1.Make a rainy day playlist– great background music for surfing the internet or scrolling through your instagram feed. I’m currently listening to Carla Bruni and daydreaming about my next visit to Paris.
2. Plan a trip! There’s no better day than a rainy one to be transported to sunnier, warmer destinations. I recently booked my summer travel plans and I found Skyscanner to be a great website for discount deals. There’s even an option to get price alerts emailed to you when the flights you’re looking for rise or drop.
I just read that the best time to book airline tickets for the best price is 7 weeks in advance. That would put you at July 10 if you book today! What are you waiting for? Go book that epic trip you’ve always been dreaming about. It’s time. And if travel is just not in the cards for you right now, go back in time and make an actual photo album of a trip you took. I’ve used shutterfly to make photo books of my travels and I love going back and looking at them.
3. Learn something new. My two new favorite apps are Duolingo and Snapseed. Duolingo is such a fun way to learn a new language or practice one you already know! I’m learning French for the third time. Third time’s a charm, right? Snapseed is a cool photo editing app with awesome filters. It teaches you a lot about photography. They even have in-app youtube videos to teach you how to operate the various tools available.
4. Create an inspirational pinterest board! I can spend hours on this site. I love making boards for travel inspo, home decor, and of course, fashion. You can find so much more than photos on pinterest. I’ve found great recipes, new blogs I like to read, and women who motivate me in the health and wellness community. Hop on over and check out our boards here.
5. Go (online) shopping! You can find really great sales and deals on this holiday weekend from free shipping to extra discounts off of items already on sale. Athleta is offering an additional 20% off of sale items and GoodNight Macaroon is offering 40% off of everything on their already reasonably priced site! I’m checking out this skirt for an upcoming trip and this top for a day out at the wineries. I also snagged this everyday bag from Parker Thatch. Supporting small businesses is important to me and this company has the cutest handmade canvas goods. Sign up for their emails and get 15% off of your purchase!
Have any other rainy day pastimes that you’d like to add to the list?! Leave a comment below and let us know!
Morning is a fresh start. It’s an opportunity to make it a better day than it was yesterday. We can set our intentions for the day, start with a healthy breakfast, or get dressed in something much cooler than what we wore yesterday! There were many mornings where I woke up like a zombie from not getting enough sleep or indulging a little too much the night before. I always made excuses that there wasn’t enough time in the morning to do anything but shower, get dressed, and eat breakfast on the go as I rushed out the door to get to work. As of late, I’ve been more mindful in the mornings and give myself an extra 10 -15 minutes to do a little wellness routine to start my day off the right way!
Here are three things I’ve incorporated into my morning wellness routine that have made a difference for my mind, body and soul.
I start the day with a mindful morning meditation. I like to take 5-10 minutes on my mat to focus on my breathing. This makes a big difference in my entire day. Sometimes I’ll put on some light meditation music and other times silence is all I need. I may read a page from “Meditations from the Mat” to set a focus for the day.
I like to set a simple intention that I can carry with me throughout my day and come back to when any stress arises. Some of these intentions include: be a better listener today, be more kind, be patient with myself, or show more love. Sometimes it’s just a word, such as “peace”. This morning ritual helps set the tone for the day and it can make a huge difference in how we treat ourselves and others.
After my meditation, I boil some water and cut up a lemon. This is the first thing I ingest for the day. It works wonders for detoxing your body and skin, it jump starts your metabolism and allows you to get more nutrients out of the foods you consume throughout the day. Besides that, it has a very calming and cleansing feeling as the first thing you drink. Give it a try!
Ghee For Breakfast!
I discovered Ghee through my yoga teacher training and Ayurveda studies. Ghee is a clarified butter that provides the healthy fats that your body needs. It has tremendous health benefits like promoting better digestion and immune health and provides a natural consistent energy source to the body. I spread about a tablespoon onto my toast and it is so delicious. You can also cook with it, put a dollop in your morning coffee or drizzle it over popcorn!
You can make your own ghee from regular butter, but I get mine from Banyan Botanicals.
Get into a Consistent Routine
After starting this morning routine, I’ve had more energy, better digestion (which was a big improvement from the various stomach issues I experienced earlier this year), and better overall health. As with everything, we are bound to slip up or have an off day, but if you’re ready to start making your health and wellness a priority, start with small steps like a 10 minute morning routine that can help you make better choices throughout your day. So when you have those bad days and you fall off the wagon, you can always get back on track if you have a routine in place and the right mindset to do so!
Wine lifestyle behaviors have changed drastically before my eyes in the past decade. The industry, which at times has the ability to present itself as pretentious has had to change with the times. Thankfully an ever-growing Millennial consumer base is turning the tables and is creating a more laissez-faire environment when it comes to wine consumption.
A case in point is the introduction of the Forty Ounce Rosé.
A post shared by Yes Way Rosé (@yeswayrose) on
I first heard about Forty Ounce Wines from the above post on Instagram and I admit that it took me by surprise. A Rosé packaged in a 40 oz container is something that you just don’t expect. It would be easy to dismiss it as yet another gimmick with no substance. Yet this Rosé hails from the Loire Valley in France, a serious wine region, and by all accounts it is of decent quality.
Recent changes to the wine industry include the introduction of screw caps and single serve cans. I personally still see some resistance to these innovations that mainly originates from an older crowd. Younger people are more willing to give them a pass due to a more laid back approach and attitude.
I admit that I started out the year with a bit of skepticism towards Rosé. The thought of it being housed in a 40 oz container certainly would not have helped. But I have turned the page and actually see how this could make wine drinking more approachable.
Wine drinking should be a fun and pleasant experience. It should also be inclusive and open up doors to more gastronomic and cultural experiences. If it takes a 40 oz bottle to achieve this, then I’m all for it. Just please don’t ever try to play Edward Forty Hands with these bottles.
We need to maintain some sense of decency!
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Today Mario and I got together for a long overdue blog meeting and catch up sesh. We decided to meet halfway between our places in Rye, NY. Mario is constantly sitting in traffic to commute to Westchester for yoga classes, group runs, and fun nights out, so when I suggested we eat at Le Pain Quotidien in Rye, he agreed! Plus when he saw the array of croissants on the menu, he couldn’t turn it down!
“A Rainy Day in Rye”
Well, our blog meeting turned into an impromptu photoshoot which we’d like to call “A Rainy Day in Rye”. After our dinner, we walked around in the rain to get a few shots. To our surprise we stumbled on a cute flower shop, a mom and pop bookstore, lots of cute boutiques, a gazebo, and some pretty awesome gelato. It was a great opportunity for us to jump in puddles like we were kids again, discover an area that was unfamiliar to the both of us, and catch up on life, the afterlife, and why we started this blog to begin with!
My Monday started out with some pretty bad back pain and exhaustion from 5+ hours of commuting over the weekend, but hanging out with my friend and blog partner made the day a lot lighter and brighter, proving to me that a good friend can make even the rainiest day feel like a sunny one!
So, thank you Mario for continuing to inspire me, for taking and editing awesome photos, for really listening to me and knowing the right words to say just when I need them, and for being the sunshine on a cloudy day. You rock, my friend!
As another Wednesday rolled around I thought about the significance of this day we call Hump Day. Is it a day where one is able to celebrate the fact that we are halfway towards the weekend? Is it a celebration that half of the week is finally over? I mulled over these thoughts as I once again found myself stuck in an endless parade of traffic.
Having lived in southern Connecticut all of my life, I have been conditioned to deal with heavy traffic both going in to work as well as coming home. Yet lately it seems as if it has become an all day occurrence leaving little respite for the common commuter. Often I have found myself feeling frustrated, annoyed and helpless as I try to navigate my way to and from work. Dealing with traffic can be truly life draining.
