FALL INTO SIMPLE HEALTHY HABITS FOR BODY AND HOME

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Just as spring is a time for rebirth, autumn is also considered a transitional season. The weather turns brisk, the leaves on the trees change from dull brown to a firestorm of color,  and darkness settles in a little earlier. For many, it is a favorite time of year, but for others, it can be a trigger to falling off the health and fitness wagon. After all, how can you be expected to ignore pumpkin spice lattes? The key is to set goals BEFORE the new year, not over a drink as the clock strikes midnight.
“Fall … is a great time to start a (health and) fitness program because you’re going to create good habits for the holiday season and the upcoming winter months,” says Justin Price, owner of Biomechanics a personal training and wellness facility in San Diego.
Not only is Fall a good time to plan a strategic exercise regime, but also to change your summer skin care, eating habits, and stress management. Take a look at our four most important “wellness” points you can focus on this Season to help keep you energized, healthy, and happy.

TASTY & TRIM

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It’s so hard to resist those spicy pumpkin lattes or warm delicious hot cocoas. Well, you can still enjoy your favorite cold weather beverage. Our helpful tips when you are out:
(1) Use milk (3% milk fat) rather than the heftier half-and-half (18% milk fat)
(2) Opt for the “skinny” version, made with skim milk rather than whole
(3) Forgo the calorie rich whipped cream
(4) Order a small, rather than large

Or, make your own at home with our favorite low-cal pumpkin spice latte recipe:
You need:
1½ cups unsweetened cashew milk or other non-dairy milk
1 tablespoon maple syrup
3 teaspoons regular vanilla
¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 tablespoons pureed pumpkin
1 pack Starbucks VIA instant coffee (or favorite brand)

Directions:
(1) Place cashew milk, maple syrup, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin a small saucepan and bring to a simmer
(2) Stir in instant coffee
(3) Transfer to a mug and sprinkle cinnamon on top. Enjoy!

CLEAN HEALTHY MEALS

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While we all look forward to Halloween’s scrumptious candies and the holidays’ luscious turkey, ham, and pumpkin pie, there is a way you can still indulge yet stay trim throughout the entire Season. The key is to not deprive yourself so much that you overcompensate later. We like model Gigi Hadid’s motto: “Eat clean to stay fit, eat a burger to stay sane.”
On your regular days, start with a small healthy breakfast like whole grain oatmeal, fruit, eggs, or cereal to kick start your metabolism. Curb your mid-day slump with a healthy salad of greens and protein. Finish the day off with a light dinner of chicken or fish, and vegetables. Maintain this daily routine on normal days.

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When you are out on the town, no need to sacrifice your regime. You can still order your favorites, just order dressings on the side, limit heavy breads, opt for lean meats or salads, and stay hydrated with water. Spending a little extra time on what you eat throughout your normal routine, means you can indulge a little on the special days without “falling off the bandwagon.”

KEEPING SKIN CLEAN

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As the warmth of summer’s sun fades and we go into the “hibernation” Season, sometimes our skin takes a backseat to the busy-ness of Fall’s activities. With the crisp cool air, skin can easily lose moisture so it is vital to change your daily skin care regime. Take a look at some of our favorite tips from top designers and dermatologists.

AT HOME EYE REMEDIES

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The simplest way to look energetic throughout this busy time of year is to keep your peeps bright and alert. While a comforting facial is always beneficial, we don’t always have the time in our busy schedules. The easiest way to stay fresh is with a quick at-home eye treatment right before you go to bed, or just when you wake up. In addition to reducing salt, hydrating with water, and preventing allergens, these are our favorite “quick tips:”

(1)  CUCUMBERS (containing antioxidants and flavonoids): Place a cool slice on each eye and take a rest for 30 minutes. Afterward you’ll feel nice and refreshed.
(2) RAW POTATO SLICES: They stay cool longer and contain an astringent that helps remove the water from under the eyes. Lay over the eyes and reap the benefits.
(3) WITCH HAZEL: Chill witch hazel (a well-known astringent to reduce swelling and redness) and apply a bit to cotton pad; let sit on closed eyes for 5 minutes.
(4) COLD WATER: Refresh your face with a cool water wash first thing in the morning. If your eyes feel extra puffy, dip a washcloth in cold water, squeeze out excess and lay over eyes.

