6 Blogs I Follow Regularly

Yes,  I do realize this list is a bit excessive for blogs to check every morning. Honestly though, I can’t start my day until I’ve briefed myself on the new content. A fair warning though…these blogs create a bit of an online shopping habit or at least an expensive wish list. I also talk to my friends and family about these bloggers on a first name basis (weird, I know).

  1. screen-shot-2016-12-28-at-4-20-26-pmCupcakes and Cashmere: I’ve followed Emily’s blog for a couple years now, though I certainly wasn’t first to discover it. I’ve found that her new content keeps getting better and occurs most often of any blog I follow. I’m incredibly jealous of her new Associate Editor, Leslie, but I’m not sure I could’ve made the big move to LA as she did. To be honest, I’ve determined the exact moment when new posts are made live, and even kept up while abroad in Scotland.
  2. screen-shot-2016-12-28-at-4-20-49-pmCup of Jo: Joanna’s style most embodies my own, and the brands she endorses are simple, well-made, and reflect an ease in living. They write the most varied content, but centered around women’s interest.
  3. screen-shot-2016-12-28-at-4-17-59-pmDeliciously Ella: This brit must be the healthiest woman on the island, because when I studied abroad in Scotland, I didn’t nearly eat like she does. Ella’s site is a great go-to when you need a detox, refreshing recipe, or generic meal inspiration.
  4. screen-shot-2016-12-28-at-4-19-49-pmSequins & Stripes: Liz has the most ADORABLE baby, Charlie, that she consistently snapchats and insta-stories (do I sound like a stalker)? Anyways…she write with a down-to-earth and relatable personality that I connect with.
  5. screen-shot-2016-12-28-at-4-21-52-pmGal Meets Glam: If there’s any blogger to be completely jealous of, it’s Julia Engel. She and her husband create the most incredible travel itineraries, beautiful clothing, and clearly pay specific attention to the layout and UX of their site.
  6. screen-shot-2016-12-28-at-4-19-38-pmLuella & June: I don’t really know what Bradley Agather’s life is, considering she seems to click “purchase” on $600+ items of clothing on a weekly basis, but she’s just oh-so cheery. I can appreciate her taste even though we don’t necessarily have a similar style (or budget), and I keep going back due to her consistent new content.
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2 Appreciated Stocking Stuffers

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If there were just 1 thing I would wish for constantly, it would be an incredible and glowing complexion; however, with my genes that will just never happen. So I was incredibly grateful to my ingenious mother who went through my makeup back to restock my essentials for my stocking.

My makeup routine is minimal, and if I don’t have to wear any, I’m a happy camper. For those days where I wish to look in the mirror and see semi-clear skin, I have these two products. I’ve found that primer is vital to the overall effect of foundation, the base layer is both a barrier and a canvas. I love the Laura Mercier Blemish-Less Foundation primer for the protection from clogged pores and creating a more even finish afterwards.

Since I need a bit more coverage than just the brand’s tinted moisturizer, I used the Candleglow Soft Luminous Foundation. It feels super-light but build-able depending on the current state of my face.

I’m no makeup guru, I like what I like and oftentimes online reviews and chic packaging sway me more than my own opinions. I’ve come to love this brand, but was intending on purchasing a foundation more in my post-college price range this time around, so kudos to my mother for being incredibly sneaky and thoughtful. She always knows how to indulge in my ‘too expensive for my budget’ taste. Love you, Mom!

 

2 Ideas I’ll Never Wrap My Head Around

  1. Space, the Universe, and Aliens? 

Ever stayed up late, say past 10:00 pm watching PBS, and stumbled upon an episode of NOVA? There are a number of series that attempt to explain the vastness of the universe. To imagine another planet is difficult to comprehend, but to visualize another galaxy is another challenge. Does space never end? Where does it go? You can go deep into the black hole of questions while never fully understanding the concepts. If you care to blow your own mind, check out up coming episodes of NOVA.

