Mindfully Glam!

Hello everyone!

The time has come where I must transfer you over to my new blog, Mindfully Glam

Mindfully Glam: a place where wellness meets glamour.

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If you’re a glam girl like me, you love putting on makeup, stepping out in a pair of stilettos and wearing the latest fashion trends.  You may also be passionate about exercise, meditation and incorporating healthy eating habits into your lifestyle. You’ll typically catch me at the newest hotspot in SoHo or a meditation studio in Flatiron..probably all in the same evening!  If any of this sounds familiar, then you know that life is about balance, and Mindfully Glam gives you just that.

Living in New York City is a challenge in so many ways, but I realized that you don’t have to compromise who you are or the person that you want to be in order to be happy here.  It took me three years to find my place and figure out how to stay grounded in a chaotic city that attempts to throw me out of alignment on a daily basis.

This lifestyle blog is all about positive thinking, gratitude, spirituality, fashion, beauty, holistic health, wellness, nutrition, and everything both mindful and glam!

Happens for a Reason will always hold a dear place in my heart.  Please check out my new blog and subscribe here!

Xx Marisa

 

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21 Things I’m Grateful for This Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Thanksgiving is a time to reflect back on everything that we are thankful for.  There is so much to be grateful for every single day, not just today.
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For those of you who don’t know, I have been keeping a gratitude journal since May of 2016.  Every day, I write down at least three things that I’m thankful for.  This simple exercise has completely changed my life.  It has opened my eyes to many aspects of my life that I have taken for granted over the years.  There will 100% be a post solely dedicated to gratitude, but until then, here’s a sneak peek into my gratitude journal and the top 21 things I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving.
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1.  My family
2.  Every single one of my friends
3.  Waking up each morning
4.  My friend’s surgery going well
5.  Living in Manhattan
6. Running into old friends and catching up with friends I haven’t seen in some time
7. Being very happy and enjoying the journey
8. My blog and YouTube channel—will be launched soon! 🙂
9. Almost 21 days without coffee! I’m feeling so much less anxious and my sleep and skin have seriously improved!
10. Being able to hop on a train and escape to CT to be with my family for the holiday
11.  The start of the holiday season!
12.  Being employed
13.  Meditative mornings to myself
14.  For all the recent opportunities that have come my way
15.  Finally getting a bit of a much needed break. I’ve been in need of some serious R&R
16.  For everything I have had the opportunity to experience (good and bad) in 2017 this far
17.  Feeling inspired. I woke up yesterday morning in a blah mood (perhaps also because of this rain), and I opened up my phone to a Gabrielle Bernstein video that inspired me and put me back on track. The Universe will always give you what you need!
18.  For the tradition of Thanksgiving
19.  Whoever invented pie (although I’m not a huge pie fan, I love it around this time of year!)
20.  My persistence and strength when times are tough
21.  Anyone and everyone reading this—thank you for taking the time to do so!
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I wish you all a very happy and safe Thanksgiving! I hope you ate copious amounts turkey and watched a lot of football.  This holiday certainly calls for some serious

R&R with your family and loved ones, so I hope you enjoy!
Xx Marisa

Vicious Victim Cycle

So the other week I was watching a video by speaker, author, and spiritual leader, Gabrielle Bernstein, and she was talking about the concept of playing the role of the victim.  Now, I know that I am guilty of this, and I know a lot of people that are guilty of this well—we all fall into the victim trap occasionally as it’s human nature to do so.  All of us see ourselves as victims in some way or time in our lives.  Gabby explained that when we view ourselves as victims we begin to overthink and obsess about a situation and try to control it.  We reach out and talk about the situation to everyone we know, and the more we talk about it, the more we obsess about it and try to over-analyze it.  In reality, we make the situation worse, not better, and there is no resolution in sight.

I can honestly say there’s definitely one aspect of my life that I’m not happy with and working on.  I’m really consciously trying to think differently and change my perception about it because it has affected my disposition in many ways, over and over again.  I find myself falling into the trap of playing the victim when talking or thinking about this aspect of my life.

