Happy Post-Holidays Haze, the time of year when none of us know what the date is! I can't believe Christmas has already come and gone, and now we are days away from it being the end of 2017. The older I get it seems like this is the new norm, but each year really does fly by quicker than the last. This year, like all do, had its ups and downs. It was our first full year living in California, I finally went vegan, I started a new job, and celebrated the five year anniversary of LunaVida. I can't wait to see what 2018 brings! I love the promise of a new year and all it will hold.
Happy First Day of Winter! Today I'm sharing ten of the best vegan winter fashion items with you. (You may be wondering why someone who lives in Southern California is dishing out winter fashion advice; however, while we may not have many freezing days here, we can still appreciate the need for coziness!)
Plaid blanket scarf: Target | Original post seen here
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1. Wool-free hats
Believe it or not, lots of hats actually contain animal products. There are other options though - just be sure to check the label for fabrics such as wool.
Wool-free floppy hat: Target | Original post seen here
2. Faux leather jackets
^Not just for winter. Really, they're a year-round staple, but layering them with a hoodie underneath looks extra cute and keeps you warm on a mild day.
Faux leather motorcycle jacket: Old Navy | Original post seen here
3. Faux suede ankle boots
I can't get enough of ankle boots. They're definitely my favorite type of footwear. I'm super grateful that there are so many affordable and cruelty-free choices out there ranging from faux leather to fake suede.
Faux suede studded ankle boots: Old Navy | Original post seen here
4. Knee-high socks
They keep ya toasty and they make an outfit look more put together. Win-win!
I know a lot of us tend to lean towards distressed jeans, but this time of year we need all the extra fabric we can get to stay warm. That means no holes, of course. (I know it's hard to pull yourself away from the ripped jeans but it's for the warmth of your body!)
Hudson dark wash skinny jeans: c/o Shopbop | Original post seen here
9. Over-the-knee boots
I never thought I would like these kinds of boots, but they grew on me. Now I love how they can dress up jeans (and keep your feet warm, too).
What are your favorite winter items? Did you ever realize just how many things in our lives contain animal products? Thankfully though there are now plenty of high-quality alternatives so we can look stylish without the cruelty!
PS: Don't forget to enter the giveaway going on here. It ends in just a few days!
Happy weekend - it's almost Christmas! (Wait, wha? I just typed that out and scared myself because I still have so many gifts I need to get and no time to do so. Gah!) Seeing as that's the case, I thought I'd share a cozy holiday-themed outfit today. It may not currently be chilly enough in SoCal to truly warrant a beanie and a blanket scarf, but whatever. They're cute and I like to dress for the season, rather than what may make the most sense. And I tend to run cold, so in the words of the wise Miley Cryus "I'mma do my thang."
Multicolored plaid blanket scarf (also seen here & here): Target
Is there anything better than a white tee and jeans combo? The answer is yes. Yes, there is. And that's when you get to add your favorite wintertime accessories, baby! Are you excited about pulling out your hats, scarves, and boots? (Or do you live in a colder climate and you took those items out of storage months ago?)
PS: Don't forget to enter the giveaway going on here!
This post has been sponsored by the PRIMP Network. As always, all opinions are my own.
The Importance of Self-Care & Positive Thinking
I'm gonna get really real with you right off the bat today: I don't know about you but when "that time of the month" comes around I am knocked back by cramps for the first couple days. We ladies really do have to kick extra ass the week of our periods. That said, when everything is achy/cramped/bloated/just feeling icky in general, self-care is extra vital. (The same can be said for this time of the year because the holidays are known to be equal parts exciting... and stressful.) It can be tempting to want to succumb to the negative thoughts that tend to come with our cycles. "Ugggghhhhh, whhhhyyyyy do I have to be a woman right now?!" However, practicing positive thinking and self-talk can be beneficial for our wellbeing - and not just during the most dreaded week of a woman's month, but every single day. Scroll down to see some simple ideas to begin incorporating more positive thoughts into your life.
1. Wake up and repeat an affirmation confirming that the day ahead will go well.
Really believe it will, too. This allows you to start off your morning with an upbeat outlook, and that will make it easier to carry on throughout the rest of your day with a better attitude.
