Lifestyle

The Softest Sheets :: Bamboo by Cariloha

Blogger Hoang-Kim wears a sleep shirt by bamboo brand Cariloha
Cariloha use code COLORANDCHIC20 for 20% off
Sleep Shirt & The Softest Sheets Set c/o, Blush Pillows

Judging from my last sleep-related post, I know y’all are thinking I must be some boring old granny who values her shut-eye a little too much. Well, I’m not ashamed to admit I do. Last year, I made the switch from cotton sheets to bamboo. I like being environmentally friendly and green when I can. Before sleeping on the softest sheets I have ever felt, I never really thought sheets could really make a difference. Wrong. I am in love with these. Obviously, if you are sleeping on the wrong mattress for you that will not help. But turns out sheets really can make a huge difference. There are more than 1,000 rave reviews about these Cariloha sheets on Amazon.

Cariloha bamboo sheets
Cariloha bamboo sheets on a Leesa sleep mattress Blogger Hoang-Kim makes her bed with Cariloha bamboo sheetsBlogger Hoang-Kim makes her bed with Cariloha bamboo sheets Blogger Hoang-Kim makes her bed with Cariloha bamboo sheetsBlogger Hoang-Kim makes her bed with Cariloha bamboo sheets

I am a huge fan of white bedding because if worst comes to worst, you can add some bleach and call it a day. Cariloha’s classic sheets come in a 4-piece set, which include a fitted sheet, flat sheet and two standard shams. They really are the softest sheets I have ever slept on. They are made from an irresistibly soft and naturally luxe viscose from bamboo. Right out of the box, I could tell Cariloha’s bamboo sheets are superior to the ones I slept on previously. I could not stop running my hands over the sheets as I made the bed. Now, a lot of people in my family have allergies. Therefore, I can appreciate when something repels odors and allergens. I can have flare ups every now and then, but I didn’t have any skin irritations with these whatsoever.

Finally, I want to get to the real reason as to why I am now sleeping on bamboo. Cariloha originally started in the Carribean a decade ago. Bamboo fields are self-replenishing without pesticides or chemicals. There is an ever-growing rich supply of the sustainable plant, so you can rest assured you are not harming the planet. Cariloha also makes apparel for daily life and activewear, too! This sleep shirt is super soft and so breathable. Speaking of breathable, I want to add these sheets are moisture-wicking, so don’t worry about nighttime sweats. Sweet dreams y’all.

*This post is in partnership with Cariloha*

The Importance of Sleep – Luxury with Leesa

Blogger Hoang-Kim on her Leesa mattress in Plum Pretty Sugar PJsSleep is an integral part of my life. During my days of being a competitive figure skater, I needed it to help my body recover and be ready to train the next day. When I was in Nebraska working full-time as a reporter and fulfilling my duties as Miss Nebraska USA, my busy schedule did not allow for much sleep. Whatever amount I got needed to be quality hours. Now, I still lead a busy lifestyle, but living in a bigger city means I need to wake up refreshed and sharp – ready to tackle the day ahead as a reporter, anchor and blogger. All of us have a seizure threshold and when we don’t take time to properly rest, we move closer and closer to it, according to Arianna Huffington in her book. Not to mention, the possibility of collapsing from exhaustion.

I’m partnering with Leesa to share how I get a good night’s sleep and why sleep is the pathway to a better life. Johnny and I love supporting entrepreneurs and startups and Leesa is an innovative direct-to-consumer mattress brand disrupting the mattress industry. They are based in Virginia Beach a block from the beach and their office is slick! Think beautiful open-concept space with a workout room and of course, a designated nap zone! The mattresses are made in America, ships free and come with a 100-night risk-free trial. So I couldn’t wait for mine to arrive! Use code COLORCHIC75 to get $75 off your mattress.

Leesa mattress arrives in box at blogger Hoang-Kim's home Blogger Hoang-Kim unboxes her Leesa mattress

Can you believe a queen-size mattress is in that box?
The mattress is securely in the box, so this part was a bit of a struggle haha! If you follow me on Snapchat (@HKCung) and Instagram stories, you probably saw me unboxing this!

Blogger Hoang-Kim unboxes her Leesa mattress Blogger Hoang-Kim unboxes her Leesa mattress

The mattress comes rolled up in plastic wrap. Once you cut the plastic the mattress immediately starts inflating. It’s so cool to watch!

Blogger Hoang-Kim unboxes her Leesa mattressBlogger Hoang-Kim unboxes her Leesa mattress
Blogger Hoang-Kim on her Leesa mattress in Plum Pretty Sugar PJs

I prefer getting lots of sleep – so I aim for eight and nine hours of uninterrupted sleep a night. A mattress that works for you is crucial. Leesa mattresses are created with three premium foam layers. The first layer is a 2-inch Avena foam top, keeping you cool and giving you that nice bit of bounce. The next two inches of memory foam contour to your body and give you that ultra comfy cocoon-feel while providing support. More than 11 years of figure skating created quite the wear and tear on my body. Think permanent tailbone and back problems and more. The Leesa mattress really makes my whole body feel supported, unlike others where I’d wake up with back pain needing to stretch and realign. Finally, the bottom 6-inch dense core support foam provides support and edge durability.

Blogger Hoang-Kim puts sheets on her Leesa mattress in Plum Pretty Sugar PJsBlogger Hoang-Kim makes her Leesa mattress in Plum Pretty Sugar PJsBlogger Hoang-Kim on her Leesa mattress in Plum Pretty Sugar PJs

After a lot of trial, error and reading about sleep, I truly have learned a lot. While we sleep our brains run checks on itself to make sure hormones are all set. Cleaners then sweep out toxins the brain doesn’t need. Without good sleep, our bones and muscles cannot heal. Plus, we are less able to break down sugars in our diet. Not to mention beauty rest is a real thing. Cells are churning out growth factors to repair damage and maintain elasticity in our skin. Here are my tricks for sleeping well and having a better life:

  1. Reserve your bed for sleep only – This can be really hard, but makes all the difference. I cut out laptop use and watching TV in my bed. I only do a dash of screentime with my phone. At night, I enable night mode, so the bright blue light does not stimulate my brain. If you like to read before bed, opt for paper back.
  2. Stop with the snooze button – I am a big proponent of getting up when the alarm goes off. I know many of us fall victim to hitting the snooze button multiple times thinking an extra five to 10 minutes can do more good than harm. However, that’s not further than the truth. You could fall into a new sleep cycle and when you wake up you’ll feel groggy, also known as sleep inertia. This impairs your ability to be alert, your memory, reaction time and makes you feel like you got a lot less sleep than you did.
  3. Use natural light to cue your body – Letting the sun help you with your circadian rhythm can do wonders for how you feel when you wake up. Play around with curtains and blinds to get the perfect mix of darkness at night, but enough light in the morning. The ultimate goal is to wake up on time on your own. I try to be in bed by midnight or 30 minutes after. I wake up around 9:00 to 9:10 a.m. every single day without an alarm.
  4. Have a nighttime routine and stick to it – The human body responds well to habit, so it’s important to have a routine. Since I work until 11:30 p.m., mine is very quick. I come home, prepare a cup of tea, take off my makeup, change clothes and get in bed. Before falling asleep, I do a quick nighttime meditation. I do this every night and pretty much by the time I get in bed, I’m feeling sleepy. Find what works for you, whether it’s yoga to wind down or a good book. You should also avoid that glass of wine because it messes with your sleep cycles.

Blogger Hoang-Kim on her Leesa mattress in Plum Pretty Sugar PJsBlogger Hoang-Kim on her Leesa mattress in Plum Pretty Sugar PJs

I have been sleeping on my Leesa mattress for two weeks now and I absolutely love it! The support is incredible and it feels so comfy. I have been getting uninterrupted sleep for about eight to nine hours, which is incredible. Now, I wake up feeling so refreshed and ready to tackle the day. I pretty much have been jumping out of bed lately since I feel so alert. Another reason I love Leesa is their dedication to a better purpose. For every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one. Since launching in 2015, they have donated more than 5,000 mattresses to organizations working toward solving problems relating to homelessness. Also, Leesa plants a tree for every single mattress sold. Leesa also donates to the NAVY SEAL Foundation.

PJs, White Quilt, Euro Shams and Shams
Photography by: Mae Small

*This post is in partnership with Leesa

 

Seven tips for a happy long-distance relationship!

How to have a happy long-distance relationship

Today, Johnny and I are celebrating seven years of being together. How time flies. We met at CiCi’s Pizza and he was actually there because he was interested in another girl. Long story short, Johnny walked away more interested in me and hustled to find out how to contact me. After our first few conversations, we knew we were perfect for each other. Since Day 1… or maybe 30, Johnny knew my dreams of being a network reporter and I knew Johnny is an entrepreneur by blood. We have been a long-distance relationship about five of our seven years together. Luckily, we did go to college together after all. Hook ’em! Many of you ask about our long-distance relationship so I am sharing how we make it work. Hopefully, some of what works for us, works for you and yours.

Dancing in the snow, winter engagement ideas by photographer Mae SmallMiss Nebraska USA Hoang-Kim Cung in a couture Sherri Hill gown by Winning Crown and her boyfriend Jonathan Van

Johnny and I put our heads together to create this list of seven things to have a happy long-distance relationship. We hope you can find pieces of gold in our list whether you live with your other half or they are halfway across the world.

  1. TRUST – We strongly believe this is the best foundation of any relationship. I never worry Johnny is with another girl, interested in another girl or anything of that sort and vice versa. I have faith in our relationship and him. With this as our base, we are confident in our relationship, our love for one another and our future together. This leaves us free to chase our dreams and live our lives even when we are far apart. This is your foundation. When you’re long distance, this needs to be taken to an extreme. Without an extreme amount of trust in one another and confidence in your relationship, the boat can sink quickly.
  2. COMMUNICATE – This is imperative whether you are long distance or not. Johnny and I do a lot of talking. Find what works for you. We use Facebook Messenger and FaceTime as our main methods of communication. Throughout the day, we will chat on Messenger whether it’s sharing news, something cute we found on Instagram, funny memes, reactions to live news, etc. Honestly anything. The point is I know he’s thinking of me. At night, we FaceTime for at least an hour. Granted, we might not be talking to each other that entire hour, but we are together, enjoying each other’s company. One day when we aren’t in a long-distance relationship, we will nix the nightly FaceTimes, but our Messenger chats will remain. It is so important to learn how to communicate properly with one another. Many of my favorite moments with Johnny were shared virtually and I wouldn’t change that. Johnny and I have maybe been in less than five fights ever. It’s because we handle conflicts when they’re tiny by talking, they diffuse before anything festers and blows up. We are both straightforward, type-A problem solvers when it comes to conflict resolution. Meaning we aren’t afraid to speak up if something discomforts either of us and criticisms aren’t personal. While we are both relatively easy-going people, how much we communicate to one another is no doubt a key to why we don’t fight.
  3. CLEAR TRAJECTORY – Know each other’s “end goals” and what you are ultimately looking for. This may sound a little dramatic, but it’s crucial to know your partner pictures you in their future. When I close my eyes, I see Johnny there as my life partner – whether I am a network TV Journalist, a stay-at-home Mom, become a full-time blogger or whatever. On the outside, being an entrepreneur is so cool right now, but there are long days and nights, uncertainty and much more struggle than easy paths to walk. We know in the future, we want to be together, we want a family together and we want to explore this world, experience new things and grow old together. This allows us to sustain and even strengthen our love while being in a long-distance relationship.
  4. ORIGIN STORIES – Let’s all admit this together, the origin movies for superheroes are almost always the best ones. Why? Because they define the character. They leave a lasting impression on why we care about this character. This is going to sound lame, but retelling how you two met to one another and your favorite memories really help solidify your long-distance relationship. These stories define your relationship and make you one entity and not two separate people. Believe it or not, Johnny and I do tell each other stories of how we met, our favorite times about once or so a week. Nostalgia is a powerful thing. Plus, it’s nice when you are in a long-distance relationship and fall asleep to one of these stories.
  5. PLANNING – Consistently and diligently make plans for the future together. These can be short term, such as a weekend trip or what you’re meal prepping for the week. Or long term such as a potentially moving for a new job or buying a house. You will trust one another so much more if you come up with plans as a team and involve your partner. Even if it is a decision you will ultimately make on your own, being inclusive and let your partner know what is going on is key. Johnny and I plan together, whether it’s that night’s dinner plans or a cross-country move for a job. Being in a long-distance relationship means planning is even more important. It’s good practice before planning gets more complex when you want to have a family of your own.
  6. NEW STORIES/EXPERIENCES – When you experience things together, it bonds you. When you tackle tough obstacles together, you realize how great of a team you are. New stories and experiences do not have to cost a fortune. They can be as simple as discovering a new trail or park in your city or picking up a new hobby together. They can also be big like skydiving or four-wheeling through the dunes of Las Vegas. Johnny and I both love to try new foods and we love to eat. We cannot always eat out, but we enjoy going grocery shopping together and cooking meals together when we are visiting one another. We’ve even shopped and cooked together over FaceTime! Once you have a new experience you both love checked off, you can now add this to your catalog of stories to tell.
  7. BIG & SMALL THINGS MATTER – Remembering important dates and being there during each other’s toughest times will keep you together. But checking in with each other throughout the day, making sure to put dirty socks in the hamper and a small token of appreciation every now and then will keep you two in love. Without fail, Johnny always shows up for the big things. But the small things, including sending me the cutest sticks and gifs or surprising me with a cookie delivery at work when I’ve  had a bad day really really make me love him even more. This is one of my favorite parts of being in a long-distance relationship – I never know what small or big thing Johnny is going to surprise me with next!

Fashion blogger Hoang-Kim wears the Nicole dress by Milly with bell sleeves His & hers outfit of the day on South Congress Ave in Austin, TX

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