Monthly Goals, May

Sunday, May 31

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New Orleans, May 2015

It's a rainy Sunday night in my apartment, and I'm getting ready for the start of a new week, a new month, and a new age for me (this Friday!) This coming month also marks that 2015 is halfway through...uh, WUT. I mentioned April felt like a very long month, but May just flew by, you guys! I feel like I was just celebrating Jenae's bachelorette weekend, but that was a month ago now! It's that part of the month where I take a look at how I did for my monthly resolutions for the year

In a word- pretty dang decent. I saw my first, completely new place this year (New Orleans- last weekend!) I'm counting Newsies as my live music for the month. The show was incredible, and now all I really want is season tickets to our performing arts center. I believe I saw every single member of my family this month (double checking...yup!), spread across Jenae's bachelorette weekend when I went home, and this past weekend. I knocked the letter writing out of the park, evening sending one to my Finnish grandma, whom I hadn't written to in a while! 

My one word motto for the month was wellness (broke this one down a little more here.)  I'm gonna go ahead and boldly state that I did the best this month that I've done all year for a one word motto! My consuming was definitely better. I doubt I will ever be perfect at this, but having healthy options in my fridge to eat and generally eating less sure helped. Apart from the two little trips I took (because who manages to exercise on vacation? Seriously?!) I've been consistently exercising, and as of last week, started the Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide (accountabilty partner: Carina.) I'm three workouts in and will definitely continue to update on how it's going (but not with bikini mirror selfies...sorry.) So far- I like that there's a good variance of exercises, the routines take 28 minutes, and on the other days I guess to do "low intensity cardio." I'm still in pre-training so I know that will change :p Kayla does not mess around, even the pre-training circuits have wiped me out a little! 

My faults for the month: hosting people for dinner and reading a book. I did have folks at my place Friday night, just didn't officially serve dinner, and Carina lent me The Girl on the Train, which I'm very excited to read. Hopefully it ends my funk of not reading this year! It's been pitiful.

How did you do on your goals for the month, or resolutions for the year so far? What will June be bringing you? 

A Floral Night Out

Wednesday, May 27

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| earrings: flea market | dress: Wish (Memphis) | purse: Target | jellies: Old Navy |

It has been an outstanding day, by all accounts. Here's what's in the news: Hunter & I are going to see Newsies tonight, I pre-ordered both Aziz Ansari and Mindy Kaling's (my. QUEEN.) books on Amazon, Carina and I are going to start doing the Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide, I had a Cuban and it was delicious, Kelley started a PYT chatroom at work, I binge-watched half of Broadchurch last night and will probably finish it tonight (after the show) yeah, I'm bouncing off the walls. 

About the outfit: I wore this over the weekend, for my brother's birthday dinner, and to go out in downtown Pensacola. Every third Friday they have what they call Gallery Night, which is basically a giant street party where they block off main street in Pensacola. Beforehand we had dinner at McGuire's, a labyrinth of an Irish pub. We had a blast! And if this photo spot looks familiar, it's because I've used Sundar's backyard before: last time I was in Pensacola. Fashion bloggers have to make. DO. 

More about the 'fit: I just feel most like myself in as many bright colors as possible. So happy to break out my sandals again, now that it's Summer, these might be my favorite. This little cross-body is new(-ish, as of a few weeks ago.) I only had one cross-body, essential for a hands-free activity, and I used it anytime I went anywhere, so I'm very happy to have this cute one as an alternative. 

Well, it's already Wednesday and I feel like we've done nothing to even earn the almost weekend! Definitely no complaints here though. Happy day! 

Weekend Update: Florimorial Weeken'

Tuesday, May 26

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{clockwise} #starbuckslovers, the gang at gallery night in Pensacola, literal paradise, dressed up for dinner in NOLA, Peanut on Rue Chartres in the Quarter, a really great neon sign that welcomes you to Pensacola Beach

I'm always missing my siblings when I'm not with them. I've mentioned on here before how we always do things in "combinations", because my family is rarely all together. So this past weekend, we had Carina, who flew out from SF and drove down to Florida with me (where Sundar is), and Coren, who had flown out from LA. We make it work!

One of my resolutions for the year was to go on a trip every month. In my mind, it has really been "try to see a new place every month." I don't think I've technically done that yet this year, until now!

