Zen at Work

Work is the leading cause of stress for most of us, and unwinding can be difficult, especially when dealing with deadlines or difficult people. By infusing a little bit of Zen into your workday, though, you’ll be able to handle the tough stuff with ease!  Here are a few tricks…

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Breathe: Don’t take the little things for granted! Focusing on your breathing can slow your heart rate, blood pressure, and anxiety. When you inhale, lengthen up your spine and through the neck, up to the top of your head. Take a long exhale, softening your chest, and then settle into your body again. Allow gravity to drop your shoulders and jaw. Remind yourself what time it is. The date. Your exact location and your immediate goals. How do you feel? Hopefully much more relaxed already.

Stretch: Mid-day meditation alone isn’t helping? Or maybe it did, but then came the dinner rush or a boss wanting TPS reports, and now you’re stressed again. Steal five minutes of company time— take a walk around the block, or hide behind the Dumpster, and roll out your neck and shoulders. Shake the aches out of your limbs. Whatever stretch you think will feel good. Stretching increases blood flow to your muscles and can fend off aches later in the day. If you can, do some jumping jacks, get some endorphins going. It may not feel very zen but you’ll be in too good of a mood to mind.

Clean: A clean workspace can go a long way toward soothing your mind. With less clutter, your brain is focusing on less, and that enables you to work better on your primary focus.

Treat Yourself: Treat yo’self! Having a square of dark chocolate in your desk drawer can do wonders for your peace of mind. I
always break my work into short increments and then reward myself with something that isn’t that time-consuming, like checking {blending beautiful} for a new update :)

Just remember that you are in control of your mood. Difficult people will always be around and work may always be stressful! However, by focusing on the positives and adding a little “Om” to your life, your mind will be at ease everywhere! (Cubicles included.)

Does your job stress you out?  What do you do to de-stress at work?  Have you tried any of these tricks?  Share in the comments!

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POLL: Would You Take a Houseboat Vacation?

I’m doing a hair and makeup trial this morning for a gorgeous boho bride who will spend the morning of her wedding getting ready  on a vintage houseboat.  I was shocked to hear this, at first— I pictured a tiny, rickety old jalopy.  But she sent me photos and I was stunned by how beautiful it looks!

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I did a little digging and found these other jaw-dropping houseboat photos…

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I’m starting to think that renting a houseboat would make a vacation to any coastal town infinitely cooler.  Picture visiting San Francisco: you can enjoy the hustle and bustle of the city all day, and in the evenings you can retire to your little getaway, docked at the pier.  Are you into the idea?



Would you stay in a houseboat instead of a hotel?  Did you realize how beautiful some of them can be?!  Any other unconventional accommodations you’d like to try?  Share in the comments!

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Have A Romantic Weekend!

Romance is in the air this weekend, my sweets! On Saturday, I get to spend the day doing hair and makeup for a beautiful bride, her family, and friends. Then Sunday is the season finale of The Bachelorette. My girlfriend and I get together every week to watch, and we’re planning on celebrating with champagne and treats. (Team Jef!)

But before we get to all that, let’s kick off the weekend with some fun links from around the web…

These beautiful citrus & mint ice cubes are perfect for summer, don’t you think?

An easy trick to make lipstick last.

How to tie dye with a sharpie!

I love Peter Pan collars.

A gorgeous white loft.  (That dining room table!)

There’s something so fun about super-bright earrings

An easy hair bow!

So many pretty nail ideas.

And a few {bb} posts you may have missed…

Five things you didn’t know about being engaged.

Get these hot heel looks for less!

How to design your own graphic tee at home…

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What to Do When You Need a Vacation From Your Vacation

Isn’t it ironic that a vacation, while meant to be a relaxing escape from the realities of our lives, can actually leave us feeling exhausted?

Sure, vacations are relaxing because you have a reason to ignore your email, sleep in (or stay up until the wee hours), and to cut yourself some slack on eating healthy. Pasta, bread, and fried calamari?  Sure, why not?

But with prepping and packing for a trip, airplane travel and flight delays, and going from dinner to parties to activities on repeat, our bodies start craving some major downtime and rejuvenation.

This all, of course, depends on your vacation. If you go on a low-key family trip you may actually get some rest. But if, say, you go to Vegas with friends (like I recently did), you’ll have a very different version of relaxation (i.e. little sleep and lots of play) and may really need a vacation from your vacation!

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A couple weeks ago, I showed you some beach savvy beauty looks, and now, here are some ways to take a breather and recoup from lots of fun and sun.

If you’ve been in the sun, sand, and heat (and especially if you’ve been staying up late too), your skin needs some major TLC.

1. Slather on Fresh’s Seaberry Body Cream for serious hydration. Plus, it smells like a luxurious spa treatment (no joke) so you’ll feel swept away, even if only for a few moments, to a tranquil place.

2. For tired, puffy eyes from one too many late nights, use Origins’ No Puffery Cooling Mask for ten minutes underneath your eyes and then rinse off. The cooling sensation will soothe the oh-so-delicate skin beneath your eyes, especially after long days in the sun and/or long nights at the club.

3. To wake yourself up in the morning, spritz on Caudalie’s Beauty Elxir for instant rejuvenation. It’s a mist of essential oils and botanicals that soothes skin, tightens pores, and feels absolutely refreshing. You can even spray it on over your makeup!

Now that you’ve cooled down and hydrated, pamper yourself by exfoliating with a sleep-inducing lavender essential oil scrub, using a thirst-quenching face mask and giving yourself a mani-pedi in a bright color. (I love this neon orange by Zoya.)

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Go a step further by taking a night or day off from your busy life to snuggle up with a good book, catch up with an old friend, and get some long-overdue shuteye. Anything that puts your body in a state of true relaxation will do wonders for your mood and productivity.

Now, sit back and breathe of sigh of restful relief. Your next vacation awaits and you’re (almost) ready to roll again!

What do you like to do to recover from a fun, but tiring vacation? Do you have any favorite after-sun remedies? Do tell!

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On Book Clubs…

A few months ago, a friend invited me to join her book club here in the city.  After graduating college, I had been hoping to join one— I love to read, but I never make enough time for it, and I thought a book club would help keep me reading new books.  Little did I know just how AWESOME it truly is!

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The book club serves its original purpose: I am definitely reading more.  We meet every 4-6 weeks and this month we’re reading a memoir called Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman, which I highly recommend.  But I’m finding that there’s so much more to book clubs than just the reading.

I love the ladies in my group, and I adore the monthly ritual of getting together and enjoying dinner (or appetizers, or brunch) and chatting about everything from relationships to pap smears (and, oh yeah— the books!)

I’d encourage all of you to try creating a book club of your own, or if your interests lie somewhere else, start a sewing club or a baking swap.  Make the time for yourself to spend one evening a month with a group of gals, and I guarantee you’ll be hooked.

Are you part of a book club?  Have you thought about starting a different type of club?  What about a couple’s book club with women & men?  What are you reading at the moment?  Share your thoughts in the comments!

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