I’m here, I’m here!

Hi everyone, Shaye here.

The last month or so has been a whirlwind. I was home in New York for my 25th (!!!) birthday mid-September, I landed a new gig with an incredible mission-driven company, and I moved into a new apartment in a new city. From Long Beach on the east coast to Long Beach on the west coast… who woulda thought?

It’s a Spanish style 2-bedroom, with orange tile in the kitchen and dark wood throughout the rest of the apartment. It’s been a little “October spooky” due to echoes caused by lack of furniture, but last night we finally committed to a vintage rattan set (as seen below). Not only am I in love, but now I can set up shop somewhere other than my bed to read and write and do gal things.

I can’t wait for all the gal adventures to come~ stay tuned.

Your Gal, Shaye

 

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a peek inside: my beach bag

We’ll blame it on being a Virgo, but I have designated bags for everything and the beach is no exception. Living on the coast of Southern California, I’m a frequent beach flyer. My fair-skinned complexion is absolutely no competition for the sun’s brute strength, specifically its UVA and UVB rays, so whenever I hit the shore I make sure I’m stocked with all the necessary tools for a safe and pleasant beach day.


SUNSCREEN
Two of the most important items in my tote are my facial and body sunscreens. Crucial. We rarely see cloud coverage down here but even if we do, clouds block as little as 20% of UV rays. So the bottom line is that sunscreen is critical to skin protection.

There are a few criteria that skin products must meet before they get the green light from me. Organic, sustainably made, and cruelty-free are all musts. Through my product research, I was introduced to another checkbox which applies exclusively to sunscreens: reef safe. Sunscreens that are manufactured without Oxybenzone or Octinoxate are legally classified as “reef safe” — another simple way to limit your environmental footprint.

The sunscreens pictured above are my most trusted lotions. I was using Sun Bum on my face for a few months until it began to sting my eyes whenever I got out of the ocean. Since it was doing a great job shielding the rest of my body, I figured I’d just look into a new sunscreen for my face. I narrowed the search down to Badger Sport and Coola Sport but ultimately went for Coola. It’s been about 2 weeks and I can honestly say I’m thrilled with it. No drips, no tears, and no burns. Plus, it meets all of my requirements. It’s the stuff, people.

For the face: Coola Suncare Suncare Citrus Mimosa Moisturizer Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30
For the bod: Sun Bum Original Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50


REUSABLE WATER BOTTLE S’well Bottle 25oz
My water bottle and I have been in a strong committed relationship for almost 2 years. We’ve been everywhere together. Since I bought the bottle back in ’16, I can honestly say I have purchased less than 15 plastic water bottles. Aside from that, I’m able to measure my water intake and ensure that I’m staying hydrated in the hot summer sun and/or year round. It’s looking pretty dated these days, but it still keeps my water fresh and cold. I prefer the tinier mouth compared to other reusable bottles that have a wider mouth; I find that it makes drinking easier and less messy… I’m known for spilling. As for cleaning: I rinse my bottle out every day and soap every other.

SHADES Ray-Ban Round Metal
Admittedly, the time for me to invest in a solid pair of polarized sunglasses has come and gone but I’ve been slacking and still wear the American classics, Ray-Ban.  They do a decent job of protecting my eyes from the sun, but I’ve gotta step my game up and get a pair of shades that are built for high sun exposure. Will report back.

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SPEAKERS 
OontZ Angle 3 PLUS Portable Bluetooth Speaker
If you haven’t noticed from my monthly playlists, I’m a big music buff. Whether you’re solo or with others, speakers help liven things up. Again, there were a handful of criteria that the chosen speakers had to meet before I settled on them: sand-proof, water-resistant Bluetooth,  long battery life. Check, check, check, and check. They’re lightweight and the sound quality is spot on. Never hit the beach without them.

TOWEL Slowtide Haven Tassel Beach Towel
Towels on the beach are for both comfort and functionality. We nap on them, dry off using them and sometimes use it as a hold-all for our belongings. My current beach bud is my Slowtide beach towel. First of all, it’s beautiful. There’s way more to Slowtide than meets the eyes, though. They follow slow manufacturing processes and are transparent when it comes to their responsibilities as a company.  As someone who’s always keeping an eye out for a solid sustainable brand, this one was a home run.

Happy beaching.

Your Gal, Shaye

food for thought

words to carry with you today

“The more relaxed you are, the better you are at everything:
the better you are with your loved ones,
the better you are with your enemies,
the better you are your job,
the better you are with yourself.”
– Bill Murray

through my lens: taking on Salt Lake City

delighting in the little things.
snapshots of my week (and those things) // Salt Lake City, Utah


The secret about one of my favorite cities, Salt Lake City, Utah seems to have gotten out. My family’s roots run deep in SLC — they’ve been here for over 100 years. Growing up in New York, it was hard for my parents to get us out to visit often; flying six kids out west comes with a not-so-pretty price tag. So, as an adult, I’m making up the lost time. A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to spend 5 days with my family, soaking up the breathtaking beauty — and prime shopping, specifically thrift/vintage — that the Wasatch Front has to offer.

1.  This framed photo of my great-grandmother, Bonnie, and her boys.


2.  If this quirky little flask was made to hold a glass of wine, I’d be sold. The store I found this in was massive; a hybrid between a retail shop and a barbershop. It was an interesting (and very trendy) concept shop.


3. The gilded age. This mailbox, which is in the lobby of my grandfather’s office building, stopped me in my tracks. I’m a sucker for gold, letters, and most objects that are 50+.

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4.  This cup of morning espresso with this peaceful backdrop was a dream. My grandparents have an impressive collection of pottery (see blurry mug), which piqued my interest in the one-of-a-kind pieces. They also have an impressively magical garden oasis, which is quietly tucked away in their backyard. Oh, and that Kokopelli piece. 

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5. Last but certainly not least, Bonnie Lodge. Originally built somewhere in the early-1900s, it was rebuilt around 1920 after a fire burned it down. It has been shared by my family for generations and was my great-grandmother, Bonnie’s, sanctuary (hence the name). It oozes old-time charm and is essentially a time machine that takes you back to the days when Brighton Mountain was speckled with only a handful of cabins and overrun with wildlife. Being there slows the time down… until the spiritual presence makes the hairs on your arms stand up, that is. But I suppose knowing the spirits are those of my silly and loving ancestors takes the eeriness out of it.

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zero-waste journey: reusable straws

At this point, the issue surrounding plastic straws has hit the mainstream- literally and figuratively. Ditching the single-use poly-plastics and opting for reusable straws is a simple way to reduce the waste that is having an unprecedented impact on our environment, specifically our oceans. There are over 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean.  Investing in these tiny suppers is not only inexpensive but also responsible. We use over 500 million (!!!) straws per day, many of which make their way to our oceans and end up in the stomachs of our marine life. Reusable straws seem like the obvious alternative.


For my introductory reusable straw, I went for glass. Being a “glass-over-everything” girl, it was a natural choice. My first glass straw was by Simply Straws, which was included in my To-Go Ware reusable utensil kit. Despite my cautious efforts whilst using it in public, it was accidentally tossed after I left it in my water glass at a local breakfast joint in my hometown.

It was an emotional day,  but I jumped right on Amazon to reorder; this time I got a set of four: two bent and two straight, a straw for every occasion. I liked ’em, but not nearly as much as my Simply Straws straw. They are wide, making them a great smoothie companion, but they’re a little uncomfortable to enjoy with any regular bev.

With luck and coordination against me, I lost another trusty straw after it took a fall and shattered. I figured it was time to rethink my purchase, considering my clumsy tendencies. Time to bring in the big guns- the mighty stainless steel competitor.

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Despite my usual glass preference, I’m really digging these straws so far. Iced and/or chilled beverages taste super refreshing from the stainless steel’s cooling effect. They were inexpensive, they’re fool-proof/drop-proof, and very easy to transport. Perhaps I’m a biased pro-reusable straw gal, but compared to plastic straws, there are virtually no “cons”.

