Month: November 2014

WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A FEMINIST

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Lately I’ve wanted to make my blog a bit more personal, so you really get a glimpse of my world. Sometimes that means swapping a beauty topic for something like study tips orrelationship advice – or even today’s post on feminism. Awhile back I wrote about inspiring women, and so many of you had amazing responses that I wanted to use that as a jumping off point, specifically in regards to feminism.

For whatever reason, feminism often gets a bad rap. The term itself is sometimes greeted with negativity even in a society that supposedly thinks of everyone as equals – have you ever noticed that? Perhaps it’s because the women before us who began the feminist movement and fought for our equality took to the streets to enact change.

The reality is that in our world, peoplehave to be bold to create change. Or it could be that “fem” is part of the word, and people mistake that for superiority rather than equality between females and males. While every ideology has its extremes, feminism at its core is about equality. Even if you don’t consider yourself an activist, that doesn’t mean you’re not a feminist or don’t support equality.

In my opinion, everyone that believes in gender equality is a feminist in some way. If you believe that women and men were created equal, hands down, no exceptions, then why not consider yourself a feminist? The quote above by Gloria Steinem sums it up perfectly, as did Emma Watson’s UN speech last September.

Hearing people say they aren’t feminist, or seeing them roll their eyes at the term can get frustrating to say the least. But much of the time it means a person misunderstands what feminism represents, thinking it belittles males. Then of course, there really are plenty of people who don’t support feminism – as we all will unfortunately learn at some time or another, not everyone supports or practices gender equality. But more often than not it comes down to education… Knowledge is power.

Next time you talk to someone who is uncomfortable by the word feminist, take the time to open a dialogue and consider their thoughts and motives, and uncover what they think being a feminist means. More than likely you will open their eyes to something they haven’t previously considered. You may even be there when someone realizes that they are, in fact, a feminist!

What does feminism mean to you? I always love to hear your thoughts!

❤ Mish

Sara Dal Monte

Schermata 2014/07/23 alle 22.40.56

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THE LOOK: HATS AND HOODIES

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Now that the weather is cooling down it’s time to bring out your coziest clothes. Even if it’s hot during the day, the air is getting crisper and cooler in the evening. For those days, nights and times when I’m sick – like now 😦 – an immediate go-to is a hoodie. Hats also get thrown into the mix because not only do they keep your head warm and are an instant fix to a bad hair day, they are also super cute and based on the style allow your personality shine.

I love beanies and baseball caps. They’re a little urban and a whole lot of edge. But, this season there are tons of styles topping must-have lists. And the same goes for hoodies. I like to stick with darker shades to show my fierce side, however the array of colors and styles are plentiful – so wear what you’re confident in! To get you pumped for the coolest of casual clothes, here are my picks for the season and a few tips on how to rock the look.

 

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As you can tell, I’m a sucker for black this season. Black pairs with just about anything you wear – especially this time of year when dark shades are top of mind. If you think hats don’t look good on you, you’re wrong. There are so many styles, the trick is finding the fit and feel that’s right for you. If a baseball cap is too sporty or makes your ears peek out from your hair, try a fedora or panama hat. If you’re a last-minute morning kid of girl, a beanie will be your best friend when deciding what to wear to school.

Then there are hoodies, one of the most underrated pieces in your wardrobe. Depending on the cut, color and style your entire look can change.  A looser fit creates a relaxed feel, while fitted hoodies can be worn with heels and rolled skinnies for a more sophisticated twist. Bold colors are always welcome when it comes to a nice hoodie, but if you want to go the sophistication route (even when wearing a sportier top), stick with white, grey and black.

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Do you wear hats and hoodies? What styles do you like best?

❤ Mish

Sara Dal Monte

Schermata 2014/07/23 alle 22.40.56

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WHAT I’M THANKFUL FOR THIS YEAR

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My dear beautifuls. It’s that time of year again, when the weather is cooler (unless you’re living in Florida) and nothing sounds better than snuggling up in your soft blanket with a warm drink in hand.

I truly hope you all get a chance to spend quality time with the people you love. Whether it’s your family, friends, loved ones or even strangers. Make the best of it! I never believed being family meant we share the same bloodline. The feeling of love, comfort, vulnerability and joy defines family for me. This day and age, you can meet a stranger and the next thing you know, you’re family. Keep an open mind and hand to those who need family. There is nothing that melts sadness away more than knowing someone cares for you. A smile, a friendly gesture or hello can make a world of a difference to those who are often ignored. Let’s keep giving the greatest gift we can offer to others… Love.

So I have a question: What are three things you are grateful for this year?

I’ll keep mine short and simple…

I am grateful for my family (online and off ^_^), my basic needs (food, water, toilet paper <–forealz) and my curiosity that drives me everyday to wake up to seek the truth.

Please share the three things you are grateful for with me by using #LookMish or leaving a comment!

I love you all so much. Sending you all positive encouraging thoughts and good vibes 🙂

❤ Mish

Sara Dal Monte

Schermata 2014/07/23 alle 22.40.56

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#COAT’14

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Sara Dal Monte

Schermata 2014/07/23 alle 22.40.56

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BEAUTY AND BODY USES OF TURMERIC

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Turmeric might just look like another spice to liven up your Asian cuisine (yum, curry), but it’s really a powerful food that can help your body and beauty routine. Turmeric comes from the Curcuma longa plant and is usually found in powder form. It has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, can alleviate stomach problems, and help heal skin issues like eczema and allergic reactions. Turmeric is also loaded with antioxidants.

I love using holistic medicine, sound therapy, and natural foods and vitamins to help my body be its best, so turmeric is a welcome addition to my routine. This bright orange power house can do so much for us! And, it doesn’t just help our bodies, but it’s incredible color payoff can be used to dye beautiful fabrics. I’m thinking you could use it for one of these home DIYs as well.

If you want to add turmeric to your routine here are a few ways to fit it in for a healthier body.

Turmeric Tea – Sipping this tea has been known to improve brain function, calm inflammation and aid digestion. The taste can be pretty intense, so it may take some getting used to but if steeping a cup with just a hint of ginger isn’t a flavor you can handle, then try this recipe from Meghan Telpner for a more flavorful cup of gold.

Face Mask – If you suffer from acne scars, blemishes or eczema then a DIY face mask can ease redness and give you glowing beautiful skin. It’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties are at work here. Similar to my DIY pumpkin mask you’ll combine honey and yogurt to a few tablespoons of turmeric and let it dry. You can spice it up (pun intended) even more and add chick pea flour to the mix. Toss a tablespoon of sandalwood powder in if you have oily skin.

Pill Form – You can purchase turmeric pills in order to get your daily dose and benefit your body from the inside out. Taking it twice a day after eating can act as a cancer preventative, increase cellular growth, relieve arthritis, and help with your menstrual cramps thanks to its ability to reduce pain.

If these methods don’t work for you, then toss the powder into drinks and meals. Turmeric, along with some uncommon super foods, are an excellent natural way to maintain a healthy lifestyle without ingesting chemicals.

Are there other spices, herbs and foods I should be trying? Share with me below.

Sara Dal Monte

Schermata 2014/07/23 alle 22.40.56

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HOW TO DRESS LIKE YOU’RE IN A FUNERAL SCENE FROM A MOVIE

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What I’m Wearing…

* Vintage long black trench coat… similar styles here
* Leather wrap belt by ADA Collection {was a recent gift}
* Vintage black hat was my grandma’s… see it here and here
* Vintage black sunglasses
* DIY T-strap Ankle Bow heels

I found this long black trench at a thrift shop in Oregon nearly 15 years ago… wait, maybe it was longer than that… but I just re-found it in my closet after forgetting about it for years and years. It always felt too long for most styles, which is probably why I forgot about it, or actually just never thought of it… but long trenches, particularly oversized long trenches have been spotted on runways and street style shots lately and suddenly feel fresh and new again.

The lining is the perfect Burberry plaid print, but there’s no label which makes me believe it’s not authentic, but you never know. Regardless, it’s a nice, warm coat I found for $15 years and years ago at a thrift shop. The original belt is missing so I have to get creative with one of my own or wear it open, but I love the look of it here as more of dress buttoned up and cinched at the waist with the leather wrap belt. It reminds me ofJessica Lange‘s character from American Horror Story Coven or any woman you ever see in a funeral scene in a movie {black leather gloves & a dotted mesh veil optional}. I pulled this outfit together strictly to show off my DIY shoes last week but now it has a completely new meaning based on my title, which of course, makes me giggle but is so so accurate.

 

Sara Dal Monte

Schermata 2014/07/23 alle 22.40.56

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#STEPS TO A BRIGHTER MORNING

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#STEPS TO A BRIGHTER MORNING

For every early bird there’s at least a few of us who can’t seem to wake up before a certain hour. Truth is, the majority of people up for school and work at 6am have trained themselves to do so. I’ve learned how good it can feel to have a successful, productive morning (I love to multitask), but that’s not to say it’s a total breeze! For some, literally having a “good morning” is easier than others. But no matter what’s ahead each morning, there are ways to streamline and improve the first part of your day for good.

1. Consider your sleep cycles.

Nowadays there are tons of apps dedicated to making you feel refreshed when you wake up. Because our bodies go through sleep cycles in the night, simply telling them to wake up at an exact time each morning isn’t ideal. With the Sleep Cycle alarm clock, your alarm goes off during your lightest sleep cycle so you don’t wake up in the middle of a deep sleep that would lead to that foggy, groggy feeling right off the bat. It should also minimize the time you spend hitting snooze because you don’t feel as exhausted, and snooze only worsens your issue!

2. Save decisions for the night before.

Remember when your mom used to lay clothes out the night before? It’s not a bad idea! While choosing an outfit seems simple, we all know it can cause a headache in the morning. And when you’re not fully on your game, those conflicts tend to waste more time than they should. This can also include prepping a meal or writing your to-do list the night before. Let’s face it, we’re not all there when we first wake up… Might as well leave the decision making for a more clear-headed moment.

3. Find your morning ritual.

Whether you take 5 minutes or an hour out of your morning to do something that you WANT to do, it makes all the difference. This could mean working out, going for a walk, sipping coffee, meditation, whatever helps you to calm and refocus, and possibly even energize you for the day ahead. Just make sure that ritual isn’t more sleep! 😉

4. Time the necessities.

Knowing how much time it takes to prep your hair or complete your beauty look is essential to streamlining your routine. Try timing your morning routine for a week straight and then analyzing the results – you’ll see whether you’re waking up at the appropriate time and whether certain things ended up being cut for lack of time (#3 is usually the first to go when you’re in a rush!). Then, you can continue to step 5:

5. Find a system.

Some people thrive on repetition and some are better with spontaneity, so I won’t say that you need to complete an exact regimen daily in order to have a successful morning. However, you do want to find a type of routine that works for you. That might mean performing your morning ritual right when you wake up or as a break in between getting ready. It could also mean washing your hair the night before to save time or switching things up a bit mid-week.

What’s your morning routine? Any tips?

Sara Dal Monte

Schermata 2014/07/23 alle 22.40.56

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HOW MEDITATION HELPED MY ANXIETY & OVERALL WELLNESS

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I am not an expert on this matter. I am simply somebody who has dealt with anxiety for about 15 years now and have found meditation a near cure for my symptoms. If you’re currently on a path that works for you, I suggest simply adding meditation to your daily routine to see where it takes you.I’m extremely happy to report that I’ve been meditating daily since August 11, 2014, when I began the Oprah/Deepak Meditation Experience, and I really feel incredible because of it.

It’s been about two months now, so not super long, but most definitely long enough to have noticed a huge difference in the way my brain works, or better yet, the way my mind works floating somewhere inside my brain, and though I haven’t noticed changes anywhere else, according to this article Harvard Yoga Scientists Find Proof of Meditation Benefit, meditation has even affected my body.

Guided meditations were most definitely what I needed {and still need} to meditate effectively at this point, because I’m not disciplined enough to do it on my own, but I really enjoy the guided versions.

Although I fell a few days behind somewhere in the middle of the Oprah & Deepak 21 Day Meditation challenge, I continued on and meditated every day after. Since the meditations in the program were available for 5 days after going live, I didn’t miss a single one. And I truly loved it. Like I said, I found that it was much easier to mediate with a guided meditation vs just going into a room and sitting quietly alone and focusing on my breathing. If you’ve been trying to incorporate meditation into your life but haven’t found your rhythm, try a 15-20 minute guided one instead.

I specifically LOVE Deepak’s meditations as they each begin with a few minutes of positive words from Oprah & then Deepak, which lead to a centering thought for the day {like Happiness is my true nature}, then offering a mantra {like ananda hum} to repeat during the meditation, and finally leaving the listener with a calming musical background to focus on the mantra and the meditation. It not only made it so much easier to focus and meditate, it really made me look forward to each day’s meditations.

I feel like this sounds a little cheesy, but in all honesty, it’s amazing… and I completely recommend it to anyone specifically struggling with anxiety and/or any other mental dis-ease.

What took me so long to begin meditating daily was that no matter how many times I read or heard about its amazing benefits, once I began {and would maybe go for 3 days straight}, I didn’t get an immediate result that I could physically see or feel {meaning, my anxiety didn’t disappear immediately, etc.} and so making it a habit was quite difficult. It’s not like taking a Xanax, for instance when you feel like you’re spiraling out of control, and it levels you down in a way, but over time, when it finally does kick in, it works far better than a Xanax does.

But like beginning a healthy diet or workout regimen, it takes patience to see the results from meditation, and sometimes that’s the most difficult part. The 21 day challenge motivated me to do it daily and thus helped create the habit that I now look forward to every day. Seriously

“The present moment is eternal because it endlessly renews itself. ~ Deepak Chopra”

I can’t really put my finger on exactly what has changed within, but it was somewhere at the beginning of month two and it has something to do with clarity of mind, feeling like there is quiet in the space in between the thoughts, and less {or NO} overall rapid negative and fearful streaming thoughts… the ones that cause anxiety and worry and lead to more fearful thoughts that lead to more anxiety as well as the ones that keep me up at night.

There’s room now for balance in a way I can’t even really explain. The constant and overall fear that went with me everywhere was just suddenly not there. It was something that just happened over time and then one day I noticed that I wasn’t making decisions {small and large} based on fear anymore and it felt truly amazing. Honestly, it’s been over ten years since I’ve had this kind of clarity within, this quiet, this balance, and I have to give all the credit to meditation.

I’ve had a few moments where my old programming and swirling negative thoughts have crept back in in a moment of weakness and rather than allowing my mind to quickly spin out of control as I would have in the past, feeding the negativity with more fear and then worrying about anxiety or being anxious about something, I seemingly have had a whole new bag of tools and vocabulary that immediately flood in and calm me down without much effort at all. I am surprised by it every day.

But meditation’s slow like honey approach didn’t make all of this happen overnight, yet it’s only been two months and somehow I am free from the grip of the overall fear and the fear of anxiety itself. I worry that even talking about it like this will somehow jinx it into not working anymore and it’s so incredible that I don’t even want to go one day without it.

It has also kept me more level-headed during events that would normally fire me up or make me angry… I find myself calm, level-headed, and far less emotional overall.

“In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you. ~ Deepak Chopra”

Since the free meditations ended though, I’ve been on the hunt for more by Deepak, with only a little luck. I’ve found a few great ones on Youtube, but the other day finally broke down and bought 2 different Oprah/Deepak Meditations to download to my phone {Expanding Your Happiness and Perfect Health both $49.99ea}, and downloaded the free Meditation Experience app so that I could access them any time I wanted to… and even though I did it reluctantly, I’m so happy with them I kick myself for not doing it sooner.

Generally I meditate as soon as I wake up, while I’m still in bed, cozy and relaxed. If I have to get up in a hurry and don’t have time, I’ll usually meditate sometime around lunchtime, and sometimes I take 15 mins in the morning and 15 more at lunch… but I never miss it now. I also found this 46minute video The Secret of Healing – Meditations For Transformation and Higher Consciousness on Youtube which I put on and stretch/do yoga to at night to relax before bedtime. Stretching before bed is something I’ve done since I was about 18 years old, but my commitment to it hasn’t been at full capacity for years and I get lazy. I rarely skip a night now that I have this to accompany it. It’s so soothing, completely free and fabulous. In fact, sometimes if I’m having trouble sleeping at night, I listen to it on my iPhone in bed.

Free Deepak 10-20 Minute Meditations on Youtube…

These may help you decide if you like his style and find him as helpful as I did. I really tried a few others I found too, from different people, but none of them resonated with me the way his did.

* Deepak Chopra – The secret of Attraction meditation about 12mins
* Oprah/Deepak 21 Meditation the whole thing free on youtube!
* Random Meditations with Deepak and a few more.

To begin, all he says is make yourself comfortable and close your eyes… and for me, this means I don’t have to sit in any particular way to meditate as I thought prior. In fact, unless I’m stretching through it at night, I lay flat on my back, and that seems to work for me just fine.

Try it… I’m telling you, it’s kind of incredible!

Sara Dal Monte

Schermata 2014/07/23 alle 22.40.56

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#SUPERHATS FOR WINTER

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Sara Dal Monte

Schermata 2014/07/23 alle 22.40.56

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#WINTER SKIN ESSENTIALS

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Winter months can trigger many changes in our skin, from drying caused by the cold to breakouts from travel. It’s these months we need to be ultra aware of how to nourish and hydrate our skin. With the right regimen you can tailor your skin care to combat all of your concerns. Think of yourself as your own skin care chemist – using products and lifestyle changes to banish winter skin woes. With these five winter beauty survival tips you’ll get a much-needed blast of moisture and fight back again other pesky issues you’ve been dying to diminish.

Drink more water

First and foremost, it’s important to hydrate from within. Our bodies are made up of 60% water and when we drink water to prevent signs of dehydration we are actually aiding circulation, energizing our muscles and helping lock moisture into our skin. During winter months when our skin looks dry and fatigued (and we’re drinking lots of warm teas and ciders), you can fight back by carrying a water bottle with you. A chic glass bottle like thebkr bottle in Pout is a cost effective and environmentally-friendly (not to mention stylish) way to get your daily water intake in without lugging around a plastic eye sore. That way, on-the-go or at home, you can always replenish your body.

Nourish your skin

Winter calls for more moisturizing and targeted skin care. During other months you’ve been able to skip a day of lotion or rushed out of the house without your go-to serum, but when the weather strikes, it’s not always pretty. These are the months to bump up your skin care routine and address the skin issues you want gone. Typically, you would need a toner, serum, lotion and treatment to achieve all of this, but I recently heard about this great brand,Skin Inc, that customizes your skin care, giving you one product to do it all. You simply fill out their Skin Identity quiz and violà, one of their 84 combinations is made to treat your wrinkles, dryness, acne…you name it, they’ve got you covered. I recently ordered my own My Daily Dose blend that contains antioxidant CoQ 10 for anti-aging, Vitamin A for my dark circles and Ceramide for my sensitive skin and have already noticed a difference! Even on my busiest mornings, when last-minute beauty is necessary, this product has been a life saver. We’re talking mega-hydration nicely packaged in a bottle color of my choice!

Wear sunscreen

The doom and gloom of overcast days and slushy mornings may have you thinking that you’re not exposed to a lot of UV rays, but you can actually get sunburned during the winter. The sun’s rays can reflect off of snow and believe it or not, the sun is closest to the earth during winter months. Since exposure to UV rays are a major culprit of wrinkles, apply sunscreen on exposed skin whenever you plan on going out. And to avoid the sheen some sunscreens leave behind, try a mattifying sunscreen instead.

Treat your hands and feet

Dry heels, dry hands–it’s all par for the course, but it doesn’t have to be. Regularly moisturizing hands and feet will keep your skin subtle and prevent further issues like hang nails and cracking. Always bring a heavy hydrating hand cream with you and apply a few times a day. A cuticle oil can work wonders as well. And to make sure your feet aren’t left out, use a moisturizing foot glove. Just apply a heavy moisturizer all over your feet and wear socks to bed. Your feet will feel much better come morning.

Protect your pout

Lastly, winter can wreak havoc on your lips, so during the winter make sure to moisturize, exfoliate and prep them prior to wearing product. Lipstick on cracked lips will accentuate the signs of dryness, so it’s important to always moisturize. When summer months have me reaching for any gloss, salve or stick, winter calls for a daily layer of balm.

Combined, these five tips will allow you to tweak your regimen and get just the right routine to give you the skin you’ve always wanted.

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Sara Dal Monte

Schermata 2014/07/23 alle 22.40.56

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