Weekend Reading #45

Shirt: Brandy Melville {similar} // Pants: 12th Tribe // Shoes: Forever 21 // Necklace: Uncommon James

1. Where to donate all your old things.

2. These are the best healthy spots in NYC – definitely going to all of these!

3. This Venice house is seriously decor goals.

4. Honey, peach and brie panini?! Yes, please.

5. How to find cheap flights.

6. How to lose that stubborn belly fat.

7. Do you make your bed everyday? This is what it says about you.

8. These people are retiring as early as in their 30s. 

9. Sugar could be contributing to your anxiety.

10. Does your cellphone really need to be in “airplane mode” when you fly?

 

Dating Advice from Relationship Expert Carla Romo

dating advice

Is it just me or does dating in the 21st century suck? After a couple failed relationships I’m currently single and ready to mingle. But with that, I wanted to get some help and I know many of you probably do as well. That is why I reached out to my friend Carla Romo, a dating and relationship coach to ask her some questions. I also asked you guys on Instagram (follow me @esthercollins if you aren’t already) for your juicy dating questions for Carla to answer. So let’s get into it!

How do you know if someone is “the one”, especially if you are the type to question everything?
At the end of the day, it really depends on 2 things. 1. Your gut feeling. Even if you are not much of a spiritual person, if it feels intuitively off, then it probably is. If it feels right then it probably is. 2. You will know because they match what you want in a partner. This means sticking to your non-negotiables. If you find yourself making excuses for a characteristic that you find unacceptable then that’s a red flag. Lastly, questioning things is not a bad thing. Although, it is important to explore in depth why you are questioning it. I discuss a lot with my clients whether it’s fear that makes them question or a legitimate concern.
Is sex on the first date bad?
No. It is important to figure out what you feel comfortable with and then honor your boundaries around that. If you want to or you don’t want to have sex, follow it!
Everyone is flawed, but how do you know if you’re just seeing past their flaws or if you’re forcing it and just not compatible?
Are you painting the red flags green? What helps my clients is to write a very detailed list of their non-negotiables. Example: Must be financially stable, not have a history of cheating, etc. From there you can compare your list to this person’s flaws and see if you are justifying their behavior to fit around them.
Best ways to make long distance work?
Have a strong communication plan and end goal to be together. Communication is important and needs to be consistent. Discuss what each other’s expectations are around how you are going to communicate. Also, it is important to have a goal of when you plan to end the long distance. It’s ok if you don’t have an exact date but having an idea of how you will eventually be together is key.
Can your significant other have a best friend of the opposite sex without it getting awkward?
Yes, they can! Although it is important that you ask yourself why it feels awkward. If it’s because your partner is not respecting your boundaries then that is important. If you find it is your own insecurity then it creates an opportunity for you to grow within. Regardless, you should communicate any concerns with your partner and take ownership of your part in it.
I’m moving to a new city, what’s the best way to start dating and meet new guys?
Join fun coed groups or activities that interest you. It may feel a little uncomfortable but discomfort just means you’re growing. Don’t pass up an invite to your new friends birthday or dinner party. Putting yourself out there and meeting other like-minded people is a great way to get connected with new guys are date-worthy.
Carla Romo
There you guys have it! I hope some of these questions help you in this dating game, because it sure is helping me! If you guys have any other questions for Carla and would like another post, leave your questions in the comments below or you can DM me!
Carla also puts on amazing events where she gives out her great dating and relationship advice, for more information check out her site https://iamcarlaromo.com/.

