Wednesday, December 13, 2017

2017 holiday gift recommendations.

'Tis the season for trying to find a more creative way to give presents than defaulting to a gift card!

I'm kidding. Gift cards make fine presents, and sometimes, it's easier to stick with a gift card for that person you don't know too well, but if you're looking to move away from cash amounts on a card, then here's a few recommendations that I've given over the year to people looking for the best beauty/lifestyle gifts for all occasions:

For that friend who's had a stressful year: The Night Before Christmas gift set from Lush (the USA one, not from the UK, which has different products in it!)

There's nothing more calming than a hint of lavender before bed, and Lush does lavender like a dream. The Twilight shower gel is a bit of a cult favorite, so snagging it when it makes its annual holiday appearance is always a good call. And in the same scent family is the Sleepy body lotion, which makes the perfect bedside companion.

For the aspiring beauty guru in your life: Storybook Cosmetics What's in a Name Rose Brushes

Talk about aesthetically-pleasing: they're makeup brushes, but they look like roses. How gorgeous is that? I can't personally speak to the quality of these brushes, but from everything I've read and seen, you can't go wrong with Storybook Cosmetics' unique products. Also, imagine storing these in a clear jar on your vanity – tell me that isn't made for Instagram.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

favorites: November 2017.

Happy DECEMBER! That's wild. The year is almost over... but my obsession with Kylie Cosmetics is only just beginning. Read on!

1. Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

I can't even talk about this book right now without stumbling over my words. It's beautiful and upsetting and familiar and absolutely wonderful, and I think it's my new favorite John Green book. I felt so close to the main character, and the way he captures the voices of young adult women and gets right in their heads has always amazed me. It's like listening to the internal dialogue of my 16-year-old brain, and Turtles All the Way Down hit even closer because of those spirals that I've found myself in too.

I can't say enough about this book. (And yes, I cried.) Just read it.

Friday, December 1, 2017

a winter drink.

When I think about winter, I often think about peppermint lattes and gloves and scarves. I think about the sight of Central Park covered in snow before they shoveled it, and I think about the fogged up windows of Village tea shops. It sounds romanticized, but those were just a smattering of the moments I experienced living in a place where seasons were real.

Sometimes, I think that I miss it –  not the slippery, iced-over sidewalks that are impossible to walk or the packed subway cars filled with puffy coats and agitated commuters...but the quiet moments when the snow's untouched. In the last snow dump that I could remember before I left, I walked around my neighborhood and it felt as magical as the dreams I had of a place I never thought I'd live. 

When I think about winter, I think about wistfulness, about how things never feel quite right after autumn has passed. Instead, winter feels like a season to reflect on regrets and to wish for something better in the new year.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

gratitude for the present moment.

I've always had a soft spot for Thanksgiving – and not just because it's a holiday that contains a lot of amazing food (though that doesn't hurt). I love that it's a day for gratitude and to be with family and friends, and I love that the day lands during my favorite season.

Growing up, it was also the first event of a season of opportunities to spend an entire day with my cousins and aunts and uncles. As the youngest, I loved the change to observe everyone around me – how they interacted, what they talked about, and imagining how holidays would be when I was grown up enough to be part of every conversation.

When I went to college, I stopped coming home for Thanksgiving. The timing was too short, I usually had to work, and I knew I'd be home for longer less than a month later when finals were done and Christmas came around. It helped that I had family in LA too, even though I wasn't used to holidays down here. And I'll admit it took me awhile to get comfortable with it: there was less lounging around in a warm home and more eating out at restaurants, and something didn't scream "holidays" to me the way I was used to, though in some ways, it did prepare me for life after college too.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

the longest relationship.

I'm not going to pretend to be any wiser than I was in 2016.

Last year, I wrote a post about the importance of falling in love – with your dreams, with your life, with yourself. It's a reminder that I let slip away from me almost as soon as I wrote the post because it was so much easier to fall back into old habits than to fall in love with all of the possibilities that life could bring.

But isn't it true that the longest relationship you'll have in your life is with yourself? So why is it that that relationship – the one with ourselves – is the hardest to maintain?