Spring Into Change: How I’m Switching Up My Daily Routine

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Spring has officially sprung – though judging by the sub-arctic temperatures here in Boston, I would be inclined to disagree. In addition to some much-needed spring cleaning, I’ve decided to jump-start the seasonal transition by switching up my routine in as many ways as possible. Take a peek at one week of daily tweaks, designed to break me out of my winter blues.

Monday: Instead of going to the gym after work, I opted for a 6:15AM spin class. Let me just say – endorphins before 7 are the new coffee-with-four-shots-of-espresso. I felt great well into the afternoon – and bonus? I had plenty of leisure time on my hands post-work.

Tuesday: I challenge you to find a transportation system worse than Boston’s. My answer to eliminating morning subway stress? Taking the bus instead. I actually found it made for a (relatively) quicker commute, and I had the added challenge of actually paying attention to where I was going.

Wednesday: I set my alarm a full hour earlier and went to a neighborhood café (a.k.a. not a Starbucks, a.k.a. one major daily adjustment) to sit down with coffee and read my book for a whole thirty minutes. There’s seriously nothing like a change of scenery and a bit of relaxation in the morning to put you in the best frame of mind for the rest of the day.

Thursday: In an effort to change the soundtrack of my day, I overhauled my media consumption. I swapped my normal morning playlist for a podcast and perused new websites and blogs instead of glancing at my RSS feed. Pros? Learned something new. Cons? Realized I’ve let my knowledge of current events fall by the wayside.

Friday: You know those perfume samples that get tossed into your shopping bag every time you re-stock your favorite scent? I am a legitimate hoarder of these things. Instead of reaching for my signature scent, I tried one of these little babies on a whim. The result? I actually fell in love with my random selection, which resulted in a weekend trip to the nearest Sephora.

By Lauryn Paiva, Staff Writer

Have any good ideas when it comes to switching up your daily routine? Let us know in the comments below, or tweet us at @ruelala.

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March 21, 2013

Caring for Heirloom Jewelry: How to Keep Gems and Stones Shining

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While I love what a good piece of statement jewelry can do for an outfit, I usually stick to a few classic items for everyday wear. Diamond studs, my grandmother’s engagement ring (now set into a necklace), and a sapphire ring are my go-to adornments.

These heirloom pieces – passed down from generation to generation – have both sentimental value and price tags I’m in no position to replace should disaster strike. While a semiannual trip to a professional cleaner is in order, here are a few ways you can care for cherished jewelry at home:

Make your own cleaner. Whip up this recipe by combining things you already have in your cupboards, then soak the jewelry for 5 – 10 minutes.

Use a treated polishing cloth. Just pay attention to what is in your chosen cleaner. Some chemicals may be great for metals, but not for soft or delicate stones like opals or pearls.

Take care while getting ready. Think critically about when you put your jewelry on in the morning. Everyday dirt, oils, and product chemicals can dull down jewelry, so make small changes to your routine to avoid this. Waiting until after you apply hair spray, makeup, or perfume to don your pieces can help maintain the longevity of their shine.

Avoid moist settings. This goes without saying, but when you’re heading to the beach or pool, leave your jewelry at home. Too much can go wrong.

By Lauryn Paiva, Staff Writer

Do you have any tips for caring for heirloom or vintage jewelry? Share in the comments below, or tweet us at @ruelala.

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February 21, 2013

Makeup Brushes Need Love, Too

The Cleaning Schedule You Should Stick To

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It’s resolution season – we’re back at the gym, attempting to eat healthier, and swearing off bad habits we want to (permanently) ditch in 2013. During this time of You 2.0, there’s no shortage of ways to better yourself – so let’s not allow the small things to fall by the wayside.

Take your makeup brushes, for example. Cleaning those babies is something we should be doing on a fairly regular basis. How often, you ask? Here’s the breakdown:

Ideally, clean brushes between each use. This will help remove color from previous applications. Simply twirl your brushes over a damp facecloth and leave on a clean paper towel to dry.

Keep a schedule. To remove product buildup, excess oil, and bacteria, invest in a reliable brush cleaner (I love Sephora’s Daily Brush Cleaner) and go to town once every two weeks. Apply a liberal amount of cleaner to the head of the brush and use a thick tissue to wipe bristles from base to tips.

When the seasons change. Commit to a deep cleaning four times a year. Use warm water and a drop of your daily face wash or baby shampoo. Work up a lather and rub the bristles between your fingers. Reshape the brush by squeezing water from the base to the tips, then let air-dry.

By Lauryn Paiva, Staff Writer

How often do you clean your makeup brushes? Share in the comments below or tweet us at @ruelala.

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January 10, 2013