2. Death, the Afterlife, and Ghosts? 

I’ll be honest, I’m a firm believer in ghosts, spirits, otherworldly entities on our planet. It’s almost easier for me to wrap my head around some sort of afterlife than space (which is an actual scientific field). I was immensely teased when I took the podcast The Black Tapes a little too seriously, and pretty much convinced myself that demon children were roaming the world. I don’t know, there’s something that happens after death, but I hope I don’t find out for at least a couple decades.

4 Items on my Wish List

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  1. MVMT Watch: I wore my tortoiseshell Fossil watch everyday, it was simple enough to be part of my casual wardrobe,  but classic enough to stand with a formal outfit. Truthfully, I hadn’t replaced the battery for over a year (it was always set to 5:00); however, I dropped it while putting it around my wrist. I broke it, and unfixable, so time for a new one! I love the simplicity of this MVMT watch, and I tend to gravitate to gold over silver in all my jewelry.
  2. Mountain Wall Hanging: There are multiple shops on Etsy selling similar products, but I would love to hang this in my bedroom. I have a similar circle basket with the metal netting above my bed, and this would tie in well among the pictures on my gallery wall. Also, even though I could make this myself, it’s important to support other artisans.
  3. Bose Soundsport Wireless Headphones: I’ve used an iPod Shuffle for the last 8 years, mostly because I find carrying a phone around the gym or on a run a burden. My parents would prefer that I take my phone on my run, but it’s such a pain to take it of my little fanny pack to switch the song. These bluetooth headphones would be a great investment for long runs where good music is a must, and for the flexibility to leave my phone by my water bottle at the gym.
  4. A Gentleman in Moscow: Amor Towles debut novel, Rules of Civility, is truly the last book I remember utterly enjoying every page. I’ve been looking forward to reading this book, but would love to own it instead of waiting for it to be available at the library. I always put books on my Christmas list since they feel like such a luxury.

1 Craft to Make this Christmas

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Hark! The Herald Angels Sing…that this is the one craft you should make this season. All the credit goes to my mother on this one, who makes these angels as gifts, decoration, and for her own pure enjoyment. Here is what you need:

  • Old Music Paper – available at paper stores, on Ebay, music stores
  • Gold Doilies
  • Thin Red or Gold Ribbon
  • 1″ Wooden Balls (hole through middle)
  • Thin-Tipped Markers

Now that you have everything, let’s get crafting!

1. Cut a circle in the music paper, then make a slit to the center of the circle, then another to cut out a wedge. See below for diagram:

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2. Secure with tape or glue, then set aside.

3. Fold gold doily in half (these will be the wings). If you want to get fancy, make a crease on each side of the wings like the picture above. Attach to one side of the cone, with the flat side of the wings, and the point of the cone facing up.

4. Draw face and hair onto wooden balls with markers.

5. Take a long piece of ribbon, fold in half and make a knot about 2.5-3″ from the fold. Feed the folded end through the point of the cone, then through your head. Make a knot at the top of the head.

6. Feel free to decorate more as you please! Shown above is glitter glue around the bottom of the skirt.

4 Regrets from my College Days

I’m so lucky to have graduated with incredible friends, a strong degree, and an overall positive experience during my four years in Maine. Although I worked about 15 hours a week in the athletic training room, studied late into the night in the library, and took ample time to hang out with others, there will always be a couple slight regrets after graduating. Here are 4 of mine:

  1. Take the time to meet with Professors – there are very few people who wouldn’t include this, even if those who went a couple times per week. The most rewarding relationships in college are with those who teach and help you grow, so go visit them! Whether it was a less than stellar grade, a brainstorm session for a group project, or the opportunity to receive life advice, it’s always worth it. 
  2. Join a group your friends aren’t part of – I met a few of my closest friends through my on-campus job; however, afterwards I didn’t make much of an effort to explore other groups. At every college there are a plethora of organizations or clubs to join that might just define your college career. 
  3. Study something you LOVE – I’ve said this many times, but this is one of my biggest regrets. I studied economics, with a concentration in natural resources (and to my disbelief I actually use it now). If I studied English or History, I believe I would’ve tried harder, been more passionate about my work, and met with my professors (see #1). There’s usefulness in a degree, but interest is really the driver of success. 
  4. Make the most of ‘Down Time’ – Since college is one of the last stages of life without a set schedule, I tended to nap or just do nothing with my free time if I didn’t have an obligation. Much like #2, it’s important to explore all of the opportunities that the school creates. When else will a famous author be speaking with free admission in an auditorium a 3 minute walk away? Never…And when will all of your friends be in the same town, or possibly even the same building? Not after graduating! Take the time while the opportunity is there. 

