I Went on a Meditation Retreat: Here’s What I Learned

I’m perpetually floored at how easy it is to “check out” – how the world we live is built for distraction. It seems that everywhere we turn, there’s an opportunity to get lost in the various fluctuations of our busy minds or get derailed by the onslaught of daily stimulations. In fact, many of us – myself included – have difficulty enjoying the magic of the present moment.

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Our Summer Reading Picks

The slower pace of the summertime lends itself to many things – long BBQs outside, lazy days at the beach, summer Fridays, and plenty of time to get lost in a good book. In fact, the increased opportunity for reading is one of our favorite aspects of the season; we always manage to devour at least several books throughout the summer months.

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All About Nails

My nails – fingers and toes – have never been a part of my body that I’ve put much thought and/or effort into. In fact, they’re a mess. For one, I’m a chronic nail biter who is also plagued by peeling cuticles, a brutal combination that means my fingernails are often frighteningly short, dangerously jagged, and occasionally bleeding. If this monster-as-a-woman visual hasn’t already scared you enough, my toenails are another gruesome story. Given my compulsions, I’d probably bite them if I could (I don’t). But no, the problem with my toenails is that I’m excessively cruel to them.

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Teatime for Your Skin: Three Tea-Centric DIYs with Teapigs

If you were to rummage through the kitchen pantry here at the S.W. Basics HQ, you’d find some staple items: Nut butters of all varieties, several jars of honey, a healthy stockpile of Purely Elizabeth granola, and lots and lots of tea. Yep, we’re huge tea drinkers over here — and not just because we like the taste of it, either. Indeed, medical research keeps confirming that tea varietals of all sorts (from black to green) can promote good health. And, given that a healthy body begets healthy skin, it should come as no surprise that tea has also become a darling ingredient of the beauty industry. While products laced with, say, green tea extract can be effective, we prefer going straight to the source to reap the benefits.

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S.W. Recipe: Elana’s Veggie Sushi

If you know me, you know that I love sushi. I would eat it every single day if it was socially acceptable (is it?) and if I didn’t live with another human that enjoys some culinary variety. With this noted, sushi is always something I order in, which isn’t something I’m totally proud of — it can get expensive and it produces an awful lot of waste (hello, plastic-packaged soy sauces!).

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Brooklynite’s Guide: Maui and Kauai

Yes, you must eat your weight in poké. And, no, you don’t need to attend a laui (they’re often touristy messes). But there’s perhaps no better piece of advice that I can give travelers to Hawaii than this one: Get on island time.

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Certifiably Awesome: Erin Zaikis, Founder, Sundara

Have you ever wondered what happened to that bar of soap you slathered up with during your most recent hotel stay? Yeah, we can’t say that it’s something we’ve thought much about either — that is, until we were introduced to Erin Zaikis, founder of Sundara. Now, we can’t stop thinking about our freakin’ hotel soap. Here’s why.

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