Easy, Slouchy, Perfect Basics.

Easy, Slouchy, Perfect Basics - The Stripe
Theory Blazer / / Top / / Jeans / / Shoes / / Bag

I used to have a blazer just like this one but a little bit more slouchy. It was probably 10 years ago and I was trying to copy one of Serena’s outfits from Gossip Girl. I bought it for $80 at Topshop and I (literally) wore it until it fell apart. The best.

When I spotted this one on my friend Helena, I was immediately nostalgic for my old one. I really love it. It was a little expensive but one of those pieces I know I will have and reach for forever (that’s the case with anything/everything Theory I have – their pieces always stand the test of time. I also love this clay color. My favorite Malene Birger trench is this color and I like that it’s slightly unexpected but still a great neutral that goes with everything. I did track some more affordable blazers below. The color of this one is perfect and I love the oversized cut of this one.

Also, these jeans. I love them so much. They’re a lot like my beloved Re/Done pair but under $100! If you’re in need of a good pair of summer denim I highly recommend this pair. (On that note, the Re/Done ones just went on sale!) This outfit is so boyfriend-y! I used to feel my best in dresses and skirts but lately all I want to wear is jeans, tees, and blazers!

Outfit Details: Theory Blazer // Smocked Tank // Levi’s Jeans // Manolo Blahnik Pumps // Chanel Purse // Polaroid Sunglasses

Easy, Slouchy, Perfect Basics - The Stripe Theory Piazza Jacket - The Stripe

Look for Less

Here are a few less expensive blazers that I like just as much!

CHANEL CLASSIC JUMBO DOUBLE FLAP BAG - The Stripe Theory Piazza Jacket - The Stripe BB Pump MANOLO BLAHNIK - The Stripe Smocked Spaghetti Strap Top STATE - The Stripe Easy, Slouchy, Perfect Basics - The Stripe

Photography by Trent Bailey.

Wellness: How to Get Rid of Brain Fog.

Wellness: How to Get Rid of Brain Fog - The Stripe by Grace Atwood

There was a meme going around a while ago that said “my brain has too many tabs open,” and I really related to it. Anyone else remember that? It was so accurate though… that feeling like there is just too much going on, and when there’s too much happening I find myself unable to focus on anything.

I’ve been like this for ages… embarrassing fact: I was actually voted Space Cadet (and also Worst Driver) of my graduating high school class. I have always been a little bit spacey and forgetful but over the past year I’ve noticed that it’s gotten worse than usual. I wrote about my panic over the candles I thought I left burning, but things like that keep happening.

You know, you make a to-do list and then step into the other room (or open up a new browser window) only to completely forget what you’re doing. I’d be explaining a story to a friend only to become distracted and need to start over. It’s really annoying but it’s also why I started researching brain fog for today’s post – I’ve learned a lot and thought it would be helpful to share here! I’m of course not a doctor or health expert but I’ve found that making certain changes to my lifestyle and daily routine have really helped me regain my focus/mental clarity and also be more present.

What is Brain Fog?

Brain fog is literally when your brain feels foggy or cloudy. It isn’t a medical condition or anything (though it can be a symptom of something more serious so go see a doctor if it persists); but it’s when you are feeling particularly disorganized and/or forgetful. If you are suffering from brain fog you might not feel as clearheaded as usual and your ability to focus can feel off.

Causes of Brain Fog

There are a lot of things that can be causing your brain fog. The biggest ones are stress, diet, dehydration and not getting the right amount of sleep (getting  too much sleep is actually just as bad!!!). Also see more causes of brain fog here. Sadly brain fog is a side effect of living such a fast-paced lifestyle… common for those of us with demanding jobs or high-stress city lifestyles. We are overstimulated and constantly distracted… it’s no wonder we can’t think properly!

How to Get Rid of Brain Fog.

The best way to cure brain fog is by minimizing stress and living a healthy lifestyle. Getting the right amount of sleep, eating lots of fruits and veggies, and so on and so forth.

Avoid artificial sweeteners

I’m listing this first because it’s an easy thing to cut out and artificial sweeteners are so terrible for you! Luckily this is something I already do but I was shocked in that so many articles I read mentioned aspartame as a leading cause of brain fog. I found this really interesting. Artificial sweeteners (yes even Splenda) are awful for you for so many reasons but I didn’t realize how bad they are for your focus. It’s particularly funny to think that so many people drink coffee to focus but then add artificial sweetener to their coffee. I drink my coffee black but if I really need a little something sweet I will add a tiny bit of organic Stevia.

De-Stress

When you’re stressed, your brain is exhausted. The biggest realization I had was that I was constantly multi-tasking and trying to do too many things at once. It’s really important to give your mind a break and do things (everyone is different but for me I love yoga and meditation) that give it a chance to recharge. I find that after an hour of yoga my mind is recharged and I have a much easier time focusing. Many people don’t realize that if they’re stressed, they should give their brain a little break. Get up from your desk and go for a 5 minute walk, drink some water… get a change of scenery.

