CEO Sit Down: Sara Ferrer on Zoey Koko

Inspiring girls everywhere to prioritize self-care with whimsical body products.

Sara Ferrer always knew that entrepreneurship was her destiny. Going to Babson further instilled in Sara an eagerness to build something of her own that embodied her true passion. Nearing graduation, however, Sara had encountered a fork in the road. She wanted to explore her entrepreneurial bug, but also needed real-world job experience. Sara decided to start a job at TJX as an analyst. The long days behind a computer screen, coupled with a lack of passion, made her realize that after 2 years, the corporate grind simply wasn’t for her.

Screen Shot 2021-01-01 at 8.46.24 PMSara had always loved makeup, skincare, and beauty. She researched the spa industry and found a local 1200 hour esthetics program that would allow her to pursue her dream of becoming a medical esthetician. Sara’s day went from desk work at TJX to performing chemical peels, facials and waxing in a more social and dynamic atmosphere. When making the career change, Sara looked to her mom for inspiration. At 49 years old, her mom had transitioned from her 25 year corporate career to her dream job of becoming a high school Spanish teacher. Sara felt that her career change was a similar leap into the unknown and her mom’s journey was motivation to push forward.  

As a medical esthetician, Sara felt that she had fully tapped into her desire to make people feel good with her treatments. However, as time progressed, Sara noticed an alarming trend in the industry.  As beauty treatments promised faster and more dramatic results, women were fed media messages that created a “quick fix” beauty culture.  This, in turn, created rampant negative self-talk amongst her female clients. Sara started to question her role in providing help for these women, asking herself questions like “am I creating more goodness or darkness in the world by doing these procedures?” and “where is the point at which women go from feeling unstoppable to being incredibly insecure?” More importantly, Sara noted that many of her clients were mothers to young girls who were also starting to experience self-doubt and insecurities. This vicious cycle worried Sara.

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Sara was then thrust towards another fork in the road. She could either continue to develop professionally and expand her medical skin treatment offerings or she could venture into the unknown once again. 

In thinking more about the root cause of the insecurities that she and her clients experienced, Sara realized that developing a positive self-image starts at a young age. During the tween years and younger, girls experience lighting fast social, emotional, mental, and physical changes. This can be a vulnerable time where self doubt starts to creep in. This is also a time when girls are introduced to the concept of self-care. Sara observed through her research that “For a girl, self-care is about social bonding, sleepovers with giggles, smelling lotions, and testing out nail colors- figuring out your own tastes, preferences, and uniqueness”. Sara noticed that there were exciting products for this age range on the market, but they had horrible, synthetic ingredients. She paired her knowledge of skincare chemistry with her passion for the healthy social and emotional development of girls and decided to start her own company, Zoey Koko.  Her business would specialize in tween bath and body products that are made in the USA, formulated with clean ingredients for sensitive skin, fun to use and featured uplifting messaging on all of their packaging. Who wouldn’t want to buy a body lotion for their daughter that is “infused with girl power” or a bio-glitter sparkle gel that is “infused with imagination”, as the label states?

Sara tested her products with hundreds of girls, showing her products at gymnastics events and girl scout spa events. Wherever she could get a trusted girl’s or mother’s opinion, Sara found the opportunity to refine and perfect her products. With a tried and tested product line, Sara had the confidence to drive to 50 retail stores around the Boston area to pitch her products, bringing her best selling unicorn body butter and a positive attitude. Can’t believe it? Sara did all of this, while still working full-time at the spa. 

From there, Sara continued to grow Zoey Koko by hosting mobile spa birthday parties for girls ages  6 to 12 year olds that centered around  spa day activities, such as facials, manicures, pedicures and a DIY craft. Sara’s mission was to sell her products, but also to provide an opportunity for young girls to foster happy memories around beauty, self-care and bonding. 

 

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Although she has not been able to host any product parties due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sara is optimistic in her business surviving great adversity, as she has surmounted great obstacles in every year of her business. 

“My first year of business was all about figuring out what I was doing. My second year was about honing in on my pitch and getting my products into retail stores. This year, my third year, has been all about expanding my e-commerce business,” Sara mentions. 

Just this past year, Sara has hired a new website designer to streamline the ZoeyKoko.com user experience, continued to test the market for future product releases, and looked to expand her products into more retail stores with the help of a toy sales group. And all of this hard work has paid off, as Zoey Koko landed a new deal with luxury children’s boutique Maisonette, and  tripled holiday sales projections. Add on to this the partnership opportunity Zoey Koko has with the e-commerce platform CityHome, as well as the cult following her shop has on Etsy and things are running full steam ahead. Her company has also made a significant impact in their contribution to the Big Sister Associate of Greater Boston, as a  percentage of the company’s profits are donated to this charity that Sara is incredibly passionate about.

For Zoey Koko, the future looks glittery, whimsy, and bright. And for the future of young girls? Things look optimistic, as Zoey Koko inspires imagination, confidence and positivity through the whimsical self-care products they provide. The brand’s mission of having girls everywhere “feel smiley in their skin” has only just begun.  

Ask Adam: Questions Everyone Asks their Therapist (Part III)

Answering all of your pressing therapy questions in the comfort of your own home.

There are some questions that everyone wrestles with at night when all of the lights go out. Why did that girl reject me? How do I stop constantly comparing myself to others? How come I lack confidence? I have recruited Dr. Adam Brown to help you answer some of those questions in our last part of our three part therapy series. I hope that this series has been an incredible resource for you and maybe encouraged you to think about seeking out therapy. You are never too young, too old, too smart, too lost, or too anything to begin therapy! And all it takes is saying to yourself “I need a bit of help”.

How do you consult people who have self doubt and a constant comparison to others?

The truth is that everyone has their own baggage and it is so easy to project how wonderful others have it. Yet, it is important to note that there are also plenty of people that have what we have and are content. However, this does not mean that the issue is not a complicated one. We want to encourage ourselves to be ambitious, but if the pursuit is not making us happy and the goals aren’t clear, we won’t feel better about ourselves. 

If you are perpetually someone who is looking for external validation, it might suggest that there is some unresolved grief, trauma, or depression that you should explore with a professional. Moving to the tropical island because life looks so great there is most likely going to leave you with a sunburn, itchiness from the sand, and missing home. 

How do you help a client with low confidence?

Fake it till you make it works, but it matters how much you are faking it. You have to go out and get yourself business clothes if you are working in business, but if you don’t know how to put business clothes on, it’s a problem. Similar to those who compare themselves to others, if you have low confidence, you have to pick some specific goals to work towards. My job is often helping people explore the things that are most important to them and siloing pieces of their life to focus on certain areas. I help some people get really focused on what they want and why they want it. If you want to move to Hawaii, talk to people that live there! Let’s just figure it out, step by step. Where do you see yourself in a month? I make it a rule not to set goals with a client more than 90 days out. Looking too far into the distance isn’t going to help you put one foot in front of the other today. Of course, it is important to have some long term goals, but what can we manage right now? What is it that you want and what measure we use to know that you’ve achieved it?

How do you help a client overcome rejection?

Rejection is a horrible feeling and the first thing to do is simply acknowledge the truth and reality of that. It isn’t ever helpful to say “just get over it,” but rather “what piece of the rejection do I own and what was out of my control?”

If you were applying for a job and maybe they already had a candidate in mind or the casting director was looking for a taller person for the role. Owning what is yours and really letting go of what is out of your control is so important in moving forward. One thing not to do is to beat yourself up over the other person’s impression of you. In a relationship, if you feel the compulsion to confront the other person about the rejection, it’s important to be prepared for an unthoughtful and unsatisfying answer. 

What constitutes a good relationship and what steps can you take to achieve one?

Communication, communication, and communication; I cannot say it enough. You don’t have much of a relationship if you don’t have respectful and constructive conversations with the other person. Here are some quick pointers that I live by when it comes to conflict resolution:

  • Be aware of your positionality or role in the relationship
  • Be aware of your tone
  • Understand what you want to get out of the conversation as well as what the other party desires, the baggage they are carrying, their motivations, and their perspective
  • Be specific in what you are looking to gain from the conversation
  • Speak in the first person, use “I” to say how you think, feel, and what you heard, not “you” to tell the other person what they think, said, or did. 
  • It is O.K. to express personal emotion in regards to the conflict, but make sure those emotions are relevant to the situation.  

Conflict in a relationship is healthy, and even necessary. Conflict avoidance is a slow death to a relationship. If you don’t have conflict from time to time, you aren’t being honest with each other.


About Dr. Adam Brown

Follow Adam on Twitter @adamofbruce

Screen Shot 2020-12-13 at 2.15.18 PMAdam Brown, Ph.D. is an assistant professor at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College, City University of New York and a psychotherapist in private practice. His research has appeared in a variety of scholarly journals, including “Children and Youth Services Review,” “The Journal of Interpersonal Violence,” and “Sexual Abuse,” and he is an invited presenter multiple times annually at clinical and scholarly conferences internationally. His research has been featured in Rueters, Yahoo!, and Fox news, and he has appeared as an invited expert for comment on events in a variety of media outlets, including for “The City” in New York City, and the “Shanghai Media Group” (SMG) in China.

Dr. Brown is an expert consultant for Park Dietz and Associates in Newport Beach, CA, and a consulting clinician at the Institute for Sexual Wellness in Weymouth, MA. He received his doctoral degree at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration and his Master of Social Work from Smith College School for Social Work.

Ask Adam: COVID-19 Related Therapy Questions (Part II)

Answering all of your pressing therapy questions in the comfort of your own home.

Let’s be honest, life is incredibly tough and the COVID-19 pandemic has only made it tougher on us. With unemployment at 6.7%, pandemic fatigue hitting a new high, and our loved ones becoming sick with the virus, 2020 is not all that we expected- and 2021 appears to be its evil twin. I thought that it was only necessary to interview Adam on questions regarding our current global pandemic. Although Adam disclaimed that there is no “one size fits all” solution to every one of my questions, he helped me to share his guidance on some of the most common questions we are all wrestling with over the course of the pandemic. I hope that this dialogue will be as helpful to you as it was to me when I sat down with Adam for this interview!

Adam, have you seen an increase of patients during COVID?

b625d5e2796629128c2d64b2d7dc636f-removebg-previewYes. Speaking for myself and what my colleagues tell me about their practices, our client books have become very full. However, these sessions have had to be modified to adapt to our “new normal”. Primarily, therapy sessions right now are actually taking place on Zoom. From a therapist perspective, the more information you have of the person that you are working with the better, so video communication is generally preferred to telephone. For example, it helps a therapist to see physical signs, for example if a patient hasn’t showered in a long time, in order to derive meaning from the interaction. From a patient perspective, if a video call is better for the therapist, it will be better for the patient in terms of receiving guidance and attention. Phone sessions are also completely fine if video isn’t an option or isn’t tolerable to a client! Whatever both you and your therapist agree on and are comfortable with is always the right way to go. 

What are the main topics on a lot of clients’ minds during the pandemic?

There are a few things that my clients are concerned about right now some of them being an increased sense of job insecurity, concerns about getting sick and even dying, and worries around the repercussions of losing a job or family member. Tangentially, people have been thinking about their pasts a lot and reexamining their current relationships, given that so many people have more time to reflect on these aspects in their life. Marital and relationship problems have arisen, since people have been living in such close quarters. Some of my clients in their time off, for example, have also even wanted to talk through instances of childhood abuse that have been suppressed. It’s amazing that, when we stop to reflect and process, so much can become unraveled that we don’t even know we are suppressing. 

How would you consult people that have anxiety or obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) relating to the COVID-19 pandemic and are even afraid to leave the house? 

