Flowers Don't Bloom Year-Round


Believe it or not, I don't always take my own advice. I learn what works for me and then I don't always follow it.

One night, at 9 p.m. on a Sunday, I posted to my Instagram story about how I know that addressing my to-do list first is what's best for me. I know I'll feel better if I get my tasks done and then relax. Still, time and time again, I don't do it. I put it off and then end up staying up too late, being too tired, trying to get things done, like cooking at 9 p.m. on a Sunday.

A friend of mine responded to my post saying she's the same way. I was surprised, because she's one of those people who seems to really have her shit together. What does she mean she also has trouble prioritizing and gets crabby about her own procrastination?

Your Keyboard Is A Karma Machine | Sunday Shares


Weekend mornings are my favorite. I'm not sure if I'd officially call myself a Morning Person, but I'm certainly not the night owl that I used to be and I do cherish my mornings. It's my alone time. No matter how much is on my to-do list for the day, I always spend the first 30-60 minutes of my day with me. Coffee, a book, and a nice view.

I want to write more here but the ironic truth is that I got home late last night and am feeling very sleepy this morning. So I'm going to publish this and then sit and read long enough to finish my book.

Here's what I've been loving lately:

Things To Be Happy About // 08


I had a nice week last week and was in the mood to post one of these again. It felt fitting since it was the first full week of October. Maybe I'll do one of these every month after the first week. 

Read more here.

6 Reminders To Take With You To The Gym


I have a lot of opinions when it comes to fitness, and looking through my archives, it seems like they tend to pop up around this time of year. Not sure why. Maybe it's the transition into a colder season. I start getting the urge to burrow inside instead of going to the gym so I end up giving myself a lot of pep talks.

I wasn't sure how to structure this post other than it being a general collection of thoughts about fitness. So that's exactly what it is. Not advice, just thoughts. Things I've learned, things I'm still learning, things I want to discuss with other people. Gentle reminders for all of us about what's truly important when it comes to working out.

Do All Things With Love | Sunday Shares


Let me jump on the bandwagon here and say it's really starting to feel like fall around here. I'm conflicted about it. As much as I thrive wearing big cozy sweaters with a pumpkin coffee in hand, it's getting a little too chilly too quickly. I had a really good summer, and I'm not totally ready to say goodbye yet. (Though, let's be honest, I'm sure in two weeks I'll be fully invested in fall.)

The biggest news from the past two weeks is that Rahul and I are officially moved in to a new apartment. We're loving it, which you probably already know if you follow me on Instagram because I won't shut up about it. We moved because we wanted more space and ended up upgrading even more than we expected.

We're gradually unpacking and getting settled. I can't wait to buy a bunch of fake plants to decorate the place. (I cannot be bothered to get anymore real plants other than the succulent and cactus I already have. Too much effort.)

Here's what I've been loving lately:

September Reads

 
Book 28:
"Leaving Time" by Jodi Picoult
Alice Metcalf and her husband have spent years studying elephants, learning and understanding their behavior, and eventually owning their own elephant sanctuary. One night, there's an incident in the sanctuary that leaves one woman dead and Alice in the hospital. Strangely, Alice checks herself out and is never seen again. At the time of the incident, Alice's daughter Jenna was only 3 years old. Now 13, Jenna is more determined than ever to find out what happened to her mom.

Wedding Season, Being Open-Minded And Prioritizing My Life | Sunday Shares


Happy Sunday, friends. My last real Sunday in this apartment. Our first apartment. Next weekend, we move, and by the time my next Sunday Shares goes up in two weeks, we'll hopefully be settled in, for the most part.

The blog has been pushed to the back-burner again lately whilst we sort everything out for the move. I've had so many ideas piling up that I have all of the posts for October mapped out already. Here's hoping I can get myself to sit down and focus long enough to actually get them written. Our new place is a two-bedroom so I'll have an office of sorts, which I'm sure will help. I'm definitely looking forward to that.

Upping My Skincare Game | My Current Nighttime Routine


I've always been pretty good about taking care of my skin, removing my makeup before bed and washing my face twice a day. I give myself credit for that.

Overall, my typical routine is... typical. I use Vaseline to remove my eye makeup and Garnier micellar cleansing water for my face makeup. I wash my face morning and night with Olay's foaming cleanser for sensitive skin and moisturize with a standard bottle from Olay as well.

I'm only now adding other products into the mix and being more cognizant of what order to apply them. After taking off my makeup and washing my face at night, here's what I do:

8 Things I Learned From Amy Schumer's Memoir


Can we talk about a book that came out two years ago? Please? I know I'm late to the game, but it was so good!

Last month I finally read Amy Schumer's memoir, "The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo," which is an amazing title, let's be honest. I kept putting off reading it because I thought I knew what to expect. I've seen some of her stand-up. I saw "Trainwreck." Her book is gonna be like that.

Only, it isn't like that at all.

In her memoir, Amy gives you a glimpse of who she is and what she's like when she isn't performing on stage. The real her. And maybe it makes me ignorant, but it wasn't what I expected.

So many of the chapters had me internally cheering at the end. I took enough notes while reading to fill a blog post separate from my monthly reads, so I figured, why not do that?

Here are eight things I learned from reading the book:

The Start Of My Favorite Month | Sunday Shares


Happy second day of September, friends.

I think September is my favorite month, which doesn't make total sense since Spring is my favorite season, but whatever. September is nice. It's a good balance, half summer, half fall. Half it's-so-sunny-and-nice-outside, half I-can-finally-wear-a-cozy-sweater. A transition month. I love it.

I'm finishing up this post bright and early Sunday morning while making my way through a bowl of fresh cut cantaloupe. I randomly woke up at 7 today and forced myself out of bed before I fell back asleep for another three hours. Now I'm getting the peaceful solo morning time I love.

Later today I'm going to my sister's for a pool and/or game day with my family. After that, I'm headed into the city for a Hannibal Buress show. Today is the only day of this three-day weekend that I have solid plans and I secretly love it. Part of me wishes I was doing more, but I do appreciate the time to relax and recharge.

Here's what I've been loving lately:

August Reads

 Book 26:
"The Hating Game" by Sally Thorne
"The Hating Game" is about two coworkers who loathe each other and then realize, well, maybe they actually don't.

What I Don't Post On Social Media


Call me a millennial, but I like social media. I like sharing my life online (hence the blog, obviously). There's a lot of talk around the negative impacts of social media but not enough about the positives. The sense of community, for one. A few of my friends tease me by saying they never have to ask me what I did over the weekend because it's all on my Instagram stories anyway. And, I mean, they're not wrong...

There are parts of my life that don't end up on social media, though. You know that already. It's impossible for every part of a person's life to be on the Internet. But I still want to say it, because not saying it makes me feel like a fraud.

90s Throwbacks And Finding Fulfillment | Sunday Shares


Happy Sunday, friends. I'm still behind on my writing, so instead of scheduling this a day in advance like I usually [try to] do, it's 10:15 on Sunday morning and I'm writing this while sipping my coffee and getting distracted by other blogs or tabs I have open.

I can't believe it's already been two weeks since my last Sunday Shares. It feels like I just put that up. Time flies when you're in a writing rut, I guess!

Here's what I've been loving lately:

Welcome Back To The Day-To-Day


Despite my running list of blog post ideas, I didn't feel like writing about any of them this week. Instead, I figured I'd take a page out of Francesca's book and give you an ol' stream of consciousness kind of post. It feels like a good time to just think out loud.

I Went On An Alaskan Cruise | Recap + Q&A


Putting up this post has been a battle. My original intention was to share my vacation through a vlog. I had brought my camera with me on my trip and filmed all of the highlights. I spent hours going through the footage and editing it together, only to find out that the files didn't input correctly and I couldn't save the footage out as a file. Despite trying out a few workarounds, it's looking like my only option is to completely redo it all from scratch. I don't know if I have the time or energy for that. We'll see.

I still want to talk about my trip, though, so I guess I'm doing that through a regular post now. That makes me nervous because while I usually prefer expressing myself through writing (obviously), I'm not great at reviews or recaps. Everything is "cool" and "awesome" and "pretty." I don't do it justice. But – I'm happy to give it a try.

Sunday Shares | What I've Been Loving


Hi, friends! Welcome back! I was on vacation for what felt like the entire second half of July. We took a week-long Alaskan cruise, then spent a weekend in Seattle before heading home. More on that later, as I'm in the middle of editing together a vlog of the highlights that I'm aiming to post on Wednesday. (Spoiler: Husky puppies make an appearance.)

Now that I'm back, I'm gradually getting myself back into the swing of things. The work days took some adjusting, and I'm not fully back at the gym quite yet, but eventually. Last night I had some friends over, and it was really nice to get a group together for my first weekend back at home. I love the feeling of community. This morning I woke up too late but have nothing on the agenda for the day so who cares. It feels great. I am currently sitting at my new dining table, drinking coffee out of a mug I bought in Alaska, typing away. And it feels good, to be typing away again.

Here's what I've been loving lately:

July Reads

Book 22:
"Unfu*k Yourself" by Gary John Bishop
I knew from the subhead alone – "Get out of your head and into your life" – that this was a book I'd benefit from. A friend lent me her copy and, lo and behold, ten pages in I bought one for myself to keep on my shelf.

I Hope You Fail And Here’s Why


Last November, I was gifted an Apple Watch, and the main thing I use on it is the Activity app. It tracks how active you are each day with three rings.

Move: Your personal goal of how many calories to burn.
Exercise: 30 minutes of "brisk activity."
Stand: Moving for at least one minute per hour for 12 hours of the day, to ensure you aren't sitting for more than 60 consecutive minutes.

The objective is to close each ring (AKA meet each goal) every day. This has been ingrained into my daily routine. I am always aware of it, always striving to move more to complete them (and, you know, to improve my health). Sometimes that has meant going for an evening walk or squeezing in a quick yoga session at 10 p.m. Most days, I close all three. Over the past eight-ish months, there've only been about 20 days when I haven't.

Needless to say, I hold myself to it.

My New Go-To Summer Products | FabFitFun Summer Box


It's time for my favorite part of the season: We're talkin' FabFitFun box.

I am really late to the game with this one, considering the box was delivered to me a month ago. Maybe no one's interested in these anymore. Maybe, at this point, it's overdone. Well, too bad. I honestly love this subscription so much that I'd happily talk about the products every season, so here I am to tell you all about the latest summer products. I've tried every item and regularly use all but one.

If you want to try out a box to see how you like it, you can get ten dollars off by clicking HERE, making your box only $40. You can also check out my posts on other FabFitFun boxes here.

Sunday Shares | What I've Been Loving


Hi! Wow, these last few weeks. The best of times and the worst of times. Or rather, the worst of times followed by the best of times. The bad news is that I've been spending too many extra hours grumpy at work. And that's all I'll say about that because this is a space to focus on the good stuff. And there's been so much more good stuff, especially this past week.

This Sunday Shares is coming to you a week later than usual because last Sunday I put up my very first sponsored post, which was exciting. I was so happy to have the opportunity to work with a brand that I genuinely enjoy. Because of the holiday on Wednesday, this week was a shortened work week, which I desperately needed. Plus, I had a half day on Friday. I left after lunch and spent my afternoon by the pool. It's been a great week. I'm feeling energized and motivated.

This is actually my last Sunday Shares post for a bit because I leave next week for my vacation. An Alaskan cruise, can you believe it? I'm ecstatic.

Here's what I've been loving lately:

Love At First Invite


As one of those students who loved school supply shopping, I have grown into an adult who loves stationery. I frequently buy blank cards just to have them on hand, since they can be used for any occasion. You never know when someone will need a pick-me-up in the form of a card with doughnuts on the front, right?

You can imagine my excitement when I received an email from none other than a stationery site, Basic Invite, which honestly are anything but. I could have spent hours on that site.

June Reads

Book 18:
"Between a Rock and a Hard Place"
by Aron Ralston
No joke, I have been meaning to read this since it came out in 2004. If you're not familiar with it, "Between a Rock and a Hard Place" is a true story about Aron Ralston, an experienced mountaineer and adventurer, who got trapped in a canyon when a boulder fell and pinned his arm. He was stuck for five days until he eventually amputated his arm to save his life.

In 2010, it was adapted into a movie, "127 Hours." Even though I'd put off reading the book for years, I did see the movie when it came out. I watched it again after reading this and still loved it.

4 Things I've Been Doing To Make Life Easier


Last week I talked about things I want to do during the second half of the year. Now I want to talk about things I'm already doing. Little efforts that make life easier.

12 Books On My Summer Reading List


I recently reorganized my entire bookshelf and have put everything that I haven't read together. It's my official To-Read shelf for the summer. Most of them are books that I have had for a while yet haven't gotten around to actually reading.

If you look closely, you'll see that I've very anally organized the books with fiction on the left, non-fiction on the right. TBD on whether I'll actually get through them all without getting distracted by newer books I hear about, but here's what I'm aiming for.

Sunday Shares | What I've Been Loving


I have enough mugs that I probably don't need to buy another one for the rest of my life, but when you see one this cute on sale at T.J. Maxx while in the check-out line, you really can't pass it up.

So we had a week or two of full-on summer weather and then it was rainy and humid for a while, so I haven't been doing too much the past two weeks. Work has been hectic so I've mostly just been looking forward to relaxing on the couch whenever possible.

Last weekend I had the loveliest afternoon in the city with my friend Alyssa. We got lunch, wandered through an art fest, and went to this used bookstore that was as big as a small library. Also, after seeing how cute and well-decorated her apartment is, the first thing I did when I got back home was clean and reorganize my bookshelf with all of my new purchases.

Here's what I've been loving lately:

A Mid-Year Check-In


Not to be cliché, but how the frick is it already June? I feel like the first three months of the year went by slowly (AKA perfectly) but since March, time has flown. I'm not a fan. But it is an opportune time for me to put up a post I've been crafting in my head for a week or two now. It's part reflection and part bucket list.

Finding Your Spark: First As A Human, Then As A Dancer


I decided to start the "Finding Your Spark" series to shine a light on different types of people who are following various paths – their OWN paths, whatever those may be. The whole idea is that there's no single way to live life and a person doesn't have to be "famous" to inspire others. These individuals have found what inspires them, motivates them, makes them happy. And they've run with it.

Read all posts in this series here.

Sunday Shares | What I've Been Loving


Wowie, there's been a lot going on. Get comfortable and let me walk you through the past two weeks.

May Reads

Book 14:
"You Do You" by Sarah Knight
This is the second book I've read by Sarah Knight and my favorite of the two. (The other was "The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck.") It's a book about learning to embrace who we are, which should be the easiest thing in the world, but we know it's not. To quote Knight herself, "The advice in this book boils down to one simple mantra: Stand up for who you are and what you want. How do you do that? Stop letting other people tell you what to do, how to do it, or why it can't be done."

With authenticity and the right amount of attitude, "You Do You" is a reminder that there's nothing wrong with standing up for what you want or need or deserve. As always, I appreciate that it's about learning to be selfish and "difficult" while also being considerate of others.
At my biggest, smallest, and sickest—even though I was lucky to have people around me telling me they loved me and I was beautiful—I never actually felt that way until I finally accepted myself for who I am, flaws and all."
Rating: 4/5

Book 15:
"The Wife Between Us"
by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
Quite honestly, the blurb gives away the first big twist, so I recommend not reading that, and I'll summarize it differently: This book alternates between two points of view. First, Vanessa, the ex-wife, who is struggling with a drinking problem and obsessive jealousy ever since Richard left her for another woman. Second, Nellie, the young, new fiancé who is trying to shake the feeling that she's being followed while in the midst of planning her wedding. Vanessa is determined to stop her replacement from marrying the man she loves, but how far will she go?

I ended up figuring out very early on what the first twist was, which for me personally, automatically makes the book less enjoyable. Maybe I'm too picky when it comes to this genre. From there, I was hoping for more surprises but didn't get too many. I kept reading more out of curiosity on how it'd end rather than being invested in the mystery.

I did enjoy the final twists at the end, though, despite the cheesiness to them.

Rating: 3/5


Book 16:
"Goodbye, Vitamin" by Rachel Khong
I was seeing in a lot of reviews that this book was funny. I picked it up because I was in the mood for something lighthearted and quirky. I think I read the summary too quickly but the synopsis on the flap did say it was told from a deep well of humor.

"Goodbye, Vitamin" is essentially about a woman, Ruth, who moves back to her parents' for a year to help care for her father, who's in the early stages of Alzheimer's. Ruth's fiancé recently left her, and her father has lost his teaching job. They're coping.

I don't think I let out more than a hard-exhale laugh once while reading this book. I did, however, cry multiple times. This book wrecked me. Having said that, you should read it. It's a beautifully written story that I devoured in its entirety in one day. I loved it. I will definitely have to check out more from Khong.
What imperfect carriers of love we are, and what imperfect givers. That the reasons we can care for one another can have nothing to do with the person cared for. That it has only to do with who we were around that person—what we felt about that person."
Rating: 5/5


Book 17:
"Places I Stopped on the Way Home"
by Meg Fee
I've adored Meg Fee's writing on her blog for the past couple of years. She's a striking writer, and because of that, I knew her book would be no different. It is just what the cover suggests: a memoir of chaos and grace. It's reflective and honest, painting a picture of New York with memories of love and growth tied together through various essays. (I think the font used in the book is also the same as what's on her blog, which was a nice touch.)

As someone who has been in a long-term relationship since the beginning of college and hasn't lived in a city, I couldn't relate too much to the specific events discussed in these stories, but the feelings and emotions are universal. I have plenty of pages dog-eared to refer back to.
But this is what I know to be true, that in the worst moments of our lives, good things happen. That, in fact, good and bad rush in together, one somersaulting over the other. And you must be alert enough to look for both."
Rating: 4/5




Is This What A Quarter-Life Crisis Feels Like?


I'm kidding. Kind of.

When I mentioned in a post in March that I've been going to my gym for six years, it kind of sent me down a rabbit hole.

Sunday Shares | What I've Been Loving


Today I went to get a mani/pedi with a friend and wished once again that I went to get my nails done more often. It's my favorite way to treat myself. After that, we went out to dinner then came back to my apartment to play video games and chill. It's been a lowkey day, as most of my weekends are. Now that spring is here, I should probably be making more of an effort to go out and do things but man I'm a sucker for staying in.

The past two weeks have been pretty hectic work-wise but in a good way because I got a promotion! I'm really happy about it. Work has been stressful lately where I'm feeling like I could be doing better, but I also know that I try my hardest and do a good job, even on my off days. I'm reminding myself that I earned this.

Oh and by the way, I'm Team Yanny.

Here's what I've been loving lately:

Partners


There is always something to learn about love and relationships and here is my latest lesson: There is a difference between a boyfriend and a partner. There is not a difference between a partner and a fiancé or husband.

The Importance Of Asking For Help


It's been a weird week for me with one key takeaway: It's not only okay to ask for help when you need it, it's important.

Finding Your Spark: Emotions, Atmosphere, Intimacy And Joy In a Click


I decided to start the "Finding Your Spark" series to shine a light on different types of people who are following various paths – their OWN paths, whatever those may be. The whole idea is that there's no single way to live life and a person doesn't have to be "famous" to inspire others. These individuals have found what inspires them, motivates them, makes them happy. And they've run with it.

Read all posts in this series here.

Sunday Shares | What I've Been Loving


I usually write these posts on the Saturday morning before it goes up, but this time it's pretty late, about 10:30 at night. And to be honest, I'm hoping to crank it out kinda quickly because there's ice cream in the freezer and it's not gonna eat itself.

This past week has been really, really good. While I don't want to jinx it, I'd say spring is finally here to stay. The happiest time of the year. It's been I'll-be-fine-without-a-jacket warm and I'm loving it. Today it hit 80. I wore a dress. I spent my morning reading on the balcony and my afternoon having a picnic lunch with Rahul and lying in the sun. What could be better.

Here's what I've been loving lately:

Give Yourself Some Credit


There's a woman at my gym who I see nearly every time I'm there. She's always in my spin class, she was always in the pilates class I used to go to, she's always on the fitness floor with me lifting weights. She's just always there (and her back muscles are insane).

Whenever I see her, I'm impressed and a little envious. I think to myself, Jeez, I wish I was as motivated as she is. I wish I worked out as often as she does. I should. She works out SO MUCH.

Then I realize... I'm there too.

If I'm seeing this woman at the gym, say, five days a week, it means I was also at the gym five days a week. I am doing exactly the same actions that I'm admiring, yet for some reason it's impressive for her and means nothing for me. She is going above and beyond. I could be doing better.