As we were driving down to FL, Carina was taking in the South, and checking new states off her list, and commenting on how awesome it was that I could drive to so many different cities. We got to talking, and I mentioned how many there were that I still hadn't visited, most notably New Orleans. All it took was for her to say "Well...let's just go!" And that's how we ended up there on Sunday afternoon, and driving from NOLA --> TN yesterday. Three cheers for spontaneity, wanderlust, new cities, and a fantastic adventure buddy to do it with!

We had a really lovely few days in FL first; celebrating Sundar's belated birthday with a bunch of his buddies, hanging in downtown Pensacola, my champion lunch of Gatorade and a shrimp cocktail, making quick work of a base tan on the beach, grilling fresh seafood from Joe Patti's, whilst watching Pitch Perfect and then going to see Pitch Perfect 2 (Sundar's idea! No sarcasm!) Love loved getting to hang with my older brothers, especially Coren, whom I don't get to see very often!

New Orleans was really, really neat and I can't wait to go back! I was dazzled by the French Quarter, which is the opposite of glamorous really, but I loooooved all the old buildings. Pretentious as it sounds, I can't get over a city that is steeped in history like that. Above is not a great picture of the cramped streets of the Quarter, I did get some on my camera that I can share later.

And Peanut was a gem of a road-trip buddy, thanks for asking. She said, "You're just using me for my unlimited data." Pretty much, yeah ;) she kept me giggling, indulged me in my pop culture conversation topics, and handed me my alternating Chick-fil-a sauces as I dunked my sandwich. Yes, all necessary requirements of my road-trippin first mate.

I hope you had a fabulous start to the Summer! It's here! It's hereeeeee

Oh, jeans.

Thursday, May 21

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| earrings: gift from Galina | top: thrifted | jeans: Old Navy | clogs: Old Navy |

I'm so glad I found some great pieces before I started seriously curtailing my clothes purchasing. I've loved the silhouette of high-waisted jeans forever, but finding the right pair can be tricky. An inch off, and you can quickly be in Mom jean or mile-long-crotch territory. I ordered this pair from Old Navy last Fall (they're the Rockstar High-Rise Skinny), and was surprised to find they fit perfectly; especially for never trying them on. 

These are my current jeans that fit best and are the most flattering, and I wear them at least once a week! I'm amazed this is their debut on the blog. This top just arrived back in my closet after a Winter hiatus, and the cool thing about thrifted items is- I feel like it could finally, actually be in style (I also wore it over here.) 

WELL- in a few short hours I'll be headed out to spend the weekend in Florida, with my brother Sundar (whose birthday is today! Happy Birthday Sundar!!) My sister Carina flew in this morning and is driving down with me, and my brother Coren flew to FL from CA yesterday. I'm looking forward to spending time with them, and not mad about being close to the beach :) hope you all have a lovely holiday weekend, wherever your plans take you! Be back next week!! 

Summer Bucket List '15

Wednesday, May 20

Well if you can believe it, Summer 2015 is right around the corner. I love thinking of Memorial Day and Labor Day as the "bookends" of the Summer; it organizes the season neatly in my mind. And it gives me an exact timeline for when I need to accomplish what I want to.

I love listing things and checking them off, probably to a fault. So here's my bucket list for Summer '15!
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pool dayz of Summers past

- go camping!
- go to a county fair
- berry-picking
- beach trip with Huntee
- ombre my hair!
- go to the farmer's market and make a meal with all fresh ingredients!
- canoeing/ca-brewing
- spend an entire day outside
- put on temporary tattoos
- plan an awesome patriotic ensemble for the 4th
- go to a Sounds game (Nashville minor league baseball team)
- visit at least five Tennessee State Parks
- go to an outdoor concert
- go on a road-trip
- spend a day on a lake
- make a Summer cocktail
- sit outside and read
 - {EDIT} actually DO a trivia night
- {EDIT} complete the Bikini Body Guide
- {EDIT} try a pretty (new!) up-do
- {EDIT} visit an amusement park

Subject to additions or subtractions, I suppose. I think I've got a good list going!

What's on your bucket list for this Summer? I would love to hear what you have planned! 


Tuesday, May 19

| necklace: Amazon | top: Old Navy | jeans: Forever 21 | moccasins: Target |

Hi! I inadvertently, probably, broke my shopping ban for the year, if you're wondering. I was discussing (but not whining) to Hunter about the Old Navy emails I get, then he needed a swimsuit, then he was like, why don't you pick out something you need as well? Then I picked out a *few* things, and he was like wut? Someone is paying for the new things and it's probably me, but, I've comforted myself by rationalizing this is still the least I have spent on clothing in a year foreva eva. 

