Month: July 2014

Homemade Acai Bowls

I guess I have writer’s block this morning because I can’t think of much to say for this post. The best thing I can think of at the moment is something along the lines of “Acai bowls: they’re totally awesome…amiright?” Anyway, Kirby and I love acai bowls but during the week we don’t always have the time (or the money) to go buy them. I tried making them a couple times and didn’t like the results, but then I finally landed on this version and now I’m addicted. I love it because you can mix it up and add whatever toppings you want that day. Most places we go usually just do granola (which unless it’s gluten-free we can’t eat anymore), banana, and strawberries. It’s nice to be able to make it as fancy (or simple) as you would like, so I encourage you to get creative with it. DSC02896 Ingredients:

serves 2

For the Acai

1 Cup frozen strawberries

1 Cup frozen cherries

1/2 Cup almond milk (or more depending on how thick you like it)

1 1/2 Tablespoons Acai Powder (Find at any healthy food store)

For the toppings:

Like I said you can do anything! Here are some that we like…

Chopped nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts)

shredded coconut

raw organic honey

fruit (peaches, bananas, kiwi, etc.)

berries

chia seeds

granola

peanut butter or almond butter (sounds strange but it’s delicious!)

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Directions

In a high-powered blender, add frozen berries, almond milk, and acai powder. Blend until smooth and add small amounts of almond milk until it reaches desired consistency.

Place mixture in bowl and add toppings. You’re done!

DSC02906 DSC02908 I hope you guys enjoy this! You should definitely try making it sometime soon :) Now I’m off to the dog park/yoga/library. I hope you have an awesome day!

 

xo,

Em

Attempting to Be a Master Partner

blog Anthony and I have moved into our new place and are trying to get settled. It’s been a huge transition, especially for him.

I’ve moved around so much over the past few years and have lived with a random variety of people. He has lived with his best friends for about 3 years, in the same area.

To him this is an end of an era. They all get along so unbelievably well and it was always so easy to find someone to hang out with. They have about 345,894 inside jokes and just love each other to death.

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Standing with their respective flags and killing me with those poses….

 

So moving isn’t easy to begin with, and now we’ve got the emotionally draining part added in.

Now that we have the keys and all of our stuff in the place, I realized that we have two different approaches to the settling in process:

Anthony = let’s get everything done now. Let’s do all of the projects we have on our list, lets unpack everything, and just be done so we can move on and not worry about it anymore.

Me = things are functional now and we can live normally. But I want to take my time and slowly chip away at projects so I can relax and think about how I want things to be organized. If boxes are lying around still, so what? The moving in process could take a while.

We are both exhausted from moving in and cleaning the old place, so I was desperate to get back to coming home from work and getting other things done. Like, ahem, Monday Memoirs…. or watching an entire season of Orange is the New Black in one sitting. But he was telling me that he couldn’t get back to normal life until he felt like the house was the way it supposed to be – everything in its place, no boxes lying around – just completely settled in. It was totally stressing him out to have things feel chaotic.

I was about to say, look, I can’t deal with this- the house is just going to have to wait for a while. I’m tired after work and I want to focus on other stuff. But when I mentioned it to my oh-so-wise older sister, she reminded me that this is a tough time for Anthony. It’s a big transition. And by the way, when I am super hormonal I’m pretty sure I ask him to bear with me when I’m dealing with shit. Like, “What?? So I’m crying over my In n’ Out and I have no idea why. Just go get me a beer and tell me I’m pretty and let me get snot and mascara all over your shirt.”

Is it too much to ask for me to just suck it up and get on board? This seems to be what he needs right now. Just a big push to get everything in the house really looking finished. Ya, it takes a lot of work, especially since I want to go to an hour and a half yoga class and work on the blog after working full time. But guess what: He’s the priority. I’m not gonna let myself go insane or completely throw out any idea of self-care, but I can work hard to make him happy.

So Mary suggested I make a schedule to make sure we are on the same page and he feels supported. This is how this works. We’re in the big(ger) leagues now. As the affidavit for domestic partner benefits said, we are “fully committed and plan to live with each other indefinitely” (how random is that – that I just have to sign a paper saying that and he gets my work benefits? Never mind, I won’t ask questions – I’m just grateful). Anyway, it’s serious so that means I need to seriously step up during times like this.

Mary also sent me this article which is a great read. It talks about research done on successful and unsuccessful couples and why they failed or flourished. They call the successful couples “masters” and the others “disasters”. Haha. Great if you are in a relationship and want to get some perspective; it makes you really think of your relationship in terms of the long run and how to keep things happy and successful for years to come.

