6 Sustainable Chefs that are Changing the World

#1 Massimo Bottura

massimo bottura - italian michelin star chef cooking in food for soul kitchen
Source: Grundig

Massimo Bottura, Italian restauranteur and chef patron of Osteria Francescana was named the top restaurant in the world by World’s 50 Best. Osteria Francescana is a three-Michelin star restaurant based in Modena, Italy. Needless to say, he’s masterful at his craft. What is admirable about Bottura is his vigor toward not only creating delicious food but also changing the world by reducing food waste. Bottura turned an abandoned theater in a Milan suburb into Refettorio, a soup kitchen that turned over 15 tons of excess food into meals for the homeless, working poor, and refugees. He remains a champion in reducing food waste–one of the prime issues of the restaurant industry–and has even formed his own non-profit Food for Soul to encourage sustainable practices in the food industry to reduce food waste.


#2 Dan Barber

Dan Barber - Michelin star farm-to-table chef in his Blue Hill farm

Dan Barber hails from Manhattan’s West Village as the Chef of Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns located within the nonprofit farm and education center, Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture. Also known as a “chef-thinker” or chef and scholar, Barber is a philosopher of sorts when it comes to food–emphasizing the importance of pleasure and thoughtful conservation, knowing the source of the food on your plate, and the process of how your food got there. Barber evangelizes agricultural policies to push forth more a model of environmental responsibility. His book, The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food, explores the world of food beyond “farm-to-table” to propose a revolutionary way of delicious and ethical eating. His mission is to educate and push Americans toward a future of food that is as sustainable as it is delicious.


#3 Melissa Kelly

Melissa Kelly from her Primo restaurant farm
Source: Primo Restaurant

Melissa Kelly is the Executive Chef and proprietor of Primo, a restaurant located in Maine, US. Kelly and her partner have spent over a decade cultivating a farm on Primo’s 4.5-acre property that serves as the main source of the ingredients she uses for the restaurant. Having access to her own farm means that she is in control of how the ingredients are grown from start to finish and can ensure the freshest and highest quality of ingredients are being served. It also means that kitchen waste can be recycled or composted properly. She spreads the importance of farm fresh local ingredients to aspiring young cooks and educates others about the true farm-to-table philosophy.

#4 Jose Garces

Former Iron Chef Jose Garces in his Luna Farms home
Source: SJ Magazine

Jose Garces is not only an Iron Chef, but he’s also an author, restauranteur, and the owner of Luna Farms, 40-acres of farmland aimed to grow fresh organic vegetables, fruits, eggs, and honey year-round in Ottsville, PA. Luna Farm plays a critical role in supporting the Garces Foundation and its mission to educate children about the nutritional benefits of sustainable agriculture, meal preparation, and healthy eating.


#5 Eneko Atxa

Eneko Atxa, Michelin star chef-owner of the most sustainable restaurant in the world, Azurmendi in Spain.
Source: En La Cocina

Azurmendi, a Michelin 3-Star restaurant located near Bilbao, Spain, named Most Sustainable Restaurant in the World, is the product of famed chef, Eneko Atxa, who is also one of the youngest chefs to ever achieve 3 Michelin Stars. The Azurmendi restaurant was designed and built on sustainability, Atxa’s philosophy to life and cooking. The building itself reuses rainwater for the garden, greenhouses, toilets and more. The large open windows make you feel like you are outdoors and takes advantage of the sunlight to reduce the need for artificial light and energy, it produces renewable energy to cover part of the restaurant’s energy needs, and produces a portion of the ingredients used in the kitchen in their greenhouses on site–planting more than 800 trees to reduce CO2. The building as a whole is a testament to the commitment to sustainability Atxa is advocating for–a truly inspirational masterpiece.


#6 Filip Fasten

Filip Fasten, Michelin star chef of Agrikultur in Stockholm
Source: Superb Experience

Michelin-starred Agrikultur, run by Filip Fasten in Stockholm, offers what Fasten calls “Nordic Comfort Food”, a prix fix menu of vegetable-based dishes where the protein is used to enhance the flavor depth rather than to be the star of the dish. He sources his produce and food from local farms and uses flavors that honor the land. The menu changes constantly to celebrate seasonable harvests to ensure the freshest quality, flavor, and helps the community, including hunting his own game during hunting season to serve at the restaurant.


Reducing food waste, eliminating added chemicals and processing from food, and locally sourcing food products are the biggest ways these Michelin-rated chefs and restauranteurs are helping to lead change in the food industry.


Some of these ideas can be adopted into your own daily life using methods of composting, nurturing your own organic garden, and buying what you need instead of what you want, locally. The best chefs in the world know exactly where their food is coming from and how it was produced or raised–whether it’s from their own farms or from a local farmer. Do you know where your food is from, or what went into producing it?


8 Tips on How to Adopt a Healthier Lifestyle with Fitness Gurus @SweatsandtheCity

Summer is just around the corner and we’re starting to feel a little guilty about all those workouts we missed… So naturally, we invited two of our favorite fitness gurus, Elizabeth and Dale from Sweats and the City to give us the inside scoop on how to get fit and stay fit.

Sweats and the City originated as a fitness review platform and has since expanded to all things health and wellness from the perspective of two 20-somethings living in NYC. Their website and Instagram (@sweatsandthecity) serve as inspiration for us to get fit and live healthier lifestyles. Their passion for fitness grew with the launch of Classpass, an app that makes finding and booking studio fitness classes easy. “It inspired us to try a variety of workouts we would have never previously explored. As our eyes opened to the boutique fitness scene, it quickly became a part of our lifestyle.”

Elizabeth and Dale from @SweatsandtheCity in New York City
Courtesy of @SweatsandtheCity

#1 Don’t compare yourself to others

“Originally, we were pushing ourselves in ways that we felt we had to versus what we actually enjoyed and worked for our bodies. It took some time for us to figure this out. Trial and error!” Comparing yourself to others or listening to any of the “fitness scene” noise out there is not the way you want to go, according to E & D. Instead, do what’s right for your body.

#2 Develop a sustainable fitness practice

“More isn’t always more! It’s important to listen to your body, take rest days, and know that just because something is “high intensity” doesn’t mean it will always yield better results. It’s important to think long term. If you’re just starting out, try something lighter like yoga or a slower pilates class … anything to get your body moving and into a routine! If you go from hardly ever working out to Barry’s Bootcamp several times a week, you will likely burn out.”

#3 Find something you enjoy

“If you want fitness to become part of your lifestyle, it’s so critical to find something you enjoy, otherwise, you won’t stick with it!”

#4 Restriction and diets are not sustainable or health

“We keep it [our eating habits] simple and balanced, focusing on lots of whole foods and cooking at home when we can. At the same time, we also see value in enjoying meals out and making sure to treat ourselves!” Some of E & D’s go-to meals during busy schedules are alternative pasta (chickpea or lentil ‘noodles’, hearts of palm pasta, etc.), oven-baked fish, and air-fried vegetables. Check out some of E & D’s easy recipes!