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Although I am on a great path, very in tune with myself, and feel as if I’m in alignment with universe, we all have hiccups along the way.  Nobody is perfect and let’s face it, life is a journey and a continuous learning process for both me and you.

So, the other week I caught myself complaining, complaining, and complaining, and then, I had this moment of clarity (which has happened before), but this time the clarity really sank in.  The questions of why am I doing this and why am I ruminating about this problem and thinking negative thoughts over and over and over in my head really triggered something within me.  If there’s anything I’ve learned in regard to the law of attraction it’s that the vibrations you put out into the Universe are what you will receive back.  With that being said, why would I want to bring negativity into my life and continue to ruminate over a situation that is upsetting me?

I believe we all secretly, very deep down, love playing the role of the victim because we have the opportunity to shift blame onto other people or situations rather than looking inwardly at ourselves.  If you’re unhappy about something, it’s much easier to blame someone else rather than to show up for yourself and acknowledge what’s really going on inside of you.

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One of the coolest things that I’ve read within the past few weeks was a quote on Twitter by @LifeHacks. I’m not very active on Twitter, but I do love reading and occasionally retweeting things. One day I read a simple quote that went like this: “Three solutions to every problem: Accept it, change it or leave it. If you can’t accept it, change it. If you can’t change it, leave it.” How simple yet true!

When I read this quote, everything seemed very clear.  If you can’t accept something, change it.  If you can’t change it, leave it.  Sometimes the key to happiness is really that simple.   I guarantee that if you take this approach to many things in life, you’re going to be much happier because surrendering to something that just isn’t working in your favor and isn’t making you happy is a very strong and brave step in showing up for yourself.  Ruminating about what isn’t making you happy may seem like the easier choice, but negativity has a domino effect, and the more negative you are, the more negativity you will bring into your life.

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So, here is my advice to you:  be present and acknowledge that you are playing the role of the victim. When you focus on living in the present, you observe, reflect and process things at a slower pace and in turn acknowledge everything around you and how you’re feeling.  By doing so, you are aware of how you’re reacting to what you’re thinking and what’s going on around you.  If you slow down the pace, in any moment of unhappiness, I promise that you’ll have a brief moment of clarity and want to reach for a happy thought.

The first step is awareness, and the second step is actually changing your mindset, which takes a conscious and continuous effort.  Practice makes perfect, and you need to change out the negativity tape in your mind to achieve the results you want. Anytime you have a negative thought, reach for a positive one, whether it’s a silver lining in a situation or a positive thought or memory from your past. Feelings and emotions are all temporary, and you can change your mindset from negative to positive in an instant.

Everything in life is a choice, and you don’t have to choose to live in a negative world. It’s your choice to live a positive life. Stop feeding into the victim role by putting an end to complaining and ruminating.  Life is going to be much easier once you do this, and I promise you that if you stick to slowing down the pace of your thoughts and reactions, you will become more aware of the vibrations you’re putting into the universe, and you will choose to think positive thoughts.  End result: you will have a life filled with joy and happiness.

Be well, be glam!

Xx Marisa

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This off-the-shoulder sweater is by Romwe. It’s so comfy for the change of seasons!  I’m so happy sweater weather has arrived. Check out the top here!

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Photos Taken at Sweet Moment in Little Italy (NYC).  I got the Creamart Red Velvet (naturally, because it’s red! 🙂 )

Daydream, Darling

Whenever I find myself daydreaming, I am immediately taken back to my English class during junior year of high school.  Don’t tell my mom, but hands down, it was the best class to completely zone out in and fantasize about my future.  Daydreaming or spacing out definitely isn’t encouraged (as it can clearly serve as quite the distraction), but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t visualize our hopes and desires in our leisure time.

