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Sunday, April 5, 2020

5 INTENTIONAL WAYS TO GIVE YOURSELF SELF CARE


"You can't pour from an empty cup.."

The expectations put on us as women is immeasurable. We bear the pressure to be great mothers. Great wives. Great daughters. Great employees. etc. 

Women are natural givers. 

But what happens when you start to run on empty?

In order to serve others around us we must take care of ourselves to perform at our best. This includes Mind. Body. and Soul

Here in this post I wanted to share five small but intentional ways to take care of ourselves and practice self care and self love first



Start your day with a positive mantra

I like to start my day by opening my bible app and reciting what the word of the day is. But this can look different for everyone. You can recite an uplifting statement to yourself. Or read a devotional. You can start your day with a grateful heart. 
If you are looking for a devotional here are some recommendations:
Lysa TerKeurst Embraced (I have this one and its one of my favorites)
Sabrina Lawton Each day a gift 



Make time for self care 

When I schedule to do something for myself I noticed that it gets accomplished. This "appointment" eventually becomes a routine or a good habit. It can be as simple as "scheduling" a day where you give yourself a hair care day and enjoy applying a leave in conditioner and giving yourself a blow out. It could also be a face mask day and enjoying an extra 10-15 minutes of your morning routine. You can schedule Friday nights to be the day where you get to try a fun and delicious recipe that you have been wanting to try! 

Self care enables us to re-fill our cup. Since becoming a mother self care has become a lot more necessary and important than prior to having Mateo. Almost my entire day revolves around thinking and caring for him and so it is nice to just have a sliver of my day to do something for me 💛

Sleep

Many experts have found that sleep deprivation can heighten anxiety levels. During these times of worry and anxiety sleep should be part of our self care routine. I know that during this time getting sleep is hard. But give yourself grace and start slowly in establishing a routine. Set your alarm one hour earlier to settle into bed. Other helpful ways to ensure you go to bed earlier are:

Don't take your laptop with you to bed. This will stimulate your mind to continue to think about work duties.
Try to not sit on your phone while in bed. I know this one can be hard but you will thank me later!

Try to make the mood cozy. I like to put on cozy pajamas. Drink a warm cup of tea beforehand. Wash my face and teeth right away and get under the covers. Coziness usually equals lights out! 

Nourish your body

This is one of my top priorities when it comes to my self care. Food is so connected to everything from our minds to our bodies. It effects our energy. It effects our mood. It effects our productivity levels. It can be a determining factor on avoiding getting sick. 

In my life I have taken better care of my body by getting down on my daily carb and sugar intake. I have noticed an increase in my productivity and focus since doing this. I have a sweet tooth and being on lock down it has heightened in the face of boredom and worry. So I make paleo low sugar dessert recipes that I find on Pinterest to satisfy my cravings. 

I also incorporate lots of greens in my diet and healthy spices in my foods such as turmeric, ground cumin, cayenne pepper, ground ginger and more. I also try to cook with healthier oils such as avocado or coconut oil. Small changes are a big step into the right direction when looking to take care of your body. 

Stay active

Physical activity can be good for both the body and the mind. Right now there are so many fitness trainers and fitness enthusiasts that are hosting IG Lives and/or posting workout ideas on social media. There is so much free content being put out right now. 
Make some space in your house or apartment and take your mind off of the current world events and move your body. If you aren't into working out try yoga.
Yoga and meditation is another great way to move your body but also quiet the mind. Carrying around an infant all day I love either starting or ending my day with a quiet yoga session. My muscles could use a good stretch and self care. 

Bonus Tip: take a break from the news!

This week I felt that everywhere I go, the news and social media are completely saturates with the coronavirus. It feels like 99% of it is all negative, gloomy and fear driven news reports. I do encourage that we all stay informed but I try to minimize my intake a day and it made a huge different on my mental health. I give myself one hour a day to look at news and stay informed of any announcements by the CDC or our governor here in NY and then that's it. Also make sure to read trusted news sources. Don't spend your time reading so and so's tweets or Facebook posts. 