Also falling under the stress category… alcohol and caffeine. Managing your consumption both of these two things helps. It’s worth mentioning that when I took a month off from drinking besides sleeping better and losing weight I felt a LOT more focused (and less stressed) than usual.

Exercise

Besides all of the other great benefits, exercise is a great way to relieve stress and improve brain function. This is purely anecdotal but I find that taking a particularly challenging yoga class really helps me. Oftentimes the poses are so hard that I have to totally shut my brain off and not think. Which is something I have a hard time doing. I shift my focus to my breath and give my brain a break.

Meditation

Meditating can feel really hard when I’m feeling unfocused but when done properly it is so restorative as you give your brain a break from everything else you are thinking about. I have to really actively force myself to stop thinking and making lists but when I do that, even just after ten minutes I feel so much more focused. Taking a time out from technology is also helpful.

Sleep

How many hours of sleep are you getting? On days where I feel by best I’ve gotten a solid, uninterupted 7-9 hours of sleep. The funny thing is that I learned too much sleep is just as bad as not getting enough sleep. (This is devastating, ha ha!) Over the holidays I was doing this thing where I would play catch-up… sleeping 10 or 11 hours on weekends… I noticed that I actually felt much worse from doing that. It’s important to consistently sleep 7-9 hours, every night… ideally the same hours. I try to sleep from 11pm-7am every night. On weekends this might change to 12am-9am but I try to be as consistent as possible. Sleep is so important… besides brain fog a lack of sleep can also cause mood swings, weight gain, a weakened immune system, and other health problems.

Supplements for Fighting Brain Fog

Try taking a B-12 supplement if you are deficient. B-12 supports healthy brain function. I have been taking it for about two weeks and feel less foggy but I have been doing a lot of things to improve mental clarity so I’m not sure if this is the thing is that’s helping. Omega-3’s are also great. I take two of this EPA/DHA supplement every day. There are so many supplements out there and it’s confusing/hard to know what really works – I always trust MBG and this is a great article with doctor approved supplements to try.

Essential Oils

Essential oils are one of the best natural remedies. I’m a really big fan of this rollerball from Aromatherapy Associates. It’s very minty (peppermint, eucalyptus, + pine) and meant to help ease breathing and clear your mind. I find this to be really relaxing but it also helps me to focus. I’ll apply it to the insides of my wrists, behind my ears, and to my temples. Becca (from the podcast) loves this treatment from Origins which has very similar benefits.

 

Cure Brain Fog With Diet

Your diet is so important. If you have food allergies/sensitivities, you may feel foggy after eating them. The food you eat can cause you to experience brain fog, but diet can also help you feel more clear minded. Besides artificial sweeteners (AVOID!) dairy, peanuts, gluten, and MSG are all possible culprits. I am fairly certain I have a pretty big dairy sensitivity but I still eat cheese from time to time. When I cut it out I always feel much better. Going gluten free or dairy free is really hard but can make a big difference. (Talk to a doctor or nutritionist before making any big diet changes though!

Besides that, try increasing your intake of protein, fruits, veggies, and healthy fats. Cut out processed foods and stick to a relatively low carb diet. Also… hydrate! I aim to fill up my big mason jar of water 4 times a day while I’m working. Then carry a water bottle everywhere.

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Glossier Lash Slick: My Honest Thoughts.

glossier lash slick review with before and after photos | grace atwood, the stripe

A lot of hype has been made about Glossier Lash Slick. Whenever a product gets a ton of attention (the way that so many of Glossier’s products do!) I’m immediately a bit skeptical. Is it just good PR and marketing (or that cute millennial pink packaging)? Or, is it a genuinely good product? I placed my order (yes, #ipaidforthis) the day it came out and could not wait to try it. It was my friend Olivia’s piece for Bustle that really sold me on it – her before & after photos were amazing! When it came in the mail I literally dropped everything to try it.

I don’t remember the last time I was so excited to start testing a product. Well my friends, I’ve been using it for a solid 3 weeks and I’m here to tell you that Lash Slick is the real deal. You can see the before + after photos below but I’m really loving it. It’s the perfect everyday mascara – it lengthens lashes and gives them a little volume (and a really pretty sheen – lashes almost look wet) but also stays on all day. (The formula is water-resistant, not waterproof; so it stays on all day but you can easily take it off with warm water.) It’s made it through countless yoga classes, several sweaty runs, rain and humidity in Cuba, and a few late nights.

