7 Spots for {Winter Food and Wine Pairings}

The weather is frightful, and there is nothing more delightful than some comfort food and cozy cocktails. So, if you’re experiencing seasonal affective disorder, a remedy I’ve always relied on is pairing up your favorite winter dishes with some bold and robust wines. While there are no rules when it comes to wine pairings, (hint — you should always stick to what you like), you can follow some basic principles to help make sure what you’re eating is going to compliment what you’re drinking.

For example, winter foods are usually heavier than their spring and summer versions, so embrace a red wine with your pairings. You certainly aren’t committed to any specific color of wine, especially if you’re not a red person, however, red wine does have an acute way of warming you up on even the coldest winter day. If you’re going with a red, make sure to pay attention to the tannin. If you’re just sipping by the fire, tannin yourself up! But if you are accompanying a particularly heavy meal, go for something with lighter tannin so that the food is embraced by the wine rather than overshadowed by it. Now that we’ve gotten that information out of the way — let’s see what spots in Hoboken offer cozy atmospheres and even cozier food and drink pairings.

1. Shepherd’s Pie

carpe diem hoboken

Carpe Diem has the tastiest shepherd’s pie on this side of the Hudson. Per their menu recommendation, the shepherd’s pie goes best with their pinot noir. The flakiness of the pie and the earthiness of the wine is sure to warm you up on even the chilliest of winter days.

 

2. Duck Confit Tagliatelle

amanda's hoboken

Amanda’s Duck Confit Tagliatelle in a delicious Parmesan sauce accompanied by sauteed kale and a light dusting of black pepper will surely warm you up. Pair it with a big, powerful, rustic red like their Chateau La Fleur Plaisance Bordeaux.

 

3. Whiskey Braised Short Ribs

bin 14 short rib

Bin 14’s whiskey braised short ribs with white hominy and toasted broccoli will tickle your palate and warm your cold winter heart. Since Bin 14 is a wine bar, their wine list is constantly changing with the seasons, so be sure to ask their knowledgeable staff which rich and structured red would be best with the ribs. With 80 wines by-the-glass and more than 90 bottles — you’re sure to find a glass or two that will make your winter season warm and bright.

 

4. Pork Chop Scallopini

the madison

The pork chop scallopini from Madison Bar and Grill really warms you up because it’s topped with hot and sweet peppers and comes with a fluffy side of mashed potatoes. The best wine for pork will be something high in acidity. This could be white or red. So if you’re looking to change it up with a white, why not pair this meal with Madison’s Oak Vineyards Chardonnay? Or if you’re looking to stick with the reds, the Fidelity Merlot will really bring out the sweet and spicy of the peppers.

 

5. French Onion Soup

onieals outside

Onieal’s St. Anthony’s French Onion soup is a comforting dish full of sweet, caramelized onions and crunchy bread topped with oozing cheese. It’s a beautiful winter complement for a drier, more rustic red wine. Try a glass of Onieal’s pinot noir. Insider tip: on Wednesdays starting at 5pm, grab your soup at the bar and your glass of wine will be only $5.

 

6. Gnocchi

gnocchi

Homemade gnocchi covered in three cheese sauce from Grand Vin is delicious enough to transport you back to the warmth of your grandmother’s kitchen. Pair it with a glass of their Aviary Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon and your soul will easily be warmed.

 

7. Stuffed Chicken

Zack's

Zack’s stuffed chicken is a classic entree at this time-honored establishment. The asparagus stuffed breaded chicken breast, mashed potatoes, and roasted peppers all covered in a five-spice sauce would be best paired with a white wine like Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay. Might I suggest visiting Zack’s on Tuesdays when wine is half-priced? That way you can try a glass of each with your meal — two for one!

Just because the weather is gross outside doesn’t mean you can’t go somewhere fantastic to get warm. The restaurants in Hoboken are usually a lot less packed during the cold winter months, so you’ll most likely be able to get a seat in a cozy spot at all of these places without much of their usual spring/summer wait times. Remember, no matter what you pair with your dishes, as long as you’re surrounded by good food, good people and good laughs, you’ll warm up in no time. Happy eating and drinking!


Written by Joanne Kornelli

Joanne is a born and raised Jersey girl, that loves The Shore and her jean jacket. Though summer is more her thing, she enjoys making the most of winter and staying warm in the numerous Hoboken watering holes. When she’s not producing video magic at her 9 to 5, she’s crossing off locations on her “Places I Want to Visit” list. One of her favorite travel memories is when she cried at the sight of the giant tortoises in the Galapagos Islands. Because that’s what happens when all your High School AP Environmental Science dreams come true.

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How to Update Your Wardrobe – Without the Price Tag

Shop your own closest

  

It’s January, so it’s no surprise that anyone and everyone is looking after their pennies. But our purse strings aren’t the only things that are feeling a little tight, and after a busy festive season, you’re not alone if you’re feeling a little sluggish. We’ve all been there, staring at a closet full of clothes, with nothing to wear. A January closet-clear-out is nothing new, but the million-dollar question is this: how do we update our look, without spending the money?

To help us out and learn a few tips on how to get the most of what we already own (without running to the shops!), we chatted to Sheryl Bolden, founder of Hong Kong based wardrobe editing, styling and personal shopping consultancy, Make My Wardrobe Work. Here’s what we found…

1. Get organised

Let’s start with the basics. If you’re wanting to make the most of what you have, you’ve got to actually know what you have. No more floordrobes. This year, we’re going to get organised, and though our shelves may not be Pinterest-worthy, we can still tidy them up a little. Start with taking everything out of your wardrobe and try everything (we mean everything) on.

2. Cull the Clutter

Sheryl tells us that when she starts out with a client she works with them to “give their clothes a rating,” she says that “if it doesn’t score high enough, because they don’t love it enough, out it goes.”

We recommend assessing the style, fit and wear of what you have, and then go from there. There’s no use keeping something that doesn’t fit quite right (no matter how hard we may try to fit into those old jeans), or an item that’s been worn to death. Once you’ve done this, it’ll be much easier to assess what you own, and what potential gaps may be in your wardrobe.

