How to Completely Reset in 30 Minutes

I've been doing this every weekend for the last month, and it's done miracles for my workweek. 

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Let's be real. $14 for a cocktail when what you really want to do is just catch up with a person is exhausting. It's exhausting, because it would cost $2 if you made it at home, and it's loud at the bar, and you're already thinking twice about your goal to wake up the next morning and go for a run before the sun comes up -- if GNI is any indication, I'm not the only one here. 

Those nights can be capital F U N -- and I mean fun, because last Saturday I was sipping a cocktail and playing some (very bad) pool in the East Village. But, on the off chance you find yourself midweek drained emotionally, financially, maybe physically you might be looking for something that lifts your spirit. 

I've started doing this thing once a week. It's simple, costs less than $5, and has helped me grow my network and improve my well-being immensely. 

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I've started going for coffee dates on Saturdays.

I've gone by myself to read, I've met a friend I hadn't seen in a little while to truly catch up, and I've used it as the perfect segue when establishing a new friend/connection after swapping information at a group event. 

Why.

When I say it has been lovely, those aren't even the right words. I used to do this every so often but didn't make a concerted effort to keep up with it until now. Now that I'm making it a priority, it isn't daunting! They normally last between 30 and 45 minutes, are inexpensive, because hello drip coffee, you are a goddess, and I've found that the relaxed nature on the weekend is great fodder for conversation -- there was a dog who was so cute on the way! have you looked at this brunch crowd? how was work this week? 

It's also an excellent reason to stay in on the weekend nights. My budget is a little tight right now. I've been wanting to still stay in touch with my best people but not at the expense of being unable to buy groceries for the week. This is the best of both worlds. I actually find that my network is growing and my friendships are strengthening, because, well, we're not drunk, and we're actually paying attention. 

But what do I order.

Simple. Coffee! Or tea! Maybe a pastry or a more substantial bite depending on when/where you are catching up. I've been sticking to drip coffee (max $3) and splurged last weekend on an almond milk latte ($5). 

Dress me. 

You're meeting for coffee, woohoo! That means relaxed comfort and casual brunch vibes. Thankfully, athleisure is here to stay. I've included my favorite looks below. 

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Layers, Jeans, & Pop

Honestly, nothing is easier than a half up / half down hairstyle, a t-shirt (maybe the one you slept in? I'm not judging) underneath a crisp sweater, and a nice pair of jeans. The pop of color from the shoes is an unexpected surprise, and with everything else neutral, it really adds some great energy to the look. I might throw on a gold bracelet or a hoop earring for a little something extra. 

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Neutral Game Strong

First of all, those joggers are gorgeous -- and so are any athleisure style garb you might have in your closet. A cute sweatpant might work here too. I'm loving this look because of the camel colors, really. They play a nice wintry vibe on what could be a very summery outfit. The jacket and turtleneck for warmth, yet the crop keeps it interesting and plays well against the high-rise of the pant. This is a throw on and run out the door kind of outfit (but cute enough that you could have spent all morning putting it together). If heeled booties aren't your thing, try nude flats or white sneakers. 

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Here. For. This.

I will always celebrate leggings, a chic sweater, and an equally fabulous and over-sized scarf. It's my favorite look to fall back on and the best one, in my opinion, to rock on a Saturday. Simple rings and hair in either a top-knot or loose and flowy always pulls the look together. 

I'm side hustling hard this Saturday for my coffee rendezvous. Can't wait. Cheers to calmer vibes and energized souls! Xx. 


+ What do you think? Coffee dates yay or nay? Tell me in the comments below!


This is Life - The Great Vibes Guide is Back

I got a job, lost my mind, and am finally back to say, I've survived the world so far and am back for more. Xx. 

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In August, I packed up my little Volkswagen Bug, kissed my Del on the head in my final round of goodbyes, and drove up toward NYC for a new job. I found an apartment, put together some Ikea furniture, and ultimately fell into the work hustle / zero life balance thing. 

The Great Vibes Guide has always been about the champagne popping because you made it through a Monday and the extra sprinkles in Rice Krispies because you're only you once. It's always been about the teeny tiny moments, which when strung together, make this life a life to talk about.

When The Guide began, there was no true understanding of grief or bone-harrowing loss. There weren't health problems or debating medications where yoga and meditation couldn’t be the fix. But then there was all of that and numbing exhaustion on top of it all. So for a long while, the thought of showing up here for everyone else -- since it wasn't feeling like it was for me anymore -- was ridiculous. But then I did a search on my own blog for a tip I'd written a year ago, and realized this space was more about documenting and curating a collection of sorts. 

So, The Guide is no longer about likes or shares or clicks or SEO. Because I don't have time, and frankly, I don't particularly care right now. 

It's about surviving and thriving -- whether that's after a terrible day at work or a night of doing tequila shots without drinking water. 

The Great Vibes Guide is back for us all to crack open and unravel and free ourselves from whatever limitations we’ve trapped ourselves beneath. So throw an extra olive in your martini, and let’s do this 2018 thing. Xx.


How to Unwind in 19 Seconds

Sometimes, anxiety happens. Here's how to unwind in 19 seconds. 

