grace is the new glam

by Jennifer Lahotski

3 Not-So-Normal Things I Do in the AM

Oil Pulling

You may have heard about this healthy action – but let me tell you – I love it. At first, I though anyone who can spend 20 minutes in the morning tolerating oil being swished around in their mouth was NUTS. But, here me out! Literally, the FIRST thing I do in the morning is hit the kitchen cabinet and stuff my face with Dr Bronner’s Coconut Oil (organic, raw, unrefined, fair trade, ALWAYS). Before water, peeing, EVERYTHING, I do this. I put on the coffee, pack my lunch, put on my skincare routine (more on that at another time), get dressed – and my 20 minute oil mouth is done. I rinse with really warm water and scrape my tongue after – and – boom – my mouth sparkles for the day. Yes, I brush too after coffee and brekky.

Why do it? It feels so great. My mouth feels cleaner – cleaner than a good brush and floss and the oil itself is antibacterial and antimicrobial – it gets in my gums, mouth tissue – all around. Lastly, it’s weird, but my teeth feel STRONGER.

Just do it – trust me.

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Take Flower Essences

These I take when I’m ready to head out for the day or before a morning meditation. They are from my friend Shelly Rike in Encinitas, CA. She hand makes these and they are to die for. Made from essential oils, the doesn’t want to be called Shaman, Shaman creates these littler wonders. I (and my intuition) picked my own formula out in her tipi back in SD and these little guys give me an extra little pick me up in the morning! I love ’em. Learn more about what Shelley does here.

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Dry Brushing

I’m sure you’ve heard about this one too – but I’m a fan! I brush upwards and towards my heart taking long and gentle strokes up my body and on my limbs. This gem is also known for busting cellulite (so why not do it, right?). It supposedly cleanses the lymphatic system too. It gives me energy and naturally exfoliates the skin. Another great healthy part of my routine. I can’t get enough! I got my dry brush at Whole Foods Market on sale – but the same one is available here.

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I want to hear – what do you guys do in the morning? Got any weird morning routines that you want to share? I can add a little healthy something-something to my day!

One Day in Catalina

Soooo – my guy and I have both lived in SoCal for 10+ years now and neither of us have ever ventured to the island of Catalina. We’ve talked about going but never got around to it.  It was Steve’s birthday this past Sunday – so I decided to surprise him with a boat ride on the Catalina Express (you get yo ride for FREE if it’s your birthday!).

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We pulled up to the port in Long Beach and were shocked at how many people were lined up to board the boat! People going for the weekend, just for the day, bikers, fishers – you name it, they gathered there. We hopped on and off we went – 1 hour on the water and then we arrived.

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Catalina  is STUNNING. As soon as you pull up to Avalon – you are immersed in pure beauty.

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Here’s what we did:

  • Rented a golf cart for 2 hours and toured the island (total highlight!)
  • Played in the arcade for an hour or so
  • Had a delicious meal at Blue Water Grill 

I (and we) highly recommend a day trip to Catalina. Steve and I had a blast.

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Power Hour in Redondo Beach

Wednesday night – after a long day of work. I had the opportunity to have a second chance at paddle boarding in the marina of Redondo Beach. I did a brief stint on the board about 2 years ago and loved it (I’ll admit I got stuck in the mud in the Carlsbad Lagoon and I’ll leave it at that) but I was not with any professionals and was given no direction. I also had no clue how hard it was paddling against the wind! It was different. It was fun. It was in nature.

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My next time around was a completely different tune. I went with Michelle of Olympus SUP because my lovely new friend Juli kindly invited me. I gladly accepted the invite. What I didn’t realize that this was a YOGA/PILATES/STRETCHING class on a paddle board. HOW WAS I GOING TO DO THIS BEING A BEGINNER?!

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We did a loop in the Marina to warm up while Juli and Michelle gave me the basic download of this giant board in the water. I actually learned (and paid attention to) how to maneuver the board. We scooted around, I got better and better as the session went on – but then – we dropped our anchors (aka – alb weight) in the water. We were going to exercise, like for real. Well, it was easier than I thought. You do need balance – but easy peezy. I actually did it! And, for those of you wondering, I DIDN’T FALL IN!

