Random Self Care Thoughts

Self Care Thoughts

Self-Care doesn’t have to be meditation, working out and green juice — to me it’s honoring what you truly need when you need some comfort and care — which could be wine, a nap, seeing friends or funny YouTube videos.

Recently for me it was a matcha, crying and Friends reruns at 11am on a Thursday morning... 🍵😢📺 Here’s what happened:

A few weeks ago, I went to the DMV to get my CA driver’s license. The day before I prepared everything I needed, and spent an hour studying for the test. I woke up extra early, got there right when they opened and waited in the long line. I had been there for two hours and gone through two people reviewing and approving all my documents.

I thought I was finally at the part where I would take my test and picture and be done. NOPE!

The next lady I was sent to was AWFUL and said she didn’t like that my bills said either my first name or middle name aka “weren’t consistent” and told me to leave and come back when I had bills that were “consistent.” When I tried to ask her why the other people approved my documents, or show her that my birth certificate has both names, she said she didn’t care what they did or what my birth certificate said she wouldn’t let me go through. I was shocked and frustrated that she wouldn’t even listen or answer my questions.

I didn’t know what else to do since she was completely shutting me out so I just left. I called my mom and told her the situation and she told me to go home, get what I needed and go back.

I would usually push myself to do that but I didn’t have it in me on that day. I felt so angry, depleted and disrespected, that I just wanted to go home, feel safe and comforted — so I honored that.

Right away the first thing I wanted was a big delicious matcha, to let out my feelings of frustration and rejection, and to just sit on the couch and give myself the permission to watch something lighthearted that made me laugh and feel good.

A voice in my head was saying, you should be working, or doing something productive, getting this thing done that you need to get done, or reading something thought provoking – but I ignored all those voices and gave myself some comfort — and it was exactly what I needed. Don’t judge yourself for whatever you need. Let yourself off the hook sometimes, sometimes that what self care is all about.

Morning Matcha with Cashew Milk

Matcha Tonic with Cashew Milk

I’ve started making my morning matcha with homemade cashew milk and it has been a game changer. It makes the tonic extra creamy, delicious and magical 💚⚡️🍵

You can find my homemade cashew milk recipe here.

Here’s my matcha recipe with homemade cashew milk:

- 10 oz hot (not boiling) water

- 4 oz homemade cashew milk 

- 1 serving vital proteins collagen

- 1 tbsp coconut butter

- 1 tsp Ippodo matcha

- 1/2 tsp Sun Potion ashwagandha

- 1/4 tsp Sun Potion rhodiola

- 1/4 tsp cinnamon

- A few drops of stevia

Blend all ingredients on high for 1-2 minutes. Enjoy!

The Original LG 2018 Favorites

The Original LG Favorites

As the year is coming to a close, here are some of my favorites from 2018. From favorite books and movies, to greatest memories and lessons learned, these are some of the things that comprised my roller coaster year. 

It’s nice to end off the year reflecting on the things that brought me joy and the lessons I learned; and then move forward into 2019!

Movie: Eighth Grade

Documentary: Won’t You Be My Neighbor – It’s about the life and legacy of Mr. Rogers

Fiction book: The Secret History by Donna Tartt

Nonfiction book: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

Music: Seeing HAIM in concert with my best friend in Santa Barbara

Song: Look Up Child by Lauren Daigle

Podcast: Let It Out with Katie Dalebout

Drink: Matcha! That’s absolutely no surprise 🙃

Food: Honey Hi gluten-free sourdough bread with sunflower seed butter & banana - so simple but so good.

Dessert: Doughnuts from Donut Friend 🍩

Restaurant: Honey Hi

Adaptogen: Ashwagandha

Clothes: Leotards & Overalls

Activity: Hiking

App: Clue — period tracker app

Emoji: Heart with sparkles 💖

Random thing: Sending voice messages to my brother over Whatsapp. We would end up having full on back and forth conversations through them! He lives in Panama so it was a lovely way to stay in touch and hear his voice.

Inspirational woman: Deborah Hanekamp aka Mama Medicine

Learning: All about Digital Marketing 🤓

Acting Memory: Playing the lead role in my first film 🎬

Overall Memory: Hiking the English countryside with my mom

Learning moment: Rebuilding my relationship with my father and learning how to communicate with him.

Lesson learned: The power of honesty 💛

Word: Resilience 🦁

The Original LG Gift Guide

I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite things from the last year + some fun gift ideas for yourself or loved ones. If you’re into wellness, self-care or sustainability – you will definitely find something interesting.

These are lovely gifts because they encourage you to slow down and take some time for yourself while also helping the environment. I hope something on this list supports you or a loved one to feel your best. And of course there are some fun ideas to round it out. Happy Holidays!

