Hello hello! :)
It's a sunny Sunday morning here in San Francisco. And I'm so happy to be back to my blog with 5 amazing book recommendations! These books helped me so much in my personal growth, spiritual practice and having a positive perspective on life. If you are looking for some books to curl up with this season, definitely give one of these a try.
I completed my Pilates teacher training in San Francisco about a year ago. I still remember exactly how I felt before and during my training. TERRRIFIED, EXCITED, CONFUSED, LIT UP, INSECURE, JOYFUL, PROUD. These cocktail of feelings still come up everyday.
I believe skincare starts with skin and sun protection. I will admit, it took me about 25 years to finally accept that SPF is an everyday "must", just like a moisturizer. So, I'm really happy to see that there is more awareness around this issue and some brands are doing an amazing job of creating quality formulas.
Happy mornings start with a rested mind and body. So, the first step is to go to bed early and get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. If you get good quality sleep, you will wake up energized and ready to start the day. I usually go to bed around 9pm and look forward to cozying up in my Buffy comforter. It's so soft and luxuriously fluffy just like my cat haha. Do you see him in the picture below? :)
1. Get enough sleep.
I'm finally sharing my skincare routine that some of you requested. :) It's all about simplicity, minimalism and "out the door in 5 minutes". I believe in protecting and perfecting my actual skin instead for covering it with lots of makeup. As I started to take on this approach, I'm needing even less and less makeup on a daily basis – which I absolutely loveeee! So, keep on reading if you like an easy routine for fresh, natural, glowy skin.
Actually, I wasn't planning on writing a reflection post this year or share any of the lists below when I wrote them down in my notebook in a hotel room in New York on New Year's Eve. But then I saw a "January Feelings" post I had written exactly one year ago. I thought I should keep writing these every year – even if it's just for myself and no one else reads it. It's pretty amazing to look back and remember your feelings and thoughts on life one year ago.
If you've been following my story along , I started my career in Pilates and wellness not too long ago – with lots of fear and hesitation. I'm now a certified Pilates instructor based in SF and still continuing my Pilates education to keep learning and growing in my career.
With this blog, my aim is to be able to share the benefits of this amazing mindful movement with all my friends and readers far and close. :)
As much as I love spending all my money on fancy turmeric lattes at health cafes, I've been enjoying recreating all the amazing recipes at home. There's just something about making yourself a warm cuppa and enjoying it in your pajamas. :)
Oatmilk Matcha Latte
One of my October intentions is to cook at home more often. Even though I make healthy choices when I eat out, nothing compares to a home cooked meal – especially during long, cold Fall days. So, I made a quick grocery run and stocked my fridge with healthy whole foods.
October Weekly Grocery List:
So, my goal is to eat at home for the most part of the week. Here are my tips to make this happen:
Happy healthy eating! :)
Hey hi hellooo!
It’s been awhile since my last post. Thank you so much for sticking around if you were already following along.
Here’s what happened while I was gone: I got married to my boyfriend of 8 years– still can’t get used to calling him my husband! :) We had a beautiful intimate wedding on the west coast of Turkey. Here’s a little fun boomerang from that day.
I also took a looong digital break. Honestly, I’d recommend doing this to anyone. It’s so easy to get caught up in the social media world, especially Instagram. During my time away, I just realized one more time what is really important to me– spending time with my family, friends and just simply enjoying life. To go out, eat, and do whatever I'm doing without worrying about getting the “perfect” shot.
Finally, a quick Pilates update. I’ve just completed all my Pilates teacher training coursework. High five ME! It’s been a difficult but such a rewarding experience. I’m so grateful for all the support from my family and friends. You can find my Pilates classes in San Francisco here.
Meanwhile, if you can’t make it to a class but you love Pilates, I’d still love to help you in your practice. So, please let me know if you’d like to see Pilates related posts, workout tips here on the blog– all suggestions are so welcome.
Now, I’m just getting back to the swing of life here in California – doing yoga and Pilates, drinking matcha lattes and working on my blog. Stay tuned for more posts from me. :) And please say HI! and update me on what’s going on in your life! I love hearing from you.
Lots of love,
I lOVE food!
I also LOVE pretty food presentations and great interiors.
And, the eatery scene in SF doesn't disappoint! This city is like heaven for foodies like me.
Good food + cute décor. Yes, you can have it all!
Here are 3 spots you should know about, from one IG loving girl to another.
The most important health & wellness habit I've formed is meditation.
Meditation helped me connect with my body and mind to understand myself better. It helped me become happier, healthier, more peaceful and more focused in every area of my life.
I'm not perfect at it, but I've learned a lot since I started.
How I started my meditation practice?
Sitting in silence and doing nothing was the hardest thing to do for me. I thought I can never meditate because my mind would never stop. It turns out everyone has a similar story. We are all constantly thinking, criticizing, feeling and planning things. Good news is you don't need to completely silence or control your mind to start meditating. That is why it's called "practice". All you need to do is just start. Here are my tips to help you start your practice. :)
Super Healthy Salad
Some days we eat waffles and leftover pizza, some days we eat quinoa salad. Isn't it all about balance?
So, here's a very healthy and simple salad recipe for you to enjoy for lunch or dinner. If you don't know already, I LOVE exploring healthy food cafes and recreate their recipes at home. I've had this salad many times in one of my favorite spots in SF, Jane on Fillmore. It's so delicious and easy to throw together!
romaine, baby spinach, dino kale, quinoa, cucumber, one avocado, organic seed mix (optional)
*add chicken/salmon/ hard boiled eggs for a protein boost (optional)
For the quinoa: Rinse your quinoa. Pour the quinoa and water (or broth) in a medium saucepan. The ratio is 1 cup of uncooked quinoa to 2 cups of liquid. Bring quinoa and water to a boil. Then, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until most of the liquid has been absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
Avocado dressing: Mash half an avocado with a fork. Add quarter teaspoon of both salt and black pepper and finish with a squeeze of lime juice. Mix everything, add a little olive oil and/or water at a time to thin it out to your liking. Also if you have a mini processor, you can throw all the ingredients in there to make this dressing.
Start building your salad. Wash and prep all the veggies. Start building your salad by mixing the romaine, spinach, kale and cucumber as a base. Add the quinoa and drizzle the dressing over the salad. Throw in some seed mix if you like. Voila!
There you have a super healthy salad for lunch or dinner! What is your favorite healthy salad? I'm always looking for new recipes & let me know if you try and love this!
Lots of love,
A couple of months ago, I was hiking with my friends in Muir woods. After our 4-hour hike, we headed to a fish and salad place nearby. Then, I was ready for dessert, as you do! ☺
A friend of mine was like “ Oh, but you can’t have ice cream! You are doing this healthy lifestyle thing, right!?”
I WAS SHOCKED!!
The idea that you CAN’T eat or do certain things if you’re into healthy living is just crazy! The idea that you shouldn't ever drink, eat sweets, fries or burgers anymore is insane to me. Maybe it was a fair question. Plus, she didn’t know me very well anyways. But still, I felt speechless.
I realized later that my friend’s reaction was just a reflection of the media, magazines and today's society in general. We are bombarded with images of how HEALTHY should look like. Every second of every day.
Haven't we all had enough of restrictions, DON’ts, quick fixes and fad diets!? This blog and my IG are all about living a simple, balanced and happy life that is free of labels and can’t’s!
I believe “healthy” looks different on everybody. We are all unique. While one healthy food (like peanuts) can be very good for me might be poisonous for someone else! Then, there’s the social media pressure to look perfect, be perfect and eat healthy all the time.
I refuse that.
So, here’s my disclosure.
You will see me eat waffles on Sundays. You will see me drinking green juice one day and having a burger the next! You will see me walking to an ice-cream shop any random day on Insta-stories because I want to be real with you!
I’m not perfect. I am not the healthiest person you can find. I’m just a girl who is passionate about wellness, health, and happiness. I’ve found my own way of living all that. I hope you do too. I just want you to know that:
You don’t HAVE to be or do anything to start/live a healthy lifestyle. Find what feels good for you and stick with that!
Take good care of yourself because you love yourself and life so much!
I hope all this makes sense.
Please let me know if you’ve been in a similar situation or just in general want to talk about this. I will definitely write back. I love opening conversations around this topic! Stay real, happy and healthy, my friend!
Lots of love,
I have to admit. I feel really strange as I write this post. A voice in my head says why would anybody read this. My life is not that interesting. But, then I remember my main message with this little corner of the Internet.
Empowering and inspiring each other!
So, I won’t let that inner critique hold me back. I'd be so happy if one person can relate to me and we can connect on a deeper level. Here are some fun facts about me!
Of course this list isn't enough to entirely define who I am. It's just a peak inside my life. Enough about me! I'd LOVE to get to know you more! Please say hi here or on Instagram if you're reading this! :) Thank you so much for being awesome & being a part of my life!
Lots of love,
Oh boy, this was delicious! I literally devoured this 3 layered pancakes in3 minutes! I was having dreams about pancakes and waffles recently, as usual #notevensorry . :) And Sunday morning was the best excuse to sleep in and to make fresh vanilla pancakes for breakfast! This recipe is pretty simple, and can be prepared vegan. Do it and enjoy!
🌟 1 1/2 cups organic whole wheat flour
🌟 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
🌟 1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
🌟 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce OR 1 egg
🌟 1 1/2 cups almond or oat milk
🌟 1 teaspoon coconut oil
The most amazing things started to happen in the last few weeks! I am already LOVING 2017! Overall, I feel much better and happier day to day. It feels like I’m actually creating my dream life.
Connecting with like-minded, strong and inspiring people is by far the best thing about social media in my opinion! I’ve met some amazing girls through Instagram and became friends in real life. So, if you are following me there @handemirel, please do say hi, I love meeting new people and interacting with you so much!
This post is actually inspired by Jules @omandthecity, whom I met this week and had the most amazing time doing yoga and hanging out in SF! You should check out her blog, it is so inspiring and she’s the most genuine and the sweetest person!
