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It's the 90s Again...get used to it.

 Photo by  Amaya Benbow

Photo by Amaya Benbow

Okay, so I am throughly obsessed with the CNN decade documentaries. When they did the 90s one, I remember cringing at some of the fashion I saw. Although I cringe today, I rocked chokers, brown lipstick and windbreakers just like the best of them. I rocked all of those trends hard but I never thought they would come back. Although I was always very wise beyond my years I was wrong about 90s fashion. It did come back and I don't think it is going anywhere. I am starting to consider becoming a fashion hoarder so I can save a buck or two but, I am pretty sure my husband would divorce me if I had more clothes than I do today.

I must say although I originally met this revitalized trend with some reluctance, I do like the spin on it this time around. I am taking the bits that I enjoy and embracing it. Let's also remember that chokers are sexy AF and brown lipstick looks strangely good on just about everyone. I have been curating tons of 90s pieces for the store and I recently took some of my favorite P.E Nation that we have in-store right now and paired it with some fun clear block heels. I felt my 17 year old self and her super perky everything beam from within me.

You can rock this exact look with products below or get a slightly over-sized sweatshirt and roll up or scrunch the sleeves pair them with a color blocked legging and a funky fanny pack. Amazon has tons of cheap and cool fanny packs that I have used for shoots before. They have anything from ones with pineapples to holographic ones. Remember it is a "bum bag" outside of the US because the word fanny is just plain rude anywhere else.

Leggings, Sweatshirt & Bum Bag all P.E Nation available at KORE

Shoes: Old Lulus

P.E Nation Moneyball Sweat
P.E Nation The Layback Bum Bag

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It's Been A Long Time

Kore Collective-4.jpg

It's been a long time, I shouldn't have left you with out a dope beat to step to. Okay, that's my way of saying I am sorry I fell off the blog planet and into some dark hole. Since the last time I posted a bunch of things happened and I am hoping that the order is correct here. I got hitched, I became a dog mom and I am a full time boss babe now. My business has grown in ways I couldn't even dream of. We went from creating retail spaces in studios to pop-ups to our VERY OWN STORE FRONT! OMG, OMG. It has truly been a dream come true. Not only do we sell the flyest fit-fashion in all of San Francisco (true story) but we have cultivated a bad ass community. I live for our customers. They are smart, savvy and stylish women who celebrate life and encourage our success every single day. I have two very strong feelings from all of this: gratitude and exhaustion. HA.

No one tells you how NOT cute you look while running your own business because the weight of the world is on your shoulders and not in a "look how much I can lift and squat now" kind of weight. More of like I could be totally crushed right now kind of weight instead. All joking aside, it has been equally the hardest and most rewarding job I have ever had. I 1000% love it. And that is why I am sorry but not sorry I have been MIA. I have been creating the ultimate experience for me and other bad ass women who like to look fine while they break a sweat at the gym and in life.

I am however; trying something new...putting myself first. Last week it was chaos, someone couldn't go in to the shop and I had to go in unexpectedly. I was going to cancel my training session and instead, I closed the store, got my butt kicked and went back to the store emotionally, mentally and physically stronger. Was that the best decision for the business? I'm not quite sure but the truth is, it was the very best decision for me. I ended up having a great day engaging with some of my favorite people. When you run your own business, home, etc. it is easy to become last on the list. I have decided I will now be first so I can give to others. That whole saying about if you don't give to you, you can't give to others is not a cliche, it is gospel my friends. Part of me giving to *me* is writing again. So if you missed my quirky and slightly sarcastic humor, consider it your lucky day.

xoxo

Kelly

 

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An Online Boutique Just for You: KORECollective.com

 Photographer:  @Barbarajayy , Model:  @Aprildenise , Stylist:  @KOREbyKelly    Shop the look on:  KORECollective.com

Photographer: @Barbarajayy, Model: @Aprildenise, Stylist: @KOREbyKelly

Shop the look on: KORECollective.com

I took my passion and finally made it my profession. When started my journey on the KORE Blog, I shared everything from fitness moves to my favorite fitness fashion brands. As a fitness teacher and enthusiast, I became thoroughly obsessed with fitness fashion. I would teach and then meet my husband for a drink or girlfriends for brunch and I still wanted to look cute. I spent my whole career in fashion & beauty advertising. Being dressed to the nines was part of the job and I enjoyed that. I wasn't going to change that part of me.

