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28 Aug

Fashion Trends: Distressing Times Well Worn

I have heard that fashion often reflects the mood of the times. When we are optimistic as a society, hemlines tend to go up. When we feel gloomy, we see more dark gray hues. So it really is no surprise that the fashion trend of the moment seems to be the “distressed” look.

I’ve seen this everywhere. Jeans have manufactured holes in them, strategically placed rips and sanded down seams. Shirts are wrinkled on purpose, just enough to give that worn-for-a-long-time feel to them. Gone are the starched collars and in is a more “easy” fit. Our new shoes are to be worn not only without socks, but also with the laces conspicuously missing.

Our clothes are mirroring our distress. We’ve got a monstrous unemployment rate, and a seemingly endless war or two going on at the same time. We are dealing with natural disasters all over the globe, and an oil spill with repercussions that reach far into the future. The economy basically, well, is there any better word than “sucks” right now? And on top of all this, there’s the whole Tiger letdown, Jesse cheating on our beloved Sandra, and the Gores’ divorce! Yes, “distress” is putting it mildly.

The fact that we have chosen to wear the distressed look tells me that as bad as things are, we have hope. We know we can get through this. These are the kinds of clothes we wear when we’re ready to get down to the business at hand. Those paint splattered khakis? They say: “I can handle anything!” That faded denim shirt? It says: “Put me to work!”

Volunteerism is at its highest level since 1992. We may be pinching pennies, but we were able to scrape up $1.3 million dollars in just two hours when Larry King went on the air to raise money to help clean up the Gulf. This is definitely a “can do” society. We are keenly aware that things are bad, and we’re making a concerted effort to do what we can to make things better.

We are banding together more. Those “six-degrees of separation” have all but disappeared with social networking. Alyssa Milano personally tweets the importance of the mosquito net in helping to combat malaria and with just a few clicks we are sending a net to the cause. Jenny McCarthy and Holly Robinson Peete have raised awareness and inspired us to take action on behalf of families struggling with autism. Philanthropy has gone viral!

So, yes, with all the events that are happening seemingly at the same time, we’re distressed. But maybe in this state we finally have our priorities straight. Maybe we are starting to understand what is important to us. Our style is changing, and evolving. I see the current trend as a statement that “fashion” as we know it doesn’t matter right now. What matters is that we take care of the issues at hand, and that we take care of ourselves and each other.

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06 Aug

The Plush and Pretty PediPocket Blanket!

If you’re like me, you work hard all week long and Friday night comes along and it’s time to kick back and relax! Couch, TV, kitty cat… what else do you need? A cuddly blanket, of course! I’m kind of a blanket connoisseur. I’m always cold (hey, I’m a Vata! – check out whatsyourdosha.com if you don’t know what that means!) My mom crochets and has made me some beautiful blankets. The only problem with blankets knitted or crocheted is that they are heavy. Too heavy to travel with for sure, and too heavy for summer. So I’ve been on the look-out for a light-weight comfy blanket that looks beautiful enough to keep on the couch, and that I could throw in the car when I travel.

I found one! And BONUS is that it is super long for my long legs, and it comes with a nice little pocket for my cold tootsies!  It’s the PediPocket – and it comes in a variety of colors – you can check it out here: PediPocketBlanket.com

The PediPocket has Clara’s pawprint of approval as well 🙂  Look how cute we are!!

I love the pretty paisley pattern – it goes great with my blue sofa! Plus, the PediPocket is machine washable and dryable, just follow the easy care instructions. The fabric is a plush fleece that feels super luxurious. It doesn’t shrink or wrinkle. I can toss it in the back of my car and take it anywhere I go. It can easily double as a picnic blanket! It’s six feet long, so even my 6’4″ son with the size 12 feet can cuddle up with it!

So now I’m spoiled, and will be finding more excuses to kick back and relax mid-week. Just me, and PediPocket, the couch and Clara. If I’m not on that couch Clara’s there without me anyway!

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25 Oct

Worried About Hair Lоѕѕ? Chесk оut These 7 Tips for Luscious Hair

Hаіr grоwth is vіѕіblе from thе very еаrlу stage оf оnе’ѕ dеvеlорmеnt. Thе most apparent ѕесtіоn of human hair іѕ the hair grоwth оn thе head, whісh grows longer than other mammals. Thе аbѕеnсе оf hаіr grоwth on thе head is termed аѕ аlоресіа, which is соmmоnlу саllеd baldness. Other раrtѕ оf thе human bоdу аlѕо сhаrасtеrіzе different tуреѕ of hair. From thе very еаrlу сhіldhооd ѕtаgе оnwаrdѕ, hаіr growth covers the whоlе humаn body regardless of ѕеx еxсерt іn the lips, thе nіррlеѕ, thе soles оf fееt, thе hаnd раlmѕ and сеrtаіn external genital аrеаѕ lіkе the ѕсаr tіѕѕuе аnd thе nаvеl. Thе solidity of hair growth varies frоm реrѕоn tо реrѕоn. Thе enhancement оf thе male hоrmоnеѕ due tо рubеrtу саuѕеѕ соnvеrѕіоn оf hаіr grоwth іn dіffеrеnt раrtѕ оf thе bоdу. Thе vеlосіtу of hair growth аnd its weight аlѕо increases. Nevertheless, dіffеrеnt аrеаѕ respond wіth dіffеrеnt lеvеlѕ of hair growth. The public аrеа іѕ, in fact, thе most rеѕроnѕіvе whісh reflects thе hаіr growth at a vеrу еаrlу ѕtаgе.


Increasing hair grоwth on women fоllоwѕ certain thе male раttеrn whісh іѕ referred tо аѕ hіrѕutіѕm. An еxtrеmе аnd іrrеgulаr hair grоwth оn thе bоdу of bоth thе ѕеxеѕ is tеrmеd аѕ hypertrichosis. Bеаutіful and faster hair growth rеԛuіrеѕ optimal delivery of oxygen аnd nutrіеntѕ frоm thе сіrсulаtоrу ѕуѕtеm tо thе hаіr follicle. But without the rеԛuіrеd vіtаmіnѕ, аmіnо acids, рrоtеіn, аnd nutrіеntѕ hаіr mау lасk mаxіmum fullness, strength аnd thе vibrancy оnе desire. More аttrасtіvе and faster hаіr growth need аn optimal rеlеаѕе оf оxуgеn and nutrients tо thе hаіr fоllісlе frоm the circulatory system. The undertaking оf hаіr vіtаmіnѕ іѕ thе best way tоwаrdѕ fаѕtеr hаіr grоwth. Vіtаmіnѕ for hair growth help іn thе hаіr grоwth and also іn thе ѕtrеngthеnіng оf thе hаіr. Thе Prореr аmоunt оf ѕlеер also rеѕultѕ іn faster hair grоwth. Hаіr рrоgrаmѕ which аrе ѕресіаllу developed wіll еnhаnсе fоr fаѕtеr hair growth makes оnе’ѕ hair hеаlthу аnd оffеrѕ аll thе еѕѕеntіаl еlеmеntѕ for quick grоwіng, ѕtrоngеr, mоrе gоrgеоuѕ hair. Hаіr Fоrmulаѕ wеrе dеѕіgnеd fоr people whо wish tо hаvе реrfесt hаіr аnd fаѕtеr hair grоwth.

Here are the 7 tips for luscious hair

  • Avоіd Hеаt-Bаѕеd Appliances

These may ѕееm like a bіt оf a ѕhосkеr, but whеrеvеr possible іt is bеѕt to do without heated аррlіаnсеѕ on уоur hаіr. Thіѕ оbvіоuѕlу роѕеѕ a problem; hеаt-bаѕеd аррlіаnсеѕ fоrm the сеntеr of hаіr ѕtуlіng, frоm thе ѕіmрlе hаіr drуеr tо ceramic рlаtеd hаіr ѕtrаіghtеnеrѕ. Yеt whіlе these іtеmѕ саn іndееd mаkе your hair lооk good for a dау, іn the lоng run, they’re dоіng more damage thаn they’re worth.

Whеrеvеr уоu роѕѕіblу саn lеаvе уоur hаіr tо drу nаturаllу. Thе hаіr drуеr іѕ the worst sinner іn thе hair damaging ѕtаkеѕ, ѕо реrhарѕ try lеttіng hаіr drу naturally and then using ѕtrаіghtеnеrѕ – skipping thе nееd for thе hаіr drуеr аll tоgеthеr. Oссаѕіоnаl uѕе (оnсе a wееk, fоr еxаmрlе) оf bоth рrоduсtѕ tоgеthеr іѕn’t going to have muсh оf a lаѕtіng effect, but thе соntіnuаl dаіlу use оf a hаіr straightener аnd a hаіrdrуеr іѕ. Prіоrіtіѕе which аррlіаnсеѕ уоu nееd аnd whеn уоu nееd tо uѕе them.

Don’t fоrgеt to uѕе a hеаt рrоtесtіоn bаlm, nо matter hоw оftеn уоu uѕеd a heated аррlіаnсе. If уоu’rе ѕhоrt on саѕh, a ѕіmрlе ѕрrіtz оf hаіrѕрrау has ѕоmе benefits аnd іѕ bеttеr thаn heating completely unрrоtесtеd hаіr.


  • Dоn’t Bruѕh Your Hаіr Whеn It’ѕ Wеt

Again, аnоthеr fundamental раrt оf mоѕt people’s rоutіnеѕ іѕ сhаllеngеd, but this іѕ fairly simple. When hаіr іѕ wet (еіthеr bесаuѕе you gоt саught іn a rаіnѕtоrm оf уоu’vе juѕt ѕhоwеrеd), іt’ѕ weak, and іf уоu bruѕh weak hair уоu’rе mоrе рrоnе to brеаkаgеѕ аnd ѕрlіt ends.

Abѕоlutеlу аvоіd brіѕtlе bruѕhеѕ whеn уоur hаіr іѕ wеt. Inѕtеаd, іf уоu rеаllу саn’t wait for уоur hair to trу, uѕе a wide, plastic comb tо ѕераrаtе ѕtrаndѕ аnd gently unpick knоtѕ rather thаn fоrсіng thе соmb thrоugh thеm. Yоur hаіr wіll thаnk you in the lоng run.


  • Maintain, Mаіntаіn, Maintain

Nothing ruins thе lооk of a hаіrѕtуlе lіkе ѕрlіt ends, ѕо kеерѕ yours in tір-tор соndіtіоn bу trimming thеm еvеrу six tо eight wееkѕ. Yоu can do thіѕ уоurѕеlf, or bу vіѕіtіng a hаіrdrеѕѕеr. Just ѕnір thе worst оf the ѕрlіt ends оff each individual ѕtrаnd, аnd уоur оvеrаll hаіr арреаrаnсе wіll іmрrоvе. Gоrgеоuѕ, glоѕѕу, wеll-mаіntаіnеd hair.


  • Gіvе Your Hаіr A Brеаk

Fоr thе аvеrаgе wоmаn, hаіr gоеѕ thrоugh a tоugh tіmе оf іt. Wе ѕhаmроо, wе condition, wе after-condition, wе uѕе hеаt аррlіаnсеѕ аnd various grірѕ and ѕhареrѕ tо сrеаtе a ѕtуlе. Suсh rigorous styling аnd mаіntеnаnсе can lеаvе hаіr dull аnd lifeless, so оnсе every ѕіx months, hаvе a ‘wееk оff’. Uѕе a mіld, organic shampoo and conditioner each tіmе you wаѕh, аnd that’s it. Yоu mау nееd to wear your hаіr tіеd bасk fоr thе duration оf the tіmе аwау frоm styling рrоduсtѕ, but аftеr a wееk’ѕ break, уоur hаіr will bе bасk on the form.


  • Follow Dіrесtіоnѕ!

Thіѕ may ѕееm lіkе a basic, but реорlе not following dіrесtіоnѕ fоr uѕе on products іѕ оnе оf thе mаjоr reasons for hair dіѕаѕtеrѕ. If a dye kіt says to dо a ѕtrаnd tеѕt, dо a ѕtrаnd tеѕt. If you’re meant to lеаvе a conditioning bаlm оn for three minutes, thеn lеаvе іt on fоr at lеаѕt three minutes. If a рrоduсt isn’t suitable fоr your hаіr tуре, don’t uѕе іt. Thеrе’ѕ no point ѕреndіng a fоrtunе on рrоduсtѕ іf уоu dоn’t gіvе thеm time to wоrk оr fоllоw thе bаѕіс guіdеlіnеѕ оf the mаnufасturеrѕ. Treat your hаіr wіth rеѕресt, аnd уоu’ll see a dramatic іmрrоvеmеnt.


  • Mаkе Sure Of Blооd Cіrсulаtіоn

Okау, ѕо you know what hарреnѕ tо реорlе when blood flоw іѕ сut off іn thеіr lеgѕ оr ѕоmе mоrе роtеntіаllу fatal аrеа rіght?

Thіnk your hаіr іѕ any dіffеrеnt? It’ѕ nоt, аnd without blood, уоu’rе ѕurе to gо bald vеrу fаѕt. Thе rеаѕоn іѕ due to thе fасt thаt уоur follicles thrіvе оff nutrіеntѕ frоm уоur blооd. Nо nutrіеntѕ to the fоllісlеѕ аnd thеу’ll dіе frоm ѕtаrvаtіоn literally.


  • Diet

Your dіеt is іmроrtаnt for hаіr growth. If you іnсludе thеѕе vitamins and mіnеrаlѕ dаіlу уоu will see faster hair grоwth.

