Is it just me, or has the holiday madness already started?! I started putting up (light) holiday decorations last week and have been planning my Thanksgiving menu, working on my holiday gift guide, and trying to get a head start on all the errands that need to get done this month. No complaints at all, this is my absolute favorite time of year and I am intent on enjoying every last minute. With that said, it can be so easy to get burned out or sick when there is so much going on. As much as I want to say yes to every event and party, I’ve come to learn that my body just can’t take that much excitement. One thing I realized is that I don’t have a consistent morning routine. I wake up early almost every morning and although I consider myself a morning person, I don’t have a routine that helps me get grounded and clear headed every morning. After talking to several different people over the weekend, I learned how important a morning routine is and why I need to invest some time and energy into cultivating one for myself.

Creating a Morning Routine & Why It Matters | by The Luxi Look

Creating a Morning Routine & Why It Matters | by The Luxi Look

Creating a Morning Routine & Why It Matters | by The Luxi Look

Why do morning routines matter?

Morning routines don’t have to necessarily mean you’re up at the crack of dawn! What does matter is taking time, whether its 10 minutes or an hour, to start your day the same way and develop rituals that allow your mind and body to prepare for the day ahead. I love waking up early, but find that more often than not my mornings consist of laying in bed until I have to get ready for work, or rolling out and rushing to a workout class without any time to center myself for a busy day in front of me. My boyfriend has been telling my to prepare a morning routine for a while now (unbeknownst to me, he has one that he does every day, usually after I leave for work!) and claims it has changed his life.

A few reasons why morning routines matter…

+ They set the tone for the whole day.

+ They allow you to dedicate time to yourself and be selfish, even if just for a few minutes.

+ They make you more productive!

+ They help you determine what is more important and teach you how and what to prioritize.

You know the saying “the way you do one thing is the way you do everything?” If you start the day productive and grounded, I truly believe you are more likely to have that carry through the rest of the day.

For me, as a morning person, I find myself to be most productive when I first wake up. This time is incredibly precious, and is the best time of day for me to get the things done that I need to most (or the tasks that I am less likely to do later in the day… like work out, or clean, or a piece of work that I would otherwise procrastinate on…). I want to be more mindful of how I spend this time, and am going to make a real effort to dial in my mornings and create a lasting, meaningful routine.

Creating a Morning Routine & Why It Matters | by The Luxi Look

Creating a Morning Routine & Why It Matters | by The Luxi Look

Creating a Morning Routine & Why It Matters | by The Luxi Look

What goes into a morning routine, and how do you create one?

Everyone’s morning routine might look different! A few examples of things people do in their morning routine – drink a big glass of water, drink warm water with lemon or tea, meditate, journal, stretch, exercise, read, turn off cell phone, make breakfast… the list goes on.

How I plan on creating my morning routine:

+ Stay off my phone for the first hour I’m awake (this will be hard!)

+ Practice more meditation/journaling in place of social media

+ Drink a BIG glass of water + a cup of yerba mate

+ Exercise or do some work

+ Listen to a podcast on my way into the office

Will adjust this as I go, but sharing a glimpse into my hopeful morning routine, to hold myself accountable! Also sharing a look from a few weeks back when believe it or not, it was still sweltering! I’ve shared some looks from Mister Zimi (one of my fave Aussie brands!) in the past, this is actually a swimsuit that I wore as a body suit with a matching skirt. I’ve actually been working to incorporate more basics and neutrals into my wardrobe, but I just cannot say no to a good print! What do you guys think? Prints vs. solids??

What’s in your morning routine? xo

top: mister zimi | skirt: mister zimi | shoes: who what wear x target

earrings: bauble bar | bag: chloe | bracelets: elizabeth stone

When it comes to eating out, sushi is one of the foods I crave most. At first glance, sushi appears pretty healthy. After all, what’s wrong with a little raw fish and rice? I swear I could eat it everyday. On top of that, when it comes to sushi I feel like a bottomless pit. However, once you resist the temptation of endless sushi and do a little research, it turns out ordering sushi can be deceptive! It can easily go from a healthy and light meal to a heavy calorie bomb in the blink of an eye. If you’re looking to navigate the menu and choose a healthy sushi order, there are certain things to look for and keep in mind!

How to Choose a Healthy Sushi Order | by The Luxi Look

What are the healthiest sushi options?

If you’re asking yourself “how healthy is sushi, actually?”, the answer is it depends. As far as dining out goes, there are much worse choices you can make. But you have to be careful. As a general rule of thumb, fresh fish is the healthiest option on a sushi menu. Sushi, or nigiri consists of fish over a small ball of vinegar soaked rice. Sashimi, or raw fish sliced thinly sans rice, is your healthiest option. Sashimi is high in protein and good fats, and low in carbohydrates, making it a great option if you are watching what you eat or on a low carb diet.

Pair a couple pieces of sushi or sashimi with edamame (extra protein!) and miso soup (< very low calorie), and you have a delicious meal on your hands. Some of my favorite dishes to order at sushi restaurants: yellowtail jalapeño sashimi, salmon sushi, and halibut sushi. Even though they are higher in rice, I love maki, or sushi rolls as well! When ordering rolls, a couple simple tips and modifications make them significantly healthier.