Read more: Cull the Clutter: Donation Resources in Hong Kong

How to Update Your Wardrobe – Without the Price Tag

3. The Must-Haves

Although capsule wardrobes aren’t for everyone, owning the basics such as a pair of “flattering and comfortable jeans, a cashmere jumper, a maxi dress, a great statement jacket, a Breton top, and at least one dress you adore and feel a million dollars in” can be a huge help and make getting dressed every day so much easier. Sheryl tells us that she thinks “it doesn’t matter if you have a lot of clothes, as long as you love and wear them” and that for the average woman it can be “more achievable to have a wardrobe where you love the contents and are confident in pulling looks together that maximise the clothes you own.” So, there’s no need to feel constricted to a limited number of items. If you actually wear what you own, keep it!

4. Asses Your (life)Style

As well as streamlining your closest, the previous steps will help you to see patterns in your style. Sheryl says that her and her clients “work together to establish key words that they want to associate with their style,” and this is something that will help if you’re not sure where to start, or if you find yourself at a loss when out shopping. It’s also hugely important to have “clothes that work for your shape and your lifestyle.”

5. Spend vs. Save

When it comes to which items Sheryl thinks you should spend a little more on, and which can be purchased on the cheap side, she says to “think about the cost per wear. If you’ll wear something for years, or if you wear it often, buy the best you can.” In line with the classic, “must-have” pieces, you’re likely to get more wear out of these for seasons to come, so if you can spend more here, do.

It’s all too easy to fall for new season trends and sale items, but it’s important to keep in mind what you actually need when shopping. Sheryl has seen too many women “spend a fortune on a dress only to wear it once or twice, yet scrimp on office wear that everyone sees them wear every day.” (We have to admit we’re guilty of this one!) And when it comes to buying fashion items, occasion wear and holiday pieces, Sheryl advises to “consider pre-loved sales, clothes swaps and hiring.” It’s better for your wallet and the environment! For example, organisations such as Rug Lane host second-hand and vintage clothing markets every other month and online sites such as HULA are a great resource for pre-loved designer pieces. Me & Co can also help to sell your clothes on your behalf and host regular events! For hiring clothes for special occasions businesses such as Yeechoo is a good option.

How to Update Your Wardrobe – Without the Price Tag

6. Experiment

Sheryl also warns not to think about your clothes in strict categories and to try to feel comfortable experimenting with what you have. She advises to “try to wear the pieces you love in different ways, so a summer dress as a skirt with boots and a jumper to give it more life, or a silk blouse that was for work, with some shorts and heels for a brunch.

7. Borrow, Swap or Tailor

But what do we do when we just really want something new to refresh our look? One option is to “host a clothes swap with friends, or pop along to any of the numerous pre-loved sales that are gaining popularity in Hong Kong.” It’s also important to “remember the tailor is your best friend”, and with so many options available in our city, Sheryl states that “if an item isn’t quite right, don’t be afraid to turn it into something that is.”

8.  Confidence is Key

Simply put, the best advice Sheryl can give us is to “wear what you love and what you feel great in – nothing looks better than confidence,” and we couldn’t agree more! Next time, think twice before running to buy something new, and look in your own closet first.

Sheryl Bolden is the founder of the wardrobe editing, styling and personal shopping consultancy, Make My Wardrobe Work. See her full range of services here!

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Give Your Immune System a Boost with These Nutrients

All-natural ways to strengthen your immune system

 

Winter is officially here, which also means there is a chance to catch the flu bug and get sick. Being under the weather does not only bring down your productivity, it also affects your mood and energy levels. While you can reduce your risk of catching a flu by getting vaccinated, you can also consider eating a well-balanced diet by incorporating foods with nutrients that have immune boosting properties.

Read more: What Nutritionists Are Actually Eating for Gut Health

Vitamin C

As one of the most notorious nutrients that helps maintaining a healthy immune system, vitamin C is found in many vegetables and fruits such as: broccoli, kale, bok choy, gailan, tomatoes, sweet peppers, oranges, kiwis, grapefruits, guavas, strawberries and blueberries. In addition to its immune boosting properties, vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin and an antioxidant that helps prevent cell damage and may reduce your risk for certain types of cancers and other chronic diseases. Furthermore, it may help to reduce the levels of cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, in your body. In other words, if you eat a variety of vitamin C-rich foods as part of your diet, you may help your body to reduce unnecessary stress and in turn improve and strengthen your immune system.

You are probably eating foods with vitamin C on a daily basis, but here are some easy tips to include them as part of your diet:

  • Keep easy to peel fruits such as oranges and grapefruits by your desk at the office.
  • Enjoy a leafy green salad instead of a hot meal for a change. You can also add quinoa and lean meats or tofu for added protein, and sliced fruits such as strawberries, pears and mandarin oranges for extra flavour and dietary fibre.
  • Add extra vegetables such as sweet peppers to your favourite pasta dishes.

Read more: Can’t Lose Weight? Hormones Could be the Culprit!

Selenium

Selenium is another notable antioxidant that helps with maintaining a healthy immune system and preventing cell damage. It is commonly found in beef, oysters, shrimps, crabs, salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring, trout, tuna, mushroom, couscous, chia seeds and sunflower seeds. However, the best and highest selenium source is found in Brazil nuts. In fact, for every five pieces of Brazil nuts, there is 340mcg of selenium.

To incorporate selenium into your diet, try the following:

  • Enjoy unsalted brazil nuts as a healthy snack. While they have the highest selenium content and are a good source of polyunsaturated fatty acids, a type of good fats, they are calorie-dense. Eating too many can increase your intake of extra and unnecessary calories and fat. To keep your portions in check, have no more than more than ¼ cup of Brazil nuts or mixed nuts at each sitting.
  • Try couscous ss a change for your source of grains for your meals. Simply switch it up with rice for dinner or add couscous to your leafy green salads for added nutrients, crunch and texture.
  • Give your oatmeal, porridge and homemade breads and scones a nutty texture by adding chia seeds.

Read more: 5 Dietitian-Approved Snacks to Help You Get Through the Work Day

Give Your Immune System a Boost with These Nutrients

Zinc

No matter how old you are, zinc is an important nutrient that helps with growth and development. More importantly, it helps with strengthening your immune system and plays a pivotal role in healing wounds. One of the richest sources of zinc is oysters. For every 75 grams of oysters, there are at least 25 grams of zinc. Other food sources with zinc include: meats, seafood, dairy products, legumes, nuts such as peanuts, almonds, cashews and seeds such as pumpkin seeds.