It stays on so well in fact that (note: I am very ashamed and DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS), one night when I accidentally went to bed in my makeup (I never do this, I was deeply exhausted and slightly drunk) and my mascara was still perfect the next day. It didn’t rub off around my eyes, it stayed on perfectly… even through sleep. That is not a good way to test a beauty product but I had to share it as that never happens. This stuff looks natural and does not budge! An A+ from me!

glossier lash slick review with before and after photos | grace atwood, the stripe

Before and after!

glossier lash slick review with before and after photos | grace atwood, the stripe

If you read here regularly you know that I’m generally of an “I’ll just buy my mascara at the drugstore” mindset as I’d rather spend my money on skincare. I worked at P&G and Coty for years and saw how much research they put into their brands (it’s all about the brush) and I’ve tried so many $40 mascaras that yield only meh results. And while I still LOVE my favorite Maybelline mascara, this is better for a more natural look. The Maybelline one gives me the drag queen lashes I crave at night – this is great for everyday when you just want to look pretty and natural. And it’s only $16 – yes, more expensive than the drugstore but not nearly as expensive as department store mascaras.

glossier lash slick review with before and after photos | grace atwood, the stripe

My Favorite New Maxi Dress.

favorite new maxi dress - the stripe
tommy hilfiger dress

You guys know by now how much I love a good maxi dress and this dress was an instant favorite. It’s all embroidered which makes it feel really special… also I love the way that it moves when I walk.

This floral one has my name on it too – it looks like the cut is exactly the same as the one I am wearing, which is good as the fit of this dress is SO GOOD. Also (unsurprisingly), I really really love this blue and white one. Okay and this blue and white one too. Why is blue and white just the best color combination ever!?

Macy’s has become one of my go-to destinations for pretty dresses that are well made and high quality but won’t break the bank. Honestly, I was realllly excited to see how many cute dresses Tommy Hilfiger has right now – they’re the perfect mix of classic and feminine, which is right up my alley. Also, I got to choose one to style for this post and it was really hard to pick. (I think I’m going to go back for that blue + white maxi and this crisp white shirtdress, which just went on sale.)

Outfit Details: 

Tommy Hilfiger Dress c/o // Shoes (similar) // Bag (similar) // Sunglasses (similar)

tommy hilfiger dress - the stripe tommy hilfiger dress - the stripe tommy hilfiger dress - the stripe tommy hilfiger dress - the stripe favorite new maxi dress - the stripe favorite new maxi dress - the stripe tommy hilfiger dress - the stripe the stripe

photography by Trent Bailey. // Sponsored by Macy’s and ShopStyle.

Weekend Reading.

This weekend is going to be nice and extreeeemely low key. Lady. of. Leisure. I have to start getting ready for Asia (we leave on Thursday) and have a bunch of work to finish before I leave, but I’m otherwise planning on making this weekend as wonderfully relaxing as possible. A new park opened in Williamsburg and I want to go check it out/lounge and read, and I really want to run across the bridge (SO hard but such a good workout)!!! I used to do it every day… time to get back into it. PS – My apartment was on Apartment Therapy this week… I’m so honored – pop over and see it!

I’ve been reading a lot about intermittent fasting and thought this video was interesting and informative.

My favorite clear acrylic hoop earrings are back in stock. They are the best – snap ’em up before they sell out again! (Or get the look for less with these!)

I loved these 2018 Sex & The City home makeovers.

Loved this preview of Helena’s back yard -it looks really amazing.

A little bit obsessed with these inexpensive sunglasses (in the nude color).

How amazing is this DIY fruit straw bag?! Such a fun idea.

Pretty pearl slides that won’t break the bank.

I’m a little scared but want to try microblading.

This hydrating smoothie sounds delicious.

Such a cute striped dress.

Loved this interview with Sutton Foster (and so happy that Younger is back!).

A bit in love with this embroidered white dress.

Yassss, facial massage.

Lauryn takes her beauty sleep v. seriously so I loved her tips for bedtime.

This rainbow stripe sweatshirt went right into my shopping cart!

Now this is seriously amazing news.

Love this little lace bomber. It’s like the white lace top, in jacket form.

This got shared to the Bad on Paper Facebook Group and as a TV obsessed person I really enjoyed reading it: A Feminist History of Teen Drama.

Why we don’t do the things we intend to do.

The mascara I’m flat out obsessed with – review coming on Monday afternoon!

Krystal has had such a fun summer of travel. Loved her Lisbon pics (dying to get to Portugal)!

The perfect low summer sandals.

Outdated diet myths.

I always love Liz’s playlists – here’s a fun, happy one!

Totally thought these were Loeffler Randall.

Jess’s master bedroom looks so great and I spy a few of my sister’s things!

Pretty sure I need these striped espadrilles.

I saw Blair at polo and can attest – her pink & green sequined outfit was fabulous.

Simple ways to be more sustainable.

The print on this blouse is so happy and fun.

Carly looks great in this slightly sporty summer dress.

Oh wow this maxi dress is so fun – I love the lace, the color combo, the pattern… and it’s on sale for under $70!

On feeling more confident in a swimsuit.

Oprah-approved beauty products.

How insanely fun are these fruit bowl earrings!?

Seriously good career advice.

I obviously need this fruit salad dress.

Tips & tricks for structuring your to-do list.

I loved Jenn’s pics from polo – such an amazing day!

I’ve been looking for a good oversized denim jacket and really like this one.

Napping is important.

Pretty sure I need this summer-perfect LBD.