Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Head Back to School

The air has turned crisp, the days are getting shorter, and pumpkin spice lattes are back on the menu at Starbucks. As the last few days of summer slip away, it becomes time to embrace autumn, which is synonymous with back to school. As a child, despite loving summer vacation with a passion, I also loved back to school to time, with its promise of new beginnings and shiny new school supplies. Alas, while my days of academia have passed, here are my tips for bringing the back to school spirit alive as an adult:
1. Break open a new box of crayons: There are few things as glorious as a brand-spankin' new box of crayons. A beckoning rainbow of unleashed creative potential. So why not relive the amazing-ness of that childhood memory with the adult version - a fresh new beauty look. Check out Sephora's Fall 2010 makeup trends, including deep plums and soft neutrals. And while you're at it, don't forget to clean your makeup brushes and toss out old items (anything over 18 months old) to make sure you're not swiping on bacteria and germs in the morning.
2. Organize your desk: Lately I cringe as I arrive at work in the morning, as my desk is strewn with papers, folders and random junk. I'll be using this changing of the season to throw out old paperwork (that includes the electronic junk on my computer as well), organize a better filing system, and add some personal touches to my office space to make it more reflective of my individual style. What does your desk need? Perhaps some greenery? An inspiring calendar? Framed mementos of your loved ones? J'adore Papaya's office supplies, which are currently on sale!

3. Register for fall sports: With the end of summer typically comes the return to a normal routine. What better time than to get back to a regular exercise program! While of course I recommend belly dance as a great way to burn calories and tone muscles, discover the type of exercise that excites you. Vinyasa yoga? Hoop dance? Pilates? Cardio striptease? Pure barre? Boot camp? No matter what it is, regular physical activity will sculpt your body, boost your energy levels, and reduce your stress.
4. Back to school shopping: Of course, the first image back to school shopping evokes is heading out to the mall and loading up bags full of this season's newest trends. However, if you're like me, you already have closets and draws full of clothing, half of which you don't wear. I challenge you to join in shopping your own closet. First step is to inventory what you have - get rid of anything you haven't worn in over two years, that is permanently stained, doesn't fit, or doesn't make you feel fabulous when you put it on. Second step is to start creating new styles and looks. Find a celebrity muse. Who oozes the style you crave? Gwen Stefani? Audrey Hepburn? Rihanna? Pair items you've never worn together before. Find inspiration in the glossies - Lucky, Vogue, and Glamour. Now strut your stuff!
5. Crack open a book: What says back to school more than books? Ahh, how I loved sustained silent reading and getting lost into a world of adventure and fantasy. Try scheduling at least an hour a week to spend quietly pouring over some enticing reading material. Can't think of anything? Here's a few suggestions:
  • Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Tranquilista: Mastering the Art of Enlightened Work and Mindful Play by Kimberly Wilson
  • Life Is A Verb: 37 Days To Wakup, Be Mindful and Live Intentionally by Patti Digh
  • The Witch of Portobello by Paulo Coehlo
All of these titles are available on the Recommendations page of my website.

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