beauty · style

8 Easy Ways to Look Luxurious

Happy Tuesday, folks! Despite some unseasonably warm weather yesterday, I’m still fully aware that winter is upon us and we’d do well to not let our beauty routines lapse. Sometimes, a little warm weather will make us less diligent when it comes to our cold-weather routines – don’t fall for the trap! After all, we only get one body: we have to take care of ourselves.

Along with caring for our bodies internally (diet, exercise, caring for our mental, spiritual and emotional health), we must care for them externally, too. And after we care for our external selves, we may find that basic care just isn’t enough to put a little pep in our steps. Let’s face it: usually, the basics aren’t enough to make us feel luxurious. It doesn’t matter if your face cream costs hundreds of dollars or if you’re using SPF2000: basic care isn’t always enough to make you “sparkle”.

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However, enhancing your sparkle is easy! Here are 8 simple ways you can look more luxurious on a daily basis. Keep up with these, and you’ll be glistening effortlessly in no time!

  1. Groomed brows – I selected this as the top item because it’s so easy to neglect our brows in favor of other body parts. However, well-groomed brows create a gorgeous frame for your eyes, and can instantly make your whole face look more polished and refined. Groom your brows to instantly see a more luxurious you.
  2. Moisturized skin – Dry skin will never be luxurious. Using a good moisturizer that leaves your skin soft, supple and non-greasy instantly enhances your look. Walking the fine line between glowing and greasy is tough, so you may have to sample a few different formulations to find a good one. It’s worth the effort, so start looking now so that you can be well on your way to a more luxurious appearance.
  3. Freshly manicured/painted nails (on hands and feet) – Polished, cared-for nails and feet make a world of difference when it comes to cultivating a luxurious look. Nails that are even, polish that has no chips, lumps or gashes, and cuticles that are trimmed and moisturized quickly give hands and feet the appearance of luxury. This takes a bit more time than some of the other luxurious enhancements mentioned, but it’s worth the investment.
  4. Clothing made from all natural fibers – This can be challenging, since we live in a world full of polyester, spandex and other unnatural fibers. Natural fibers require more maintenance but look infinitely more luxurious. All within reason, though – everyone must consider their personal budget and level of investment when deciding what kind of fibers to purchase. However, cotton is inexpensive and feels great next to the skin, and more expensive fabrics (like leathers, silks and cashmere) can be purchased at a discount if you are a wise shopper. For a truly luxurious look, keep in mind your personal ethics (leather isn’t for everyone!) while shopping for all natural fibers for your wardrobe.
  5. Red lipstick – Perfectly applied red lipstick can immediately make a face look more luxurious and polished. Red lipstick in the perfect shade for your undertones and complexion is a powerful tool to make any ensemble look more glamorous. Red lipsticks are available at all price points, so this luxe accessory is truly available to anyone!
  6. Whitened teeth – A bright, white smile can do wonders for enhancing your overall appeal. And, whitened teeth are very luxurious looking. Whitening formulas can be as simple as baking soda mixed with hydrogen peroxide, or as elaborate as a few rounds at the dentist’s office. Whatever it takes, make sure to remove as many surface stains as you can from your teeth, so that you can have your brightest smile.
  7. Large sunglasses – Give a nod to Jackie O, one of the most elegant women ever, by throwing on a large pair of sunglasses. Sunglasses are practical – who ?doesn’t want to protect their precious eyesight from the suns’s harmful rays – and mysterious. They shield your eyes in the most stylish way. The right sunglasses add a level of polish to any look. Try on a few pair and see for yourself!
  8. Gloves – An oft-forgotten accessory, gloves are another one that is truly practical and still adds a stylish, luxurious touch. Most people won’t reach for their gloves until the cold months, but lightweight cotton gloves are great for protecting hands from the sun when you’re out and about during the warmer seasons.

Can you think of anything else that makes you look or feel luxurious? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

fitness · food

Diet Changes for Colder Months

Hi everyone! I went grocery shopping yesterday and I couldn’t help but notice the higher prices of some of my favorite fresh fruits and vegetables. Yes, summer is officially over and that means that the things I enjoy will cost a bit more since they are no longer in season.

That isn’t a problem, per se – we all make adjustments for our preferences from time to time – but I know that the foods that make me feel light and healthy during the summer don’t necessarily give me the same feeling during the colder months. In fact, I generally crave heartier, warmer foods during the fall and winter, and my body doesn’t feel as nourished by my typical summer fare.

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I figured that now would be a good time to assess my diet and transition from my warm weather palate to my winter one. I’m still doing intermittent fasting (IF) so the timing of meals won’t change. I’m still on a 8-hour (more or less) eating schedule and I enjoy whatever I want during my window. But what I’m choosing to eat will be more suitable for the season.

I decided to consult a website to see which vegetables and fruits are in season during this time of the year. Lifegate has a very convenient breakdown of the fruits and veggies in season by month. I’m finding the website very useful for my dietary planning.

For starters, I’ll be putting most of my tropical fruit preferences (kiwis, mangoes and papayas, specifically) on hold. Instead I’ll reach for pineapple (which, despite being a tropical fruit, is in season right now), apples, and grapes. As far as vegetables go, I’ll still have the occasional salad but it won’t be my go-to lunch. I’m going to incorporate more gourds (squash, pumpkin) and root vegetables (carrots, turnips, potatoes) into my recipes. I’ll also be cooking more beans and legumes, as I find these very satisfying during the chillier months.

Because I’ll be doing a lot more cooking during the winter, I’ll be sharing some of the recipes that I’ve created or tweaked. If you have any meal recommendations, let me know: I’m always looking to try something new! In the meantime, I’ll be shopping with the Lifegate list in mind, and focusing on eating the foods and meals that leave me feeling full and cozy this winter.

I hope you all are doing well! Talk to you all tomorrow.

 

life curation

Managing Recurring Lows

As a student of Law of Attraction (LOA), I know that what we focus on expands. So I was dismayed when I noticed that I was feeling blue for longer than a day or so. I recognized a pattern of sad feelings during this time of the year. I experienced some major losses during the fall season several years ago, and I’ve continued to experience some anxiety, sadness and grief during this season.

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It did not help that  I was having interaction with someone that didn’t generate the best feelings in me. That person is currently in “neutral”: not a factor in any sadness but not a factor in any joy, either.

I know that this time of year leaves me vulnerable to low emotions, so I’m starting to up my self care: indulging in a good cry if I need it, employing tools from my self care kit, resting as I see fit, etc.,. I have even added a therapist to my arsenal, so that I can continue making progress in managing these emotional lows.

I’m sharing this with you all in the hopes that you will continue to take good care of yourselves and not ignore the signs if you are feeling less than stellar. Your body and mind must be cared for: don’t neglect this. You’re special and precious so remember to take care of YOU.

Talk to you all tomorrow.

art · life curation

Art is a Healer (I Knew It Already)

There’s nothing like confirmation. There’s a sweet satisfaction that comes from having someone state what you’ve known all along: it’s good to know that your thinking is accurate.

Recently, I came across an article that describes how some physicians in Canada are prescribing trips to the art museum to their patients. There are therapeutic benefits associated with spending time observing and appreciating art.

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Well, as you all know, I wrote about how I healed during my divorce by regularly visiting art museums. My time in museums helped tremendously with my self care and was one of the greatest keys in lifting my mood during the darkest period of my life. There was something so comforting about walking in those pristine and taking in all of the beauty that had been created years prior.

The article also talks about doctors prescribing time in nature to patients, as well. Yup, that’s another thing I used while I was on my self-care journey. All of these things contributed to getting me back into a state of wellness.

Well, that’s it for today. Just came in for a quick gloating session – I kid, I kid! I hope you all are enjoying your Saturday! Take care, and talk to you all tomorrow.

art · life curation

Trying My Hand At Painting . . .

Happy, happy, happy Friday! I am so happy to see this week finally come to an end. It hasn’t been a stressful week but I haven’t had as much downtime as I usually enjoy. As a result, I’m far more exhausted than normal. But with the weekend upon us, I’m looking forward to getting some glorious rest!

A few weeks ago, I stopped by Barnes & Noble and walked around for nostalgia’s sake. I can’t tell you how many days and evenings I spent in this bookstore, just inhaling the scent of paper and possibilities . . .  On my way out, I saw an art kit and picked it up. I found myself wanting to buy it, which is funny, because I’ve gone to Michael’s and Hobby Lobby who knows how many times, and I’ve never been moved to buy painting supplies. Following inspiration, I decided to buy the kit.

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My new art kit – such a bargain!

I’ve always been creative, but painting is a whole new world for me. And before anyone thinks that I’m trying to be Monet or Picasso, trust me, those aren’t my aspirations. At all LOL! However, I do think that practicing my hand at painting will give me a deeper appreciation for the art and skill involved with creating some of the masterpieces that I love so well. So, I figured I’d start painting a bit when I have downtime again. I also think this will be a good thing to do while listening to some soothing music or even a podcast (because I’m always trying to multitask. . . )

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Inside of the kit

After taking so many online classes and participating in umpteen webinar trainings to maintain one of my certifications, I figured it was time to enjoy an activity that doesn’t feel like “school”. It’s time to do something strictly for the pleasure of it, and that allows me to “learn” in a different way. So, painting seems like a good idea. I’ll post my “masterpieces” as I complete them. Here’s hoping that I can start painting and sharing my finished works in October and November.

That’s all for today. I hope you all have a great Friday, and I’ll check in tomorrow. Take care!

 

life curation

Living Your Best Life: Cultivating Calm, Part 2

calm2

Happy Wednesday, beloveds! In part one of my Cultivating Calm posts, I mentioned how to become more aware of when you are feeling stressed, anxious, or frustrated. Once you identify the patterns and triggers, you can begin to control or manage them. Here are a few tips for controlling and managing triggers that threaten your feeling of calm.

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-Avoid people who stimulate an anxious or agitated feeling. You know who I’m talking about: there are some people who have a nervous energy that’s contagious: they walk into a room and everyone starts feeling “on edge”. I noticed that a lot of inexperienced or insecure supervisors and managers tend to generate this energy. You also notice it from people that treat everything like a crisis or a tragedy, consistently overexaggerating the seriously of thing occurring in their lives.

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-Avoid consuming overstimulating food, beverages or media. I adore chocolate, but I can’t have it late at night because of the caffeine. I feel jittery and agitated when I can’t get to sleep, so I avoid chocolate late at night as well as caffeinated beverages. Likewise, examine your diet and see what stimulants you consume regularly. Then, aim to wean yourself off of those stimulating foods and beverages: overstimulation frequently causes agitation and anxious feelings. It goes without saying that media can also make you feel anxious: sometimes the news makes us feel stressed and frustrated. So employing some selective ignorance can go a long ways in helping you preserve your calm.

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-Clean up your physical surroundings. Disorderly environments can disturb your sense of peace and tranquility. So clean up and enjoy your new, calmer environment.

stretch

-Practice deep breathing and relaxing stretches to help you unwind. Intentionally increasing your oxygen intake can really help with “resetting” your energy and improving your mood (there are studies confirming this, so do your research!). Relaxing stretches help to reduce the tension in tightly contracted muscles.

life curation

Living Your Best Life: Cultivating Calm, Part 1

calm

On this blog, I always strive to be authentic and positive. One of my keys to remaining positive is to continue doing the emotional work that will allow me to live my best life. Without doing this work, I would be stuck in the often-frustrating daily experience, and different situations could negatively impact my mood and perspective.

A crucial part of my self-care is the conscious cultivation of calm (if you can’t tell, I love alliteration). Calm is more than a feeling for me: it’s the state where I am most secure and clearheaded. I function best in calm, and for that reason, it behooves me to continue to cultivate it on a daily basis.

You, too, can cultivate calm regularly. All it takes is some inner and outer work. The first part of cultivating calm involves becoming aware of triggers and spotting the patterns. Once those triggers and patterns are identified, you can successfully develop tools to manage the stress and promote your peace. Here are some of the steps I’ve used for the first part of cultivating my calm (you can read about the second part of cultivating calm in a future post).

-Take note of when you feel anxious or agitated. You may have a physical reaction to aggravation (tense shoulders, jaw clenching, headaches, etc.,) or perhaps the aggravation shows up in your behavior (silence/lack of communication, aggressive interactions with others, violent outbursts, etc.). You don’t need to try to change the behavior immediately, just note it and stop yourself if you feel that you’re about to do something dangerous to yourself or others.

-Keep a journal to log your anxious or agitated moments for about one or two weeks. This will help you vent safely and can take a lot of the “fire” out of an aggravating incident. Jot down as many details as you can: time of day, what you were doing prior to feeling aggravated, the event that triggered the aggravation, how you responded, and what you feel as you write about it. Lots of details are key for the next step, so really take the time to write it all down. It helps to write in the red hot moment, as this usually means you’ll capture the detail in all it’s emotionally-triggering glory.

-Look for patterns: does your irritation come after interacting with certain people? Does it come from the tasks expected from you on the job? Were you hungry? Were you sleepy? Look for any commonalities between those frustrating moments. Once you start seeing a consistent trigger appear, then you know you’ve found a pattern and you can set out to manage that trigger more effectively.

If you need more help with this, there are countless online guides for helping you identify triggers and patterns. Also, I’m a big fan of using professional help to assist with managing things that feel overwhelming or beyond your control.

Look out for the next “Cultivating Calm” post coming soon!