Sunday Kind of Love

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i truly cannot believe this is a thing. it is the exact intersection of all of my interests.

February’s in full swing! And on this Sunday morning, I’m in full pajamas with a full glass of cold brew. At least for the moment, I’m pretending that I don’t have chores to do and hundreds of pages of reading #gradschoolproblems. Here’s some of the stuff that made me smile this week.

P.S. This entire week is dedicated to The Purple One, in honor of Sheila E. shutting down Timberlake over the stupid hologram. This is my sole comment on the Super Bowl.

  1. Valentine’s Day is so not my jam, but novelty pajamas absolutely are. I saw these at Target the other day and almost caved and bought them (there’s still time…) Also, tacos are life, and I need this shirt to add to my obnoxious collection of Francophile clothing items.
  2. I am so excited about SOLO that I could scream. Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian is, I think, my exact number on the Kinsey Scale?! Summer can’t come fast enough!
  3. Okay, okay. I’m like, the last person on earth to see this, but I finally watched Kylie Jenner’s pregnancy video and just about died from the sweetness. I’ve never actually seen KUWTK, and to me, Kylie Jenner is just “the lipstick girl,” but I have to give the whole fam (Kris) mad props for their marketing finesse. Also, we got to see Chicago West for the first time!
  4. I have got to make this DIY. I’m obsessed with macarons (I know, basic), and this would look so cute on my bar cart! My bar cart apparently isn’t available from Target anymore, but maybe I should get a second one for coffee because this beautiful cart exists? I needed to lie down when I saw this one…gorgeous.
  5. Speaking of my Oh Joy! bar cart, please give me EVERY SINGLE PIECE OF THIS FURNITURE. Plz and thank you.
  6. Guess I’m on a furniture kick, because look at this thing I must have for my kitchen! Venmo me $1,000 that I can spend on furnishings I don’t need?
  7. Can I get married again so I can wear this, or this, or frankly any of these?
  8. Should I listen to the new Timberlake? The internet (and my moral compass) has totally turned on him, but 20/20 was wicked good, so…?
  9. These glasses are amazing and I need them yesterday. Also these sunnies. Alternately, I need to re-lens the glasses I already have (these, these, these, these, these—some in different colors), or, y’know, get contacts.
  10. Should I do Whole30? As I proved last month, I can give up alcohol, but all bread? I feel like that’s disrespectful to Oprah.

What was on your mind this week?

xoxo,

c

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Gratitude: Blog Lovin’

Part of my New Year’s Resolution is to express more gratitude. I’m a perfectionist who has trouble living in the moment, so taking daily stock of the little things in life that make each day a little prettier and brighter helps me to stay grounded. I have so much to be grateful for! I’m even letting myself end the previous sentence with a preposition, because 2018 me is super #chill.

This week, I’m highlighting ten blogs that I follow, some religiously, some occasionally, that inspire me to use my voice.

A Beautiful Mess

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No surprises here, right? I’ve been following ABM almost daily for about 5 years. Their whimsical, colorful aesthetic has been a huge influence on how I’ve styled my own home. I’ve tried a ton of their recipes and DIYs (I’ll link a few below). ABM has inspired me to bring more life and color into my home.

These ladies are prolific! Check out their product line, their glasses collection, their e-courses, their cookbook, and their camera bag collab!

DIYs &c. I’ve tried:

Photo Ledge DIY, Vegetarian Tikka Masala, Eggplant Parm Meatballs, Cinnamon Spice Sugar Scrub, Macrame Room Divider, Creamy White Sauce, Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese, Veggie Soup, Face Oil, and so many more!

Follow if you love: recipes, home décor, DIYs, crafts, photography

The Band Wife

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This is the personal blog of Laura from A Beautiful Mess. Laura’s aesthetic and style in particular are closest to mine, and she’s a fellow cat mama, so when I discovered her blog, it became an instant bookmark. Her husband plays guitar for Mutemath and tours a ton, which is the impetus behind the blog name. My husband doesn’t tour, but being a musician’s wife is definitely…unique. Us band wives gotta stick together!

