How To Live A More Balanced Life

Any writer, painter, illustrator, fine artist, whatever will tell you about the difficulty that comes with starting a new project. The newness and possibility of something new can feel overwhelming, large, and just plain scary.

It's similar to the fear that comes with public speaking in that when given the amount of space and time we need to really express ourselves, we (or at least, I) often can't speak at all, because we don't know where to start and are overwhelmed by possibility and the potential for power.

The same thing happens when it comes to managing personal health and wellness. Try starting on a new diet or exercise regime, making a wellness practice part of your daily or weekly habits and you're meet with that same quiet, giant space. It's overwhelming and since it can be hard to know where to start, we usually just don't start at all.

For me, the only way to achieve any sort of balance is by keeping things extremely uneven – basically to "go hard or go home." All or nothing. An entire pint of ice cream or not even a bite. Regular workouts or pure relaxation.

Finding balanced in the unbalanced.

A podcast once told me it had something to do with my personality type and I'm sure that's true. Regardless, it works great for me.  And so, with this behavior in mind, I've put together a little guide to living a more balanced life – with a very important emphasis on health and wellness. 

Here's what's worked for me:

Make it a lifestyle, not a one-time practice

Whatever you're trying to achieve (lower sugar intake, more workouts, more personal or meditative time, etc.) the only way you can make this new behavior part of a regular routine is by thinking of it as an entire lifestyle. You're not eating healthy today, you're changing the way you approach food and eating overall. You're not trying out a new yoga class once, then again in 2-3 months. You're practicing yoga, and making it a part of your weekly schedule. Accept your new health-focused behavior as a part of your overall lifestyle, envelope it in your existing routine, and soon (soon) it will become a natural practice.

Eliminate the idea of "good" behavior 

Don't applaud yourself for living a healthy, balanced life. Just like the idea of turning a behavior into a lifestyle, once you decide to eat healthy/exercise/get more sleep/read more/meditate, etc., know that this is now normal behavior for you – not "good" behavior. "Good" behavior is looked at as an exception to the norm that can be rewarded with bad. Make your "good" behavior the new norm and let that be the reward in itself.

Phone a friend

This is an oft-repeated piece of advice when it comes to working out or going to the gym, but the same principle of routine and accountability applies to any sort of wellness practice. If you're trying to cut down on junk food, ask a friend to join you in the practice and keep tabs on each other. Then really follow through with your plans, and continue. If you don't have a companion or would rather go it alone, write things down in a journal, find a weekly podcast that you love and with a regular publishing schedule that will inadvertently hold you accountable, and stick with it.

Embrace rituals

To really nail it home, associate your new wellness behavior with another sense – be it a scent you smell when meditating, a song you listen to while working out, or a podcast you play while cooking (healthier) food. Choose practices that will accompany your practice and before you know it, you'll be living your new, healthier life.

 

This (un)balanced behavior has helped me to live a much healthier, more balanced life than I did several years ago but obviously these practices are always easier said than done.

Case in point: I just finished doing yoga right now. If I'm honest, I really didn't want to practice even though I love doing yoga. But you know what? I love my Outdoor Voices yoga pants and knew I'd feel better after I was done practicing, so I lit a candle and did the damn thing. And now, I feel so much better for it.

Checkmate. But really, what works for you? 


Robin Reetz

I’m an expat currently living between London and North Carolina. I'm the Home & Living Editor at Clementine Daily, handle partnerships and more at DesignGood, and create content for folks like Teen Vogue. Also, I love independent designers. Find out more about me here: http://secondfloorflat.com/about-me/

Megan Huntz SS16

Moving often and going through so many changes over the past few years has made me think and rethink (and rethink some more) about the word home – what it's meant to me in the past, and what it means to me now as one half of a pretty nomadic couple.

While I've always felt a certain (cliche) ache and pull for New York and feel in many ways that it is my home as it is the place where I feel the most me, Atlanta also feels like a home for me. It's where I grew up, after all, so I feel a closeness to it. A kinship, if you will, plain and simple.

Even now, being back in New York, I still and always will root for my Atlanta hometown heroes. In this case it's Megan Huntz – the beautifully talented Atlanta-based designer who also happens to be a fellow nomad and spent time living in New York, Italy, and Spain.

Megan's SS16 line is stunning to say the least, and I'm so excited to show off these pieces here, in my new Brooklyn home.

I'm wearing two pieces from Megan Huntz's latest collection, and aren't they just something else? Both are silk and feel light, feminine, beautifully modern, and – a little like home.

Paired with Martiniano Glove Flats, Natalie Joy's Arc + Line Earrings, and featured is a cameo from my Ferm Living plant stand from beautiful Port of Raleigh.

Shop Megan Huntz here, and follow her here and here


Good Reads: 8 April 2016

As much as I hate to say it, I'm afraid that the delays between blog posts will be regular from this day forward. Having just started a new job, I just don't always have the time to update as much as I'd like – though know that you are most certainly always on my mind, you lovely blog reader you.

All of that being said, this blog is going nowhere and I'm super excited to bring you both some home decor thoughts and something from the lovely Megan Huntz in the coming days. You know Megan – she's the glorious, Atlanta-based designer who is as talented of an artist as she is charming of a gal. Yep, that's the one.

Until then, I've included a few favorite reads of late along with new submissions to the independent design directory.

Happy weekending, all! We've certainly earned it.

Empire State Building | Second Floor Flat

these clean, good-smelling, and (wait for it) effective cleaning products are rocking my apartment/world lately. (the all-purpose tea tree is a favorite.)

have you guys heard about thrive market? i might give it a try.

and speaking of good smelling things, this recently came into my life along with a palo alto bundle. both have been game-changing.

full on, crazy-person level obsessed with "the people vs. o.j. simpson" after finally giving in and watching it. who's with me?

dalmation jasper and pink pearls? you had me at "dalmation".

was so thrilled to share a #lessonimalwayslearning on girl gift gather recently. (thanks for having me, gals!)

bernie and hill will debate within half a mile of my apartment next week! currently taking tips from that charming little bird on how to attend said debate.

gorgeous handmade shoes.

on my must-read article list.

obsessed with the whole vibe of this new online shop from solange.

(finally) reading some nora ephron after (finally) reading the vacationers. now that i'm back on a commute after working from home, i'm going through my books at lightning speed. any recommendations?

loving this new organic skincare line.

shopping in tokyo with david sedaris. (lolz for real)

looking for some new smoothie ideas outside of the whole "spinach-strawberry-banana" thing. anyone have a go-to recipe or pairing they'd recommend?

boarded the glove shoe train, and i'm oh-so-happy that i did.

my mom recently saw this documentary and recommended it – sounds like such a crazy story.

really, really liking all the things on the lovely waiting for saturday shop.

 

favorite independent design/retail finds of the week:

la ligne / one six five / article& / rugbygur / conifer / carla colour / sophie bille braehe / kowtow / all birds (wool sneakers! via cup of jo)


Robin Reetz

I’m an expat currently living between London and North Carolina. I'm the Home & Living Editor at Clementine Daily, handle partnerships and more at DesignGood, and create content for folks like Teen Vogue. Also, I love independent designers. Find out more about me here: http://secondfloorflat.com/about-me/

The Brooklyn Way

An update, of sorts, because it sort of feels overdue.

In case you missed out, Derrick and I are back in Brooklyn. 

Like so many people say, New York has always felt like our city. We met in South Slope when he was visiting a friend, dated long distance for three years here, and finally got married at Manhattan City Hall.

For two people who have lived in so many places, this kind of feels like the place where we belong the most. It's the place that's the most ours.

Brooklyn, New York | Second Floor Flat

Another reason our new life and apartment in Brooklyn is a big deal: it feels embarrassing to admit but it's the first time we've really, truly lived alone. A few years of transition left us sharing spaces and leases with family and as nice as that's been, it feels ridiculously overdue for us to have a place of our own.

So now, being back in Brooklyn, in our first place, it feels wonderful and adult and real. We're in a perfect little flat in a big building with crown moulding and large windows. I feel like I can hide in it but still be a part of it all. It's ours, and it's heaven.

I also started a new job which feels like a wonderful fit. I feel really, truly happy, settled, and satisfied. Maybe a little tired, but where would we be without a single complaint, right? 

So as I type this from our new fourth floor flat, I can (but really) hear the birds singing on the tree outside our fire escape. Thinking of what that tree will be in like in a few more weeks into spring, and about how I'll dangle my feet out the fire escape to tan them once summer arrives (but nothing more - safety first, folks). How I'll get to introduce my niece to my favorite city and see it through her eyes. It all makes me ridiculously happy and – perhaps better – satisfied at a true, deep level.

