17 April 2014

Blossoming In Springtime


Thought I'd do a spring pick-me-up inspiration list today. I know so many people are just pulling out of one of the gnarliest winters seen in a long time. Flowers and trees are blooming and everyone is scurrying outside. Although we don't have much of a spring season here other than overcast days and our coolest temps of the year, I still get a touch of spring fever and start craving the coming of summer.

I've been keeping a list of things that inspire me for summer and that are helping me feel springtime right now and thought I would share it with you. I hate to disappoint you and tell you that nothing I am sharing here is new rocket science, but I know I still need reminding all the time. Maybe you'll find a "Duh, I should be doing that" here too.

1.  Inspiration:  See what's new and fresh for this season. Fashion magazines, blogs and Pinterest should give you loads of fresh ideas to work with. Take notes, and look for ways you can freshen up lifestyle, home and wardrobe. Find the trends that work for your lifestyle, your look and your body type. Even the boldest trends can be incorporated in some small way if it's something you like. Can't wear neon? Find a neon striped tote bag or a strappy sandal with one small neon strap or layer in the sole. There's no reason to miss out on a look you like. Here's a link to my Spring/Summer fashions and Favorite Shoes pinterest board. I just added new things on both. Plus here's a post on great sandals for this season. Here are two favorite bloggers who give great ideas for seasonal fashions -- Liz from Say Yes and my friend Beverly Jacobs.

2. Self-tanner: Having what appears to be a little tan on your legs this early in the spring can really put a spring in your step. I've been using mine regularly the past few weeks as I'm wearing more skirts and it really does cheer me up. I feel summery every time I look down at my "tan" feet and ankles. Why wait for summer to get a golden glow. Here's my favorite tanner right now, but I'm interested in trying this one from a Pinterest recommendation. Hmm, sounds like a future Pin Test doesn't it?!

3. Moisturizers: Skin care is so important. I've been doing a lot of moisturizing lately, especially focusing on my hands, legs, feet, face and neck. Products with hyaluronic acids are a favorite right now and here's some info on hyaluronic acids benefits. I'll do a post soon on my favorite products. I have a few I'm quite in love with right now.

Here's a little quick tip: you can find lots of amazing skin care products at a great discount at Marshalls. Serious savings on some great stuff. (Now that I've shared one of my best secrets, please leave a little for me. wink.) Fresh looking skin makes you look and feel young and spry. That is a great feeling any time of year, but when you start stripping back on the layers of clothing, accessories, and other distractions you want the simplicity of your body to look really great and energized.

4. The Basics: Drink lots of water, eat well (lots of fruits and veggies!) and get plenty of sleep. Beautiful spring chickens need good nutrition and self-care. Those are things that don't cost you any extra money, don't require a doctor, medicine or an expensive product to get. Just refocus on the basics.

5. Exercise: Another basic, but this one deserves its own mention. I'm astounded at how simple this concept is when it comes to looking young, energetic and beautiful. Fit bodies are the most beautiful, not just for their muscles but also for the increased circulation that improves the look of skin and keeps it hydrated and with plenty of plumpness. One also gains improvement in posture, mobility and flexibility from regular workouts Here's a link to a lot to great routines and body-part specific workouts.

There are a million excuses for not working out and no one who uses them is getting any better for it. Harsh realities for us all, especially as we get older. I'm talking to myself here first of all. I've been working out pretty diligently, thankfully, and I'll tell you I feel a ton more energy and look and feel much better than when I don't work out. There's no valid, viable excuse for not exercising. And it's a great time to use it as an energizer for this spring season. Start with a walk and then go crazy trying everything. It's a lot of fun and one of the best self-confidence builders there is!

6. Color: It's a great time to add some color to the wardrobe. There are lots of cute striped tops, contrasting tote bags and multi-colored sandals out there right now. Find a couple of new pops you can add to your look.

7. Mani-pedis: Now that you've taken off the boots you've been wearing for the past six months it's a great time to get back into your summer foot care routine. You deserve to feel beautiful. Don't wear those pretty new spring sandals with grubby looking feet. Pretty feet are one of the best signs of summer for me. Try a deep pink nail polish or some other springy color. Every time you look down at your feet you'll get a little kiss of spring spirit. Prettily painted toes and a little self-tanner and you might feel like you just came back from a week in Mexico! (Okay I know that's pushing it a little but visualization exercises can't hurt.)

