Move Over, Ikea: Hygge Style is What We’ve Really Been Missing—Fixer Upper Friday

Over the past several years, Scandinavian style has dominated interior design trends. In may ways, it’s been our answer to our overly cluttered, chaotic lifestyles and we’ve embraced it’s simplicity and function. Every home seems to have some space-saving, Ikea solution in one room or another, and we’ve totally fallen in love with the idea of paring down and organizing the things we have.

The Best, Eclectic Scandinavian Interior You've Seen---Fixer Upper Friday

Move Over, Ikea: Hygge Style is What We've Really Been Missing---Fixer Upper Friday

The root of this ‘less is more’ design motif is that we all just want a serene space that allows us to truly relax when we get home at the end of a long day. We want a space that is perfect for entertaining family and friends. We want a space that functions to make our daily routines easier and joyous. We want a space that’s cozy and inviting… and in the back of our minds we know that no piece of furniture on its own can create that kind of space. That space we all desire requires action. This, in a nutshell, is the Danish concept of Hygge (hoo-ga).

Move Over, Ikea: Hygge Style is What We've Really Been Missing---Fixer Upper Friday

Move Over, Ikea: Hygge Style is What We've Really Been Missing---Fixer Upper Friday

Hygge encapsulates the idea of mindfulness, kinship, familiarity, comfort, charm, and simplicity. It’s about creating an atmosphere of intimacy in our daily lives and in our homes. More than just a design trend, Hygge goes a step further by celebrating life’s mundane moments and fostering a general sense of mental wellness. Whether it’s lighting a candle with every meal, or taking the time to brew a cup of loose tea, Hygge describes the feeling of genuinely taking pleasure in all of life’s simple moments. Isn’t that what we all need a little more of?

Move Over, Ikea: Hygge Style is What We've Really Been Missing---Fixer Upper Friday

Here are some simple ways to make Hygge a part of your life:

For more information on Hygge, Check out this amazing book available through Amazon. It’s a total game changer!

Yoga Essentials for Beginners and How to Use Them

Yoga Essentials for Beginners: Where to Find Them and How to Use Them

I started out doing yoga because I knew I needed to exercise. My energy levels were super low, no matter how much coffee I drank and by midday I was ready to crawl back into bed. The last straw was that my lower back and legs started to hurt more and more each time I leaned down to tie my shoes. Despite the fact that my body was functioning like I was 176 years old, I still wanted to find the lowest impact exercise I could, because lazy. That’s how I settled on yoga. I figured, I stretch and breathe every day already so yoga is totally in my wheelhouse. I was too embarrassed to actually go to a yoga class though. I chose an at-home yoga app, and in the privacy of my own living room, I began my yoga practice.

My very first full yoga routine was on New Year’s Day of last year and I’ve done a yoga routine every single day since then. I can’t begin to describe to you the difference it has made in my life. I have more energy than I’ve had in years and yoga is totally bringing my sexy back. Anyway, this last year has taught me some of the finer details of yoga—the things I wish I had known when I started that could’ve saved me from some aches and pains and other minor inconveniences. If you are just toying with the idea of starting on a healthier path, and you think yoga might be for you, here are some beginner essentials that you should totally invest in. Where applicable, I’ve also posted a link to a short video to show you how to use the particular item.

Yoga Mat

It pays off to invest in a good yoga mat. What makes a good yoga mat, you ask. One that doesn’t roll up or slip around when you’re moving from one pose into another. One that doesn’t get noticeably sticky when you start to sweat. Most of all, one that doesn’t wear out quickly and start to shed little pieces of mat all over the place. I really love Gaiam yoga mats (currently discounted here) and Manduka Prolite Mats (find them here).

Yoga Mat Towel

If you naturally run a little bit hot when you exercise,or if you plan on doing hot yoga, yoga mat towels are a must. These towels are specifically designed to wick up sweat. You can use them in place of a yoga mat or lay them right on top of your yoga mat (especially useful if you’re using the ‘bowling shoe’ yoga mats that the gym lends you).

Yoga Bolster

Yoga bolsters make it easier to get into and maintain poses that are a difficult for you. These are key when you’re trying to relax in a pose that you find a little bit strenuous. Here are some yoga poses that really benefit from the use of bolsters.

Yoga Strap

I didn’t know how great yoga straps were when I first started doing yoga, but these things are amazing. Yoga straps are so helpful when it comes to improving flexibility. Even if you’re not new to yoga, yoga straps can really help you sink deeper into a pose. Here’s how to use them.

Yoga Block

Yoga blocks are also useful for improving flexibility, but they also assist in maintaining the proper alignment in a pose. Check out this intro to yoga blocks.

***Even if you don’t pick up all of these items, you can still get moving and start your daily yoga practice. Remember: this time next year, you’ll wish you’d started today. You can do this!!!

 

5 Simple Habits That Will Totally Change Your Life

So it’s the beginning of a brand new year! As you know, I absolutely try to avoid making New Year’s resolutions. I feel like I set myself up for failure when I set goals that are too specific to withstand the changing demands of life. I do try to form a basis for my year by setting flexible goals that I hope become part of my daily life. The idea is to cultivate healthy habits so that they just become routine. My mantra is this: Start small if you have to, but make sure, at the very least, that you start! Here are 5 simple habits that I’ve found totally changed my outlook on life. Fa realz. Little things can have a huge impact on your day to day. Cheers to new beginnings!

