Feeling Good, Feeling Fresh on Your Period

This post is sponsored by Summer’s Eve. Opinions are my own.

Walking down the street, having a jolly good day and here comes Aunt Flo!

More often than not, our favorite monthly (ish) friend comes when you’re least expecting it. Even if you have the perfect cycle, it’s on the way up the subway stairs, walking to the office lunch room, or somewhere in between that catches you off guard during that day.

One of my biggest challenges when I have my period is how to feel confident. With everything going on “down there” and all the other joys that come with that time of the month, I usually find myself feeling like cuddling in bed and avoiding all things.

One small change I’ve been making is treating my vagina with more self care. The same way I face mask on Sundays and moisturize every morning, I should be giving my lady parts the same love to get that extra boost of confidence during that time I need it most. I’ve been using Summer’s Eve® washes for years and now they’ve launched something to empower women during our period: Summer’s Eve® Fresh Cycle!

From No-Rinse Cleansing Foam to Individually-Wrapped Cleansing Cloths, you can use the new product line throughout the day during your period, or any day of the month for a light, fresh reset. I also love that it’s pH balanced and gynecologist tested, so I can feel extra confident about what I’m using to give my vagina the love she craves!

I tried it during my last period and took the Individually-Wrapped Cleansing Cloths for a ride in New York City. Commuting everywhere by foot means more room for vagina to sweat - and she loves to sweat extra during my period! I wore my period on my face with a smile, because I barely remembered I even had it. I used two Cleansing Cloths throughout the day, and after the first one I knew it was a freshness that would carry me throughout my day.

What are some things you like to do to keep you fresh during your period?

Avoiding Travel Burnout: What to Do When You're Back From a Trip

Since the start of 2016, I had a goal to travel as much as I could. At first, I started with a lofty goal of once a month. Over time, my work commitments kept me to traveling 1-2 times a month. I loved the idea of being in one place in the morning and another when the sun sets. The joy of meeting new people, trying new foods and getting lost like a local was a thrill. Even a long layover was another opportunity to escape and discover.

And along came the crash.

Finally, around mid-2018 I started to feel a little different about traveling. I preferred being grounded. Any small mishap took me on a Twitter rant. I preferred sleeping in and staying in my Airbnb instead of exploring. I wasn’t looking forward to trips. I even gave up a ticket to visit Iceland, which I had dreamed about all year. I stopped loving traveling because I was feeling so mentally and physically exhausted from it all. Apparently, travel burnout is REAL.

I came to the realization that I needed to slow down. If I had to travel for work, no more over-over extending my work trips. I would limit personal travel to about 4 times a year, not really including when I visit Miami to spend time with family. So far, so good in 2019 and no personal trips planned, yet (will be going to Coachella to #werk!)

In addition to traveling more mindfully, here’s a few things I’ve been doing when I come back from a trip to alleviate travel burnout:

1. Journal on the Experience

Something that I used to do every trip is take a small notebook with me to journal about how I felt while on the trip. Over time, I stopped using the journal because I never stopped in the moment to pull it out and write something down. I’m more of a visual storyteller when I travel. So, I’ve been taking the flight back, or the evening of, to journal on my experience. What did I love? What could I improve? Truly helps me with being more present in my travels.

2. Disconnected Day Off

Taking a day off after traveling is a major burnout saver. One of the worst things I could do to my body is keep business-as-usual despite the fact that I was flying on frequent red eye trips from the West Coast. It took a huge toll in my body and I ended up losing sleep for days. If you are able to travel in the morning and take the rest of the day off, that works too. It’ll also give you a day to do the things you love and keep you happy following a trip.

3. Grounding Myself Outdoors

I heard that a cure for jet lag was spending time near “the ground.” Running outside, playing in the park, walking barefoot in the backyard, etc. I definitely use this advice when it comes to healing myself after a trip. If the weather is nice, I’ll take a stroll outside or spend my entire day off outdoors. Even if you can just open a window and find some fresh air that isn’t at 10,000 feet, it will definitely help. Turning on grounding smells via candles or essential oils may help if you have to stay indoors due to weather.