The Original LG Gift Guide

Stojo Cup

Stojo is a collapsible coffee cup that fits in your pocket. Stojo makes it SO easy for you to reduce the amount of disposable cups that you consume because you can carry it around anywhere. It’s easy to use, easy to pack AND it’s really cute. You’ll be be glad that you aren’t using any plastic or paper cups because your Stojo looks so much cooler. 

Metal Straw & Case

You already know how much I love metal straws – such an easy way to reduce the amount of plastic trash that we are throwing into the world. Giving someone a metal straw with a cute case is a fun gift that everyone can use.

Ippodo Matcha

You can never have too much Matcha :) Ippodo is my absolute favorite so obviously this is on the list.

Willowvane Mugs

These ceramic mugs are beautiful. I love unique pieces that are handmade and that support local artists and small businesses. Having a warm cup of tea or matcha during the colder months is very nourishing, and the only thing that makes it better is drinking it in a special mug.

Hoop Earrings from Jennifer Fisher

I LOVE wearing hoops. I am addicted at the moment. I have a bunch that are kind of cheap so the one fancy gift I am coveting is a nice pair of hoops. I love these from Jennifer Fisher.

15 Ways to Self Love Print from Society 6

This is a lovely image with wonderful self love practices. We can never have too many reminders of ways we can show ourselves some love. I think this print would look cute in your bathroom or kitchen.

Volcano Candle from Anthropologie

I love the Capri Blue Volcano candle from Anthropologie. Its been my favorite for a few years now. It gives a room such a warm elegant scent and looks pretty in the iridescent jar it comes in and it is a great price! You can’t go wrong with this one.

Journey to the Heart Daily Meditations by Melody Beattie

This is a lovey daily meditations book that I read each morning. It has a passage for each day that always has a warm insightful message. There is so much wisdom in each daily reflection and it always brings me peace. I have had this book for two years now, and I still find it very helpful. I will continue to use it next year as well.

The Ultimate Matcha Review

Morning Matcha

My love of matcha is no surprise. I drink my matcha tonic every morning and enjoy it as an afternoon pick me up if I’m feeling tired.

If you want to know exactly how I make my morning matcha you can find the recipe here.  

How did I become so obsessed?

I’ve known about matcha for a while but I didn’t start drinking it religiously until a few months ago. I used to be a coffee drinker and was in the habit of drinking that every morning. The switch to matcha happened for two reasons:

  • I stared having strong reactions to coffee with the medication I was taking for anxiety. It would make my heart beat fast, make me extremely jittery and it was causing sleeplessness even if I drank it at 10am! I started noticing that when I didn’t have the coffee I would sleep really well and was much calmer. I know these are normal reactions to coffee but I had never experienced them before.

  • I discovered how to make a matcha elixir and that blew my mind. Before this I had only had matcha lattes at coffee shops and they aren’t that good compared to the tonics I started making myself. When you add collagen and coconut butter and adaptogens and all sorts of magical ingredients it really takes your matcha game to the next level.

So, needless to say, I now drink a lot of matcha and have done comprehensive research and experimentation on which matcha is my favorite. Here is a thorough review of all the matcha brands I have tried that takes into consideration quality, flavor, price points, and convenience so you can choose the one the best fit your needs.

Ippodo Matcha

Ippodo Tea

This is the best tasting, best quality matcha I have tried. In my opinion it blows the other matchas out of the water and hard to go back to other brands once you’ve had it. Ippodo Tea Company has been producing superior quality green tea in Kyoto Japan since 1717 — so basically they are masters at it.

They have a few different flavors of matcha: Rich, Balanced and Smooth.

I have tried the Rich and Smooth flavors, and, in my opinion, the difference between the two wasn’t extreme. The Rich was a little bit stronger and had more depth, the Smooth was a little lighter and smoother. The Smooth flavor is cheaper so that has become my go-to matcha.

Here are the prices for the largest size tin (40g): Rich — $46.99; Balanced — $39.99; Smooth — $32.99

Overall Thoughts: If you’re going to spend the money and invest in the best quality and tasting matcha — I would absolutely go with Ippodo.

DoMatcha Organic Matcha

DoMatcha

I found DoMatcha at Whole Foods when I wanted to see what matcha selection they had available. They had a large tin available or single serving packets that were sold individually. Having the ability to buy the single packets is incredibly convenient for travel or if you want to make sure you like it before investing in a larger quantity.

I bought a few of the single serving packets. This brand is more on the expensive side so I was grateful for the single packet alternative. The tin they had available at Whole Foods was the Summer Harvest 80g tin for $32.99.

