Wellness Holidays: The Most Amazing Health and Fitness Retreats
We need to detoxify our body and our spirit every once in a while. The work and daily responsibilities can be so exhausting a getaway is the only thing that can truly rejuvenate us and, thankfully, there are enough resorts around the world that are very successful in helping people get better. If you are looking for a break to de-stress, here are some of the most amazing health and fitness retreats for wellness holidays.
If you work in the office around the clock, the chances are you are spending a lot of time sitting and stress-eating. If you want to enjoy the mesmerizing natural sights and get fit, then Crete is a location for you. It’s the largest Greek island in the Mediterranean Sea and, at approximately 60 km wide and 260 km long, it offers some of the most jaw-dropping vistas you could imagine. Go for a physically involved health and fitness retreat at Milia, a renowned farm refurbished as an eco-village. Enjoy a ten-day retreat brimming with activities such as climbing, hiking and running while relishing in delightful local health-meals.
Rekawa Lagoon, Sri Lanka
Head down to the southern tip of Sri Lanka and enjoy the charms of Sen Wellness Sanctuary. Take a whole week to get off the radar and replenish your energy reserves at this wondrous beachside haven. The retreat is led by London-based acupuncturist and osteopath Sam Kankanamge. You will get a chance to lose weight and get the blood flowing through your muscles as your back finally feels relief from the chronic pain (probably caused by the stress). Enjoy the charms or Rekawa and Tangalle Beach and use your free time to jog along the sandy beach.
Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia
Byron Bay is a secluded beachside town on a coastline between Brisbane and Sydney. It is mostly known worldwide for its surfing beaches and quaint surroundings where tourists come to relax. If you are looking for a place to detox, there is a luxurious Byron Bay Accommodation that offers amazing services, a killer day spa and incredible restaurants. There are some truly neat options for yoga classes and scheduled hikes through the nearby rainforest you should look into. The picturesque beaches and unique ecosystem make Byron Bay one of the most sought-after resorts for health and fitness on this side of the globe.
Paradis Plage, Morocco
Morocco is probably one of the most beautiful and exotic countries you will visit, and its Paradis Plage Surf Yoga & Spa Resort is a true Zen-hotspot on this side of the Atlantic Ocean. If you’ve ever wanted to wake up to the mesmerizing sound of ocean waves, head to this resort without a second thought. After a session of sunset yoga, head to the nearby Taghazout, a small port and a surfer haven where you can ride camels and ride a jet ski. While you are in the region, do not miss out on Imouzzer waterfall.
Oxfordshire, United Kingdom
Now here is a place for those of you who want a perfect escapade in a backdrop that has a rustic feel to it. Head for a Wellness Day in the Cotswolds, Oxfordshire, especially if you get a chance to take a vacation in the early summer – the green countryside is budding with some of the most beautiful flowers and lush plant life you will see. Yoga program is exquisite and well thought out. Meditative walks and energy infusing morning stretches will have you up and running with newfound vigor in no-time.
Whether it is a retreat in the middle of the forest or a beachside resort, finding the right place to find your inner balance is crucial to retain peak performance in your workplace and with your daily obligations. Sometimes, in order to find the right perspective, you need to step away from your everyday life and reassess your goals as you heal your body and your spirit. These fitness retreats are basically tailored for this, and you won’t regret taking a chance with any of them.
Olivia is psychologist and entrepreneur from Brisbane. Mother of two beautiful children and proud owner of two silly boxer dogs. She is passionate writer, a traveler and conscious consumer, seeking healthy and sustainable products to incorporate into the lives of her family. Her motto is “Be the change you want to see in the world”.
How to Navigate a Move That Benefits Your Career
Sometimes, we’re able to make choices for our professional lives that pack a punch with relatively little action. Many have been able to succeed by small thoughtful changes; many successful careers have been built by slowly yet consistently moving up the local career ladder.
But sometimes, it takes more than that; sometimes, it requires moving much further than just into a new office on the same floor. At some point you may find yourself having to make a decision regarding whether or not to pursue a position in a location that requires a move.
