style: winter uniform.

You know the stereotype that New Yorkers wear all black, all the time?

Well, it’s true. For this New Yorker, at least.

Especially in the wintertime, wearing black on black on black isn’t just for looking chic – it’s also just ridiculously convenient.

all black | gracie gordon | girlmeetslife.com

choose joy engraved necklace || speakable.co

Daniel Wellington men's watch + arm candy

But then, if you want to stand out (which I usually do), all you need is a simple pop of color thrown in there. Be it a handbag, your shoes, or my favorite way – a beanie.

all black + pop of pink || gracie gordon || girlmeetslife.com

all black + pop of pink || gracie gordon || girlmeetslife.com

pop of pink || gracie gordon || girlmeetslife.com

all black + pop of pink || gracie gordon || girlmeetslife.com

The whole look:

coat – Via Spiga
beanie – American Apparel 
shoes – Express
tights – H&M
watch – Daniel Wellington (men’s Classic St Andrews)
rings – Forever 21
sunglasses – Sunscape

necklace – Speakable

{photos by Sam Ruby}

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Are you a fan of wearing all black? What’s your “winter uniform”?

wellness: my experience with acupuncture.

acupuncture

Hey friends!

So this is a post I’ve been wanting to share for a while, but I was hesitant to “go there.” So many of you asked for it, though, so here it is.

If you’re not into women’s medical/hormonal issues – AKA probably if you’re a guy –  the exit is to the left ;)

My experience with acupuncture has been one that really surprised me and I’m so excited about the results, so I wanted to share it as information you might want to consider if you’ve had similar issues.

Cliff notes version: I started getting acupuncture about 3 months ago to help me (naturally) regain my period, and it worked.

*angels singing*

Now for the long version.

Never once in my life did I have a regular cycle, and by that I mean I very rarely got periods. When I was about 15 a doctor gave me the “easy solution” of putting me on the pill.

I SO WISH I DID NOT DO THAT.

I really believe that going on an oral contraceptive that young screwed up my body even worse, and it made it even more difficult to get to the root of the issue.

So for the next 10+ years, I was in a cycle of going off and on dozens of different types of the birth control pill. I hated being on it, so I would go off in hopes of getting my period naturally, and it never happened.

I saw so many different doctors, and was tested for everything under the sun. PCOS, early menopause (eek), thyroid issues*, etc. I tried gaining weight, various different ways of eating and exercise…everything.

* I did have thyroid issues in high school, but my levels have been normal since then. 

The good news was I didn’t have any of those things, but the bad news was I still wasn’t getting my period on my own. Pretty much all of the doctors agreed that I had generalized amenorrhea, and that the best solution is to just continue taking the birth control pill.

Fast forward to about 5 months ago, when I decided I had had enough. I was determined to get to the root of the issue and heal my body.

I saw my new lady doctor at Columbia University Medical Center here in NYC (and she’s great), and she understood me wanting to go off the pill again and trying to regulate my body naturally. She advised that I give it no longer than 3 months to go without a period, and so the countdown begun.

Getting acupuncture was something I would talk about with my mom here and there, but it just seemed like such a drastic thing to do. Not to mention I thought I didn’t “believe” in that sort of thing. But I was at the end of my rope, so I wanted to look into every possible option.

My mom is the queen of researching the best of the best doctors, so she got to work. She ended up finding Dr. Jingduan Yang – founder of Tao Integrative Medicine and  director of the Oriental Medicine and Acupuncture program at the Jefferson Mryna Brind Center of Integrative Medicine. Long story short – the guy was the best in his field, and he happened to have offices near my parents’ house and in NYC.

Meanwhile I was doing my own research on acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, and the concepts actually made a lot of sense to me. It wasn’t the “magical/voodoo” stuff I once thought. Chinese Medicine is a science just like Western Medicine is.

In a nutshell, Chinese Medicine looks at the body as a whole and seeks to get to the root of the problem, rather than just fixing symptoms. What’s cool is that Dr. Yang combines Chinese Medicine *with* the best of Western Medicine, so it kind of all made more sense to me.

In October 2014 I had my first appointment with Dr. Yang. I didn’t know what to expect, and I was even a bit nervous. But after a consultation with him and my first acupuncture treatment, the nerves went away and I got excited that something may finally work.

At this point I had not had a period in over 3 months, so time was technically up for me. I was getting the acupuncture treatments every 1-2 weeks for about a month and a half. I was losing hope and becoming more and more skeptical about the acupuncture. I was scared that I was wasting my money and energy.

But then…it happened. I GOT MY PERIOD!!!

I don’t think anyone has ever been so happy for it to be that time of the month, haha. It was literally the first time I got my period on my own since I was a teenager. I was ecstatic.

It actually brought up a lot of emotions because – I didn’t realize it but – in the back of my mind I was always afraid I wouldn’t be able to have children. I never let myself face that fear, but there was such a sense of relief when my body finally started working the way it’s supposed to.

I continued getting the treatments to keep my body on the right track, and as I write this post today I have gotten THREE regular periods consistently each month.

I’m going to continue getting treatments for another few months, less and less frequently. I’m also making sure to implement other healthy habits like eating well, stress-reducing techniques, and taking Chinese herbal supplements prescribed by Dr. Yang.

Now I’m even working for Dr. Yang doing his social media! (but please note that that’s *NOT* why I’m writing this post. This is not part of my job description, nor am I being compensated).

So to wrap things up, I personally am a huge proponent of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. If it’s something you think you might be interested in, I highly suggest researching it and learning as much as you can, as well as researching the best doctors (and I don’t mean on Groupon). 

There are a handful of articles/videos on the Tao Integrative Medicine website, and this recent radio interview Dr. Yang did explains a lot about what Chinese Medicine actually is.

A couple of more points that I’m thinking you might be curious about:

  • No, acupuncture is not painful, but it can be a tad uncomfortable for a brief moment depending on where the needle is being put. That’s a good sign, though, as it means it’s hitting the right spot!
  • It isn’t cheap. For me the expense was worth it for my longterm health, and thankfully my health insurance did help cover a portion of it.
  • Depending on what you’re getting acupuncture for, you’ll more than likely need more than one treatment. One acupuncture session is not a quick fix!
  • A common opinion is that acupuncture works because of the placebo effect, but many studies have proven otherwise. For me – even if it was the placebo effect – it still worked.
  • Acupuncture can be used for a lot of different things, from physical pain to psychological issues and many things in between.

Please note that I am NOT a medical expert, and this is just my own experience/opinions. Please seek a medical professional before making any changes to your health routine.

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What are your thoughts on acupuncture? Have you ever tried it, or would you consider it?

eats: 2 ingredient sweet potato & white bean veggie burgers {video}.

2 Ingredient Sweet Potato & White Bean Veggie Burgers

When snowed in and bored at home = make a vlog of your lunch. Naturally.

I’m actually pretty excited about how these turned out, especially considering how simple they are to make. I recently had a similar veggie burger at The Squeeze here in New York, so I tried to recreate it. These are vegan and gluten free, and they take under 20 minutes to make.

ingredients:
* 1 small can white (cannellini) beans, drained
* 1 medium to large sweet potato, cooked and peeled
* spices of your choice (I used black pepper, salt, ground mustard and paprika)
* coconut oil for frying
* OPTIONAL: use a flax egg to bind it better
* bread and toppings of choice – I used a gluten free english muffin, avocado, and baby kale

directions:
* mash the white beans and sweet potato as much as possible with the spices mixed in
* form 4 patties
* fry in a nonstick pan with coconut oil on medium heat for 4-6 minutes per side

This is the Potato Express I used (this thing is seriously awesome, haha).

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Have you ever made your own veggie burgers?

it is well | 1.26.15.

it is well || girlmeetslife.com

IT IS WELL {WITH MY SOUL}

I mentioned a few weeks ago how my word of the year is SIMPLIFY, and since then I’ve really been trying to focus more on getting my mind in the right place before rushing into the day ahead. I’ve always tried to squeeze in productive mornings when I could, but lately I’ve made it an every day practice of being even more intentional with how I spent the first hour or two of my day.

Here are my top tips for making the most out of your morning. Whether you implement one or all six, I think you might find them helpful in your own life as well!

(if you’re a YouTube user, feel free to go ahead and subscribe to my channel!)

Mentioned in this video:
3 Tips For Keeping A Journal
Jesus Calling devotional

God’s Promises Day By Day devotional
Cheque Book of the Bank of Faith devotional

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IT IS WELL {WITH MY BODY}

I haven’t made mention of it here on GML yet, but a few months ago I started getting acupuncture for some hormonal issues I’ve dealt with for over 10 years. Through the process I’ve noticed that a lot of people have no idea how acupuncture actually works.

While there’s a lot more to it than just this, I thought I’d share this brief video where my doctor (Jingduan Yang) explains what acupuncture is in under 2 minutes. He does a great job of summarizing the general idea.

(Side note – I was thinking of planning my full acupuncture story soon. Is that something you’d be interested in?)

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Do you practice any of the morning rituals I suggested? What are some of yours?

scenes from the weekend.

It’s been for-ev-er since I did a scenes from the weekend post! A lot of you have been requesting more “daily life” -esque posts, so I’m going to start doing more of them again…starting now :)

Rewind to Friday where I spent the day with Jessi, lunching + working. We spent a few hours doing a photo shoot for Ben Amun jewelry, which I was also able to take home with me to wear later in the weekend (perks).

How gorgeous are these pieces?!

Ben Amun | gracie gordon | girlmeetslife.com

We had lunch at Friend of a Farmer (one of my faves), where we unintentionally celebrated National Pie Day. Shepherd’s Pie for me, Chicken Pot Pie for Jessi.

eats

Also on the EATS agenda for the weekend was:

* mixed berry smoothie bowl topped with shredded coconut, raw oats, cashews, and flax
* thee BEST version of Eggs Benedict I’ve ever had at Saxon + Parole (Virginia Surryano Ham, crispy potato parmesan cakes, poached eggs, yuzu hollandaise)
* sushi on sushi and tons of other deliciousness at Lure Fishbar for Rachel’s birthday dinner

Earlier on Saturday (I’m bouncing all over the place, oh well) we kicked off Rachel’s birthday celebration with a group of us taking SoulCycle together. It was my third class in a week, who am I?!

(BTW – pictured below are my good friends Natalie and Sydney. Not sure if I ever introduced them on GML yet :))

I spent most of today (Sunday) in bed getting caught up on a bunch of work + blog stuff. I wasn’t planning on doing that, but I’m really glad because a productive Sunday = a better Monday.

I fueled through with a healthy lunch from The Squeeze + this INSANELY good “Squeezuccino” of theirs. Definitely a new favorite.

The Squeeze

Then I did the normal Sunday thing – church, errands (stocking up for the big blizzard coming, eek!), and now I’m going to watch a movie and call it a day.

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend! xo

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What was a highlight of your weekend?

snapshots | 1.23.15.

Let’s catch up, shall we?

1) I’ve become obsessed with having flowers in the apartment as much as possible! They add so much…I dunno, happiness? Although I’ve learned that hydrangeas last all of about 2 days, boo.

2) Saturdays with my girl friends are pretty much the best ever. They’re a good reminder of how much I love living in NYC…you never know what to expect. Always an adventure.

3) That’s my goddaughter!!!!!! Her name is Nugget and she’s a Shiba Inu. Jessi and her husband Parker got her last week. I only met her once, but I’ve never loved a little creature more.

4) Oh ya know, just complaining about how cold it is. Give me 6 months and I’ll be complaining about how hot it is.

5) Just a little photo shoot prep. Whether I have a special someone or not, I always love Valentine’s Day.

6) So that sweater? I’ve had it for over a year, but apparently it got lost wayyyy in the back of one of my under-bed bins. Always fun digging up clothes you thought you lost, isn’t it? Oh, and I got a lot of questions about that lipstick – it’s Liv by Illamasqua.

7) Yep, I drank the SoulCycle Kool Aid. So fun, much sweat.

8) Early bird ticket sales end this month for She Is Free! If you’re a girl looking for an excuse to visit NYC, this is 100% it. Learn more about the conference at the She Is Free website.

9) Snapshot of my recent photo shoot with Samy Ruby. I love working with her. I also love being able to work from anywhere. In this case, Juice Press.

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I haven’t done a “what I’ve been eating” recap in a while, so here’s a little update.

As I mentioned last week, I’ve eating mostly Paleo-esque. By mostly I mean when I’m eating at home. When I’m out with friends I’m more flexible. Anyway, here are some of the meals I’ve had that I loved, in case you’re looking for some Paleo/Whole30 inspiration.

1) My version of Loaded Paleo Nachos, inspired by Lexi’s Clean Kitchen.

2) For something sweet – a combo of sliced banana, dates, almonds, coconut cream, and ground flax.

