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A Few Favorite Things

Usually I consider myself the queen of gift-giving, but this year had me really stumped for some reason. Somehow I kept coming across great gifts for myself, but none for anyone I was actually looking for. : ) OOps. I thought I’d share in case they fit someone on your list…

Belmont Brass Flask ($32.99)
I’ve seen a lot of flasks around, but none of them are as cute as this one! I’m not sure what occasion calls for a flask, but I feel like it’s a good investment and an “adult” thing to have (lol).

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Mint Mason Jar ($22.95)
Another thing that I’m not sure what I would use it for, but would DEFINITELY find a place for it if it was in my possession. A girl can never have too many cute containers. Plus, obsessed with that color.

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Attiva Mini Gold Casserole Dishes ($380)
HOLY BEAUTIFUL. And yes, holy splurge. These are what I would buy for myself on a random Tuesday if I was Kim K.

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Pretty Prints
I am SUCH a sucker for cute prints. These ones have been on my mind since I laid eyes on them.
(Killing It, $17 | Uh Huh Honey, $17 | Top Knot by Elizabeth Mayville, $20 | I Saw Her in the Library by The Black Apple, $36)

Sparq Wine Pearls ($22.95)
So you can stop putting ice in your wine once and for all.

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Sugar Paper Washi Tape ($6)
I bought this for myself because $6. I love using washi tape for decorating cards, hanging stuff up at work, and as labels for pretty much anything.

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Gold Foil State Maps ($34, unframed)
Super pretty and easy gift.


Aaaaaand I just realized almost everything on here is GOLD. Gold is the new stripes, maybe? Happy Monday!


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Holiday Reading

Hi my lovelies, and happy holidays! I’m really getting into it this year—I bought Christmas cards to send out, I started listening to Christmas music BEFORE Thanksgiving, and I’m almost finished with my gifts-to-buy list. Here’s what I’ve been reading lately, if you’d like to know…

51hIPe2typL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes. My friend Nicole and I went to see her speak in November and got free copies of her book with our tickets! Um, hello—she is such a badass and I am obviously obsessed with her (and Scandal, and Grey’s, and *esp* How to Get Away with Murder). All TGIT fans will enjoy this book because she talks a lot about her shows, but there really is so much more to it. She touches on everything from her unconventional views on marriage to motherhood to why it’s ok to be friends with a fictional character. Her voice lingered with me for a while after I read it—so empowering and fierce.IMG_4360

One of my favorite quotes: “There is no list of rules. There is one rule. The rule is: there are no rules. Happiness comes from living as you need to, as you want to. As your inner voice tells you to. Happiness comes from being who you actually are instead of who you think you are supposed to be. Being traditional is not traditional anymore. It’s funny that we still think of it that way. Normalize your lives, people. You don’t want a baby? Don’t have one. I don’t want to get married? I won’t. You want to live alone? Enjoy it. You want to love someone? Love someone. Don’t apologize. Don’t explain. Don’t ever feel less than. When you feel the need to apologize or explain who you are, it means the voice in your head is telling you the wrong story. Wipe the slate clean. And rewrite it. No fairy tales. Be your own narrator.”

61U24vS7erL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson. I’m about halfway through this one right now and really loving it. I knew I had to read it after I finished I’ll Give You the Sun (probably the #1 book I read this year—a perfect gift for anyone). It’s about a girl named Lennon whose sister dies suddenly at 19, leaving her to navigate the aisles of grief with her grandmother and uncle. Lennon, who has never particularly been interested in boys, finds solace in her sister’s boyfriend’s arms, but the new kid at school has also caught her eye. The writing is so special, and the characters really come alive on the page. A bit sad, but worth the read.

41ER04S8koL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling. I have a CRAZY girl crush on Mindy (pretty late to the party, as usual). Her latest book is just more comedic goodness, but a little more mature than her first (Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?). My ebook version was totally whack for some reason, so I was only able to get through half of it (just another reason to read real books). So I have to finish this at some point. Luckily, The Mindy Project supplied me with my daily dose of Mindy, but now I finished that, so I’m def in withdrawal guys. IS ANYONE ELSE IN PANIC after watching the midseason finale? Can we please talk about it ASAP because I’m still incredibly upset about it.