How to order healthy sushi:

+ Choose fresh ingredients over fried – when ordering rolls, look for ingredients such as avocado (heart healthy fats!), cucumber, jalapeño, and green onion. Avoid tempura or anything fried and heavy sauces (eel sauce, spicy mayo, etc.). These are okay to eat every once in a while, but definitely not something you want to be eating everyday. I’ll have crazy rolls once or a twice a year, but generally try to stick to simple rolls (salmon avocado is my go to when ordering take out!) and sashimi.

+ Some healthy sushi rolls: salmon avocado, yellowtail jalapeño, rainbow roll (veggie or California roll topped with raw fish), or even just a plain veggie roll! The fresher, the better. Baked rolls tends to be covered in mayo.

+ Avoid crunchy toppings, unless they are fresh. Crunchy means fried, which means high in calories and fat, and low in nutritional value.

+ Order cucumber wrapped or rice-less rolls. A lot of restaurants will do this for you! If these aren’t an option, you can always pick the rice off if you are watching carbs, or ask the sushi chef to go easy on the rice. After making homemade sushi a couple times, I was completely shocked at how much rice goes into a single roll. If you’re looking for a low calorie sushi option, rice-less is the way to go.

+ Order seaweed handrolls over maki (cut rolls) – these tend to have less rice and are still filling.

+ Choose brown rice when available (extra fiber!).

+ Ask for extra ginger – it cleanses your palette and aids in digestion.

+ Be mindful of portion control. Sushi rolls may seem small, but they pack a punch! An 8 piece maki roll can range from 250-800 calories depending on what’s inside. Sashimi is usually around 30-40 calories per piece.

+ Watch out for when you order sushi is sodium. Miso soup, soy sauce, and the rice they serve with sushi all tends to be very high in sodium. Excess salt leads to bloat and water retention – sushi face is real, guys! I always use the soy sauce with the green lid, which is lower in sodium.

+ Be careful of mercury. Raw fish, particularly larger fish, tends to be very high in mercury. If you’re eating fish more than twice a week, you should consider choosing smaller fish that have lower levels of mercury.

+ Drink antioxidant filled green tea with your meal and go easy on the beer and sake.

Depending on what you order, sushi can be a great or terrible meal option. The key is being mindful of what and how much you are ordering, and making slight modifications to suit your diet. There are so many options at most sushi restaurants, it can be overwhelming. But if you go in with a game plan you’ll be more likely to choose the healthier options on the menu.

 

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Another day, another buzzy skincare ingredient. You’ve probably heard of hyaluronic acid, but are you using products with this simple moisturizing ingredient? At this point it’s overwhelming to shop for skincare and beauty products – there are just so many and new ones hitting the shelves every day. If you’re wondering what creams and products contain hyaluronic acid, and if it really works, read on.

First things first – what is hyaluronic acid?

It’s not some crazy lab made ingredient that goes into your skincare products. It actually exists naturally in our bodies! Hyaluronic acid (HA) holds and replenishes moisture in our skin by lubricating our joints and connective tissues. What it does is keep our skin moisturized and firm over time, which is so important when it comes to maintaining healthy, youthful skin! Think plumping, glowing, softening benefits. Who doesn’t want that?

Skincare products that claim to have HA in them contain sodium hyaluronate. Sodium hyaluronate is made in a lab and gives your skin the same benefits as the HA that naturally occurs in our bodies!

Ok, but does it actually work?

HA is a humectant – aka it allows our skin to grab and retain moisture. It can hold up to 1,000x its weight in water! It’s also present in fillers, which plump your skin and give it a more youthful, fuller appearance. If there’s one ingredient that’s worth its salt, it’s hyaluronic acid. You can find this ingredient in several skincare products ranging from serums to thicker creams. It’s definitely one worth adding to your routine! Adding HA to your skincare routine helps deliver a huge boost of moisture and anti-aging properties to your skin. The best part is, it doesn’t have to break the bank!

The best picks to incorporate hyaluronic acid into your skincare routine:

1. Youth to the People Kale and Spinach Cream

2. Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream

3. The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid

4. Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Skin Cream

I am really loving the line of insanely affordable, no frills serums from The Ordinary. A dermatologist turned me onto hyaluronic acid a few years ago and it has honestly made such a difference in my skin, which is naturally VERY dry. However, even if you have oily or combination skin, hyaluronic acid can provide important benefits! Anyone who is looking to take better care of their skin as they get older needs to incorporate this ingredient into their skincare routine!

xx, Amy

Love these beauty posts? See also: Powder Cleansers & Brushing Your Lips

After a much needed social media break over the summer, I spent some time thinking about my blog and remembering why I started it again. As I talked about recently, I started a new job not too long ago, and have been trying to figure out how to balance work + life + everything in between. I decided earlier this year that I wanted to put my energy into the important relationships in my life and work. Even though I love writing, creating content, and sharing all of this with my readers. I knew I had to take a small step back and learn to be ok with this. At the end of the day, blogging is something I can always come back to. But living in the moment with the ones you love is something that can only be experienced in the present.