If you’re considering a move for your job, there is certainly far more to consider and work through. But it’s likely that if you’re at a point in your career where this is an option, you’re also totally capable of managing the challenges that come with it.
Should You Relocate?
Whatever reason you find yourself drawn to a new city, whether because there is potential for your career brand to change for the better, or because you like the culture/scenery better, etc., there are serious questions to ask before you make any permanent decisions.
Data shows that 67 percent of employees who decline relocation do so because of their close family ties. So even if you’re considering a move because you’re hoping to bolster your career, it’s important to think about the non-career related aspects. If you’re close to your family, are you comfortable with the change in relationships that is sure to take place if you move? Technology saves us from being completely isolated from friends and family, and yet things certainly won’t be the same.
If you’re considering a move to a location that is drastically different in climate, have you considered how you’ll be impacted by the weather? If you’re moving north, do you have the gear necessary to drive and live in cold weather? If not, are you prepared to invest? Conversely, if you have pets that are used to cool weather all-year long, will they be able to handle drastic heat?
If you’re contemplating a move it’s likely because you’ve thought through the reasons it’s favorable, but it’s also important to think about why it will be difficult. Consider the positive aspects of where you are and whether or not you can seriously give them up.
First Questions to Ask About the Job
One of the key ways to ensure that you have a successful job hunting experience is to remain as much in control as possible. The job applicants that don’t miss-out or get short-changed are those who know exactly what their rights are during the hiring process. So make sure you’ve done your homework.
You also want to make sure that you are ready to ask the kinds of questions that will prepare you to make an informed decision before accepting the job. To make a smart choice you need to learn as much as you can about what your life will look like if you were to transition.
So, when it’s your turn to ask questions get your pen and notepad out and ask the following:
What will my workday typically look like?
What is the time-off request protocol like?
What kind of training and/or education can I expect?
And, if you’ve been offered a position you can ask:
Can I see a copy of the benefits package?
When do you need a decision by?
Making Sure It’ll Be a Good Fit
When you’re in the midst of negotiating the terms of employment for possible future employers it’s crucial that you’re ready to represent your interests well. There is a common idea that they have all the power, but see that for the misrepresentation that it is. There are some critical components to ensure your compensation negotiations are smart and effective.
Make sure you pick a strategic time. Wait until after the job offer has been extended. Otherwise, and especially at the first meeting, you may appear as if the only thing you care about is compensation, moreso even than your commitment to the job.
Assess the compensation package critically. In some cases, the base salary may be lower because of assets within the benefits package. It’s important to make sure you understand the total financial value of the compensation package.
Be balanced in your tone and language choice. Amy Gallo, writing in the Harvard Business Review, recommends using language that is positive and solution-focused. The goal is to negotiate for the best possible job situation, long-term, and that can mean a variety of things.
Remember it is a negotiation. If you refuse to have a back-and-forth, open-minded conversation with your prospective employer, it won’t be productive. Shoot above what you’re hoping for, be ready for them to suggest below that high point, and remain committed to your minimum bottom line. Also, consider including the details of the benefits package in your negotiation.
Beyond your compensation, consider what the culture of the company is like and how you will be able to fit within it. Cole Mayer from Fiscal Tiger notes, “Cultural fit correlates to job satisfaction. If you aren’t happy with the workplace culture, you probably aren’t happy with the job.” In other words, it’s really important.
You have to consider how the department is organized and prioritized. The ways that they structure their leadership and promote change, the way that they facilitate feedback and growth are all crucial things to look at.
If you get this far in the process, you’ve gotten through the hardest part. So think about how you want to proceed, do some simple follow-ups, and then take a breath and relax, because it’s out of your hands now.
Avery T. Phillips is a freelance human being with too much to say. She loves nature and examining human interactions with the world. Comment or tweet her @a_taylorian with any questions or suggestions.
