Thursday, September 29, 2011

10 Benefits of Waking Up Early

     Waking up early in the morning one of the best habits you can develop. It's an essential key for productivity & overall well-being. If you aren't already an early riser, it's never too late to change! Discover the benefits of gaining a couple extra hours each day. You'll never go back, I guarantee it! For today's 10 Things Thursday, I'll be sharing some benefits, common misconceptions, and lovely things about early rising. Enjoy, then see for yourself!

     1. Coffee. This is my favorite motivation for waking up early. A hot cup of flavored coffee (Hazelnut is wonderful!) can turn a cold, dark morning into a warm heaven! Instead of heading to your local Starbucks every morning, make your coffee at home and save tons of money. I use Nescafé Clásico instant coffee- A few spoonfuls, some hot water, a little creamer and you're good to go!

     2. Peace. Morning time is one of the most peaceful times of day. When the rest of the world is still asleep, only the gentle noise of birds singing fills the air. No honking cars, no screaming children, no soccer balls. Just you, your cup of coffee, and your peace of mind. This rarely ever happens, so do as Depeche Mode says and Enjoy the Silence!

     3. Energy. It's a common misconception that the longer you sleep in, the more energy you'll have for the day. It would make sense, but don't be fooled! More sleep does not necessarily mean more energy! Hitting snooze over & over again will never work! Take it from a girl who was late for school almost every day of Junior High- When you wake up in the morning, really wake up. Force yourself to get out of that warm, tempting bed and splash some water on your face. Whether you wake up at 4AM or at 9AM, you will still be sleepy. So just wake up and go.

     4. Head start. You'd be shocked by how many things you can actually get done before 10AM! Make a to-do list for the day, and I guarantee that you'll crunch through half of it while the ordinary you would still be dreaming away. Once you've got everything done in the morning time, what do you worry about for the rest of the day? That's right, absolutely nothing.

     5. Sunrise. We all know what the sunset looks like, but have you ever really seen the sunrise? It's a whole new atmosphere, a whole new feeling. Watching the sunrise can be a romantic and magical thing. Grab a blanket, find a way to get up on the roof without decapitating yourself, and enjoy the show.

     6. Beauty. Yes, ladies... Not only will you have more time to perfect your hair & makeup, but waking up early brings a world of other benefits to the way you look. Waking up at 11AM, skipping breakfast, and not having enough time to wash your hair can take a major toll on your mood. Congratulations, you're now sleepy, hungry and dirty-haired! The girl who wakes up early is a smart one. Say goodbye to pillow marks, bed-head and smeared eyeliner for good. You might even have enough time to curl your hair or create a fancy updo, like a waterfall braid. Why the heck not?

     7. Good day. Do you like to feel rushed, frazzled and sleepy as you fly out the front door late for work? Or would you rather be rested, relaxed and ready for the day? Unless you're some sort of masochist, most people would choose the second option. The way our morning turns out often sets the mood for the rest of the entire day, and becoming an early riser can dramatically change the way you go about your life. You can get everything done before noon and walk out the door cool, calm and collected. Oh yeah, baby!

     8. Breakfast. Warm pancakes drizzled with maple syrup and crispy bacon taste way better when enjoyed while watching the sun come up. Not only that, but you don't have to rush- You have time to cook your breakfast right. No more grabbing a stale pop tart as you run out the door, or skipping breakfast altogether. You might even gain enough extra hours in the day to take a special trip to a breakfast café once a week! Woohoo!

     9. Exercise. An extra couple of hours in the morning leaves plenty of time for a jog, a quick bike ride or an at-home yoga session. Saving your hardcore abs workout for the end of the day often gets put aside for more important things like homework, cooking, and just plain being too exhausted. Exercise in the morning so you can cross it off your to-do list and get on with your day!

