the latest

my mental happy place

I’ve written before about my sleep struggles and frequent anxiety. These are two of my least favorite things about myself, and when they join forces at midnight, I know I’m in for a night of laying flat on my back trying to slow a racing heart, or scrolling through the “Discover” section of Instagram wondering why everyone else has a better life than I do.

I was at a Girl Scout sleep-away camp once, years ago, and felt ill-at-ease among the overly assertive counselors and cliquey girls. One of said counselors, who had nicknamed herself “Willow,” did her best to help me sleep, asking me to close my eyes and picture lovely things like waterfalls and open meadows. It helped.

Later, in high school, I occasionally went to a stress reducing/teen-focused yoga class after school. After going through the motions, we’d end class by laying flat on our backs, palms upward, lavender pillows over our eyes (still my favorite smell). Our instructor, Alison, would narrate some lovely meditation that pretty instantly made me fall asleep.

This can’t be a coincidence. Though I prefer to ease my anxiety during the daytime hours with more realistic, rational solutions, bedtime is for dreaming. Over the last decade, I’ve really honed in on my happy place – the dream world I create in my head, a life I fantasize about. It’s not exotic or anything special, really, but it’s something I continue to come back to, and for whatever reason, it makes drifting off to sleep so much easier.

I live in a small house by myself, in the woods, but walking distance from town. I bake a lot of bread and go to the farmer’s market often. I don’t have a computer. I read and paint a lot. I mainly wear dresses and silk nightgowns. I have a garden filled with plants I’ve managed not to kill. Sometimes it’s raining and I plop myself in front of a fireplace or in the giant clawfoot bathtub. (As I’m writing this, I feel kind of pathetic because most of these things are totally doable. We’ll see.)

Every once in a while I’ll scroll through Tumblr or Pinterest and see a photo that instantly transports me to my constructed happy place. Here are a few of those.

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the latest

five summer footwear staples

It shouldn’t be a secret that I love shoes. Especially of the open-toe variety. So, I pretty much live for warm-weather footwear. I really think women’s shoes have been having a renaissance, and these are some styles I’m lusting after this season.

White Leather

Something about smooth white sandals is just so appealing this time of year. These would look just as great with a t-shirt dress as a pair of cut-off denim shorts.

hot, hot, heat. SCAMP in white patent. ☁️

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Feminine Flair

Brother Vellies makes a similar shoe (the Burkina sandals) and I love the understated femininity of gathered fabric in a pastel color.

Block Heel

Ah, a style I will NEVER tire of. I own so many sandals and shoes with a block heel, and I adore them all. It’s the chicest and most comfortable way to add an inch or two to your height.

Pink Jardin Heels

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Woven Elements

If you’re over espadrilles, take a gander at summer shoes that incorporate raffia/straw or something else that looks like a picnic basket for your feet.

Something See-Through

Channel your inner Kardashian and find a sandal with some kind of plastic-y element. Tip: these Who What Wear shoes are literally $30 at Target. They have a higher-heeled version, too.

Basket bag ✔ Sunglasses ✔ @whowhatwearcollection Piper Sandals ✔

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places

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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the latest

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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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 SVU, 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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places

travel vignettes: BROOKLYN

prospect park
pizza
summer
jewish
brownstones
barbecue
IKEA
backyard
bodega
bagels
wonder wheel
mckibbin
flea market
eastern parkway
BK.jpg

photo via allthebuildingsinnewyork.com

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pin-spiration

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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