A Midsummer’s Night Dream

We all know the widely popular play written by William Shakespeare of love, fairies, and other woodland creatures.  There is something oddly magical about this special time of the year falling from June 21st thru around July 20th that evokes love, beauty, freedom, nature, and charm.  To me it’s a new beginning; a time to refresh, recharge, and to just let go of worry and inhibitions.  Let charm, magic, beauty, and love enter your life this summer, just remember to keep an open mind!

Here is my list of my top Mid-Year Resolutions to accomplish this summer and my Mid-Summer must have’s!

  1. Make everyday a mini vacation– From homemade island drinks infused with coconut juice and fresh pineapples (Liquor optional) to making your own homemade facial masks using honey, yogurt and granola.  These small moments each day will save you money and give you a 15 minute pick-me-up.
  2. Look for beauty in everything and I mean everything- it’s so easy to dwell on negative aspects of life and in other people.  Changing your prospective isn’t easy but will mentally and spiritually leave a lasting impression on your overall stress levels and well-being.
  3. Dance under the stars– what better way to welcome summer than with a loved one or some friends and let loose under the summer stars.
  4. Tap into your creative side with a DIY class- Take a jewelry making, floral arrangement, or baking class at your local college or florist shop.
  5. Have fun with homemade ice pops– create fun flavors like lemon basil, cucumber mint, and strawberry ginger!  Healthy and refreshing treat!
  6. Have photo shoot– Gather some unique props (mustaches, fans, vintage hats, etc.) and use fun patterned sheets as backdrop and remember to have fun!
  7. Go to a local water park and splash around like a kid-  I did this last year for my 29th birthday and granted we were the oldest people splashing around, but it brought back so many memories and we laughed the entire time!
  8. Beach Yoga– no need to explain the benefits of this- Just do it for your body and peace of mind!
  9. Dream–  When I was in grade school and High school I recall just staring out the window and dreaming big.  With the stresses of real life always getting in the way, just stop and know it’s never to late for dreams to come true…
  10. Throw an outdoor dinner party–  What a great way to enjoy summer by hosting a small dinner party.  Create an outdoor living room with bright accent colors, lots of candles, and soft music.  Creat a menu that is easy and light for a hot summer night and don’t forget to end the night with a fire and some smores!

Brights and Beauty

Meet Lauren, this adorable and vivacious “Chic Chick” is just a beam of fresh air!  With her bright floral jumpsuit and stand out red scarf this look makes sure no one will miss her in a crowded room.  I just love how bright and cheery this look is and even more so how affordable it is, the entire outfit is from Target!  She paired this floral jumper with some feminine accessories and the overall look is perfect for your spring and summer wardrobe.

Daily Affirmation:  “I will be a sunny and bright ray of light for all to admire.”

I just love the dark nail polish with this feminine look!

{target boots: $34.99, target romper: $19.99, target mossimo cardigan: $24.99, Forever21 Ring $6.00}

Check out Lauren’s Blog!  Center Your Health

10 Tips on How to Throw a Chic & Healthy Potluck Soiree

I am so excited to introduce my first and certainly not last, guest blogger -Lauren Forney from 3 Healthy Chicks and Center Your Health, check out her top tips on throwing a healthy and chic potluck soiree!

Throwing a chic and healthy potluck soiree can be an easy way to get a group of your most fabulous friends together for a night of laughs, great food and fun! The best part about hosting a potluck is that it’s affordable and takes the pressure off of you for supplying all of the food. The joys that make a soiree great have nothing to do with money. First, you’ll want to choose a theme for your party such as specifying the style of food that will be served or a certain dress code that will be expected. Choose from any theme that excites you such as a full moon party, a raw foods party, an era or specific movie-themed party, a Mexican food party, etc. Then decide whom you’ll invite. Create an e-vite or Facebook invitation that is clear on when/where the party will be, along with all the little details about what they’ll need to know and bring to attend. You can easily put together a chic and healthy potluck soiree with some planning and creativity!

1. Clean and clear. Outer order creates inner harmony, for both you and the guests that will be attending your party. Take this opportunity to sort through the pile of papers that have been building up on your table, vacuum the dust bunnies along your wall and give your bathroom the full swish down with a fresh roll of toilet paper. Cleanliness equals chic, and one of the most important things for providing a superb party atmosphere for your guests is a refreshing space.