On my to-read list this winter:

A list of my favorite gifts coming soon! xoxox


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Reading Lately

Yoooooooooooooo guys what uppppp. Decided to show up to the blog today after a certain friend texted me that my site wasn’t working because I didn’t renew the domain name. I mean, I don’t write anything for four months and she is STILL checking my blog. *love you bunches LG*

SO. Tryna get back on the wagon now that the summer craziness has ended! I’ve read some great books lately and wanted to share in case you’re looking for a cozy fall read. And if you’re still reading after my four-month hiatus, thanks for following along. : )

I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson. PLEASE READ THIS BOOK, mostly just so we can gush about how freakin’ amazing it is. Within the first five pages I knew that it was like nothing I’ve ever read before. Her writing style is just so unique, it’s such a breath of fresh air. The YA novel follows artistic twins Noah and Jude as they navigate every pain and joy of adolescence, intense relationships that inevitably emerge, and the ties that bind family despite tragedy and secrets. The perspective alternates between the twins and travels back and forth in time, making for a twisty, breath-taking, heartbreakingly beautiful read. One of my favorite quotes: “She’s a people-mechanic and always knows when I’m malfunctioning.”

Everybody Rise by Stephanie Clifford. This one received major publicity, and I’m happy to say it lived up to the hype! It follows a twenty-something woman working her way into the old-money crowd to further her career right before the stock market crash. An interesting point of view, especially as the novel progresses.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling. A little late hopping on the Mindy train, but of course I’m now obsessed with her. I randomly watched an episode of The Mindy Project, which prompted me to pick this up. She’s hilarious and knows what she’s talking about–this quote is everything. Can’t wait to read her new book!

What Alice Forgot and The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty. I loved The Husband’s Secret and Big Little Lies so I decided to pick up a few of her other novels, and they were just as satisfying. What I love most about them is that her characters are always laugh-out-loud funny.

The Selection by Kiera Cass. The only way to describe this book is Hunger Games meets The Bachelor. I didn’t love the writing and the main character is a bit annoying, but the concept was intriguing.

Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll. WOWZAAAA. This was a sparky one. So disturbing, but I could not put it down. A bit of a thriller about a magazine writer living the NYC high life trying to keep her dark past from ruining her perfect future.

What are you guys reading? Would love to know. Happy fall! xo

P.S. I promise that this will make your Tuesday 10x better.


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One Year in New York!

escape
Today is my one year anniversary of working and living in New York/Hoboken. I was thinking about it this morning (because we all know I’m a fan of everything nostalgic) and I realized that this is the first time after college that I’ve been in one place for a full year (!!!). And what a year it was. Truthfully, it’s hard to find the words to describe it as I type this. I wanted to tell you everything I learned this year. I wanted to tell you how much has changed. But I realized maybe the story is better left unsaid, as some things are.

Exception: never deprive yourself of wine. *lesson learned*

Maybe all that matters is that I’m finally feeling a bit of acceptance–of where I am, of where I’ve been, of who I’m becoming. And when I’m not (because there are always those days), it’s enough to know that I can eat some nachos and take a nap and try again tomorrow. And maybe all that I really want to say is that I made it. So here’s to another year (most likely, ha!) of living in Hoboken (I did recently buy a six-month gym pass so if that’s not commitment I don’t know what is), working my dream job, trying to keep this little blog afloat, loving my dear San Francisco from afar, and feeling oh so lucky to be surrounded by the best people in the world. Thank you for that. XXOOXXOO

 

 


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Girl + Wine: A Love Story

Saatchi Online Artist: Jessica Rae Sommer; Mixed Media, 2012, Painting "Wednesday"

Remember when we talked about how I’m kind of a fitness freak now? Yeap, that happened. And now things are getting even weirder around these parts… I joined a health challenge at work. As in I had to pay $30 to join (the pool is approximately $300, so totally understandable, right?). Whoever loses the most body fat in two months is the winner.

So obviously since I’m “flat-ass broke” as my mom likes to call it (not sure if that’s really a thing but. hi mom!), this is kinda a big deal. Which brings me to the wine. I love the wine. All the wine. But the wine does not mix with this health challenge. And so it’s really putting a damper on my social life. Whether it was just a few glasses of vino at dinner, after-work happy hour, or full-on party mode, drinking was always a big part of socializing. Truthfully, I’m actually loving the whole not-drinking thing. I love, love, looove waking up feeling fantastic and going to a (somewhat) early spin or yoga class on the weekends. But what to do when friends want to spend the night at the bar or go out for dinner and drinks? Have you guys experienced this before? I’d love your advice. : ) xo

PS: BEST.

"Bold" might as well be her middle name.
{illustration via saatchiart.com}


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S U M M E R T I M E

Hi guys! Happy Monday! Is it just me or did we totally skip spring and go right from freezing to so freakin’ humid that I’m already wearing all the summer dresses? New York, ya kill me. I ain’t hatin’ the pretty green trees and blooms everywhere, though. : ) Thought I’d stop in this week and give you guys some recs for summer reading–my favorite season, obvs. So many good books, so little time (#lifemotto).

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. This one had been on my list since last summer because it was so popular and because I loved some of Lockhart’s past stuff. This YA sort of-thriller gives a glimpse into the lives of the Sinclairs, a privileged and beautiful family with a vacation home on a private island. The family reconvenes every summer to revel in the sunshine and each other’s company. But we soon realize that all is not well with Cadence, the narrator. After a terrible accident, she is forced to glue the pieces back together in her own way if she wants to find any semblance of the truth about what happened that summer night. The surprising twist at the end is what had everyone talking about this one, but it took so long to get there that it didn’t deliver much satisfaction for me. Definitely intriguing and different, though, with a writing style to match if you’re looking to switch it up.

Read Bottom Up by Neel Shah & Skye Chatham. THIS BOOK. !!! !!! This is the perfect beach read–quick, hilarious, and just the right amount of quirky. I’m such a sucker for slightly unconventional love stories and this is just that–the joys and challenges of dating in our tech-obsessed society. The modern-day love story of Madeline and Elliot is told only through their texts, emails to each other, and emails to each of their best friends. Entirely too relatable and laugh-out-loud funny, you’ll fall in love with every character and ditch everything else for a few hours to read (stalk?) the digital rollercoaster that is a 21st-century relationship.

 

Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella (out June 4th). She’s back at it again, this time with her first YA novel. And it delivers with Kinsella’s classic humor and wacky characters. This light-hearted read follows young Audrey, our sunglasses-wearing narrator, through the aftermath of a traumatic bullying incident at school. Suffering from anxiety and depression, Audrey struggles to return to her “normal” life but finds even the simplest ways of the world difficult to handle (i.e. eye contact, walking on the sidewalk). When her brother’s friend, Linus, isn’t scared away by her dark glasses and weird antics, she slowly begins to piece herself back together. It sounds dark, but somehow it’s the exact opposite, with an eye-opening view into the “lizard brain” (as Audrey calls it) of someone suffering from mental illness.

 

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen. Best for last, OF COURSE. I have been anxiously awaiting her latest for months, and I’m so happy to say that it doesn’t disappoint (unlike The Moon and More, to be honest). As she’s been saying in all the interviews, it is very different from her other books, but in a good way. Sydney has always lived in her brother’s shadow, even more so after he goes to jail for a drunk driving accident. Feeling invisible becomes secondhand nature until she meets the Chatham family–loud, messy, chaotic–everything that Sydney is not. Sydney and Layla form a quick friendship, weathering the highs and lows of high school and the consequences of addiction that have touched both of their families. As they grow closer, Sydney also finds refuge in Layla’s brother’s company, and it is only then that she begins to see herself in a light of her own. Dessen describes with achingly perfect accuracy the butterflies that accompany an evolving crush, the power of female friendship, and the safety of having a second family to come home to.

Happy reading, loves! Talk soon. xo