8 Planners to Plan Your 2017

Has your 2017 started yet? Mine is on its way, and I know I can’t tackle it without a planner. Yes, you can use your iPhone calendar, but there’s something about writing plans down on a piece of paper, and seeing it laid out in front of you that makes it more do-able for me. Here are some stylish and fun planners to help you organize your kick-ass plans for this year…

Kate Spade’s Floral Patterned Planner on SALE for $26.99

Continue Reading

Weekend Links

Some much needed inspiration for this weekend…

Feeling anxious today? Here are some ways to calm down.

52 Must-Go Places for your 2017. Tijuana, Marrakesh, Chiang Mai, oh my!

Vanity Fair’s Exit Interview with Barack Obama. Thank you, and you will be missed.

I found this fun and fascinating. Fore-edge paintings are paintings on the edges of books. When closed, the painting is undetectable, but when the pages are fanned out (as happens when reading a book), the painting becomes visible.

Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power premiered at Sundance to a standing ovation. I hear it provides some much needed inspiration.

Head & Shoulder’s has created the world’s first recyclable shampoo bottle! Hurrah! They will start using them in France this summer.

Continue Reading

The Broad (Los Angeles, CA)

If I were visiting LA for a weekend, I wouldn’t leave without visiting The Broad. It is hands- down my favorite museum in Los Angeles. I haven’t gone to ALL the museums in LA, but I have gone to all the majors (LACMA, MOCA, The Getty) and then some. Of all of those, The Broad is my favorite.

So logistics…Tickets to the broad are free. Yup, FREE. And you can get them one of two ways. You can reserve a ticket in advance on their website, OR you can wait in the stand-by line on the day. Which is the better option?

If you are a planner and have the luxury of time. By all means, reserve a free ticket in advance on the website. However, if you aren’t a planner, you will have zero luck reserving tickets online for the day you want to go because they are usually sold out 3-6 months in advance. I got in through stand-by, and it wasn’t too bad. It was actually a fun experience.

Before you drive over to The Broad and park and such, make sure to check their twitter account: @BroadStandby to know how long the wait will be. It’s usually shortest right when it opens and a couple hours before it closes. Obviously, if you go on a holiday or on a weekend afternoon the wait could very well be over 3 hours. If you don’t mind the wait and want to go during those times, make sure to bring a friend so you can switch off running to the street vendor for food or going to the bathroom. If it drizzles and you’re outside, The Broad does provide lovely umbrellas for you to use (though, you must return them on the way into the museum).

Continue Reading

Have you seen Hidden Figures?

Katherine G. Johnson

If you haven’t gone to the movies to watch Hidden Figures, go asap. I loved this movie. It was fun, entertaining, educational, and a different perspective.

The film is based on the book, Hidden Figures, by Margot Lee Shetterly. Margot, herself, grew up near NASA’s Langley Research Center, and her father and extended family worked for NASA. As an African-American woman, growing up around NASA physicists and engineers, I can imagine, for Margot, this story was not only important to tell on a historical level, but also on a personal level.

Hidden Figures is the story of Katherine G. Johnson, Mary Jackson, and Dorothy Vaughan. Three African-American female mathematicians who contributed to the success of NASA’s Project Mercury and Apollo 11 while also facing discrimination and sexism.

Taraji P. Henson (Cookie?! YES COOKIE, but not really..) plays Katherine G. Johnson, the NASA mathematician who was pivotal in the success of John Glenn’s Friendship 7 mission. In the film, we follow her trying to juggle work as one of NASA’s human computers and raising three girls by herself. She not only faces the trials of being a working single mother, but also the racism and sexism of her co-workers and the institution she works for.

Continue Reading

Weekend Links

Fairytales, love relationships, and the Girls….have a lovely weekend.

I try to meditate every day – even if it’s just for 5 minutes. Not only because it makes me a happier person that day, but also because it makes me significantly happier in the days after. Here’s the science behind why that is and how you can make yourself happier by training your brain. 

If you master this, you can master love and relationships.

These photographs were unavailable to the public when they were first taken. A look at these photographs of Japanese American Concentration Camps is a good reminder of where we were and where we are and which way we should be going. We should always strive to learn from our mistakes.

Bye bye, American Apparel. 

Architect and graphic designer, Federico Babina, reimagines fairytales into architectural buildings. My favorite is the Ugly Duckling.

The Indivisible Guide. Whether you are a republican or a democrat, here’s a guide on how to be a voice of change in our government. It is a step-by-step guide, written by members of congress, to show citizens how to effectively  speak to and contact their members of congress.

Continue Reading

10 Favorite Uses for Lemons

Is anyone else feeling a little sluggish lately? I feel a little somethin’ coming on so I have stocked up on soup, honey, ginger, and all things nutritious to combat this sluggishness before it turns into anything more. Did I mention lemons? I mean…they really are in a category of their own. There are so many wonderful uses for them so I thought I’d share my favorites.

Lemon is a great antibacterial and all-natural cleaner. So, you can take half a lemon, stick it in some water and microwave it to clean the microwave. Sometimes, I use vinegar instead, but I love the smell of the lemons.

You can also make an easy and affordable all-purpose cleaner with them.

Since lemon is not only antibacterial, but antimicrobial and antifungal, they are a great aide when you’re sick. I personally like to do a honey, lemon and ginger combo in water. Sometimes, I’ll put some cayenne in to clear up the sinuses. Here’s a good recipe for Honey Lemon Ginger Tea.

I make a conceded effort to not get sick, so I also often drink lemon water. Staying hydrated is important on its own, but adding lemon adds flavor and vitamin c.

I really do love the smell of lemons, especially in the kitchen. So, I like to make an air freshener with them, or I’ll pour a few drops of lemon on my carpet or curtains before vacuuming. Sometimes, if I’m feeling exceptionally crafty, I’ll make potpourri or scented drawer sachets.

Continue Reading

Belated Weekend Links

Happy happy new year! Whoa did that last week go by fast…here are some belated links to start off 2017…

Amanda Lucidon is an official White House Photographer, and she not only captures POTUS, but also captures FLOTUS. 

There were a lot of good-byes in 2016. I’d like to take a moment to say this good-bye to one of the first great pioneers of haute couture and one of the first models to represent people of color in fashion, China Machado. Thank you for paving the way.

Has anyone else noticed that there are no more “No-Rub” contact solutions being sold? I asked my optometrist and found out that not rubbing contact lenses caused a significant uptick in bacterial eye infections so the FDA have quietly taken it off the shelves.

Sweden is so good at recycling that they get paid to get rid of other countries’ garbage. 

Ever wonder what happens to all the coins that people throw in fountains? They get collected and donated to charity…often thousands of dollars weekly.

The holidays can be really fun, but can also be emotionally draining. Here are some emotional aid tips to help you regroup. Love his tip on how to revive your self-worth.

Continue Reading

Weekend Links

Here’s some goodness for your lovely holiday weekend…

L’occitane has opened their flagship store in New York, and it is interactive and BEAUTIFUL.

Are you as happy as Simon’s Cat (on catnip) for the holidays?

A new study done by the British Journal of Psychology says that evolution may be why highly intelligent people tend to be more introvert. In the past, humans needed each other to help solve the problems of day-to-day living, however, in our current climate, we can solve problems on our own, and even more so for the highly intelligent. Therefore, highly intelligent people find that relationships are less beneficial for them, and it makes them actually happier being alone. Here is a more detailed explanation of the study if you would like to delve further.

What to do with all those Amazon boxes. Besides chucking them in the recycling bin.

Another way to aid the Syrian Refugee crisis and it involves some hearty soup. Soup for Syria is a collection of soup recipes (from Syrian to Korean) that donates its sales to the refugee crisis. Some of the contributing chefs include Anthony Bourdain, Mark Bittman, and Alice Waters.

The Literary Man Hotel in Obidos, Portugal is the book lover’s dream. And even if you’re not a “book lover”, I think you can appreciate the rustic uniqueness of this hotel.

Emmy Rossum will be receiving equal pay! It’s a tough world out there for a lady, especially in Hollywood where discrimination, sexism, racism can go pretty much unchecked if you’re “powerful” enough. Congrats to Emmy for getting what she deserves.

This one second meditation changed my meditation practice. I hope it can help you. I love what he has to say about giving a job to that “yada yada” in your head instead of trying to block it out (which was what I was trying to do).

L’Occitane’s flagship store in the Flatiron District (NY).
Continue Reading

Echo Dot Love

I have had the Amazon Echo Dot for a week and I already feel like Joaquin Phoenix in Her. When I initially received it as a gift, I thought of re-gifting it because it didn’t seem that useful to me. I have an alarm clock, speakers for music, and I don’t need to buy “smart” appliances just so I can turn it on with my voice. It just sounded like more things to put on my to-do list. However, after taking the plunge into this “voice-activated” world, here’s what I learned and love about it…

  • It keeps track of a to-do list. Sometimes, I’m running in and out of the apartment doing work, chores, etc. and I’ll have a random thought in my head like, “I need to buy lemons when I go to the grocery store tomorrow”. Then, I’ll either forget about it or decide to put everything down and find my planner or a post-it to write that thought down. With the Echo Dot, you can just say it and it’ll put it down on your “to-do list” and it’s pretty neat when you’re multi-tasking. 
  • It has useful “skills” you can enable, like guided meditations, 7 minute workouts, recipes, & rain sounds for sleeping. Or at least, that’s what I’ve enabled so far. There’s so much more that I haven’t discovered yet, and with the rate that the technology is going, I presume more “skills” for the Eco Dot are coming.
Continue Reading

The How-Tos of Managing Time

“Life was not to be sitting in hot amorphic leisure in my backyard idly writing or not-writing, as the spirit moved me. It was, instead, running madly, in a crowded schedule, in a squirrel cage of busy people. Working, living, dancing, dreaming, talking, kissing — singing, laughing, learning. The responsibility, the awful responsibility of managing (profitably) 12 hours a day for 10 weeks is rather overwhelming when there is nothing, noone, to insert an exact routine into the large unfenced acres of time — which it is so easy to let drift by in soporific idling and luxurious relaxing. It is like lifting a bell jar off a securely clockwork-like functioning community, and seeing all the little busy people stop, gasp, blow up and float in the inrush, (or rather outrush,) of the rarified scheduled atmosphere — poor little frightened people, flailing impotent arms in the aimless air. That’s what it feels like: getting shed of a routine.”  – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

Oh, Sylvia Plath…how you move me so. Although, in this week’s case, I’m feeling more like “the little busy people” stopping, gasping, blowing up, and floating underneath the bell jar. My schedule has been hectic due to the holidays and I’m gasping for a way to manage it all. Here were some great tips that I found:

Get into the habit of switching off email whenever you can, even if this is only for 15 minutes or 30 minutes at a time. Great idea! Emails and any other form of social media can become a crutch we turn to when we want to procrastinate. I’ve especially been trying to break the habit of “mindless browsing” to make most of my time.

Don’t fuss about unimportant details. I love this advice because it is a great reminder that sometimes the act is more important than making something perfectly.

To piggyback off of that tip, more time spent doesn’t necessarily mean more “money” earned. This was by far the most free-ing of the advice I’ve read. Sometimes, I’ll spend hours and hours prepping for an audition and I’ll drive myself exhausted, which is no state to perform in. Spending hours on something doesn’t necessarily produce the results you want.

Make sure you have some time for rest and exercise. Some of the world’s most brilliant people would build-in down time in their days because creativity and inspiration doesn’t abide by the constraints of time. We have to give ourselves rest and experience life to work and perform better.

Be mindful of small bits of time. Every little bit counts, and who better to know this but moms with full time jobs (side note: ummm how inspiring are moms!). I love this tip because it’s essentially about being kinder to yourself.

Love that she made time for coffee

Continue Reading