So I moved to San Francisco about a year and a half ago and I kept rocking my New York fit-fash style and people kept asking me "where did you get that?" and they kept asking for styling advice too. Before I knew it, I was providing KORE curations via retail experiences in four fitness studios in San Francisco and LA. I decided that I wanted to offer KORE curations to women everywhere in the US (I also have a lot of awesome friends and clients in New York). So, I launched KORECollective.com, an online boutique led by style and driven by a performance based life. 

I hand pick every single item on the site. Literally. You won't get exhausted clicking away because I only carry a select number of items and brands. I do the hard work so you can go on enjoying your life. Think of KORE as your personal fit-fash stylist. If you like our style, you're set for life. I pick items with a street style lens. What that means is that I pick pieces you could wear a couple of different ways or easily transition them into other facets of your life. 

We are also consistently making magic...KORE photo shoots is where we get to show you how to rock it. I style all of the looks the way I would wear them IRL. I want to give you the inspiration you need to rock these pieces. I don't need to take a million fitness pics, you know that you can work out in most of it (some pieces are in act more lifestyle based) BUT what you want to know is how to wear it the 90% of the time you aren't actually sweating in it. Follow us on Instagram for a serious dose of inspiration: @KORE_Collective Because I like to blog and talk a lot (which also translates to the way I type), I am keeping the blog goodness alive on KORE Collective

I am super proud of this brand that we continue to create very single day and I wholeheartedly love what I am doing. I hope you enjoy the KORE experience and share it with friends. 

xoxo

Kelly

 

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Find these HOT pieces at Ritual Hot Yoga

Hi Friends!

I have been keeping busy and launching retail experiences at select studios in SF and LA! I most recently partnered with Ritual Hot Yoga to create a retail experience that will provide you with the right stuff whileheating things up and then provide you with delicious comfort while you cool them down! Sharing with you a quick video of some of the great pieces we kicked off with. Racks will be consistently refreshed with new pieces from select brands and collections. Come visit RITUAL and the KBK Retail Experience!

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How to Rock Graphic Tees

You don't have to be a certain age to wear graphic tees, they are highly suitable to every age. It adds a little flare to the basic tee that you would normally wear as a layering piece. In this look, I layered a chambray shirt and a leather jacket over my Luciana tee. KORAL Moto leggings and moto boots provided a little edge. A black leather jacket and bucket bag also finessed this studio to street ensemble. 

Head on over to Mighty Pilates in San Francisco to try and buy some of my favorite curations or email me at: Kelly@KOREbyKelly.com for personal shopping!

Photo by Lisha Wang

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Easy Transition from Studio to Street

Put a belt on it!!!! I started by marrying this amazing Joah Brown Live in Tee with KORAL Moto Leggings to get my sweat sesh in. Then I grabbed a belt and cinched it all together so you could see my waist. I work out so I can keep that thing in tact so I might as well flaunt it.

Then I paired these magical Barbara Bui flats that immediately elevated and made this look even more feminine. Some of these Aquazzura ones are to die for or you can go with this don't break the bank pair from Aldo

My sports bra shows but who cares. I think these simpler straps keep the look clean and elegant.

Once you are ready, grab a clutch and go. Wait for your fave person who is always late in the most ultimate studio to street style. 

I am offering personal styling services and you can email me at: Kelly@KOREbyKelly.com for a personal order on select pieces. If you live in San Francisco, come find an amazing curation Styled by KORE by Kelly at Mighty Pilates and start with a sweat sesh!

 

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Where to Sweat: Ritual Hot Yoga

So I have many rituals...When I wake up in the morning:

  • I give thanks for a new day (even when I'm cranky)
  • I open my "Daily Teachings" app by the Secret and I read my teaching for the day
  • I kiss my boyfriend and wish him a good morning (and I thank my lucky stars for him)
  • I send loving thoughts to my family in NY
  • I make coffee and oatmeal with sliced strawberries
  • I check instagram
  • I then check the real news
  • I let the day settle in

On very good days, I also try to find some time to meditate so I am in communion with my inner self before facing the outside world. I could go on and on about many other rituals that I have because I like a good ritual. They provide a sense of grounding. I sometimes like to take mundane situations and apply a ceremonious spin on them. Consider your beauty routine, I love to work through every step with a sense of love and purpose. I think that when you apply a ceremonious attitude to anything you are harnessing divinity and the present moment.

A yoga practice or your sweat sesh of choice can be seen as a ritual in many cases. You usually go around the same time, frequent the same studios and follow the same teachers. In an actual yoga class it is sequenced in order to take special steps into consideration, think setting intentions, breath work, the physical practice, svasana... they all serve a very clear purpose. I had the pleasure of experiencing Ritual Hot Yoga as I partook in an event on behalf of SYYogaMag. They invited local bloggers into their "home" and treated us to fresh beats, a warming practice and delish local foods. Check out the full article on this experience over at SFYogaMag. If you are based in San Francisco I encourage you to check out this studio. Not only do they offer an amazing class but they are disrupting the ecosystem by truly taking care of their teachers. Okay, I'm giving away too much, just read this. If you are not in San Francisco, start setting and applying rituals to your daily routine and notice how present you just might become.

namaste.

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3 White Hot Sports Bras You Need Now

I love a sexy sports bra and I love white. So when you make a sexy white sports bra, game over. It immediately needs to be MINE.

I am sharing with you my TOP 3 selections that are sure to match that sexy sun kissed tan. Please note, it flaunts certain assets that aren't normally worked out in the bedroom VS the gym.

 

1. Michi Bionic Sports Bra I pretty much love everything Michi makes and this is no exception. Something about the white mesh makes this look so flawless. The bra cup is definitely sexy but the mesh almost provides a little bit of discretion. This bra inspires me to learn how to play tennis so I can give the mesh on the court a run for its money. 

2. Bodyism Olivia Stretch-Jersey Sports Bra  This sports bra screams FEM to me. I love the thick strap around the bra line. I think a little extra fabric doesn't hurt in this situation. The front and the back are equally on fire. I would rock this to one of my adult ballet classes. Not sure if the classical folks would approve but it would sure be fun to find out. 

3. Varley Terri Crop Top I have this in black and now I feel like I must own it in white. This bra gives me cleavage I know I don't have. I seriously wonder where it comes from? It has super powers like some of those Victoria's Secret bras. This I would wear any time I feel like making someone else red in the face that is not induced by a workout.

Work it, rock on and flaunt your sexy self.

 

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Monday Mantra

Fear. It is an ugly 4 letter word. It is probably one of the ugliest 4 letter words that you can say. I rather have you say the other word that starts with an "F". Heck, I encourage you to use that other word that we both know and use so well... I love using that word to strongly emphasize my feelings. But fear...that word is really the dirty one. It paralyzes you, diminishes you and makes you revaluate your self worth. No word should be given such authority. The truth is, we should not give it authority. A lot of times, fear is self inflicted by self limiting thoughts. When you say I'm afraid of "blank" a lot of the times that "blank" is something you aren't good at or maybe something that challenges you or maybe something your afraid of being judged on. Unless that blank is spiders (I mean who has 8 legs) you should face that fear. You should evaluate and embrace it. Ask yourself and be honest, "why am I afraid of this?" Truly answer why and see if you have misread the situation. Maybe you are perceiving something that isn't real. Maybe you are living in past or future tense without embracing the present moment. When you embrace the present moment, all fear disappears. It unmasks the stuff we are making up in our minds and it sheds light on our true essence which is to be brave. To be present. To be alive. 

Find one thing that you are afraid of and simply ask, why? And then see if maybe your perception is jaded. Challenge yourself this week to come into closer contact with that fear. Embrace it and unveil it.

wishing you light, love and courage  

 

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The Best Yoga Move For Your Abs

I'm back on the big screen to share some fitness moves you can do with me or save and learn for later! Today's video features a navasana "boat pose" series. This is a favorite, I always get asked to put it in the mix even though I get tons of eye rolls during it. Warning: if you have a foot phobia, you may not want to watch this because mine will literally be in your face. Please, please, please share with me any feedback on what you like, how I can make this better and what you want to see next. It helps me create better content that will help YOU meet your goals. Get to it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Monday Mantra

