Tuesday, April 17, 2018

2 Things I Do To Feel Better in the Morning

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This season – and by season I mean both this season of life and this endless "season" we're calling 'spring 2018' (really just perpetual winter) – has been a bit of an emotional roller coaster (if you couldn't tell already, ha), the bright side being that the whole thing has sort of forced me to experiment with ways to help myself feel better amidst the chaos. One thing that has become increasingly important for me is taking time for myself between work and the rest of my responsibilities, something I'm willing to bet is important for you, too.

Along with getting up earlier so I can actually have that time, about a month ago I started oil pulling and using a jade roller on my face during those early morning hours and you guys, it's kind of the best.

If you don't know what oil pulling is, where have you been? Just kidding. I didn't know about it either until I worked for Free People (not surprisingly, you can find a ton of archived posts on it here). To put it very, very simply, oil pulling is the practice of swishing 1 tsp to 1 tbsp of coconut or sesame oil around in your mouth first thing in the morning for about 20 minutes or as long as you can stand it (it's incredibly unpleasant the first few times you do it, and you really just get used to it). Oil pulling has its roots in Ayurveda, and purports to have a variety of benefits, from removing toxins from your body and supporting the immune system, to whitening teeth. Several studies have been done (you can read more here) that show it's effective in these areas – and possibly more. As an avid coffee drinker and after being the sickest I've ever been this past winter, I was pretty much willing to try anything to help remove the stains on my teeth and maybe boost immunity in the process. I didn't notice a huge difference at first, but then I ran out of oil and didn't do it for a couple weeks – it was then I noticed how quickly my coffee teeth came back (for the record, I brush and floss religiously, I just really like dark-pigmented drinks and refuse to use a straw). So I picked up another jar of coconut oil at Trader Joe's and got back to it, and it's now part of my weekly routine (weekends are a little more shoot-from-the-hip).

It was around this time that I also caved and bought a jade roller in a moment of weakness. It was just too pretty and I was in LA at a crystal shop, so my willpower was already on the flimsy side. But again, I was pleasantly surprised with the process and results.

I've been on a mission to improve my skin this year, and I'd heard of jade rollers, which are popular in Chinese medicine for massaging the face and moving lymph around (similar to what dry brushing does, just more gently and on the face). They're also said to help with the absorption of product. Now that I was oil pulling, I had a few minutes while I swished to do something else – why not this? I keep my roller in the fridge for the ultimate cooling effect, and after washing my face and applying serum and oil, I roll in upward motions all over my face, using the small roller for around my eyes. Have I noticed a difference? Yes. It absolutely helps to de-puff first thing in the morning, but more importantly, it's a few minutes of focused calm before my day begins.

I usually roll for about five minutes, and then spend the rest of my oil pulling time feeding the cat and tidying up the house. It's become a daily ritual that I look forward to, but if I miss a day? No biggie, I just pick back up the next.

A few tips for oil pulling:
  • You don't need fancy oil, but I do recommend organic cold-pressed coconut or sesame, even though you're note swallowing it, it's still going in your body. I use Trader Joe's which is about $5 and lasts over a month.
  • It's a really weird sensation. Don't be a hero, just start with a few minutes at a time. And work your way up to 15 or 20 minutes.
  • The 'pulling' part is because the oil is meant to be "pulled" between the teeth, really work it around in there.
  • Don't spit the oil in the sink!  Coconut oil can harden and clog drains, creating a serious problem. Spit it in the trash. Yes, it's weird.
  • Rinse with warm water or warm water with a bit of salt afterwards, then brush or go to the next step in your routine. I wait to brush my teeth until I've had my lemon water right before I leave the house. You do you.

A few tips for jade rolling:

  • There's really no need to spend more than $20 bucks on a roller (I probably spent too much in my LA-induced shopping haze). Just make sure it's real jade or stone - no plastic parts.
  • Keep your jade roller in the fridge or freezer for extra cooling and de-puffing powers.
  • Roll in the morning on clean skin after you've washed and dried your face and applied serum and moisturizer. Follow up with a moisturizing spray or rosewater.
  • Always roll in an upward motion to avoid dragging down your skin. Be extra careful around your eyes, but don't neglect them – this is where I've seen the most improvement/benefits. Don't forget your temples, neck and around your jawline, too
  • Roll for however long you want. I usually do it for 3-5 minutes.

Big side note, because getting up earlier sounds great but takes some strategy... how to wake up earlier: As someone who was diagnosed with ADHD at 16 and has what I've come to call "high-functioning depression", I've realized that getting eight hours of sleep is essential to my ability to focus as well as my wellbeing. So in order to get up at 6 am as I've been doing, I hit the pillow at 10 pm. I say this because many people like the idea of getting up bright and early, but don't necessarily do the work on the other end to ensure they get enough rest. My best tip for this is counting backwards however many hours of sleep you need from when you want to get up. How do you figure our how much sleep you need personally? Take a few days and go to bed on the earlier side, then don't set your alarm. Note the time you wake up and how many hours you slept - average it, and there you go.