Weekend Reading #44

1. What happens if you drink collagen for 21 days straight?

2. Ways to sleep better on a plane.

3. What to do in Nolita.

4. High serotonin filled foods to eat.

5. Why we shouldn’t bring our phones into the bathroom, I am guilty of this.

6. How to actually get 8 hours of sleep a night.

7. Coconut cream chia pudding, yes please.

8. What to know about preventative botox.

9. Meghan Markle’s wellness routine, sign me up.

10. All the NYFW popups open to the public.

 

Weekend Reading #43

1. These foods help fight belly fat.

2. I need to go to these restaurants at the Almalfi coast!

3. Fun things to do this summer by yourself.

4. The best ways to manage stress.

5. Julia has THE CUTEST back patio for entertaining!

6. I love seeing house tours, including this one!

7. What’s the best way to remove body hair?

8. 5 basics that every girl should invest in.

9. Art hanging mistakes and how to avoid them.

10. Wedding guest outfits that make the bride cringe.

 

 

Weekend Reading #42

Shirt: Lulus {similar} // Jeans: American Eagle // Belt: Gucci // Sunglasses: Burro {similar}

1. Recipes to reduce belly fat.

2. Do crystals work for everyone?

3. There is a $2 section on Amazon, say what?

4. How to get stains out of everything.

5. A genetic test could help determine which antidepressant to take.

6. How to prevent wrinkles when traveling.

7. What Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment would look like today.

8. Hacks for better sleep.

9. Instagram hack for more likes.

10. Smoothie ingredients that help you lose weight.

 

 

What Anxiety Looks Like

What Anxiety Looks LikeI’m sitting down on my couch right now with a green juice (so LA I know) trying to figure out where to even start with this post. I’ve been wanting to write this post for months, but I wasn’t sure if I should write about something I hadn’t conquered yet. But as I thought more and more about it, I really want to write this post for you. For that person that’s going through the same things I am. For that person that is unsure what the heck is going on with their minds and body. I want to write this for you.

So let’s start at the beginning. Growing up I was always a social person. I was the girl that was always making plans with people, going to parties (if you knew me in college then it was throwing the parties). I’ve always been a planner, but I wouldn’t consider myself type A. I’m messy and disorganized but I always wanted to know what was going to happen. I would have never considered myself an anxious person. That was until last year.

Last August I had four friends from both college and home visit me for a weekend. Everything was going great, we were having fun running around LA, going to the beach, eating out etc. Everything was great until after dinner I got home and I tried to take a power nap before going out that night. As I laid down, I started to feel like I couldn’t breath. Panic set in and I started to have a full blown panic attack. I grabbed one of my roommates (the one I usually counted on during crisis mode) and started freaking out. What was going on? I felt like I was dying. Was I dying? Am I having a heart attack? I honestly didn’t know what was going on. Finally after few minutes of a super intense panic attack I started to feel a little better. My friends tried to distract me and after a couple of hours, I was able to get back to normal.

As the days went on after that, I started to think more and more about my panic attacks. Becoming fearful of it happening again. And sure enough, it did. My panic attacks started happening more frequently but soon they just started to feel like an overwhelming feeling of anxiety. My chest felt tight, I had trouble breathing. It started to get to the point where anytime I would be out to eat, I would start to feel a panic attack coming on, so I couldn’t eat. And if ya’ll know me, you know I love to eat. I couldn’t sleep at night, I started waking up every few hours feeling like something was wrong. I had never felt that kind of pain before. I was unable to sleep for about two weeks, I couldn’t eat – I ended up losing 10+ pounds in a couple of weeks, I wasn’t able to focus at work. Everything made me feel panicked. I would spend hours a day crying to myself, or my dad or boyfriend. There were nights where I would wake my boyfriend up in the middle of the night just hysterically crying because something was wrong, and I didn’t know why. My symptoms started to get so bad that my dad literally flew out to LA from NY to take care of me. (ps: thank you dad, you seriously are the best dad ever.) I honestly thought I was going to have to be hospitalized because I didn’t think I could go through the pain any longer. Not eating, not sleeping, constantly feeling like you’re going to die seriously takes a huge toll on you. I didn’t know what it was but something in my body just felt wrong.

I was seeing a therapist, a psychiatrist, my primary care doctor, a gastro, pretty much everyone I could get my hands on I saw. Something had to be wrong with me. What I was feeling was not normal. Every doctor came back with the same diagnosis…you have anxiety.

But what was causing my anxiety? It started when I had friends visiting, friends whom I love and were so excited to see. I was in the beginning stages of a new relationship with a great guy, I had a great job, I had friends I was hanging out with constantly. Everything seemed perfect. Everything except my anxiety. To be honest I’ve spent the past 10 months in therapy trying to figure out what caused this. And sure, there were definitely triggers, but there was also a chemical imbalance in my brain. Because of that I went on medication. I was prescribed a low dose of an SSRI and to be honest I was scared shitless to start taking it. I didn’t want to be “that crazy girl” or be seen as weak or incompetent. But to be honest what really helped was talking to my friends, my boyfriend and even my boss. I was surprised to find out that I wasn’t the only person that’s ever gone through this. Many people that I knew personally, that I never would have imagined them having gone through what I went through told me “yeah, I’ve been on meds before and it helped.” I can do a whole other post of what my experience on meds were like, just let me know in the comments below if that is something you guys would be interested in.

I started taking my meds, I went home to stay with my parents for about a week and I just continued trying to take it a day at a time. Slowly…really slowly things started to get better. Eventually I was able to start eating again, and sleeping again and things just started to feel a little bit more normal.

I still suffer from anxiety and it’s been a tough 9 months for me. I’ve had a lot of changes going on, I went through a breakup, I moved out of my apartment, I lost some friends. There are good days and there are bad days. I still have some of those terrible days where I feel so anxious it feels like I’m having a heart attack. But there are things I do to try to calm myself down. Nothing has been as bad as that first month dealing with anxiety has been. I’m still on the medication, I’m still in therapy and it’s a slow journey but I’m hopeful that one day I’ll look back at it and just realized how it’s helped me to grow.

I want to continue sharing my journey with you guys and have this be a resource for anyone that is going through anxiety or depression. Unfortunately it’s a wide spread issue that not many people like talking about. But I want to be there for you. This has been my personal journey dealing with anxiety. Not everyone’s experience with anxiety will look the same as mine. No matter what you are going through, whatever pain you are feeling; that pain is real. And I want to let you know that I understand that pain, however different it may look. I know this is a super deep topic and my blog has been very light and fun and I still want to show you guys those elements as well, but I also want to open it up with the truth. And the truth is, I have anxiety.

Weekend Reading #41

1. How to combat your anxiety.

2. These drinks are causing you bloating.

3. Foods to avoid before bed.

4. How much you should tip hotel housekeeping.

5. Ways to be happier.

6. Skincare tips from the pros.

7. Gotta try this chickpea cauliflower curry.

8. Skin cancer prevention tips.

9. Mistakes and lessons from your twenties.

10. Queer Eye season 2 is coming and I am PUMPED!

 

Also, Nordstrom is having their half-yearly sale! Here are some of my favorites from the sale if you guys want to shop my picks below!

 

Summer Reading List

summer reading list

Okay, this is kind of sad to admit but after I graduated college I stopped reading books. I used to be such a book nerd growing up (my bed frame was a bookcase!). But ever since I could remember I haven’t been able to finish a book. I’d get major ADD and read about half of a book then just forget about it. That was until recently. I’ve finished two books in the past couple of months, which I know isn’t a lot but for me it is! Now I’m on a reading kick so I wanted to share with you guys what I’ve read and what I’m about to read!

Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari: This book came out a while ago but after watching Aziz’s comedy specials I had to give this a try. This book is pretty educational considering Aziz is a comedian. He goes to different places around the world and studies how people date, both in the past and present. If you’re currently trying to navigate this terrible dating world we live in, like me, then definitely give this book a read! It’s got some pretty interesting insight.

Bachelor Nation by Amy Kaufman: If you know me by now you know I’m obsessed with the Bachelor. Obsessed is in understatement. As soon as I heard this book was coming out I had to pre-order it. This goes behind the scenes of the Bachelor from even before it’s inception. It’s an easy read and highly entertaining!

