Shout Out Sunday

So, I mentioned last week that I was thinking of changing the title of the feature. I’m still playing around, but we’ll go with “Shout Out Sunday” for now.

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  1. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel season two is sensational, but Amy Sherman-Palladino really likes to leave us on unsatisfying cliffhangers, doesn’t she?
  2. Everlane just added some amazing new styles! The button-fly jeans are everything.
  3. The No-Spend Month has been going…okay. I’ve definitely spent way less than I normally would, but I just went to Target and kind of blew it. But there were penguin-shaped catnip toys on clearance for like, $1! How can I not get that for Della? I may need to get her these, because how freaking cute are they? I mean, I also bought a Hearth & Hand wall shelf (I can’t find the link!), because self-control is hard, guys. And it matches my bathroom! When my spending freeze is over, I’m for sure getting this cactus.
  4. I just discovered this kiddo shop on Amazon and my ovaries are practically jumping out of my body.
  5. The Marie Kondo show is out! I KonMari’d years ago, but it’s so nice seeing other people catch on to what is truly the best organizational system you’ll ever try. Nothing else works. Clutter and “organized chaos” are not cute. It’s not “artsy” to be bogged down by possessions. Especially if you have a family, it’s so essential and time-saving to have a clean, organized space. Doing KonMari has literally improved my mental health and sense of peace. Try it!
  6. I’ve probably pimped this before, but this is my all-time favorite “natural” nail polish.

Short one this week. But isn’t that what self-care’s all about? Knowing your limits. See you next week!

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Dressin’

Is there an AA, but for online shopping? Sign me up. I have decided to do a no-spend month in January, but perhaps declaring that has been a bit too stressful, since I’m going completely ham on December purchases. It doesn’t help that I’m starting a new job where I can actually dress nicely every day.

A huge part of my self-care routine has to do with clothing and accessories. For the past 11-and-a-half years, I have worked in the service industry (with the exception of a few months during my grad school internship). Service industry means dress codes, some of which have been more permissive than others. Even when I was a store manager, the one who set the dress code (or, y’know, abolished it entirely), it was a coffee shop, which meant coffee spills, smells, sweat, and mop water. You’d be out of your mind to wear anything nice.

On the rare occasions I’ve gone into my various workplaces on days off, people usually ask, “Where are you going today?” because I’m (apparently) all dressed up. I get it—these people are used to seeing me in t-shirts and leggings, with little to no makeup on. But, in the immortal words of Steve Harvey, “They call me ranch, ’cause I be dressin’.” Clothing, at least in my adult years, has always been the way I express myself. I have to admit, my outfits can be a little eccentric (last night, for instance, I strolled into a family dinner wearing big hoop earrings, a pink utility jumpsuit from Madewell, a faux fur leopard coat, and leopard-print flats). PSA—the $16 ballet flats from Target are the most comfortable flats I’ve ever worn, and the cheapest. 

I know the stupid aphorism—don’t judge a book by its cover. But in my actual life, I found this to not be true at all. The way a person presents themselves says quite a lot about who they are! Just not in the way you might think. For instance, I step out into the world in lipstick (which I’ve worn every day for 12 years), a cool outfit, and styled hair because I want to project confidence, which internally, I struggle with. My house is very clean and organized because my mind isn’t. I work hard to be my aspirational self. Sometimes it fails (my professors, in particular, have seen right through the veneer) and sometimes it succeeds (my friends are often shocked when I open up about my mental health struggles). A variation of the outside-in philosophy, which was played on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt for a laugh, has worked for me. Organizing my home has helped me stay on top of more quotidian tasks (like, paying my car insurance and stuff). Getting validation and support from my friends has helped me seek it within (and get into therapy!)

Okay, this is getting a bit dark and long-winded, but what I’m trying to say is that fashion is important to me. I love to buy things, wear them, donate them, and give them as gifts to friends. This holiday season has taught me how much I love giving—curating special and useful gifts for the people in my life that I love.

No-spend January is going to be tough for me. But hey, I’m up for a challenge. I’m trying to view it as an opportunity to get really creative with things I already own. So instead of my usual Sunday Kind of Love post, where I chronicle all of the things I’m lusting after on the internet, I’m turning inward. Thanks for reading!