Have a question or want to join the conversation? Let's connect on Instagram!

Friday, April 13, 2018

Weekend Links 4.13

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Happy Friday the 13th! This week was... a million years long. Seriously, I feel like I started each morning thinking "is it Friday yet?" I wasn't feeling the effects of mercury in retrograde last week, but this week was another story (I like blaming mercury in retrograde for everything, but really my sleep schedule has been off and I've been down because of it). Today is gorgeous though (it's 50 degrees! Practically summer!) and this weekend I'm looking forward to spending some much needed time outdoors before it snows on Sunday (seriously) – I'm hoping to take a trip down to Snug Harbor Farm in Kennebunk to stock up on plants, because if there's one thing that makes me feel better, it's plants (and the chance to maybe see a bunny and/or farm cat). What are you up to?

A small housekeeping note: Because of all the witch doctors commenting on my posts promising love spells (seriously, what is going on?), I've turned off commenting moving forward. I'd love to connect with you on Instagram or Facebook – please don't hesitate to message me there!

It's like a caboodle, but cooler – stick all your things in this antique box (makeup?)

Holy shit I need to make these pom pom sandals STAT

The perfect tee shirt for everyone dealing with that special brand of springtime street harassment that happens over 50 degrees (fun!) (also wtf is wrong with men?) (see also: these perfect socks)

Instant cool factor: Throw this vintage jacket over a mid-length spring dress. There. Done.

Target's new home line, Opalhouse, is here and I.WANT. EVERYTHING.

Just a few hours left of the Shopbop spring sale! I scooped up a pretty boho dress for summer and a cute woven bag.

How pretty is this outfit on Mara? Love those daisies!

Hi. I want this crystal growing saguaro please and thank you.

I have a wedding to go to next month, which means I'm officially on the hunt for the perfect wedding guest dress - any tips?

My favorite way to discover world music (really into 1970's Senegalese jams right now)

Feminism grows behind bars - holy hell, this film looks fantastic and so important

Ohh I think my hair would love this kit! This one too for skin (also that pouch is speaking to my little '90s heart)

Some great shopping guidelines from Nicole (I follow most, you?)

One of my favorite people to follow on IG has a brand new book! I think this is the kind of interior design inspo I can get behind

Definitely on my MUST DIY list: This fringe denim jacket – SO GOOD

Oh jeeze, how cute are these handmade planters??

A pretty and unexpected nail color for spring

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Shopbop Spring Sale!

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It's finally at least looking a little like spring here in Maine, in the sense irises and crocuses' are attempting to bloom and people are desperately wearing shorts in 30 degree weather (really). While the temperature is remaining stubbornly below freezing, my mind is set on spring and summer and warmer days – and seeking out the perfect accompaniments for the vintage and thrifted pieces already in my closet. This year I've been buying almost exclusively secondhand, but love how easy it is to compliment a mostly-vintage look with a fresh silhouette. I've been a Shopbop shopper for years and always turn to the site for denim, basics and the perfect pair of shoes or a wedding guest-worthy dress – you can't go wrong with free shipping and free returns (which I use constantly because denim), and of course, their major sales – like the one happening NOW. 

From April 10th, 2018 - April 14th, 2018, take 20% off orders under $500 and 25% off orders of $500 or more with code EVENT18 at checkout. Find all sale details here.

These sales are the perfect time to pair up with friends, family or style-obsessed coworkers to save on the perfect piece for the season ahead – a cute bikini, go-with-everything sneakers, or a laid-back bag. Below are a few of the things I have my eye on, you know... if spring ever decides to get here. Until then, I'll be dressing cute in front of my space heater for the foreseeable future.

Have something to add? 
Let's continue the conversation on Instagram!

Friday, April 6, 2018

Weekend Links 4.6

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Happy Friday! What are you up to this weekend? Chris and I have a hot date planned tomorrow morning to clean our very neglected apartment and then on Sunday we're headed to a friend's baby's birthday party (apparently I go to baby birthday parties now), where I expect to dodge inquiries of whether or not I want children like this (any other child-free-by-choice ladies feel me on this?). March was a crazy month, and it looks like April will be about the same, so I'm looking forward to having at least a day to get our place in order before spring hits (when we begin to spend all our time outdoors), and we're hoping to get out for an early breakfast date on Sunday before that afternoon baby party. Have a good one, friends, and thanks for sticking by me as posts have been few and far between lately. Another thing on my to-do list? Get some of these half-finished blog post drafts finished up!

