The Health & Wellness: Tips & Apps for Keeping Your Wellness Resolutions

February 26, 2018

It's the end of February already! How are those New Year's Resolutions coming? Personally, so far so good! I've been managing to drink more water, keep up a fitness routine, and eat healthier. The one wellness goal I have yet to achieve is to meditate daily or weekly, or even at all! Below I'll share apps I've been using to keep track of my goals. Thank heavens we live in a modern world where our phones can help us do so!

I know you've probably heard the suggestion of drinking 6-8 glasses of water per day but that is an outdated recommendation. Your hydration status is personal and it depends on your gender, body mass index or BMI (a measure of body fat based on height and weight), and daily activity. For example, someone who works out daily and sweats should probably drink more water than your average couch potato just to replenish those losses. Calculate your hydration status here.

I think the best way to start tackling this goal is be getting a cute water bottle! You can find them anywhere, from Walmart, Walgreens to TJ Maxx, Mashalls, and online! ones are very cool. My latest one is from Thermos and I love it because it has a dial that lets me track how may I've had during the day. When I'm at home, I prefer drinking water from an insulated cup with a straw. I don't know what it is about drinking water from a straw but it sure does make me meet my goal quicker! Here are apps that could also help you:

Plant Nanny (iOS, Android): My personal favorite app for tracking my water intake! After following a friend's recommendation, I was hooked! Each time you drink water and log it in the app, you water your plant. You keep watering your plant until it grows to its maximum and you get to plant a new one! Could it be anymore adorable?

My water balance (iOS, Android): You could say this is a more "refined" app than the one above. It includes a water requirement calculator and rewards for reaching your goal. I like that it takes various types of drinks into account for measuring your hydration.

Exercise has endless benefits! As women, exercising and maintaining an adequate BMI lowers our risk for cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of mortality in women worldwide! So yeah, I would say it is a big deal! What is the right amount of exercise? The recommended amount is 150 min/week of moderate activity (e.g. walking) or 75 min/week of vigorous activity (e.g. running, practicing a sport) with at least 2 days/week of muscle strengthening activities (e.g. weight lifting or body weight exercises).

I plan to prepare a more in depth post on exercise which should be up in the next couple of weeks. There I will include information on my routine and progress while using the Sweat app described below:

Sweat (iOS, Android): I began using this app and the BBG Stronger program 6 weeks ago. I am not going to sugar coat this: it is INTENSE. My interest for this program began after reading Rach Parcell's progress and following Kayla Itsines, founder, on Instagram where she shares other progress photos and inspiration. I was intrigued and began the program as a way to stay on track with my resolution to work out more this year. I was lucky enough to find a discount for $1 for 3 months of training. View the normal registration prices here.

Nike Fitness Club (iOS, Android): This is the app I would previously use to log my runs. It now also offers more than 160 free workouts and video guidance from trainers. You can prepare your own personalized workout and get daily workout recommendations.

Strava (iOS, Android): My husband swears by this app to track his cycling. He even uses it to track his runs. It compares your runs and let's you know if you've bettered/worsened your times. It also lets you know if others have run the same route and their timing.

To see my tips for a better night's sleep, check out the last Health & Wellness post on sleep. Although now I use my Fitbit to occasionally track my sleep (as will be discussed below), there is an app I have used in the past which I enjoyed:

Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock (iOS, Android): This app analyzes your sleep pattern. By doing this it wakes you up at your lightest sleep phase. It accomplishes this by analyzing vibration and sound. It can even track your snoring! 

This is a new goal for me. Although meditation isn't something we are taught in depth about in medical school, I've done my own research and learned about its many benefits. Meditation can help reduce stress, improves concentration, increases self-awareness, and even benefits cardiovascular health! I've also been longing to be more present in life and more appreciative. For this, I've required the help of the following apps:

5 Minute Journal (iOS, Android): I purchased the actual 5 Minute Journal around a year ago. Although I love putting pen to paper and actually writing down the answers to the daily questions (I am grateful for, What would make today great?, Daily affirmation, etc.), while I was rotating I found myself to be rushing out the door or falling fast asleep from exhaustion before being able to do so. I decided to bite the bullet and purchase the app so that I could have my 5 minutes of reflection wherever I am during the day.

