Feature image by Molly McCauley
Road trip tunes are essential for any highway time. I’ve spent more hours on the road this summer than ever before. God bless the year of domestic travel! I’ve rounded up three types of playlists for your eargasm pleasure…to be played anywhere, anytime. Sing, dance and feel it all…
I’ve always loved a lil kitchen dancing when I’m whipping up a meal with loved ones…but in quarantine we took it to new heights 🙂 If you’ve been following me on IG, you know what I’m talking about!
Unless you’re a member of Gen Z, oldies are always crowd pleasers 🙂 Five glorious hours of hits await you!
I love this medium for listening, learning, and laughing in the car, on a plane or in my home office. Podcasting humanizes people to a different degree, and it’s become one of my favorite things to do while en route to my destination. I’m not committed to one genre as you can tell by the mix of news, crime and wellbeing. There is something for everyone on this list and life is better with a variety of spices, am I right? My preferred listening platform is Spotify, but the following are available wherever you get your podcasts!
The Joe Rogan Experience by Joe Rogan
Average episode length: 2 hours
We recently listened to the Miley Cyrus and Colin O’Brady episodes on the 14 hour road trip home from Oregon and highly recommend. If you love podcasts, chances are you know Joe Rogan well.
Crime Junkie by audiochuck
Genre: True crime
Average episode length: 40 minutes
I don’t know about y’all, but I live for a good murder mystery. Weird? Maybe. Host Ashely divulges on whatever crime she’s currently obsessing over in a way that feels like your chatting with your friends under the stars with some vino. Tune in every Monday to get your crime fix.
Yoga Girl: Conversations from the Heart with Rachel Brathen
Average episode length: 1 hour
I completed my yoga teacher training with Rachel at Island Yoga Aruba back in 2018. Listening to her podcast is like a weekly check in with my teacher chock full of storytelling, inspiration, mindfulness lessons, mini meditation moments and more. The Yoga Girl community has a little something for everyone, yogi or not.
The Michelle Obama Podcast
Genre: Education, self help, parenting
Average episode length: 45 minutes
You don’t need to be political to develop or deepen your love for the Michelle Obama with this podcast. Tune in to hang out with Michelle and her close friends/family/colleagues and learn about the relationships in our lives that make us who we are.
The Daily by The New York Times
Average episode length: 25 minutes
The Daily gives you the headlines with some need to know info everyday at 6 AM. It’s a digestible way to get some important info currently going on in the world.
Let’s Go Together with Kelle Edwards
Average episode length: 30 minutes
Every Wednesday, Kelle Edwards speaks to new guests about all things travel. You can expect conversations inspiring travel, amplifying diverse voices, and off the beaten path travel experiences. A girl after my own heart!
The Goop Podcast
Genre: Health, wellbeing, lifestyle
Average episode length: 45 minutes
Gwyneth Paltrow and Elise Loehnen interview a variety of experts “from doctors to creators and spiritual leaders to CEO’s” giving insight and starting new conversations around health, wellbeing, fads, and so many other intriguing topics.
The Morning Toast by Toast News Network
Genre: Pop culture, comedy
Average episode length: 1 hour
I am generally pop un-cultured. But when I like to check into the times, Claudia (@girlwithnojob) and Jackie (@jackieoproblems) break down pop culture in a way that feels like hanging out with your girl friends. The fast five stories make me feel like I’m in the know. If you’re like me and get lost with TV shows or story lines that feel unfamiliar (i.e. Housewives) just fast forward through those sections and laugh along with these babes.
The criteria for a good audio book doesn’t stray too far from the criteria of a good paperback. However, there are some things to keep in mind when opting to listen in. Though I’m a sucker for a deep diving spiritual read, I learned the hard way that The Power of Now by Ekhart Tolle is WAY too dense to digest through audio. The following are chock full of great stories, meaningful lessons and narrated by great voices.
Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling narrated by Jim Dale
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert narrated by Elizabeth Gilbert
Untamed by Glennon Doyle narrated by Glennon Doyle
Becoming by Michelle Obama narrated by Michelle Obama
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah narrated by Trevor Noah
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens narrated by Cassandra Campbell
Any other song, podcast or audiobook favorites? Comment below for fellow road trippers!
Energy… it’s all around us and within us. It’s transferable, it’s organized, it is powerful, it’s simple and it can be complex. There are so many types of energy work, but here we’ll scratch the surface of the age-old chakras!
What is a chakra?
The concept comes from early Hinduism traditions and is first written about in the Hindu Vedas, but can also be found in Buddhism, and other Indian religions. Chakra is a Sanskrit word that translates to “wheel”. When in alignment you can imagine positive energy abundantly flowing from wheel to wheel throughout the vessel of your body. There are 7 of these energy centers located along the spine starting at the tailbone extending through the crown of the head.
Muladhara-chakra | Root
- All about: instinct and survival. This chakra is responsible for our fight/flight instinct.
- Location: base of the spine near the tailbone, but can be associated with the bigger muscles/grounded parts of the body like our seat, feet, and legs.
- Color: red
- Element: earth
- Essential oils: patchouli, sandalwood, cedarwood, frankincense
When open we feel grounded and safe, physically and emotionally secure, firm and centered. When imbalanced we may feel restless, disorganized, insecure, and in need of more emotional support.
Svadhisthana-chakra | Sacral
- All about: pleasure, creativity, sexuality. It’s our center for self-worth and connected to self-expression.
- Location: between the belly button and pubic bone
- Color: orange
- Element: water + connected with the moon
- Essential oils: sensual and earthy scents like cardamon, patchouli, ylang-ylang
When in alignment we feel energized, passionate, confident, creative, emotionally intelligent, mindful, and patient. When imbalanced we may feel a lack of passion, fear of change, unable to shake a mood or feeling, and out of touch with our feelings.
Fun ways to activate this chakra include freestyle dancing to music, getting creative in the kitchen, painting, or mandala coloring!
Manipura-chakra | Solar plexus
- All about: self esteem, personal responsibility, and expression of will.
- Location: upper abdomen, near the naval
- Color: yellow
- Element: fire
- Essential oils: chamomile, cypress, juniper, lemon, rosemary
When open our ego is in check, we feel self motivated, and able to bring ideas into reality. When imbalanced we may feel a lack of control, low self-esteem, and trust issues may arise.
The color associated with this chakra is yellow like sunshine! Soaking up some sunshine, getting into nature, and taking a digital detox will serve this chakra well.
Anahata-chakra | Heart
- All about: giving and receiving love + compassion
- Location: heart level in the center of the chest
- Color: green
- Element: air (all about creating space and feeling into the infinite})
- Essential oils: Jasmine, lavender, orange, rose, ylang-ylang
When open and in alignment we are able to love ourselves and others unconditionally, have healthy relationships, a healthy immune system, and are able to forgive. When blocked, we may feel lonely, insecure, isolated, and struggle with jealousy and forgiveness.
The heart chakra is also associated with our immune systems. Yoga and activities that activate this chakra have a lot to do with gentle heart openers and leaning into love.
Vishuddha-chakra | Throat
- All about: communication
- Location: throat
- Color: bright blue
- Element: air (beyond the confines of our earth)
- Essential oils: basil, peppermint, chamomile.. did someone say tea time?
When balanced we are able to breathe deeply and evenly, communicate effectively, and share our truth. When imbalanced we may find difficulty expressing feels or finding words and be prone to gossiping.
Ajna-chakra | Brow
- All about: intuition, imagination, and wisdom
- Location: on the forehead between the eyebrows aka our third eye
- Color: indigo
- Element: light
- Essential oils: lavender, sandalwood, patchouli, frankincense, pine
When open we have clear vision and intuition, it’s easy to see the bigger picture, we are able to inspire and motivate, and we may be able to remember dreams. When imbalanced it may be difficult to concentrate, we will lack imagination, feel foggy, and may experience nightmares.
