self-care

21 Self-love Summer Essentials

June 20th, marked the first *official* day of summer and the start to a whole new slew of beach trips, 3-day weekends, short shorts, and island inspired acai bowls. To honor summer solstice, the fiery heat of our favorite season and our love for the months that follow, we’ve rounded up a few of the items we’ll be eating, drinking, doing, reading, wearing, and otherwise enjoying so that you can enjoy them too.

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21 SUMMER OF SELF-LOVE ESSENTIALS

1. Plenty of green juices and green smoothies because #health.

2. SPF! A high quality preferably organic and non-toxic sunscreen that you can wear everyday is a MUST. We like this kind by Badger. Hint: Add a few drops of coconut or argan oil to your sunscreen to help spread it out. This dilutes it a bit but without the oil it goes on kind of patchy.

3. A long-weekend getaway with your girl-gang to destination Korakia or your local bohemian hideaway.

4. A stack of captivating beach reads

5. Frozen desserts. We can’t help but repeat ourselves once again about our (vegan) ice cream obsession. We willbe consuming our bodyweight in this and this, guaranteed. #notsorry

6. A fantastic pair of sunglasses. To keep our peepers safe from harmful UV rays we’ll be sporting thesethese, or a combination like these.

7. Hydration is key (especially in the summer). Let this water bottle serve as a fashionable and functional reminder to up your h2o intake.

8. Confidence; also key. Because nothing (including her seemingly perfect hair, ridiculous “beach bod”, and insanely amazing summer wardrobe), should inhibit you from seeing, owning, and rocking YOUR own perfection.

9. This. It only seems non-essential until it’s mid-July and you’re nearing the end of a Saturday afternoon sweatfest aka yoga class.

10. Classic denim shorts. We live in these from June - August.  

11. An extremely skimpy bikini like this one to show off that steamy summer bod.

12. An eco-chic summer satchel to carry all your farm fresh produce.

13. A big a$$ towel because lying poolside and 9-5 beach days are of utmost importance.

14. An epic summer soundtrack for those aforementioned beach days. May we recommend the classic A) Lemonade and B) more Beyonce.

15. Coconut oil (obviously). A year-round essential for silky smooth skin and virtually everything else.

16. Also on that note, coconut water. Preferably straight from a coconut.

17. For all the amazing summer cookouts you’ll be attending you’re going to need a killer guacamole recipe. This one is ridiculously good.

18. A good waterproof mascara so you come back from the beach looking like a bronzed goddess not a racoon.

19. Chapstick with SPF so you can avoid incidences like this.

20. Rosewater mist for a hydrating mid-day summer refresh.

21. Cute and comfortable sneakers like these because as wonderful as it would be to spend your entire summer laying beachside with a popsicle in one hand and your iPhone in the other, enjoying nature (phone-free), is one of the easiest ways to make your summer unforgettable. Grab your favorite people and get exploring.

What are your must-have summertime essentials? Leave your top three in the comment section below. And if you liked our list, spread the love! Forward this post to two of your friends and share it on social media.


THIS POST ORIGINALLY APPEARED ON URBAN ALCHEMY.

How to Actually Enjoy Your July Long Weekend Self-Love Style

Whether you’re Canadian (like me!) or American (like my boyfriend), you’ve got a beautiful long weekend coming up and if possible, you should plan to spend it doing exactly what you want.

You’re probably like, duh. But hear me out. 

I’ve long been the girl who goes with the flow. If my friends or family asked me what I felt like doing during the long weekend (or anytime at all, ever), in the past, I probably would have answered with something like, “Oh, I’m easy! Whatever you guys want to do is great.” Which is precisely how I’ve wound up, tired and alone in an Uber delivering me from one place I didn’t want to be, to another. And it’s also the reason that I got so drunk that one time (who am I kidding? — plenty of times) at that party where I didn’t know anybody because it was awkward AF, and why were we there again? Oh right, because “I’m easy!” And it’s definitely the reason I’ve woken up to angry texts from my BFF for making a Houdini exit at “the club” well before the night was deemed over. All because I conceded to other people’s plans, priorities and ideas of fun without actually consulting myself for an opinion. Being the “chill” girl, the “up for anything,” and the “I don’t mind” girl is exhausting.

While it’s one thing to be agreeable, it’s another thing altogether to sacrifice your own well-being for someone else’s idea of a “good time.” We live in a YESculture. It’s totally normal to want to be a people pleaser amongst your people. But sometimes constantly saying YES to your friends, your S.O., your family, your boss, your co-workers, means a default NO on your end — a NO to yourpriorities, your to-do lists, and your idea of a good time.

SO. It's time to prioritize your own agenda with these 4 ridiculously simple tips for actually enjoying your July Long Weekend.

1. Ask yourself, how do you honestly want to spend your time?

Chances are, there are a million things going on this long weekend. A beach bash and bonfire at your parent’s cabin. A BBQ at your BFF’s boyfriend’s brother’s house. Your grandma really wants to hit the yard sale scene (it’s always lit on long weekends). That band your bestie’s obsessed with is playing downtown and your BF’s graduating class is having a good ol’ fashioned house party.

You’ve got options, girl. But first, ask yourself — how do you honestly want to spend your time? What’s your idea of a GT? And is it aligned with anything else that’s going on? If YES, great. Hit up that BBQ and crash the house-party late night. But if it’s a NO, then maybe it’s time to stop being a YES woman for other people, and start being a YES woman for yourself. 

(BTW. It’s 100% okay for your BFF to want to spend her July Long booze cruising, and for you to want to spend it at a yoga retreat. Or vice versa. Just acknowledge the difference and make a plan.)

2. Plan accordingly.

Once you’ve given it some thought, start making the plans.

If all your friends are hitting up the free concert in town, but you’re dying for some 1-on-1 time with your BF at the beach, make it happen.

Let your friends know you’ll meet up with them later. Let your BF know what time to be ready, and to pack a bathing suit.

Done.

Believe it or not, while you’re friends will likely miss your presence, they won’t hold your priorities against you. (If they do, they’re not good friends.) And your BF, well, he’s been dying for 1-on-1 time, but didn’t want to seem needy.

OKAY. So. Maybe there’s no free concert in your town, or you don’t have a BF, but you get my point. Once you give yourself the permission to actually have your own thoughts, feelings, and opinions about what you want to do — listen to them. And then plan accordingly. You hold the power, babe. 

3. Recruit your squad.

Now that you know what you want to do, and how you want to spend your July Long Weekend, recruit your squad. Sure, your friends may already have other plans, but they might be YES women, too, so throw out your plan as an option and give them the opportunity to choose it, if they want.

Or, maybe you’re planning to finally spend some long overdue time with yourself. In which case, your squad is YOU. And that’s perfect.

Whatever you do, don’t peer pressure or bully anyone into your weekend schedule. Because then you’re right back where you started, except the one making the sacrifice is your BFF. And she doesn’t deserve that. 

4. Do you & enjoy.

Congratulations! You’ve just resisted the status quo, prioritized number one (that's you!), and learned a valuable lesson in self-care. All that’s left to do now is enjoy the weekend you’ve planned for yourself, knowing that you’re spending it exactly how you want to spend it.

While you’re busy doing you, try to remember and understand that other people’s priorities are not a reflection of you. And vice versa. We’re all just trying to have a good time, the best way we know how. Just because your bestie opted out of your plan, doesn’t mean she doesn’t love you.

PS. These tips are easily transferable beyond the long weekend and can totally be applied to your everyday life.


THIS POST ORIGINALLY APPEARED ON LITTLEFOOLBOOK.

The Ultimate Hydrating Drink: Coconut Water 3 ways

Due to crazy high temps and ridiculously humid days happening here in Boston, we’re currently avoiding all recipes that actually require effort and politely declining all social situations that don’t involve ice cream, acai, or these insanely refreshing coconut water coolers. But before we get to the recipes, a quick word on coconut water, hydration, and per reader request, how to stay cool when it’s hot AF.

HYDRATION & COCONUT WATER  

We’ve discussed it multiple times but so many of us still seem to forget this simple health hack. Proper hydration, as in, at least 3 liters of water per day (more if you’re active or live in a hot climate), is one of the best things you can do for your health. However, in order to reap the benefits of water, which includes clear skin, healthy digestion, properly functioning organs and a longer lifespan, you actually have to drink it—lots of it.

While coconut water is certainly not a substitute for actual water (the mother of all hydrating drinks), it is in fact one of the most naturally hydrating and nutritious drinks on the planet. In addition to being comprised of about 95% water, it’s loaded with vitamins (especially C and B-complex), minerals (mainly potassium, magnesium & copper), bioactive enzymes that aid in digestion and metabolism, cytokinins (minimize the aging of skin cells), phytohormones, antioxidants, amino acids and electrolytes making it popular among athletes and an excellent alternative to traditional sugar-sweetened sports drinks like Gatorade.

Raw coconut water—preferably straight from a young coconut—is always ideal, but Harmless Harvest coconut water (found at Costco, Wholefoods, and other natural food stores), is also a great option. We highly recommend reading this article by Food Babe, Vani Hari, on how various brands stack up as NOT all coconut waters are the same. Unfortunately, a lot of what you find on the shelves is heavily processed reconstituted coconut water concentrate void of nutrients made by reducing fresh coconut water to a syrup and tastes absolutely nothing like the real thing.

Coconut water is an acquired taste, but this slightly sweet, almost nutty, tropical bev has won us over. Perfect pre or post-workout, and anytime during the summer, this is THE drink to keep you cool when it’s hot AF.

THE RECIPES:

COCONUT MINT COOLER

Combine 12-16 oz fresh coconut water with a handful of fresh mint leaves.

COCONUT ROSE WATER TONIC

Mix 1/2 oz of rose water with 8-12 oz fresh coconut water.
*Make sure your rose water is food grade (i.e. safe to ingest).

COCONUT LIMEADE WITH MANUKA HONEY

Combine 16 oz fresh coconut water with the juice of half a lime and 1 teaspoon manuka honey.
*We like to dissolve the honey in a bit of hot water before adding in the other ingredients.

RECIPE NOTES :

A light splash of tequila transforms any of one these into an insanely delicious coconut water cocktail.

Opening the coconut is definitely the most difficult part about this recipe. We use a Coco Jack, you can also use a sharp knife but please be careful. Reserve the fresh coconut meat for smoothies and desserts.

What’s your favorite summer drink? Share in the comments below. These coconut water coolers are currently on tap in our kitchens.


THIS POST ORIGINALLY APPEARED ON URBAN ALCHEMY.