Calm (iOS, Android): As mentioned in my sleep post, I love this app for its bedtime stories. I have also used it for its guided meditations. Unfortunately the app has been updated so that most of its use needs a paid subscription which I am not yet lucky enough to have. I plan on taking advantage of the free aspects for the moment.

Headspace (iOS, Android): Although I prefer Calm, this app also offers guided meditation. You might of heard of this app if you heard the Ted Radio Hour podcast on slowing down (Interested on a post on my favorite podcasts? Let me know!) Check out both for your preference!

No healthy lifestyle changes would be complete without an adequate diet. Food gives you the energy to keep you moving and concentrated. I have been struggling with my tummy health for a long time now and have made specific changes to my diet which. I plan to write a whole other post on food and diet since it is a very extensive topic (and might even request the help a very food-smart friend!), so keep an eye out for that!

I find it extremely difficult to keep track of my meals for some reason. At this moment I am using a What I Ate notepad to keep track but in the past I have used the following app quite successfully!

Lifesum (iOS, Android): This app does everything: it counts your calories, provides meal options and recipes, and also tracks your water intake. I hate having to log in food so I enjoyed being able to scan in the barcodes of the products I consumed.

Fitbit (iOSAndroid): I have already sung my praises for the Fitbit in the Valentine's Day Gift Guide for Him but that was simply not enough to express how much this gadget and accompanying app have changed my life.

I own the Fitbit Charge 2. This magnificent gadget reads my heart rate, tracks my steps, gives guided breathing sessions, tracks your sleep, and shows calls and text messages on its screen. The app has even more features: it tracks your all day activity, tracks your exercise (its amazing for HIIT programs that depend on your heart rate!), it tracks your sleep and reviews your trends, it can even vibrate to wake you as an alarm clock! The app can also track your weight, measure your hydration by logging your water intake, and you can use it to log your meals too!

You don't even need a Fitbit to use the app, it can track your steps and activity as the iPhone already does! Suffice to say it is, in my opinion, the best way to get your health on track for the remainder of the year!

What is your must-have app to stay on top of your health/fitness/wellness? Let me know below!

Con amor,
María Eugenia

The Graphic Tee: How to Style

February 23, 2018

¡Hola! Today's post is all about the graphic tee. They are everywhere and I love the female empowering messages that most are printing now (I can't get enough of my "Women Rule" tee!). But how can you wear one without looking like a kid or too casual? Don't worry, I got you!
¡Hola! El post de hoy es sobre la camiseta gráfica. Están en todas partes y amo que ahora portan mensajes que empoderán a la mujer (estoy enamorada de la mía que dice "Women Rule"!). Pero, ¿cómo puedes usarla sin parecer una niña o verte muy casual? No te preocupes, ¡para eso me tienes a mi!

A graphic tee can replace a blouse for a cute look when paired with a romantic bottom. This floral stripped skirt is definitely on my wish list now (although, if you saw my haul on the blog's IG you know I do not need any more stripped skirts!).
Una camiseta gráfica puede sustituir una blusa para un look mono si lo pareas con una parte de abajo romantica. Esta falda rayada con flores definitivamente va para mi lista de deseos (aunque, si vieron mi compra en el IG del blog, saben que no me hace falta mas faldas rayadas!)

This is definitely a go-to kind of outfit for me. Its easy to put together and I know I'll be comfortable throughout the day. A simple trick to achieve a "cooler" look is to tuck only the front or a small portion of your t-shirt into your jeans. If you're wearing mom jeans like the ones above, try tucking the whole t-shirt in!
Este definitivamente es un tipo de outfit que uso frecuentemente. Es fácil de parear y se que estaré cómoda durante el día. Un truco sencillo para lucir un poquito mas "cool" es introducir solo la parte de al frente o una pequeña parte de tu camiseta dentro de tus mahones. Si estas usando "mom jeans" como los de arriba, ¡trata la camisa completa!