I picked up the top I'm wearing (and one just like it in black.) I would heartily recommend them both (looks like the black version is sold out but this gray one is here <-- not an affiliate link, btw.) I've always loved the silhouette of a "swing" top, though aka "trapeze" and that's more fun to say, but I haven't had one in a while. I don't know about you, but what makes a top the comfiest to me is being able to eat what I want and still feel comfortable in skinny jeans. 

This outfit is pretty simple; but I've already liked it enough to wear it twice since I got the top: for a Friday night bachelorette dinner (sub a different statement necklace and these sandals), and last night. Amir stopped through Nashville for literally 12 hours on his cross-country road-trip from NC --> CA with two buddies. We had to do some Nashville stuff really fast; so we had dinner at the Pharmacy, and hung out on Broadway for a bit. 
Really fun to see that little nugget for a sec, and now they are en route to St. Louis (or Kansas City?) Huntee is the cutest little co-tour guide as well <3 <3 

Fedor-able or Fedork-able?

Friday, May 15

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| hat: Amazon | top (formerly dress): F21 via Carina | pants: Gap Factory | sandals: Target |

Happy Fri-yay friends! After a tumultuous week, Friday dawned bright and sunny, and with the promise of a full weekend ahead! I even got to join my darling Kelley and her dad (who is in town visiting) for a wonderful lunch, so yup, today is feeling pretty good! 

Last weekend Huntee desperately "owed me" some quality time. I asked him what he wanted to do, and he said "Anything you want! We can take a whole memory card full of photos for your blog!" Does the man know me, or what :p. 

We didn't take a memory card full, but we did get to go over to this lavender (trust me) house (?) in my neighborhood that I've been eyeing for weeks. I run and drive on the same few streets in East Nashville everyday; and that part of town is full of beautiful, colorful, historical homes. I love living, and hanging out, (and taking outfit photos!) in East Nashville!

Anyway: I asked Hunter what he thought about my outfit (that I had worn the week previously) he said, "I like the bottom half." I'll be the last person on earth to ever wear an actual FEDORA, but a straw hat like this is so common, it doesn't even feel like a statement anymore!

A few new things in this 'fit: 
- white pants that totally got neglected last Summer, and I'm determined to make a staple,
- THE sandals, that everyone has, and I totally get why. Haven't taken them off since I got them, also, #accessoryrule,
- a hand-me-down dress from Carina that my mom recently hemmed into a shirt. The pockets are a little weird,
- added this hat into an Amazon order for free shipping. I had a straw hat at one point, that got squashed on a trip. Welcome back!

So, fedor-able or Fedork-able? You decide. 

Have a grand weekend, everyone!! Thanks for reading.

ipsy vs. Birchbox, April

Wednesday, May 13

You guys. I still can't get over how good my ipsy AND Birchbox were in April. The products I got have all been used a TON, and become part of my daily beauty routine! It was a close call for sure, both subs had their game faces' on this past month!

*This series originally started as I was trying to pick between two subscription services: ipsy and Birchbox. At this point, I don't plan on canceling either; I really enjoy getting them both, trying out and reviewing new products, and challenging myself to use everything I receive!

If you missed a month, catch-up right here: March // February // January // December // November

Here's what I got this month:
Birchbox (left to right)

Beaver Repairing Conditioner- Very rarely do I like an item in my sub so much that I actually want to BUY it, but this shampoo and conditioner did it for me. Both sold out on the BB website, so looks like they're a standout for all types of hair. This left my hair feeling very soft and moisturized! 
*Beaver Moisturizing Shampoo-* I've mentioned before that my hair is thick and difficult to wash; so I couldn't believe how clean and fab my hair felt after washing with this! I've used it before styling AND air drying my hair, and noticed great results both ways. This stuff is awesome. 
LAQA & Co. Sheer Lip in Honeypot- I received another one of these in my first BB ever, and used it up completely. This stuff is like lip balm with very sheer color. Love this shade of pink! 
Whish Body Butter in Blueberry- This is the low point of this box, because of the terrible scent of this lotion! And I love scented lotion, so don't get me wrong. This smells like legit blueberry and took me back to the awful stuff I would wear in middle school. The consistency is ok, but I would not buy this because of how strong and artificially sweet it smells. 
Cargo Swimmables Blush in Los Cabos- I got two blushes this month! That's ok because I love blush and wear it every single day. This is advertised as being "waterproof", but I seriously doubt that, because it's too bright at first, and then gone by the end of the day. Still, I like the shade; I had never tried a more "orange-y" blush but actually like the result! 

*Favorite of the month! I never get excited about shampoo or conditioner samples, but these might be the best I've ever used. I've been using them in place of my regular products, and loving the results every time. I might actually buy these! 

This box. The actual boxes have been killing it lately, and just when I thought they couldn't be topped: four words: Rifle Paper Co. collaboration. Is there a girl in the world that doesn't like the floral designs of RPC?! This box is already on my bookshelf.
ipsy (clockwise)

Redken Dry Finishing Spray- I say this every month, I rarely use hair products, but: this stuff smells awesome, and works well as a light hairspray/setting spray. I should say, I rarely use hair products unless they're super easy, and this one is! 
*theBalm Cosmetics NUDE Eyeshadow*- I've loved every theBalm product I've received from my subs, and the packaging cannot be beat! This nude shadow is great for everyday wear, and I've worn it quite a few times already. I like that it has a purple-y tint to it, making it a little different than your basic neutral eyeshadow. 
Mullein & Sparrow Lip & Cheek Tint- This was a disappointment! It smells great and came in the cutest little tin, but has no color whatsoever. I suppose it could work on someone with lighter skin.
Pandora's Makeup Box Pink Blush- Another blush! This came in the coolest packaging. I've been wearing the same blush since high school, so I love trying out new colors, this one is bright pink. It is SUPER bright, so I have to be careful I don't look clown-y when I put it on. 
Essence Lash Princess Mascara- I desperately needed new mascara, so this was perfect timing (and, the reason I keep getting these subs right there.) This mascara is pretty awful though. It's just so drippy and clumpy. The brush is curved and has potential to be great, but I always have to use another mascara after it to de-clump. Bummer. 

*Favorite of the month! I liked several of these well-enough, but this is the only one that got five stars across the board, in terms of packaging, application, and overall product. Been using this on the reg, and would love to try out a neutral eyeshadow palette by theBalm. 

And this may be my favorite ipsy bag yet! I don't know if you can tell that it's a little bigger than normal, which is quite handy, and I can see myself tucking this into a beach bag this Summer, or using it as a fun clutch! 

This was a super close call, but: I have to give Birchbox the win for this month. While I liked the ipsy products alright, I loved each product in my Birchbox (minus the lotion.) The shampoo/conditioner combo might be the best product I've received through a sub. And the box just can't be beat! 

How was your ipsy or Birchbox this past month? Do you subscribe to another box that I'm completely missing out on? Do tell! 

If you're interested in signing up for ipsy OR Birchbox (or both ;) for $10/month (I look forward to it every month!!), you can find my referral links here: ipsy //Birchbox.

View the rest of this series here

Hippie Comfort Zone

Monday, May 11

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| purse: from Jenae | dress: F21 from Jamie | sandals: Target (super old!) | bracelet: gift from Rachel | 

Hi friends! I hope your work is off to a fabulous start. I, for one, I am ready for a normal week, with no guests and no vacations in the middle (I mean, I love vacations, but they can throw a wrench into your livelihood, for sure.) 

I wore this outfit a couple times this weekend, and will likely wear it again to work this week. My saving grace in this terrible, no-good, very bad clothing ban is discovering some hand-me-downs I had tucked away. I got this dress from a co-worker in November, and am just now finding it as I switch my clothes for the season!

This dress, like this dress (both hand-me-downs from Jamie; she even compared the two) are examples of prints and styles I wouldn't pick out for myself, but ended up loving. That's the beauty in hand-me-downs! With literally zero barriers to entry, you may as well keep it and see if you like it. After trying it on, I think the fit and subsequent style of this dress just can't be topped! Perfect for stuffing my face at a graduation party (and oh, I tested it ;) 

Also jazzed about this purse I rescued from Jenae's giveaways last weekend. I've been using this one since I got it, for work, since it's the only one I have that comfortably fits my laptop. But now I have this happy yellow one for Spring! Actually, is Spring over? It's feeling prettyyyy Summer-y in Nashville, and I'm not mad about it. 

Current State of the Union: 5.8.15

Friday, May 8

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one last picture from last weekend in California! missing it already. 
Hi! So I'm not one to be "working for the weekend", or counting down until the weekend starting on Monday morning (generally, because I try my best to enjoy each day, and I like where I work), but oh -em-gee, TGIF,  y'all! Something about hitting the ground running after flying back from CA (and doing that after last week's conference), and some busy evenings this week have made me SO extremely excited for a relatively chill weekend. With Sunday blocked off for unpacking my suitcase, doing laundry, and cleaning my apt. Those things that just make you feel human, you know? 

Tonight we are celebrating Ethan's graduation with a little soiree at Andrea's. Congrats, E!

Then I'm not joking when I say I have no set plans for the weekend, and I'm not mad about it! The weather in Nashville is beautiful, so definitely going to get outside and enjoy it. Before long it will be all Summer storms and that unbearable humidity. Hoping to FaceTime my mom on Sunday, and I already ordered her an electric kettle that's being shipped to her as we speak. Do you guys have anything fun planned for Mother's Day? Or maybe a unique gift?

Otherwise...sometimes I just want to capture on my blog "what is going on" at the moment. Do you ever struggle to answer that question, when you see people you haven't seen in a while (last weekend, for me) and they ask "How's life?" My default response lately has been "Good! Just working...hanging out when I have the chance." I feel like I do a good (maybe too good, because sometimes it's boring) job on here chronicling life at the moment, just because that's one of my favorite parts of blogging, but I felt as though a week had gone by and wondered, "What did I actually do?" 

Ha. Whatever. Anyway. Have a wonderful weekend, you guys!

EDIT: Oh goodness, the point of this post was to write down my one-word-motto for the month. After months of eating too much, not exercising consistently, and generally not feeling awesome, my one-word-motto for May is wellness. I've broken this up into three main categories:

- consuming (Watching everything I'm eating AND drinking, basically, more of the good stuff.)
- exercising (The main goal here is to be consistent, with a mix of cardio/strength, 30 min. a day.)
- self-care (Mostly I mean sleeping 8 hours a night, but also, taking time to take care of myself.)

I'll keep this short and sweet, but if you're interested, I DO have mini-plans written up for each of these. Eleven days in, and things are going well! Definitely an improvement from last month. 

Weekend Update: #JenaesLastLuau

Tuesday, May 5

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my crazy talented bestie Steph "whipped this up" as the perfect invitation! 

So despite being a marketing major, my life is NOT subtitled by hashtags. But I do enjoy them, especially in situations where # are actually applicable (anything where social media could be involved, basically.) And hey, they make for great blog post titles! 

I made it back to Nashville late last night/early this morning after celebrating one of my best girl's bachelorette weekends in Northern California (Santa Cruz/Monterey area, if you're interested.) 

At some point during the weekend, Jenae said "Guys, I just have one question. Did I miss my FIRST Luau?" We busted out laughing at that. And though I will likely be a theme-pusher until I die, I did NOT force everyone to wear their leis (or the fanny packs we decorated) all weekend! Did I force Jenae to wear a crown, light up "diamond" ring, tiny sparkly hat, and "Bride" sunglasses all weekend? Yes, yes, yes, and yes. 

Other notable parts of the weekend: Daniel (the fiancĂ©) paper masks (another brilliant idea by Steph, evidenced above), glittery champagne flutes on Monastery Beach, a TEA PARTY, Mary-Kate & Ashley style 90's hats, an impromptu stop at a produce stand on the highway in Monterey (so very Californian!), "I just like to wear tiny hats, ok?!", and some night-after-Bach-party rehabilitating ice cream on the wharf, shared with sea lions, whilst discussing "3, 2, 1," app ideas. The California coast CANNOT be beat (I am slightly biased.) Our gaggle of girls was an absolute trip. Shout-out to Jenae's friends from work, and sister Jesse, who I 100% enjoyed spending time with! I've said it once and I'll say it again, I love meeting my best friend's friends, it's like they're pre-screened! I also love laughing so hard that I feel sick. 

No matter how much I detest the phrase, sometimes my life is totally "live, laugh, love," BLECH. 

Then it was SO relaxing to spend a tiny bit of time at home! I hugged my parents as many times as I could (and Tuppy and Galina.) Home is where your mom is, as they say. 

So thankful to have left the California sunshine to return to some Nashville sunshine! Happy May!!