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    Everything I Want to Buy After Binging ‘Emily in Paris’

    A few months ago, I wrote about my current fashion muse and the joys of having a fictional character that inspires you to get out of your comfort zone with your wardrobe. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it has you throwing your plain, grey sweaters aside and filling your cart up with pieces you never knew you’d touch.To absolutely everyone’s surprise, 2020 just delivered us something we didn’t know we needed, yet another fictional fashion icon: Emily, from Netflix’s new Emily in Paris. Played by the fabulous Lily Collins, as our Graphic Designer Kelly said in our weekly meeting yesterday, “She just makes you want to embrace maximalism.” Not only are her outfits made impeccable by the addition of the backdrop of Paris, but they all have the je ne sai quoi of looking like she effortless threw five different colors and patterns onto her body—and more often than not, topped it off with a wild hat—and they somehow just worked. 
    After binging the series in one weekend (naturally), our carts are full of eclectic, out-of-the-box pieces that are, quite frankly, exactly what we need to get out of our quarantine slumps. Get ready for some bright colors, a lot of prints, and hell, even a beret or two.

    Source: Netflix

    Wool Blend Beret

    Emily rarely leaves her apartment without some form of a hat (often a bucket hat, but I’m choosing to respectfully ignore that), and the standout was, by far and large, her series of berets. I bought a beret last year and wore it endlessly throughout winter, and Emily encouraged me to pick up another one to wear this year. Trust me: it’ll make you forget about your collection of pom hats.

    Knit Houndstooth Cardigan

    A good houndstooth makes an appearance a million times in this show, and this cardigan with gold detailing fits the Parisian-chic bill.

    Source: Netflix

    Arin Bouclé Trench Coat

    One of my favorite looks of the series is a quick scene (where Emily meets Camille, who is also a font of chic style inspo), but the coat is perfection. I haven’t loved a bold coat this much since my J.Crew obsession in 2008, but if I’ve learned anything from “Emily in Paris,” it’s that I should work some bright color back in my wardrobe.

    Jeffrey Campbell
    Bourdin Mary Jane Pump

    Emily basically wears only heels throughout the entire series, which in addition to giving me extreme anxiety because she is indeed wearing them on cobblestone streets, inspired me to be more daring about my footwear choices. These Mary Jane pumps combined with tights, a skirt, and a jacket are the makings of a perfectly Parisian look to wear all winter long.

    Faux Fur Jacket

    Emily’s coats are abundant and all statement-making, and I’d confidently state on the record that nothing is more statement-making than a hot pink fur coat.

    Source: Netflix

    Double Breasted Suit Jacket

    While I’m not going to be trotting out any crop tops to work, I do love the myriad of jackets and blazers Emily tosses over them.

    Silky Scarf

    One of the best parts of Emily’s style is that it feels true to what an American girl would wear in Paris (bonjour berets!), and the scarves are no exception. I love how she pairs them under cardigans and jackets for a silky pop of texture.

    Source: Netflix

    Wool-Blend Shacket

    At Emily’s influencer lunch, she wears a green Chanel jacket that, quite literally, took my breath away. Everything from the tailoring to the color was sheer perfection, and while this jacket is slightly more muted than hers was, the structure and pockets are nearly identical—and you don’t need to shop vintage Chanel to own it.

    Textured-Weave Jacket

    Emily wears a tweed jacket (or 10) throughout the series, and it got me thinking “Why do I have absolutely nothing made out of this incredibly chic material” and googled tweed jackets for hours after. This textured jacket screams Emily—especially paired with a mini skirt and heel.

    Source: Netflix

    Houndstooth Tweed Bomber Jacket

    There are several memorable houndstooth moments throughout the series, and it has completely reignited my love of the fabric. This bomber is the perfect mix of classic and trendy—pair with a bright dress or a complimenting pattern for an Emily-approved look.

    Quilted Chain Bag

    Emily has a series of impeccable Chanel bags to match every outfit, and while we aren’t all on a Chanel budget, we can emulate the classic bags with this (much, much, much) less expensive option. Its quilted details and gold hardware will give you the same feel of classic femininity that Emily’s bag collection gives her.

    Source: Netflix

    Jacquard-Knit Cardigan

    A wild print? That’s what Emily lives for (not to mention that H&M literally styled this with a collared shirt and plaid skirt—which is arguably exactly how she’d wear it).

    Source: Netflix

    Ruffled Cotton Blouse

    I was so into the extraordinarily ruffled shirt Emily dons to hide her outrageous hickey that I immediately bought this top. I can’t wait to pair it with that houndstooth bomber or a classic plaid blazer.

    Collared Pearl Sweater

    One of the most joyous things about this series for me was the excessive amount of statement collars that Emily wore—and what makes a collar a statement more than some pearl embellishments? Emily would approve on all fronts.

    Colburne Colorblock Coziest Textured Yarn Cardigan Sweater

    When I wasn’t busy falling for Gabriel, I was falling for all the cardigans Emily is running around in (the girl changes outfits on this show at the drop of a bucket hat). The color-blocking of this one is perfect. Throw on a scarf and you’re good to go.


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    The Stay-At-Home Habits That Have Actually Made Me Healthier

    Yes, there are those stay-at-home habits many of us have picked up throughout 2020 that might not be the healthiest, like eating frozen pizzas every other night or staying on the couch until we’ve binged all three seasons of Selling Sunset (no, just me?). You might have given up on a workout routine the second your gym closed and stopped prioritizing healthy eating because you’ve been dealing with a dangerous combination of high-stress, lack of normalcy, and the Doritos bag on top of the fridge staring at you 24/7. You probably picked up the mentality way back in March that normal life is on pause, so who cares if you forego healthy habits?But the reality is that life is not “on pause.” It’s happening right now, every day and every minute, pandemic or not. We can either adopt healthy habits to help us work through the stress of this time, or use it as an excuse to be unhealthy. The good news is that becoming healthier might be easier than you realize. Personally, I’ve recently learned how many stay-at-home habits are actually good for me. I realized a lot about my body, habits, and overall health that I wouldn’t have learned had I not been stuck in my studio apartment for months on end. Here are eight habits I’ve picked up in 2020 that I’ll keep up even long after the pandemic is over. 

