Wellness

Advice on Moving and Changes

Advice on Moving and ChangesSo many of us are going through major transitions and life changes right now. Maybe you’re moving apartments, selling your home, relocating to an entirely different city, looking for a new job, or just simply managing this “new normal” way of living. I wanted to share a bit of my past experiences for those of you trying to navigate this time. No RegretsIn the past 10 years I’ve moved 7 times – 3 of which were cross country! Though tiring, I have never regretted a single move. That’s what your 20s are for – exploring new places, trying new things and figuring out what you like or don’t like. In the beginning, it has always felt a bit scary acclimating to a new neighborhood, city, and/or state, but it’s also been incredibly exhilarating! Overcoming the challenge of settling into a space is so rewarding and has pushed me to grow and develop in ways I never would have. Benefits of MovingWith each move, I’ve gained invaluable knowledge and skills. I’ve met wonderful people and made lifelong connections. I’ve discovered amazing restaurants, hotels, and boutiques. And I’ve been able to see and experience so many unique places all over the country. Most importantly, I’ve been able to become the independent, capable woman I am today. All of my solo adventures and challenges, laid the foundation for the relationship I have with Thomas. I cannot begin to express how important it is to be able to accomplish certain things on your own before entering into a long term partnership. This advice not only applies to romantic relationships, but also friendships and business ventures. You really need to be able to stand on your own two feet before fully committing to another person otherwise the relationship will always be disproportionate. What I’ve Learned From Each MoveFrom AZ to NYC: Straight out of college, at 22, I moved from my hometown Phoenix, AZ to Queens, NY. I didn’t have a job yet – and barely had a penny to my name (except the cash I made from selling my car.) A friend (who is now one of my best friends and operates all things WLFK!) kindly let me rent a room for next to nothing in the house her mom grew up in. I pounded the pavement applying to a zillion jobs, and was lucky enough to reconnect with a childhood friend who put me in touch with her sorority sister who worked at a jewelry company. And I landed an interview and started working there the very next week – it was meant to be. I took the bus to Herald Square Monday-Friday and lived off 99 cent Ray’s pizza and Hale + Hearty salads. I relished eating my lunch in Bryant Park on a hot summer day and doing happy hours after work with new friends. That first year in NYC was one of the best years of my life. I proved to myself that I could move across country, find a job, navigate the city, and make new friends. From Queens to Upper East Side: After a year and a half of living in Queens and commuting into the city, my long distance college boyfriend decided to move to NYC from AZ, and we found a cute walk up apartment on the Upper East Side. I felt like I hit the jackpot being able to rent a real NYC apartment with exposed brick, walking distance to Central Park. I LOVED exploring the UES and discovered tons of gorgeous parks, museums and shops during my 2 years there. The Carl Schurz park is a true hidden gem in the city if you’re ever in the area. And the Frick Collection will always be a favorite of mine! From UES to West Village: After I quit my job to blog full time, I started venturing downtown more regularly and quickly fell in love with the charm of the West Village. Brick townhouses with ivy growing up the sides, quaint cafes with outdoor bistro tables, and quiet tree lined streets had me longing to move there. I found the most darling 2 bedroom apartment in a building on Waverly Place and Bank that was built in the 1920s. I had the quintessential NYC fire escape and a view overlooking hundred year old townhouses. So I relished every second of living in that space and neighborhood… I still love it just as much today as I did back then. I made friends with my super and all of my neighbors, got to know the local baristas and bartenders, became a regular at so many yummy spots, and really felt at home there. And I would run along the West Side Highway at sunset every night – it was my medicine. From West Village to Paris: After 2 years in the West Village and a devastating breakup with my longtime boyfriend, I needed a major change. The apartment we shared together constantly reminded me of him and us. Although I knew deep down he wasn’t “the one” it was still so painful. He had been my best friend for almost 8 years and to go through life without him for those first few months was gut wrenching. So one of my girlfriends had recently moved to London and invited me to come spend the summer with her and encouraged me to move to Europe. I had always wanted to live in Europe and loved Paris, so I thought of it as the study abroad I never had. I rented an apartment in the St. Germain area of Paris and was able to travel all over Europe – to Ibiza, St. Tropez, London and the English countryside that summer. It was an absolute blast and exactly what I needed to mend my broken heart. The change of pace/scenery/culture was SO refreshing. So I decided I wanted to move there full time and began looking into visas, tax laws, and French classes. Unfortunately, toward the end of the summer, something I’ve never shared is – I got robbed in broad daylight. Suddenly I found myself living in a foreign country with no ID, no credit/debit cards, no cash, and no friends or family nearby. It was a complete shock to my system, and helped me understand that it wasn’t a good idea for me to move to a foreign country when I didn’t have a safety net. I came back to my West Village apartment and realized how much I had missed my friends and life in NYC. The universe works in mysterious ways, and it was a sign that Paris was not meant to be! From West Village to LA: I spent another year in West Village after Paris and had a ton of fun dating and enjoying single life in the city. And I felt like I finally hit my stride and embraced being single. I was going out to dinner and drinks every night and taking full advantage of everything the city had to offer. The work opportunities that were coming my way were once in a lifetime, and it was so special being able to meet in person with brands and founders. But then my digestion/stomach issues hit. Everyday I would wake up doubled over in stomach pain, bloated, and sick. I went from doctor to doctor trying to figure out what was wrong, but no one had the right solution. Frustrated and still single, I realized I really needed to focus on self care and my health. With my nonstop lifestyle in NYC, I felt like I couldn’t. I had always wanted to move to LA and I felt really drawn to the ocean. After road tripping through LA for a month, I knew Venice Beach was the town I belonged in. I found a great house 3 blocks from the beach and moved all of my belongings across country. LA was just what I needed at that time in my life. It was laid back, health conscious, and the weather was to die for! The sunshine, ocean, and overall lifestyle grounded and healed me. A friend I had met there, told me about her stomach problems and histamine intolerance. I had never heard of it before, but as soon as I read about it, I realized that could be what was causing all of my digestion issues. I eliminated high histamine food for a year (and still do to this day), and I haven’t had any stomach issues since. So I am forever grateful for meeting her and being introduced to that. So many good things came from my time in LA; from getting my dog Charlie at Vanderpump Dogs, to reconnecting with one of my best friends from college, to exploring all of the different parts of LA, and falling in love with my next door neighbor! Getting a dog opened my heart up to love again, and helped me find and show love in a relationship. Derek taught me so much and although we ultimately wanted different things in life, I’m so happy I met him. From LA to Soho: After 2 years in LA, I was feeling re-energized and centered. I had visited friends in NYC in the fall, and was surprised to find myself missing it. The hustle/bustle and buzz was intoxicating and I wanted to be back amongst the excitement. Derek and I talked about moving to NYC together, but ultimately realized we weren’t compatible long term, so he took a great job opportunity in SF while I moved to NYC. The second I moved back to NYC I knew in my bones I was where I was supposed to be. It felt so good to be back! I threw a huge housewarming party and one of my friends posted a picture of us on her Instagram. Funny enough, a guy who I had been on 1 date with 5 years prior (Thomas, who btw I liked back then, but the timing was all wrong because I moved to Paris the following week!), commented and said he remembered me and asked if I was still single. Our mutual friend reconnected us and we went out on our “second 1st date” a few days later! It was then that we both immediately knew that was it. We’ve been inseparable ever since and he moved in shortly after. Out of all of the neighborhoods I’ve lived in, Soho has been my favorite. It’s so full of life! The diversity, culture, restaurants, shops, hotels, art, people – it’s just constantly inspiring and interesting. Everyday I see or hear something new. What’s NextSo that was pretty much a long winded way of saying; Don’t be afraid to move! Don’t be afraid of change! Get out of your comfort zone. Open yourself up to new people, places, opportunities. Challenge yourself and grow, learn, progress. You can always move back! You can always move out! And you don’t have to stay anywhere. The world is truly your oyster. So keep an open mind, and trust the process. Lean into uncertainty. You don’t have to have all of the answers, or have everything figured out before making a change. You can figure it out along the way! In fact, that’s what I have always done. I’ve come to really understand what people mean when they say, “Life’s about the journey, not the destination.” Because it’s the journey that opens us up to these wonderful chance encounters, it’s the journey that introduces us to these friends, lovers, and places that will forever be a part of us. So, if you’re feeling like you’re in limbo or not sure what to do next, just know that you are not alone. Trust yourself, and listen to whatever your gut is telling you. For me personally, I’m doing a whole lot of thinking right now (serial over thinker right here LOL.) Thomas and I love NYC, our apartment and our neighborhood, but with everything going on in the world, and so many things changing around us, we too are re-evaluating where we want to be now – and long term. We aren’t making any decisions quite yet, but instead just talking, listening, and paying attention to what feels right for us. We are focusing on all of the things we have to be grateful for rather than dwelling on what is out of our control. That said, it is a really great time to switch things up and try something new. Head to that city you’ve always wanted to live in – even if it’s just for a year. Or relish and enjoy quality time with your family rather than rushing back to your apartment. I know I can’t wait to see my dad in Arizona once it’s safe to fly again! Wherever you are, I hope you are safe. I hope you are healthy. And I hope that you listen to your gut and let it guide you. Helpful ArticlesHow To Find An Apartment in NYC 10 Things That Improved My Life How To Get Over A Breakup How To Find A Therapist What is a Histamine Intolerance? My Travel App
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Yerba Mate Lemon Mint Iced Tea

Yerba Mate Lemon Mint Iced TeaThis isn’t your average iced tea recipe! This refreshing iced tea is actually made with Yerba Mate; a delicious caffeinated tea that is perfect for someone who wants an energy boost minus the jitters you can often get from coffee or black tea. I first tried Yerba Mate 5 years ago at We Care; a spa in Palm Springs. For those of you who aren’t familiar with We Care, it’s a rustic spot in the middle of the desert that specializes in cleansing and detoxifying your body. When I was struggling with digestion issues years ago, this place saved me. Just 1 week there, completely rebooted my digestion and sparked my interest in wellness. Everyone from Tom Ford to Gisele flock there yearly to reset and recharge. Anyways, back to the tea!! What is Yerba Mate?Yerba Mate is a caffeinated tea made from leaves found in the South American rainforest. It’s not hard to find though – so don’t worry – it’s available on Amazon and any grocery store! What’s so special about Yerba Mate is that it’s packed with vitamins, amino acids, and polyphenols. Studies have found that it boosts your metabolism and reduces inflammation. It almost tastes like a black tea, but it’s more herbal and earthy. It actually has more caffeine than black tea, but again, it doesn’t give you the jittery side effects that tea or coffee would. If I ever need a mid morning pick me up, or something to sip on before a workout or big project, I reach for this iced tea in my fridge. It would be perfect to serve this weekend for Memorial Day! Yerba Mate Lemon Mint Iced Tea8 cups brewed Yerba Mate tea, cooled down2 tbsp fresh lemon juice1 lemon sliced thin6 mint sprigs Fill a pitcher with brewed tea. Add in lemon juice and lemon slices. Stir to combine. Serve in a glass filled with ice and garnish with fresh mint sprigs. Add raspberries, blackberries or cucumber for extra color and flavor! Enjoy your weekend!
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Life As An Introvert

Growing up I was definitely more of a reserved kid. I was a TOTAL bookworm and threw myself into my homework and art projects. I loved playing make-believe in my treehouse, or accompanying my mom antique shopping. And I was happiest either one on one with someone – or completely alone. I loathed group activities and projects. They stressed me out, exhausted me. And I felt like I couldn’t get anything done with everyone talking over one another. Please No Summer Camp!My parents forced me to do group activities though – everything from softball to swimming, volleyball and track. I lasted about 1 year in each sport and would beg them not to make me go back. I wanted to take art classes (which were always calm + quiet). Or focus on my studies from the comfort of my home. I realize I’m making myself out to sound like a total nerd…welp I still am! My sister on the other hand, was SO outgoing. Obsessed with club volleyball, soccer team captain, always blowing off her homework to have huge choreographed dance parties with her friends in our driveway, and would go to sleep away camp for months over the summer. I can’t even begin to talk about how much I hated camp lol…. A Fish Out Of WaterMy best friends in middle school were semi introverted, but not on the level that I was. So I always felt like a fish out of water amongst my peers. That feeling stuck with me throughout high school, college and beyond. I somehow always gravitated to a more outgoing friend or group of friends (maybe because I so badly wanted to be seen as outgoing and also didn’t fit in with the “shy” crowd), and this left me feeling constantly out of place, confused and misunderstood. For basically my entire life, I tried to hide my introversion. It was impossible though. Like clock work, after I’d done too much socializing, I’d eventually get insanely drained and make up an excuse that I had to go home to grab something, had to work, didn’t feel well, couldn’t make it to the party because of X,Y,Z etc… Stigma Around IntrovertsI was always embarrassed to admit I was an introvert because society certainly doesn’t celebrate introverts. Introverts have been mislabeled and misunderstood forever. People think introverts are shy and reclusive, but that just isn’t the case. I’ve never thought of myself as shy – I love meeting new people and feel very comfortable walking into a room full of strangers and striking up conversation. I also LOVE to travel. Exploring new places and discovering hidden gems is one of my greatest passions. A Book About IntrovertsIt wasn’t until I read the book Quiet last year, that I came to fully understood and embrace the definition of an introvert. Susan Cain, the author behind Quiet, defines introverts as having “a preference for a quiet, more minimally stimulating environment. Introverts tend to enjoy quiet concentration, listen more than they talk, and think before they speak, and have a more circumspect and cautious approach to risk. Introverts think more, are less reckless and focus on what really matters – relationships and meaningful work.” Cain shares that between “one-third and one-half of Americans may be classified as introverts, though individuals fall at different places along an introvert-extrovert spectrum.” Those people are called ambiverts. Yep, I’m A Textbook IntrovertUp until this quarantine 51 days ago, I considered myself pretty 50/50 on the introvert-extrovert spectrum. I mean, I love going to a good party, catching up with friends, being out + about in NYC – it excites me and makes me feel alive! However I also really love my downtime at home reading, writing, creating and dreaming. Whether I go in or stay out really depends on my mood or the situation. BUT the majority of the time, as in about 90% of the time, I am perfectly content – actually over the moon – staying home by myself or with one or two people I love. I would choose staying home or doing something intimate and quiet, over a loud event, dinner, or party any day. Embracing IntroversionThe blessing and silver lining behind this quarantine for me personally, has been that after all of these years I’ve finally come to terms with just how introverted I really am. I feel SO grounded and content after this time at home, away from the pressure I have felt for years from both myself and others to go out, out, out and do so.many.things! In reality, my fun is recharging at home. Immersing myself in creative projects, cooking, teaching myself new things, and having low key movie nights cuddled with Charlie and T. May I add that I feel very fortunate to even have the option to stay home while so many others don’t! Anyways, when this is all over, will I be sooooo excited to throw on my heels and attend a fabulous party, dine out at a restaurant, and hug my friends? YES OF COURSE! DUH! But, knowing me, I will probably be ready to kick my heels off, throw my sweats on and get cozy about an hour or two in ;) To My Fellow IntrovertsTo all of my closet, or not-so-closet introverts and ambiverts, out there I feel you and I get you! Let’s change the stigma around introversion and be proud of what makes us who we are. If you haven’t already, do yourself a favor and read Quiet even if you’re not an introvert. My friend Grace wrote an amazing review on it in case you need more convincing. It’s truly an eye opening read that will help you understand not only yourself, but the people in your life.
