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tax day: a nightmare IRL

Though it’s a great creative outlet and gives me some extra cash for luxurious things (like traveling, new shoes, and manicures), freelancing isn’t always a breeze. Cue: taxes.

I consider myself to be pretty financially responsible. I have a retirement savings plan, invest in the stock market, pay my credit card bill in full every month, and thrive at department store clearance racks. But taxes are a whole other game.

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Luckily, my trusty accountant (known to me as “Dad”) has been Turbo Tax-ing for me for the last few years. I’ve previously gotten sizable refunds, so this year, I was shocked to find out I’d be getting nothing…and instead, owed the government a good chunk of change. I’d been planning to upgrade my computer with the return I expected, but, alas, I wrote checks to the IRS.

As a freelancer, I got a stack of 1099s in the mail, chronicling my earnings for the various media outlets I write for. I started putting money aside last year to pay my 2017 taxes, and ended up transferring those funds to a high yield savings account. I earned about $100 in interest in a year, so I highly recommend it. (I used American Express.)

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I feel like financial security is something that’s often overlooked, especially by millennials. My parents grew up pinching pennies, so they’ve always been frugal, a practice that has rubbed off on me a little. I have expensive taste and don’t think twice about the occasional splurge, but I get most of my wardrobe from low-brow retailers like Zara, bring my lunch to work 90% of the time, and have drastically cut back on fancy coffees.

Anyway, I guess the lesson here is that I should start saving for next year’s taxes right now. Sigh.

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pin-spiration

pin-spiration: balloons

Does it get better than balloons? Something about shiny, colorful balloons reminds me of birthday parties and all kinds of good celebrations. Last spring, Maman (a coffee shop in NYC) teamed up with Anthropologie’s bridal brand, BHLDN, to create a helium-filled display that was all over Instagram. And Geronimo is crafting balloon installations all over L.A. – check out their Insta page.

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elements of a dream job, according to me

It’s been kind of weird realizing that work is, in fact, “work” and isn’t always fun. As I spend more time in the workforce and have gotten to peek in to various office environments, I’ve started keeping a mental list of everything there would be in my dreamy perfect corporate environment (though I doubt I’ll ever find a job with these elements). What’s on the top of your workplace wish list

An office dog.

I once worked in a dog-friendly office building and seeing pups in the elevator every day made me so happy.

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Somewhere to take a nap.

Or at least a daily nap-time allotment. Being an adult is exhausting, ok?!??

Diet Coke on tap.

Or seltzer. Along with plenty of ice. One place I previously worked had a whole soda fountain available for free…but it was disappointingly stocked with Pepsi products.

The ability to do my nails at my desk without feeling self-conscious.

When I was an intern, the girl who sat next to me used to do this and I always thought it was ballsy AF. Honestly, I’d probably do this now if someone would invent scent-free nail polish.

An expense account.

Remember that Seinfeld episode when Elaine goes a little nuts with her corporate card? That’s what I have in mind.

 

 

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travel vignettes: stockholm

licorice
blonde
skansen
kanelbullar (cinnamon buns!)
reindeer
krona
monteliusvägen
fries
smørrebrød
IKEA

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picture by Anna Berger

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eat-a-city

eat-a-city: REYKJAVIK

I recently checked something off my things-to-do-before-I-turn-30 list: going to Iceland! I went with my friend Klaudia for a long weekend in March, and we had a great time. I’d been wanting to go for so long, and when we were able to score a round trip flight for under $300 (!!!) we just had to go.

As is true with any city I visit, I was eager to hunt out the best foodie spots. I got some great tips from friends who had already been to Reykjavik, as well as questionable recommendations from co-workers who encouraged me to try the whale (I didn’t). I also browsed Instagram for recommendations, and we managed to have a lot of yummy meals.

Sandholt

This was our first meal after arriving on a red-eye. We had time to kill before we could check in to our Airbnb, and this was one of the few eateries open before 9am (so un-American). We settled in for a leisurely breakfast, and enjoyed super flaky croissants, fruit, coffee, and chia pudding.

Flatey Pizza

Neapolitan pizza? In Iceland?? Yes, it’s possible! I did a quick Yelp search for pizza in Reykjavik, since it’s an expensive city and pizza is filling and usually affordable, and when I saw photos of the pizza here, I was sold. It tasted as good as it looked! Mine had pickled peppers, pepperoni, and honey on top.

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Brauð & Co

Two different people recommended the cinnamon rolls at this bakery to me. I was skeptical when I saw them since they didn’t have any icing, but the insane amount of cinnamon made up for it.

Reykjavik Roasters

We stumbled across this cute coffee shop on our way to Hallgrímskirkja, the beautiful church. Teeny iced lattes and a chocolate croissant kept our bellies happy until dinnertime.

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Bergsson Mathús

This was my favorite eatery we went to in Reykjavik, mostly for the aesthetics. The restaurant was sooo cute, and the food was affordable and delicious. We actually went here two other times, just for coffee. We had a simple brunch here one day of Icelandic yogurt, soft-boiled eggs, fresh bread, cheese, and prosciutto.

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my favorite words

I make a living playing with words, whether it’s writing an advertisement or describing various types of food and drink. These are some of my very favorite words (in alphabetical order), along with images that remind me of them.

Demure.

A teacher once described me as “demure” and it sounds so much nicer than “quiet.”

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Effervescent.

The only thing better than “eternal.”

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Grace.

Jealous of anyone named this.

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Quintessential.

Because why would you say “essential” when you could say “quintessential?”

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Sparkle.

Clothes, eyes, smiles, sunlight…everything sparkles.

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Summer.

It just makes me happy, especially when used as a verb.

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Wander.

Like “travel,” but more wistful.

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pin-spiration: SPRING

Spring has sprung! Well, kind of. And Happy Easter to everyone who’s participating! I’m so excited to celebrate the end of Lent by getting to eat ICE CREAM again. Since warmer weather is in the (hopefully) near future, I wanted to round up some colorful, spring-y images that are keeping my winter spirits up.

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calories worth consuming

It’s no secret that I love to eat. I appreciate all kinds of food, whether it’s a super fancy pizza or an old standby, like a vanilla cone from Dairy Queen. A lot of times, I’d rather skip a snack or wait for something better instead of “wasting” calories on a food item not worth its value in flavor.

I gave up “sweets” for Lent, and though I’ve had a few pieces of banana bread (technically a breakfast food!!) and some dark chocolate (to scare off starvation in Iceland!), it’s been a challenge. I usually end each day with something sweet – often a scoop of frozen yogurt (Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food is a go-to) or something dipped in chocolate hummus. It’s gotten me thinking about the foods that are worth eating, no matter how much fat or sugar it contains. Here’s my definitive list.

Ice cream.

I only buy frozen yogurt or low-fat ice cream to keep at home, so when I go “out” for ice cream, I want the good stuff. Full fat. Maybe a waffle cone. Maybe a sundae if I’m feeling famished.

the best things in life are pistachio-flavored 🍦

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Wine.

Especially rosé. Especially in warm weather.

Necessary. #humpday #rosé #repost @quaintrellebyab

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Pizza.

Again…the good stuff. Stringy mozz. Not-too-sweet tomato sauce. Lots of fresh basil. Maybe some kind of spicy pork product. Mike’s Hot Honey if you have it.

weekends are a lifestyle 🍕 #thisisfall #franklinave #fiordilatte @barboncinopizza

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Doughnuts.

I probably have four doughnuts a year, so they need to be good to be worth eating. One of this allotment is reserved for an apple cider doughnut each fall. In January, I had a doughnut from Kane’s, a Boston icon that lived up to the hype.

preferred breakfast spread 🍩 #sweets via @glitterguide @caitlinkruse

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Brunch.

Belgian waffles, pancakes, and allll the whipped cream. Plus maple syrup. And fresh berries. Nothing like a midday sugar high.

new post is up…spoiler: boys scientifically don't really hate brunch. #linkinbio

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Good bread.

I told you I’m obsessed with carbs. Not sandwich bread, or pita bread, but real, crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside bread. Preferably with lots of Kate’s butter and a little salt on top.

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all that glitters is…silver?

Lately, I’ve been trying to step up my accessory game. My closet is literally overflowing with clothes, so instead of adding to that inventory, I’m making an effort to style forgotten pieces of clothing with new jewelry.

That’s why I was PUMPED when I learned more about Rocksbox, a jewelry subscription that lets you try out all kinds of designer jewelry before you commit to buying it. I’m always hesitant to order earrings online because it’s hard to tell how big they are, and whether or not they’ll be too heavy for my ears…so this experience has been amazing so far.

I almost exclusively wear silver jewelry, so I listed that as a preference when I took the initial style quiz. They have products from some of my favorite labels like Kate Spade, Gorjana, Kendra Scott, and House of Harlow 1960, so there was tons of stuff I immediately added to my wish list. Can you tell I’m a sucker for statement earrings?

I’m not a salesperson, but this is a subscription box that I’d seen on Instagram and heard good things about…so it’s been super exciting for me to be a part of Rocksbox.

You can also apply the $21 monthly fee as a credit towards a purchase from your box, so it’s a win-win situation. Not to mention that they have a ton of insanely cute stuff that’s up to 40% off the retail price.

If you wanna check it out, click here and get a free month! You can be an #RBItGirl, too.

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Rocksbox.

Unlimited Jewelry? Yes Please!

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binge-worthy shows

I love TV. Like, a lot. Whether it’s a seven-season sitcom or drama mini-series, if it’s quality television, I’m there. I guess “quality TV” is kind of subjective. There are shows that I like to watch (like Law & Order: SVU) that I realize aren’t in the canon of critically exceptional TV, but I appreciate them for what they are and consider them binge-worthy. Here are some others.

The Honorable Woman

Ok, I haven’t finished watching yet, but HOW HAD I NEVER HEARD OF THIS?! I’ve never been a big fan of Maggie Gyllenhaal, but this eight-part series is sooooo good. Everything from the cast to the script to the cinematography to the story. I promise you won’t hate it.

This Is Us

I hate cliffhangers and having to wait a week for a new episode, so this is a show that I have to binge-watch. I find Mandy Moore pretty annoying in this show, but there are so many other A+ characters that I’ve been a devout watcher.

The Handmaid’s Tale

If you haven’t watched the first season, do it now. I’ve been waiting for literally a year for the second season to come out, and this show deserves all the hype and awards it’s received. Television like this is a reminder of how powerful the medium can be.

Broad City

On a lighter note, Broad City is one of my favorite comedy series, and the short episodes (around 22 minutes) make for perfect bingeing. I don’t have cable, so I have to wait til these guys come out on Hulu to watch…which just means I can stream a whole season in one day.

Mindhunter

I love Criminal Minds and SUV, so this show was a no-brainer binge-watcher for me. I’m not a huge fan of the casting choice for the main character, but I appreciate the production value of this series. Plus, it’s fascinating to see how behavior analysis began at the FBI.

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pin-spiration: PASTA

Just thought I’d follow up my ode to carbohydrates with a wheat-filled pin-spiration post. I love marinara, but only my mom’s, so these are all pictures for buttery, cheesy, herb-y pasta dishes that are literally making my mouth water.

What’s your favorite kind of noodle?

 

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an ode to carbs

I’m willing to try almost any diet trend. I was a vegetarian for years. I’d LOVE to go eat at a vegan restaurant. I’ve drastically cut back on dairy, save for frozen yogurt and cheese indulgences. But one thing I’ll never quit? Carbs.

I don’t know why anyone would voluntarily decide to be gluten-free. If I could eat one thing for the rest of my life, it would probably be pizza. Or pasta. Or really crusty French bread with well-salted butter. Or a perfectly made BLT…I love a sandwich. Even freakin’ God said we’re supposed to eat “daily bread.” (Ok, that might be a stretch.)

For Lent this year, I gave up sweets. I realize that “sweets” is a pretty general categorization, and I haven’t 100% followed my sacrifice, but it hasn’t been too bad. (Though I’m not particularly religious, I usually give up some kind of food or drink for Lent every year since by this point I’ve fallen off my “new year, new body” kick.)

But I don’t think I’ll ever be able to fully quit bread. Why would you give up something that tastes so good? That’s so filling? So cheap??? When you’re at a restaurant, isn’t pizza or pasta usually the most inexpensive thing on the menu? Move over, filet mignon. I’ll take a loaf of bread over you any day.

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travel vignettes: BROOKLYN

prospect park
pizza
summer
jewish
brownstones
barbecue
IKEA
backyard
bodega
bagels
wonder wheel
mckibbin
flea market
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photo via allthebuildingsinnewyork.com

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things to do while you’re waiting for a text back

I don’t know if they’re abandonment or attention issues, but something is definitely wrong with me. My thoughts always shoot to the worst-case scenario, and this has negatively affected many past relationshipsIf he’s not texting me back, he’s probably on a date with someone else. Maybe he’s ghosting me. Why’s there a weird emoji next to his name on Snapchat? Did he unfollow me on Instagram?

Aaaaaand that’s just a little taste of how psycho I am. Here’s what I do to come back to normal.

1. Write a blog post.

2. Do some squats.

3. Browse through Tumblr.

4. Call my mom.

5. Go grocery shopping.

6. Knock out some freelance work.

7. Slap on a face mask.

8. Play Words with Friends.

9. Make a cup of coffee.

10. Go on Pinterest and look at wedding photos.

11. Eat a spoonful of Phish Food.

12. Read your entire text history and wonder where you went wrong.

 

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my favorite podcasts


Since graduating from college two years ago and entering the workforce, I’ve spent A LOT of time sitting at desks and commuting, and needed something besides Pandora and coffee to keep me from falling asleep. Enter: podcasts.

Like so many others, my introduction to podcasts started with Serial. SO GOOD. Like, Law & Order SVU for your ears. I binge-listened to the whole thing on the train ride to work in, like, one week (should’ve paced myself), and then started to branch out to other podcasts.

As a fan of the aforementioned SVU franchise as well as Making A Murderer, I love a true crime story – so those are most of what I listened to in my early podcasting days. Since then, I’ve ventured into other genres and have truly found some gems. These are my favorites.

2 Dope Queens

This one makes me literally LOL in silent subway cars and at my desk. So many good guest stars. Also, big fan of The Incredible Jessica James (on Netflix!) which stars one of the 2 Dope Queens, Jessica Williams.

OMG. This dope AF #fanart from @bpeppersart has us LIVING over here. THANK YOU!

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Locked Up Abroad

You’ll be gripping the edge of your seat! So dramatic, and so attention-captivating – a must for my short attention span.

Join us on Sunday's at 9PM for all new episodes of #LockedUpAbroad #LUA

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S-Town

This is from the producers of Serial, and is SO. GOOD. It came out one episode at a time last summer, but now you can binge the whole thing.

The beautiful #STown artwork is by @ValeroDoval.

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This American Life

In my world, ‘This American Life’ is like, the forefather of podcasts. Something about Ira Glass’s voice soothes me, and I feel so smart when I’m listening to one of the episodes.

Inktober Podcast Challenge: 31 Podcasts in 31 Days Oct 1: This American Life – Ira Glass When I was in art school, I picked up a great tip from my classmates- podcasts are great for listening to while you draw! The first podcast I listened to was This American Life, featuring different stories on a theme from a stable of regular contributors. It's also the only podcast I ever caught up on. I spent hours and hours on a very detailed painting around 2011, and listened to TAL for most of that time. Now I've let myself lapse but I still dip in every now and then. Production Value: High Familiarity: Comforting Key Feature: Torey Malatia sign-off #podcast #podcasts #thisamericanlife #thisamericanlifepodcast #iraglass #inktober #inktober2017 #podcastchallenge

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Radiolab

This isn’t a serial-style podcast (each one is different), but there are lots of incredible documentary episodes that have restored my faith in humans.

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people, the latest

a woman’s place is in…wherever she chooses

You might have noticed that yesterday was International Women’s Day. While I think women should be celebrated, respected, and appreciated every day of the year, it’s nice that there’s a day devoted to US.

It took me a long time to realize that it’s ok for me to take up space in the world – that I shouldn’t have to shrink or dumb myself down. I am so grateful that I’m a woman in this generation. So many things have happened in the last few years to unite women of all ages and races, and I’m inspired daily by amazing ladies who are doing the most in the world. Here are some female-driven platforms and brands that continuously amaze me.

Man Repeller

I love Man Repeller. It is my dream to write for them or work for them. I’d literally live in my car and intern for free – seriously. I have so much respect for the platform that Leandra Medine has built from the ground up. Though the site started as a fashion blog, MR covers all kinds of pop culture and political issues, and features personal narratives and comical round-ups. Seeing how much MR has grown is what inspires me to keep blogging and creating content.

Hill House Home

I started following Nell Diamond on Instagram after I saw a feature about her on Man Repeller. She started Hill House Home, a luxury bedding company (those custom pillowcases are high on my wishlist), and though her personal and brand styles are highly feminine, she’s definitely a badass.