4. Self-Spa Time

I’m a big skincare person, and giving myself some love with face masks and beauty routines brings me joy. (Please don’t send Marie Kondo to clean my skincare pantry!) One thing that really keeps me from feeling great after a trip is giving myself this at-home spa experience. It also helps to avoid feeling tired through the rest of the week when you’re back. I recently tried the Olay Fresh Reset Pink Mineral Complex Clay Face Mask Stick, which is a super fun no-mess face mask that works in stick form. The pink one micro-exfoliated in a breeze. Turn on a favorite playlist and you’re ready to go!

5. Finding Inspiration on Social Media

Hey, we will live in a digital world. After I’m done with all my disconnecting, I spend some time the next few days after a trip pinning (follow me on Pinterest) and searching travel bloggers on Instagram (check out Filipa Jackson or Chasing Carpe Diem) to inspire my next location. It really gets me excited for the next trip I am able to book and reminds me of why I do what I do in the first place.

Have you ever experienced travel burnout? Any tips? SHARE in the comments below.

x, LC



My New Year's Resolutions, And How I'm Sticking to Them

The month that feels like 100 months is almost over, so it's time I take a breather to talk about New Year's Resolutions. In between travel, work projects and moving apartments, it's been a challenge to stop and have a talk with myself about what I want to get out of 2018.

But, here we are, list at hand, and if you're like me and waited until the last minute to get your sh*t together then I hope this inspires your list, too. One helpful tool I used was a New York Times piece about setting resolutions by looking at the habits you want to change and addressing the root cause.

I also decided to take a little bit of a tweaked approach -- inspired by my dear friend Chelsea Henriquez -- where I have 5 themes to address alongside 5 statements, or mantras, that I am going to incorporate into my daily life. Without further ado:

Resolutions

  1. Connected Mind: Working in media means I'm constantly glued to my phone (you're welcome for my speedy texts back!) and this year I'm making an effort to connect more with my mind over the screen. I started by creating a ritual space in my new home that's going to solely be used for disconnecting. It's a little nook with Affirmators!, healing crystals, a journal, greenery and more. All of this to feel more connected and grounded, understanding myself in ways I hadn't done so before.
  2. Family and Relationships: Last year, I spent a lot of time and energy learning to love myself fully. It was important. I had come off of a relationship that left me with significant identity and self-confidence issues, and needed to remind myself of who I was -- and who I could be. This year, I want to take all that self-love and apply it to my family and friendships. That means: I'm calling more, I'm appreciating more, and I'm finding new ways to connect with people. 
  3. Food for Life: For the last 4 years I've been struggling with issues from IBS to H. Pylori, now working through SIBO. What all this science talk has led me to realize is how much all of my chronic issues -- in the gut and beyond -- are affected by what I eat. This is the year to take charge of diet choices, learn as much as I can about nutrition, and apply it to life my best, and healthiest, life.
  4. Financial Health: I'm a millennial, I'm in that sensitive financial time of my life where I am making money and learning how to better spend and manage it. That starts with being transparent about the state of my wallet. I created this document to help guide me and take a look at all my money talk (you can download and save or copy into your own Google Sheet). Everything from how much I earn, how much I save, how much I pay, where I'm in debt, etc. The formulas and goals sections are incredibly helpful to getting a better grasp on my finances.
  5. Climate Change: If you don't believe global warming is real, this is moment to press the unfollow button. Whatever your level of belief is to the human effect on climate, I'm happy to take a listen and learn more, but I can't sit here and continue to disrespect our planet any longer. This is the year I learn more, but I'm taking the small step and cutting out plastic bags completely. That means I'm shopping with my Apolis Bag and going reusable everything when I make the grocery store trip.