I think most people can relate to the feeling. It’s Monday morning… again. The iPhone alarm is blaring in my ear, my next vacation is a whole three months away and I already have 10 e-mails in my inbox that need “urgent attention.”
Then I’m running to catch the subway for my morning commute pushed up against 2,000 of my closest New York City neighbors on the downtown J train. Clutching my coffee and day dreaming about what I’m going to do the minute I can escape the office later that evening… and I haven’t even reached my stop yet.
Those days got me thinking. Why am I wasting my life waiting for the proverbial “bell” at the end of each day – the moment where I can clock out and get my life started after a full day of just going through the motions? If I added up all those hours on those five days a week year after year, that’s a whole lot of my precious, short life I’m essentially pressing the delete button on. And for what?
It started innocently enough. I started following every female location-independent entrepreneur I could find on Instagram or Facebook. Suddenly I was e-mailing old business school professors and talking to friends that were running their own companies. Each day a new travel, business or motivational book popped up on my door step after another late-night binge session with Amazon Prime.
My fascination with the idea of starting my own business and traveling the world, sipping cider in a London pub or eating noodles on a Thailand street corner, quickly became an obsession.
I stopped noticing the shoves from angry impatient commuters pushing their way through the platform on Monday morning because I was listening to podcasts and audible books, taking notes in the leather-bound journal I kept in my handbag.
And before I could even drop my laptop at the door of my apartment I was watching TED Talks and scheduling Skype calls with potential new clients or business partners. The bug had bit me and I knew there was no coming back from this. I was officially an entrepreneur.
The more I listened to the success stories of people once like me, looking for an escape from the 9-to-5 to run their life on their own terms and see corners of the world I’d only dreamed of, the more I thought – “what’s stopping me from doing that?”
I was just as educated, smart and scrappy. If they can do it, so can I, right?
And as I write this from my Airbnb in sunny Portugal in my yoga pants without a high heel or suit in sight, I can tell you for certain. You can do it, too.
There’s no greater feeling than knowing you are in the driver’s seat of your life. If I’m feeling inspired and want to work until 5am, go watch the sunrise over Florence, stop for an espresso and then stroll back to my apartment to sleep all day – well, I can do just that. The only person in charge of me and my business is me. And no promotion, raise, paycheck or pat on the back from a superior can give me that.
Have you thought about starting a business to trade in your briefcase for a backpack? I share more about being an entrepreneur while solo traveling across the world in my blog, Anna Out of Office.
Anna Lee Grymes is the Founder of Spare Marketer LLC, a full-service marketing company specializing in the real estate industry. Her life’s passion is travel and she has built her business around doing just that. While working in the demanding finance industry on Wall Street in NYC she realized she was going to need a lot more than three weeks of vacation to see the world. So, Anna built her business around location-independent living, quit her corporate job, and can be found running her company anywhere from a hammock in Bali to a pub in Dublin. And she blogs about it all on www.annaoutofoffice.com. Anna is a Jacksonville, Florida native and graduated with an MBA from the University of Florida. Learn more about her life on the road less traveled on Instagram and Facebook.
My last sort-of-goal for this year, and perhaps most important – is to do a little more for others, in whatever small way I can. So, this weekend just gone, I travelled to Calais. To the Jungle. The refugee camp. Although it’s not a camp. It’s almost a slum. That’s really trying to be a camp. It’s a slum, not because of the people living in it – they are doing their best to survive in tents and caravans and wooden huts. And it’s got nothing to do with the angel-like volunteers who are there unpaid working many hours and taking on roles that volunteers at Glastonbury festival would turn their noses up at. It’s a slum because, no one has offered or taken charge of this humanitarian crisis at ground-zero level. It’s a slum because it’s on waste land that was a dump. It’s a slum because there’s no real infrastructure or public health protection and it’s chaos.
Bear showed us around the camp. Bear is a super human (along with all the others)! He’s an assistant coordinator at the warehouse and the camp. The warehouse is where the coordination happens. Where the goods like food and blankets and clothes come in and get distributed out.
We needed a pass to enter the jungle, which was checked 3 times at 3 check points going into the camp by very unfriendly police.
Walking through that camp was one of the strangest experiences I’ve ever had. You’ll walk past groups of youths who look like they’re at holiday camp, playing badminton, football and scaling make-shift buildings. Then you’ll ask a guy if he’s OK and he gives you the hundred mile stare and says ‘No- I’m not OK- would you be?’ We all agreed with him. And tried to understand his point. But we couldn’t really understand. As we all have beds to go to, warm running water, heating, comfort and money flowing in and out of our bank accounts. Even if it’s only a little money.
Make no mistake – this is no holiday camp. These youths are finding ways to keep warm, numb the pain, boredom and escape the living reality of existing in the next town to Hell.
Why did I go? For two reasons. firstly to track down Phoebe Hope – the caravan my family donated to the Camp. It is named after my cousin Oliver and his lovely wife Fiona’s little girl who passed away as a young baby last year. And to see if I could talk to the family who live in her now. I was told I may not find her. As there are no allocated plots (this isn’t a caravan park either). There are thousands living there now in caravans, tents and makeshift huts.
There aren’t many words that I can use to explain what I saw that day and I’m still trying to process it now. But what I can say that in the despair, there are glimmers of hope. In the sadness there is strong faith. In the dismay there is still laughter and in the humiliation there is still pride.
I found my own emotions swung between intrigue, despair and inertia. One minute I was enjoying a light joke with a native camp dweller, who asked me to take photos of him posing and the next I was looking at a baby peering out of the back of a caravan.. The baby wanted to go outside but I realised that a baby would not even be able to walk on this ground, littered with all sorts of everything and muddy puddles the size of small streams. The babies are like little prisoners, or like baby chicks caged-in unable to feel or experience much freedom. And no matter what you read in the press – about it being all men, trying to sneak into the UK, there are many families here, with small children. This is one of the saddest parts of camp life.
This level of poverty I have witnessed before. My daughter’s papa is from the poorest country in South America, Bolivia. Many people live like this there. I spent a few months in Bolivia and many people in extreme poverty are happy (they smile and laugh a lot) and not starving (they have access to 2 meals a day). I’m not romanticising poverty. Poverty is shit. Poverty deprives you and steals your time and energy. Poverty can strip you of your self worth and pride. I could tell when I walked past the group of grown men washing at the make-shift wash area (taps on wooden boards) that they felt humiliated as I looked at them, so I looked away quickly and swallowed the lump in my throat.
We know many people all over the world live like this. In many countries, from Brazil to the Philippines. But there’s something very wrong about this here. The real asylum seekers will have arrived after travelling for weeks, months even. Broken and exhausted, weak, humiliated, tortured and traumatised. The last thing they need to hear is ‘Why are you here? Why didn’t you go there? Why aren’t you doing things properly? Why aren’t you being a sensible, well-organised asylum seeker and going down the ‘proper route’? Why didn’t you google your nearest refugee centre (over in Turkey or elsewhere) and travel there instead?’ Why, why, why?
I was listening to Greg James from BBC Radio One talking today on the morning show – he travelled to Jordan to speak with the refugees there. And I couldn’t agree more than with this point about them not wanting to be in this situation. These people fled their lovely homes, studies and good jobs, usually with nothing or very little. They ran and sailed and begged. They were terrified and hungry. Many don’t want our precious benefits (and I know they are precious, to us and everyone in the UK) – they want help. And after they have had some help, they want to return to their beloved countries. To help re-build them and create lovely homes and lives once more.
Bear took us to Afghan Square, where the enterprising folk have set up small shops and restaurants. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to sample the goods this time, but I intend to eat there next time and support them in supporting themselves.
Many charities (from Britain and France) are doing amazing work there every day. There’s a church – a tranquil haven in amidst all the madness. There’s a theatre dome – for creative endeavours, a small school, a women and children’s centre, a health centre, a youth centre and a legal centre. All set up in old donated shabby tents or shanty huts – this is human civilisation springing up and rising in the face of the lowest adversity.