    1. Prioritizing sleep over everything else
    What I thought was “healthiest” for me always came first. Back during the office days (anyone remember what was that like?) I would wake up extra early to go to a workout class beforehand. Even after I switched to working remote full-time over a year ago (before the rest of the world went work-from-home), I would stay up late getting work done instead of calling it quits by 10pm to get in a full eight hours of sleep before my early start time. When the pandemic did hit, workout classes were no longer an option, and I had enough time to check every item off my to-do list and still go through a leisurely nighttime routine.
    After months of sleeping more than I have since I was an infant (if only we could have multiple naps a day as adults), I realized how much better I felt. My work was higher quality, exercise felt more enjoyable, and, most importantly, I just felt so much better. I’m not going to lie to you: getting enough sleep is still tough when I have such an early start time to my day. But these days, if I have to choose between a workout or checking items off my to-do list and getting 7-8 hours of sleep, you know what I choose? Sleep. Every time. 

    2. Getting outside more
    Although I live in Southern California, I am not a beach person. In fact, I notoriously avoid going outside at all costs (I burn instead of tan, and there’s nothing I despise more than feeling hot and sweaty); an air-conditioned indoor space has always been more enticing. Looking back, I didn’t see the outdoors as the crucial part of wellness that it is, and was lazy about getting fresh air and sunshine. Like, check-my-phone-to-find-out-the-weather-instead-of-walking-the-five-steps-to-my-balcony kind of lazy. 
    I humbly acknowledge what an idiot I was not to take advantage of the outside world while I had full access to it. After being stuck indoors 24/7, I crave the outdoors and nature. I started going on more hikes, fitting in walks around the block when I have a 10-minute work break, and having more meals out on the balcony instead of at the kitchen table. Getting outside more often (SPF-protected, of course) has been life-changing for me. Even just small changes like drinking your morning coffee on the patio or taking a walk instead of running on the treadmill can have a wide variety of health benefits. 

    Source: @mylittlebooktique

    3. Spending free time wisely
    If you work a 9-5 job and sleep for the recommended eight hours, that means you still have eight hours of free time a day. You’ll have 40 hours of free time by the end of this work week, and don’t even get me started on the free time you have on weekends. Before the stay-at-home order, I didn’t think about that free time very much. I relaxed on the couch, went to workout classes, hung out with friends, and took naps more often than I’d like to admit. After staying at home all day every day, I had so much free time that I was forced to think about it.
    Not to get all deep on you, but having extra hours that I didn’t know what to do with made me reconsider what truly makes me feel fulfilled. Now, I don’t look at free time as something to spend; I think of it as something to invest. And yes, somedays that does mean that aforementioned nap or bingeing Gossip Girl with my boyfriend (I’m very proud to say I got him into it recently), because my wellbeing is worth an investment too (see #1). 

    4. Leaving my laptop out of the bedroom
    To preface, I live in a studio apartment. My “bedroom” is basically my workspace, eating space, and sleep space. So I never thought the “no-tech-in-the-bedroom” rule could apply to me. Without thinking about it, I charged my laptop in an outlet next to my bedside table and would do work sitting in bed at night. My laptop even lived next to my bed when I slept (don’t ask me why I mindlessly started that habit).
    Without any escape from my home at all, my studio apartment was no longer just my workspace, eating space, and sleep space. It also became my 24/7 reality, and I knew I had to make some changes with how technology was a part of every minute of my day. Since I didn’t have a separate room for work, I planned to keep technology away from my sleeping space. Now, my laptop charges overnight across the apartment instead of next to my bed, and I can’t climb under the covers in the evening until work is finished. Call it the placebo effect, but I swear I sleep better, wake up easier, and am less burned out overall. 

    Source: @gimmesomeoven

    5. Examining my relationship with food
    Yes, I’m obsessed with wellness and eat mostly plant-based. But I can also lick a plate of Fettuccine Alfredo clean and never say no to sushi takeout or cheeseboards. I love food and will always let myself enjoy it (food should never be “off-limits”), but staying at home helped me see where I was mindlessly eating and not even enjoying it. When I’m craving, sometimes it’s my body telling me that it needs nourishment in the form of laughter, a break, or stress-relief, not food. I also identified where I had unconscious food rules that kept me from having a positive relationship with food and with my body. 
    To rewrite your food narrative, you must first identify what it is. If you find yourself saying, “I can’t have this pasta dish because I’m on a diet,” or “I can’t eat this cookie because there are too many calories,” your food narrative is one of deprivation. No matter what weight you reach or what diet you perfect, you will never feel satisfied. Instead, change your thoughts to feeling excited about trying a new plant-based recipe or how leafy greens will nourish, energize, and revitalize your body. Healthy eating will become a reward. 

    6. Exercising at home (and outside of a routine)
    Pre-global crisis, my workout routine went like this: sign up in advance for trendy studio classes with expensive cancellation fees, so I had to debate whether the $20 cancellation fee was worth it to lay in bed a while longer (it never was). On the days I didn’t have time to make it to a 60-minute class, I didn’t exercise at all since anything less didn’t feel worth it. But as soon as my studio closed down, I had to rely on pure motivation to get my butt to move after a long workday, and if I didn’t fit in smaller movements (like a walk around the block and 15-minute Pilates video), I knew I wouldn’t exercise at all.
    Even just a few weeks into my new workout norm, I realized something. For the first time, I was listening to my body–not only about when to workout, but how (does my body need to burn some energy and dance around the living room, or does it need a relaxing yoga session?). While I’m still counting down the days until my trendy LA studios can open (what can I say, I’m a sucker for dim lighting and lavender towels), I will never forget to listen to my body instead of mindlessly signing up for a class to check another thing off my to-do list. Plus, I changed what exercise means to me. Instead of fitting in a 60-minute class, I focus on living less sedentary in whatever way that looks like each day.

