I felt inspired today to be as transparent as I think I ever have been on here. I have been diagnosed with anxiety for as long as I can remember. It was something I was ashamed of for a long time. It wasn't something I necessarily hid but I also wasn't one to promote it. Through my college years I have come across a lot of others with anxiety and I am happy to see mental health is being more regularly spoken about because there are on average 40 million adults in the United States alone that struggle with anxiety each and every day.
When this whole "self-quarantine" concept came about I figured it wouldn't be such a big transition or deal for me. Personally, I am a homebody. Little did I know the impact it would have on my mental health and the mental health of so many others around me. One of the best sources to naturally relieve anxiety is to keep yourself busy and get out and about. I personally am at my happiest and best when I have a full schedule of things to do. The more the better! It keeps me from over thinking, motivates me to be productive, and keeps me moving. Sadly, quarantine has the opposite effect on the body and soul. While yes is it EXTREMELY important we all remain home and not out doing our regular routine, I think what we are all kind of glossing over is people's mental health. The first thing they tell you when you are suffering from anxiety, depression, etc. is to get up and out! Obviously that is not an option right now. I mentioned to a friend that I was shocked that in all these news articles and TV programs I have seen little to no mention about mental health resources readily available during this time. Which is what brought me to writing this post on my little platform today. SOCIAL ISOLATION DOES NOT MEAN STOP BEING SOCIAL.
I know how horrible it feels (after 10 days of self isolating) and how much of a hit it is taking on my mental health. I have been worried more times then I want to admit, have had panic attacks, and felt so alone. I want people who are feeling like me to know you are not alone. I went on Twitter to see if there has been any mental health talk going on and there has. There are so many people who feel the same way (I will be attaching screenshots below!) It is not easy. Another remedy a lot of health professionals suggest is to keep a steady routine and let's face it this corona virus has thrown our routines out the door. It is so easy right now to coop yourself up in your room, to stay in your PJs all day, and to literally let yourself feel bleh. Trust me I've slept in later then I'll ever want to admit aloud. It is a toxic cycle that comes with the self-quarantine cycle. But I have decided to do plenty of research and provide alternatives and tips + tricks here so those who feel like their mental health and self-quarantine don't mix don't feel alone or like this is going to keep you down.
I just wanted to remind you all to open a window, smile, and remind yourself that this is not permanent. We will all be out soon. I hope this post finds you well and brought some sunshine to this cloudy time. Stay safe & calm!
Mental Health Tips + Tricks during COV-19
1. Self-Care Day: It is easy to let yourself feel bleh during this time. There is really nothing motivating us to get up and get dressed and do our hair/makeup/skincare routine. But let making yourself feeling good be the motivation. Start off with making yourself a yummy fruit smoothie (tons of studies show the Vitamin C in fruits helps with mood/anxiety). Then take a nice long bubble bath (imagine the episode of FRIENDS when Monica runs Chandler a bath). Do your skincare routine. Your skin needs it more than ever! Between all the junk food we are consuming and being cooped up inside, give your skin an extra boost! Do a face mask (feet/hand mask, under-eye mask...whichever you choose!) Cuddle yourself up in a comfy robe and watch a funny movie. Laughter truly is the best medicine.
2. Sit Outside & Read: Like I mentioned above Vitamin C is key! Sit outside and read a book (Hack: Apple Books has free books that you can choose from if you don't want to spend $) Whether it be a self-help book, a mystery novel, or any other book you've had on your list take this time to read. I will be reading "Where the Crawdads Sing" if anyone else wants to discuss!
3. Don't Sleep-In Every Day: This is the most difficult one for me. Anyone who knows me personally knows I love to sleep (haha!) When I have nothing to do my mind screams let's go nap. But right now we have to fight it. Sleeping in till 3:00 P.M. isn't going to help your mental health, trust me. Try to get on a sleep schedule, not only will it give you somewhat of a routine back.
4. Turn Off the News: While it is important to keep up to date with what is happening and what the CDC and government officials are advising us to do, don't fixate. I just have my Apple News notifications on so I can check in every so often and stay up to date but I have cut watching the news off. Also try not to rely on what your friends and family are sharing on Facebook and other social media platforms in reference to the virus. It is so easy to end up in a hole of media stories that'll just send you into a panic. Stay up to date, but don't stay on it. Let's face it the media loves to give us a story that will keep us digging for more and right now that's not what are focus needs to be.
5. Let Your Inner Artist Show: Order some puzzles, coloring books, and paint by the numbers on Amazon Prime. Make sure you disinfect your packages before opening but it is the safest way to get your art supplies right now. These activities will include bright colors and keep your brain busy, which will keep you from overthinking or getting bored.
6. Get Organized: Now is a great time to clean out your drawers and closets! I have begun cleaning out beauty products that my recent allergy tests deemed me allergic to so I can give to friends and family products that I have barely used or haven't used, donate unopened products, and trash what is expired or used (like mascara which you should NEVER share!) Watch Marie Kondo's special on Netflix and see what "sparks joy" and what doesn't in your home and make bags to donate to Goodwill or toss! That way you are utilizing this free time in a productive manner.
7. Call and FaceTime your People!: A lot of us are feeling lonely right now. If you are home with your family do a game night or movie night. But keep in mind a lot of people are either quarantining alone or with not a ton of people around. Check in on EVERYONE! You have the time now! Call an old friend to catch up, FaceTime your grandparents to see if they need anything, or have virtual wine nights with your BFF or girl squad on Zoom! We all are going to feel disconnected at one point or another so let's keep each other company...social isolation doesn't mean to stop being social!
8. Be One with Nature (Kinda): One of my favorite things to watch, other than Disney+ and Netflix, right now is LIVE streams from zoos and aquariums! It is so peaceful to watch the animals do their thing. Sit by a window with your tablet or computer and watch your favorite animals from afar. Trust me they are more entertaining than you think! My favorite is to watch the penguins and of course the meerkats at ZOO Miami! Here is a link for a bunch of different animal LIVE Streams, click here!
EGet ready for some March Madness (and no not the football kind) I mean my monthly shopping picks! On this round-up you will find some of my favorite things trending in March/the springtime in general. I try to include items from all price points so there is a little something for everyone.
Just wanted to remind you that when you shop or even click on the links here on my blog I make a small percentage. This does NOT affect the price you pay whatsoever but it helps me continue to run IAP and get some shopping money (LOL!) I absolutely love sharing with you guys. What is your favorite item from this month's collection? What do you want to see more of? Comment below and don't forget to follow me on Instagram! Now with out further ado... #MyMonthlyPicks!
1. Quay Sunglasses - So chic and so affordable (under $65, plus 10% off when you sign up on their site!) They are the perfect spring accessory that will add the perfect touch to all your outfits.
2. Tie Dye Golden Goose Sneakers - Need the perfect item to splurge on? Golden Goose sneakers are at the top of my wish list and this is a pair I have been eyeing for a while now. They will go with literally everything and are so freaking cute!
3. To All the Boys Glow Recipe Set - Of course I am a sucker for this movie! Have a girl's night to watch both the movies and pamper yourself with this set. It's under $40 and makes the perfect gift!
4.Garnier Fructis Smoothing Treat Conditioner - Just switched to this conditioner and I love it! It makes my hair baby soft and smells like a spa day. Plus it is under $8!
5. Bow Hair Ties - This 2-pack is the perfect set to add to your hair accessory collection. If you are having a bad hair day these hair ties will help tie the whole look together. Oh and did I mention they are under $6 for both!
6. LSF x Stoney Clover Pouch - Another item worth the splurge! I can't wait to begin my Stoney Clover collection. This pouch is chic and is a must have to keep your essentials organized in your bag.
7. Sugarfix Earrings - These earrings are too sweet to pass up! They are a fun touch to any day or night look. Plus, they are a Target (my holy grail!) find and are under $13.
8. Apple Watch Band - Currently in my shopping cart. I absolutely love that this band is under $25 and looks expensive. It is the perfect way to dress up your Apple watch.
9. WeWoreWhat Swim One-Piece - Trust me when I say this bathing suit is worth every penny! I recently purchased this one piece and I love that it is the perfect mix of cute and sexy. It is made out of quality material and flattering on all body types.
10. Prada Cardholder - I mean, how cute is this cardholder? This is the perfect investment piece if you want something designer, but do not have a large budget. The colors are elegant and I mean, who doesn't love Prada?
11. Knotted Slides - Another Target find! These knotted slides are not only perfect for spring but comfy! They will pair perfectly with almost any outfit. They come in 3 super cute colors/prints!
12. Weighted Blanket - This is my favorite item of all time. I sleep with mine every night and can't live without it now. If you struggle with anxiety or insomnia--you need this blanket in your life!
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One of my lifelong dreams has always been to visit Italy. That dream of course became more prominent after watching the Lizzie McGuire Movie, but what girl didn't want her "sing to me Paulo" moment in her tweens? This January I jetted off to Lake Como, Italy for a relaxing getaway. It was the longest yet shortest 2019, if you get what I mean, and it was time for some pasta and spa time (if you ask me!) While I know right now with the outbreak of the corona virus no one is really planning a trip to Italy or anywhere for that matter, I thought it would be nice to start sharing some travel details, because once this whole Corona virus comes to an end (hopefully ASAP!) we will all be craving a getaway!Just an FYI--we traveled to Italy in the beginning of January, and yes I hate myself for getting this post up so late, Hahaha!
Lake Como was something out of a fairytale or something you would see on a postcard. It was just magical. It was probably the most serene place I had ever visited in my life. Since we visited in January it was cold (like the 40s). So yes this Miami-native was mucho frio. But the sun was always shining so to be honest the weather was for the most part a dream, especially during the day. This wasn't your typical European getaway. There was no extensive itinerary or site-seeing list. Our goal was simply to enjoy afternoon walks, sleep-in, eat fresh pasta, and of course take a "trip to the spa" as Sharpay Evans would say.
We stayed at Grand Hotel Imperiale. I absolutely loved that the spa was included...I mean who wouldn't? And the view from our rooms was spectacular. My only complaint would be in the part of Lake Como we were staying in there were very few spots to eat "brunch"--meaning breakfast or lunch if you weren't up very early. Meaning if you wanted lunch at 2:00 P.M. you were out of luck. We also went during winter, which isn't their tourist season so many establishments were off for holiday. Another thing to keep in mind, is that Uber/Lyft is not available in the area so you have to rely on what is in walking distance. Unfortunately our hotel didn't offer convenient dining times (well for us at least either)...but that being said they always had the bar open where you can order toast (which included a thin amount of ham + cheese) and Caprese salad. So if that peaks your interest you are good to go!
I always thought people were exaggerating when they said the pasta in Italy changes your life. But I can now confidently confirm that yes the pasta in Italy is life changing. There is just something about fresh pasta that is so good for the soul. It was worth every shot of insulin (which is how you all know I rate my dining experiences, Lol!) My favorite pasta dish had to be the fresh linguini topped with *warning this will make you drool* fresh truffles. YUM (I included a video below). Honestly will fly back solely for that dish.
Now to the spa aka my new favorite nap spot. This spa was what my anxiety-free dreams are made of. It had a turkish bath complete with massage jets, a salt room, saunas, sensory showers, heated water beds, and more. You could find me every afternoon at the spa either napping or listening to a podcast or music on my Airpods (rip to my Airpods). lt was amazing.
While Lake Como may be a summer destination, if you are looking for a relaxing getaway when it is cold...visit Lake Como! Between the Christmas marketplaces and the fresh pasta, you'll find your little slice of heaven. If you have been to Lake Como before, drop your favorite things to do there below! I love hearing from readers and sharing! I am in the process of relaunching IAP as you all know and I just want you all to know how much I LOVE your support. Whether it is subscribing, reading + commenting on posts, and/or following me on Instagram. I am ETERNALLY GRATEFUL. Ciao Bella (till next post!)
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Ready for the day of love? I don't know about you all, but I struggle to find the perfect gift for Eric. Sometimes when I can't come up with the best physical item to gift, I gift an experience! Whether it be a romantic dinner
(our personal favorite is Ruth Chris) or tickets to an event or experience (like a zoo date or weekend getaway!) Whatever gift you choose to give, when it comes from your heart you can never go wrong. Always add a personal touch with a written card and make sure to date it so when they look back they can remember when it is from!
Some gifts above I totally love and know your gals will too--whether you are gifting it to your BFF, girlfriend, boyfriend, wife, or husband! There are tons of gift options from you to pick from. From a cozy PJ set for her to a shower speaker for him, the perfect gift is here for your valentine.
For her, I totally recommend hopping on the Stoney Clover train and purchasing her this Stony Clover backpack, which you can customize for her with their selection offun patches! They have a store in Palm Beach, Florida that I am dying to take a day trip to! Another fun gift is this customized necklace from BaubleBar. It is perfect to add your initials. It's a chic + personal gift she will love! If you are dating or married to a total sweet tooth, I added two candy options in the guides! Because who doesn't love candy!?
Now to focus on the boys! One of my favorite selection is this travel starter beard kit--it is only $30 and high quality products! If your man loves Disney like man, he will love this Mickey embellished watch from Nixon. Eric actually has one and loves wearing it when we have dinners or events. If you want to splurge this Valentine's Day, I recommend this Gucci wallet, it is the perfect piece that will last for years!
To shop my top ten gifts to give her/him this Valentine's Day simply click on the images below the guides. Let me know what you like and what you'll be spoiling your loved ones with this February 14th! I hope this gift guide helped give you inspiration and made your hunt easier for the perfect gift.
Hope your Valentine's Day is filled with lots of love and XO's! Stay tuned for more posts coming in February. As always thank you for reading & shopping along with me!
IAP is a part of affiliate networks, meaning if you click on a link or purchase something I make a small commission. This does NOT affect your purchase price. I also am gifted items, which will always say "c/o".
But as always, this does NOT affect what I choose to post/share with you all. This blog is an expression of me and what I love so I will only share that with you all!