Sahasrara-chakra | Crown
- All about: spirituality and connecting to life’s purpose
- Location: the crown of the head radiating up (yassss queeen)
- Color: violet/white
- Essential oils: cedarwood, frankincense, jasmine, rose, lavender
When our seventh chakra is in alignment, it is said that all chakras are aligned and we are nearing enlightenment. Also, the mind is open and we are balanced in mind, body, and spirit. When the crown chakra is blocked, we may dwell in our ego, be closed-minded, disconnected, and cynical. The crown chakra is known to develop when one is about 43-49 years of age.
When exploring and diving into any type of energy work be gentle, open, loving, and patient. But also, don’t be afraid to have fun with it! Join us on LimitLes Movement for a 7-class chakra activating series!
Gifts that just make sense this year
Give the *priceless* gift of knowledge from experts in every field you can think of. Learn all about food, arts, design, business, writing, music.. the list goes on from the very best in the business for as little as $15 a month.
If there is anyone left in your life that has yet to upgraded their viewing experience, this is the gift for them. Every streaming service brought to the big screen is a non-negotiable this year.
Give the gift of a sanitized phone with this nifty and 2020 necessary gadget.
This mask is one of few created with an active lifestyle in mind complete with all the functional things (adjustable ear loops and moldable fit around nose + cheekbones) plus TurboDry fabric for exercise.
Call me old school, but I love this foldable bamboo tray. Yes, most of us are still working from home and this is a great way to work, read, and thrive from bed. My favorite use for this sturdy, environmentally friendly bed tray is obviously Sunday brekkie in bed.
This inexpensive but genius gift will inspire any recipient for a new fun way to move! It’s the perfect addition to any at-home workout. Get that cardio in!
This one needs no explanation but definitely deserves a spot in every home and every stocking this year.
For the kiddos (in age or at heart)
I will be a mama come March, but for now I’m the cool aunt. The following gifts are fitting for my current title. Since I haven’t traveled this year to bring extra cool presents home from around the world, the boys will be spoiled the good old fashioned way. Also, some of these gifts are totally appropriate (and encouraged) to gift to the ones in your life who are kids at heart.
All the things you love about the classic foosball made mini, easier to store and more affordable. This works the hand-eye coordination and involves no screen time which translates to educational, right? Right.
With a built in phone holder, this wireless mic does it all. Scan your songs, record your performances, and annoy the heck out of your S.O… I mean let your kids sing their heart out. 😉
This portable blow up can double as a cozy place to nap on the beach or add for game room seating. It’s a practical gift that feels fun! P.S. Adults fit too!
This was just too on-brand not to gift to my nephew! I hope this excites someone out there as much as it does me.
You may be noticing a theme.. sorry (not sorry) sis, your boys will be entering 2021 with all the table-top games!
Add some character to the new mask trend and make it a little more exciting with this cute necklace. In addition to being a conversation starter, it keeps the mask on your little one even if it’s off for lunch!
For the bath-lover in your life
We all know one…and I am one. In fact, thanks to my mama every Murphy girl loves a good bubble bath! My current AR residence has a bath in every bathroom. Baths for all! SCORE!
To those who don’t love baths: I cannot relate, but I can suggest some improvements in your tub game. This little pillow is the key to making a bathtub comfortable. Hooray for waterproof qualities (obvi), and it has enough suction cups to really secure the grip.
These bath bombs and soaks are ethically sourced, cruelty free, and made in the USA. Plus, Musee is on a mission to provide work for vulnerable people in Mississippi. So you can feel extra good gifting these bath accessories!
All of the following bath mats speak to my heart and are #tubtalk approved.
Kitchen & Living
Make a 12 inch, crunchy crust, homemade pizza (or two) in minutes without turning on the oven. Quesadillas, nachos, quiche, GIANT COOKIES… the possibilities are limitless! 😉
This easy to use hand frother makes every barista-style hot chocolate, matcha or cappuccino achievable. My fiancé is a coffee snob who sometimes travels with our beloved Delonghi. This hand frother paired with some coffee beans might be his travel-friendly solve for a Flat White.
The following books are meant to inspire. From Notorius RBG, landscapes that WOW to tips and tricks for LA style tacos, these books deserve to live on a coffee table.
Gifts to inspire self-care
It’s no secret that I’ve been loving this simple yet effective beauty secret. Catch me rolling every AM & PM this pregnancy, especially under my eyes, but I recently found out it can also be used on sore arms & legs!
This is the perfect stocking stuffer for anyone in your life who likes to try a little bit of everything on the market. I’ve personally tried and LOVE some of these products (Hum, Liquid IV, and kindroot).
I’m learning that the trick to a spa-grade pedicure is a good hot soak. This HoMedics classic foot bath heats, massages, and collapses for easy storage.
Crafted in India, this floor cushion is the perfect place to meditate, read, or just make a room cozier.
I don’t know if you know, but cozy is trending. “But Lesley, why amplify a look if you’re not leaving the house?” Allow me to explain. Without sacrificing comfort, putting myself together in the morning significantly helps me have a better day. Here are small ways to amplify a look and get excited about your cozy style.
Gift this USA-made, best selling hair kit by Crown Affair. Contents include satin silk scrunchie (no dents!), *magic* hair oil and a plant-based homemade comb that will take your hair care to the next level.
If you follow me on Instagram you know this is the secret to my unwashed hair of 15 days… Mic drop. This stocking stuffer is a no brainer.
I remember meeting a woman named Emily at yoga camp where we bonded over vegan garlic butter, broken hearts and the mutual last minute acceptance into the month-long Aruba yoga teacher training. At 23 years old with 9 years of yoga under her belt, she quit her job at lululemon in order to meet me, become my assistant and of course, a yoga teacher. Just kidding… sort of. Emily is, in all seriousness, the Goddess, Keeper, and Knower of all things yoga mats, yoga clothes, and yoga leggings. Since embarking on The Road Les Traveled, she has schooled me on all the need-to-knows for yoga and is also to blame for most of my lululemon purchases… oops. #NOTANAD
What defines a good yoga mat?
Most mats will vary between 2mm-7mm (that’s in millimeters, y’all). The thicker the mat, the more cushion to protect your joints. A 2mm mat may lead you to a throbbing knee in crescent lunge and a 7mm mat may have you craving more connection with the ground below your mat during tree pose. A pretty safe bet is the middle ground 5mm mat. But do not be fooled…not all 5mm mats are made equal. Read on yogis…
PVC, aka vinyl, is what the old age, tried-and-true yoga mats are made of. The newer eco friendly mats come in everything from recycled rubber to cotton. Natural rubber is great, don’t get me wrong. I urge you to save the ozone if you’re not allergic to latex, BUT air that baby out properly before being that girl in the studio.
Open cell VS closed cell
Go into any luluemon and they will school you on this terminology that sounds straight out of a high school biology textbook. Let me break it down for you. “Open cell” means you can sweat your heart out and the mat can handle/absorb it. In fact, if you opt for open cell tech, your mat will absorb anything that drips on it. So avoid the mat cleaners/oils to wipe down post-flow. Closed cell technology means your mat will not absorb moisture but needs to be wiped clean. Open cell tech is great for hot yoga, but it needs a warm soap and water rinse to refresh. Closed cell tech is great for those who don’t plan on dripping sweat every use and want to spray and wipe your mat clean.
Sticky, grippy, smooth, rough, grainy. All words to describe the texture of the (wind beneath your wings) mat below your feet. I say- to each their own. Personally, though they may seem mutually exclusive, I tend toward a smooth but sticky mat.
Price & Durability
I still have my very first yoga mat stored in my childhood closet for no particular reason other than nostalgia and that it was $20 from Marshalls. It served its purpose as a surface to move on, but let me be the first to advise you… invest in your yoga mat. The surface you move on can affect your practice, and the right tools really do make a difference. A good yoga mat should offer you up to 5 years of a non-slip, supported surface. Invest wherever your heart desires, but here’s my recommendations based on how you like to flow!