#5 Work out your core

“We love a core workout! Working your core is so important for the long term health of your body and muscles, and is not just for aesthetics. Pilates is amazing for the core–all the planking, pikes and moves on the reformer takes tons of effort to stabilize your core, and can really strengthen it.”

#6 Weight loss starts with what you eat

“We don’t believe in any quick workout fixes or crash diets to lose weight…our focus is on sustainable practices! We believe it’s important to properly nourish your body and keep things balanced. Everyone’s base weight looks totally different, too, so it’s important not to buy into any machines or equipment that tell you you’ll get a 6-pack in 30 days.” Having a balanced diet lays the foundation for weight loss, while workouts will help burn calories and build muscle tone.

#7 Cardio may not be the answer to weight loss

But it can be the answer to a healthy heart according to E & D. “In regards to cardio, we don’t do this for weight loss. Personally, we’ve actually found it to actually make us hungrier! We incorporate it in our routine because 1) it makes us feel good to really sweat, and 2) for other amazing benefits like your heart.”

#8 If you get bored with workouts

Boredom can make you unmotivated to continue your fitness journey. The remedy for this, according to E & D, is to keep exploring different types of studios. “We love dance cardio to bring us out of a workout funk, it keeps things fun and makes the time pass so quickly.”

While we’re all on the edge of our seats for a huge secret here, trust us, the secret to getting fit is being mindful of what you eat and doing what’s right for your body. It can become a fun thing for you to do to break the cycle of eating, sleeping, and working. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and take some fitness classes to find what suits you!


5 Easy Ways to Declutter Your Desk and Cultivate a Productive Workspace

Your office space is probably the place you spend the majority of your time–unless you’re one of those people who can work from your bed; how is that even possible?! Whether it’s at home or at HQ, your office space should inspire productivity, creativity, clarity and overall feel like a space where you can, you know, actually get stuff done.

We’ve all been there–arriving to a cluttered desk with piles and piles of paperwork and random knick-knacks that can get overwhelming. When you see things in disarray, your mind can’t help but feel overwhelmed and stressed. A clear and organized workspace is essential to your productivity and mental health.

Now, here are a few tips on how to decorate your home office or work space for optimum success and minimal maintenance. Did somebody say “desk envy”?

#1 Everything should have a place

Storage, storage, storage.

matching blue plastic desk storage set
Source: Poppin

If everything has a designated space, you are less likely to lose things and less likely to leave a mess, which will likely result in reduced stress!

For that paper

wire crate magazine holder for desk
Source: Amazon

For magazines, newspapers, manuscripts, sketches–any form of paperwork, a filing system might help. If you have a lot of paperwork, you might need some file cabinets. If not, you might be able to get away with a desktop filing system (as long as your paperwork isn’t too sensitive of course).

All the small things

matte black magnetic desk storage set
Source: The Container Store

Keep small office supplies in a drawer organizer or a container with a lid so they are easy to find yet concealed to avoid clutter. Binder clips, paperclips, erasers, loose change–they all have a place and it’s not scattering them across your desk or thrown into a drawer carelessly.

A cup half full

uniquely shaped geometric pencil holders
Source: MoMA Design Store

A pencil case, pencil box, or simply a tall mug will keep your writing tools in one place. If you use a lot of different mediums for your work like pens, pencils and different sizes of paint brushes, you might even want to take it a step further and have them organized into different holders.

clay geometric pencil holders
Source: Container Store

Use this rule of thumb and tailor it to your needs. You can always find a place for things that makes sense for the way you work.

#2 If you don’t use it, get rid of it

We’re all a little guilty of keeping things at our desk for ages and never using them. If you realize you haven’t used something in more than 6 months, consider repurposing it elsewhere or giving it to a friend. There’s no use in letting it collect dust and take up space in your office.

#3 Use a notebook

If you’re the type of person who needs to write things down and are currently doing that on a bunch of sticky notes or random pieces of paper you have on your desk–it’s time to invest in a notebook. Having all your notes in one place not only keeps your desk neat, but it makes finding your notes easier. After all, you wrote them down to try to remember them right? You could also think of it as an archive of all the work you’ve done in that part of your life.

Trust me, I was really resistant towards purchasing one because I have had a ton in the past I didn’t use, but when you get one that you like, that fits your aesthetic and is a good size for your lifestyle, you’ll want to use it and stick with it until you run out of pages.

Do you tend to spill coffee or tea or anything on your notes? What if I told you there was a waterproof and tear-resistant notebook for you that also looks beautiful? Shocking, right? The Karst notebook is made out of stone that has been finely milled to create beautifully smooth pages that are spill-proof and tear-resistant so even the most accident-prone people will have a notebook they can truly take with them anywhere.

#4 Keep your cables in order

The most frustrating thing about a desk area is the cluttered cord situation. You have chargers for everything–even if most of your tech gear is wireless.

So what’s the solution?

matte black adhesive cable management strip
Source: Amazon

Keep cords neat by binding them together or using a cord keeper. If your gear has wireless charging capabilities, invest in a wireless charger to minimize the amount of cords on your desk.

You can also tuck larger cords behind a laptop or monitor stand or keep them neatly bound towards the back of your desk.

#5 Express yourself

scandinavian contemporary desk layout with natural wood desk accessories

Sometimes the problem with an office area is the lack of self-expression that can make your space feel cold and unwelcoming. But on the other hand, a slippery slope is adding too many random things to your desk, so make sure every piece of decor you add is intentional and not overbearing.

Get Sentimental

You can say a lot with the few things that you decide to include, such as photos of loved ones, or a bobble head from your favorite team–no need to bring your entire collection. Don’t want to get too personal? Using elements that speak to you, like wood finished accessories, minimalist touches, or a few your favorite books sandwiched by gold bookends will get the job done without the warm and fuzzies.

Form but also function

Express yourself with functional pieces too, such as a desktop calendar with your pet’s face on it or a mug with your favorite Disney character on it. Or, dare I say, a sleek looking water bottle that won’t cramp your office style and that automatically cleans itself so you never have to worry about the embarrassing stench after forgetting it in the office for a whole weekend.

Go green

modern designer's desk scandinavian desk inspiration
Photo by Christopher Gower on Unsplash

Photo by Christopher Gower on Unsplash

A great way to spruce up any area, especially your office, is adding indoor plants. Plants are great for adding some life into your otherwise cold workspace. Some even help purify the air and are *nearly* impossible to kill. Snake plants, peace lilies, dracaenas, and cacti are all tough plants that will do well in lowlight settings such as in an office space and are forgiving if you forget to water them or overwater them.

Don’t worry, if you don’t have a green thumb, you can opt for some faux plants! They add the same effect without the hassle.

Remember, your workspace should be a place that feels like your own, that inspires creativity and productivity, and that you shouldn’t feel stressed out by on top of your workload. We believe these simple tips will help guide you along your way to a more productive work life. Does your stress stem a little further than from your working environment? Check out our article on how to reduce stress and tips on managing your stress levels for improved mental health.


Gift Ideas for New Graduates

As we go on, we remember… Vitamin C gets us every time. Yep, it’s grad season and as the rest of us are just trying to get through the workweek, some of our loved ones are preparing for the beginning of adulthood or their dream careers. Need some help shopping for a gift for the grad in your life? Lucky for you, we’ve compiled a list of gifts perfect for any grad–whether it’s high school, undergrad, graduate, masters or even med school and law school.

Gift Ideas for Grads

Restaurant Gift Cards

Source: Chipotle

No matter what age group, food is the window to the soul–that’s how it goes right?

Weekender Bag

Source: Dagne Dover

The new grad will most likely be traveling a bit heading to and from school, pulling all-nighters with a study group (hopefully), or traveling for business starting out in their career. A weekender bag is perfect for anyone. This one from Dagne Dover is unisex and features a variety of colors and sleek design your grad will love.

Pour-over Coffee Maker

Source: Amazon

For the coffee addict or soon-to-be coffee addict, this pour-over coffee maker will help get them through long days and nights.

Instant Film Camera

Source: Amazon

What better way to document their journey than to have physical photos they can look back on or scrapbook? An instant film camera is perfect for heading off to a new school, career and beyond.

LARQ Bottle

You know a self-cleaning water bottle is perfect for anyone by now, including your grad! Everyone’s looking for the next cool thing to show off–especially with all their new gear for school or work. It’ll quickly become one of their must-haves in their backpack or commuter bag for worry-free hydration. No more dealing with a stinky water bottle or washing it (they probably won’t).

Wireless headphones

Source: Amazon

If your grad doesn’t have these already, treat them to a pair of wireless headphones. They’re going to be on the go a lot–rushing from class to class or from work to the gym–they’ll appreciate this one.

Programmable Pressure Cooker

Source: Amazon

Make weeknight meals a breeze for your new grad. With a packed schedule, an Instant Pot is essential in their kitchen.


Source: Amazon

Who better to teach your new grad a few new recipes than ya girl Crissy Teigen with her book Cravings: Recipes for All the Food You Want to Eat?

Airline Gift Card

Southwest airlines gift card

Source: Southwest Airlines

Is your grad going out of state for university? Got into their top pick for residency? Relocating for a new job? An airline gift card is perfect! Nothing says “come back home soon” better than an airline gift card to get them from point A to you.

Stone Paper Notebook


For the accident-prone grad, this stone paper notebook by Karst is one-of-a-kind. Because it’s made from stone (you heard that right!) it’s completely waterproof–spill coffee, tea, water, hard liquor (hopefully not)? Just wipe it off and your precious notes will remain intact. The pages are also tear-resistant and made from recycled stone so it’s way better for the environment.

Engraved Pen

Source: Things Remembered

Get your grad an engraved pen that they can use for taking notes, signing documents, and keeping at their new desk. With refillable ink, this will stick with them over the years.


Source: Amazon

Where your grad is headed, they might need a tablet that’s portable, watching Netflix a breeze, and taking notes easy as pie. If you’ve got the money to spend on your special grad, this is the perfect gift!

Aromatherapy Diffuser

graduation gift ideas: LARQ Bottle, Vitruvi aromatherapy diffuser, Karst stone paper notebooks

You can probably sense the stress coming. At a new school where the stakes are raised, or at a new job where expectations are high, your grad might get a little overwhelmed. To help them reduce stress, an aromatherapy diffuser is a perfect gift–whether they know it or not. Throw in some essential oils to help them on their way.


Father’s Day Gift Guide

Pops, pop, papa, dad, daddy, old man, padre, ba-ba–the man in your life who picks you up when you fall, who taught you how to ride a bike, who read you bedtime stories before bed, who keeps you in line when you need to hear some valuable wisdom–if we’re lucky enough to have a father(s) or father figure in our lives, we ought to show them our love even if it makes them a little uncomfortable.

Father’s day is coming up (June 16) and we’re stressing out because… Dad can be one of the hardest people to buy gifts for.

But not to worry, we’ve done some of the heavy lifting to come up with a list of things any dad would appreciate on father’s day. Here are a few things for pops who thinks he has everything:

Gifts for Dad

Photo by Caleb Jones on Unsplash

Ember Temperature Control Mug, $130


Does dad constantly babysit his coffee until it’s a weird luke-warm temperature? If so, he’ll love this tech-y temperature control mug that he can use at home or at work! Now, he can enjoy his hot coffee or tea right away or even two hours later. Is dad always on the go? Get him the Ember Travel Mug instead at a pretty $150.

Ettitude Waffle Bathrobe, $80


You can’t beat a luxurious bathrobe like this one when it comes to relaxing. Give pops a little piece of self-care that he’ll actually use. This irresistible bamboo lyocell material is silky smooth and feels like you’re at the spa. Even if he didn’t wear robes before, he will now. Mom might get a little jealous.

LARQ Bottle, $95

We’re not kidding when we say this is a great gift for anyone. We all should be a little more mindful of our health and that includes the water and bottle we drink from. The LARQ Bottle self-cleans every 2 hours to keep your water and bottle clean and bacteria-free. For the father who doesn’t drink enough water, the father who hates cleaning his water bottle, or the father who’s always traveling–give him the gift of pure water at the touch of a button.

Airline Gift Card


Does dad love to travel but doesn’t for whatever reason? An airline gift card will be just the thing to give him the extra nudge he needs to get out there, explore, and take a day off for once.

Noise-canceling headphones, $350


Since these are becoming more and more mainstream–especially with the AirPods 2 release–chances are dad doesn’t have these yet, or doesn’t have great quality ones. Does he like to watch movies or listen to music to wind down? Get him noise-canceling wireless headphones so he can sit back in his old chair and sip some wine to his old-school jazz. Does he have a long commute to and from work? Get him a pair of true wireless headphones that he can also use for hands-free calling. Is he a runner or a gym rat? Get him a sports-friendly pair of true wireless headphones that won’t fall off when he’s working out.

Karst Stone Paper Notebook, $12-39


For the father who is always jotting things down on random pieces of paper (then losing them later on), a notebook is a thoughtful gift for him. Not just any notebook, but one that is waterproof and fits any style–and who knows that style better than you? That’s right; the Karst Stone Notebook is literally made out of stone, so it’s waterproof, coffee-proof, tea-proof, and better for the planet. As a company grounded in making sustainable products with thoughtful design, we love Karst for their innovation and beautiful products. For the backpacker dad, get him a pocket-sized notebook and mini pen so he can document his travels–even as he’s wading in a river. For the man of the office, a sleek hardcover notebook is perfect.

Engraved Pen, $41


Engraved pens are an easy thoughtful gift for anyone–we all use them, he won’t lose this one (hopefully), and they’re a great reminder to them that you care every time they use it. This will be a great gift for someone graduating as well as for your dad!

Game of Thrones Puzzle, $60


We’re all a little heartbroken about GOT ending, but maybe your dad can relive a bit of the series by putting together his very own GOT-themed puzzle!

Restaurant Gift Card

OK, this might seem like a cop-out but for those of you who won’t be with your fathers this father’s day, a gift card sent in the mail with a thoughtful father’s day card is an amazing surprise he’ll appreciate. Plus, what says “I love you” better than food!

Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker, $95


For the dad who loves to cook, he’ll appreciate this gift (plus, you might benefit from a mean meal from this). This device allows you to cook anything from beautifully tender steaks and soft-boiled eggs to perfectly cooked veggies.

Family Portraits

Photo by Blake Barlow on Unsplash

Some parents are big on taking photos–others are not. For a father, it could mean a lot for someone else to want to take family photos. Even if they aren’t immediately excited about the idea, they’ll appreciate it in years to come. I’m talking to the people who rarely get together as a family, the people who never have pictures with their parents, the people who live far away from their parents–this is the gift they’ll cherish.

Wallet, $130


There are some dads that will buy these for themselves–shoutout to you fashionable dads! But some dads will literally wait until their wallet falls apart to buy a new one. Do the shopping for him so he can experience the luxury of a brand new wallet.

Waterproof Sandals, $40


With summer just around the corner, get dad ready for his next beach trip with a pair of sandals you’re on board with. If you buy it, he *hopefully* will wear it and *hopefully* get rid of those beat up flip flops he’s had for years.



One cannot have too many athleisure clothes and the same goes for your pa. Whether he works out or likes to lounge around on his days off, get him some comfy and stylish athleisure for father’s day to show you care.

Fitness Tracker, $140


Fitness trackers are great for people of any age, gender or fitness level. It’s a great way to encourage your father to be more active or for the father who already exercises all the time to track his progress. There are a ton out there with different features like step-counters, heart rate monitors, sleep tracker, and more. Find one that best fits what you think he’d want or need.Father’s Day Gift Guide


How to Reduce Stress

Are you feeling overwhelmed? Overworked? How about just plain exhausted mentally and physically? Yeah, we feel ya. Stress is a part of life–there’s no avoiding it given all of life’s nuances, but what we can do is manage stress in a healthy way. If we don’t it’ll just eat us up inside. For the sake of mental clarity, mental health, and wellbeing–and in observance of Mental Health Awareness Month, here are some ways you can not only manage stress but hopefully reduce it and its negative impacts on your day-to-day life.

#1 Sleep

Getting enough sleep is one of the best ways to reduce stress. When you keep your mind from resting, it’s getting overworked and overstimulated to the point of getting overwhelmed. Ever heard of the phrase “sleeping it off” or “sleep on it”? Well, getting quality sleep can help your mind to recuperate and can help you solve any glaring issue–no matter how long you’ve been trying to figure it out. Next time you catch yourself spending restless nights on a wall you’ve hit in a project, get some much-needed shuteye–you might just be overthinking it. And you might just be amazed how quickly you can solve it after some rest.

If you’re having trouble getting quality sleep at home, try a sleep vacation!

#2 Exercise

Photo by Mārtiņš Zemlickis on Unsplash

Studies have shown that people who exercise regularly are less likely to exhibit anxiety or stress. Ergo, science shows that physical stress can help relieve mental stress.

Exercise lowers the body’s stress hormone, cortisol, over time. It increases endorphins which are mood-boosters resulting in an overall happy body and a happy mind. Exercise can also help you sleep better!

#3 Essential oils

Photo by Drew L on Unsplash

Think about everything that makes up a spa, aside from the amazing massages. Some essential oils, in particular, can help reduce stress. Invest in an aromatherapy diffuser of some sort–we love this one from Vitruvi–add a few drops and curl up with a good book. The scent will permeate the room and help you decompress after a long day.

Some relaxing scents include:

  • Lavender – known to soothe and relax you, and help you sleep
  • Ylang Ylang – contains uplifting properties and can help alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression
  • Bergamot – helps to treat stress, depression, and insomnia
  • Chamomile – known to have calming properties and used as a natural anti-depressant, eases worry, irritability and reduces anxiety
  • Vetiver – used most effectively in trauma situations to help ease a person’s nerves; it calms and reassures–best for people experiencing panic attacks and hypersensitivity
  • Rose – helps reduce stress, anxiety, and depression

If you don’t have a diffuser on hand, some essential oils can be used topically (they usually come in the form of rollerballs), but make sure you aren’t allergic before use. A great substitute: candles that contain one or more of these soothing scents.

#4 Reduce your caffeine intake

High doses of caffeine can cause jitteriness, irritability, restlessness, and overall can increase anxiety according to studies. This can vary among people and dosages, but if you are experiencing that caffeine is making you anxious or jittery, consider reducing your intake.

#5 Don’t procrastinate

We all do it–sometimes things just get shuffled down our list of priorities and things just getting piled up. To avoid procrastinating, make a task list, either digital or written down, that you can refer to and follow. Schedule in time in your day to take care of a couple of things that are way overdue. The best policy is to do 1-2 tasks per day instead of doing them all in one go–which can be daunting enough to just avoid doing them altogether. Make sure you also schedule in some ‘me time’ to relax and not do anything. It’s all about balance and creating a sustainable lifestyle.

#6 Journal

Writing things down can be therapeutic if you have a lot on your mind. It can be a great option for those who don’t want to share with another person and just need to release some pent-up stress.

If what you’re jotting down is mostly negative, remember to also write some positives about your life, or things you’re grateful for. Being mindful, having gratitude, and reflecting on positive aspects of life can help you alleviate some stress and focus on the bright side even when things seem bleak.

#7 Spend time with loved ones

Photo by Jennifer Regnier on Unsplash

As humans, having a sense of belonging plays a huge role in overall happiness–it’s our nature. Even for you introverts out there (myself included), being alone all the time can take a toll on you. If you’re feeling stressed, consider asking a friend or family member to grab a bite or go out on a stroll. Some quality time, and getting a chance to vent about what’s stressing you out may do a great deal for your mental health.

#8 Practice mindfulness

Part of achieving mental clarity is being mindful–the practice of being present and reducing negative thoughts. This can help relieve stress and grant you clarity.

Meditation is one of the best ways you can start your practice and learn to be present. Don’t overthink it–just be. Check out our walk-through on how to meditate and be mindful.

#9 Physical touch

Aside from being one of The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman, physical touch is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety. A simple hug, kiss, cuddle or even intercourse can help you find release. A weighted blanket can also reduce stress and anxiety as well–without needing another person.

#10 Relax with music

It’s no secret that music can stimulate the brain, but it can also calm the noise in your mind. Listen to soothing jazz or classical music–anything that can help you relax. Some people might even enjoy ambient noise instead of music to decompress. Just find what fits for you, plug in, and relax.

#11 Focus on your breathing

If the stress is overwhelming you, practicing your breathing can help relieve some of that tension. Take deep breaths–this is where meditation can help as well–and try to be present instead of focusing on the stressor.

The scientific explanation? Deep breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system that helps you relax even in periods of stress allowing you to find peace and to be present.

#12 Spend time with your pet

Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash

If family and friends aren’t within reach, spending time with your pet can help reduce stress and improve your mood. When you care for a pet, your brain releases a chemical known as oxytocin that promotes a positive mood.

#13 Do something you love

Do you love to play music? Do you enjoy bowling? Do you love to play volleyball? Doing something you love can help reduce stress and release endorphins that boost your mood. If you don’t have a hobby, it might be time to find something you enjoy and make it a part of your life.

#14 The power of “no”

Taking on too much and constantly saying “yes” when anyone needs anything can wear you down. We’re human–we can’t do everything. Sometimes you need to say “no”; it doesn’t mean you don’t care or that the task isn’t important enough, and people will understand. You’ll find there is power in being able to say “no” and in being in charge of your own wellbeing.

#15 See a professional

Sometimes stress isn’t just stress; it can have underlying issues or morph into something greater. If you’re finding it difficult to manage your stress, having negative thoughts, or need someone to talk to, seeing a therapist might help. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health–if not more. Knowing when to seek professional help is the best thing you can do for yourself, your wellbeing, and for improving your quality of life.

For information about Mental Health Awareness Month or help and resources, visit:


Long Flight Essentials: 22 Things You Need to Pack + Tips for a Comfortable Flight

Summer is coming and we’re in dire need of some vacation time. In preparation for long haul flights we’re taking this season, we’ve gathered some of our favorite essentials for long haul flights–some non-essential but extremely helpful–to help you along on your travels!

When it comes to long flights, the airplane essentials you need are the things that make you comfortable, makes you feel like you’re at home in your bed, and can help you pass the time on the hours you’re not sleeping. If you’re bracing yourself for a long flight, you’ve come to the right place.

Make sure you’ve got all the essentials for long flights by using this as not only a shopping guide but as a checklist to ensure you’ve remembered everything. There’s nothing worse than forgetting your headphones at home when you have a 10+ hour flight. Been there, done that–not fun (and had to pay $25 for crappy headphones that I’ll never use again).

Let’s get into this.

Personal Item / Carry On Essentials for Long Flights

Make sure that all your in-flight essentials can all fit in your personal item bag, which can vary in size depending on your airline. You’ll want it in a personal item so that it can be stowed seamlessly under your seat, where you can access it quickly without getting in someone’s way or asking your neighbor to move so you can grab it.

If you’re only bringing a carry-on, a cool hack is to pack all your essentials in a pouch in your carry-on. When you pass TSA, take that pouch out so you can have it with you before you board the plane and not have to open your gigantic luggage or backpacking bag in the airplane and hold up the boarding process.

Photo by Patrick Coddou on Unsplash

Sleeping essentials for long flights

Catching a red-eye? Getting some Zzz’s before you set off on your action-packed vacation? Dozing off so you don’t have to make small talk with your neighbor? Don’t get us started on the screaming babies on flights that make it feel like the flight is lasting an eternity. If you’ve been in these situations, here are a few things to remedy your in-flight sleeping woes.

Noise Canceling Headphones

Can you tell why this is #1? If you like sleeping on planes or need to (you know, to prevent jet lag), you should invest in a good set of noise canceling headphones. You’ll be impervious to any screaming, crying, endless chatter, or annoying neighbor. You don’t even need to be listening to anything! That’s the beauty of noise-canceling headphones on long flights. Pop these on and you’re instantly in your own little world.

Wired Headphones

Some airlines offer free in-flight entertainment via a screen built into the seat in front of you. You’ll notice that these have headphone jacks to plug into. If your noise-canceling headphones are wireless, you might want to bring a pair of wired ones if you’re planning on utilizing this amenity. Your old EarPods should do the trick.

Travel Pillow

This is about as essential as headphones. Countless times, I’ve witnessed people without travel pillows on long haul flights with their heads bobbing up and down or contorted in a weird position as they try to sleep upright. I get it, travel pillows are a nuisance to carry onto the plane and some just look silly–but, when it comes to getting restful sleep on a plane without the neck cramp, you’ll need it.

Before getting a travel pillow, I was one of those people that would get bad neck and back pain during my trip because of the poor positioning of my neck when sleeping on the plane. If this sounds all too familiar to you, just get a travel pillow. I got this one, which includes a carrying case (more hygienic) where you can roll it up to a more compact shape and clips onto your personal item easily so you’re not holding a bulky neck pillow as you walk to your terminal.

Eye mask

This is for those who are used to sleeping in complete darkness (studies show this is better for you), or for those instances where your neighbor has the reading light on the entire time while you’re trying to sleep. Yikes. Try it out before you go on the flight to make sure it’s not too tight and that you can actually sleep with it on. It takes some getting used to if you don’t typically wear one to sleep.

Photo by Ori Song on Unsplash

Face mask

OK, so you might look a little ridiculous with both an eye mask and a face mask, but if you’re an open-mouth sleeper, this might be a solution for you! If you don’t care, more power to you, but I know some people are self-conscious or tend to drool when they’re sleeping. If you’re one of those people and are looking for a quick solution, this is it.


If you’re skipping the noise canceling headphones, ear plugs are absolutely essential. Not just for the airplane, but maybe even for sleeping at the hostel or if you have really noisy neighbors at your Airbnb. Plus, they take virtually no space in your bag.

Compression socks

It’s debatable whether these are absolutely essential, but still, something to think about before embarking on your trip. Compression socks are made for people who will be sitting for extended periods of time to improve circulation in your legs and to combat fatigue or swelling. They also double as slippers if you’re brave enough to wear them from your seat to the restroom so you don’t have to put your shoes back on.


Sometimes you absolutely NEED to sleep on your flight in order to prevent jet lag (adjusting for the time at your destination). If you’re having a bout of restlessness, you probably want something to help you get there. Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that makes you sleepy and can help you adjust your internal clock. When you’re on a long flight, your body is all messed up on the days and time zones. It might be a good idea to take some melatonin with you to help you adjust–just use as directed!

In-flight essentials for staying awake on a long haul flight

Sometimes being on a long-haul flight doesn’t mean it’s in your best interest to sleep the entire 10 hours. The amount of time you should sleep to avoid jet lag is entirely dependent on the time zone of your destination. If you need to stay awake for the better leg of your flight, make sure you have a few options for keeping your mind engaged.

Photo by Daniel McCullough on Unsplash

Power Bank

This is a must for everyone traveling domestic or abroad. Too often I see people fighting over outlets at the airport or with a draining battery, which at that point, you’re tethered to a wall for 20 minutes to an hour. Not ideal for a vacation. Save yourself the trouble and use a portable power bank where you can plug and charge your electronic devices as you’re running around exploring.

Photo by BENCE BOROS on Unsplash


An e-reader is perfect for flights because it’s lighter than a book, takes up very little space, and it’s like you’re bringing your whole library with you to choose from. The other great thing? If you end up finishing one of your books, you have more. We especially love the Paperwhite Kindle because it doesn’t strain your eyes with blue light, which can make it more difficult for you to sleep if you needed to sleep on the latter portion of your long flight. Of course, you can always use your phone or tablet to read, too!


When was the last time you picked up a pen and paper? A long flight is a perfect place to do that again and jot some ideas or thoughts down. You can plan your itinerary, doodle, and journal your experiences as you’re flying. Throw it back even more by playing a little tic-tac-toe or M*A*S*H with your neighbor.


This is simple but it’s always a good idea to bring a pen with you for filling out documents, taking quick notes, etc. Just don’t bring a fountain pen or something that can explode with the altitude change. Your best bet will be a ballpoint pen or the tried and true Micron felt tip pen (just make sure the cap is secure).

Pre-Downloaded Music, Shows, Podcasts, or Audiobooks

For long flights specifically, download your favorite music, shows or podcasts to listen to ahead of time. Spotify and Netflix apps have the option to download so you can listen to and watch your favorites without the need for WiFi or the dreaded buffering. You can even download apps for ambient noise or an audiobook app in lieu of an e-reader–something calm to listen to as you drift off into a deep slumber.

Hygiene and beauty travel essentials for long flights

If you’re a germaphobe like us, these are must-haves for any bag (long flight or not). Stay fresh before and after a long flight.

Photo by Workshop& on Unsplash

Moist towelettes

You can opt for hand sanitizer too, but these are slightly more useful. Use them for wiping down your seat area (those things can get pretty disgusting), as a substitute for washing your hands so you don’t have to get up or wait for the restroom, or for quickly wiping off light stains from clothes. These are useful on and off the flight for every sinkless situation.

Photo by Emily Boffeli

Water bottle

Of course, you need to stay hydrated. Flight attendants do not come around enough to hand you water, and even then, they’ll be handing you a plastic cup of water that you’ll consume within the next couple minutes because you’re afraid of spilling it. More plastic? No thanks.

Bring your own LARQ Bottle and fill it up at a water fountain in the airport after going past TSA. Ever think twice about filling at a station adjacent to the restrooms–eesh. That won’t happen with the LARQ Bottle. When you run out, ask your flight attendant to refill your water bottle instead of handing you a tiny cup of water. The bonus? You won’t have to worry about missing the next round of water if you were sleeping.


When you’re flying, the altitude can make your skin extremely dry. It’s a good idea to pack some moisturizer with you and lip balm to keep your skin hydrated (drinking enough water will help too!).

Toothbrush & Toothpaste

Keep in mind, on a long flight, or even overnight one where you’ll be sleeping on the plane, your breath can get a little unpleasant. Spare yourself and your neighbor and plan to brush your teeth at some point during your flight. Plus, you’ll feel fresh coming off the plane–especially if you need to make a good impression right off your flight!

Photo by STIL on Unsplash

TSA-approved Toiletry bag

Clear 1 quart bags are a must when traveling abroad. Make things easy on yourself by packing this in your personal item or carry-on bag holding all your liquids in 100mL travel bottles. Having them all in one place makes going through TSA is a breeze, and you’ll have easier access to them on the flight.


If this is purely to smell nice, mints will do the trick too, but chewing gum can also help you release pressure from your ears on the flight.

First aid and medication

If you like to stay prepared, a first aid kit will be a staple in your travel pack. You never know if you’ll get a papercut that you’ll need to cover up, or if you’ll scrape up your knee on a hike in the Amazon.

Medication should be kept in the same place too–whatever medication you think you might need, just bring it, and bring a few extras just in case. If it’s something that could mean life or death, it’s smart to bring extra in a separate pouch or with someone you’re traveling with too. Remember to follow TSA’s rules and regulations for all medication.


Whether it’s hot or cold in your destination, a scarf is something versatile you can bring with you on a trip. If it gets cold, you can simply use the scarf as a blanket.


Don’t fall victim to hanger. Stashing a few snacks in your bag will prevent you from the dreaded irritability that can ruin your trip, especially if you’re traveling with other people. It’s a good idea to have them handy if you’re going on some hikes at your destination or if you have long days of touring and museum-ing.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a remedy for the child kicking your seat repeatedly besides politely bringing it to their parent or guardian’s attention in hopes that they’ll stop, but hopefully these are enough to help you deal with any other disruptions on the airplane. Happy travels!


Benefits of Collagen with Sally Kim

Collagen is not a new discovery in the quest to find the fountain of youth by any means but has definitely grown in popularity over the recent wellness supplement boom. A spike in wellness and a sudden interest by all genders in anti-aging has led to a lot of research to be done on beauty supplements like collagen and its efficacy.

Though, I don’t think there is enough hype around collagen given its benefits–there are SO many. Sure, there are plenty of people hopping on the beauty train–men and women included–but do we know enough about collagen to be convinced to try it out?

Is collagen a miracle ingredient? Let’s unpack that a bit.

To get the lowdown on collagen, we sat down with collagen expert, Sally Kim, founder & CEO of Crushed Tonic, and author of The Collagen Glow. Crushed Tonic is an anti-aging collagen drink mix that’s carried in Earthbar/Equinox, Sephora, KITH, Free People, and Anthropologie–to name a few.

Photo by Crushed Tonic via Instagram

She says that topical collagen is not good enough to see improvements in the skin–nurturing the skin with collagen needs to happen from the inside out. That’s why she created Crushed Tonic, which is formulated with marine-sourced collagen, cultured probiotics, 100 mcg of biotin and other superfoods clinically-proven for health benefits for skin, hair and whole-body health. Sally explains that each tonic, AKA “crush” is flavored with amazing organic superfoods like matcha, turmeric, and lucuma. Best of all, you just add water or your favorite nut milk.

Meet Sally–the founder and CEO of Crushed Tonic and author of her book, The Collagen Glow.

Can you tell me about how the idea for Crushed Tonic began?

Sally: My obsession with collagen began when I got burned from a cooking accident.

The oil melted the skin off both of my arms instantly, and I had to turn to a ton of prescription ointment and silicone patches only to find out none of it really did much for me. Unimpressed by the options out there, I ended up turning to the internet to find ways to heal my skin.

After some research, I discovered that ingesting collagen was extremely beneficial for our skin (and hair, bones, joints, the list goes on). I was super fascinated, especially because I always thought collagen was something that was topically applied or injected–and started drinking it every day. After just a couple of weeks, I saw incredible changes not just on my burns, but all of my skin, head to toe, and also my hair.

Turns out, collagen is something that’s in our own bodies–actually, the most abundant substance in our bodies second to water–and our bodies stop producing it as much when we are in our mid 20’s. Drinking extra collagen, however, offsets that decline, restoring your skin and hair to its natural beauty.

I then tried to evangelize it to my aging parents and family, and this was where I saw the problem. No one wanted to take collagen as often as I did, for how it tasted (to be fair, most collagen powders do have an unpleasant taste–often gamey tasting, like any other protein powders are); and had I not been burned, I probably wouldn’t have drunk it either.

Knowing how beneficial collagen is, I HAD to have my parents take it. So I began to flavor each mix with specific superfoods that they liked so they would drink the collagen with the beverages they were already drinking every day anyway (matcha for my mother, coffee for my dad, and hot cocoa for my brother).

After tasting and testing for months, getting it so that the collagen flavor was undetectable, and hearing my friends and family rave about how amazing it tasted–that’s when Crushed Tonic was born.

My mission is to bring more focus and attention to supplements, specifically ingestible beauty (AKA beauty from within)–the concept that when it comes to healthy skin and hair, what you put in your body is just as important, if not more important than what you put on it.

It’s difficult for anyone to consume ALL the recommended nutrition needed daily, which is why vitamins and supplements are so great for filling in those gaps in your diet.

Photo by Crushed Tonic via Instagram

What is Collagen?

S: Collagen is a natural protein that our bodies produce. Fun fact: collagen is the most abundant substance in our bodies after water!

Collagen is a major structural component of the human body (different types of collagen make up our skin, bones, muscles, and joints) and we depend on collagen to keep our skin plump, hair strong, bones healthy, joints lubricated, and digestive system working smoothly.

Why do we need to take collagen?

S: Though our bodies are able to produce ample amounts of collagen when we are young, unfortunately, sometime after the age of 25, our bodily production of collagen begins to decline at a rate of 1.5% per year (in addition to the decline in the quality of the produced collagen). By our mid-40’s, our collagen levels may have fallen by as much as 30%.

Without collagen, our cells lose structure, increasingly becoming weaker, stretchier, and thinner–and essentially, this decline is the true cause of many of our skin woes like wrinkles, fine lines, dark circles, dry skin, and cellulite.

What are the benefits of collagen?

S: Ingesting collagen helps us keep our skin supple, elastic, and hydrated. With more collagen to lock in the moisture within every cell, our skin will stay hydrated and taut.

Collagen is a miraculous superfood that is good for you, from head to toe, though the industry emphasizes collagen’s benefits on skin*. Because collagen is a complex protein that contains EIGHTEEN out of the twenty existing amino acids found in our bodies, these eighteen amino acids, when ingested, support all of the different various functions of our body in different ways: our skin, hair, brain, bones, teeth, nails, heart, digestion, muscles, weight, mood, virility and even sleep.

*After just 12 weeks of daily consumption (10g/day), surveyed respondents in our focus group noticed a decrease in wrinkles, increased skin hydration, increased skin firmness and decreased joint pain.

Here are some benefits to taking collagen I’ve listed in my book:

  • Skin benefits
    • Diminished dark circles and puffiness around the eyes
    • Minimized appearance of pores
    • Reduction in the visibility of cellulite
    • Diminished visibility of scars
    • Overall restored brightness of skin
    • Overall more hydrated skin
  • Detox & Improving Liver Health
  • Hair
  • Brain Health: Mood, Anxiety, and Sleep
  • Joints
  • Bones and teeth
  • Nails
  • Heart Health
  • Digestion
  • Muscle tissues, ligaments, and tendons
  • Metabolism and weight loss

What is your philosophy on beauty and wellness?

S: I’ve come to realize that I am the happiest when I am the healthiest–mentally and physically. I also look my best when I’m the happiest so for me, healthy is where I invest the most. When it comes to healthy food, supplements, fitness, and mental health, there is no such thing as too expensive or too often.

That’s why I love my LARQ bottle so much–it helps me drink so much water as it purifies tap water, and when I’m at the airport, I can use it at water fountains and not have to spend $10 on bottled water!

What are some of your favorite ways to take collagen?

I like to make lattes as soon as I wake up! I like to warm up oat milk and add the matcha crush (essentially 1 serving of organic matcha, 10g of collagen, 1 billion CFU of probiotics, and 1000 mcg of biotin). I’ll use an electric whisk to mix it so there are no clumps.

How do you ensure the absorption of collagen?

I recommend ingesting collagen in the morning, before having any other foods, when there’s nothing in your stomach so your body can digest the collagen before anything else. You want the collagen to be in your bloodstream in its present form, not digested by stomach acid and mixed in with other food during the digestion process. You’ll also see that this helps with other things as well–like keeping you full and feeling satiated until lunch!

I also like to eat fruits with vitamin C, like oranges or tangerines since vitamin C is known to boost collagen production! According to the Linus Pauling Institute researchers at Oregon State University, vitamin C has a distinct role in collagen synthesis; without vitamin C, our body is slower in healing wounds and producing collagen. Thus, it makes sense to have some vitamin C added to your collagen supplement.

What is the recommended potency or daily value of collagen to see benefits of collagen?

This varies per person, age, and his or her body type, the health of their kidneys (too much protein can lead to kidney stones), and also depending on what collagen they are drinking–or how bioavailable the collagen is.

Going overboard with anything can be harmful–even drinking too much water can be harmful to you! So I recommend that those starting to take collagen ease into the routine by taking 5g for a few days first, and then 10g, and then cap it at 30g.

Do results vary from taking collagen? If so, how does it vary? Does it depend on age, diet, or lifestyle?

Yes! It’s very important to note that not everyone will see the same results that I have seen given the differences in lifestyle and diet. Also, it took more than 2 years of drinking collagen DAILY for my skin and hair to get to where it is now!

Some people may take longer to see results, especially if they are smoking or drinking alcohol excessively. The benefits of collagen will definitely be harder to see (as those habits will erode your collagen levels).

When it comes to age, it is better to start taking collagen earlier than later, as you will be taking a more preventative approach; however, collagen doesn’t discriminate!

I keep a gluten-free and dairy-free rule and do not consume anything “white” very often. White is an unnatural color for food: sugar, flour, cheese, and milk. I also recommend staying away from processed foods as much as you can; long story short, they’re bad for you.


If you were considering taking collagen as a supplement to your diet–whether to prevent signs of aging, to reduce them, to encourage joint health, or even to reduce the visibility of scars–I hope you learned a thing or two about it to help you make the best decision for your lifestyle!

Results of taking collagen supplements may vary. Consult your doctor or physician before taking any supplements.

This post is not sponsored. 


14 Off Season Travel Destinations to Visit Before You Die

Not a fan of crowds? Don’t like paying premium prices for travel and accommodations? Here’s a guide to the best times to travel to major vacation destinations in the off-season, and maybe some you might not have thought to visit before! Whether you’re in the mood for a relaxing beach vacation or the type of traveler who loves to be immersed in another country’s culture, these places are must-sees for everyone!

Paris, France

Photo by JOHN TOWNER on Unsplash

The peak season to travel to Paris is during the summer months anywhere from May – September. Paris is beautiful in the summertime, but there’s a certain charm to it in October through November and March through April too if you’re not a fan of super warm weather. You can enjoy the leaves falling in autumn, overcast skies (which by the way creates nice soft lighting for all your pictures), or spring weather in the 60s-70s so you can enjoy walking 10 or more miles per day and without being drenched in sweat.

New Orleans, Louisiana, US

Photo by William Recinos on Unsplash

Off season travel to New Orleans lands around January-December. You’ll find cheap flights, budget-friendly accommodations, and enjoy the amazing culture and food there. Prices increase quite a bit in the Spring, but if you prefer warmer weather, this might be a better option for you than to travel in the brisk winter. It’s definitely a must-see and one of the most underrated cities in the U.S., so we had to include it in this list! If you can brave a little bit of cold, traveling in the off-season will be a breeze.


Photo by Nicolas J Leclercq on Unsplash

Avoid traveling to Iceland during July through mid-August if you are planning to visit the more popular destinations like the Blue Lagoon or the Golden Circle. Opting for shoulder seasons like September-October and February-March for less severe winters, and less crowded tourist attractions. Plus, if you’re traveling to Iceland to view the Northern Lights, the best time to view them will be around September through late March. You’ll score cheaper airfare during these months, and have a higher chance of viewing the northern lights one of the nights you’re there.


Photo by Charlie Marusiak on Unsplash

Yet another popular tourist destination, Greece offers impeccable sightseeing, gorgeous panoramic views, and delicious food. Traveling between June – August would be a nightmare due to crowds of tourists traveling for vacation. The best time to travel in the off season in Greece is in March, right before it starts to get really warm. For all you people who hate the heat, you might want to hit up Greece in March or earlier!

The Bahamas

Photo by Gregory Culmer on Unsplash

When traveling to islands close to the equator, the weather is usually a lot warmer year-round, but depending where you are, you may risk entering these countries during hurricane season. The best time of year to visit the Bahamas to beat crowds is autumn where the beaches are emptier and you’ll be able to really soak in all its glory. BUT, be wary that peak hurricane season occurs between early August and the end of October. Crowds of tourists start picking up around January – April and things get a little pricier during that time too.

Taipei, Taiwan

Photo by Thomas Tucker on Unsplash

The best time of year to visit Taipei is a brief window from September to November, during dry conditions and moderate temperatures from 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Taipei is known for its nightlife, street food culture, and amazing noodle and dumpling restaurants. You’ll be able to enjoy them a little more with thinner crowds.

Costa Rica

Photo by Miguel Bruna on Unsplash

If you love lush greenery, the landscapes of Costa Rica will absolutely take your breath away. The dry season tends to be the most expensive here from mid-December through April. If you don’t mind getting a little wet and want to save some money, travel during May – November when prices are the lowest due to higher precipitation. It is equally as beautiful–if not more beautiful–when it rains because of the gorgeous post-rain foliage. The bonus here is fewer tourists so you can enjoy the lush land without the noise of obnoxious travelers. Just be prepared for some rain!

Marrakech, Morocco

Photo by Kees Kortmulder on Unsplash

Beat the crowds and the scorching hot temperatures by visiting Marrakech in the Fall (no one likes a burnt cookie). Plus, you’ll reap the benefits of booking more affordable flight prices during this time. All that saving can allow you to purchase a few unique souvenirs from the renowned marketplaces or treating yourself to a luxury stay at one of the beautiful hotels in Marrakech.


Photo by Luca Micheli on Unsplash

Enjoy lower airfare to London and slightly chillier temperatures from mid-September through November. You’ll even save on hotel rates during this time. Due to the off-season, it’ll be easier to navigate the streets of London and check out the most touristy destinations with much thinner crowds. Say hello to the Queen for us?

Lake Tahoe, California, US

Photo by Clara Marie on Unsplash

Looking for a relaxing getaway in the summer on a budget? Lake Tahoe is gorgeous in the summer, with ski resorts offering deals and cheap stays in the off season. For the thrill-seekers, take a hike in the mountains surrounding Lake Tahoe or paddle-board, kayak, and wade in the lake itself. The clear, calm waters are perfect for hanging out and taking a dip in the summer. For the self-care enthusiasts, book a spa day or massage at one of Lake Tahoe’s resorts at discounted rates.

Florence, Italy

Photo by Mark Tegethoff on Unsplash

If you’re a fan of rich historical culture and beautifully preserved architecture, you won’t want to miss Florence. It’s pretty much tourist-free from November – April, so you can avoid those crowds and see the sights as the locals would. Europe in the off-season is also a little safer; because there aren’t as many crowds, there is a slimmer chance of getting pickpocketed.

Bali, Indonesia

Photo by Dennis Rochel on Unsplash

A popular honeymoon destination, Bali speaks to the adventurers and luxury travelers alike. There is lush greenery, amazing resorts, affordable massages, spas, and beautiful hikes–plus, the food is amazing, and cheap! Visit in the off season between September and October where prices for flights and even luxury resorts are at their lowest.

New York, New York, US

Photo by Nicolai Berntsen on Unsplash

Travel to the Big Apple is the most pleasant during the shoulder seasons (spring and fall) where you’ll see high prices in both airfare and accommodations. If you don’t mind the cold though, the most affordable times to visit New York is from mid-January to early March.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Photo by Ivan Ivankovic on Unsplash

Home of the famous red-tiled roofs featured in “Game of Thrones”, the best time to visit Dubrovnik is during September or October with fewer crowds and more affordable hotel rates. Enjoy the beautiful turquoise waters of the Dalmatian Coast and beach-lounging.

Life’s short. Take some time off to travel and see the world, be immersed in the culture, and you know–just take a break from work for once! You’ve earned that time off, why not spend it on new experiences?


LARQ x MoMA Design Store NYC

Calling all design enthusiasts and NYC residents! The LARQ Bottle is now available at the MoMA Design Store in NYC on W 53rd Street and Spring Street locations. Visit our bottles IRL now in the store or admire its beauty in the window display on your way to work.

The MoMA is short for The Museum of Modern Art, was founded in 1929. It’s a museum that shares thought-provoking modern and contemporary art. The organization celebrates creativity, openness, tolerance, and generosity. Apart from amazingly designed products from their design store, you can admire contemporary artworks and exhibitions in the MoMA itself (located across the street from the MoMA Design Store). Add this one to your list of places to visit in New York City. The MoMA Design Store is as great a spectacle to see and to take a few pieces of art back home with you (something you can’t do that at the MoMA).

Find LARQ Bottles at these locations:

MoMA Design Store, Soho

81 Spring Street, NY 10012

Between Crosby and Broadway

MoMA Design Store

44 West 53rd Street, NY

Across the Museum, between 5th and 6th Avenues

Not in New York? Don’t fret–you can get your own LARQ Bottle here from the comfort of your bed.

We pride ourselves in having one of the best-looking water bottles on the market–tech aside–so this collaboration holds a special place in our heart. You’ll find some amazing things at the MoMA Design Store that are both functional and pieces of art, like a Molekule Air Purifier (hello, allergy season), or a sleek charging dock for your iPhone or iPad. If you’re in the neighborhood, snap a video and tag us @livelarq in your Instagram stories for a chance to be featured! We love when you meet us in IRL!