Here’s to trying to be a “master” partner, whether you are still looking for one or already have yours. <3

xo Stephanie

 

 

What To Do if You Have Depression

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A few months back I did one of the scariest things I’ve ever done; I admitted to you guys that I struggle with depression. I have always felt embarrassed by my depression because it makes me feel weak and like I should have figured out how to deal with it by now. I was worried that if people found out about my depression they would think less of me and form negative opinions about me. I was so surprised by the reaction that my post received, and it made me feel so blessed to be surrounded by so many wonderful and supportive people. I immediately started getting private messages from readers and friends telling me how they could personally relate because either them, a friend, or close family member struggles with depression too. As sad as it made me to know how many other people deal with the same  issues I do, it also helped me to realize I am not alone and that I am not crazy or weak. I was proud of myself for taking a little leap of faith and opening up about my personal life. We share a lot of fun things on this blog from recipes to outfit posts, but from the beginning Steph and I made the decision to keep this blog real. It has made us both feel better on multiple occassions to open up about things we have been struggling with. Even if we don’t get a response from people, it still feels freeing to put our experiences and emotions out there.

After my last post many people asked me for advice on how I deal with my depression. Now, that sounds easy enough, however I was worried about writing this post because I know everyone is different. Just because something has worked for me doesn’t mean it will work for everyone (or anyone!) else. Also, I felt a little apprehensive about giving advice because I’m still trying to figure this out myself! I know it will probably be a lifelong journey. I still have days where the only thing I can do is lay in bed and sleep it off.

I decided I would write this despite my concerns because if it helps even just one person it will be a win in my book. Also, it helps to remind me how hard I have worked to take care of myself. If you don’t have depression, I still urge you to read on. Why? Because I guarantee you that if you don’t know someone with it now, you will in the future. This will help to show you that it isn’t just us having a bad attitude or not pulling ourselves up by our boot straps. It is such a challenge to deal with depression, and if nothing else maybe this will help you to understand what it’s like to live with it.

  1. Don’t be afraid to admit it. Tell someone, anyone, and don’t be ashamed. You can read my first post about how it’s not your fault.

2. Ask to get your vitamin levels tested, your hormone levels tested, and your thyroid levels tested.

If your body chemistry is off somehow, that could be a major part of why you’re feeling crummy. After getting all of the above tested, my doctor realized I was very low in multiple vitamins and that I was severely anemic. It helped immensely to get certain vitamin levels up. No wonder I had no energy! It also helped to show me that I wasn’t just a lazy sloth; there was a legitimate reason why I wasn’t wanting to get out of bed. You might find out a major piece of your puzzle.

3. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t let anyone make you feel like you’re crazy.

You know yourself the best, so don’t settle on anything until it feels right. Just because one doctor doesn’t find anything wrong or simply wants to put you on antidepressants doesn’t mean they’re right. You have to be an advocate for yourself and keep pursuing answers. I went to many doctors until I found one who I felt understood me and who had an approach that I felt comfortable with.

4. Think about natural alternatives.

Even if you’re following a conventional approach, it can never hurt to add in some natural remedies into the mix. Talk to your doctor of course, but think about doing things like getting exercise, eating regular meals, and taking vitamin supplements.

I am NOT saying to not consult your regular doctor. Absolutely do. Please. However, along with that, I recommend going at this from all angles. After meeting with a naturopath, his suggestions of changing my diet, getting good sleep, hydrating, taking vitamins and exercising all had a major impact on how I felt.

5. Tell people you need help. Ask a friend to come over and take you to lunch. Don’t feel silly, stupid or weak.

I never wanted to ask for help because I felt like I should be able to do everything for myself. However, once I learned it was okay to ask the people who love me for a little extra support, it helped so much. I can’t tell you how much it helped to have family or friends bring me food or just come over and be with me.

6. Give yourself a break. Tomorrow is a new day.

It’s okay to have an off day. Sleep it off, watch a movie, do what you need to do to recharge. Just remember that tomorrow is a fresh start.

7. Take care of your basic needs, and if it’s too hard to do that, ask for help. It makes it worse to not be eating healthy regular meals, getting good sleep or drinking enough water. 

When you’re struggling with depression, sometimes these things are so hard to do! There have been times when making myself lunch and taking a shower might as well have been a hike to the top of Mount Everest. If you can’t do them yourself, refer to #5 and ask for help. If you’re not eating well and taking care of the basics, it will make your struggle all that much harder.