968073__39661.1564753443-removebg-previewFor people who have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD, the best treatment is a combination of medication and therapy. Medications are not by any means cure alls, but they can make all the difference for many folks. Exposure therapy is also a great treatment for OCD, however, the troubling part of exposure therapy in this case is that the effects of getting COVID-19 are very real. In other words, having an extreme fear of germs is quite adaptive right now, so we certainly wouldn’t go for a walk and touch railings. I think that the most important thing, overall, is for those suffering with extreme anxiety or OCD to recognize the issue that they are facing and being open to treatment of some sort. 

How do you combat pandemic fatigue?

EntrelacKnittingTutorial1-ef838add67064bceb8b12a43ce1973d6-removebg-previewI recommend people can get outside if they can to take walks and be in the fresh air. If being social is something that you are struggling with, try to join a pod with others you trust, such as neighbors or close friends you can see on a more consistent basis. If that isn’t an option, make a point to check in regularly via Zoom or over the phone with friends and family. Zoom fatigue is definitely real, but it can make all the difference seeing those we love over just hearing them. I personally make it a point to make eye contact and say hello to those that I see out on my walks. It is easy to hide behind your mask, which is why engaging even in the smallest ways can make the most difference. The pandemic has also presented a great opportunity to try new things or do something that you have been putting off because you couldn’t find the time. Make learning a new skill a priority by setting aside some time in your calendar. Practice knitting, learn how to play the guitar, or speak a new language. Time is on your side. 

What are some strategies for not seeing an end?

What helps me to have hope is doing a historical analysis. We have overcome pandemics before and we didn’t have a fraction of the resources or knowledge we do today. Vaccines are here to help lower the rate of infection and spread, but it’s going to take educating people on the vaccine to ensure its effectiveness. Help is on the way! We just have to have patience and hope for the future. 


About Dr. Adam Brown

Follow Adam on Twitter @adamofbruce

Screen Shot 2020-12-13 at 2.15.18 PMAdam Brown, Ph.D. is an assistant professor at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College, City University of New York and a psychotherapist in private practice. His research has appeared in a variety of scholarly journals, including “Children and Youth Services Review,” “The Journal of Interpersonal Violence,” and “Sexual Abuse,” and he is an invited presenter multiple times annually at clinical and scholarly conferences internationally. His research has been featured in Rueters, Yahoo!, and Fox news, and he has appeared as an invited expert for comment on events in a variety of media outlets, including for “The City” in New York City, and the “Shanghai Media Group” (SMG) in China.

Dr. Brown is an expert consultant for Park Dietz and Associates in Newport Beach, CA, and a consulting clinician at the Institute for Sexual Wellness in Weymouth, MA. He received his doctoral degree at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration and his Master of Social Work from Smith College School for Social Work.


Stay tuned for next week when Adam answers more pressing questions on therapy, life, and navigating our world’s current challenges. 

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Ask Adam: Finding a Trusted Therapist and More (Part I)

Answering all of your pressing therapy questions in the comfort of your own home.

For Dr. Adam Brown, the path towards receiving a doctorate at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration and becoming a consultant, professor, and licensed clinical social worker was anything but straight. 

When Adam graduated from Colby College with a degree in English, his goal was to become a professional working actor. With this in mind, Adam moved to New York City, Boston, and finally to Los Angeles in order to chase his dream. Shortly after arriving in LA, he also began performing stand-up comedy and eventually working as a comic. Approaching 30 years old, Adam began to reevaluate what he was striving for, imagining his future working in the industry. To Adam, it boiled down to becoming famous and acquiring the privileges of those with whom he rubbed shoulders. Thinking about it further, having known members of the rich and famous personally, Adam did not see them as any happier than he was. Adam realized that even if he did achieve the fame he was looking for, it would only make him more unhappy if he didn’t feel fulfilled internally. 