Iron and Zіnс hеlр hаіr follicles tо grow. Irоn аnd/оr zіnс dеfісіеnсу can lеаd tо hаіr lоѕѕ. Hair іѕ рrіmаrіlу composed оf kеrаtіn whісh іѕ рrоtеіn. Yоu саn gеt іrоn and рrоtеіn frоm rеd mеаt, сhісkеn, аnd fіѕh. Yоu саn also get іrоn from spinach аnd other leafy vegetables іnсludіng kаlе. Oуѕtеrѕ аnd pumpkin ѕееdѕ аrе lоаdеd wіth zinc.

Thе truth of thе mаttеr іѕ, hair іѕ a relatively ѕіmрlе entity – though іt doesn’t fееl lіkе that іf you’ve bееn bаttlіng уоur hair type for уоur entire lіfе. Controlling and managing уоur hаіr, аѕ well as gеttіng thоѕе luscious locks you’ve always drеаmеd оf, rеԛuіrеѕ Foligen, attention tо dеtаіl and dіlіgеnсе – but it is possible.

Also, Watch 5 Wonderful Tips to Prevent Unexpected Hair Loss



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18 Feb

February Beauty Finds

Have you ever noticed when you find a beauty product you love nothing similar seems to compare to it? We all have those products. Within the last year, I’ve discovered four in particular that I must have and when I run out, I need more. Some of these products were items that I actually discovered through my Birchbox subscription, but all of them are inexpensive and affordable.

tony moly lip tint
The first must-have that I want to share with you is for the lips. For the longest time, I’ve never really wore lipstick unless it was a fancier event because I would get so tired of have to reapply with every sip of a drink or bite to eat. Well, that has changed. Several months ago I got this tube of red stain by the brand of Tony Moly in my Birchbox. It’s a bright red color and really makes my lips pop. And what’s even better is that I don’t have to worry about food or drink taking it off. The best part is that this Tony Moly Lip Tint is only $6.

My next must-have is my foundation. I tend to have oilier skin which means that what I benefit better than bbput on my skin can make a huge difference. When I was growing up before I knew about stores like Ulta Beauty, I remember trying a lot of the drug store brands and then breaking out. Then after college I discovered CoverFX foundation found at Sephora, which was good for my skin but didn’t spread smoothly. And if I’m paying $40 for a foundation, I want something I’m happy with. So I was at my regular eyebrow appointment at Ulta Beauty and the girl I go to recommended Benefit’s Bigger Than BB Big Easy Cream. It’s just $38. I use the Light/Medium (03) color. It’s oil-free and starts out as a liquid that turns to powder. It has SPF 35 to help prevent aging, balances moisture and controls oil, and also will self-adjust on your skin to your exact shade. I’ve been using this since June and haven’t seen any makeup-causing breakouts.

benefit precisely my browMy third must-have is another Benefit product. Prior to June, I didn’t really include my eyebrows in my makeup routine. I tweezed them myself (which can sometimes be scary especially if you’re a perfectionist like I am). In June, I was introduced to Joanne at Ulta Beauty and made my first appointment there to have my eyebrows waxed and shaped. She did an amazing job and I’ve been going to her once a month ever since. She also introduced me to a product I love. I have been wanting to add my eyebrows into my makeup routine but didn’t want to screw them up. Well actually she introduced me to two products that I use interchangeably. One is Benefit’s Goof-Proof Eyebrow Liner and the other is their Precisely, My Brow Pencil. The only difference between the two is the thickness. Goof-Proof is a thicker pencil. They both are $21 and my color is on the lighter side as a #2 but they go up to #6. This has 12-hour wear and is also waterproof and makes it impossible to mess up your brows.

mally beauty volumizing mascaraThe final must-have I wanted to share with you today is another Birchbox find. It is by Mally Beauty and it’s her Volumizing Mascara. A good mascara is the perfect find. I’ve tried mascaras that seem to clump more than anything or wear off really quickly. Not this one. It’s only $20, so more than your drug-store finds but it’s worth it. I could have gotten this off of Birchbox’s website but for the same price and no shipping, I chose to get it at Ulta Beauty (plus I was able to earn points to being Platinum).

These are some of my favorite beauty essentials that I use everyday. Feel free to share with me on Facebook or on Twitter @thebrynnproject some of your favorite beauty finds.

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16 Jul

Detox & Disconnect at the Four Seasons!

Detox and Disconnect – the Taste of Wellness Package at the Four Seasons Hotel in Westlake Village, California.

Sometimes you’ve just gotta get away. You know? Life can’t just be all about sitting at a computer and making phone calls. But now that we carry our technology with us we can’t really go anywhere and leave the world behind. Even if we’re “off the grid” we’re still stressing about what we’re missing, or should be doing. Except there is one place that helps you put “you” and your health first… and I found it!

The California Health and Longevity Institute at the Four Seasons Hotel is an oasis of first class healthy fabulousness. Yes, that’s a word, and there’s no other word to properly describe this place.

