Today we are switching gears a little bit… meet Christina! Christina has been helping me out this summer. I met her through my friend Hart (she interned for her first!) and we instantly hit it off.
She has been helping me a few days a week all summer and is (sadly!!!) leaving me at the end of August. As sad as I am to lose her it’s a really good thing! She’s headed to work for Sakara which makes me really happy – I brought her to a meeting with them and it was an instant love fest. (Read on and you’ll know why – she’s the perfect Sakara girl.. glowing and healthy and a lover of all things wellness!!!). She’s been splitting her time between The Stripe + Sakara all summer and at the end of August she’ll go full time with them. I’m going to really miss her but am also so excited for her next endeavor.
1. How are you doing with your summer bucket list!?
Guys…I kind of dropped the ball with my summer bucket list. I’ve slacked off on my Brooklyn vintage hunt and with my search for all the best vegan eateries around town. I’m trying to be so careful with my budget this summer (fresh graduate = no money) so shopping has been scarce. But let me tell you, I have thoroughly ogled all the glorious vintage shops on this side of the East River. As for the best vegan goodies in this borough, I honestly haven’t gone out to eat too much.
I genuinely enjoy cooking and putting my own food together, plus, my lovely little budget gets to chime in again here and deter me from extra spending. However! Good ole mom and dad were in town recently and we got to try a cafe I’d been eyeing: Stonefruit Espresso + Kitchen. Such delicious food, tantalizing treats, and all very reasonably priced. And it’s only 3 blocks away from me….nobody tell my budget…
As for what I have checked off my list…
I’ve walked the Brooklyn Bridge, toured the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, shopped at local farmer’s markets (which is now something I’ll be doing every weekend), and I’ve gone to the Brooklyn Flea in Dumbo on Sunday mornings!
2. New York vs. Charleston… go!
So hard! Charleston was my home for the past four years — full of so many friends, happy memories, and comforting familiarity. New York is still so new and I still feel pretty unsettled, but come Fall when I’m in my new, long-term apartment and have my set schedule I think I’ll feel more at home.
Charleston is an incredible city for hundreds of reasons, but the best thing about it was the amazing group of friends I got to spend my time there with. I’m starting to find my way and my people in New York, and I’m getting REALLY excited for Fall and the holidays…like, Christmas in New York is what my dreams are made of. I can’t wait to go into full-on Christmas-elf mode.
3. You’re a vegan – tell us more about that and why!
About 3 years ago at Thanksgiving dinner I looked at the platter of turkey and just thought, “gross…I don’t want to eat this anymore.” So I decided right then that I’d be vegetarian — well, with a month of vegetarianism in my pocket and I decided to give veganism a go. It wasn’t until a few months into my new diet that I started to learn about, understand and appreciate this way of eating. I honestly went into it (at first!) due to the trendiness. Now, I understand the environmental, economical, and health benefits of a vegan diet, and it’s for those reasons that I’ve stuck with it.
4. Okay, please spill about that coconut oil hair treatment you do.
Once a week I coat my hair in coconut oil and let it soak in for a full 24 hours. I usually do this over the weekend, typically on Sunday. After I shower I work a heaping handful of coconut oil completely throughout my hair — roots to tips. Then, I wrap my oily locks into a bun right on top of my head and go about my day. The next day I rinse the coconut oil out using my Shea Moisture shampoo — this is the one day of the week I shampoo my hair! Curly hair, especially, is so fragile and it’s so important to not over-wash it. Our natural oils are great for our hair, and this coconut oil deep conditioning treatment is a stellar addition to any hair-care routine.
5. Any more tips for embracing your natural curl?
It took me a good 20 years to really be comfortable with my hair (and I’m only 22).
When I was growing up my curls continually changed. They were silky, perfect ringlets when I was little, but come puberty they became super kinky. Honestly, I had no idea how to handle my hair, and since no one in my family has curls quite like mine, no one could really give me any guidance. I started getting my hair relaxed every 3 to 4 years — not totally straightened, just relaxed enough to loosen my curls and ease my self-consciousness.
I finally decided not to relax my hair anymore because I wanted to fully embrace this ‘natural beauty’ I’m always promoting. At some point we have to give in to nature’s way — Mother Earth does know best, after all. The best advice I can give to fellow curly-headed hunnies is to work with your hair, not against it. Accept it for what it is, keep it as healthy as can be, and rock the gorgeous locks you’re lucky enough to have! I guarantee everyone else is jealous.
6. A lot of readers here are in their early twenties like you and on a skincare budget. Your skin is LITERALLY perfect. Tell us your favorite products?
The absolute BEST skincare comes from within. To have clear, glowing skin you need to have a strong, healthy gut. My first priority when it comes to skincare is filling my body with nutritious, whole, natural foods. So, some of my favorite ‘products,’ you could say, are natural fats, berries, WATER, and alllll the greens I can get my hands on.
As for actual skincare products, I’ve been using Ursa Major recently and have absolutely loved it. Eating clean, natural food is essential for healthy skin, as is using clean, natural products. Ursa Major is super clean so I trust their products on my skin — and they smell phenomenal. I bought their Fantastic Face Wash and Fortifying Face Balm, and they’ve both lasted me for months!
7. What’s your skincare routine? Morning and night!
Here’s a day-in-the-life of my skincare routine:
Wake up, drink water, dry brush my whole body (face included) and take a rinse in the shower. After my rinse I moisturize my face with my Ursa Major Fortifying Face Balm, and then seal it in with a Vitamin C oil (I’m currently using Korres Wild Rose Vitamin C). That’s it for the morning!
At night I dry brush my entire body (face included) again, shower (with my Ren Moroccan Rose Otto Body Wash), and moisturize my face and body. I massage in a drop of Pixi Overnight Glow Serum into my face, followed by the creamiest Shea Moisture Hydrating Moisturizer. I also use my friend’s homemade, natural lash oil on my lashes and eyebrows before I hit the hay to promote thick, luscious growth. As for my body, I always moisturize with whatever lotion or oil (unrefined coconut oil is a favorite) I have lying around before bed. I like to moisturize at night to give my skin time to soak up all the goodness, plus it relaxes me.
And that’s it! Throw in lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, tons of water, and boom. My skincare routine.
8. Tell us about how you relax (readers – Christina is always so zen when she comes in – her energy has done wonders for me this summer!)
You can never go wrong with a little morning meditation. When I do my workout and then sit for just 10 minutes to meditate in the morning, it really sets me up to have the best day. At the end of the day, if I’m short on time/energy but I desperately need to unwind, I’ll light a few candles, turn on my pink Himalayan salt lamp (along with twinkly lights), and climb into bed with a cup of tea or a sweet treat (like a date and cashew butter) to watch some Sex and the City or read my book.
If I’ve got some time on my hands I love to draw a bath, light more candles, smooth on a face mask (if I have one), and just chill. I feel most relaxed when I know that I’ve created a comfortable space for myself to do so — setting the mood is everything. Putting my phone away is also key — just me, myself, and my snacks in my candle-lit serenity.
9. Tell us about your fitness routine. I love that you do so many at home workouts, I know our readers will love this!!)
I’ve been doing Melissa Wood Health’s workouts every day this month and have never felt so good! When I set my intentions at the start of July I said I’d do half an hour of pilates/yoga every day — not only have I stuck to it, but I can’t go a day without it. Melissa’s exercises are low-impact, mat-based pilates/yoga flows that wake me up, burn (like hell) in all the right places, and also bring me so much peace. She incorporates a lot of meditative principles in her practice and it is the absolute best way to start the day.
Her program costs $9.99 a month (plus a free week-long trial) and gives you access to 12 different flows at a time, along with her recommended weekly schedule for optimal results. Even if you only have time for 15 minutes of arms, I guarantee starting your day with Melissa will make you feel like the radiant angel you deserve to be.
10. What has been your favorite part of working at The Stripe?
My favorite part of working at The Stripe has been seeing the beautiful honesty and authenticity behind it all. This is why The Stripe is such a favorite — it’s real, it’s raw, it’s all of of us in some way. In a world where everyone is an Instagram influencer it’s SO refreshing to see women like Grace staying true to their roots and being unapologetically themselves. Life is beautiful and it’s worth documenting, in all it’s imperfect perfection! Oh, and snuggling with Tyrion — that’s a definite perk. 🙂
photography by Trent Bailey.