WTF do those laundry symbols mean anyway?

Have you ever asked yourself this question?

I like to think that I know what I’m doing when it comes to washing my clothes and unless the tag says ‘dry clean only’ then I don’t even think twice about it. Sometimes I’ll even cut the tag out if it bothers me…and then I kick myself in the butt later when I forget if it was dry clean only or not. Have you ever done that?

So I was doing laundry the other day and one of my loads contained a new item I hadn’t washed yet so I went to go look at the tag. No words. At all. Just symbols. And this wasn’t the first time that it happened. Typically, I would just continue on without hesitation, but I guess I hit the point where I just NEEDED to know what those laundry symbols meant.

If you are curious what all those laundry symbols mean, then here you go! Laundry symbols, decoded.

I was actually really glad that I finally decided to look this up. It might even be a good idea to print it out and hang it up somewhere in your laundry room for reference.

While we’re on the subject, here are a few laundry tips that I’ve learned over the years:

  • What is the permanent press cycle? From what I gather, it’s basically a cycle that is used for dress shirts and pants, synthetic fabrics & wrinkle-free items. It uses a warm wash with normal agitation followed by a slow and cold spin cycle that helps prevent wrinkles from forming.
  • How should I wash my lingerie? For bras I would recommend hand washing every 5-7 wears in lukewarm water using a gentle and alcohol-free detergent such as Forever New. Rinse in cool water and ALWAYS hang to dry. If you choose to use a washing machine, make sure to use the delicate cycle and put items into a mesh lingerie bag. NEVER put bras into the dryer. If you choose to use the dryer for your underwear then make sure to use low heat. *The key to making lingerie last is how well you take care of it.
  • How should I wash my gym clothes? Always wash gym clothes together and never wash them with other fabrics like towels or knits. This will ruin the specialty fabric of your workout gear. Post-workout, it is best to hang your sweaty clothes to dry instead of throwing them into a laundry basket where bacteria and mold can grow. If you are absolutely drenched in sweat you should probably wash the items right away to avoid the stench setting in. Always wash items in cool water and never use fabric softener. Hot water and fabric softener will break down the fibers in your gear, ruining the performance properties and will cause them to lose elasticity. If you’re a lil bit of a gym rat then it might be worth it to check out a laundry detergent made specifically for gym clothes like Rockin Green athletic wear soap. If you want some extra, smell-fighting power then use a little vinegar or baking soda in your wash. I always hang dry my gym clothes but if you choose to use a dryer, be sure to use a very low heat.

Happy laundering!

schmidt-s all scents

Try This: The Best Natural Deodorant

It’s a smelly game of trial and error, but I’ve done it and I’m finally at peace with my daily pit routine. Why? Because I have found the best all natural deodorant out there. I went thru this a few years ago when I switched to all natural deodorant and I thought I had found the best brand for me…I even did a blog post about it here. It wasn’t until I started working at a job that required me to move around constantly and sweat a little in a fitted t-shirt to realize that my favorite brand of all natural deodorant just wasn’t cutting it anymore. So I started another sweaty, smelly and expensive quest.

I have probably tried almost every brand of all natural deodorant out there, from the cheaper, so-called “all natural” brands to the super expensive $15 a bottle brands to the DIY Etsy brands. I have tried liquidy roll-ons, rub-in creams, gel based sticks and baking soda-free, clay based concoctions. I’m officially over it. I have found my deo-for-life. I have found Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant.

schmidts_lavender sageSchmidt’s is an all natural, cruelty-free and vegan company based out of Portland, Oregon. They have 5 different scents of cream-based, rub-it-in deodorants (including fragrance free) which is great since I get bored easily. I have tried the Lavender Sage and Ylang Ylang Calendula and I love both of them.

The best part about this all natural deodorant is simple: it friggin works…and it works great. A lot of natural deodorants stop working half way thru the day and you need to constantly reapply. Not with Schmidt’s! The only con would be the hassle of rubbing it in but once you get used to it, it really isn’t so bad. AND…2 days ago they announced (via their Instagram account @schmidtsdeo) that they will be revealing some new products. By the looks of it we should be expecting to see their wonderful formulas available in a mess-free, stick style. They also stated that as soon as the line launches, they will provide a discount code so if you’re ready to make the switch and give them a try, go on and follow them. Your pits will thank you, trust me.

Healthy Mediterranean Recipe

Eat This: Non-GMO & Gluten Free Mediterranean Bites

Eating healthy and living that busy lifestyle don’t exactly go hand in hand. It can get challenging, especially if you are vegetarian or have any food allergies/restrictions. I always try to eat fresh food whenever possible, but when I heard about this new line of vegetarian, gluten free and non-GMO project verified frozen falafel bites, I had to give them a try.

These protein and fiber packed lil bites come with tzatziki sauce and are available in four different flavors: Kale, Garlic Pesto, Southwestern and Sweet Potato. They are packaged in a resealable pouch for added convenience and freshness.
Nates Mediterranean BitesThe bites are super convenient since they are pre-cooked so all you have to do is thaw them out and they’re good to go! Additionally, you always have the option to cook them in the oven, microwave or fryer.

