I’m so excited to bring you a beautiful evening of yoga, wine and live music at grow! Lincoln Park Community Garden on Thursday, July 19th from 6-8 pm.
Last year I started teaching yoga at this beautiful garden and it brought me so much joy to serve the community with weekly outdoor yoga classes. This year I was lucky enough to snag a plot and start growing my own fruits and vegetables alongside a community of welcoming gardeners. The beginning of this growing season has brought an abundance of lettuce, tomatoes, kale, strawberries and so many other delicious vegetables.
Growing the Mission
The mission of the Lincoln Park Conservancy and grow! Lincoln Park Community Garden is to involve the entire community in a healthy eating initiative by growing fresh fruits and vegetables, educate children about good nutrition and different types of healthy food, and provide a place for all ages to come together to work and learn about sustainability and healthy eating.
I knew I had to take part in growing this mission (no pun intended!) when I saw the larger impact on the community.
Please join me on July 19th from 6-8 pm for a one-hour yoga class, live music by Omar Ramirez, and a selection of delicious wines and hors d’oeuvres.
Donation: $35 to benefit grow! Lincoln Park Community Garden and help to bring more programming to New Rochelle and the greater Westchester community. Space is limited! RSVP here.
Let’s enjoy a summer night together while supporting the community too!
Summer is so close I can taste it! One of my favorite things about summer is practicing yoga outdoors. There’s something about practicing under the sun that allows me to connect with nature and get into my body in a different way. Outdoor yoga is abundant this season and I’ve included a few options in this post.
This past weekend I was fortunate enough to practice on the rooftop of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel with the amazing Lauren Taus. The practice, the view and the community were unbelievable. As a celebration of Global Wellness Day, Mind Body Access and Athleta NYC hosted this beautiful event with a day of yoga, pilates, reiki and beauty. It was such a special treat to practice with this community in this extra special space.
If you’re looking to practice outdoor yoga, here are a few opportunities for you:
Select Saturdays in June, July and August at 10 am with ME at the grow! Lincoln Park Community Garden in New Rochelle. Classes are $5 and all proceeds directly support the Lincoln Park Conservancy. Find peace among this beautiful sustainable garden with a gentle yoga class and meditation suitable for all levels. You may even get to bring some fruits and veggies home with you! Register Here. Bring your mat and a water bottle. The first class in on June 23.
Summer Solstice in Times Square
Thursday, June 21. Check out this link for registration and schedule. You’ll be surprised how you can find calm in the busiest part of NYC!
Wednesday, June 20th at 5:30 PM. Court Street, between Main Street and Martine Avenue White Plains, NY. In light of recent events, this cause seems so timely and necessary. I know we all have someone in our lives battling mental illness and showing up to our mats on this day in support of mental health can be our first step. If we know that wellness welcomes everyone and everything maybe we can invite more of the messy stuff into our lives and create that space for our loved ones too. Sign up here.
If you’re looking to go even deeper with your practice off the mat, there’s an amazing Heal Yourself workshop happening this Saturday, June 16 at the beautiful La Palestra in The Plaza Hotel in NYC. My teacher and friend, Bee Bosnak, is hosting her signature workshop for the last time this summer. Bee creates the space for us to show up as we are and dig into vulnerability. This practice allows us to ignite what we’re passionate about and speak our truth. This workshop will be a taste of what I experienced during my yoga retreat in the south of Spain last summer. Offering a vinyasa flow practice, journal time, meditation and sealed with a deep rest, this is sure to be a magical day.
Get tickets here.
I’m having a wine and yoga fundraiser for the garden in July. Although I can’t reveal the details yet, it’s going to be a pretty spectacular event and I can’t wait to share it with you once it’s official!
Traveling throughout Europe has been a mostly easy and stress-free experience for me. I’ve learned that you can cross countries by train relatively inexpensively within a few short hours. While planning a trip to Paris, I knew I wanted to make one more stop in Europe before heading back to the states. For about 100 US dollars you can travel from Paris to Amsterdam on a clean, comfortable and fast-paced train in only 3.5 hours. Nap, snack, read and before you know it, you’re there! I found the best rates on goEuro.com.
Here are my tips for visiting Amsterdam in 48 hours!
Getting there and around the city
If you’re flying into Schiphol airport, it’s very convenient to access other cities from here. There are trains and other means of transportation in the same terminal and access to lockers if you’re only in town for a short layover. This is great if you don’t want to worry about lugging your bags around the city.
From Amsterdam Centraal, you can walk to the City Center or get in a taxi (if you have heavy luggage). You can also travel to many other European cities from here.
The bus system is a good way to check out different neighborhoods. Bus fare is €2.90 for use within one hour and you can purchase it on the bus using a credit or debit card only. They don’t accept cash on the buses.
More than anything, Amsterdam is a GREAT walking and biking city. Now I know why the air feels so clean and fresh, everyone is riding a bike!! You can easily traverse different neighborhoods by foot.
The Jordaan neighborhood was a great choice for a home base in Amsterdam. You can feel like a local while still experiencing a few tourist attractions here. It’s perfectly situated right along the canals for lovely walks down the picturesque streets. I could live here.
The Linden Hotel was a great find by my forever travel companion, Debbie. It’s within walking distance of everything you can see and do in two days. There’s a bus stop conveniently located one block away from the hotel as well.
Upon arriving a few hours before check-in, the hotel concierge offered us a coffee, a place to hold our bags and a map of the city with all the must-see attractions. He gave us a great breakfast recommendation and made us feel right at home. The decor of this place exceeded our expectations with the perfect blend of green and pink details, free postcards for the taking and so many little extra special touches. The Linden Hotel was the perfect stay for two chic women traveling together.
The rooms are small, but they make up for that by providing stroopwafels on your nightstand! There’s an espresso machine offering the most delicious make-yourself cappuccinos for a morning or afternoon pick-me-up on your way out to see the city!
You can get very reasonable rates for this neighborhood at 100-200 US dollars per night. I would definitely stay here again.
If you’re like Debbie and I, your vacation is a mix of experiencing the local culture, shopping, eating and some sightseeing. In 48 hours you can fit in all of this!
Anne Frank House
It’s VERY important that you plan this ahead of time. You cannot buy tickets at the museum. You MUST buy them online in advance. Tickets sell out quickly, so I suggest picking your dates and purchasing at least one month in advance. They are 10 euros, but if you wait too long to book, go to stubhub.com and purchase them for a hefty markup at 50 euros per ticket. This was still worth it to me to experience the real space that Anne Frank and her family were hiding in.
The museum is so well done with real video footage and artifacts of the Frank family. You’ll get a guided tour through the museum with the headphones provided to you. Be ready for some steep stairs as you make your way up to the area where they lived. Photos are strictly prohibited out of respect for the family and other visitors who may have been affected. It’s quite an emotional experience and photos would just tarnish that.
The House has been restored since Anne Frank lived there. Go around to the side of the building to see the original architecture of the house. You can take photos here.
Spring is a fantastic time to visit Amsterdam because all the tulips SHOULD be in bloom, but due to an unseasonably cold winter, the tulips at Keukenhof were scarce. So at a 45-minute drive from the city center, we didn’t want to go there to see only few tulips. So although we visited at prime tulip time, it all depends on Mother Nature! However, a good alternative was the Tulip Museum right in town. They had a plethora of flowers that you could shop and take home to plant. Two-months later and a gorgeous Amaryllis plant I brought home as a gift has bloomed beautifully!
(Pronounced da peep) is another great neighborhood for shopping and walking. Check out the open air market for souvenirs and all sorts of fresh food. There are a few cafes and eateries as well as thrift shops and yoga studios here.
The 9 Streets for shopping
There are so many great small boutiques with unique gifts for yourself or to bring home to your friends.
I scored a beautiful dress at Samsoe & Samsoe (a Danish company with such great quality clothes and accessories), that I plan to wear to the number of occasions I have coming up this summer!
If home decor is your thing, definitely visit Entrepôt Holland. They carry a beautiful selection of jewelry, art, and decor designed by all local artists and artisans. This was like visiting a museum. You can find so many beautiful pieces at very reasonable prices. It’s one of those stores where you walk in and think I can’t afford anything in here! But to my surprise I found a number of unique gifts to bring home including a pair of earrings for my sister and Debbie found a gorgeous handmade flower vase that we both swooned over. The best part was the wonderful store owner offered us low-cost shipping as we didn’t want to pack such fragile gifts. They don’t currently have online ordering, but if you see something you like on their instagram page, send them a message and they will gladly ship it to you.
You’ll get a diverse array of food options in Amsterdam. Authentic Dutch cuisine can be found, but you have to look for it. Don’t leave Amsterdam without trying the local beers, stroopwafels, fries, apple pie, and fresh mint tea.
Piqniq is a wonderful local spot with only a few breakfast options, but you can’t go wrong with anything there. Get the chai latte for sure. We enjoyed a traditional breakfast with a cute cat napping next to us.
VleminckX fries in the Centrum neighborhood- wait on the curbside line to get your afternoon snack.
