My 3 Meditation Must-Haves

fullsizeoutput_4919.jpeg

If you've read my story, you know that meditation has become quite a big part of my life this past year. While I don't do it daily (though I should, tsk, tsk), I do notice I have a better day when I do.I use to think I'd never be able to meditate because my mind often goes a million miles per minute, plus I always had the misconception that meditation was being completely silent and had to be done for a long time– wrong!

Seeing that I, over thinker numero 1, have learned to meditate and that it's actually easier than I use to think, I wanted to share my top 3 must-haves for my mediation time – AND they are actually quite affordable and simple!

1. The Headspace App -

Let's start with the easiest step to meditation, the Headspace App! Honestly this app for me was life-changing. It does have a premium option, but I just got the FREE version and it works just as great (IMHO). And it also only takes 10 minutes so you can do it in the morning before work, during your lunch hour (what I often did) or just before bed. It's really so fuss-free!

2. Crystals-

This past year I've also gotten a lot into crystals and their healing powers. I'm not the biggest expert on them, but I had been curious about them after seeing one of my favorite YouTubers as well as other people I follow on Social Media boast about them. I am lucky to have a few crystal stores near me such as Spellbound Sky (my fave) and House of Intuition but if you don't have a crystal shop in your area, there are so many to choose from online. Just scroll through Instagram under #crystals and you're sure to find a lot. 

Some of my favorite crystals to meditate with are rose quartz, amethyst, red jasper, smoky quartz and bloodstone, to name a few. I usually will just hold them in my hands while I mediate or set them in my lap. You can also place them on your body if you lay down and correspond them to the chakra you're trying to heal. When choosing your crystals however, the most important part is that you're drawn to them. I'm still a crystal newbie, but again there are so many sources out there if you'd like to learn more. A good one is Crystal Vaults.

3. Essential Oils -

Last but not least are essential oils. I truly love them. I will admit that I mostly use Young Living EOs since I signed up as a distributor to get a discount so if you click the link, just be aware that it does link to my YL page. However, I've also used Aura Cacia and NOW oils and have loved them just the same.

More times than not, I will diffuse the oils in my diffusor, which i keep on my bookshelf, since I believe scent is such a powerful tool for mediation. But from time and time I will apply them to my wrists or any other area that oils is meant to help like my temples for when I have migraines and use M-grain.

My all time favorite oil is Lavender! I use that shit on and for EVERYTHING from helping me chill after a long day to helping me sleep to just wanting to smell so good. I seriously will go crazy for anything lavender. 

Like I said, meditation can actually be quite easy peasy. The key is to start small and make it your own. If you only have a minute or can only stand still enough to do a minute, start there and work your way up. Are there any must-haves you have for your meditation practice?

Lavender + Amethyst, Astrid

 

Makeup (or Lack thereof): A Form of Self-Care

 
fullsizeoutput_4914.jpeg
 

I've always seen makeup as a form of self-expression, but lately I've also been thinking of how it can serve as a form of self-care. I know, I know, it may not seem like the most obvious connection, but hear me out.

Often times, as women, we are told that we are putting makeup on for someone else, be it to look good for friends, but usually people tease that it's for a guy ( *huge eye roll* ). But honestly, the truth is we wear makeup for ourselves. We are self-conscious creatures in a society that pays a lot of attention to looks and well we want to feel good in this society. It may not mean we don't feel beautiful already, we just want to feel fabulous or bring attention to our favorite features.

And it really is as simple as that. We want to look good for ourselves and this in itself defines self-care. We take care of ourselves by making ourselves feel good on how we look on that day. Especially on days we are feeling blah, we may whip out and swipe on that red lipstick that makes us feel like a powerhouse or that mascara that helps us look awake so we don't feel people are staring at us like we are zombies. So if we really think about it, makeup is a self-care and self-love boost. But it doesn't mean that we don't feel beautiful without all the priming.

Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she is beautiful
— Sophia Loren

In fact, lack of makeup is also a form of self-care and self-love. The most obvious reason is that it is a form of accepting ourselves as we are, but I think it can go deeper than that. I myself don't usually wear make up to work (I'm a nanny, so better not to leave makeup on the baby lol). But it's not just because I don't necessarily feel I NEED to wear makeup but honestly it's because I'd rather sleep for a bit longer. 

I mean how is that not self-care, sleeping, I mean. It's probably one of the things we get the least of and leave at the bottom of the self-care list. But yes, plain and simple, not wearing makeup allows us to sleep in and that's just the best! But besides that, you are also acting in the mindset of self-care in the fact that you're letting your skin breath, therefore, you are showing it love. 

In the end, whatever you choose, makeup or sans makeup, you do you, boo! You are beautiful no matter what you choose. But no matter what please remember the SPF, you want to love your skin but also protect it ( I sound like my mother lol). I'm curious, which do you choose and do you agree with makeup (or lack thereof) being a form of self-care?

Love + Beauty, Astrid

2016: The Year of the Hustle

How to define your 2016 with one word and why I'm saying no to resolutions!

Hello, friends. Before I dive into the post, I'd like to welcome you to my new website. Seriously, love having an actual domain and this SquareSpace platform makes me feel so legit. It's definitely a nice way to ring in the new year. Oh yea, HAPPY NEW YEAR :)

2016 is full of high hopes on my end, but while I have many goals I'd like to accomplish, I am saying no to resolutions this year (gasp!). Instead I am going to try to live my year and define it in ONE word: HUSTLE!

Found on Zullily.com

So you might be wondering what made me decide on the word Hustle for 2016? Well, if I were to have created a regular resolutions list as I've done in the past, it may make more sense. That list would look a little something like this, so you can understand my choice of this word:

  • Grow the blog
  • Create opportunities for the blog to become a business
  • Work on past passion projects as well as future ones
  • Gain financial stability
  • Get my shit together

Can you see the similarities? Maybe not right away, and believe me at first I was struggling to find a good word to define my year. But once I really thought about it, what all these goals have in common is that I have to work hard at them–a blood, sweat and tears level commitment. 

While 2015 was great and I became more present, I know I got lazy in a lot of areas in my life, so that's also why Hustle is a good fit for 2016. I'm done with the slacking off and then beating myself up because "I could have done that" or wondering about numerous what ifs, while feeling "stuck" in my life. So of course this year, I got to change that! I want to go for what I want so I can have the lifestyle I want and can be present in a life that means something!

Etsy.com

Etsy.com

And the reason I am saying no to the typical resolutions is because often, we write this long list of them down only to forget about them or find a lack of motivation to accomplish them. On top of that, by choosing a word to define my year, I allow myself flexibility, cuz sometimes life happens and you have to adjust. For example, for my blog, maybe I start off thinking offering services is the way to go, but then find that my audience needs courses instead of services, I am still hustling, just the goal gets shifted in a new direction.

Also, the word can apply to different aspects of my life. Even though HUSTLE  is often associated with making money and can seem business-centric, it can actually apply to my personal life too. For example, I can hustle and work towards better time management or hustle it with my workouts or even hustle hard to make sure my friendships stay strong. 

So how will you define your year? What word will you use to make the most out of 2016, cuz between you and me, I whole-heartedly believe this is our year!! But if you can't think of a word right now, no worries, I have your back. I've create a free worksheet just for you, so it can help get those creative juices flowing!

 

Love,
Astrid

 

My Week With TV: Fall TV Week 2

I meant to put this up on Sunday, but to be completely honest, I spent most of the weekend sleeping or actually catching up with some Fall TV. I was also trying to get over whatever was causing me to have the cough of death. But at least being sorta sick (just a nasty cough, so annoying) allowed me to lay low, that and paying most of my bills for the month. So without further ado, here are the shows I feasted my eyes on this week.

Let's start off with the shows I mentioned at the end of the last My Week With TV post. These were all shows that premiered last week and remember, there are still shows yet to premiere for the season. But anyway, that's for the next post in the series(?). For new premieres, this is what I saw:

Grandfathered-This is the John Stamos and Josh Peck starred vehicle. Stamos plays a forever bachelor restauranteur, obsessed with not aging, who soon learns that not only is he a father to Peck's character, but also a grandfather. I was actually really excited to watch this mostly because both of these actors were huge in my childhood (hello Full House and Drake and Josh). And I was not disappointed. The show is funny and charming, with the dynamic of Stamos and Peck's character really playing off each other. I would definitely recommend tuning into this for a good laugh. (Tues at 8pm on FOX).

The Grinder- If you miss Chris Traeger from Parks and Recreation, then this might be the show for you because Chad Lowe pretty much plays a Traeger on this show. Except that he is an actor who's show, where he played a lawyer, has just ended. However, his old role has led him to believe that he could be a real lawyer alongside his father and brother, played by Fred Savage (oh the Wonder Years).  While Lowe's character exudes confident, his much more serious brother may be a great lawyer but lacks in public speaking skills.  I feel this show has the potential to be really funny, but at the same time it seems a little over the top and like it's trying to hard. We shall see. (Tues at 8:30pm on FOX).

Code Black- Of course this would make my list because I have a huge thing for medical dramas/procedurals. The title of the show is a term used in this case to refer to any incident where the number of patients outnumbers the number of resources available. The show stars primarily Marcia Gay Harden as the director of the residency program, but early on you are told that while she is the best at her job, she is having trouble overcoming a personal tragedy. Alongside her we have Luis Guzman who plays the head ER nurse and he definitely brings the comic relief to the show. The rest of the cast centers on 5 new residents who are trying to learn the ropes of the fast paced ER. It reminds of a cross between Grey's Anatomy and ER, which makes it an automatic win in my book. (Weds at 10pm on CBS).

The other two shows I gave a try this week were shows that premiered the week before, but I had thought started this week LOL. But what they really have in common is that they both have a badass female lead. So here they are:

Quantico- Think of this show as Homeland (speaking of which I still to catch up on) mixed with any Shonda Rhime show. It stars the seriously gorgeous Priyanka Chopra (like can I have her skin) as one of 50 new FBI trainees at Quantico. The first task given to all the trainees is learn one another's darkest secret. This gives way to how the show is setup, flashing back between the past and the present, where we discover there might have been a terrorist among the trainees, and Alex is being framed for their actions. I really enjoyed the high stakes of the show, the detective work that goes with it and the sexy allure the show gives off overall. Hopefully, it just gets better (Suns at 10pm on ABC).

Blindspot- Some have said this show is a combo of the Bourne Identity and The Blacklist, but to be honest, the show reminds me of the star's, Jamie Alexander's, previous show, Kyle XY. So what is this show about? Well it's about a woman who is discovered in a duffel bag in Times Square, who has no memory of who she is or how she got there. The only clues as to her identity are the fresh tattoos that cover her body, one of which demands the attention of FBI Agent Kurt Weller. It is up to him and his team to decode the tattoos and figure out who she is, and why Weller seems to be involved in her case. Oh and we soon find out that Jane, as they refer to her (as in Doe), might have had some sort of combat training. Very juicy so far! (Mons at 10pm on NBC).

Have any of you checked out these shows? Did you like them? Let me know in the comments below, or better yet come join me on Periscope this Sunday, October 11th at noon PST to talk some fall TV (I'm under @astridstars). And if you weren't able to join us earlier this week, I did my first Periscope on October Goals.

Here is the replay. We have a few more premieres to come so stay tuned for more #MyWeekWithTV.

Love, 
Astrid