6/11/19

What I'm Looking Forward To This Summer

Summer is right around the corner and I could not be more excited about it! I am so ready for the warm bright days ahead and to celebrate I want to share a few of the things I am looking forward to this new season. Hope you enjoy and I'd love to hear what you're looking forward to this summer!



1. WEARING DRESSES AGAIN

Warm weather and me go very much hand in hand :) I love wearing lightweight summer dresses and sandals pretty much all season! So comfy, easy and CUTE. I will share some fashion videos and hauls with you soon featuring some really pretty pieces.

2. I AM TURNING 30
Can you believe it? So surreal to think I'll be 30 years old next month! I'm so grateful for everything life has blessed me with till this point and I am SO looking forward to this next chapter of my life. I honestly feel the BEST I have ever felt and I truly believe our body, life, career and everything in between is what WE MAKE it. So cool to think I spent almost all of my 20's sharing my life with you guys and having you be part of it means so much to me.



3. SUMMER TRIPS 
Something I love about living in Europe is how easy and convenient it is to travel to different countries in the summer. Summer in pretty much all of Europe is so beautiful! We have a couple of trips planned, one however will actually be to New York. I always love going back to the city I spent most of my early 20's in. It gives me all the feels, remembering all the experiences I had there and how much I grew as a person. Will always be so grateful for that time in my life! (p.s. It's also where I started my YouTube channel, back in 2011, so it has an extra special place in my heart for that as well.)

4. MY NEW WEBSITE
I am currently working on redoing my entire blog and website! I am so excited for it to get a refresh and showcase some really cool new features on it. It will be a bit of an adjustment in terms of the back-end set up as I am switching the platform as well (currently on Blogger and I'll be switching over to Wordpress). But as with any new tech software or platform I've upgraded to, it just takes time and patience to learn it. It will be so worth it though and I can't wait for you guys to experience the new site! 



5. FOCUSING ON WELLNESS
I love how I feel when I take care of myself, both body and mind. It gives me this internal self-confidence as I just FEEL better in my body, and it also gives me more energy and clarity during the day. The last couple of months however have been SO busy and I feel like I keep slipping off track. One of my goals this summer is to find my balance again and, yes work my butt off, but also get my butt to relax at the end of the day. Now that the weather is warm and nice, a simple walk outside at the end of the day is something I will schedule in to unwind and get some fresh air. 

6. FRESH JUICY SWEET FRUIT 
This is honestly one of the best things about summer! Gimme all the fruit please :) I love fresh local berries, peaches, watermelon and oddly I've been so into pears lately too. They're just so juicy and sweet now (and actually quite low in the GI scale). My favorite time to eat fruit is for my first meal of the day (on an empty stomach) and as a snack between meals if I'm feeling peckish. I also love some fruit after dinner if I'm in the mood for something sweet. What's your favorite fruit at the moment? Let me know below.


7. BRIGHT EARLY MORNINGS
Ok I might be torn with the fruit here, I think this is actually my favorite part about summer hehe :) Waking up early has changed my life in so many ways and it's so much easier (and fun) to do it when there's actually light outside already. I just love having that time for myself, having my water, prioritizing what I need to do for the day, getting in a great workout and setting good intentions for the day. It makes the world of difference and I would highly recommend setting a morning practice or ritual if you haven't already.

8. VITAMIN D
I suffer from low vitamin D in the colder months and it's something I usually supplement - but there's nothing like the REAL deal :) I love the sun, I love feeling it on my skin and it just makes me happy. I of course protect my skin with a good SPF, but about 10 to 15 mins of direct sun (in the early or late day) is recommended by doctors to absorb the daily amount of vit D required by our bodies. Fun fact, vitamin D is actually required by our bodies in order to absorb calcium and have strong healthy bones. It also helps to regulate our immune system and plays a major role in the life cycles of our cells!



9. BIKING IN THE CITY
Do you guys remember my beautiful beige bike from last summer? Mo and I both got bikes last year and we recently took them out of our cellar, got them washed up and went for a long bike ride through the park. It felt SO NICE. Such a great way to move around in the summer, especially if you live in a city, plus you get a workout in at the same time!

10. SEEING MY FAMILY
As some of you may know, I do not live in the same country as my family. Although I do see them throughout the year, summer is a time we always plan something fun and get together either for a little family trip somewhere or I go home to see them. I love my family so much and they've been the biggest support system for me, forever grateful for the close relationship we have. I recently went home for my moms birthday and this weekend we are flying to Barcelona to visit my dad for the weekend - cannot wait! :)

What are you looking forward to this summer? Let me know below! 



What I'm Wearing
Top & sandals from Zara
Jeans from Agolde
Necklace from Missoma
Earrings from & Other Stories
Bag from Chanel

5/5/19

Girl Chat Q&A

Happy Sunday my loves! Today I have a new Girl Chat Q&A video for you! We are covering lots of topics you guys sent in questions about, such as favorite bras, hair removal and skin tips and more. You can watch the video here! As I have been enjoying doing with my recent Q&A's, I will be answering a few more of your questions below in this post. Hope you enjoy and let me know what other topics we can discuss in the next Q&A!


Photo from my trip to the Amalfi Coast
(Click here to watch the vlog!)

Do you ever compare yourself with other girls?
Although I touched briefly on this in the video, I did see a lot of questions about this topic of comparison on general, so let’s go into it a bit more here! I think it’s so normal, especially in today’s world, to compare ourselves to other people. As mentioned in the video, we now see and have access to thousands of people just by opening an app on our phone.

I do think however that seeing what else is out there can actually be a positive thing sometimes, and of course, at times, not so good! Trust me I’ve been deep in Instagram thinking of things I’d rather change about myself, I think we have all been there haha, but I snap myself out of it as soon as I gain a bit of mindfulness on what I’m doing - and then I ask myself, “Ok Annie, what is it you admire about this person?”. If it’s something that’s actually quite positive, “I like their ambition, their emphasis on family or how dedicated they are to their craft etc.. then I see how I can use that as motivation for myself. It might even be something physical, like I love her haircut, or her fashion sense is really cool or her skin looks so clear and glowy. Again, I look for the positive and I ask myself, how can I use this as inspiration and transform it in my own way that makes me happy. On that note as well, always congratulating people on their success as well (even if only in your heart) will always bring it back to you! Send out your good energy to people who you admire and see how it flourishes in your own life! :)

Without the access to social media, and thousands of people sharing their lives, stories and information online (especially via YouTube and blogs), I would not have been able to learn and grow, and essentially develop into the person I am today. My point is, the INTENTION and our MINDSET whilst consuming content online is really important - and we should try to simply let it INSPIRE us and not make us feel down.

If however there’s an account or person you follow online, and instead of feeling inspired or uplifted after engaging with their content, you feel down and feel like you’ve gotten no value from what they’re sharing, then unfollow them, simple. We control who we follow online or who’s content we consume, don’t forget that :) My advice is to curate a follow list that makes you feel GOOD and/or motivated to bring about positive change in your life, that bring you some sort of value.

And when it comes to our appearance, if there’s something you would love to change or improve about yourself, and it doesn’t harm you or anyone involved, go for it! But make sure the reasons you are doing it are for YOU and nobody else. If there’s something you simply can’t change (or don’t wholeheartedly want to change), then learn to LOVE and embrace it!

At the end of the day, we are all unique and so beautiful in our own ways. On this topic, I once read a quote that said “Admire someone else’s beauty without questioning your own.” This has been in my heart since I read it many years ago and I share it often with friends and family. I also love the quote “A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.” We all have space to shine and there is no shortage of love to go around!



Do you see yourself still being an influencer 5-10 years from now?
My passion is learning, connecting and SHARING! I love connecting with you guys and talking about things that have helped me in my own life. Whether it’s about skin tips, fashion favorites, most loved products to health, home and personal wellness - I am passionate about everything that makes us feel confident and our life beautiful. Whether I continue sharing that in a traditional “influencer” setting via IG and YouTube is difficult to say as the space is constantly changing and evolving!

But yes I do love my relationship with you guys and the platforms I have to connect and share, so I can still see myself doing something similar in the future! I know as I continue growing and evolving, so will my content and hopefully you guys, my audience, too! I’m sure in 5 to 10 years I’ll definitely be blogging about life as a mom, my kids and our business! :)

Photo from my trip to the Amalfi Coast
(Click here to watch the vlog!)

Would you continue eating mainly plant based if you got pregnant?
Yes definitely! I am so happy where I am with my diet lately, eating mostly plant based but also occasional eggs and fish (love wild smoked salmon for example). As long as I continue feeling good and energized I will continue eating what I normally do. I know however I will do lots of research when we get closer to starting that next chapter, into what foods are important during this time, what to avoid, important supplements etc.. I am also quite intuitive with my eating, so I will definitely listen and check in with myself for certain cravings I might be having and adapting that way as well. I am SO excited for that journey however and will definitely be sharing lots with you guys during this time :)


How do you feel with mood swings if you have them, and what peps you up?
Ah yes I definitely experience ups and downs. Some days are generally really good, but others can be sprinkled with more difficulties. Having a good morning routine however helps me so much! Check out this video for a detailed view into my morning routine. That really helps to set me up for the day. Meditation, journaling, exercising and taking time to plan out my prioritize and tasks for the day allows me to stay focused, productive and happy.

If I have a swing and something throws me off track, the quickest way is to stop and be grateful for something. It can literally be ANYTHING - gratitude for your breath, your vision, your spouse, your family, the roof over your head, your lunch, the phone or computer you’re reading this on right now etc.. Gratitude instantly brings us to the present moment and is like a switch for taking us out of a bad thought or moment.

Putting on an uplifting video or podcast (or even just a good song) also works wonders. I think interrupting the negative thought is really important and replacing it with inspiration and motivation to change your mindset. Take a deep breath and keep going! XOXO

3/27/19

ANSWERING YOUR QUESTIONS

Hello my loves! A few days ago I asked you over on my Instagram to send me any questions you had relating to beauty, lifestyle, health and anything in between. I received over 600 questions - thank you guys so much! I filmed a video answering a few of them, which you can watch here, and as there were so many interesting ones, I am answering a few extra questions below in this post! 



How do you whiten your teeth and keep them so white?
I occasionally use the Crest 3D Whitestrips. They’re not the best for your teeth so I don’t do it too often, but man do they work! :) I’m also not a huge red wine drinker or coffee drinker, which I think helps a lot for maintenance as well! Pro tip, when I do drink coffee I sip it through a straw to avoid staining my teeth!


Was there a pivotal moment that “switched” you over to healthy eating and living, or did you come to it naturally?
After I lost a lot of weight as a teenager (click here to watch my video about it) it made me a lot more mindful of the food I was putting in my body (I definitely did not want to go back to my unhealthy ways!). With that said, as a teenager and young adult I didn’t know as much as I do now about healthy eating and a balanced lifestyle so I definitely indulged a lot more.

When I was around 24 however, I went for a health checkup and found that I had some hormonal imbalances that led to a few complications with my ovarian health. I then learnt about the power of plant based foods and natural methods of rebalancing the body, lowering inflammation and acidity in the body. This was a huge “AHA” moment for me, and since then I’ve made several adjustments to my diet, which now include no dairy (it is such a culprit for digestion and a host of skin concerns such as acne and eczema) and I focus on eating lots of fiber rich vibrant plant based foods such as leafy greens, sweet potatoes, beans, quinoa and fresh fruits and veggies. I go with what makes my body feel at it's best. This is what's working for me now, but I am always willing to learn and experiment when it comes to my body as I feel like it's an ever learning process and journey :)


Can you tell us more about the supplements you are taking for health and beauty?
I LOVE zinc for my skin! It’s a nutrient that is required for numerous processes in the body including wound healing, cell growth and development, immune function etc... and it’s something that can often be low in people who suffer with acne or problematic skin. I have been taking it for the past few years and it helps me a lot! I also love Viridian’s Clear Skin Complex - it’s also got a good mix of probiotics in there to which is super important for gut health (click here to watch my video all about gut health, my tips for better digestion and how it’s related to skin).

I also love taking spirulina - let’s rephrase.. I love the benefits of spirulina, but the taste is actually quite awful hehe. I take the supplement version so it doesn’t stay too long on my taste palette. Spirulina is an algae rich in vitamin E, selenium and tyrosine, which are all known for their powerful anti-aging effects. It’s also a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant which is essential for healthy glowing skin!


How often do you get facials? And what kind?
I try to go every 3 weeks to once a month. My skin loves a deep cleanse and I find it an essential part of a good skin care routine. The type of facials I like are hydra facials, jet peel facials, micro needling, and sometimes I will do a chemical peel (although this is more of one-step intensive treatment done about once a year to deeply rejuvenate the skin). So as you can see, I like to go to facials to have them do things to my skin that I can’t do at home. I’m pretty good with doing masks and facial massages at home, so when I go, I want the effective, deep cleansing machinery-type-work! :)


I have acne scars and I want to know what you would recommend?
Acne scars are a though one! I still have a few and unfortunately it’s not something that will be fixed with one treatment or facial. To fade these scars, you literally need to break down that scar tissue which will then allow your body to create new fresh skin. An at home treatment that helped me a lot is dermarolling! Exfoliation is another KEY - such an important part of skin care, but especially for brightening and evening out the skin texture. I like a gentle physical exfoliant, but chemical ones are also great. There’s one from Drunk Elephant called the TLC Baby Facial, and it is amazing! You can also use toners that are rich in AHA’s and BHA’s that will gently over time eat away at dead skin cells and resurface the skin texture.


What is your favorite perfume at the moment?
Hands down it’s the Jasmine Sambac & Marigold fragrance from Jo Malone! I discovered it last year in September and I’ve been wearing it non stop ever since :)


How do you manage jet lag while traveling? Is coffee a big part of your diet? What are some of your best online shopping venues?
My key for balancing jet lag is HYDRATION. Lots and lots (and lots) of water. I feel like when your body is better taken care of, it works better for you. Also adjusting yourself as soon as possible to the new time zone (staying up a few extra hours / waking up earlier) even though it hurts in the moment, it will be worth it later on! Temporarily sucks but worth it in the long run!

Coffee is not a huge part of my diet - but I do enjoy it from time to time as a little treat. Tea on the other hand, I could literally drink ALL. DAY. LONG… :)

Best online shopping, ASOS, Mango, Zara, & Other Stories!


How do you keep a work-life balance and actually find that for that soul-routine? If you have ever had one, how do you get out of a “run” or “daily race”?
The morning and evenings are the times I prioritize for reflection, relaxation and grounding. I wake up early to allow myself enough time to get myself ready for the day, and have a good amount of time to just focus on myself and self care. I like to take my time having my morning water (watch this video here to find out more), meditate, journal and get in a good workout. (There are days where I can’t do all of these, but I adjust accordingly and prioritize what I feel to be most important.) This routine sets me up so amazingly for the day! I can’t stress enough what a game-changer having a solid morning routine has been for me. (I will be doing a morning routine video soon, so stay tuned for that!)

During the day however, I am turned up and ready to GO! I am very specific about my time because there are lots of things we are juggling at the moment, plus aiming for two videos per week (that I self produce and edit) takes a LOT of time (and creative energy!). I try my best to not feel overwhelmed, but to be honest I am so grateful for what I do that I just want to give it my ALL every single day, and I am actually happy at the end of the day when I can put my head down on my pillow and feel like I did my best and pushed myself.

Then in the evenings I take time to again get back to my center and for this I love to READ! I just uploaded a video featuring a few of my favorite books (which you can watch here) and I also have an evening routine if you haven’t seen that already (click here to watch).

As I work from home most of the time, it’s important for me to have an ON and OFF switch or “time zone”. So I try not to do any work related things too late in the evenings so that I can focus and regenerate myself the best I can for the next day.



Thanks so much for reading and I'll make sure to do another Q&A soon! XOXO

1/16/19

Free Wellness & Self Care Printable Planner


As 2018 was coming to an end, I created this simple planner to help me keep track of the healthy habits and goals I wanted to focus on for the new year. It is so incredible to have this sheet to keep my progress organized and noted so it's not all swirling around in my head :) I hope you guys will enjoy and benefit from this planner as well!

In my latest video I share exactly how I like to use this planner and you can print out your free copy below (after the "Read More" section). Let me know what you think and if you'll be using it as well! XOXO