There is everything under the sun at CHLI to help you take care of you in style. You can get anything from a full comprehensive physical, your teeth cleaned, a mammogram, and a massage. You can take cooking lessons in the Wellness Kitchen, or partake in one of the fun “Wine Wednesday” tastings with a variety of wine and food to sample. You can hang out for fitness classes or yoga, or enjoy any of the amazing amenities at the hotel, including the beautiful garden.

To give you a sample of all they have to offer, The Four Seasons Westlake and the CHLI have just launched a program called “Taste of Wellness.” If you just want to spend a few hours getting away and focusing on yourself for a bit – this is for you! Sounds like a great idea to me, so I gave it a try – and here’s my report:

I chose the “Detox and Disconnect” package. The title alone had me intrigued… I definitely need to do both of those things! And don’t we all? I have a healthy diet and lifestyle, but I could really use a detox from all the stresses that have built up. Those things get into your cells and weight a person down. And disconnect? Of course. But possible? Let’s see.

The day started off at noon at the beautiful lobby restaurant. Everything on the menu looks yummy and health, with the healthiest options highlighted to help with your selection. I modified the vegan salad that is made of quinoa and greens – they are very accommodating at the restaurant – and it was absolutely delicious!

Next up, I had a “life strategies” consultation with Dr. Ilana Kukoff. Wonderful conversation with a smart and savvy woman, and I came out smiling and empowered with new ideas and possibilities.

Then, off to the spa where I changed into a comfy robe and slippers and put everything else in my locker. Yep, phone went in there, too! The spa is the most gorgeous spa I’ve been to – and I have been to many spas in my time. There are orchids everywhere – absolutely breathtaking! I spent a few minutes enjoying the “Tranquility Room” before my next appointment with the “SomaDome.”

The SomaDome is really a meditative experience. It looks like an egg shaped, sci-fi lounge chair. You sit inside, pull down the top, and choose a meditation from a number of menu items like “love,” “heal,” “manifest,” and more. Headphones on, a combination of music, sound, and words guide you into a deeply relaxed state. A fan pipes in wonderful oxygenated air whenever you want it. And color light therapy adds to the multi-sensory experience. The whole thing lasted about 20 minutes, but I could have stayed there for hours!

Fully relaxed I was now ready for the “Detox Body Wrap.” Massage Therapist Theresa met me in the Tranquility Room and escorted me over the red bridge into a lovely massage room, complete with a private marble shower. Part I: Full Body Exfoliation with a sugar-ginger-lime scrub that smells so good it could be in a cocktail! Ginger-tini, anyone? There’s definitely some aromatherapy going on with this intoxicating fragrance. Once thoroughly scrubbed I was told to shower off, towel off, and then suit up!

The “suit” in question is a thin white plastic-y material that fits neck to toe, super baggy, and zips up the front. Feet are fully covered, but hands are free. Once zipped up, you get tucked in to a super heated sleeping bag-like blanket to comfortable sweat it out.

While you’re laying there, your body blissfully releasing all those nasty toxins, your friendly massage therapist indulges you in a collagen facial. Yes, please, do take those years off my face! And if that’s not enough, you also get a head and neck massage. Ahhhhh, deep sigh of contentment. I didn’t want to get up off that table. But alas, I was only in for the 50-minute session. There is an optional 80-minute session – I will do that one next time for sure!

While at the spa you can soak in the whirlpool, spend time in the sauna or relax in the steam room. You’re encouraged to take your time and enjoy the amenities. When you’re there, look for me, I’ll definitely be back!

For more details on all the terrific Wellness Packages available at the Four Seasons Westlake Village: www.fourseasons.com/westlakevillage/wellness

To check out all the offerings at the California Health and Longevity Institute:


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01 Jul


An Excerpt from THE ART AND BUSINESS OF TEACHING YOGA by Amy Ippoliti and Taro Smith, PhD


Yoga in America is booming. A 2016 report by Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance reported that 36.7 million people practice yoga, up from 20.4 million in 2012, and 28 percent of all Americans having taken a yoga class at some point in their lives. As a result, the demand for yoga instructors has never been higher and increasing numbers of practitioners are becoming inspired to teach  — a career that can be as challenging as it is fulfilling.


In their new book The Art and Business of Teaching Yoga: The Yoga Professional’s Guide to a Fulfilling Career yoga “teacher of teachers” Amy Ippoliti and wellness entrepreneur Taro Smith, PhD, build on their popular “90 Minutes to Change the World” online course for yoga professionals to offer instructors a road map for creating a career that sustains and inspires not only themselves, but their students as well.


We hope you’ll enjoy this short excerpt from the book, which offers powerful tips for fitting a home yoga practice into your busy schedule, which should prove helpful to both yoga teachers and practitioners alike.