Statements

  1. I am enough: This is the year to entirely stop judging myself. Progress is my new perfection, and as long as I'm giving my best that is enough. I will not wait for someone or something to validate the person I am. Because I know, and love, the person I am.
  2. I am strong: Taking this one physical and mental. I am focusing on nourishing my body with what it needs to perform and sustain my lifestyle. That means I am engaging more in physical activity, practicing a clean diet, and working my brain muscle so that I don't sweat the small stuff. 
  3. I am balanced: It's not just my diet that's staying balanced this year, it's also the way I live my life. I work hard, I play hard. I make time for me, I make time for others. I connect, I disconnect. And I am more mindful of all these things. 
  4. Trust the process: There will be ups and downs, like with any year, so as long as I trust that all things are happening for a reason (*yawn*), then all things will fall into place. This also plays into my newfound self-confidence and acknowledgement of my support system.
  5. To whom much is given, much is required: This has been a mantra of mine for a while, and I'm elevating it more and more each year. I consider myself a very fortunate person, so I know I have a duty to give back and leave things -- and people -- better than I found them. For every blessing that comes my way, I've got to send the universe something right back at it.

How to Keep Them?

  1. Write them down, literally. It wasn't until I sat down to write my list that they truly started to register. I had a visual reminder of the promise I was making to myself.
  2. Make them achievable, realistic. No one likes to be let down, including you by you. Don't make a resolution that isn't realistic and you won't be able to handle. Make it challenging if you want the thrill of that, but don't set yourself up for failure either.
  3. Find commonalities with friends. Two is better than one! And a way to make sure you're keeping these promises is to collaborate with friends who are asking similar things of themselves.
  4. Make small steps to kick them off, then try one by one. Somewhere along my college education I learned that "going cold turkey" doesn't work. It's the same for resolutions. If you ask a lot out of yourself on day one, you're likely to burn out or get discouraged and miss out on completing your promises. Make a dent on each one, and work each month to further elevate what you're doing.
  5. Find ways to keep yourself accountable. When it's you measuring you, you have to create systems to keep yourself in check. Whether that means keeping a journal, a reward system, or a "do good when you mess up system," little treats can condition you to staying on track. For example, every time I use a plastic bag (by accident, or force), I am donating $5 to the Environmental Defense Fund.

But truly, these goals, intentions, statements, tips and tricks, etc., are all to just encourage me to raise my vibration this year.

What are your New Year's Resolutions for 2018?

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5 Misconceptions of Buying Eyewear Online

We live in an era where consumers can buy anything at the click of a finger. Even items that once required touching, testing, feeling or tasting such as mattresses, fresh produce, and cars have found a market online. If shopping for essentials is now as easy as a tap of a button, why is it that only 4% of consumers buy glasses online? It’s possible that we feel more comfortable seeing ourselves with a product that becomes an essential part of our lives; or we seek the validation of a white coat professional as we make the buying decision.

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Whatever it may be, there are multiple companies offering quality, affordable glasses online and it’s time to bust the myths surrounding these purchases. Here are the top five misconceptions about buying eyewear over the Internet:

Myth #1: Not able to see what the glasses will look like on me.

Reality: Virtual Mirrors, like this one, make it possible for consumers to upload a photo of themselves to test out different models. This gives shoppers a chance to pick the best frames for their face without having to leave the home. Even better, you won’t be embarrassed to try the risky pair you always wanted to see without the pressure of strangers surrounding you.

Myth #2: I won’t get my money back if I’m not happy with the product.

Reality: Quite the contrary! Most online sites such as GlassesUSA.com offer free returns and exchanges on products. Many web-based stores are carefully dedicated to customer service and making the process as seamless and comfortable as possible, and that service extends to the time after you receive a pair. The same cannot be said of stores and optometrists with customized prescriptions.

Myth #3: It will take longer to receive my glasses in the mail vs. purchasing in-store.

Reality: By cutting the middle man, online retailers are able to process orders immediately. Time between placing an order and receiving product is typically 10 days compared to 14 at a brick and mortar. And the bonus is you don’t have to spend time traveling back and forth between the optometrist’s office every time there’s an adjustment to be made.

Myth #4: I’m afraid to get my prescription wrong.

