2016

Growing up I had always heard people say that the older you get the faster time flies. I’m finally beginning to see that it’s true. Now I normally don’t do New Years resolutions, but this year I told myself that my only goal would be to take better care of myself emotionally and physically.

This meant getting rid of toxic people, focusing on school, following my passion for writing, working out, eating cleaner and drinking less…all while working a full-time job.

In the mood to quit the bad habits cold turkey, I kicked off the year by participating in dry January. A whole month with absolutely no booze. I don’t crave a drink everyday, but I did find myself getting off of work stressed and craving my go-to gin and tonic quite a bit more during January.  By the end of my dry January run I didn’t notice a significant difference health wise or energy wise, which was kind of disappointing. However, I did save a good amount of money and my liver was probably happy. On February 1 I had two Hendrick’s gin and tonics. January taught me that (almost) everything is fine in moderation.

“I love Jesus, but I drink a little”. – Gladys Hardy

February was the month that I focused on my emotional health, which directly tied into every other aspect of my life. Having had gone through a tough breakup at the end of 2014, I felt somewhat lonely, lost and unhealthy. Determined to make a change I kicked my horrible eating habits to the curb. Working 30+ hours a week and going to school made it easy for me to grab fast food during my daily breaks, eliminating the stress of having to grocery shop and cook. This horrible habit was making me look and feel like shit, but the thought of cooking terrified me. Through trial and error I eventually learned how to make quick and healthy meals. I found it so much more satisfying to eat a meal that I prepared myself with quality ingredients over processed drive-thru garbage. As a result I was beginning to look and feel healthier.

I will never be the girl who wakes up at 5 am to go for a run followed by a cold pressed juice. It’s just not who I am. Once upon a time I thought it would be a great idea to run 2.5 miles to a juice shop near the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica and run back after I had finished my delicious juice by the beach. It was early and the scorching sun was beaming down on me with every miserable step I took. By the time I reached the juice shop I felt like I was going to die.  I ordered something called a hangover helper and took an Uber black back. As I sat in my air conditioned Uber with my juice realizing that running was NOT my thing, AND THAT WAS OKAY. Find ways to stay healthy that make you happy.

I will also never be that girl who snapchats her daily gym sessions and shows up in a matching sports bra and yoga pants, hair perfectly done in two French braids. Just like cooking, finding a workout routine that worked for me took a lot of trial and error. I tried a plethora of classes and routines, but I hated them all. I went through a personal trainer and two different gym memberships, hating it all. Then I discovered the magic of yoga and YouTube. Most of my workouts consist of me dancing along to a YouTube choreography video or following 45 minutes of yoga in my living room. This works for me because I can roll out of bed and make a fool of myself in my oversized mens t-shirt and sweats without anyone watching me. Just because you hate going to the gym doesn’t mean you can’t workout or be fit. Try different things and find what works for you.

In the last 2-ish months I have almost become a new person. I wasn’t afraid to go after what I wanted and I was beginning to regain my confidence back. What helped me the most was that I FINALLY stopped focusing on what I DIDN’T want and started focusing on what I DID want. It’s so easy for us to focus on our problems which in return end up attracting more negativity. While eating healthy and working out are great for you, a positive attitude is the key to overall happiness and emotional/physical health. Cheers to a positive 2016 for anyone reading this and remember to smile at strangers, be nice to people and focus on the good.

-M

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Robert M. Drake
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July Favorites

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July was a crazy month for me. I felt like I was all over the place, and slept a total of 20 hours all month. Between running around Santa Monica, running late to work, and gallivanting through Vegas, these were my July favs.

Felix Cartal Weekend Workout
I have been on a fitness kick all month-long, surprisingly. I am trying to get back to my goal weight, change my eating habits, and workout more. I do a lot of cardio, and I’m on the treadmill for up to an hour or more. Being the clutz that I am, I avoid messing with my phone as much as I can. My trying to tweet or search songs on Spotify always results in my phone falling and flying 7 feet into the row behind me. I like to have a gym playlist ready, but I get so sick of the same songs week after week. Felix Cartal’s Weekend Workout is the perfect length and vibe for my morning or late night gym sessions. Nine times out of ten, the latest mix is playing on my phone, and it always puts me in the best mood. This is also a great way to discover some dope tracks. His Weekend Workout is available for listening/download via his soundcloud.


Starbucks Iced Coffee: Lightly Sweetened 
I absolutely do NOT have the time to sit in a 15 minute drive-thru for Starbucks before work. I have absolutely NO desire to put on pants and go to Starbucks on a hung over Wednesday Saturday morning. Always running late, per usual, Starbucks pre made Iced Coffee (lightly sweetened) is a lifesaver. This isn’t for the coffee purist. This is for the 20-30 something in a rush with a need for a caffeine fix. I like mine with plenty of ice and a splash of unsweetened coconut milk. It’s not too sweet, and a container will last me about 5 days. The average price I’ve paid is about $4.99. This is actually a steal considering a venti iced coffee usually runs around $3.00.


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You have no idea how many compliments I have received on these sunglasses. I’ve grown so fond of them that I have 3 backup pairs. These aren’t the best quality, obvi Forever 21, but they look great. I was drawn to these immediately because they reminded me of a pair I had remembered seeing in Alberta Ferretti Spring/Summer 2014 (pictured to the right). The blue-tinted lens is completely opaque, which is perfect to hide my late night/early morning eye bags. These are especially great for Vegas pool parties. Wear them worry free to Encore Beach Club without the fear of losing your favorite designer pair. They wear comfortably for hours, and for the price, you’d be crazy not to buy a pair…or three.


Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation Moisturizer
Ole Henriksen is one of my favorite skin care lines, and this moisturizer doesn’t disappoint. Some things I’ve noticed after using this moisturizer the whole month of July are a visibly brighter skin tone and a more even complexion.The texture is similar to Clinique’s Dramatically Different moisturizer without the oily feel of the Clinique DDM. My sensitive skin reacted perfectly to this moisturizer, and I have had no problems with any breakouts all of July. One of my favorite things about the Ole Henriksen line is the availability of different sizes for all of their products. I hate spending $40 plus on a product and hating it. While Sephora has a great return policy, it’s just a pain in the a$$ having to return anything. For $14 you can the .5 ounce size moisturizer and see how it works for you. I 100% plan to integrate this product into my regular skin care regimen.


Honorable Mention: Gel Manicure. Honestly, who has the time to sit and paint their nails, and let them dry? Not me. I’m rough on my hands, and not having to worry about chipped nail polish for 10-14 days for under $20 is ideal. Where have you been all of my life gel manis?

-M

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