YouTube top three

On a light and fun note, I want to share three of my YouTube guilty pleasures. A couple of weeks ago, I did a study on play and how it can be a part of your own self-care routine. Some of us type-A personalities (and others!) can be so hard on ourselves to accomplish so much in a single day. I’ve found myself planning every single minute that I’m awake with some task or another, so the study of play let me indulge in some activities that aren’t on my to-do list, like catching up on my favorite YouTube channels.

I’m very picky with my subscriptions. I only have a handful, so I’m absolutely sure these girls are worth a little chunk of your relax time. If you like my recommendations, I’ll be happy to share more in the future.

makeupTIA – That is all
Ashley was the very first YouTuber I watched, and I never ever miss her new Wednesday videos. Hers is mostly a makeup channel, but what I really love is that regardless of what she’s talking about, I am immediately uplifted by her smile, sweet voice, and happy outlook. I love that she’s started to review some natural makeup and skincare products, which is what I gravitate towards, and she has introduced me to other must-watch channels as well as my latest obsession… She lives in the NOVA area, so I’m just dying to run into her one say at Sephora.

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Savannah K Wallace – Maiedae
First things first: her hair.  How beautiful & courageous are those colors?!  And then the lipstick and eyes?!  I need a minute.  So when you click “pause” and just take a look at her funky style, you think you may be overwhelmed with an in-your-face personality, but let me tell you something.  Her voice is soft and sweet and kind.  I wish she’d record a meditation video because I would listen to it all day to keep myself in a happy place.  She’s recently a momma for the second time, so every now and again she sprinkles in some baby product reviews, but for the most part, her reviews are beauty-based.  I tend to gravitate towards her lifestyle product reviews like her purses and trinkets and things.  She also has a candle line called Lindbergh Candle Co.  I haven’t gotten my hands on one yet, but it’s on my wish list!

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Meghan Livingstone
Meghan is one of my newer finds.  While I enjoy watching lifestyle & beauty channels, my own life is simpler and more casual.  I feel like I’m watching a kindred spirit when she talks about the healing benefits she’s found in food and when she shares her grocery hauls and favorite products.  Meghan is a nutritionist in Canada and has followed a similar path to the one I’m on now.  I’m using so many of her recipes myself and use her as one of my own nutritional resources.  It’s so inspiring to see the strength in the integrative health movement!

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What are your favorite YouTube channels?  I love recommendations for my precious free moments!

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The ugly & the beautiful of 2015.

Two thousand and fifteen was one of those years when the bad and good danced together as if they didn’t know they were so different from one another.

I felt sorrow that left me hopeless and with no intention to face the days ahead.

  • My Lolo passed away in April.
  • Brad’s aunt passed away in September.
  • Mom’s diabetes worsened.
  • I lived without my best friend.
  • I fell into the deepest depression I’ve ever faced.
  • My parents split up.
  • My relationship was tested by the devil himself.

In spite of each sorrow taunting me with its ruthlessness, I finally began to open my eyes to the happy moments that accumulated; there were so many happy moments.

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So what do I do with this two-faced nostalgia?  I remember and learn and get excited and accept.

Although launched in 2015, I can’t wait to get elbow-deep in this community in 2016.  I’ve become so humbled that my favorite bloggers have shared their worlds and wisdom with me; I’d like to do the same.

Happy new year, my sweet friends!  May you be mindful in all of your happy moments.

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Pleasure to meet you, friends.

I’ve been anticipating this post for months now and am finally blessed with the circumstances to follow my dreams. Let’s start on October 9th when I resigned from the job I’ve had since 2008; it’s been my only “real job” since college. I won’t go into too much detail about what I did, but I will say that it was a major negative contributing factor to my stress level, anxiety, social and family life, happiness, and health. I began to hate my life and came to the awful realization that none of my daily actions were leading me towards what I have in mind for myself. Two weeks after my resignation, I said goodbye to my career and hello to the unknown.

So, what now? I’m enrolled as a full-time student working towards a Masters in Nutrition and Integrative Health, and I’m so psyched about it. If there’s any interest, I’d be happy to share more about my coursework because it is and will continue to be part of my journey over the next two years. You see, my two-year career goal is to earn my Masters degree, pass my Board certification to become a Certified Nutrition Specialist, and open my very own integrative health practice.

Now let’s back up to the present and start talking about how comes into play by talking about my short term goals.  This gets into the uncomfortable nitty gritty of my current self and my ideal self. I’m just going to lay it out.

This is me NOW:

  • I’m unhealthy.
  • I’ve lost touch with nature and movement.
  • I suffer from moderate depression and anxiety.
  • I’m a psychosomatic insomniac.
  • I’ve lost the ability to be present in everything that I do.

This is my IDEAL self:

  • I eat not only for enjoyment and convenience; I eat to thrive.  I’ve been on a paleo kick for the past two years, and while I’m still very much in that camp, I’d like to shift my focus to whole foods.  How can I maintain the integrity of the whole food while still enjoying the rich flavors I love so much?  How can I use food to heal my body and mind?
  • My lungs are filled with fresh air.  My skin is kissed by the sun and tickled by the breeze.  I slide into bed at night with not only a tired mind but a well-used body.
  • I’m happy and at peace.  I wake up in the morning with anticipation.  I’m prepared to face the stressors, disappointments, relationships, and beauty of the day.
  • Bedtime is the sweet ending to my day.  The bedroom is dark and quiet.  My mind slows down without any unnatural encouragement.  Maybe, just maybe, I’ll slip into my dreams before my boyfriend does (so unlikely).
  • I am present in every moment.  I allow myself to feel pain when it comes.  I embrace and savor happiness.  I put down my cell phone.  I enjoy even the mundane life of a “housegirlfriend” and student.

I’d like to use in two ways: as a memoir of my journey to wherever it is I’m going and as the start of my career as a healer.  The first use is self-explanatory, so let me explain the second.

I’m seeking certification as a Certified Nutrition Specialist to establish legitimacy in the healthcare industry.  I also hope to make my services accessible to those who can’t pay for out-of-pocket appointments by accepting insurance reimbursement.  I will be eligible to sit for my boards in 2017, but until then, I’d like to start a dialog with my peers and interested internet friends about health, happiness, and science.

Things to look forward to at

  • Musings on my developing models of health, wellness, disease, and illness
  • Product reviews
  • Suggested reads, watches, tastes, and listenings
  • Recipe reviews, suggestions, and modifications
  • Pleas for help with things I’m really bad at: gardening, baking, tons of stuff really
  • Requests?

I’ve been looking forward to joining the health blogging movement for years now.  I already feel like part of the family as a reader and am ready to start sharing my own voice.  Pleasure to meet you!

Find me on Instagram @elosogigi and on Twitter @bemindfulhappy

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