NEW SKIN CARE REGIME

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With the fluctuating weather, it is extra important to slough off dead cells and keep skin hydrated against the Season’s uneven temperatures. Make sure you lather up with an additional amount of non-comedogenic hydration. Instead of relying on chemical ridden products, why not make your own easy nourishing face and body scrub at home to use throughout the Fall months ahead:
DIRECTIONS:
In a small bowl mix: One tablespoon of brown sugar
A generous squeeze of honey
A teaspoon of olive oil
Mix until one paste. After removing any makeup, massage this concoction all over your face for a minute or so and then rinse with warm water. (Make a larger quantity for full body exfoliation).

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SIMPLIFIED FALL MAKE-UP IDEAS

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With the new Season comes new beauty trends. Even though the leaves turn darker and the nights come sooner, that doesn’t mean that make-up must follow. This year, counterbalance warmer colors with a fresh-faced, simple make-up care routine you’ll sure to appreciate, especially on those busy days.

Click her to check out this quick “how to” on daily make-up you can start today:
Fresh Face Look

And when you DO feel like dressing up a bit, just swipe on this Season’s most glamorous lip colors in power reds, 90’s browns, or liquid berry.

BE CALM AND REJUVENATE

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During the hectic Season, take a little time to calm, cleanse, and rejuvenate. Our favorite way is through aromatherapy, the most natural way to release stress. The methods of use are what makes aromatherapy one of the most beautiful and indulgent of all the complementary therapies. From vaporizing, to massage, to bathing, to foot baths, there are so many ways to enjoy the captivating aromas of our pure essential oils.

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Our favorite way to relax is vaporisation, the most popular and versatile method of use in Aromatherapy. Once the particles are inhaled, the essential oil vapors may alter moods and balance emotions within seconds.

How to:
Fill your vaporiser with water to the level indicated. Add 6-9 drops in total of pure essential oils to the water and light the candle at the base of a Ceramic Vaporiser or switch on your Electric or Ultra Sonic Vaporiser.

Don’t stop with just your home. You can stay calm throughout the day in your car with lemon infused oils to reduce anxiety and stress or revive during the mid-afternoon  slump with coffee or cinnamon reviving scents.

And finally, end the day in peace with a indulgent warm bath. Bathing is the most beautiful and nurturing method of use in the practice of Aromatherapy. All the senses are engaged in this practice and the mind and body are totally relaxed as the pure essential oils enter the body.

How to:
Add 3 drops in total of chosen oils like Rose or Lavender to one teaspoon of Sweet Almond Massage Base Oil and disperse into bath water. Agitate the surface of the bath and then immerse body and relax for 10 minutes.

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SIMPLE CELEBRATIONS CREATE LIFETIME MEMORIES

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The year would not be complete without the celebrations that fill the Season, creating pockets of joy to last a lifetime. No need for extravagance; let nature take over and provide the perfect backdrop for your Fall party. Whether you are planning a Halloween masquerade, gearing up for Thanksgiving, or hosting a casual get-together, go simple this Season.

Fill a glass urn with pine cones and colorful leaves from the back yard or make a centerpiece with pumpkins from your local pumpkin patch. Enhance your house with cinnamon essential oils for a calm environment, and add a couple of plaid throw blankets over chairs. If the weather permits, end your party with an old fashioned marshmallow roasting and snuggle into your warm blankets for an entertaining evening of fun, food, and fellowship.

Added bonus, hosting your own gathering means you get to pull out your favorite party wear, and stay cozy and warm without having to step foot out of the door. Make it easy on yourself by having guests bring their favorite Fall goodies, and stir together a simple apple cider that young and old alike can enjoy.

Check out our favorite Fall party wear to try:
“Sparkling” Black Sequin Pullover Sweater
“Pullover” Pale Blue Knit Sweater
“Miranda” Novelty Floral Lace Crochet Sweater

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In this hectic time year, you can find ways to detox and decompress throughout your daily activities. Whether you opt for a “skinny” latte, relax with a natural scrub, overhaul your makeup routine, or calm with essential oils, enter the Season refreshed and revived rather than tired and stressed. Look for ways to get out and enjoy the fresh crisp air and the colorful changes in nature, inspiring you to try a few new things this Fall. Comment below and let us know which refreshing ideas appeal to you!

Remember no matter what we here at Posh at Play always encourage you to
BE YOU, BE FABULOUS, AND ALWAYS BE FEMININE.

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MY WEEK OF LIVING ORGANIC

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With the current trend of “sustainable fashion” and “living a greener lifestyle,” I embarked on a personal “adventure” this week to live a more organic lifestyle. As a professional ballet dancer and fashion blogger, I do exercise daily, eat healthy, recycle, and choose paper rather than plastic, but I thought it would be interesting to infuse into my daily life a more organic and natural way of living. I did not take any time off from work or my normal activities, but simply researched living an organic lifestyle and figured out easy, beneficial ways to improve my way of living. Let me take you along my journey of discovery and maybe you will see how easy it is to live an organic lifestyle for a much more energetic, healthier, fashionable you.

SUNDAY NIGHT

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After a long six hour rehearsal day preparing for my company Pasadena Dance Theatre’s annual “Nutcracker,” my entire body was sore and I was exhausted. I usually just pop into a quick shower so I can relax in bed longer. This Sunday, however, I pulled out some all natural Epsom Salts, lit my favorite scented candles, turned off the lights, and sunk into a warm bath. I didn’t need any music to feel instantly rejuvenated as I felt each muscle relax and all the stress of the day release. Sometimes I will use “White Noise Lite: Relax,” a free mobile App with sounds of nature to relax and revive, but tonight the silence was a welcome relief. The world around us is noisy enough; it is highly beneficial to our well being to just take a moment of silence or quiet contemplation. I think we wouldn’t need as much medicine, caffeine, or therapists, and we would get a lot more done in our lives if we just take a little break. I was amazed at how calm and relaxed I felt after just the fifteen minutes of soaking, and I had a peaceful, rejuvenating night’s sleep as well. I could get used to organic living.

MONDAY

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Up bright and early Monday morning, I usually just have coffee to kickstart my morning. Today, however, taking the advice of dietitians, I opted for a healthy all organic fruit salad from my local market to boost my metabolism. I can’t do without a cup of coffee, but since I’m a little caffeine sensitive, I opted for Trader Joe’s Decaf coffee flavored with organic milk and organic sugar. I like Trader Joe’s because the store is less complicated than Whole Foods, the customer service is always helpful, they use all paper bags (or you can bring your own), and the company works closely with local farmers for the freshest, most organic produce and food.

photo 3Off to a great start in my organic week, I broke for a “lunch break” by taking a walk around the local park. Usually, I just eat lunch at my desk and keep working, but today, I opted to take a one hour break. The outside air was wonderful and it felt great to stretch my legs and get a little exercise. Again, I didn’t listen to anything but the sounds of nature as I walked. I even cleared my mind of all the looming work projects, rehearsals, and activities for the week, and rested my mind. Upon returning from my lunch break, I felt revived to start work again. Around 3:00pm, I noticed that I didn’t feel my usual “afternoon slump” but felt re-energized to continue work until 6:00. It really is true that healthy eating COMBINED WITH exercise work hand-in-hand to boost metabolism and endorphins for a more balanced, fit life.

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On Tuesday, I ventured out to an organic, vegan restaurant I have not been to yet, but heard great things about, “The Rabbit Hole Cafe.” In an all “Alice in Wonderland” theme, the restaurant was a pleasant surprise. The menu includes all organic and vegan fare, as well as raw items, and also includes a small store in which to buy your own organic products. I opted to try the popular “Queen of Hearts” salad, made with quinoa, chickpeas, and beets served over a bed of mixed greens, an all vegan and organic choice. The salad was delicious, even for non-vegan lovers, and the flavors were perfectly blended. I finished off my meal with the new popular “Cheshire Cat” smoothie, a blend of Dragon fruit, mango, banana, dates, purple cabbage, pineapple, and coconut milk, perfectly blended and delicious. In addition to the great lunch, the staff was helpful and friendly, and the service was quick and efficient. The “Alice in Wonderland” theme is a delight, and a great way to introduce children and diners leery of the “organic” world. Another great raw and vegan restaurant I love is “Sun Cafe” in Studio City. Their raw, vegan shakes and pizzas are so delicious that you forget you are eating an all raw meal. When in L.A., these two top-notch restaurants are a must. I encourage you to try your local organic vegan restaurant. Vegan chefs today are taking menus to a whole new level, and once you try a more natural way of eating, a Big Mac will sound so much less appealing.