I don't know about you but when I go sightseeing around my island, I want to look cute and photo ready! This outfit would be perfect for such a day! Look effortlessly cool and casual but ready for anything by pairing it with a pair of tenis shoes.
No se tu pero cuando yo voy de paseo por mi isla, ¡quiero verme mona y lista para fotos! ¡Este look seria perfecto para un día así! Para lucir casual, como si no pusiste esfuerzo alguno y a la misma vez lista para todo, usa un par de tenis. 
No. 1 Some Days Are Cool Tee ($14.90) No. 2 Faux Leather Skirt ($19.99) No. 3 Leopard Clutch ($45) No. 4 Hoop Earrings ($36) No. 5 Black Heels ($29.95)

You can even wear a graphic tee and still look sexy for a date night! Pair it with a mini skirt and sexy accessories and you balance out! The photo above (title photo) is an actual outfit I used for a recent date night; my husband loved it!
¡Puedes hasta ponerte una camiseta gráfica y lucir sexy para una cita romántica! Si lo pareas con una mini falda y accesorios sexy, ¡logras un balance! La foto al principio (la del título) es de un look que use para una cita con mi esposo; ¡le encanto!

Which one was YOUR favorite look? Let me know below!
Con amor,
María Eugenia


The Library: Recent Reads

February 19, 2018

As you've probably heard of (or even survived like me!), Puerto Rico was devastated by a Category 5 hurricane back in September: Hurricane Maria. We had no electricity for what seemed like forever. About 450,000 still haven't received electricity (learn more here and donate here). During this period, we went back to our childhood for entertainment: playing boardgames, using coloring books, etc.

I also had time to read a good book again. I have always loved reading! I was the kid that ordered practically everything from the Scholastic catalog and would read 3 books in a day. I was happy to have the time to read something for pleasure, a change of pace from all the medical books. 

These are the books I read during that time and I just finished reading #5:

1. Into the Water by Paula Hawkins (⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐)

The author's name may seem familiar to you: Paula Hawkins also wrote The Girl on the Train (which I LOVE!). If you're into a thriller read, this is one for you. The book begins when a single mother is found dead at the bottom of a river that runs through the town. She is not the first one to be found this way. Left behind is a 15-year-old daughter who finds herself under the care of her aunt which she has never met before. Her aunt had run away from that town a long time ago and had hoped to never return. Like her other thriller, each character gets a chapter as they wind down the long, twisting road to finding out the truth behind the deaths. I COULD NOT put it down which was a problem since it would be another week before I found another book.

2. Turtles All the Way Down by John Green (⭐⭐⭐)

You've probably heard of John Green unless you've been living under a rock. His most popular titles include: The Fault in Our Stars, Looking for Alaska, and Paper Towns (I've read ALL of them!). When I saw this new book, I did not hesitate to grab it even without reading the description. That's how much I have loved his books. In this one, 16-year-old Aza pursues the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett with her best friend Daisy and Russell Picket's son, Davis. Aza is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts. For me, this was a little too juvenile. It was very interesting to see how he portrays OCD as Aza clearly struggles with this disease. However, it was a little disappointing for me having adored all his previous books.

3. Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mue (⭐⭐⭐⭐)

I admit, I bought this one because it had the "Oprah's Book Club" seal of approval! This book tackles marriage, immigration, class, race...all the issues that are in today's headlines. Jende Jonga, a Cameroonian immigrant living in Harlem with his wife Neni and 6-year-old son, has the chance of a lifetime working as a chauffeur for Clark Edwards, a senior executive at Lehman Brothers. Neni also finds work at the Edward's summer home. It's not long until they are living the American dream but it can all colapse in a second... I wouldn't have normally gravitated towards this book based on the description because I tend to read more WWII related books or young adult easy reads (no shame whatsoever); but, I throughly enjoyed it! Will definitely keep an eye out for more of Oprah's Book Club books!

4. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chobosky (⭐⭐⭐)

This book was basically the only book sitting in my library already that I hadn't read. I bought it a long time ago, around the time the movie was coming out. I'm a sucker for all books that are later produced into movies. Why? Because I have a vivid imagination and I love reading a book and coming up with the whole movie in my mind and later watching to see if someone else saw it as I did. Few have accomplished to satisfy my imagination, Room and The Book Thief for example. This one, sadly, did not. 

Published in 1999, the book uses Charlie's letters to an unknown character to share his experience through high school. He explores first dates, family drama, friendship, love, drugs. He is trying to live his life but trying to run away from it at the same time. He battles with depression and a twist ending you probably may not expect. I enjoyed the book very much, more so than I did the movie. 

