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. 

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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!

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5 Things I'm Loving Right Now

Hi my loves! I hope you're having a Saturday morning filled with strong coffee, cozy socks, and plenty of breakfast foods. Weekends for me have been busy and I'm beyond excited to have a few days to catch up and bum around.

Here's a few things I've been recently loving:

1. Earlier in the summer we had our new sofa delivered! We ordered the Eliot Reversible Sectional in Bella Navy from Joybird and it's GORGEOUS. It's firm but still incredibly comfortable, easy to get cat hair off of, and so huge! The color is bold but not too in your face. Now we just need new pillows...

2. I spent a lot of last year trying to find the perfect black leather boots. After trying to find affordable dupes online that were never perfect, finally ordered the Pauline Boots from Madewell. They're exactly what I was looking for and very comfortable. 

3. After searching for a liquid lipstick that worked for me, I finally found one! On a whim I ordered a lipstick from The Drop Deads who sells LipSense and I'm now completely hooked. All other liquid lipsticks stay on the outside of my lips but wear off in the center also immediately. These babies last all day with minimal touch up. I can eat tacos in them. It's insane. Blue Red and Sassy Z are my favs, but I also own and like Salmon and Purple Rain. 

4. Recently repurchased a handful of Glossier skincare and cosmetics and it's just aces. I forgot how much I loved the boy brow, the stretch concealer in great, and the birthday balm, milky jelly cleanser, and primer are new favorites.

5. We've had a few cooler days here in Philly and I'm loving dressing for fall. I've broken out my boots and sweaters and denim jackets. I'm ready for layers and cool mornings drinking hot apple cider. I'm ready for fall clothes.

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5 Things I'm Loving Right Now

Alright friends! I'm fresh back from a whirlwind week of traveling and eating myself into the next pants size last week and ready to share some favorite things with you!

Last week I was in Downtown Los Angeles for a work conference and honestly spent the entire week either learning about social media in higher ed, eating, walking to eat, shopping, or lounging in my hotel bed. Although I don't mind traveling alone, I'm not interested in wandering museums or doing touristy things by myself. Those are experiences I enjoy talking and sharing with another person. So I did the second best thing: went where I wanted to, ate a ton of great food and desserts, shopped in stores we don't have in Philadelphia, and slept in the middle of my king-sized bed. I was home for about 16 hours before we left for a last-minute trip to Buffalo, NY, for G to visit with family and friends. I had some SERIOUS jetlag well into this week but everything is starting to fall back into place.

I'm excited to be home and back focused on things I want to accomplish in the coming months. In the meantime, here are five things I'm loving right now:

1. This post about Nurturing your Creativity by The Crafted Life really hit home for me. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen baking for the blog, and not very much time baking for fun or for the people I love. 

2. I was recommended the book The Devil in the White City while at a conference in LA and decided to pick it up while I was there for the flight home. It's fantastic and I read it for the entire 5+ hour flight home. Definitely a must read for anyone interested in true crime. AND I'm hoping this helps with my recent inability to focus on a book for more than 5 minutes. 

3. I wore this Vintage Color Block Necklace that I got for Christmas while I was in LA last week and had never received so many compliments in one day. It's one of my favorite new jewelry pieces (along with these tassel earrings from Little Arrow Studio in cobalt and pink).

4. I purchased two new pairs of clogs a few weeks ago from Lotta From Stockholm and I'm once again wowed by the quality of these. They're super simple shoes and a bear to break in, but once you do they're absolutely perfect. And they have a great sales and seconds section of their website which I purchase from all the time and have never been let down by.

5. Every time I travel and use hotel bath products, I realize how much I love my shampoo. Is that weird?? I have incredibly straight hair (and a lot of it), which I don't like to wash every day. My hair also needs some extra umph from products to not just lay flat to my head. Because of those things, it can be a little greasier than I'd like at my roots while the ends are still a little too dry. But the Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Shampoo is amazing. It's pricey, but a bottle for me lasts a long time. It just makes my hair feel perfectly clean, but not too soft and slippery that it won't hold a style, and that feeling just lasts. It's my fav!

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5 Things I'm Loving Right Now

Hey Hi Hello! I returned last weekend from Miami Beach, packed my shorts and sandals back under my bed, put on my boots and drug myself into work every day this week in the 40 degree temperatures. I don't usually travel during the winter months and it was down right HARD to get back into the swing of things. But I did unpack my suitcase last night and it only took me 5 days (I'm writing this on a Friday) so that feels like a tiny win. Anyone else just dread unpacking a suitcase??

But Miami was a wonderful vacation. The weather was lovely, we ate some great food, went to the beach, I drank some pina coladas, and the whole trip was one of the most affordable trips I've ever been on! I'm torn on if I want to share some photos and information on the places we went, things we did, restaurants we enjoyed. I'm in no way an expert, but I also couldn't find a ton of guides online that were up my alley. Let me know if you'd like to see my recommendations in a upcoming post! But I'm back to real life now and thought I'd share some of my favorite things. 

Here are some things I've been loving recently:

1. I'm now on my third month of Studio DIY's Can't Clutch This clutch subscription box and I'm still totally and utterly in love with them. I'm sure at some point I'll have too many clutch bags, but as of now it's still such a fun surprise to look forward to every week. Added bonus, I get more compliments on these bags than any other bag I've ever used. And the quality has been wonderful as well.

2. I've recently found and am loving several new beauty products. I know you are probably here to hear about butter and sugar and cocktails, so I'll just list the products that I'm loving. If you want to hear about anything in particular, feel free to ask me in the comments and I'm tell you more about this things! Herbivore Botanicals DETOX Bath Salts, Real Techniques Setting Brush, Sonia Kashuk Blending Brush, Anastasia Beverly Hills Caramel Eye Shadow, Kevyn Aucoin Contour Duo On The Go, Pixi + Caroline Hirons Double Cleanser, Tarte Tarteist Lip Paint in Birthday Suit (I have mini), NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Prague, Not Your Mothers Dry Shampoo Mini, Essie Gel Couture Nail Polishes, Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Paaarty, and Glossier Boy Brow in Brown.

3. New routines! I've been attempting to read more and make my way through a handful of books that have been lying around the house unread for a while now. Because G gets up for work early and I need like 10 hours of sleep at night to function, we tend to be in bed by 10PM during the week. So I've been trying a new routine of going to bed around 10 and then reading until about 10:30. Not a ton of time, but it gets me off Instagram and clears my head a bit more. I'm currently reading Mary Roach's Stiff

4. I was given an oil diffuser for my birthday, which turns out to be a gift I didn't know I wanted and needed! I have a handful of friends who swear by essential oils but they've never really worked for me personally. But I love having the relaxing scents going in my house at night. I have one of these and I love it!

5. We booked our hotel in Miami with the Hotel Tonight app. With this app, you can book last-minute hotel rooms (up to a week before check-in) and get some really great deals. This was my second time using it and I definitely plan on using it for some smaller trips we have planned this year. After looking at all kinds of discount travel sites, this still gave us the best price.

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