5 FRIDAY FAVORITES.

Happy Friday ya'll! We made it. Today I am sharing some of my favorite things as of late:

 1. Manchester, New Hampshire.

Are you surprised as me that this on the list? lol. Keep reading!

My best friend since 3rd grade moved out to NH with her boo and I was so happy when we both decided to make plans for a double date and spend the night in Manchester. I know, I kinda  was like whats in Manchester? But change is good, and we were surprised at how lively the night life was!

We started the night at Studio 550, where we finally had our Ghost moment! If you’re looking for a laid back, fun affordable, and informative place to learn pottery, Studio 550 is your spot! Spinning the clay was super relaxing and fun and getting your hands all up on the clay, slapping and molding was so grounding and zen.  The class is 2 hours, you leave the pottery there, they glaze it for you, and in about 2 weeks, it is ready for pick up! 

 

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For dinner we went to XO and everything was impeccable. Still dreaming of the whipped feta and panzella salad. We ended the night visiting an speakeasy which I cant recommend enough. ! Its on 815 Manchester St, and I will let you figure out how to get in yourself :) The cocktails + decor are out of this world. There are some serious artists behind that bar and they definitely made our visit worthwhile.

 

2. Maca

Maca powder comes from the maca root, which has been used by Peruvian populations for centuries.  Maca powder contains a variety of phytonutrients which are said to support the body’s endocrine system.  Maca is not only used to give your body an energy boost, but it can help with chronic fatigue and low libido. Maca powder also adds a nice malty taste which makes my pudding recipe below, even more delicous!  

Maca Pudding Recipe

Ingredients

  • ⅓ cup chia seeds

  • 1 ⅔ cup vanilla almond milk

  • 3 tablespoons cacao powder

  • 2 tablespoons maca powder

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • Pinch of salt

  • 2-3 tablespoons honey / maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until creamy. Add more honey if you like it sweeter. Pour into a jar and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight. Enjoy for breakfast or dessert!

 

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3. DISSECT PODCAST.

“I would hope people leave Dissect with a greater appreciation of art. I would hope they come to respect hip-hop as an art form. I would hope they empathized with artists more, see them as real people who give us extraordinary gifts,” he adds. “I would hope they’d be inspired to spend more time with the things they truly loved.”

Taking advantage of a background in classical music composition and an incredible eye for detail, Cole Cuchna sets the stage for each album he dissects by running through its cultural significance and context before analyzing every last lyric, chord progression, and sample.

Each season of Dissect investigates the cultural and social implications of the time period of the album, assiduously examining every lyric of every song in serialized episodes.

After kicking off the series with a close look at Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp A Butterfly in season one, Cuchna has turned his focus to Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy for the follow-up.

Episode 12 on Runaway, completley changed my perspective on the song. Such a layered masterpiece that tells so many stories. Truly incredible podcast.  

I AM OBSESSED. PLZ LISTEN SO WE CAN DISCUSS! 

4.  Yoga with Adrienne

https://www.youtube.com/user/yogawithadriene

Last few weeks have been so busy for me, I haven't had much time to practice outside of youtube videos. Adrienne is so damn cute and so real, you feel like you are practicing with a friend. She is also a very knowledgable, thoughtful and gifted yoga teacher. I appreciate her offering so much free content,  so make sure to show her some love!

5. BLACK PANTHER

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DUH. This has been the litest Black History Month. Here are some of my favorite think pieces on Ryan Coogler's incredible film. 

 

 

HAPPY WEEEEKND! Make some time for yourself + the  things you love. 

 

 

 

 

BEETS OVER BEATS << latte recipe+ FEBRUARY playlist >>

It has never been a more exciting time to be a hot drink. From the activated charcoal latte (yes, really) to the turmeric latte, to green matchas, since I weened myself off coffee I have been introduced to a whole new world. Sharing one of my favorites, a beet rose latte. It’s much less fancy than it actually sounds, and can be whipped up in a matter of minutes. Plus it has the most beautiful pink color that could make anyone swoon!

So in love with this mug from  @bostonpotter  check out more of his  work!

So in love with this mug from @bostonpotter check out more of his work!

 

Ingredients: for one

1/2 cup of almond milk (or your go-to plant-based milk)

1 tsp of beetroot powder ( i like this)

1 tsp of rose water (I like this.)

½ tsp of cinnamon

optional: honey or maple syrup to sweeten

 

Start by pouring the almond milk into a saucepan on a medium heat. Add the remaining ingredients and gently whisk until combined, allow to simmer for around five minutes. Serve in your go-to mug. Bonus points: add dried rose petals. 