This is the best matcha I have bought at a grocery store. I wouldn’t buy the larger tin because if I am spending that money I would buy the Ippodo tea, but it was good and the closest matcha I have found in terms of quality and taste to Ippodo.

Overall Thoughts: This was a great quality matcha and my second favorite in terms of taste that I have tried. Having the ability to buy it at Whole Foods and get single serving packets make this matcha brand extremely convenient. These single serving packets were my favorite for blending quality, great taste and convenience.

 

CapBeauty Matcha

CAP BEAUTY - The Neat Matcha Stick Box

 CAP BEAUTY sells a good quality, expensive ceremonial grade matcha that you can purchase in individual packets or a larger tin. I purchased the “The Neat Stick Box” so I could have those available as an easy travel option. When I tried them however I didn’t find the flavor that rich so I couldn’t really taste it in my matcha tonic. In order to get a stronger matcha flavor I had to use two of the packets or if you purchased the tin you would have to use an even larger amount which ends up making it more expensive.

You have to order CapBeauty online if you don’t live in LA or NYC.

 The 39g tin they have available online costs $36 and the Neat Stick Box costs $34 and comes with 15 packets.

Overall Thoughts: The Neat Sticks are convenient for traveling but I enjoyed the DoMatcha single serving packets better which I can easily buy at Whole Foods. If you’re going to spend the money on matcha I recommend Ippodo, or if you want to go the single serving packet I would recommend DoMatcha.

Pure Leaf Matcha

Pure Leaf Matcha

I was recently in Texas and forgot to pack my travel matcha – what was I thinking right? I don’t know what was wrong with me that morning – anyways all of this to say that I had to see what I could find at our local grocery store. I found this brand in the tea section and decided to give it a try. Pure Leaf is probably easier to find and more convenient if you don’t live in an area with a Whole Foods and you don’t want to spend a lot of money or order online. I saw that it is also sold at Target.

This ended up being my favorite of the matchas I found in Texas - it cost $7.99 for 12 packets, but I had to use two sleeves of matcha for each drink because the matcha just wasn’t rich enough for me. When I made my tonic with just one sleeve it was too light and not enough matcha flavor.

Overall Thoughts: This isn’t the matcha I would drink if I had my ultimate choice but it was the best one i could find in Texas at the local grocery store. I think it’s a good option for convenience, availability, and price point.

Navitas Organic Matcha Powder

Navitas Organics

This was another matcha brand that I found at the local grocery store in Texas in the health food section. I had high hopes for this one because it looks like it’s good quality but was disappointed. The flavor of this matcha was bitter and not smooth. I ended up using this one least.  

It cost $21.99 for a 3oz bag.

Overall Thoughts: It will probably be better used for cooking or something else but in terms of in a matcha drink the flavor isn’t good and makes your drink bitter.

Green Foods Corporation Organic Matcha

Green Foods Corportation — Organic Matcha Green Tea + Brown Rice Solids

This was the last matcha brand I found in the health food section of the grocery store in Texas. I was apprehensive about it right away because the ingredients weren’t pure matcha - it clearly says in the front that it also has brown rice solids. When I opened the jar the powder wasn’t a bright kelly green like matcha should be, but instead was a light muted green so I was expecting for the flavor of the matcha to not be pure. When I tried my matcha drink it didn’t have that rich matcha flavor but tasted more like the other ingredients in the drink. It was smoother than the Navitas brand but it wasn’t great matcha either.

Overall Thoughts: Better than the Navitas Organics matcha but still not great. If you’re buying matcha at the grocery store I would recommend Pure Leaf before this one or Navitas.

Well there you have it — a comprehensive review of my favorite matchas and some brands I have tried due to where I have been when traveling or a current circumstance. If you have a matcha brand you recommend I try let me know. Hope this is helpful for you when selecting which matcha best fits your needs!

Morning Routine

Morning Matcha

A calm, centered morning changes the entire course of your day. The past few months I have been committed to a daily morning routine and it is amazing to see the difference in how calm, grounded and at peace I am. I have been so positive and productive and just letting life flow. 

Things are happening without all the stress and anxiety of the past. My life has changed with a simple shift in being committed to a morning routine. You will see that it is quite extensive but for me it is SO worth it to wake up extra early to start my day with these wonderful practices.

Here’s what I’ve been doing:

  • Meditation: First thing when I wake up for about 15-20 minutes, I tune into my breathe and check in with how I am feeling. I don’t follow any fancy meditation practice and don’t even listen to an app, I just set a timer and focus on breathing and really feeling present in my body. At the end I set an intention for the day.

  • Gratitude: I take a moment to say thank you for all of the things I have, my health and this new day. We have so much to be grateful for and it is a wonderful way to start the day remembering the positive things we have in our lives.

  • Matcha: Probably my favorite part! I turn on the tea kettle and start making my matcha and take my vitamins. You can find my matcha recipe in a previous blog post here.

    Note: At this point I still have not even looked at my phone - reducing our screen and technology time is huge for tuning into you and being calm and centered.

  • Tarot: Once my matcha is ready I connect with my intuition and pick a tarot card. I shuffle the cards and ask the question: “Universe/Angels what do you want me to know today?” Then I let my intuition guide me as to which card I should choose. I love this moment of connecting to my inner guide and seeing what message the universe has for me on this day.

  • Journal: Lastly I journal while I drink my matcha. I love writing and journaling first thing in the morning to see whats coming up for me and to get things out. It is an incredible way to clear my mind and have a better understanding of what I am feeling and where I am at that morning. I don’t have a specific prompt that I use - just starting to write stream of consciousness and see where it takes me. I usually write about 3-4 pages. I have modeled it after Morning Pages from The Artist Way.

I know that’s a lot, but like I said earlier, the space it puts me in for the entire day is SO worth it to me. It has made the biggest difference in feeling my best each day. Wishing everyone happy and peaceful mornings! 

My Favorite Spots in Los Angeles ☀️

I have been in LA for a little over a year now. There are so many cool spots to explore and endless things to do. Here are a few of my favorites so far!

Honey Hi restaurant in Los Angeles

Food:

Honey Hi – Hands down my favorite restaurant in LA. They serve craveable, sustainable comfort food with thoughtful ingredients. The food is so delicious and their menu changes seasonally. They use organic and locally sourced produce, as well as 100% organic, humanely raised animals and eggs. Basically they serve exactly the food we should be eating because everything is so thoughtfully chosen and comes from the best local sources. I always feel amazing after eating at Honey Hi.

Kitchen Mouse - Cute vegetarian restaurant in Highland Park. The menu is delicious and the space is adorable.

Botanica Restaurant - Amazing farm to table restaurant in Silverlake. The food is local and seasonal and their menu is made up of innovative vegetable dishes. Love the ambience and the vibe here too. Good to go with friends.

Hiking in Griffith Park

Hiking:

Fryman Canyon - This is my go-to hiking spot! It’s a great loop that takes about an hour and is a nice mix of incline, flat and downhill. It is easy to get to with great parking and beautiful views. I am so grateful this hiking trail exists.

Griffith Park - So many great hikes here. You can always be changing it up and exploring new paths. I love to come here when I have more time and can explore. Great views of LA and the Griffith Observatory.

Skylight Bookstore

Bookstore:

Skylight Books - Cool indie bookstore in Los Feliz. They curate a thoughtful collection of books on numerous topics that’s on the cutting edge of culture. They are always putting on great events with incredible authors and have reading groups as well. I love spending hours here.

Go Get Em Tiger

Coffeeshop:

Go Get Em Tiger - Such a cool coffeeshop. They have won numerous awards for having some of the best coffee in LA and the food is great. My favorite place to get coffee in LA and they have a few locations around central/east LA.

Maru - THE BEST MATCHA! This is my go-to spot for my absolute favorite matcha in town.

Highland Park

Explore:

Highland Park - I love exploring this neighborhood, it is my favorite area to just hang out in when I have some extra time. Lots of unique record/music stores, vintage shops, restaurants and bars. Favorites here are: Highland Park Bowl, Donut Friend and Gimme Gimme Records.

Currently Obsessed: Matcha Lattes

I have been loving my matcha lattes in the morning! It's a delicious warm drink that is so good for you and really grounding. It's nice to have when you're not ready for food yet but you want something that will give you steady energy and not stress your adrenals like having a cup of coffee on an empty stomach. It's a great drink for easing into your morning. I have enjoyed sipping on mine while I am reading through my morning news and emails.

There are so many different ways and ingredients you can use for your matcha lattes. I have enjoyed making a simple version that includes coconut butter (for healthy fats, creaminess, and subtle sweetness) and collagen (for protein and good for your gut, hair, skin and nails). I have seen some people add adaptogens and other superfood powders, which looks amazing (might be something I experiment with in the future), but for now I am loving my simple combination. I have included all the details below if you want to try it out.

My matcha latte:

  • 1 tsp matcha (I use the Ippodo brand)

  • 1 tablespoon coconut butter (I use Artisana)

  • 2 scoops collagen (I use vital proteins)

  • 14 - 16 oz hot water (not boiling)

  • Sprinkle of cinnamon

  • 1 - 2 drops organic stevia

Blend everything together on high and enjoy! :)