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Adam soon packed up and moved back in with his mother in Rhode Island, taking a job from his uncle who owned a construction company. In taking this job, Adam had access to health benefits which he used to pay for psychotherapy, hoping it would help him in figure out his next steps in life. To Adam’s surprise, the therapist recommended that he come more than once a week, his visits turning into regular occurrences 3 to 4 times a week. Adam cites his experience in therapy as being such a transformative time that it helped him to realize a lot about his priorities, perspective, and values. More than that, Adam saw himself as being interested in doing the work of his therapist. 

Adam felt compelled to go back to school, attending Smith College School for Social Work to get his Masters of Social Work (MSW), which has an outstanding reputation for training psychotherapists. After Smith SSW, Adam worked at a foster care agency, which had an opening for a clinician to work with kids as a psychotherapist. Through this experience, Adam worked with many children and adolescents that committed sexual offenses. Adam became troubled by the way in which the system treated the youth, as perpetrators more than victims, and found that he wanted to become part of the solution to the systematic problems that he saw.                                                   

With that in mind, Adam went to get his doctorate at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration. Now, Adam is a professor of clinical social work at the Silberman School for Social Work Hunter College. He is a sexual abuse prevention researcher who focuses his research on youth and young adults who have committed acts of sexual harm. Adam also has clients that he sees regularly for general therapy. 

It is safe to say that Adam is the expert when it comes to social work, which is why I have enlisted him to answer some therapy questions on the blog. So, let’s jump right into it. 

How do you know that you need or should see a therapist?

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Everyone in some way could benefit from seeing a therapist, but some specifics include individuals that could need help getting some perspective, are stuck in a job or a relationship, it could be anything. Going to therapy is not going to solve your problem, but it will shorten the process- maybe even shave off some years if not months. It is all about getting you somewhere where you are already headed in terms of problem solving. A therapist does not give advice, they really help you ask yourself the good questions to enable self-discovery. 

What are things you look for in a good therapist? What makes a therapist a good one? 

Even though it’s hard, it is really important to take at least two to three sessions to decide how you feel about your therapist. A good therapist will encourage you to do that and shouldn’t make you feel that you are pressured into seeing them. Therapy is such a personal journey, if you are uncomfortable after the first session, it may be that the therapist is pushing you to confront the tough questions. It might be a good test to say to your therapist on your next visit “I almost didn’t come back because… XYZ reason” and see how your therapist reacts to this statement. If you feel ashamed, sad, uncomfortable, or don’t want to tell the truth to your therapist, that is a different story. Then, you should consider looking for another therapist. 

It is a therapist’s job to provide a “holding environment” for you, where even if life is uncomfortable you feel like you are in a safe place. 

What is the average duration of a relationship with a therapist?

It really depends on the presenting issues and on your readiness. If you come to a therapist with a very specific and identifiable issue or goal to address things might take a shorter time, like three months. It is more common for therapy to last a year or longer. Sometimes, many years. There is really no definitive way of knowing when you start. 

What is the best way to prepare for a therapy session?

To not prepare. You really need to go in and be ready to be yourself in a therapy session. When you first arrive, your therapist is going to say things like “how can I help you” or “what brings you here”, don’t over think what it is you are supposed to be doing there. If you have a specific goal in mind then that’s always great, but there is no need to “prep” necessarily. 

What are some resources you recommend for people that are looking to seek help?

If you have a very specific issue, a good place to start can, surprisingly, be Google. You can use your zip code to find support groups and specialists in your area of need oftentimes. Most of the therapists I know have a page on www.psychologytoday.com. I don’t have a page there now because I only work on a referral basis, but if I were going to accept more clients, I would. Another place to find a therapist is to ask a friend that has been in therapy. In some cases, your friend’s therapist could talk to you about what’s going on and act as a referral. 

If you are not ready for in person therapy, there is online texting therapy. 7cups.com, betterhelp.com, and talkspace.com are good ways for people to dip their toe in. You can pay one month at a time and see how it goes. 

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For resources, Brene Brown’s podcast “Unlocking Us” could also be a great resource. She talks about many things related to mental and behavioral health that most folks can relate to. Additionally, these are books I always recommend to those I work with:

“How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk” by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. This book provides really wonderful models for having difficult conversations and how to engage with people that are typically hard to engage.

“Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most” by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, Sheila Heen, and Roger Fisher is also an incredible resource.


Stay tuned for next week when Adam answers more pressing questions on therapy, life, and navigating our world’s current challenges. 

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Advice on a Healthy Mind, Body, and Soul during Quarantine with Christine Porr (Part III)

Self-care is important, which is why Christine and I have brought you our favorite ways to navigate the challenges of quarantine.

Time sure flies when you are having fun! We have finally come to the last post of Christine and my series on wholistic health during quarantine. It has been such a joy to share some of the things that we are doing to make this time more manageable and constructive. Christine is a wealth of knowledge and I am so happy to have collaborated with her on these posts- trust me I have learned more in these few posts than I have all of quarantine. This week, we talk about one of the most important aspects of our being: our spirit. Whether you are a religious person, spiritual person, or you are just going along for the ride, there is something nestled in this post just for you. 🙏

Spirit

Christine

  1. Find a quiet uninterrupted place, and set aside time each morning, noon, or evening to read the Bible and pray. I know I’ve had times when I’ve struggled with loneliness during this period, but it helps me to remember that I can find fellowship with God, anytime, anywhere.
  2. Identify an accountability partner to do a Bible Study with you. I recently did Breaking Free by Beth Moore with one of my friends. We each completed the daily studies on our own and then texted each other screenshots of the parts that challenged us most or just our general reflections on the content.
  3. Stay consistent with attending church, even if it’s virtual. Pour your morning cup of coffee, sit down, and prioritize this period of worship, as you would in person. If your church offers virtual connect hours and/or small groups, I would highly recommend attending these as well. Each Sunday morning, I tune into my church’s virtual service and then join the Zoom “coffee hour.” It’s been such an encouraging time of meeting new friends, reconnecting with old ones, and praying over our respective requests and praises.

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A few final thoughts. It’s okay not to be okay some days and to just cut yourself some slack. The world and our personal worlds are all in flux. Everyone is going through something. Don’t feel like you have to minimize your own experience because someone else “has it so much worse.” Take time for yourself and turn for support to family, friends, and most importantly God. He has the world in His hands and will always supply your daily bread, whether you anticipate it or not.

Ursula 

During this challenging time we are facing, getting in touch with our spirituality is super important, thanks for reminding us Christine! It is crucial for us to be able to clear our minds and find stillness, which can come through prayer, meditation, yoga, or some deep belly breathes. When we hold tight to things, it can only bring on more frustration and anxiousness. Sometimes it is best to just let go and see what happens. I have also found that talking it out with someone can really help bring light to the stresses I am facing. In doing so, I have felt that some of the things that I was so stressed about, were all made up in my head! I am no stranger to the fact that I often stand in my own way. It is important to find someone you can speak to and confide in to help with your mental well being. Trusted therapists, family members, and close friends are important people to have on standby that can help you to gain a new perspective, offer some helpful advice, and lend an ear. 

Calm and Headspace are two popular meditation apps that might be useful to you. Headspace’s Chief Music Officer is John Legend, so if that doesn’t spell success I don’t know what does!


My parting words? 

 
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The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on in this post are for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this post.  If you are feeling suicidal, thinking about hurting yourself, or are concerned that someone you know may be in danger of hurting himself or herself, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK(8255) or the Suicide Hotline: 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433), both of which are staffed by certified crisis response professionals, or call 911.

Advice on a Healthy Mind, Body, and Soul during Quarantine with Christine Porr (Part II)

Self-care is important, which is why Christine and I have brought you our favorite ways to navigate the challenges of quarantine.