    Source: @ceceolisa

    7. Regularly breaking out of my wellness routines
    I’m a creature of habit: I like to have the same thing for breakfast every morning (berries, tahini, and cacao nibs, please!), do the same workout every day, and do not like trying new things (just ask my mom how I refused to go to sleepaway camp every summer). But it wasn’t until I broke out of some of my wellness routines that I truly felt healthy. Don’t get me wrong: routine is crucial because it helps build beneficial habits. Because of routine, I crave fruit in the morning instead of sugary cereal, and I don’t even have to think about regularly exercising because it’s already a part of my daily schedule. 
    But here’s another important factor of wellness that I learned when my beloved workout studios and juice bars closed: while routine is important for building habits, breaking out of routine is also important for enjoying your healthy habits. Trying new things can not only introduce you to new practices to add to your routine, but breaking out of the norm can build confidence and feel exciting (instead of feeling bored or complacent). Take a different route on your walk, cook with a vegetable you’ve never tried before, and take an online Zumba class if you’ve always sworn you have no rhythm. 

    8. Socializing more (and smarter)
    Pre-pandemic Josie thought she had her shit together. I wouldn’t stay out too late on Friday nights so I could wake up well-rested for a Saturday morning workout, and I could not be tempted by even the most persuasive friend to come to Wine Wednesday if I had a lot to get done that day. Sounds like a very adult thing to do, right? I’ll give myself an A+ for responsibility, but you know what I’m thinking now that my favorite bars are closed and I’m quarantining away from many of my friends? I would give anything for more Wine Wednesdays and late Friday nights.
    Perhaps the biggest lesson we can all take from 2020 is that humans don’t just want to be social; we need it. Since March, a weekly Zoom date with my college best friends is non-negotiable. I call my mom more often, say yes to plans on weeknights, and prioritize seeing people I love over checking items off my to-do list. We can work out every day and eat only the healthiest foods on the planet, but we can’t truly be healthy if we’re not surrounded by a strong support system of people who make us happy. After all, what’s the point of wellness? Being healthy is not the end goal; it’s simply the tool that gives us more time (and better time) with the people we love.

    What stay-at-home habits have made you healthier? More

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    6 Simple Ways to Have Better Posture at Your Desk

    You’re probably currently sitting at your desk reading this, blissfully unaware of your posture right now—and that’s perfectly normal. It can be difficult to always be mindful of your posture, especially during a hectic workday through hours of Zoom meetings and conference calls.Your posture is a very important indicator of your overall health, as it supports blood flow, improves your mood, increases your confidence, and strengthens your other muscles and joints. Practicing better posture while at your desk at work or at home, even in the smallest ways, is a great way to be mindful of your health on a daily basis, and there are a few quick ways you can improve your posture as you go along your workday. Give your posture some attention and work smarter, not harder, at your desk.  

    1. Switch up your seating 
    Your seating can make or break your posture—literally. Seating with little to no back support, worn-out chairs, and working from your couch or bed could wear on your body over time, straining your shoulders, spine, and lower back. 
    If your desk chair doesn’t have the support you need to sit comfortably and in an upright position for an hour or two at a time, you may need to switch up your seating. A good, ergonomic chair for your workspace will have lumbar support to help the middle of your back, where most of the tension goes when you’re hunched over your desk. You also want to pick a chair that keeps your body at a neutral, upright position with an adequate seat height that keeps your arms and legs leveled and a backrest that isn’t too firm or too soft. 
    If you’re now working from home, make sure to be mindful of where and how you’re sitting. Set up your own workspace with a desk and chair that supports your back and shoulders and promotes better posture over time.

    2. Take frequent stretch breaks 
    Spending hours upon hours every day in a seated position where your back is either slouched or hunched over is detrimental to your posture. Many health professionals have declared that sitting has now become the new smoking, a popular myth that compares the negative chronic health effects of both, such as weight gain and diabetes.
    Prolonged sitting can have long-lasting effects on not only your back, but on your overall health. Make it a priority to get up and move around on a regular basis throughout your workday to give your body some relief from sitting and staring at a screen all day. Put yourself on a daily schedule to get some time away from the desk to give your back a break from sitting in an upright position, putting more pressure on your spine. It’s easy to get wrapped up in your workday and forget to move, so set an alert on your work calendar or on your phone as a regular reminder to take a break and switch up your posture by taking a walk, standing briefly in between meetings, stretching, or getting a quick exercise in. 

    Source: Danielle Moss

    3. Exercise for better posture
    When we exercise, we often forget to exercise for better posture, especially as working from home becomes more prevalent. Your posture is key to better overall health, and taking out the time to focus on it during your workday can help prevent lifelong body issues. 
    Exercising throughout the workday for better posture can be as simple as standing upright for an hour or two at a time at your desk, stretching and rotating your neck to relieve some of the tension from hours of working, or getting a good back bend at the waist to loosen up that lower back. Give yourself a few small breaks during the workday to work out those kinks in your shoulders, neck, and back from sitting too long, and focus on exercises specifically for those areas. 

    4. Keep your workspace eye level
    Hunching over your desk to look at your laptop or to type is one of the key indicators of poor posture. If your laptop or desktop computer isn’t eye level, it makes it easy to slouch and get stuck working that way for hours. 
    Do an overall assessment of your workspace, including your laptop, your monitor, your desk, and your computer accessories like your keyboard and mouse to make sure they are level to your eyesight and body to ensure that you’re not straining your neck, shoulders, and back to use your devices. Your workspace should be at a comfortable level, but upright enough where your posture isn’t compromised. Switch up the positioning of your workspace so that it makes it easier to sit upright while still being effective throughout the day. If you work remotely or from home, find a better place to set up your workspace like on a high bar-style countertop where you can easily sit in an upright position, or even stand and work for a change of pace. 

    Source: Jenny Komenda | Juniper Studio

    5. Practice mindfulness of your posture 
    It can be difficult to take a lunch break or grab a second cup of coffee during the workday when you’re juggling emails and meetings, let alone be actively aware of how your body feels. Taking the time out to connect with your body every so often throughout the day to see how it feels can seem like another item for your to-do list, but your back most importantly will thank you for it! 
    Practice being mindful of your posture throughout the workday by setting frequent reminders on your phone to check in with your body. There are plenty of mindfulness apps that can help you break away from your work mentally for a few minutes to give your body and mind a quick check-up. Block off time in your work calendar to check in with yourself, your posture, your mood, and your overall body. Scheduling time on your work calendar helps you stay accountable to yourself and your health. 
    Use this mindfulness to be more aware of your posture on a daily basis and when you place the most tension on your back. Do you find that your posture suffers during long Zoom meetings? Are you sitting for more than 2-3 hours at a time in the mornings or afternoons? Take note daily of all of your workspace habits and how it impacts your posture and your overall body. This will help you anticipate and be more mindful of your posture during the most stressful times of your day and prepare to change it up.

    6. Keep your feet flat on the floor 
    Your feet and their position while at your desk play a crucial role in your overall posture while sitting. If your feet are crossed or elevated, that could compromise your posture, as your weight is primarily on one leg or your back is taking the brunt of it. When your feet are flat on the floor and properly leveled, the weight of your body is evenly distributed across your hips. Keeping your feet flat on the floor also makes you more mindful of the overall stance of your body, as it unconsciously makes you straighten up.
    Practice keeping your feet fully on the floor for longer periods of time instead of elevating them using a footrest or crossing your legs at the knees underneath your desk. Planting your feet on the ground will help you be more aware of your posture and if you’re slouched or hunched over your desk. 

    Your posture is a key indicator of your body’s health during your workday. Don’t ignore any signs of back or shoulder pain; make it a point to take care of yourself while working, starting with your posture.  More

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    The Fall Piece You Should Invest In Based on Your Zodiac Sign

    Of all the fall activities, breaking out the credit card and buying a few new pieces for the season might trump them all. There’s nothing like getting out of the house in the best trends of the year—and with the temperatures dropping, there’s no time like the present.But obviously, this year poses a different issue: how do you allocate your fall funds when you don’t know how much leaving the house the season will entail? Spending a ton of money on trends is probably taking a backseat to spending money on comfortable loungewear—but that doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in a trendy piece or two. 
    We’re taking out the guesswork for you and are giving you which trendy fall piece you should invest in based on your zodiac sign—even if you’re only wearing it to grocery shop, it’s worth celebrating the fashion that comes with the best season of the year.

    Aries: Fringe

    Source: style mba

    Aries are fearless and comfortable with who they are, which makes a statement piece the perfect item to invest in for fall. This season’s fringe trend is perfect for them, be it in the form of a chic jacket or versatile bag.

    Taurus: Something Preppy

    Source: @lillyandgrant

    Tauruses love to be dressed to the nines, and overdressing is a part of their nature. With rich colors and textures, fall 2020’s preppy trend is perfect for the self-care sign.

    Gemini: Faux Leather Pieces

    Source: @thekittyluxe

    Geminis are a little wild and even more indecisive—which makes a faux-leather piece the perfect, versatile addition to their wardrobe.

    Cancer: Jewel Tones

    Source: @fromheadtocurve

    These summer babies love to bring the bright, happy tones of their birth month to their wardrobes year-round. Opt for a jewel-toned piece instead of the dark, moody colors of the season.

    Leo: Animal Print

    Source: @trulyjamie

    Leos have a knack for taking an intimidating trend and making it wearable, and the out-of-the-box animal prints of the season will do just that. With zebra prints and even cow prints popping up this season, leave it to a Leo to pull them off.

    Virgo: Shades of Nude

    Source: @crystalinmarie

    Shades of nude that encompass all skin tones are everywhere this fall, and they’re a perfect way for the classically-dressed Virgo to hop in on a trend without needing to get too out of their comfort zone.

    Libra: A Bold Print

    Source: @thekittyluxe

    Libras are known for staying away from the drama, but that doesn’t mean they don’t like to incorporate eye-catching elements to their outfits. Their breezy, life-of-the-party personalities make a piece in a bold print the perfect fall investment.

    Scorpio: Plaid

    Source: @simplytandya

    Scorpios are mysterious and intense, and true to their dark, emotional nature, fall 2020’s grungy plaid trend is a Scorpio’s dream.

    Sagittarius: Shearling

    Source: @jennytran

    Sagittarians are outgoing and happy and down to try pretty much anything, and although they draw attention with their personalities, they also like to draw it with what they wear. A trendy, shearling jacket that they can wear everywhere will keep them from feeling bored by their outerwear this season. 

    Capricorn: Tweed

    Source: Kathleen Barnes | Carrie Bradshaw Lied

    Capricorns are work and goal-oriented, which means anything that they can take from their job to their (virtual) happy hour is what they gravitate toward. Adding something tweed to their wardrobe is the perfect way for the sophisticated sign to reflect their personalities through their style.

    Aquarius: Dark Floral Prints

    Source: @styleidealist

    Aquarians are a little bit zany, and we love them for it. A funky, dark floral print will bring the water sign’s personality shine through all fall long.

    Pisces: Colorblocking

    Source: @carnationsandlace

    Of all the signs, Pisces would never shy away from color, and “neutral” isn’t a part of their vocabulary. They play with trends and make fashion an art, and no trend encompasses that more than colorblocking. Mix it in with your basics for an easy, go-to outfit. More

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    10 Ways to Revive a Workout Routine (If You’ve Totally Given Up)

    I don’t know who needs to hear this, but we’re human beings. We don’t get energy from an iPhone charger or AAA batteries like the Energizer Bunny, and therefore, we naturally ebb and flow. That goes for moods, motivations, and workout routines. We’ll have periods where we’re more active and periods where we’re less active (yes, that includes when walking to the fridge and back to the couch is the only activity we’ll do in a day). Maybe you got injured and had to cool down the workouts for a while, maybe you got so busy you had difficulty finding time, or maybe there was a freaking global pandemic that removed every sense of normalcy and stripped you of the workout routine you were used to.If you’re in one of the ebbs (or the flows? IDK), don’t panic. First of all, know that you’re not lazy. You’re just in one of the less active periods where other things have become more important than exercise (and yes, that includes finishing season one of Tiger King). But movement is crucial for physical and mental health, and can help you feel like your happiest and best self; the times when you feel busy, stressed, or anxious are when you need it the most. Even if you’ve totally given up on a workout routine, there are many ways to find the motivation to start again (and keep it up!). Here are 10 of them: 

    Source: @ceceolisa

    1. Change your motivation
    When you work out solely because of the way it will make you look, you’re more likely to feel discouraged. You might feel shame and guilt for being “out of shape,” or you don’t see results quickly enough and give up out of disappointment. Nothing is less motivating than thinking you’re not good enough as already you are. Exercise establishes a connection between your mind and body, helps you feel stronger, makes you love your body for what it can do (instead of the way it looks), and can have powerful effects on mental health. 
    Too often, we focus on common motivators like weight loss or because we know we’re “supposed to” as reasons to work out. But you won’t truly be motivated to keep up a routine unless you have what I call a “why reason.” Sure, you want to lose weight or be healthier, but why? Do you want to feel more confident and connected to your body? Do you want to feel like you’re doing everything you can to be your healthiest? Do you want to live a long and healthy life for your children or your spouse? Do you feel happier and less stressed after a workout? Now those are reasons that will motivate you to exercise even on days where you’re tired, unexcited, and just don’t feel like it. 

    2. Take your time getting back into it
    Not only could going from laying on the couch all day to three-mile sprints twice a day be harmful, but it won’t be sustainable. When you do get back into the gym (or the yoga mat on your living room floor), remember that the goal is to make the body healthier, not strain it or overwork it. You’ll most likely feel discouraged forcing your body to do workouts that it’s just not ready for, so remember that you don’t need to be painfully sore or out of breath to make a workout count. Start by going on more walks, lifting light weights, and doing short workouts that feel less overwhelming and difficult. You’ll be more likely to fit in exercise and keep up with a workout routine when it feels manageable and doable. Don’t start where you were or where you want to be; start from where you are right now. 

    Source: @crystalinmarie

    3. Make small changes in your routine
    One of the most common reasons we give up on workout routines is because we don’t see ourselves as the kind of person who keeps up with a workout routine. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy: if you don’t see yourself as someone who prioritizes health and exercise, you never will prioritize health and exercise. Boost your overall confidence and change the way you see yourself by making small changes like keeping a full water bottle with you at all times to increase hydration, ordering a side salad with your takeout, or always taking the stairs. Making a bunch of small habits can help you stay motivated to keep up with your fitness goals or workout schedule because it boosts the confidence you have in yourself.

    4. …But don’t change everything at once
    When getting back into a fitness routine, you may be tempted to overhaul your diet too. Even if a total health makeover comes from the best intentions, focusing on too many changes at once can be overwhelming. Instead, try focusing on one thing. If your #1 goal is to get back into a fitness routine, then fit in some movement every single day. Don’t try to totally change your diet or wake up two hours earlier for an extensive morning routine. Once your fitness routine becomes more habitual, you can use it as motivation to make other changes in your routine. Start with one focus and let it snowball into others, rather than trying to change everything at once.

    5. Set a schedule
    Yes, it’s important to create a schedule, but it’s even more important to be realistic about it. Don’t set your alarm for 5:30am to fit in that workout if you typically wake up five minutes before your workday starts, and don’t add in a 60-minute block every day if you know you’re busy from the minute you wake up until the minute you go to bed. Instead of feeling disappointed by an unrealistic schedule that you won’t keep, start small. Add in time slots here and there as quick work breaks or as a part of your morning and evening routine. Once you find the schedule that works best for your lifestyle, add it to your calendar and honor that schedule like you would any work meeting or appointment. 

    Source: @laurenkaysims

    6. Try something new
    There’s a reason you didn’t keep up with a workout routine before. Sure, it might be because times are weird, and Selling Sunset was so good you had to binge it all at once, or it might be because whatever you were trying before just wasn’t working. Therefore, don’t go back to the same type of workout or the same schedule you’ve tried before. If you dread running or weight-lifting, then don’t do it: try a Zumba class on Youtube, sign up for a boxing app, or go on a walk while listening to a podcast. Also, try experimenting with working out at different times. Maybe you’ve realized you like to have peaceful, slow mornings, so you should schedule workouts after work, or that multiple 15-minute workouts throughout the day are better for you than a 60-minute session. 

    7. Redefine what exercise means
    If you’re like me and depended on trendy studios, ill-lit rooms, and fancy lavender cloths to get you to work out, the stay-at-home order likely caused a big shift in your fitness routine. But here’s the reality: you don’t need a gym, a motivating instructor, or an hour every day to get a good workout. Instead, fit more movement into your average day to make a huge impact. If you stopped exercising at all because going on a two-mile run or 45-minutes of HIIT was never happening for you, you might be defining exercise the wrong way. Instead, think about how you can do a quick yoga flow in the morning, go on a walk at lunch, and jump rope after work. Think of exercise as living less sedentary, rather than a specific time or way to get your body moving. 

    8. Create competition with yourself
    Being competitive might not always be a positive trait when it comes to sibling rivalry or a romantic relationship (anyone else guilty of keeping score when it comes to chores?), but you can use it to your advantage when it comes to a motivating fitness routine. Studios like Orange Theory and Cyclebar have dedicated their classes to exactly this concept: seeing your numbers on a screen will push you harder, whether it’s in competition with the other class-goers’ stats or just trying to beat your personal best.
    Luckily for 2020, you don’t need to go into a trendy fitness studio to reap the benefits of your competitive edge. Every day, challenge yourself to add in an extra rep, run or walk an extra half mile, or exercise for five minutes longer. You can also challenge yourself to hit a milestone by a specified time; people who train for marathons are more likely to stay motivated when the marathon is already on the calendar. 

    Source: @missenocha

    9. Invest in your workout routine
    Sure, sometimes motivation comes from loving ourselves enough to do what’s best for our bodies, and sometimes motivation comes in the form of a super cute matching leggings and sports bra set. People are more likely to keep up with whatever they put money into, so try investing in an online subscription, a new pair of leggings, or a pretty yoga mat or pair of dumbbells (it’s like the at-home equivalent to that $20 cancellation fee at your local spin studio). Personal trainers are effective for more reasons that just one-on-one expertise: putting money into someone that will hold you accountable means you’re less likely to slack off. There’s nothing more worthy of your time and money than your most energetic, happiest, healthiest self, so start prioritizing it. 

    10. Focus on holistic exercise rather than calorie burn
    By now, you know you need a reason to work out that’s more motivating than burning calories (and if you don’t, see #1). But beyond motivation, you need to focus on more than intensity to keep up a sustainable routine. Keep in mind cool down, recovery, stretching, and enjoyment. Yes, you can revive a workout routine you’ve had zero motivation to keep up with by prioritizing everything else besides the physical “workout.” Incorporate stretching, foam rolling, and walking more often into your daily routine. Not only will it keep your body healthier and avoid injuries when you are working out, but you’ll be reminded that keeping your body in peak health is so much more than cardio or weight-training.

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    Small Changes You Can Make If You Gained Weight During Quarantine

    So 2020 has been a ride, huh? Comfort food recipes are trending on Google, you haven’t worn pants without a drawstring since March, and workouts look more like laying on the living room floor and forcing ourselves to go through a yoga video on Youtube. The most thrilling part of the past six months was perfecting a banana bread recipe or when the new season of Selling Sunset came out, and you’ve totally ditched your Fitbit because it’s way too judgmental RN (the only steps we’re getting in is to and from the kitchen, so that 10,000 step goal is pretty much a distant memory). It’s no surprise that “Quarantine 15” is a trending phrase and weight loss is a trending topic these days.As a health coach, I’ve found that many clients will feel uncomfortable saying they’d like to lose weight, as if it’s materialistic or wrong. On the flip side, other women feel like they’re supposed to want to lose weight, even if they feel great as they are, because weight loss and diet culture are so normalized. So here’s my preface: instead of shaming yourself for whatever goal you do or don’t have, listen to your body, respect other women’s health goals, and know that what makes you feel good in your body is going to be different than anyone else. 
    Now that we have that out of the way, if weight loss is your goal after gaining weight in quarantine, here are 11 small changes you can make to help you feel like your best, healthiest self (yes, even after doing nothing but watching reruns of The Office on your couch for the past six months):

    Source: Chelsea Victoria | Stocksy

    1. First of all… chill out. 
    Weight gain does not mean anything besides just that: you gained weight. It doesn’t mean you’re less attractive, strong, or lovable. It simply means the entire world is going through a very scary time. Your routine and any sense of normalcy have changed, and it’s only normal for your body to change with it. Stress over weight gain is just as bad for your body as pandemic-induced anxiety, so don’t feel guilt or shame. Instead, know that your body is doing what it’s supposed to. If you want to lose weight because you feel less connected to your body and just overall less healthy, then I commend you for knowing your body well enough to identify what it needs. But prioritize losing the shame around weight gain over losing the weight. 

    Source: Daria Shevtsova | Pexels

    2. Don’t ignore cravings. Instead, find healthier alternatives.
    Cravings are not mistakes or punishments, and they’re not there to sabotage your weight loss or health goals. Cravings are actually one of the ways our bodies try to communicate with us what they need. Plus, if we have a major craving for delicious fajitas and force ourselves to eat another boring salad instead, it can lead to bingeing, restrictive eating, and an unhealthy relationship with food. Now that will sabotage your health goals. 
    Instead, find alternatives with nutritious whole foods to nourish your body. For example, if you have a sweet tooth, grab a square of dark chocolate after dinner. If you’re craving chips or fries, DIY sweet potato fries by tossing sweet potato slivers with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and baking them in the oven. If heavy comfort foods are more your medicine of choice, score a frozen cauliflower crust from Trader Joe’s to top with tomato sauce and organic cheese, or try chickpea pasta or spaghetti squash. For any other craving, check out these recipes to find a healthier alternative. 

    Source: Eli Sommer | Pexels

    3. Take a work break with movement instead of an Instagram scroll
    You know those moments when you mindlessly reach for your phone to scroll through Instagram or Tiktok after finishing a major task you’ve been working on for hours? Either your brain needs a break, or you need a few minutes “off” to transition into the next task. Instead of reaching for your phone, get up, and move. Do some stretching, go through a yoga flow, or do ten jumping jacks to get blood flowing. Not only will movement help you refocus and reenergize better than an Instagram scroll ever would, but it’s also an easy way to fit in more movement and motivate yourself to make better choices for the rest of the day. 

    4. Drink more water
    Drinking more water is a tale as old as time, but there’s a reason it’s the most basic, universal health hack in the book. For me, drinking a big glass of water first thing when waking up, sipping on a reusable straw throughout the day (I’m partial to these pretty gold ones), and having three drinks at a time to achieve optimal hydration (like lemon water and green juice with my coffee), has made a drastic difference in how my body feels. If I get hungry soon after eating, I drink a big glass of water rather than going straight to the pantry to mindlessly snack (more on that below!). Of course, if I’m still hungry afterward, I’ll eat something nourishing (the body knows what it needs), but I’ve also learned that a lot of hunger cues are actually thirst. Try drinking even more water every day and just watch how much better your body feels. 

    Source: Lauren Naefe | Stocksy

    5. Go on a walk every day
    Intense workout plans don’t always help us achieve health goals because they’re hard to keep up. You might run out of time to fit in a workout and forego exercise altogether that day, and we will all likely have days (or weeks) where we feel too tired to even start a 60-minute HIIT workout. Instead, shift your focus to living less sedentary and moving more often. Whether workouts are a part of your daily routine or you haven’t worked out since your gym was open in spring, make it a goal to go on walks every day. Take your dog for a walk in the morning, go on a walk while listening to a podcast on a work break, or grab your significant other for a stroll in the evening. 

    Source: Annie Spratt | Unsplash

    6. Every time you snack, ask yourself why
    Back to the cravings: yes, they can tell us what our bodies need, but it’s not always about food. More often than not, whenever we mindlessly snack or crave (like snacking while working or watching TV), it’s because our bodies are lacking something else, whether it’s a break, excitement, comfort, or joy. Every time you subconsciously reach for the bag of chips or Cheez-Its, ask yourself if you’re hungry or not. If you are, then great! You’re listening to your body’s cues. Proceed with the snack, or make a snack that might feel more fulfilling and satisfying.
    If you’re not hungry, ask yourself what void your body is trying to fill. Are you stressed and your body’s telling you to take a break from work, or are you looking for a way to comfort yourself because you’ve been feeling extra anxious lately? Maybe it’s the lack of anything exciting to look forward to, so you’re supplementing with cheesy, delicious snacks that don’t really fill the void. If you identify it is emotional snacking, try to feed your body in other ways: take a work break and go for a walk, plan a fun movie night with your roommate, or just give yourself a little extra love. 

    Source: Nabi Tang | Stocksy

    7. Stop weighing yourself
    You’ll see the most drastic changes when you enjoy healthy habits for both the mind and body, rather than thinking you have to do them for weight loss. You’ll stop hating yourself when the scale isn’t moving quickly enough, and will naturally look, feel, and be better. This is not woo-hoo self-help advice; being healthy for benefits like mental health and energy is what made the most drastic changes in my body (oh, and it was actually sustainable). When you’re focused on a number on the scale, you naturally feel more stressed, restricted, and disappointed. Instead, focus on how you feel to measure where you are, instead of relying on an objective number to tell you how you’re supposed to feel. 

    Source: Marc Bordons | Stocksy

    8. Turn workouts into a social activity 
    One of the most common sources of stress during this time is that we lack connection. Happy hours are restricted to Zoom, you gossip with your work wife over Slack instead of over lattes, and you run away from people at the grocery store who get too close–it’s against our nature as human beings to be so unconnected, leading to stress and anxiety. Kill two birds with one stone by turning workouts into social activities. Not only will you feel happier with more social connection, but you’re more likely to work out since you’ll have a friend to hold you accountable. Try going on socially-distanced hikes, doing group workouts with your quarantine crew, or meeting up with your sister to go through a workout series together.

    Source: @josie.santi

    9. Eat more vegetables with every meal
    In my humble opinion, one of the most effective changes you could make is learning about foods and the effects they have on the body. When you’re aware of the nutrients and benefits that come from whole foods, you start to see them as medicine and fuel, rather than in categories of “good” or “bad” foods that you’re either supposed to eat or not supposed to eat (and just like bad boys and the cookie jar, we want it more when it’s off-limits).
    Focusing on eating more vegetables can not only help you feel your best and crave fruits and vegetables, but it can also subconsciously crowd out processed and sugary foods (totally guilt-free). Do you typically have eggs for breakfast? No need to shift what you’re used to or enjoy. Instead, add some spinach to an omelet or put some avocado on top. Do you eat pasta on the regular? Throw in some kale and asparagus, and you’ll never feel deprived, while simultaneously giving your body nutrients that keep it healthy.

    Source: @barre3

    10. Invest in your health
    There’s a reason pricey programs work (if only temporarily): when people invest money into it, they’re more likely to stay motivated and on track. If you decided at the beginning of quarantine to workout with Youtube videos or some yoga flows on your own and find yourself never making time for exercise, it might be because you don’t have anything on the line. Try investing in an online subscription, a new pair of leggings, or a pretty yoga mat or pair of dumbbells. Likewise, invest in healthy produce. Because fresh produce goes bad much quicker than a box of mac n’ cheese or a frozen pizza, you’re more likely to go for a meal incorporating the fruits and veggies, if for no other reason than you don’t want your money to go to waste. There’s nothing more worthy of time and money than your most energetic, happiest, healthiest self, so start prioritizing it. 

    Source: Thais Varela | Stocksy

    11. Ask yourself the “why”
    You already know that setting goals are important when it comes to your health. Health goals are commonly to “lose weight,” “work out more,” or “eat cleaner,” and while these are all fine health goals, they don’t really mean anything. Ask yourself why you want to reach that goal. Why do you want to lose weight? Is it to feel more confident, to feel less sluggish, or to heal symptoms? Not only will reflecting on the “why” behind your goals be so much more motivating to keep in mind throughout the process than weight loss could ever be, but you’ll be able to assess whether or not you actually want your goals.
    If your goal is to be more confident, will losing weight truly help? And even if you know it would, what other things can you work on while simultaneously trying to lose weight to help reach that goal? Shift your goal from feeling good about your body to feel good in your body. You’ll realize that what you actually want is a holistic process that isn’t just about your diet or how much you’re exercising, but about how much joy you’re feeling. 

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    The 4 Work-From-Home Rules I’m Breaking for Better Results

    Many of us are hitting a stretch of work-from-home fatigue. We’re nearly six months into this and many of us have slim prospects of returning full time to an office this year, so I’m finding I need to amend the ideal work-from-home standards. If you are fortunate enough to have a job that can be done from home, productivity has probably gone in many directions over 2020.First, a reminder that productivity isn’t just doing more work, faster. Getting “better results” during this time period is about producing whatever outcome is meaningful to your life. More time to get creative in the kitchen? Productive! Learning to let go of things we can’t control? Productive! These may not be the gold standard of work from home that make sense in normal times, but they’re more reflective of my personal work-from-home style. These are the rules I’m breaking to make it through this time of “Pandemic, but make it work from home.”

    1. Dress for your work day
    Along the way in 2020, dress for your day morphed into curating the perfect work-from-home loungewear capsule. While I definitely added in a few new pairs of joggers, I’m far gone from stressing over the perfect look for a video call. The last thing I need right now is decision fatigue over what to wear, staring in to a closet that was built for a business formal office life.
    Instead, I’ve extracted five “Zoom toppers.” It’s my favorite mix of blouses, a sweater, and a knit blazer that fit the bill for any time I’m on camera. Outside of that, I’ve let go of the pressure to figure out a perfect work-from-home look. The non-negotiable tasks for me include a little bit of hair care and daily minimal makeup. Slim down your daily essential get ready routine, revel in this moment of not being coiffed to the nines, and spend that time elsewhere.