     10. Morning sex. Just kidding, unless you're into that type of thing.

Bonus Round: How to Wake Up Early!
     We all know how beneficial waking up at an early hour can be, but how do we get there? Here are three of my tried-and-true methods.
     1. When you wake up, stretch as you lay in bed. Stretch each part of your body one by one, slowly and carefully. Stretching wakes up your muscles and gives your brain a boost, just enough to help you get out of bed!
     2. Set your alarm clock for the morning, and place it on a high shelf or an out-of-reach nightstand. This age old trick really does work. It forces you to get out of bed and walk to the alarm clock in order to shut off the annoying beeps. Well, look at that- You're already standing up and out of bed! There's no turning back now!
     3. Have something to look forward to. Nothing gets you out of bed faster than the excitement of having something to wake up to. Remember how early you sprung out of bed as a kid on Christmas morning? Well, why can't every morning be that way? Start a new job or project that will get you going. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

10 Things to Do Instead of Wasting Time on the Internet

     In this day and age, we all love surfing the web. There's an unlimited flow of information, photos, blogs, tweets, status updates, news articles, and so on... But how much is too much? What happens when the internet becomes exhausting and you find that hours of your life are being whittled away into cyberspace? I've created a handy dandy guide for those in need of, well, something to do. Read it and take action, folks!

     1. Start a blog! One of my main inspirations for creating a blog was to stop wasting countless hours on Facebook and other mindless social networking sites. I wanted to add meaning to my life instead of taking it away.  Nobody cares that you "went grocery shopping today." Write something people will actually care about. Spill your secrets. Speak your mind. Give the blogging world a peek into your lovely brain. It's your blog, so do whatever the hell you want with it!

     2. Do yoga. I swear by this. Take 10 minutes out of your oh-so-busy schedule and let the wonders of yoga into your life. Yoga comes in tons of different variations and difficulty levels, so your bound to find a workout you'll love. After just a few minutes you'll feel completely refreshed, stretched and energized for the entire day. Those yoga masters from India really knew whats up, man.

     3. Awaken your creative side. Start a project that will keep you busy for days and days. Tear down everything on your bedroom wall and start anew. Sew a patch of your favorite band onto your purse. Make a record bowl. Grab a camera and take artsy pictures of things at obscure angles. Nowadays, anyone can be a photographer. Speaking of photography, print out some fond memories and create a photo album. Light some candles or incense. Paint a self-portrait, even if you end up looking like Big Bird. Buy a cork board and pin up a bunch of pictures that inspire you. Buy some flowers to add life to your desk space. Write a quote on your mirror with a dry-erase marker to wake up to every morning. Make your own jewelry. Pick some flowers and put them in your hair. Need I go on?

     4. Bake something from scratch. Throw some heart-shaped cookies into the oven or bake some yummy vanilla cupcakes. Bake a cake for someone you love. Or bake a poison cake for someone you hate. Here's a fun recipe to try- Instagrahams! (Horrible pun, cute cookies.) Baking is good for the soul, so get to it! Or get baked yourself, which ever you prefer.

     5. Catch up on your favorite TV shows. Instead of wasting time on the internet, waste some time watching television. It still counts, right? But don't make your time in front of the tube a total waste, invite a few friends over for popcorn and an old-fashioned TV night. There are SO many good shows coming on this season. "The New Girl" with Zooey Deschanel, "Pan Am," the life of four flight attendants in the 1960's, and "Two Broke Girls" featuring Kat Dennings. Cannot fucking wait!

     6. Give yourself a photoshoot. Get all dolled up and ready to press that "self-timer" button. Spend a lil' extra time perfecting your hair and makeup, and wear your favorite outfit. Venture out into a garden or a local park and let your inner Tyra Banks shine! Instant self-esteem booster. It's okay to be completely full of yourself, we all deserve that once in awhile. You'll end up with tons of pretty pictures you can upload to Facebook... LATER. Since you're already lookin' hot now, go out and enjoy yourself instead!

     7. Be a tourist in your own city! Grab a camera, 20 bucks and a friend & you're set! Take public transit everywhere you go. Try out a hip new restaurant or coffee shop. Relax on a bench and people watch. (Yes, it's okay to make fun of that girl wearing neon green tights and a weave that looks like it took twenty My Little Pony dolls to make.) See a movie, shop local and visit a museum. Run those streets. Whatever you decide to do, make sure to take tons of pictures!

     8. Attend a local festival or event. Google search a list of events happening in your city. Trust me, there will be tons of 'em! Local events are usually free and can provide an entire day of fun. Festivals, block parties, conventions, you name it. We have a "hemp-con" festival in Long Beach. Go figure. We also have a crawfish festival, a chocolate festival, an annual vintage hot-rod show, comic-con, and a pirate festival on the pier! Search your little heart out, fill up your calendar with events and get going!

     9. Try some retail therapy. Try this idea out. Set a $20 budget for yourself and hit up a local dollar store or thrift shop. Buy a bunch of junk. Yep, you heard right. Buy some candy, lip balm, cheap rings, nail polish, coffee mugs, keychains, hair clips, whatever your heart desires. Then go home and play with all your little treasures!

     10. Visit a coffee shop. If you absolutely cannot resist spending hours scrolling through your Tumblr and checking status updates, try this. Instead of sitting on the computer at home alone, take your computer to a coffee shop. Coffee shops are one of my favorite places to be. The smell of fresh coffee grounds, the ambient music, the big comfy chairs. The atmosphere inside most coffee shops is warm and welcoming, so get out of that dark room and take your laptop down to the local coffee shop. You might even end up coming back with some new friends, caramel cappuccino in hand.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Restaurant Review: The Coffee Cup Café!

     One of my goals from "8 Weeks to a Better Me" was to write about a local restaurant or venue, and I knew from the start that the wonderful Coffee Cup Café deserved a special spot in my blog! I was planning on not giving away my hometown on the internet, in fear that some sweaty 45 year-old man from Arkansas will track down my whereabouts and come chop me up into pieces on the way home from school... But at this point, it's not really that hard to tell I live in Long Beach. Especially since I'm writing about a restaurant in it. Long Beach, California is a place of both beauty and hideousness, harsh ghettos and rows of beautiful Spanish style homes, a melting pot of all kinds of different ethnicities. It has it's bad parts, but I love this city and all it's hidden gems. Which brings me back to my main topic- The Coffee Cup Café!

     Walking up to the restaurant, you immediately get this hipter-ish vibe that radiates from the entire block. Not sure if it was the Harley Davidson parked at the curb or the chick with the pink hair smoking cigarettes outside, but the energy was definitely there. And it was good. The waiting list was pretty hefty, an annoying (but good!) sign. They serve free coffee while you wait outside, though. A definite plus! After enjoying a hot cup of Joe, the hostess brought us in. I felt a little sorry for her, she was practically dripping sweat and getting a full body workout from trying to please the mass amount of people entering and exiting the restaurant. I always feel for the hostesses, since I know what it's like to be one!

     The inside of the restaurant- although a bit loud due to every table being packed with patrons- puts out a warm, friendly and hip atmosphere. Colorfully abstract paintings dot the mustard-yellow walls and leafy green plants bring life to every corner.
     In the Coffee Cup Café, I received some of the best service I've gotten in a long while. The servers are quick on their feet, friendly, and best of all... NOT annoying! Don't you hate it when you're trying to enjoy your meal, but the freakin' waitress never leaves you alone? "How's everything?" Five minutes later. "Anything else you need?" Five minutes later. "Everything tasting okay?" Ugh.
     I'm already kissing this restaurant's ass way more than necessary, but I haven't even reached the most important part yet... THE FOOD! Oh my Lord, the food. I ordered a Baja Breakfast Burrito ($8.50 but I split it with a friend, half was more than enough) with chopped potatoes. It looked like a fucking painting. The burrito was beautifully served with salsa, sliced avocado and a dollop of sour cream on top. On the inside there was rice, black beans, melted cheese, carnitas and eggs. Now, let me tell you, I've never been a fan of breakfast food. I hate pancakes, I hate eggs, I hate waffles, and I rarely even eat breakfast at all. But the Coffee Cup Café is a life changer, man.