Have zinc-rich foods as part of your diet cannot get any simpler. Here are some practical tips:

  • Plan an oyster night at home. While raw oysters taste fresh and briny with a buttery texture, they may be best to be eaten fully cooked to prevent food poisoning and its symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Include meats, poultry, fish or beans with your meals, which are also rich in protein.
  • Spread a thin layer of nut butters onto your favourite whole grain toasts for breakfast and whole grain crackers for your mid-morning and afternoon snacks. A healthy serving size of nut butter spreads is one tablespoon.
  • If you are a vegetarian or would like to enjoy a vegetarian meal for a change, or simply want to make a quick and easy meal, use a blend of beans such as chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans, black beans and peas to make a hearty soup.

Read more: Gluten-Free Dining: Celiac-Safe Restaurants and Cafés in Hong Kong

Bottom Line

Vitamin C, selenium and zinc play a vital role in maintaining a healthy immune system. Together, they create a nutrient powerhouse for your immune system for protecting you from and fighting effectively against the common cold and flu and other illnesses. Start the new year and breeze through the winter by eating well with the foods mentioned!

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Merci Dandy Delivers Personalised Outfits Straight To Your Door

No time? No problem! Perfect outfits delivered to you with free shipping (and returns)!

 

Looking for a hot new look for your significant other, but know you can’t take him to a crowded mall? If you (or someone you know!) hates shopping but still loves finding fresh, new designers, then you’re going to love Merci Dandy’s brilliant yet simple solution to personalised shopping! Merci Dandy’s process is easy and amazing. All you have to do is go online, fill out a quick questionnaire for its stylists to pinpoint your favourite looks, size and styles, and in just two days you’ll receive amazing outfits from French designers at your door! No more combing through sales racks, no crowded fitting room nightmares – you’ll get top-to-bottom looks that suit your taste and style without having to leave your sofa!

Merci Dandy box

Merci Dandy is especially great for gals who are looking for the perfect outfit for their S.O. but have no idea where to look. Let the expert stylists do the work for you!

As frequently as you like, you’ll get a box of hand-curated clothing and accessories. Merci Dandy works with well-known brands famous for their timeless designs, but features exciting new labels that exemplify the spirit of French style. Inside every Merci Dandy Box will be items by traditional labels such as American Vintage, Harris Wilson, Cuisse de Grenouille, frenchaholic, Veja, Commune de Paris, or Rivieras (just to name just a few), as well as trendy designers. Try them on in the comfort of your home (you have five days to do so) and decide what you like. You only pay for the ones you love (and we think you’ll love everything!). Best of all, there is free delivery and returns!

Merci Dandy men's clothing

No matter what look you or your man is looking for, you’ll both be thrilled with the classic, trendy, or left-of-center looks on Merci Dandy. And because these are experienced stylists, all you have to do is tell them what worked and what didn’t (and why), and they will tailor the next batch even more. Best of all, you only pay for the items you want to keep. It’s like having a personal shopper with you 24/7!

sassy perk

Starting today, Sassy readers will receive 15% off when using the code “MERCISASSY2018” (expires on 30 March, 2018).

www.mercidandy.com

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7 Items to Check Off Your Hoboken {Winter Bucket List}

You, like a bear, went into hibernation for the winter. Since the restaurants and bars in Hoboken have long ago closed their patios and stacked up their outdoor seating, you assume there’s nowhere to go and nothing to do besides go to your place of employment and head straight back to your cozy home. Little you may know, there are still a lot of happenings around town that you’re missing out on. So let me play on your FOMO and offer up several fun indoor options that you MUST check off your “to do” list during the cold months of winter.

1. Paint and Sip

artevino paint wine

If you find yourself feeling crafty and creative, grab a bottle and head to one of Hoboken’s BYOB artsy establishments. Because who doesn’t fancy themselves a Van Gogh (or maybe more of a Picasso) after a couple of glasses of wine? Check out the options below for the one closest to your front door:

Wine & Design (14th & Grand)

Round up some friends and see who can best recreate the featured piece.

Art e Vino (Monroe Center)

Paint a canvas, or even wine glasses, at the instruction of an in-house artist!

The Turquoise Cup (Monroe Center)

Paint or create pottery and ceramics at this cafe while sipping something from their cafe or something you can bring from home.

DIY Uncorked (Harrison & Observer Hwy)

Bring your bottle, and your building skills, and create something you can use when you return home!

 

2. Wine Tasting

grand vin wine

If you like the idea of drinking wine, but aren’t looking for a project to go with it, you still have options apart from the couch in your apartment. Partake in a tasting at one of Hoboken’s notable wine spots, and expand your selection of wine knowledge – beyond what you find on the bottom shelf at your corner liquor store.

Court Street (6th and Court)

Each month they host a tasting on a Saturday afternoon with a specific theme – details on their website.

Bin14 (14th and Washington)

Once a month, Bin14 has wine tastings at the restaurant, and are even available to bring tastings to you and your friends at home!

Sorellina (11th and Washington)

Come in on a Tuesday or Wednesday evening and try a flight of a few different wines for $12.

Grand Vin (5th and Grand)

Stop by for a happy hour flight, or join one of their monthly tasting events.

 

3. Trivia and Games

Trivia3

If you have a wealth of knowledge and a competitive side, you may just have what it takes to be a trivia winner! Look over our trivia guide to find what themes or prizes interest you most. And then get out there and WIN! If solving a puzzle or riddle is more your scene, you can try the Puzzle Out Escape Room at Newark and River for an “escape the room” experience that doesn’t mean going “all the way” to NYC on those cold winter nights. Just prefer sitting with a small group of friends and engaging in a board or card game? Aether Game Cafe will give you those vibes – you can even BYO bottle or food.

 

4. Karaoke and Live Music

ale house karaoke

Hey rock stars – instead of singing in the shower and bothering your neighbors, why not step out, grab the mic and impress a bunch of bar patrons? Bonus points if you want to participate in an open mic night with some original content. Know where to find these great artistic opportunities. If you’re a little shy of the spotlight, you can also let someone else do the performing and politely clap in between bites and sips. Not sure where to go for live music? We’ve got you covered there, too.

 

5. Igloos

igloo pilsener haus

Yes, I said igloos. Make your way to the Pilsener Haus biergarten, and you can actually sit inside and outside at the same time inside their heated plastic igloos!

 

6. Cozy Cocktails

the madison hoboken cocktails

Sometimes there’s nothing better than sipping an Old Fashioned or a Hot Toddy on a cold dark night and sharing the company of a significant other or a friend or two. (And don’t tell me you’re in your bedroom with Netflix whipping up Old Fashioneds for yourself.) Some of my personal favorite locations are Kolo Klub (15th and Grand), The Shepherd & the Knucklehead (13th and Willow) and Northern Soul (1st and Marshall), but I guarantee no matter where you live, there is a spot serving up cocktails not too far from your door.

