5 Tips for Slaying Your Monday

I’m sure you have heard someone complain about Monday in some way, or maybe you have yourself. Usually the complaint is the weekend is too short, or that tiredness is an issue. Monday is 1/7 of every week for the rest of our lives, so the complaining kind of gets old!

How can we get to a place where we set ourselves up for success and start out the week strong? Not to worry–I’ve got some tips for you to make it a lot more bearable.

1. Start out with gratitude. Gratefulness is the best attitude changer ever. Wake up a little earlier and make a list of all you are grateful for and see how you set your day to receive abundance. Get creative with it! I am even grateful for things I have prayed for that are yet to happen.

2. Plan out your week. Devote a little time on Saturday or Sunday to set yourself up for success during the week. This could be any number of things–doing laundry, meal prepping, checking your email to make an action item list, etc.

The idea is to make life easier for yourself. Become your own executive assistant for a moment: what needs to be done, and what will it take to do it? I find the Wunderlist app to be extremely helpful for my action items list, while others may prefer pen and paper or sticky notes. Find a system you can can stick to, and be willing to change if it is no longer effective for you.

3. Eat a rockstar breakfast. You deserve it! Breakfast is still the most important meal of the day.

If you choose a meal that is vibrant, nourishing, and tasty– it can really boost your mood and give you energy. My go-to is often a smoothie, but it really depends on how much time I have. My breakfast favorites should give you some inspiration to make your own rockstar meal.

4. Listen to motivational podcasts. I honestly never thought I would turn into my dad and start listening to talk radio, but now as an adult I cannot get enough. I love listening to podcasts in the car or while getting ready, but I also listen during my work day too. Many shows can be very insightful for life improvement tips, or stimulating as they shed light on subjects in a new way. Have you listened to my podcast yet? I happen to have one about Mondays! Listen here: https://soundcloud.com/wonderfullymadepodcast/how-we-view-the-days-of-the-week-casual-friday

5. Pick out your outfit before you go to bed. Even if you plan to spend the day in yoga pants tomorrow, this can save you a ton of time.

Maybe you plan to exercise first thing in the morning. If you pick out your outfit ahead of time, you’ll recognize if your favorite workout pants for cycling are actually still dirty or if your favorite workout socks have been misplaced. There is nothing more annoying to me than spending a ridiculous amount if time trying to figure out what I will wear, yet I do care about style. What usually happens is I usually end up running late and my bedroom looks like a tornado hit it! I’ve got two hooks on the wall inside my closet, and I hang my outfit there so I am ready to go in the morning.

I hope you found these tips helpful. What tips do you have for making it a successful Monday?

Now, get out there and slay your Monday!

XOXO,
Fifi

My Top 10 Tips for Solo Travel | Divine Hostess

Over the years I’ve taken a few solo trips (even one international) and I’ve been asked several times to share tips and benefits of traveling alone. I’m still learning, but I’ll share what I’ve learned and experienced so far!

  1. Give a friend or family member your travel itinerary and where you will be staying. Not only does this give extra assurance that someone knows your whereabouts, but it helps if you have trouble with your arrangements. You can call them to help you out.
  2. Pack a small first aid kit and a few emergency meds. I usually need a few things without fail when I travel: sunscreen, bandaids, bug repellent, cortisone cream, Advil or some other NSAIDs, charcoal tablets and melatonin. You know yourself and what little physical annoyances come up for you– pack smart so you don’t end up having to take a cab to a local pharmacy at midnight or paying the hotel $10 for two migraine pills! I made a video of my travel essentials that you might find helpful.
  3. Have food at your hotel/temporary residence. Not only did I go to a market and buy snacks, I chose a hotel that offered a refrigerator and microwave. As a single woman traveling alone, I wanted to be sure I would have little reason to be leaving the room very late at night. I have a fast metabolism and was making the trip quite an active one. I bought fruit, water, yogurt, cereal, crackers and ordered an extra entree at the restaurant I went to for lunch. You just never know when you’ll be hungry and many hotels do not have 24-hour room service. The many snacks I had also came in handy for my hikes. I stocked my backpack with bananas and a water bottle before heading out to the adventure.

    Rainbow salad from the Loving Hut

  4. Save money by checking out Yelp and other online deals. In Waikiki I signed up for a surfing lesson since I’m still a novice and didn’t feel good about going out alone. When I called the surf center I asked if there were any deals and there were! I ended up taking Uber (for free rides use Uber code:  fifib105ue) to the location, but there were some schools that even had a free shuttle. Since you cannot share a group rate with friends when you travel alone, there’s no harm in asking the company about special rates. Surfing was great and I met some new people! 
  5. Do group tours. This is a safe and affordable way to make your way around a new city without the fuss. Guided tours may allow you to see sights you may not know of and also connect with other travelers.
  6. Download WhatsApp. This app  allows you to text and call via wifi which is a plus. When I went to London, I changed my plan over to an international plan, but my phone didn’t really work. Whatsapp saved the day! I was able to use wifi at the airport and local coffee shops to stay in touch with friends and family at home in the States as well as catch up with friends in London. International data plans can be extremely expensive, so this saves a great deal. Sending voice notes is a plus if you want to exchange messages with someone on a different time zone.
  7. Place your valuables and important personal identification in a security safe, or a safe place. I’ve traveled with friends before and someone lost their license. While it was a hassle getting on an airplane, this happened before 9/11 so I cannot imagine how it would be now. Some people like to place secured copies of their identification somewhere in an online account for extra security. Either way, just make sure you’re not carrying important things for an active day trip where things can get lost.
  8. Grab some maps. Hiking is one of my favorite things to do and I love going off the beaten path, but I also don’t want to be lost for hours. There’s typically a designated person at hotels who can provide info on the best hikes for the weather conditions and will give you free maps. I use the maps and the compass on my cell phone to make sure I can make t back with plenty of time before sundown. It’s a preference of mine that I’m not hiking or walking the street too late at night.