Nightcap? // Chancery Grey x Waverly Dusty Pink #hhhmonos #hillhousehome

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Rudy Jude

This organic children’s clothing brand is another Instagram find, and I follow founder Julie O’Rourke. She lives a beautifully rustic life on an island in Maine, and I love seeing the photos of her travels and family. She’s expanding the Rudy Jude collection to adult sizes soon!!

Dear Frances

Shoes I dream about. Literally. In addition to being designed by women and made from sustainable materials, Dear Frances donates a pair of shoes to someone in need for every pair sold.

Fawn SPIRIT Boots | dearfrances.com

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pin-spiration: plants

Nor’easters aside, spring is in the air!! Tulips and daffodils have appeared at the grocery store! March is an “official” spring month, right? I love plants all year round, but since my birthday bouquet has finally kicked the bucket, I’m getting ready to bring some new greenery into my life.

I’m a sucker for succulents (see what I did there), potted aloe, and any other leafy green things. What are your favorite plants?

Follow me on Pinterest.

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travel vignettes: MARRAKECH

riad
orange juice
mint tea
camels
tile
garden
palms
doors
prayer
dirham
medina

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photo via apartment therapy

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the best travel souvenirs

One of my favorite things to do when I travel…is shop! Well, I love to shop all the time, but especially when I’m in a new place. Whether it’s a specialty food store or a cute boutique, traveling is a great opportunity pick up a new pair of shoes or a jar of local jam that nobody back home will have. I’ve also come to resist purchasing knick-knacks, though sometimes I’m tempted.

After living in a string of teeny New York apartments, it’s hard to bring non-practical items into a small space, knowing that you’ll probably have to pack it up and move in the near future. So, I’ve tried to condition myself to only buy souvenirs that I can use in everyday life. Here are some of my go-to items.

Reusable shopping bags.

When I studied abroad, I bought one of these at a supermarket in almost every city I went to. They only cost a dollar or two, and I still use them when I go grocery shopping. Plus, having canvas bags with writing in Dutch, French, etc. makes me feel cultured AF. This one is similar to the one I bought at Dille & Kamille, one of my favorite stores in Amsterdam.

Health and beauty products.

Whether it’s a bottle of sunscreen or locally made lotion you fell in love with, every time you use it, you’ll be instantly transported to the city where you bought it. I can pretty much guarantee this. I was OBSESSED with salt scrub when I went to Key West (our B&B had jars in the bathroom) and I had to buy some to bring back.

Candles.

One of my souvenirs from my recent trip to Savannah was a small candle, scented “magic, mystery, and Spanish moss.” It was tiny enough to stash in my purse since I didn’t check a bag, and whenever I light it, I’m reminded of the Spanish moss-draped streets of this sweet Southern city.

Something edible.

When I was in Spain this past summer, I didn’t have time to do a ton of shopping – and space in my suitcase was pretty limited. I bought a canvas bag in Barcelona per my reusable shopping bag rule, and also a small tin of olive oil. Budget-friendly and TSA-approved. And once I use it all, I can turn the tin into a fridge magnet or use it as a miniature flower vase.

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links i loved this month

Has February been flying by or what?? I know it’s the shortest month of the year, but it felt ESPECIALLY brief this year. I think the worst part of getting older has been realizing how quickly time goes by…I guess my parents were right about that!

Anyway, if you’re having a slow Monday at work, here’s some entertainment from around the internet.

This Man Repeller piece I literally LOL’ed at.

Videos of Adam Rippon skating. I want so badly to be his friend.

Refinery29’s tour of this lofted Bushwick AirBnb.

Anine Bing’s advice on designing your dream job.

A beautiful article about my favorite artist, James Turrell.

Julie O’Rourke’s photo tour of a Portugal summer.

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my reading bucket list

When I was growing up, I read books like they were going out of style. I used to get overwhelmed by how many books there were at the library, taking out a dozen at a time and begging my mom to let me stay up an hour (or three) after my bedtime to I could keep consuming literature.

Then in high school, I stopped reading for fun. I had so much reading to do for school that I didn’t have time to read for pleasure…and reading became a dreaded assignment instead of a hobby. Recently, I’ve been pushing myself to pick up a book every once in a while, and I’ve begun to remember why I enjoyed reading so much. One of my favorite sites, Man Repeller, has put out a lot of great book round-ups, so kudos to them for the literary inspo.

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pin-spiration: millennial pink

Millennial pink has been “in” for a while now, but I don’t think it’s going anywhere. From iPhones to water bottles, I take every opportunity I get to make a purchase in this color. Here’s some pastel inspo from Pinterest.

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eat-a-city: SAVANNAH

In celebration of my birthday, I took a long weekend trip to Savannah, GA. It seems like kind of a random place to go, but I’d heard good things about the food and the scenery, and with a round-trip flight under $200, my sister (Diana) and I were game. We brought our mom, too. In the weeks leading up to the trip, we scoured Instagram and Yelp to compile a bucket-list of places to eat. These were my favorites.

The Collins Quarter

This place is brunch HEAVEN (and reminded me a lot of Two Hands in NYC). I got my go-to: avocado toast. Was not disappointed. My mom ordered a prosciutto eggs bene, and my sister got some kind of short rib/hash brown combination that was extremely tasty. In an ironic move, cold brew coffee from Brooklyn was served here.

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Leopold’s Ice Cream

Another frequently recommended place. We were in Savannah for three nights, and I had a scoop of this stuff every night. The peppermint stick was my favorite.

The Paris Market

To be fair, we didn’t dine here – but in addition to a sweet coffee and pastry shop, The Paris Market is an expansive shop with all kinds of home decor and odds and ends. It’s an Anthropologie lover’s dream.

