Like most people, 2020 has been a challenging year for me. And with those challenges have come lessons that I am grateful to have learned or that I am in the process of learning and understanding. How to slow down has been the most important of all of these lessons as it has taught me patience and to understand what is truly important to me. It has also allowed me to get comfortable with quiet and stillness, two things that I have often struggled with. Lately though, I find myself enjoying simple and quiet moments which is why today’s Relaxing Reverie really resonated with me. This simple concrete bungalow located on Mexico’s Pacific Coast is the perfect example why bigger and expensive does not always mean better. Built with a budget of only $38,000(!) this retreat is simple yet sophisticated and seems like the perfect place to relax.
Designed by PALMA, as Mexico City based design firm, this 50 square metre building is functional and contemporary and blends well within it’s environment. I have always loved simple concrete structures as they perfectly showcase the beauty of brutalist style design and this building is no exception.
The bungalow is comprised of two cubic volumes, one which houses the bedroom and the other the living room and kitchen. The cubes are separated by a open patio. The brutalist style of the bungalow is softened with a thatched roof. This style of roof is quite common within the region as it is an efficient and inexpensive way to encourage ventilation which helps to naturally cool down the interior. Folding doors in both the bedroom and living areas also helps to enhance the ventilation further. Along with a circular skylight on the patio, the folding doors also help the residents to enjoy the views of the surrounding area.
Like the simple aesthetic of the exterior, the interior of the bungalow has been kept minimal with a muted palette of grey and natural wood with the exception of a statement red built in day bed. Stucco was used in place of paint in order to avoid any humidity build up within the walls (which I had never heard of before but I think that it’s genius!). Uncluttered and simple, this bungalow looks like the perfect place to escape, relax and rejuvenate and get back to a simple more thoughtful way of living.
Would you like to escape to a simple bungalow like this one? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
Thank you for visiting Stylishly Zen today and I hope that you have a beautiful day! XXS
I hope that your fall is off to a great start! Here in Montreal we are back on a partial lockdown which means spending a lot more time at home. Thankfully being in lockdown has given me a new appreciation for my home and it has forced me to actually work on my space rather then just dream about it. It has also forced me to learn how to prioritize my mental health and incorporate methods to relax and unwind into my lifestyle. This weekend is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada but due to the lockdown there are no gatherings allowed. While I normally enjoy a holiday meals with loved ones I have never been a fan of the standard turkey dinner. Seeing as how I am alone this year I decided to do something different, so I am channeling my inner Samin Nosrat of Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat and having beef ribs, jasmine rice and green beans along with a glass of my favourite red wine. I am looking forward it even if it is unique as a Thanksgiving meal. This year has been challenging in many ways, which has made me incredibly grateful for things that make me smile, that I enjoy and make me happy. Here are five faves that I am currently loving:
I have been a fan of Tracy Tutor since she first debuted on Million Dollar Listings Los Angeles. I have always been a fan of the show but it needed some powerful feminine energy and Tracy Tutor was the perfect addition. She has endless hustle, an incredible sense of style and is nobody’s pushover which makes for great television viewing. While her and I are in a similar age group she is who I want to be when I grow up. When I heard that Tracy had written a book I immediately ordered it. It’s an easy read, written with Tracy’s honest, hardworking, no nonsense attitude and encourages the reader to push forward despite the fear that they may be facing. And the cover is absolute goals. She looks strong, powerful and in control which is exactly how she wants the reader to feel all the while embracing their own personal fears. I enjoyed this book and will be referring to it often when I am having doubts about myself.
My best friend recently gifted me this notebook. I love the pretty mint green colour and the Coco Chanel quote is always a perfect reminder. The notebook sat on my counter for a couple of days while I thought about how I wanted to use it. One morning while listening to a podcast while getting ready for work the practice of having a gratitude journal was mentioned. I had heard of this practice before but I had never really connected with it previously. This time though, the idea of gratitude journaling sounded like just what I needed, and I now had the perfect notebook to journal in. It’s too soon to call it a habit just yet, but so far I am really enjoying this practice. I find that for me the best time to journal is right after dinner. Everyday I think about my day and find ten things that I am grateful for. Some days are easier then others, but I have found that even taking some time to consciously think about how fortunate I am to live in a safe and comfortable home, that I have clean running water and food to eat and even the fact that I woke up in the morning. These are all things that I am incredibly grateful for and have often previously taken for granted.
I love listening to podcasts in the morning and I enjoy reading Domino magazine so I was thrilled when I heard that they now had a podcast. The first guest was one of my favourite designers Kelly Wearstler so of course I was immediately hooked. My favourite episode though was the recent one with design genius Jenna Lyons. I love Jenna’s work, from her time at J Crew to her swoon worthy homes that have been featured in Domino and in Athena Calderone’s Live Beautiful. I am so excited for Jenna’s upcoming projects which include a show on HBO Max and designing hotels. This episode in many ways reinvigorated my love of design and desire to learn and grow. Love it!
All of this extra time at home has me spending a lot of time in front of the television. While this is not ideal, and I am making a conscious effort to do other things like cook and read more, there are a few shows that I am loving at the moment. Emily In Paris has gotten a lot of buzz since it was released last week. While there is a lot about this show that could use some work (how exactly is she affording all of that Chanel on her salary?), there is also a lot to enjoy. Like many, I have dreamed about moving to Paris and experiencing all the magic that the city has to offer, and this show has helped to fill my travel dreaming heart while I am in lockdown. And while I didn’t love Emily’s outfits, her boss and Camille’s wardrobes more then make up for it. Bad Boy Billionaires India popped up as a Netflix recommendation for me this past week and I was intrigued so I added it to my list. It is only three episodes with each one profiling a different Indian billionaire’s downfall. It’s eye opening and interesting and I binged all three episodes in two days. If you are interested in seeing how people around the world got too big too fast and were unable to sustain it then this show may be of interest to you.
This is Paris is a YouTube documentary that has gotten a lot of attention. I had heard that it was quite good and thought that I would check it out for myself. I loved it. The behind the scene insight on a celebrity that is often written off or badly characterized was intriguing and a great reminder that there is often more to people then what they seem or what they are willing to show you. While my life couldn’t be more different then Paris Hilton’s I connected with the subject matter in many levels and appreciated the insight that the documentary provided. It is a worthwhile watch.
All of this time at home has me focused on my environment and how to make it as enjoyable and comfortable as I can. One thing that many overlook is the scent of a home. I have been searching for many years to find a home fragrance that I loved. The standard ones from Glade and other popular brands seemed artificial, and I have lost count of the different brands of candles that I have tried in the hopes that something would stick. While browsing a home goods shop earlier in the summer I came across Laboratorio Olfattivo’s Zen-Zero fragrance and decided to give it a try. I love the combination of ginger, cedar wood and sandalwood and it leaves my home smelling fresh, cool and comforting. I will be picking up the Zen-Zero diffuser next to help to elevate the fragrance of my home even further. The scent makes me happy and has elevated my home environment, love it!
Thank you for stopping by Stylishly Zen today! I hope that you have a beautiful day! XXS
Today’s Vacation Dreaming feature exemplifies the care and understanding with which K-Studio designs their projects. Located in Mykonos, Greece Kalesma is built as a village rather than a typical hotel. It is meant to grow and expand over the years while still providing an intimate hospitality to its guests.
There is something about every project that K-Studio designs that hooks me. Every project that I have seen of theirs has left me swooning and dreaming of visiting the project in person and experiencing it for myself. The time and care that they take to design projects that work within its environment really comes thru, resulting in projects that seamlessly integrate within its surroundings.
Whitewashed buildings set against the rugged landscape and inky blue sea sets the communal image. Intelligently positioned for visitors to enjoy both the sunrise views to the east along with the sunsets views to the west. These views can be enjoyed from the many wellness and social areas by guests as they relax and enjoy amenities that the hotel has to offer.
The hotel has 25 suites and 2 villas. I love that the entry offers a outride shower for guests to “de-sand” before entering their private quarters. Natural tones and textures along with an abundance of natural light gives the indoor spaces an elegant and calming vibe. The colour palette also allows the stunning views to the centre stage even while indoors.
The beautiful pergola covered bar, infinity pools and cushiony sun loungers are just some of the amenities to enjoy while visiting this gorgeous hotel. The hotel even has a traditional stone “Aloni” which historically was a circular structure used for grinding wheat into flour. It has been modified to be a relaxing platform from which guests can socialize and enjoy the sunset with a glass of wine.
This hotel is a dream and demonstrates perfectly K-Studios incredible design talents. It is yet another project that I am dreaming of visiting.
Lately it feels like everyone is perpetually stressed out. Between multiple obligations, the pressure to be our best selves, poor nutrition and conflicting world views, it’s no wonder that we are more short tempered, bloated and completely exhausted.
One of the first things to fall by the wayside during stressful and challenging times is good nutrition. Whether you are pressed for time or turn to comfort food to ease the pressure the you may be feeling (full disclosure – I am guilty of this on nearly a weekly basis), good nutrition is often viewed as negotiable. The truth is though that good nutrition is what will help you to successfully meet the challenges that you are dealing without sacrificing your health. Even if that just means making an effort to get in a few necessary vitamins and minerals that help to support good health.
One of my favourite minerals is Magnesium. Often referred to as the “anti stress” mineral, Magnesium levels are often low in most people. Medications such as diuretics and antibiotics, stress, poor nutrition due to the standard Western diet including increased intake of caffeine, sugar, alcohol and processed foods, chronic gut problems and soil depletion are all factors that deplete magnesium.
Increasing magnesium in the diet has been shown to help tame headaches, promote regular digestion (especially when you are not eating enough fibre or moving enough) ease menstrual cramps and it helps you to wind down so that you can get some much needed rest. Magnesium has also been shown to help with a myriad of health issues and diseases including (but not limited to) adrenal fatigue, anxiety, inflammation, chronic fatigue syndrome, migraines, insulin resistance and sleep issues.
Good sources of magnesium are dark green vegetables, nuts, seeds legumes and whole grains in particular wheat, brown rice and millet. Soil depletion though will affect how much magnesium you are actually getting through your diet so it may be worthwhile to consider supplementation if you feel that you need more magnesium.
The RDA’s for magnesium are 400mg for men and 310mg for women. Glycinate (for relaxation) and citrate (for constipation) are the two most absorbable forms of magnesium supplementation. Another way to increase magnesium in the body is to add epsom salts to your bath.
Overall magnesium is an important yet often underrated mineral that you may want to consider increasing in your diet to help to lower your stress level and improve your overall health.
Please Note: This blog post is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. It is not intended to serve as a substitute for a consultation or medical treatment from a qualified healthcare practitioner.
Winter weather can cause a myriad of beauty woes. Even the most well intentioned beauty aficionado can get caught easily with hat head, static cling and parched skin. While updating your beauty routine for the cold weather is a necessity in many parts of the world, you may also want to consider adding in a few nutritional beauty busters to help maintain your glow all year long. As I have mentioned (many times) before, I love to eat for skin health. Here are a few of the food that I reach for when the temperature drops:
Beauty and good health begin in the belly and miso is a perfect winter warming food. Made from soy beans, this fermented food is very popular for it’s many benefits. Miso has been consumed for centuries in Japan and China and many regard it as the secret to the luminous skin that many Japanese women are known for. It is jam packed with antioxidants that help to address the signs of aging and bacteria (the good kind) which helps to balance the gut flora. Packed with antioxidants such as isoflavones helps to address the signs of aging and contains beneficial bacteria that helps to balance the gut and in turn aids in keeping the skin clear. Miso is alkalizing for the body and also helps to strengthen the immune system making it the perfect food to indulge in during flu season.
Make sure that you use hot but not boiling water when making your own miso soup as you don’t want to kill the good bacteria
In a rush? Enjoy a simple cup of miso soup by creaming a teaspoon of miso in a 1/4 cup of hot water until completely dissolved. Top with 3/4 of hot water and a few drops of chilli oil if you like it spicy and enjoy!
I love mushrooms so I don’t need an excuse to indulge but, knowing that they are a fabulous beauty booster makes them taste even better. Mushrooms are the only vegetables that make Vitamin D from sunlight which is essential for healthy skin and bones. Vitamin D also helps to regulate the turnover of skin cells which will keep you looking beautiful. Mushrooms are also a source of zinc which is well known as a acne fighting mineral. Mushrooms are a total skin clearing winner in my book!
Try showing mushrooms in to stir fries, pastas, curries and anything else you can think of. The subtle earthy flavour will add a new tasty dimension to most dishes
Most people reach for Vitamin C during the winter months, especially when they feel a cold going on. While oranges are a great source of it, there are other foods that are rich in Vitamin C as well and red cabbage is definitely on that list.
Red cabbage is said to have twice the amount of Vitamin C then green cabbage making it a smarter vegetable to reach for. Rich in fibre and antioxidants and low in calories, red cabbage is an amazing but underrated vegetable. The collagen boosting properties of Vitamin C will help to keep your skin smooth and clear while red cabbage’s anti-inflammatory properties (the carotenoids) help to fight inflammation based skin problems like eczema and psoriasis.
Roasted red cabbage is simple to make and seriously delicious. Drizzle thick slices or wedges of red cabbage with olive oil (on both sides), sea salt, pepper and minced garlic and roast for 15 – 20 mins at 450F for an easy vegetable dish
I read a study a few years ago that touted the longevity benefits of rosemary. Since then I frequently reach for this fragrant herb. Naturally astringent and filled chockfull of anti-inflammatory properties, rosemary is a powerhouse in the world of herbs. Helpful in reducing redness and puffiness, rosemary even works to address breakouts due to excess sebum. Rosemary’s ability to help stimulate the body’s circulation make it a great warming herb that helps you to achieve beautiful glowing skin.
Rosemary’s scent is said to help improve one’s mood, enhance brain function and boost energy – perfect for jump starting those sluggish winter days. Many people swear by rosemary oil – applying it topically is said to help with indigestion and mental disorders.
Not sure what to cook with rosemary? Try a simple rosemary tea, simply steep a sprig or two of rosemary in hot water for 5 mins. Remove sprigs and add honey to taste, and sip your way to a glowing complexion!
I hope that you have a beautiful winter season! XXS