Jan 1, 2019

Resolving to have a happy and productive New Year!

Happy 2019!

It's that time again, where the year is fresh and new and stretches out ahead of us with endless potential. Many of us are trying to make the most of that potential with resolutions!

From years of making and breaking resolutions, plus years of just sitting out the whole resolution thing entirely, here are some resolutions I've found are worth making, plus how to make them stick.

Schedule me time

It’s so easy to get caught up in the rush of life - especially in a city as hectic as NYC, but really anywhere. If I don’t put it on my calendar, me time won’t happen as regularly as I need it to in order to be happy, centered, and energized for the rest of my life.

Biracial model of color
Me being a happy model behind the scenes at a photoshoot, because I take me time!

I’ve taken to planning out dates with myself and I treat them the same as plans with friends. If someone wants to hang out with me on Saturday evening, but it’s scheduled me time I’ll shamelessly say I’m busy and suggest another time. It’s not a lie, I am busy - maintaining my wellness. I laugh when my boyfriend says I’m low maintenance, because I’m not at all low maintenance. I just maintain myself!

Some of my favorite me time activities include reading, free writing, enjoying a cup of tea in bed with Netflix and maybe a candle, doing home spa stuff like sheet masks and deep conditioning my hair with
castor oil, etc.

Model Skin Care Tips
That post-sheet mask no makeup glow

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what your me time activity is; as long as it refreshes you, it’s legitimate! Treat yourself.

Make making healthy choices easy

Being healthier is a resolution for many of us, but punishing diets and workout plans you’re not excited about can do more harm than good. Mental health is important, too, and dreading taking care of yourself certainly isn’t good for you! Instead of focusing on ineffective deprivation and militant exercise regimes, figure out the ways you can make making healthy choices easy and enjoyable.

For me, increasing my everyday activity level really helps. Sure, it’s great to strive for regular gym workouts to push yourself, build endurance, and strengthen your muscles. But when I’m traveling for shoots, or even just in NYC and super busy with various projects, it’s easy for dedicated workouts to fall by the wayside.

On set for Chapstick

Making being active part of my normal routine means that even when I can’t work out, I still stay fitter and get the endorphins, energy, etc. I like to walk instead of taking the subway if I have enough time (or just get off the subway a stop or two early and walk the rest of the way), do calf raises and standing lower body stretches while I brush my teeth, and take the stairs.

Keeping healthy food on hand is another big one for me. In addition to trying to always stay decently stocked with less-perishable produce, like frozen vegetables and fruits, for when I’m not sure where I’ll be and don’t want to risk food waste, but also don’t want to subsist on cereal if I end up just being at home, healthy meal services can be a real godsend when I know I’ll be in NYC, but busy.

Beautiful mixed girl model
At a photoshoot for the North American Hairstyling Awards - eating healthy keeps my skin and hair looking its best!

Trust me, when I’m racing to meet a deadline on a contract, I don’t take the 30 minutes-1 hour to cook a healthy balanced meal and often I won’t even bother to walk the seven blocks to a health-focused eatery in my neighborhood. Rawvolution keeps me healthy, energized, and happy in those times!

Rawvolution Big Matt with Cheese

Rawvolution delivers weekly boxes of raw vegan (and oh-so-delicious) food nationwide. Get $15 off of any order (not just your first time ordering!) with the discount code DANAI.

You can subscribe to the box for reoccurring orders, or just order boxes as you go! The food is always flavorful, fresh, and (probably surprisingly for anyone new to really, really good raw vegan food) satisfying. I always feel energized and satisfied with their meals, but never weighed down.

Nov 16, 2018

Winter is Coming!

This is a somewhat unpopular opinion, especially in the snowy and cold Northeast, but winter is my favorite season! It always has been. From snow days, to Christmas and all the joy of the holiday season, to cozy blizzards spent with blankets, books, movies, and friends, there's so much to love!

Holiday Preparations Guide

In the end, I think how much you enjoy winter really comes down to how much you prepare. Say a blizzard happens - if you're stocked up on food, water, entertainment, and blankets, it's a fun escape a la childhood snow days! If you're missing all of that and have to trek out into the freezing cold to battle half of Manhattan for the three remaining cans of beans at Trader Joe's, it's significantly less fun. So the key to winter, like so much else in life, is setting yourself up to have a great experience!

Here are my two top tips for how to prepare to make the most of the upcoming winter season in a stress-free and enjoyment-filled way!

1. Stock up on the basics.

You should keep plenty of bottled water, canned foods, non-perishable snacks you can eat even if the power goes out and you don't have the option of microwaving/cooking (ex: granola bars, protein bars, dried fruits, nuts, cereal, trail mix, etc.), toilet paper, and blankets on hand for the entirety of the winter season. 

2. Plan ahead for worst-case scenarios.

Preparation is powerful. It's your most powerful defense against stress and unnecessary headache and expense!
Make sure you have flashlights and plenty of backup batteries, in case the power goes out.

Make sure you know where your nearest urgent care clinic is and how much a visit will cost you, in case you are stricken with the flu over a weekend or slip out on some black ice on a night out. 

Make sure you have snuggle season protection, and back-up protection, on hand. Cold winter nights, especially snow storms when you can't go out, are perfect for cuddling up close with the one you love. But accidents happen and even if you do absolutely everything right and are completely responsible with your birth control, unexpected things (like condoms breaking) can leave you vulnerable. That's why I really like to keep Preventeza™ on hand.

Safe Sex Girl

Nov 3, 2018

Style Post: Almay x CFW 2018

I am among the many women that love fashion. I'm so thrilled to love fashion in a time when fashion is finally loving women back! For so long, runways, magazines, and catalogs were dominated by one body type, one ethnicity, one age group, and overall one Look. These days, there are so many different shades, shapes, sizes, and ages of women in fashion, just as there are in the world.

The 2018 NYC College Fashion Week event was all about celebrating that diversity, with all types of different beautiful women presenting clothes from pro-women brands. Among the clothing brands present, there were also some beauty brands in attendance.

Almay at College Fashion Week 2018

My favorite sponsor installation was definitely Almay!

Almay Goddess Gloss Review

There were little coffee tables set up in the area with sample beauty products from Almay's Cosmic Collection to check out.

Almay Beauty Blogger

I loved the Goddess Gloss!

Almay Cosmic Collection Review

A couple days after the event, I decided to put together my own out-of-this-world look with Almay's Cosmic Collection! I loved the emphasis of shimmer and sparkle combined in a wearable way. None of the products are sticky or heavy and many of them can be played up or toned down.

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