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spring style shopping list

This (actually chic) floral dress.

I’m pretty picky about florals, but this one really does it for me. I love the bow in the back and the metallic details – it’s perfect for warm weather, and will also look great with tights and boots.

This fun t-shirt.

There’s so much “yay!” about this tee – elbow sleeves, a sweet little patch pocket, and the perfect price.

This buttery blouse.

When I break up my almost all-black wardrobe with color, I love to do it with a pop of mustardy yellow.

This perfect pink jacket.

I know, I know…this isn’t super “spring-y,” but I like to be prepared when it comes to New England weather. This little number will be perfect over my Easter dress, and I’m obsessed with the millennial pink-inspired hue.

These romantic earrings.

I’m not sure why, but I’m really into heart-shaped jewelry right now (I recently bought these Alison Lou studs). I love these simple gold ones from Madewell for a little everyday flair.

The ultimate wedding guest dress.

Really feeling pink this spring. I love this color-blocked design, and the chic style is great for every occasion from bridal showers to Easter brunch.

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things i buy to make myself feel better

The winter blues are R E A L. This time of year, when it’s cold and frosty and icy and snowy and dark and horrible, I turn to retail therapy more than ever to warm my chilly heart. I don’t need an excuse to shop, but if you know me, you know I’ll take one – especially in the name of self-care.

Skincare.

Though I’m pretty loyal to Better Skin Mirakle Cream, I like to dabble in other products. Currently I’ve been rotating through a bunch of moisturizing sheet masks and slathering on Farmacy’s Honeymoon Glow in an attempt to look alive.

Candles.

Want your apartment to smell like Anthropologie without having to go outside? All it takes is one of these candles, I swear. Something about the combined coziness and superb scent makes winter hurt a little less.

Summer clothes.

Or sandals, swimsuits, sunglasses…you get the idea. Just picture how great everything will look with sunkissed/burned skin and salty hair.

Overpriced coffee.

This isn’t an exclusively winter activity, but whenever I need to take break, I usually treat myself to some sort of flavored nut-milk latte that ends up being $7.

Flowers.

I spent a lot of time being single, and never had a problem buying myself flowers. still don’t.

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25 (not-so) ordinary things i’m grateful for

Today I am 25.

This year went by so fast, and a lot of it was incredible. Last year at this time, I was filled with hope. I was a month into a new job. Two months into a fresh relationship. I’d recently moved back to my childhood home. A year later, I transitioned to a new job that I love. My relationship has gotten stronger. I moved to an apartment in a new-to-me city. So, yeah, a lot of highlights for sure.

I feel like 25 is a monumental birthday. I’m 5 years closer to being thirty, flirty, and thriving. I’m halfway to 50. I’m 1/4 of the way through my life. Instead of spiraling into an existential crisis, I’m choosing to think about everything that makes me happy and everything I’m thankful for. Because isn’t it about the little things? Here are 25.

coffee shops that don’t charge extra for soy milk

snow that sticks to tree branches but not to streets

crossword puzzles

dogs

the people who love me

sunflowers

No Pudge! brownies

libraries

film photography

the fact that coffee has no calories

my passport

long weekends

wine

antique stores

my health

tinder (hi, boyfriend!)

melatonin

free shipping

The New York Times’s Modern Love column

used book stores

IKEA

student discounts

fake eyelashes

compression leggings

ice cream

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what to do if you have the winter blues

I’m not a doctor, but I get especially gloomy as soon as the days get shorter, colder, and darker. I’ve never been diagnosed with SAD, but WebMD says I probably have it. Here’s what I do on particularly blue days.

go somewhere warm.

Tanning bed, sauna, bath tub, hot yoga (currently very into Sculpt at CorePower), or a tropical escape if you can spring for it. Find somewhere you can sweat out all those feelings and forget about your chapped knuckles.

laugh a little.

Yeah, I’ve seen every episode ofย The Officeย at least seven times, but I’m not stopping anytime soon. Watch a rom-com, favorite TV show, or stand-up special from the comfort of your cozy bed.

leave the house.

Though I definitely consider myself a homebody, I quickly start to feel cooped up during the winter months. Whether you bundle up and head to the nail salon, a pottery class, the book store, or a restaurant, it always feels great to get dressed and be a person.

make something good.

Winter is the perfect season to spend in the kitchen. From soups to sweets, the oven will warm your kitchen and the food will warm your heart.

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kim kardashian sleep gif funny
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how to fall asleep at night

You may or may not know that I’ve had a decade-long struggle with falling asleep at night. From racing thoughts to crushing anxiety, being a chronic worrier can have a pretty negative effect on your REM cycle. My New Year’s resolution a few years ago was to put more effort into getting better quality sleep…and lately, I’ve been feeling pretty well-rested. Here’s what I’m doing at bedtime these days.

sticking to a routine.

Soooo lame, but so helpful. Every night I do the boring stuff like take my vitamins and brush my teeth, but I also massage on my face cream, light a candle, and do the daily mini New York Times crossword. I think having a very specific set of tasks helps create a ritual that now lulls me to sleep each night.

physical exhaustion.

I’ve been exercising more than usual the past few months…partly because I want to look good on my upcoming vacation and partly because I’m still hunting for the perfect gym near my apartment. Even though going to spin or barre after work gives me a rush of endorphins, by the time I get home, shower, and eat dinner, I can barely keep my eyes open.

a little lavender.

I was pretty sure there was no scientific backing to the calming effects lavender boasts, but I recently read an NYTimes article that says otherwise! Anyway, I’ve been spritzing lavender pillow spray for years because it’s my all-time favorite scent.

melatonin, baby.

I’m still a sucker for this stuff. If I got a not-so-great sleep the night before, I’ll pop one of these to knock me out.

some tricky breathing.

I heard about the 4-7-8 method from one of my favorite writers – check our her guide to it here. I usually use this method when I’m feeling stressed or anxious (not just sleepless) since it’s very meditative.

Do you have any tricks for falling asleep?

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pin-spiration

pin-spiration: kitchen

It’s no secret that I love food. I’ve also grown to love cooking and baking, especially when I get to share the finished product with my family and friends. I love the way food brings people together, and I think that the kitchen is the most important shared space in any home.

In my dream kitchen, there’s lots of light, a farmhouse sink, and plenty of space for people to gather. Here are some photos inspiring my future culinary space.

What’s a must-have for your dream kitchen?ย 

 

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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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