Kintsugi Wellness by Candice Kumai: I heard about Candice through The Skinny Confidential podcast. Listening to her speak about this book immediately made me go out on Amazon and purchase it. I just started reading it the other day so I can’t say much about it yet but I can’t wait to continue reading it. It’s part a self-help, acceptance book and part a cook book. There’s a matcha chocolate chip cookie recipe in there I CAN’T WAIT to try!

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle: This book is something my dad purchased for me while I was struggling hard with my anxiety (thanks Dad!). I have a really hard time on focusing on the present so hopefully this book will help!

What are you guys currently reading? Let me know in the comments below!

Weekend Reading #40

1. How your social life impacts your mental health.

2. Ladies, it’s time to start tracking your wins.

3. According to science, some of your friends don’t actually like you.

4. Get rid of belly bloat, fast.

5. These airlines have the most leg room.

6. These houseplants will help clean your air.

7. Sandra Oh, keeping it real. BTW I’m obsessed with her new show Killing Eve, go watch it!

8. How to get over friendship insecurity.

9. These photos show how different LA and NY really are.

10. Hopefully this will put a smile on your face like it did mine.

 

 

Spring Clean Your Closet

clean your closet

Hi my name is Esther and I am a hoarder. Sadly, kind of true. One good thing about my latest move is that I got a chance to go through my closet and clean out bags and bags full of things. It’s spring cleaning time so I wanted to share with you guys some of my tips of how to edit down that closet.

Okay, first things first: Create three piles – Donate, Sell and Toss

These are the items you should pull out of your closet to place in these piles.

1. Anything you haven’t worn in a year – If you haven’t worn something in the past year, chances are you probably won’t really wear it again. Be honest with yourself. If it’s in good condition put it in the sell or donate pile, if it’s not toss it.

2. Items with tags still on them – Unless you just bought something within the past month that you haven’t worn yet, if you still have the tags on chances are you won’t be wearing that item. I found a couple items that still had tags on them for YEARS. I was always saving it for that “special” moment to wear the item, but let’s be real…that moment will never come.

3. Old bras and underwear – You know what I’m talking about. We all have those bras with the underwire coming out, or underwear with holes in them. Get rid of them.

4. Anything with holes in them – TOSS. That old pair of jeans with the button missing that you’ve been saying for years you’ll fix…you won’t. Give it up and just toss it.

5. Freebie items – Those shirts you got from that random event you went to, or that ugly old t-shirt your ex-boyfriend gave you on his last trip. Get rid of it. There’s really no “sentimental” value in holding onto these things. They’re just taking up space and you’ll never wear them.

Okay, now that you’ve pulled out those items from your closet here is what you do with those piles of clothes.

Donate: There are many places you can donate your gently used clothes to such as Good Will, Salvation Army or local churches. If you drive around your town you might also see those red donation bins in parking lots that make it super easy to just drop your donation bag off. Some charities will even come and pick up your donations straight from your house. If you itemize your tax deductions, be sure to record what you are donating!

Sell: This is one of my favorite things to do because it’s fun, and you get some extra cash out of it.

For designer clothes I suggest you sell to TheRealReal. It’s super easy, they will send you a prepaid shipping label. You send them your items and if they accept it, they will then sell your clothes for you. You get to keep 55% of the sale price and TheRealReal keeps 45%.

ThredUp is another way to sell clothes online. These items don’t have to be designer, but not all items will be accepted. You can choose to donate the unaccepted items which will then be recycled. Win win.

Poshmark is an app that allows you to sell your items right from the comfort of your house. This requires the most work because you have to take the pictures and ship the items out yourself, but you also get to choose the selling price which you don’t get to do with the other services. I love using Poshmark for items such as jewelry because it’s easy and convenient.

Toss. Self explanatory. Throw it out.

There you guys have it! Happy cleaning!