5. I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh (⭐⭐⭐)

I grabbed this book at the airport during my latest flight because it had a good review from Paula Hawkins (author of The Girl on the Train and Into the Water, see #1).  The book starts off with a bang as a mother’s life is shattered as her son slips from her grip and runs into the street. "It continues to follow Jenna Gray as she moves to a ramshackle cottage on the remote Welsh coast, trying to escape the memory of the car accident that plays again and again in her mind. At the same time, the book tracks the pair of Bristol police investigators trying to get to the bottom of this hit-and-run. As they chase down one hopeless lead after another, they find themselves as drawn to each other as they are to the frustrating, twist-filled case before them." I don't want to say too much because the twist in this book is AMAZING. You will definitely turn back to previous chapters to see if you missed something because that's how surprised you'll be! The only thing I did not like about this book is the British police lingo which took me some time to understand. Other than that, a 5 star book!

Have you read any of these titles? If you have let me know what YOU thought of them! If you grab one of them after reading this post, let me know also and share your personal review! 
We could form our own little book club!

Con amor, 
María Eugenia

The Beauty Edit: My Everyday Makeup

February 16, 2018

¡Hola! Today I'm sharing the products I use for my everyday makeup routine! To be honest, for the past couple of weeks I've worn very minimal makeup (concealer and some blush) or even nothing at all. But that would make for a very boring post, wouldn't it? On the days where I do put in the effort to wear makeup, such as for the looks here and here, these are my holy grail products! Let's go through each step, one by one:
¡Hola! ¡Hoy voy a compartir los productos que utilizo para mi rutina de maquillaje diario! Honestamente, en las pasadas semanas llevo usando bien poquito maquillaje (concealer y blush) o ni me pongo. Pero eso seria un post muy aburrido, ¿no? Los días que si hago el esfuerzo de usar maquillaje, como en los looks aquí y aquí, ¡estos son mis productos mas amados! Vamos a ir por los pasos uno a uno:

Once you've completed your morning skincare routine (let me know below if you want to see mine!), its time to prime your face! Priming can be essential to the longevity of your makeup. It can also help mask any skincare issues you might have. For example, I use this Smashbox primer to help minimize my pores and sometimes also use the MakeUp ForEver primer (not pictured) in my t-zone to keep it matte. I LOVE th Loreal Magic Lumi primer because since I began using it, only on top of my cheekbones, my highlighter really pops! More on this in step 5!
Luego de completar tu rutina de cuidado de piel (¡déjenme saber si les interesa ver el mío!), es hora de preparar tu piel con un primer. Utilizar primer puede ser esencial para hacer que tu maquillaje dure mas tiempo. También te puede ayudar a enmascarar cualquier tipo de problema con tu piel que puedas tener. Por ejemplo, yo utilizo este primer de Smashbox para minimizar mis poros y aveces uso el primer de MakeUp ForEver para dejar mi zona T mate. AMO el primer Magic Lumi de Loreal porque desde que empece a usarlo, solo en la parte alta de mis pómulos, ¡he notado que mi highlighter realmente resplandece! ¡Mas sobre eso en el paso 5!

The only foundation I can wear during the day without feeling like I have a ton of makeup on is the Urban Decay Naked Skin One & Done Hybrid Foundation. As the name states, it feels like your skin is naked because it is so lightweight. It also has SPF 20! I use the shade Medium and its a perfect match for my skin tone! I apply it using the Sephora PRO Mini Airbrush #55.5. For concealer, I am head over heels in love with the Tarte Shape Tape Concealer! Maybe you've heard about it in other blogs or youtube vides and let me tell you, the hype is REAL. It gives amazing coverage and does not crease! I've already purchased a backup for when I run out! I use the shade Medium in this also and apply it using either the same brush from my foundation or my dampened Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge.
La unica base que puedo usar durante el día sin sentir que tengo puesto demasiado maquillaje es la de Urban Decay Naked Skin One & Done Hybrid Foundation. Como dice el nombre, tu piel se siente desnuda porque es tan liviano. ¡También tiene SPF 20! Yo uso lo uso en el tono Medium y es casi igual a mi propio color de piel. Lo aplico usando el Sephora PRO Mini Airbrush #55.5. Para concealer, ¡estoy enamorada del Tarte Shape Tape Concealer! Tal vez haz escuchado hablar de el en otro blog o en videos de youtube y déjame decirte, lo que dicen de el es CIERTO. Da una cobertura increíble y no seca el area debajo de tus ojos. ¡Ya compre otro para cuando se me acabe este! Uso el tono Medium y lo aplico usando la misma brocha que use para la base o mi  Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge.

PRO TIP: To find a foundation that matches your skin color perfectly, the next time you're by a Sephora go in and ask for your Color IQ. They'll remove patches of makeup and use a device that gives them your skin's color code. You can then use that code to search foundations in shades that will match you perfectly!

To set only my T-zone, I use the Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder in the shade Transparent. I use a brush similar to this one. I've also been using the NYX Studio Finishing Powder to set my under eyes. I don't love it but I ran out of my favorite (from Besame) and it gets the job done.
Uso el Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder en el tono Transparent solo en mi zona T con una brocha similar a esta.  Llevo usando el NYX Studio Finishing Powder para el area debajo de mis ojos pero no me encanta. Funciona bien pero mi favorito es este de Besame.

To bronze all over the face I've been using this Milani Bronzer XL in the shade Bronze Glow with a Real Techniques Powder Brush. For blush I love shades like this one from Tarte's Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush in Fiesty on the apples of my cheeks. For a similar and cheaper version, I love the Wet n Wild Color Icon blush in Mellow Wine. I apply blush using the Real Techniques Blush Brush.
Para bronzear la cara, uso este bronzer de Milani en el tono Bronze Glow con la brocha de Real Techniques Powder Brush. Para blush me encanta usar tonos como este de Tarte en el tono Fiesty solo en mis pómulos. Para una opción similar y mas economica, amo el Wet n Wild Color Icon blush  en Mellow Wine. Lo aplico usando el Real Techniques Blush Brush.

My favorite step! I received this Anastasia Glow Kit in Sun Dipped for Christmas and I LOVE it! If you noticed the sun kissed glow on my skin in The Serendipitous Blazer post its all thanks to this beauty! I mostly use the shades Moonstone and Summer but have used and loved all of them. I apply it with the Sephora PRO Fan Brush #65 in a C-formation around my eyes (from the top of my brows to the tops of my cheekbones). For extra glow, also used in The Serendipitous Blazer, I use Loreal True Match Lumi Glow Amour Blow Boosting Drops in Golden Hour underneath my highlighter.
¡Este es mi paso favorito! Recibí este Anastasia Glow Kit en el tono Sun Dipped para Navidad y, ¡lo AMO! Si notaron el glow en mi piel en el post de  The Serendipitous Blazer, ¡es gracias a este producto! Por lo usual uso los tonos Moonstone y Summer pero los he usado todos y amo a todos por igual. Lo aplico usando el Sephora PRO Fan Brush #65 en forma de C alrededor de mis ojos (empiezo sobre mis cejas hasta la parte alta de mis pómulos). Para un glow adicional, que también use en The Serendipitous Blazer, uso los Loreal True Match Lumi Glow Amour Blow Boosting Drops en Golden Hour debajo de mi highlighter. 

If you've seen my other beauty posts, you know I love the Benefit Gimme Brow because its a quick and easy way to get my brows done. Unfortunately, its been recalled so I'm going to have to find a dupe for it soon (if you have any let me know!). When I have a little more time, I've been loving the Benefit Goof Proof Brow Pencil because its really easy to fill in and shape my brows quickly. I use the shade 6.
Si han visto mis otros posts de belleza, saben que amo el Benefit Gimme Brow porque es una manera rápida y fácil de maquillar mis cejas. Lamentablemente han sacado el producto de producción así que tendré que buscar un reemplazo pronto (¡si conocen alguno déjenme saber!). Cuando tengo mas tiempo, llevo amando usar el Benefit Goof Proof Brow Pencil porque hacer llenar y darle forma a mis cejas fácil y rápido por ser un lapíz. Uso el tono 6.

This is one of my best tips for a quick eye look that makes you look very chic: for an all over the eye shade, use your blush! Place whatever is left on your blush brush over your eyes. To contour your crease, use your bronzer! Use a fluffy crease brush like this one. My favorite bronzer for this type of look is the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer in Luminous Bronze Light. My favorite mascaras are all from the drugstore! Maybelline makes the best mascaras! I love the Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara because it makes my lashes longer and defined with some volume. But for even more volume, I use the Loreal Lash Paradise either on its own or layered over the one from Maybelline. I use both in Blackest Black.
Este es el mejor truco para un look de ojo rápido que te hará lucir chic: para un color de sombre de base, ¡usa tu rubor! Usa solo lo que queda en tu brocha de rubor. Para contour el ojo, ¡usa tu bronzer! Para esto, utiliza una brocha como esta. Mi bronzer favorito para esto el el de Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer. ¡Mis rímel favoritos son todos de la farmacia! Me encanta la de Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara porque hace lucir a mis pestañas mas largas y definidas con algo de volumen. Para mas volumen, uso el Loreal Lash Paradise solo o sobre el de Maybelline. Uso ambos en el tono Blackest Black.

My favorite lip products of the moment are these/Mis favoritos productos de labios son estos:

To complete the look use my all time favorite setting spray, NYX Dewy Finish Makeup Setting Spray, for a glowy look that lasts all day!
Para completar el look usa mi favorito setting spray, el NYX Dewy Finish Makeup Setting Spray, ¡para un look que ilumina todo el día!

Which product in your beauty bag can you NOT live without? Let me know below! /¿Qué producto de belleza es ESENCIAL para ti? ¡Déjame saber!

Con amor,
María Eugenia


The Health & Wellness: 8 Tips for a Better Night's Sleep

February 12, 2018

¡Hola! Health and wellness are very important subjects for me. I recently finished my medical degree and would love to share some of that knowledge with you guys in a way that is interesting yet simple. I have a few topics in mind but feel free to share any ideas with me in the comment section below!
¡Hola! Salud y bienestar son temas muy importantes para mi. Recientemente termine mi grado en medicina y me encantaría compartir algo de ese conocimiento con ustedes de una manera que sea interesante y simple. Tengo algunos temas en mente pero, ¡me encantaría saber cualquier idea de temas que tengan!

Image from DearLilyMae

The first topic I plan to tackle is sleep. Sleep is seriously underrated. Accomplishing a restful night's sleep is imperative to being able to function on a daily basis. I suffered from years of nightmares and restless nights because I did not have adequate sleep hygiene. Over the last few years I've made sure to improve my habits and have significantly improved my sleep.

What is sleep hygiene? It's a variety of habits that are necessary for good sleep quality and daytime alertness. Let's discuss some of these habits:
El primer tema que vamos a atacar es el sueño. Lograr una noche de descanso es imperativo para funcionar en el día a día. Yo sufrí varios años de pesadillas y noches inquietas porque no tenia la higiene del sueño apropiado. Al pasar los años he logrado mejorar mis hábitos y mejor significativamente mi sueño.

¿Qué es la higiene del sueño? Es una variedad de hábitos que son necesarios para tener buena cualidad de sueño y funcionamiento durante del día. Vamos a discutir algunos de estos hábitos:

1. Limit daytime naps to 30mins. Although some people fall asleep as soon as they close their eyes (my husband for example, how I envy him!), the average person takes about 15mins to fall asleep. This means that a scheduled 30min nap will give you roughly 15mins of rest. Enough time to ensure improved mood and alertness without affecting your nighttime sleep.
1. Limita las siestas a 30 minutos. Aunque existen personas que se quedan dormidos tan pronto cierran los ojos (mi esposo es uno y, ¡cuanto lo envidio!), la mayoría de las personas toman aproximadamente 15 minutos para quedar dormido/a. Esto significa que si tomas el tiempo para una siesta de 30 minutos, realmente descansaras unos 15 minutos. Esto es suficiente tiempo para asegurar mejor estado de animo y atención sin tener repercusiones en tu sueño nocturno. 

2. Exercise regularly. I know that starting a workout schedule can make you feel more tired at the beginning, but if you keep it up, you'll find yourself with more energy throughout the day and having more restful sleeps at night. It is also important to make sure these workouts are at least 2-3 hours before bedtime. If you workout too close to bedtime, you'll find yourself still high on the energy and it'll be difficult to fall asleep.
2. Haz ejercicio con regularidad. Yo se que empezar una rutina de ejercicios puede hacerte sentir mas cansado al principio pero, si te mantienes fiel, con el tiempo vas a encontrar que tendrás mas energía durante el día y descansaras mejor en la noche. Es importante que te ejercites al menos 2-3 horas antes de dormir. Si te ejercitas muy cerca a la hora de dormir aun vas a tener la energía alta y lo encontraras difícil quedar dormido/a.

3. Avoid caffeine and alcohol. I personally have never consumed coffee and very rarely consume caffeinated beverages so this habit was a given for me but not so for most. Caffeine is a stimulant meaning that it keeps you awake. It is not only found in coffee. There's caffeine in chocolate, some teas, and some carbonated beverages. Although alcohol can make you feel drowsy, it first asks as a stimulant and will cause interrupted sleep meaning you won't have a restful night. When you go out for drinks, try sneaking in a glass/bottle of water between each drink to control your intake and keep you hydrated!
3. Evita la cafeína y el alcohol. Personalmente nunca he consumido cafe y rara la vez consume bebidas cafeinadas así que este habito se me hizo mas fácil adoptar como lo seria para otros. La cafeína es un estimulante, te mantiene despierto. No solo se encuentra en el cafe. Hay cafeína en el chocolate, algunos tes y algunas bebidas gaseadas. Aunque el alcohol puede hacer sentir soñoliento, primero actúa como estimulante y puede causarte un sueño interrumpido. Cuando salgas con tus amistades para un trago, trata de tomar un vaso/botella de agua entre cada bebida. ¡Así controlaras tu consumo y te mantendrás hidratado/a!

4. Use your bedroom only as a bedroom. Do not watch TV or look at any screens as soon as you enter the room. Ideally, try to avoid having a TV or other technology in the bedroom to begin with. Try limiting your screen time to end at least an hour before bedtime. We sometimes even use the bed as a place to study or other. This confuses our minds. As soon as we enter the bedroom our brain should be automatically trained to think "it's time to sleep".
4. Usa tu dormitorio solo como dormitorio. Intenta no ver television o mirar cualquier tipo de pantalla tan pronto entres al dormitorio. Lo ideal seria evitar tener un televisor u otro tipo de tecnología en el dormitorio para empezar. Trata de limitar tu tiempo mirando pantallas a una hora antes de la hora de dormir. Aveces también usamos la cama para un lugar de estudio. Esto confunde nuestras mentes. Tan pronto entremos al dormitorio nuestro cerebro debería estar entrenado para pensar "es hora de dormir".

5. Avoid heavy meals close to bedtime. Try to eat dinner before 7pm. If you find yourself late night studying and hungry, try a snack which won't cause indigestion (e.g. fruit, nuts, a green smoothie).
5. Evita comidas muy fuertes cerca de la hora de dormir. Trata de consumir tu cena antes de las 7pm. Si te encuentras estudiando/trabajando hasta tarde con hambre, intenta una merienda que no cause indigestión (frutas, nueces, "smoothie" verde).

6. Establish a routine. Set a fixed bedtime and time to wake up every day. Take a warm shower each night before bed. Have an easy read (book) nearby. Listen to a bedtime story. Yes, I'm 28 years old and love the occasional bedtime story! On nights that my husband is on call, I find it very hard to fall asleep. On such a night I came across the Calm app which has bedtime stories which you can leave running as you fall into a deep sleep. Although they've since required a paid subscription for all new stories, I continue listening to the free version and highly recommend them. Create a routine that works for you!
6. Establece una rutina. Establece una hora de dormir y hora de despertar fija cada día. Toma una ducha/baño con agua tibia. Ten un libro cerca de la cama. Escucha un cuento antes de dormir. Si, ¡tengo 28 años y me encanta escuchar un cuento antes de dormir! Las noches que mi esposo esta de guardia, se me hace difícil quedar dormida. Así encontré la aplicación de Calm el cual ofrece cuentos para antes de dormir que puedes dejar corriendo mientras vas quedando dormido/a. Aunque ahora requieren pagar para todos los cuentos nuevos, los cuentos que ofrecen gratuitamente son muy buenos y los recomiendo. ¡Crea una rutina que funciona para ti!

7. Don't stay in bed for more than 20mins awake. If you find yourself in bed for more than 15-20mins battling with sleep, get up. Leave the bed room and walk around or sit down in the dark. Do not look at any screens during this time! Return to bed once your brain feels tired again.
7. No te quedes en la cama por mas de 20 minutos despierto/a. Si te encuentras en la cama por mas de 15-20 minutos buscando el sueño, levántate de la cama. Sal del dormitorio y camina por tu hogar o siéntate en la oscuridad esperando el sueño. ¡No mires ninguna pantalla electronica durante este tiempo! Regresa a la cama tan pronto te sientas cansado/a otra vez.

8. Create a sleep-inducing environment. Start dimming the lights as soon as you enter the room. Turn on a light on your night table and turn off any ceiling/floor lights. This also helps in telling your brain "it's time to sleep". I personally also enjoy using aromatherapy. I have a Bath & Body Works wallflower with a lavender scent in the bedroom and use their Aromatherapy Sleep Lavender Vanilla Body Cream on my hands and décolletage after a warm shower and before bed. Check out more of their sleep aromatherapy line here.
8. Crea un ambiente que induce el sueño. Empieza a bajar las luces tan pronto entres al dormitorio. Prende la luz de tu mesa de noche y apaga cualquier luz de techo o piso. Esto le dice a tu cerebro que es hora de dormir. Personalmente, me gusta usar aromaterapia para crear un ambiente de sueño. Yo uso  la crema de sueño de la linea de Aromaterapia de Bath & Body Works en mis manos y cuello antes de dormir. Puedes ver todo lo que ofrece la linea aquí.

I would love to know if you start using any of these tips in your sleep routine and if they help you in any way! Let me know down below! Also let me know any other topics you wish to be discussed!
¡Me encantaría saber si empiezan a usar cualquiera de estos consejos en su rutina de sueño! ¡Déjeme saber en los comentarios! ¡También déjeme saber qué tema desean ver en el proximo post!

Con amor,
María Eugenia

The Serendipitous Blazer

February 9, 2018

Blazer/Chaqueta: Forever 21 T-Shirt/Camisa: Forever 21 Jeans/Mahones: American Eagle Shoes/Zapatos: Steve Madden (similar) Earrings/Pantallas: Old (similar) Pendant Necklace/Collar con colgante: Old (dreaming of this one) Layered Necklace/Collar multiple: Bauble Bar (similar) Bracelet/Pulsera: Alex and Ani Bag/Cartera: Carolina Herrera (Mom's closet)

ser·en·dip·i·ty /ˌserənˈdipədē/ (n.) the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way. "a fortunate stroke of serendipity"

Last Saturday my husband was post-call but thankfully with enough energy in him to take a trip to Barceloneta, PR. If you're from here you know that there is a big outlet mall there and my husband's closet was in need of a few pieces. I swear there was no shopping for me involved! We were sad to find that most of the stores are still closed, even the food court, due to damages from Hurricane María (donations to support the relief and recovery of Puerto Rico can be made here). We managed to find a few things and then decided to explore Barceloneta.

To be honest, I'd visited the outlets at Barceloneta countless times but never ventured into the town itself. We were more than pleasantly surprised to find a beautiful little town! We first headed towards the plaza which was so tiny compared to the ones from the big cities here, very quaint and inviting. Then we headed to the recreational areas we found using Google Maps. We were impressed by how invested this town is to extracurricular activities/hobbies. We passed by a skate park, a natatorium, an RC speedway, a running track, even a BMX park! I would highly suggest that if you have kids/teenagers and are hauling them along for a day at the outlets, that you throw in their skateboards, bikes, roller blades, running shows, whatever their hobby is in the car too and head down to enjoy some time in these places! I'm sure they'll run themselves tired and sleep all the way home!

Once you're around the RC speedway (to your right), keep going down that pothole-filled road (you've been warned!). Turn to the right at the end and on your left you'll find what seems to be a parking for public transportation/trollies. This is were the word serendipity comes into play. In this parking is were you'll find the beautiful remnants of the windmill pictured above. This is the "Antiguo Molino de la Central Azucarera Plazuela". With its front door painted with the Puerto Rican flag in gold, we were left in awe. It was truly magnificent. As the sun was coming down we headed to the old seaport, "Muelle de Palmas Altas", to watch the sunset along breathtaking views of the ocean. It was the perfect end to a serendipitous day. I hope next time you find yourself in Barceloneta, you tour around the town and enjoy the same experience we did.

Con amor,
María Eugenia

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