Saturday, December 8, 2018

Weekend Reading 12.8

Big sigh of relief that it's the weekend. No matter how hard I try, I always reach a certain point in the holiday season where it all just gets a little overwhelming. I feel as though I've had my head down a little bit this week, just trying to get through and knowing that soon, things will be a little calmer. I like the holidays, but I like the big sigh of relief that January beings more. This weekend we're hitting up another big craft fair here in Portland (Picnic), grabbing drinks and then breakfast with a couple sets of friends, and doing a little decorating (still trying to figure out the whole Christmas tree situation). Hope yours is a good one, friends.

Remembering Anthony Bourdain

Love this: Shopbop has a brand new Amazon shop! You know I'm a huge fan of Shopbop, now and this shop makes shopping for gifts and holiday looks that much easier (especially if you're like me and realize you need a new holiday dress two days before a party – Prime shipping, baby)

ICYMI: Talking about taking care of your clothes (on my list for this weekend: the tailor and the dry cleaner!)

Speaking of holiday looks - love these perfect party dresses and these earring options (these vintage pieces would be perfect as well_

Applause all around: Girlfriend Collective just expanded their size range up to 6XL. I think it's time to invest in new leggings.

How to be kinder to yourself

Pretty serving ware that doesn't scream 'holiday' but still feels festive

Netflix Christmas movies, ranked. Get ready to cackle.... but also get ready to want to watch them all?

I bet this Christmas candle smells so good

How to throw a better holiday party

Sale-on-sale from J.Crew: Take an extra 50% off! Love this cozy jacket

If you're feeling the holidays on a not-particularly-great cellular level, this green C smoothie sounds really, really good.

Love this post from Joanna: when your partner isn't into the holidays

These cute earring sets would be a sweet gift for a friend

"Shame is the opposite of art" – worth reading

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Vintage Sherpa Jacket on the Coast

I just picked up these boots from the cobbler the other day after a much-needed resole and condition – and they got me thinking. See, these are my all-time favorite, never-gonna-replace-'em boots. I love them, so much so that I wore holes straight through the soles during their first three years of wear, then I covered the holes with duct tape, and kept on wearing them (much to my cobbler's chagrin). They're the best, and they weren't cheap, so of course, I'm willing to spend a little extra to keep them looking and feeling like new. Which is where all that thinking comes in: In the conversation around sustainability and fashion, why don't we talk more about caring for our clothes? 

In the same way that practical undergarments, like slips, have gone out of fashion, do we not fix our clothes anymore?

Whatever your closet is stocked with, do you bring your shoes to the cobbler? Mend buttons and sew up holes? Bring your jackets to the dry cleaner? I think this is where the conversation falls short. Take this jacket for instance – I just bought it secondhand, it's possibly from the '60s or maybe '70s, and it honestly looks like new. Whoever owned it before moe took great care with it, and I'm apt to do the same. But it's been worn. The buttons show wear and need to be resewn, but it's in amazing condition. I think that's the larger issue with fast fashion (I mean, there are so many issues but here's one), for me it's not so much about the quality and it is about it changing our collective mindset to a one-and-done approach from one of appreciation and loving what we own – and being willing to care for it. Am I guilty of this? Sure. Definitely. But I'm trying to get better. I know I show plenty of new and newly-thrifted things on here and on my Instagram, but I hope I also do a good enough job of showing you how often I wear the items in my closet – and that it's OK and NORMAL to wear and rewear your clothes. Wear the heck out of 'em! Wear holes in the soles and the elbows... and patch them all up so you can wear them again.

Anyway, that's been on my mind. I love clothes, I'll always love clothes, I'll always be on the lookout for something that I love to bring more excitement to my closet (and I'll share those things with you) – but I also love being considerate about my clothes, something I'll also share with you. And I'm really happy to have my favorite boots back.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Weekend Reading 12.1

It's December! What a week. I did a ton of driving for work (I have a new full-time job - no longer totally freelance, and remembering that it takes some time to settle into the rhythm of things), so this weekend is all about getting back into the swing of things at home - Chris and I cleaned the house, I ran some errands... not exciting at all, I know, but needed. I actually purchased a new template for this blog on Cyber Monday, so I'm looking forward to spending some time tomorrow working on installation and otherwise playing a big game of catch-up from last week. Tomorrow, Chris and I are going to a holiday fair at the ferry terminal and I'm hoping to at least finalize our holiday shopping list, if not finish the shopping. We still don't have a tree. I've been feeling on the fence whether or not to get a real one and frankly, I've been doing so much decorating for work that that thought of decorating our house feels a little overwhelming.

On my December wishlist: the perfect holiday dress (love these gorgeous pieces), a pretty clutch to go with it, and something cozy for winter because hello winter is here!

ICYMI: A new skincare brand I'm loving (especially the luminizer and moisturizer)

Love this pretty set of vintage lamps

I got this sweater and this cozy scarf during last week's sales and I'm obsessed

I've been craving chocolate chip cookies all week and I've decided I'm making these paleo chocolate chip cookies tomorrow - YUM

The colors of this vintage dress are so perfect for the season

Love this DIY solid perfume for holiday gifting

Heads up: J.Crew sale-on-sale! Take an additional 50% off sale items! Love this gorgeous lace dress, this chic velvet top, and this pretty wrap dress

Have you listened to The Wing's new podcast, No Man's Land? I'm so excited about it, and super stoked to listen to The Daily!!!

Take an extra 40% off Anthropologie sale! I'm loving this mirror and this mirror, these cool knobs, and this rad anorak

My girl Joanna is hosting an incredible 5-day styling workshop in Italy this summer and I'm honestly considering it - it sounds amazing

This book sounds cool - thinking I might pick it up for this year's yankee swap!

Not gonna lie - I love this music video

This scarf looks so cozy!

How to give a great gift (NYT)

Monday, November 26, 2018

Get Glowing for the Holidays with The Organic Skin Company (+ Sale Code)

As a child of the late-'80s/early-'90s, I have visceral memories of teen-targeted skincare ads.  Remember Sea Breeze? Noxzema? Even as a relatively clear-skinned 14-year-old, I remember virtually burning off my skin with astringents and toners, using scrubs and basically, anything else that promised to make my skin look clear and clean. The thought of actually slathering my skin with oil? Unheard of at the time. That was obviously a long time ago, but the memories remain as a reminder of how far we've come in our collective skincare awakening. These days, I love discovering new-to-me skincare brands that boast something a little gentler, some a little more natural. The same goes for my makeup. Not that I ever caked myself in foundation in the first place, but over the years my approach to beauty has veered away from make-up first, instead focusing on healthy skin from the inside out as the perfect canvas to enhance, not cover up. I shared a bit about my approach to skincare here, and today I have a new brand to add to the arsenal: The Organic Skin Company.

The Organic Skin Co is a new-to-me brand that I've quickly grown to love for the product's smooth application, gorgeous finish, and the company's dedication to producing high-quality, organic, cruelty-free products that actually give back to the planet – tenets that I believe all companies should be striving to emulate. You can read more about them here and here - frankly they do a better job of explaining themselves than I ever could, but what I can do is tell you about the products themselves. The Organic Skin Co was kind enough to send me a care package with a few of their essentials, and I've been testing them for the past couple of weeks to see how my skin reacted and how they worked for me - and friends? I'm honestly in love. These are the holy grail of makeup and skincare products. Why? Because they make you look like you... but better. Like the more awake, glowier and golden version of you. Like you got eight hours of sleep last night and not five. In my opinion, they add just the right amount of 'oomph' – not too much, but just enough. Below I'm giving the lowdown on what I've been using - and here's my face with everything on it. Can't tell what I'm wearing? That's the point - also I don't have a ring light so there's that too...

In the Spotlight Luminizer in Rose Gold: We're starting with the luminizer because honestly, this is my favorite product of the bunch. It's so pretty and adds just the right amount of shimmer, and it's easy to tap onto your face. As in, it goes on but doesn't smear, and actually looks as though it's in your skin instead of sitting on top. After applying this CC cream and this concealer beneath my eyes, I tap this onto my cheekbones, the bridge of my nose, in the corners of my eyes and above my top lip.

Cheeky Lips in Desert Storm: Made to work on cheeks as well as lips (hence the name), this creamy blush/lip stain has a gorgeous finish and texture. I don't wear a ton of lip color, but I love this shade tapped onto cheeks for a little warm glow. Desert Storm is also the perfect, universally flattering coral shade – I honestly think it would look amazing on almost everybody.

All About the Gloss in Star Burst: This gloss was the product I was most skeptical about but ended up surprising me the most... I mean, I haven't worn lip gloss in a long time. But this isn't the gloss you remember from 1998! Dotted on after a clear balm, it adds the perfect enhancement to lips, not too shiny (although you could add way more to achieve that effect), but just the right amount of glimmer.

Rosehip and Orange Moisturizer: If you live where the air is dry or experience dry skin in any way, let me say this: dude, this moisturizer! It's super thick and smells amazing, and if your skin can handle a deeply hydrating moisturizer, this one is pretty bomb. I slather it on at night to allow my skin to drink it up while I sleep. I feel like it adds a nice barrier against the dry air in my home at night.

The Good Oil: I love an oil for skin, and this one delivers beautiful results. It calms, reduces puffiness, and soaks in easily. If my skin is feeling especially dry, I'll tap it on over the moisturizer at night or on no-makeup days. The scent is lovely, but I'll admit it throws me off a bit because I'm used to scent-free products. If I wore this during the day, I wouldn't need a perfume - it smells that good.

I'm typically pretty skeptical when it comes to trying new skincare – and actually pretty nervous to use them because my skin has been so happy recently, so to have been trying these products out for the past couple of weeks with no breakouts is saying something. I love how these products are made and they've quickly become staples in my routine, replacing some products I wasn't super happy with. If you've found a new skincare brand recently, I'd love to hear about it! Let me know in the comments!

Until midnight tonight save 50% off all products from The Organic Skin Company using the code BF50

*I received the products featured in this post courtesy of The Organic Skin Company. As always, opinions are my own*

Friday, November 23, 2018

Weekend Reading (+ Black Friday Sales Worth Shopping)

Happy Friday! Yes, we really do have snow – a lot of it! If you're in the states, I hope you had a fun and relaxing Thanksgiving. Chris and I spent Thanksgiving separately this year, he at his dad's and I traveled to see family in MA. It was great, but we're definitely looking forward to a low key weekend actually spent together. I've been traveling locally a ton lately for work, with lots and lots of driving, so all I want right now is to be home. I have the day off today, so I'm looking forward to shopping a few sales (linked below), maybe doing a little holiday decorating, and getting to the gym – and snuggling with Zephyr. As busy as we've been lately, this is the first holiday season in a while where I don't feel absolutely out of my mind, and I think it's because we're not traveling as far to see family. Instead of the holidays being An Event that takes place over several days, it's pretty life-changing to have the whole thing just be a day trip. On Saturday we're planning on walking downtown to do a little Christmas shopping for Small Business Saturday and I can't wait to see Portland lit up for the holidays. We got a ton of snow this weekend, so things are looking especially magical around here. Have a wonderful holiday weekend, friends!

My girl Jess is having a sale in both her shops! Love this gorgeous vintage quilt and this incredible collar necklace

Save 20% off sitewide from & Other Stories – I've been eyeing this faux fur coat, this incredible velvet jumpsuit, and am definitely grabbing another one of these scarves

UO is BOGO - Buy one item, get the second 50% off! Obsessed with this incense holder and this sleek essential oil diffuser

The Shopbop sale is still going strong! Loving these shoe options (those faux-fur lined loafers!) and these cozy essentials

Glossier is having a major sale! I think it might be time for me to finally try this

Save up to $80 off at The Detox Market - Definitely grabbing this lip serum again and this gorgeous highlighter

Get a clean beauty mega bag with purchases over $75 from Biossance (I swear by this face oil)

30% off sitewide at Mango - loving this faux shearling coat and these sleek and basic tops

Shop all of Etsy's sales right here - This spice blend would make a great gift and I'd love to get Chris this personalized leather dopp bag

If you're looking for a good deal on a Vitamix, now is the time (dammit)

Save 30% off sitewide from Reformation! Love this perfect jean jacket

Save 50% off your entire purchase from J. Crew! So obsessed with this sherpa coat , this teddy coat, and this colorblock sweater

Everlane is doing something major for Black Friday too!

Save 30% off! I really want this perfect sweatshirt

More links worth clicking...

ICYMI - How I manage seasonal depression (there's also a great discussion happening here)

Alternative rituals for giving thanks (you might recognize the author)

10 ways to eat pumpkin for breakfast

Where to shop on Small Business Saturday

Yum - this dessert sounds so comforting

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

The Black Friday Sale I'm Shopping Early

It's probably not much of a surprise, but I'm not a huge Black Friday shopper. I like to stick to Small Biz Saturday when it comes to my holiday gift shopping, and instead use Black Friday as an opportunity to stock up on things for the upcoming year. But there's one Black Friday sale I always look forward to: Shopbop's. And guess what? Their sale starts now!

You guys know how much I love a Shopbop sale – they're the perfect chance to grab something special, like a holiday party dress to wear to all your upcoming parties, or something you've been coveting (like the incredible cashmere robe I got last time, or a sweet delicate necklace to pair with all the sweaters you'll be wearing in the months to come).

From now through Sunday 11/25, enter code MORE18 to save up to 25% off your entire order - yup, your entire order! What am I shopping for?

Happy shopping!

*Some exclusions apply. Sale code valid 11/20/18 7:18 AM EST - 11/25/18 11:59 PM PST All sale details here.

Monday, November 19, 2018

How I Manage Seasonal Depression

Well, it's snowing again. It's not that I don't like snow (I live in Maine, after all. Unless you're lucky enough to get out of dodge for warmer climates in the winter, you better freaking like snow), it's that winter came so fast this year. But this year, for the first time – possibly ever – I feel as though I've actually made the recent time change work for me as I prep emotionally for the coming season. A radical idea, I know, especially when the sun begins to set at 4pm and the days feel about 10 minutes long and the nights endless. I've been getting up early and actually going to bed at a decent hour for once. But as winter gets closer – I mean... let's not kid ourselves, it's here – I'm also extremely wary that this feeling of accomplishment (victory?) might not last. This time of year has a tendency to make me feel as though I'm standing on a precipice, teetering on the edge of The Cliffs of SAD. If you've ever dealt with seasonal depression, perhaps you can relate. One wrong move, a moment of letting my guard down, and it's all downhill from there. That happened last winter, with not enough movement or social interaction, and frankly, it sucked. So this time around I'm actually being proactive and doing something about it. Wild, I know. Here's what's been working for me:

Rise with the sun (and go to bed early). Because the days are now so short, I've been setting my alarm to go off just before sunrise (around 5:45 AM). Early, yeah, but I want every bit of sunlight I can get, and I'd rather go to bed early and lose a bit of nighttime than lose those precious daylight hours. In order to get up this early, I'm usually in bed by 9/9:30 PM and turn out the light by 10. Turns out this is the key to waking up early: actually going to bed early and getting adequate sleep. Also worthwhile because a good night's sleep affects mood, which pretty much affects everything else. Sleep, guys... who would have thought?

Early workouts + sunlight. Along with getting up early, I've switched most of my workouts to take place first thing in the morning. This wasn't easy and still involves a lot of self-motivation/arguing with myself while still under the covers. BUT I feel like a superhero afterward and I love that I get my workout out of the way first thing and don't need to worry about scheduling it in during my workday (weekends are usually more active anyway). Along with hitting the gym (remember that quote from Legally Blonde? "Exercise makes you happy"? It really, really does), I make sure I get outside and get some natural light first thing. Exposure to sunlight helps regulate circadian rhythm, helps the body produce vitamin D, and actually helps you sleep better at night (that whole circadian rhythm thing). The sun's not always cooperative, so I plan on supplementing with a sun lamp this winter.

Another thing I tell people when they inevitably ask me how I deal with the winters here: Winter sports. If you live where it snows or deal with any kind of seasonal depression, getting acquainted with a few winter sports like snowboarding, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing can be a serious lifeline for mood and happiness this time of year.

Adding the right supplements. Namely, vitamin D3 to offset the lack of sunlight, and melatonin to support better sleep. I'm clearly not a doctor, so please talk with yours before taking any new supplements but these have both helped me a lot. I also use Lion's Mane to support concentration and Chaga for overall wellbeing (I love both these products - I blend the Lion's Mane into coffee and drink the Chaga like tea), and magnesium for digestion and calm. Additionally, I eat a ton of fermented foods for a happy gut. Not exactly supplements, per se, but the same idea.

Ditching (most) sugar + easing off caffeine. I'm officially old: I drink decaf now. A few months ago I started weaning myself off fully caffeinated coffee by mixing decaf grounds with my regular grounds and I'm now at the point where I can handle maybe one cup of fully-caffeinated coffee, but not much more. Cutting out caffeine and most sugar has made a huge impact on my anxiety levels, quality of sleep, and generally just made me feel so much better.

Socializing. This is actually pretty radical for me. For whatever reason, moving to Portland has been a boon for my social life and I've found myself to be far more outgoing than ever before. Because I work from home most of the time and don't have the built-in community of going to an office where human interaction is guaranteed, I have to schedule in plenty of time with friends and with Chris. I find that if I'm feeling low, most of the time just getting out of the house and interacting with other humans is an instant mood-lifter.

I wouldn't call these changes revolutionary, but they've made an enormous impact on my mood over the past few weeks and this year I'm actually feeling a lot less doom and gloom when it comes to the impending season. Have you dealt with seasonal depression? I'd love to know your tips!