I had the fine pleasure recently of traveling to the Blue Spirit resort in Costa Rica with a group of like-minded Kaia Yoga relaxation-seekers. Now that I’m back at the office, the simple thought of the resort is enough to put me at ease!
Our full weeklong stay was like a nourishing dream for our bodies and minds. Blue skies and warm breezes greeted us every morning. We began each day with a yoga practice, followed by a meditation session at mid-day that promoted an even flow of calm energy, and a restorative yoga session in the evening that brought our energy back down to prepare us each for a good night’s rest.
The benefits of this stable flow of energy throughout each day were further enhanced by our all natural diets; we ate 100% vegan meals full of fruits, whole grains, and vegetables. The total removal from cell phones, computers, and televisions throughout the week culminated in a very deeply relaxed sensation that became that much more obvious when I returned home to the real world!
At this point in the year when so many of us are yearning for renewal and spring energy, a restful vacation in a beautiful and inspiring place can really provide us with that enthusiasm we want so badly to engender. For me, that rejuvenating escape took place in Costa Rica just a couple weeks ago. For others, that inspiration can be found wrapped up into a cozy weekend afternoon with a great book and your favorite set of pajamas, sheltered from the rainy late winter streets.
I hope you find time and energy to rejuvenate yourself this late winter.
For me, this time of year can be filled with equal amounts of good cheer and stress, so I thought it would be very appropriate to share some tips for getting the most out of the sleep that comes as a reward for each long day! This month’s Real Simple has a great feature titled “What is the secret to a good night’s sleep?” As a sleep ambassador to my supporters, I feel compelled to post these secrets here for you all…Please take them to heart, and get some great rest this Holiday Season!
~Have your partner give you a foot massage (and remember to give back!)
~Check one more small item off your list so that you go to bed with a fresh sense of accomplishment…It can be as simple as throwing a load of laundry into the machine!
~Avoid making any mention of stressful topics after 9pm…Give your mind (and body!) some time to wind down from the practicality of the day and to prepare for the next one.
~Employ a good old fashioned set of ear plugs and an eye mask…Slipping into that secure space as quickly as possible can enhance the quality of the entire night’s sleep.
~If you are a working woman, plan your outfit for the following workday just before you head to bed. This can create a sense of preparedness for what’s to come that will help you rest easy that night.
~Make your last thoughts of the day the most positive ones! Count all of your blessings after you turn out the lights, and take that warm sense of security and thankfulness to sleep with you.
~Keep your feet warm and toasty! Pajamas are great to create all-over warmth, but don’t forget those extremities!
Cheers to Sleep!
My passion for sleepwear extends well beyond the pieces that I design and wear to bed each night. I see it as one ingredient of many (admittedly a key ingredient!) in the recipe for a happy, productive life.
Staying well-rested attributes so much positivity to my attitude and outlook, which of course means that falling behind on my sleep stands to leave me in rough shape. We face plenty of difficulties in life, but you might be surprised to learn how many of them can be avoided with some good old fashioned rest. Take a look at this fabulously useful slideshow from Huffington Post…And keep these warning signs in mind!
Sleep Well and Sleep Often!
I just spent the most wonderful week with my family at the beach in Montauk. Look at my beautiful grandchildren and these gorgeous views. These are the types of summer memories that I live for!
Summer is such an active time of year for everyone, myself included….But you have to come prepared to all those outdoor events if you want to fully enjoy them!
I’ve learned to beat the heat with a simple formula of hydration, rest, and a hefty dose of air conditioning, but beating the sun requires some more careful planning. Becoming more proactive with my sunscreen regimen has only come with benefits. I feel healthier and more responsible for my body, and I have to say that the resulting sunkissed glow that I achieve after ample exposure looks great!
My favorite product for sun protection has to be SkinCeuticals Sheer Physical UV Defense SPF 50. The formula is so wonderfully lightweight and easy to apply, and it leaves my skin feeling nice and fresh, as opposed to isolated and greasy. And the designer in me of course appreciates the visually smart packaging…An all-around win!
Stay Happily Sunkissed!
I’ve always enjoyed sharing my favorite recipes with family and friends, so I am of course thrilled to now have the opportunity to pass them along to my blog community as well! In honor of teatime in the summer, here is a great alternative to traditional iced tea for you all to savor…
Cranberry Agave Spritz
Combine fresh lemons or lemon wedges with cranberry juice, and add agave nectar (the new honey!) for some overt sweetness. Let the combination sit and saturate for several hours. Once the mixture has achieved a smooth, tart, sugary balance, serve it by adding sparkling water for a refreshing boost of bubbly!