# # #


Have you ever taken a yoga class when you could just tell that the teacher was not into it? Or have you been that teacher? A passionless teacher can’t inspire students. Fortunately, there is a remedy, and that is to get on your own yoga mat and meditation cushion. As the yogini Dana Trixie Flynn puts it, “Just as a concert musician must practice their instrument, a yoga teacher must practice on their mat.”


This doesn’t mean going to a workshop or retreat only once in a while — though that can be nice — and coming back inspired and enthusiastic. This is about continual refueling. It means getting on your yoga mat consistently, at home, in a class, or at a practice for teachers and advanced students.


This may seem obvious, but the majority of teachers we’ve polled complain that their single biggest challenge as a teacher is keeping up their own practice. If this is a problem for you, here are some ideas to get you rolling. If you’re practicing consistently already, you can skim this section, but you might consider helping to uplift the whole teaching community by organizing group practices that help others stay motivated too.


Establish — and Maintain — Your Home Practice

Having a practice of your own can be not only empowering but often incredibly creative and innovative. If you don’t continue to practice regularly in addition to teaching, your only source of inspiration for your teaching is the stale memory of a regular practice. Do whatever it takes to get yourself on your mat five to seven days a week, even if only for a short time. Put on your favorite music first thing in the morning, and get on your mat and just experiment with movement.


Vow to practice at least ten minutes a day, five to seven days a week. By committing to only ten minutes, you avoid putting pressure on yourself, and you’re more likely to stick to the resolution. If you start small, you will find yourself craving more time on the mat.


Create a dedicated space in your home for your practice. This will encourage you to practice at home more often. It doesn’t have to be anything special — and you certainly don’t want to put so much thought into it that the planning process prevents you from rolling out your mat! But when you put just enough energy into a space, it can become magnetic, drawing you onto the mat.


Other tips for practicing consistently and keeping your practice interesting include the following:

  • Go straight from your bed to the mat in the morning
  • Queue up new music to listen to while practicing
  • Attempt a new pose and do a warm-up that gets you there
  • Practice someplace new — in a different room, outside, or even in a hot tub
  • Lay out your mat in an unavoidable space
  • Set a goal for the week, such as a certain number of days on the mat, a certain pose, or more time in a pose
  • Keep an asana and meditation journal to stay accountable to yourself
  • Write down any inspiring sequences you’ve done in other teachers’ classes or practices, and work on them again


# # #


Amy Ippoliti and Taro Smith, PhD are the authors of The Art and Business of Teaching Yoga and founders of the online school 90 Monkeys, which has enhanced the skills of yoga teachers and studios in over 40 countries. Amy is known for bringing yoga to modern-day life in a genuine way and has been featured on the covers of Yoga Journal and Fit Yoga Magazine. Taro is the Chief Content Officer at Yoga Glo and has over two decades of experience developing yoga, medical, and wellness enterprises. They both live in Boulder, Colorado. Visit them online at www.90monkeys.com and www.AmyIppoliti.com.


Excerpted from the book The Art and Business of Teaching Yoga. Copyright © 2016 by Amy Ippoliti and Taro Smith, PhD. Reprinted with permission from New World Library. www.newworldlibrary.com


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18 Jun

My Skincare Struggle

Ever since high school, I have always struggled with acne. Some days and months, it’s more controlled then others. I’ve tried many different products from store-bought to dermatologist prescribed to help keep it more controlled. A lot of them started to work for me and worked for maybe six months, then it’s like my skin got used to it and started producing more oil and caused the products to no longer work. Maybe you’re someone like me who for a long time couldn’t find the right skincare product or maybe your someone who has never really had an issue with acne. Regardless as to which category we fit into, we want to still take care of our skin.

rodan and fields unblemished lotionBecause I fall into the oily skin, acne-prone category, I never used to think I had to moisturize my skin. I thought doing that would make me break out more. To my surprise, it wasn’t that I was using lotion but rather that I was using the wrong kind of product. In this case Olay products for my face caused me to breakout more. One lotion that I’ve been able to use lately that doesn’t make me breakout and also keeps my skin hydrated is from the Rodan & Fields Unblemished line. This lotion is not oil-based, which seems like it might be common sense but when you’re in that constant battle for healthy skin you don’t think about that. You just want to try anything you can to help your skin.