Another thought occupying my mind as I made my way home today was what I would be featuring for this Wine Down Wednesday entry. Truth be told, I really haven’t been wowed by any one particular wine in the past few weeks and I was really unsure of what to bring home. That’s when I had the realization that most sparkling wine is consumed to mark celebrations, accomplishments or special holidays. Why is it that we seem to shun bubbles during ordinary days?
So tonight I decided to go against the grain and picked up a bottle of Franco Amoroso Prosecco. This is a lovely, value driven sparkling wine from Italy that features crisp acidity that is rounded out by hints of granny smith apples and pear. It has a creamy texture that is clean crisp and long. I paired it with a fresh arugula salad featuring chopped apple, dried cranberries, Gorgonzola cheese, pistachios and grilled chicken. I topped it all off with a balsamic vinaigrette.
As I finished off my dinner and sipped on my Prosecco I thought about how good it felt to be done with yet another round of traffic! I also kept thinking about whether or not you really need a special occasion to pop open a bottle of sparkling wine. Eventually I arrived at the conclusion that the answer is a big fat no!
Tonight, on a Hump Day I celebrated yet another day of life. Tonight I celebrated my family, my friends and all the wonders afforded to us on this earth. You don’t need a special occasion to pause and think about all the blessings and the special people that surround you. All you need is a bottle of sparkling wine.
À votre Santé!
Questions, comments? We want to hear from you in the comments section below!
Are you celebrating Cinco de Mayo this year? Whether it’s a girls night in with margaritas a casa, your local taco joint or a full on Mexican fiesta complete with Mariachi, we have you covered!
Coming off of my trip to Tulum, Mexico, I still have all the feels for this beautiful culture and I’m especially excited to celebrate this year! Here are some of our top picks for your Cinco de mayo celebrations in Westchester County, Manhattan, or better yet (and probably what I’ll be doing this year) a night at home- no designated driver needed!
The weather calls for rain in New York on Friday so I’m totally okay with staying in and making some homemade margs and guacamole with my Mariachi spotify playlist! Here’s an easy make-at-home margarita recipe. Not in the mood to make your own margs? Skinnygirl Margarita is a delicious, low-calorie substitute that comes in multiple flavors like white peach, spicy lime, grapefruit, and original (my personal favorite).
Here’s my homemade guacamole recipe for 2:
- 2 ripe avocados 2-3 limes (I love lime so I go for 3!)
- 1 ripe tomato
- ½ cup chopped red onion
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- Sea salt to taste
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mash it up
- Prepare in advance so that you can chill it in the refrigerator for an hour or so before eating
If you you prefer to go out, but are looking for something low-key in NYC, check out Al Pastor in the East Village. Come here for fresh tacos at good prices. Try this joint’s namesake: The tacos Al Pastor. The pork is made on a spinning griller that you can see from the window. One glimpse of this savory spinning piece of meat could lure anyone in from the street. Other options include short rib and cheeseburger tacos. For vegetarian options, try something different like the Nopales (Cactus) tacos. Fun cocktails include a long list of Agave tequilas, the “¿Porque No?” margarita made with fresh Pineapple, Cilantro, and Serrano Chile or a Peach Michelada. This place is on the smaller side and it’s sure to be packed on Cinco de Mayo, so try to get there early and enjoy a cocktail at the bar while you wait for your table.
Do you reside in lower Westchester? Whether you’re looking for live music, solid tacos or just good ol’ Cinco de Mayo vibes, here’s a short list of a few places that will provide options for everyone.
- Blue Moon Mexican Cafe in Bronxville. This is a neighborhood joint with decent food, but better drinks. Best of all, they have live music. Check out their specialty drink menu.
- Rancho Grande in Yonkers. A fun atmosphere, food, and live music. Parking is not an issue as they’re located in the Highridge shopping center right off of Central Avenue.
- Burrito Poblano in Tuckahoe. Very low-key, but pretty authentic and delicious. There’s a good selection of local and Mexican beer options here, but if you’re looking for margaritas, skip this one as they don’t serve hard liquor. Order the hard shredded chicken tacos (with extra avocado of course!)
Enjoy your Cinco De Mayo!
Xoxo, The Daily Croissant
As you may have noticed, Wine Down Wednesday has taken a two week break. But don’t despair, it will make a triumphant return next week! One of the reasons for this break has been that I have been slowly trying to regain my running form after a knee injury. I have started with walking, a mix of running and walking and a lot of stretching. But today was the first day that I put normal weight and strain on my knee and I’m happy with the results! Running often, coupled with long distances inevitably leads to some aches and pains along the way. I’ve had some injuries that have prevented me from running, but not for the amount of time that this injury took. Unfortunately missing this much time has not only taken a toll physically, but also mentally.
Running is often cited as being an outlet for stress, anxiety and built up energy. I have been running for many years for these very exact reasons! Not being able to run for these two long months has definitely taken a toll and so I have been looking forward to this day for many weeks. Yoga has filled the void, sort of, but unfortunately I haven’t been able to attend class as often as I would like.
Hitting the road every day helps keep me centered, focused and free of stress and anxiety. When I’m out there all I’m focused on is my breathing and watching out for obstacles along the way. Today though, I was really focused on my breathing because I soon realized how much I need to work on my cardio! I ran a three mile loop around my neighborhood and I really struggled to catch my breath. My legs felt heavy and tight even though the temperatures were perfect for warming up. I know that getting back into form will take a few weeks, but I’m really looking forward to putting in the miles. I am thankful to my blog partner, Ashley for introducing me to yoga. And while it may not replace running as my physical activity of choice, it will be an awesome addition to my workout routine because, like running, it has helped keep me centered, focused and uplifted.
As I get back into running form I will begin looking for races to join. I look forward to taking part and bringing you, the reader along for the miles!
As always, we look forward to reading your thoughts and comments! So don’t be shy and drop us a message below!
About a year ago, I started seeing images of Tulum, Mexico popping up all over my Instagram feed, travel blogs and I was even alerted of travel packages to yoga and wine retreats there (Thanks Mario!). So when I started to really look into this lesser known Mexican village, I could just picture myself there on the beautiful beaches, doing yoga, sipping margaritas and eating the most delicious tacos. I had to get there soon! Little did I know, there was so much more to Tulum than yoga and tacos. I have the fondest memories from my trip and I cannot wait to go back!
Tulum has gained a lot of hype in recent years, so try to get there before it gets too touristy. Here are some of my top picks for where to stay, what to do, and where to eat.
Getting there/Getting around: Tulum is about an hour and a half drive from Cancún International Airport. Book a car service in advance for about $100. You will likely get a private, air-conditioned van with great service. Try USA Transfer. We were very pleased with this company.We received an email confirmation ensuring us that we would be greeted by one of their reps wearing a USA Transfer hat at the airport with our reservation on hand. They were very prompt, accommodating, and efficient. It gave us peace of mind to know that this would be taken care of upon our arrival to Mexico. One less thing to worry about when planning a trip! Once you’re in Tulum, you can get around by taxi, bicycle, and by foot. Just be careful when biking because the road is narrow and there aren’t any sidewalks for bikers. In Tulum Playa, where most of the bars, shops and restaurants are located, everything is within walking distance.
Stay: There are plenty of places to stay in Tulum Playa. We stayed in two different resorts. Pavo Real was a beautiful, colorful resort located right on the beach with lots of fun activities like volleyball, bocce, aqua gym (workouts in the pool), and yoga classes. If you come to Mexico to chill, you’ll enjoy their beautiful beach beds for ultimate relaxation! This is an all inclusive resort with yummy food, drinks and a rooftop bar with live entertainment. This place provided the quintessential Mexican hospitality!