In the midst of all this summer heat over here on the East Coast, I find this drink to be just as invigorating in the morning as it is at noon or nighttime! And the natural ingredients will keep you feeling light whenever you choose to enjoy it. My best advice would be…and perhaps this goes without saying…to treat yourself to a Cranberry Agave Spritz in the quiet comfort of your favorite pajamas.
I love my time with family and friends over the 4th of July. It’s just one of so many special occasions throughout the summer when we’re all able to enjoy great (hot!) weather and togetherness.
If you’re traveling to be with family and friends over the holiday, or if you have guests for the occasion, here’s how I love to make the weekend even more relaxing: dust pillows and sheets with a nice, fresh linen spray. For the guest – This can be a great way to make new surroundings more comforting and relaxing for you and your family. For the host – Whether you simply welcome your guests with freshly scented bedding, or whether you diligently reapply each morning and evening, it will serve as a subtle but noticeable gesture of care.
When coupled with the perfect pair of pajamas, linen spray can make a great night’s sleep even dreamier. Try these luxurious options from Jo Malone, or this more modestly priced alternative from Crabtree & Evelyn.
Happy 4th of July Weekend!
I have devoted my career to encouraging great sleep through sleepwear. Even outside my design work, though, I am endlessly curious to read and discover new ways of enhancing sleep beyond what you choose to wear to bed…I want to take this opportunity to share some of my recent discoveries with all of you!
The June issue of Vogue includes a great article titled Dream State by Jancee Dunn. In the article, Jancee explores prescription-free ways to achieve great sleep. Here are some of my favorite tips from the article:
Eat Non-Fat Popcorn I am a popcorn lover, so this tip is naturally top on my list! This treat is high in fiber which creates two benefits: It helps you to feel full at night when you might otherwise be prone to cravings (like me!), and it also creates a stable blood sugar level free from the highs and lows that have the ability to literally wake you up!
Drink Plenty of Water When your body is dehydrated, it actually tries to create its own water balance by releasing hormones that may disrupt your sleep. I always have a glass before bed, and one after I wake up!
Avoid Caffeine After 3pm It’s not just your imagination if you feel like you grow more and more sensitive to caffeine as you age. Research has found that the effects of the same amount of caffeine on people in their mid-40’s are about 50% stronger than they are for 21-year-olds…It takes around 6 hours for caffeine to leave the system of those 40-somethings! So if you want to enhance your sleep, think twice before helping yourself to that second cup of coffee during your afternoon slump.
Restrict Your Sleeping As Needed I appreciate this tip because it’s an honest one. If you are someone who only sleeps for 6 hours a night, then don’t waste time in bed for another two. Spending more time in bed than your body needs to can create a false sense of sleeplessness. Know your body, and listen to it!
And last but certainly not least, here’s a personal sleep tip from me…Quiet mornings and evenings spent in your most comfortable pair of pajamas – the ones that make YOU feel best – are just as important as the sleeping itself when it comes to rejuvenation. Treat yourself to a new pair of pajamas that you love, and I promise you’ll approach bedtime in a whole new way!
In addition to serving as a wonderful opportunity to reflect on all the many reasons why fathers mean so much to us, I see Father’s Day as yet another perfect occasion for summer cooking…
On the whole, the meal-making ritual creates so much opportunity for conversation and enjoyment in a family setting. Selecting the menu, gathering the ingredients, setting the stage, assembling the food, and of course enjoying the finished product together are all wonderful ways to show care, love, and appreciation for any father. I am obligated to mention here that of course Dad is solely responsible for enjoying the food and is absolved of all other duties!
If you’re looking for a fabulous recipe for your father this Sunday, try this inventive twist on an original favorite – The Ham, Cheese, Egg, and Lemon Curd Sandwich featured in this summer’s Saveur magazine is certainly something worth celebrating…and celebrating with!
Happy Father’s Day,
Flowers have always inspired me and my work as a designer. I am so thankful to have lived in New York City throughout my career because it has afforded me direct, year-round access to the world’s most beautiful and exotic flowers and floral arrangements…Belle Fleur is just one of my tried-and-true favorites!
This year, I am especially inspired by flowers because our spring arrived early, and many plants have been in bloom ever since! Some of my favorite flowers to cut and arrange for inspiration are peonies and hydrangeas; they are both such classic species, yet their deep coloration and rich physical presence make them unfailingly impactful. Peonies are an age-old cultural symbol in China, and have inspired countless examples of Chinese painting and illustration over time. I love hydrangeas for their abundant flower heads…The full, jolly hydrangea balances beautifully with lighter, less dramatic flowers in the same arrangement. Take a look at an incredible combination of these two beauties on my Inspiration Pinterest board!
I encourage people who don’t normally keep flowers in their environment to give it a try…Those of you who are accustomed to the joy that a beautiful bouquet can attribute to any setting (or design idea!) will agree with that suggestion!