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NEW YORK

I spent a week in New York with some amazing people. It was through my university fashion program, but was so much more than just a trip for school. Being my third time in the city, I had already seen and done all the touristy stuff (which is totally awesome) and this time I got more of a locals only experience. 

We got a private bus tour of Manhattan on the first day after a sleepless red-eye. The weather was insane; hot and humid and thunderstormy. It was so much fun but my body & brain were both on autopilot. 

Throughout the week we had tons of meetings with some legit BOSSes, and gained invaluable insight into some amazing companies. My favorite person we met along the way was Bibhu Mohapatra, humble and sweet and inspiring. My favorite companies based on their design aesthetic were The Row & Nili Lotan--we got to play with their fall and even pre-spring collections. We also met with Calvin Klein, among others, and got a private tour of Kleinfeld (Say Yes to the Dress), annnnd visited a recent CSULB grad who now runs Red Valentino!

Lots of shopping, sight-seeing, walking, napping, eating, drinking, and roaming. We spent a good amount of time at the Met Museum and the Museum of Art and Design, which were both incredible! We took a day trip to Brooklyn. I loved it WAY MORE than Manhattan. It was so much happier. And the best part of all, the food... Shake Shack, Serendipity 3, real NY pizza, dirty dogs, Dunkin' Donuts, macaroons, Bar Pittia italian food!!, ice cream... the list went on... 

The trip was great overall. I made some awesome new friends, new network contacts, and made some beautiful new memories. I just couldn't get over some of the negative parts of the city though. The seriousness of the people, the fact that no one seemed to smile or acknowledge each other, the dirtiness and crowdedness and loudness and expensiveness...

NYC will always be a city I love to visit. It is notttt a city I would love to live, unless it was for an amazingly awesome job (Blue Ivy's nanny?) or an amazingly awesome person.

Summer Skin

Recently I had a little scare at the dermatologist when I had an abnormal spot removed from my side. Sun damage and skin cancer are more real fears than ever now, and for a solar powered gal like myself, this was hard news to bear. Luckily, I've found the most amazing skin regimen for a healthy summer glow without the risks of damage & cancer.

To exfoliate, I use my homemade coffee lavender scrub (here).

I got my armpits, upper lip, and bikini area lasered with various local groupons, but for my legs and arms I use generic men's shaving creams & razors. (TIP: Before I had my bikini area done, I would use a little deodorant after exfoliating/shaving to avoid irritation/red bumps. Worked like a charm.)

As a daily moisturizer, I use HEMPZ Cucumber & Jasmine Body Moisturizer. SMELLS SO DELIGHTFUL!

For a deep moisturizer when I'm extra dry after a trip to the beach or the gym or whatever, I literally rub coconut oil on my body haha. I haven't had problems with breakouts using this kind of oil.

The BESSSSSTTTTTT product for summer skin that I could possibly recommend is a sunless tanning lotion called Fake Bake. It is a miracle product. It has a green base as opposed to an orange base, so it looks super natural. It's really easy to apply before bed, and after rinsing off in the morning it leaves you with an even, streak-free glow and won't stain your clothes. Once you reach your desired shade, it only takes about 1 application a week to keep up the color. I even use it on my face. Seriously, give this a try! (or "rid yourself of vanity and just go with the seasons..." ...but I can't find it in myself to hate on any product that makes me look and feel like I instantly lost 10 pounds and spent a week in the tropics, and in turn gives me better confidence and makes me feel good.)

Let me know if you have any flawless skin secrets for summer, and also what you think if you try any of these out. :)

My Fitness Guide

Since high school, I have seriously struggled on my fitness journey. I have been on the search for something that truly works for me for years now and I have learned a lot from people who  know way more than I do. Recently I came across an incredible website that takes everything I have learned and more and makes it super clear and easy to follow. It's called Simple Science Fitness, and it even has calculators to help you personalize your fitness and nutrition plans. Check it out, I promise you will be glad you did!