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 WEDNESDAY

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Even with all the healthy organic eating this week, I felt a little mid-week slump on “Hump Day.” For lunch hour, I opted to try a Yoga class. Being a professional dancer, I take regular ballet class almost everyday so in my off times, I rarely “hit the gym” or try other classes. However, I know that many swear to Yoga and Pilates, so I gave it a try. Feeling tired and unmotivated, I tried the Hatha Yoga class at 1:30pm at Source Yoga in Santa Barbara, CA, which concentrates on deep breathing, finding your center core, and relaxation. After an hour, I was thoroughly relaxed and energized. My headache and backache had gone away, and I felt ready to take on the rest of the work day without the aid of aspirin or caffeine. I will DEFINITELY be adding Yoga to my weekly schedule after this wonderful treat. Next, I opted to take a ballet class at Elite Dance to stay in shape and boost my metabolism. By the end of the day, I felt relaxed, energized, and accomplished. After today, I realize that exercise AND contemplation go hand-in-hand to keep an organic, strong, fit, yet mentally and emotionally balanced body.

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THURSDAY

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Halloween is just around the corner! A great last minute yet festive way to decorate for the season is visiting your local farmer’s market or Pumpkin Patch. Decorate your home for the holidays organically with fresh pumpkins and gourds and support your local farmer’s produce and farms. I visited the McGrath Street Pumpkin Patch in Ventura County, serving the community for over 30 years. In addition to the thousands of pumpkin and gourds for sale, they also provide field trips for children and schools as a way of educating the next generation about farming and organic living. You can also use your fresh pumpkins to make delicious organic recipes for entertaining or just for yourself. I love the fresh pumpkin smoothie; the anti-oxidants in a pumpkin will kickstart your day. Or try roasted pumpkin seeds as a tasty mid-afternoon snack. And of course, it would not seem quite like Fall without a luscious organic pumpkin pie. After selecting my favorite orange and white pumpkins, I hurried home to decorate for Halloween, lit my favorite organic candles, and settled into a night of  “American Horror Story” for a frightfully festive evening.

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FRIDAY

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On Friday, I visited one of the most popular Farmer’s Markets, “The Original Farmer’s Market” at The Grove in Los Angeles. The Farmer’s Market was established in 1934, through the inspiration of two local entrepreneurs Fred Beck and Roger Dahlhjelm. What began as a few dozen farmers and local merchants selling their produce has now grown into a “must-see” attraction for visitors around the world. L.A.’s “Original Farmer’s Market” includes local produce, as well as fresh bakeries, fish and meat markets, cafes, restaurants, and merchandise.

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I started with the fresh produce section, and decided to buy local for my evening dinner. Grabbing fresh organic spinach, tomatoes, carrots, feta cheese, and squash, I then hurried home to a create an all organic dinner salad. I was amazed at how fresh, vibrant, and flavorful the fresh salad was, as compared to salad from a restaurant or the local grocery. I could actually taste, in full, the many wonderful flavors of each vegetable and felt completely satisfied, happy to start the weekend healthy, fresh, and organic.

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After the week’s “organic living,” I came to realize that living organically is not just a once-a-week activity, but a lifestyle. Making little changes such as buying local, shopping organic, taking Yoga, and daily exercising greatly reduced my normal weekly stress, and I found I was able to handle the daily challenges better, make conscious decisions, and sleep better at night. I also noticed that my energy level increased, and I even dropped a few pounds. Living organically is not hard, time consuming, or costly, yet the benefits to healthy organic living are priceless. After this week’s experiment, I am definitely going to make a permanent lifestyle change to eat organic, exercise daily, and enroll in a Yoga class for a healthier, happier new organic life.