By all means, meditation is freaking hard, it's work. It's not easy but it's not impossible. It also gets easier the more you do it. It's an investment on the very best asset in your life: you. When people ask me for tips on meditation first of all, I say: "just start". It's all you can do. Start with 5 minutes a day and add on 1 minute every week and before you know it, you'll be mediating for 10 minutes a day. Use music, use silence, use whatever will get you there. Also, recognize that the chatter is normal. You would have to be Buddah to completely silent right off the bat. Although it is challenging to silence the mind, it doesn't mean we can't ignore it. Essentially, don't identify with the thoughts. Let them come and go and every time you feel there is just a little space, a little quiet, that is actually you. Be the space, feel the space. Treat your mind like a toddler. If it throws a tantrum, look the other way. Ignore it until it decides to behave AKA shutting up. A lot of anxiety in our lives is caused by identification with thoughts. Mostly all past and future tense related. Let the thoughts dance in and out of your mind, you'll eventually realize that they only gather strength if you let them take over. If you feed it, you will fuel it. Make space this week. Make space for the true you which is not equivalent to the stories we make up in our minds. Be present, be the space.

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Jeans You Need Now

There was a time when I had more pairs of jeans than pairs of underwear. When I was teenager, I had a part time job. I have always been a hustler so one summer I actually had three jobs at once. Strangely in my 30s, I feel 16 again but not in a good way. More like, I have 10 jobs now. I wish I was a saver back then but shopaholics are made young. Every time I got a new pay check, I did what every responsible teenager did; I spent it. I would go and buy a new pair of Paris Blues jeans. Does anyone remember those? I didn't think they still made them until I started writing this article. I am pleased to announce that they still make them and they are available at Target! Now that I no longer live in New York City, I actually live near a Target. I think I am going to go there and try them on to see if they still fit as sweet as I remember. Follow me on insta @KOREbyKelly so you don't miss out on the outcome. I always bought the flare ones because the 70s were popular then. Come to think of it, I don't think the 70s ever freaking left. They say you should hold on to things because they come back in style. It would be amazing if I could fit into the same pair of jeans 18 years later but I guess I'll never know now. 

So this has become a post about Paris Blues jeans? That was definitely not my intention. I got all nostalgic and I digressed. What I wanted to say is that I also had a pair of metallic jeans, cheetah jeans, snake jeans, red shiny jeans and a bunch of other heinous things that come to mind. I looked cool so don't worry. It all worked back then. These days however; I am pretty conservative with the amount of jeans I buy. I found myself donating so many pairs once I came to this realization that I was a jeans hoarder. So when I splurge on a unique pair they are meant to really stand out yet be versatile enough to fit in with my daily needs. I found this pair by 3X1 and I decided that I would let them take a coveted spot in my closet. I have paired these jeans with a light sweater and espadrilles for a laid back and polished spring/summer look. I added a block heel and a silk tee for a dressier look but the options are in fact endless. Click on the below photos if you'd like to shop these looks!

Photos by Elena Eshleman and taken at Harding's NYC

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Monday Mantra


I wouldn't agree with every outfit or life experience Madonna has chosen but there are somethings she has aced, like her song "Open Your Heart". Do you think "Close Your Heart" would have been a successful hit? Well news flash, it's not a successful hit in your life either. This week's Monday Mantra is easy. Take a moment to open your heart and with that you may see that your mind opens, your body relaxes and endless opportunities become available to you. The heart is the superior organ, not the brain. Yeah, I'm aware that the brain is located physically above the heart on your body. So what, that doesn't make it superior. Think about how many times your brain has made mistakes. It's kind of like the weather man of the body. It can get the weather wrong and still keep its job. How is that fair? On the contrary, every time I listen to my heart which sometimes feels like your gut the darn thing is always right. In this case, your heart is like your parent's sound advice you ignored and lived to regret. I could have saved myself lots and lots of "mia culpas" had I listed to my heart instead of following my know it all brain. 

Lately, when I meditate, I take a moment to honor my heart. I listen to it beating, I feel it beating and I give gratitude for it's immense capability to forgive, love, heal and keep me present. Living more within your heart center will keep you grounded and satisfied with the choices you make when you listen to it. My friend Deepak (I wish he was my friend...so bad) says that you should listen to what it tells you when you need to make a decision -- I'm totally paraphrasing. Essentially, get a gut check when you need help making a choice and give that overpaid and overworked brain of yours a break.

I have also been incorporating this philosophy into my yoga practice. I try to arrive at the mat present and unaffected by the physical outcome. When I do that, my heart sings (maybe even Madonna) because I let it lead. Check out an article I wrote for SF Yoga Mag on my experience with Bhakti yoga.  

Join the chorus and sing it loud this week..."Open your heart to me, baby".....wear a cone bra too if your heart feels like it!