Cafe Wester to enjoy a beer outdoors and people watch along the canals.
Food market De Pijp- hot off the press stroopwafels, fresh squeezed juices and other Dutch delicacies like meats and cheeses.
Apple Pie at Winkel 43– Winkel’s apple pie was the single best food item I had in all of Amsterdam. When locals recommended it, we knew we couldn’t leave without trying it. Sit at the bar for faster service because it fills up and you may be waiting in line for a while. Trust me, this pie is worth the wait. Debbie and I are the sharing type, but my only regret is that we didn’t get one for each of us! I will go back to Amsterdam just for this pie and if you know me, you know I mean it.
De Reiger was the real deal Dutch cuisine that we were looking for. The food and beer were on point. Just be prepared for a menu that’s only written in Dutch! The waitstaff will try their very best to translate it for you. But if you want to know before you go, we ordered the ravioli appetizer and the fish special. If you’re into IPA’s try the brouwerij’t ij. This was a solid meal in Amsterdam.
Cafe Duende is the oldest tapas bar in Amsterdam. You can’t go wrong with the tapas and red Sangria. It’s another great local spot if you’re staying in the Jordaan neighborhood.
End your stay with a nighttime stroll through the city. The canals are lit up and it’s just one more way to appreciate all the beauty that Amsterdam has to offer.
Have questions? Recommendations? Leave me a comment below or on my instagram feed!
Every time I go to Paris I fall in love with the city all over again. My most recent trip was no exception. It was so lovely that I came back missing it more than ever.
So upon returning from my trip, I’m doing everything I can to bring Paris to moi! Restarting my French lessons, spritzing my new favorite French scent, reading a Parisian themed book and creating a new French playlist on Spotify are just some ways I keep those French feels alive and well.
Here are some of my favorite French finds to help you bring a little bit of Paris to you too!
While staying in Le Marais during this past trip, I discovered some great new brands that I am sure to covet for years to come. As I walked down the Rue de Sévigné heading to Easter brunch, I smelled the most beautiful scent of Lilac that I couldn’t get out of my mind for days. I made it a point to stop back at Parle Moi de Parfum before leaving Paris and pick up the scent Totally White. It’s the perfect scent for spring- light and flowery. I feel so uplifted the moment I put it on.
The creator’s son (and a very handsome Parisian!) was heading the store that day and let us sample every single scent they had in their lab. He was so passionate about his perfume. Go give him a visit at their shop in Le Marais!
My recent obsession is Rebecca Plotnick of Everyday Parisian. Her love of all things French is a match for my own! As an aspiring travel photographer, she picked up her life in Chicago and moved to Paris to follow her dreams. Since then she has been making the most beautiful prints and writes a great blog that constantly quenches my thirst for Paris. One of her recent blog posts was so relatable for me. You can read it here.
Paris is Stride is a beautifully illustrated walking guide that highlights the well known as well as some lesser known cafes and neighborhoods in Paris. It really came in handy on my trip.
I think this is a great guide if you’re a first-time visitor to Paris. So if you’re planning a trip anytime in the future, I highly recommend it! If you’ve been to Paris before, this guide will highlight some old favorites and add some cool new spots to your list. Discover a new neighborhood without worrying about getting lost!
Don’t forget to check out the Broken Arm. Such a cool store!
Fluent in French
Jen is a French expat living in NYC. She teaches French language classes virtually or in person to students of all ages. I discovered her on instagram over a year ago and I recently won a free one hour French lesson and book from a giveaway she had. I was so excited to have my first lesson with her this past Sunday and it was fantastic! Check out her French word of the day here.
She also has a crêpe catering business on the side and I can’t wait to host a party catered by her very soon!
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CRÊPE PARTY and today, I’m the chef 👩🏻🍳! The best bosses are the ones who can take on any situation!!!!! @crepesalamaison #newyorkeatscrepes 💕💕💕 #foodporn #food #foodie #crepes #crepe #yum #sweet #cater #catering #instagood #womenempowerment #womeninbusiness #toklas #eat
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My French Inspired Playlist
Whenever I’m working, relaxing or just putting on my own little fashion show at home, I love to listen to my Paris is Calling playlist that I created on spotify.
Check it out here
I hope my French favorites can become some of your favorites too! Questions? Visiting Paris soon? Leave me a comment below!
Food is such a big part of why I love Paris and definitely something I look forward to when planning a getaway to the city of light. On my first visit to Paris 6 years ago, the only place I wanted to eat was Ladurée. (They have the most divine french toast on the whole planet.) Other than that, I just stumbled on places to eat and every meal was the best ever. On my second trip, I planned nothing and had the most delicious croissant ever. This time, I planned my whole trip around food!! Between the croissant, the cheese, and the array of fresh ingredients, there isn’t much I don’t like about the food in France.
A food tour, a five course tasting menu, street falafel, and a pop-up pastry shop that’s worth waiting in line for, I’d have to name this one of my favorite foodie trips to date. I’ll give you a taste of all of my favorite places to eat in Paris and why you should go there. Warning: don’t read while hungry!!
Good for: Lunch or Dinner
Carbón Paris. Since this was the first Easter I would be spending away from my family, I wanted to make sure it was still a special day with an extra special meal. Carbon did not disappoint. Upon arriving a few minutes early for our reservation (You must reserve a table here, you won’t be seated otherwise, even if you see tables that are free) the waitress told us that the kitchen would be open soon, but would we like a drink first? Mais, bien sur!
We went with the 2017 Judith Beck Koreaa, a great white to pair with the scallop and cauliflower appetizer. It was easy to drink with light fruit notes. A perfect Easter wine from Austria. All of the wines they serve are organic and they only have about 7 bottles to choose from. They only advertise by the bottle, but you can get certain wines by the glass. Just ask!
We had the greatest server, who was very accommodating and helpful with choosing our wine and food. I’d go back here just for the great service. The ambience is très bien aussi. It’s cozy, not pretentious (as some may think restaurants in France to be) and just beautiful to look at. And is located right in the heart of Le Marais.
The food is super fresh made with seasonal and mostly local ingredients. All of their dishes are cooked over fire, no gas or electric is used. Just like Francis Mallman’s Los Fuegos in Miami. The menu offers about 6 different appetizers, 5 mains, and 2 desserts with specials du jour.
What to order
For a party of 2, I’d recommend you share two starters. We ordered the scallops. They were perfect texture and served with a cauliflower puree which was one of my favorite tastes of the meal. Then, we shared two mains which were the halibut and the lamb. Both delicious and perfectly cooked. The menu is constantly changing based on what’s in season, so don’t go looking for these dishes. Just know that no matter what you order, Carbón will do it right.
Good for: Dinner
My top pick for a full gastronomical experience in Paris that won’t break the bank is Verjus. After reading several reviews and recommendations for this restaurant, I was convinced I had to try it!
Verjus serves a tasting menu so each item is selected for you. Ingredients are sourced locally and seasonally. The restaurant is small and reservations book up quickly so I recommend booking a few weeks before your visit. Plan to stay for a few hours as you will be savoring every bite and enjoying the experience. This isn’t a quick dinner.
If it’s a special occasion (when is Paris not a special occasion?!) do the wine pairing. It’s worth it to discover some new wines and have a fresh glass with every course.
You’ll start with a few finger foods that are sure to satiate your sophisticated palette. So simple, yet so delicious. This is followed by 2 veggie courses- ours were asparagus and morels (mushrooms). The main course was a lamb tartare. You’ll end with 2 separate dessert courses. Save room because you won’t want to pass this up!
Paris by Mouth Food Tour
Good for: Tasting/ Cheese &Wine/ Desserts
After stumbling upon the Paris by mouth blog I was convinced that I had to hop on one of their food tours during my trip. This was such a special treat. Being guided to the best croissants, baguettes, cheeses, wines and chocolates by an insider and French food expert was a priceless experience. Not only will you get the best of the best when it comes to food, but you’ll get a history of the neighborhood where you choose to take your tour and a lot of the food history as well.
I won’t give away all of Paris by Mouth’s secrets, but I encourage you to take one of these tours. If you really want to know some of these spots, and can’t get on a tour, just email me! Tours last about 3 hours, all tastings are included, and you will have a chance to sit and enjoy a wine tasting with your food.
Here are some highlights from the tour…
We kicked off the tour with bread, baguette de tradition to be exact! Shouldn’t every day start that way?! I learned so much about the history of baguettes and how you can tell the good from the bad! If you want more info on how to find a great baguette in Paris check out this article.
We went to a local fromagerie and a charcutier traiteur (Butcher) to grab some meat and cheese to pair with our wine from La Cave de Turenne. Here we enjoyed six cheeses, a variety of meats, and three wines. We learned about where and how our wine and cheese was made- a delicious education!
The grand finale was only the best chocolate! Don’t leave without trying the mint ganache in dark chocolate. It’s tastes like a mojito!!!
Great for: Lunch/ A shopping snack break/Views of the city/Cheese/Artisanal French products
I highly recommend you check out Printemps du gout- located on the 8th floor of the Printemps Haussmann- Homme. If for nothing else, go here for a great view of the city!
Enjoy a perfect french onion soup and croque monsieur du jour with la tour eiffel.
Cedric Grolet’s pop-up shop at Le Meurice
Good for: Pastries
This pop-up pastry shop located at 6 Rue Castiglione is brought to you by Cédric Grolet, Chef Pâtissier at the restaurant Le Meurice Alain Ducasse. He was elected World’s Best Restaurant Pastry Chef 2017 by the Association Les Grandes tables du Monde. Don’t miss this, because it won’t be here for long. Otherwise you’ll have to spend a pretty penny to taste his creations at Restaurant Le Meurice.
Mi Va Mi
Good for: Falafel/late night snack
After a long day this just hit the spot in every way. Located in the Jewish Quarter in Le Marais, this authentic and fresh made falafel was totally worth waiting in line for!
Although there are many more to mention, these were my top picks and what I thought worth sharing! Have you tried any of these? Chime in in the comments below.
Contrary to popular belief, Miami is not just South Beach and it’s so much more than a party city. Don’t get me wrong, you can party plenty, but there is so much more to appreciate here such as the art, culture, shopping and cuisine.
I put together a guide for you to eat well, enjoy the beach, see some beautiful art and experience a little bit of culture too, all while avoiding South Beach!
The Fontainebleau Hotel is a beautiful resort located in Miami Beach. If you have no interest in leaving the resort and want to just chill out for the weekend, then this is the place for you! Boasting 3+ restaurants, 5+ pools, easy beach access, a club and boutiques on the premises you seriously never have to leave this resort. The rooms offer 2 balconies and beautiful amenities like a full kitchen and 2 bathrooms! We had a little party in our room before hitting the town with a gorgeous view of the ocean and pool.
The pool is where you’ll want to soak up some sun, have a few cocktails, and even grab a delicious al fresco lunch at La Côte. You’ll want to head to the pool by 10 a.m to get a chair because it fills up quickly. Once you’ve claimed your spot, order a mojito (savor it because they go for $20 a pop, but you don’t need many to get a buzz!), and head straight to one of the 5 pools.
La Côte, a french mediterranean bistro serving appetizers, sandwiches, and fresh ceviches. I had the seared ahi tuna sandwich and it was perfection.
Check out Hakkasan for a fantastic cocktail menu and dim sum brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.
Also if you just want a snack, stop by chez bon bon for amazing gelato and pastries. Warning: everything looks amazingly decadent and you won’t be able to choose!
A Gastronomical Experience
Don’t miss out on Los Fuegos by Francis Mallmann in the Faena hotel. Ever since Phillip and I started watchingChef’s table on Netflixwe’ve been addicted and made a goal to hit up the restaurants we see on the show! Mallmann is special in that he only uses open fire to cook. No gas or electric, just fire!
A quote from the menu: “You must be ready to burn yourself in your own flame: How could you rise anew if you have not first become ashes?”~ Friedrich Nietzsche
As you walk into the Faena hotel you are greeted by gorgeous art deco paintings. What a welcome!
As for the restaurant, they have indoor seating or an outdoor deck. The bar is set high with the bread basket- authentic Argentine rolls (you can’t just eat one!) and the creamiest butter you’ve ever tasted. Appetizers not to be missed include the octopus and filet mignon empanadas. For wine, order the Malbec- smooth and medium bodied, the perfect complement to the appetizer course. I had the Mediterranean Branzino served with charred brussel sprouts, quinoa salad, and a charred eggplant yogurt for the main course. My mouth is watering thinking about it. Perfectly cooked. I cleaned my plate!
After dinner hop over to the bar for live music. You can hang at the bar or reserve a table. I’d suggest reserving a table so you can sit down and enjoy the music.
The Epic- A Kimpton Hotel- is in a great central location with beautiful views of the Biscayne Bay. The hotel has two pools,an Exhale spa and yoga studio, and two restaurants on site. The room is stocked with exhale spa products and a jacuzzi bath perfect for relaxing before or after a night out on the town.
This neighborhood has a completely different vibe than Miami Beach. Visit for great street art and a fun foodie scene.
Check out the Wynwood Walls for instagram worthy graffiti and street art. It’s like a small outdoor gallery similar to the walls I wrote about inConey Island last summer. Jeffrey Deitch calls it “a museum of the streets”. It will only take a few minutes to walk through the exhibition and snap a few photos, but there are some little boutiques and art stores around the area you can peruse afterwards. Doors open at 11 a.m so if you get to the area early, grab brunch first.
Brunch atMorgan’s restaurant. The chicken and waffles and maple bacon are 100. The fresh squeezed juices are on point too. Sit outside on their nautical themed porch to enjoy the beautiful breeze Florida offers this time of year.
Just a 5 minute drive from ourhotel in Downtown Miami, our uber driver, a Miami native, gave us some tips on where to go in the heart of little Havana. With a few hours to spare before heading to the airport, we spent our afternoon hanging in Havana oh na na…
Check out Domino Park where all the Cuban men play dominos as they drink their shots of espresso. There are a bunch of cigar bars where you can roll your own cigars (if you’re into that). I love the smell, but can’t smoke them! Stroll around and snap some cool photos.
Stop at La Isla, a local shop that sells art, accessories, and other goods made by local artisans in Miami. I purchased a handmade necklace and earrings made out of orange peels. The store is so bright and fun, you’ll surely find something you love!
Eat and Drink
Ball and Chain offers a great cocktail menu with live music. The cuban sandwich was arguably the best cuban sandwich I’ve ever had. A perfect balance of cheese, meat, pickles and sauce on perfectly toasted cuban bread. Enjoy drinks on their back patio where there’s a big pineapple stage for live entertainment.
North Miami Beach/Bal Harbour
At the northernmost tip of Miami beach, you’ll find an upscale neighborhood and shops in Bal Harbour. Surrounded by colorful flowers, palm trees, and a live koi pond, you will feel luxurious just strolling around the vicinity of the shops.
Enjoy an amazing Italian lunch at Carpaccio. Many of their ingredients are shipped in daily from Italy and their fish is caught in the Mediterranean a few days before it is served to you. Sip a Bellini on their patio while you people watch and admire all the fancy cars. Order the special Burrata and prosciutto plate. You’ll thank me later.
Grab a coffee at Santa Fe News and Espresso on the second floor and take away a few macarons from the Ladurée Bal Harbour Carriage. Eat under the palm trees as you admire the beauty around you.
Treat yourself to something extra special from one of the many high-end shops. A watch from Audemars Piguet for a mere 65K. Who says money can’t buy happiness? Perhaps a classic investment piece from Goyard or a spring splurge with this amazing box bag! Seriously, come prepared to drool over some of these windows and enjoy the beautiful atmosphere.
Well, there you have it. Turns out you can still enjoy Miami without ever stepping foot in South Beach. Explore off the beaten path and discover something new.
Did I leave anything out? Do you have any insider tips on Miami? Let me know by leaving a comment below or on the instagram page.Thanks for stopping by the blog!
Saturday night at my computer…
Writing this post tonight so that I can get it up on Monday… I had planned to work on it on Wednesday and set aside two hours to get it started. But suffice it to say, I’m just getting around to it now. The truth is I’m writing these motivating posts to get back on track and make time for the things that I love. But as the saying goes “the best-laid plans often go awry”.
How can I share “motivation” with my readers when I haven’t even stuck with my own plan?
Cue the negative self talk:
Five of the ten things on my calendar didn’t get done this week.
I wrote things down, I assigned a time to them, and I didn’t follow through.
I’m a failure. I’m a faker.
What am I going to write about to motivate my readers this week?
I’ll just forget it. I won’t post anything.
Wait, hold up. STOP! You went to the gym today, you planned for your upcoming trip, you spent time with friends, and you taught a kick-ass yoga class this week. What is wrong with you?
Okay, yea. It was a pretty motivated and successful week. But why is it never enough? Why do we (I) continually beat ourselves up for not having an A+ in productivity? Why do we equate productivity with success?
Truth is, it’s been harder than I thought it would be to adjust to a leisurely lifestyle, where I’m not constantly on my grind. I created this life. I wanted a slower-paced lifestyle where I could enjoy every moment without rushing to the next thing on the calendar. That was my lifestyle for way too long and I guess it just became part of my nature. But now whenever I have some downtime I feel lazy or I spend it in ways that I later deem a waste of time and proceed to punish myself for it in a myriad of ways.
I think I need to redefine my definition of productivity. Sometimes rest is productive. Not sticking to a rigid schedule can be productive.
Where am I going with this? Motivation Monday is intended to start your week off on the right foot and set the tone for the rest of the week. It’s not another day to be negative with yourself or others. Despite how tired you may be to get up and face Monday head on, here are a few tips to help you start your week off right:
- Sunday night: Take the time to acknowledge the highs and lows of the prior week. Reflect on what worked. Take note of that. Check things off on your calendar, write it down in a journal and maybe even reward yourself for it! Plan the week ahead by scheduling a few priorities. Note: Don’t overschedule. This will just set you up for failure. You can always add things as the week progresses depending on how you feel. Other responsibilities are bound to pop up.
- Monday morning: Set your alarm for 15 minutes earlier than usual. This will give you the extra time to get your butt in gear so you’re not rushing.
- Use a morning mantra: This is going to be the best day ever. This is a powerful way to start the day. At least it was for me. I had one of the most positive and productive Monday’s of the year yet because I woke up with a positive mantra and I believed it was going to be a great day. The more you say it the more you’ll believe it. Try it!
- Don’t check social media until the afternoon. This may be a hard habit to crack, but sometimes starting the day with instagram can do more harm than good.
So how do you start your Monday motivated to take on the week? Take this fresh start to manifest your dreams one day at a time!
I was at the gym today for the first time in a long while. To tell the truth I haven’t been motivated to do much of anything lately. It seems like the winter slump (did I make that up?) got the best of me. As someone recovering from being perpetually over scheduled, I’ve invited some much needed rest into my life over the past year. But there are some days where I feel downright lazy. That was never a word I would use to describe myself and frankly I’m not okay with it!
As I got a few minutes into my workout and the endorphins started kicking in, I realized that it only takes a little activity to get me going, but staying committed is quite harder. I would need something to keep me accountable and something to kickstart my motivation to get moving again! Spoiler: this is not a post about working out. It’s about pulling myself out of the hole, feeling good, and sticking to something. So with that I decided to bring back Motivational Monday to the blog!
I’m going to spend some time each weekend to plan the week ahead and reflect on the previous week. Here are three ways I plan to get motivated this week.
1) Commit to something
Join a group, volunteer, or sign up for a class. Don’t do it for the sake of doing it, but make sure it’s something you actually care about! Setting some time aside each week to give back or be part of something will help you to be more outwardly focused and give you more purpose. If we get too caught up in ourselves and our day to day monotony, eventually we become a little too comfortable. This can lead to boredom or even worse, depression.
Being part of something gives you accountability. I’m not the best with commitments, but one thing I’ve committed to over the past 2 years is being part of my Saturday morning running group. This group has kept me accountable to both my fitness and my spiritual life. We get together for a 30 minute run and then talk about some of life’s deeper questions over coffee and croissants. It was in this group where I met the other half of this blog and now dear friend, Mario. Some of those Saturday morning conversations we had are what sparked the idea to start The Daily Croissant! Creating a blog was something I always wanted to do, but being part of a supportive and caring group of people is what gave me the push to put my dreams into action!
Committing to bring you motivational Monday blog posts is keeping me accountable to send you all something that I also want to do for myself. The goal is to get involved with something that brings you joy or motivates you to get up and do something! This could be a running group, a series of fitness classes, a 30-day challenge of some sort or maybe even learning a new language. Don’t put it off any longer. What moves you? Go out and get involved in something that excites you!
2) Set a goal for the week
What is a small scale goal that you have? Choose one thing you want to accomplish this week and write it down. This could even be connected to the first tip I gave: write down the thing you want to commit to. Start small. I’m sure you’ve heard about SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely). This framework will help you to narrow down your focus so that you can actually achieve what you set out to do.
My goal for the week is to schedule time for the things that really matter (this is not a SMART goal). Here is a revision of it and the breakdown: Schedule and dedicate three hours each week to writing a new motivational Monday blog post. This is more specific and measurable in that I give myself a timeframe for what I want to accomplish, I write it down, and set the time aside that I’ll need to do it. It’s attainable and realistic because 3 hours is a reasonable amount of time outside of my work day to dedicate to this task. Finally, it’s timely because I know it has to be ready for Monday each week.
3) Get active
Rounding out this list is the very thing that got me motivated to write it. After a week or so of not working out, I was feeling sluggish. I had had enough of that and knew I needed to get moving. Less than five minutes into my workout I already started feeling a surge of energy that got me inspired to get sh*t done. It may very well be that you have to binge on Netflix for 5 hours before you can peel yourself out of bed and actually make it to the gym, but having an active lifestyle will motivate you in more ways than one.
Getting active will increase your endorphins and start to get rid of negative thoughts and feelings of laziness. In fact, activity breeds more activity. Having an active lifestyle starts to become a routine once you’ve given it a few days of your week. Commit to doing something active for a certain number of days each week. Then do it again the following week. By the third week tack on an additional day and before you know it you’ll have a month’s worth of activity!
Getting over the hump is the hardest part, meaning some days you will literally have to drag yourself to the gym. See tip #2: Set a goal for the week. Plan out the days you will be active and reward yourself at the end of the week by checking off the days you went and celebrating the hard work you put in!
What motivates you? Please share some inspiration or tips in the comments below so we can help to keep each other motivated.
Have a great week!
If I can’t be in France until another month or so, I might as well pretend to be. I spent the first day of my midwinter recess frolicking around lower Manhattan for a French facial at Caudalie (review of that coming soon) followed by tea and croissants with my dear friend and fellow travelista, Debbie. It’s always so lovely to spend time with friends with no agenda, but endless options to choose from. That is one of the very reasons I love living in New York. You never know what amazing places you may stumble upon. La Mercerie in the Guild is one of these great finds.
Art with your afternoon tea
Roman and Williams Guild is one of the most gorgeous spaces I’ve ever stepped foot in. I could picture every piece from this unique design concept store in my dream house someday. Upon entry to the space at 53 Howard street, you’re greeted by a flower shop and a chic tea room. Serving pastries, teas, coffee and fresh squeezed juices from 10-4 and cocktails from 3-7, La Mercerie is the perfect place to grab a coffee with a friend in a laid back, yet beautiful setting. Stroll through the design studio after enjoying some of the yummiest Brioche and Croissant. Pastries range from $5- $7 and tea and coffee from $3-$6. As a nice bonus, you can actually purchase the glassware you use at the café.
The studio is like a page out of Architectural Digest. Furniture with a modern edge and many one-of-a kind pieces curated by the couple who imagined and created the place. Some of my favorite pieces were this pink couch and an exquisite gold mirror for a mere $12K. The designers and owners of the space have designed many others including Le Coucou right down the block from this location.
If you’re ever on strolling through SoHo, pop into La Mercerie for an afternoon pick me up or some serious design inspiration. Soon they’ll be operating a full kitchen, so get in while you still can!
Questions? Leave a comment below or visit our instagram page.
It’s that time again… National Croissant Day. What a perfect bookend to the first month of the new year! #Treatyoself
My dear friend Linda, a Scarsdale resident, told me that this is the place to go for croissants, and boy was she right. To think I’ve lived in this county for 15 years and this weekend was the first time I’ve been to La Renaissance. I’ve been missing out this whole time, but better late than never I guess! One bite of this light and fluffy croissant and I was transported to Paris.
The regular croissant is soft and smooth, unlike the well done and flaky variety that I’ve had. The pain au chocolat is just as soft with just the right amount of chocolate.
Get here early for hot croissants fresh out of the oven . They’re open from 8-6 Monday- Saturday and 8-1 on Sundays. Sign up for their email list and receive $5 off your first purchase! De rien. Stroll around the historic Scarsdale village to enjoy the best croissant the county has to offer.
This charming Patisserie in the heart of Bronxville village does croissants very well. They offer a Dulce de leche croissant as well as a delicious almond croissant. Flaky, buttery, and not an overwhelming almond flavor. They feature a different croissant flavor every few weeks so you’ll always have something new to try!
They’re open Tuesday-Friday 7 – 4:30, Saturday 8:30 – 4, and Sunday 9 – 1.
I’ve yet to try this one, but it’s next on my list. It looks irresistible.
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Welcome to the weekend! And welcome to our first Twice Baked Croissant of 2018!🎉 Pecan and Chocolate lovers this one is for YOU! 🎉😍 . . . . . #chantillybronxville #bakery #patisserie #huffposttaste #eeeeeats #yummy #food #foodie #foodblogger #buzzfeedfood #eatfamous #foodgawker #foodgasm #foodblogger #truecooks #foodforthought #women #womeninbusiness #followforfollow #follow4follow #instagood #instagram
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I saved the best for last here. If you follow my Instagram stories, you’ll know that this has become my go-to café to get some writing done. Here you’ll find the best coffee in the county and the perfect playlist to go with it. What’s special about the croissants at Café E 4:2 is that they’re delivered fresh daily from Bread Alone, a family-owned, values-driven bakery in Rhinebeck, New York. This bakery boasts having the one and only French pastry oven in the state of New York.
The croissants are made with all organic ingredients and you can’t go wrong with an almond, regular, or pain au chocolat. Be sure to grab these early because as a small business in a small town, they only order a dozen a day. The best Barista and my friend, Cristhian, will toast the croissants for you too!
Check them out M-F : 6am – 7pm, Saturday – 8am – 4pm, and Sunday – 8am – 4pm.
If you’re ever in the area, tell them The Daily Croissant sent you! Wherever the day leads you, may you find some time to enjoy a decadent croissant.