So, we were walking through a group of shabby caravans and Rebecca from Caravans for Calais turned to me and said ‘There’s Phoebe Hope’ and pointed to a green, weathered looking van. We knocked on the window and it was opened by a lady and her teenage son. Bear explained who I was and I promptly showed her a photo of my daughter standing at the door of Phoebe Hope. I can’t explain what happened but it was one of the most moving experiences of my life. She ran out and held me and thanked me over and over. She couldn’t speak English but her son Sajjad could speak a little. Fatima offered me food and tea in her little van. Her son repeated ‘This is your van’. I said ‘No, it’s yours’. I went and sat with her briefly and she showed me a hand drawn picture of her 7 year old son Mohamat. (Her other family members were at the little children’s school). Our tears dropped as we hugged and I promised to visit again. I only got a few minutes with Fatima, but I felt deeply connected.
Living in the town next to hell is not a choice anyone in their right mind would make. It is the ground-zero of choices. Whether you’re an economic migrant or a war refugee. It’s awful.
The next time I make the trip, it will be to spend the full day with Fatima and her family and to hear their stories. I also hope to start setting up a creative project for the women and children’s centre too.
Something that will stay with me is the spirit and generosity of all the people there. I smiled at a man sitting outside his wooden coffin-like hut (about 6 ft tall by 3 ft wide). There were 3 beds built like bunks inside. He had a bunch of bananas and insisted on giving me one. I wanted to refuse but I thought – humans need to share. It’s in the fibre of our being. So, I stood and ate a banana with him. Looking out into the jungle chaos in silence. I bowed and said thank you and walked away, then I got into the comfy car, ready to sail back to my warm, comfy life.
Each night since I’ve returned, after tucking my little one in to bed and kissing her all over her sweet face, and I sink into my own warm, soft bed- I think about Fatima. Crammed into our little old caravan with 5 of her family. I think about her dreams for her three children, her life before the war, about what she’s doing to stay sane and survive. And she’s one of the lucky ones.
Kerrie is a success mentor for heart-centred creatives. Shortlisted in the UK last year for the ‘Woman to Watch Award’ at the National Women Inspiring Women Awards, Kerrie works with all aspired, loved-up folk to help them start their fire in work, passion and purpose.
She is a producer of transformational events in music, theatre and art. Kerrie’s widely read blogs touch many subject -from mindful mamahood to creative business ideas to self-care, play and beyond. She is the founder of Sacred & Sexy – The place to be for women rockin’ their tribe with their vibe… Kerrie’s work can be found at www.kerrieduggan.com
When I was in my early twenties, my boyfriend and I spent a summer in London. Bernie and I met in college, and decided to live together after graduation. He was plowing through law school and I was working two jobs, saving money for graduate school. When Bernie was offered a summer internship with a law firm in London, we jumped at the opportunity to travel.
Buckingham Palace, Pollock’s Toy Museum, Kew Gardens, The Thames, Westminster Abbey, the theatre. London offered a rich buffet of culture, history and fun. We were excited, but we were also nervous. Along with the 1980s punk scene and the breathtaking countryside, London conjured up images of tea at The Ritz, exceedingly proper behavior, accents of royalty. Bernie and I weren’t married yet; we spoke with American accents; we lived in blue jeans.
We arrived in London and quickly found a place to live, just outside the city, a room in a beautiful home owned by Rupert – late thirties, newly single, strikingly handsome, off-the-wall hilarious, a family practitioner. Rupert walked with us into town, and we were instantly charmed by the quaint shops: a butcher, a vegetable stand, a bakery, a general store. The tiny church was a sanctuary of stone and hand-crafted stained glass, built in the 1700s.