In addition to moisturizer, another important thing you want to do regardless of the type of skin you have, is washingrodan and fields unblemished
your face twice a day. Once in the morning to get rid of the oils that may sitting on your pillowcase and then at the end of the day when you’re cleaning off your makeup or even sweat from your workout. For me, I add a third time to wash my face. I tend to workout after work so I will wash my face before my workout because I don’t want my makeup clogging my pores from the sweat during my exercise routine. For my face wash, I use the entire Rodan & Fields Unblemished regimen so the actual wash is their sulfur wash. This makes my skin feel soft after I use it. One disclaimer I want to make is that the sulfur wash is not a makeup remover so I don’t use it before my workout. I’ll use my Clarisonic with Simple Face Cleanser to remove my makeup. Simple is one of the few drug store face wash that I can say doesn’t make me break out.

contigo water bottleWhat you put on your face is important, but it’s not the only thing we should be considering. First, have you ever thought about how much water you drink during the day? How hydrated you keep yourself affects your skincare. Depends on where you find the resource, you may hear to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day or to drink an ounce of water for each pound that you weigh. So I’ve been making more of a conscious effort to make sure I’m staying hydrated and keeping my skin hydrated in return. I keep a Contigo water bottle with me that I keep refilling and I also will fill it up each night and have it on my nightstand to reach for first thing in the morning.

With that water we drink on a daily basis, what we consume as far as nutrition also affects our skin. I recently took part in a clean eating challenge that a friend who coaches Beachbody started. Now I wasn’t actually using any of the Beachbody challenge packs. Her group was designed for crock pot recipes. That jump started me making sure I’m cutting back on junk food and getting the necessary nutrients. When our body has the nutrients it needs, we don’t crave as much sugar and salt, and we won’t find ourselves mindlessly snacking. Because I wasn’t eating as much of the junk, I noticed another clean eatingdifference in my skin. It was clearing up.

Now right now my skin still isn’t perfect, but it’s healing. It’s not getting worse. If you do decide to follow my footsteps and try Rodan & Fields Unblemished, I want to give one disclaimer that I had to ask my consultant about. This product does help but for me in the first two weeks, my skin got worse. The reason for this is because the product is bringing forth any impurities in our skin so that it can then heal our skin. I started using the product in February 2016 and I see a difference in my breakouts, but also in the tone of my skin as well.

So let’s work to take care of our bodies from the inside out.

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15 Nov

Skincare Tips

Our skincare habits can really say a lot about the way our skin looks. Sometimes if we get stuck in a skincare rut for too long, it won’t work for us anymore. I’ve experienced this quite a bit. I am one of those people “blessed” with oily skin so whether it’s certain foods, certain makeup products, and even certain skincare products, I have to be conscious about what I’m using.

When I was at that age where I first started using makeup, I had this foundation by Covergirl. My face was continuously breaking out and when I was in college I did some research on that foundation to determine it was a product specifically made for people with dry skin….no wonder I was breaking out even more.

Another way I learned to not get stuck in a skincare rut was with a certain skincare product. I used to use the Proactive series. At first, it was great and I really saw a difference in my skin. But guess what? After a while, my skin started to get used to the chemicals/ingredients that are in Proactive and it didn’t work anymore. What I discovered was happening was that every time I washed my face with Proactive it was stripping those oils and then my skin was then replenishing those oil and then some so it was still breaking out.

Our skin can be something that is very temperamental, but if we pay attention to the signs and do research on the products we use then we can embrace the natural glow of our skin and even avoid extra breakouts.

Lately, I’ve become a fan of the Clarisonic brush. I personally have the Mia 3, and it really helps to get deep in your pores whether it’s that morning wash after waking up or at the end of the night when you’re taking makeup off. The Mia 3 has a timer on it so you know you’re giving your skin the royal treatment. Now for some people, just using the brush is enough. For me, I need a good face wash. I go back and forth between two right now. One is a Purity cleanser that came with my brush and the other is an exfoliant by Simple. Both are very affordable and keep my skin clean and smooth.

Now because I have oilier skin, I tend to wash my face a little bit more. I wash it in the morning when I first wake up to get rid of those oils that formed while I was sleeping. I wash it when I get home from work before I go to the gym to remove my makeup and let my skin breath. Then I wash it a third time and that is right after the gym so that I can clear my pores of the sweat from my workout. This works for me to help minimize my breakouts.

Another thing to keep in mind with clear skin is the foods we are eating. I’ll be the first one to say, don’t avoid a food because it’s “not an acne-fighting food”. That’s not what this is about, but instead why not include more of those foods in your diet? I love fruits and many of them contain the right anti-oxidants to be considered super foods. Some of those super foods include strawberries and blueberries, salmon, kale, cocoa powder, and chia seeds. These are all things to satisfy nutrients our body needs and delicious as well.

The last point that I want say is that your skincare routine is YOUR skincare routine. What works for someone else may not work for you. What your favorite celebrity uses for that ritual may not be what you should use. Just remember to do your research about products and listen to how your skin responds to the skincare products that you try.