All Good Things Take Time

Even though it’s easier to take shortcuts or try to find a quick fix that claims to give instant results, the truth is all good things take time. Rome wasn’t built overnight, and the same applies to anything worth having in your life. Strong friendships and relationships take time and energy. Looking and feeling your best physically takes commitment and discipline. Moving forward in your career or growing your own business takes years. There’s no secret formula to achieving success in any area of your life. The truth is all things take time and lots of hard work.

Focusing on the Long Game

Focusing on the Long Game

Focusing on the Long Game

Focusing on the Long Game

Stop Comparing

One of the best pieces of advice I received this year was to stay in your own lane. The way I think about this is – we’re all moving along in our own lane, but sometimes we start veering into other people’s lanes. This happens when we compare ourselves to others, focus on what they’re doing, and lose sight of our own journey. It’s not always easy to do, but I’m constantly reminding myself to stay in my own lane. This is particularly important when you’re trying not to get caught up in the short term, and focus on the long term. I think we are all guilty of comparing ourselves to others and wondering why our lives aren’t as great or easy.

This is especially true when it comes to social media. Not to sound like a broken record at this point, but I can’t begin to tell you how many people have completely unrealistic expectations. Mostly of what they should look like, how fun their lives should be, how much money they should have. Even how over the top relationships must be in order to be considered “couple goals” thanks to social media. It helps sometimes to take a break from it all and level set. To refocus and stay in your own lane. You do you and what feels good to you.

Focusing on the Long Game

Focusing on the Long Game

Focusing on the Long Game

Focusing on the Long Game

The Long Game.. Even In Style

I think the same goes for style and developing your own personal style. Mine is constantly evolving and I really want to mix things up and try different looks in the upcoming months. Going to the flea market has become a bit of a weekend ritual. I’ve grown to love incorporating vintage finds into my wardrobe. Speaking of shopping at flea markets – it definitely requires going in with an open mind. Yo have to have no expectations, patience, and a willingness to leave empty handed and try again. I stumbled upon this metallic olive-gold pair of high waisted joggers at the flea market a couple months ago. I am so happy I made the decision in the moment to buy them. Sometimes I get buyer’s remorse when I can’t return things, but the loose fit and metallic color of these pants is perfect for the upcoming holiday season!

Since the pants definitely make a statement, I try to keep the rest of the look fairly neutral. You can never go wrong with all black – all outfit details are below.

top: cami nyc | duster: vdv the label | pants: similar | shoes: similar

Mondays can be a reaaaal bitch – that’s why fulfilling weekends are so important! After spending the weekend hiking and glamping (we stayed in a yurt!!) with girlfriends in Joshua Tree, I’m feeling so relaxed. I almost think there’s something in the desert air. Whatever it is, a Sunday/weekend well spent really does seem to bring a week’s worth of content. Now I’m back with a little brand spotlight for you guys! Let’s talk about some shoes.

As a big shoe lover, I’ve learned that great shoes come in all shapes, sizes, and at every price point. I try not to incorporate too many fast fashion pieces in my closet as I am a huge proponent of quality over quantity. However, every now and then you find a pair of shoes or a brand that brings quality at an affordable price point.

Everyday Fall Style with Restricted Shoes

Everyday Fall Style with Restricted Shoes | by The Luxi Look

Everyday Fall Style with Restricted Shoes | by The Luxi Look

Everyday Fall Style with Restricted Shoes | by The Luxi Look

Fall Boots via Restricted Shoes:

Restricted Shoes brings together shoe trends + an affordable price point – almost every pair of shoes on the site is under $100.  Here I’m wearing the “Silence” boot in black. These shoes are durable, comfortable, and go with almost any basic outfit. Oh, and they’re $80!! Who says you have to spend half a paycheck to get a killer pair of shoes?

I get so excited when I come across brands that make quality pieces at an accessible price. I believe it’s entirely possible to build a wardrobe of lasting, repeatable pieces that don’t have to break the bank. A great pair of boots can be worn with almost anything – jeans, dresses, skirts, shorts, jumpsuits. Black boots especially are a closet must have! I love this moto-inspired pair as well.

Everyday Fall Style with Restricted Shoes | by The Luxi Look

Everyday Fall Style with Restricted Shoes | by The Luxi Look

If you’re looking for a new pair of fall boots or thinking ahead for the holidays, you’re in luck! For the month of November, use code LUXI25 for 25% off regular priced shoes.

top: aoui | denim: hudson | belt: b-low the belt

shoes: restricted shoes | necklaces: dogeared

Everyday Fall Style with Restricted Shoes | by The Luxi Look

Everyday Fall Style with Restricted Shoes | by The Luxi Look

Everyday Fall Style with Restricted Shoes | by The Luxi Look

*This post was written in partnership with Restricted Shoes. As always, all opinions are my own.

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