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The Positivity Chain

How are you doing? What has made you feel good this week? I wanted to share 10 things that made me smile, laugh and/or feel inspired. In case you missed past week’s Positivity Chain blog posts, you can check them out here and here! The Power of a Handwritten NoteNever underestimate the power of a handwritten note. Maybe it’s a little love note you leave on your partner’s bathroom mirror, or a cute card you send your bestie, or even a note you send to a complete stranger who is feeling lonely in a nursing home. The other day, I was down about something and I happened to check my mail, and noticed that a reader had sent me a beautiful handwritten note thanking me for a beauty giveaway I sent her. It was such a thoughtful, unexpected gesture and it made me tear up! Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Brownie MixI have tried so many brownies over the years and let me tell you, nothing beats the Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate brownie mix. Even Bon Appetit agrees and wrote an entire article on it!!!!! A ton of you have been saying you buy it in bulk at Costco which is great if you live near a store. I get my Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate brownie mix at our local market, but there are a few sellers on Amazon who have them in stock. They’re ADDICTING…I’m on my 4th box in a month! This is the brownie pan I use – and it’s on sale. Misfits MarketMy sister and her husband have been ordering produce boxes from Misfits Market for over a year and love what they’ve gotten. It’s such a wonderful concept and something I’m looking to try! Basically this company eliminates food waste by saving any misshapen fruits + veggies from being thrown out by farmers! These are all perfectly good fruits + veggies, but because of their slightly odd shape, most markets won’t take them. The boxes are SO reasonably priced (well below market prices) which makes it even better. What IfMy girlfriend who lives in LA sent me this text and I thought it was so profound. “California schools have been out for four weeks. Now that they’ve cancelled school for the rest of the year, students will miss 2.5 months of education. Many people are concerned about students falling behind because of this. Yes, they may fall behind when it comes to classroom education… But what if… What if instead of falling “behind” this group of kids are advanced because of this? Hear me out. What if they have more empathy, they enjoy family connection, they can be more creative and entertain themselves, they love to read, they love to express themselves in writing. What if they enjoy the simple things, like their own backyard and sitting near a window in the quiet. What if they notice the birds and the dates the different flowers emerge and the calming renewal of a gentle rain shower? What if this generation are the ones to learn to cook, organize their space, do their laundry, and keep a well run home? What if they learn to stretch a dollar and to live with less? What if they learn the value of eating together as a family and finding the good to share in the small delights of everyday? What if they are the ones to place great value on our teachers and educational professionals, librarians, public servants? The previously under appreciated essential support workers like truck drivers, grocers, cashiers, custodians, logistics, and healthcare workers and their supporting staff, just to name a few of the millions taking care of us right now while we are sheltered in place?! What if among these children, a great leader emerges who had the benefit of a slower pace and a simpler life to truly learn what really matters in this life? What if they are ahead?” $15 feeds 55 Children in NeedOne of my favorite charities; City Harvest set up an incredibly easy + fast way to donate to those in need (it legit took me 10 seconds.) Simply text LUNCH to 20222 and YES to confirm, to donate $15 to City Harvest which feeds 55 children. The charge instantly comes from your cell phone provider bill, so you don’t have to input any payment info. Misery Loves Company PodcastThe Skinny Confidential podcast is one of my favorites and I had the honor of being on it in August! This episode about being positive during quarantine is a must listen. Foot MaskI just ordered this exfoliating foot mask and CANNOT begin to express the joy it brought me LOL. My feet are scary right now and this is SO NECESSARY! GiveawayEveryday on my Instagram @kattanita I do a gift card giveaway – all of the details are here. It’s been so fun seeing who enters and how you each use the gift cards! A New Martini RecipeLast weekend for Easter, T and I experimented with a few new martini recipes and made up this yummy one which tastes like a Bellini. All you need is: 1 shot peach juice, 2 shots vodka, splash of lemon juice. Shake over ice and enjoy. You can’t taste the vodka at all! Blair’s Home TourBlair recently shared photos of her Florida home and OMG it is so amazing! Bright, colorful, modern, cool just like her signature fashion style. Take a look and be prepared to be majorly inspired. Enjoy your weekend!
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