2. During that midday slump, take the time to go for a brisk walk for a few minutes.
Being outside in nature (or if you can't get out into the fresh air, even just a change of scenery from your office to a different floor of the building) is such a great way to reset our minds and get out of the dreaded 2 PM rut. Grab a work friend, take a stroll, and reignite your mind and body in a refreshing manner!
3. Catch yourself in the act when those nagging negative thoughts creep in.
It's natural for all of us to have those unwanted irritating thoughts from time to time. One thing we can do to help lessen these occurrences is to actually practice correcting ourselves when we speak negatively. Forming the habit of rewording a thought from something such as "There is no way I can ever finish ____" to "I am currently struggling with ____" can drastically change your mood over time. It helps us to realize that these moments are only temporary.
4. Treat yo'self.
There's nothing wrong with rewarding yourself for a job well done at the end of a strenuous week (or for making it through the holiday season). It's not selfish when you're taking care of yourself so that you can then be in a better place to pay it forward and help out those who need it more. Taking care of yourself allows you to better support and be there for others, too.
5. Stop feeling guilty for relaxing.
When I'm crampin' up all I want to do is Netflix and chill. And that is okay. If that's what is going to help me get through the next few days of menstrual pain, then so be it! I personally prefer to brew a cup of hot tea and take a Pamprin Multi-Symptom, which you can purchase at Walmart. (It contains three active ingredients: an antihistamine to relieve my crankiness, a diuretic to fight against a bloaty body, and a pain reliever to alleviate those dang cramps!) Then I apply a face mask, grab a cozy blanket, cuddle up with my cats and dogs, and watch some reruns of my favorite TV shows. (Big ups to New Girl and Friends. Those shows always lift me up and put me in a lighter mindset.)
I can personally vouch that ever since I first heard about the importance of positive thinking and, more importantly, actually began making it a part of my everyday headspace, I do feel lighter -- no matter which week of the month or time of the year it may be.
How do you practice positive thinking? Do you feel the need for more self-care particularly around the holidays? Whatever you have to do to feel and be your best, do that. You deserve it :)
Hey there, holiday fans! Knowing what to gift your plant-based, cruelty-free living loved ones can seem daunting if it's not a lifestyle that you adhere to personally. What if (s)he hates it?What if I don't even know what "vegan" really means?Is vegan the same as gluten-free? (Answer to the last one: No. No, it is not the same.)
Fear not, kind people who wish to shower their vegan friends with a present or two. To make it easier on you for loving a vegan, I have a created a gift guide that doesn't include wool, silk, leather, feathers, milk, eggs, angora, etc. These items don't even contain trace amounts of animal products so you should be in the clear, sweet soul! (And if you are a vegan reading this, feel free to share this gift guide with a nudge, nudge, wink, wink in your letter to Santa Claus this year.)
And hey, even if you don't know any vegans it never hurts to purchase goods that no animals were harmed in the making of! We all should support the businesses and products that align with our beliefs (and who doesn't adore animals living happy, long lives? 😊)
"Vegan" Knee-High Socks - I know you're not supposed to buy socks for people, but doesn't that also make it a funny stocking stuffer option? (Or does this make you judge my sense of humor in a negative light? ...) Plus, we vegans tend to wear it on our calves sleeves. And with these high socks you get all the winter coziness one craves minus the wool that so many socks have!
Pacifica Roll-On Perfume Trio - I have this fragrance set; therefore I can personally vouch for how downright deeeeeee-licious it smells. All three scents are so good and this brand is entirely vegan and cruelty-free!
Gifts Under $50
Go Customized Personalized Cell Phone Case - Personalized presents are always nice since it means you took the extra time to really think about the person. For this gift, you choose the electronic device you want to get a case for and then design it however you please! Why not put a picture of your vegan pal's beloved pet on a case? Sweet and sentimental! They're sure to love it. (For my iPhone case courtesy of Go Customized, I chose a photo of Matt and Dakota overlooking one of our favorite spots in Del Mar. I've already dropped my phone multiple times -- #accidentprone -- and it hasn't scratched up even the tiniest bit! I am obsessed with it.)
Enter at the end of this post for a chance to win your own personalized phone case from Go Customized!
(Second place winner gets 35% off their purchase.)
Custom Monogram Ring - Monogrammed jewelry is timeless and classic. You just can't go wrong with it. There's a reason so many people love the look, no matter what their style may be.
Thoughtful Gifts That Give Back
"My Favorite Breed is Rescued" Cuff Bracelet - Purchasing a bracelet like this one from LemonBug lets your plant-based pal share their passions via their accessories. It also donates money to the featured animal rescue or charity of your choice. Win-win!
"I Just Want To Hang With My Dog" T-shirt - I can personally vouch for this shirt from The Daily Tay because I own it and it is my favorite ever. What's even better? When you buy it 20% of profits are donated to an animal shelter and you get to support a small business. (I also think this shirt would be a hit with the kitty lovers of the world. It donates money to animals, as well!)
Custom Pet Portrait - Companion animals, art, and a donation made to local shelters all in one purchase? This is a vegan gift goldmine, people.
If material goods aren't your friend's thing then consider asking for a charity they would like you to donate to in their honor. Personally, I'm skipping asking for any gifts this year and I'm asking for people to instead give to The Humane League. (Shameless plug here: if you would like to help farm animals this holiday season you can donate here to a fundraiser I am a part of. Thanks for any support at all. Every dollar counts. Plus through the end of the year, a donor has agreed to match every dollar 2:1 which means your donation would be tripled to help more animals! Psst - if you donate at least $1 it will also count as five entries into the giveaway below!)
What's on your winter wish list? Was this vegan gift guide helpful at all? I hope it was because I do realize that navigating veganism can be intimidating if you aren't familiar with it. Really though, I promise it's not scary at all. Whatever you decide to give them I recommend just checking labels for animal byproducts, or make it even simpler by sticking to brands that are labeled as vegan (such as Pacifica) and you'll be good to go. Your plant-based bud(s) will be so appreciative that you took the time and energy to respect their lifestyle. And isn't that the best present of all? 😊 Happy holidays, everyone.
Wait, what? It's been five years since I published my first ever post on LunaVida? HALF OF A DECADE?How is that actually possible?
This blog began almost exactly a year after I graduated from college. Back then Matt and I were spending a year in the deep countryside of Florida, having said yes to the first post-grad job offer that came our way. It was a rough year being stuck there in rural Florida for any amount of time, let alone a full year. (No shade at rural Florida, it's just not the right place for us.) I needed some type -- any kind, really -- of "creative outlet" and I somehow narrowed in on an affordable fashion blog.
Since my very first blog post ever (which you can see and cringe at with me here) our lives have changed a lot. We've moved from Florida to Arizona to California over the course of those five years. We've added two more members to our family, being Kingsley and Ollie, of course. (Back in December 2012 our family was just Matt, Kitten Luna, Puppy Kota, and myself!) My sisters both had daughters. Matt and I have both held different kinds of jobs. We've made amazing lifelong friends in adulthood while remaining close to childhood friends. We've made a lot of stupid mistakes and taken risks that paid off. We've had more Netflix and takeout nights than I can count. And every moment of these past five years, however adventurous or mundane, LunaVida has been there too. It's wild to think that this little virtual scrapbook has included everything from my evolving personal style to a diary of sorts from my 20s to my journey from super longtime vegetarian to [finally] going vegan. What an odd idea a blog is, but what else can give you the same thing? Well, I guess a paper journal circa 1997 can give you that... but it's the digital age now and I'm trying to stay current here, kids.
I am so lucky that LunaVida still doesn't feel like another job or chore (most days). It's still fun for me. It's a daily task that I often look forward to doing. That isn't always the case because it is certainly a labor of love, but it's also a continuous part of my life that I keep getting to learn from and get excited about.
Throughout the years of LunaVida, I've gained new skills. It's given me a gigantic timeline of my life over the past five years that I can look back on one day. It's allowed me to work with amazing brands. It has held me accountable and taught me how to prioritize better.
It's introduced to amazing people. Like you :)
I'm so grateful for all of you who choose to read this blog. It's much more fun to share and engage with you guys. So whether this is your first time ever stopping by LunaVida or you have read every single post since Day 1 (hi, Mom), thank you. I hope you'll keep coming back from five more years (and then some) 💗