Bonus points for all the kitty and baby content!

Follow if you love: style, home décor, DIYs, babies, cats

The Larson House

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This is the personal blog of Elsie from A Beautiful Mess. It’s where she chronicled her heartbreakingly long adoption process and blogs about the joys of her new daughter, Nova. The Larsons’ adoption story has brought me to tears on more than a few occasions…adoption is one of the most beautiful and selfless things a person can do!

Follow if you love: personal posts

Almost Makes Perfect

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Minimalist aesthetic? Neutral tones? Excellent graphic design? Check, check, and check. Almost Makes Perfect is a destination for great DIYs, home decor, and gorgeous printables. I even have one of her rap lyric Valentines up as an art print in my house!

Follow if you love: home décor, minimalism, personal posts, DIYs

New Darlings

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I’ll admit it—I’m super jealous of Christina and Robert’s lives. They’re jet-setting bloggers based in Phoenix, AZ, who have the most gorgeous aesthetic and sweetest pup. Show me your ways!

Follow if you love: home décor, style, beauty, travel, photography

Man Repeller

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Technically, Man Repeller isn’t a blog anymore, although it started that way. It is a fully-fledged, awesome fashion, lifestyle, and beauty site that is #goals for any blogger. I mean, Leandra, the creator, goes to like, Paris Fashion Week. So aspirational. MR is one of my favorite sites on the whole wide internet, so much so that I actually just submitted a piece!

Follow if you love: fashion, beauty, humor writing, silly horoscopes

Sucré Style

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Stacy King (of Sucré, formerly of Eisley) barely ever posts, but the aesthetic when she does is marvelous. Fun fact, I went to a bar in Atlanta based solely on one of her gorgeous posts. Talk about an influencer! Her entire wardrobe is goals, and she has the cutest little fam.

Sucré (the band) released a single today, so go listen to it!

Visit her band’s website, and if you get a chance to see them live, DO IT.

Follow if you love: style, personal posts

Skunkboy

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Alright, fine. This is another blogger I discovered through ABM. Katie is (was?) one of the staff writers for ABM, and has a collab line with BonLook. Skunkboy Blog is where she chronicles the goings-on of her sweet fam, DIYs, and her adorable handmade “creatures.”

Follow if you love: personal posts, sewing, crafts, DIYs, vintage

dum doceo

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dum doceo is the personal blog of my dear friend Annie, a teacher and all-around badass. She’s debuting the blog at the end of the month—don’t miss it!

P.S. “Dum doceo” is Latin for “while I teach.” Annie is really freaking smart, and remembers way more about AP Latin than I do.

Follow if you love: education, personal posts, professional writing

Not Really Oxford Women

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And last but certainly not least, my own side project! My friend Annie (of dum doceo) and I recently applied to study abroad in Oxford this summer, and we’ve started a blog about the whole experience!

Follow if you love: travel, photography

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What blogs inspire you, dear reader?

xoxo,

c

Oil Vey


I’ve been trying to incorporate more essential oils into my daily life. There are so many amazing, creative ways to make them a part of your routine! I regularly oil-pull with a peppermint essential oil & coconut oil blend, and I use a tea tree & coconut oil blend every night to moisturize and cleanse my face. But I have bunch of bright, spring scents left over from my (ill-fated) idea to make homemade candles for my wedding that I needed to put to good use! Pro-tip: don’t try to make 50 homemade essential oil/ soy candles as wedding favors—planning a wedding is stressful enough! 

After I saw this post last year, I was inspired to make my own linen spray with the lovely scents I had just lying around in my cabinets. But, after an incident involving me lifting this plant mister by the plunger, breaking the mister and spilling oily water all over my bedroom, I briefly set aside my goal of perpetually gorgeous-smelling sheets and pillows.

Well, no more! I was helping a friend shop for an upcoming trip yesterday, and in the travel section of Target I found a cute little pink spray bottle, which reminded me of this awesome DIY! I can’t take any credit for the idea or the basic recipe, but the essential oil blend is something I concocted, based on the amazing cocktail, the Paloma! The Paloma is a tequila-based cocktail with grapefruit and lime—delicious, refreshing, and reminiscent of warm summer nights. I’d found my muse.


“Paloma” Room & Linen Spray

  • water
  • witch hazel
  • grapefruit essential oil
  • eucalyptus essential oil
  • lime essential oil
  • small funnel
  • small spray bottle


Combine 1 part water to one part witch hazel in the small spray bottle of your choosing. My witch hazel has a slight odor, so next time I make this, I’ll use more water than witch hazel. In a 12 oz bottle I used about 30 drops grapefruit, 20 drops eucalyptus, 20 drops lime. How strong you want your scent to be is up to you! Give the bottle a shake and spritz anywhere that needs freshening!* I added a handwritten label with gold Sharpie—paint pens or chalk pens will also do the trick!

*The oil and water will separate, so shake the bottle before each use for best results.

The grapefruit is bright and refreshing, the lime is fruity and mellow, and the eucalyptus adds an almost minty sharpness reminiscent of the fragrance of tequila. All the cocktail love with none of the calories.

Happy spring, happy Passover, and happy Easter! Oh, and blanket apology for the title pun.

—DellaBites

Summer Forever 

Sandal season approaching, you guys! The weather has been so amazing in New England lately. Even when it rains, it’s still gorgeous. It’s been between 50° and 70° every damn day.

I am a Birkenstock devotee! Best sandals in the game.

The fabulous weather has inspired me to fill my house with plants and start the seasonal DIYs! My first step was to revamp the porch.

We have a big, gorgeous wooden porch that we never use because apparently we’re crazy? Really though, it’s because it became outdoor junk storage. The compost bin, the recycling–everything lives outside, making our lovely porch a major eyesore.

Something had to be done, and that something came in the form of a hanging planter of pansies and a spray-painted patio set!

Pretty purple pansies in the evening.
Paint used (since the colors are washed out in the photo): Rustoleum gloss spray paint in Ocean Mist & Candy Pink.

The patio set is still missing its sister chairs—I’ll be hitting up Home Depot soon to buy & paint the rest of them—and the table needs another coat of candy pink, but it’s already shaping up nicely! I am feeling blush pink and mint this season—not just because of Pantone! I’m thinking about adding an umbrella, one of these beauties, from the Marimekko for Target collection.

Soooo many hooks for hanging planters!

Our porch, ceiling, which needs to be painted badly, has a bunch of hooks already in place, so you know I’m going to be adding a ton of plants to our outdoor space! If only I knew how to safely remove and refinish what is probably lead paint…

The best thing about nice weather and spending more time outdoors is dressing for it.

Self-timer fails: when your actual husband is a terrible Instagram husband. Sunnies/ABM for Bonlook, dress & choker/F21, jacket/BCBGeneration, bag/Rebecca Minkoff (available here), faux furball/Topshop, sandals/Swedish Hasbeens

I’ve basically been freezing my butt off for days, in complete denial that it’s not quite shorts weather, but these Anthro short-eralls are 100% worth it.

Dressing like a 9-year-old boy is what I do best. Top/August Silk, Shorteralls/Anthropologie (or Free People? Urban? They’re from a brand buyout!), Necklace/Monqstyle

Alright, enough of my shenanigans: there are much more serious matters at hand. I don’t really have words to express my grief regarding the death of Prince. So, instead of risking sounding trite, I’ll just leave this picture, which gives me endless life. Good night, sweet Prince. I don’t care where we go, I don’t care what we do—I don’t care pretty baby, just take me with u.

Easiest At-Home Pumpkin Spice Latte Ever!

Fall is taking its sweet time arriving this year. Here we are, nearly mid-way through September, experiencing a veritable heat wave. Some schools actually let out the other day because without A.C., this humid heat can actually be dangerous. We don’t have A.C. I’m a survivor!

Actual screenshot from Tuesday. I was in a tank-top and shorts and still nearly died of heat stroke.
Actual screenshot from Tuesday. I was in a tank-top and shorts and still nearly died of heat stroke.

Since it is projected to cool down today, I wanted to celebrate with a pumpkin spice latte (also known as the siren song of all basic white girls). Pejoratives be damned, I love a pumpkin spice latte and will never be ashamed of it!

Here’s the thing about PSLs, though:

  1. They don’t typically contain pumpkin. This is fine: they are pumpkin spiced, which simply means that they are flavored with spices typically used to prepare pumpkin pies.
  2. Takeout PSLs are loaded with sugar, and certain syrups contain artificial ingredients and food dyes. Gross.
  3. PS syrups can also contain sweetened condensed milk or powdered dairy, which makes them far from vegan-friendly.

So, PSLs, while being delicious, aren’t perfect. The great thing about our online Pinterest-y, DIY  culture is that we can take our beloved (pricey) takeout and mimic it at home for a fraction of the cost and calories! Win!

There are so many amazing PSL recipes online. Some involve homemade simple syrups, others actually provide directions to making homemade pumpkin spice almond milk! I was looking to create a drink that could be whipped up with no prep in those last three minutes before you have to leave the house for work. Plus, my at-home PSL can be made entirely without dairy or sweeteners! However, I’m no hero, so the recipe will have 2 suggestions for the sweet-toothed among us.

Gear:

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  • 2 shots of espresso (my favorite system is the Aeropress)
  • almond milk (or your preferred alternative)
  • ice (or a milk heater/frother if you prefer hot)
  • Spice Islands Pumpkin Pie Spice (available for cheap at most grocery stores)
  • brown sugar to taste (or all-natural maple syrup)
  • a kettle (this one is on my Amazon wishlist)
  • filtered water
  • reusable cup and straws (optional, but encouraged)

Heat your kettle until boiling, and then set aside.

The first step is personal: how sweet do you like your coffee? Some days I want to be kicked in the face with potency, other days I want something “wimpy” with the sweetness of melted ice cream.

Place your desired amount of brown sugar or all-natural maple syrup into the bottom of your cup. Add two or three shakes of pumpkin pie spice (the flavor is surprisingly strong, so the amount you add is your personal preference). Next, add a tiny dab of hot water (more if using solid sugar, less for maple syrup) from the kettle, and stir until the consistency of your sweetener is syrupy.

The pumpkin pie spice is a blend of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, mace, and cloves. So if you love flavored coffee but hate added sugar, you can just blend this with the hot espresso!

Next, it’s espresso time. As I mentioned, my favorite espresso-brewing method is currently the Aeropress system. It’s cheap, easy-to-use, easy-to-clean, and produces consistently great espresso. My favorite tutorial is below, from the ABM site:

Finally, milk! I actually add filtered water to my espresso, which technically qualifies this drink as an Americano, rather than a latte. I find lattes to be too milky and thick, and prefer a thinner, smoother beverage. For a hot latte, add your warm, frothy milk to the espresso and fill to the top. For an iced latte, fill your cup 1/2 to 2/3 of the way with milk, and finish with ice.

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For decadent presentation, especially with a hot latte, sprinkle some pumpkin pie spice on top and enjoy! Tastes best with a doughnut, of course.

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This morning I’ll be enjoying my PSL with Edith Wharton.

If you’re a pro at your espresso-brewing method, this whole process takes about 2 minutes, including grinding your beans. I usually put on my mascara while I heat my kettle—multitasking ftw!

What’s your favorite fall drink?

—DellaBites