1. Make Your Bed Every Morning

When you start your day by making your bed, you’re essentially setting a productive tone for the rest of your day. Since it’s probably the largest piece of furniture in your bedroom, making your bed every morning also gives the overall appearance of your space a tidy, put together look.

2. Stay Hydrated

Socrates, Plato, Aristotle… and Zoolander. This should totally go without saying: Wetness is the essence of beauty. You should make it a habit to drink at least 8oz of water as soon as you wake up in the morning. Seriously, keep your water bottle on the nightstand and then carry it with you throughout your day. Water is key to a healthy lifestyle.

3. Get Moving

2 Yogis You Need to Follow on Instagram

Even the busiest person in the world can spare 5-15 minutes a day. Out of the 1,440 minutes in a day, there’s ample time for you to get into a fitness routine. Just find an exercise that you love (biking, swimming, walking, yoga, whatever) and no matter what, do it!

4. Pamper Yourself

Soothing Honey Lavender Face Wash

It’s no secret that I love spa days at home. As important as diet and exercise are to a healthy lifestyle, so is taking the time to relax. Make sure to take a relaxing¬† Ginger Detox Bath, or give yourself a soothing Honey Lavender Facial, or try any of these DIY beauty recipes.

5. Plan Your Meals

It’s always tough to break unhealthy eating habits. We all prefer the quick fix and more often than not, the quick fix is loaded with empty calories and over-processed yuck. Planning and prepping meals ahead of time allows us to really think about nutrition and what our bodies need. Meal planning can also drastically reduce the amount of money we spend on grocery impulse buys. Take a look at some of these infographics to plan your course of attack. Remember, you can always start small. Just plan one healthy meal at first, and then build from there!

Do you make New Year’s resolutions? What are some of your lifestyle goals for this year?

2017 In Focus---4 Health & Wellness Trends to Look For!

2017 In Focus—4 Health & Wellness Trends to Look For in the New Year!

The new year is just days away! This is the perfect time to reevaluate our lifestyles and to make healthier choices and habits that will carry us through the rest of the year. Last year, I told you how I always hesitate to make resolutions because I feel like I’m setting myself up for failure. The truth is I did make some resolutions last year that I actually followed through on. I really focused on the holistic experience of goal setting. I asked myself some tough questions and I was able to focus on why I wanted to make certain resolutions in the first place. When I focused my energy on the desired outcome, the occasional hiccup didn’t matter. It was empowering to be able to change my thinking and hold true to my goals.

The most effective way to accomplish your goals is to use the tools that facilitate success. Fitness, healthy living, mindfulness, and nutrition have never been so hot as they are right now. There are so many new innovations that are making it easier for us to gain control of our lifestyles. Here is a list of some pretty awesome trends that are set to make a big splash in 2017. Here’s to new beginnings!

2017 In Focus---11 Health & Wellness Trends to Look For!

personalized Nutrition

Subscription box meals have been all the rage, offering the home cook the opportunity to be a master chef. The subscriptions deliver the ingredients for a healthy home meal right to your door, cutting down on food waste and expanding your culinary horizons. Only problem is, what’s healthy for the next person might not be your best option. Well this year, get ready to see a rise in a more personalized approach to this popular trend. Companies like Habit and DNAfit, analyze your specific genetic markers to find out what works best for you. In the end, you get personalized meals based on your body’s unique needs. How cool is that?!
2017 In Focus---11 Health & Wellness Trends to Look For!

Fashion Minimalism

Don’t be alarmed! I’m not talking about wearing a school uniform here. Fashion minimalism is all about greener and more sustainable practices in the fashion industry. Companies like Khaite and Saul are spearheading a fashion movement committed to sustainable sourcing and ethical manufacturing while still delivering on aesthetics.

The Sobriety Movement

I’ve never been much of a drinker. I enjoy the occasional cocktail, but I’ve never been one to hang out at bars and get wasted. Ironically, I do meet up with friends at local bars for social gatherings, but more often than not, I’m sipping on tonic water. Apparently, I’m not alone. There’s already a growing movement toward sobriety. Health and wellness has been becoming more and more mainstream and the next logical step is a total revamp of your favorite watering hole. New businesses like the Watershed in Ithaca, New York are offering up more than your typical bar fare, by adding a variety of non-alcoholic options. Imagine meeting up at the local bar for herbal teas and tasty sober cocktails. Finally! You can even host your own sober cocktail (don’t call ’em mocktails) party with these simple, yet sophisticated non-alcoholic recipes.

2017 In Focus---11 Health & Wellness Trends to Look For!

Multi-Sensory Wellness Centers

We all know that health and fitness should be a total mind and body experience, right? The best workouts I’ve ever done were on a beach… with the gentle smell of saltwater… and the soft sounds of nature… in complete vacay mode. Talk about a multi-sensory experience! Well you can look forward to a similar total body experience in fitness centers cropping up all over. Take WOOM Center, located here in NYC that offers healing sounds, visuals, aromatherapy, and a complimentary elixir shot as part of their total body fitness experience. Welcome to the future of fitness!

 

Source: mindbodygreen

Lifestyle Trends to Look for in 2017

Lifestyle Trends to Look for in 2017

Wondering what’s in store for 2017? Check out this short video from Trend Hunter that showcases some future trends we may see a lot of in the new year. It should come as no surprise that fitness, wellness, and food culture are taking the forefront in some of these new innovations and there are certainly some pretty cool trends emerging. From shop-able media to Instagram-able fitness to Snapchat-able travel, this list will keep you in the know. Give it a look!