A few days into our summer, while Bernie was buried in the law firm’s library, I found a small river and followed its path. Eventually, I wandered into a sandwich shop, bordering a lovely little park near the water. A beautiful woman, late 20s with long red hair, took my order. Any newcomer stood out in this community and as she made my sandwich, she kept shooting glances. I grew increasingly self-conscious as the atmosphere thickened. Something was very wrong, something beyond my jeans and my accent. Finally, she spoke.
“You’re Rupert’s new boarder. The American. Visiting for the summer with your boyfriend.”
I introduced myself. She neither smiled nor offered her hand. “I’m Rosalind.” She paused, waiting for my reaction.
I was obviously missing a vital piece.
“You don’t know who I am?” I shook my head. “I’m Rupert’s ex-wife. And…” she gestured to a slim young man eyeing me with veiled hostility, “this is my boyfriend, William.”
“I assume you’re here have a look at us and report back,” William smiled coldly.
“I had no idea. I was just going for a walk and wandered in.”
“I can understand how that might happen.” Rosalind and William shared a small smile.
“If my being here is uncomfortable, you can skip my sandwich, no problem.” I was more than ready to leave.
William nodded toward the door, but Rosalind overrode him with her cultured, exquisite accent. “You must understand, it’s quite difficult. I only left Rupert a few months ago. We’ve known each other all our lives. Our marriage was practically arranged. My family doesn’t at all approve of my living in William’s house…”
“William’s shack, they call it,” his jaw pulsed.
“You see,” Rosalind continued, “I wasn’t born and bred to fall in love with…”
“… with the owner of a sandwich shop,” William finished icily.
“Truthfully, I never expected to fall in love at all.” Rosalind’s eyes glistened. “I suppose you must think I’m quite mad to say all this to a stranger.”
I was astonished, but Rosalind and William were suffering and in that moment, nothing else mattered. Instinctively, I reached out to her. She hesitated, then took my hand.
“You’re going through a lot,” I said quietly.
“You’re very kind,” she answered softly.
William walked to her. Silently, he put his hand on her shoulder. Then carefully avoiding eye contact, he added extra everything to my sandwich.
That evening, I met Rupert’s other boarders – Henry, around 40, who owned a small sculpture gallery and Adelaide, a student from France, taking a year off college to work in a trendy night club. Adelaide was tall and thin, with black hair, black lipstick, black mini-skirts, black stilettos. She was sexy, gorgeous and surprisingly shy whenever I ran into her, always in my blue jeans.
As Adelaide and I formed an absurdly unlikely friendship, Henry and Rupert did not. They circled each other like boxers. They rarely spoke in each other’s presence, except to bark a fake cheery greeting, “Good Morning To All,” and bolt for the door. One afternoon, as Adelaide and I relaxed in the garden, I asked if she had noticed the Alpha Male Contest between Rupert and Henry. She burst out laughing, and gave me the background.
Rupert had been born into the British elite. His parents were not pleased when he insisted on becoming a medical doctor, which they considered working class, beneath their station. They were shocked when he moved out of their wealthy neighborhood, buying a home in the unfashionable outskirts. Worst of all, Rupert was a strong advocate of the Labour Party, and would become known among his colleagues for his fierce insistence that all patients be treated as equals, regardless of class. He was on call for the indigent, practically living at the clinic. He married Rosalind, 10 years his junior, stop-in-your-tracks stunning, with a pedigree that drew approval even from his parents.
Rosalind quickly joined the board of several charitable organizations, but when she wasn’t at a luncheon or a tea, she was home alone. To counter her growing loneliness, she insisted they take on boarders and the previous summer, Adelaide moved into the rambling attic for her year abroad. Two months before Bernie and I arrived, Rosalind followed the path by the small river, wandered into William’s sandwich shop, and emerged from his bedroom several hours later. She left Rupert soon after.
As for Rupert and Henry’s standoff…well that was a bit more complicated. There was a woman named Sarah, a classmate of Rupert’s at Oxford. Sarah and Rupert had been a couple until he left her for Rosalind. Sarah married another man and all was seemingly well until a year before, when she began an affair with none other than Henry. Six months before Bernie and I arrived, she peed on a stick. Paternity was not a question, because her husband was “infertile.” With a new baby on the horizon, Henry had no choice but to tell his wife, who kicked him out. Sarah called her old friend, Rupert, imploring him to rent her baby’s father a room while they sorted themselves out.
I stared, and Adelaide grinned.
“You are shocked, no?”
“I can’t believe I was worried about my blue jeans.”
The summer was wonderful. As the house drama exploded around us, Bernie and I discovered why London truly is one of the world’s great cities. We even ditched our jeans for tea at The Ritz, and sampled an outstanding assortment of tea, pastries and cucumber sandwiches. Rupert kept us in stitches, regaling us with stories of his couples therapy with Rosalind, using humor to begin his process of healing. Adelaide returned to France to resume her college education. Sarah, hugely pregnant, moved into Henry’s room, was rushed to the hospital to give birth, promptly reconciled with her husband, and took the baby girl to live with him. When Bernie and I boarded the plane back to the United States, Henry was looking for his own apartment.
Rupert eventually remarried, and continued to find tremendous success in his career. I like to think that Rosalind found happiness with William. I hope Sarah raised her daughter well. Whenever my thoughts turn to Adelaide, I smile, absolutely certain she’s still sexy and gorgeous.
I look back on that summer as my first travel adventure with Bernie. At this point, we’ve had many adventures, some at home, some abroad – marriage, children, love, friendship, careers, travel, deaths, births, tough times, great times. My hair turned gray years ago, and Bernie is finally following suit. We’re old enough to understand how much we’ll never understand. We still wear blue jeans.
And we’re always ready to step forward, into our next adventure.
*All names and identifying information in this post have been changed, except for my husband. I dedicate this post to Bernie, as we gear up for the next adventure.
Amy Kaufman Burk
Amy Kaufman Burk is a novelist, blogger and mother of 3 grown children. She grew up in the film industry, which launched her on the path to feminism as a child. Amy’s first novel, Hollywood High: Achieve The Honorable, follows Caroline Black, an overly academic girl who transfers from a college prep academy to the local public high school with gangs, over 40 native languages, and extreme violence targeting the gay students. Her second novel, Tightwire, follows Caroline Black into her rookie year as a psychology intern, treating her first patient, a troubled young man who grew up in the circus.
Click here to find out more about Amy.
Getting excited about your Memorial Day Weekend Plans? I am too, so I thought I would share my Memorial Day Travel Essentials with you! I like to pack efficiently – who want’s to lug around a huge suitcase, when let’s face it, we all wear the same 2 or 3 things when we go on a beach vacation.
These are my top 5 essentials.
1. Dorchester T-Shirt Dress in Grey Heather or Floral Print – also available in Black and Sripes! (Alexis Mera) 2. Adidas by Stella McCartney – Zipped Plunge Swimsuit (Net-A-Porter) 3. Corsica Straw Beach Tote (Madewell) 4. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Sunblock Body Mist, SPF 45 (Amazon) 5. Bright White Gizeh Leather Birkenstocks (Birkenstocks)
I love how Leslie Musser of One Brass Fox styled our Alexis Mera Grey Heather T-Shirt Dress.
Alexis Mera Damen is the Founder of Alexis Mera, a small and authentic Brooklyn Based Women’s Loungewear Brand with a Philanthropic Spirit. The Brands collections are meticulously crafted in New York City’s Garment District and sold atwww.alexismera.com.
Alexis Mera values face-to-face communication with the factory owner and fair and ethical working conditions. On a mission to share her craft while contributing to the empowerment of young women, ten percent of sales each quarter are donated to Women’s Charities that align themselves with Alexis’ beliefs and values. Alexis Mera’s current partnership is with Step Up, a women’s non-profit organization that believes all girls should have the opportunity to fulfill their potential. Alexis lives and works in beautiful Ditmas Park, Brooklyn with her husband, Márcio dos Santos, who is also the man behind her robust e-commerce website.
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Photos courtesy Alexis Mera