Yes, we are back with Part II and, yes, I got out of my pajamas. I hope everyone was inspired by last week’s post to go purchase a puzzle or read a new book! In this week’s post, Christine and I explore fun and interesting ways to stay active during this time when we are working from home, overwhelmed by the job search, or binging on Netflix. Mental, physical, and emotional health are so important, which is why we have shared some helpful tips to shake the off those quarantine blues using an infusion of endorphins. Before it gets too cold outside, make sure to prioritize that difficult venture from your comfy bed to your front door and get outside! Your body will thank you. Trust me, you’ll sleep better I promise. (Stay tuned for next week’s post on maintaining a healthy soul, our last of this three part series)

Body

Christine

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Take free virtual fitness classes to keep your body moving. I kept a pretty boring workout routine prior to quarantine but it’s been fun to switch it up and have someone else motivating me to stay fit.

    • Chrissy Stanley – LOVE the Barre and Abs classes! You will work up a sweat in 5 min (free on YouTube)
    • Bar Method Online – So many classes to try, ranging from 15 to 60 minutes in length. (14-day free trial)
    • Pure Barre GO – Kaitlyn is my favorite instructor! (7-day free trial)
    • Peloton Online Classes – I am obsessed with Kristin McGee’s yoga classes, but you can’t go wrong with any of them. (30-day free trial)

Get outside and enjoy the fresh air. Take a 10-minute break in between work calls to stretch your legs on a short walk, or go on a longer walk with family/friends after dinner- preferably with ice cream as your end destination ;). Make running fun by setting distance goals- 5K, 5 miles, half marathon, etc. You can even sign up for a virtual race with friends as accountability partners for training. Pull that bike out of the garage and find a nice neighborhood or scenic path to explore. Go on a social distancing hike with a picnic lunch. 

Ursula

BC29D0ED-4995-49D3-B38B-F96B61096346Like Christine, I have taken advantage of this newfound time to take a break during the day to go on long walks, bike rides, and runs. I find that going outside for an hour a day can really refresh my mind and provide a boost in my day. Although, I have found online workouts a bit intimidating, I have fell in love with 30 Day Ab. With this app, consistency is definitely key, but it only requires about 10-15 minutes per day- sometimes even less if you are feeling extra motivated- and I have seen pretty incredible results. I have also found that incorporating fun outdoor activities like badminton, which my family was obsessed with at one point, volleyball, and swimming can alleviate stress, promote some family bonding, and provide an equal amount of exercise to an online class or strict workout. 

Christine

Since many of us are eating out less than we normally would, this is a great opportunity to try out some new recipes (both healthy and indulgent because everyone needs a treat now and then).

Ursula

I have always loved cooking, however, over the course of quarantine I have felt less inspired to create in the kitchen. That being said, instead of trying new recipes out, I have stuck to making some of my tried and true favorites, which has helped me focus on being creative and productive.  

Christine’s Favorite Food Blogs

Ursula’s Favorite Quarantine Recipes

And just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, Christine has shared a recipe of her own!


Christine’s Smoked Salmon Poached Egg Ciabatta Toast with Everything Bagel Spice Recipe

Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 2 ciabatta rolls
  • 4 oz (1/2 cup) mascarpone cheese
  • 1 tsp dried dill (or to taste) + for topping
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • Tomato
  • Red onion
  • Everything bagel spice
  • 4 oz. smoked salmon
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 T. white vinegar

Instructions

  1. Stir together mascarpone cheese, dill, lemon zest, and lemon juice
  2. Cut 4 slices of tomato
  3. Cut 2 slices of red onion
  4. Put each egg in a small bowl of water horizontally
  5. Cut ciabatta rolls in half
  6. Toast rolls under broiler for 3 minutes
  7. Bring two pots of water to soft boil
  8. Add 1 T. white vinegar to each pot
  9. Slowly pour two eggs into the center of each pot and cook for 3 minutes
  10. While the eggs are cooking, spread mascarpone cheese on rolls
  11. Add 1 slice of tomato to each roll half
  12. Add 1 oz smoked salmon to each roll half
  13. Add red onion to taste
  14. Lift eggs out of pots using slotted spoon and put on top of rolls
  15. Add everything bagel spice and dill to taste
  16. Enjoy!

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