How I Stay Thankful

We are in California right now visiting my family for Thanksgiving. Upon arrival, I was immediately confronted by this intense smell of smoke, like we were at camp and the fire had been burning a little too long. The fires that have ravaged Butte county and Los Angeles County are the worst I remember seeing in my lifetime, with over 800 people still unaccounted for. My sister went to Chico volunteering and giving out supplies to people in need, but there is still so much work to do. The rain that is expected to come is supposed to help with the fires that are still burning, but now we think that may cause mudslides which could be even worse.

This Thanksgiving I’m extra grateful, being safe at home with my family. Yet another reminder that nothing is ever guaranteed in life, and we need to appreciate everything we have, because it could always be worse.

It is easy to feel grateful during times of crisis, but not so much in the thick of mundane everyday life. I have a motto that keeps me on my toes though. It is:

Live life, but make it cute.

I learned this from watching my kids and how they turn every situation in to an opportunity to play and imagine. Kids instinctively know the secret to happiness.  As human beings we all have to do the same things – eat, work, sleep, repeat. But instead of just going through the motions or complaining every step of the way, I like to make every thing I do ‘cute’, or in other words- just a little extra special. Doing this takes a little practice and effort, but it is so worth it.

Some examples of what I do to make life cute:

When Tom asks me for a favor, I say – ‘Anything for you, the love of my life!’ or when Adam asks me for another meal, even after he just ate – I answer with, ‘It would be my pleasure, my first born son!’ I may just be extra excited to welcome home my family members by showering them with hugs and kisses like I haven’t seen them in years. Even if I am not actually feeling it, just acting that way tricks my subconscious brain to make me actually start to feel that way. Then comes the ripple effect – after I put out all that good energy towards the ones I love, I get it back and then some.

For dinners, I like to try out new recipes all the time, and experiment with new flavors – it makes cooking and eating dinner way more fun for me. When I get dressed, I pretend like I am in a boutique and shop my closet for pieces I haven’t worn in a while, mixing and matching accessories and even DIY’ing when I feel extra creative. When I am doing my own makeup or hair, I’ll pretend like I’m a professional artist and I’ll give myself a tutorial on my look.

When I shop, I like to imagine I am styling a client that has unlimited funds (a trick I picked up from Immaculate Wardrobe Stylist, Sophia Hyacinthe) I go to my some of my favorite online retailers like Shopbop, (which is currently having their big annual sale!) and I start favoriting items I love. You can get emails when those items go on sale, and I always take advantage of that feature! These boots were my latest sale purchase and I am obsessed with them.

Moral of the story, it is easy to stay grateful and appreciate & enjoy your life – you just have to make it cute!

  PantsBoots (similar) | Blouse (similar) | Trench (similar) | Hat (thanks to Tenth Street Hats) | Pants and Top thrifted from Material World |

 

 

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Conscious-ish: How To Define Your Personal Style (Part I)

“We are all going to consume, but the point is to consume with a purpose and be aware about what you buy and what you do, and use it as a tool to serve you” – Sophia Hyacinthe – Personal Stylist and CEO, Immaculate Wardrobe

Boots: Dorateymur (on sale!)| Jeans: Levi’s | Sweater: ALC via Material World

Conscious-ish is a Style Series where we explore personal style from a conscious consumer lens.

We are going to kick off this series with what I think is the most important and most elemental step in creating the wardrobe of our dreams, and that is defining our personal style. Getting “conscious” about it, if you will. Before we dive in to what, where, and how exactly to shop, it is absolutely key to figure out just what our style type even is. This is not to say your style can’t change or evolve over time, in fact I hope it always does! But when it does evolve, your new personal style awareness will help you make future changes accordingly.

I also created a Personal Style Quiz to help you narrow down what your style personality is. Scroll down to take the quiz – you may find you fit perfectly into one style type, or you may be a mix of a few!

To help us really figure out our personal style, I tapped in to the expertise of NYC/ATL based Personal Stylist & CEO, (side note: also a DJ by night – how cool is she?)  Sophia Hyacinthe. She helps real modern professional women create a style strategy, build looks, and build a timeless wardrobe through her Styling company, Immaculate Wardrobe.

In her experience, many women shop impulsively. It could be tied to their budget, for example if they get a big paycheck or there is a blowout sale going on, or something emotional like feeling depressed or filling a void -hence the term retail ‘therapy’. Shopping this way ultimately leads to a closet that may not be cohesive, like too many statement pieces but not enough quality staples to make the outfits work. You end up with the ‘closet full of clothes and nothing to wear’ situation which is super frustrating.

Figuring out your personal style can help you streamline and edit what you need and what you don’t need in your closet, to make getting dressed less stressful. It will also help you to present the best image of yourself to the world. Often our emotions are tied to our self-image, so being confident in what we are wearing can also really have a positive effect on us.

“We are all going to consume, but the point is to consume with a purpose and be aware about what you buy and what you do, and use it as a tool to serve you”

According to Sophia, there are a few things you need to consider first when determining your style type:

(You may want to grab a pen and some paper and take notes)

  1. What Is Your Lifestyle? Are you a stay at home mom looking for easy comfy clothes for most days, and cute trendy outfits for date nights and parties? Are you a social butterfly who needs playful statement pieces? Do you work corporate and want your clothes to be stylish and professional?
  2. What Do You Love About Your Body? What are your favorite attributes? What types of clothes make you feel your most vital, confident self?
  3. Who Are Your Style Icon(s)? Celebrities, Friends, Family members – think about anyone who’s style you truly admire, and why.
  4. What Are Your Style Goals? How would you choose to dress if you had, say, Beyonce’s bank account?
  5. What Is Your Budget? Realistically, think about how much you can afford to spend – think in terms of price per wear for the items you think you will wear the most.

Once you answer the above questions you should have a much clearer understanding of: What type of clothes you may need to supplement your current wardrobe, which silhouettes work best for your body type, and how much you can actually afford to spend.

If you haven’t yet, take my Style Quiz below to help you determine your Style Personality!

Answer a few questions to determine if your style is Classic, Glamazon, Bohemian, Modern, or Avant Garde
A. Sophisticated, demure
B. You like to make an entrance AND an exit
C. Chill flower child
D. Trend-setter, laid back
E. Adventurous
2. Your Favorite Outfit
A. Tailored trousers or midi dress with feminine accessories
B. Monochromatic body con dress, high heels and an oversized jacket
C. A vintage flowy maxi dress, layered necklaces and cocktail rings
D. Jeans and a blazer with some statement heels or flats
E. A jacket with dramatic shoulders and oversized arms, paired with a statement chunky heel
3. Describe The Style You Aspire To
4. What Home Decor Style Do You Love
B. Velvet pillows, floral arrangements, grand chandeliers
5. When Shopping, You are most likely to:
6. Your Favorite Handbag
7. Who Is Your Favorite Celebrity Style Icon?
8. When looking at your closet, you see
E. Track pants, cropped sweaters, fishnet stockings
9. If You Could Choose One Designer, You Would Have A Closet Full Of:

 

Add up your total number of A, B, C, D, and E’s and see below for your results! If you are split, then you have a combination of style types.

 

If you are:

Mostly A’s: Classic 

You prefer timeless styles over flashy trends and prefer beautifully tailored pieces. You like to invest in high quality clothing and accessories and expect them to last a long time. You tend to stay safe and stick to what you know works for you. You are sophisticated, well-groomed, and generally have very good taste.

Famous Classic Style Icons: Jackie O, Victoria Beckham, Queen Rania, Kate Middleton

Mostly B’s: Glamazon

You love to make a statement and showcase your confidence in your outfit choices. You know how to accentuate your favorite attributes, and you put them to work, honey! Designer bags and shoes are your favorite place to splurge. You are either in spandex shorts and hoodies, or a patent leather bodycon with sky high heels, there is no in between.

Famous Glamazon Style Icons: Kim Kardashian, J.Lo, Bebe Rexha, Beyonce

Mostly C’s: Bohemian

You are Earthy by nature and your fashion choices reflect your zen philosophy. Loose and flowing maxi dresses are your fave, you are most confident when you are feeling comfortable and feminine. You like to accessorize and show your personality through your style by playing with color and jewelry.

Famous Bohemian Style Icons: Cher, Nicole Richie, Vanessa Hudgens

Mostly D’s: Modern

You have that cool-girl vibe and you don’t shy away from trying out fashion trends that you find fun. You appreciate originality and always look for a twist on classic pieces. Function is just as important as fashion for you and you like to splurge on high quality basics and designer shoes that you know will get a lot of wear.

Famous Modern Style Icons: Michelle Obama, Amal Clooney, Tracee Ellis Ross, Olivia Palermo

Mostly E’s: Avant Garde

You love to experiment with fashion and are not scared to make a big statement. It may be something small like accessories, or it may be your entire outfit, but one thing is for sure – there is nothing boring about your style. Your philosophy is that Fashion is wearable art, and you appreciate designers who push boundaries like you.

Famous Avant Garde Style Icons: Zoe Kravitz, Rihanna, Christine Centenera, Lady Gaga

Thank you so much for visiting! Stay tuned for next week, where we will talk about the exact steps Sophia takes her Personal Styling clients through to edit and streamline their closets!

Find Sophia on Instagram or check out her website Immaculate Wardrobe

Conscious-ish: The Conscious Style Series – An Introduction

 How to be Stylish and Conscious-ish

Jacket: Reformation | Jeans: Levis

I thought of this idea months ago when I was talking to my friends about shopping and I found myself at a loss for words when I was explaining why I don’t shop at Zara.

I hesitated on using the word ‘conscious’ or ‘ethical’ or ‘sustainable’ because to me those words connote something boring, and often sound super preachy and annoying. Conscious-ish is a light take on the word, making it more palatable and inclusive. We are being conscious-ish when we try our best to do better. (Note: This could be a great podcast idea, right? Calling it right now…)

I’ve noticed there are two major types of shoppers:

1) First there are ones who will shop anywhere and everywhere without giving much thought on whether something was made ethically or sustainably. They usually have great style, may love to shop high and low, supplementing their expensive Designer investment pieces with tons of trendy fast-fashion finds. In their minds, the cheaper the better and ignorance is blissful. Possibly a fashion blogger…

2)The second type are those who do care deeply about ethical and sustainable fashion, and exclusively shop are very curated group of (usually expensive) sustainable brands. They may or may not also have a capsule wardrobe which is full of black, white, khaki and grey items, and quite possibly also have an air of superiority about themselves.

Personally I don’t like anything that is too extreme or restrictive, be it religion, diet, or lifestyle. I subscribe to the idea that moderation is the best, the most sustainable, and from a human perspective, the most realistic goal.

As a newly aware conscious shopper, maybe someone who just finished watching The True Cost (which I highly recommend), looking at the other end of the style conscious spectrum, it is very easy to feel overwhelmed with restrictions and fall back into the ‘ignorance is bliss’ mode.

It is also really hard to imagine life with a black, white, khaki and grey wardrobe – no thanks! Give me all the loud color and prints!

My goal with this series is to make it easier for all style lovers to learn new ways to adapt ‘conscious-ish’ shopping habits. I believe everyone should be a conscious shopper – there really is no excuse not to be nowadays with all that we know about the Fashion Industry and its blatant harm to the planet and people. However I don’t expect, nor do I advocate for everyone to immediately overhaul their lifestyle in order to affect change. If everyone we knew just took a few small baby steps, maybe shopping a little less often, or starting to get into resale shopping instead of always buying new, or supporting some amazing sustainable brands, I really believe we could see a huge collective shift in perspective, which I believe is ultimately what is really going to change the industry.

Conscious-ish: The Conscious Style Series – will attempt to bridge the gap between the new conscious style enthusiast and the seasoned expert.

We will discuss:

  1. Baby steps we can all take to improve our current shopping habits to align with our conscious style philosophy.
  2. How to find and develop our own personal style.
  3. How to shop savvy and avoid getting into debt. Tips on managing money and creating a budget.
  4. Resale & Consignment Shopping – How and where to do it, and what to watch out for.
  5. DIY and Fashion Styling tips to get the most out of your closet.
  6. Favorite Fashion Apps and Technology.
  7. And much more…

Subscribe to the blog if this series pique’s your interest!

Why I Quit Fashion Blogging

And Why I Hope You Do Too…

First off, let me just say this post has been a long time coming. My fear kept me from sharing this – but after a conversation I had with a friend this morning, I realized I needed to do it.  So here goes:

My story: A few years ago when I first started Love Zahra, I was a compulsive shopper. I grew up with modest means so for me, having money meant I needed to buy everything I could possibly afford. In order to create content for my blog, I would very often go drop a weeks salary on new clothes just so that I could ‘keep up’. Over time as I got savvier (and more broke), I would sometimes buy stuff to shoot a photo in, then return it. I justified it by saying I was helping that brand with free marketing so – win-win right? I was working full-time earning six figures at my old job but I was actually IN DEBT. By like, a lot. Then as I grew my blog, brands began to sponsor me so I would get a ton of clothes for free – but I was still shopping like a maniac because there was always something else that I wanted.

When I decided to work from home blogging full-time and being a stay at home mom, my mindset began to change. I knew my closet was bursting at the seams with stuff, and I didn’t actually need anything – I could have probably gone my entire life wearing a new outfit every single day with just the things I already had. Also, I didn’t give a shit about the latest ‘trend’ anymore, I had seen way too many come and go too quickly. I was feeling all these feelings about the Fashion Industry, and that is right when I learned about the Rana Plaza factory fire in Bangladesh, which according to wikipedia was considered the deadliest structural failure accident in modern human history, and therefore also the deadliest garment-factory accident in history. The worst part about the fire is that it was completely preventable.

The unreasonable demands placed on the workers who are barely treated as human beings to satiate our endless need for new clothes is what caused the fire. I felt like I caused that fire. Besides the horrible labor conditions workers were subjected to, I also knew about how much the fast-fashion industry was polluting our earth.

At the time, the ‘slow fashion’ movement was starting to make an impact but not in a large scale way. This was several years ago I knew all this, but I still thought it would just be too hard to change my lifestyle. I was a Fashion Blogger after all, right? I was afraid to share my new feelings publicly because I was worried I might not be able to keep it up, that maybe one day all my passion would lose steam and I would look like a sham. But slowly, my inner conflict started eating at me. I couldn’t say that I care about the earth and the people on it, while still spending money on brands that were doing the most harm. I stopped shopping at some of the most notorious fast-fashion houses, but I didn’t tell anyone about it just in case I decided to go back to my old ways.

It took me years, YEARS, to say it out loud – even to myself.

At first it was hard. The allure of buying something new for really cheap isn’t something that ever really goes away. Initially I felt limited by my new shopping standards – I would walk in to the mall and most stores would be off-limits. However, I soon learned a few ways to shop smarter, and three things happened as a result.

1 – I got better stuff –  I searched my favorite online shops like The Modist, that carried brands I love, and shortlist my favorite Designer items to buy when they went on sale. I created a list of ethical brands that I could go to and shop with confidence. (Note: I wrote that list way back in 2015!) I planned my outfits in advance. I began to dip my toe into resale shopping – (which I am now fully submerged in). I now think of my wardrobe as a curated collection, that I want to slowly add to with only things I am in love with, or stuff I know I will be wearing constantly.

2- I figured out my personal style – I love color! I love easy flowing fabrics! I don’t like knee length dresses! I figured this out by paying attention to the pieces in my wardrobe that I was constantly reaching for, and the outfits I felt the most ‘me’ in, instead of blindly following trends.

3 – I became mentally un-stuck – No longer contributing to an Industry I knew was literally killing my fellow human beings is an instant mood booster I’d say. Also, no longer compulsively shopping gave me back the time, money, and sanity I needed to focus on doing more important and fun things in my life.

My View On The Fashion Industry Is This.

Nothing can change unless we demand it, and if we do demand it, we can make big changes quickly. In my own lifetime we went from a country that didn’t think twice about chowing down on pop-tarts and genetically modified everything, to a place where we can now access the freshest beautiful healthy organic food everywhere. The only thing that changed was awareness. Some people still choose to eat junk (myself included) and that is fine, I don’t expect everyone to care, but I think a lot of people do! We are living in an exciting time where information travels quickly and literally our lives as we know it could change in less than a decade – instagram wasn’t even around a decade ago! Remember life without instagram?!

So here’s my mission and I hope you all join me – let’s change the face of Fashion Blogging and the Fashion Industry. Boycott the brands that are the worst offenders. Be a proud outfit repeater! Shop less, buy better stuff. Let’s celebrate brands who are doing it right. Let’s talk about the way clothes are made and where and who is making them. Let’s appreciate fashion for what it really is, art and personal expression!

If you are up for the challenge, subscribe to my email list and let’s stay in touch!

Thank you so much for being here, I appreciate you!

Resources:

Ethical Brands List 

(Via Joo Joo Azad Blog) Companies To Boycott List

 

 

Putting Clean Skincare To The Test! 8 Weeks Using Only One Ocean Beauty + Before & After

In this video I test the entire line of newly launched clean beauty brand One Ocean Beauty. I’ll give you a little bit more information about the company, then break down what is in each product, and I’ll show you my skin’s week by week progression. Be on the lookout on my instagram I will be posting a giveaway of the entire line very very soon!

About The Brand:

One Ocean Beauty uses marine based active ingredients that have been found to have powerful effects in beauty and wellness. In some of the most extreme ocean environments, marine microorganisms have developed unique properties that help them protect against UV radiation, pollution and physical damage, One Ocean Beauty believes those magical marine-actives can do the same for our skin. 

Founder and CEO Marcella Cacci comes from a luxury beauty background and wanted to fill the gap that she saw in the market, something she wanted to use herself – a simple skincare routine that is actually clean and also clinically tested to work.

 One Ocean Beauty is committed to preserving the oceans where they sustainably source their active ingredients. They have partnered with Oceana, the largest ocean protection agency in the world, to do so. They have actually already donated $250,000 in advance of their launch, a testament to their true dedication for the cause.

In addition, they follow the strictest clean beauty standards available to create their products, which are free from toxins such as GMOs, Parabens, Sulfates, Phthalates, PEGs. 

Most importantly, they have simplified your daily skincare routine by creating a five-step line that you can use both day and night, consisting of a cleanser, serum, moisturizer, eye cream, and dietary supplement.

 

Note: I was sent products from One Ocean Beauty, however this is not a sponsored post.

Makeup Tutorial: Easy Fresh Everyday Makeup (Under Five Minutes!)

Just a quick video sharing my everyday makeup routine for that ‘enhanced natural’ look! Using some of my new favorites from Charlotte Tilbury, Fenty Beauty, Urban Decay and some drug store finds!

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to my channel! Come on, it will be fun!

 

Shop The Post:

Whats In My Shopping Cart…

Three things I’m crushing on right now. Bonus: They are all on sale!
Outfit details: Shoes: Club Monaco (on sale 70% off!) Jeans: Levi’s Sweater: ALC via Material World Co.

As a style enthusiast (and that is putting it very lightly…) I am constantly on the hunt for things that I know will elevate my wardrobe. I also spend a lot of time researching online to see what is happening on the runway, and what is trending each season. In order to avoid impulse shopping, I like to add things to my cart and not buy it, just to see if I still want it in a few days. I also like to ‘favorite’ items, most websites have some sort of option to do that, so that when there is a big sale I remember exactly what I love and snatch it up quickly.

Speaking of sales, right now is a good time to do that as Shopbop is having a huge sale – if you spend $500, you get 20% off, and if you spend over $500, you can take 25% off! 

Here’s what’s in my shopping cart right now:

  1. A White Boot – Instead of sticking with basic black, I’m going for a winter white boot this year. I have been eyeing this pair because of the sleek shape that will work equally well paired with skinny jeans or skirts. that is a part of the big Shopbop sale going on right now!
  2. Statement Earrings  – Fall is the time to break out the big jewels – although I do tend to love them year ’round. I’d wear these with some high waist denim and a cozy knit. 
  3. Cozy Sweater – A cozy sweater is an obvious seasonal choice, but I added it to the list since I already have a bunch of basic sweaters that aren’t giving me life like this one. I’m going to donate or consign those boring sweaters and pick up something a little cooler like this. The sleeves are voluminous but the tight wrist will keep you from looking like you are swimming in it. 

Five Comfy Chic Looks To Wear Right Now

Outfit Formulas I Swear By

1. Ruffled midi dress + Oversized jacket + Flats  I love to pair a very feminine looking dress like this ruffled polka dot high-low hem one by Alice and Olivia (which I scored for a steal over at Luxury Garage Sale), with an oversized destroyed denim jacket. It tones down the preciousness of the ruffles, and it will keep me warm on cool evenings well into Autumn. I also prefer to wear this with flats, very low heels, or even sneakers instead of high heels. In this instance, that is what makes the whole thing look ‘effortless’.

2. Denim Skirt + Sneakers + Button Down – A midi or long denim skirt is one of my favorite Fall go-to’s. When the chill picks up I like to wear an oversized sweater tucked in to the front just a bit – (a French Tuck for my Tan France fans). For now, I like to wear it with a button down tied at the waist to accentuate the high waist fit. I’m obsessed with all things yellow, mustard, ochre, rust, orange, and all shades in that color spectrum right now. Also, I’ve owned these Adidas sneakers in many colorways over the years and they are just an easy everyday shoe to wear. I have said over and over again I wouldn’t be jumping on the ‘dad shoe’ sneaker trend but I did see a friend wearing these and I have to say I might possibly be persuaded. Lesson: never say never.

3. Menswear Blazer + High-waist Denim + Tee – Ok this blazer has been a staple in my closet for a couple of years now. I will forever love the look of a menswear blazer with  jeans and a tee. My most worn jeans for the past year are these Levi’s pair, they are high waist with a straight leg so wearing them with a heel will keep you having legs for days. I like investing in great staples, so this Cuyana tee is on my must-have list.

4. Black Skinny Jeans + Tee + Heels – When I find a great pair of heels like these polka dotted mules, I like to keep the rest of the outfit really simple. These Madewell skinny jeans are amah-zing because with my long torso, I have the hardest time finding truly high waist pants. To make the outfit *pop* just a little I am wearing this gorgeous striped sweater by Thacker NYC draped over my shoulders for day, and layered over my tee for evening.

5. Leopard Skirt + Graphic Tee + Oxfords – Leopard print will always have my heart, and in case you haven’t noticed, it is having a moment right now too. Wearing a graphic tee makes the skirt look a little less prim and proper,(side note: Peut Etre means ‘Perhaps’ in French), and folding up short sleeves is one of my favorite styling tricks. Oxford style shoes are a little unexpected here, but I believe adding that touch of menswear in an otherwise very ‘feminine’ look is really always a winning combination.

Favorite thing: Bombol Baby Pop-Up Booster Seat

This lightweight, super easy to assemble seat makes meal time incredibly easy – whether at home or on the go.

Raise your hand if you enjoy chasing your baby around at meal times!

No? Then read on, I have a solution for you (and your peace of mind).

I came across the Bombol pop-up booster seat watching one of my favorite bloggers Saira Hayat Khan reviewing it on her instagram story. I messaged her immediately – asking for even more detail – and with her recommendation pretty soon I was reaching out to Bombol myself to get a chance to review it, and thankfully they agreed!

What Is a Pop-Up Booster Seat?

Essentially it is a booster seat that opens or ‘pops’ up in one step, and can attach to any regular chair. One strap goes behind the chair back and one goes underneath the seat, and they lock securely together with an adjustable strap. The booster seat also has adjustable front straps that go over the chest and lock in front, similar to a car seat.

The Verdict

For the past several weeks I’ve used my Bombol seat and it has truly been a lifesaver. I brought it with me to visit family and friends all summer because usually they don’t have a highchair available, and if they do it is because their own child uses it. I also took it with me on two separate trips, and it is so great to use in hotel rooms. I ended up not only using it for meal times, but any time I wanted to contain Sophia in one place. She is at the age where she loves to climb anything and I can’t turn my back on her for a moment or we could have an injury. Using my Bombol seat, I would just put some toys in front of her and she would sit there happily, and I would have a few moments of peace to get some things done.

Why I love it

What makes this seat so unique and why it is on my favorites list is because it is very lightweight at about 2 pounds, it is extremely sturdy and easy to use! I especially love that it folds down very slim and can easily fit into a carry on or can be worn with the strap as a cross-body bag. It pops up into a seat in one step, by pulling on one red plastic hook. To break it down is equally simple, just pinch together to squeeze and unlock and it pretty much folds itself. Also, the fabric wipes clean and essentially repels liquids.

Check out Bombol for additional information and detailed product specifications.

Don’t forget to use code Zahra10 for 10% off of your order!

Must Have: Cork Yoga Mats + The Samadhi Initiative

I’m so excited to finally share my latest discovery and current obsession, the cork yoga mat by The Samadhi Initiative. Read on to learn more about why I love my mat. If you are inclined to buy one, use my code ‘lovezahra’ for 15% off of your purchase!

First off, a little background, the Samadhi Initiative is a line of eco-friendly yoga mats and accessories, created by a passionate yoga teacher searching for better products to use and improve her own practice. The mats are completely customizable with your own personal mantra or favorite images that will enhance your practice. Whether you are a seasoned yogi or just getting started on your yoga journey, the Samadhi Initiative cork mat is a must-have. Especially for hot yoga, the non-slip grip of cork will be a huge improvement to traditional plastic mats, which any hot yoga practitioner knows can easily get dangerously slippery. 

I’ve been using my mat for several weeks now and the biggest surprise to me was how comfortable and thick they are under my feet unlike some cork mats I’ve tried. I’m also surprised and a little embarrassed I’ve been using plastic mats so long even though I care a great deal about the environment. Unlike plastic PVC mats, cork does not have you breathing in toxins. It is also easy to clean and naturally repels dust, hair, and insects, so it is also better for people with allergies.

If all that weren’t enough, cork is also a completely natural renewable material produced from the bark of a tree, and is harvested in a way that does not harm the tree that produces it, allowing it to continue growing, flourishing and reproducing the bark after it is harvested. Cork trees do not require excessive amounts of resources either, making them eco-friendly. Also, water-based inks are used to personalize the mats. 

What I really love about The Samadhi Initiative mats though, is that there is a place to personalize your mat with something truly meaningful to you, whether it is a design or a personal mantra. Growing up I was always praying on beautiful prayer rugs that were embroidered with geometric designs commonly found in Islamic art, or images of holy sites like Mecca. Having something to look at really helps me with my focus and concentration. For my mat, I chose to personalize with a beautiful flower and the word ‘presence’ for two reasons: 1 – I always want to remember to be present, to live in the moment and appreciate the blessings in my life instead of just going through the motions, and 2- I want to have presence, meaning the confidence to always own who I am, and always proudly live my truth.

Learn more about The Samadhi Initiative here.

Don’t forget to use code ‘lovezahra’ for 15% off of your purchase!

 

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all images and content, unless otherwise noted, are property of zahra sandberg. Please request permission prior to use of any of my images. if you have further questions, email me at zahra{at}lovezahra{dot}com.