3) A veggie mix of roasted tomatoes, asparagus, and purple sweet potatoes (SO good) topped with fried eggs.

4) Bacon Wrapped Avocado Fries – a serious Pinterest WIN, you guys. Must try!

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Last but not least, some this’ and thats…

1) Check out my latest SheKnows Experts post! 4 Failproof Ways To Dress For Success.

2) If you’re a podcast listener like myself, here’s a great sermon – This May Take A While.

3) It’s that time of year where I start freaking out because I’ve seen barely any of the films nominated for the Oscars…and swear I’m going to see them…then never do. Thumbs down to me.

4) I’m on a gallery wall kick lately. First it was the living room, and now I’m finally making my shoebox sized bedroom a little more presentable.

(…and yes, I am a jewelry hoarder.)

5) Let’s hear it for the WEEKEND! I’ve got a fun one planned, and I’m going to remember to document it for a long overdue scenes from the weekend post.

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What are your plans for the weekend? Have you seen any of Oscar nominees for best film (if so, which should I definitely see?!)?

 

life: the problem with the hustle.

hustle

A few weeks ago I shared how my word of the year is simplify. Since then, as I’ve been trying to simplify my life, I’ve found my mind spinning out of control more than ever.

I’m so dramatic. What I mean is that I’ve had more on my mind that I normally do.

As I was in a rainy cab ride on Sunday, I started to understand what was causing the disconnect. I started jotting notes in my phone to write this post.

What I realized was that simplifying my life goes against my constant need to hustle. I have this unshakable desire to always be bettering myself – to be working on making the things in my life bigger and better.

bettering my finances
bettering my relationships
bettering my body
bettering this blog

I stopped for a moment and started to think about how those things are what fill my mind almost all day, every day. Combine those thoughts with feeling inadequate and like I’m always “just this many steps” from achieving this ideal life and…it is EXHAUSTING, to say the least.

It got me thinking – how much hustle is too much hustle? Should we sometimes take a break from this constant need to better ourselves? Is it okay to be happy with our lives just the way they are in this very moment?

The truth is that sometimes hustling is actually striving, and being content doesn’t always mean you’re settling.

It seems as though we’re constantly being told two contrasting views on this.

One view is – be happy, thankful, and content with your life no matter what!

And the other is – good things come to those who hustle. Don’t dream it – do it. The best is yet to come.

So…which is it?? In New York the overwhelming mindset is the latter, and that’s what I’ve been latched onto for most of my adult life. But now I’m getting to the point where I see the value in that first mindset.

Don’t get me wrong – I definitely think it’s possible to balance the two, and that’s a balance hope to find soon.

But maybe sometimes there’s a time and a place to take a break from trying to be better…to just look at life for what it is right NOW, and stop putting so much pressure on ourselves to reach the next big thing.

“…for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:11-13

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What are your thoughts? Do you consider yourself a content person? A hustler?

what i’m loving right now: what’s in my bag.

whats in my bag

Every so often I clean out and re-stash my massive handbag. I have my smaller purses that I carry when I’m out at night, but during the day I’m carrying around pretty much enough to survive on for three days.

In addition to the normal things (wallet, water bottle, iPad) here are a few things I always have on me + some new favorites.

1) Lavender essential oil – I just love the scent of lavender, and it has really great calming effects. Living in NYC, that definitely comes in handy.

2) Juicy Fruit bubble gum – because I’m five.

3) January issue of Vogue – I’m typically not the biggest fan of Vogue, but I loveeee Sienna Miller so will get just about any magazine she’s on the cover of.

4) Oscar Blandi Dry Shampoo (powder) – I SWEAR by this stuff. It’s the best. Their spray is great too, but I think the powder works much better.

5) Moleskin daily planner – simple and small enough to carry around all the time. I know it’s 2015 and Google calendar exists buuuut this is just more straightforward for me.

6) Clarins Hand and Nail Treatment Cream – I have this thing where I cannot stand the feeling of dry hands, so I must have lotion on me at all times. And since I’m obsessed with Clarins lately, this is my new fave.

7) mirror compact – because the one time you don’t check your teeth is when there’s going to be a big piece of spinach front and center.

8) MetroCards (for the subway) – I’m that person always swiping multiple cards, and losing multiple cards.

9) KIND Almond & Coconut bar – because hangry isn’t a good look on me.

10) NARS Belle Du Jour lipstick – thee best nude shade out there.

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What are some of your handbag essentials?