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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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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.

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

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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 $25 at Target. They have a higher-heeled version, too.

 

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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 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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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.

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.

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.

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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.

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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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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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