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Sometimes life is stressful. There are days where the workload is high, the ability to compartmentalize personal from professional and vice versa is difficult, and anxiety threatens to take over completely. I think it is safe to say we have all had that paralyzing moment of not being able to mentally take it down a few notches. 

I use this breathing technique to relax my mind and body for various situations; before an interview or big meeting, if I can't fall asleep, or as a way to exit work mode. It takes less than a minute to complete three rounds and can be done anywhere. 

It's fairly simple yet highly effective. Here's how it works:

1. Close your eyes or drop your gaze to the floor. 

2. Breathe in for a count of four.

3. Hold your breath for a count of seven.

4. Exhale for a count of eight.

5. Repeat at least three times. 

How do you feel? Relaxed? Was it helpful to count or was it distracting?

Happy almost long weekend. Xx. 


+ What do you think? 



Healthy Snacks for the Office

Granola popsicles are something you need in your life. 

Editor's Note: This post originally ran August 24th, 2016. The Team thought it best to bring back to the forefront of our minds, as resolutions may have fallen to the wayside and mindless snacking on the rise. Office snacks are great to have on hand for any time you're so hungry you want to bite someone and too tired to do anything more than go to the vending machine. Keep nearby to stave off disaster. Xx. 

Normally my day goes something like this: I snag a filling breakfast, scarf down a quick lunch, and then it's 4 p.m., and I am so hungry, I can't decide whether to wait until dinner and know I'll be an emotional mess or eat everything in sight until I'm bloated and uncomfortable. Sound familiar?

What do I snack on at the office or on really busy days? is a question I get from almost every client of mine. The issue usually to be solved lies in being restricted to the snacks present in the office rather than what is sustaining and nutritious. It is because of this problem that settling for a candy bar or stale chips only to be hungry 20 minutes later is more common than not. Since I am going to be working with some amazing interns soon, and having snacks at creative meetings is a must for me, I wanted to group together delicious alternatives that kick boring snacks like granola bars to the curb. 

I love these snacks because of their low sugar content, mix of healthy fats and protein, and minimally, if at all, processed ingredients. Enjoy!  

The perfect savory balance between creamy and crunchy. It's a colorful treat for your eyes and a flavorful party for your tastebuds. Using carrots, celery, peppers, or whatever vegetables you have on hand is a great way to up your vegetable intake and ensure nothing you buy goes to waste. Great Vibes Tip: Buy plain hummus and stir in extras for a change of pace (i.e. olives and oregano, parsley and lemon, pine nuts and basil, hot sauce, etc.).

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Whether you call them rice crackers or cakes, they usually are accompanied by horrified faces from childhood memories of plain, stale snacks. But, they've gotten quite the remix. What I love about these is the crunch factor you can't get from a simple slice of bread. I've shown you two ways here: one with avocado, cayenne, salt, and pepper; and the other with almond butter and banana. Great Vibes Tip: Try peanut butter with a drizzle of honey or hummus with a slice of tomato. Endless options. Delish!

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Probably my favorite of this entire bunch and one you can only really do if your office has a freezer. That being said, it is incredibly simple. Blend up one banana, a dash of cinnamon, and three (+/-) cups of coconut milk. Divide the mixture among your popsicle molds. I used an actually popsicle mold, but paper cups, old yogurt containers, or an ice cube tray works flawlessly. Place in the freezer for ten minutes. After the ten minutes are up, cover the exposed part with granola, press down gently, and then push your popsicle stick into place. Cover and freeze until solid. Great Vibes Tip: Make your own granola! Bake 3 cups oats, 1/2 cup buckwheat, and two tablespoons chia seeds on a baking sheet in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 12-15 minutes. While baking, stir together two tablespoons coconut oil, two tablespoons maple syrup or honey, a teaspoon of cinnamon, and half a teaspoon of turmeric. After the dry ingredients have become slightly fragrant, remove from the oven, mix with the wet ingredients, and place back into the oven. Turn the oven off, and let sit for 5-8 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Keeps well in a glass container in the refrigerator. 

I could chat the benefits of kombucha for an incredibly long time, and you've seen me make cocktails with it here and here. I love this snack, because it is easy for on-the-go travel. It provides healthy bacteria and that sweet and savory element that satisfies almost all cravings. To make the roasted chickpeas, strain the liquid from one can, pat to dry with a paper towel, and mix with 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and black pepper, salt, and cayenne to taste. Bake on a baking sheet at 395 degrees Fahrenheit for about 25 minutes, stirring every 5 or so, until crispy and crunchy. Great Vibes Tip: Don't like chickpeas? Roast cashews or almonds for a delicious alternative. 

Sometimes, nothing is going to satisfy that sweet craving except chocolate. Rather than dive into a bag of M&Ms (though that has a time and place) choose rich, dark chocolate, preferably 65% cacao or higher. The above chocolate is found at Trader Joe's with an impressive cacao content of 82 percent. Have a couple squares and savor each piece. If you still want more 10 minutes later, have another square. Repeat until satisfied. 

+What is your favorite snack here? Which one are you most likely to make?


How to Start Running Again

How to Start Running Again

My mission lately is finding a way to fall in love with casual running; running I could pick up with friends or drop into my workout schedule or just know I could complete without a total meltdown (I can't be alone on this one, right?). Here is the way I am easing back into running, because it's been too long ...

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