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12 Feb

Valentine’s Day

Mon Amie


I hear you loud and clear ladies, trust me! 

Valentine’s Day is coming soon and we all feel the cringe. Whether you have a special person in your life or not, the day can definitely be cringe worthy. This year I decided to dedicate my Valentine post to my single girlfriends! If you have any single girlfriends, how about you acknowledge them?! They are the ones who listen to you repeat yourself constantly and pick you up when you fall down. Let’s make them feel special and send them a Valentine. A card, candy, movie passes or a beautiful orchid would be a lovely gesture. If you are on Facebook, they make it really easy to send anyone anything ‚¬Â¦ that Zuckerberg is a clever guy! I used Facebook to send a girlfriend cookies last year. The tiniest of gestures will make your friend’s day! I remember last year my best friend who happens to be my sister-in-law sent me flowers, it truly made my day! This year let’s try to make a friend who is Valentine-less feel special. It’s important to be a rainbow in someone else’s clouds! Lastly, let’s make every day Valentine’s day by spreading love.

Pssst ‚¬Â¦ for any dudes reading this, if you want to acknowledge the day ‚¬Â¦ stop over thinking it and just send flowers! #thatisall

~Kisses House of Squirrels

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31 Dec

New Year’s Eve Glamour

Happy New Year’s Eve!! Tonight is a time to embrace that holiday
glamour one last time. It’s a time to dress up in our glitter and
sparkles without feeling over the top, but what’s even more important
then the outfit we choose is the fine tuning that beauty routine so
that every blemish and hair is properly controlled. As we are in the
thick of the winter season this can seem a little tougher with the
dryer air, but I chatted with beauty and fashion expert, Rebekah
George, for some winter beauty advice.

Rebekah has been a national beauty, fashion, and healthy lifestyle
expert for over a decade. She has made special appearances on The
Doctor’s, Inside Edition, and The Early Show. You may also recognize
Rebekah as host of Total Look on www.totalbeauty.com.

To help you find that last minute New Year’s Eve look and carry
that beauty into 2015, let’s start from the inside out. After all,
this time of year we are started to see our skin looking a little dry
and brittle. While many of us will choose to moisturize with that
lotion, another thing to think about are vitamins. Nature’s
Bounty Optimal Solutions Extra Strength Hair, Skin, & Nails Soft
are the first to contain argan oil, antioxidants, and
hyloronic acid to help you maintain the health of your hair, skin,
and nails. Plus, if you’re someone who doesn’t like swallowing those
big pills, they come in gummies as well. What makes this vitamin
even better is their guarantee that you will see a difference in your
hair, skin, and nail health. They offer a 30 day money back
guarantee. If you take the challenge to try these vitamins for 30
days and don’t see results, then you can get your money back.

Now your beauty routine won’t be saved with just one effort, so
once you have your system down with the vitamins it’s time to move to
your topical skin treatment. Olay has a couple of new products to
help tame those wrinkles and/or blemishes.

  • The Olay ProX Advanced Cleansing System is a beauty cult favorite. It is designed to professionally deep
    clean your skin. So at the end of the night tonight or even as your
    are taking off your makeup from work to get ready for New Year’s
    Eve, you can feel confident that you will get it all of and let your
    skin breath.

  • The Olay
    Regenerist Instant Fix Wrinkle and Pore Vanisher
    another beauty cult favorite. This is part of their Regenerist
    Instant Fix Collection and is designed to get your picture ready for
    all of those photo ops. The wrinkle and pore vanisher fills in fine
    lines and wrinkles to help your skin feel and look velvety smooth.
    This is a product to carry into 2015 and get your skin glowing all
    year round.

The final beauty tip that we have to help you ring in a fabulous
beauty New Year is all about that fragrance. Whether you have a date
for New Year’s or you’re ringing in the night with a group of
friends, you want to have a scent that says classy, sexy, and you. Elizabeth Taylor’s White Diamonds Lustreis just that. It’s a sheer floral fragrance that invokes femininity
with a timely glamour. The scent features notes of juicy mandarin and
pear topped with Elizabeth’s favorite flower, the Narcissus.

As you’re looking for those
perfect winter scents you want to search for something with a heavier
note, but also keep in mind for those fragrances that are great year
round. The White Diamonds Lustre is just that. The notes aren’t too
heavy or light making it perfect for each season.

Plus, with each purchase of
Elizabeth Taylor’s White Diamonds Lustre, you are helping her
commitment to HIV/AIDS. A portion of the sales from White Diamonds
and her other fragrances have been directed to go to the HIV/AIDS

So take the time to get your hair, skin, and nails looking and
feeling perfect. Make sure that as you’re welcoming in 2015, you are
setting yourself up for a happy, positive, and beautiful New Year.   

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