I decided to try the Kale flavor first. I cooked them in a toaster oven for about 12 minutes. In the meantime, I whipped up a little arugula salad with feta cheese and used the included tzatziki sauce as a base for my dressing (adding in some oil, lemon juice and a little salt and pepper). I served it with some beet hummus (from Trader Joes) and some fresh pita bread. The results? Insanely yum and I can’t wait to try the rest of the flavors!
Healthy Mediterranean Food

Nates Mediterranean Bites hit retail stores in June and are currently sold at Sprouts grocery stores nationwide.


buen retiro park

Buen Retiro Park: A Madrid ‘Must See’

If you do one thing in Madrid, go walk around in El Parque del Retiro. Unless of course you don’t give a shit about beauty and nature and would rather drink, eat or see museums. Hey, everyone’s different! Actually, you can do all of those things in the park or very close by. I ended up doing a quick tour of The Prado after I left the park since it’s right around the corner. It was OK, but I’m more of a modern art lover. I also prefer nature and architecture. But regardless, the park is a must-see for anyone visiting the wonderful city of Madrid.

In 1632, the park was built as part of the Real Sitio del Buen Retiro palace by King Philips IV as a retreat for the Royal family. It’s a massive 320 acre park filled with beautiful architecture, nature and people out running, rollerblading, playing street hockey and even working out on the playgrounds. On that note, if you’re looking for a hot-bodied Spaniard definitely get on over to one of those playgrounds! I almost tripped and fell when I walked by since I was being a total gawker. These guys are ripped and doing crazy acrobatic workouts on the monkey bars…I really wanted to take a video, but then I decided I wasn’t feeling creepy enough…so instead, I just walked by slowly.

So yeah, in the northern entrance of the Parque del Retiro is the Estanque del Retiro, an artificial lake where you can rent a cute little rowing boat for a few euros. I was so extremely tempted to do it but as I gazed out at the lake, I noticed that it was all couples rowing along with love in their eyes…not that I cared…but I guess I kinda cared. So, I decided to pass on that. Across the lake is a large monument with an equestrian statue of King Alfonso XII. I decided to take lots of pics of that instead (shown above in the main image).

Towards the south of the park you will come across another small lake. At the edge of this lake is the most insanely beautiful glass building called the Palacio de Cristal or Crystal Palace. It was built in 1887 by Ricardo Velázquez Bosco and was initially used to house exotic plants brought over from the Philippines. Now it is mainly used for temporary exhibitions. It was by far one of my favorite places to be in Retiro Park.
crystal palace madridCrystal Palace DetailCrystal Palace detailOOTD in the Crystal PalaceAround the corner from the Crystal Palace is another beautiful building called the Palacio de Velázquez, also used for temporary exhibitions. Originally it served as a pavilion for the national exhibition of the mining, metal, glass and ceramics industry. For some reason I didn’t get many good pics of this. I was probably more interested in using it as a backdrop for my selfie…at least I’m honest, right?

Palacio de VelazquezPalacio de Velazquez

Once you have strolled by the sweaty bods at the playground, you’ll come across a walkway lined on each side with what look like cherry blossom trees but I believe they are actually almond trees. Here, you’ll find people relaxing under the beautiful blossoms, reading books, doing mini photoshoots, or like me, alone taking selfies and getting stared at…oh, the woes of solo adventures.almond tree ootd details

There’s also the Rosaleda (rose garden) with a pretty fountain that is worth strolling through when the flowers have bloomed. I unfortunately do not have any photos of the Rose Garden but I’m sure it’s beautiful in the Springtime.

If you like to keep in shape while you’re on vacation (or holiday), a great way to get a grand scope of the park is to go for a little morning or late afternoon run. This allows you to cover a lot more ground in a shorter amount of time. The park is huge and you could literally get lost in there for hours, which I happened to do…and loved every minute of it.

If you’re ever in Madrid, definitely do not miss the chance to visit this park. It’s beauty will lift your spirits and leave you glowing…and really, there’s nothing better than that.

Origen de las Carreteras Radiales

OOTD: Travel Chic (Day 1 in Madrid)

I was late getting out of my house to get to the airport. A few minutes down the road I realized I left my sunglasses. After going back to get them and heading back out, I realized I left my charger. Luckily, I made it to the airport in time. Just in time to find out that my flight to NY was delayed. It was so delayed that I almost missed my connecting flight to Spain. I literally hyperventilated, almost cried and then had to get ushered through the long ass security line and escorted to my terminal. To those of you that know me, this will come as no surprise…and almost expected.

Note: If you ever have the chance to fly Iberia, do it. I got the warmest greeting in Spanish as I walked onto the plane and I was immediately put at ease with the lounge music playing in the background. The seats were comfortable, the amenities were great and everyone looked happy…my kinda vibe.

I arrived in Madrid, Spain the next morning and met up with my girlfriend who is currently living there. I had some time to decompress at her house before changing clothes and heading out to explore the city. I threw on a pair of harem pants (designed by my beautiful friend, Tania in Los Angeles), a grey tank, leather jacket, leather hat and my chucks. Super comfy yet chic. Or maybe I should say super comfy to a point. By the end of the day, my feet were pretty cut up. Blister Nation. I actually spent the whole 2 weeks of my vacation with at least 4 band-aids on at all times. Word of advice: Chucks aren’t made for walking (not for my feet anyways). If you’re going to be spending long days walking and wandering around somewhere, then I would absolutely suggest packing or buying a pair of actual walking shoes. You probably already know this tho. I’ve never walked so much in my entire life…so, lesson learned. P.S. I’m obsessed with doors now.

ootd travel chic

ootd travel chic

snakeskin leather cross body bag ootd_harem pantsOutfit Details:
Harem pants – VFGxTaniaSarin

Leather Jacket- Zara (older style)
Tank – Victorias Secret
Sneakers – Converse All Stars
Sunglasses – Chanel
Leather Hat – RR Traders (amazing local boutique in Newburyport, MA)
Snakeskin Leather Crossbody Bag – Nordstrom

More posts about my trip to Spain coming soon!