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The Olde Pink House

This iconic restaurant came up on every “must eat Savannah” list I read, but the dinner entrees were on the pricy side. We went for appetizers (blue crab beignets and buffalo shrimp) and drinks, and I was surprised that the food lived up to the hype.

Little Duck Diner

Another brunch spot. Had a breakfast sandwich the size of my face and bites of my sister’s crispy-cheesy-polenta thing. We HAD to get an on-brand cocktail that looks a lot better than it tasted (too much lavender for me!). The decor in here was to die for.

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Sandfly BBQ at the Streamliner

I have no clue how Diana heard about this place since it was a little far from the city center (we took an Uber), but it was SO cheap and SO good. I had a pulled brisket sandwich, and we shared slaw, sweet potato fries, regular fries, and mac and cheese. It’s in this retro diner car, and we could watch the sunset from our window seat.

The Coffee Fox

Solid coffee place. Cute decor and outdoor seating.

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B. Matthew’s

We sort of stumbled across this place on the first night, and ended up going back later. Great service, and even better kale salad! Seriously…I’m still thinking about it.

Mirabelle Cafe

Popped in here for an afternoon coffee (I got a dirty chai) and enjoyed the BEAUTIFUL atmosphere. So pretty. Right across the street from Savannah’s iconic cathedral, too.

Bonus eat: Giant Cinnamon Roll from the Farmers Market in Forsyth Park

I think the photo speaks for itself. We shared it three ways, and it was more than enough.

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All photos by me, 2018.

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romantic comedies to watch alone this valentine’s day

In my world, a movie earns the genre of “romantic comedy” if it meets three criteria: 1) it makes me laugh; 2) one of the major plot lines involves romance; and 3) the ending is (somewhat) predictable.

So, here are a few of my favorite rom coms that never go out of style. Love ’em all. Seen ’em all. Will continue to watch them all forever. Probably with a pint of frozen yogurt and a glass or four of wine.

13 Going On 30

I could literally watch this movie forever. And ever.

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The Princess Diaries

Surprisingly, this movie wasn’t on any of the “top romantic comedy” lists I googled, but Mia Thermopolis has it all. (Also, can we talk about the queen and Joe’s romance???)

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Serendipity

I kick myself everyday for living in NYC for 5+ years and still not making it to this iconic frozen hot chocolate spot. Sigh. Someday.

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Love Actually

Feel like I’ve talked about this a lot. Another movie I’ll never get sick of. Liam Neeson? Colin Firth? Young love? LOVE LOVE LOVE.

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You’ve Got Mail

Does it get better than Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan??

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Sleepless in Seattle

(See above comment.)

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Say Anything

Still waiting for the day a boy will hold a jukebox (wireless speaker?? iPhone X???) outside my bedroom window.

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Bridget Jones’s Diary

I didn’t watch this growing up, but finally bought into the hype when sequels started coming out and actually loved it.

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10 Things I Hate About You

Young Heath Ledger singing a Frankie Valli classic in a high school stadium? I’m sold.

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pin-spiration

pin-spiration: valentine’s day

I’ve yet to be in a relationship on Valentine’s Day, but I still enjoy a lot of parts about the holiday. Chocolate? Yep. All-pink everything? Sure. Romantic comedies? DUH! Champagne? Why not?!

I’m planning to bring in some festive, heart-shaped sugar cookies for my coworkers today…and will definitely be hitting the clearance candy rack at CVS tomorrow. Do you guys celebrate V-Day?

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boyfriend, the latest

iconic hollywood dad bods

I’m many things, including a dad bod enthusiast. I have never been into super ripped guys…like, why do you have so much time to work out? Do you have a job? A social life outside the gym? Do you eat anything besides protein shakes and steak??

Anyway, I’m glad that there’s been a renaissance of the “dad bod” in Hollywood. Here are some of the most iconic ones, according to me.

David Harbour

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Chris Pratt

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Seth Rogen

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Alec Baldwin

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Matt LeBlanc

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places

travel vignettes: AUSTIN

tacos
lake
neon
amy’s ice cream
vintage
puppies
bikes
avodaco toast
waffle house
music

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boyfriend, the latest

things that are ruined for me because i shared them with boys

The best and worst part of dating someone is sharing your favorite things and places with them, thus building memories. But when the relationship ends, these moments aren’t so happy anymore and going to your favorite pizza place or watching something on Netflix just reminds you of them and makes you sad. Well, it makes ME sad.

“Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison

Used to be my favorite song to play while I was driving in the summer in convertible mode (all the windows down, sunroof open) in my high school car. Not anymore. Sigh.

My favorite restaurant (Lil’ Frankie’s)

My favorite place in the world. My late-night spot, my hangover helper, my joie de vivre. Carbohydrate Capital of NYC. I love you. I don’t love that I shared you with someone who didn’t love me.

ILYSM ❤️❤️❤️ @lilfrankies

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My favorite TV show (The Office)

I’ve loved you for so long…why did I watch you with boys who didn’t text me back? I hate that we compared our favorite characters (Dwight, Meredith & Creed), preferred episodes (all the Christmas ones), and the cutest Jim & Pam moments.

My favorite tacos (Tacombi)

Yeah, there’s a lot of food on this list. But what can I say? I know how to eat.

 

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people, the latest

songs i love right now

Do you ever feel like a song is calling to you? Like, no matter how many times you listen to it you’re compelled to turn the volume up all the way and open the windows of your ten-year-old car even if it’s freezing outside? That’s how these songs make me feel. Some of them are old. Others are new, or at least new to me. Maybe new to you. Listen to ’em if you need a pick me up.

Lay It On Me // Vance Joy

Valerie // Mark Ronson ft. Amy Winehouse

It’s You // BORNS

MIDNIGHT

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Best Friend // Sofi Tukker

HOME 😍🌇 📸@soundcloud

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Last Nite // The Strokes

Tompkins Square Park // Mumford & Sons

Seaside Heights Stopover, June 2015 📷: @MarcusHaney

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No Roots // Alice Merton

Dropped by the office @columbiafrance #repost #polacolumbia #france

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Ends of the Earth // Lord Huron

6.3.2016 // New York, NY // @govballnyc #tbt Photo by @lithophyte

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Peaches // In the Valley Below

🌓From our summer tour @dougfirlounge pic @thisisbroseph #Portland

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You Worry Me // Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats

Post Protest Set @newportfolkfest with @nickofferman . 📸 @rettrogers

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pin-spiration

pin-spiration: color

Even though my wardrobe is mostly made up of neutrals (there’s a lot of navy blue, black, and gray in my closet), I love unexpected pops of color and pattern, whether a pair of bright sandals, flashy earrings, or jewel-tone nail polish.

This week, I wanted to share some of the cheery and colorful images I have pinned to my “color” board on Pinterest.

How do you work color into your daily life?

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24 years later

Another year older, another year (I feel a little) wiser. Birthdays are bittersweet for me, but when I think about where I am on today, this year, versus where I was on this day last year (job-hunting, dating two jerks, unhappy), I feel so, so, so, so, so grateful.

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I made a lot of hard decisions at the end of my 23rd year…I chose to take a break from New York, to leap for a job outside of my comfort zone, to re-evaluate my priorities in life, and to really set goals for myself. I’m really happy with these decisions so far, and I’m so goddamn excited for my 24th year.

My birthday always makes me think about the future. Will I feel different next year, when I turn 25? What about 28? Or 30? Will I be married? Have kids? A mortgage? Stop coloring my hair?  It’s a mystery, but there is definitely some stuff I want to accomplish in the next few years. So, true to form, I’ve made a list. And I’ve given myself a pretty big window. Anything I should add?

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places

travel vignettes: AMSTERDAM

Well, around this time three years ago (!!!) I was getting ready to spend a semester abroad in the most perfect wonderful beautiful heavenly place on the planet. Miss you and your $1 Heinekens, billions of bikes, cheap-ass groceries, scenic-as-fuck canals, and lovely lovely giant people.

poffertjes
albert heijn
omafiets
gezellig!
stroopwafel
rembrandt
dille & kamille
bruno mars
the nine streets
koenigsday
orange
tulips
FEBO
hagelslag

Need a new board just for vintage maps and posters.  Places I may never go but love the cartoons.

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the latest

24 things i want for my 24th birthday

I shared my general holiday/birthday wish list with you guys around Christmastime, but here is an updated version featuring TWENTYFOUR things (material and hypothetic) in honor of my 24th birthday on January 31.

1. Better sleep quality.

2. REALLY REALLY REALLY good Neapolitan-style pizza.

3. These Brother Vellies boots.

4. A massage.

5. La Mer face cream.

6. This way-too-trendy Chloe bag that I can’t stop thinking about.

7. To stay at The Plaza Hotel for one night.

8. Tickets to Hamilton.

9. Doughnuts from Kane’s.

10. To see James Turrell’s Roden Crater.

11. Those shiny number balloons that every basic bitch takes a pic with on her birthday.

12. Love Style Life by Garance Doré.

13. Rose gold Birkenstocks.

14. Flowers.

15. Lunch with Mindy Kaling.

16. A custom necklace from Smith + Mara.

Monday chill pill 👌🏼 #pills #monday #intials #custom #diamonds

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17. A Kale Caesar salad from sweetgreen.

18. Warm weather.

19. A bath in a clawfoot tub.

20. Chocolate cake. (I’m going to make this one.)

21. A jacket exactly like this but with my last name on it.

22. I Hope You Find Me: The Love Poems of craigslist’s Missed Connections by Alan Feuer.

23. A Moroccan wedding blanket. (I regret not buying one of these when I was in Marrakech every. damn. day.)

24. A weighted blanket, which was marketed to me once as “Advil PM for your whole body” and now I’m going to die if I don’t get one.

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pin-spiration

pin-spiration: typography

I love words! And fun fonts! Color! Shapes! Typography is a no-brainer pin-spiration category for me. In another life I would love to be someone who gets to think of these fonts and make words look cooler than they already are.

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places

travel vignettes: VALENCIA

I went to Spain this past summer, and traveled to several cities in the country during my 10-week trip. I’ll spotlight those in this series later on, but I wanted to begin with Valencia.

citrus
horchata
tomorrowland
facade
palm trees
cathedral
fartón

 

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places

my no-fail packing list

One of my resolutions for 2018 was to travel more, so I’m super excited to already have two trips planned. Both are long weekend adventures, so I’ll be squeezing everything into my carry-on suitcase. In addition to the basics like passports and tickets, I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks for making traveling as comfortable as possible.

Since you can’t bring liquids through airport security, I definitely suggest bringing an empty water bottle with you. Fill it up in the bathroom before you board, and keep track of it during the whole trip – paying for water is my biggest pet peeve, and unless you’re going somewhere where the tap water is undrinkable, keeping that bottle in your purse will save you lots of $$$.

Sunglasses are the #1 thing I ALWAYS forget, so those are usually the first thing on my packing list. Painkillers, like Advil, are another thing that is super annoying to spend money on when you’re supposed to be on vacation. Bring a small bottle with you along with your prescription meds.

What are some things that are always on your packing lists? Comment below!

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P.S. Pin this handy graphic to your travel-inspired Pinterest board for quick reference!

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the great british baking show is the feel-good type of tv we all need

You guys, I’m obsessed with this show. I’ve never been particularly enamored with Great Britain (other than the Royal Family and Downton Abbey), but this show warms my pessimistic heart.

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The hosts? Witty. The judges? Playful. The contestants? LOVELY. This is the type of reality TV show that would never happen in America. Contestants aren’t sequestered to a house for weeks and stripped of technology/social media/the internet – they just take a train each weekend to a giant tent in the British countryside. No need to take time off from school or work.

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Though there’s appropriately over-dramatic music as the clock runs out, this is not a catty competition environment. If one baker is finished and another one could use a hand, he’ll pop over and help out. If another contestant starts to have a meltdown because her Italian meringue cracks, one of the cheery hosts will soothe her. This is very much a no-drama zone.

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Furthermore, they don’t even win anything…other than an engraved glass cake plate and the first place title. No money, no car, no speedboat, no trip for two to Aruba. And they’re not even mad about it! These people just LOVE to bake!!

Anyway, it’s literally the third best show on television – it’s on Netflix, actually – and it comes with my highest recommendation.

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links i love

stuff i found and loved on the interwebs this week. 

I’m OBSESSED with Refinery29’s “Money Diaries” series (I wrote one back when they first started!) and found this one particularly fascinating. Life goals much?

This relatable haiku series from my all-time favorite website.

I didn’t like my horoscope this month, so I looked for another source – and was pleasantly surprised to find this comprehensive astrological profile.

This next-level influencer marketing.

This food logo quiz that I NAILED.

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places

travel vignettes: HAWAII

coconut oil
mahalo
pineapple
palm trees
aqua
surf boys and surfboards
roadside stands
luau
fire dance
macadamia nuts
sunshowers

Where to go & what to do in Hawaii, from a frequent visitor.

i traveled to hawaii in third grade and eighth grade and wrote this list in march 2012.

follow new york is my boyfriend on tumblr.

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pin-spiration

pin-spiration: health

What better pin-spiration topic for January than health?! None of my resolutions this year were particularly health-focused, but I always have the desire for a healthier lifestyle in the back of my mind. Or, I think about it while I’m eating pizza. I’m getting ready for a charitable bike ride in June (I did it last year, too!) and am getting increasingly concerned with my longevity. Whether it’s skin care or an improved diet, here are some pins inspiring me this month.

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places, the latest

melancholia

I have caught myself missing new york several times. Several heart-tugging, gut-wrenching times…wondering why I “gave up” something I’d dreamed of for my whole life: living in NEW YORK CITY. I tear up thinking about my favorite places that are no longer just a subway ride away (I’m crying about Lil’ Frankie’s pizza right now), and miss the rush of pride I got from telling people that yes, I do live in New York.

But then I remember why I left. I enjoy being alone, but I felt truly lonely. Every relationship that I thought had potential ended up being a dead end. My closest friends from college left New York after graduation, so I felt like I didn’t have anyone to confide in.

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I hate admitting to myself that I did the easy thing by leaving. I’ve thought of a thousand reasons to justify my decision (“better quality of life!” “too expensive!” “i’m over it!”) and am still struggling to accept that the real reasons were these overwhelming feelings of loneliness and just wanting to give up.

The reality is, I have been in a significantly better place, mental health-wise, since moving away. I booked a trip to Iceland with one of my friends on a whim (checking off those resolutions!) and feel that I have more control of where my careers is going. I feel like I finally have time to have a “normal” routine and schedule, not to mention a support system (hi mom and dad).

I don’t regret leaving, but I’ll be back there soon enough…or whenever I start making enough money to live by myself.

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places

travel vignettes: ITALY

Years ago, when I first created a tumblr account, I wrote down my favorite words about places I traveled to. I recently searched through my archives to find these, and thought they would be a nice little series on the blog. 

vespa
garlic
street decorations
blood oranges
marble
semolina
basilica
autostrada
granita
michelangelo
pellegrino
fountains
sunflowers
double cheek kisses

Italy!

I went to Italy when I was in fifth grade and wrote this list in February 2012.

follow new york is my boyfriend on tumblr.

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in 2018 i resolve to…

It’s January 4, but oh, well. Better late than never! Last year, I resolved that in 2017 I would date myself, get my finances in order, and stop caring about boys. And I actually think I did pretty well – considering that 2017 was the most challenging year of my life, career- and relationship-wise.

I spent a lot of time alone in 2017, swallowed up by NYC, checking off items on my bucket list whether I had a friend or date to come with me or not. I set up traditional and Roth IRAs (adult AF), overcame my fear of getting a flu shot, and ended unfulfilling relationships. Though it was a difficult year, it ended on a high note, and I’m feeling super optimistic about 2018, political situation aside.

So this year, here’s what I’ve resolved to do, using Lady Bird gifs to illustrate. Did anyone see the movie? What did you think?!

Sleep.

More on this here. By a happy accident I got a new and improved mattress a few days ago, so maybe that will help my ongoing quest for higher quality sleep.

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Travel.

I have a little trip booked to Savannah next month, and would love to check off at least one other destination on my bucket list this year. Maybe Iceland, Portland (Oregon), or New Orleans.

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Read.

Would love your suggestions! On my list are BossypantsA Little Life, and All the Light We Cannot See.

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Create.

nyc is my boyfriend is so special to me. I have put so much time and energy into this blog, and feel that I’ve created a brand/image that is essentially my soul on a webpage. I’m so grateful to anyone who reads my posts, and want to create more original content for you guys in 2018.

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Happy healthy new year to you all ❤

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my wish list this year

Last month, I wrote about why gift-giving is so important to me. I enjoy exchanging gifts with my family and friends, and every year I send my parents a list of gift ideas (I promise, they appreciate the suggestions) to be used for Christmas or my birthday- which is in January! So, I thought I’d share a few of the things I asked for this year in case you need an incredibly last minute idea for the lucky lady in your life.

a new calendar.

I ask for a new calendar from Rifle Paper Co. almost every year. It’s one of the first things I see when I wake up in the morning, and the charming illustrations and quaint text always bring a smile to my face. I especially love the travel ones.

pajamas.

In line with my ongoing quest for improved sleep quality, I requested a pretty pajama set for Christmas this year. I picked out a pair at Marshalls that I liked, but the offerings from Kate Spade, Ralph Lauren, and Hill House Home (below) are particularly cute.

shoes.

I ask for shoes every year, and never get any…probably because on a scale of 1-10, I have a Carrie Bradshaw amount of shoes in my closet. Anyway, I’ve been lusting after pairs from Mansur Gavriel, Dear Frances, and Brother Vellies (below).

 

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when did my bedtime routine get so long?

I’ve always dreaded bedtime the way a little kid does, though probably for different reasons. I’m not trying to stay up late to eat another snack or watch a movie – I simply can never fall asleep. I used to be part of the “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” mentality, which was alright while I was in college, but my performance in life and at work is significantly poorer when I’m overtired.

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A while ago I wrote about what it’s like having a brain that never shuts off – not because I’m, like, a philosophical thinker (just an over-thinker) – which contributes to my consistent sleeplessness. I’ve tried every trick in the book: melatonin, meditation, hypnosis, lavender eye pillows, Advil PM, milk, and prescription meds, to name a few.

One of my resolutions this year (more on those later) is to make more of a conscious effort to get better quality sleep. I’ve noticed that my activity during the day is just as crucial to my bedtime routine for getting a sufficient amount of sleep – exercise is the big key to this, and I’ll hopefully be doing more of this as I get ready for a major bike ride in June.

My nightly routine, which has tripled in length over the past year, has also helped with falling asleep. Until about a year ago, the only things I’d do to get ready for bed were taking a shower and brushing my teeth. I still do both of those things, but I also do a brief arm workout, use three different face creams, give myself a neck massage, put on a face mask, and take an alarming amount of vitamins. I think that consistency is key for stuff like this, and hopefully sticking to a routine will pay off.

What do you do when you have trouble sleeping? 

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pin-spiration

pin-spiration: cookies

I’m not a huge fan of the cold weather, but I love this time of year since I can get working on my winter bod. When going outside requires over three layers of clothing, I start eating soup and baked goods almost exclusively. And my favorite Christmas treat of all? The cookies, DUH!

Whether they’re festively frosted sugar cookies, chocolate-dipped macaroons, or crumbly shortbread, I love ‘ em all. Here, take a mouthwatering look at some of my 2017 holiday cookie inspo.

 

All images from Pinterest.

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when did i get into fashion again?

When I was a kid, I thought I was super into fashion. I held on to every copy of Teen Vogue that came in the mail (a subscription that I begged for) (also remember when magazines were printed 10x a year??) and later moved over to NylonI took a fashion drawing class. I went to a weekend conference sponsored by Conde Nast. I interned for a CFDA-sponsored jewelry designer. It was all fun, at least until my other interests began to take precedent.

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Fashion wasn’t something I ever considered pursuing as a career, especially in terms of designing. In my later years of high school and through college I lived in yoga pants and gym clothes, too busy to put an outfit together for just an ordinary day of classes and homework. But since graduating, I’ve worked some jobs that have had incredibly boring elements. There have been times where I haven’t felt creatively stimulated at all, and I think this is why I started caring about clothes again.

I majorly purged my closet this month, “reinventing” my style…finally feeling like I have a solid sense of what I like, what looks good on me, and what’s worth buying. It took me a long time to shift into a quality over quantity mindset, but instead of bingeing on Black Friday sales this year, I bought a few key, upscale pieces (still on sale, of course) that I know I’ll have and wear for years.

Working 40 hours a week in a job that doesn’t require a ton of creativity seems like something I will feasibly be doing for the rest of my life. So I should at least wear clothes that make me feel like myself.

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pin-spiration

pin-spiration: bathroom bliss

 

After living in dormitories and New York City apartments for the last 5+ years, I can’t wait for the day when I have a bathroom that nobody uses other than myself. I’m a big fan of white tile, colorful wallpaper, and natural elements – though my main requirement for my future bathroom is a large tub.

From whimsical walls to modern finishes, here are some images I’ve saved on Pinterest.

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rejects

why i take gift-giving so seriously

Christmas constantly gets a bad rap for being a superficial shopping-fueled holiday – and sure, this is when retailers (big box stores and small businesses alike) do most of their annual sales. But giving someone a gift, for Christmas or their birthday or anniversary or whatever, is more than materialistic.

It’s a gesture that demonstrates your understanding of who they are. It shows that you remembered when your friend mentioned passively that she misses those cookies she ate during study abroad. That you paid attention when your mom complained about her malfunctioning headphones at the gym. That you enjoyed watching The Pianist as much as your dad did, so why not give him the CD soundtrack?

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I’ve been known to be less-than-enthusiastic upon receiving money or gift cards. Sure, those things are handy and cash $$ is king, but it demonstrates to me that the gift-giver falls into one of two categories: 1) they put off their holiday shopping and couldn’t locate a more thoughtful gift; or 2) they have no understanding of who I am as a person and what my interests are. Ok, maybe that’s a little bit dramatic, but hopefully you get the point. If you don’t, I’ll still accept cash.

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pin-spiration

pin-spiration: thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays – I love a day that’s all about great food, good company, and all-around coziness. Here, some of my favorite inspiring images (from seasonal bites to muted color palettes) to get you in the holiday mood.

How are you celebrating turkey day this year?

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