Reality: Prescription errors are actually more common in stores because they have to send out the selected frames to various vendors to get customized. Meanwhile, many of the digital shops produce the lenses in-house, minimizing the risk of error. Many of these lenses undergo multiple stages of production and quality-control inspections. But in the event that someone does get your prescription wrong, remind yourself of Myth #2.

Myth #5: I need to test the glasses to see if they will fit properly.

Reality: Glass fitting is actually a service offered to compensate for the hundreds of dollars spent. The vast majority of glasses are flexible and anyone can easily bend them to fix the height of the temples to fit. When a lot of these are measured by millimeters, it’s likely that being a couple of points off won’t make a huge difference.

There you have it! The savings, convenience and endless selections alone are worth it. If you are among the 96% who either hadn’t considered buying glasses online or were too concerned with the risks, give online retailers a chance and I bet you’ll never see the same again.

Didn't Get Sleep for 17 Hours? Might As Well Be Drunk

If you’re a student, you know finals are looming over the skies and the forecast calls for endless all-nighters. For those lucky enough to be in the “real world,” tomorrow will be just another day where most of us sacrifice sleep for getting our work done.

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After countless nights of little to no sleep, and the circus of our personal responsibilities, we seldom stop to think about how much sleep deprivation is actually affecting us and our environment.

We’ve heard what we now consider the basics: lack of sleep puts you in a bad mood, makes you think slower, could have long-term side-effects, etc.

But, here’s a real wake-up call: sleeplessness and driving is a combination as serious as driving under the influence of alcohol.

A study shows[1] that moderate sleep deprivation produces impairments equivalent to those of alcohol intoxication. After 17 to 19 hours without sleep, performance was equivalent or worse than that of a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.05 percent. After longer periods without sleep, performance reached levels equivalent to a BAC of 0.1 percent.

Most states set their DUI limits at a BAC of 0.08 percent for those over the age of 21. Any younger and DUI limits drop anywhere from 0 percent to 0.02 percent. The average legal limit for commercial drivers is a BAC of 0.04 percent. Skipping one day’s sleep already makes you legally incapable of driving.

Most people are aware of the dangers of drinking and driving but don’t realize that drowsy driving can be just as fatal. Like alcohol, sleep exhaustion slows reaction time, decreases awareness, impairs judgment and increases your risk of crashing.

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According to the National Sleep Foundation, an average of 100,000 crashes each year are caused by fatigued drivers. Fifty-five percent of these drowsy driving crashes are caused by drivers under the age of 25. For prevention, they’ve laid out signs of drowsy driving:

* Difficulty focusing, frequent blinking, or heavy eyelids
* Daydreaming; wandering/disconnected thoughts
* Trouble remembering the last few miles driven; missing exits or traffic signs
* Yawning repeatedly or rubbing your eyes
* Trouble keeping your head up
* Drifting from your lane, tailgating, or hitting a shoulder rumble strip
* Feeling restless and irritable

Let’s say you’re playing it safe and skip driving after a sleepless night, it’s still just as bad as showing up to school or work after a couple of drinks.

Think of the last time you stayed up all night to finish a term paper. You likely dragged yourself to school the next day and had trouble figuring out what your professor was talking about. In the professional world, there was likely a time when one of us sacrificed sleep to get a presentation ready and could hardly find enough words to form a sentence.

For so long, we’ve underplayed the need for sleep in our lives. Today’s culture will try to convince you that getting a good night’s rest is a sign of weakness. In fact, some might even brag about the little hours of sleep they get. All-nighters feel like a badge of honor at school or work, despite the fact that it’s proven to lower your performance.

These findings reinforce evidence that the adverse effects of sleep deprivation are an important factor in performance of speed and accuracy needed for safety — this includes driving.

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If you’re guilty, you’re not alone. A national survey finds that 35 percent of people say they have driven after being awake for 17 to 19 hours. The key to making a positive change is getting a better night’s sleep and using the power of knowledge to prevent the next sleep exhaustion casualty.

Visit the National Sleep Foundation’s Drowsy Driving campaign to learn more.