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Pretty Sick The Beauty Guide for Women with Cancer

I beaming with joy! My friend and someone I can’t begin to put into words how much I admire, launched her first book, Pretty Sick The Beauty Guide for Women with Cancer last month. There’s really no way to water it down, cancer is scary, the side effects of chemotherapy… terrifying. Your skins a mess, you get mouth sores, your hair and nails can fall out — OMG. And yet her fixes and her book are anything but depressing, much like her it’s funny, real and filled with expert advice that’s easy to digest and something that anyone who wants to learn from the best should read. Because the advice is from the best of the best in the beauty world.

7 Easy Steps for a More Restful Sleep

To say sleep does a body good is the understatement of the century. It’s like this magic elixir that makes your skin better, fixes ailments, makes you happier and less stressed, and all you have to do is get enough of it. When Arianna Huffington said we were in a “sleep-derivation crisis”, I understood it, but I didn’t try to rectify it. I acknowledged that culturally we work crazy hours, especially in NYC – isn’t that how you get ahead? I’ve even heard people brag about how busy they are and that they barely get any sleep. I used to be one of those so busy people, in many ways I still am, but not when it comes to my well-being. Since reading Arianna Huffington’s book, The Sleep Revolution and using the Beautyrest® Sleeptracker® monitor, I have a new lease on life, with getting enough sleep being on the top of that list. I have big plans for myself and if getting my ZZZ’s is key to being successful, consider me all in.

If you have trouble sleeping, here are 8 easy things you could be doing to fix it!

1. Invest in a Beautyrest Sleeptracker Monitor

This device has changed my life. You put it under your mattress and connect to the mobile app to track your sleep. It shows you your breathing rate, heart rate, total sleep time, how long you took to fall asleep, how many times you woke up (and for how long)… and then breaks down your Light sleep, REM sleep and Deep sleep time and what that means. REM sleep is crucial for brain performance and organizing memory. Deep sleep is for the regeneration of the body. It even gives you advice on how to improve your sleep. Best part is you don’t have to charge it (it plugs into the wall). You can read my full review HERE and learn more at beautyrest.com/Sleeptracker. It retails for $199 and a very worthy investment.

2. Create a Bedroom Oasis

Since making over my bedroom, my life has changed. I used to live in papers, with my laptop somewhere in my bed and piles of clothes on the floor. Beauty products everywhere, I lived in clutter. Since painting the floors white, ordering beautiful bedding – we literally used to have red and black bedding and everything was so dark I think it depressed me. So with my new theme of white furniture and serene calmness, I literally saw my dream bed on Croscill Natural’s website, it’s called “First Light Bed” and ordered everything. I’m not the best at DIY interior designing so I bought everything in a stock photo and kept the rest white and it worked! Having a light and airy room now, with no clutter makes going to bed such a peaceful and enjoyable experience. I don’t care what the state of the rest of my apartment is, I’m committed to my room staying completely pristine and serene.

3. Lose the Electronics

Take electronic devices out of the bedroom and try to not look at your phone or computer for at least an hour before bed. Reading emails or watching movies on your tablets will keep your brain active when it should be relaxing. The blue light from our screens mimics that of daylight, which also stimulates you. Try reading, cleaning or playing cards, or just meditating. Just try to resist looking at a screen (I know it’s tough).

Your Secret Weapon for Sleep

Growing up I was always told sleep is the most important medicine. And unlike my sister who was a complete night owl, when I was done for the day, I was done. Meaning, as soon as I was worn out, my head would hit that pillow and I was out within seconds.

That part hasn’t changed, but my relationship with sleep over the years certainly has. My stress level has been through the roof, my schedule has been all over the place, and it occurred to me that while I understood the importance of sleep, I wasn’t prioritizing it. And my attitude was changing for the worse because of it.

The week before I left for Paris, I had a wake-up call. Beautyrest® sent me the Beautyrest® Sleeptracker® monitor to try, which is a device you put under your mattress; it connects to the accompanying mobile app to track your sleep. It shows your breathing rate, heart rate, total sleep time, how long you took to fall asleep, how many times you woke up (and for how long) … and then breaks down your Light sleep, REM sleep and Deep sleep time.

As I learned from the app’s Smart Coach tips, REM sleep is crucial for brain performance and organizing memory. Deep sleep is for the regeneration of the body – that’s when muscles are restored and the immune system is strengthened.

Unlike wearable sleep monitors (that require being worn and needing to be charged regularly), the Beautyrest Sleeptracker monitor is completely non-invasive and plugs directly into a wall outlet. It basically looks like a defibrillator, two paddles so it can track you and your partner’s sleep (or you can just use one side).

The Beautyrest Sleeptracker monitor gave me a closer look at the things keeping me up at night (monitoring everything from my caffeine intake to how much TV or other devices I was using before bed) and offers personalized, easy-to-implement insights to help me make the most of my time asleep.

Back to my wake-up call. The first week I used it (right before the trip), I was mortified to see I was averaging 6-6.5 hours of sleep. The app actually recommended I try exercising before bed. I went to a talk by sleep guru, Arianna Huffington a few months prior where she reaffirmed that I’m someone who needs 7-8 hours a sleep a night to be a functional human being. In my head I assumed that’s what I was getting. I have a busy but flexible schedule so it wasn’t my alarm clock that was keeping me up, it was my stress level. And, I wasn’t paying attention to the time I was going to bed and waking up. My brain was on overdrive with my to-do list and deadlines. The next month was a whirlwind. I was in four time zones in less than 30 days. I went from NY –> Paris –> NY –> LA –> Vegas –> NY –> Mykonos. The New York trips were for 1-2 days just to change suitcases and make sure my dog and boyfriend still remembered me. By the time I was back, my stomach and my sleep was a mess, and I was exhausted. Of all the trips, Vegas was the worst — I was cranky non-stop. While it was so fun, the conference I attended had us scheduled from 8am to midnight. That means that by the time I got my work done after returning to my hotel room and woke up early to get ready for the conference each day, I felt the burn out and it severely impacted my mood. The only cure: sleep.

When I got home I decided I needed to cut down on work, refocus and prioritize. My only concerns were my relationship, my dog, my sleep and the actual projects that excited and motivated me and ignored the rest.

I also redid my bedroom and was committed to creating my oasis. We painted the floors white, took out unnecessary furniture and clutter. I got new bedding from Croscil – I literally saw a picture on their website of my dream bedding and ordered the whole collection. I also got the most luxurious bed, a new Beautyrest Black® mattress and created a new rule: the rest of my apartment can be a mess but not my bedroom sanctuary.

Within a week of being back, my stomach was no longer in knots and my sleep was back to averaging 7.5 hours/night (I even hit 9 hours and 22 minutes one of the nights!). Best of all, I felt like an all-around more centered and happier human being. The coaching feature in the app even told me “So far this week, on average, 28% of your sleep has been deep sleep. That’s great – keep doing what you are doing!” I love my virtual sleep coach.

Ever since I started using the Beautyrest Sleeptracker monitor, I have a stronger understanding of my daily habits and how they affect my sleep. By implementing simple changes and paying attention to what is and what isn’t working for me I’m in such better shape every day to work more productively and feel more energized. And for the days I’m not, I’m now hyper aware of it and my limits.

The Beautyrest Sleeptracker monitor is a complete game changer and $199. Learn more at http://www.beautyrest.com/Sleeptracker

Thank you Beautyrest for partnering with me on this post!

Ask Dr. Nadia: 5 Supplements [Nearly] Everyone Should Take

The answer to the above question is #3 on our list below! Just one of the many things I’ve learned from Dr. Nadia Musavvir Instagram page (instagram.com/_drnadia_). Whenever I’m in LA, I’m usually in between trips, exhausted, depleted, and have Dr. Nadia Musavvir on speed dial. She gets me the vitamin shots I need and literally puts me back together. But seriously for my list trip she saw me dead after a 24 hours whirlwind where I went from Paris –> NYC –> LA (3 time zones in 1 day!) and had only a few days in Los Angeles before having to be at a conference in Vegas. I wanted to curl up in a ball and die of exhaustion. Ten minudtes with Dr. Nadia and I’m a new person.  During our last visit it occurred to me I’m always reading trendy stories about must have supplements from people I don’t know and sources I don’t always trust so I asked for her top 5 supplements (nearly) everyone should take, here’s what made her count:

1. Trace minerals

I typically recommend a multi mineral rather than a multivitamin because the soil is so deficient in minerals; we would need 7x the recommended amount of vegetables to get adequate minerals (provided not all mineral content gets destroyed in the cooking process AND that digestion is functioning optimally to absorb).

2. Probiotic

Stress, foods, medications can all change the microbiome; because a balanced and healthy assortment of good bacteria is necessary for digestion, absorption, a healthy immune system, neurotransmitter formation (which affects mood), I always recommend a good probiotic.

Muddy feet and showerheads

I’ve always considered myself outdoorsy but I didn’t really prioritize going to the park, doing weekend trips to the beach and hiking as much until I rescued Charlie last year. Now we’re out as much as possible since exercise, especially for senior pups is so important. And we encourage him to go off leash and run around play in the grass but it’s all fun and games until it’s muddy feet — and we have white floors and light bedding so the foot washing scene is real in our home.

For Charlie this is just another day in Central Park, playing in the grass (post rain is the worst!). It brings a whole new meaning to dog days of summer. Embarrassingly enough I usually bathe Charlie at my office apartment since it’s only a few blocks away and has a full tub in it and James and my real apartment only has a shower in it.

So if we do bathe Charlie at our place it’s usually in the kitchen sink, which is not ideal. The most amazing solution (and only $59) is the Propel Spot Resist Handheld Shower! It’s available in 3 finishes, Chrome, Mediterranean Bronze, and Spot Resist Brushed Nickel and super easy to assemble and a total game changer.

Additional features include five spray options and a 4.5-inch spray face for enhanced water coverage. And what that all boils down to is this shower head has changed my life. Especially since it’s so much easier washing his feet with it than running a full bath. The long hose makes it so easy for me to wash him standing up or at the foot of the shower — our old shower head obviously didn’t reach, which made that entire shower next to impossible to bathe him in. It also makes for a more productive bath for Charlie since it’s a more targeted wash with the handheld to wash off his shampoo and conditioner. Otherwise trying to accomplish taking off the soap later with a faucet requires using a bowl to wash it off. Plus James and I are enjoying it so much more than the showerhead our apartment came with. 

Android users, protect yourself (it’s free!)

Tonight, I joined fitness expert and Bravo TV personality Layla Luciano for an awesome self-defense class in celebration of Security Master, the leading privacy protection, and antivirus app. Protecting yourself and your phone are two pretty important things. One takes work and the other is a simple download. Although if you do get attacked go for the groan and or eyes (my key takeaway of the night!).

Security Master just launched a new privacy and antivirus app to keep your phone safe and your personal matters discreet. Which is great since the whole internet security scare is real! I don’t even like to make online purchases on my phone, I’m so nervous about getting hacked.

Between my photos, passwords and all of my stored credit cards on my phone, it getting compromised is probably one of my worst nightmares. The new app is now available worldwide for free on Android devices (you can download it HERE). It’s a revamped version of the CM Security app, which is the leading privacy protection and antivirus app with almost 500 million downloads and a 4.7 rating (out of 5) on Google Play. The free app can keep you worry-free that everything on your phone is safely secured and protected.

I’m Profiled in Vanity Fair!

Freak out of the century! It’s not every day that you get to see your face within the pages of Vanity Fair! For the August 2017 issues, I was lucky enough to be profiled as one of Vanity Fair’s “incredibly talented, influential and interesting people.” Could you die?! The cherry on top — actually there was two, the first being they mentioned Charlie, as my “favorite sidekick” and tagged his Instagram @pompomcharlie. DEAD.

The other major highlight, was the August issue features Serena Williams (who I’m obsessed with) and her bare baby bump on the cover, so let’s just chalk it up to this was a very iconic issue to be included in. Major congrats to Serena and her fiancé Alexis Ohanian, who is ~ fun fact~the founder of Reddit, and even more fun, Armenian, just like me! I love seeing magazines who show love to strong women, it’s an honor to have my name in a publication featuring the legendary Serena Williams.

