Come Swim

Last night I saw Kristen Stewart’s film Come Swim at Sundance Film Festival’s short film tour. I love films. I would rather go to the movies on a Friday night than do anything else. Films like The Big Sick, Drive, Girl Interrupted, Her, Like Crazy, Amelie, Mean Girls (an actual classic and if you don’t agree, we can’t be friends), Silver Linings Playbook, Melancholia, and the list goes on. But I don’t keep up with the film industry. Mostly because I went to USC and the film nerds from that school have shrines to Christopher Nolan and Martin Scorsese in their bedrooms and follow Rotten Tomatoes like it’s God’s word. I’m not saying those aren’t two great directors and that Rotten Tomatoes isn’t a reliable source–but most of those students just don’t question movies that are made by the elite of the industry simply because they are made by the elite. My motto is to question everything. It feels a little unsolicited to voice my opinions on films considering I didn’t study film. I’m not trying to get a bunch of film majors’ panties in a bunch and open up my Tumblr to a slew of anon hate–which is why I don’t talk extensively about my love of this art.

Anyway, I digress. When asked about her film, Kristen said “I wanted to externalize a literally internal thought process” and that’s simply beautiful. Putting your internal dialogue on display for everyone to see and criticize is incredibly courageous. Using film as a way of displaying the human condition–her human condition–resonated with me more than any written piece could have.  I didn’t have an opinion on Kristen Stewart before but now I’m a fan.

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(Il Pastaio)
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Prince of Wales print jacket-Bershka, similar here (expensive), and here (affordable) 
red heels-Zara, similar here (affordable), and here (cheap)
snakeskin boots-River Island
tube top-asos
denim shorts-asos, similar here (affordable), and here (afforable)

Internal Chemistry & Time

This week I’ve been thinking a lot about internal chemistry and time. I try to start and end my days at the same time e.g. in bed by 12 am and up by 8 or 9—even on the weekends. From the ages of 18-21 this was not the case. I was always up until 3 or 4 am on the weekends, 1 am on the weekdays, but somehow always up for class by 7 or 8 am. I had no idea how much happier and efficient I could be if I changed some of my habits.

I mentioned on one of my Instagram stories that I don’t go out anymore. I made an exception this weekend for a birthday and a friend that was in town from NYC. Since I don’t drink, I gravitate towards coffee and Diet Coke (poison, I know, but let me just have this one) to get energy to stay out and socialize. Even though I got home by a reasonable hour, I couldn’t fall asleep until 3-4 am. My body chemistry was thrown completely out of order and it truly took a toll on my productivity. This made me realize—people do this every weekend. How much more productive could we be as people, friends and citizens if we used moderation? How much happier could we be? Surely less irritable.

I was pissed about my lack of productivity over these few days which made me weep over spilled milk: lost time. This week I’m focusing on setting a new intention every day. We have no control over what happened yesterday or what will happen tomorrow. Why do we get annoyed at ourselves about the choices we made yesterday? Time isn’t cyclical—yesterday is gone. Perhaps to make the mistake more salient in our memory in order to avoid repeating it. But this turns into shame and anger for me. From the moment you wake up everyday until the moment you fall asleep is all on you. Our actions should align with our values—values of making sure we finish our to do lists, lose a few pounds, etc. Each step you take is a choice. I came across this quote that resonated with me:

“Don’t think about what can happen in a month. Don’t think about what can happen in a year. Just focus on the 24 hours in front of your and do what you can to get closer to where you want to be.”

Be mindful of your actions and ask yourself, “will this take me in the direction I want to go?”

Front Button Dresses

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I’ve lost my love for fast fashion. It’s such an investment, it never ends, and you’re left with piles of worthless clothing at the end of every season. I’ve spent some time figuring out my “uniform” and at the moment it consists of jeans, a tank and sneakers. I love jewelry–especially this Mary Medallion necklace–but trendy pieces just don’t appeal to me anymore. I want to be comfortable. But I’m down for some front button dresses–these two pieces are timeless. I’m pretty sure my mom owned dresses like these in the 80s and 90s. The polka dot dress can even be carried into fall with some tights, docs or booties and a coat.

polka dot dress-Zara
navy dress-Pixie Market
straw bag-Lisa Says Gah
gold earrings-The 2 Bandits
Mary Medallion necklace-Etsy
sandal heel-Jaggar Footwear via BNKR
sneakers-Nike Cortez