8. Get moving and get some fresh air. Even if you just sit on your doorstep and look at the sky

Once I got a dog I realized how important this is. I would go days staying inside without even opening my windows. Now, even just stepping out into the fresh air and sunshine to take Cooper to the bathroom picks up my mood. If you don’t have a dog and can’t get yourself to go on a walk, at least open a window and take a moment to consciously take in the outdoors and breathe in the fresh air.

9. Take a shower, do your hair, get dressed

I know, it seems impossible sometimes. It has been a complete game changer for me some days to do my hair and put on a cute outfit. Even if I have no where to go, it makes me feel like I did something good for myself, and I just feel so much better. Staying in pajamas all day is a serious downer.

10. Keep pursuing ways of feeling better. Don’t give up.

It’s so hard to keep going sometimes. I get so frustrated with myself and just start reverting back to thinking it’s all my fault and I’m just not trying hard enough. This is not true. Things will get better and you just have to figure out what works for you!

I hope this helps. Again, I know that just because something works for me doesn’t mean it will work for other people. Please let me know if you have any questions :)

xo,

Emily

All-Natural Summer Beauty Essentials

Wedding Vows Header_0020 I LOVE summer, but it can definitely get annoying sometimes. Don’t get me wrong; everything about this season is pretty perfect. The longer days, the fruity drinks, the warmer temps… we look forward to it all year. But the frizzy hair, dry skin, and sunburns? Not so fun. Don’t worry though, I’m here to help! As you know, I grew up along the California coast enjoying long days at the beach and pool (I was also a lifeguard for 8 years) so I feel like I’ve learned what works in terms of skin care and sun safety during these balmy months. Also, being green and using clean products is soooo important to me, so rest assured that these products are all safe for both you and our beautiful mother earth :) So without further adieu, my all-natural summer beauty essentials:

1. Big sun hat with a wide rim:  I’m sure you don’t want to hear from another person about how important sun protection is, but you don’t want to look back on these days of lounging at the beach and by the pool and wish you had covered up! Get a pretty sun hat that you’re excited to wear, and then it’ll be more fun. Lucky for us, it’s in style to wear these giant sun hats. I love this one from Target:

Target Hat

2. Cute Sunglasses: Next up is pretty sunnies to protect those gorgeous peepers of yours. It’s just as important as protecting your skin! I’m coveting these turquoise ones made by TOMS, but Target has more affordable options :)

Teal Tom's Sunglasses From Target: Target Sunglasses 3. I recently rediscovered some vintage scarves that my grandma had passed down to me, and they became one of my favorite ways to get my hair out of my face on a hot day. I found these at target and loved the colorful and playful prints. There are so many ways to use them- get creative and have fun! If you dye your hair they also protect your color from the sun.
Floral scarf target

Lobster scarf target

 

 

 

 

4. Nature’s Gate Aqua Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Suncreen: Good for when you’re wanting to frolic around in the waves. My hubby uses it for while he’s surfing and I love it for beach days and stand up paddling. It stays put after being in the water much better than other all-natural sunscreens we’ve tried.

5. Kiss My Face Face Factor, Face & Neck Sunscreen SPF 50: The perfect all-natural sunscreen that doesn’t make you break out or leave your skin feeling greasy.

6. Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Repair CC Cream: Okay, I LOVE this stuff. It has seriously improved my complexion and makes my skin look pretty while it’s working it’s magic. It’s a very clean product and it protects you from environmental factors and the sun’s harmful rays. It doesn’t feel like you’re wearing sunscreen at all, though! This is my favorite product on this list. It’s a little pricey, but I’ve been using the same bottle forever. A little bit goes a long way with this stuff :)

7. Acure Facial Toner: For those extra hot days when you’re skin is feeling a little slick.

8. Acure Seriously Firming Facial Serum My skin tends to get dry in the summer, especially after exposing it to sun, salt water and chlorine. I use this at night and I wake up with pretty glowy skin.

9. Clarisonic Cleansing Brush: This is definitely a spurge, but I’ve had it for years and I still love it. It helps to deep clean and get rid of flakiness. I’m absolutely in love! clarisonic

 

 

10. Acure Sensitive Facial Cleanser: Works perfectly with the Clarisonic and makes my skin feel really clean without stripping it of it’s natural oils and drying it out.

There you go, my friends! Those are my go-to’s for these warm summer months. What are your must-haves? Are you thinking about switching over to all-natural products?

Now go out and enjoy this weather!

 

xo,

Emily

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