 

AND sharing a February playlist.  for you to vibe with! I have been milly rocking to it all morning. Hope you will enjoy too.

Have an amazing day!

New month, WHO DIS? Setting Monthly Intentions !

Let [yourself] look back on life with the question: what have you truly loved up to now, what has elevated your soul, and what has mastered it and at the same time delighted it?
— Friedrich Nietzsche

I started doing monthly intentions last May and it amazes me how much of an influence it has on me. I love reevaluating and re-aligning my focuses every month.

These intentions are in different areas of my life such as:

  • nutrition + body
  • mental/emotional health
  • spiritual growth
  • my home
  • my relationships
  • my career

I am sharing this months intentions in the hopes that it will encourage you to take some time to invest in yourself and how you can work towards the best version of you 🙌🏾 . Plus the power of manifesting is real talk, give it a sincere chance if you have not yet. Good things are coming!

Tumeric latte, tulips, and a crystal from one my favorite places in CO, little gems are citrine which help encourage enlightenment, optimism, warmth, and clarity.&nbsp;

Tumeric latte, tulips, and a crystal from one my favorite places in CO, little gems are citrine which help encourage enlightenment, optimism, warmth, and clarity. 

This month I intend to focus on doing more good deeds: so helping others where I can and sharing gratitude to those who help me. Very simple! Sharing your time, and a handwritten thank you notes can go such a long way. Let this be a friendly reminder. 

More reading:  Last month I read two books so I figured I would up the ante and make it 3 for Feb.  

I read Just Mercy by Bryan Stevens which has been called NY Times best book of the year and I  could not agree more.  Against tremendous odds, Stevenson has worked to free scores of people from wrongful or excessive punishment, arguing five times before the Supreme Court. The book not only shares intimate and compelling stories but it also reads like a call to action for all that remains to be done. Second book was Electric Arches by Eva Wig. An incredible relatable and moving book of poetry that reminded me of my black girl magic. Read more here

I am currently reading Things That Join the Sea and Sky: Field Notes on Living by Mark Nepo. Very spiritual and some passages, have me down right shoooooooook. Looking forward to sharing some quotes throughout the month.

More love:  so spending downtime with my loved ones.  I love to cook and I love to eat, so I want to make time to feed some of my favorite people who put up with me incessantly. Dinner party makes the most sense.

More Water: this is such a damn struggle for real, for real. I get into good waves and then slip and turn into a dehydrated raison some days. I am using some bullet journal tracking this month to really keep me accountable.

More Life: Some days it can be tough for me to fit my greens in so I wanted to incorporate chlorophyll to combat that about 2-3x a week. Chlorophyll is considered a superfood because of its strong antioxidant and anticancer effects as well.

Trying something new: Last month I tried a pottery class--and it was so much fun! I was reminded the importance of making time to try new things, so you might see this intention repeat. This month i am thinking of a dance class. Will report back!

Already looking forward to my weekend plans which include a girl date and hanging out with my chocolate meatball aka my adorable perfect nephew angel.  

What are your monthly intentions? How are you working towards happiness? 

LEMON POPPYSEED MUFFINS with a shredded zuke!

These puppies are heavenly.

Multi purpose as well. Great as a breakfast side dish, great as an afternoon snack.

Great anytime.

Poppy seeds are my forever favorite so yes, they were the exclamation point to these delightful little cakes.

 They are made with a solid source of fiber and are sweetened with honey and flavored with lemon, which adds a wonderful element of freshness. 

I dare you to make these once.

 

My thirsty and fury best friend approved these as well.

My thirsty and fury best friend approved these as well.


LEMON POPPY SEED ZUCCHINI MUFFINS

PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES    COOK TIME: 25 MINUTES    SERVES: 12

LEMON POPPY SEED ZUCCHINI MUFFINS

PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES    COOK TIME: 25 MINUTES    SERVES: 12

  • 2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder (make sure it isn’t expired!)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup walnut oil
  • 1/2 cup runny honey
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup packed shredded zucchini

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 400F
  • Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, poppy seeds and lemon zest in a medium sized bowl.
  • In a small bowl combine the lemon juice, oil, honey, eggs and almond milk. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients. Stir until just barley combined and then gently fold in the zucchini.
  • Spoon the batter into a greased standard size muffin tin and bake for about 20-23 minutes or until lightly golden and a tooth pick comes out clean when inserted into the center of a muffin.

