Six Steps to Happiness

tumblr_mrsuf5GSNt1sdldg3o1_500We’re true believers that it’s the little things in life that make us happiest. Flowers budding in your favorite hue outside your office window; finding the perfect dress on sale, for the perfect occasion; a flawlessly-brewed cup of morning coffee… all these things add up together to make life wonderful.

Sometimes, if you’re feeling down, it’s a great idea to incorporate some of the little things in your life that you love most to lift up your spirits. These things can be a bit different for each and every one of us, but finding that little go-to something that makes you feel radiant, confident, and warm is a guaranteed way to better your mood when you need it most.

We’ve come up with a few ideas for you to keep in your arsenal when you’re in need of a pick-me-up.

1) Get lost in what you love.
Whether it’s a good book, a crossword puzzle, or coffee with a friend, getting lost in what you love and letting your worries fade away is one giant key to happiness. It takes some practice, but allowing yourself to get totally wrapped up in something – without any of your stressful thoughts butting into your head unexpectedly – is a challenge worth taking.

2) Be a child.
Engage your innocence, grab a piece of paper and start doodling. Go hop on the swings at your local playground, or watch a quick Disney movie. Getting back to your childhood roots, a time when stress was much less prevalent, can help bring you back to those happy, carefree times yet again.

enhanced-8721-1422393581-83) Find some animals to play with.
What’s better than some puppies, kittens, or even baby farm animals to get you to your happiest? Some colleges even bring groups of baby animals to campus during finals nowadays, to help students ease stress. Head out to volunteer at your local animal shelter, text a friend who has a few pets, or take your own puppy for a walk. We guarantee you’ll feel happier after seeing those young creatures bounce around!

4) Find an exercise you adore.
When you find a form of exercise you love, it’s certain to make you feel happy. Exercise releases endorphins – feel-good chemicals that send happiness throughout your brain. It’s the reason you have that feeling after any exercise: rejuvenated and alive. Finding a form you love makes it that much easier to start… and continue multiple times per week!

5) Write compliments to your loved ones.
Letting your friends and family know what you love about them can make you feel wonderful. Offering kindness in any form, whether this way, through volunteering, or simply letting someone go in front of you in traffic, is enough to make you (and the others) smile!

6) Pamper yourself.
Get your nails done (or do them yourself!), take a nice long bath, or spoil yourself to something you’ve been dying for (whether that’s homemade brownies or a great pair of shoes). You deserve this happiness, and taking extra good care of yourself is the perfect way to appreciate your accomplishments.

What are your best tactics for staying joyous? Let us know in the comments below!

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In-Season, Melt-in-Your-Mouth Strawberry Recipes

strawberry-recipesIt’s almost June in New England, and you know what that means? Strawberry-picking season is here! These bright red berries are sweet, juicy, and plump. They practically taste like candy, making them a healthy alternative to your typical calorie-laden dessert. Throw them on a small piece of shortcake and you’re good to go.

Strawberries are delicious in desserts, salads, smoothies, and a variety of other scrumptious concoctions all summer long. Filled with Vitamin C and antioxidants, these little prized berries give you the immune-boosting power you need to stay happy and healthy for the whole season – giving you plenty of energy to go on runs outside and take weekend trips to beaches galore!

Sick of strawberry shortcake, and looking for something new to try this year? Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of unique, delicious strawberry recipes for you to enjoy this year. So what are you waiting for? Let’s get picking!

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 10.38.12 PM1 | Homemade Strawberry Lemonade
2 | Strawberry & Avocado Grilled Cheese
3 | Unique Cheesecake Popsicles
4 | Kiwi Strawberry Spring Rolls
5 | Salmon with Strawberry Salsa
6 | Grilled Pound Cake Strawberry Shortcake

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Stay Healthy on All Your Summer Trips

stay-healthy-on-vacationYou’ve been working your hardest for weeks on end, and it’s finally time for you to take a much-deserved break. Where will you head off to? Whether you’re more of a beach-lover, adventure-seeker, or history buff, there’s a perfect vacation spot for each and every one of us, a key location for making the most of our time off.

It’s easy to indulge while on vacation; after all, you’re there to utterly enjoy yourself day in and day out. It’s easier than you may think, though, to stick to your healthy lifestyle while on vacation, without limiting your activities!

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 10.36.33 PMEmbracing your surroundings is the best way to fit in some fitness during your days off. Vacationing easily lends itself to exercise; being in a new place means exploring, and exploring means non-stop activity! If you’re on an outdoor-focused trip, activities like kayaking, hiking and biking may come as second nature. Of course, if this is the case, be sure to take care of yourself (protective shoes, sunscreen, and more). Exploring a new city? Opt for walking and bike tours rather than bus tours to add a little activity to your day. Who knows, you may find something totally enthralling along the way! Trying new things always comes with a flavor of wellness and fun.

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 10.36.44 PMSome may argue that trying new food and going to delicious restaurants is the best part of a vacation, and we tend to agree! Exploring another culture or locale isn’t complete without trying some authentic cuisine. Keep it healthy by opting for meals based on fresh, in-season produce, native to the area. On top of this, beware of drinks; the calories add up quickly. Check out this guide to the healthiest cocktails for ideas.

On your way to your destination, be sure to pack snacks for long trips. Be sure to eat a filling, protein-rich meal before heading to the airport to avoid unhealthy, expensive food court options that can start your trip off on the wrong foot. All in all, enjoy the food you want most throughout the time you’re away, and you can’t go wrong!

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 10.37.05 PMPerhaps the most important, get the most out of your time off by allowing yourself to disconnect and truly relax. Forget work and responsibilities, unplug, and unwind. Keep your cell phone away and spend your time away enjoying the people you love most (or enjoy your alone time!). On top of this, if yoga or meditation is your thing, incorporate some of this reflection time into your vacation. It could be just the thing you need to reset and totally de-stress: the ultimate point of your time off!

How do you make the most of a healthy vacation?

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Travel in Style Thanks to the Pack and Go Shop!

pack-and-go-shopDo you have any great summer trips planned? It feels like, once Memorial Day hits, the summer gets busier and busier, with family vacations, friend-focused getaways, and weddings galore planned for the entirety of the warmer season. Understandably, things can get a bit hectic.

The best way to make sure these trips add up to an amazing summer? Be prepared – with a necessary, functional bag and some comfortable, fashion-friendly shoes to keep you happy and organized the whole season through.

Luckily, we’ve put all these functional accessories into one place: our Pack and Go Shop. This shop is all about feeling-good before, during, and after your warm-weather getaways. Get everything you need ready ahead of time with a great bag, complete with multiple pockets and sections to keep you organized and on top of your game. Keep your feet happy (and healthy) with some super comfy shoes that fold up and compact to fit neatly into your luggage. And stay relaxed on a flight with a great pair of colorful, fitted compression socks to keep circulation flowing and at ease.

No matter where you go, or what you do there, being ready, packed, and lightweight before your long road trip, two-stop flight or fun, charismatic cruise will keep you calm every mile of the way. Even better, the Pack and Go shop doesn’t stop at practical shoes and accessories… it’s also complete with other blog posts and Pinterest boards that will help you stay excited, happy and healthy throughout the whole adventure.

Check out the Pack and Go Shop, and let us know what you find!

Above, from left to right:
Pistil Gelato Hat | Cushe Shakra Sneaker | Merrell Mimix Meld | Cloud Atena | Sherpani Wisdom Bag | NoSox Meshpadrille Slip-ons

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Stress Less this Spring

stress-less-this-springWhile the breezes get warmer and the sun gets higher, it can be tempting to say that spring is the least stressful of seasons. Not having to worry about clearing snow off your car and driveway, leaving the house without a jacket, spending weekends under the sun… this season serves to lift many of us out of our winter woes.

That doesn’t mean, though, that it’s a stress-free time. College graduations, end of sports seasons and school years, wedding season beginning, vacations and camps to plan… it’s all enough to make even the most organized of people a little frazzled.

There are a few ways, however, that you can lessen your stress levels this year.

Practice patience
Have you read the Power of Patience by M.J. Ryan? Everyone can benefit from this quick read. Through short phrases and chapters, Ryan teaches us to be deliberate and thoughtful with our patience. Being impatient – especially with little things that don’t warrant our time – increases stress levels unnecessarily. Pick up this little book and we guarantee you’ll stress less… and focus on what matters.

Block out time for your faves
No matter how busy your schedule, it’s always important to make time for those things (and people) that make you feel confident, happy and safe. If you need alone time with a good book to unwind, set aside a half hour before bed to do so. If being around a certain friend makes you feel the most vibrant, make those plans. Creating time for the things you enjoy most offers a great way to reset and de-stress.

Celebrate even your smallest successes
All those small things you do each day add up to a whole block of productivity. Be happy with those little tasks you accomplish. Whether you benefit from checking it off your physical or mental list, making note of even the smallest achievements will remind you how great you really are… and how much closer you’re getting to your larger goals. 

Jot it down
Make to-do lists and calendars. Having everything in one place allows you to stay centered and focused. Much of the stress we feel comes from the unexpected: you have more work than you thought, for instance, or you are running late for a meeting. Mapping everything out beforehand can make it easier to guess how much time you’ll need for certain tasks while preparing you mentally for what’s ahead. 

Take care of yourself
Physical and mental health should never be underrated. Stress can come from both. Making the time to take care of yourself, despite all those begging for your attention, is important. Never underestimate what a quick jog, a few minutes of meditation, or a debrief with a friend can do.

Are you feeling stressed this spring? How do you cope? Let us know!

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Healthy, Decadent Breakfasts in Bed

breakfast-in-bedYou know what you deserve this weekend (and the weekend after that? And the one after that?) Breakfast in bed!

This post is meant to be forwarded along to your sons, daughters, husbands, wives and whoever else you share a home with. After a long week of running around, busy as ever, you deserve a delicious, hand-delivered breakfast more than anyone. So forward these recipes along! There’s no shame in hinting which one you’d prefer, either. :)

The best part? All of these recipes are healthy! They may not look like it, but each is infused with some special ingredients that make them absolutely spectacular in the vitamins-minerals-nutrients realm. So eat up, and help yourself to seconds.

1 | Dark Chocolate Chip Oatmeal
2 | Huevos Racheros Tacos
3 | Banana Protein Pancake 
4 | Skinny Crunchy Stuffed French Toast
5 | Blissful Blueberry Banana Spelt Muffins
6 | Mini Frittatas

What’s your favorite breakfast in bed recipe? Let us know in the comments below! 

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