Author: Paulina Kajankova

Upstate New York Experience At Kenoza Hall, An Upscale Wellness Retreat In A Class Of Its Own

These Are Not Your Grandmother’s Catskills Before airplane travel became the norm, New York families sought easily accessible refuge in the Catskill mountains. Then the grandkids stopped going. My own immigrant family settled in the Catskills in the 1960s, acquiring property that would help the slavic community vacation. Even though I live in New York City I consider upstate to be my personal refuge. Today’s upstate continues to reel in a new kind of visitor – younger generations from all over the world come to the mountainous region for relaxation and inspiration. Fortunately, some things remain the same. From blueberry picking and hiking, to nighttime campfires and vintage shopping, some aspects of upstate still remind me of childhood. It is safe to say that the Catskills are in their heyday once again. New and restored hotels sprouting all over Upstate New York have plenty to offer to new and loyal visitors alike. Among the many new retreats, Kenoza Hall is in a class of its own. Not only is it awe-inspiring and well-preserved, it has …

Your Guide To Getting a Good Night’s Sleep: Tips From Experts To Help You Improve Your Sleep Hygiene

Sweet slumber could be yours! Sleep is a mystery, and I often want to solve it. As someone who likes to stay up late into the wee hours of the night, but also needs eight hours to function, I tend to struggle with finding a healthy rhythm. As a beauty editor I know sleep is important, not to mention the fountain of youth, yet I continue to fight it. Overall 35% of Americans don’t get the recommended seven hours of sleep each night, but an average of 6.8 hours is not that bad. Unfortunately when you start to break it down 97% of teenagers get less than the recommended amount of sleep, 6 out of 10 college students don’t get adequate sleep, and roughly 20% of Americans have a sleep disorder. 75% of people who suffer from depression and/or anxiety have problems with sleep and 45% of the world’s population have issues with sleep. There are many studies and statistics to show that on average we are much more sleep deprived than our ancestors. Many wellness and health experts have a …

Be Your Own Wellness Hero: Your Guide To Self-Love With The Help Of Experts

Self-love might seem straight forward, but for anyone who struggles with acquiring it, self-love is complicated. First let me say, this is a no judgement zone. The very idea that we lack self-love can be triggering. Like many out there, I was never told I am a special or a princess. I was not told that I can accomplish anything I put my mind to. In fact, it was the opposite, but that is a story for another time. I grew up without praise, and yes, it effected my self-esteem. As an adult it is up to me to re-wire my brain and build myself up. I know what you might be thinking. That is no easy task and mistakes will be made. My only advice would be that in order to start on your self-love journey, you have to start someplace. Start by appreciating yourself. This means waking up in the morning and appreciating your body, your face, your heart, your mind, and even your past mistakes. It helps if you think of past …

Letter From Editor: Bringing Intentions and Cleansing Rituals Into The New Year With Tools From Around The World

Let us throw out the “new year – new me” philosophy. May your new year be filled with powerful moments instead, may you be like flowers in the snow, growing strong, beautiful, and succeeding despite adversity. The new year only takes on an important meaning if you put genuine intention behind the change you want to see in your life. This year I chose not to make resolutions. I joined all of you who walked into the new year feeling fatigued. Then on the fifth day of the new year I realized that I do have a resolution in mind. In order to truly change aspects of my life for the better, I need to get uncomfortable. In short, living to my fullest potential by challenging my fears no matter how uncomfortable, and tackling my anxieties with frequent exposure. Maybe the point of living is to be uncomfortable, coming out at the end of it feeling lighter and happier. Taking small steps is the goal here. I hope this inspires you to take on your …

Clean House During Advent: Saint Lucia Day In Slovakia Is a Magical Time

Let’s clean house! St Lucia Day (December 13) might not be celebrated in all countries, but it is one of the most important and magical days in the heart of Europe. It is on this day we get a closer look at the pagan roots of Slavic countries. Slovakia has some of the most unique advent celebrations right before Christmas. The predominately catholic country celebrates the same popular holidays we all know and love, but their extra mysterious customs make it hard to deny their pagan origins. You might be surprised to know that they are not the only ones. It is this time of the year when pagans would bring nature and light into their homes, aka: the Christmas tree. Saint Lucia Day celebrations take place twelve days before Christmas. In most other countries St Lucia is the patron of lights, but in Slovakia this is the day for witches to come out and play. Going into the forest, working with yarn or the plucking of feathers on St Lucia Day was prohibited. The …

Powerful Mushroom Supplements, Tinctures and Skincare To Try Right Now

Foraging for mushrooms is not exactly art – it is a cultural pastime and a culinary adventure. In most Central and Eastern European countries, foraging was not only a skill pased down by our caregivers, it was at times a necessity. When I close my eyes I can still remember the earthy scent of drying mushrooms in our attic. The precious trophies were sliced and laid out on newspapers in the hottest and driest place in the house. It was a bounty any forager would be proud of and a promise of warm winter soups and a special cabbage dish for Christmas dinner. Among europeans mushroom picking can get quite competitive, and you never reveal the locations of your finds. Certain fungi typically grow in the same spot where you found them the year before. Immigrants brought this hobby with them to the US and never gave it up. Every fall my father still seeks out mushrooms and promptly makes a soup unlike any you will find at a fine restaurant. Foraging in the US …

Quaint ‘Land in the Sky’: The Best Upstate New York Getaways For All Budgets

The vastness of New York State beckons travelers to choose their own adventure. It is no secret, Upstate New York has a lot to offer and the recently renewed popularity of the Catskills is undeniable. The young and old alike go upstate in search of natural tranquility, lake cabins, fishing, hiking, historical site tours, art fairs, laid-back summer bungalows, Woodstock site concerts, skiing, and who can forget about nostalgia of the Borscht Belt resorts. The state has a history of being enjoyed as a vacation destination since the early 1920s, but it was not until the 1940s when the State Division of Commerce made it a part of their mission to attract even more tourism. The 1939 New York World Fair, held in New York City, took the opportunity to promote upstate with the help of the Barlow Advertising Agency. They suggested visitors to the city take a tour of the Catskills on their way to and from the Fair. Their catch phrase described the Catskills as the “Quaint ‘Land in the Sky’ where Rip …

10 Best Natural & Organic Sunscreens for Healthy Summer 2021

Today’s sunscreen is not your grandmother’s sunscreen, which likely meant not using any. When I first started writing about natural and organic products the options for better sunscreen were limited. Then brands like COOLA came along. Those in-the-know already used organic and natural brands, but you had seek them out in stores that carried green beauty. Today we have many options to choose from, and I hope you choose well. Our tip to understanding skincare is learning to read labels and knowing what ingredients have all the benefits you look for. In the US the word natural has no concrete definition but when it comes to sunscreens the good news is that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has updated its definition of what is deemed safe and effective sun protection. Elizabeth Mullans, M.D., Board-Certified Dermatologist at Uptown Dermatology provides helpful summer skincare tips for all skin types. The sun’s peak UV hours are between 10am to 4pm, so make sure to avoid extended time in the sun during this window. If you find yourself out …

8 Toxic-Free Dry Shampoos Honoring National Dry Shampoo Day

Yes, National Dry Shampoo Day is real. Our obsession with dry shampoo began about ten years ago, but little did we know of all the harm it can do to our hair, scalp, and the environment. No, we have not given up on dry shampoo entirely. In fact, giving our hair a break during the pandemic has made us want to use it even more. If you are in need of a cleaner dry shampoo, look no further. We compiled a list of our top eight brands to try, and fall in love with right now. Vegamour GRO Dry Shampoo Vegamour has become synonymous with hair wellness. This modern brand focuses on hair growth and their GRO Dry Shampoo is no different. The plant-based dry shampoo is fortified with the same proprietary blend of phyto-active ingredients found in their best-selling GRO Hair Serum. Using it will ensure a healthy hair ecosystem, plus the volume and texture you desire. It is 100% vegan, clean and cruelty-free. Lulu Organics Hair Powder Lulu Organics packaging will stop you …

Be Your Own Wellness Hero With These Natural Ways To Lift, Calm or Balance Your Mood

Mental Health Week might have come and gone, but for those who suffer with depression the battle continues. We know that self-care is important, but some days the relentlessness of the condition takes over. No matter what you try in order to keep your spirits high, you feel drained, your body aches and you might even be numb to it all. I’ve been there – and 2020 has not been easy for any of us. If you’ve been following along, you already know that I suffer from depression and anxiety. Even if you don’t, no one is immune to bad days. Be kind to yourself is a cliche statement, but when you take the words apart, it becomes your life raft. Be your own wellness hero by advocating for your wellbeing. Get yourself to therapy, there is no shame in taking medication if it works for you, and know that your vulnerability is a strength, not a weakness. Since some of our favorite spas (my personal space to escape) are still closed or only provide …

Product Highlight: Kansa Organics Kansa Wands

Kansa Organics Takes Face Massage To a Whole New Level PRODUCT HIGHTLIGHT | Kansa Organics Massage Wand Massage plays an essential role in the Ayurvedic healing system. In fact, the healing power of touch can be traced back to India as far back as 3000 BCE (or earlier). The Kansa Wand was born out of that belief, practice and love for massage. When it comes to facial, and body massage, we find this tool to be far more sophisticated than facial rollers and even Gua Sha tools. The reason for this is its history rooted in healing the mind and body and easy to use design. We find ourselves using it a lot more often than other tools, and adding it to our skincare arsenal has greatly improved our love for facial and body massage. WHAT IS THE KANSA WAND? The Kansa wand is a small domed tool (shaped like a bell or a cup) that can be used to massage the face + body. Kansa wands are made with India’s sacred and healing metal (Kansa). …

Wellness Month: 10 Ways To Effectively Lower Stress and Anxiety

In 2020, stress and anxiety has become a universal issue. Let’s dedicate August, also known as the Wellness Month, to improving the health of our immune system by alleviating stress. While taking care of the mind and body is more important than ever, some of us hesitate to embrace tried-and-true ancient remedies. This is the time to keep an open mind, educate yourself, ask questions, and have a sense of adventure. No matter how silly you feel, using your common sense, and wanting to feel better, is at the core of all all our suggestions. As a mental health advocate, and depression sufferer, I know it takes saying “enough is enough” to start a wellness journey. Here is a list to get you started. Grounding – Grounding has become a type of buzzword in the wellness community, but this is no trend. Athletes, famous actors and doctors do it. I was lucky to grow up in a natural setting; in a village surrounded by mountains. As a child, running barefoot in grassy fields, or climbing …