Notes

You can substitute the oil with any neutral tasting oil *Cooking times will vary from oven to oven *Store muffins at room temperature on the counter covered in tin foil or plastic wrap for two-three days *Muffins can be frozen for up to 6 months

Enjoy lovely ones!

 

Meditation 101 : why you should do it & how to get started

Mark Manson writes "Meditation forces one to disidentify with their mind and emotions. It is perhaps the easiest to learn and most available personal developmental tool on the planet. The disabled can do it. Children can do it. Stephen Hawking can do it. Anyone with conscious awareness can practice it. You can do it on a crowded bus. You can do it in a monastery. You can do it in your bedroom. You can do it now as you read this. Experienced meditators can even do it while they sleep. It’s health benefits — mental, emotional, and physical — are innumerable and there are no side effects. You can learn to do it in as little as five minutes and once you learn you’ll never forget. Doing it as little 10 minutes a day can make you happier and healthier, and doing it as little as 30 minutes per day could change your life."

 

More and more people are being introduced to meditation via the mainstream, friends, or their own curiosity. However many students who have come to my classes have voiced, they believed that if they were thinking during meditation, then they were not doing it right, and it somehow doesn’t count. Many people give up on meditation because they believe they are not good at it, and therefore have no business doing it.

 

But thinking during your meditation time can also bring you great insights. You can become aware of what is important to you. You can determine your vibration by paying attention to your thoughts, and you certainly can become more aware of your emotions by first noticing your thoughts. So let go of any sense of perfectionism you have when it comes to meditation, and instead focus on the benefits.

 

Here are 10 easy tips to start meditating right now and maintain a daily practice.

1. Get comfortable.

We tend to make meditation more complicated and challenging than necessary. Take it easy. Start by taking a comfortable seat. If you're flexible sit cross-legged on the floor, on a meditation cushion, bolster or blanket  with your knees resting slightly below your hips. If you're not, sit in a chair with your feet on the floor.

2. Same "Bat Time," same "Bat Channel."

One of the most lucrative ways to coax the mind into submission is to create a ritual. Set a clearly designated space for meditation. This can be as simple as a thoughtfully placed candle, picture or stone. You'll also want to practice at the same time every day. Start with the same protocol for each meditation. Routine triggers the mind out of the logical, linear thinking of the left brain, into the intuitive, non-linear right hemisphere.

3. Sit tall.

Posture 101: Sit up nice and tall by straightening your spine. Sit in a chair or against a wall if you need to. Lengthen the spine to help increase your circulation and keep you alert.

4. Start small.

Start where you are. If 10 minutes seems overwhelming, begin with five. After a week, begin to add one minute to your practice each week until you build up to 30 minutes (or more) at a time.

5. Be nice to yourself (really nice!).

As renowned meditation teacher Sally Kempton says, "Meditation is Relationship."

Ultimately, it is all about your relationship to yourself. The way you do anything is the way you do everything. Meditation teaches us radical acceptance, compassion and unconditional love. Be sweet to your convoluted mind. Surrender to exactly who you are and what is happening  right here, right now. And don't forget to smile!

6. Note your excuses.

Meditation is a practice of self-inquiry. Observe the excuses you tell yourself  I'm too tired or I don't have time. You can carve 5 to 10 minutes out of your day. Notice how your mind can tend to rationalize when you break your commitment. Just observe and understand without judgment. Then recommit to your practice without making excuses.

7. Find a meditation buddy.

Accountability is the answer to your excuses. Find a buddy to commit to meditating with. Find a friend who is also beginning to meditate, or join a Facebook group or online course. Your struggle is normal…but it will get easier.

8. Practice makes perfect.

Or at least perfectly imperfect. As the Ashtanga guru, Patthabi Joissays, "Practice. Practice. Practice. All is coming."

Like anything in life, we get better with practice. Think of your meditation as bicep curls for the muscle of your mind. You are training your brain to focus, concentrate and let go. Over time, with consistency, you WILL become more skillful.

9. Just breathe.

The breath is a gateway to the realm beyond the mind — our higher consciousness. Our mind is addicted to analyzing the past or projecting into the future. BUT the breath is only in the here and now. Focus on your breath to anchor the mind into the present moment.

10. Start a meditation journal.

End your practice each day by observing the benefits of your practice. How do I feel? What is my emotional state or mood?

Make note of any changes so they register in your body and conscious mind. So next time you resist meditation, flip through the notes you made in your journal to remember these benefits. This will help you stay motivated and committed.

