August has been a pretty chill month for me. I’ve been working a lot, but I’ve also had a lot of down time (those of you who read my weekly newsletter know why.) I’ve been listening to a lot of new music and trying to pick up new relaxing hobbies, such as baking bread and making scrapbooks. Read on to find out what else I’m loving in August!

Lifestyle | CBD 

What Is Cannabidiol, and How Is CBD Used in Medicine? - Sensi Seeds

I’ve enjoyed using CBD oil for a couple of years now, but I was recently visited by a friend who introduced me to a new way to consume it: smoking it! Yes, CBD blunts are a thing. They look (and smell) just like weed, but obviously, smoking it won’t make you high. I smoked a little bit of it (it’s legal here in Massachusetts) and I really liked the relaxing effect it had on me. It made me really drowsy as well, so I slept very well that night. I don’t foresee or plan on becoming dependent on it, but I would like to explore purchasing it again in the future from my local dispensary. 

Music | Ashnikko

Meet Ashnikko, the Rapper Carving a Lane Of Her Own With 'Stupid ...

Funnily enough, the same friend who brought me CBD also got me into Ashnikko’s music. I had known her recent single “Cry” for a few weeks and was totally bopping out to it, but over the last few weeks I’ve gotten immersed in even more of her music. She reminds me a lot of Grimes, Doja Cat, and Charli XCX rolled into one awesome human. Her songs are empowering, strong, catchy, and the music videos are a treat as well! She also clearly has a funny and adorable personality, as I’ve learned from her YouTube videos. Right now, I have the song “Daisy” on repeat. 

Music | folklore by Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift's 'Folklore': All 16 songs, ranked - Los Angeles Times

I have to say, I was NOT a huge Taylor Swift fan before Lover came out. I never actually had anything against her, but her country-pop music just never appealed to me. However, Lover really opened my eyes up to her softer music, and of course, folklore just knocked me out of the park. It’s just such a perfect soundtrack for fall, and all of the songs are so poetic, relatable, and perfectly stripped back. I could never pick a favorite song off the album, but I really love “august” and “epiphany.” I’ve been listening to this album while I bake, journal, scrapbook, and blog, and it puts me in such a great mood for the day.

Lifestyle | Burnt-Orange Everything

c h i l l a x / burnt orange ❀ @talia2art | Orange aesthetic ...
Image source: Pinterest

2020 is the year of burnt orange everything, prove me wrong. Lately I’ve been wearing so many burnt-orange skirts, beanies, eyeshadow colors, and even lipsticks. I just think it’s such a universally flattering color, and it’s a perfect transition shade into the cooler months. I’m really looking forward to wearing my burnt-orange hat with my burnt-orange purse while I listen to folklore and bake this fall. The next step is to get some burnt-orange fall decor, like pumpkins and throw blankets. 

Lifestyle | Baking Bread!!

Photo by Mariana Kurnyk on Pexels.com

I’ve been wanting to get into baking for a while, and there’s no better time than right now, right? It’s actually a lot easier than I thought it would be, and even though it does take a while to make, most of that time is just to let it sit and do nothing. The bread that I just made is a VERY basic recipe (water, bread flour, salt, and instant yeast,) but I jazzed it up a bit with some rosemary and garlic chunks. I’m going to be posting a more in-depth bread-making article later down the line, so keep your eyes out for that! Making bread is so relaxing and satisfying. 

Fashion | Hoops

I’ve always really liked hoops, but I shied away from wearing them until now because I was aware that wearing hoops could be considered cultural appropriation to the lantinx community. With that being said, I believe women (or men) can wear hoops as a form of cultural appreciation  as well- you just have to understand the history and background behind the culture you are borrowing from, and realize that your choice to do so is a privilege (because you can take your hoops off at the end of the day, whereas a marginalised community cannot just “take off” their identity.). I would never want to come across as someone who is trying to wear hoops for “Latin flavor;” I just like the way they look and I try to be as mindful and educated as I can about why hoop earrings symbolize strength and resilience in the latinx community. 

I hope you guys enjoyed this month’s favorites! I’m glad to be back on track with blogging; my new work hours sort of threw me for a loop, but I’m definitely starting to adjust now and find new time for writing.

This was actually harder than I thought it would be to write, because there genuinely aren’t that many trends that I dislike. And even if I do find a trend I don’t like, I have a hard time dissing it because I genuinely don’t want to step on anybody else’s vibe. Even if I don’t like something, it’s not my place to shit on it, you know?

