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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Summer Bucket List Review

Since Labor Day was last weekend, I thought I would sit down and write a little bit about this summer and what I knocked off my Summer Bucket List, which can be found here!

Even now that I'm an adult, summer feels special to me. It's a time to take it a little easier, make time for relaxing, make plans with friends and family, and take time for some self care. Maybe it's because I work at a college where summers are a lot less hectic and busy, or maybe it's just because I try really hard to take advantage of the warm weather but summer continues to be very special to me. And this summer was pretty darn special. I almost crossed off everything on my bucket list (!!!) so I wanted to share some of those things with you all today.

1. Go Camping: This was an easy one since G and I already had our trip to Central and Western New York to visit his family and friends already planned out when I made this Bucket List. But camping is one of my favorite things that I don't do often enough. We spent two nights camping during that trip and got to do all the camping necessities: put up our tent, cooked over a fire, made s'mores (which was also #6 on the Bucket List), woke up smelling like campfire, all the lovely things. I shared more about our trip here.

2. Make Popsicles: Well, you all know I conquered this one! At the beginning of the summer I purchased this popsicle maker and I love it. Easy to use, easy to clean. If you missed it, I shared these Peaches and Cream Breakfast Popsicles and Funfetti Cake Batter Popsicles.

3. Drink More Water: Even though I still feel like I have a long way to go with this one, I do feel like I've been drinking more water daily. I even bought two new water bottles! More than keeping up with drinking more water, I can actually notice a difference in my body and brain when I'm dehydrated, which wasn't something I could even notice before. Crazy right? Yeah, I think I'm just used to functioning in a dehydrated state so it's nice to quench that.

4. Take More Photos With My Instax: I feel like I made some headway on this one too! Though I still feel like I carry this camera around wayyyy too much for how few photos I have, I do have some great memories captured on film that I really adore. Can't wait to keep using this into the Fall.

5. Purge My House: I did a small purge in the middle of the summer, but I'm excited to really go through my house with an iron fist in the next couple of months. So I feel like I kind of checked this box, but excited to really see a significant difference in my house soon.

6. Make S'more: Happy to say we took care of this during our camping trip and I think also down the shore. Check out #1. 

7. Dress Up More: I feel a little like I should explain that for me, this goal didn't mean wearing anything specific. I wasn't looking to wear more dresses or skirts or have my hair done more. It's more that I own a good amount of clothes and I tend to get in ruts with them. Add to that the fact that it's been VERY hot and humid this summer and I feel like I can't be bothered putting on decent makeup or wearing anything more than a airy tank top and flip flops. BUT I made a conscious effort to mix and match my wardrobe, only buy pieces that I really put some thought into and really wanted, and felt good about my outfits and looks most of the summer. Three cheers for feeling good!

8. Find A New Farmer's Market: This actually happened even though I wasn't trying very hard! I had been to a few around me that weren't really doing it for me. Only a few vendors. All selling the same handful of things. But then I stubbed upon a market by G's house in West Philly, which is just lovely! It's not huge, just one side of a park, but a variety of vendors selling meat, vegetables, fruits, honey, and beautiful FLOWERS. Can't wait to go back a few more times.

9. Swim in a Swimming Hole: This is one of my favorite summer memories. While on our trip, we found a small waterfall and got to spend some time splashing around in the water, floating on the donut, and just being happy. While on this trip, we also swam in two pool-like swimming holes as well.

10. Go Ziplining: This is the only thing I didn't even remotely do. We tried to plan this a handful of times, but either our friends weren't available or the weather wasn't cooperating or it was just a bad weekend. Oh well! I'm sure the opportunity will arise someday.

And that's it! I feel like 9 out of 10 isn't too bad! One of the most important things I did this summer was eat more ice cream and frozen treats than I every had in one summer. If you've been following me on Instagram, I'm sure you've seen my addiction, which I don't plan on stopping come Fall. Though I love summer, I must confess I'm looking forward to the change of seasons and the crispness in the air that Fall brings. I'm not rushing it, I'm just excited for the change.

5 Things I'm Loving Right Now

I don't know the last time I had such an action-packed summer. We had a handful of things planned, like our camping trip and a weekend down the shore, but every weekend I think we have nothing planned, and I stumble upon something going on or an idea comes to me and we're out of the house and into the car. Having someone so game for little adventures has really been a dream come true. We spent the day at Asbury Park (a beach I'd never been to! so cute!), went to a county fair, went swimming, hiked around some local parks, found some street festivals, and attended a Shakespeare in Park night just to name a few. As the summer is in it's final stages, I'm hoping to keep it up!  And I still need to knock ziplining off my summer bucket list....

Here's some things I've been loving lately:

  1. Kate blogged a bunch of photos from my portrait shoot that we did a few weeks ago. If you aren't tired of looking at them, you can see them here
  2. I recently binged my way through Stranger Things (in three days!) and I've started on Peaky Blinders that I'm loving as well.
  3. Finally purchased a new lip color (Versailles) from Beauty Bakerie, which is basically my natural lip color but better and I'm in love.
  4. If you live in Philadelphia, you should definitely try and check out Bok Bar this summer. It's a rooftop bar in South Philly located on the 8th floor of the Bok Technical High School building. I went with a handful of girlfriends and it was a lovely place to chill out, take in the Philadelphia skyline, and drink rosé.
  5. I've added some new flair to my denim jacket and have a few more in my cart waiting to be purchased. I picked up this On Brand pin from Professional Mess and NEED to get some pins from this collaboration between The Paper Mama and The Crafted Life.

New Portraits

I just popped in to share some fun news: I had portraits taken!

A few weeks ago, my friend (and very talent photographer) Kate McCann met up at a new mural in South Philadelphia to take some portraits for the blog and my social media accounts! As someone who HATED photos of herself for years, it's nice to finally feel comfortable in my skin and actually love having my picture taken. Still definitely make a lot of dumb faces, but sometimes we get some gems!

I've been really trying to up my blog game lately. I've separating my blog and personal Instagram accounts, been posting more frequently and scheduling content on Instagram, creating more blog content, and all around trying to be a little more consistent and on top of things. It's definitely been amazing to see my hard work pay off (I was regrammed by A Beautiful Mess not once, but twice, in one day!) and I'm thrilled to have some photos that really tie everything together. 

I'm hoping my creativity energy can keep at it for a little while longer!

Things Not Working Out

Sometimes things just don't work out. It's hard for me to deal with.

I had one of those weekends where I completed nothing on my to-do list, binge watched a ton of shows, and couldn't get off the sofa due to a headache. Somewhere in there I made these mini strawberry rhubarb galettes, which didn't turn out great, and also made and photographed a cocktail recipe that upon looking at the photos just wasn't good. These are the days when balancing a full-time job, making blog things, staying social with friends and a boyfriend, and also doing chores around the house just seems unbearable. I sit a work all week dreaming about the things I'll make, cleaning I'll do, and brunches I'll eat during the coming weekend. And then Saturday morning hits and nothing can motivate me. I love making content for this blog, but things not working out is just a drag. And if I'm being honest, I'm incredibly hard on myself about it. 

So today I'm making a plan to be productive with the small amount of at-home time I have this weekend. Sitting around being bummed out isn't helpful and whenever possible I try to turn that energy into motivation to do better. I try to map out what I can realistically get done, what I need to do after work to be prepared, and how I can prep so I'm better the next time around.

There's been a lot of articles and blog posts written about how the internet creates a space where everything looks perfect. A space where we only share the positive and curated and we therefore are comparing our hustle to someone else's successes. Comparing our day-to-day office job to someone's creative venture. And while I don't fully believe in all that, I also think it's nice to share that sometimes things didn't work out. So that's why I don't have anything exciting for you this week. Hopefully, I can get things back on track for next week. <3