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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Lifelong Resolutions We Should All Have.

As of tomorrow, the first month of 2019 will come to an end. I hope it has been SO good to you. I hope you've stayed on track with any resolutions you've had. If, like me, you decided this year was less about resolutions and more about just living, I hope you've survived AND thrived. But if you haven't, and you've failed on all fronts, IT. IS. OKAY. 

January does not dictate your whole year. 2019 has plenty more days to be so good for you. You've got hundreds of chances left to be a champion. You've got this. 

Also, a personal opinion: Lifelong resolutions are way better than yearly resolutions. Here are a few I think we should all have: 

Show more kindness. || It takes SO LITTLE to be kind. It makes such a big difference - both to you and to those you're showing kindness to. 

Stop assuming others' motives. || If you're an anxious person, listen to me: Stop assuming the motives of other people. Stop assigning reasons to why they didn't text you back. Stop saddling them with opinions they've never told you being the reason they couldn't meet you for coffee. Stop assuming that the actions of others are motivated by you. If you are anything like me, this is so hard. But it's worth trying! 

Try to see others' points of view. || I'm gonna be open here: This is new for me. I hate confrontation, so when I have a complete opposite point of view as someone else, I tend to just not talk about it. Why rock the boat, you know? But that's dumb. Even if you disagree on deep things, it helps to put yourself in others' shoes and try to see where they're coming from and why they may feel that way. It doesn't mean you're changing your views, it means you're being a more empathetic human being. 

Drink more water. || Just do it. It fixes basically everything. 

Love hard. || Love is the most beautiful thing we have. But love can also hurt. Romantic love, friend love, family love...loving hard and full opens yourself up in a way that leaves you vulnerable. It brings your heart to the surface where it is more easily injured. And after a few of those injuries-be it from a romantic partner or a friendship ending or a family tragedy-the instinct to love from a distance, to love with arms crossed, to love only on a surface level can kick in. Don't give in. Life is short. Love hard. It hurts sometimes, but the good outweighs the bad, I promise. 

Live abundantly. || I've been thinking so much about this. There's a verse in the Bible that says Jesus came so that we would have not only life, but abundant life. Even if we have different faiths, I think abundant life is something we should all strive for. What fills you up? What is it that, when you do it, you think, "this! this is what it's about!" What makes your life feel the most abundant? More of that.

Stop breaking promises to yourself. || Look, I don't mean the way that on Friday, you swore you'd clean out the laundry room over the weekend, but then you got sucked in to a really good book and read all weekend instead. I'm talking about promises like, I will take better care of myself. I will stand up for myself. I will stop letting people walk all over me. I will make time for the things I love. Those promises. They're important, don't break them. 

Make room for the things you love. || I like to think of this in terms of weekends. If you've worked all week, what's your ideal weekend? Time with your people? Time alone? Projects? Books? Movies? Parties? We don't all have weekends off, but we do all get little pockets of time here and there that we get to choose how to fill. Whatever your "weekends" are, how to you want to fill those?

What's a lifelong resolution you have?
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Monday, January 28, 2019

Amazon Finds: Wins & Losses.

W I N N E R S :

Color Block Sweater || Hi, I love this. Got a small.

Sharkskin Gray Pullover || This is SO soft. It's thick and feels expensive. I had a nighttime flight a few weeks ago and wore this with leggings on the plane, and it was the perfect travel top. I got a small. It looks and fits exactly as it's pictured.

Kimono Coverup || SO DANG CUTE. I haven't gotten a chance to wear this to the pool yet (thanks, winter), but I foresee it being heavy in the rotation this summer. Looks exactly like the picture! 

Self Tie Top || I got a medium because I wanted it a little longer, but I wish I would've gotten a small. I plan on buying more colors, so I'll report back how the small fits. Looks exactly like the picture, but runs a little big.

Color Block Jumper Sweater || LOVE this. Got a small. 

Summer Striped Dress || Maybe my favorite thing of this's SO cute! I can't believe it was so cheap. I plan on wearing it all summer long. I got a small and it fits perfectly. Looks and fits exactly as pictured. 

Oversized Batwing Top || One of those basic tops that works with everything...leggings, jeans, shorts. It's super comfortable and I love the color. I got a small.

Shaggy Faux Fur Jacket || Also known as the newest love of my life. Wanna be super fancy for cheap? Here you go. It looks exactly like it does online, but it runs small. I got a small and it was super narrow in the shoulders. Size up. 

Over The Knee Socks || We all know I love my over the knee boots, and I wanted some socks to go with them. These are PERFECT. I love the look of slouchy socks, but I hate how they fall down...these have elastic right above your knee, so the top can look slouchy, but they won't slip past your knees. 

And, because they can't all be perfect. . .


Cotton Linen Dress || Looking at this picture, I laugh at myself for ordering this. But I follow someone on instagram and the dress looked so cute on them, I convinced myself that there was just an unflattering promo picture on the listing. NOPE. It's unflattering all the way around. Back to Amazon it went. 

Slouchy Sweater || This was SO CUTE, but it fell apart the first time I wore it. Like, a giant hole in the middle of my chest. Sad day.

Striped Romper || This was absolutely adorable, but it was way too big. In other words, it was made for someone with giant boobs, so I'm out. Returned!

What have you bought on Amazon recently? And do I need it? 
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Friday, January 25, 2019

What January is Teaching Me.

"Your circle should want you to win. Your circle should clap the loudest when you have good news. If they don't, get a new circle." || Kristen shared this yesterday and hot dang, she's right. But I want to say something about this: We aren't all blessed with a great circle all the time. Two things: One, make sure you're being someone you'd want in your own circle. And two: No circle is better than a crappy circle. If you're circle has to be just you and your dog for a little bit, that's okay! And it's better than filling your life with people who aren't cheering you on. Value yourself enough to shrink your circle when you need to. 

A bad hour doesn't have to mean a bad day, a bad day doesn't have to mean a bad week, a bad week doesn't have to mean a bad month. || Things can (and usually will) get better. Don't mentally throw the whole month out over a bad day. 

Good childcare is worth every penny. || Jack's nanny is a freaking gem. He loves her, she loves him, I no longer feel like the worst when I pull out of the driveway, and I know he's safe the entire time I'm gone. This month especially, she's been a lifesaver. She costs a lot more than I was paying before her, but I am not exaggerating when I say I would eat PB&J every night before I let her go. If you have a kid, I know how stressful childcare can be...but trust me, people like that are out there! Keep trying!

I can never live up north. || It has been cold (I mean, Florida cold, but still - cold) and I HATE IT. Not that I was planning on jetting off to live somewhere cold anytime soon, but still, good to know. It ain't for me. 

There is a direct correlation in the media I consume and the way I feel. || I feel like this is pretty much a "duh" kind of thing, but I paid extra attention to it this month. The days I listened to empowering podcasts and positive music were much better days for me.

Time spent with people I love is always going to be my love language & always going to be worth any effort it takes. || Today, I'm hanging out with one of my best friends. In order to make this happen, we had to plan literal months in advance, she had to take the day off of work, and I have to pay someone to watch Jack. WORTH EVERY STINKIN' BIT. 

Two things I heard this month that really struck a chord with me:

"Givers have to set boundaries, because takers rarely will." -my friend Joey

"Just a reminder that Mary Oliver's answer to her question, "What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" was to stroll idly through fields noting things. The question out of context could appear to be about achieving more - it's not." -Jessica Faith Kantrowitz

What is January teaching you? 

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Wednesday, January 23, 2019

My Favorite Things I Discovered in January.

This robe. || My mom got me this Kate Spade robe for Christmas and it is, quite honestly, the new love of my life.

Simple Habit app. || While this isn't a January discovery, I used this almost daily in January. It's been so helpful to me, and if you struggle with quieting your mind, I highly recommend it. 

This pitcher with a strainer. || If you love infusing your water with fruit and herbs but don't like getting the occasional chunk of mint or lemon when you're drinking it, this is for you. It's the cutest little glass jar (that makes me feel so fancy) and the lid has a built in strainer. So put whatever you want in the jar, but only liquid is coming out. It's so good!

Skincare fridge. || I got a tiny pink fridge to start keeping my skincare stuff (and eye masks) in, and it's the most extra thing I've ever done. I LOVE IT. Just gonna level with you, this was 50% off when I got it. It's now listed at $72, which is a bummer, but here are some cheaper options: this one is $30 and this one is $37.

Impress nails. || You're going to think I'm crazy, but I have to tell you something: I'm a stick-on nails convert now. It sounds ridiculous, but I've been wearing $6 press on nails and they look better than my nails look when I get them dipped (or even gel). They last 5-7ish days, which is about how long anything else lasts on my nails. Grab some next time you're at Target and just give them a go. Depending on the style, some of them are a little off if you look toooo close, but hey, $6...I'll take it. 

Fabric shaver. || I got this for my Poshmark ventures and after seeing how new it makes clothes look, I immediately took it for a spin in my own closet. You know how you have some clothes that you've had for so long or have washed so many times, the fabric starts pilling up in little balls? This takes care of it for less that $10. 

Fabric steamer. || Also originally for Poshmark, this has changed my life. Whenever something is wrinkled, I toss it in the dryer. Which means if something I'm trying to avoid shrinking is wrinkled, I'm out of luck. NO MORE. This is magic. It also makes me feel like an adult who has her life together, which is an illusion I am super here for. 

What have you discovered this month?
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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Good Morning!

Coming atcha live on this (FREEZING COLD) Tuesday morning. I've honestly found that when I'm feeling overwhelmed / under-inspired, live blogs always help me get back into the swing of things. I'm all for planning and outlining, but sometimes you just need to write in real time, you know? 

Anyway, a few little life things: 

Florida is broken. Yesterday I checked the weather and it was warmer in Colorado than it was in Florida. I am both very confused and also personally offended by this. 


Jack turned three. My family (including my baby brother because he lives in Florida again!) met us at Universal to celebrate the birthday boy and it was just the best. My favorite place and favorite people. Full, full heart. 


I've kind of been keeping a "more / less" tab going in my head. Instead of making resolutions this year, I chose to just spend the year as best as I could. In order to do that, I want more of certain things and less of others. More joy, less worrying. More sunsets, less TV. More yoga, less overthinking, etc, etc.  It's a great mental nudge to myself to think about how I spend my time. 


I saw a quote the other day that said, "You are the longest relationship you will ever have in your life. Take care of it." And it really struck a chord with me. I think that means different things to different personality types, but to me, it means more being intentional about self-care, less negative thoughts, more breaks, less letting what other people think bother me. See? More and less. 


The sun is coming up, it's a fresh start, it's going to be a wonderful day. Whatever is on deck for you today, I know you can do it. Hope your day is absolutely beautiful. xo.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Books I've Read Recently (& Whether or Not You Should Read Them).

Tangerine by Christine Mangan

Plot: "The last person Alice Shipley expected to see since arriving in Tangier with her new husband was Lucy Mason. After the accident at Bennington, the two friends—once inseparable roommates—haven’t spoken in over a year. But there Lucy was, trying to make things right and return to their old rhythms. Perhaps Alice should be happy. She has not adjusted to life in Morocco, too afraid to venture out into the bustling medinas and oppressive heat. Lucy—always fearless and independent—helps Alice emerge from her flat and explore the country. 

But soon a familiar feeling starts to overtake Alice—she feels controlled and stifled by Lucy at every turn. Then Alice’s husband, John, goes missing, and Alice starts to question everything around her: her relationship with her enigmatic friend, her decision to ever come to Tangier, and her very own state of mind.

Tangerine is a sharp dagger of a book—a debut so tightly wound, so replete with exotic imagery and charm, so full of precise details and extraordinary craftsmanship, it will leave you absolutely breathless."

Favorite quote: “Time moves quickly, I have found, turning people and places into first history and then later stories.” 

My thoughts: It was a creative plot and a beautiful setting...on paper, I should have loved this book. And I really really tried. But it just felt choppy and jumpy and I was trying to hard to keep up with a story that felt like it was just going in circles. 

Should you read it? Eh. I enjoyed certain aspects of it, but wouldn't recommend it. 

Oh! You Pretty Things by Shanna Mahin 

Plot: "Jess Dunne is third-generation Hollywood, but her star on the boulevard has yet to materialize. Sure, she’s got a Santa Monica address and a working actress roommate, but with her nowhere barista job in a town that acknowledges zeroes only as a dress size, she’s a dead girl walking.

Enter Jess’s mother—a failed actress who puts the strange in estrangement. She dives headlong into her daughter’s downward spiral, forcing Jess to muster all her spite and self-preservation to snag a career upgrade.

As a personal assistant for a famous (and secretly agoraphobic) film composer, Jess’s workdays are now filled with shopping for luxury goods and cooking in his perfectly designed kitchen. Jess kills at cooking, a talent that only serves her intensifying urge to dig in to Los Angeles’s celebrity buffet.

When her food garners the attention of an actress on the rise, well, she’s all too willing to throw it in with the composer and upgrade again, a decision that will have far-reaching ramifications that could explode all her relationships.

All the while, her mother looms ever closer, forcing Jess to confront the traumatic secrets she’s been running from all her life. 

Oh! You Pretty Things is a dizzying ride at the carnival of fame, a fast-paced and sharply funny work that dares to imagine what happens when we go over the top in a town of gilded excess."

My thoughts: This was a quick, reality-show-feels kind of read, and I loved it. I read it on New Year's Eve by the pool, and it was the perfect pool read. 

Should you read it? Add it to your list for when you need a mindless beach read!

The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas

Plot: "There are no more cheerleaders in the town of Sunnybrook.

First there was the car accident—two girls gone after hitting a tree on a rainy night. Not long after, the murders happened. Those two girls were killed by the man next door. The police shot him, so no one will ever know why he did it. Monica’s sister was the last cheerleader to die. After her suicide, Sunnybrook High disbanded the cheer squad. No one wanted to be reminded of the girls they lost.

That was five years ago. Now the faculty and students at Sunnybrook High want to remember the lost cheerleaders. But for Monica, it’s not that easy. She just wants to forget. Only, Monica’s world is starting to unravel. There are the letters in her stepdad’s desk, an unearthed, years-old cell phone, a strange new friend at school. . . . Whatever happened five years ago isn’t over. Some people in town know more than they’re saying. And somehow Monica is at the center of it all.

There are no more cheerleaders in Sunnybrook, but that doesn’t mean anyone else is safe."

Favorite quote: “But after a while, searching for the answers felt like grasping around in the dark. At some point, you have to choose to live in the light.” 

My thoughts: I read someone describe this as "Riverdale meets Veronica Mars" and I honestly couldn't describe it better myself. I flew through it, was caught off guard several times, and overall just really enjoyed it. We all know I love a good YA book and I love a good thriller, so it was fun to find a book that was both. 

Should you read it? Yes!

What have you read lately?
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Monday, January 14, 2019

Three Years a Mom: Happy Birthday, Baby Jack.


I'm writing this the night before your third birthday. It's way too late for you to be napping, but you are. You're curled up against me, breathing deep and slow and radiating so much heat that I'm starting to sweat (you've always been a little furnace, from day one). The simple act of watching your chest rise and fall, watching how your eyelashes flutter just a little bit as you're in between deep sleep and waking up, seeing how peaceful your face looks as you fills me with so much love my chest feels like it's going to explode. 

You turn three tomorrow, a fact that elicits both a shrug and shock from me. Shock because, how? How are you this old? Didn't I bring you home from the hospital like, last week? But also shrugs because, only three? Haven't you just been around forever? Haven't you always been a part of life? All I know for sure is that my life is so much better, so much happier, so much more full of joy with you in it. 

I want to say thank you. This year has been a hard one in a lot of ways. There were many days that brought me to my knees, and there you always were, ready to snuggle, to share snacks, to demand a baby shark dance party. You didn't even know, and you may never know, just how many days you saved for me this year. I'm thankful for you for a billion reasons, but those days brought a particularly sacred kind of thankfulness for you. 

Now, I may be writing you a letter, but this is also a blog post, and I strive to be honest around here, so I have to let you in on a little secret: YOU ARE DIFFICULT. I am so thankful for you and so in love with you, but kid, you give me a run for my money on a daily basis. I have never been so tired in my whole life. But another secret: I wouldn't change a single second of it. You may drain me on the daily, but good grief if you don't fill me up even more. I've never been so full of so much goodness in my life. You are pure happiness, pure love, pure sweetness. You are everything. I can't believe you're mine. 

You are all of the good things: Brave, kind, trusting, good. You love making people laugh and have the funniest little sense of humor. You have the gentlest heart and the boldest spirit. I can say with zero hesitation that the world will be better because you're in it. 

I could write about you forever, but this seems like a good place to wrap it up. And by that, I mean you just woke up a smidge, stood up, threw your empty milk at me, and yelled "MILKKKK" before falling back into bed. 

Can't wait to see how much fun three is. Happy birthday, my tiny little love.

I love you the most, always and always and always. 

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Tuesday, January 8, 2019

just write: new year's thoughts.

think of last year
of all it brought you. 
the people you didn't know the year before
who you can't survive without now. 
the nights you got to dance through &
the laughter you got to share &
the places you went &
the lips you kissed &
the hope you felt &
the things you saw 
all in the span of one year. 
it was hard, maybe
but it was good and full 
and it shaped you. 
remember that, when this year gets hard
(as it almost certainly will):
that while it may be hard
it is also full &
giving &
always shaping. 

it's not too late to start over 
the second, the seventh, the twelfth of next month
all perfectly good days to start fresh. 
but please don't feel like you have to. 
start over, that is. 
you are good, here, now.
just as you are. 

you don't have to let go 
if you are not ready. 
a page turning, a clock ticking, a calendar flipping
none of it means you have to let go. 
it's okay that you still need to work through that thing &
it's okay that you can't stop thinking about them & 
it's okay that you're not ready to say, "it's okay" quite yet. 
all of these things are a part of you
of you, just as you are, right now.
& you don't have to let go of any piece of yourself 
unless you are ready. 

it really is amazing, when you think about it. 
the fact that you woke up today. 
all of the things last year that could have killed you 
but didn't 
all of the ways the world could have broken you 
but didn't 
all of the times you could have given up 
but didn't. 
it really is amazing 
so allow yourself to be amazed. 
you did it. 

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Monday, January 7, 2019

Spending 2019.

At the beginning of every month, I write a post with ideas of how to spend the days in that month. I started doing it a few years ago out of a desire to experience more joy in the day-to-day, not just in the planned ahead trips and adventures. 

Ready or not, 2019 graced us with her presence last week, and this was the first year in a long time that I didn't feel the urge to sit down and make a long list of resolutions. The reason for that is two-fold: One, the end of 2018 felt like it almost killed me, and two, the year as a whole shaped me into a person I'm actually pretty proud of. Why would I want to make a list of changes I hope to make to her disguised as goals? 

I have specific things I hope to accomplish this year, of course. But they all tie back to the same goal: I want to spend this year. 

I want to spend my talents, not just sit around and hope that someday I get the chance to. 

I want to spend the opportunities that come my way. 

I want to spend my time. I don't want to be so caught up in things I have to do or should be doing that my time rushes past me without me getting to choose how to spend it. 

Whether you're setting goals this year or not, I hope you decide that 2019 will be a year you spend. What an incredible thing a new year is. What a huge gift that, somehow, you made it through 2018. 2019 will be full of days with opportunities and hours and choices.

I hope you spend them all. 
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