Anyway, after scouring my instagram feed and the internet for a little while, I did find some trends that I’m not the biggest fan of. Again, if you want to rock any of these things, I promise I’m not trying to put down your style. They’re personally just not for me, and this is all in good fun!

Square-toed heels

Square Toe Strappy High Heel Sandals | Beyazura.com
Image Source: Bey Azura

I’ve never been a fan of square-toed heels, to be honest. There’s just something about them that makes me think of colonial men and founding fathers. I also don’t understand the appeal of making your feet look more…boxy? Like, when I’m trying to dress my feet, the last thing I want to do is make them look more square. I’d pick a pointed-toe over a square toe shoe any day. I personally think pointed or rounded shoes just look so much more elegant and refined- what do you guys think?

Bucket hats

Bucket Hat Trend for Summer: Shop
Why do people want their heads to look so big?? Image Source: USMagazine.com

I actually don’t really have a problem with bucket hats- I’m just not a huge hat person in general, and bucket hats are REALLY trending right now. I understand it goes with the whole Billie Eilish, Gen Z tomboy-aesthetic, but for me personally, whenever I wear a bucket hat I feel like a 4 year-old boy. If I am going to wear a hat, it’s going to be a beanie or a baseball cap, or something else more form-fitting and indie. There’s just something about that damn hexagon hat that I don’t vibe around with, thank you for coming to my TED talk. 

Pink & orange

Sydne Summer wears the Beyonce pink and orange colorblock trend ...
I’m sorry, I just hate it. Image source: Sydne Style

Pink and orange is apparently a trending color combo right now, and I have to say, I’m not a fan. I am definitely a more fall-toned and jewel-toned kind of gal: burnt oranges, dark grays, etc., so bright pink and orange is just not a color combo I’m drawn to. It makes me think of Bikini Bottom and kitschy summer aesthetics, and I honestly just don’t think it looks flattering on everybody. Then again, I literally wish it was autumn year-round, so maybe I shouldn’t be allowed to have an opinion on what summery colors are “in” at the moment?

Mullets

Am I Seriously Considering Getting A Mullet In 2020?
I love you David Bowie, but it’s gonna be a no from me dawg. Picture source: Elle

Let me defend myself by saying I think all of these women are absolutely stunning, I just really hate the mullet trend. First of all, I feel like a mullet isn’t a practical hairstyle to have long-term. What does it look like when you let it grow out- is your hair just really full and luscious on the top, and stringy on the bottom half? I have so many questions about the logistics of the mullet.

Polo shirts

Be inspired by the latest catwalk inspired womenswear collections ...
I will say, I like the color scheme of this outfit. Picture source: Pinterest

There’s nothing I can say about this one that’s worth trying to justify, I just flat-out think polo shirts are ugly. Maybe it’s because I associate them with being in middle school, but I truly just do not think they are flattering or fashionable AT ALL. I cannot think of a single person on this entire earth who I think could pull off a polo shirt. They look ugly on everybody. Case closed. 

Well, that felt awkward to write. Like I said, I really don’t like ragging on anybody else’s personal style, but these are the trends so far in 2020 that I just can’t see myself giving into. Do we share any opinions? Do you disagree with any of these? Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, August 18

It’s now day two of my two-week self-isolation from work, and I have to say, I’m feeling a lot better than I was yesterday. Like I said, I feel totally fine and healthy, and I’m going to get tested for COVID on Thursday or Friday anyway to give myself some piece of mind. I’m fully expecting a negative result, so once that (hopefully) comes through, I’m going to feel safe enough to go to the grocery store and such. Until then, however, it’s just going to be sleeping in and hanging out at home!

Although I do plan on sleeping in a little bit later than usual, I’m still going to set a goal to get up by 8:30 every day. I want to maintain some sense of normalcy and productivity while I’m home, and getting up at a decent time helps to keep my mood high. I’d like to get back into doing workouts since I literally have nothing else to do, and I should be able to catch up on blogging as well. Really, the most important thing for me this week is to just practice self care and look at the positives. I’m safe, healthy, and I have a great support system. Might as well look at it as a two-week paid vacation. 

Saturday, August 22

Hi everybody! How are you guys doing? Hopefully staying safe and happy during these times we are sharing together. Even though it feels like the end is nowhere in sight, I do think it’s important to remind ourselves that good things are still happening. For example, COVID cases in the US are actually steadily declining now, which is a great indication that our collective efforts may be working! And while I don’t think life is going to go back to normal any time soon, maybe, maybe we can start looking forward to things again. Maybe I’ll be able to have a semi-normal Thanksgiving or a semi-normal Christmas with my family and Nathaniel’s family. Maybe next year I’ll finally be able to celebrate my graduation from college. Who knows what will happen?