Like always chicas I hope this post was helpful to you! 

Please share what your self care has looked like for the past few weeks! 

Stay safe, wash your hands and stay home ♡





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Sunday, March 29, 2020

Spreading Good News Sunday!

Photo credit: Franchising

Happy Sunday ya'll

We made it another week through social distancing and surviving being on lockdown. None of us really know how much longer this is going to be for but as we continue to adapt to our new normals I want to continue spreading positive and helpful posts. 

I was recently on Instagram and found a page called Good News Movement and it inspired to start this new series called: Spreading the Good News Sunday! What better day than Sunday to read positive and inspiring articles and posts. 

I don't know how long this series will last for but I hope it entertains and puts a smile on ours faces. If you want to contribute to this series and share some good news please email at: thestylebrunchblog@gmail.com

Let's continue to build up both our online communities and local communities 💛


International 

  • According to an article in Newsweek, over 100,000 people have recovered from the Coronavirus around the world 🌍

  • According to The Guardian, Wuhan closes its last makeshift coronavirus hospital as China's infection rate falls.  

  • According to Newsweek, a 97 year old woman in South Korea fully recovered from the coronavirus

  • According to thelocal.it, and what's being called an extraordinary recovery, in Italy a 101- year- old man who was born during the Spanish flu has recovered from the coronavirus and was sent home


United States

  • Distilleries from all over the US are doing their part to help out their local communities by making their own hand sanitizer and giving it away for free according to NBC news.

  • Churches all over the country embrace online streaming platforms and services to bring service online 

  • The Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation announced a donation of $10 million toward global response efforts to COVID-19 and begin production of masks and isolation gowns 

  • Celebrities are donating across the country and Rihanna's foundation announced a $5 million dollar donation toward relief efforts according to a statement by Rihanna's Clara Lionel Foundation

  • Athletes are helping their communities in big ways and Drew Brees is among them when he announced on his social media that he and his wife were donating  $5 million to help towards relief efforts in Louisiana

  • Hundreds of volunteers from Chicago to New York City have signed up to various babysitting apps and websites to help take care of children of health care workers according to NBC news

  • Delta airlines offers free flights to medial volunteers to some of the hardest hit areas in the country according to USA today

  • 2 young men in NYC started Invisible Hands and within 72 hours amassed 1300 volunteers to deliver groceries and medicine to elderly and vulnerable people according to the Associated Press


Feel good news
  • A church in Georgia pulled their Chic-fila points and delivered more than 500 sandwiches to doctors and nurses at two hospitals according to Fox news

  • An Alabama man serenades his wife to "Amazing Grace" everyday through her nursing home window because of nursing home restrictions according to the Montgomery Advertiser

  • New Jersey pizza restaurant owner, Bryan Morin toke out a $50,000 line of credit to pay his employees during the coronavirus 

  • A 5 year old girl from Elgin, IL gets surprised with a 64 car birthday party parade according to patch.com

  • Health care workers are being applauded around the world. In the US #Solidarityat8 started to show appreciation for those on the frontline battling this virus to save lives of others.

  • Free mental health services are being offered to New York residents after 6,000 mental health workers volunteered to help provide services according to Elle.com

  • Across many social media platforms musicians have been playing free concerts to help uplift spirits such artists have been John Legend and Chris Martin.

  • According to goodness_movement a family's trip to Disney World was postponed so family friends surprised the kids with a Disney parade

  • Starbucks is giving out free coffee to frontline health care workers announced on their Instagam page 



I hope you guys get a chance to check out some of these articles and may it uplift your spirits today and prepare you for the upcoming week. 

If you have or seen other positive and uplifting stories online or on social media please share them below or send me an email at: thestylebrunchblog@gmail.com

Stay safe everyone. Stay inside. Stay positive 



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Friday, March 27, 2020

Job Searching during the Coronavirus

Photo: unsplash



Happy Friday guys! I hope you are all well and hanging in there! 

As we continue to be on lockdown and many businesses closed I have been thinking of those that have been laid off or reduced hours or worried about their financial situation. I wanted to do a post to help anyone in this situation and I started to look for employment articles. 

I understand that it may deem daunting to find a job during the corona virus pandemic but I have found that there is a need for an increase workflow for some of the essentials work places that are being overworked during this period. If you have lost a steady income during the coronavirus outbreak there are some companies that are looking to increase workflow production due to a higher demand. 


Here are a list of companies that I have researched that are currently promoting new hires:

CVS 
Walmart (hiring or temporary workers)
Amazon
Pizza Hut

Quick Tips on job interviewing during these times: 

- Be prepared for possible video interviews 
For video interviews make sure to keep your space neutral and a quiet space with natural light

- Be prepared
treat it like a normal in person interview

- Activate a LinkedIn account if you do not have one already and start connecting 

I pray for all of you during this historic moment in our country. I pray that you are safe, healthy and may God protect and heal our land. 

Be safe everyone! 


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Monday, March 23, 2020

5 Tips on working from home and being productive



Another week many Americans are working remotely this week. I am with you and let me be the first to say it is hard! If you are a parent, it is double hard! I have a 4 month old at home with us and it has been quite the challenge for my husband and I to manage. Some days a schedule works and others we are just making it work on the fly. 

Last year I started my first year of working from home. At first it felt great but as time goes on it has its pros and cons. Some days I felt lonely and missed office interaction. Others times I found myself distracted by housework and couldn't ignore it. Being disciplined and maintaining a work schedule some days were trying as well. 

Over time I found some ways that worked for me and are helpful:

Create a morning routine

For me this step is key! You have to approach your morning like you are going to head out to the office and have a boss that is micro managing your time. Stick to a time to wake up and start your day. Now that I have a newborn, some start times can change depending on his feedings but if everything goes as schedule here is my routine:
7:00 am Feed Mateo
7:30 am take a shower
8:00 am Prayer time | make coffee | make a quick breakfast  
8:30 am Put Mateo down to sleep
9:00 am start my work day

Doing this consistently creates a ritual that you will develop a healthy habit into doing automatically. Its healthy for your mental state to develop structure and just like children I feel that most adults require structure in their lives. 

Create a dedicated office space

Everyone's housing situation looks different whether you live in a home with a spare room or a studio apartment find a creative way to designate a space for work. For me its in front of my bed sitting on my bench and putting a tray in front of me. It works. Just remember don't make your space too cozy because it can be hard to be as productive. For me I like my bedroom because its the best space in the house with natural light. Tip: find a space where you have natural light!

Cut out distractions

This was an important productive habit to cultivate. A quick peek on Instagram and the next thing you know you are an hour into scrolling and watching IG stories. Lots of people have different distractions. Another one for me is the kitchen not being tidy. I don't like to start my morning with clean dishes not being put away. Make sure to eliminate these distractions at night so you don't end up cutting into your morning routine. 

If you need extra help to stay focused check out these apps:
- Flora - Focus habit tracker 
- Flipd - Focus & Productivity
- Forest - Stay Focused app
- Productive - Habit Tracker

Try the Pomodoro Technique

Comodoro Technique is a time management method invented by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. The technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals of 25 minutes in length and separated by short breaks. This might not work for everyone but I found that it kept me focused on a task and when needed to regroup I would stretch or grab some more water. This is great for mental breaks because it breaks up those feelings of burn out. 

Plan out your daily tasks in categories

In whatever format you prefer to write down your daily tasks put down the three top things that you need to get down and tackle those first. This is great for your work day confidence knowing that you got tasks accomplished. There is no better feeling that striking a task off your list! 
You can also go as far as carving out time in your day to work on each task. If you are writing an e-book carve out a time slot in your schedule to work on it. 
Here is an example:
9 - 10 am Work on Chapter 2 of E-book 
10-10:10 am Take a short break
10:10-10:30 am work on emails

When you break up your day this does two things:
1. Forces you to focus on getting things done
2. Helps you multi-task


Last helpful extra tip:

Find a solitary way to get outside

Depending on where you are in the country and how strict your governor or mayor mandates are, if you need to just go into your backyard and breathe fresh air then do it. If you live in an apartment open your window and just let some fresh in. If you go for a walk make sure you are keeping social distancing and make it short. 

At the moment this is our current "new normal" but make sure to responsibly incorporate self care and your mental health into your work day! We will get through this guys!



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Friday, March 20, 2020

How to build an emergency fund



Right now times are extremely stressful for people around the world during COVID-19. This is a test of faith and strength for all of us. Right now millions of people don't know what the future holds economically for our families. My husband and I are in constant worry of our jobs and any potential medical expenses. I am no financial advisor I am just offering advice that works for my family and I want to pass it along to you guys. One way to avoid getting caught off guard is having an emergency fund or some call a reserve fund. According to bankrate nearly 3 in 10 Americans don't have an emergency savings. That is 28 percent!
The best part of having an emergency fund is to ease your mind knowing that you have this money set aside. 
Here are some steps on how to build an emergency fund:

1. Look closely on where you spend your money

The first step is understanding your spending habits. Once you understand how you behave you can then begin new good habits towards your goals.  Find a system that works for you that allows you to track your spending. Ways to track your money are:
- write your expenses in a notebook
- take time to look at your bank and credit card statements
- use a tracker app (ex Mint.com | Clarity Money 
- create a budget google sheet or excel sheet 


2. Don't ignore other debt responsibilities

Make sure that you are still paying off your credit card or student loan debt. You don't have to fall behind and have it hurt your credit score. Focus on still making your payments on time and don't let the emergency fund get in the way of this. Remember slow and steady wins the race! 

3.  Consider financial habits to increase your goals

Once you figure out how much you want to have in your emergency fund now you can stratgize others ways to to meet your goal. You can either: increase your income or spend less in some areas. 

Increase your Income
Write down some ways that you can possibly increase your income. Could you turn a hobby into passive income. Add a part time job to your schedule. Become a car service driver for Uber or Lyfte. Sign up for UpWork and become a Virtual assistant. 

Spend Less
This is hard but its great to establish discipline. You need to separate needs vs wants. But also don't take it too far where you find yourself unhappy. Balance is key here. 
Ways to spend less:
compare retail prices when shopping 
use coupons or wait for sales
make dinner as much as possible at home
look for free events in your area
plan your meals and grocery list before going out to shop

4. Look into a high yield savings account 

ONline savings banks offer higher interest rates than regular brick and mortar institutions. At one point rates were as high as 3%. However with the coronavirus crisis I am not sure if rates have dropped. I suggest doing some research and seeing if this option is a good fit for you. 

5. Plan an amount that covers 3 months of emergency expenses

This is a good starting point number. Include in this number your rent/mortgage, utility bills, car loan payments, credit card monthly payments, cell phone bill and food. 

6. Once you reach your goal don't stop!

I did this one time and I am still mad at myself for stopping! Whatever your goal once you hit it keep saving! The bigger the cushion the happier you will be in the future when you are ready to buy that house or need money for any big future life changes. Its better to use this money during emergencies then using a credit card! That is a big NO NO and is counter productive! 

I hope these tips were helpful to you guys! I know these times that we are living in are hard and I am there with you but I am working hard on offering posts that will provide resources and encouragement to my tribe! 

God bless you guys! 




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Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Shows to watch while you are social distancing




If there is one and one tiny thing that I like doing social distancing (which I prefer to call physical distancing) is binging on new shows. When I get hooked on a show I am a frequent binger. I have already binged on a few shows and already looking for some new ones. 
So today post is a list of some popular and unrated shows online:

 Gentefied

I died laughing when I watched this show but also cried during some scenes. There is something special as a Latina to see a show that is representative of Hispanic cultures even if it isn't your specifically you are still proud of the representation. This show is about family dynamics, young millennial latinos navigating between both Hispanic and American culture and how gentrification affects small minority communities and businesses. 

 Little Fires Everywhere

This show is based on the book titled Little Fires Everyhwhere. I am embarrassed to admit that I purchased this book last year and its one I didnt not finish and stored in my my collection of not read books! It stars Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington who are both amazing! The show is available on Hulu and premiered March 17. 

Love is Blind

This Netflix reality series was trending #1 for weeks! It was all over my social media for weeks until I finally gave in and watched it... I wish I didn't! LOL! I binged the series because I wanted to know each couples ending and I look back and wish I got that time back. The only couple I grew to like was Lauren and Cameron! 

You

This show is so freaky but exhilarating. Penn Badgley does an amazing job with this character. He is dark, complex but also funny and at times likable. There are two seasons of this show and although I did prefer Season One, Season Two was good too! 

Hunters

I actually just found out that Amazon Prime offered shows! This show stars the talented Al Pacino in a chess like game of Jews tracking and murdering German Nazis during the Holocaust. It will have you hooked from the first episode. Jordan Peele was the Executive Producer so you know its going to be awesome! I havent finished it yet but we are half way through and hooked. Great show for couples to watch.

Locke and Key

This is a family friendly show I think if you have young teenagers. It is a supernatural horror drama that premiered in February on Netflix. Following their father's murder, the Locke family move to their father's childhood family home and that is where the adventure begins. 


Narcos Mexico Season 2

My husband got me into this show and its engaging to watch. Narcos is a show based on true events on different drug cartels through Latin America. The Mexico series is based on Felix Gallardo. Based in 1980s this series focuses on the rise of the illegal drug trade in Mexico and the fall of Gallardo.

Schitt's Creek



This comedy is based on a wealthy couple who finds themselves broke! I havant watched the series yet but people are constantly posting about it and recommended it on Instagram. So its on my watch list! 

Hilary

Whether you like her or not this docuseries was pretty well made. It is 4 episode Hulu docu-series that for each episode smoothly goes back and forth from the beginning of Hillary's life to the 2016 Democratic primary and national election. I will say the series showed a side of Hillary that the public doesn't see which is a fun and playful side. If you are a fan of history its a well directed watch.


I hope this list helps you with a new show idea during social distancing. if you have nay recommendations please share them with everyone below in the comments. 

Stay safe everyone and God bless!




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Best moisturizing hand lotions during the COVID-19



Anyone else suffering from dry cracked skin from all the coronavirus instructed hand washing?!!!!


The CDC recommends that every chance we get we must wash our hands with soap for at least 20 seconds. Since I am already OCD this means a total of 2936249164864 times a day! 
My hands are already feeling and looking dry and cracky. 

I realized that I don't have any hand lotion left in my house! This virus has exposed my vulnerability! (sorry guys but we need some light humor). It is recommended to apply lotion 5 minutes after hand washing. 

So I did research and below are the top rated and recommended hand lotions to moisturize and nourish your dry skin:

Now we just got to figure out how to buy it.....

Ranked the Best of the Best Hand Cream 




L'Occitane Hand Cream I found to be highly rated and mentioned as the best of the best in hand cream. Aktough many reviewers have said in their comments about the product that it is expensive ($29) they also state that it is worth it. Because it contains shea butter it will leave your hands feeling baby soft but not greasy. 


All Natural Hand Cream






Burt's Bees hand cream softens up your dry skin with their formula of sweet almond oil, vitamin E and milk, and then seal the moisture with bees wax and lanolin. It is formulated without parabens, petrolatum and phthalates. 

Drugstore Hand Cream




Neutrogena Norwegian Hand Cream is known for being dermatologist recommended. This hand cream is known for treating dry cracky skin and is great for sensitive skin due to being hypoallergenic and fragrance free. 

Hand Cream with SPF





Eucerin Daily Hand Cream with SPF 30 is great due to its high amount of SPF in it! It is also moisturizing due to containing glycerin. It is also fragrance free. Sounds like a must have to keep in your beach bag or travel kit.  

Family Friendly Gentle Sanitizer 





Babyganics Alcoholo Free Foam Hand Sanitizer is deemed as a family friendly sanitizers. It is formulated without parabens, sulfates, phthalates and artificial dyes. 
Other features are:
  • Liquor Free
  • Non-Allergenic 
  • Pediatrician Tested 





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