Reusable straws are one of the “first stops” on my zero-waste journey, and I haven’t looked back once. It brings major personal and public awareness to the plastic issue at hand. So far, I’ve gotten tons of positive feedback and inquiries regarding where I purchased mine. It’s the best kind of snowball effect. When it comes to saving the environment, the most powerful first step is being the change. Cutting back (and ultimately eliminating) your plastic consumption is a great start.

Your Gal, Shaye

 

 

through my lens: summer in the beach cities

delighting in the little things.
snapshots of my week (and those things) // the South Bay, Southern California.

1. Spotted this mural in Manhattan Beach. Couldn’t help but oooh and aaah at those colors.

2. This plant with its blossoming flowers. Still working on figuring out the species.

3. I stopped in a new coffee shop this week in an effort to switch things up. Breaking routines every now and then helps me with my productivity. I’ve found my new spot. These pretty things pieces were on each table. I went for a vanilla latte and a plain croissant, both of which were mouth-watering good. The place: Pursue Coffee in Redondo Beach.

4. Although I don’t necessarily condone defacing public property, this sidewalk sketch is a sweet reminder that surf culture is alive and well in Southern California.

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the importance of listening to your body: my story

Hi, all-

The last month I’ve been MIA so I want to apologize for being off my game and fill you in on the happenings, which taught me to pay closer attention to the warning signals the body sends when things are out of whack.

It all goes back to Wednesday, April 11th, 2018. My stomach started feeling funky midday but as a gal who frequently suffers from benign stomach-related issues, I waived it off as nothing. By midday the subsequent Friday, I was in the ER awaiting my fate, which turned out to be an emergency appendectomy.

Say whaaat! But Doc, I’ve never had surgery. I eat well, I’m generally healthy and I showed no signs or symptoms up until two days ago. Doesn’t matter kid; sometimes this stuff just happens.

Okay, so let’s backtrack again to the minimal symptoms I did show.

Wednesday 4/11, 1:30 pm: crampy internal gas pains begin.
Wednesday 4/11, 6 pm: all pressure, bloated ness, and pain has subsided. I went about my life and paid no mind to the pains that cramped my style that day. I must be better, right? Wrong.

Thursday 4/12, morning:

As mentioned, sporadic stomachaches are no stranger to me so I figured these were par for the course. While at work as a waitress, the pain gradually came again. Not only was it worse, but it felt different, which led me to think the two weren’t related. I ran through all potential causes– or so I thought. I wasn’t expecting my period so I ruled out hormonal cramps and I hadn’t eaten anything other than an Rx bar and a clementine so it couldn’t have been something I ate. The time seemingly crawled by. The pangs turned from unpleasant to excruciating. This time they were migrating throughout my abdominal region. “This is new,” I thought. “WTF is going on.” I was growing more and more concerned.

My shift was over at last and I limped home. I felt fatigued, feverish, and scared. This wasn’t like anything I had ever felt. Upon my arrival at Studio 3, I took a hot shower, doused myself with lavender oil, and jumped in bed in hopes of sleeping it off. Wishful thinking.

Thursday 4/12, 9 pm:

Matt got home from dinner with one of his buddies who was visiting and by this point, I had been rolling around in agony for the last 6 hours. To be frank, I have the tendency to dramatize so I couldn’t tell whether or not I was blowing the whole situation out of proportion. With my stomach bloated and rock hard and my trio of roommates as my witnesses, I concluded it was not normal. 

Friday 4/13, 6:30 am:

After the sleepless night, I decided it was time to call home. I fought back tears as I explained the symptoms to my dad, who passed the phone over to my mom. In the calmest way possible, she told me I had to go to the hospital. We agreed that my symptoms were almost certainly those of appendicitis. As per her demand, Vikki and I left for the ER. The timing couldn’t be worse as Matt was heading to Atlanta for his lacrosse season the same day and had to finish packing before leaving for the airport.

Friday 4/13, 11:30am:

We spent about an hour and a half in the waiting room before I was finally admitted to the ER. I couldn’t sit, I couldn’t stand, or walk. They hooked me up to an IV; my nausea made it hard to drink water so I was severely dehydrated. When I returned from getting an MRI, Matt arrived before he set off to LAX. That helped. After another 2 hours of waiting, the surgeon confirmed what we already knew: appendicitis. The only solution: emergency appendectomy. Okay, so now I was flipping the f out. I was thousands of miles away from the security of my parents and faced with one of my first “you’re-on-your-own” situations. Although I had Kyle and Vikki, the thought of going under the knife so far from home was unnerving. Granted, it’s a common, almost zero-risk procedure that is completed an average of three times a day– in that hospital at least– but any surgery is still surgery. It was an especially big deal for a first-timer like myself. After my 5-minute freakout, I swallowed my nerves because I knew it had to be done whether I liked it or not.

Friday 4/13, 4 pm: went in for surgery.
Friday 4/13 4:45 pm: surgery successfully completed.

According to my surgeon, my appendix was inflamed to the point that it would have ruptured had I waited any longer. Meanwhile, two days before, I was completely fine! So freaky. It was a terrifying experience, but in the end, I feel like I came out braver and stronger. I’ve got the scars to prove it. The recovery process took a month. No exercise, water or sun exposure for 4-5 weeks. I’m all back to normal aside from the fact that I’m appendix-less.

The moral of my story? Some weird shiet goes down on Friday the 13th. But on a serious note, listen to your body. Although there are no precautionary measures you can take against appendicitis, which comes virtually out of nowhere, it showed me to pay closer attention to red flags. Don’t ignore unusual symptoms. If you think something is seriously wrong, trust that instinct.

Your Gal, Shaye

tru·isms: your spring skin glow-up guide

March showers bring dewy skin

The last few weeks have been wetter than usual in LA, which has provided nature with a much-needed revitalizer as it transitions from winter to spring. There is a shift for us, too, and it’s crucial that we take our skin into consideration as it adjusts to the new climate and warmer weather.

Springtime is the best of all worlds; brisk during the morning and nighttime hours but pleasantly balmy during the day. With that said, as the temps begin to rise and we spend more time outdoors, taking the necessary measures to adequately protect and nourish our skin is key. This means investing in a skincare routine that you’ll stick to. When you give your face and bod consistent TLC, it creates a difference you can see, and more importantly, feel. I’m talking: radiant glow.

As far as products go, I do my best to avoid any made with chemicals. When you can, always opt for organic. It needn’t be anything fancy. Despite popular belief, naturalproducts don’t always come with a hefty price tag.  My regimen is fairly inexpensive and I’m confident that my skin is smiling 90% of the time. You just have to find the balance that works for you.

gal’s spring skin glow-up guide

  • CLEANSE
    • Skincare 101- this should come as no surprise. During the day (and night) our skin gets covered in bacteria, oil, pollutants, and other debris that are floating around in the air. Cleansing your face rids your skin of these impurities that could otherwise lead to clogged pores and other potential skin-related issues. It also encourages skin hydration, which we love.
      *Also, exfoliate about two or three times a week, depending on your skin type. Exfoliating is an extra step you can take ensure that your face is an impurity-free zone.
  • TONE
    • Often overlooked, but toning happens to be my favorite. Toner helps wipe away excess dirt that your cleanser missed. It also restores your skin’s pH balance, moisturizes, and can help tighten cell gaps after cleansing, adding an extra layer of protection. On top of that, it’s like drinking a cup of cold water with cucumber on a summer day- so refresh, so clean.
  • SERUM
    • Not sure what serum is? You’re not alone. Serum is a product that should be applied post-cleanse and pre-moisturize. It’s a water-based product that is composed of molecules with the capacity to penetrate deeply and directly provide skin with the benefits of its powerful active ingredients. Think: Vitamin C, Vitamin A (Retinol), Vitamin E, Hyaluronic Acid, Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs), Peptides, Glycerin, green tea, stem cells, and other various botanical extracts and oils.
      • Bottom line: Serum is essentially a skin power food, which feeds your skin with the benefits of each potent ingredient. They are known to make skin firmer, smoother, increase moisture levels, and for their anti-aging properties.
  • MOISTURIZE
    • After *pat drying* your face post-cleanse, do you notice that tight botox-esque feeling? Your skin has been stripped of its moisture and is crying to be quenched. Applying moisturizer helps hold water in the stratum corneum, the outermost layer of the skin. In other words, it helps keep your skin hydrated which trickles down to a number of other benefits. It helps fight wrinkles and maintain the elasticity in the skin, keeping your skin lookin’ young and feelin’ fine.
  • SPF
    • So important. Sunscreen is usually associated solely with the summer, but it should be worn every day. Ultraviolet rays that cause skin damage and skin cancer are always present- rain or shine. Even if its overcast and we don’t see any visible rays, UVB rays are still shining down, hitting your precious face. Protect it!
      • Minor league tip: If you’re like me and don’t love the smell of sunscreen, there are two-in-one moisturizers that don’t sport the smell. That’s your best bet.
  • HYDRATE
    • Ladies, this is the root of the magic. Without water, our organs cannot function and with the skin being our largest organ, staying hydrated is of the utmost importance. Water provides moisture as well as essential nutrients to the skin and its cells. Additionally, it replenishes the skin tissue, aiding in elasticity. It enhances complexion, delays signs of aging and combats certain skin disorders.

This may be called the spring skin glow-up guide, but these guidelines should be referred to all year long. Different climates and seasons warrant specific care, but if you keep these six power steps at the core of your routine, you’re lookin’ good.

Your Gal, Shaye

P.S. If you’re curious about which brands and products you can trust, fear not. In the coming weeks, we’re going to take a peek inside my medicine cabinet to check out which brands I rely on. I’ve been known to be a matchmaker in the beauty department. We’ll let you be the judge of that 😉 .

tru·isms: there’s an herbal tea for ‘that’

Afternoon tea, anyone?

For generations, people had no choice but to live off the land and work with what Mother Nature gave them. Lucky for them, our planet was fully equipped with all of the ingredients necessary for a fruitful life.

Several of those ancient remedies continue to be whipped up to this day, which speaks to their potency. One of my favorite magical herbal mixtures is none other than herbal teas. Not only is cuddling up with a cozy mug of organic goodness a gift to your taste buds, but it’s also a mega treat for your body.

Herbal teas, otherwise known as tisanes (pronounced tea-zahn), are not to be confused with regular teas. Interestingly, the word ‘tea’ really only accounts for the mixtures derived from the camellia sinensis plant. This includes black tea, white tea, oolong tea, and green tea. Herbal teas, on the other hand, are essentially just infusions (or decoctions) from any other plant that is brewed in hot water and thus, creates a sizzling bev.

These soothing concoctions have been around the block a few times and can be definitively traced back to Ancient China and Egypt, where they were consumed for the same medicinal and sheer enjoyment reasons.

Pro-tip: Using muslin bags and loose-leaf tea is an easy way to reduce your footprint and lessen the amount of waste you produce.

What’s your type?

There are a slew of tisanes that fall under the herbal umbrella, all of which are categorized based on the part of the plant they come from.

  • Leaf:  lemon balm, mint, lemongrass and verbena
  • Flower: rose, chamomile, lavender, and hibiscus
  • Bark: cinnamon, slippery elm, and black cherry bark
  • Root: ginger, chicory, and echinacea
  • Fruit/berry: peach, blueberry, raspberry,  and apple
  • Seed/spice: fennel, cardamom, and caraway

I’m here for the benefits (and the taste).

I love the way tisanes taste, but I’d be lying if I said the benefits didn’t play a role in why I drink it on the daily. Here are a few of the biggest draws for me:

  1. Aids in digestion: can help ease bloating, nausea, cramping, and diarrhea.
    • Try chamomile, peppermint, fennel, or ginger.
  2. Diuretic & laxative: helps eliminate toxins from the body, which in turn relieves stress on the gastrointestinal system, kidneys, and liver.
    • Try dandelion, hibiscus, or hawthorn.
  3. Boosts brain health: Adding teas to your diet can help prevent oxidative stress in the brain. It is also credited with boosting focus and concentration.
    • Try rosehip, ginger, or rooibos.
  4. Relieves stress, anxiety, & sleep issues: Certain teas can help relieve stress and anxiety which in turn helps lower levels of depression, boost energy, and reduces inflammation. By reducing inflammation, you can decrease gastrointestinal distress as well as arthritis, headaches, and hemorrhoids.
    • Try chamomile or valerian for stress & sleep-related results.
    • Try turmeric, peppermint, eucalyptus, or ginger if you’re solely looking for tisanes with anti-inflammatory properties.
  5. Antioxidants: In layman’s terms, antioxidants neutralize and remove the free radicals from the bloodstream, which is crucial to our well-being. Herbs naturally contain antioxidants which provide solid benefits when consumed. With that said, every herb is created differently thus antioxidant levels vary depending on the type of herbs used in each tisane.
    • Try elderflower, lemon balm, or thyme for a tea rich in antioxidants.

It’s brew time.

There are two ways to make and indulge in herbal teas.

  1. Infusion: This method is simply pouring the boiling water over the herbs. Remember to strain out the berries or plants, although there’s no harm in swallowing a few.
  2. Decoction: This method of preparation is commonly used for root, bark, and berry tisanes, as the longer boiling time extracts more of the flavor from the ingredients. It consists of placing the plants in the water to boil and boiling 2/3 of the water away, creating a rich, thick mixture.


The low-down: my faves.

Now that we’ve covered the herbal tea basics, I’ll give some personal insight on what my favorites teas are and why.  As mentioned in previous posts, I try to avoid prescribed or over-the-counter meds at all costs and usually turn to herbal or holistic remedies instead. Recently, herbal teas have been huge players in my healing game.

These are the MVPs:
1. Peppermint: This tea never fails to put some ‘pepp’ in my step. Similar to one of my other favorite, fennel, peppermint is great for soothing an upset stomach. It’s one of my most-consumed during the colder months as it’s a natural decongestant, which helps clear out your sinuses. Added bonus: it’s refreshing and lowers stress and anxiety levels.
2. Fennel: I’ve struggled with digestive issues for a while (bloating, cramping, nausea) and fennel tea has helped significantly in alleviating those nasty feelings. It also has antispasmodic effects, which come in handy if you’re a menstrual cramp sufferer.
3. Chamomile: Relaxation mode kicks in immediately at sight of a steaming cup of chamomile tea. Herbal teas are naturally caffeine-free, so they’re perfect to enjoy around bedtime. Last week I had a cup of chamomile right after I applied lavender oil and right before I hit the hay and, I kid you not, I had the best night sleep I’ve had in years. Another fun fact about chamomile tea that many people don’t know is that it helps lower and regulate blood sugar levels.
4. Echinacea: Okay, so Echinacea tea isn’t in my rotation– yet. After doing some research, that’s going to change real quick. It has some impressive immune system-boosting qualities and has been proven to reduce cold and flu-like symptoms. On top of that, it’s known to relieve pain related to swollen joints and muscles. Sign me up.

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Chamomile tea being enjoyed from one my favorite mugs, courtesy of Goodwill ($2.99).

It’s officially tea time on the west coast.
That’s my cue. Cheers!

Your Gal, Shaye

Ayurveda P1: the ancient medicine you should know about

In this ‘Part 1’ post, I will introduce you to the magic that is Ayurvedic medicine (if you aren’t already familiar with it). You can expect a follow-up blog post that will highlight a few popular Ayurvedic practices and touch on their particular benefits (woo!).

Homeopathic remedies have always been my chosen path to wellness, so naturally, Ayurveda is a practice lifestyle that I can identify with. There is an undeniable correlation between our minds and bodies, so keeping the two in tune is paramount to maintaining a balanced life. This idea, along with the notion that nothing has more power to heal and transform the body than the mind, are the two principles that Ayurveda was founded on thousands of years ago (yes, thousands).

Ayurveda, which translated literally means science or knowledge of life (Ayur = life, Veda = science or knowledge), was designed by Indian sages to help people realize their full human potential. It encourages awareness through meditation and consuming only natural foods, preferably cooked, as certain foods are easier for the body to digest when cooked.

*Balanced diet suggestion: Include the 6 Ayurvedic tastes (sweet, salty, sour, pungent, bitter, and astringent).


Despite my organic gravitation toward natural living, it wasn’t until a few months ago that I really learned about the mind-body health system. As per the suggestion of one of my friends, I ordered Sahara Rose Ketabi’s book, Ayurveda (Idiot’s Guides). As the title indicates, the book is for beginners and covers everything from doshas to daily morning/ nighttime routines. Super informative. Highly recommend.

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Other than being a warm lemon water enthusiast and sporadically sprinkling turmeric onto my lunch and dinner plates, I was a complete stranger to the ancient practice. I learned that Ayurveda is a personalized approach to health, and understanding your mind and body, is the key to achieving wellness. By this, I mean that everybody is different, so it only makes sense that our needs differ as well. To fully grasp this, it helps to familiarize yourself with the three doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.


The Doshas

In Ayurvedic medicine, doshas are the energies believed to circulate in the body and govern physiological activity. Sounds a little loopy, I know, but once you learn more about your personal dosha and see how much you relate, the wheels will start to turn.

  • Vata: Qualities reflecting the elements of Space and Air = cold, light, dry, irregular, rough, moving, quick, changeable.
    • Physical Characteristics: Commonly have a light frame and very agile. Tend to experience roller-coaster energy, going from bursts to extreme fatigue. Dry skin and cold hands/feet. Sensitive digestion.
    • Emotional Characteristics: Driven by excitement and new experiences. Easily angered but quick to forgive. When balanced, Vatas are creative, flexible, and very outgoing. When imbalanced, they are prone to anxiety.

Sound like you? Learn more here.

  • Pitta: Qualities reflecting the elements of Fire and Water = hot, light, intense, penetrating, pungent, sharp, acidic.
    • Physical Characteristics: Commonly are medium size and weight. Warm body temperature, abundant energy, strong sex drive, and appetite. When imbalanced, Pittas may suffer from skin rashes, burning sensations, heartburn, and indigestion.
    • Emotional Characteristics: Very powerful intellect and ability to concentrate. Great makers, teachers, and speakers. Sharp-witted and outspoken. When imbalanced, Pittas may be short-tempered and/or argumentative.

Sound like you? Learn more here.

  • Kapha: Qualities reflecting the elements of Water and Earth = heavy, slow, steady, solid, cold, soft, oily.
    • Physical Characteristics: Have a strong build and excellent stamina. When Kaphas succumb to excess, they are more susceptible to weight gain, fluid retention, and allergies, than the other doshas. When out of balance, may become overweight, suffer from depression, and sleep excessively.
    • Emotional Characteristics: Kaphas are calm, thoughtful, loving individuals. Loyal, patient, supportive. Sometimes have difficulty letting go of things that no longer serve them (material items, jobs, relationships).

Sound like you? Learn more here.


Since researching and reading Ayurveda (Idiot’s Guides), I have taken small steps to incorporate general Ayurvedic practices as well as those that specifically cater to the needs of my dosha, Vata. After reading Sahara Rose and The Chopra Center’s breakdown of each dosha, it was crystal clear that I was predominantly Vata with some Kapha characteristics. I am always cold, small-framed, and go from bouncing off the walls to napping in no time…Vata, Vata, Vata.  So, I started with simple lifestyle techniques, such as dry brushing, tongue scraping, and the continued use of organic oils and feel a noticeable improvement.

As far as the eating thing goes, that’s an area I’ve been gradually exploring on a shallow level. My boyfriend’s mom, Rary, gifted me an amazing Ayurvedic cookbook for Christmas, The Everyday Ayurveda Cookbook, so I’m really looking forward to taking the next step and giving my diet an Ayurveda makeover, which I will keep you guys updated on.