GH Kitchen of the Future with Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcus

Getting back from Greece, I had major Mykonos withdrawal. Being pampered with the great food, beaches (Jackie O Beach is paradise), and riding around on my ATV and spending an unforgettable week with Patricia Field and all of her friends, including Debi Mazar — I was literally living the dream. So when I landed in New York and saw that Debi Mazar and her husband, Gabriele Corcos, who have the cooking show, Extra Virgin on the Cooking Channel, were hosting the launch of the Good Housekeeping Kitchen, I was so there! I’m launching a new venture soon, so being in the presence of strong, ambitious woman, who continue to push boundaries and aren’t boxed in is really important to me. Debi Mazar who in addition to being a mom, author, and having a cooking show (and literally 1,000 other accolades), she also stars on the hit show Younger, which probably the only perk of coming home from Greece was getting to binge the 4th season. Head to the bottom of this post for the Q&A with Debi and her husband talking cooking, tech and the new season of Younger. 

Day Trips In Vegas with Volvo S90

I’ve always wanted to do the drive from LA to Las Vegas, and frankly hit some of the top nature destinations surrounding Vegas. This year when Cosmoprof invited me to their beauty conference (beauty lovers you should know about them, it’s the worlds biggest and best beauty trade show), I decided to drive from LA and partnered with Volvo to test out the S90 for the week — skip to the bottom of this post for the full review. Sans traffic it’s about a 4 hour drive and a beautiful drive surrounded in dessert, mountains and Joshua Trees — or at least it is when you hit Nevada. Once you’re there isn’t a shortage of natural wonders and national parks and recreations. With only a few days in town we opted for day trips about 30 minutes to an hour outside the city. It’s amazing how quick you can go from Sin City to natural wonder.

Seven Magic Mountains (30 minute drive)

It took 4 years to build this $3.5 Million public art installation by Ugo Rondinone which is 7 pillars of color blocks in the desert. It’s a visual paradise and fashion bloggers dream for a backdrop. It’s an easy drive 20 miles south — about a 30 minute form Las Vegas, free and open to the public without restriction.

Because I’m already freakin fabulous

On Saturday, the gang and I headed to Greenpoint for the Nylon Magazine Music Issue Celebration, which I’m actually in. Granted it’s a small photo from their Coachella event, but I’ll take it! The event was super cute at House of Vans in Greenpoint and hosted by Tove Lo and Charli XCX and the perfect excuse to wear this freakin fabulous dress from Boohoo.

Also not gonna lie, I had my best shopping day on Friday. I woke up so busy from that week with no idea what I was going to wear and somehow the fairy fashion gods heard me. Besides scoring the Boohoo dress at that morning, my Kendal + Kylie Cassie sunglasses arrived. As much as I want to pretend I’m not that impressed by them, I’d be completely lying, they are amazing! One sunglass style is cooler than the next, I literally want them all! Check them out next time you’re in Nordstrom or online and you’ll see what I mean! Before the Nylon party I also stopped by Six:02 for the launch of artist Sue Tsai collaboration with Reflex, how amazing is this denim jacket? She made some really cool pieces, but this was my favorite. And there you have it, literally wore my usual stash of rings, threw on some black booties and a black cap and was good to go!

 Reflex Love You With All My Art Denim Jacket Susie Tsai

A lot of you ask about my rings and honestly I just collect over time. I love Moonstone Magic, they have a lot of really cool stalking rings in silver and moonstone accents. I also collect dainty evil eye rings, from random boutiques and also wear my Moonstone Magic one all the time. My Boss ring is sold out on Bando but I also found it on Snash Jewelry, I’ve never ordered from them but I’m tempted to get it in silver too!

My cameo in Nylon from their Coachella party with Milk Makeup — do you see me? It’s okay, I’m the tiny one on the right with my hands in the air above the caption. Also shout out to these awesome MilkMakeup products I’ve been wearing on repeat. Links below!