8. Deep Conditioner: It's a great time to put a shine on the hair. I've been taking time lately to deep condition my hair regularly and have even been using this make at home eye cream on my hair too. Coconut oil and Vitamin E can't be wrong for the hair, right? My hair is a lot softer and more manageable. There are so many great recipes (again turn to Pinterest). Here's a whole bunch right here.

8. Adventure Planning: Start working up some ideas for fun day trips, weekend getaways or summer vacations. Did you know planning a trip is therapeutic? The largest boost of happiness comes from the planning! Check out this article in the New York Times all about it. Getting to actually take the trip is a wonderful added bonus. I'm focusing this year on fun things right in our area that we've never done: amusement parks, beaches, campgrounds, museums, you name it. If we have never done it, we're going to check it out. No matter where you live there are some cool things still to check out -- and easy to find on the internet.

Just by doing a quick Google search here are some ideas from our area: Top 12 Things To Do in Los Angeles In 2014, 100 Free Things To Do In Los Angeles, Lonely Planet: Things To Do In Los Angeles

9. Reading: I have been following the writing career of my former co-worker and friend Brett Battles and right now I am reading his latest book The Discarded. I've read all his Jonathan Quinn series and a couple of other books he's written. They are a great read for vacations and I've spent many hours on beaches reading his books. Sometimes it's all I can do to force myself to save the read for an upcoming vacation. There are so many great authors out there, why not start your summer reading now. I've also been reading inspiring talks on self improvement and religion that are also guiding me a lot. Reading is a great way to relax and unwind. (Remember it's all about self-care this year! Now Is My Time 2014!

10. Play: Get out and enjoy the fine weather and play. Play games, play sports, play with kids at the park. Play is one of the most psychologically beneficial things we can do. Using our brains and bodies in different ways, interacting with other people, laughing and moving to a different beat are so good for us. It's a great way to be in the present moment and truly rejuvenate. It will probably tire you out too, which will help you get more sleep! Fly a kite, play tag, pull out a board game, play ball, ride bikes, roller skate, whatever puts a smile on your face. Here's an idea for a play bag for your car.

Here's to the best spring ever. Hope something here will put a spring in your step. Sending you warmest wishes for a great day!

14 April 2014

Now Is My Time #15: Recovery and Relaxation


Last week was seriously one of those anything that can go wrong will go wrong weeks. In fact it seems like the past two months have fallen into that category. Last week's catastrophes included waking up to a bathroom with several inches of standing water on the floor and a broken toilet that even with the water turned off was still leaking from several places. Sigh...

By the end of the week my stress-o-meter was worn out. So having a Saturday at the beach was about as heavenly as it could get. There have been times when I have gone to the beach, hoping to relax and could feel my shoulders as tight as could be and my soul tense. This was one of those times. I knew I just had to start walking barefoot and hoped that I would let go of things and be in the moment. At first I wasn't sure I'd be able to. I remember having that same worry at other times on the beach. I tried to have faith that like all the other times, I would be able to let go and enjoy.

By the time I had walked a quarter mile or so, all worries were forgotten and I was taken in by the waves, birds, sailboats, sand and shells. Watching the other beach goers enjoying themselves helped me relax. Searching for good treasures made me forget other thoughts. And soon several hours had passed and I was feeling sunkissed and full of good cheer. My Instagram feed is full proof that I was completely and joyfully in the moment on Saturday, spending the day with my favorite little person.

She claimed this groove of palms as her little secret hideaway and found an old charcoal to make signs. We spent the better part of the afternoon in the shade of the palms, making little signs and decorating the little hideout with flowers and twigs and rocks. Such a lovely day and such a great getaway from the worries of the adult world. Spending time in nature and spending time at play with kids are two of the very best ways to give oneself recovery and relaxation time. I was definitely in need of a little self-care after last week and this was the perfect day for it. Sometimes self-care requires planning and work and other times the best way to find it is to just let oneself go in the present moment and drink it in freely.

Have you had some great self-care moments of late? How have you let go and joyed in the moment?

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