My little week of self-isolation is still going fine; I’ve been playing a LOT of the Sims 4 and working on my Etsy shop. Today I planned my grocery list for the week and decided on a recipe I’d like to make for dinner: one pot pasta with tomato & mascarpone sauce. What I’ve been doing lately is making a large, family-sized meal at the beginning of the week, usually on a Monday, and then slowing going through it for the rest of the week as leftovers. Last week I had burritos, and this week I’m going to try my hand at this recipe. I’d also like to bake a loaf of bread; getting into baking bread has been on my list of hobbies I’d like to explore in 2020. No better time to do it than now!

So nothing too exciting is going on, just gaming and sleeping and catching up on hobbies. Today I had some fun doing ∼fall crafts∼, such as making a pretty mason jar filled with fall-themed date ideas for me and Nathaniel. I also made a ∼fall scrapbook∼, so that Nathaniel and I can then document our ∼fall dates.∼ So cheesy, I know. 

I’m feeling really good emotionally, and I didn’t have a PMDD episode this month, which is amazing! I wonder if it has to do with skipping my placebo pills, as my doctor recommended I do to combat PMDD. Let’s hope that keeps up on a positive note.

In other good news, Nathaniel is going back to school in a couple of weeks for his last stretch of school, and since our school is so close to my apartment, he’ll be able to come see me all the time! I probably won’t be able to go out there to his dorm as much, seeing how schools are going to be very strict with social distancing and having guests. Nonetheless, I’m really looking forward to hosting him here and getting to see him more often. God, I can’t wait to marry that man and have babies someday. He really is my rock.

That’s it for now! Enjoy the week ahead, everybody!

I give myself a budget of about $40 a month to use as disposable income, and so far, about 99% of it has been going to Marshalls and TJ Maxx. I mean, come on. Fall candles and sweaters with outstanding prices? DisCOUNT me in.

The other day, I went to TJ Maxx with the intention of just browsing, and instead I left with five things. So it goes.

Borrego Springs T-Shirt

I actually usually don’t buy a lot of clothes at department stores, because I’ve gotten into the habit of thrifting almost everything. However, I fell in love with everything about this t-shirt when I saw it. It reminds me of the Grateful Dead for some reason, with its Tex-Mex imagery, so that was already enough to make me fall in love with it. I also really like the colors- green and yellow happen to be a couple of my favorite colors. I am fully anticipating Nathaniel robbing this from my closet- I’ll be sure to keep you updated.

Heritage Pumpkin Candle

You KNOW I couldn’t step into a TJ Maxx in late August without buying a fall candle. You know that’s out of my control. I’ve been looking for a new candle anyway, and this one claims to have a whopping 56 hours of burn time! I’m a huge fan of anything apple or pumpkin scented, and this candle smells like a perfect fall day in New England. It reminds me a lot of the autumns I used to spend back in my hometown, going for walks and picking pumpkins at the local farm. Does anybody else like to buy fall candles year-round, or is this just a me thing? Let me know in the comments.

Pink Agenda

I love anything and everything stationary, particularly beautiful planners and agendas that come with lots of organizational bonuses and note pages. I had actually seen this agenda once before at TJ Maxx but managed to restrain myself from purchasing it the first time. This time, however, I just said F it and went ahead and bought it, feeding into my never-ending collection of journals and notebooks. I’ve actually really needed an agenda since starting a new job and making medical appointments again, so at least this was a somewhat practical purchase.

Insulated Water Bottle

Another semi-reasonable purchase I made at TJ Maxx was this lovely, insulated water bottle. I found it in the clearance department for $4.50, and I really love the neutral beige color, so this purchase was a no brainer. If you ever need a new water bottle or travel mug, TJ Maxx or Marshalls is definitely the place to go. As you can see from my purchase, you can find tons of great, high-quality bottles for under 5 bucks! I’m looking forward to customizing this water bottle with stickers as time goes on. 

“I Love Autumn” Sign

Last but not least, and clearly the biggest impulse buy, I picked up this “I Love Autumn” sign in the queue line. Yes, I now effectively have a shrine to fall in my bedroom, and I have no regrets. I haven’t really done much decorating since I moved, so I’m thinking of this as the first step towards customizing my space and making it my own. 