April Reads

Book 11:
"The Best Kind of People" by Zoe Whittall
Plot: Ten years ago, George Woodbury stopped a school shooting and became teacher of the year. He's respected and trusted by everyone in his community, in the wealthy town of Avalon Hills. That all changes the night he's arrested. Students at his school, classmates and friends of his daughter, are accusing him of sexual misconduct during a weekend field trip. His family struggles with the news, torn between defending a man they love and being honest about the possibility of his guilt.

Sunday Shares | What I've Been Loving


Happy Sunday, friends. I am writing this Saturday evening from my bed, where I've been spending most of the day. Eventually I'll get up and do something more productive, but for now I'm relaxing after a stressful work week and busy morning full of car-related errands, making my way through season three of "Love" on Netflix.

Five Organization Tips For Apartment Living


I am a big fan of all things organization. I was one of those kids who looked forward to school supply shopping and am one of those adults who spend a lot of time trying to find the perfect planner. Living in an apartment, and especially sharing an apartment with another person who has a lot of stuff, keeping things in order has become very important.

Over the past year, I've stumbled upon a handful of organization tips and tricks that I'm so happy about. They're good for any living situation really, but I find them particularly helpful for an apartment due to having less space (and let's be honest, probably money).

Finding My Writing Voice


I haven't posted much about my ~emotions and feelings~ lately, which is funny because I've actually been feeling more emotional than usual the past month or so. I've felt sensitive, pensive, and fragile. I guess when my mind is loudest, my writing goes quiet. Publicly, anyway.

This past week I've been comparing myself a lot to others, tricking myself into feeling insecure about things I was perfectly happy with, which I had gotten pretty good at not doing.

Part of it was about writing. Overanalyzing my blog and now writing about writing, again. It's certainly not the first time.

Writing comes in many forms. 
Writers come in many forms. 
None better than another.

But still.

What It Takes To Road Trip Around The U.S.


In February and March, I published a two-part Finding Your Spark interview with my friend Eileen, who quit her job last summer to go on a 90-day road trip around the U.S.

After each post went up, I received messages from people asking about the financial aspects of a trip like that. How much did it cost, how did she save and spend her money, etc. I hadn't asked Eileen any money-related questions through the interview because it can be a sort of taboo subject. At the same time, when you're talking about a road trip that lasted a few months and had a lot of spur-the-moment decisions and plans, it's not unusual for someone's first thought to be, I wonder how much a trip like that costs.


Sunday Shares | What I've Been Loving


Happy Sunday, friends. Last week I got this cute plant and Broad City card as a "just because"/"thank you" gift at work and it absolutely made my day. Never underestimate a nice gesture. They are important.

Inside The FabFitFun Spring Box


Not a creative name – in fact, it's the exact same one I used for the winter box – but the only other names I could think of involved some sort of bad play on words with "spring," so we'll just stick with the basics. Telling it like it is.

It's that time again! The FabFitFun box is here and I am loving it. It's my favorite part of every season, a subscription box that comes every three months, filled with beauty, fitness, and lifestyle products. For ten dollars off your first box, click HERE.

Now here's what was in the latest box:

Avoiding A Slump


Today we're getting back into my year's goal of releasing and not letting negative things rule my life.

Every so often, I'll hit a slump. The specifics of this change. Sometimes it's a writing slump where I'm out of blog post ideas, sometimes it's an emotional slump where I'm feeling vaguely sad for no reason, or it can be something else completely.

The gist is that it's not great, and I like to avoid it if possible. To kick it before it kicks me.

I'm focusing on it now because I can feel that it's a sensitive time for me. One big reason for it is that I spent about half of March being sick. It left me feeling cooped up, antsy, and boring. I didn't hang out with friends too much or make many plans. Half the month was spent on my couch. Even though it's normal – you're supposed to rest and take it easy when you're sick – it still doesn't feel good.

Now that I'm coming out the other side, it's time for me to get moving again. I've learned what I have to do, and not do, to avoid falling into a slump.

March Reads

Book 7:
"Behind Closed Doors" by B.A. Paris
Plot: Jack and Grace have a picture-perfect marriage. He's a handsome, successful attorney. She's the perfect, elegant wife. But things aren't always as they seem. It's not a coincidence that Grace always flakes out on plans and rarely leaves the house. What's perceived to be a flawless marriage has a lot of secrets behind closed doors.