5 Things I'm Loving Right Now (+ A Life Update)

I could start this post with an apology for being absent over the past year, or the details of what went on, but I don’t really want to dwell on all that. I’ll just say that working at a job that’s a bad fit, one that sucks all of your creative energy and constantly causes you stress and anxiety, is not a way to live your life (or at least for me). It took me a while to realize this; I felt very much like a failure and harbored guilt of misguiding my own life. Now that I’m on the other side of it, I know that it’s all apart of my journey and has made me even stronger and more confident (but it’s hard to see that when you’re in the middle of it, ya know?).

With that all behind me, I’ve been back in the kitchen. It’s been recipe testing a few things that are almost there. Plus, I’m pricing out cameras so I can bring you new delicious and beautiful recipes (I’m pretty stoked about this one 📷).

But even with everything in order, it’s still been hard for me to bounce back into blogging. I feel like I’ve lost some of the spark that this blog once had, and I’m at a loss for how to get that back. But I wanted to touch base regardless and let you know that I’m figuring it out. Because we’re friends and you deserve that. And because I want to hold myself accountable for actually showing up and creating something that I’m proud of, something that reflects what I’m into at this moment.

So that’s where I’m at this Monday. Tea in hand, snugged up under the heated blanket on my couch. I thought I would start all this with something easy, something fun. Here’s a few things I’ve been loving lately.

Reading: So, adding “reading” to a list of favorite things probably sounds bizarre but I haven’t been able to focus on reading an entire book in years (and unfortunately, that not even an exaggeration). Since kicking off 2019 with more free time, I’ve been making it a prioritize to read. So far, I’ve finished Abbi Jacobson’s I Might Regret This, This Will Only Hurt A Little by Busy Phillips, My Friend Dahmer, and I’m currently working on An Edited Life by Anna Newton (who’s maybe my fav beauty/lifestyle blogger). Hopefully more book recs to come!

New jeans: After searching and searching for the perfect dupes for Everlane jeans, I finally broke down and purchased a pair of the Kick Crop Jeans when they were on sale and I’m never looking back. They’re the perfect shape for me, feel high-quality enough but still comfortable. I have 2 pairs of them and it’s hard for me to not wear them every single day. Definitely worth the money and I get a ton of compliments when I wear them.

Thrifting: Thrifting is something I have always gone through stages of, and for the past few months or so I’ve been loving it. Living in a major city, most thrift stores here are pretty picked through or overpriced, so my girlfriend and I usually make a day out of driving to the suburbs, hitting some thrift stores and other stores that are annoyingly busy to visit in the city (Trader Joe’s) and it’s become something I look forward to immensely. Plus, as someone who loves a little bit of retail therapy, it’s helping me not burn all my money on clothes.

New bras! I recently purchased a slew of the same bras (which really shows you how much I love them) from Aerie of all places. Now, to purchase these in person in Philly you need to hit the American Eagle in Center City, which if you’re anything like me makes you feel incredibly old and is a store definitely run by children. BUT these Chill Cotton Bralettes are exactly what I was looking for. Simple, decent support and a great price for the quality.

Being Home: I’m currently having a love affair with being home. I’ve been staying in on the weekend, cleaning and purging our home, and just feeling incredibly content with spending my nights melting into the couch. We’ve been cooking a lot and (I think) getting better at it! Painting our downstairs was one of the best decisions we’ve made and when the light streams in, I just look around and can’t help but feel happy and content. We still have more work to do, more plants to buy, we need a new bed and mattress, but all in all this house feels like home and I’m into it big time.

Wishing you an easy Monday!

Hightlights From Summer

Since I spent most of the summer months running all over the place and being a busy little bee, I thought I would sit down and take a few moments to reflect on the past few months and some of the high points. This is something that's H A R D for me to do. When things are positive, I tend to move on from them quickly and rarely take time to sit and think back. So I'm trying to change that behavior a little bit and share some of my highlights from the summer. 

If I'm being honest, this summer felt like a giant blur. A mix of traveling, work, friends in town, weddings, moving, not moving, trying to get enough sleep, and a lot of humidity. But it also was filled with many of my favorite things (and people). I also took a giant hiatus from blogging, which was semi-intentional with how busy I had been. Blogging for me is a hobby, something I enjoy doing, and when it starts to feel like another chore I try and take a break. Also, I create most of my recipes and content on the weekends which makes it hard when you’re busy.

Like most of the seasons these days, summer felt incredibly slow when I was in the moment but when I reflect back, really flew by. Here are a few highlights from the past couple of months…

Cape Cod. When I think back on it, I'm so thankful for this trip. It came at a time when things were feeling incredibly overwhelming for me personally & professional and to be able to jump in the car and drive away was a dream, especially since G and a travel buddy planned most of the trip for us. We spent a few nights in Salem, MA, then drove to Provincetown for a few nights, and ended at a friend's home outside of Cape Cod. The whole trip was super relaxed, we were able to escape the philly heat for a few days, and just filled with a lot of love and friends. 

This was also my first time in any of these places and Salem and Provincetown were very quaint and cute. Would definitely recommend them.

House Refresh. Where we live has been quite the topic of conversation this summer. We found out in mid-summer that our current landlord was going to sell our house. We live in an up-and-coming neighborhood in philadelphia so it wasn't a complete surprise, but we tried to approach the situation with positivity. We started looking for houses, looked at a few, people were touring our house (which was extremely annoying tbh), but in the end, they sold the house to an investor who wanted a tenant and we stayed in our home. We negotiated a few improvements to the house (helllllllo garbage disposal!) and decided to make some upgrades yourselves (painting, light fixtures, new towels & shower curtain, minimizing clutter, new kitchen bits, etc.). All in all, it was quite a lot of hubbub but we're happy to save on moving costs 😎  

Friends Visiting/Visiting Friends. Some of my favorite memories this summer were made with friends visiting or traveling to see friends in other cities. We spent a weekend driving out to Pittsburg to hang with friends, play board games, and swim in our fav wave pool. On top of that, we had a handful of buds stay in our spare bedroom, which gave me an opportunity to share my favorite city, eat all the best food it has to offer, and catch up while sitting on my own sofa.

Girl Time. Adult friendships are hard, my friend. And as someone who has never had a large group of tight girlfriends, I’m always incredibly thankful for the time my friends and I carve out for one another. I feel so grateful to have found my people, even if it’s not a huge dang group of them.

Highlights this summer were our weekend away in the Catskills, venturing out of the city to the airplane pool, and a handful of happy hours, dinner dates, and ice cream meetups.

Emerging From the Fog. The biggest change that happened this summer was emerging from the fog of anxiety and depression that I found myself in for most of the beginning of the year. It's uncomfortable for me to talk about—both because mental illness is a vulnerable topic and because I don't like to bring a lot of negativity to my digital life—but it feels a little like a victory to me. It’s difficult for me to figure out what caused this change (therapy, self care, changes in attitude, work, personal growth, probably a giant mix of all of those things) but I’m just thankful to be on the other side. Every day isn’t great and honestly, some days and weeks it’s still pretty unpleasant, but I’m able to see through the fog and that feels incredibly huge to me.

Until next time xo

5 Things I'm Loving Right Now

We spent Memorial Day weekend cleaning and purging the house, bleaching and scrubbing the desk, and getting the house ready for summer weather. And has tired I was after it was all over (well, semi-over. We still need to purge the basement and spare bedroom), I'm so thrilled to have less stuff sitting around gathering dust. And bleaching our dirt-and-algae covered deck turned out AMAZING. Now that it's a little less disgusting out there, we're hoping to spend a little more time grilling hot dogs, drinking rosé, and making fired in the chiminea.

Have you done your spring/summer cleaning yet? Is it something you look forward to, or completely dread? Now that I've gotten rid of so many things I wasn't using, I have a little more space for a few new items! Here are a few things I've been enjoying recently:

For the last year or so I've been struggling to spend time reading. When I open a book, I can't focus on the words, I have to keep rereading things, and it makes me immediately so sleepy. BUT I've been trying to change my habits and get myself back on the reading band wagon.  A friend gave me the book, You are a Badass, when I left my previous job and a year later, I started reading it and definitely like it a lot. I also bought myself I'll Be Gone in the Night by Michelle McNamara about the Golden State Killer and it's been such a fascinating read.

I purchased some DOPE mules from Target that I've been absolutely loving lately. Super comfortable, a slight heel but nothing too crazy, and love the yellow color. 

