Weekend Reading, 9.25.21.

Grace Atwood 40th birthday party | Weekend Reading 9.25.21

Tonight is my fortieth birthday party! (Monday is my actual birthday). I am really, really looking forward to it. It’s been a lot of work and planning (and somewhat embarrassingly) I’ve been having stress dreams about it all week. But now it’s here! I have friends in from out of town, and I am just feeling very happy, ready, and excited for a fun night. Also, the weather this weekend is just a dream: it’s that wonderful (not humid) warm but not hot Charleston fall weather. Wishing you a great weekend, whatever you’re up to… enjoy this week’s links! Xoxo

Weekend Reading, 9.25.21

What to read this fall, according to your zodiac sign.

Genuinely conflicted on if I need shearling birks. They look so comfy.

Really loved this piece about long distance relationships.

26 books to read by Latinx authors.

The new Sarah Flint round toe pumps are so pretty. Use SARAHFLINT-GRACE50 to get $50 off your first pair.

The correct order to apply your skincare routine.

Absolutely love these beach paintings.

Ooh this + this = the perfect little lounge set.

Loved this roundup of fall things (movies, TV, books, recipes, fashion, etc) from Cup of Jo.

I thought this piece about dating and oversharing was spot on and really interesting.

This little mini dress will look so great with knee high boots.

Such a fun and colorful New York City home.

Love the oversized collar on this cute fall dress.

I’m so looking forward to One of us is Lying….

(I loved the book and now it will be a show – though now I guess I need to get Peacock?)

Apple cheddar cheese straws!

A review of the plastic birkenstocks.

I really love this pretty Madewell top.

Let’s retire the phrase “working mom.”

How pretty is this little beaded clutch?

What an incredible home tour.

How to be more hopeful.

This $20 travel jewelry case would make such a pretty gift.

The book club revolution.

I love all the snaps on this (rather sexy?) henley.

Loving Athena’s new rug collection.

The joy of visiting a bookstore in real life.

A pretty smocked dress in a gorgeous fall color palette.

Pretty excited about these new Dr. Bader launches.

Current fav retinol serum. Leaves skin smooth and glowy!

A beautiful (and extremely impressive) home remodel.

How to travel better this holiday season.

My new favorite rain coat. (It’s been POURING down here!).

Disclosure: If you buy something through my links, I may earn an affiliate commission, at no cost to you. I only feature things I truly love here. Thanks for your support.

Forest Green Favorites.

Forest Green Favorites Forest Green Fashion

If you’ve followed me a while, you know that green is my absolute favorite color. I. love. green. In the summer I gravitate toward a brighter, more emerald green shade, but in the cooler weather (or at least in Charleston – the new season!), I shift over to more of a forest shade. I have seen so many great forest green things in stores this month, so today I wanted to do a little roundup! (Also: they didn’t make it into the roundup but I am so so so excited that my favorite heels now come in green. I ordered immediately.

Forest Green Favorites

collage details: one // two // three // four // five // six // seven // eight // nine // ten // eleven // twelve // thirteen // fourteen // fifteen // sixteen // seventeen // eighteen

A few highlights!

Love a dramatic sleeve so much!

Everything La Ligne does is so good and this floaty, feminine dress is no exception.

I am so into the graphic print on this sweater.

The easiest little dress.

The best shoes ever.

This purse is affordable and so cute – love the quilting.

Disclosure: If you buy something through my links, I may earn an affiliate commission, at no cost to you. I only feature things I truly love here. Thanks for your support.

A Lack of Stamina.

A Lack of Stamina

Trigger warning – body stuff. Also, whining. 

Yesterday I took a hot yoga class at a local studio in Charleston. It felt so good to get back on the mat but also: I had a full on meltdown when I got home. I think a lot is going on with me right now (I am still wiped from being sick last week… the antibiotics make me really tired and a little depressed?). Yoga can also release a lot of emotions – especially if you haven’t done it in a while and especially those deep hip openers.

I have been trying to pinpoint the words to use here for a feeling that I’ve had, across every area of life. And then it came to me: a lack of stamina.

A Lack of Stamina

If there is one way that the pandemic really impacted me (across the board, in all areas of life), that is it, and I’m really only realizing it now.  I realize how fortunate I am. I’m fully vaxxed. I didn’t get COVID. I don’t know anyone who got really sick or died. And I don’t have kids so haven’t had to deal with all of the stress my friends with kids have gone through. Physically, at least, I am relatively unscathed. I am very very lucky. And 2021 has been a great year so far: I moved to one of my favorite places, I get to see my family all the time, I am in a really happy relationship, life is generally pretty great. That being said, I have no stamina. For anything.

Emotionally and mentally, I have a shorter fuse.