This top ten list was compiled via @mindbodygreen. Find more resources below:

By observing your mind, you realize you don't have to be slave to it. You realize it throws tantrums, gets grumpy, jealous, happy and sad but that it doesn't have to run you. Meditation is quite simply mental hygiene: clear out the junk, tune your talents, and get in touch with yourself. Think about it, you shower every day and clean your body, but have you ever showered your mind? As a consequence, you'll feel more clear and see things with greater perspective. "The quality of our life depends on the quality of our mind," writes Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. We can't control what happens on the outside but we do have a say over the quality of our mind.

 

Here's to finding peace within in. Namaste friends.

 

 

 

 

 

A moment of zen in Chicago

A moment of zen in Chicago

GOTTA GIVE THANKS..!

 Happy #WellnessWednesday !! 

This week we are talking about the benefits of keeping a gratitude journal.

Science has fallen over itself proving how gratitude makes you not only a warmer person but a healthier one. Studies have traced a range of impressive benefits to the simple act of writing down the things for which we’re grateful—benefits including better sleep, fewer symptoms of illness, and more happiness among adults and kids alike. 

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Getting Started

The basic practice is straightforward. Simply record a couple things for which you are grateful. The entries can be brief—just a single sentence—and they range from the simple (“waking up this morning”) to the sublime (“the generosity of friends”) to the timeless (“Beyonce”). You can see what I am over the moon and thankful for today. Let me know what you are grateful for too!✨🙏🏾❤️

Happy journaling friends!

Jaylee the Model...Styled Elopement shoot

Last weekend I got to be a counterfeit bride who was eloping in the woods! I very much enjoyed my fake husband since it is my real life boo. The shoot happened to be during an ultra marathon & I was stunned by two things.

 1.  How many people signed up for an ultramarathon on purpose

 2. I was stunned by how many people stopped what they were doing just to congratulate us!

I Hope y'all make some time to spread some love this weekend too!

Thanks to the amazing squad for making the shoot so fun:

the creative beauty @katiesalerno is a powerhouse of talent, wit and humor. Such a joy working with her! Book her for any elopements, weddings, engagements, um anything. She captures big and small moments so, beautifully. 


DRESS: Fit like a glove and was so comfy! You can find it @litboutique They are all over Boston and I am so happy Katie introduced me to them!. They got cute AF stuff & I loved working with their team over there. If you are in need of holiday party/ NYE dress, certainly stop in. I went to their Hanover St location conveniently across from @modernpastry which was a perfect excuse to stop in for a chocolate dipped cannoli. Obv important to note nearby snacks. 

SUIT: Hugo Boss. Pocket square and tie clip purchased at Nordstrom


HAIR //  my homegirl@victoriajennifer6845. She helped me go natural and we celebrated our one year together. That is a big deal for me and hair dressers.  Natural hair gyals in Boston I can't recommend her enough. Look at my hair in these pictures! All me! #growth

MAKEUP// I did it myself but huge shouts to @beccacosmetics. love their foundation. feels like a tinted moisturizer but offers full coverage. ACTUAL coverage and you don't even need concealer! Try it now and you are welcome! It is a little pricey but a little goes a long way so it will certainly last and you can even mix with a light moisturizer to spread as well. Bonus they are paraben & sulphate free and do not test on animals. Love to love them. 


FLOWERS// : @fieldandvase. a week later they are still blooming! I can't wait for my next bouquet and might need one of her flower crowns too. 

faux fur was borrowed from a friend & earrings were Sugarfix, aka Target meets Bauble Bar. Huge selection at Target Fenway location.

 

Well there you have it. I get to be a fake bride again next month but it will be a more traditional shoot ! Looking forward to starting that mood board while being snowed in this Saturday. And of course looking forward to trolling friends and family with more photos.

 

Hope the last month of the year is good to you!

 

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UPRGRADE YO SHOWER...for less than $4! 

I strive to add bliss and serenity into my everyday life in any way that I can, even if that just means adding a $4 plant to my shower. 

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As we move into cold + flu season, this is great way to get the benefits of eucalyptus with basically no effort-just take a shower..!

Eucalyptus benefits:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Helps treat respiratory problems ( cold, cough, runny nose, congestion)
  • Anti-bacterial-wet showers are a good spot for it
  • Cooling, refreshing, stimulating, helps with mental clarity
  • Looks beautiful and smells amazing!

  

Just hang fresh eucalyptus on your shower head with a rubber band. The heat and steam help to activate the essential oils while you shower. 

We picked up this bundle at @thedailytable but any grocery store / plant store should have them. Enjoy! #wellnesswednesday