Mondays with Lila • Recap


I'm so enjoying Mondays With Lila as a platform to share how I live a wellness-centric life on a 24-year old's budget. For those who may have no clue what I'm talking about - tune into @freeandnative Instagram stories on Mondays, or check out the highlight we've created on the Instagram feed.

I've always been wellness-obsessed. In college, I attempted to create a blog aimed to teach my peers how to be healthy and live healthy on "a college student's budget." Whole Foods was (is) my second home and I spent the wee hours of the night googling as much as I could about nutrition. But, I always had this twinge of inadequacy. I followed the whole list of online wellness gurus, drooling over their blue matcha smoothie bowls, grilled salmon platters, and super chic workout attire. This level of wellness just felt absolutely unattainable. I knew my bank balance and it was not about to budge anytime soon.

Raise your hand if you've felt the same.

But, I've carried on and continue to integrate attainable wellness practices into my everyday. Wellness is absolutely attainable and completely customizable to anyone willing to make a few adjustments and to STOP comparing themselves to the gurus and public idols. I'm sharing little tidbits, tips, and tricks I've picked up along the years with all who will tune into my Monday ramblings.

Here's a little recap of my favorite tidbits thus far.




I feel like the world wide web is inundated with articles highlighting the hours-long indulgent morning routines of beautiful people with dewy skin. I do believe that waking up with a few habits in place to kick-start a great day is a wonderful practice to integrate --- but come on people. A morning routine lasting from 4am - 8am with powders, juices, saunas, serums...breathe. We are all capable of waking up dewy and blissful. Here's how I do it (not always so blissful and dewy I must admit).

MEDITATE • Again, basically free and allows me to start my day with a clear mind. Meditation was intimidating to me at first and something I felt only the super gurus were capable of integrating. But, I've been using the Calm App and it's fun to see how long of a streak I can get. It really only takes 5 minutes.

LOVE ME A JADE ROLLER • Literally $17 to feel like a queen.

CHOOSE YOUR STAPLES • If something makes you truly feel amazing, then make it a nonnegotiable! For me, it's collagen and matcha. I can see and feel the difference in my skin and nails since making collagen a daily staple, so I set some funds aside to keep it stocked. I'm also obsessed with smoothies, so I invested in a decent blender that has lasted me now over 4 years! Linked below. 

DO SOMETHING THAT MAKES YOU FEEL COZY • Whether this be a steaming cup of coffee or a blended super tonic sipped while tucked back in bed. Most mornings for me start early and are pretty hectic, but having some cozy time before helps to reduce my stress. Just make sure you eat something with protein and healthy fats before anything caffeinated.

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Nothing like a spa day to leave you oozing with the pride of accomplishing self-care, and of course completely relaxed and rejuvenated. You don't need to speed off to a fancy spa doting an über comfy robe (although that would be nice). Here's how I indulge in self-care at home.

SET THE MOOD • Clean your space, light candles, burn sage, play some of your favorite music. It's all about the atmosphere you create.

HOMEMADE FACE MASK • You can make a nourishing face mask with nearly anything in your kitchen. My favorite is a mix of yogurt, oats and honey. You can add sugar for exfoliation, strawberries for brightening or avocado for moisturizing. 

BATH • Just some epsom salts, eucalyptus oil and your favorite book - my current read is our book of the month: Anatomy of the Spirit by Caroline Myss. 

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I've struggled with this a lot more than I had imagined I would since moving to LA. In a city filled with likeminded folk, people doing what I seek to do and a city built on making connections...I'm feeling quite alone. Seeking community has been a slow process, but I've discovered avenues for meeting new people.

MEET UP • Join groups for a small charge or for free! Whether hiking, painting or grabbing drinks. 

DATING APPS • Approaching dating apps with the right intention and filter - you may just find a new best friend! Try Bumble BFF or Bumble Biz.

BE OPEN • Say hello to your neighbor in your next yoga class, buy a stranger behind you in line a cup of coffee. Kindness creates community.




I dream of those beautiful, rainbow-packed fridges posed inside magazines and strutting across my Instagram feed. Eating like a green goddess used to intimidate me, but I've since discovered how to pride myself on my pantry without overspending.

THRIVE MARKET • Check out the free trial this online grocery service offers to stock up on some superfood staples for cheap! I load up on chia seeds, collagen...sprouted nuts. You name it, Thrive has it.

VERSATILE FOODS • Coconut oil, avocado oil...use them on your body and your food to make the most of your pricier purchases - and your cheaper purchases! Use that chickpea flour you bought once and forgot you had as face wash!

BE AWARE OF THE DIRTY DOZEN • This list of fruits and veggies that are best to be bought organic has saved my grocery bill twice over. I do opt for all organic when I can, but understanding which foods absorb pesticides (the dirty dozen) and which are safe to purchase conventionally can save you some money and give you peace of mind.

GROW YOUR HERBS • There's nothing quite like fresh basil in the summertime. Nurture your own basil plant for fresh herbs all year long.

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Travel is my number-one passion, so I prioritize these expenses over new clothes or updated electronics. Yet adventure does not require many funds. Travel could be a road trip to the mountains, a day at a new beach or a plane ride away. My most recent trip to Hawaii was one done on a small budget and it seriously soothed my soul.

SCOTT'S CHEAP FLIGHTS • Great for spontaneous travel. This email list-serve sends out notifications of cheap flights to places all over the world, with date ranges of when these low fares are applicable. I bought my flight to Hawaii via an email I received for less than $300. Roundtrip! 

AIRBNB • Much cheaper than hotel and offers a kitchen for homemade meals. Buy local food and prepare at home to save money on meals.

PRIORITIZE • If your funds are limited, choose what matters most to you. Is it fine-dining seaside? Or taking a boat trip around the island? Maybe it's both - you're on vacation, so don't stress. Enjoy the experience and cut back at home.


Wellness is absolutely accessible to all.

Don't be intimidated or discouraged by all you see on social media. Follow your intuition, do what makes you feel like your best self, choose your indulgences and remember,


You are your most prized possession and you are worthy of wellness in all forms.



A California creative with a passion for travel, art, frothy lattes and extra cinnamon.

Manifestation with Lacy Phillips