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Okay, okay, okay. I will post one recommendation. The Schitt’s Creek Christmas Special, y’all. That show is the best thing I discovered in 2018.

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Oh, okay, one more. The Weezer sketch from last week’s SNL. I died.

Christmas Kind of Love

So, full disclosure—while I don’t identify as Christian (my dad’s fam is totally secular and my mother’s is lapsed Catholic AF), I L O V E Christmas. The opportunity to decorate my home with even more white and gold? Sign me up! I have two pre-lit trees—one I inherited from my mom (it’s green with colored lights) and one skinny 6′ rose gold tree that I got at Target before the 2016 election (that year was dark, so I decorated very early). I didn’t decorate last year because our house was under construction, so this year I went ham. But this is just a dry-run for next year, which will be over the freakin’ top. I’m already depressed about January coming and having to take down all my glitz. As long as it’s down by Valentine’s Day, I’m fine, right?

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That said, here are some holiday faves!

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Best Ways to Give Back

Around the holidays I go beyond my usual small monthly donations! Here are some of my fave charities and ways to give!

Planned Parenthood, International Refugee Assistance ProjectACLU, KINDNAACP, SPLC, Support the Girls, RIP Medical Debt, The Trevor Project, It Gets Better, ITMFA, and so many more!

Best Christmas Songs

My husband, the sweet angel of earth that he is, made me a curated playlist for Christmas called FIG for CHELS—Christmas Edition, because he is perfect. There are quite a number of songs on here I’d never heard before. “You’re a Gift” by The Both is my new favorite! And we can’t forget Holiday Soul Party!

I started compiling a Christmas album playlist for myself, but I got very, very lazy. Also, I work in a store that plays nonstop Christmas music (which I’m actually very here for) so I got my fill this year!

What’s your favorite Christmas song? Mine is “Father Christmas” by The Kinks!

Best Presents

  1. Gift a subscription! FabFitFun & Oui Fresh are my go-tos, but there’s also Birchbox, Ipsy, Dollar Shave Club and Harry’s (great for guys!), quip, graze, LOLA (because practical), Book of the Month Club, or Bark Box (for those weirdo dog people in your life!) I’d suggest streaming services, but tbh just give a friend your password if they don’t already have Netflix.
  2. Gift Cards to Amazon or Target—these will never not get used.
  3. What I call “The Cornucopia”—hone in on one interest and make a gift basket out of tiny items! If your friend is a writer, buy them fancy versions of everything they need—a journal, pens, notepads, sticky notes, stickers, washi tape, paper clips, you name it! Most people (not me, obviously), but most people won’t indulge themselves in that gold stapler or adorable jar of wooden pushpins because function > fashion. Useful gifts are always the best gifts, and tons of little gifts, imo, are better than one. I did one of these for my husband for our first Christmas together and those items are still floating around the house.
  4. A memory. This might sound dumb, but this is the perfect gift for the person who has everything. Example: I’m gifting my favorite professor a framed photo I took of the Bodleian Library at Oxford, because I first heard of it in his class and his support was the reason I got the opportunity to go there. I hope that, for years to come, he can glance over and think warmly about one of his favorite places.
  5. And finally, a free idea, since not everyone in the world spends money like a millionaire (guilty!)—a hand-written card or letter. Literally who writes letters anymore?! I’ve done this a couple of times for various events (sometimes accompanying a gift, sometimes not), and it always gets a great response. Not everyone needs external validation all the time (guilty!) but people love knowing how special they are to you!

Best Holiday Decorations

Anthropologie, West Elm, Target, Pier One, CB2, and Cost Plus World Market have reliably fantastic stuff, although you know ya girl got every damn thing from Target.

Best Christmas Movies

I am about to seriously out myself right now, but I’ve never seen Die Hard or Home Alone. I know. I suck. Truth be told, I’ve never actually even watched A Christmas Story from start to finish. I am not a movie girl (I blame the ADHD). I’m a TV addict—hit me with a Doctor Who or Downton Christmas special any day.

My personal favorite holiday films: It’s A Wonderful Life (true life: I was in a stage production of this when I was 16), the Mickey Mouse & Muppet versions of A Christmas Carol, the Jim Carrey Grinch, and of course, ELF, the best Christmas movie of all time.

P.S. Love, Actually isn’t actually that good, which is insane, because THAT CAST. And liking The Nightmare Before Christmas isn’t the same thing as having a personality.

Best Shows to Binge-Watch on Christmas Break

You probably only have a week off, so these are some shows you can absolutely finish before the new year! Snuggle up with your cats and watch these masterpieces!

Amazon: Catastrophe, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Netflix: Great NewsSchitt’s Creek, The Good Place

Hulu: Difficult PeopleThe Handmaid’s Tale

Best Audiobooks for Your Drive Home

Becoming by Michelle Obama, Everything’s Trash But It’s Okay by Phoebe Robinson, Always Look on the Bright Side of Life by Eric Idle, This Will Only Hurt a Little by Busy Philipps, Feminasty! by Erin Gibson, Shrill by Lindy West, So Close to Being the Shit, Y’all Don’t Even Know by Retta

Bonus Content: Chag Chanukah Sameach!

So, Hanukkah has been over for a minute, but it doesn’t mean I didn’t attempt to observe. I was too lazy to make actual latkes, but I did a run of potato soups as an homage to the culinary concept.

I didn’t buy a menorah because I kept thinking that cashiers would judge me for adding one to a cart full of sparkly Christmas garlands, but I have my eye on a few for next year—this one, this mod one, this gorgeous gold one, and this colorful one.

And good on SJ to give us a Hanukkah song that’s way better than Adam Sandler’s.

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I hope anything on this list is helpful to your holiday season!

P.S. Michael’s Christmas stuff is all 50%-60% off right now, so get thee gone.

P.P.S Send me #thoughtsandprayers that it doesn’t snow anytime soon.

Sunday Kind of Love xx

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Back in the saddle again (metaphorically, of course, I’m afraid of horses). Today’s post really runs the gamut of topics, but I hope you find some new faves! As I get older, I’m investing in a quality, ethically-made wardrobe and trying to support small businesses (although my love of Target and my problematic AF love for Amazon may never die). The world is on fire, so if I can even do a tiny part to help, I’m in.

 

  1. I’m ditching bras in 2019! That’s right—I’m freeing myself from the Victoria’s Secret prison. I’ve been getting almost all my bras from VS for 15 years! The brand is…not great to begin with, and the quality has been declining for years. Also, tiny skinny straps! I feel like I’ve been untwisting a bra strap since I was in middle school! Now, I’m no Dolly Parton, but my girls do need support, which is why I’m switching over to bralettes. Madewell has some amazing ones on sale right now, and Everlane is the new go-to. The Tank Bra is $22 (at least $10 less than the cheapest VS bra, I ordered one in every color) and it so comfortable I could die. Plus, “lift and separate” is a thing of the past—my boobs have never looked better than in this bra, doing their own thing. Plus, Everlane fucking owns. I know that my small-ish breasts (34C) give me the privilege of metaphorically burning my bras, so if anyone has any ethical full-bust recommendations, hit me up! P.S. I’m donating my gently used bras to I Support the Girls.
  2. Spectrum Boutique is an amazing, sex-positive, gender-inclusive sex toy store that my husband came across on Instagram. They’re based out of Detroit, and their selection is curated by Zoë Ligon, a sex educator and journalist! We’re huge fans in our house of supporting small businesses, especially those that give the finger to gender norms!
  3. The new season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is out! My husband and I are bingeing it this weekend. I’m so excited. MMM is one of my favorite pieces of recent media. It might even be my favorite show of all time!
  4. I did it, guys! I finally bought an espresso machine for my house! This is a decade in the making. Since I’m leaving my coffee job at the end of this month (and hopefully forever—sayonara service industry!), I’ll no longer have unlimited access to all manner of caffeinated beverages. I already have a Chemex, two French presses, a pour-over cone, a cold brew Toddy, an Aeropress, and a Verismo frother (whoever took my stovetop espresso maker is dead to me), but there’s really nothing like a proper espresso machine. I went with this model after doing some research online. I really want a $3,000 Breville machine, or something equally extravagant, but this little guy will have to do for now! Other dream espresso machines: LaPavoni, SMEG, illy.
  5. The Glossier perfume is amazing, and I hate perfume. I got a sample of it in my last order and I have been wearing it all the time. It’s the perfect combination of floral and musky without being overbearing or migraine-inducing (I basically go into anaphylactic shock every time I’m around someone with perfume or cologne on). I just bought the bottle and the solid to keep in my purse.
  6. Speaking of purses, I just got this baby in dusty peony and I am obsessed. It was on sale at the time for $129, which is an insane deal. It’s the perfect size for an everyday bag, although fitting a book and a planner is a little tight. It’s also just so cute I could die.
  7. P.S. The surprise sale is happening now!
  8. Have you heard of HARA? It’s an Australian brand that sells organic bamboo intimates and loungewear. Their stuff is definitely on the pricey side, but it’s worth it for the occasional splurge. Their mission is to bring ethically-made, sustainable clothing to the forefront, and we should all celebrate that!
  9. Oh, forgot to mention. Just bought this steaming pitcher and this tamper to go with my espresso machine, because of course I did.
  10. Boston finally nixed single-use plastic bags! California did this ages ago, and the last time I went I was so taken with the idea. Reusable bags cost a dollar and can last for years—why wouldn’t you be using them?? I literally bought reusable grocery bags at Tesco while I was staying in England because there was no way I was cheating just because I was “on vacation.” Hopefully, now that this ordinance is in effect, I’ll stop being the only crazy bag lady in the Boston area! Come on, rest of Massachusetts…do your thing.
  11. This one’s more serious, but it’s something I’m insanely passionate about. I found out about RIP Medical Debt via a New York Times article about two women who fundraised $12,500 and were able to erase $1.5 million worth of medical debt for hundreds of people. Long story short, medical debt causes bankruptcies, ruins people’s lives, and is basically all fake because our healthcare system is complete garbage. Lots of employers will match your donation (mine did!), so you can do double the good by contributing even a small amount. When donating, you can even specify that your contribution helps struggling veterans, which tbh made me tear up. If nothing else this holiday season, please donate to this incredible organization.

That’s all for now, folks! Someday, I’ll start actually writing posts again, but until then, see you on Sunday!

*somewhat* back on my bullshit

So I know I literally just posted a list of shit that I like, but now that I am “somewhat back on my bullshit,” I can’t stop.

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Here’s the home & beauty edition you’ve all been waiting for!

  1. I bought dishwashing gloves and it has CHANGED EVERYTHING. I snagged these from Grove, and it has made cleaning even more of a joy than it already was.
  2. I started using Acure Curiously Clarifying Shampoo and I LOVE IT. I’m more of a co-wash gal (I use New Wash, in case you were wondering), but this makes my hair feel squeaky-clean on those occasional real washes. Get it at Grove or Target!
  3. I got this face wash as a free gift with my Grove purchase (seriously, bitches, sponsor me), and I really like it! It smells great and it feels like it’s actually exfoliating my face (hormonal breakouts are a bitch). It’s soooo cheap at Target and it’s 95% natural, so it’s a no-brainer.
  4. These storage bins are LIFE. I just bought a few for my fridge and I fully plan on buying even more of them until my fridge is so organized that I get 5150’d.
  5. Target sells Native deodorant now! I’m dying of happiness. This is hands-down the BEST natural deodorant I’ve ever tried. Fuck aluminum and parabens! You don’t need them! Once your body adjusts (give it a few weeks), you’ll never go back to normal deodorant in your life. It’s a bit pricier than traditional deo, but it’s worth every penny. I’m finishing up a tube of unscented right now, but next up is Lavender & Rose!
  6. Target also sells Quip now! I’m sure there’s some back-alley, evil, corporate downside to all these indie brands being coopted by a big store like Target, but choose to see the bright side, which is the amount of exposure these great companies are getting! Quip is my new favorite thing—it times your brushing with 2 minutes of vibration in 30 second intervals, and LET ME TELL YOU, no one brushes their teeth for long enough. I am a fastidious brusher, a person who has famously been called out by a roommate for “brushing your teeth more than anyone I’ve ever met,” and even I do not brush my teeth for a thorough two minutes every time. Get on it!
  7. This Grove set is out-of-control cute. My husband keeps asking me which one is the hand soap and which is the dish soap, but it’s worth the annoyance to have my kitchen sink look this cute.
  8. I started actually using a probiotic every day, so I’m basically immortal. I take Lovebug’s Here’s the Skinny, and it’s available at drugstores!
  9. I’m so excited about this month’s Oui Fresh Beauty Box. I can’t wait for this HAN cheek & lip tint—I’m obsessed with their super-pigmented eye shadow.
  10. I tried Hello Fresh after cancelling my Blue Apron account (I had a great discount code), and while I really like the service, the portions are a little meager compared to BA. HF also does a bit more of the prep for you—garlic cloves come PEELED—which makes the prep faster overall. Meal kits aren’t super practical for my lifestyle right now, but if they fit into your budget and your schedule, these are both great options! Here’s my Hello Fresh referral link!