Rock on xo

 

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Monday Mantra

So, I guess you are wondering where the heck I have been? I must apologize as I feel like we went on a lot of really good dates and then I never called you back. I want you to know that it is truly not "you" and it has been all "me". 

Moving from one neighborhood to the next in the same city is already a pain in the ass. Moving cross-country is an inexplicable pain. I might as well have moved to a new country. It feels similar to when I moved to Italy well over a decade ago, that's how foreign some things truly are to me. Finding out that there are cultural differences within the same country has been so weird, it's something I didn't anticipate. Being a New Yorker, I was kind of cocky in thinking that New York is the center of the universe. I hate to tell you, but it's not. Lots of good stuff is going down elsewhere and just like New York other cities have their charm and areas of expertise. Taming that New York attitude has been interesting. You don't realize how much a place is part of your identity and how it clearly feeds into your ego until you detach from it. I will always keep many of my amazing New York characteristics but the truth is, I am in someone else's turf now so, adaptability is key. 

What I am learning the most about however; is me. I am learning all sorts of good, bad and ugly stuff. You learn where you have strengths and when you are just human which is not a weakness but something to stop and acknowledge. I didn't realize that my ego would spiral out of control when we finally got here. The ego needs external attachments in order to feed its identity. By physically moving, I have stripped away many previous "labels" and "identities". As a result, my ego is having a melt down because it doesn't know who to be. The beauty of this challenge has been that now, I am forced to look beyond the ego and into my higher Self. I can harness this detachment and reclaim my higher Self as worthy beyond the ego. In the end, the ego is truly no one and your higher Self is everything.

Another valuable lesson has been learning that I can't control the world. I am barely able to control any given day or when my freaking couch delivery occurs. I wanted to have everything strategically set immediately upon arrival and life just doesn't work that way. Giving yourself the responsibility to control endless variables is totally unfair. You are so setting yourself up for failure which can then lead to a variety of negative emotions. As a result of that amazing lesson, I wake up every day now saying that the day will unfold as it should. I will not have control over it but enjoy being part of its manifestation. Join me this week in living in acceptance versus expectation. The need to control is prevalent in many areas of our lives but it is a very unhealthy focus. Let go and live, that is where you can truly exceed.

In a nutshell, I have been MIA as I have been working through a massive transition but I'm here now, working through it and willing to share the journey.

 

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How to wear ruffles (without looking like a cake)

 

Sometimes I love to get dressed super girly so I was pretty pumped when I saw ruffles and bell sleeves make a comeback. A few things come to mind when I think of bell sleeves. I was in a talent show in the 7th grade. I was in the show with the "cool girls" and we thought it would be brilliant to wear tight black bicycle shorts (yes people actually wore those outside of a spin class, SoulCycle didn't even exist yet), a big ruffle top - mine was amazing- and a choker. 2 out of 3 of those things are popular again. This was in fact "the 90's". Two things make me cringe when I think about that experience, 1.  that I wore those tights in public and no my shirt did not cover my booty and 2. we danced to Janet Jackson's "If I was your girl" and I had no idea that song was inappropriate but the entire audience sure did. Now that I have shared my Little Ms. Sunshine personal rendition with you, let's move on to the fashion part of this post because I am personally still cringing. A brand who I think is killing it with this trend is N/NICHOLAS. I am going to show you a few looks I put together with just a few items.

These statement tops need very little help to work their magic. I am obsessed with the first off the shoulder fringe trim top . You can pair it with skinny jeans like I did (even white ones come summer for an all white ensemble), a pair of shorts with a simple pattern, denim shorts or leather leggings are all great choices too. I got it from SHOPBOP (it's on sale there: you're welcome) and wore it to my bon voyage party in NYC. It also comes in a dress that is equally to die for. I went with the shirt versus the dress because I felt like I could get away with wearing it more often. The second top is a flared top with short sleeves, this is the current version available and also on sale. This one is shorter so I liked wearing it with a high waisted pair of flare jeans. I might try some shorts that are loose around the stomach come summer. The last top has a little more sex appeal and should be reserved for when you are looking to pull out all the stops. I like the idea of a long necklace outlining your décolletage as the perfect accent. I kept the same pair of skinny jeans on for this look. You can keep the bottoms super basic with all of these pieces.