Cryotherapy vs. Infrared Sauna

I’ve been exercising way more than any non-athletic person would ever exercise. I’ve shaved 4-6 minutes off of my mile time and I actually have endurance. The downside is the fact that my body isn’t very resilient (read: herniated back discs, weak knees, weak hip flexors, overuse of right leg, etc). I wouldn’t have been able to make all the progress that I have over the past few months if it weren’t for cryotherapy. The idea of stepping into a -150 F to -240 F chamber is horrific but the benefits outweigh the cons.
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(worst photo of me to exist in the universe lol)
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-You start at 1 minute 30 seconds and work your way up to 3 minutes (I usually do 1 minute 30 to 2 minutes. I had to start at 45 seconds because I couldn’t deal)
-There’s a “sauna” which is the one where your head is exposed. This is used more for claustrophobic people (aka me) and it also happens to not get as cold as the chamber. The chamber is the more popular choice at the LA location and it gets to about -240 F.
-You go in with your underwear on and you’re given a robe, socks, gloves and shoes. You take the robe off once you’re inside (if you choose the chamber, you’re given ear muffs and a mask for your mouth and nose).
-I’ve done the chamber and I’m sure it works wonders for your face but athletes use the sauna so I’ve decided to stick with it. (I’m not sure if they use the sauna because that’s all they have or if it’s the better choice for muscle recovery…) Cryohealthcare was the first cryotherapy location in the U.S. so they have these two options in addition to their local cryo (handheld machine for small areas–this is what I started with).
-Find a mantra or a happy place. You have to get out of your head and focus on breathing deeply and slowly. I’ve learned (through intense exercise) that your mind gives up before your body does and if you think about it too much, you’ll just psych yourself out (I had a panic attack in the sauna once–but I went right back to it a week later).
-You get immediate relief. It cuts your recovery time down so that you can work out again sooner. It heals inflammation. My herniated back disc hasn’t been much of a problem since I started cryo. If someone told me I’d be running at 8.5 mph a few months ago, I would have never believed them (I thought 5.5 mph was fast…)
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-I went to Hotbox in DTLA for a 40 minute session. First impression: 40 minutes is a lot but I’m glad that electronics can be taken into this type of sauna.
-The location is so pretty and clean. There’s a shower in the little room to rinse off before and after.
-I probably should’ve done more research… because apparently this is bad for people with eczema and rosacea–both of which I have in mild forms.
-You can choose the color of the light in the room which, according to the attendant, doesn’t really have any effects on the body. He said it’s just for “meditation purposes.” I chose orange but it was more of a tiny dot of light–nothing I’d notice otherwise.
-The room was warm but not burning hot like regular saunas. The idea behind this is that it heats your body–not the air. I only started sweating about 18 minutes into it. I figured this sauna would be a good choice to lose some water weight before a shoot but I just didn’t sweat that much (I was expecting hot yoga level sweating but it was more so light jog level sweating).
-At the end of it, my body didn’t feel energized as it does with cryo and I was still completely sore the next day.
-This may be a good choice as a low-cost relaxation/meditation activity (especially in the winter)–but that’s about it.

TL;DR Go to cryo!!!

P.S. A work out and diet post is coming soon!

Guide to Iceland

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View of Reykjavík from Hallgrímskirkja

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Apotek Kitchen + Bar

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Hidden Mine//Oxidized Iron

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Blue Lagoon (super touristy–but totally worth it)
necklace-Mr. Kate

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Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon: Where JB shot some of “I’ll Show You”
necklace-The M Jewelers

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Diamond Beach (one of my favorite places–it looked like someone had hand placed the rocks and ice [melted/washed up glacier pieces] on the beach)

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earrings-Natalie Joy
jacket-Henry Holland

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Midnight Sun in Reykjavík
dress-Realisation Par

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Breakfast at our hotel, Canopy by Hilton

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Rooftop at our hotel // dress from Gylltikotturinn (in Reykjavík)

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shoes-Nike Cortez

Iceland is one of the most beautiful (if not the most beautiful) country I’ve ever visited. It was totally worth getting bronchitis, losing my luggage, being flown to SFO instead of LAX on the way back and having Russian hackers get their hands on my Uber account, PayPal, credit and debit cards. (After a long and stressful phone conversation with a guy from PayPal, he said, “Now after we get off the phone, I want you to go put a kettle on and make yourself a cup of tea.” LOL).

Tips: Unless you know your way around inflating and deflating tires for certain terrain, how to use a GPS device (that isn’t an iPhone) and how to drive on glaciers and gravel paths on cliffs–I would recommend using a tour company (e.g. Viking Trips, Guide to Iceland, Reykjavik Excursions–we used multiple during our 6 night stay just in case one of them wasn’t good).

If you do decide to rent a car, you have to get an SUV. We went to so many places where there were signs prohibiting sedans from passing (though many tourists decided to ignore those signs and struggle their way to the destination).

Pack lots of snacks. Restaurants are pretty expensive in Iceland (mostly because tip is included and because of how many tourists they have). I went to a grocery store in Reykjavík and definitely paid about $50 for just a few Quest bars.

If you want a “luxurious” vacation–stay in Reykjavik and make day trips out to the southern part of Iceland/the Golden Circle/etc. Otherwise, there are many small, boutique hotels/bed and breakfasts inland.