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.
Ever thought about learning a new language? Parlez vous Francais? Perhaps you’re planning a trip to the city of light in 2018 or at some point in the future. I know I’m always thinking about my next trip to France! There’s no better time to learn French than maintenant.
Back in the summer, Coucou, one of the two French-only language schools in New York City, invited TDC to check out their school and take a free trial class. Of course, I couldn’t turn down another opportunity to study and practice my French!
It was time I put on my beret and head out to see what Coucou was all about. Upon arriving to their SoHo location at Fueled, Manhattan, I was greeted by the lovely Marianne, a Parisian native and one of the co-founders of Coucou. She greeted me with the sweetest Bonjour I’ve ever heard and I instantly knew I was going to enjoy Marianne’s company.
Make yourself at home
We took the elevator up to the 4th floor where she brought me to the 18,000 square foot co-working office space. “Can I get you a coffee or tea?” she asked. Coucou students get to enjoy all the amenities at Fueled, including a snack bar, a community kitchen with free tea and coffee, fresh popcorn, an ice cream truck, a ping pong table and more. But the biggest perk of all might be the beautiful views over the New York City skyline!
Before my lesson, I took some time to sit with Marianne on one of the many comfy couches to enjoy a cup of tea together and learn more about how the school started, what they have to offer, and where to go for some of the best cheese in NYC. Make sure to read the interview below to find out where she sent me!
Learning a language is not for everybody, but if you’re up for the challenge and want to have some fun while doing it, then Coucou is the French language school for you!
Paris meets New York
Ashley: What brought you to New York?
Marianne: I was traveling in the US 4 ½ years ago when my cousin Lea asked me to help her to open Coucou. I was living in Berlin and working in the music industry at that time, but I’ve always been interested in literature and languages so it was not a stretch to move on to teaching languages.
A: Why do you think New York is an ideal place to start a business, specifically a French culture/language school?
M: New York is so big; no matter how niche your business is, you’ll find an audience for it. There’s a long standing relationship between NY and Paris and we love each other and the exchange between the two.
A family affair
A: What made you want to jump on board with your cousin to create Coucou?
M: Learning a language is both an intellectual and a social activity. It’s fun to teach and interact with my students while promoting French language and culture in the US. This was a goal for me.
A: What makes Coucou different than other language schools?
M: Besides the French Institute Alliance Francaise, we are the only language school in NYC that offers French exclusively and all of our teachers are native speakers. We focus heavily on French culture in teaching the language. This helps the students to appreciate the culture too.
We cap our group classes to 9 people. It’s super important for us to keep our groups small so it allows the teachers to give more attention to each individual student and the opportunity to develop personal relationships with them.
A: As a teacher of English myself, I know the value in that. How did you create the curriculum you have now?
M: We wrote our own curriculum guides for every level that are fun and easy to follow. Each week’s lesson and homework is scheduled so if a student misses a class, they can catch up easily and make sure they don’t miss anything. The activities are playful and engaging, but the main focus of our classes is on conversation. In class, we don’t want students looking at a booklet. Students can go over everything at their own time. All of our teachers are trained using this method.
A: What do you offer in the way of French cultural events outside of the classroom?
M: One of our teachers, Pia, organizes immersive french outings such as trips to a French opera, play or film premiere or dinner at an Algerian/Moroccan restaurant in Williamsburg to discuss the legacy of North Africa and French culture. We’ve celebrated Mardi Gras and Bastille Day with our students at our headquarters in Brooklyn.
A: How can people who are interested in your classes know if it’s the right fit for them?
M: Prospective students can come in for a trial class to see how they like it and which level is right for them. We have a lot of students who sign up after their free trial.
A: I’ve tried learning French a few times. What makes the Coucou method stick?
M: We make our classes fun and if the students are enjoying themselves and associate language learning with something positive, they are more likely to retain the information. After a long day of work, students are tired and not necessarily motivated, so we make sure the class is energetic, otherwise we’re just going to lose them.
We also focus on spoken French over formal written French. We teach grammar in a thorough way, there’s no bypassing that, but it can be done in a fun way.