The grand pay off in the end was a 5 minute meditation while the sun set. It was magnificent. I am so grateful to have experienced this among the pros. I made new friends, connected with the ocean and learned new skills.

Interested? Go online to Olympus SUP and give it a try. $25 gets you your equipment rental and a 2 hour session.

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I Haven’t Blogged In a Year

After lots and lots of life changes – I just realized I haven’t blogged in over a year. I am embarrassed! But after LOTS of thought – I AM BACK and COMMITTED to bring you what you want to read about, what I can share to make your life easier and peaceful!

Little ditties about me in the last year:

  • I’m back in LA – work moved me back here and I’m so happy to be back here!
  • My job has massively changed
  • I’m a Xtend Barre Fitness addict
  • I’m in love with decorating our new apartment in Long Beach.

…looking forward to posting more! xxxoo

Gemstone Organics

I’m baaaack! (from San Diego, Vegas, 2+ weeks in Costa Rica and back around). Pura vida and I can’t wait to share more about my travels here!

Before I do that, I wanted to share these pretty awesome eco skin care products I came across a few weeks ago. The company is called Gemstone Organic. Based out of LA and hippie approved, these products are lush and loved by me! I had the opportunity to try 2 of the face creams and one of their hydrosols (I can spray all day long for an easy pick me up!). I loved each of the them! Annnnnd, their products are CERTIFIED organic. Boom!

What’s really unique about this company is that they are using crystals to infuse their products. I’m a HUGE fan of crystals and their healing properties so why not make face and body care that is packed with healing elements of gemstones! Gemstone Organic is just getting off the group – but you can buy online and in some select Whole Foods Markets in the Los Angeles and San Diego areas.

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Shop online here and give Gemstone Organic a try!

100% Pure LOVE

Sooooo, I met the lovely folks at 100% Pure a few months back and I couldn’t wait to try their products! If you know me, I’m a whore for everything all natural – so all natural is a sheer give-in, right? I try to live an eco-friendly lifestyle and I’m almost there – but make-up is super hard. I’m tied to big brands like Mac and Kat Von D for the bases (foundation and blush….and a side note, every girl has to have Warm Soul blush). I flirt with eco brands but end up going back to the naughty stuff because they are tried and true!

I go on – sorry for the rant there! I found 100% Pure and gave them a whirl and they are the real deal! I love their colors (and they are colored with fruit extracts!) – So far, I’ve tried their nude palette [pictured below] and 2 of their nail polishes. The pigments in both are fantastic. If you want to go for a goddess look, this is your brand!

I can’t wait to try more stuff by 100% Pure – I just love them and their mission so much!

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Find out more on their website, Facebook,Twitter and Instagram!

San Francisco, I Love You!

I had the most amazing experience in San Francisco and Palo Alto this past weekend and I had to share the gorgeous photos I took. It was so awesome to just take a break from my life and go experience new things in a completely new city. I was only brought to SF one other time and that was with work (so blah!). This time around, I got to unwind and have some fun!

A big thank you to Kristin for hosting me and for the incredible laughs and endless girl time!

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The start of the Land’s End Trail – such a beautiful hike – I am so filled with gratitude for Mother Earth in times like these!

 

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Right off the plane, we headed straight to the Cherry Blossom Festival!

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My beautiful and smart and sassy friend, Kristin hanging out at the Hotel G, where we flirted with the world and laughed a lot.

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My new friend, Bean!

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Nature!

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Another view from Land’s End Trail…

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What ever happened to predictability?! The milk man… the paper boy…. evening TV!

Spring Cleaning for Me

Lately, I’ve been on a kick to keep up with my health and wellness. I’ve already recommitted to my yoga and fitness practice as well as better eating (not perfect, but I’m getting there!). Here are some things I’ve done to improve my life during this transformation spring time!