    Diamond Head, Oahu

  9. Be sensible. Most people are just making conversation to be nice, but I’m careful about how I answer strangers when they make small talk. “How long are you here?” and, “are you traveling alone?” Can be harmless questions, but I’m careful. I won’t tell you how to handle each situation, but use your best judgment. 
  10. Don’t be scared! Traveling alone can be so much fun and you discover so much about yourself when it’s all up to you. You don’t have to vote on what to do next, because you’re in charge. You don’t have to delay booking a ticket to your next destination because you aren’t waiting on friends. You get to explore any restaurant that you want and wake up when you please! Solo travel will make you even more independent and also more street wise.

***Bonus tips: (1)try to fit everything into a carry-on and if you can’t– put at least one entire outfit and your personal items in a carry-on. Luggage gets lost from time to time and it’s awful when you’re traveling alone. (2) notify your credit card company that you’ll be traveling– if you don’t, you risk your card being flagged for fraud.


That’s it for now! What are your solo travel tips? Do you plan to travel alone anytime soon? Share with me!
XOXO,

Fifi

7 Reasons Your Skin Is Breaking Out!

7 Reasons Your Skin Is Breaking Out

 

I used to spend so much money on products to clear my skin, lighten dark spots, and tame acne. Little did I know, some of the habits I had were contributing to m unhappy skin. Here are 7 things I’ve done to achieve clearer skin!

natural hair with hair wrap and havana twists

 

1. Dirty makeup brushes. Oh my gosh, healthy bunnies! This one is major. I’m ashamed to say when I first started buying good quality makeup brushes, I didn’t wash them. At all. I didn’t really know any better! Now that I do, I wash them once a week with a gentle yet effective cleanser. I don’t wear makeup daily, but if you do you may need to wash them even more frequently. Find what works for you.

2. Not exfoliating. I remember when I would use Yves apricot scrub. The more it burned, the more I thought it was working! It turns out that was way too harsh for my skin. You only need gentle exfoliation to sloff away dead skin, and to improve circulation and the regeneration of new cells.

3. Not enough water. Water seems to be the universal cure, doesn’t it? In this case, water is a way to rid your body of impurities. Water works as a daily cleanser for you liver, kidneys, skin and more. Don’t forget! Check out this video I made about all the benefits of water.

4. Stress. Why does stress cause break outs? Stress causes breakouts by first affecting your body’s natural hormone balance. The result? Skin that is unhappy, and it shows. Manage stress for your health’s sake.

5. Dry skin. Your skin not being properly moisturized can lead to excessive production of sebum (the body’s natural oil) which can clog your pores. The solution is to find a great moisturizer which works for you and keeps your skin balanced. When I was young I always had oily skin. Little did I know it was from under-moisturizing.

6. Food. Not only junk food, but food you are allergic to can really cause acne to flare. Be mindful of what you eat, and even keep a log for a few weeks of how your skin behaves, along with what you are eating. Watch this video that promotes healthy skin and hair.

7. Your hair products. I remember for a really long time I was breaking out on my face in a specific area. I didn’t at that time know I even had sensitive skin, but I decided to pull my hair back every day for a week. Magically, the break out flares stopped. Dirty hair, or hair products can definitely break out your skin. Also, I use a lot more natural hair products now, and that really helps.

Merry Christmas!

Wishing each of you that are part of my extended family a very Merry Christmas! This is a special time of year because many of us get an opportunity to spend a little more time with people we love, get some rest, and take some time to reflect on the year. For me, this holiday is about love and sacrifice and for that I am very grateful.

Whatever you do, do it with love!

Xoxo,
Fifi

20131225-073141.jpg

10 Tips for Easy Meal Prepping

Many people lead such busy lives that they have to make a decision of which is more valuable to them– time, or money. It’s really a tough call, but when you make health the priority, it is an easier choice. Lunch breaks nowadays are used to make phone calls, run errands, and basically do anything BUT take an actual break. I find that if I pack my lunch (and breakfast too) I am likely to take a real break, and I eat healthier too! The added bonus of meal prepping is that you save money. You really can eat well for just a couple dollars per meal. Here are my top 10 tips for making meal prepping easier.

  1. Different sized durable containers are important. Use glass and BPA free plastic.
  2. Plan meals with recipes and then grocery shop if needed.
  3. Be sure to use measuring cups when portioning off each meal.
  4. Overnight oats are a great option for people who bring their breakfast to work. You can eat them warm or cold, and you get to skip cook time and will not have to wash a pot.
  5. A food scale is crucial. Make sure you know that most meat servings are 3 oz, a half a cup of veggies is one serving when  cooked, while usually 1 cup when raw is a full serving.
  6. When cooking veggies, leave them crisp. They will be getting microwaved again, so you don’t want them to lose their value.
  7. When storing hot food, allow to cool a little before sealing container. The rule is typically if the food is hotter than 90 degrees, let it cool for about 20 minutes.
  8. Store sauces separately to keep the food tasting nice and fresh!
  9. Don’t forget to pack vitamins!
  10. Get an insulating container for your food to avoid bacteria growth. I got this lunch bag at Bed Bath and Beyond for $7. The cooling pack is very effective and necessary if your food will not be refrigerated within 2 hours– or if you have those bold coworkers who will eat food that does not belong to them.

Here is also a video I made on meal prepping: