Thursday, June 29, 2017

June Favorites


Can you believe it's already the end of June? This month has been flying by and now it's time for another favorites post! I forgot to do this post in May, but I loved it so much in April I made sure to do it this month. 


Ear to shoulder/chin to chest neck stretches. Recently, I have been loving these stretches. They are the perfect way to stretch out your neck, shoulders, and spine after waking up in the morning or after a long day at work. I usually end up doing these in every practice, no matter what time of day, because it always feels so wonderful on my neck. 


Private Selection Cinnamon Hibiscus Herbal Tea. If you've seen my Instagram stories recently this is the tea that I am drinking almost every morning. I just can't get enough of it! The cinnamon adds a bit of spice but is balanced out well by the  the right amount of spice but it is balanced out by the hibiscus, chamomile, and orange. Even though the tea doesn't have caffeine, the blend of these flavors makes the perfect taste to wake up your brain in the morning. 



Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipcolor. I bought this lipcolor as a little splurge for myself when I was out shopping a few weeks ago. I had been wanting something that would add a small hint of color to my lips without being a full on lipstick. This was exactly what I wanted! It's still in the nude color family so it's not too dramatic, but it adds a nice pop of pinky/brown color to my lips during the day. This is perfect for work where I don't want to be too flashy.


House of Cards. I'm a little late to the party but I am finally watching House of Cards! I watched a few episodes of season 1 years ago when it first came out, but for some reason  never continued the series. My boyfriend is an avid fan, so when the newest season came out (season 5) he told me I had to watch the whole thing so we could talk about it. I am slowly making my way through the first season and I am loving it! I think this weekend I am going to have some serious House of Cards binge time. 

What have you been loving this month?

Don't forget to follow me on Instagram for little tidbits of what I am enjoying throughout the month! 

P.S. the tea of the day is citrus green tea (again) ^_^

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Weekly Inspiration: Daydreams

Image from Jenna Kutcher

I have recently been catching up on YouTube videos and blog posts from the various people that I follow. On top of being a fun way to relax I am constantly amazed at how much many of these people have achieved. From starting side businesses selling beauty products to writing multiple books, it seems like they are never finished with the things they are expanding into. 

Looking at the people I follow, it reminds me that anything we dream is possible, as long as we put in the work. Sometimes I get scared when I think about starting a new project. My daydreams will include things like writing a book, becoming an international yoga teacher, or selling the items that I knit. In the past, I have shied away from these things telling myself that I wasn't good enough or I didn't have the time to practice something to the extent needed. Watching YouTube and reading blogs the past few weeks has really changed that perspective. 

We are capable of doing anything we put our minds to. It might be hard, it might take longer than we thought, and we might not get it perfectly the first time. That's okay! We can't let ourselves get discouraged and need to keep working hard on the things that we love. In the end that is all that matters. Putting time and effort into the things we love, no matter what the outcome, is the best way to stay inspired and happy. 

People who have been inspiring me recently:

P.S. the tea of the day is chai ^_^

Thursday, June 22, 2017

5 Yoga Sequences for the Morning

Morning is my favorite time of the day to do yoga. Practicing in the morning is the best way to wake up both my body and mind for the day ahead. When I do yoga in the morning I find that as the day becomes more hectic, I am better able to handle the stress. Here are my 5 favorite morning yoga sequences. They are all online so you can practice right in your bedroom!



20 Minute Mindful Morning Yoga Practice by Sarah Beth Yoga: This is my go-to morning sequence. Sarah Beth also has a 10 and 30 minute video in this series, but I find this one perfect for my schedule. I love how this sequence stretches out every part of the body and also focuses on waking up the mind. If you need a sequence to get you going before a big day or after a late night this is perfect! 
Find Sarah Beth here!



Energizing Morning Sequence by Yoga with Adriene: This sequence is one I practice very frequently as well. Like the first sequence this is great at stretching out the entire body. However, this sequence also includes more strengthening postures to give a more active wake up. If you want a sequence to really inject a boost of energy into your morning, this is the sequence for you! 
Find Adriene here!



Energizing Morning Yoga Routine by Sarah Beth Yoga: This sequence is great if you need something quick but thorough. A little bit shorter than the previous routines, this practice includes lots of twists to get your body moving and to get that heavy sleep feeling out. After practicing the body feels much more light and mobile for the day ahead.


Graceful Morning Flow by Ruby Lee: I found this routine on the Yoga International website when I was looking for a video that was going to make me sweat (you will have to sign up for a free Yoga International account to view this video). This practice incorporates the same flow multiple times with only minor changes. It's great for getting a full body stretch but also challenging yourself. If you want a more active workout in the morning and plan to get a little sweaty, this is perfect for you! 
Find Ruby Lee here!



15 Minute Morning Yoga to Wake Up by Yoga by Candace: This is a short but sweet video that targets the big muscle groups for a very gentle morning stretch. All the poses are done sitting or kneeling on the ground until the very end when you work into a forward fold. This is the perfect routine for anyone looking for a quick stretch before a busy day.
Find Candace here!


When do you prefer to do yoga?

P.S. the tea of the day is citrus green tea ^_^


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Weekly Inspiration: Keep Going


I absolutely love this quote! I am constantly feeling like I should be improving or learning things faster than I am. I want to go from a beginner to a master in something without any of the process or work to get there. For example, instead of practicing yoga and studying every day, I just want to be able to do advanced poses and know all about the philosophy. This often makes me feel like I am not making any progress and that I am stuck in the same place.

However, the thing I am constantly reminding myself is that the process is the exciting part! It's fun to learn a new pose or to discover new ideas through reading. Without enjoying the process of getting to the destination, how will I ever appreciate the things that I have learned? Those small aha moments or the feeling of nailing a pose I have been working on are the moments that make all the hard work worth it. 

This means that I have been trying to slow down and every moment. Instead of becoming impatient while reading a book, I am working on letting myself become fully engrossed in each part of the book. If I am going through a yoga sequence, I try to listen to my body in every single movement and pose instead of looking toward what's coming next. In this way I focus more on learning and exploring, instead of always trying to be one step ahead of myself. 

What do you do when you are getting impatient with your progress?

P.S. the tea of the day is chai tea ^_^

XOXO Taylor

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Book Review: The Bookseller



I saved The Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson onto my Goodreads to-read list a while ago, and the last time I stopped into the library I decided to pick it up. I didn't know anything about it other than what was on the inside cover, so I wasn't 100% sure what to expect. However, once I got into it I really enjoyed the novel and quickly read through the whole thing. This is definitely a book I would recommend if you are looking for a book to read! 

The Bookseller starts off slowly, the characters are nice and wholesome, and the reader is  introduced to an idyllic setting in Denver. Kitty, the main character, is a single woman who runs a bookshop with her best friend Frieda. In 1960's Denver they are both considered spinsters, but they thoroughly enjoy their lives. However, as the story continues it quickly builds suspense and drama. Kitty soon begins having dreams that she is not single, but married to a man named Lars and they live with their children in a big house in the suburbs. As the dreams continue, and Kitty learns more about her dream world, the suspense grows for the reader. Why is she having these dreams, where is she when she goes to the dream world, and what happened to her family and friends in that world are all questions that become extremely important for Kitty to answer and for the reader to understand. 

As the drama of the novel unfolds, I appreciated that it kept it's idyllic setting and tone. The drama of her life, including money problems, finding out what happened to her in this dream world, and helping her dream life self navigate the complex world she has entered, fit well with the setting. The ending took an unexpected and exciting turn, but it kept true to the peaceful setting we were introduced to at the beginning of the story. 

The one issue I had with the book was the twist her relationship with her best friend Frieda took. The drama that unfolded between them due to the dreams seemed a bit cliche and boring. I felt like their relationship didn't have as solid a foundation as Swanson set up at first and ended up being very shallow. For two women who were happy with their single lives, jealousy peaked and damaged the relationship extremely quickly. 

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by a book that I picked up on a whim. I enjoyed The Bookseller a lot and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a light read. I gave this book 5/5 stars on Goodreads. 

What have you been reading recently?

P.S. the tea of the day is citrus green tea ^_^

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Weekly Inspiration: Let Your Heart Breathe


I saw this quote and I knew I had to share it this week!

I've always had this feeling like if I wasn't writing something perfectly the first time, I just shouldn't write. When I was younger I always enjoyed writing for fun. I have always been a bookworm, so it was only natural that at some point during my childhood I decided that I wanted to be an author when I grew up. However, along the way I got the idea into my head that good writers had amazing stories pop out of their heads and onto the paper, fully intact. I thought that if I couldn't do that there was no way I could be a writer.

Now, years later, I realize how incredibly silly that is. Every idea, every story, starts out as a draft; something that's in your heart in that moment. With editing, research, and lots of work, that idea might become a finished piece that will be published. However, if we don't let our hearts breathe, our ideas will never come to fruition. So let's all let our creativity flow. Write down that idea in your head, sketch the picture you keep imagining, or play around with that new knitting pattern. Who knows what we will be able to create!

What would you say if you let your heart breathe?

P.S. the tea of the day is Teavana Pineapple Kona Pop ^_^

Thursday, June 8, 2017

How to Manage a Paper Calendar


I have used both digital and paper calendars to keep myself organized throughout the years. I have found that a paper calendar is one of the best ways for me to keep track of my tasks each day and keep myself organized as I juggle the different parts of my life. Here are my tips for how to manage a paper calendar! 



Color Code

Color coding is a simple way of seeing what your day is filled with at a glance. Use different colors for things like school, work, internships, and personal. By doing this, your tasks are all organized into set groups that you can prioritize in order of importance on each given day. 

Set a Time

I have found that setting a time, even if it's just a guess, for when I will do something is extremely helpful. This helps to plan out the flow of the day, so that everything isn't crammed into the last 2 hours before bedtime. I try to hold myself to the set time as much as I can. However, flexibility is also important. If something else comes up or the day gets a little crazy, allow yourself to move out of the set schedule. 



Don't Overload a Single Day


This is arguably my most important tip! We have all fallen into the trap of trying to fit our entire to-do list into one day when we don't have work or class. However, all this leads to is more stress and not being as productive as we planned to be. Space out your tasks during the week. Do you have a paper due for class? Make that a priority on the days leading up to it. After you have figured out what absolutely needs to be done on certain days, that is when you can start filling in the other tasks you want to get done but aren't priority. 

Stop and Relax

Allow yourself time to relax! Stop working at least 1 hour before bed and give yourself a little time to unwind. I try to stop and read a book or watch a TV show I am enjoying. It's important to have some time to unwind after a long day, otherwise when you try to sleep your mind will still be running with everything you did during the day.

What do you do to manage your time during the day?

P.S. the tea of the day is green tea ^_^