     Everything about this place was lovely. Five stars. Grab a few friends and head down to 4th street if your a Long Beach local like me, I pinky promise you will love it.

Monday, September 19, 2011

This morning, I woke up and thought...

     I want bangs. So I cut bangs. Why not?
I'm pretty confident in my self-haircutting abilities.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Girlz Day Out

     Today, me and a couple of best friends decided to be tourists in our own city. We discovered a new (and should I say freakin' amazing) café which we will definitely be returning to soon, rode the city bus all over town, and roamed around the streets 'till our little footsies were ready to fall off. I was an annoying photographer all day. Take a picture of this! Take a picture of that! Ahhhh! Here are the end results.

An eerie-looking house we passed by on the way to the restaurant. The only downside of this city is the sketchy feeling it brings. We're known for our "lock-your-car-doors-when-you drive-down-this-street" neighborhoods. Our ghettos are famous, seriously. Listen to Snoop Dogg.

An upside of this city? IT'S AWESOME! There's surprises around every corner. Like this sexy vintage Ford, parked right in front of the creepy house!

I would have bought this whole store if it wasn't so damn expensive. A tiny handmade ring was $45 dollars, so I didn't even look at anything else. Vintage gold necklaces and soft leather wallets, sparkling gems & stones, embroidered tops and gorgeous rings. Heaven for a girl like me!

The Coffee Cup Café! And the huge waiting list...

But you know what? It was worth it. Look at this. Breakfast burrito with rice, beans, egg, cheese, carnitas, salsa, avocado, sour cream and breakfast potatoes. My new favorite food.

We split the burrito, and couldn't even finish our halves.

We have this weekly phenomena here called the "pile sale." It's pretty self-explanatory: A humongous mountain of clothes you can dig through as you please! They aren't the cutest clothes on the block, but you can find a gem if you search deep enough.

Don't me and Jennifer look like cool hipsters standing next to street art? Yeah, bitches.

I love this shit. Shopping at retro row. They have all my favorite things in one place: Vintage items, rockabilly spice, day of the dead accessories and eccentric objects. Not to mention the jewelry. Oh, the jewelry.

Taking mirror pictures with Jennifer in the window of a Medical Marijuana Clinic? I think yes.

I spy something naughty.

Three bus rides, cinnamon rolls and lots of laughs later, we ended the day with a hippie circle on the grass by the ocean. My best friends are so pwetty. The end.

Friday, September 16, 2011

About LoveZofo

Hello! My name is Zoe & I'm here to spread a message of happiness and self-love throughout the blog-o-sphere! Living your life solely to please the people around you is so 1950's. It's time we stop giving a damn about what people think and start appreciating ourselves for the lovely ladies we truly are! I believe in wearing flowers in your hair on a daily basis, dressing up each and every day, eating that ice cream cone you've tried oh-so-hard to avoid, and singing your heart out in the car- Yes, even when you come to a stoplight! I believe that people should do whatever they can to keep a smile on their face. Life's too short NOT to enjoy every minute of it. With that said, LoveZofo serves as an outlet for all the madness that leaks out of my brain on a daily basis. It's full to the brim with my personal photos, wonderful nights, hard lessons learned, random stories, lovely things and plenty of inspiration! For as long as I can remember, I've been constantly searching for tips & tricks to help me write, dress, speak, create, and live better. I'm all about self-improvement. Not because anybody needs improving, but because there's always room to make your life a little bit more magical. My goal is to help girls discover the lovely lady inside, the one that's itching to shine through on the surface. I want to help people out by sharing my knowledge, and hopefully learn a few things myself along the way. I want to spread the message of wild self-love and confidence. Love your beautiful soul and your freckled nose, love your chipped nails and your rosy red cheeks. Love absolutely everything about yourself, and as for the things you're not too fond of? Change 'em! Living a life chock full of passion and excitement isn't found by pure luck, it's a choice we all make each day. What will you choose?