In Link Roundups on
December 10, 2017

easy like (SNOW!)

It snowed here yesterday! ALL DAY! We got maybe 2.5 inches max of snow, but it’s 2.5 inches more than last year! I don’t pretend to believe that D.C. will ever fulfill my super snowy winter dreams, but it’s nice to be surprised every once in a while, right? I got to see lots of friends this weekend, and had lots of fun seasonal holiday times.

I woke up with what seems to be a seasonal cold this morning, so I’m doing my best to get better in one day so I can work my last full week before X-mas vacation! We’ll see – if I’ve learned anything from the health issues this fall, it’s listening to your body, and self-compassion. I exercise, I eat right – sometimes I can’t control when I get sick.

Here’s what I was reading this week:

This account of the first woman to swim the English Channel is super badass

Love these fresh interior design trends for 2018

Cool read from FiveThirtyEight: what the last winter olympics would have looked like without Russia (as this year’s will be).

Super interested in LUSH’s solid shampoo bars and solid conditioners – if I try them out, I’ll let you know what I think!

I’m…kind of…shook at how great Abercrombie suddenly is?

Okay, short list because I’m gonna kick this thing, I know it.

Have a great week!

 

In Style on
December 5, 2017

an ethical holiday gift guide: the little market

This is part 4 in a series of ethical holiday gift guides – let me know if there’s an ethical brand you’d like featured! Click on the images for links to the products shown – and all photos are credited to The Little Market. I did not take any of them. 

I learned about The Little Market because I was a deeply devoted fan of The Hills, and am embarassed to admit that I followed Lauren Conrad’s career pretty closely after the show. She opened The Little Market with Hannah Skvarla a few years later, and it’s remained open as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. The store sells handmade gifts from artisans all over the world, and the money from profits go to the artisans making them, generating meaningful income.

Soy Blend Candle – Falalalala / $26.00 / Prosperity Candle

Each product has a bio about the organization or company that produces the products, as well as who they are, as well as the country they’re from and information about what “fair trade” means. This holiday candle, which is so cute AND soy-based i.e. better for the environment, is made by Prosperity Candle, which invests in women entrepreneurs to end poverty. Many of the women at Prosperity Candle have recently resettled from refugee camps to the United States.

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In Link Roundups on
December 5, 2017

easy like (december)

How are you this weekend? I’m a little jumbled, I’ll admit. December really snuck up on me. I’m scrambling to get christmas gifts ordered in time, and I’m also eyeing up some Ikea mattresses (a co-worker waxed poetic about hers and now I’m completely sold). Do any of you have a mattress you totally love? Tell me about it!

Other than that, I love the holiday season. I’ve got all my decorations up (Target for the win), and I’m anxiously awaiting my first snowfall (probably when I spend X-mas in Chicago, tbh). Here’s what I’m reading this week:
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In Style on
November 30, 2017

an ethical holiday gift guide: LUSH

This is part 3 in a series of ethical holiday gift guides – let me know if there’s an ethical brand you’d like featured! Click on the images for links to the products shown – and all photos are credited to LUSH. I did not take any of them. 

If you’re like me, you discovered the potent LUSH store in high school and fell deeply in love with their signature bath bombs. But LUSH makes products aside from their bath products, and most of them are very, very good.

LUSH commits to ethical buying practices, organic and safe synthetic ingredients, with little to no preservatives or packaging. The packaging they do make is recyclable and can be used for other things. Additionally, LUSH frequently donates proceeds from products to other causes, ranging from ending animal cruelty to protecting the environment.

Christmas Sweater Bath Bomb // $7.95 // LUSH

Thundersnow Bath Bomb // $6.95 // LUSH

LUSH’s bath bombs are classics and their holiday selection does not disappoint! Make a set for a friend; with prices like these, they’re super affordable.

Santa’s Belly Shower Jelly // $7.95 // LUSH

Roots Hair Treatment // $22.95 // LUSH

Roots is an iconic LUSH product for thin or fine hair – but if that doesn’t sound like you, treat yourself or a friend with a selection of their new oil treatments, too.

Mask of Magnaminty Face Mask // $14.95 // LUSH

Who doesn’t love a good face mask? This used to be a holy grail product for me, until I realized you couldn’t order it online and my local LUSH was always out. But now you can order it!!

Rosy Cheeks Fresh Face Mask // $12.95 // LUSH

Hottie Massage Bar // $12.95 // LUSH

Got a gym junkie on your list? This massage bar is great for sore muscles – melt it directly onto skin, and the shape goes to work on knots.

Sugar Plum Fairy Lip Scrub // $9.95 // LUSH

The best thing about this sugar scrub? Not only does it exfoliate your lips, but you can lick off the excess. Genius.

Let me know in the comments if you have any favorite LUSH products! Dying to try new ones.

In Link Roundups on
November 27, 2017

easy like (x-mas music!!)

YES it’s finally allowed. I don’t let myself play christmas music until RIGHT after Thanksgiving. Did you have a great holiday? Mine was perfectly calm, and that’s the way I needed it. Now I’m back in D.C., stressin’ about work before the holidays, and how I’m going to see all the people I want to see and do all the things I want to do before leaving for Chicago again.

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In Style on
November 21, 2017

an ethical holiday gift guide: everlane

This is part 2 in a series of ethical holiday gift guides – let me know if there’s an ethical brand you’d like featured! Click on the images for links to the products shown – and all photos are credited to Everlane. I did not take any of them. 

Everlane has been doing what they call Radical Transparency since 2010, and they’ve made waves in the fashion industry for doing so, since it’s been a radical success.

The company is open about how much it costs to make each item of clothing, as well as how much of the price goes back to the company and the factory. They label each item with the factory it was made in, and have profiles of the factories they work with around the world – so you can see that the people making your clothes are working in safe, well-paid environments.

A short puffy coat from Everlane. 125.00 dollars.

The Short Puffer // $125 // Everlane

This boxy take on a traditional puffy coat is my favorite thing to come out of Everlane this winter. They have a longer version as well, and a short, lighter down version for warmer days in a fun blush pink.

Grey blazer from Everlane. 150.00 dollars.

The Oversized Blazer // $150 // Everlane

Square-cut boxy mock turtleneck, black with white stripes. 28 dollars. Everlane.

The Square Mockneck Tee // $28 // Everlane

Originally, Everlane came onto the scene as the maker of ethical, affordable basics you could feel good about buying – and that would last longer than your Forever 21 shirts. Now, they’re selling out of limited run lines quickly, and debuting more and more products every season.

Mid-rise skinny jean in regular wash. 68.00 dollars from everlane.

The Mid-Rise Skinny Jean (Regular) // $68 // Everlane

Low high heel shoe in oxblood leather. 145.00 dollars. Everlane.

The Day Heel in Oxblood Leather // $145 // Everlane

This oxblood color would wear so well into the fall and winter months.

Blush pink leather tote bag. 165 dollars. Everlane.

The Day Market Tote in Blush Leather // $165 // Everlane

I think pastels should be incorporated into more winter outfits too. What do you think of this pink?

Navy blue backpack. 68.00. Everlane

The Modern Snap Backpack in Navy // $68 // Everlane

You can see more of Everlane’s offerings, and peruse their wonderfully-designed website here.

In Link Roundups on
November 19, 2017

easy like (t-giving)

Can anyone else really, sincerely not believe that Thanksgiving is in a few days? Isn’t this crazy? At times, I feel like 2017 just started – like I was squashing cockroaches in my Foggy Bottom apartment and hoping hoping hoping that DC would start to feel like a home only a few short months ago (in reality, this was in January).

This week, naturally, was a wee bit crazy. But I still have gift guides! One went up yesterday, and the next will go up tomorrow – then two the week after Thanksgiving! They’re what I like to call “ethical” gift guides about companies and brands that put people and the planet first.

Anyway, it’s cold-ish in D.C. this weekend, and I had a weekend full of work stress, Scrabble, and people who make it seem like it’ll all be okay. I made sushi with friends in the middle of the work-week, and it was so good.

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In Style on
November 18, 2017

an ethical holiday gift guide: ABLE

Over the last year, I’ve really gotten into ethical fashion – I haven’t purchased a major piece of clothing (a shirt, a sweater, anything) since late summer when I had a medical issue and needed an emergency skirt at Target.

I love fast fashion – half of my shirts are from Forever 21, and Gap Jeans are my life and my ethos. But I also realize that my clothes can produce a lot of strife on the other side of the world in factories that aren’t regulated and can be deadly. The reason I love these brands is that they’re transparent and sustainable – they’re making clothes you won’t throw away in 6 months because they’re out of style, and they’re doing it while paying people a liveable wage in a safe environment, even giving back to their communities.

The things I consume shouldn’t hurt other people, and I’m trying to keep my shopping as ethical as possible – take a look at this gift guide, and let me know if you will, too. It may seem like a steep up front cost, but to me, the investment is worth it.

Mamuye Tote from ABLE ethical fashion line. Dark brown leather tote bag. 178.00 dollars.

Mamuye Tote // $178.00 // ABLE

I’ve been lusting after this tote bag for months in the cognac color. It’s a great ethical alternative to that Madewell tote you’ve seen everywhere. ABLE is a fashion line that focuses on ending generational poverty by working with local women who have overcome extraordinary circumstances. They’re based in Kansas City but have a flagship store in Nashville.

Black leather Mayte Backpack from ABLE fashion. 238 dollars.

Mayte Backpack // $238.00 // ABLE

Love this backpack because the great thing about quality leather goods is that they just get better with age.

Gold earrings. 38.00 dollars.

Echo Earrings // $38.00 // ABLE

I love these gold earrings, above. They’d be great for a New Year’s Eve party!

Double Bar Gold Ring from ABLE. 28.00 dollars.

Double Bar Ring // $28 // ABLE

The above ring is such a cute everyday staple piece at a great price. ABLE’s bread and butter initially was simple jewelry and leather goods – they’ve since expanded to denim and apparel, too!

Slouchy blue jeans from ABLE. 148.00 dollars.

The Slouch – Gennie Wash // $148 // ABLE

Green cropped tee shirt from ABLE. 34.00 dollars.

Patricia Cropped Tee in Olive // $34 // ABLE

Hope you liked this guide! Check out ABLE online, and click any of the photos, for a chance to peruse their website.

In Link Roundups on
November 13, 2017

easy like (cold!)

Y’all, it is cold in D.C.! The mercury hit 30 degrees this weekend and I went into major cozy mode, especially after the week I had. After a slew of 14-hr days (read: all week…?), I took some time on Friday to hang out with a cute boy over a bowl of pho. Get to this pho place ASAP, because the Washington Post called it the best bowl of noodles in Washington, and it’s just steps from my apartment. Please don’t expect special treatment – yes, you will need to stand and wait for a table to open, no, there is no list. Order quickly, and come with a small group or alone. It’s that good, and so worth it.

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In Life on
November 7, 2017

a five-year plan?

I like to think 5 year plans are a lot like climbing a giant foothill of a giant mountain. See above for reference.

Recently, I’ve been doing a lot of hard thinking about how I want to spend the next few years. It’s no secret that I felt incredibly listless and lost after graduation – I really didn’t take any time to consider long-term goals before moving halfway across the country and taking a job. Just ten days passed between graduation and my first day here in D.C.

In a way, I’m a little grateful for the jump start because I feel like I did hit the ground running – yes, I’m still figuring out the best way to balance my budget, and I may not be the most efficient planner, but I’m getting there, and figuring it out. I’ll figure it out on my way there, and maybe that’ll be half the fun.

But for a while, it felt like everyone I knew was still interviewing, or applying to graduate school, or attending graduate school, or already had their dream job. I’m also open about not being sold on D.C. when I moved here. I wasn’t completely sure about staying in the city.

Now, I feel like I have a firm grasp on my plan, and what I want to accomplish. I used to struggle with prioritizing, but it seems like it might be all falling into place as I focus on what brings me excitement and joy.

How did I figure it out (kind of)? I know the phrase “what do you love?” comes up a lot during these discussions, but I also have issues of “can I do that and still be productive at my day job?” and “will that eventually help me pay rent?”

I think the key to developing any kind of plan (5-year, 10-year, whatever) is to brutally honest with yourself. Here are some questions I asked:

  • Do you really want that, or has it just been a goal you’ve had since high school?
  • Are you good at that? Will you have to work twice as hard as everyone else to be good at that? Are you willing to?
  • What’s important to you? What are your values? What are the “non-negotiables” in life? (For me, it’s maintaining a work-life balance most of the time. Not all the time, but most.)
  • What is this going to cost? Both in $$$, but also time? Are you willing to spend 3+ years in part-time grad school to pay less every semester, or can you take out more loans and knock it out in 1-2 full time years?
  • What kind of life do you want to have? What kind of lifestyle is important to you?

These questions, ultimately, are NO FUN. Until, for me, they became kind of fun. The scariest part about these questions are the very real consequences they pose for your plans and goals. For me, it was a little empowering to get away from everyone I knew, sit down with just myself, and figure out what’s important to me, myself, and I. I realized that I had spent too long factoring other people into my goals. Maybe I’ll share the plan I developed, maybe not. I hope this helps you at least stop feeling so lost if you’re like me, and set you up on a path of intentional goal-setting.

(Wow, look at that last line, who am I)