 

7. Play in the Snow

snowman

Okay, so this is not an indoor activity. But it IS fun! There’s plenty to do out in the snow (besides wander to the nearest watering hole), so take advantage of that day off of work, and instead of binge-watching that series on Netflix for the 10th time, bundle up, go out and PLAY!


Written by Amanda Eitzen

Amanda has been living in Hoboken since 2013 and fancies herself a Hoboken guru; generously imposing her bar and restaurant opinions on friends and strangers who never ask for it. If you don’t see her at happy hour, she’s marketing at her 9-5, sweating in some sort of fitness routine, or chowing down on delicious, yet healthy, foods. Follow @411fitlife to see what she’s up to besides grabbing drinks around town.

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7 Sustainable and Eco Hotels to Put on Your Travel Bucket List

Hotels, boutiques and lodges for the conscious traveller…

 

It’s easy to take the luxury of travel for granted (guilty). Whilst it’s a sad reality that the travel industry is responsible for an increasing amount of environmental damage, there are ways in which we can try to do our part. Yes, it’s true that one flight alone means that all efforts to offset your carbon footprint are insignificant – but we’re not yet willing to stay on the ground just yet. After all, people who invest in seeing the world are guaranteed to value it.

Though the answer to truly travelling sustainably is not (yet!) within our reach, we’re in full support of hotels, boutiques and lodges that are staying accountable and taking steps in the right direction. Wherever you’re choosing to stay, it’s worth opting for accommodation that employs local staff and uses local produce, ensuring your holiday expenses feed into valuable income, whilst truly immersing yourself in the culture.

If you’re looking for meaningful ways to donate your time, check out WWOOF and Voltra for options of volunteering abroad. There are plenty of ways for you to give back to the community without compromising on the holiday you’ve been craving!

Read more: Where to Volunteer in Hong Kong, 3 Ethical Elephant Sanctuaries in Thailand

7 Sustainable and Eco Hotels to Put on Your Travel Bucket List

Costa Rica: The Harmony Hotel

Surf, sand, sun, sustainability… It all goes hand-in-hand, really. The Harmony Hotel is a passion project of the couple who own it. Priding themselves on creating an eco space, the hotel composts, uses solar-powered water heaters, landscapes with native plants and ensures at least 60% of the staff are locals.

We love that a greenhouse and farm provide most of the organic food served in the restaurant and Juice Bar! The experts here actually calculate and compensate for the hotel’s carbon emissions with a “Plant a Tree” project, where guests and staff plant trees in the local community. The dedicated staff also work with a local non-profit to protect the local sea turtle habitats and end poaching. There’s even a spigot near the reception area that provides purified rain-water.

7 Sustainable and Eco Hotels to Put on Your Travel Bucket List

Ecuador: Mashpi Lodge

If Ecuador isn’t yet on your list, it will be now! Set in one of the world’s most important bio-regions, Mashpi Lodge is a futuristic and environmental “cocoon in the clouds”. Powered with 100% hydroelectricity, it’s no surprise this lodge is praised for its ecological, modern design.

For Instagram goals, it’s truly a lodge you’d compare to no other. Make sure to check out the reserve whilst you’re there – there’s a group of dedicated biologists and para-biologists who spend their days and nights within the forest. Oh, and if you’re looking for the trip of a lifetime, it’s worth checking out Jacada Travel’s Ecuador itinerary. This luxury travel company offsets 100% of carbon emissions from every trip sold (proving it’s possible!).

7 Sustainable and Eco Hotels to Put on Your Travel Bucket List

Indonesia: Nihi Sumba Island​

Nihi is a resort with a conscience. The space is almost entirely preserved from urban development, and the motto is to “return to a life well lived”. Majority of the restaurants’ produce is grown in the resort’s organic garden, fed by a carefully constructed composting and water-recycling system. And the hotel’s green ethos extends through community outreach programmes in local villages. The turtle hatchery is a truly impressive initiative, and the Sumba Foundation is tirelessly working to clean water and reduce malaria on the island.

7 Sustainable and Eco Hotels to Put on Your Travel Bucket List

Maldives: Soneva Fushi

Boutique hotel Soneva Fushi’s eco-chic villas are straight out of a daydream. The relaxing resort has made sure responsibility and sustainability are at the core of the philosophy. The hotel strives to offer a community that works hand in hand with the environment to craft beautiful, bespoke experiences.

With one of the largest solar power plants in the Maldives, food grown and sourced locally wherever possible, and a purpose-built centre for waste management and recycling, it’s incredible to see more luxury hotels taking the initiative. We’re particularly impressed by the marine conservation programme – the hotel has managed to keep pockets of the island’s coastline untouched so turtles can continue nesting there.

Read more: Planning a Week in Paradise: The Maldives Travel Guide

7 Sustainable and Eco Hotels to Put on Your Travel Bucket List

Cambodia: Song Saa Private Island

Cambodia’s Sihanoukville is a firm spot on the backpacker’s bucket list, but if you’re looking for a look at sustainable luxury – Song Saa Private Island is the place. The hotel sits in a self-made marine reserve (Cambodia’s first – measuring one million square metres), and there’s a team of marine biologists as staff at all times. Waste initiatives are in place, and the hotel is involved in sustainability projects in nearby villages.

There’s even a Song Sa Foundation, which provides vital healthcare to local people, and distributes items like educational materials and water filters to the community. Kit Wong, Expert Travel Designer from Jacada Travel says that “Song Saa is the pioneer in sustainable lodging in Asia”, the closest thing to “paradise” in Asia. This place is all about “Small Steps. Big Changes”, and we’re fully on board.

Read more: What to do in Cambodia: Backpacking Siem Reap and Koh Rong Island

7 Sustainable and Eco Hotels to Put on Your Travel Bucket List

Fiji: Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort

Jean-Michael Cousteau Resort has made hugely successful advances in eco-tourism. It was the first resort in the South Pacific region to recycle paper and plastic – and in the process, it set up a recycling program for the entire town of Savusavu. We’ll applaud to that! Today, the resort has a reef protection programme, a giant clam-breeding project and an in-house marine biologist.

The resort has developed “edible landscaping”, meaning that the plants on-site also supply the restaurant with fresh herbs and produce. Buildings are tailored to the tropical environment, with sustainable timber construction and roofs thatched from local reeds. Oh, and if you’re keen for some spa time, Pure Fiji toiletries are used in the spa, and all water is recycled through lotus-dotted lagoons.

7 Sustainable and Eco Hotels to Put on Your Travel Bucket List

China: Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain

Though China may not be a place you’d automatically associate with sustainability (or your travel bucket list), Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain won’t disappoint. Located at the picturesque gateway to the majestic Qing Cheng Mountains, it’s a natural paradise. In fact, the hotel was created specifically to complement the UNESCO World Heritage & Natural Cultural site near Dujiangyan.

Staying in line with Six Senses’ philosophy, the resort is committed to improving the ecological and carbon footprint resulting from the resort operations. The idea is that the hotel and guests can work together to ensure the maximum benefits. For example, the Six Senses purifies and mineralises its own drinking water (in re-usable glass bottles), sources responsible ingredients and produce from the local community and grows its own organic gardens. Stay tuned for the upcoming partnership with Panda Mountain, and the efforts to support a sustainable education within local schools.

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Successful Hong Kong Women Share Their Morning Routines

How our That Girls get up in the morning

Smoothies. Meditation. Yoga. SPF. A meaningful and productive morning routine is something that we can all but hope to achieve as our alarm sounds, but how many of us manage to do more than run a brush through our hair and put on week-old jeans?

Research shows that ‘morning people are more proactive than evening types,’ so to put a little pep in your step, we asked these super successful women (and former Sassy ‘That Girls!’) to share their morning routines with us and prove that we can make time for ourselves. Trust us, these aspirational routines will inspire you to blend and moisturise like a pro…

Read more: Gig It ‘Til You Make It: 8 Side Hustles You Can Do In Hong Kong

Highly Successful Hong Kong Women Share Their Morning Routines

Ines Gafsi, Co-Founder of Female Entrepreneurs Worldwide

The morning is my favourite part of the day. I enjoy some alone time and the quiet before the day properly starts. I make the most of this time and use it to nourish my mind and body with healthy habits.

I am an early riser and my day usually starts at 6:30am. My cat is my natural alarm clock and wakes me up with a lot of cuddles… I stay in bed to read the news for 20 minutes, scrolling on my favourite apps Quartz, Flipboard, Le Monde…, and then 10 more minutes on the usual suspects – Facebook, Instagram, WeChat and Snapchat. After refreshing my face with a splash of water, I take to my yoga mat for a short yoga session, my favourite is “Yoga with Adriene,” her online classes are always fun and an excellent way to gently awaken my body. As well as yoga, I also make time twice a week to play badminton or go for a run along the harbour.

I enjoy eating my breakfast in front of the TV to catch up on the latest news in France, back home. My winning breakfast usually consists of scrambled eggs, cereals and a homemade smoothie. Then I jump in the shower and get ready for work in around 30 minutes. I am quite methodical and time-efficient when getting ready – I always moisturise all over, but I keep my makeup minimal, I do not have an extensive wardrobe which makes choosing an outfit easy and I don’t need to brush my curly hair.

Headphones in, I walk to the office listening to my favourite podcasts, which include TED talks, The Science of Social Media by Buffer and Girlboss Radio with Sophia Amoruso … now it is 8:30 and I feel full of energy!

Read more: 32 Podcasts to Listen to on Your Work Commute

Highly Successful Hong Kong Women Share Their Morning Routines

Michelle Proctor, Portrait and Lifestyle Photographer

I like to give myself an hour before I have to head to work, so the first thing I do is check my emails and quickly browse through Instagram. Most of the time I’ll find a few inspiring images that give me ideas or goals for my next shoot.

I drink aloe vera juice first thing to help with my PH levels, but I’ve also found it’s been amazing for my skin. I then try and down a ton of water.  I wash my face and apply moisturizer with SPF, I’m loving Skin Laundry products at the moment. I’ll blend up a smoothie that I’ve pre-made and frozen for the week so that it takes no longer than three minutes to prepare. It usually consists of: apple, cucumber, celery, lemon, ginger and whatever seeds I have on hand. I multitask and do my makeup while I drink my smoothie – probably not the best idea but sometimes it makes drinking health in a cup a bit more bearable. I’ll go over my checklist for the day and that’s it, I’m off!

Read more: Mid-Afternoon Fatigue, Be Gone

Highly Successful Hong Kong Women Share Their Morning Routines

Diane Younes, Founder of Sponge

My day begins every day at 6am, even on weekends. Most of the time, I wake up right before my alarm goes off, and I get straight out of bed. I’ve always been an early bird. I’ve now made it a rule to not have my phone with me in my bedroom. My phone is no longer the first thing I see in the morning, nor is it the last thing I see at night.

Once I’ve made my green tea, I sit down on my terrace and close my eyes for three minutes to either listen to some music or focus on my breathing. Michael Jackson’s ‘Break of Dawn’ or a medley of classical music are some of my favourites to listen to in the morning. Three minutes is all I need to feel ready for my day. Then I check my emails to see all the new Sponge appointments for the day, and to see if there is any email that needs my urgent attention.

My focus then shifts to taking a shower, and to cleansing and moisturising my skin before the Sponge experts come around 7:30am to do my hair and makeup for the day. I’ve been using Avène Gentle Cleanser and Clinique’s moisturiser for years. I use coconut oil on days my skin feels extra dry. A Sponge lash technician will sometimes come in the morning if I need a top-up on my lash extensions.

While I’m getting my hair and makeup done, that’s when the real work commences and I get started on all the emails. I work out around lunchtime. It’s like pressing the reset button after a stressful morning. And I always look forward to my walk to the gym (read ‘run’ to the gym as I’m always late) because that’s when I get to blast music in my headphones again. Always something motivating and with a killer beat.

Highly Successful Hong Kong Women Share Their Morning Routines

Virginia Chan, Founder of Humid with a Chance of Fishballs

I would love to be that person that starts off the day surrounded by tranquility, sipping a soothing hot tea followed by a calming meditation session; however, that scenario would be the furthest from the truth…

In reality, I snooze until the very last possible minute before I make a beeline for the bathroom and simultaneously check my emails. The longest part of my morning routine is what I call the “creaming” process, which is what normal people would call their skincare routine.