These are some of the main ideas that stand out to me and serve as daily reminders that help me achieve RESULTS. :)

  • Your body composition is 80% diet, and 20% exercise. (Yes, genetics play role in our body shape and predispositions to more muscle/fat, but we CAN CONTROL our fat loss and muscle gain regardless of what we were born with.)
  • Burn more calories than you eat to lose weight. It is that simple. BUT, our bodies (and metabolisms) function more efficiently when we consume calories in a way that meets our personal macronutrient needs. 
  • Basically, eat a LOT of protein, but also to not be afraid of (good) carbs and fats. We need all three to be optimus prime. SSF gives you your personal numbers to work with based on your body. Prep your meals ahead of time, otherwise it is extremely difficult to stick to.
  • DRINK A LOT OF WATER. If you don’t have to pee all the time you’re pretty much doing it wrong.
  • Use an app like MyFitnessPal to help keep track of your food throughout the day and to avoid mindless eating.
  • GIRLS, you will not get bulky from lifting weights!! I know it’s true, even though I still fear it. What WILL make you bulky is eating the wrong foods in the wrong portions.
  • Lifting is actually more beneficial to weight loss than cardio. You will burn more calories throughout the day just to maintain your fresh new muscle. Wooo! ;)
  • Sleep enough, it is important. Stretch enough, it is also important.
  • Vary your workouts to keep your mind and your muscles stimulated :)
  • Have fun and don’t do it for anyone but yourself!

Wild Cub - Thunder Clatter

You're driving in your car alone in the middle of the afternoon when the sun is out but the clouds are slightly hovered suggesting that the weather is nice but slightly crisp-- or at the gym with your bright red headphones plugged into your ears tuning out the rest of the sweaty people around you, or wandering aimlessly through Target while broke but somehow justifying spending invisible money on new bath mats and a matching soap dish-- when the apparatus spitting out the music you're currently rocking out to spills out a song that you have A) not heard in quite some time B) forgot you loved or C) never heard before in your life.  This song, which you have instantly fell in love with, causes you to forget what you're doing because it forces you to "Shazam" it, google it, then YouTube it, all within the next five minutes of your life.  This song triggers a new love and appreciation for the sounds that others can put together for your enjoyment.  It triggers an emotion.  It makes you think of a certain someone, or someones.  It consumes your thoughts for a time period lasting anywhere from three minutes to three weeks.  This song is your New Dig.  

New Dig of the Week:


DIY Coffee & Lavender Body Scrub

My cousin made me a jar of this stuff for Christmas last year and I can't get enough of it. With body scrub companies like FrankBody trending these days, this is a perfect DIY alternative.

Coffee and Lavender Sugar Body Scrub

makes about 1 cup

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup finely ground coffee (or use more granulated sugar if you’re afraid of a brown scrub)

2 tablespoons dried lavender

1/2 cup vegetable glycerine

2 tablespoons lavender essential oil

Combine all ingredients and stir well.  Store in an airtight container (I use mason jars) for up to a week. Scrub on hands and body in the shower, then rinse. I even use it on my face from time to time. It's the perfect blend of a moisturizer and exfoliant!

If you try it out, let me know how it goes in the comments!

x

Vida Soleil x Life

Welcome to my inspiration zone / blog / online shop! If you don't already know me, I'm Brianne! I'm glad you're here having a look. Even if you do know me, some of you may not know what it is I actually do, and I do a lot right now!

I'm currently studying the business of fashion at Cal State Long Beach, and I run and operate an online swimwear retail company called Vida Soleil. I also make art, dance, practice yoga, lift weights, read, bake and now blog!

At Vida Soleil, I've truly gotten to have hands on, real world experience in an industry that I absolutely love. Some of my work activities include: managing our social media content, buying all of the beautiful merchandise, taking care of customer service emails and phone calls, packing and shipping orders, organizing and directing photoshoots, uploading data, implementing various other ideas and creative decisions, and analyzing business and industry trends. I am truly blessed to be a part of such an awesome, laid-back company, and at 21 it feels great to know that I already am gaining experience that will last a lifetime. 

My career path has been extremely confusing (I changed my major 5 times before settling on one that felt right) and as a lover of many things, I have found it hard to focus my direction in life in just one place. But ultimately what I want most in life is love, family, freedom, and happiness just like most people, and there are a lot of careers that could lead me to that. I'm just blessed that mine also happens to be right up my alley and fun:)

If you're ever looking for a new bikini or want any advice or insight based on my experiences, let me know and I'd be happy to help! Check out some of my favorites below: