11 Essential Oils for women

essential oilsI was raised on essential oils. Between my homeopathic doctor aunt, and oil-filled-bathtub obsessed mother, I was well on my way to being an oil connoisseur myself. For the longest time I was strictly a lavender girl–it was easily accessible and just about everything comes in a lavender scent. But here’s the thing, there is a whole great big world of oils out there beyond lavender. Don’t get me wrong, if you’re new to this whole hippie-dippie essential oil thing you may find yourself gravitating to the only familiar name on the shelf (ylang ylang?? pronounced “lang lang” fyi), but not to worry, I have broken down some of my favorite oils and why. Oh, and they are all super amazing for women in particular.

ROSE OIL: Aside from having a severe rose obsession this past year (and I mean severe), rose oil actually uses its natural properties to boost self esteem and work as an antidepressant. It can help with anxiety as well, which might secretly be why my body is craving so much rose.

BASIL OIL: Basil is a great source of Vitamin A, magnesium, and potassium, which help treat nausea, motion sickness, constipation, and diabetes.

LAVENDER OIL: Everyone’s fave. The name derives from the Latin word Lavare, meaning “to wash,” and that is exactly what it does. It cleanses your soul in a way that eases tension and helps calm the body.

ROSEMARY OIL: Rosemary is valued for its ability to strengthen the entire body. It was used in many medicinal ointments in the 16th century, and today is often used to stimulate hair growth. It is also believed that rosemary can heal delicate organs such as the liver and brain.

WILD ORANGE: Wild orange can disinfect or kill fungus and pathogens. It eliminates toxins from the body, which often pollute the digestive system. PLUS, it also supports collagen formation in the skin keeping that youthful complexion.

GINGER OIL: Used to soothe the digestive system discomforts. Ginger oil is great for upset stomaches.

LEMON OIL: An antioxidant that contributes to clear skin, deep sleep, and positive energy. It awakens every sense in the body, giving you the ultimate natural boost.

GERANIUM OIL: Geranium oil has the ability to balance hormones and is often used to reduce the side effects of menopause.

CLARY SAGE OIL: While clary sage is considered an aphrodisiac oil, it has an even greater health benefit–it helps clear vision. It has the ability to brighten eyes, improve vision, and prevent loss of eyesight.

TEA TREE OIL: HUGE in Australia–where is was derived–and made its name in the US back in the 90′s when it was cool to only use products made of tea tree oil. My mom can vouch for this one, tea tree is a life savor! It’s like a magical oil that cures inflammation, infection, irritation, the list goes on. Keep a bottle handy at all times. 

YLANG YLAN OIL: Pure and simple, it helps with dandruff. It actually helps with a lot of dermal dryness and eczema. Many beauty companies today are using ylang ylang oil to infuse a touch of moisture to their products. 

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Everything is better in black & white

Processed with VSCOcam with x1 preset

Want to know something totally random? I always notice when people in movies are watching black and white films. I find it rather charming, and always take a mental note to watch more of them myself. What I later learned (thanks for my entertainment lawyer fiancé) is that to avoid licensing a modern-day film to be playing in a movie (aka paying lots of money), movie makers use old black and white films because they are cheaper. Totally takes the whole “charm” out of it, but I feel slightly less guilty for not really wanting to watch a whole lot of old movies.

All of that aside though, I really love black and white photography. It creates a completely different vibe. For example, after taking these photos and not really being happy with any of my edits, after a quick switch to b&w I was suddenly ready to post. To me, black and white is more than a filter, it is a mood, a feeling. Everything is more sophisticated in black and white. For this particular look, it meant kissing my neon chartreuse handbag goodbye and swapping it for a more monochromatic grey and black look–sophisticated colors. If only that’s how it looked in real life, right?!

shredded pencil skirt Ija designs necklace Janessa Leone hat chunky grey sweater

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Honey Sage Gin Fizz

Honey Gin Fizz Sage recipeI always like to test out drink recipes I find online before serving them at dinners. Call it OCD but I’m always substitute ingredients if it’s too sweet, spicy, etc. In this case, it took me 3 attempts before truly liking the taste. If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen the little video I put together with Gypset Kitchen to give you a glimpse into the process of creating this drink. It’s pretty simple but if you need a true visual, find me on Instagram (sivanayla) to see how it’s done. For those of you who are good with a good ole recipe, here you go:

What you need (yields 1 drink):

  • 1 shot of Bombay gin
  • 1 ounce of simple syrup
  • A splash of Perrier
  • The juice squeezed from a lemon wedge
  • Honey
  • Sea salt
  • A few sprigs of fresh sage
  • Ice

What to do:

  1. Rim your glass with honey, then swivel in the salt
  2. Add ice to your glass
  3. Pour the gin then simple syrup
  4. Add a splash of Perrier
  5. Squeeze the lemon juice
  6. Mix the cocktail
  7. Garnish with fresh sage

Honey Gin Fizz recipe


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Practical Magic

BLANK NYC leather jacket

I have, on several occasions, been brought to tears when gifted with something spectacular. It’s not so much the item itself (even though I absolutely died over the gift), as much as it is the thought that goes behind it. One year my dad bought me a pair of Chanel sunglasses that I knew NOTHING about. I was pretty young–and it was before we had 100′s of sites to help us out–so I had no style number, style name, etc. All I knew was that Alessandra Ambrosia wore them in US Weekly once and they had denim on them. I. Needed. Them. When I opened those sunnies so many years ago I was moved to tears instantly. What?!

This year I wasn’t expecting anything too big since I’m officially old-ish and gifts are not the purpose of gathering with your family for your birthday anymore (my thoughts). Little did I know, my whole family (including my best friend) were conspiring the entire time to buy me the Anine Bing boots I have been lusting over for a solid year! The fact that someone listened to me rant at some point about boots to even know the specific stud color I want is just incredible to me. I’m pretty sure my negative thoughts about 27 have long left the building.

Anine Bing stud booties 3.1 Philip Lim Pashli bag Asymmetrical grey dress Anine Bing blogger looks black and grey edgy style

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The Gift Guide has landed!

I wait all year for this time–the time I get to virtually select gifts for tons of different people who like different things. I spend hours perusing different online shops and locating the “hot” items that a fitness freak or techy nerd (aka men) would just love! This year, since I have so many gift ideas, I have broken them into various categories to make it easy for you. Just head over to the Gift Guide section in the menu and a drop-down will appear with a myriad of categories. Rest assured, this is just the first 8 categories to kick off the holiday shopping season. There are definitely tons more coming your way, and if there are specific people/types you need help with, feel free to leave a comment and you might just see a drop-down for “girl who has everything!!!!!” next…

In case you don’t understand my labeling, here is a quick breakdown:

1) Bon Vivant–gifts for a woman who loves the small luxuries of life. She appreciates a gold shaker, a Valentino phone case, an expensive candle. You know.

2) Beauty Buff–gifts for the girl who spends hours in Sephora and loves the latest beauty products.

3) Blogger Babe–we are all friends with one. But…what to we buy them? Here you go!

4) Fitness Queen–gifts for the yoga-going, cold-weather-jogging, resistance-band-using, fancy-water-sipping broads.

5) Home Decorista–gifts for the lady who runs (& decorates) her home. Not your ordinary home. The kind that has style and flare!

6) Gypset Kitchen–gifts for the girl who loves to cook and is slightly bohemian. Not specific at all, right?!

7) Main Man–gifts for your boyfriend, husband, dad, boss, crush, friend, mailman….

8) Rad Stocking Stuffers–these aren’t your ordinary stocking stuffers. These are out-of-the-box, fun, slightly random stuffers that will have you happily shelling out $30 for a stocking stuffer!

Happy Shopping!

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17 Thoughts on 27

last selfie as a 27 year old


My last selfie as a 26 year old

Do you ever have those days where you wake up and just feel bleh? You’re not mad at anything in particular, you just have this unexplained grumpiness plaguing you? Basically the only thing that sounds appealing to you is hopping back into bed and possibly starting the day over. It’s not often I feel this way, but turning 27 sort of has me like this. Unexplained grumpiness. I hate to sound so negative but sometimes you just can’t help it.

I at least like to think that when I feel this way it is an indicator that something needs to change. It could be something minuscule like waking up 15 minutes later to feel more refreshed, or allowing yourself to eat chocolate, or it could be something HUGE like an attitude adjustment. Either way, take the sign and make it happen. Whatever it is.

My thoughts on 27:

  1. The older I get, the more I am ok with saying “no.”
  2.  Pick and choose your battles. Let the small things go.
  3. Being healthy + fit keeps me happy.
  4. Reading is my ultimate therapy. 
  5. I like what I like. The price or designer does not play a factor.
  6. Travel is the most important luxury to me.
  7. Compatibility isn’t always key for my relationships to work.
  8. A solid 5 friends is more important than 50 acquaintances.
  9. I officially do not feel like I am missing out on anything.
  10. Time is my most valuable possession and I plan to spend it wisely.
  11. Solidarity is nice.
  12. Water keeps my complexion clear + fresh.
  13. Paying off debt feels really good.
  14. Judgement is ugly. I’m guilty of it, but doing it in my sweatpants does put things into perspective.
  15. Being crafty has paid off.
  16. I love wine.
  17. Helping others tap into their creativity makes me extremely happy.
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Like it To Know it

like to know it tutorial

Well well well…I’ve been asked countless times to explain my recent additional hashtags and links on my Instagram photos, and I have finally put together a simple tutorial. LIKEtoKNOWit is a fabulous new way to shop my looks, and all you need to do are the 3 basic steps listed above. Sign up with LIKEtoKNOWit, ‘like’ photos of outfits you like (look out for #liketoknowit @liketoknowit in the comment section), and receive a shop-able email with links to all the items shown in the photo. Voila!

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Vested Interest

Blue Life Black Romper

Happy Monday! I’m going to jump right in and say that this week is dedicated to mourning my final days as a 26-year-old. 27 is here, and along with it’s untimely arrival, so is fall. I’m busting out the boots, faux fur, black…well, black goes year-round for me, but it is especially relevant this week. I keep seeing all these memes circulating about only 6 more Fridays until Christmas and it just sort of hit that time is flying. Before I know it, it will be June and I will find myself tying the knot in Greece. How did this happen? I thought I was having a 2-year engagement?! This panic (made obvious by over overuse of exclamation marks) is nothing to be worried about–just a side effect of my impending age.

Cynthia Vincent vest Janessa Leone hat Black Romper 3.1 Phillip Lim pashli bag Stuart Weitzman 5050 boots All black everything

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Bootie Call

Let’s be honest. Some of you might feel like I’ve just curated a large pile of black boots-ish looking shoes. Others might seriously appreciate the slight differences in all of these booties. I have a serious problem (not sure if I’ve shared this bit yet) that really makes cold-weather dressing quite irritating. I’m bow-legged. I never really understood what that meant until I was a cheerleader and my coach kept telling me to “squeeze my legs together” as I was being thrown in the air. I would always think to my self, annoyed, “I am, you moron. My legs just don’t touch! Gosh.”

As I got older and really embraced boots, it was apparent that I would forever deal with an issue that some people might not consider an issue at all (some even envy my issue–they are crazy though!). I can’t wear tall boots. Due to my legs not touching, my legs force them to become an awkward bowed shape that is just not cute. Luckily booties were re-introduced into fashion and has been my saving grace. Now I can finally wear “boots,” as opposed to sandals in the winter, without my strange legs forcing the boots apart. So, with that said, now you might understand why I have such a crazed bootie obsession, and why I make giant visual lists of pairs I just need! 

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Etiquette 101: On planning your wedding

etiquette on planning yoru wedding

I complicate EVERYTHING. Including my wedding. I like a good etiquette post (usually found on Pinterest) that breaks down the proper gifts to give on special occasions, fun crafting ideas for holidays, creative ways to set the table, etc., but when it came to finding a timeline to follow for my wedding, well, it was tough. Not only am I doing a destination wedding, I’m doing a destination wedding across the globe! And to make matters even trickier, the language barrier while planning your wedding in Greece is just peachy. Not that I’m complaining…please don’t think that. It’s just that I’ve really struggled on the timing of everything.

Having known I was going to have a long engagement (2 years) I really thought long and hard about all the logistics of my wedding. I have had ample time to plan, research, reserve, etc., and it has really eliminated that stressful rush everyone always talks about. I, like the silly, excited bride that I am, reached out to vendors waaaaaay too early and often got the same “we cannot give you a rate for 2015 until 2015…” answer. It kind of bummed me out since I felt like I was at a stand still when all I really wanted was to pace the process to AVOID that stressful rush. However, knowing exactly who to contact in advance did save me a lot of time and headache. I also think I got extremely lucky with every vendor working out perfectly (so far. knock on wood now!).

I’m now technically 8 months out from the wedding, but actually like at 2 months out on the planning schedule I made above. For anyone doing things a little more on the conventional side, the above should work like a charm for you. For anyone like me (complicated, twisted, obnoxious for the most part), contact me if you want the crazy person’s guide to planning a wedding across the world. I’d be happy to share :)

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