Students can enjoy a little bit of wine in class and that boosts students’ confidence. If I’m being honest that’s how I learned to be confident speaking English when I was studying in London for University. Moderation is key, but a glass of wine definitely helps!
A: Where can I sign up?
A: What advice would you give to a beginner learning French?
M: Check your expectations. You can’t expect to magically know French in 2 weeks. It all depends on what you’re willing to put into it. Learning a language is a lifelong venture and if you make it part of your daily life by seeking out additional learning materials, then it will be better for you. We’re happy to recommend podcasts you can listen to or tv shows you can watch.
It’s kind of like going to the gym. If it becomes a chore, you’re just going to stop going. But if it’s something you want to do then you’ll be in good shape.
Also, don’t compare yourself to other students. For example, if you have a background in music you may be really good with pronunciation. Whereas, another student may not be as good at pronunciation, but has a better understanding of grammar.
Focus on your own progress and don’t compare yourself to others.
Go to Paris!
A: How confident can someone who completes your course feel about their ability to get around in Paris?
M: What we do in a weekly class is give you tools to feel more confident speaking French, but ultimately you’ll need to spend some time in a French speaking country if you want to practice more and that’s when its all going to make sense.
Some students get frustrated when they go to Paris and people speak to them in English, but when they manage to have a conversation or if they successfully manage to order in a restaurant, that’s when they’re satisfied and excited to keep going.
But if you really want to get good, you should have an immersive experience in a French speaking country.
A: What kind of community have you built at Coucou?
M: My wish has already been fulfilled. We have the most amazing, talented, and creative people who are cultured and curious about the world. My job is amazing in that I get to speak to so many interesting people. How lucky are we?
A: Do students get together outside of class?
M: We may get a drink after class or get together outside of class for a study group. The social aspect cannot be understated and this was the biggest surprise for us running the business. Students realize how important it is to get together and speak French with people outside of their circle. Talking in another language makes them more open. It gets personal and the conversations are very interesting. So many people have told us how they are grateful they are, how they look forward to it, and have met great friends through it.
What else should I know?
A: What course levels are offered and how long does a course last?
M: We have levels 1-7, from beginner all the way to conversational. We’ve had motivated and dedicated students who started in level 1 and are now in a conversational group.
Classes are 8 weeks long. After one level is complete, the next level starts after one or two more weeks. We encourage people in the lower levels to keep going. We don’t want students to risk losing momentum once they’re on a roll with the language.
A: What is the future of Cou Cou?
M: We just launched in Coucou in LA. One of our first teachers in NY, Margo, just moved there a year ago and is starting the program there as well as giving lessons at the Netflix office there.
A: I can’t leave without asking you one more thing. In your Parisian opinion, where can a girl get the best French delights here in New York?
M: Well that’s hard to say and I get asked that a lot, but whenever I have a craving for good French cheese I go to Murray’s. They have a great selection. And Bien Cuit in Cobble Hill has very nice pain au chocolat and croissants.
A: I will definitely be making a stop there on my next visit. (Review to come on le blog!)
I want to thank Coucou for inviting me in to check out their classes. The warm welcome I felt from Marianne and Pia excited me to continue learning French with them. If you’re looking to challenge yourself and have some fun while doing it, start to learn French with Coucou; you won’t be disappointed.
Check out their locations in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Los Angeles.
Trust yourself and follow your heart
It’s hard to take a leap of faith and put yourself out there sometimes. But if that’s what it takes to manifest your dreams, then that’s what you have to do! Exactly one year ago I decided to launch this blog after a few years of toying with the idea. It was only when I surrounded myself with like minded and creative people that I made the decision that this is something I can and want to do.
Trusting the voice inside of me to take a chance regardless of the outcome is something I’ve struggled with. I tend to go with the “safe” choices in life. But I realized there isn’t any growth in the comfort zone. Try to listen to that little voice that speaks to you. What have you always wanted to do? What has held you back from taking the plunge? When the time is right, will you push the “what if’s” aside and take a chance on a dream?
Writing my intentions and aspirations down is one of the habits that has kept me accountable. Whether it’s embarking on a new adventure, taking a trip, starting a new routine, or planning my week out so that it includes a balance of self-care and work, I find that I’m more likely to stick to it if I write it down.
Don’t compare yourself to others; Instead be clear about your purpose
We live in a society that can sometimes set us up for disappointment. We see people who make “success” and “the good life” seem so easy. I’ve learned that everyone’s story is quite different. We can’t try to be like what we see in the movies or on social media. Most of it just isn’t real life. The way we choose to live has to be in line with who we are and what we really seek. Is it financial security, fame, influence, or is it more authentic? Make your purpose clear. It’s going to look very different than the next person’s version of that.
What really excites you? How do you want to live your life? Make sure that it’s fueled by love and right intention. If it comes from a place of authenticity and truth rather than envy or competition, then the end result won’t be as important or exciting as the journey is.
Create the life you love
Everyday is a new opportunity to recreate yourself and curate the life you want to live.
Letting go of the things that weren’t aligned with my purpose in order to give the energy to what made me feel alive as well as giving up the need to do it all has been so liberating. My time became more precious than ever. As much as my social life dictated my calendar in the past, I made the conscious decision to be more selective about what I committed to this year. This was the game changer.
Starting this blog came with its lessons too, but it has brought me so much joy to know that I’ve inspired others (even just a little) and I hope to continue to do so in this coming year.
Committing to a more consistent yoga practice and completing my 200 YTT was one of the most gratifying experiences to date. Embarking on my yoga journey was just the tip of the iceberg. I look forward to sharing more of the wellness side of my life and offering you many ways to create a life you love every day.
These are just a few things I’m hoping to continue in the new year. Stay tuned for a month filled of wellness and habits of self-care and self-love you can create in the new year.
What were your highlights of 2017 and what are your intentions for the new year? Share them in the comments below or as always on the instagram page.
Looking for a festive drink to serve at one of your parties or maybe a sidekick for wrapping up the gifts? Greet your guests with this cocktail that not only looks like Christmas in a glass, but tastes like it too!
With Christmas quickly approaching I’m savoring the last few days at home. This simple and delicious 3 ingredient recipe is sure to get you toasty and in the spirit of Christmas!
White Chocolate Peppermintini’s
- 1 bottle Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur
- 1 bottle of The Special Edition Smirnoff Peppermint Twist Vodka (Scratch and sniff bottle!)
- Candy Canes
This simple 3 ingredient cocktail makes the perfect dessert treat too!
Check out the video here!
Thanks for checking out my video and please go give it a thumbs up on youtube if you liked it!
Looking for more festive Christmas treats that double as gifts? Check out this post.
May your day be merry and bright!
Let the countdown begin. Christmas is exactly 7 days away! I know people are busy doing their last minute shopping and wrapping up all of their holiday to-do lists, and because I don’t want to flood your inbox more than it already is, I’m combining the last 6 days of The Daily Croissant Christmas into 3 posts.
Here are a few more fun holiday festivities to do on day 7 and 8…
Curate Your Own Christmas Tree Crawl
As a New Yorker, I try to stay away from tourists at all costs, but the Christmas trees at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Museum of Natural History are worth a visit during the holidays. Start on the Upper West Side with a Christmas cocktail at the NYLO hotel and an origami tree at The Museum of Natural History and end on the Upper East Side with the MET and dinner at a fantastic Italian restaurant just a hop, skip and a jump from the museum.
A Sight to be Seen
The Origami tree at the Museum of Natural History is so unique. It takes the origami artists close to one whole year to envision the tree’s theme and construct all of the ornaments. They get their inspiration from the featured exhibits in the museum throughout the year. Some ornaments take days or even weeks to create. Then they have only four days to decorate the tree before viewing is open to the public the Monday before Thanksgiving. Make sure to get there before 5:45 on weekdays and look for special holiday hours daily.
The Tree at The Metropolitan Museum of Art
I remember walking into the museum and being blown away by the beauty of this immaculate tree. It is a true representation of what Christmas is because it brings the birth of Jesus to the forefront with an ornate nativity.
Dine out after your tree crawl
Looking for a place to eat afterwards? Check out Giovanni VentiCinque on the Upper East Side for some delicious, authentic Italian fare. Just a 3 minute walk from the museum and you can be sipping Italian wine and eating some of the best cacio e pepe I’ve ever tasted!
Christmas Inspired Cocktails
If you’re looking for some festive holiday cheer, check out the NYLO hotel on the Upper West Side. The bar is small, but sufficient and the decorations are beautiful. They also have a pianist if you get there at the right time!
Last year they offered Shakespeare inspired Christmas cocktails like a Shakespeare’s Globe and Lady Macbeth’s secret recipe (featured below). The glass is my favorite part!
Stay tuned to day 9 tomorrow for more Christmas inspired cocktails that you can make at home!
On the 6th day of The Daily Croissant Christmas, I urge you to take a holiday timeout for some self-care!
Forget your to-do list, kick off your shoes, and give yourself a little midweek pampering! With the hustle and bustle of the holidays we can really neglect our own self -care. Skip your yoga class and go shopping instead; rush out of the shower to get your wrapping done; stay up late scouring the internet for that perfect gift just to wake up a few hours later and do it all over again.
We’ve all been there. As much as we try to achieve balance and stick to a self-care regimen, the holidays stress us out and we need this downtime now more than ever! Luckily you still have some time to get everything on your list checked off. What you need right now is to forget about rushing around and schedule in some time for yourself!
About a month ago, I wrote about the benefits of incorporating more rest into your life. Coming from someone who is always on the go, I know how hard it is to just be still. It still feels odd some days when I have nothing on my calendar after work. But I have learned to embrace the moments of stillness and I’m getting creative about how I pamper myself without splurging!
Here are 5 ways to kick back and pamper yourself:
1.Give yourself an at-home facial
There are few things in the pampering department I love more than a facial. But it’s the holidays and I’m trying not to spend money on myself (not easy), so a facial is just not in the budget right now, but a $5 face mask is!! Oh yea, I picked this one up at H-mart at the Korean beauty counter. Score!
I’ve also been really into the sephora eye masks that run from 4-8 bucks. Worth it! Wash or exfoliate your face before using the mask. Put on some chill tunes, turn your phone on airplane mode, and sit for 15 minutes of pure bliss.
2. Light your candles to create a relaxing atmosphere
I’m currently loving the CHILL candle from bath and body works. It’s a calming lavender spruce made with essential oils. It’s currently sold out online, but I got mine in the store and it was on sale!
3. Diffuse Essential Oils
Speaking of essential oils, I’m diffusing my oils now more than ever! There are so many health benefits of diffusing oils at home. Use lavender for a calming effect. Feel like you may be coming down with something? Use On Guard, DoTerra’s protective blend. It is known for its ability to boost the immune system when ingested and can boost cardiovascular function too. Frankincense is amazing for the brain, concentration, and also great for the skin. Add a few drops to your moisturizer and apply for anti-aging benefits and brightening the skin. I’m a wellness advocate so if you need anything, you can order from me directly here.
I’m currently diffusing a combination of the three oils mentioned above and I love that I’m getting the calming, healing, and anti-anxiety properties all in one!
4. Take a long shower with some good products
This is such a luxury if you ask me. Over the summer I discovered L’occitane’s Amande shower and body oils and I am hooked! If you’re looking for a special gift and still unsure what to get, check out this great gift set that includes both products! You can also pick out a few free samples upon checkout. Grab the Divine eye cream. It truly is divine. Another inexpensive gift is the bath and body works stress relief body lotion. I love how this smells. It has been a go-to of mine for as long as I can remember.
5. Dive into a good book!
Put the screen down and grab a physical book. I am guilty of spending more minutes than I’d like to count scrolling through instagram, but one of my intentions for the new year is less screen time and more book time. Reading online is too much of a distraction for me. I’m currently reading a lot of yoga books to deepen my practice and my teaching. Eastern Body, Western Mind by Anodea Judith is all about the psychology of the chakra system as a path to understanding yourself. What are you reading?
Schedule one hour between now and Christmas to pamper yourself without breaking your holiday budget!
How do you pamper yourself? Share some ideas with me here or on instagram for a chance to win a little pampering gift set for yourself!
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