Why I Committed to Running a Half-Marathon this Year

With every new year that approaches, I am no stranger to making a long list of resolutions that almost always fall off the wayside. My closest friends know this about me and it’s often a bit of a joke with “What’s on your scroll of new years resolutions this year, Shai?” Some of these resolutions typically include:

  • Eat smarter
  • Be a nicer human
  • Drink less wine
  • Have more patience…and so on

This year, while I still had the urge to write down a few resolutions (and I did), I wanted to set a goal for myself that was actionable, measurable and physically challenging.

While I do enjoy exercising, the truth is, I tend stay in my comfort zone with my workouts which typically include dance-cardio, hot yoga, pilates and barre. I’ve dabbled in running classes before but even then, have stuck to a pace that hasn’t allowed me to progress or get better.

It wasn’t until watching the NYC Marathon a few months back, when I witnessed runners of all ages take on one of the most exciting races in the world, that I felt a deep sense of motivation. In fact, I was overcome with so much emotion, I was sobbing behind my oversized sunnies as I high-fived total strangers running by. There’s something about this race that leaves you feeling proud to be a New Yorker and makes you feel like you can do anything. That evening, I decided… I was going to do this. I was going to push myself beyond my cookie cutter limits and attempt something I never considered doing before. Before the stroke of midnight (lol, JK JK 9PM) I signed up for the NYC Half and was SO excited to train.

After a few weeks, I found out the results of the draw and as it turns out, I was rejected. I contemplated throwing in the towel and saying ‘I tried’ but if you know me, you know I never take no for an answer and immediately signed up for the Brooklyn Half in March.

Don’t get me wrong, I know I have a long journey of tough, COLD and physically demanding training ahead of me. With the support of my expert running friends (hi Amanda!), running coaches and family, I know I will get through it. I look forward to seeing just how far my body will go and training my mind to mentally push forward in times where I’d rather be snuggling on the couch because it’s freakin’ January and winter is a B***$!

The point of this post is to tell you that if you want something for yourself – may it be running a half-marathon, drinking less wine or spending less time on social media – make it happen. I’ve learned this doesn’t change me as a person, because I will always choose to eat cookies for breakfast and binge watch The Real Housewives, but I know I have a goal that I am tracking towards. Enjoy the journey and don’t forget to look back on everything that you’ve already accomplished.



P.S. – Special thanks to my new friend Mansi (@makeupbymansi) for motivating me to revive my blog. This one’s for you!

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Let’s Talk Vitamin C

Most of you reading this probably already have a skincare routine down pact. Since my outbreak of horrible, cystic acne back in college, which has led to hyper pigmentation and scarring, I’ve invested more in skincare products than anyone I know my age. Everything from SPF, night creams, eye creams, serums, masks – I thought I had it down to a science. What I didn’t realize was that I was missing a very key ingredient that was instrumental in my healing process: Vitamin C.

Vitamin C, which is abundant in vegetables and fruits, is a water soluble vitamin and a power anti-oxidant. It helps the body form and maintain connective tissue, including bones, blood vessels and skin. Vitamin C is easy to get through foods such as apples, asparagus, berries, broccoli, melon, citrus fruits and dark leafy greens. What I wasn’t aware of was that Vitamin C is actually AMAZING for your skin and had been something I neglected in my skincare routines to date. Here are the top 10 benefits of VC:

  1. Reduces Inflammation
  2. Improves Hydration & Moisture
  3. Reduces Under Eye Circles – (hello!)
  4. Promotes Collagen Production
  5. Speeds Up Healing
  6. Protects Skin from Sun Damage
  7. Speeds Up Healing of Sun Burns
  8. Reduces Inflammation
  9. Keeps Skin Looking Younger
  10. Reduces Skin Discoloration

It’s been a few weeks now since I’ve introduced Vitamin C rich products into my skincare routine. So far, I’m loving how my skin feels. It looks brighter and more radiant than ever. Here are some of my favorites:

Please note, this is not an ad, as always, just genuine products I use and love. Enjoy!






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Barry’s Bootcamp – 4 Classes Later…

I know.. I know… I’m late to the Barry’s party. Better late than never, right? Not sure why it took me THIS long to finally take a class, but I’m glad I did. Thinking back, I had some preconceived notions about going — after all, it IS a boot-camp class and I don’t love the idea of someone yelling at me while I workout. Did that actually happen? Keep reading…

For those of you who are unfamiliar, Barry’s Bootcamp is a high intensity workout where no one class is ever the same. After 4 classes, I couldn’t agree more. The original class combines 25 minutes of cardio on the treadmill, followed by 25 minutes of strength training on the floor. You can also sign up to do a double floor class if you’re not a fan of running, but I recommend going all in if you can.

When I first entered the studio, the staff at the front desk were really welcoming. Despite this, the moment I entered the workout room, I was immediately intimidated by the dimly lit red lights and loud music. As I climbed onto my treadmill, I realized I would be running between two very fit men and knew right off the bat that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with them.

Fast forward to our initial transition from treadmill to floor where we had a minute to walk it out. At that moment, the instructor encouraged us to take second to high five our neighbors for the hard work we all just put in. Not sure why, but this instantly broke down the invisible barriers between each treadmill and allowed us to connect as a group. It was the smallest gesture, but at that point, I was no longer intimidated by the fact that I couldn’t run at 12.0. It felt.. GREAT.

I thought the strength training portion would be a breeze, but boyyyy was I wrong. All of the instructors pay very close attention to form, which is super important, but also strongly encourage you to pick up a heavier set of weights. In this portion of class, it’s rare that’s you’re actually sitting down. It’s jam-packed with dumbbell work, abs, planks, push-ups… you name it. Anything to keep your heart rate up.

60 minutes later… and you’re done! It’s amazing how quickly time flies in each class. 4 classes later and I’m officially hooked. Believe it or not, my core feels so much stronger and I’ve seen an improvement in how much I’m able to run (both speed and distance). With Summer around the corner, I’m making it a point to get to class at least once per week.

Hope this helps a newbie gain the courage to sign up. You’ll be glad you did!





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HydraFacial MD: Is it really worth the hype?

It’s January in NYC and my skin’s been really dry lately. I knew it was time for a facial but was hesitant to get my typical microdermabrasion because of how sensitive my skin is at this time of year. I had been hearing a lot about the HydraFacial, which is supposed to remove debris from pores with painless suction and saturate the skin’s surface with antioxidants. It’s been taking the Internet by storm and celebs have been raving about it.. so naturally, I had to try it.

I went to Green Zen Organic Spa (40 West 38th Street, NYC) to get mine done and cannot rave more about this spa. My aesthetician’s name is Stella and she was great! Here’s the breakdown of what you can expect:

Step 1: Cleansing & Exfoliation – My facial began with a soothing coconut milk cleanse to remove impurities. Immediately following, Stella used a gentle strawberry scented lactic acid peel to soften and condition my skin.

Step 2: Exfoliation & Extractions – Now that she had a clean canvas to work with, she used a HydroPeel tip, which felt really similar to the one used for a microdermabrasion and ran 2 passes along my face and neck. I’m normally a wimp when it comes to manual extractions (yikes!), so loved how painless and gentle this was. Imagine a dime-sized small vacuum being passed all over your face to lift away dirt, blackheads and dead skin.

Step 3: VORTEX-FUSION – Sounds so intense, right? Basically, in this step, Stella applied a variety of serums to replenish my skin’s natural elasticity and enhance hydration. The combination consisted of Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamins A, E, White Tea extract, Horse Chestnut extract and Rosemary extract. After my skin was infused with these serums, she left me under a red LED light for about 10 minutes to stimulate collagen production.

Final thoughts? $150 dollars and 24 hours later — I’m thrilled with the results. My skin feels clean, smooth, hydrated and healthy. I definitely recommend trying it out for yourself but be sure to consult with your aesthetician beforehand to make sure it’s right for your skin. If you happen to go to Green Zen Organic Spa, make sure to see Stella and let me know your thoughts!



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Earlier this year, I booked a routine facial at Anthony DeFranco Salon & Spa, while on a weekend trip to Long Island. Admittedly, I didn’t do too much research on the facility, but it had great reviews, so I booked the appointment and went in with an open mind.

The aesthetician Evelyn, was really sweet and took the time to understand my skin concerns. Evelyn recommended a microdermabrasion and explained each product used and their benefits. The products used were by a company called PCA Skin, who she had been using for years.

After my facial, she was kind enough to gift me with samples of their Hydrator Plus Broad Spectrum SPF and Nutrient Rich Toner. I was so glad she did, because both products have become a part of my daily skincare routine since, and I’ve already repurchased twice!

PCA Skin was founded in 1990 by an aesthetician and developed by a dermatologist. The product line caters to all skin types and addresses a variety of skin concerns. The Nutrient Rich Toner is by far my favorite product and doesn’t irritate the skin after removing my makeup. Disclaimer: THIS. STUFF. SMELLS. AMAZING. Pumpkin-wine? I mean.. come on.

It’s no surprise that I was thrilled to be a part of PCA Skin’s Winter Hydration Campaign, bringing you 5 essentials to keep your skin hydrated and glowing all winter long! I’ll be giving away 3 kits of sample sizes to get you started.

Details for the giveaway can be found on my Instagram and below:

  • Must be following @pcaskin and I (@shaikhemlani) on Instagram
  • Must Like this photo on Instagram
  • Tag 2 friends in the comments

A direct link to my Instagram can be found at the bottom of this page. The winner will be selected on Thursday night (11/16) – good luck!



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