1. Start Oil Pulling – At first, I thought this was the most crazy idea – to wake up first thing and swish oil through your teeth for 15 minutes. I wondered who exactly has time for that. Well, after hearing rave reviews on it for years now, I took the plunge one day and hopped on board. 15minutes is NOTHING in the morning. I oil pull when I’m putting on my morning coffee, packing my lunch, and picking out my outfit for the day – EASY!  Try it! My mouth has never felt cleaner (now I’ve got to work on all of those F-bombs!)

2. Kundalini – Another thing I’ve put off for years! Right now, I’m obsessed with it. I can’t get enough. I found Soul of Yoga right up the street from me and they offer so many kundalini classes. It is wonderful.  The best part of the practice is in between the kriyas, there is this buzz running through my body. It’s Ah-mazing.

3. Clean Yo House – I spend Easter Sunday cleaning up my messes in my house. I loathe cleaning but it’s such a great way to feel better. Come on….get out those rags and start scrubbing!

4. Chiropractic Care – I literally just got home from my first appointment with Dr. Sage here in Encinitas and I feel so great. Spring is the perfect time to align your body, which aligns your soul. I am consistently uncomfortable and cracking my own back and now I don’t have to anymore. I’m committing myself to seeing the doc like twice a week to get my bod in tip-top shape!

5. Essential Oils – Okay, I’m obsessed. Every trip to a hippie dippy store I have to buy one and I’m A-OK with it. They are perfect for Spring! Right now, I’m digging Serenity by DoTerra, Lime and Grapefruit by Aura Cacia, and Ylang-Ylang. Put a drop or 2 in your palms, rub ’em together and it’s an automatic, all-natural mood booster. Score!

6. Juice and Smoothies – The easiest way to get fruits and veggies into your system to feel better. Go organic and go green!

Kundalini Crazy and Life

I have been immersed in self help stuff recently! I started seeing a Oneness guru privately and I’ve fallen head over heels in love with kundalini yoga. Life has been super good and I’m really connecting with myself and the results are very rewarding and are happening on a daily basis. I truly am living a pretty zen life.

More to come of kundalini and my session with the “guru” (well, like a spiritual coach but I LOATHE the word coach when it comes to this sort of thing!)

xxxoo

What’s In My Bag

Thank you to my friend, Rachel, for inspiring me to do this post. For some reason, I am fascinated with what people have in their bags! Maybe it’s nosey-ness but anything to get a new fun gadget or maybe a cool new natural product or organizing tip. (my bag is pretty neat – but there’s just so many lip choices I have to carry at all times. So here we go!

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Hardware

Bag: Big Buddha (gifted to me from my mom and sister)

Wallet: Coach (old)

Sunnies:  Oliver Peoples

Potions

I Am Powerful Chakra Crystal Mist: A little spritz to increase inner strength, energize and build confidence, release fear and open to your flu potential. (got it at the naturopath’s office and I love it and have 2 others..)

Bach Flower Essences:  A drop or 2 in my water to replace apprehension and vague fears with a sense of security and peace of mind (Found mine at Whole Foods Market for $20 – but wait for sales!)

TerrainMax Adrenal Terrain: I can’t live without this stuff! Another find from the naturopath’s office but it’s great to use all day and it helps you be less stressed!

Lip Products

Jouer Lip Gloss in Beach: It’s perfect alone with just another cover and no mirror needed to apply! (Beach is discontinued but Nude is similar)

Wet N’ Wild (Don’t laugh) Lip Stick: It’s $1.99 at CVS! The color is so vivid and it lasts for hours and hours. Perfect for my long days at work. Any particular color from this line is wonderful – I have a few

Gadget

Agent 18 iPhone 5/6 Charger:  I always keep this baby on me for emergencies. It gives my phone a whole extra charge and it’s super cute. Got it at Target for $30.

So those are the things that are always in my purse excluding the tissues and the collection of receipts I’ve hoarded in a week’s time. What’s in your bag?!