7.17.2014

july the 4th be with you: a photo diary










4th of July weekend was an incredible time. Even whilst abstaining from alcohol and cheeseburgers. Those few days may've just made my entire summer.

Shouts to Jana, Andy, and Rach for the photos I'm in.

7.15.2014

ten things




1. I'm on day 18 of my personal candida cleanse, and feeling really optimistic about it. I anticipate this will be no shorter than a 6-month journey, but I'm so psyched to be on my way. I'm finally going to get better, and it's going to be freaking amazing.
2. Re: #1, I haven't had one sip of alcohol this entire time, and I don't plan on it. That includes this past 4th of July, which was such a blast. I'm actually loving not drinking. Might keep this going for the rest of my life.
3. I'm wearing my workout clothes in the photos above. Still have them on right now. I should take a shower.
4. I've been listening to SZA radio on Pandora/Spotify non-stop. That means SZA, Banks, The Weekend, James Blake, etc. Such a good crew.
5. I'm fleeing the country in 33 days with two awesome sidekicks. More on that later.
6. Technology is the number one cause of stress and frustration in my life. I should update my computer and get a new phone. And do less things with technology.
7. I've lost ten pounds and gained a shitload of muscle since moving back here in May. I have this one to thank for most of that. Along with my new carb-less diet. But mostly the former.
8. I often find myself clenching my teeth when I'm doing something that requires concentration, but I've been catching myself and making a constant effort to ease the tension. Stress-free is the way to be.
9. To go partially blonde or to not go partially blonde? That has been the recurring question lately.
10. I want pizza. Damnit.

Photos by Charlotte.

7.09.2014

waves


There's something so appealing to me about anything that's raw; unedited; in its original form. It's like a rare peek behind the scenes in today's world, where we're constantly putting things out there for the world to see -- but never without first carefully selecting, curating, and altering.

Edited product here

6.27.2014

oh sugar



Very badly wishing I could have a glass of one of these lemonades I made for the Freeps blog yesterday. But, alas, I have put myself on a pretty strict, almost entirely no-carb diet for the time being. 

Why, you ask? Well, I recently developed a pretty strong suspicion about the madness that has been going on in my stomach for the past two and a half years. What I once thought could be parasites, Celiac Disease, or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, I'm now thinking might be candida overgrowth. It would explain so much. The ridiculous havoc of stomach issues, the sugar cravings (duh, it's what yeast EAT), the anxiety, the lack of energy, the brain fogginess and inability to concentrate, the dry mouth, the sudden onset of sensitivity to gluten and almost anything else I eat. Yup, those would all be symptoms of candida.

Plus, my life has been a perfect storm for developing it -- in my 26 years of existence, I've probably consumed more carbohydrates than most 50-year-olds. No joke. That would up the yeast existence within me for sure. Plus, I've been on antibiotics countless times -- including strong dosages for acne. That wipes out all the bacteria -- good and bad -- which would normally thrive in the body, making ample room for yeast to do it's thing. And by "do it's thing" I mean multiply and multiply and multiply. Gross.

Am I sure that it's candida that is the issue? Nah. But I'm not going to see a doctor. Most of them don't even believe that candida overgrowth is even a thing, which... what the fuck? Why wouldn't it be? Even if I were to see a naturopath who does believe in this, the diagnosis usually just comes after hearing me describe my symptoms. I know my body pretty well by now... I'm pretty sure any naturopath would agree that candida may be to blame.

So I'm taking olive leaf extract and caprylic acid to wipe out the ish in my stomach, and then probiotics to help restore all of the good guys. I'm avoiding all types of sugar, but allowing myself just one fruit a day, if that. No alcohol, no rice, no gluten-free waffles. Wahhh. (This will, of course, be lessened for 4th of July weekend, because...)

I started yesterday, and woke up in the middle of the night feeling like absolute shit! I think this is a good thing, because it's likely that the yeast is already dying off and causing me to feel ill. Unfortunately that's what happens. But that means I might just finally be on the road to recovery. We shall see.

So for the time being... no sugar for me. Hmph.

I hope you all enjoyed this unexpected in-depth description of my internal issues. My sincerest apologies if I made any of you feel ill. If anyone has ever had a candida problem, though, I'd love to hear about your experience!!

6.18.2014

vibes

This afternoon, I found myself laying on a blanket in a small patch of sun on the grass in my yard. As I laid there, echoing in my head were the words of the beautiful Lilavati, my yoga teacher // Ayurveda practicioner // life goddess // second mother, who lives in Philly. I imagined hearing her instruct me to let go of all the stress that accumulated in this day, to free myself from every little rigid structure that I may be holding onto, as it does not serve me in this moment. And that's when it hit me. There was nothing to let go of. I couldn't think of one stressful thing that happened in this day. Yes I worked out hard this morning at my sister's boot camp class; sure there was the issue where I didn't know how I was going to package the giant dreamcatcher that had to be sent all the way to Paris today; no I don't know what I plan to do with my future; you bet I'm about to feel the wrath of two recent car accidents in my insurance payments very soon; of course money is still an ongoing issue; absolutely my physical health is still in question at this moment. But you know what? None of these things are adding an overwhelming amount of stress to my life in this moment. None of these things seem to really be adding any noticeable amount of stress at all. Will I feel the same tomorrow? I have no idea. But I do know that lately my life seems to be replacing discomfort with ease more and more as each moment passes. And I could not possibly be happier.

6.12.2014

pressing les fleurs


There are, like, 37 other things I need to be doing right this moment, but I'm pressing flowers. And admiring their beauty. There is nothing more beautiful than that which occurs naturally. I can't get enough.

6.11.2014

the little things


I've always been one to get extra excited about life's little things. Namely, beauty products. I love beauty in every form, and although I think everyone is beautiful in their natural state, I can't help but to feel extra beautiful when dousing my hair with something that makes it look, feel, and smell irresistible. I used to have bottles and bottles of beauty products overflowing my cabinets, shower, bedroom, and anywhere else. It was like an addiction. But slowly I began to realize that maybe it wasn't in my best interest to cover my body in chemicals on the daily, all in the name of beauty. Nay, as with everything, there is a much more natural way to do it. And I'm happy to say that these days, the products I use are predominately natural. It's been -- and continues to be -- a gradual learning experience, but for the most part, I feel good about what I put on my body, and that feels fucking great. I've also decreased my beauty product stash to about 10% of what it used to be. No joke. Here's some of what I'm loving these days...

Jason Vitamin E Oil // For those damn acne and bug bite scars that never seem to leave. I started using this a week or two ago, and guess what? They're leaving.
Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar // For the face and body blemishes I've been battling for 14 years. Along with my new minimal-stress life, recent healthy eating, and a few more products from this incredible goddess, my skin is actually starting to clear up. I can't even believe it.
Alaffia Authentic African Black Soap // For the most invigorating showers I've ever had. My girl Naomi turned me on to African black soap, and now I can't get off it. I use the tangerine-scented one -- for body wash as well as shaving -- and it is such a treat.
Aura Cacia Organic Bergamot Essential Oil // For uplifting the spirit yet calming the soul all at once. I usually put a few drops on my wrist, and then a couple on my fingertips that I vigorously massage into my scalp right quick. Then I carry the bottle around with me and take a sniff whenever the mood strikes. This stuff is gold.
Giovanni Frizz Be Gone Hair Serum // For the smoothest, shiniest, softest locks I've ever experienced. I have to be honest, this stuff is not 100% natural. There are a couple ingredients on that label that scare me, but I don't use it every day, and it's certainly more natural than a lot of other serums out there.
Desert Essence Natural Tea Tree Oil & Neem Toothpaste // For the most naturally-clean-feeling mouth I've had. I actually just bought this for the first time today, and I'm in love. No fluoride, kids! Just the good stuff.
Swissco Tortoise Toothbrush // Because, come on, it's beautiful. I've been on the hunt for a good-looking toothbrush that didn't cost a fortune for years, and I finally spotted this one at Whole Foods for, like, $5. SOLD. I'm obsessed.