I’ll leave it there! Now to actually make one of my Hello Fresh meals and finish watching this truly godawful Hallmark Christmas movie!

 

 

 

Sunday Kind of Love xviii

I’m alive! That’s right, boo boos! This website is still a thing and I’m still a trifling bitch. A LOT has happened over the past few months, but I’ll summarize it in one sentence and you can infer the rest: I got diagnosed with bipolar disorder and put on a mood stabilizer!!!

Exclamation points, you ask? Isn’t that bad news? No! It’s literally the best news I’ve ever gotten. Knowing is half the battle—finding the right counseling and drug cocktail to even me out is giving me hope and happiness for the first time in YEARS. Wednesday, when I met my psychiatrist (who looks like David Sedaris but without glasses), felt like the first day of the rest of my life.

So here is the first SKoL of my post-diagnosis life. Enjoy!

  1. Watch this from Season 3 of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.
  2. Check out these necklaces, whose net proceeds go to Bring Change to Mind. I bought this one in gold and silver, because of course I did.
  3. The Madewell sale section is so good right now. Demon god, grant me the serenity to not bankrupt myself buying everything.
  4. Kelly Moore Bag is having a sale and I got this and this to add to my ABM collab bag.
  5. Lizzo is the single best person on the planet, but you obviously already knew that. She drags the haters to filth in this video, which had me dead.
  6. I’m listening to Phoebe Robinson’s new book, Everything’s Trash But It’s Okay, on Audible and friends, laughing out loud at the gym while doing cardio is really, really awkward, but worth it—Phoebe is a comic genius!
  7. My house is FULLY decorated for Christmas, and has been since the moment Halloween ended its reign of terror. The Target Wondershop is lit this year, and Hearth & Hand with Magnolia is giving me life. #thatfeelingwhenyou’renotchristianbutyoufuckinglovechristmas
  8. I can’t wait to watch Master the Mess, The Home Edit‘s TV SHOW! I’m going to binge the shit out of it once the semester is over!
  9. Oui Fresh put out new glosses! Meet Jelly Shoes, Central Perk, and Sabrina!
  10. Speaking of Sabrina, I haven’t watched Chilling Adventures of Sabrina yet, but I love Kiernan Shipka, so I’m definitely on board!
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Please enjoy this picture of my brother’s kitten, Sagan.

Catch you next week on another installment of Sunday Kind of Love!

Sunday Kind of Love xvi

Barely got this one in under the wire, huh?

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Welcome to another edition of Sunday Kind of Love, where I blather on about all the cool stuff I’ve been into over the week. My trip to England is on the horizon, I’m job-hunting like a madwoman, and I have about a million fantasy novels to read before my Oxford class begins. I pretty much have no life right now, but here’s what little my brain has to offer:

Shop Luella is my absolute fave. I went sticker crazy recently, I have this keychain (of course), and the Mai Tai crop top and Not Your Babe sweatshirt. Y’all know I’m getting this hat next.

Just discovered Daily Disco via A Beautiful Mess and they have the cutest stuff!

I watched the whole series of Champions twice. It’s so perfect and lovely.

I just ordered my first ever box of contacts and I’m freaking out! I’ve never worn contacts before! It will be SO NICE not to have to wear sweaty glasses this summer. On that note, I bought myself a pair of Daisy Sunnies in Lavender because of course I did.

June’s almost over and I still haven’t gotten these Pride pins! I’ll buy them for next year, I guess?

I’m sure I’ve shouted out ITMFA before, but in light of how deeply horrendous everything is right now, and how the entire world is on fire, we need to support these organizations more than ever. Oh yeah, and we need to ITMFA.

See you next week!

-Chelsea