I’m impatient. I am not as productive as I used to be. Once upon a time I was a shining star example of good productivity. Lately, I am just scrambling to get it all done. Not because I’m any busier than usual, but because I’m tired. Once upon a time I would pride myself on going above and beyond my to-do list… getting absolutely everything done. Replying to every DM and comment, feeling super engaged with my audience, going above and beyond for my brand partners.

If I am being honest, a lot of days, what I really want is to do the bare bones minimum and then have a nap. I am an adult with bills to pay so I don’t do that, but a mid-day nap sounds pretty fabulous. But as someone who has always been self-motivated and achievement-focused, this makes me really angry at myself. So it’s this awful double whammy of being unproductive but also mad at myself.

The area where it’s worst is physically, and I’ve only just noticed.

First of all, and less importantly: I CAN NOT HANG. This manifests in a couple ways. When I go out with friends, I’m always the first to go home. Midnight and I’m ready to sleep. I’ll have two drinks and be hungover the next day.

The more embarrassing part is with more athletic stuff.

I used to run (I ran competitively in high school and college and then did marathons in my twenties… right before lockdown I was training for a half marathon!). Yoga was such a big part of my life. I took classes 5 or 6 days a week and would go on regular retreats. It had gotten to a point where I was thinking about taking a teacher training. When lockdown happened, that all came to a screeching halt. (Again, I recognize the privilege here – I have a lot of guilt complaining about this). I couldn’t focus, I couldn’t even read a book or watch a whole movie let alone dream of taking a sixty minute yoga class on zoom.

Eventually I started doing Melissa Wood Health’s workouts, and really liked (and still like) them. She really got me through the darker days of lockdown. It was all walks and twenty minute workouts.

Right now, trying to take AN HOUR LONG hot yoga class is excruciating. It felt seven hours long. I was drenched. There were a few times where I thought I was going to pass out. I was a little dizzy and so sweaty that I slipped a few times. And I got home and (besides just being really, really tired) started to spiral. I felt so embarrassed and disappointed in myself. It felt like all that work I had put in over the past several years had been for nothing. How did I let it get this bad? I am a beginner again and I HATE it. Also: working out for a full hour is HARD. I know it will get easier because it used to be the norm, but now that it’s not the norm.. it’s tough.

My body feels flabby and soft.

There are dimples in new places. I have a roll around my middle that is small on some days and large on other days, depending on the day. I feel guilty complaining about that too. My pre-pandemic clothes still fit (honestly though: that’s not an accomplishment, we put WAY too much of a correlation between health and weight. I lost weight during lockdown because I wasn’t sleeping or eating  much… now, I’m happy and in a relationship, eating out a lot, drinking, and having FUN and have gained weight back. I’d rather be a few pounds heavier and happy than skinny and miserable).

My boyfriend grabs my hips or my butt and tells me how much he loves my body and rather than just appreciating that (especially as my last long term bf could be really critical of my body), I feel self conscious and soft and fret about how soft I am. I also just feel… disappointing, like I’m the sedentary one in the relationship. When we’re in California we will go for hikes and walks and I want to be able to hike up steep hills without getting out of breath but sometimes we are hiking and I get so hot and out of breath and feel like I am going to hyperventilate. It’s mortifying!

He’s in great shape, but let it be said: lockdown in Malibu vs. lockdown in Brooklyn were very different experiences. He was out hiking and surfing and being active while I was buying tie-dye sweats and rewatching Gossip Girl.

These feelings are probably also being brought on by my big upcoming birthday (I turn 40 on Monday).

While overall I feel pretty good and mostly excited about the birthday I also have to wonder: is this middle age? Am I just going to be tired all the time? Will it eventually get to a point where even one glass of wine gives me a hangover? Is an hour long workout class always going to feel this hard? Will I be productive again? Will I ever just feel… normal?

I don’t even know where I’m going with this but I wanted to share because these are the thoughts in my head right now and I feel like a lot of people are probably feeling this way. If reading my words makes you feel less alone or ashamed then I’ve done my job for the day. In the meantime I will give you the pep talk my boyfriend told me. “Don’t worry. You’ll get back to where you want to be. It’s a process and will be hard work but you’ll get there. Be nicer to yourself!” 

Be nicer to yourself. Easy to say to others, harder to say to yourself. My goal for the rest of the week is to practice yoga at least one more time, but also to be kinder and gentler with myself. I encourage you (yoga or no yoga!) to do the same. xo

Two of My Favorite Body Creams.

Sol De Janeiro Body Creams Review

We talk about this a lot but I am trying to take better care of the skin on my body! I spend so much time doing my skincare routine but sometimes get lazy after a bath or shower. And I get sent so many great products and aspire to be the sort of person who dry brushes every day, then uses a body serum, cream, and oil, but most days I am just NOT THAT PERSON. I am trying though! Sol De Janeiro makes two of my absolute favorite body creams so today we’re going to talk about them! I really love this brand. It’s cruelty free and everything they make just smells so good (I totally realize that’s not the point but it’s the truth).

PS – this is my other favorite body cream. I do love that it comes in a TUBE, I wish every brand would do that, I hate sticking my fingers in jars!

Sol De Janeiro Body Creams Review

Sol De Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream

This is my favorite of Sol de Janeiro’s body creams. It’s pretty much the holy grail – I even have a travel size jar of it that I’ve used up and refilled from the big one. Besides all the skincare benefits which we obviously LOVE, it just smells SO freaking GOOD – like salted caramel. It smells so good that they even made a body spray with the fragrance (I have and love this too!!!!). This one is especially good for dry skin types (ME!).

The key ingredients in the bum bum cream (pronounced BOOM BOOM) are Cupuacu Butter (full of fatty acids to lock in moisture and restore the skin’s elasticity, Acaí Oil (an antioxidant), and Coconut Oil (my favorite oil – melts into the skin to soften, condition, and moisturize). This one is also caffeine rich (thanks to the guarana).

If firming the skin is your priority, this is your body lotion. It tightens the skin and also has just a touch of shimmer… those light reflecting particles are SUBTLE but will help camouflage any imperfections.

Sol De Janeiro Bom Dia Bright Body Cream with Vitamin C

While the Bum Bum Cream is really focused on firming, this one is amazing for brightening and evening out the skin tone. I just finished my jar of this (full disclosure, I was saving the Bum Bum Cream – for what, I don’t know!!!! If I was going to choose between the two I would pick the Bum Bum, probably just because it’s thicker in consistency and I like the smell so much). Even though this one is just my second fav I will tell you that with daily use I definitely notice the brightening effect. It’s an excellent body moisturizer (I think it’s a little more lightweight than the Bum Bum Cream which is more of a body butter IMO) and smells like vanilla, plum, and jasmine.

You truly can’t go wrong with either one. They both smell so good and will leave your skin so silky and soft.

Sol De Janeiro Body Creams Review

Sol De Janeiro Body Creams Review

photography by Clay Austin.

Disclosure: If you buy something through my links, I may earn an affiliate commission, at no cost to you. I only feature things I truly love here. Thanks for your support.

Weekend Reading, 9.18.21.

Weekend Reading 9.18.21
dress // heels // bag

Hi! I am having a very low key weekend – I’m still really tired from being sick (I had strep throat earlier in the week). Antibiotics are no joke… they knock the infection right out but they also knock ME right out. Yesterday I took things very very easy… I had a bunch of work to do so I worked from the couch… I kinda just alternated slowly between working on deadlines with watching movies. If you’re curious, I am working my way through the AFI 100… last night’s film selections were A Philadelphia Story and Bonnie & Clyde. I have dinner with my family tonight and brunch with two girlfriends tomorrow and that is about it. Hope you have a great weekend, friends! xox

Weekend Reading, 9.18.21

How to avoid apathy and burnout at work.

Reformation is just killing it lately. This midi dress is too good. The pattern, the slit, love it.

I am a huge fan of ricotta toast and these easy recipes look GREAT!

Why ice rolling is just the best inexpensive skincare trick.

Puffed sleeves AND a peplum? I love this top!

Go for a walk.

This rainbow puff sleeve sweater is so happy and under $100.

I related a lot to Cup of Jo’s essay about uncertainty.

The best new TV, books, movies, etc. coming out soon.

I bought new jeans for Fall! This pair is on its way to me, this brand is my fav and they look pretty perfect.

Satisfying vegetable soups to try!

My favorite cream blush. I really love “petal.”

How to get a new job in the virtual world.

This Koreatown condo is chic chic CHIC.

Everything about this Sezane sweater is just so perfect.

This Dior exhibit looks so cool.

This tiered dress is so so pretty – love that forest green color!

How to deep cleanse your scalp after a summer of salt water, dry shampoo, etc.!

Jacey’s trip to the south of France looked all out amazing. Bucket list, for sure!

These earrings!

I bought them this week – a miniature work of art.

How to find a new hobby.

The benefits of adding snow mushroom to your skincare routine.

This new Hollywood hotel looks so luxe.

I am very very into the half zip sweater trend for fall and have been crushing hard on this one.

Beautiful towns in France that feel right out of a storybook.

This teddy bear shacket sounds AMAZINGLY cozy.

How to create a cozy reading nook.

This model’s home is positively luxe.

I was given a sample size of this candle and it makes my whole apartment smell like I’m baking the most delicious cake. Yum.

This BLT-inspired salad sounds positively delicious.

I finally (after stalking them forever) splurged on a pair of Sleeper pajamas. This color is just too good.

How to frame textiles.

Look at this cute baby rhino!

Disclosure: If you buy something through my links, I may earn an affiliate commission, at no cost to you. I only feature things I truly love here. Thanks for your support.