Holiday Travel Tips To Help Keep Your Mind, Body & Soul In Check

It’s that crazy time of year again when we stress out over schedules, airfares, luggage, gifts, diet and exercise! AHH it’s enough to drive you crazy but it doesn’t have to! It’s mind over matter baby and I’ve got some tips to help you have one less thing to stress out about during the holiday season.

Traveling. The word alone gives me anxiety but I’ve finally figured out ways to help ease the process for me and make it an enjoyable experience.

First things first, just breathe. Before heading out on your long or short journey home or wherever you destination may be, take a few moments to meditate and relax. Taking a few deep breaths can really help to calm your mind and help you think clearly- trust me this is useful when making sure you don’t leave anything behind.

Speaking of leaving things behind, make a check list! Write down a list of everything you’ll be needing for your trip and start checking them off once you have it packed or in your handbag ready to go! This is honestly one of the best old school ways to ensure you don’t forget your passport or favorite moisturizer!

Leave early. Whether you’re traveling by car or plane, make sure to give yourself plenty of time to get to where you’re going just in case anything unexpected happens along the way(i.e. traffic, THE WORST!!) I rather be super early and relaxed than rushing and stressed!

Pack healthy snacks!! We all know the airport literally has no healthy food options or if they happen to have a packet of raw almonds available it costs an arm and a leg so to prevent from reaching for the fast food, pack a few granola bars and fruits to snack on! I know it can be a bit tricky with what you can and can’t take with you through TSA so I also suggest making sure you eat right before heading to the airport. Oatmeal, lean protein and TONS of water are all great examples of what you should eat pre-flight while sugar, alcohol and salty snacks are all things you should avoid-save the wine for when you arrive and can unwind!

Freshen Up. Am I the only one that feels gross during a travel day?! It doesn’t matter if I’m on a 5 hour flight or just a 2 hour car ride once I get in I have to immediately shower but sometimes life happens and we don’t always get that luxury so we must prepare! I personally love carrying around cleansing wipes with me, they’re easy to pack and no fuss at all! The do it all wipes from Love Wellness are my go-to, I just toss them in my bag and I’m able to freshen up and give myself a cleansing pick-me-up on the go!

Dress comfortably.  Say YASSSS to leggings and sneakers! Now is your time to rock your dope athleisure look and be cozy AF while you travel. Comfort is key to having a relax, successful travel day, plus if you’re wearing your running shoes you’ll be more inclined to actually get a workout in wherever you go!

I’d love to hear what your essential travel tips are as well but hopefully some of these will not only be useful for your upcoming holiday travels but for all of your future adventures as well!!

5 Ways to Stay Healthy During the Holidays

Happy Holidays, Everyone!

The end of the year is always a great excuse to eat, drink, and be merry with your family and friends. Unfortunately, however, if you don’t watch your intake, those extra drinks and treats can stick with you for months after the holidays.

While you should definitely celebrate and enjoy yourself, here are five big tips to keep in mind when managing the extra calories!

I pinky promise you’ll still have fun!

1. Don’t drink your calories!

Stay CLEAR of all the sugar-loaded “holiday” cocktails and opt, instead, for a wine spritzer or light beer. This will allow you to drink more without overloading on the calories. Yup, you heard that right! Drink more!

2. Bring a healthy dish to share.

Holiday parties are usually chock-full of unhealthy dishes. Anytime you get an invite, offer to bring a fun fruit or veggie tray. Even if you are the only one that eats from your dish, you’ll still have one healthy option to load up on!chicken_potato

3. Stay Hydrated!

Regardless the occasion, you should already be drinking  8oz of water every hour. Because people tend to stuff their faces with sodium-rich foods during the holidays (guilty as charged!), a majority often feel sluggish or hungry when they actually may just be thirsty or dehydrated.

4. Eating rule: Veggies > Holiday Treats > Fruit

Pack half of your plate with fresh vegetables and fruit—and no, green bean casserole does not count. Begin by filling your tummy with the greens and interspersing them with small portions of your favorite holiday eats. Then, finish everything off with a piece of fruit to trick your sweet tooth!