3 ‘Drop Everything and Go’ Vacations

   Auberge du Soliel            |    Glacier National Park     |      The Dreamcatcher

I am the WORST at committing to traveling and taking time off. I have the desire to see places around the world, but not the boldness to hit ‘purchase’ on my flights. If I had an unlimited budget, extensive vacation days, and the perfect travel buddy, here’s where I’d be headed in a heartbeat:

  1. Auberge du Soliel Resort in Napa Valley: I’ve been to the Bay Area before, but not since I’ve hit the ripe old age of 21, and no farther North than the Golden Gate Bridge. Soon will be the perfect time to experience my love of a big Cabernet Sauvignon in the place of its domestic origin. I can picture myself with a bunch of friends at this luxury resort: hiking during the day, relaxing in the pool, and enjoying a glass (okay, multiple) of amazing wine.
  2. Glacier National Park: The images of Glacier National Park caught my attention while view National Parks Adventure at the Museum of Science in Boston – you must see it! I’ve been dying to plan a trip ever since, and hope to spend a week one summer exploring the wonders that our country has taken such lengths to protect. 
  3. The Dream Catcher B&B in Puerto Rico: It’s always around this time of year that I itch to fly somewhere warm. This B&B rose is clearly perfection with its multitude of hammocks, access to beach, and fresh vegetarian meals. What else could you ask for, anyone in? 

6 Old and New Podcast Episodes

I have several (meaning over 10) podcasts I follow closely, but I heard a few specific episodes that caught my attention recently, and also have those I will always remember. Looking to just have a quick listen without the need to check in every week? These six episodes are memorable, thought provoking, and/or downright hilarious.

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1.     How I Built This – Dermalogica: Jane Wurwand

This woman knows grit; she knows how to start and how to keep going. Takeaways? Get certified in SOMETHING…ANYTHING…so that you’re always employable.

2.     The Mortified Podcast – Naomi: Harry Potter Fan Fiction

True story: I listen to Harry Potter on Audible almost every night before bed. This combines my nostalgia with my severe second-hand embarrassment, and I cringed and smiled through all 27 minutes. 

3.     Embedded – The Police

Kelly McEvers has the PERFECT podcast voice, and this episode specifically reminded me that there are people out there who care. For fans of Serial…this is a perfect podcast to follow. 

4.     Modern Love – ‘Maddy Just Might Work’

Jennifer Finney Boylan taught many of my peers at Colby. Unfortunately, I never took her class, but love hearing a former mule on one of my favorites. She is incredibly inspiring. 

5.     Yoga Download – 20 minute Power Abs

Yes, this requires movement, but this is the most effective ab workout, and you will be sore in the best way. Everyone needs g0-t0 core workout during the holidays!

6.     The Axe Files – Michael Morell

My roommate Susan suggested this episode, and despite the longer length, I was hooked. I’m always intrigued to where an economics degree takes people, though I don’t believe mine leads to Director of the CIA.

5 Daily Thoughts of an Early-20-Something

The most pivotal, yet confusing years of life. There’s no more structure, no concrete next steps, yet somehow we figure out how to put the pieces together. I’ll almost always have a smile on my face, but no matter what, these 5 thoughts always fleet through my mind:

  1. “So, what’s the purpose of my degree?”
  2. “What am I doing with my life?” 
  3. “Is everyone else in the same boat as me?” 
  4. *Has one intellectual conversation* “Wow, I’m using my brain again!”
  5. “Well…I’ll just figure it out.”

4 WWII-Era Books

     I continually reach for WWII-Era books, in which it seems there is a prerequisite for the cover art: blue background with a black silhouette. Am I the only one who has noticed this?  If you haven’t read these bestsellers yet, be prepared to be transported back in time!

Here are the books I recommend:
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The Girl from Venice by Martin Cruz Smith

The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr