Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Emmy Fashion 2014, Black, White and the Between

I will admit that I did not watch the Emmy's... I have a 3 month old that requires me to go to bed somewhat earlier than I did pre-baby... but that didn't stop me from watching the red carpet and ooohing and aaaahing at some of the looks I loved. A lot of the coverage called the color of the night, RED, but I'm sorry, January Jones' red Prabal Gurung number was NOT a favorite of mine (but everyone else loves it?). What I loved more than any pops of color were the successes in the form of black, white and the somewhat in between! Checkout what I am talking about.
Michelle Monaghan in Giambattista Valli Couture, Anna Chlumsky in Zac Posen, Sofia Vergara in Roberto Cavalli, Kristen Wiig in Vera Wang, Camila Alves in Zuhair Murad, Kate Mara in J. Mendel, Kiernan Shipka in Antonio Berardi, Gwen Stefani in Versace, Hayden Pannettiere in Lorena Sarbu, Amy Poehler in Theia, Ariel Winter in Halo Eve, Lizzy Caplan in Donna Karan, Julia Roberts in Elie Saab, Debra Messing in Angel Sanchez, Jessica Pare in Lanvin, Lena Heady in Rubin Singer
What were your favorites from the night?

Friday, August 15, 2014

Keeping it Casual with San Francisco City Lights

I was recently introduced to San Francisco City Lights clothing and the sheer comfy-ness that I had been missing out of was not lost on me. They are such sweet folks and sent along the Hollywood tee for me to take for a ride, and it is now my new favorite tee from packaging to the wear. The story behind their garments is kinda up my alley too. If you could be BFFs with a clothing brand, SFCL would be a great candidate ;-)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

H&M Home Launches in Boston

This past week, I had the opportunity to hit up the Grand Re-Opening of the H&M location on Newbury Street in Boston. Not only was it a super fun event but the new Home section (one of four in the country) is AMAZING. I mean, if I had more space, I would be decorating my entire home from the affordable wares in the HM Home arena. I was sure to take some snaps of the awesome new store as well as the Grand Re-opening celebration, including the blogger breakfast, staff dance off and sneak peek before the store opened! It was a fantastic time and certainly piqued my home decor shopping interest!
The H&M staff gearing up for the Grand Re-Opening!

Take a look at some of the awesome home decor and some of my fave blogging buddies too! Let me know what you think, of all the fantastic goodies... whether you like modern decor or something a little more romantic, H&M's Home collection has got you covered. I even grabbed a lil' something for the lil' man's nursery in the form of a deer pillow... hello, it fit right in with our woodlands theme!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Yoga Week, Day Five: Aurorae Yoga and a Sweet Giveaway!

It's Day Five and what a fantastic week it's been. I feel so inspired to get back to my (new) normal routine and am happy to have new motivation in the new roommate that I have living in my house ;-). The #propahbaby has me all sorts of motivated to keep active and fit for his sake. A Mom who can keep up with him is a Mom who is winning. In any event, here we are at day 5 and I am so excited to introduce a fantastic yoga line called Aurorae Yoga.
Aurorae is a family business founded in 2009 by yoga student and cancer survivor, Dennis Ingui. Cancer-free for more than 10 years, Ingui started Aurorae as an outlet in his life to help build his body and develop inner peace of mind. Aurorae considers all customers, supporters, partners and employees a part of its Aurorae family and treats everyone with the same respect, kindness and love that each deserves.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Yoga Week, Day Four: Body Acceptance Blue Print with Anna of Curvy Yoga


I came to yoga because I wanted to change my body in many ways – in most ways, actually. Losing weight and being free from the chronic pain of my migraines were at the top of the list, though.
And, I’m not alone. Physical body concerns bring many people to yoga – probably most, particularly in the West.


What happened over time, though (and by time I mean years) is that both my awareness and my interest dropped down deeper.
I began to be less interested in how flexi (or not) I was in particular poses and started noticing things I hadn’t expected (and probably wouldn’t have said I cared much about before I started yoga): things like deeper, slower breath; increased awareness of my mental chatter; gut feelings I’d ignored before; and so much more.
If I’d known all this was coming, I’m not sure I would have signed up.
Good thing that’s how yoga works on us: this is just the path it takes us on.


One of the things we talk about in yoga are the koshas, or the five sheaths/layers of the body. These are often represented as concentric circles or like nesting dolls inside your body. (Don’t worry; this blog post won’t get any more sci fi than that.)
Here’s what they are:
Annamaya kosha: This is our physical body, the outer layer. It’s often the first door in to this journey, and then we continue on from there — not that we stop working with this one, though; that’s part of the beauty of how this all works. It’s a very reciprocal process.
Pranamaya kosha: This is our energy body (prana translates as energy). The easiest way for us to connect with this is usually through our breath, which can be a bridge that helps us connect mind and body (as we’ll see in just a sec!).
Manamaya kosha: This is our mental/emotional body. It’s here that our practice is increased awareness of our thoughts and also shifts in our thought patterns.
Vijnanamaya kosha: This is our subtle body or intuition. As we continue through the koshas, using the ones that came before to clear the way, we can receive these messages more and more clearly. 
Anandamaya kosha: This is the bliss body. How great is that?! This isn’t necessarily the happy bliss state we think of, but more a sense of oneness. I like to think of it as wholeness or integration.

Body Acceptance Blueprint

While none of the koshas are destinations or clear demarcations (“Oh, today I finally accessed myanandamaya kosha!”), they do give us another way to understand the process that’s unfolding when we find that yoga has become a tool of body acceptance for us.
The practice has been helping us to move through these layers bit by little bit, with small shifts that sometimes may not feel like much (or anything) over time but that do certainly add up.
In my experience, these increasing levels of awareness, quiet and subtlety have lead me towards body acceptance because the more I know my body, hear its requests and meet its needs, the more I can’t help but be friendlier towards it.
Is it a perfect friendship every day? Of course not.
But what friendship is, right? In the long run, the ones that last are the ones that adapt and come to support each other, quirks and annoyances and all.

Anna Guest-Jelley, founder and CEO (Curvy Executive Officer) of Curvy Yoga — a training & inspiration portal for yoga students and teachers of all shapes and sizes who want a body positive practice that supports them in exploring what body acceptance means to them.
As a writer, educator & lifelong champion for women’s empowerment & body acceptance, she's there to encourage people of every size, shape age, experience level & ability to grab life by the curves.
And never let go.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Yoga Week, Day Three: My Fave Yoga Finds on Etsy

Dear Etsy, how do I love thee, let me count the ways.. Etsy is literally my favorite place to peruse just about anything when I am bored (which is not often these days) or when I am looking for something that not everyone else has. This certainly goes for yoga related goodies as well. Some of the clothing you'll see on Etsy is absolutely adorable and/or so creative and beautiful. It's a wonderful place to dream of that gorgeous workout wardrobe with some funky, fun pieces. Also? There are lots of yoga related gifts and accouterments as well! Here are some of my absolute faves!

I'm Just Here for the Savasana TeeEkadasa Backless Yoga TankHamsa Longsleeve ShirtHow's my downdog? tank   

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Yoga Week, Day Two: My Quick and Easy DIY Yoga Bag

Up until just a month or so ago... oh who am I kidding... more like 3 months ago, I was still flexible enough to hit up a yoga class or roll out my yoga mat, maybe perhaps thinking about stretching... but eh, lately, putting my feet up has been more my thing... and unfortunately with a new baby in the house, putting up my feet isn't really an option. That being said, one thing I have been meaning to do for a long time, is to make a way to store my yoga mat... so it knows that I care about it and that I will be back soon ;-) Why not do it now before I don't really have the time any more? ;-) It really was such an easy process with only beginner sewing skills needed in order to make a pretty decent yoga mat bag. This is a quick and easy project that will leave you feeling accomplished. I know it made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Yoga Week, Day One: Tips for Starting Yoga with Jenny Ravikumar

This morning one of my favorite companies, Tiny Devotions, asked me what my favorite mantra was on Facebook. Sometimes I comment on people’s photos and other times I scroll right through. THIS was one of the photos and questions that made me stop and think for just a moment.

It is actually one of my easiest questions and if it came up in an interview of any kind I would know the answer immediately. Isvara Pranidhana which means the belief in God or blind faith. It’s a surrendering and understanding that wherever you are right now is EXACTLY where you’re supposed to be and it’s perfect.

In yoga this is my favorite concept to teach but also one of the most difficult concepts to understand. We need to surrender to what is and accept ourselves where we are right now. As a teacher I welcome in anyone who is interested in learning about yoga. Yoga to me is not about shape or size or physical ability – it’s about the desire to learn and the ability to arrive. Simply put. The hardest part of attending any yoga class is walking through the front door.

If you’re interested in learning about yoga but are afraid you can’t touch your toes, I have news for you: not everyone can and it’s okay. In fact half of the reason you arrive on the mat is to find more flexibility and more acceptance in your body. To help you ease the “pain” of arriving on the mat for the first time I have created a few tips for your arrival!

1) Arrive EARLY!

One of my biggest pet peeves as a teacher is when someone who has never been to the Shala arrives 2 minutes before I lock the front door. Without a few moments to introduce yourself, I have no idea if you have any injuries or what your experience with yoga is. I also need time to enter in your information into our system and if you don’t arrive early this may interfere with starting on time. Starting on time is essential, which is why in some studios you may find yourself locked out if you arrive at 9:31 for a 9:30 am class.

2) Answer questions truthfully

I always like to know about past experience and injuries in your body. This helps me to create a class for every student, offer out modifications and be sure to push you without pushing you over the edge. I like to know a little bit about you: where do you work (do you sit at a desk all day and need shoulder openers?), do you have children (are you here looking for quiet and peace?). I appreciate the ability to learn about you as it creates a better student/teacher relationship and significantly better classes.

3) Be prepared with proper attire and equipment

All you need to attend a yoga class is a yoga mat, a bottle of water and yourself (in proper yoga clothes). This does NOT mean you need to go to Lululemon and spend $100 before you even arrive at the studio {save that for a few months down the line}. It does mean you arrive in a workout outfit (no jeans), bare feet and proper body hygiene. Make sure you put on a little deodorant or wash those piggy toes before hoping on the mat and sharing energy with the others in class.

4) Give it time

You will not be perfect your first class. The teacher is not a yoga goddess that knows the secrets of the world, she is a normal person. The class may not be right for you: too fast, too slow or the teacher’s voice was just annoying. This does NOT mean you should avoid yoga. This means you should keep trying. Look at the schedule to read about other class descriptions or ask the teacher after class of any other styles that you may benefit from. Keep trying until you find the perfect mixture of YOUR brand of yoga. Some people like music, some like reading while others like hot power yoga with no spirituality attached. YOU get to choose what works best for your mind, body & soul so stick with it and keep searching!

I hope you enjoy your first time on the mat! Remember, yoga is for EVERY body. There will be a perfect class for you if you take that leap of faith and surrender to knowing you are exactly where you need to be!

Sending you lots of yogi love and light!


Jenny Ravikumar is a yoga instructor in the greater Boston area. You can check out her studio, Barefoot Yoga Shala or be sure to follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and her website!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Yoga for One, Yoga for All

This week on the blog, I have some fantastic yoga themed posts for you all. It's a little out of my wheelhouse but also not so much. I have always been a lover of yoga since I bought a book on it in 9th grade. I remember bringing it with me to my grandparents 30th wedding anniversary party and us all looking at it like, Ooooh yoga, so exotic ha! From there, I have tried many different kinds of yoga and have visited many different yoga studios, mostly thanks to Groupon. One thing that I have always appreciated, even after a really tough class, is how good I feel afterward. I have recently returned to yoga at a great studio near my house. It had been almost a year since I had been to a normal yoga class since I consider pre-natal yoga to be glorified stretching (but great in it's own way). Let's just say that my abs were hurting for days afterwards... and damn if that didn't make me want to go more. That first class back was hard, I'm not going to lie. Lots of positions that I used to nail flawlessly left me struggling for balance and feeling like a blob. It was the instructor who, at the right moments, reminded the class to do what they could and make the stretches their own, with modifications. I could have taken that as her singling me out, but I chose not to and made it through the 90 minutes. The concentration that it took to practice yoga in this class, pushed any worry about the baby or thoughts of frustrations out of my head. It did the trick and I was me again, not just the Mommy Moo Cow that has been caring for a baby for the past two months. I have been to three classes since starting back last week and I am feeling a little stronger every time. I am looking forward to rocking my plank like I used to and getting back into shape, well, shape for me. I am going to be patient with myself but also be consistent. I am really excited about not just fitting yoga in when I can but making it a part of my scheduled for me.

I am excited for some great guest posts, a giveaway and even a yoga related DIY for you guys this week. I hope you enjoy!

Friday, August 1, 2014

H&M Newbury Street Grand Re-Opening August 7th!

Hey Bostonians, you may have already heard by now but the H&M Newbury Street has undergone some mage renovations and will be reopening with the usual amazing and affordable finds with a dash of their new home collection. If you are a lover of all things H&M, much like me, you will want to get in on the grand re-opening happening August 7th from 10am-noon and guess what? You're invited! Not only are you welcomed into the new space with the dreams of all things H&M, you are also getting the opportunity to win some goodies! They've teamed up with The Boston Fashionista and are also offering an exclusive, secret discount code to those attending the Grand re-opening event! Check out all the details after the jump!
Umm the #PropahBaby SO needs this entire collection!