5. Wear your skinny pants!

I didn’t think of this one until one of my clients texted me Thanksgiving morning saying she was wearing her “tight pants” to avoid overeating. While we all want to wear our strechy jeans and yoga pants during the holidays, wearing something tighter can help you feel full faster.


I would love to hear your tips for staying healthy during the holiday season! What helps you might inspire others!

Eat, Drink & Be Merry!

Peace & Love,

Emily Burkhardt



Cut Food Photography via Beth Galton

Holiday Hairstyles 2015

[title subtitle=””]Hair We Go Again [/title]

Listen up people, we are just days away from Christmas! Since you all know that I’m always on my A game when it comes to planning looks in advance, I hope that maybe, justttttt maybe I’m rubbing off on you and you too. Actually I’d be super proud if you already have a holiday outfit planned with a potential makeup look to match.

There is, however, one last thing we need to cover—your hairstyle, duh! I mean behind every fabulous outfit and flawless face is a perfected hairstyle. Whether it an up-do or simply worn down, a hairstyle can pretty much make or break all that you’ve achieved to stand out as Ms. Fashionista.

I’ve picked three easy-to-copy tutorials to help bring your entire look together. Why not try them out now so you don’t miss a minute of the champagne toasting and hors d’oeuvres?


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Photography via Huckleberry Love

Holiday Beauty Looks 2015

[title subtitle=””]WINTER WONDERGLAM[/title]

What do the holidays have in store for us this year? Well, besides reuniting with family and friends, gift exchanging, and eating all the delicious food, they’re just another convenient excuse for us to experiment with bolder makeup. For a girl who usually keeps it simple with some bronzer and winged liner, I usually switch up my glam routine at the end of the year. Be bold and daring, I say, there’s nothing to lose!

I’ve picked three of my favorite makeup tutorials of which I’ll be taking bits and pieces from to achieve my perfect look. Choose from bold red lips to bronze eyeshadows. There’s even a more classic look with a little less pizazz—if that’s your thing. Whatever you’re feeling, I guarantee these tutorials will get you into the holiday spirit.

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Photography via Makmoda

Listen Up, Party People!

[title subtitle=”2015″]Holiday Outfit Guide[/title]

With winter weather in the mid 50’s, it’s hard to believe we’ve already begun holiday celebrations. Truth be told, the funky weather has me convinced Mother Nature is trying to pull a fast one.

That said, the warm spell shouldn’t impede your cheerful mood because it’s done quite the opposite for mine. Despite the weather, there’s still no time like the present to go shopping for yourself and your loved ones.

This week, I’m cramming for my last two finals. The realization that I’m about to become a second semester senior at Manhattan College is also beginning to sink in. Uh, real world here I come? Ha!

For both studying motivation and procrastination, I’ve put together a few of my favorite holiday party looks. Pick one of these dresses and there’s no way you won’t be the belle of the ball at your upcoming festivities!

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Photography via Funzine


How to Survive the Holidays

Photography by Wit and Delight
[infobox subtitle=”For Girls Who Can’t (During the Holidaze)” bg=”green” color=”white” opacity=”off” space=”30″ link=”no link”]A Guide to Even [/infobox]

Holidays got you in a daze? It may be the merriest time of year, but it is one of the most stressful times, too. In times like these, it’s important to keep several boundaries in mind, if only to keep your sanity. The holidays are  meant to bring us happiness and excitement, and the last thing you need is stress in your life.

Fear not because we’ve got you covered! Throughout the rest of the month, keep these tips in mind for a happy and stress-free December:

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#1 Keep Your Routine 

Although there are endless holiday parties and holiday activities, try to keep your routine as normal as possible to reduce added stress. This includes keeping your eating routine fairly the same (you can munch on a nibble or two at the holiday party!), exercising at the same time and sleeping at a regular schedule (we can’t stress this enough!).

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#2 Exercise 

This not only goes for the holidays, but for every day, too! Exercising keeps you healthy, and here at TheLoDown, we’re all about fitness. Whether you take some time to do light yoga or go for a jog during the holiday madness, it will keep you feeling stress-free and filled with energy. So, grab your favorite sneaks and sweat it out! And while you’re at it, don’t forget to sign up for the SLT Giveaway for the chance to win 5 classes at SLT NYC.


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#3 Take Some Time For Yourself 

If you’re home is full of family and friends, make sure to reserve some time for yourself. Take a walk or meditate if that’s what you need to de-stress throughout the day. Sure, the holidays are about spending time with your loved ones, but you have to remember to take care of yourself throughout the day, if only to keep healthy throughout December. Lacking ideas? Get a manicure, grab a magazine or grab some brunch!

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#4 No Politics at the Dinner Table!

If we didn’t say this around Thanksgiving, we’re going to stress this now. Screaming matches over the table over Republicans and Democrats are not memories you need to have from your holiday get togethers. You hear “Obama” at the dinner table? Talk about the amazing food in front of you. Did someone say “John Boehner?” Ask them about their favorite holiday traditions.


Are you ready for the holidays? Let us know how you’re getting ready in the comments below!

Holiday Brunch Spots

Courtesy of Jack's Wife Freda
[infobox subtitle=”Lazy Morning Goodness” bg=”gray” color=”white” opacity=”off” space=”30″ link=”no link”]Holiday Brunchin'[/infobox]

The best things in life come in pairs. We love the holidays and we love brunch. Put them together, and what do you have? Holiday brunch goodness, of course!

If you’re living in NYC or planning a trip, these holiday brunch spots are your must-visit locations. Eat and be merry!

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[infobox subtitle=”The Lamb’s Club” bg=”red” color=”white” opacity=”off” space=”30″ link=”no link”]Brunch and a Show[/infobox]

Every year, The Lamb’s Club hosts the oh-so popular Carolers Brunch on four different dates (December 6th, December 13th, December 20th and Christmas Day). Brunch and carolers– Can you get any more Christmas vibes than that? Enjoy some good singing while chowin’ down on stuffed french toast or eggs en cocette.

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[infobox subtitle=”Jack’s Wife Freda” bg=”green” color=”white” opacity=”off” space=”30″ link=”no link”]Brunch and the Best Deal[/infobox]

For the best deal and perhaps the most Instagrammed brunch spot in NYC, head on over to Jack’s Wife Freda in SoHo. Located at Lafayette Street between Kenmare and Spring, you’re in the perfect location to put a serious dent in your holiday shopping list. Of course, before braving the holiday shopping, energize yourself with Jack’s Breakfast (2 eggs, grilled steak, tomato & sourdough toast — yum!), rosewater waffles or grilled haloumi.

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Photographed by yours truly

[infobox subtitle=”Bubby’s” bg=”gray” color=”white” opacity=”off” space=”30″ link=”no link”]Brunch and a Holiday Stroll[/infobox]

Bubby’s at the Highline has some of the most delicious brunch options in town. Not only are their pies world famous (like, craved-around-the-world famous), but their Highline location is perfect for a family stroll after a delicious meal. Walk through the Highline and see holiday decorations all the way from Gansevoort in the Meatpacking District to 34th Street in Midtown.

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[infobox subtitle=”Bergdorf Goodman” bg=”red” color=”white” opacity=”off” space=”30″ link=”no link”]Brunch and Holiday Shopping[/infobox]

With the December weather, who wants to brave wind, freezing temperatures and possible snow? Nobody. At Bergdorf’s, you can brunch with a view (overlooking Central Park!) and shop for your loved ones immediately after without even leaving the building. Now that’s my idea of holiday brunchin’.

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[infobox subtitle=”The Plaza” bg=”green” color=”white” opacity=”off” space=”30″ link=”no link”]Brunch and the Best Holiday Decorations[/infobox]

The Plaza is magical year-round. But, during the holidays? It’s truly an experience. Enjoy brunch at their Palm Court while taking in the magic that is their Christmas Tree. After? Enjoy a ride around the park in a horse drawn carriage. You’ll really be able to hear those sleigh bells ringing and jing ting tingling too.