So, in this post, I want to share with you 12 mantras I use every single day to be more mindful and joyful while attracting all the good vibes in my life!
I’ve written these down in a little notebook, and I try and literally repeat the sentences below right before I go to bed every night. Just by doing this, I believe that my mindset change so much for the better! I’ve started to shut down the worst inner critique in my head, and put in more positive thoughts for a change!
I hope these mantras inspire you to set a happier tone to your life and create powerful, positive vibrations! Feel free to pin this to your Pinterest board or share this with a friend who might use some help with positive thinking! :) (who doesn't, really!)
P.S.: I created the quote images on behappy.me/generator. It's very simple to use if you'd like to create your own as well!
Lots of love,
Hygge is a new buzz word in the health and wellness world. It is raved for holding the key to happiness. So, obviously I just had to learn more about it and share with you!
Pronounced /hoo-ga/, hygge is a Danish concept of coziness, comfort and feelings of wellness and happiness. Hygee is about sharing, togetherness, feeling at home, eating comfort food with your favorite people. It is a lifestyle that celebrates simple things in life. Like a cup of hot chocolate. It is basically the art of creating happiness and coziness in everyday life.
So, how can we create hygge and bring more happiness to our lives? I put together a mini hygge list and a delicious hot chocolate recipe for you to experience hygge at your own home!
1. Light candles.
The fastest way to create hygee anywhere is simply lighting a few candles. Turn down the lights and relax with the candles flickering. I think candles really do bring a feeling of cosiness and happiness to a place.
2. Be Present. Turn off your phone.
Stay in the present moment and find happiness and joy in doing simple tasks. Just focus on the tea you're drinking or the conversation you're having with your friend. Be totally here and now.
3. Indulge yourself.
Fresh coffee and home-made cake!
4. Get comfy.
Take a time out and rest. Get in your soft PJs, put on warm socks.
5. Count your blessings.
Be grateful. Literally write them down. Be grateful for the food, the health, the family and friends you have.
6. Spend time with loved ones and build experiences.
As I've already talked about this in one of my very first posts, material things don't really make people happy. Experiences and spending time with family and friends makes us happy. So, build experiences and stories.
Healthy Hot Chocolate Recipe
Hot chocolate, next to matcha latte, is my favorite drink during winter. This is a healthier version of the classic hot chocolate recipe. It’s dairy-free and is so simple to make. So you can enjoy this deliciousness without any guilt.
You'll need: Cocoa powder, almond milk, vanilla, natural sweetener of your choice.
Method: Mix 2 tbsp cocoa powder, 1 cup of almond milk, half a tsp vanilla and 2 tbsp maple syrup (or 1 tsp coconut sugar) in a small pot and heat over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Pour into a cup and add a dash of cinnamon if you like, enjoy!
With the new year feelings, I decided to review and think back at how I did in terms of my health, mood and happiness in the last year. Certainly, 2016 hasn't been an easy year for most of us. But, I try to think of it as a big pile of life lessons and opportunities that will eventually make us better and stronger.
So, I think January is a great month to make peace with the past and let it go so that I can re-focus on growing, learning and living a life full of good health, love, and joy. In this post, I am sharing a few things that I've started incorporating into my daily routine which really made a difference in my overall health and mood. :)
You are always exactly where you are supposed to be, experiencing what you need to experience, to learn what you must learn, in order to become the person you need to be to create the life you truly want. Always.
Being more awake/aware and spiritually open minded! I've been guilty of this one for the majority of my life. I've never been the girl who actually believes in meditation and spiritual practices, and would think of that whole world a bit woo woo. Oh how wrong I was! Now, I'm journaling before bed, and really focusing on gratitude for the day and my intentions for the next day. First thing in the morning, I review these notes and really set my daily intentions ( like being more present, kind and mindful) .I've been also indulging in books on meditation, manifestation and law of attraction and loving it!
As I learn more and more about how we literally have the power to have our dream life or bring our worst fears to reality, everything starts to make more sense. It is really scary but also empowering to learn how powerful our thoughts and energy are and that we can actually use them to manifest our desires. Let me know if you're into this stuff, I'd love to chat and exchange book suggestions!
The moment you accept responsibility for EVERYTHING in your life is the moment you can change ANYTHING in your life.
Eating better and drinking more water! With healthy eating there's just sooo much to learn and experiment with. So it's never like you know everything about being healthy and that's it for the rest of your life. Especially, if you're someone who is very passionate about living and promoting a healthy balanced lifestyle, you always learn something new.
So, one area that I'm really hooked up on at the moment is having healthier hair and skin! I have just had my hair cut and colored, so I'm looking to nourish it from the inside out with yummy food. Here are some of the foods that I'll eat more for a glowing skin and healthy hair: salmon (breaking vegan – more on this later), avocado, eggs, spinach, pumpkin seeds, oats and blueberries.
So, expect to see more of these superfoods on my instagram! And goes without saying, drinking more water and taking a bottle wherever I go.
Hope you have enjoyed reading this, and please let me know what you think and shoot me a message on Instagram @handemirel if you'd like to chat about all things healthy and happy!
Lots of love,