Best Healthy Breakfasts

June 17, 2015

My mom and I have been participating in an intense five-day-a-week bootcamp for the past month and as a result have both made some major adjustments to our diets. Being the food-lover I am (the Food Network has literally been my favorite channel on TV since I was six years old), I was very apprehensive about having to switch up my go-to foods. After several weeks of adjusting my diet to eating "clean" unprocessed foods and eliminating most dairy, I am alive and willing to admit that healthy food can be delicious and filling too- though that's not to say I don't enjoy a "cheat meal" here and there.

When I was at school, I never ate breakfast. Sometimes I would grab a granola bar, but with the intense working out I've been doing early in the morning, I needed more energy. Plus, a good breakfast is what gets your metabolism going for the day.

Some foods that I have grown pretty accustomed to eating on a regular basis are veggies, egg whites, avocados, Ezekiel breads, strawberries, blueberries, almond butter and turkey bacon.

I absolutely love avocado toast. It's so filling and delicious. I use a slice (or two) of toasted Ezekiel bread, which is made from sprouted grains and easier to digest than wheat bread, and spread on mashed avocado, topping it off with sea salt and paprika. It's perfect with egg whites too to make it a little more filling. Check out my avocado toast recipe post from a few months back!

Another "toast meal" I love is Ezekiel bread topped with almond butter (I love Justin's) and sliced berries. Super simple and naturally sweet.

Finally, my last breakfast that I'll share is carb-free. I make an egg white omelette with a side of turkey bacon. I usually just toss in any veggies (especially greens) I have in the fridge and some onions for extra flavor.

Even if you're not willing to make a dramatic change in your diet, try out one of these breakfast options anyway. They're that good and I promise you won't miss your Eggo waffles too much.

Any suggestions for clean or dairy-free eating?

Travel Chic: Bermuda Bound

June 15, 2015

I am counting down the days until I am on a cruise to Bermuda with my grandmother, sister and four cousins for the ultimate girls getaway. As I sit writing this in the midst of a torrential thunderstorm, the only inspiration for the beautiful weather I'm hoping to have on my upcoming trip comes from some of my favorite bloggers, such as Southern Curls & Pearls and Lemon Stripes, both of whom recently traveled to the beautiful island of Bermuda.  Here are a few of my travel chic picks which are sure to be making an appearance on my upcoming vacation!

What else should I pack!? xx

meditation is the new black

June 13, 2015

When it comes to meditating, I've always been a little skeptical. Everyone has their own ways of relieving stress and meditation was something that always seemed a little "much" for me. Only recently have I really gained an appreciation for the difference a short meditation can make.  I am a person who is pretty easily stressed out. I let little things get to me and getting rid of stress in my life is something I am always working on. ("Don't sweat the small stuff" is one of the many mantras I strive to incorporate into my vocabulary!) By meditating, I find that things snap back into perspective and all nervous/stressed feelings that I have begin to vanish.

What is meditation? I think it can mean a lot of things to different people. Most importantly, despite common misconception, meditating is not tied exclusively to yoga. You can meditate anywhere, anytime. For me, one of the most important factors of meditating comes down to breathing.  By concentrating on taking slow and steady breaths, the nervous energy in your body (the reason you often get a "pit" in your stomach) begins to go back to equilibrium, calming you down and relieving stress.

It can also come from focussing on something important in order to place things back into perspective. For example, some consider Devotionals a form of prayerful meditation.

I think we all could benefit from a little calm in our life, so see if meditating is right for you (and try out a bunch of different forms of meditating!)

PS, I've been using the "Deep Sleep" app to meditate before bed for a couple years now. No lie, it literally hypnotizes you to sleep and the narrator has a cool Scottish accent. Very much worth a few dollars in the app store!

Getting MUGged Can Be Fun!

June 9, 2015

I am an absolute hoarder when it comes to mugs. While I am a huge coffee and tea drinker (so as to say my mugs never go unused), I could probably do with a few less mugs on my shelf. But until TLC calls me to star in Hoarding: Buried Alive, Mug Edition, I think I'll just keep adding to my collection. Mugs are the perfect gift (you could fill one with nail polish, a lip gloss and some candy to brighten a friend's day) and there's always something about the cost - they're never too expensive to pass up. It's hard for me to pick favorites (is it weird that my mugs are so sentimental to me?) but these are definitely some of the cutest mug designs on the market currently.

1. Moon & Lola  2. Evelyn Henson  3. Konfetti  4. Konfetti  5. Ashley Brooke Designs  6. Evelyn Henson

Good Morning Upper East Siders

June 6, 2015

While reading this post, feel free to imagine Kristen Bell is narrating.

Spotted: Blair Waldorf wannabe. Can she compare to the real deal? Never. Looks like Blair better keep Chuck on a tight leash before this "Blessed Brunette" steals her man.

I am a huge fan of the Gossip Girl series. Just thinking about the fact that I finished it on Netflix a few years ago gives me all the feels. As Blair Waldorf's #1 fan, its only natural that when in the Upper East Side, I visit all her go-to spots.

We started the day with cappuccinos and lemon loaf at Sarabeth's. Lonely Boy nowhere in sight.

 Next, like any true Queen Bees, we made our way to the iconic steps of the Met. (I did choose to opt out of wearing a headband.)

We popped inside to explore the latest exhibit (the hallmark of this year's Met Ball), China: Through the Looking Glass, which featured Asian-inspired fashions from the likes of Chanel, Dolce & Gabanna and many more iconic names.

What's a Gossip Girl day without a trip to Laduree? I may or may not have seen Dorota in line picking up a box of Pistachio macarons for Blair!!

A little shopping on Madison Ave never hurt anybody! A quick trip to the Lilly store was a necessity.

Just like any of Manhattan's elite, we fit right in with the celebrities! Bumped into Real Housewife of New York Kelly Bensimon and her aptly-named dog, Fluffy outside their posh pad.

You know you love me (even though this post is extremely cliche and tacky)!

Gossip Girl

The Obliteration Room

June 4, 2015

Yesterday a few high school friends and I went into New York City for the day to visit this amazing art exhibit at the David Zwirner gallery. Our initial intentions were largely inspired by some cool Instagrams we saw of people who had been there, however once I got there I was shocked by how much cooler it looked in person. As a studio art minor, I love all types of modern art and this gallery was no exception.Yayoi Kusama was the artist behind Give Me Love (the name of the exhibit in its entirety) and "The Obliteration Room" (the portion of the exhibit where the first two pictures are taken). Essentially, as you walk into the room, you are handed a sheet of stickers and let loose to stick them wherever you want.  The exhibit has been open for just about a month and it is almost completely covered in dots!! It is honestly breathtaking in a totally non-traditional way. There were tons of little kids at the exhibit and I couldn't stop thinking how much I would've loved to run around a room with stickers as a child. There was also the cutest old couple there too-- proof that you're never too old for stickers!! The exhibit continued into another room where there were these giant metallic peppers(?) ...not really sure what they were, also covered in dots. After taking a sculpture class last semester, I really grew an appreciation for pieces like these and thought they were so interesting and asthetically pleasing. 

The gallery also was showing these really awesome paintings, also done by Kusama. Her bold pattern and bright colors awesome.

The "Obliteration Room" exhibit ends on June 13th so if you're local to NYC, check it out ASAP!