomfortable family dynamics that go on.  No one’s family is perfect!  Everything made a bit more sense after I read this – it’s a classic in the self help, family relationship world. 5 – Lean InI really enjoyed this book and felt empowered knowing I wasn’t alone as a woman in the workplace.  Sheryl offers some great insight and tips with regards of how to carry yourself and handle certain situations at an office. 6 – Daring GreatlyBrene Brown is one of the #1 best selling self help authors.  Her books are incredible and really helped me open up and become more vulnerable. 7 – The Gifts of ImperfectionAnother Brene Brown book that I loved.  This is a great one especially if you are a perfectionist, type A personality like I am. 8 – Men are from Mars, Women are from VenusThis book possesses all of the answers to understanding and communicating with the opposite sex!!!  It’s so on point.  An absolute must read for interpersonal relationships. 9 – Eastern Body Western MindThis book took me a while to get into.  It’s so thick and starts out slow and is kind of serious at first…lol.  But I am so glad I stuck with it, and slowly worked my way through it.  I had some major wake up calls, enlightening moments and can honestly say this book changed my life.  Highly recommend. 10 – Love Style LifeThis is a coffee table book/autobiography/short and sweet self help style book.  Another great book for any woman – but particularly if you have an interest in the fashion industry and love Garance Dore as much as I do!  She’s so real, so cool, so laid back, and her journey to success in the fashion industry is truly inspiring.  I love the way she makes fun of herself and of other bloggers – she will make you laugh and give you honest insight into the world of fashion blogging!!! Other books I love; 10% Happier, I’ll Drink To That, and Grace.   The last two are not self help books, but just quick, fun reads that are great to travel with, will make you laugh and inspire you.  Speaking of Grace – my dear friend Grace of The Stripe always has the best book recommendations!!!  What are some of your favorite self help books?  I’m looking for a new one to dive into! xx
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