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[infobox subtitle=”Norma’s at Le Parker Meridien Hotel” bg=”gray” color=”white” opacity=”off” space=”30″ link=”no link”]Brunch and the Rockefeller Tree[/infobox]

Norma’s at Le Parker Meridien Hotel loves kids more than they love whipped cream (their exact words– gotta love them!). With a menu that includes “bing popping waffles,” eggs benedict and mango-papaya brown butter cinnamon crepes (what a mouthful — literally!), you’ll be ready to head over to Rockefeller Plaza to skate and enjoy the Rockefeller tree just several blocks away.

Where will you be brunchin’ this holiday season? Let us know in the comments!

Best Under $50 Gift Guide

[infobox subtitle=”Makin’ a List, Checkin’ It Twice” bg=”green” color=”white” opacity=”off” space=”30″ link=”no link”]Gift Givin'[/infobox]

Can you believe it’s already November? If you’re anything like us, holiday planning and shopping began November 1st. We’re not dissing Thanksgiving, but for us, Christmas begins every year as soon as Halloween ends… and we’re sure the anticipation builds each and every day no matter holiday you call your own (tell us about your traditions in the comments below!).

This month, we’ll be sharing five different gift guides with you (and every day in December) to help you get ready for the holiday madness. Check back every Monday for new gift guides that will help you cross everyone off your shopping list. This week were looking at the best products– all $50 or less!

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For Mom

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When we think of mom, we think of home– we think of comfort. Show your love with the homiest gifts around: a stripe throw blanket, a geo terrarium, a pair of striped travel slippers, a mercury glass jar candle and a mom charm bangle bracelet.

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For Dad

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Dads– they’re our shoulders to lean on when the going gets tough. They deserve the best for always being there, and these gifts speak for themselves: a sleek, leather credit card holder, an apron to embrace the kitchen with, a woody iPhone case, a stripe tie bar for all businessmen out there and a pair of ‘good grief’ glasses (the perfect combination of clever and practical).

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For Your Best Friend (Or for a #TreatYoSelf Moment)

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Our friends tend to be a reflection of ourselves and our personalities. That’s why, when shopping for our best friends, we tend to buy things we’d love, too. Treat your best friend (or yourself) this season to a print shift dress with pockets (is there anything better than pockets?), a NARS lip pencil coffret, a pair of mesh sneakers, an Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty book (for endless inspiration) and an angles cuff.

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For Your Boyfriend or Husband

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Shopping for your significant other can be one of the most mind-wracking parts of the holidays. These gifts have you covered: an Arctic Monkeys record to start (or continue) their record collection, a comfy pair of holiday slippers, a book on graffiti-genius Banksy, a bright and festive wallet and a smartphone fisheye lens.

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For Your Girlfriend or Wife

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When we said shopping for your s.o. is difficult, we weren’t kidding. Maybe your girlfriend will love one of these incredible gifts (they’re all in our list!): an open love charm bangle bracelet, a Marc Jacobs fragrance trio, a warm beanie, an oversized scarf and the merriest pair of mittens.

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For Your Daughter

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Moms, you’re hip– you’re cool. You don’t have to prove this to your kids, but with these stylish gifts, there won’t be any doubt in your daughter’s mind: a soft drape coat, a pair of black and classic sunniesa marcail bobby set, a pair of double pearl studs and a medallion jewelry stand.

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For the Foodies

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Make the foodies’ wishes come true and make their meals worthy of the #FoodPorn hashtag with these fun gadgets: a slate cheese board to give holiday parties a rustic feel, a sleek expresso makera zoku ice cream maker to make their own homemade ice cream in ten minutes, a handy (and stylish) wine bottle tote (how else will they carry those bottles to parties?) and a bundt cake pan for all that holiday baking.

Have you started making your holiday shopping list? Share your list with us below, and don’t forget to share what’s on your own personal wishlist!

Happy November!
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