If you’re looking for an adults-only resort, stay at Kore Tulum. This is another all-inclusive resort that is over-the-top beautiful. The resort grounds and amenities are absolutely fantastic. As you enter the resort, you are transported to paradise! Upon arrival we were greeted with massages and margaritas. Bienvenidos indeed!! What more can one ask for?! There is a beautiful yoga and meditation space with 4 daily classes. The pool and swim up bar overlooking the beach are so inviting. The restaurant and snack bar offer Mexican fare with an asian twist such as beef rolls and thai flavored ceviche. My favorites were the catch of the day and a refreshing gazpacho (served in a wine glass) alongside a refreshing pina colada. Kore is the type of resort where you don’t even have to step out of the resort. They have so much to offer for a fun day at the pool such as pool volleyball, badminton, ping pong, billiards, and more. Bike rentals are free so if you want to escape to town for some shopping or change of scenery, hop on one of their cute bicycles and away you go! The rooms at Kore were one of my favorite things about the resort. There’s a jacuzzi tub complete with ice bucket in the room! If you want to spend a romantic night in, there’s a 24 hour room service menu and a patio right off your room. I could go on and on about Kore Tulum, but you’ll just have to book a stay and see for yourself!
Do: There’s so much to do in Tulum. Many people will go to Mexico to simply relax on the beach, but if you don’t venture outside your resort, you’re missing out. Besides the huge yoga community, there are so many excursions you can do! Spend a day snorkeling in the coral reefs of Akumal. Take a boat ride up the Sian Ka’an biosphere where you’ll see sea and wildlife such as a variety of different birds, crocodiles, sea turtles and dolphins. You can do a whole day excursion with a stop off for lunch using i-tour Mexico. This is a full day of boating, snorkeling and relaxing on one of the most spectacular and ecologically diverse places on earth. Other tours include visiting the world-famous cenotes: crystalline freshwater pools connected by a maze of underground rivers and Chichen Itza, the Mayan Ruins of Tulum.
One of the nicest beaches we visited in Tulum is Playa Paraiso which offers plenty of watersports and excursions as well as beachside restaurants and live entertainment. Spend a day walking up the beach, people watching and stopping at different resorts for cocktails and maybe even a donkey sighting!
Last but not least, the shopping in Tulum is pretty special. Purchase a beautiful dream catcher, hand-embroidered womenswear, handmade maxi dresses, and crochet swimsuits. Some of my favorites shops were Zenigo’s and Josa. You can find beautiful dresses and accessories at these unique boutiques.
Eat and Drink: With some research done ahead of time, we discovered a gem for fresh mojitos in Tulum called Batey. These mouthwatering mojitos are made in a variety of flavors using sugar cane that is cut fresh on a little cart right in front of the bar. After indulging in the most delicious mojitos we had a little craving for street tacos and had to hit up Antojitos, a curbside taco joint with the most savory tacos al pastor I’ve ever had! And the best part about it?? We had 2 rounds of tacos and tostadas – that is, 9 tacos for $135 pesos or $7.16!!! Woah. We will never forget our first night in Tulum with that warm Mexican welcome of Antojitos. Don’t miss it!
Another cool beachside spot for tacos and tequila is La Eufemia. You’ll get decent ceviche, and fish tacos here. This place is laid-back, a little bit hipster, a little bit touristy, but mostly just chill and dip your feet in the sand kind of joint. After lunch, walk up the beach for the best fried fish you’ve ever had at Playa Maya Tulum. Not only will you get the fresh catch of the day, but also the best margaritas on the beach complete with swings and live music. It doesn’t get much better than this.
In town there are a bunch of restaurants and bars to grab dinner and drinks. One of our favorite places for drinks is Mateo’s Mexican Grill for 2 for 1 happy hour on a rooftop with great views. They make a mean strawberry basil mojito as well as a frozen mango margarita. Both are made with fresh fruit. This place is packed with cool art and Frida Kahlo inspired decor. A very cool, eco-chic eatery and cocktail bar is El Tabano with arguably the best cocktail menu on the strip. I had the Perrum, which was a pear, apple, and lavender rum cocktail that I could just sip on into pure bliss. End your night across the street at Zamas where you will get a taste of the freshest guacamole and micheladas. Located right alongside the beach, this restaurant has an authentic Mexican band that was truly one of the highlights of the trip for me.
- Trade your dollars for pesos in your home country to avoid a fee and higher exchange rate at the resorts. The current rate is 18 pesos per dollar.
- Always carry pesos so you will have it for tips. Many of the restaurants are cash only and will charge you more if you pay in U.S. dollars.
- Bring casual clothes such a denim shorts, linen, and beach dresses. You will be in your bathing suit 90% of the time and there’s no need to get dolled up in this beach town.
- Purchase coral reef friendly sunscreen if you plan on snorkeling. Regular sunscreen causes cancer in sea turtles and kills the reef.
Thanks for reading my post and please leave me any questions or comments here! I hope this inspires you to plan your next Mexican getaway!
In last week’s edition of Wine Down Wednesday I touched on the subject of change, rebirth and new beginnings as they related to the blog. As the seasons change, so will the direction of our entries, features and focus. That entry was a reaction not only to the change in season, but also to a change in attitude and spirit.
I’m not one to announce my faith outwardly, or flash it to the world. I believe that one’s faith is reflected through actions, attitude and the way in which you treat others. That being said, all through the month of March I had been going through a sort of spiritual drought. My prayers, faith and spirit seemed to be on pause, and this was evident in my daily life. During such times I tend to withdraw from the world in the hopes of regaining the spiritual connection that I sorely lack. I call this my anti-social phase!
Come April and it felt like a switch had been turned on. I felt a tremendous sense of optimism and re-connection, not only with my spiritual life, but also with the world. I started feeling the winds of change in the air and that is why I felt the need to touch on the subject last week. Today I feel a sense of optimism in my life and also a sense of excitement for the blog.
As I stated last week, Wine Down Wednesday will continue to be a thing for the foreseeable future. The world of wine has introduced me to so many interesting elements of the industry which I hope to expand on and present in future entries. I plan on visiting some wineries as the weather turns warmer and a possible trip to a wine mecca might be in the works.
As I write I’m holding a glass of Sauvignon Blanc from Privilège De Drouet. This is a refreshing white wine from the Loire Valley, France. Sauvignon Blancs from France are my favorite and I just love the taste of Sancerres. This particular white comes from the same region as Sancerre and offers some of the same nuances of its much famous sibling at half the price! You’re bound to get a nice velvety mouthfeel with crisp notes of citrus.
So as the evening winds down, I’m finishing off a glass and reflecting on the growth of the blog. I’m excited for the future and I can’t wait to share much more content in the weeks and months to come. So here’s to change, and new beginnings! À la vôtre!
Spring has sprung with warmer weather and sunny days this week at The Daily Croissant and we could not be more excited! Spring, and Easter both mark a season of change, rebirth, and new beginnings and it’s only appropriate that this is reflected on the blog. We are thrilled to be introducing some brand new features, entries, and themes as we begin to thaw out.
Ashley has hinted at some of the adjustments that we have made in the last few weeks, and if you have been paying attention you may have noticed a new tab on our menu labeled STYLE. This is her baby and I am really excited to be a part of the creative process. Ashley has a keen eye for fashion and she is a menace when it comes to shopping, so that’s a great thing for the blog! I will be bringing my newfound interest in photography to the table and hoping that I can do this project some justice.
I write this entry contemplating the future of the blog while sipping a beautiful glass of Mont Gravet Colombard and rooting on my New York Rangers in the playoffs. (Yes, Wine Down Wednesday will continue to be a thing!) I look forward to providing more fun, interesting and exciting content as we move forward. You will get a taste of whats to come beginning with an exciting feature by Ashley from south of the border in the days ahead. Also be on the lookout for some exciting travel, food and healthy living entries! (Oh, by the way this lovely Colombard is crisp, lemony and very light which makes it a perfect wine for the long summer days to come!)
This blog has been a learning process from the beginning and as we move forward we are beginning to see what works, what needs adjustments and what may need to be dropped. And as always we welcome your feedback, comments and suggestions. In the meantime, À la vôtre!
Ashley Napoli & Mario Bran
Two friends with a passion for running, traveling, God, and the occasional croissant.