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In my following post, I will dive deeper into why dry brushing, tongue scraping, and oils are so important to include in your daily routine. All natural and designed especially for you may sound too good to be true, but it’s not! Changing your lifestyle is intimidating, this I know, but improving it shouldn’t be. Being your best ‘you’ is in your hands, and this is a step in the right direction.

If I can do it, you can do it.

Your Gal, Shaye

my turn to give thanks

This year, like most people, I have plenty to be thankful for. First and foremost, my family and friends are healthy and happy. I was lucky enough to be born to two of the most amazing parents, who have consistently supported my decisions, rash or not, without hesitation. Additionally, I am the sister of five incredible characters, all of whom have evolved into fine [and very cool] young adults. My friends also keep me going, so here’s a shoutout to you five- keep shining and doing your damn thangs- I love you! Secondly, I am healthy and happy. Ah, genuinely happy.  It feels like a breath of crisp, fresh, fall-in-California air.

I’ve spent a large portion of my time here on Earth being harshly critical of myself. Way too judgemental. I’m so quick to condemn myself for what I haven’t accomplished rather than praising myself for the challenges I’ve faced and overcome.

My perfectionism (and borderline OCD) might be to blame, but regardless, it’s something I’ve always struggled with and for the first time in a looong time, I am learning to make peace with the devil on my shoulder.

I’ve heard it time and time again, but never chose to listen; it’s all about embracing your flaws. Focus on the things you can do rather than ridiculing yourself for the books on your list you haven’t read, the run you didn’t go on, or the 9-5 job you still don’t have.

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For me, I go back and forth because my current situation is far from the conventional “life-picture idea” I drew for myself. Finally, I am allowing myself to sit back and know that that. is. okay. Why am I giving myself such a hard time? This is my life and so long as I can put a roof over my head, food on my table, and a smile on my face, that is enough.

At the end of the day, all you have is you and your thoughts and if all the thoughts that ping-pong around in your head are negative, you will drown yourself in bad energy. That’s no way to live.

So, this year, I am grateful for this groundbreaking (and obvious) revelation. I have finally reached the point in my life where I am choosing happiness. I am choosing to be kind to myself and love all my quirks, my weird habits, terrible singing voice, and so on. It’s the most freeing feeling and I recommend it to anyone who remotely relates to anything I just wrote. Your life starts the day you become your biggest fan instead of your biggest critic.

Enough of all that personal chatter, it’s time to give some recognition to the tres amigos that I am fortunate enough to share this chapter with- Kyle, Vikki, and Matt. I’ve had a few lapses and a breakdown or two, but these three keep me grounded, love me for the emotional, now-and-then sassy, sometimes-too-much-to-handle self,  and for that, I am eternally thankful today and every other day.

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Oh, and we had a pretty kick-ass Turkey day (or Salmon day for me– first pescatarian Thanksgiving) spread, if I do say so myself. Me and Vikki’s apartment has a maximum capacity of 6 with close to no seating so we shot down to Kyle and Hunter’s spot for the feast of a lifetime. We made everything (except for the Gelson’s pumpkin pie) ourselves and did a damn good job.

Vikki took the reins for the stuffed artichokes and the turkey, Kyle jumped on board for the sweet potatoes (marshmallows with a touch of sweet potato) and stuffing, Matt was on roasted veggie duty, and I made some garlic lemon butter salmon and honey glazed carrots.

The prep started around 1:30 and by 6pm we were in a food-induced coma in the ultimate garage man-cave. We fell asleep to the sweet sounds of a Spotify Thanksgiving mix. Vikki and Kyle took the couch and Matt and I retreated to the twin mattress, which was appropriately right outside. Talk about luxury. It was the most pleasant (and unique) Thanksgiving day to date and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Life is about enjoying the simple things. Be different, be happy, be grateful for all that you have and above all, love! Especially yourself… it will make this whole ‘life’ much more enjoyable.

Cheers to that.

Your Gal, Shaye