After cleansing my face using Cetaphil’s Gentle Skin Cleanser, the “creaming” process commences with RVB Skinlab’s Tonico Illuminante Toner, followed by Sulwhasoo’s Essential Balancing Emulsion and then Clarins’ Extra Firming Day and Eye cream. My attention is then directed to my hair as I’m waiting for the creams to settle and dry. If it’s second day hair (or let’s be honest, third day), it usually requires a generous and liberal spritz of Batiste Dry Shampoo. And finally, but most importantly, it’s on to sunscreen. I like Shiseido’s Anessa Perfect UV Sunscreen Aqua Booster because I hate sunscreens that leave an oily sheen and this one mattifies and dries smooth. I’m an eyeliner girl and I’m currently lovin’ the TONYMOLY Gel Eyeliner in #01 (Black). Now that my eyeliner is on, I’m ready to take on the world.

I get dressed and fly out the door, shaking out the last remnants of the dry shampoo from my hair and chugging a 500mL bottle of water en route to the MTR station. If it’s a work from home day, then the morning routine is relatively the same but unfolds at a drastically slower pace. The eyeliner is skipped, a onesie is donned, and either a green (green apple, lemon and cucumber) or orange (ginger and carrot) juice is made with my NutriBullet.

Read more: How to Get a Pay Rise

Highly Successful Hong Kong Women Share Their Morning Routines

Sarah Fung, Founder of HULA

I wake up at 7.25pm to my husband’s alarm and reach for the phone to turn my airplane mode off, letting the barrage of emails, phone messages and social media interaction flood in. As I always wake up slightly confused and delusion – this reminds me of who I am, where I am and what I need to do for the day.

I catapult myself to Pure Yoga at 8am and if I don’t make this I’ll be really annoyed and reluctantly drag myself to the gym, hit some weights and do some cardio. My beauty regime is quick and easy – I religiously use Chanel beauty products and makeup. I love it, because it is so light.

One day a week I go to a Chinese acupuncturist – this helps me align my body for the week and if not, I just head into work, grabbing a take-away lunch on the way in where I can. Meetings that I might have in town are also scheduled in the mornings, so when I get in my Wong Chuk Hang office – I can stay put.

My journey by MTR to work is ‘nose-dived-in-phone’ (yep I’m one of those annoying walking-zombie’s you constantly trip over). The first thing I do when I get in is make a tall Nespresso, and let the day unfold…
Read more: 32 Podcasts to Listen to on Your Work Commute

Highly Successful Hong Kong Women Share Their Morning Routines

Kelsea Bangora, a New York Yogi in Hong Kong

My goal every morning is to get out the door, as I usually have back-to-back yoga lessons first thing. I need an alarm to wake up, otherwise I could easily sleep for 10 hours straight. My top priority is to hydrate so, upon waking, I drink a big glass of water and, if I’m feeling fancy, I’ll throw in some BodyAwakening Co. probiotics or Natural Calm magnesium. Then I’ll make a nice cup of tea.

I like to have simple breakfasts, such as a bowl of berries or oatmeal. I always eat a second breakfast after I’ve taught a few lessons. If I have the morning off and I’m able to stay at home, I make a bigger breakfast. My go to is gluten-free toast with fried eggs and prosciutto, with an arugula salad dressed with olive oil and balsamic. Yum! I love salads and olive oil.

Next, I take a cold shower to wake up my body. I spent some time in India studying yoga and learned that cold showers are used to metaphorically wash off any bad dreams, to start the day fresh – I really like this idea. Occasionally, I’ll take a hot shower if my body is sore, but I usually save these for night time.

I’m a low maintenance kinda girl, so I put my hair up in a high bun. For skin care, I love the ayurvedic face creams and blended oils by Pratima. Finally, I pack my bag with two yoga outfits and my Chinese books, (I’m learning Mandarin) and I’m ready to go.

Read more: 8 Lessons to Help You Take Ownership of Your Job

Highly Successful Hong Kong Women Share Their Morning Routines

Tricia Yap, Founder of Warrior Academy and Director of Fitness at Goji Studios

My alarm usually wakes me up, but this year, I have made it a rule to not check my phone for messages first thing after waking up. My bag and outfit for the day are prepared the night before, so I brush my teeth and get changed. I always start my day with a glass of water with lime juice and some pink Himalayan salt which has benefits to gut health and adrenal glands.

My breakfast is either eggs or grilled red meat with avocado and greens, as red meat raises dopamine (think of it as the motivation hormone) and the fats from the egg and avocado keep me satiated during a busy morning ahead. What you eat for breakfast determines not just what you eat for the rest of the day but also your energy levels, mental and physical state. At breakfast, I practice the 5/10/15 principle to maintain good gut health: 5 breaths before starting your meal, 10 seconds between every mouthful, and making meals last 15 minutes. After breakfast, I finally allow myself to check my emails and messages – and this signifies the start of my hectic work day.

Get to know our That Girls here!

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{Best Hoboken Restaurants} to take Each of Your Out-of-Town Relatives

You know that panicky moment when your family member announces that they are coming to visit you? And you instantly get onto your Hoboken phone tree for recommendations about where to bring them? Yeah, we know about that too, and we got you!

Whether you are new to Hoboken or a Hudson County seasoned veteran, it is hard to sift through the dozens of restaurants in the Mile Square to find the perfect vibe, menu and location for your next family affair. The plaguing questions include “I want to make sure it is trendy…” “They have to have a big wine list…” “Are there enough TVs?” “Do they have vegetarian options?” …and so on.

To help, we put together the perfect guide to soften your concerns, so here you have it. Best Hoboken Restaurants to take…

Your Trendy Cousin from NYC

Antique Bar & Bakery or Grand Vin

Antique Bar & Bakery

Dirty Ribeye, pre wood-fire @ Antique Bar & Bakery

You finally convinced your cousin, who never wants to leave the West Village or Soho, to hop on the path to Hoboken for the night, and now the pressure is on. You want to convince her that “Hoboken is cool, too” (‘CAUSE IT IS) while also playing to her foodie side. Between the laidback, trendy vibes and exposed wood-fired Kitchen at Antique Bar & Bakery and the exposed brick with dangling lights at Grand Vin we’ve got you covered. Both have chic ambiance, amazing food and killer cocktails that won’t disappoint even the most judgmental of New Yorkers.

Antique Highlights:

  • Dirty Ribeye
  • Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie 

Grand Vin Highlights:

  • Short Rib
  • Meat and Cheese Platter 

 

Your Aunt who Drinks a Little Too Much Wine

Sorrelina or Bin 14

Sorrelina

Truffle Spaghetti (middle), Ricotta Gnudi (left) and Cacio e Pepe (right) @ Sorellina

Looking for a place for your next girls night with your aunt, mom & cousins? Uptown spots Sorrelina Italian Kitchen & Bin 14 are both perfect for a glass of wine and a dish of elevated Italian food. Each of the spots boast exposed brick walls and cozy tables that make for an intimate, but chic, vibe. With massive wine lists and big menus, these spots are perfect to unwind with family.

Bin 14 Highlights:

  • Truffle Fresh Mozzarella
  • Sausage and Pepper Bruschetta

Sorrelina Highlights:

ANY of the pastas, specifically the Cacio E Pepe Conchigli or the Pumpkin Gnudi 

 

Good Ol’ Mom or Dad

Zack’s or Blue Eyes

Zacks

Macaroni & Cheese with Tempura Buffalo Bites @ Zack’s

Let’s be honest, there are no shortage of great restaurants in Hoboken, and Mom and Dad really care more about seeing your face and criticizing the amount of laundry you’ve allowed to pile up in your hamper; but Zack’s and Blue Eyes are both a safe bet for your next parental outing. For a nice sunny day lunch or an early dinner, there’s nothing better than the sweeping NYC views and fresh baked Neapolitan pizzas at Blue Eyes. And for those nights that no one can decide what kind of food they want, Zack’s has a little something for everyone.

Zack’s Highlights:

  • Buffalo Bites
  • Caesar Salad
  • Roasted Pork Chop 

Blue Eyes Highlights:

  • Linguini on Vongole Veraci
  • Dessert Pizza!

 

Your Sister who recently became a Vegetarian

Bareburger or Charritos Midtown

Charritos

Tableside Guac & Mexican Street Corn Elotes @ Charritos Midtown

For meat lovers, there are few things worse than having to amuse your vegetarian relatives by bringing them to a place full of quinoa bowls and butternut squash. But luckily for you, Bareburger and Charritos will leave you with plenty of carnivorous eats to indulge in. Plus with Charritos’ colorful decorations and Bareburger’s rustic accents, they’ve both got perfect vibes for a girls night.

Bareburger Highlights:

Charritos Highlights:

  • Guacamole
  • Elotes
  • Steak Tacos (Cause you ain’t vegetarian, right?)

 

The Italian In- Laws

Otto Strada or Tenth Street Pizza

Otto

Spaghetti Carbonara & Crispy Prosciutto Pizza @ Otto Strada

You want to welcome your in-laws to Hoboken with the perfect Italian meal, but you also don’t want to take them somewhere that’s too over-the-top. We’re going for the whole “trying hard without actually trying hard”, am I right? So if you want to impress them with two Hoboken hot spots with fresh ingredients, simple menus and comfortable prices, then Otto Strada & 10th Street Pizza are for you! Both these spots dish out amazing pies and great pastas… plus they are BYOB so the In Laws can bring their favorite wine!

10th Street Highlights:

  • Square Pie with Buffalo Mozzarella
  • Ricotta Crostini 

Otto Strada Highlights:

  • 1-lb Meatball
  • Soppressata Pizza
  • Pasta Carbonara 

 

Your Hot Cocoa-Loving Little Cousin

The Hoboken Gourmet Company or Aether Game Cafe

Hoboken Gourmet

Hoboken Gourmet Company Latte (

Your aunt finally let you take your little cousin on an outing while she gets her nails done, and you want to take them somewhere “cool” but kid-friendly. The Hoboken Gourmet Company offers a bright setting with unique decorations added to their drinks, both of which should be enough to land you the title “Cool Cousin” for a while. But if that isn’t enough, you’ve also got Aether Game Cafe, where you can share a pastry while playing a game of Monopoly or Clue.

Hoboken Gourmet Company Highlights:

  • Matcha Latte
  • Cafe Mocha

Aether Game Cafe Highlights:

  • Grilled Cheese
  • Hot Chocolate 

 

Your Conservative Grandparents

Augostino’s or Court Street

augostinos

Rigatoni in Sunday Sauce @ Augostino’s

Maybe you’ve got a cool set of grandparents that would enjoy a loaded burger at The Shep or a delicious square pie at Tenth Street, but I think it is safe to say that most of us have grandparents with a little bit more of an elegant taste. So for your conservative grandparents who prefer white tablecloths, stuffed bread baskets and stellar service, you can’t beat the Hoboken classics: Augostino’s & Court Street.

Augostino’s Highlights:

  • Chicken Marsala
  • Carbonara Pasta

Court Street Highlights:

 

Your Brother Who Mostly Wants to Watch the Game

The Ainsworth or House of ‘Que

ainsworth hoboken happy hour

TV view booths @ The Ainsworth

So your brother comes to town, and although he loves sinking his teeth into some great game-day food, he mostly cares about the number of TVs in the place. With a wide variety of Hoboken bars becoming hot spots on any NY/NJ game day, it can be difficult to find a spot to accommodate your desire to eat without being shoved out of the way by people screaming about the most recent Giants loss. But with the high number of TVs, ample restaurant seating and large menus at The Ainsworth and House of ‘Que… we’ve got you covered.

Ainsworth Highlights: Macaroni & Cheeseburger and the Sweet Tea Wings

House of ‘Que Highlights: Queso Dip and Smoky Baked Potato

And you can’t forget the extended Family…

Always wanted to be the person that always pics the perfect restaurant? Follow this guide and I can almost assure you, that reputation will be following you soon.


Written by Tabi Krier

Tabi is Jersey-born, but took a brief stint as a “Hey y’all”-saying, hair bow-wearing southern girl while attending the University of Kentucky! Finally landing back in the north, she can be found in her preferred color wheel (black, grey & white), with sneakers on her feet and an aggressively long walking stride. Tabi is constantly trying to balance equal but conflicting obsessions with mac & cheese, bourbon and bathing suits, but mac & cheese and bourbon always win.

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WEEKENDER: Art Barrel Jam, Cha Dao Tea Ceremony and more

What’s on this weekend…

 

Temperatures have dropped in the 852, so we’re looking forward to curling up this weekend and checking out the latest that Netflix has to offer. If you fancy getting out and about, don’t miss Brickhouse’s art jam (and free-flow!), a special Cha Dao tea ceremony at Fivelements and much more…

 Brickhouse

Art Barrel Jam

Opening its doors early for one day only, Brickhouse will be home to an art jam session like no other this weekend. The idea is to celebrate the local Hong Kong art scene and support local artists by providing an outlet for creativity – something that is core to the Brickhouse experience. Throw in three hours of free-flow drinks and it’s got us sold! 

When: Saturday, 13 January, 3pm to 6pm
Where: Brickhouse, G/F, 20A D’Aguilar Street, Central, Hong Kong
How much: $280 – includes free-flow beer, margaritas, house wines and nibbles

weekender cha dao tea ceremony

Cha Dao Tea Ceremony

Join Master Wu De this weekend, as he gets set to take you on an insightful journey sharing the practice of Cha Dao, meaning “The Way of Tea”. Along with the chance to drink some rare old teas that aren’t easy to come by these days, the ceremony will be followed by a three-course tasting dinner at the renowned and newly opened Fivelements Hong Kong.

When: Saturday, 13 January, 4:30pm to 6:30pm
Where: Fivelements, Hong Kong, 81 Tai Chung Hau Road, Sai Kung, Hong Kong
How much: $350 per person (tea ceremony only) / $698 (tea ceremony and three-course chefs tasting dinner) – email wellnesshk@fivelements.org or call 3959 0000 to book!

weekender imagine dragons

Imagine Dragons Evolve World Tour Live in Hong Kong

The Grammy Award winning and Multi-Platinum selling band Imagine Dragons are returning to Hong Kong this weekend and there are still tickets left! Presenting the band’s third album, Evolve, grab your friends and rock out to what is sure to be a great show.

When: Saturday, 13 January, 8pm to 11pm
Where: Asia world Expo, Cheong Wing Road, Chek Lap Kok, Hong Kong
How much: Adult tickets start from $480. Get yours here!

weekender exploring our relationship with food
Exploring Our Relationship With Food 

In this three-part workshop, nutritionist Paloma Gerber will be exploring our complex relationships with food, and she will be explaining how you can improve your relationship with food and your body. Split over three weeks, topics to be covered include Healthy Food Relationship, Healing Foods and Healthy Body Relationship.

When: Sunday, 14 January, 3pm to 5pm, Sunday, 4 February, 12pm to 2pm and Sunday, 25 February, 12pm to 2pm
Where: Caelum Greene, G/F-1/F, 90-92 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong
How much: $300 – get your tickets here! 

Work-Life Balance Workshop

The Building Blocks of Branding: Logo & Graphics Workshop

Join Garage Academy and IMIT Advisory this week for an evening workshop with Hypebeast Senior Designer Frankie Yuen. Perfect for entrepreneurs, professional and individuals interested in design, the workshop will walk you through the key tenets of great logo and graphics design, helping you to maximise the potential of your company’s aesthetic appeal.

When: Monday, 15 January, 7pm to 8:30pm
Where: Garage Society, 19F 299 Queen’s Road Central, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
How much: $150 – get your tickets here!

weekender bao bei drinking games

Jeng-Bei Wednesdays: Drinking Games Galore

Looking to have a bit of mid-week fun? Head to Bao Bei for its epic games night! Every Wednesday from 9pm enjoy a selection of games, including Jeng-Bei, stack cup, flip cup, cards, beer pong and more!

When: Wednesday, 17 January, 9pm
Where: Bao Bei, 77 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong
How much: $228 for a jug of beer or mixed spirits. Call 2801 7779 to reserve or email bookings@baobeihk.com

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Quick Meditation Tips That You Can Actually Use

If you have no idea where to begin…

 

Meditation doesn’t come easy to everyone (myself included) and for all of its health benefits, we aren’t always sure of how we’re supposed to start – apparently it’s not all guttural chanting and lotus positions! Meditation can be done anywhere, there are no hard and fast rules that restricts you to signing up to singing bowl classes, when you can get literally your ‘ohm’ on in bed, on the bus or in the bathroom at work. We spoke with Coco Chan of Wellness Warriors for a little insight on how to get started, and her top tips for techniques that you can use day-to-day.

Read more: Your Guide to Meditation and Mindfulness in Hong Kong

Quick Meditation Tips That You Can Actually Use

When you’re in a rush…

Be in the moment,” urges Coco. Our lives are such a blur of deadlines, meetings and social commitments that we forget to be present and enjoy each day. “Put your phone away and on silent. Focus on your breath, notice how your chest rises and fall with each breath. Notice your surroundings,” she continues. The aim of mindfulness is not quieting the mind, or attempting to achieve a state of eternal calm, the goal when you’re in a rush is simple: just aim to pay attention.

There is no set time that you should be meditating either, it’s all down to personal preference. “You can do it in the morning when you wake up, while you’re walking to work, in between meetings or in the evening in the comfort of your home,” says Coco. “I personally like to meditate in the morning to achieve clarity and to prepare myself for the day ahead. I also have an evening meditation practice to unwind and calm myself so I can easily slide into snooze mode.”

Read more: Can’t Lose Weight? Hormones Could be the Culprit!

When you’re feeling stressed…

We all have moments where we just need to walk away and take a moment to regroup.

“Find a quiet corner. Focus on your breath. Take three deep inhales and exhales. Apply two fingers on your pulse point. Focus on your pulse and allow it to slow down as you prolong your breath as your inhale and exhale. Repeat for two to three minutes and feel yourself ease into calmness.”

Read more: What Kind of Yoga is Right for You?

Quick Meditations Tips That You Can Actually Use

When you’re distracted…

When aren’t we distracted?! In this day and age of technology, we’re glued to our phones, constantly watching Instagram stories, checking our Whatsapp messages and refreshing our emails. “The easiest way to avoid distractions is time blocking and putting your phone on silent,” advises Coco. “Allow yourself to be in the moment while you’re handling your to do list. Close down all unnecessary internet search tabs, chats, pages and be fully present with your task at hand.” It’s okay to  allow yourself a five minute break in between tasks to check emails, messages and reply to people, but try not to let your phone dictate your time.

Read more: Quick Flights from Hong Kong: 5 Wellness Retreats to Reset for the New Year

Okay, but why should we meditate?

According to Coco and practitioners around the globe, “meditation has been linked to increased focus, memory, energy levels and reduces stress.” Studies even show “that mindfulness practices regulates our mood and anxiety disorders. Therefore, those who are affected by emotional issues can highly benefit from meditation. Training the mind to be calm and positive has its long term effects in raising overall well-being.” If you’re keen to delve deeper, there are several meditation apps available on your phone that can help to introduce you to meditation ,too. “I use Calm when I prefer a guided meditation session,” says Coco, however “Headspace” is also a great introductory tool that you can use on a day-to-day basis.

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