Anyway, those are the things I picked up at TJ Maxx recently! Clearly didn’t get anything essential, but hey, I get that shopping bug from time to time. What have you guys been up to in preparation for fall? Let me know down below. 

Photo by Dominika Roseclay on Pexels.com

It’s no secret I’ve been very open about my struggles with insomnia and restful sleep here on the blog. There are a lot of factors behind my sleep issues: anxiety, periods, and stress from work, but sometimes, you’re just going to have a rough night of sleep for no reason. If any of these struggles resonate with you as well, or if you also deal with insomnia from time to time, I hope this article gives you some insight or inspiration! Obviously I am not a doctor or a professional, but I do feel like I have built up some helpful tricks and coping mechanisms over time.

Create associations with sleep. Have you heard of the theory of Pavlov’s dog? Basically, he trained his dogs to associate hearing a bell ring with getting food, so that eventually every time they heard the bell, they would automatically salivate with anticipation for food. You can train your own mind to do the same thing with getting sleepy! For example, every evening when I’m getting ready for bed, I warm up a heating pad and light an apple candle. Because my brain has learned to associate those things with sleep, I now naturally start to get very tired when I smell my candle and feel the heat of the pad on my chest. You can find your own little rituals and habits to associate with sleep- maybe for you that’s listening to specific music, spraying a certain room spray, or drinking herbal tea.

Find a vitamin/medicine combo that works for you. I try to look at prescription sleep medication as a last resort because taking it for too long can become habit-forming, and that won’t be good for your health in the long run. However, if you are looking for something over-the-counter to take that won’t be habit-forming, I have a couple of recommendations. First of all, melatonin is always a safe bet. It’s safe, reliable, and highly recommended from every doctor I’ve ever spoken to. That being said, you may have to give it a few nights to work. I’ve been taking melatonin every night for the past six months, and it’s been working wonders for me. If I’m having a really rough night, or if it’s imperative that I get a good night’s sleep, I will take a unisom tablet as well. You don’t need a prescription to buy unisom, and it’s also non-habit-forming. 

Maintain a consistent nighttime routine. Because I usually get up at the same time every morning, it just makes sense that I should go to bed at the same time, too. Even on the weekends, when I don’t have to be up early, I still try to get up and moving around 8 o’clock or so. Doing so can help train your mind to have a more consistent sleeping schedule, and thus, make falling asleep easier. As I mentioned earlier as well, I also tend to go through the same motions every night to instill a sense of routine in my body, such as with the candle and the heating pad. Of course, make sure you blow out your candle before you fall asleep if you choose to do that! 

Don’t force yourself to sleep if you’re restless. Honestly, forcing yourself to try to sleep when you’re not sleepy is one of the worst things you can do. In most scenarios, all that’s going to happen is that you’re just going to get frustrated and have even more trouble dozing off. If you’re having trouble sleeping, change your goal from falling asleep to simply relaxing so you can take some of that stress off of yourself. Read a book, listen to a podcast, or even watch some tv to take your mind off things. Eventually, you’ll just get sleepy again and you should have an easier time going back to bed. 

Listen to audio. This sort of ties into the “don’t force yourself to sleep thing,” but listening to audio when you’re falling asleep can be a great way to distract your mind. My personal favorite thing to listen to before bed is Vsauce videos, because they’re interesting but not too stimulating that I can’t fall asleep. Nathaniel, on the other hand, does not like listening to Vsauce before bed because he “gets too interested in the videos.” When we’re together, we like to compromise by listening to the podcast 36 From the Vault, which is a podcast about the Grateful Dead. Regardless of what audio I have going in the background, it’s just helpful for me to hear anything to keep my mind occupied.

Anyway, those are my tips for falling *and staying* asleep. Like I said, I’m not a doctor or anything, but these are tips that have worked for me and I hope you find some solace in them as well! Sleep tight.

Monday, August 17

Look at them! Adorable. 10/10

This past week has been a bit of a whirlwind, but predominantly good! I worked all last week, as I normally do, but this past weekend, I was able to see one of my good friends for the first time in about a year! We met last year at a meetup in New York, and since we’ve stayed very close since, we decided to plan a one-year friendversary weekend together. Obviously it is a calculated risk to take in the pandemic, but we have both been wearing our masks and socially distancing responsibly, and since it was just going to be the two of us and not a giant crowd of people, we felt that it was a safe situation. They arrived Friday evening and left Sunday evening, and altogether, it was a fantastic 48 hours together. We did a lot of hanging out and chatting, as expected, but we also drove around the city and visited some of my favorite spots, such as The Garment District and Grasshopper. One of my favorite moments was sitting on my patio on Saturday night, drinking hard cider and just vibing out together. I’ve definitely been feeling lonely and isolated these past few months, and my circle of who I can really talk to in person is limited, so I really appreciated having those special moments with my best friend. MJ, you are amazing, and thank you for bringing me so many lovely, giant bagels from New York! They are delicious and they’ve been feeding me for days.

Today was my first day at work for the week, and as you are about to learn, it did not go as planned. One of our co-workers tested positive for COVID-19, so we had to immediately shut down the store and our manager has sent us home to self-isolate for 14 days since we were exposed to this employee. It’s obviously a surreal thing to hear, and closing down the store and leaving at 10 in the morning was really bizarre, but it’s actually not as scary or stressful for me as you may think. Don’t get me wrong, it’s very scary and it puts a lot of things into perspective for me, but I’m also aware that I am a fortunate human being and things could be a lot worse. For example, I am still going to be paid for the next two weeks, even though I am not working. I am also surrounded by a wonderful support system who have offered me so much love, including lovely friends who have offered to buy me groceries and run errands for me. I also feel absolutely fine and have no symptoms, so even though I do intend on self-isolating as I am supposed to, I definitely do not think I am infected. However, just to be safe, I have a test scheduled for Thursday, just to give myself some piece of mind. So even though things are strange right now, I just have to look at the positives! I’m basically receiving a paid two-week vacation, I don’t have to wake up at 5 in the morning, and I can catch up on other things I really need to get done. For example, while setting up my testing appointment today, I also went ahead and got myself a PCP with the clinic I called. I’ve needed to set that up for months now, so I’m glad I was able to knock out two birds with one stone. They also gave me some information about how to sign up for a therapist and have virtual visits through their services, and I really appreciated that as well. So things are actually going well, and I’m in a great state of mind. Nathaniel and I’s six-month anniversary is coming up on Friday, and although I sadly won’t be able to see him, I do have some packages coming for him in the mail. Hopefully I’ll be able to see him by the end of the month; I miss him greatly and I can’t wait until the day when we can wake up next to each other and not have to say goodbye anymore. Have a safe week, everyone!

Most of you know by now that I’m really interested in human psychology, emotions, and how our relationships with others can influence our internal views of ourselves. And sometimes, a specific word will get stuck in my head that I feel inclined to write about, such as “honesty,” “growing pains,” “grief.” or “stubbornness.” Today, the word that’s stuck in my head is “pity.”

 Before even googling the actual definition of pity, I’d like to try and craft my own interpretation of what that means. In regards to self-pity, I think what that means is you’ve reached a point in your life where you feel unnoticed and unappreciated for the hardships and privations you go through. Maybe you don’t think your entire life is awful, but you think most parts of it are hard, and the only thing that makes you feel like you’re getting any sort of attention or validation for it is through feeling bad for yourself. So it’s not healthy, but it’s usually not malicious. I don’t think people who self-pity are bad people. I think they are damaged and haven’t developed healthy coping mechanisms for their stress or grief.

Webster says that pity is “the feeling of sorrow and compassion caused by the suffering and misfortune of others.” (I suppose in a situation of self-pity, the only word you would have to change is “others” to say “one’s self.”) When I was a bit younger, between the ages of 14-19, I would say I really struggled with self-pity. A couple of the aspects that contributed to this unhealthy cycle was a low self-esteem and a poor support system, and throughout the years, both of those things have improved enormously. Even though I was dealing with a lot of factors and stresses that were out of my control, like my parents splitting up, not being ‘popular’ or well-liked in school, and not being happy with my round face and my oily skin, it was still essentially my own responsibility for the way I felt about these things. I couldn’t change the fact that this was me and this was happening to me, but I could change the way I responded to it. So I learned to understand, accept, and even love the “broken” parts of my life. Although my mom and dad getting a divorce was a difficult change to adapt to, it actually turned out to be one of the best things that ever happened to me. Turns out, we’re all much happier in my family now that my parents are separated. I can’t change the fact that other girls and boys didn’t want to be my friend in high school, or the fact that I had acne and frizzy, curly hair, but I could change the way I felt about myself. And gradually, I was able to drop the self-pity. It wasn’t something that happened overnight, but that seldom happens with any self change. It was a slow, soothing process of letting go of the sorrow and disgust I felt towards myself. Instead of trying to change myself to better fit my peers, I tried to say, “You know what? I’m going to like myself today. And I’m going to like my face and my body today.” Eventually, I did start to feel really good about myself. And then one day, I realized that I was truly happy for myself and happy with the person I had become. Other people noticed, too. Change really starts from the inside and works itself outwards, like a spiral. I didn’t realize how much the way I perceived myself could affect how other people viewed me, too. And then, after I started to feel better about who I really was, I started having an easier time making friends and feeling confident in my interactions with others. Having a strong sense of self-esteem does wonders for your social abilities, even if you’re typically shy and reserved, like I am.

I’ve noticed people in my own life getting sucked into a cycle of self-pity, so this next paragraph is for those people. Sitting around and feeling bad for yourself gives you a burn in your stomach- a hot, mournful, painful, yet somehow self-satisfying burn that you start to feel like you deserve. Even though you may feel like you don’t deserve anything better in life because of what has happened to you or what your circumstances are, it’s unfair to yourself and others to self-pity. In the long run, you are only going to continue to perpetuate a low self-image and drive away your loved ones. And trust me, this is coming from someone who felt bad for herself for years. It’s a selfish thing to harbor so much self-pity. It makes other people feel like you’re unhelpable. And you don’t deserve to feel like a burden and a waste of a life- you deserve to feel like you are a worthy life and you have potential for growth and happiness. You don’t want to lay in a hospital bed alone someday, cold and gray, wishing you had just given the act a rest and enjoyed your life a little bit. Because at the end of the day, it’s not that deep. As Pam Muñoz Ryan once said, “You don’t have to get over it, but you do have to get on with it.”

Note: I apologize if the formatting on this is a little wonky; WordPress just rolled out a new layout and I’m still getting used to it! 

Now that I have a job and a regular income, I’m so excited to start trying tons of new products again- from makeup and beauty to skincare and vitamins! These are all of the products I’ve been loving lately that have now reached the end of their life. You’ll probably notice a lot of familiar names, because I’ve mentioned several of these products before on the site. I hope you guys find this informative and helpful for your future summer picks!

Damage Remedy Hair Repair Serum | AVEDA

damage remedy™ daily hair repair | Leave-In Treatment to reduce ...

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ve probably heard me raving about this hair serum before. Because my hair has been bleached and color-treated so many times, I really have to rely on highly nourishing products to keep it looking healthy and bouncy. I received this product in a Fab Fit Fun box a couple of seasons ago, and needless to say, I’m sorry to see it go. My hair always felt like I had just visited a salon after I used this serum, and it didn’t feel too thick or sticky, either. I may very well go out and buy this product at retail price on my next Ulta trip. 

Vitamin C Face Wash | Soap & Glory

Soap & Glory Face Soap & Clarity 3-IN-1 Daily Vitamin C Facial ...

It’s no surprise I ran out of this face wash quickly, because what I essentially bought was the sample size of this product. I have to say, even though I really love the idea of Soap & Glory and I think their aesthetic is adorable, I’m not sure if I would purchase from them again. I’ve noticed that a lot of their products are highly fragranced and packed with ingredients, and when you have sensitive skin like I do, that’s not always a great combo. However, like I said, I really think the brand itself is super cute, and I do think their products would be perfect for someone out there- just not someone with my skin type.

Brush Bath | It Cosmetics

IT Brushes For ULTA Brush Bath Purifying Makeup Brush Cleaner ...

I feel like I mention this product every time I post a Product Empties article, and that’s because I go through this stuff like crazy. It’s a brush cleaning solution that works easily, quickly, and doesn’t leave my brushes feeling damp or stripped. Because I love to use so many different, vibrant shades on my eyes, I essentially have to clean my brushes every time I use them. This product allows me to do that in seconds, so cleaning my brushes doesn’t have to feel like a chore. The Brush Bath also has an extremely unique smell- citrus, perhaps, and it’s absolutely invigorating. This product is a must if you find yourself wearing a lot of eye products and constantly cleaning your brushes.

Setting Spray | Morphe

Morphe Jeffree Star Set & Refresh Mist | Ulta Beauty

The Morphe setting spray is another “regular” product I purchase every few months or so. Because my skin is so naturally oily, my foundation starts to look really slick on my skin if I don’t use a good setting spray. Wet skin can sometimes look very flattering, but trust me, not in this case. I normally purchase the regular setting spray, but the one that I’ve used up this time is actually the pink setting spray from the Jeffree Star collab with Morphe. It worked just as well as the original, but I have to say, I wasn’t a huge fan of the artificial strawberry smell. I will be purchasing this product again, but this time, I’ll be sure to buy the original. 

Prep Rally | Drybar

Hair Detangler Spray - Prep Rally | Drybar

Last but not least, I have reached the end of the glorious Prep Rally spray by Drybar. This is normally not a product I would have bought for myself, but I received it in my Fab Fit Fun box (per usual with my hair care) and I absolutely love it. It’s no wonder Drybar has such a high, professional reputation- this stuff made my hair both look and feel fantastic. If Fab Fit Fun gives me the option to choose this product again in an upcoming box, I’m definitely going to take them up on that. I also work right next to an actual Drybar salon, which could be very dangerous for my wallet.

Anyway, those are all my product empties for the summer! I’ll be sure to update you guys on what else I’ve used up towards the end of the fall. Let me know if you’ve tried any of these products before, and what your thoughts were!

Sunday, August 9

Hi everyone! Hope you had a really great week and you’re looking forward to the days to come. My week has been much better than the one before, and I really feel like I am slowly healing from the pain and stress I was going through. I didn’t have anywhere to be this weekend, so I took advantage of that and caught up on a lot of sleep and “me time.” I remember this past Thursday night I essentially slept from 6pm to 7am, and that was a huge wake-up call for me that last week took a huge toll on me. I was exhausted, so hopefully that will provide some insight into why I was falling behind on everything else.

Today my main goal was to get my new phone set up, which my mom very generously sent to me in the mail (thanks, mom!), and I’m currently in the process of backing up my data onto the iCloud. It’s apparently going to take 4-5 hours, according to my phone, but at least it’s happening! I’m also passing the time by watching Leah Remini: Scientology and The Aftermath, which is my current favorite show to binge-watch. I’ve also been really enjoying The Last Dance, which is a documentary series about Michael Jordan and several other basketball stars who played for the Bulls. No, I would have never picked this documentary to watch on my own, but Nathaniel put it on when I went to visit him, and I just got suckered into it. I honestly feel like I could get invested in any subject if the documentary was interesting enough- does anyone else feel that way?

Self-Care Quotes - Because You Deserve Them | Hallmark Ideas ...

As for other ways I’m trying to heal from my depressive episode, I’ve been trying to do a lot more journaling and raw, unfiltered writing in my notebooks to feel more in-touch with myself and my feelings. It’s been so, so helpful, and it’s really helped me to appreciate myself more and understand how my past traumas have intertwined with my current stresses. If you’re also going through similar stress and anxiety, I would highly recommend finding a list of depression-specific prompts and answering one per day. I also made a bubble/flow chart of everything that’s on my mind lately, and discovered through making arrows that several of them were interconnected. That has been really helpful for me to break my stress into smaller pieces and tackle the smaller issues first, working my way into the bigger issues.

So basically, the sparknotes of what I’m trying to say is that I’m really proud of how I’m doing and the healthy coping mechanisms I am taking to better myself. Nathaniel has also been absolutely wonderful throughout this time, remaining patient and loving even in the moments that I’m hard on myself. 

I am working tomorrow through Thursday, per usual, and then my good friend MJ is coming to visit me from New York. Don’t worry, we are fully intending on keeping ourselves safe and socially distancing. I’m really excited to see them, because the last time I saw them was last August on the day we met. So this weekend is going to be our one-year friendversary, and I’m so overjoyed to be reunited with such an important friend in my life.

Anway, I’m going to try pre-scheduling all my content for this week so that I don’t have to worry about it while I’m working. I do like blogging and writing online, but sometimes, I just don’t have the energy to get it done! So here’s to hoping this week goes smoothly and painlessly, so that I can find that little bit of “me time” to get it done. 

Since I went to college in Boston and now actually live there full-time, I like to think I have a pretty good handle on the food scene! Obviously being a vegetarian can make it trickier to eat out, but through plenty of trial and error, I have come across tons of unique, accommodating restaurants. Whether or not you’re a vegan or vegetarian, consider giving these restaurants a try during your next visit to Boston!


Los Amigos Taqueria | Coolidge Corner, Brighton Center, Newtonville, West Roxbury, and Somerville

Los Amigos Taqueria Expands to Somerville's Davis Square - Eater ...
Image Source: Eater Boston

If you’ve been following my food blogs for a while, you probably know that I am a big, big fan of Los Amigos Taqueria. I discovered them when I was living as a vegan a few years back, and to this day, I still order from their Brighton Center location all the time (at least 3 times per month.) My boyfriend also loves Los Amigos, which is a huge compliment coming from him since he can be quite critical of burritos. My favorite thing to order is a 12-inch rice and bean burrito with tons of pico de gallo and sour cream, and maybe a churro on the side if I’m feeling extra. Trust me, if you’re in the Boston area and you love Mexican food, this is a must!


Grasshopper | Allston 

Grasshopper Restaurant - Allston Massachusetts Restaurant - HappyCow
Image Source: Happy Cow

Grasshopper is an incredible restaurant. It’s your typical classic Chinese restaurant with all the normal dishes, but the twist is that everything is vegan. Yes, they even have vegan “chicken” fingers and “seafood” flavored dishes! I know this may sound suspish or gross to someone who isn’t vegan, but please trust me on this one- the food is phenomenal. Even my own mom, who isn’t anywhere near being vegan or vegetarian, was pleasantly surprised when I let her have a few bites of my broccoli sesame “chicken.” Grasshopper offers inside seating, takeout, and delivery via uber eats, and if you’re looking for a great dish, I highly recommend “The No Name.”


The Scoop N Scootery | Allston, Arlington

Scoop N Scootery extends its ice creamy reach to Allston area ...
Image Source: Boston Globe

Of course I had to throw in an ice cream shop for when you need a sweet treat. The Scoop N Scootery offers customizable sundaes and ice creams, along with plenty of frozen yogurt as well. The sizes also range from normal to monstrous, so when my housemate orders her ice cream, the container literally lasts her all week. My favorite customizations to add are the cannoli filling and the cannoli shell pieces- how many ice cream shops do you know that offer cannoli sundaes? It’s an all-around delicious experience, and there are so many unique flavors and combinations to try. 


Energize | Brighton, Back Bay

ENERGIZE, Boston - 265 Massachusetts Ave, Symphony - Menu & Prices ...
Image Source: Trip Advisor

On the topic of sweet things, I also got really into Energize back when I was in college. Energize offers tons of colorful, delicious salads, but they also have the most amazing smoothie bowls I’ve ever tried. My personal favorite bowl is the Cashew Cheesecake- it’s made with bananas, dates, cinnamon, and garnished with berries and chia seeds. It tastes a lot like ice cream to me, but there’s less guilt associated with a smoothie bowl, if that makes sense. I also really enjoy their blends and their juices, such as the post-workout shake and the power-up shake. If I lived next to an Energize, there’s no doubt I’d be stopping in several times per week. 


Playa Bowls | Brighton, Northeastern

Order Playa Bowls (Rowan) Delivery Online | New Jersey | Menu ...
Image Source: Uber Eats

Playa Bowls, as the name implies, is another healthy smoothie shop where you can find tons of vibrant juices, smoothie bowls, and smoothies. What I love the most about Playa Bowls is the wide variety of smoothie bowl bases you can choose from: oatmeal bowls, banana bowls (my favorite,) chia bowls, green bowls, coconut bowls, pitaya bowls, and acai bowls. My go to is the Nica- it’s a banana bowl topped with slices of banana, granola, cocoa nibs, strawberries, and peanut butter. Similarly to Energize, Playa Bowls enables me to feel like I can have a sweet treat without all the guilt. It’s noteworthy to add that there are Playa Bowls locations all over the US, so even if you don’t live in Massachusetts, you may still be able to find one nearby!


The Friendly Toast | Back Bay, Cambridge

Order The Friendly Toast - Cambridge Delivery Online | Boston ...
Image Source: Uber Eats

Last but not least, The Friendly Toast is a breakfast, tex-mex diner with plenty of options for everybody- vegetarian, vegan, or neither! Seriously, the menu is huge and it ranges from sweet and savory breakfast items to sandwiches, burgers, shakes, and dinner entrees. You could easily order a different item every time you go- in fact, I rarely repeat the same dish at The Friendly Toast because I always trust that it will be delicious. However, per many other diner-themed American restaurants, one of my favorite items is an impossible burger with fries.


I hope you guys found this article helpful and interesting! Let me know if you tried out any of these restaurants and what you thought of them, too! Remember to stay safe and responsible, especially when you are ordering out or considering visiting a restaurant in the current pandemic.