Clothes

Alternative Apparel

July 26, 2016
Birch Juice Blog

Since I’ve started getting more into yoga (aka doing it regularly for a few weeks) I’ve decided that I need to find more yoga apparel companies. I can’t remember which “yoga brand” list I looked through but that’s how I came across Alternative Apparel. Basically they sell clothes that is sustainable and more eco friendly than your other friendly neighborhood clothing stores. I can always get on board with a clothing brand that is willing to take it one step further and actually make something that I can feel slightly better about wearing.

They had a decent July 4th sale so I decided to take the plunge and try out some of their goods. I ended up getting their leggings and a sports bra, both of which were on an excellent sale. Unlike a lot of other stores their sale section is pretty full of great options and they had a lot of sizes available.

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My experience ordering was good and the stuff shipped quickly. I’m always a tad hesitant ordering online because I hate having to track my packages and anxiously check the location of it every 5 minutes. My goods got sent back to the warehouse for some odd reason, I didn’t even know about it until their customer support contacted me. But they resolved the whole mess quickly and I got my stuff within a few days. The best part is that they have free shipping and free returns, because I hate paying shipping fees especially if it’s something I can get in store nearby.

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I’m a fan of the stuff that I got, it feels very natural since my goods are made from cotton. Now I for sure have a few more things that I would love to get from Alternative in the near future, some of those things are their loose fitting shirt and their vintage shirt because I’m a sucker for comfortable t-shirts.

If you love comfortable clothes as much as I do you can use this 20% off discount to Alternative Apparel that you can use if you spend $30 or more. I would also be benefitting from it since they will give me a discount from referring friends :) thanks guys!

What is your favorite yoga clothing brand?

Life

Coldplay Concert 2016

July 19, 2016
Birch Juice Blog

As many of you know I don’t really like music, I barely have any favorite musicians but one band that I like very much is Coldplay. I happen to like a lot of their songs which is a rarity, but that just means that us going to see them in concert was meant to be. Alex also likes their music so this was perfect since no one was going to suffer (I wish the same could have been said about that one time we saw Mumford & Sons, mehhh).

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I don’t have too many concerts to compare it to, but it was magical. They were so good live, which was great because that gave me more reasons to like them! Everyone in the audience was given a wristband that was controlled from backstage to light up whenever different songs came on. It was a lot to fun and we were standing pretty much the entire time, which my feet later didn’t thank me for.

So I would for sure go see them again and I hope they tour some more in the future. Now I’m more excited to see other concerts I’ll just have to find some artists that I like!

Do you like Coldplay? What is your all time favorite concert?

New York City, USA

Exploring Park Slope

July 12, 2016
Birch Juice Blog

Since moving to NYC we’ve been slowly but surely exploring new neighbourhoods. We haven’t ventured out to Brooklyn too much yet, so when we decided to check out Park Slope I figured it would be worthy of a blog post. I didn’t take as many photos as I wanted, just because I ended up taking it all in but I promise I will deliver more if we make it out there again (notice Alex in the bottom left corner of the picture, trying to get away from me and my picture taking).

Park Slope is sometimes called the “stroller capital” of the world. That’s because the first thing we noticed was how many little kids and strollers there were here. It’s very family oriented and I think there’s something peaceful about that. Also, there were lots of cute little dogs here too which is definitely something that’s right up my alley. I want a little dog so badly, but unfortunately we have a badly behaved big dog at home so my hopes and dreams of having a cute little one will have to wait a while longer.

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Being here vaguely reminded me of being in the suburbs, because of how quiet and residential it was. No crazy hustle and bustle of the city. There were lots of cute little stores and restaurants, we might come back one day to check some of them out. The streets are quiet and beautiful, filled with gorgeous brownstones and I for sure want to live in one of those. Another thing that caught my eye was how many bikers there are in this area, and how many bike lanes.

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After strolling around for a while we worked up an appetite! We went into Rancho Alegre for some tasty Mexican food. I have to say I’ve missed your basic fajitas which are surprisingly hard to find, or maybe we’ve been looking in all of the wrong places. All I know is I don’t think I will ever find a Mexican restaurant that is a good as Pueblo Real in Franklin, TN – it’s my all time favorite place and when we go back to Nashville you bet I’ll be making a stop there. Also notice Pinkberry on the first floor, which we stopped in after for a tasty dose of frozen yogurt.

Overall visiting Park Slope has been lots of fun, and I would be happy to venture out there again on some random weekend!

Have you been to Park Slope?

Life

Being More Mindful

July 6, 2016
Birch Juice Blog

Living in a big city can take it’s toll. I think this post is appropriate for everyone because relaxing is important. I’ve been caught up in the hustle and bustle and sometimes it’s tough to find the time to sit down and be mindful. It’s nice to reflect and just take deep breaths, so I figured I should share my relaxing/unwinding tips with you.

Yoga – This is kind of obvious I guess but I’ve just recently started getting back into regular yoga practice and I can already tell the difference. I’m looking forward to classes every week and I always feel so refreshed and relaxed after doing yoga. I’ve been sleeping better and I’m getting more flexible. Yoga is such an easy exercise to do at home, if you don’t feel like going anywhere, watching videos at home is how I first learned my yoga moves. Going to classes as a newbie can sometimes feel intimidating but trust me, it’s such a welcoming environment where everyone is encouraged to learn no matter what your level is.