Bliss.

So that's the update. We're here in Brooklyn, and it's home. We're home, finally.


Robin Reetz

I’m an expat currently living between London and North Carolina. I'm the Home & Living Editor at Clementine Daily, handle partnerships and more at DesignGood, and create content for folks like Teen Vogue. Also, I love independent designers. Find out more about me here: http://secondfloorflat.com/about-me/

Natalie Joy's Stream/Line Collection

While I've been a little quieter on the blogging front lately (moving into a new apartment and starting a new job all at once has a way of sucking up your time), I did want to take a quick little second to share Natalie Joy's new Stream/Line collection.

Natalie and I met via the lovely internet sometime last year and have followed each other ever since, as internet friends are wont do. She recently shared her Stream/Line collection with me and I had to pass it on – those lines, those shapes, that geometric approach to minimalism. Yes. Please.

A few of my favorite looks are below. For more, check out Natalie's complete Stream/Line collection and pick up a few (read: several) pieces:

Natalie Joy's Stream/Line Collection
Natalie Joy's Stream/Line Collection
Natalie Joy's Stream/Line Collection
Natalie Joy's Stream/Line Collection
Natalie Joy's Stream/Line Collection
Natalie Joy's Stream/Line Collection
Natalie Joy's Stream/Line Collection

Photographer: Evie McShane / Model: Alesha Cubitt / Hair + Makeup: Monica Ninh / Jewelry and Styling: Natalie Joy Miller


Good Reads: 19 February 2016

This weekend is all about logistics. We just secured the lease on a new apartment in Brooklyn, I'm starting a super duper exciting new job soon (more to come), and we're doing things like BB&B-ing (Broad City-style), couch buying, and finally, finally, finally getting settled. I even ordered that damn Glossier moisturizer I haven't tried but have wanted to forever, and a Tangle per a friend's recommendation to help me put my nervous hair twirling to better use.

Look out, world.

Logistics aside, I'm spending the weekend hanging with my niece, eating veggie BBQ (it exists, and it's amazing), and having a long overdue coffee/breakfast situation with some friends. Since the next weeks are busy, I'll probably be a little quieter on here though I'll certainly post when I can. Until then, you know the drill – Instagram for updates and maybekindasorta Snapchat. I'm obsessed with it but don't really know what the F I'm doing. Alas.

Anyway, before the hustle of moving into our new place begins, I wanted to share a few links for the week – hope you have a good one!

industry standard jeans, common good linen water, betsy & iya earrings, little arrow studio print

agree, agree, agree with this piece about judging women and their food habits. what women eat (and the way they talk) is their business. case closed. 

megan huntz sent over the most beautiful, delicate separates this week. can't wait to share these gorgeous pups.

this episode of fresh air was powerful, to say the least.

a great piece from last week on the power of "formation".

shoppers recall their first purchase at barneys (oddly captivating).

technically for teens, this witty, informative newsletter contains just enough pop culture news that i feel hip. diggin' clover.

i'd like to live in mansur gavriel's fall 2016 presentation.

me, talking coffee table books, on domino.

some street style inspiration for the win.

artist jordan grace owens shared her beautiful bungalow with me for clementine daily.

market starts this weekend. best of luck to all of my friends at capsule!

 

new additions to the design directory:

koja / leigh miller / marlow goods / vuela / agmes / fabric / nahanni arntzen


Robin Reetz

I’m an expat currently living between London and North Carolina. I'm the Home & Living Editor at Clementine Daily, handle partnerships and more at DesignGood, and create content for folks like Teen Vogue. Also, I love independent designers. Find out more about me here: http://secondfloorflat.com/about-me/

Mum & Co.

I first discovered Mum & Co. through very lovely Two Son – the Nashville boutique partially owned by James of Bleubird, which is a delight in itself.

Mum & Co.'s bags are mostly nubuck, suede, and velvet – simple, with oversized shapes. I fell hard and fast for them, and am seriously considering grabbing a Shoulder Bag. It's kind of like an elegant, thoughtful take on an everyday tote bag. And I'm obsessed.

Here's a glimpse of a few of Mum & Co.'s styles, to give you an idea of their greatness: