Archive of ‘LIFESTYLE’ category

Reading Pretty: The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

The Little Paris Bookshop

Growing up I was always the child with a book in her hand. I’m now the grown up with a book, Kindle or iPad in my hand. I can’t get enough of books. I always carry something to read and I still love bookstores. Although bookstores here in the U.S. don’t have that cramped and stuffed feeling like they do in Europe, I still love them. Deeply.

My case for bookstores started when I was a young girl. My dad and I had a weekly routine of visiting our local Waldenbooks. He would limit me to two books because I was such a fast reader. It was the most magical time. Uninterrupted father-daughter bonding time. We would leave the bookstore and head to Prince’s for burgers and fries. Now, as an adult it’s hard for me to walk into a bookstore and not think of my father.

Bookstores center me, make me smile, and inspire me to continue a legacy of reading. Although I buy books online, I always buy a book from a brick-and-mortar bookstore each month. There isn’t anything better than walking into one of my favorite independent bookstores, flipping through the stacks, reading the book jackets, and deciding on a purchase. Bookstores connect me with my deceased father. Always and forever, daddy’s little girl.

Disclosure: This post was inspired by the novel The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George, where Monsieur Perdu–a literary apothecary–finally searches for the woman who left him many years ago.. Join From Left to Write on October 8th as we discuss The Little Paris Bookshop. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

Le Weekend

Krabi Thailand

{Photo of Krabi, Thailand}

Whew, we made it. It’s the weekend and I am so excited. I have a busy Sunday with friends and a food event I’ve been wanting to attend for years. I’m excited to be given the opportunity to cover the event for le blog. I hope you have a lovely weekend full of laughs, good books, great wine, almond milk chai lattes, and plum lips.

A few things I’ve been reading this week that I hope you like.

  1. What your Starbucks order says about your age and mine was spot on?
  2. I was fascinated with Molly Ringwald growing up and love seeing her as a grown woman. Also, her books are really good. Reading about her beauty routine makes me smile.
  3. If you haven’t listened to the Serial podcast, how are we friends? I’m excited about the new season.
  4. Tim McGraw’s Workout has me exhausted just reading it. I think I’ll stick with Beachbody.
  5. I discovered Evan Healy products at the National Products Expo and let me tell you I am hooked. This French Rose Clay Mask has been delivered to the beauty headquarters and I can’t wait to use it this weekend.

I’m going to start sending out my newsletter on Sundays. I’ve discovered an easier format that let’s me give you all the information in my head to your inbox. Sign up here.

Wellness Wednesday: Recap of Wanderlust 108 Mindful Triathlon


After my [Silent] Soul & Spirits Yoga Party on Saturday night, I attended the Wanderlust 108 Mindful Triathlon the next day. Yes, it was a weekend of lots of yoga and I was spent. I have been wanting to attend and cover Wanderlust events since they started the festivals a few years ago. The event takes place all across the U.S. and I highly recommend attending if you can.

Wanderlust 108 Mindful Triathlon is compiled of three events: a 5K run, yoga practice, and meditation. Yes, all that. The festival also had live music featuring DJ Drez and MC Yogi, which are yoga event regulars.

I arrived at the festival early to walk around and take it all in. The event had a bag check, various vendors, and a cafe where I enjoyed one too many chai lattes and was wired for the rest of the day.

I like to think of Wanderlust 108 as an introduction to the Wanderlust Festivals which take place over three days in various locations around the globe. I hope they bring it back to DC next year because it’s a must-attend event for me. I have my eye on the festival on Oahu in February to escape the cold and to get my yoga on in paradise.

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{Positive words from Athelta}


{I’m addicted to this Bhakti Chai I ordered a gallon}


{Chai, Wanderlust Festival Journal Magazine, scarf, and free mat}


{Yes, I wear hot pink lipstick to practice yoga and exercise}


{Yogis getting ready for practice}

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{MC Yogi brought us all to the front for this photo. Look at the crowd. Amazing.}


{My view from sivasana (relaxation pose. I want all my sivasanas outside on cool day.}


Wellness Wednesday: Recap ~ [Silent] Soul & Spirits Yoga


As an avid yoga practitioner, I’m excited to see how yoga is going from the studio to the streets. Literally. I like to see the different aspects of yoga being used to unite people and make it fun. I know as a yoga teacher, it can seem daunting to people at times because yoga people seem so uptight. But, I love having different yoga experiences because it brings more people and more diversity to the practice.

A few weekends ago I was very busy with lots of wellness activities. One activity I attended was the [Silent] Soul & Spirits Yoga with Reebok. The event was sponsored by Grip the Mat and it was very different. The yoga class was conducted in the evening, outside in front of Carnegie Libary on one of the busiest weekends in Washington, DC. Seriously, the President was across the street at a gala so helicopters were flying overhead. What made the class even more interesting is we wore headphones to hear the live DJ and the yoga teacher’s voice. It was a sensory experience.

I really loved the class. The teachers were great, but the experience of wearing the headphones made the yoga class even more fun and it felt like I was having my own private yoga class. Now, all I want are wireless Beats headphones. (Husband, if you are reading this I will take a pair in black or hot pink).

After the event, there were cocktails sponsored by Skinny Girl, small bites by Cava Grill, and Kind Bar snacks. Grip the Mat will have more events and I can’t wait to be a part of them. Yoga for the win.






Giveaway: Touch Coffee Machine for National Coffee Day



I love a good cup of coffee and look forward to it every day. In honor of National Coffee Day the lovely people at TOUCH Beverages has agreed to giveaway one of their machines to one lucky winner. The new Touch T414S coffee machine.

Here are few facts about the machine.

  • The brewer is ready to start brewing in under 20 seconds after being off all night.
  • The hot water has more contact with the coffee grounds, which ensures that all of the coffee flavor is extracted. Other machines take much longer to warm up and then shoot water through the coffee grounds too quickly, so you end up throwing away untapped flavor with the used capsule. Even with a slower, more deliberate brew, when factoring in the warm-up time, the Touch still turns out a “cup of joe” in a fraction of the time.
  • You can now brew larger cups of coffee without sacrificing flavor. Customize your coffee experience by choosing from five cup sizes (6, 8, 10, 12 or 14 ounces) and three brew strengths (mild, medium or bold).
  • Its removable 90-ounce water tank has a greater capacity and is shorter in height than its counterparts, meaning you will be refilling less often, and it will be less awkward when you do.
  • Touch’s single serve cups are larger than traditional K-Cups, allowing more coffee grounds. More coffee means bigger, bolder flavor.

Enter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wellness Wednesday: Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Half-Marathon Recap

Guest Writer: Xina

Virginia Beach

These days, it seems like everyone and her sister is doing a half marathon. In recent years, half-marathons have become America’s fastest growing race distance.  Additionally, it has the highest percentage of women of any U.S. road distance – 57% of its competitors are women. While there may be many reasons for this latest trend, I think one of the main ones is that setting a 13.1- mile goal is a manageable challenge – one that doesn’t seem out of reach. So, why do people graduate to the running 26.2 miles? Well, that answer is for another post.

I’m often asked why I run half-marathons? The answer is simple – I love the training runs. I have the best time with some of my running buddies while we are out there sweating it out in the hot sun and pounding away on the trails on Saturday mornings. While I run shorter distances throughout the week, Saturdays are my days for meeting up with friends and running for as long as time will allow.

During Labor Day weekend, I ran the Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Half-Marathon, which was my fifth half-marathon. I had been training for the race since May.

Here are some tips on how to make your half-marathon the best experience:

  1. Run for a reason. Before your friends convince you to run a race, make sure you are doing it for yourself and not for them. Running is truly a personal experience. This year I had the goal of getting back into running shape. Meaning it was time to make some serious changes in my eating and workout experience in order to gain the most out of my runs. It’s important to make sure you have a personal reason and motivation to run or else your commitment may wane.
  2. Allow plenty of time to train. Plan to train for at least 3-4 months for a race. You need to give yourself enough time to train for even if you are an experienced runner. Remember, I said that I started training in May so I could be prepared by Labor Day weekend.
  3. Don’t run alone. Find running partners, friends, or a team. Training is better with running buddies. My running buddies keep me accountable when I lack the motivation to run. They will also be there to keep you excited, share experiences and high-five you on race day and afterwards. Also, let’s not forget those Facebook and Instagram posts. I love seeing posts from my running friends. It gives me a high.
  4. Plan in between runs. I scheduled a 10-miler and 5K before my half marathon. They gave me a gauge on how well I was training for the half marathon and kept me focused while I was preparing for the half.
  5. Look for a race after you complete the half. Before I completed Virginia Beach, I was already planning for my next race. I am thinking about running the Charleston full marathon in January. Now the challenge is that I DON’T like to run when it is cold. However, the goal is to look for a race after you achieve the one you are currently training for. This will keep the motivation going even after you complete your goal.

I am always chasing a new personal best when I train for a race. It could be a faster running time, completing healthy goals or learning new ways to improve my runs. Whatever the goal is the best part about the race: CROSSING THE FINISH LINE. Now, that is worth it in the end.

{At the start of the race.}

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{Running buddies}

Virginia Beach 1

How to Choose Clothing for Your Workout



{Photo: Fix Body Group}

Congratulations, you have decided to start working out. You may face many obstacles, highs and lows, but after some time I can guarantee you will feel and look amazing! But first things first! Before any active time, you need to purchase clothing that you will wear during your most active hours in a day. All of these clothing should be specifically made for sports. Don’t wear old t-shirts. Wear something that you want to feel good in. Take the motto “if you look good, you feel good.” Don’t know how to choose the right clothing? Here are a few tips and tricks that will help you learnt. Read it, learn it, and let’s start our journey into great mind, body, and health!

Choose Appropriate Shoes

This is a big deal. Trust me. I’m still suffering from ankle tendinitis because I wore the wrong shoes to Zumba. There are many different shoes for a reason. Every single sport needs different shoes to accompany it. So if you are not yet decided what kind of sport you are planning to do, avoid shopping for shoes yet. On the other hand, if you already know it – shop right away. Choosing well-fitting shoes that are comfortable and also supportive will reduce the risk of a foot injury and also will improve your performance. Once again ask a consultant. If you are running go to a specialty running store.

Choose Clothing That Breathes

No matter what kind of physical activity you are planning to do, you are going to sweat. Hopefully, a lot. So while visiting a store, ask a consultant to help you out and help you choose athletic clothing that is designed to wick sweat away from your body. That type of clothing will keep you cool and dry and also comfortable too. Look for synthetic fabrics like polypropylene. Cotton tends to soak up the sweat, causing it to feel heavy and wet against your skin and you probably don’t want that while working out. So trust your consultant and choose the right clothing that will breathe together with you.

Choose Clothing That Fits You

Fit not only makes you look much better in clothing, but it also improves your whole workout performance. For example, for workouts that involve inverting the body, figure-hugging clothing has the advantage of staying in place no matter how you misshape yourself. Trust me, I’ve been to many yoga classes and large shirts don’t flow – they hinder. On the other hand, do remember that your sports clothes should not be so tight that they restrict any aspect of your movement. Fitted, but not tight. Or even cause discomfort.

Choose Clothing That is Cute

Finally, the last tip I have for you is not to sacrifice your fashion sense. Always shop for clothing that you think look good and is your taste. Otherwise, you just won’t feel good or pretty at all. Leave those large old t-shirts at home. Matter of fact, toss them. If you are looking for some really fashionable and comfortable sportswear there are numerous stores that carry great products at a low cost. Target has many options. Along with special Target coupons from, you can purchase great pieces at a huge discount. Of course, there are thousands of other brands that sell active clothing and you can find those online coupons to shop there too. Take additional time to look for the best clothing of your taste and start working out in style from now on!

See you in class, on a mat, or outdoors. Just move.

This post is brought to you in collaboration with ChameleonJohn. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that allow me to create new and special content like this for All About the Pretty.

Wellness Wednesday: Yoga Reggae Festival

Yoga Reggae Festival


I know you are thinking two Wellness Wednesday posts in one day? I couldn’t help it. I have two events that I am supporting and I hope you do too. After I participate in the Sprint for the Cure, I head to the Yoga Reggae Festival taking place later that day. I love a good yoga event, add music (reggae), an amazing instructor (Faith Hunter), and great food and you got me.

This is DC’s first yoga + reggae festival and I can’t wait to get my yoga on while grooving on my mat. If you are in the area it’s going to be a great event. National Yoga Month is looking good.

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