Meditation – I’ve never been into meditation because my mind tends to wander off, however all of that changed when I tried out the Headspace app. It’s nice to set 10 minutes aside to clear my mind and think about nothing. It’s a paid app, so I don’t use it anymore but having done it for 10 days with awesome guidance has been incredibly helpful to me, so I continue on with my meditation still.

Gratitude Journal – Cheesy but it works! I don’t know about you but I always judge myself and focus on the things that I don’t have or lack in. It grinds you down after a while, so every morning I’m writing down 3 things that I’m thankful for. It’s such a small contribution but it really encouraged me to recognize that I have wonderful things in my life and what I have is enough.

Himalayan Salt Lamp – This is something that calms me down at the end of the day. I think salt lamps are so beautiful and they are great as night lights too. Maybe I’m just imagining it but I feel like it gives me a sense of warmth and peace. So I’m very happy happy with it and if you’ve been thinking about getting one I strongly encourage it.

Aroma Diffuser – We got a small one from Whole Foods and it has been a game changer for us. It’s so nice to find a pleasant scent like lavender and have it going in the evening before bed. I feel more calm and ready to pass out by the time I’m going to bed from being surrounded by such a relaxing smell. There are lots of good alternatives for mornings too, like something citrusy that really wakes you up.

How do you like to relax and unwind?

Life

Watching New Shows

June 28, 2016
Birch Juice Blog

It’s been a while since the last time that I mentioned which shows I’ve been binging on lately. That’s because I’ve been watching same old stuff that you know I love to watch. Actually Netflix has been sort of failing me in terms of new watching material, even with OITNB. I finished that show in less than a week and then I was back to not having anything good to watch. After much agony in the “deciding what to watch” department, Alex and I cracked and decided to get HBO Now. As you know we don’t have cable so watching HBO has been out of our reach, but now the world is our oyster!

Honorable Woman (Netflix) – Alex randomly picked it and we decided to stick it out through the first episode which was utterly confusing. In a nutshell, this show is about the complicated relationship between Israel and Palestine but the show is taking place in London. If you don’t know, Maggie Gyllenhaal is the main character and she’s quite good in it. It’s a pretty dark show with a lot of twists, turns, people getting murdered, and a healthy dose of flashbacks which sort of help you figure out what’s going on. At this point everything is kind of in shambles but I really want to know what comes next and how the bad guys will get caught. Overall a good show if you’re looking for something dark.

Silicon Valley (HBO) – We needed something funny in the mix so we decided to try this one out. This show basically has lots of super genius nerds in it, who try to make it in Silicon Valley. They start working on a program that seems very promising, they get funding for it, and a bunch of things happen that complicate things along the way. Overall it’s a good one to watch if you like silly humor and I think I’ll keep watching it.

Game of Thrones (HBO) – My connection with Game of Thrones is very vague. I have no idea what it’s about, around 3 years ago I tried watching it and quit after the first episode of the first season. Since then I’ve been avoiding anything Game of Throne related like the plague, and I vowed to never try to watch that show again. Here I am again (thanks to Alex’s convincing), one episode deep into it and this time around it didn’t seem too bad. My general feedback is that I feel like there’s excessive nudity and “mature themes” in it which seem unnecessary. I’m a grown woman and I like shows with the previously mentioned themes (Californication, Girls), but for some reason a lot of it in the Game of Thrones is just odd and uncomfortable. With that being said, I will continue to give it a chance and maybe I will watch the second episode!

What are you watching right now? Have you seen any of these shows?

Life

My Favorite Podcasts

June 21, 2016
Birch Juice Blog

It took me a while to get into podcasts even though I’ve seen a few lovely bloggers sharing their recommendations. I listen to podcasts that I can relate to because they talk about topics and issues that I care about. Now that I never listen to the radio anymore (hooray!) I can actually choose what sort of content I can fill my ears with!

Strong Opinions Loosely Held – This is the first podcast that sort of got me interested in listening to more of them.  I like it that in each episode they cover a variety of different topics and address things that affect women. I also felt like I could relate to a lot of the topics that they discussed, such as not being obsessed by the Kardashians and the pressure to look good on Instagram. The best part is that these episodes are pretty short, so listening to it while on a quick commute is rather convenient.

Call Your Girlfriend – This podcast addresses serious issues mixed in with day to day stuff that women are facing these days. These episodes are around an hour long, but they are so captivating that I can’t help but listen to them when I’m cleaning or doing dishes. I really like the hosts too, they are such smart and funny women.

Ted Radio Hour – This is probably the most educational podcast that I listen to. All of them are so interesting, I feel like I learn so much after just one hour. There are a lot of incredibly interesting people that they have on the show, so if you want to learn something new and expand your horizons a little bit I recommend this one.

Millenial – This podcast gets me, all of the topics that are covered in it I feel like I’ve experienced myself. Primarily about being a recent grad and really struggling with figuring out what to do with my life. It’s comforting hearing other people talking about their challenges and successes because I feel like we don’t talk about it enough.

Are you into podcasts? What are some of your favorites?