In all cases, when paired with jeans, I kept things tame with a nude sandal. I decided to take it up a notch with a higher heel and more fem features when wearing shorts. I pulled out an amazing pair of Moschino's that I have had for a while but you can get a similar cool look with these puppies. Lots of my jewelry that I wore were gifts from bae, some Alexis Bittar statement bracelets make a nice touch.

Special thanks to Hardings for allowing me to capture these photos in their amazing space. We hosted our bon voyage party there and the service was excellent and the food was SO good. The hand cut fries and flat breads kept me full and fueled the night of our event. I would highly recommend them when hosting a private occasion, each room in their space has special character. At least get some delicious brunch there if you are in NYC. The lovely Elena Eshleman captured these great images.

 

 

 

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Where To Eat: Anywhere The Infatuation Tells You

Get this: I’ve been living in San Francisco for less than a month and I am going to make a restaurant recommendation. What gives me the authority to do that, you ask? Because it was used as the backdrop of an event hosted by none other than the most legit guys in the restaurant review biz: The Infatuation. If you don’t know who they are, maybe you should question every food decision you’ve ever made. Like really, every single decision. You should also know them from the iconic “eeeeeats” hashtag they created. If you still don’t know, I give up. Go back under that rock.

I have had the pleasure of seeing The Infatuation grow into a cult favorite and a go-to trusted source. I have also had the pleasure of allowing them to help shape my dining experience in a new city. I’m concerned that I will gain a ton of weight based on how that’s going— good thing I am a fitness fanatic. When they say things like “there is going to be a long line,” believe them. I made the mistake of thinking they lightly made that statement or, typical me “maybe they didn’t really mean it.” They don’t do that. They really tell it like it is.

Last week, I joined this great event that they hosted with American Express Gold. I told you they had good taste—of course it would be with AMEX Gold. Together, they are doing a multi-city road show and celebrating 2X membership rewards when dining out and using your AMEX Gold.  Not too shabby.

The event was held at Tosca Café. I ate fried polenta, truffle cheese, some artichoke thing, home made focaccia, a market salad, bucatini, whole roasted chicken (not all of it, but not a little bit of it), crispy potatoes, asparagus, rainbow cakes and lots and lots of delicious booze selected by The Liquor Cabinet. I had to write it all out because I’m still shaming myself for all that I ate. Just kidding… sort of. I had no control and I was down with it.

I got to sit and hang with some super duper nice San Francisco foodies who have the most gorgeous instagram accounts. I honestly don’t know how they capture food the way they do, I just don’t. Also, you can’t be too hungry hanging with these talented gals or you’ll get hangry. They will starve for the perfect shot; they sacrifice themselves for the art form. Check out: @breadbunnie, @asideofsweet, @hollymatthews, @cyneats and @jennyeesf to see how it’s done SF style.

Lastly, I got to take home (besides some love handles) a bronze 4 in 1 bar tool designed by Izola.  This thing has more talents than J.Lo, it is a quadruple threat. I'll probably use it to break ice and as a self-defense weapon. I also got these gorgeous Oleg Cassini (I told you, very fancy) rocks glasses that will belong to my boyfriend when he drinks scotch. Heck, when we drink scotch. Come to think about it, I ate a ton and got presents. This kind of felt like Christmas without family.

Lastly, I pretty much hate it when someone calls or texts me for restaurant recos. I'm okay with deciding as a group where to go eat but I hate helping other people decide where they should go. You can personally ask me anything and everything about where to work out or where to shop but I am just not the person you go to for restaurant recos. I have writers who focus on food for a reason. I don't why but it simply annoys me. I feel like I am being put on the spot. I also feel lame when I don't have a good answer, makes me feel like I don't get out often (which is true). So stop asking me and ask these guys. They now have an on demand restaurant reco service via text message called Text Rex. A human actually gets back to you which I find very impressive. Based on everything I said, that would be my nightmare job and I would be fired pretty quickly. It's live in NYC and coming to Chicago, LA, and SF soon. If you are one of my personal friends, don't be mad. Honesty is key to every great relationship and now I have given you the gift of Text Rex. Love you, mean it.

These fantastic photos were generously shared by Becca Martin who lives in the Bay area and captured the event. Check out her cool website and insta: @bmartinphoto

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Monday Mantra

So I am not a big fan of using words like "right" or "wrong" but if I am going to ever use them, I think I will use them now. I have done something very wrong. I have disobeyed this very sage advice: "allow yourself permission to enjoy the adventure of life". If every bit of life is "planned" then it is not an adventure. Oh, and sorry to break it to you but if you think you are adventurous just because you are visiting a cool city or country but you have a full blown itinerary (that you will rigidly stick to) that doesn't make you adventurous. The destination may be adventurous but you aren't. I know, I'm harsh sometimes.

When I was moving to San Francisco, I was so impressed with myself. Wow, "I'm so adventurous" I thought. I also thought, "I am not the kind of person who needs a meticulous life plan, I can go with the flow and figure it out as I go along".  What I failed to note is that I am go with the flow for about two weeks, you know, just about as long as a good vacation. I started to fall apart once we were into week three. All of a sudden, I couldn't stand not having one constant in the midst of change. I wanted to know where I would be living, working, and visiting New York again. I wanted to know EVERYTHING. The idea of not having any answers started to cause an insane amount of fear and anxiety within me. All of a sudden, I was fragile. I was afraid. I thought if what I "want" and "need" doesn't manifest now, will I never "have" it? I am using an excessive amount of quotation marks because I realize that what I think I "want" and "need" aren't always truly what I should "have". What the heck do I really know in comparison to the awesome universe? It truly does have a supreme plan for you. It's as if you were trying to compete with your friend who is an event planner on throwing an amazing halloween party (stay with me on this one). Instead of just going to her awesome party that runs so seamlessly and every detail is accounted for, you decide to throw your own party.  You stress yourself out, forget a bunch of things and impose experiences on people that you think are cool but really aren't. Why did you resist the expert? Why didn't you just go to the damn party instead of competing with it? This is like you VS the universe and if this comparison is hard to follow, just think of bridesmaids.  You (in this case me) are trying to fight the universe and totally think you know what is best when the universe is the one who knows what is best. What's missing in order to get rid of the anxiety and let the universe take over? Trust. Faith. And detachment. You can not be so attached to an outcome. Even when you are Type A and an OCD planner, you can't avoid every circumstance that life presents. There is always going to be stuff that we couldn't have foreseen or planned for.  In my case, I exhausted myself from all of the stress and I am giving into the universe this week for two reasons: 1. because I am freaking tired and 2. because I am reading Deepak Chopra's The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success and it is helping me achieve a different POV. His ridiculously soothing voice and logic, have managed to talk me off the ledge. Join me this week in experiencing detachment and having a little bit of faith.  Link to the book is below in case it can help you too. I hope my honesty with my journey can help you in some way, shape or form. Wishing you endless light, peace and love.

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Where To Eat: Westville NYC

This post was written by Contributor and Photographer: Elena Eshleman

Whether you are a vegan, vegetarian, or meat-eater, you can find something delicious to eat at Westville restaurants. Westville, four of which are scattered around Manhattan, provide costumers with fresh, feel-good food at a reasonable price. I visited Chelsea’s Westville location, and I was not let down. I left satisfyingly full without breaking the bank. The environment was welcoming and casual, with large windows drawing you in to the intimate setting with small tables and a talkative crowd. 

Although Westville caters to all diets, what the restaurant is most well known for is its extensive selection of fresh market vegetables. For fifteen dollars, you have a choice of 4 vegetables, all prepared differently and piled on a large platter. For once, you are going to want to save your vegetables for last.

After browsing through a long list of veggies, I decided on quinoa, sweet potato tots, artichokes, and brussel sprouts. The food came out quickly and piping hot, a platter of vegetables that almost looked too good to eat (but I seemed to manage). Everything was delicious, from the seasonings to the honey Sriracha sauce. It was enough to share, so I would recommend bringing a friend and feasting on a smorgasbord of beautifully prepared, fresh vegetables.

And if veggies aren’t your thing, Westville still has a variety of options. They add their own twist to traditional American dishes, which makes it easy for everyone to find something that they like. You can pop in early for a classic egg sandwich for Sunday brunch, or chow down on a burger and hot dog instead (there are even vegetarian and vegan alternatives for these as well)!  

Westville has mouth-watering food that everyone can enjoy, no matter their dietary preferences. Whether you are ordering a vegetable platter to be delivered to your doorstep or meeting with friends for lunch, Westville is an affordable option for delectable food.

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How To Show Off Your Brazilian Bottoms

Let's face it, Brazilian women have rocking bodies. And not only are their bodies quente (hot in Portugese), they give zero you know whats about showing what their mama gave them. Being half Dominican, I have been raised to be confident about all the glorious gifts my maker gave me or in some cases didn't give me (the clay was mostly used for my lower half, they forgot my upper half). As a result, I have always been on the braver side when it comes to pushing the limits. In college, there was a Brazilian clothing store close to where I grew up. I bought a few pieces there and looking back on some of those pictures, I failed to realize that the freshman 15 or in my case Florence 15+ wasn't wearing well on me so my hem lines could have been longer and my size slightly bigger. But looking back I am also proud of myself. I have always been confident and embracing of how I looked even when it wasn't necessarily my personal best. Something every woman should be is confident, please embrace every bit of you!

So when I first encountered then Candida Maria leggings in a store, I kind of knew they were Brazilian before anyone even told me they were. I mean, look at them. They are screaming Carnival! They are also asking "please, please, please dance samba in me"! The new brand name is brazil//wear which is genius because everything Brazilian pretty much performs brilliantly (think the craze behind the Brazilian Butt Lift). So yes, the prints are pretty cray. They are a go to spring/summer brand for me, I also love the fabric. It's so soft and silky so you might be strangely touching your rear in public. I recommend you revisiting my booty work out video on YouTube so you can proudly flaunt your assets in these pants. Go on and strangely touch that fine booty of yours! xo

This fun shoot was captured in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

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Monday Mantra

Okay, I have been very naughty.  I need to go back and reread every freaking Monday Mantra I have written and then say to myself…“hey girl, practice what you preach”. So, I am one week into this marvelous new city: San Francisco! I'm kind of a Cali girl right now. Well at least a partial Cali girl. I kind of like the idea of being ½ NYC and ½ Cali girl. It’s the best of both worlds and kind of like being ½ Irish and ½ Dominican except, for the times when I have to apologize for the bad temper that this lethal combination has created. Yes I have a temper because I am human and there is plenty of shit I am working through #everydamnday. Anyway… as per usual, I digress. I have been naughty because I have not been taking my own advice of being in the present moment. Something amazing about switching from NYC to Cali is like all of a sudden life gets turned down a notch. I am kind of walking through life as if I just experienced the most epic svasana ever. For non-yogis it’s as if I am on xanax and for those of you who have never found themselves in need of a xanax (lucky you), I'm just slower. But slower in a very good way because I am not annoying everyone around me for being slow because they are all slow too. So you would think this is all good, right?

Well, I may have physically slowed down but the chatter in my mind is sprinting through the streets. I have only been here a week and I think I should have a million things settled by now. Like where am I working, where am I living, who’s coming to my birthday party in 2017 (I won’t have one this year because I don’t really know anyone yet). So this is all of the crap going on in my head while only being here one week. Meanwhile, I have gone on 2 interviews, I have inquired about teaching in two locations, I’ve hung out with 2 people who live here and I have made 2 new friends. That’s weird. As I wrote this down 1. I realize that everything seems to be happening in 2s for me and 2. I am an overachiever. I might as well have joined 2 charities and tried to run for local politics. WTF? I am worried that I won’t get shit done. Really? Something that hits me like a ton do bricks is something that my sage healer says (obsessed). He says, that I should know that I have worth for being absolutely still. For doing nothing. For simply being. It is in my “control patterns” to feel like I need to define every minute of my day and to create “worth”. Honestly, that’s kind of sad. A lot of us do it and I am not ashamed to share that. A lot of us feel like we need to define our worth by monetary compensation, the illusion of power, responsibilities and having every second of the day accounted for. This post is kind of therapeutic because every paragraph that passes I am thinking WOW I need to take it down a few notches. Even just one notch. This yogi needs to get yogi.

One of the things that becomes very clear to me is that it is hard for us to go beyond our comfort zones. You have your usual coffee, yoga, nail spot, etc. Whatever you need done, you have a place for it. We are kind of creatures of habit and sometimes we forget that there is a big bad world around us with plenty more to discover. In the midst of my madness, I have told myself to look at this as an adventure. The opportunity to explore new places, have no judgements and to build something new upon. This is actually an opportunity, I should feel reinvigorated instead of scared. This week, week 2 in good old San Francisco, I pledge to look at this as a beginning of a new life and to let all sorts of magical opportunities to unfold. I am obviously beyond my comfort zone already by being here, now I plan on diving in so I can let life begin. 

xo

 

 

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