The '90s vintage mom-dress of my dreams

Because I love a good, functional bag: This little crossbody bag is super cute and under $25

Decor obsession: vintage baskets, everywhere

My go-to for staying healthy while traveling

My favorite kind of dress: a wrap midi dress (from an unexpected source, but seriously, saw it in person and it's gorg)

YUM - these peanut butter bars look amazing

Another unexpected brand for a surprisingly chic loafer

A simple map to wellness

Excuse me but how cute is this monstera leaf ring dish? Related: the cutest cactus mug

The early work of famous artists (cute)

One ofmy faves for bags, Bali ELF,now sells insanely pretty dresses

OK, but is this polkadot jumpsuit not the most adorable?

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Weekend Links 4.1

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Hi Friends and happy happy weekend. What are you up to? I just returned from a work trip to LA so today I'm playing a bit of catch-up and enjoying the spring weather here in Portland. The sun is out and it's GORGEOUS. Almost as nice as that LA weather... almost. Tomorrow we're having an Easter/It's-Finally-Spring brunch with some of Chris's family. Easter is one of those ambiguous holidays for us – we don't have kids and we're not religious, but we like celebrating spring's arrival and the change of seasons (and of course, the arrival of Cadbury mini eggs ;) ).

Because I love little dishes and boxes: How pretty is this vintage ring dish?

Currently making me laugh-cry: Bad paintings of cats. You're welcome.

The perfect spring layer: just a light wrap. That's all. Really, it's not still 30 degrees outside.

On my April wishlist: A bright little bag, a fun yoga mat, a pair of weird and wonderful shoes, and of course something to ward off the rain

An old but important read: the gig economy celebrates working yourself to death (NYT)

These sunglasses would be excellent for people watching on the beach.

Fascinating: How a young woman quite literally lost her sense of self (NYT)

File under: Julie buys too many candles... I bet this one smells amazing though. And this one too.

Fell in love with these sneakers at Madewell while in NYC last weekend.

Save 40% off at J.Crew. Here are some super fun earrings and a dress that looks really damn cozy.

God awful home design. For real though.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Weekly Links

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Happy spring! Maine is celebrating with another snow storm and gave me a cancelled flight as a consolation prize. March really is the pits. I've been attempting to offset my late-winter/early-spring feelings with lots of running and probably too much coffee. And clearly not much blogging - such is life. Anyway, links for you, because sometimes we need a distraction from the world.

Someday it will be spring again and someday we'll be able to wear vintage wrap skirts again.

Never met a vintage brass chicken wall hook I didn't like

Zoos rating their animals might just be the most precious (cat/snake hybrid is my fave)

Shopbop is having a major sale! I've got my eye on a new pair of sneakers (as always) and maybe a cute straw tote (those pompoms!) – use code SOEXTRA to save an additional 25% off select items

For a good cause: Buy this painfully adorable book about Mike Pence's gay bunny, written by John Oliver

Just got these and guys, they actually make me feel good at the gym.

In case you want to feel rage-y: men explaining things to women that don't need explaining

Found: Under $50 loafers. And guys, they're perfect.

I just got these and I'm in love (and also in need of some sneaker protector)

Long form read: A Solitary Journey Across Antartica (new york times, just FYI)

Call me predictable, but wrap dresses. I love them.

Currently reading: Swing Time by Zadie Smith. Into it.

Truly fascinating: The history of leopard print

My favorite ceramics just got a restock

Love a spring floral - Mara is rocking this one (plus that read?! so good)

Even if you don't celebrate Easter, you can still celebrate pastel bags

Related: The only ice cream-shaped bag you'll ever need (glad we can cross that one off the list)

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Weekend Links

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Was this week extra challenging for anyone else? Something about it felt like a struggle from start to finish for me, and I couldn't be happier it's the weekend. To be honest, I've been struggling a bit with the seasonal depression that tends to hit me this time of year, the transition from winter to spring is especially lengthy and frustrating in Maine (it just snowed for 30 hours straight...) and I'm just at the point of desperately wanting warmth, like now. So this weekend I'm focusing on taking care of myself, sleeping in, and taking things slow. I hope you have a wonderful weekend yourself!

A song for your weekend. Related: I cancelled my Spotify subscription in a fit of frugalness and I'm not sure I can deal with the commercials.

We've been looking for some lighting for our new place and it's safe to say I'm in loooooooove with this vintage brass option.

Just when I think I've settled into a skincare routine... I've been super curious to try Drunk Elephant. It seems to be popping up everywhere lately (or maybe it's just the google eavesdropping?). Anyway, I really want to try this serum.

For some reason I started watching the Bachelor last year? This recap of the recent season is on point.

I'm all about easy transitional layers right now and this vintage kimono-style jacket might just be the most perfect.

I love an earring. I especially love a gigantic statement earring. (perfect with a woven bag and espadrilles)

... wait, these are so cute too, dammit.

March is a weird month (as proven by our recent weather). And it's a month that makes me want all the things. Here's how to take on your March wardrobe mindfully.

FOUND: an under $100 version of the cute vintage-style bamboo handbags everyone and their mother has been carrying