2. Set the mood. Dim the lights and scatter all of your favorite candles throughout your space. If the idea of all those tiny flames burning during your party stresses you out, invest in battery operated “flameless” candles. The warm, dim, flickering lights of these long-lasting flameless candles resemble so much of the real thing and are worry-free. Now that’s chic!

3. Welcome nature. A few hours before your shindig, walk outside and bring in some fresh cut flowers from your garden, gather a few lovely leaves, clip some branches of forsythia, or collect lovely pinecones to use as decoration. Mindfully think about where these organic elements will look best such as adding flowers to a vase or two, scattering some leaves on a table, combining pine cones as a centerpiece bowl, etc. Nature is beautiful and incorporating it into your decor for this event adds that extra touch of thought on your end while helping to invoke whatever season you’re experiencing.

4. Create a chic play list. Set the tone of your party by choosing your favorite background music, which is neither too fast nor too slow. Keep it varied by choosing a little bit of everything so that you cater to all guests’ musical tastes. It should shuffle from sexy jazz like Nina Simone to mellow beats like Thievery Corporation, then over to some soul bopping R&B like Erykah Badu, into a funky reggae jam like The Meters…you get the gist.

5. Say “Yes!” to help. A lot of work goes into offering your space and entertaining people. Never refuse help when one of your attendees offers. If someone is willing to help you set up, drive to the grocery store, heat up some food or clear up, say “Yes, thank you!” You can even give a friend a specific job so that you won’t have to think about it while the soiree is happening. The whole idea of a potluck soiree is a group effort, so you’re all bringing something to the table…literally!

6. Spike the water. Jazz up the water you serve to make it special and chic. Add some slices of cucumber and fresh mint leaves (in the Summer), dashes of cinnamon with apple slices (in the Fall), slices of clementines (in the Winter), and slices of lemons and limes (in the Spring). Water that’s been lightly flavored, naturally, is delicious and stylish!

7. Use your fanciest dishes. Sip your delicious flavored water (or wine that guests hopefully bring) out of your most unique and elegant glasses. It doesn’t cost you anything more than using your everyday dishes, but makes the party feel a little more special. No worries if you have an eclectic collection of glasses, a diverse set of dishes, or a mis-matched collection of silverware…that is all the more chic!

8. Serve the rainbow. Choosing the freshest and most natural dishes to serve at your soiree is not only super chic, but oh-so-healthy! Opt for a seasonal appetizer, main course or desert and load up on colorful produce from your local/organic farmers market. Visit LocalHarvest.org for information on the closest and freshest foods in your area.

9. Make it personal. Place some colorful index cards or paper scraps with a pen near where the food is being served. Encourage guests to write down the dish they made and the ingredients it contains. Allow them to be creative by adding any other quirky information about the dish, and remind them to sign their name. These cards will be placed by each dish so that everyone will have their delicious works of edible art explained and on show for all to enjoy.

10. Unwinding is chic. Hosting a soiree can be a little intense at times, but be clear on the purpose of your party and what you want out of the night. Smile and be sure to take time to enjoy at least a few moments with each guest who made it. Sit down and enjoy a conversation, savor that yummy dish that your friend has been so excited about making while allowing the party to flow on its own around you.

Learn more about healthy & chic Lauren Forney:

Lauren Forney is a Board Certified Holistic Health Counselor and
Registered Yoga Teacher based in Red Bank, NJ. Passionate about
healthy eating, Lauren helps others learn to make consistently wise
choices regarding their nutrition and overall well-being. As a
Registered Yoga Teacher, she combines this knowledge into her health
counseling by providing simple actions people can adapt into their
everyday lives. True health does not just involve one side of the
equation; consequently, by combining healthy eating, a positive
attitude, and regular exercise, a balanced lifestyle will result.
Lauren offers a variety of health seminars, and develops personalized
nutrition and/or yoga programs with private clients, small groups, and
corporations. For more information visit her website at
www.centeryourhealth.net or her informative and fun blog at
http://centeryourhealthblog.blogspot.com/ Center Your Health can also
be found on Facebook.