Ever have those days that seem like you just can’t catch a break? You wake up feeling rushed and are in a hurry to get to your destination on time. I’m sharing a few tips to help relieve unnecessary stress (let’s face it, we can all shed some stress from our lives).
- Pick out your outfit the night before work. This is a big one for me! I feel more put-together when my outfit is picked out and I can get ready in the morning with ease.
- Unplug before bed. Give yourself 30 minutes to an hour before bed to stop scrolling through social media and let your mind (and eyes) rest before sleeping.
- Spend 5 minutes in the morning to yourself. Set your alarm clock 5 minutes earlier and be still. I like to sit in the dark with my oil diffuser on and enjoy the quietness before starting my day. It’s also a great time to meditate or get in some stretching.
- Breathing exercises. Spend time throughout your day taking deep breaths. Set reminders on your phone to take deep breaths (I like to count to 4 on my inhalations & exhalations). Release your tongue from the roof of your mouth. Relax your shoulders away from your ears. Unclench your jaw. Just let go of tension in your body.
- Drink water. Staying hydrated can keep your stress levels down. Enough said.
- Get your body moving. Get up and stretch, go for a walk or workout. Do something to clear your mind and get any built up tension out.
Wearing the Mantra Tee in Black and Black Mesh Legging from Joriki. My followers get 15% off with code: GINA15
Have any tips you want to share for stress relief? Comment below!
Tea is a delicious drink that has so many amazing benefits! I love Tiesta Tea because they categorize their tea so you can choose which function and flavor you’re looking for. Their five different categories include: energizer, slenderizer, eternity, immunity, and relaxer. I love the idea of categories because each day your preferred function could change. For instance, today I am in need of the relaxer function, but yesterday I needed some energy!
Each function has a variety of delicious blends and can even be used to make cocktails. In fact, I’ve teamed up with Tiesta Tea and Joriki Yoga
to bring you a fun and exciting yoga & tea mimosas event on March 31st at the Joriki showroom. My blog readers get 50% off tickets! Purchase your ticket here
and use code: gina50
Now, let’s go through some of my favorite Tiesta Tea flavors:
(because lavender everything)
Wearing Joriki Ikat Indigo Top, Give Back Mantra Tee, Ikat Indigo High Waist Legging
Use code GINA10 for 10% off all Joriki clothing.
Add champagne for an instant mimosa
Wearing Joriki Ikat Ombré Top and Ikat Ombré High Waist Legging
You can purchase loose tea online or head to your local Target or grocery store
to buy the brewed iced tea.
Wearing Joriki Ikat Indigo Top, Give Back Mantra Tee and Ikat Indigo High Waist Legging
Check out Tiesta Tea’s delicious flavors for yourself at the event on March 31st!
I had the opportunity to interview the fabulous fashion designer, friend and old college roomie of mine, Brianna Neal! Read more to find out how Bri followed her dreams of fashion design and broke into the industry!
Gina: Welcome Bri! Why don’t you give us a little background of yourself.
Brianna: I am an Indiana native who came to Chicago 5 years ago for college. I conquered that and now I am pursuing my dream of being a fashion designer. Since I was a little girl, I loved dressing my dolls and began sketching garments at a young age. Through the years, I continued to indulge in fashion with drawing, taking a sewing class in middle school and once high school came I knew that’s what I wanted to do! My mom always nurtured my creative mind. She was the one who pushed/encouraged me to pursue this dream.
What made you want to pursue a degree in Fashion Design?B:
I was already so in love with clothing/styling and having a high school course where we made beginner things such as pillows, pajama shorts, and one skirt was just not enough.. I just knew there was more to it lol. I wanted to learn how to be able to create my on garments. Ultimately fulfilling the dream of becoming a fashion designer.
G: Where do you draw inspiration from for your collections?
B: As for my inspiration, it can literally come from anywhere. I am always drawn to African culture, the beautiful textiles, colors, and shapes just feeds my imagination. Sometimes even music can inspire an outfit or even a collection.
Talk to me about your latest collection or project you’re working on. B:
My latest project is a collection called DAHL (Doll). It is my version of a 2018 African American Barbie Doll. Emphasizing African prints and bold colors she will be showcasing her fearlessness and passion for her heritage.
G: Where can we find your work?
B: You can find my work on blashaedesigns.com and on my Instagram @b.lashaedesigns
G: What advice would you give to someone that wants to break into the fashion industry?
B: My advice would be to be ready for hard work/long nights, always be prepared for anything; you don’t know where you next opportunity will present itself, and as cliche as it sounds DO NOT GIVE UP! You can do anything you put your mind to, keep pushing and always be positive.
Thank you so much to Brianna for talking to us about her passion for design and showing us some of her beautiful pieces! Don’t forget to work hard and follow your dreams.
“It’s a beautiful thing when a career and a passion come together.”
You know how your mother or teacher always told you, “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all”? Well this is true but what happens when people say things that aren’t nice? What are you supposed to do? I typically bite my tongue because I don’t like confrontation, but lately I have talked to many women about this specific topic and feel that it’s an important one to share. Skinny shaming. Yes, I said the word that people think doesn’t exist. Body shaming of ANY size is just wrong. Again, the whole if you don’t have something nice to say just keep quiet thing.
I think it’s important to share this topic because we have all been guilty of body shaming someone at one point, even if it was yourself. Every person is truly beautiful and unique, yet we are so focused on outside appearance and what size we aspire to fit into, that we loose sight of what’s on the inside. There’s a famous picture of Sophia Bush wearing a shirt that says “0 IS NOT A SIZE” and while I love her, I don’t support that statement. 0 is a real size just like every other size out there, I promise. Telling someone who is a size 0 to “eat a cheeseburger” will not magically make them a size 4. Just because you’re a size 0 and might not have a lot of curves doesn’t mean you’re not sexy OR just because you do have curves doesn’t mean you’re not sexy either.
I scroll through Instagram and see the Kardashians photos in their yoga pants and I can promise you, it doesn’t matter how many XXX you add in front of XS, I still won’t have those curves. For some reason I have associated curves with being “sexy”. I like to eat. A LOT. I love pasta, chocolate, and wine. I also love juice, yoga and vegetables. One day I might have curves or I may not, but it does not define what is meaningful in life. I have friends of all shapes and sizes and we don’t ask each other what our sizes are. Okay, only when we are shopping together and find an item that is on sale or too cute to pass up. I don’t care what size my friend is, when I need someone to talk to at 2am they are there.
I challenge myself and everyone else to stop focusing on size. Rethink your definition of beautiful and sexy. When you get out of the shower, stand in front of the mirror and admire your body for what it is and be grateful for everything it’s capable of; getting you up out of bed, walking, moving, etc.
More body love and self love.
Shirt: Spiritual Gangster. Find here
Denim Jacket: Ci Sono
Yoga Pants: T.J. Maxx
“Invest in your hair, it’s the crown you never take off.”
I was recently invited to come in and experience the Kelly Cardenas Salon
in Wicker Park. Let me just tell you guys, my visit was the most relaxing
hair experience I have ever had! The services I received were their Wash House Experience, Blow Dry & Style.
The staff was super friendly and greeted me with a mimosa (which always makes me a happy girl)
and gave me a tour of the salon. My stylist, Justice
, was an absolute sweetheart! She started off my services by taking me to the Wash House area. I didn’t capture an image of this area in efforts to respect the space for other customers, but it was a relaxing room with dim/candlelit lighting and zen music playing in the background. This was by far the BEST wash experience I have ever had. Not only did Justice wash/condition my hair and massage my scalp, she also gave me a neck and shoulder massage for total relaxation.
Before my Blow Dry & Style, Justice asked me a few questions to assess my hair -are there any issues I notice with my hair (for me, it’s always the frizziness!), what products I currently use, and what type of style I would like for my service. With the crazy humidity in Chicago, my hair has remained up in a ponytail for most of the month. I love beachy waves, but whenever I try to achieve them at home, I step outside and my hair frizzes (like Monica in the episode of Friends). Justice used products to help control my frizz and I instantly noticed it during my Blow Dry. As you can see in the below photo, the blow dryers hang from the ceiling, which I thought was the cutest decor until I realized they are actually real!
Here is the beachy wave hairstyle! AND even after dining outside shortly after, it still remained tamed 🙂 I loved my experience so much, I booked my next appointment with Justice for a cut and balayage!
|So cute- the bathroom had a board filled with prayer requests
If you have never been to Kelly Cardenas Salon, you can experience the Wash House, Blow Dry & Style services COMPLIMENTARY. Book today with Justice
and mention my name/this post!
I wanted to add in an update so you could see how my hair turned out for my cut/color appointment. My goal was to brighten up my hair a bit for the summer, so Justice added highlights/balayage. She only took a little length off of the bottom but added dimensions throughout my hair as well as took out some of the thickness (pretty sure my head felt 5 pounds lighter). I really liked my length when I originally visited her for a blow dry & style, so I love
that she listened to me and freshened up my cut without taking a drastic amount off.
Again, if you have not yet been to Kelly Cardenas Salon, you can experience the Wash House, Blow Dry & Style services COMPLIMENTARY. Book today with Justice
and mention my name/this post!
We all know that each and every one of us is going through some shit. Times get tough and it’s easy to loose sight of what’s important. I’ve recently found myself “too busy” and making excuses of reasons why I can’t step onto my yoga mat. I’ve decided to start a yoga challenge during the month of June that is all about owning your shit. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Creating a challenge allows me to hold myself accountable for stepping onto my mat and the same goes for you! Stepping onto your yoga mat doesn’t mean that you have to do any chatarungas or master crow pose. It means that you take time out of your day for yourself… to process everything you’re going through or maybe try and forget everything. Whatever the reason may be, I invite you to join in on this challenge. Taking some time out of your busy day to do something for yourself is necessary. You might have to set your alarm a few minutes earlier or turn off that Netflix show a little sooner, but it will be worth it, I promise.
If you want to join the challenge, follow me on Instagram here
and watch my Stories for daily posts.
Shirt: Spiritual Gangster
Yoga Pants: Athleta. Find here