    2. Set up a dedicated workspace
    I am delighted for you ladies that have the room for a chic dedicated workspace. (Hello, home office goals!) A fabulous home office set up is a huge part of making work from home livable. But some of us are in smaller spaces, sharing home office space with kids and partners, or have decamped to stay with families.
    A dedicated workspace that I can count on daily is a bit of a pipe dream. Instead, focus on the space you need for specific tasks. When I know I need to be on camera, I’m at the kitchen counter with better light and fewer background distractions. Emails happen on the couch and hard number crunching gets a few hours at the bedroom desk. This idea of tying tasks to spaces has helped me be much more deliberate with my time. It’s also giving me enough variety to feel not completely claustrophobic in my space.

    3. Keep set work hours
    I pop out of bed at 5:30am ready to go. Before I know it, it’s 9:30, and a traditional half work day is under my belt while others are just getting started. On the flip side, my productivity hits a major slump in the afternoons. Shifting my schedule around gives me the opportunity to destress with workouts or personal tasks, depending on my daily workload.
    If at all possible, negotiate with your manager on your daily schedule and when you must be online or available. If you are leading a team, manage your employees’ outputs and outcomes, not how they get there. This is always a good leadership best practice, and it’s even more important as kids head back to school, care for family members changes, or to combat the fatigue of more months ahead of this type of balancing act.

    4. Stay visible to your team
    It is important to stay visible to your team and manager in any condition. It’s especially important now as companies are tightening expenses. In the beginning of this work-from-home period, you might have had a lot of check-ins or more team meetings. Some of us may have even been instigating those check points to win over work from home non-believers.
    Now that we’re in a bit of a rhythm, my “visibility” efforts look different. Instead of getting burnt out from unnecessary task check-ins or an endless stream of zoom happy hours, I’m being more deliberate with how I stay top of mind. At the beginning of the week, I might drop a note to my manager of everything on my plate. I forward that note on a Thursday afternoon to let them know my progress, which gives me all of Friday to redirect or pick up any loose ends.
    Visible also doesn’t have to mean “on video.” Now, I’m also much more deliberate about when I join on screen and I reply to meeting requests letting the host know my plan in advance. This gives them an opportunity to weigh-in if one option is preferable. I also now try to issue meeting appointments with that consideration. Sometimes I’ll include a note asking a list of the key decision makers to join on screen if possible, and encourage others to just listen in as needed. 

    Are there any work from home rules you’re breaking with better results?  More

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    I Have a Fall Fashion Budget of $200—Here’s What I’m Buying

    Hi, I’m Ashley and I am the proud CEO of taking everything too far. If I like a TV show (as evidenced by my experience with The Office, Grey’s Anatomy, and Outer Banks), I’ll rewatch episodes and seasons over and over until I know every line and use them effortlessly in everyday conversation. I love pizza rolls so much that my obsession with them has become a bit of a personality trait. In an effort to learn how to budget and invest, I spent $145 on financial self-help books. 
    Moderation is not my strong suit, so it’s no surprise that I’ve fallen into the trap of overspending on fall fashion year after year. This season, I’m taking a different approach. Instead of haphazardly and sporadically clicking add to cart over the entire season, I’m allowing myself to purchase everything now (and now only) with the plan to put a chastity belt on my credit card after I hit $200.
    After much deliberation, deleting item after item from my list to stay within budget, and searching for my favorite seasonal trends, I’m excited to introduce the items I’m adding to my wardrobe for fall 2020:

    Oversized blazers
    I have been obsessing over the blazer trend for so long and am finally pulling the trigger on ordering two for myself this season. I usually wear a small but I’m sizing up to a medium for an oversized look that I can dress up or down. I plan to wear these bad boys a ton and know that one day when things return to normal and office life makes a comeback, I’ll be able to wear them on workdays, too.

    A cozy flannel
    Last year, one of my friends allowed me the pleasure to borrow her oversized flannel for a trip to the cider mill. Upon wiggling into it, I promptly fell in love, took it home to wash it, and stared at it on my clothes rack for a little longer than I should have. I considered changing my name, moving out of the country, and starting a life on a small farm so that I wouldn’t ever have to give it back but, alas, my guilty conscious prevailed and I returned it in two business days. This year, I’m buying one of my own so that I can wear it at all times and live my best, sexy lumberjack life.

    A statement bootie
    While I consider black booties to be my number one fall staple, I have accumulated so many over the years that I am nearly swimming in them. My goal for this year was to buy a statement heel that I’ll actually wear. Initially, I had my eye on a pair of snakeskin booties but then, I had a better idea. My new and improved plan was to find a pair of white bootie heels that would complement my fall plaid purchases but would still make a bold statement and boom…I found these bad boys:

    A cropped sweater
    Sometimes I look at my bank account, wonder why I don’t have as much savings as I should, open my closet door to find a wardrobe bursting at the seams with chunky knit sweaters, and am politely reminded. While I would consider fall sweaters to be one of my 14 love languages, I need to cool it this year out of respect to my bank account. I don’t have many cropped sweaters in my collection and I love these balloon sleeves so I decided on this one:

    A plaid skirt
    If there is one shelf in my closet that is particularly empty, it’s the one that I previously allotted for skirts. I found the need for an autumn-friendly skirt two weeks ago when I decided I wanted to dive deep into fall fashion amongst “still too warm to fully embrace fall” temps. I figure that a plaid skirt will be super cute with a cropped or tucked in knit sweater and will help me transition into full-fledged fall fashion.

    Dupe faux leather leggings
    Alright, let’s be real… if I had the money, I’d definitely be buying the Spanx faux leather leggings that all of my coworkers gawk over. While they’re at the top of my “to invest in” list, I’m just not yet ready to take the financial plunge. Maybe next year will be my year! For now, I am going to try out these dupe faux leather leggings from Target and manifest winning the lottery for next fall. A foolproof plan, if you ask me. More