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The more I learn about manifesting one’s destiny, the more I realize that visualization plays a major role.  Picturing yourself achieving your dreams or visualizing a particular situation unfolding in your favor allows for the event to happen.  Simply taking a few minutes out of your day to daydream or visualize what you want for yourself will help you to obtain exactly that.  When you picture yourself succeeding, you will naturally feel more confident and secure about yourself, exude positivity, and be more attractive to other people and situations which will manifest into more opportunities.  Essentially, we respond to our own positive energy by manifesting the picture we are holding in our minds and making it happen.  If you can visualize it, you can actualize it.  It’s that simple.

Every day I try to set aside some time (usually before bed) to daydream and visualize myself achieving a goal or pursuing something that I want to do (i.e. taking a relaxing vacation to Italy).  The Universe truly does respond to your thoughts and vibrations, and it will start to make whatever you’d like to happen, happen.   Through visualization and positive thinking, you can accomplish your goals and overcome obstacles in your life.

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I always get such an adrenaline rush thinking about what my future could entail.   These are the moments when I truly feel like I’m “high off life.” I used to look at the future through “fear goggles,” but realized that fear did nothing more than hold me back.  Although some things about the future still give me some anxiety, I do not get nearly as worked up about uncertainty as I used to.  If anything, I now embrace the unknown!  We are all in control of our own lives and our own happiness.  If we choose to view the future with a positive outlook and embrace it, we create numerous opportunities to attract even more positivity and prosperity into our lives.

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I am so exited for this collaboration with one of my all-time favorite brands, Tobi!  I first discovered this brand in college.  This red “Be Your Lady Bodycon Dress” is so classic and simple, yet it’s absolutely a perfect staple to have in your closet.  Can we also talk about the gorgeous detail in the back?!  Seriously sexy!  This dress also comes in black, so definitely add it to your LBD collection.

I’m obsessed with this Rebecca Front Tie Romper Dress.  A dress and a romper? What a great combo!  I love the soft pastel color and sophisticated design, which takes elegant to a whole new level.  This piece is absolutely stunning and can be worn out for an intimate dinner, or paired with the right accessories even to a night at the opera or equally elegant occasion.  This dress lends itself to a dramatic setting!  Need I say more..

I haven’t worn many crop tops this season, but this Every Time Tie Blouse is so chic and can be worn with a high waisted skirt, shorts, or your favorite pair of jeans.  It makes me feel super groovy and as if I just walked off set from That 70’s Show.  After all, they say that fashion repeats itself every 30 years or so! Be seen in this edgy crop top and you will be sure to turn heads!

Shop these Tobi looks and more here 🙂

Xx Marisa

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All photography is by Josh Lobel Photography (@jlobelphoto) and shot in Dumbo, Brooklyn.

 

 

Trust the Process

This past month I have been constantly reminded that there is a plan greater than mine. I was so adamant about following my own plan that I continued to resist the path that the Universe was setting for me. Enter feelings of uncertainty and frustration as well as the constant question of “why is this happening?!” The best way I could describe the past month is like a puzzle: a puzzle I had all the wrong pieces to yet was trying to piece together. When something is not meant to be, it will simply not be, no matter how much we think we can control it or force it.

Naturally, resistance occurs when our plan doesn’t match up with what the world is throwing at us. The Universe will place new people and experiences into our lives and take out what is no longer serving us, and if you don’t make the changes yourself, the Universe will make them for you, as we each have a plan that’s greater than our own. You just have to be ready to let go and trust the process.

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Surrendering to a plan greater than yours is indeed difficult, however, it is ever so rewarding. I can’t emphasize this enough: everything happens for a reason. You might not know or understand the reason while you are going through the process, but when you take the time to look back on the experience or situation, you will find that it happened because it was meant to.

In my most recent experience, the Universe was setting me up for a better situation that I didn’t even think was possible! (Thank you, Universe!). We all put the utmost trust in our own plans, while we should be putting trust in a power greater than ourselves. Allow yourself to find comfort in trusting the process, and everything will come with ease.

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P.s. This gorgeous red, asymmetrical blouse is from SheIn.  Shop my favorite fall styles here!

Xx Marisa

21 Reasons Why I’m Excited for Fall

New seasons call for fresh beginnings.  I like to view the turn of the season as new doors opening for exciting possibilities.  Change is an inevitable part of life that is often times thrown at us when we least expect it.  Recently, I was in a pretty comfortable groove, happily sailing through life.  I have been working on some bigger, exciting projects, specifically one that I will share with everyone soon!

Despite Mercury being retrograde this past month, everything has been going along quite well.  Although I have been making a lot of progress, I recently experienced a couple of hiccups along the way.  I must admit that whenever I hit a couple of roadblocks, I like most people, tend to get stressed out.  There are a few (major) things up in the air for me right now, and I’m typically the type of person who likes and needs a plan.  I’m not great at relinquishing control and letting the Universe take the lead and waiting patiently for the outcome.  Keeping my cool this past week has proven to be difficult, but I have to continue to remind myself of one vital point: Everything happens for a reason.

I am exactly where I need to be, in this moment, right now, and so are you.  Challenges are called challenges for a reason.  They encourage and test us to grow, learn, and better ourselves.  Also, I have to continue to remind myself that it’s not about what’s happening in my life, it’s about how I’m perceiving the challenge and my reaction to it.  So, with all of that being said, I can choose to continue to be stressed out or take it moment by moment and look at the future with an open mind and the numerous opportunities to continue to grow, adjust and to be happier.

Without further ado, here are 21 reasons why I’m looking forward to Fall:

  1. New beginnings: new opportunities for change are endless
  2. Fall fashion: bring on the beanies, chunky sweaters, flannels, tights, leather jackets, and thigh high boots!
  3. Foliage
  4. Crisp air
  5. Pumpkin picking and other farm activities: Confession—I still go pumpkin picking with my mom once a year in CT
  6. Halloween.  It will never get old for a big kid at heart like myself
  7. Oktoberfest. Flight of seasonal beers anyone?
  8. Cleaning out my room.  I try to “spring clean” my room every season
  9. Fall foods: Apple fritters, warm savory soups, roasted veggies, spaghetti squash, etc.
  10. Snuggling up on chilly nights
  11. Fall color palette: navy, olive green, mustard yellow, deep reds, magenta, etc.
  12. My New York Anniversary: I’m going on year 4 here in the big apple
  13. Friends’ birthdays.  I have a lot of close friends who have September, October, and November birthdays!
  14. Turning back the clocks.  I’ll take that extra hour any day
  15. Excitement for the holiday season and my birthday, which in December
  16. Football & fall sports.  I’m not a huge sports fan, but I love watching games and participating in all the social aspects J
  17. Thanksgiving, which is my favorite holiday.  There’s always so much to be thankful for
  18. Spending time with my family, specifically that long weekend of Thanksgiving
  19. Fall flavors: I’m not a pumpkin spice girl, but I do love a spiced apple cider.  You can always find me with a hot apple cider in hand. I love cinnamon and spices.
  20. Launch of my new secret project—coming to you soon!
  21. Renewed sense of energy and excitement [in the city].  This goes for any season, but there’s just something about Fall that makes me really feel this energy

As I write this, I can picture myself sitting in the middle of Central Park, wearing a chunky sweater and booties, surrounded by the colorful foliage of Autumn.  The sun is shining down upon me, while I’m reading a book and breathing in the crisp air.  I take a sip of a hot Caramel Apple Spice Latte, and I can’t help but to think, “Fall is here, and I’m ever so excited!” 🙂

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Bell sleeve blouse by Romwe

Leather skirt by Urban Outfitters

Lips by Kylie Cosmetics

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Xx Marisa

5 Ways to be Happy NOW!

Written for CT Fashion Mag.  Article here.

How many times have you heard the phrase that life is too short to be unhappy? If you’re like me, then you’ve heard it probably one too many times. Everything in life is continuously changing. Nothing remains constant; it’s basic physics. Although my career as a scientist ended at the high school level, the most important thing I learned is that everything is constantly in motion. Simply put, one’s life can change in an instant. We all have good days and bad days, but at the end of the day, we are in control of our own happiness.

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Stephanie Cowan 2017

Being human, we all get sad, stressed, irritated, upset, angry, etc. for a brief or even extended period of time.  Recently, it took me almost two months to get out of one of the most creativity-blocking ‘funks’ I have gone through in my life.  I felt like I was just going through the motions of life without actually living it. This experience made me thoroughly reassess what was holding me back and forced me to stop and regroup.

Over the years, I found that one of the easiest ways to be happy right now is to bring yourself back to living in the moment.  We are constantly looking for the next life event or big-picture happening to take place, however, life also consists of the ordinary everyday moments that come in between these bigger occurrences.  Every single moment makes up your life, so if your currently sad, angry, confused, or just feeling ‘blah,’ why not be happy in this moment, right now? So here are my tips on how to be happy NOW.

  1. Just Breathe.  The first step is simply to breathe.  Inhale the good, exhale the bad.  Whatever it is that is troubling or making your feel sad, just let it go with each out breath. Take five long, deep, and slow breaths like this: Inhale for four slow counts, hold your breath for four slow counts, and then exhale for four slow counts.  Repeat these steps.   Anytime I am stressed, I tend to hold my breath or breathe shallowly, cutting off proper circulation to the rest of my body.  This is a huge no-no for trying to calm oneself down. If you can become aware of your breathing, you can start to ground yourself, begin to relax and focus on the moment. The simple, natural process of breathing is very calming and can dispel your anxiety and make you feel more relaxed and less stressed.
  2. Take a moment to ground yourself.  Even if you have to set your timer to exactly one minute, take that exact minute to recompose yourself.  For me, this is closing my eyes and meditating in silence.  I’ll even repeat a phrase like “you can do this, Marisa” or “you are so much stronger than you think.”  Try it.  I swear it works, even just for one minute.
  3. Visualize your “happy place.”  For me, I don’t have one exact “happy place” that I constantly resort back to in times of need.  Many people have that one place, but I have many happy places because it doesn’t have to be limited to a physical place or time in your life when you were genuinely happy.  I always think back to a joke a friend of mine once told me or simply the smile of a loved one.  It’s not rocket science, just a memory that makes you feel good inside and a visual that can’t help but make you physically smile.
  4. Step outside (unless the weather is bringing you down, of course, then just step away).  Get some sunlight and reconnect with nature.  I always find it so difficult to not be happy when I’m sitting or standing outside in direct sunlight.  If you’re in an office or at home just take a step outside, or at the very least, step away from your desk.  Go on a quick walk to recharge and to experience the serenity and beauty that is all around you.  Whether you are in a big city or a small town, there is always a piece of nature that can’t be ignored or underappreciated.
  5. Turn on your favorite song.  Once you’ve brought yourself back to living in the moment, choose a song.  For me, this probably entails a dancy/hip hop song from the early 2000s.  Pick something that 1. Isn’t sad 2. That you can sing (or rap) aloud 3. Reminds you of a person you love or a great time in your life 4. That you can dance to or at least bop your head to.  Moving your body in general can shift your mood and increase your happiness immediately as well.
Stephanie Cowan 2017
Stephanie Cowan 2017
Stephanie Cowan 2017
Stephanie Cowan 2017

No one’s life is perfect, and the unfortunate truth is that we aren’t going to be happy in every single moment of our lives.  However, when we fall off the wagon and become consumed with negativity or sadness, these five life hacks certainly come in handy for reassessing our current state of mind.  Just remember that you are in control of your happiness, and if you can slow down your thoughts, become present in the moment, and change your attitude from negative to positive, you can essentially become happy in any given moment.

Stephanie Cowan 2017

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Photography by Stephanie Cowan theblondwiththesmile.com @stephaniecowan

Criss cross backless swing dress by SheIn!

Xx Marisa