Best for: Hot yoga
- Price: $150
- Highlight features: The eKO mat base is made from sustainably harvested tree rubber, non-toxic, + practice yoga WHILE giving back and flowing for a cause!
Mastectomy tattoo artist David Allen collaborated with Manduka to produce the beautiful mat above with open cell technology where 100% of all net profits from this mat will directly benefit Susan G. Komen until December 31st, 2019. It’s like a yoga towel and a yoga mat had a baby and BOOM! This beauty was born.
- Weight: 5.24 lbs
- Price: $78
- Highlight features: Open cell technology, natural rubber, reversible, and an antimicrobial additive
Tried and true. It’s never too early to start loving your joints. So say hello to this 5mm thick reversible Lululemon mat. With open cell technology, you can confidently power flow your ass off in a hot room. Bonus – due to the antimicrobial treatment you do not have to wash it every time. Sorry clean freaks, it’s the truth. I would hose mine down with soap and warm water then hang to dry. Note to all dirty hippies out there (hi Emily): throw a yoga towel down for added absorption and you can wait another few sessions before the hose down.
Best for: Travel
To be honest, I haven’t carried a “travel yoga mat” with me in the past year. Since I got certified, I try to practice every day no matter where I am in the world. I lug my 5mm mat around every airport through every TSA check and smile at the flight attendants when I carry it on the plane accompanied by my personal item(s) & carry on.. Half hiding it, half praying they see it and say nothing.
- Weight: 3.87 lbs
- Price: $68
- Highlight features: Open cell technology, natural rubber, reversible, antimicrobial additive
Because The Road Les Traveled may take you to a yin class post-Patagonia trek or a power vinyasa flow in a Balinese hut, you can opt for the slightly thinner version of the Lululemon reversible mat. With the same exact reliable characteristics as its 5mm big sis, you can pack an extra few yoga pants with the 2 lb difference!
- Weight: 2.2 lbs
- Price: $54
- Highlight features: 1.5mm closed cell tech, natural rubber, and 99% latex-free
This mat is thin, but boy is it light. With the classic Manduka grip, you can count on flowing without slipping. Would I practice on this mat everyday for a month? No. But I would suggest it as a packing essential if you don’t want to lug around your 5mm mat.
Best for: Everyday (the committed yogi)
- Weight: 4 lbs
- Price: $60 (starting rate)
- Highlight features: 4.7mm, closed cell technology, zero waste, 100% latex-free, and a lifetime guarantee
Manduka has become the go-to yoga mat brand worldwide and for good reason. This is one of the most popular Manduka mats you will see. The closed cell technology makes it super easy to clean. If you plan on sweating, you can lay a Yogi Toes towel over your mat to accompany those extra sweaty vinyasas. Plus, it is made from sustainably harvested rubber contributing zero waste to the world in the process.
Best for: Every Other Day (the sporadic yogi)
- Weight: 2.3 lbs
- Price: $48
- Highlight features: Closed cell tech, lightweight, alignment strip, and eco-friendly manufacturing
Grippy & reversible with an alignment strip down the middle. We gifted this mat to all of our LimitLes in Bali 2018 babes. The lower price point, beginner friendly features, and eco friendly manufacturing will be an investment you can feel good about making. Plus, if your yoga practice becomes more frequent, this lightweight reliable mat can become your go-to travel mat.
- 4.76mm thick
- Weight: 5 pounds
- Price: $79.95
For me, the lack of love for this mat is simply a texture preference. It’s a little too grainy for my linking. I’ve never slipped, but I did get calluses on my palms with frequent practice (TMI?!). BUT I love all that Jade is and does. Jade plants a tree for every mat sold and the purchase of certain color mats contributes $5 to charity. Plus, they are made in the good ole USA!
Other brands to check out: Prana, Hugger mugger, Alo, Gaiam.
So yogis, weather you’re a plant eating, daily practicing yogi or your practice is slow, sporadic, and followed by a glass of wine with friends (btw I’m both of these depending on the day)… there’s a yoga mat out there for you.
Are you in a committed relationship with a mat I haven’t mentioned above? Drop a comment below so I can expand my horizons. Happy flowing!
On the final day of giveaways, we end on a BANG! I’m gifting one lucky winner and a +1 the ultimate getaway experience to one of my favorite properties: The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua plus a Flytographer experience in Maui, Hawai’i!
This island paradise comes with 22,000 acres of wide open space full of limitless opportunities for outdoor adventure including miles of hiking trails, six golden sand beaches, two championship golf courses and two natural marine sanctuaries. While the magic of travel has seemed far away this year, that doesn’t mean we can’t plan our dream vacation! When the time is right, Kapalua awaits…
4-night stay at The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua
One lucky winner will win:
- A 4-night stay on property
- Spa experience for 2
- Lunch for 2 at the oceanfront Burger Shack
60-minute shoot with Flytographer
valued at $350
Alex and I were gifted a 60-minute Flytographer experience in Switzerland last year, and it was such a treat. We’ve both spent a lot of time behind the camera during our careers, so to leave the tripod behind and both get in front of the camera for an extended period of time was a breath of fresh air! Get excited for professionally-captured Maui memories!
Requirements for Entry:
1. Tag your travel buddy on this IG post (both must be following me); Each tagged comment counts as a new entry so enter as many times as you like!
2. Share this post on your IG Story!
Open globally to participants 18 years of age and older. Private and public accounts welcome. Giveaway closes 12/20/20 at 11:59pm EST. Winner announced 12/21/20 via Instagram DM. The approximate retail value of the giveaway is $5,000+. Actual value depends on market conditions/pricing at time of fulfillment. Reservations are based on availability and do not include holiday dates of December 18 – January 5, peak seasons and special events. Travel must be completed before December 31, 2021. The winner is responsible for any airfare, additional meals, activities and travel insurance during their time on property. All other expenses, costs, and third-party fees not expressly listed above, including but not limited to food, drinks, activities, gratuities, and other incidentals are solely the winner’s responsibility. Good luck!
valued at $399+
Measure sleep trends, monitor heart rate and oxygen levels of your little one with this duo. This device comes with HD audio & video quality good enough to get my drone pilot excited. 😉 I hear it’s a new born must-have, and I’m so excited to use mine come March + gift one to a new parent out there!
A Pea In The Pod is my maternity style go-to. They are highly rated by other mamas (and this mama) for good reason. You can’t beat the high quality and easy-to-shop sizing. Currently crushing on Articles of Society Secret Fit Belly Mya Skinny.
valued at $150+
Enfamil NeuroPro Infant Formula, Enfamil NeuroPro Gentlease Infant Formula, Enfamil Enspire Infant Forumla, and Enfamil Premium A2 Infant Formula
We fully support breastfeeding, but sending along a range of Enfamil products should you decide formula-feeding is the best option for you and your little one.
valued at $130+
These Solly baby bundles are highly sought after, and now I know first hand why! The bundle includes a Solly Baby wrap, a buttery soft swaddle, a wide neck sleeper and a “Mother Yourself” guide filled with gentle reminders to take care of yourself, too.
valued at $30
4-pack of 9 oz natural bottles
The Philips Avent Natural baby bottle is made for moms who want to combine breastfeeding and bottle feeding. The ultra-soft, breast-inspired nipple encourages a natural latch and mimics the feel of a breast, making the switch between breast and bottle smooth for you and your little one.
Requirements for entry:
- Nominate yourself or a new parent who needs these baby essentials on my latest IG post. Must be following me to win.
- Comment on that IG post sharing the most valuable piece of advice your parents gave to you OR the best piece of parenting advice you were given a new mom/dad/parent.
This sweepstakes is not affiliated with Instagram in any way. Winner must be 18 years or older. Competition closes 12/19/2020 11:59 PM EST. One winner will be contacted via Instagram DM by Monday 12/21/2029 3:00 PM EST.