It's finally peony season! Peonies are by far my fav flower and now that Trader Joe's finally has them, I'm stocking up all season long.

I was given these Heart Sunglasses by a friend and they are not my go-to glasses. I had a pair of more classic-looking heart shaped sunglasses that I've been wearing for a few years, but they were starting to get a big worn out. At first, I thought they were too big and flashy but I quickly got over that because I love a statement sunglass. 

After a rough beginning of the season with my scooter, we finally got her tuned and ready to go for the summer. My scooter is absolutely one of my most favorite purchases I have ever made and has made traveling around the city way easier and a lot more fun. Because I'm thinking about trading my girl in at the end of the year for an upgraded model, I'm trying to really enjoy my last summer with this mint beauty. 

5 Things I'm Loving Right Now

I can safely say that I've been struggling to write this post for weeks now. Not really sure why, it really shouldn't be too hard to come up with 5 things but here we are. We did it.

We're still living in perpetual winter time over here in Philadelphia, but I'm hoping (fingers crossed) that it will finally stop snowing and start heating up a bit. Thankfully, we have had 2 decent Saturdays in a row, which has helped clear my head and shaken up my usual routine. It's amazing what a little fresh air, some sunshine, and being with friends can do for you. 

Button-down shirts: I'm currently having a love affair with colorful or patterned button-down shirts. I haven't been purchasing a lot of clothing lately, but I've been making an exception for a good button down. I think my obsession started when I purchases this around christmas time, then a vintage one from a consignment shop, and then bought this pj shirt a few weekends ago. Tucked into high waisted skinny jeans has been my uniform lately. 

LipSense: I know I've included this on another 5 Things I'm Loving list, but after years of trying to find a longwear lipstick that would actually work for me (liquid lipsticks always wear off the center of my lips no matter what brand), a friend recommended LipSense and it's a GAME CHANGER. I purchase from Becka at Feeling Fancy Shop and she's incredibly responsive, helpful, and super sweet. If you're looking for a lipstick that actually wears for 5+ hours—through drinking and tacos and sweating—give LipSense a try.

IGK Hair Products: So, you definitely know by now that I love a good dry shampoo. I think I've talked about dry shampoo in several of these 5 Things posts, all different brands, but today we are diving a little deeper. I'm pretty particular about hair products because my hair doesn't always agree with them. I look for products that give volume and keep my hair looking fresh without weighing my hair down or building up so that it gets greasy. After hearing a ton of great things about IGK, I tried a bunch of different products and loved all of them. Jet Lag and Direct Flight are awesome dry shampoos for bringing my hair back to life (I think I prefer Direct Flight since it's a little more intense). Expensive is an AMAZING deep conditioner. And I recently tried a tester of Mistress while out and about on Saturday and I can't stop thinking about it. I think I feel a new obsession going on...

Black Denim Jacket: Before we left for our trip to Nepal, I picked up this denim jacket and have been wearing it ever since. I have a lot of tighter cropped jackets and this slightly oversized one is perfect for layering or a more casual look. Plus, because it's black I can wear it with jeans without looking like I'm in full denim.

Fake Plants: I know, I know. But sometimes you just need a fake plant! Because our house has houses on either side of it, we only have windows on the front and back of our house. So, the middle just doesn't get enough light for real plants. I've tried countless times and killed them all. So among my real plants, there's a few fake ones in places where you can't get to close to spot the fakers. They just add a little something something to the space without me having to worry about them. Win, win!

Around Here

Hello friends! 

I stopped posting Around Here posts a while back since my house wasn't changing too much. This is the longest I've lived somewhere since my childhood home, and somehow I'm not tired of it yet. Maybe it's because since G moved in last year we've been doing a lot of changes. Or maybe because other parts of my life have been hectic that having this restful place has been a relief. Whatever it is, it's nice to keep improving on a home.

I've been struggling a bit with a creative block that I can't seem to get through, hence the lack of blog posts. I was sick most of last week, had a series of busy weeks at work, and just can't bring myself to work on anything that I don't absolutely need to. Does that ever happen to you? I'm always on the look out for ways to motivate my brain, spark some creativity, and light a fire under myself. How do you stay motivated when you aren't feeling your best?