a carefree summer weekend-in-the-life

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Okay, maybe not as carefree as I had anticipated going into the weekend since I ended up working much of the day Saturday but it was still a good one!

FRIDAY //

The weekend started after I finished work around five and had homemade pizza before heading off to group yoga for International Yoga Day. This ended up being such a good class and I managed to do my very best Crow Pose yet. Afterwards, my friend and I had margaritas and veggie tacos overlooking the sea to end the night on a perfect note.

SATURDAY //

I worked most of the morning, then went out to the library to pick up “Red, White, and Royal Blue” which was on reserve for me and I have not been able to put it down since! I got caught up on some YouTube videos in bed, a delightfully chill activity I haven’t had time to do for quite awhile. Later that night, I got in the pool for a sunset swim which was so nice. The water was warm and the temperature outside had dropped, so it was the perfect balance. You know it’s bad when you have to wait for it to cool down outside to go swimming. I read lots of the book in the pool and continued into the night until my eyes were too heavy to stay open.

SUNDAY //

As soon as I woke up, I wanted to start reading but I went downstairs for breakfast first. I had some good avocado toast (as usual) and a smoothie with banana, mango, pineapple, raspberry, and spinach. It wasn’t long before I was upstairs again, in bed with my Gingham candle lit, trying my best to pace myself with the book because I didn’t want it to end, yet I couldn’t stop reading. After having some pasta for lunch, I took the book with me to the pool again for another swim and came back to do some planning for some travel this upcoming week. When I finally wrenched myself away from the book (AKA when I got to the end), we watched Brooklyn. For some reason, I’d just been craving that movie ever since I did that style inspiration post on it a few months ago.

What did y’all do this weekend?

the weekend list no. 62

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It’s been a fun few weeks! I went to get my hair cut by my friend, Heather, who I haven’t seen in nine years (!!!) which is absolutely crazy to think about. It literally felt like no time had passed at all when we got together, which is always such a nice feeling. I made a day of it and picked up a really good iced chai since one of my favorite Winter Park coffee shops, Foxtail, is right next door to the salon.

A few random things: I’ve been loving the new Aurora album and listening to it non-stop. My friend Holly and I went to the new Lucky’s store in town and I was so impressed! They have this brilliant “shop-and-sip” concept where you can buy a glass of wine, beer, or kombucha to drink while you’re shopping around the store. There’s also a ramen bar, salad bar, fresh pizza, and tons of dessert options including the mochi cart you often find only at Whole Foods. 🙌

I also just renewed my support for David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust for another year. I support an orphaned elephant named Jotto and it’s been so much fun to watch his growth and progress over the last year. Please consider fostering your own elephant! They do amazing work.

I celebrated International Yoga Day last night with a group flow by the beach, followed by a margarita at the cocina next door. Today and tomorrow,, I’m excited to have a carefree weekend of summer featuring lots of swimming, books, movies, pizza and bubbly.

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Here are some great ways to use your summer herbs.

Six ways to make your outfit look more expensive.

I love Kortney’s guidelines for elegant travel.

Rachel’s videos are always so relaxing.

Kate looked stunning at the Action on Addiction gala.

I just love Ty Haney.

These weekend getaways to France are catching my eye.

And this is exactly what I’ll wear to France.

I am a huge supporter of #4 on this list of ways to limit distractions.

Love Grace’s round-up of bookstagram accounts.

This is so good.

My new go-to, clean mascara. I wear the brown shade.

Love these book recommendations and the photos.

how to make the best travel photo album

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Last month, I came back from Europe with literally 11,000 photos on my phone, a quarter of which were probably from the trip alone. I had shared many of them on Instagram, whether on my feed or in stories, but this was such a special trip that I knew I wanted to have a photo album made for each destination. I’m still working on the final edits of each, but going through the process gave me a few insights I wanted to share for anyone out there thinking about making their own travel album.

I’m so excited to get these printed and have them available look through and reminisce about our time in London and Amsterdam, perhaps with the strawberry tea we got at Fortnum & Mason or a jug of Pimm’s and lemonade if things get crazy. 😊

Use a web-based service to create your album.
You can, of course, go it alone with Photoshop but it’s so much easier to use a customizable tool like Mixbook or Shutterfly to create your photo albums. I personally like the options on Mixbooks, where you can select a pre-made template and drop your photos in. However, I do suggest that you play around with the template to make it work best for your travel story.

Decide on a storytelling format.
On that note, the most important first step is to decide what story you’re telling and how you want to tell it. Are you going to organize your photos by day? Or will you order them by activity or theme? For travel albums, I personally like the chronological format because it helps you to mentally relive your trip.

Be selective with your photos.
This is so hard for me! I take a million photos and love so many of them that I have a really hard time narrowing down images to include in the album. But, we all have Instagram and can also store photos on our computers, so there’s really no pressure to include every single shot. Narrow the photos down to your absolute favorite, whether it’s because of the quality or just the memory associated with the photo.

Dedicate a page to special subjects.
In addition to a chronological, day-by-day photo format, you can pepper in a few pages dedicated to special subjects. This could be photos of all the amazing food you ate, the outfits you wore, or even your hotel rooms. One of my favorite ideas, stolen from Caila, is to include a page just for funny photos, kind of like the bloopers at the end of a movie.

Step away, then revisit before locking in your final edit.
One you’ve created your first draft, step away from the computer! Sleep on it, show it to your travel companions to get their feedback, then make any necessary edits before pressing submit. That way, you’ll be confident that you’re getting a well-designed, artfully curated photo album that you’ll always treasure.

aesthetically pleasing everyday household items

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It seems like my entire birth chart is insistent on the fact that I’m prone to obsessing over aesthetics and therefore, I’m always working to create a pleasant surrounding environment no matter where I’m at. In fact, I’ve perfected the art over the years. It’s funny because I’ve recently found people who relate, like Molly at Almost Makes Perfect who operates under the same concept of “pretty everything”.

I make sure that everything I buy for the home is as aesthetically pleasing as possible, even when it’s just little things like a trash can or a sponge. I feel like I’m physically averse to the harsh colors and materials that a lot of home basics seem to come in (i.e. neon green and blue sponges, I cannot), so I’m happy that there are companies out there now that are producing genuinely beautiful basics .

Here are some of my favorites:

Soft Brass Toilet Brush
Wicker Trash Bin
Grove Co. Walnut Scrub Brush
(use my referral link to get $10 off and a 5-piece gift set)
Grove Co. Walnut Sponges
Calphalon Wood Utensil Set
Smeg 2-Slice Toaster
Le Creuset Utensil Holder
Paat Feather Duster
Honey-Can-Do Rolling Wire Hamper
Threshold Fluted Glass Soap Pump

summer nineteen playlist

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I’ve always been a playlist person, but for the past few years, I’ve started making playlists for almost every season each year. They’re not necessarily always thematic - cozy, coffee shop vibes in fall and beach party vibes in summer - but just what I happen to be enjoying at the time, which kind of naturally ends up being a little thematic.

My Summer ‘19 playlist consists of a pretty mixed bag of music, but a few artists stand out as ones I’ve been really into lately. Funny enough, four of the five noteworthy artists I’m talking about below incorporate a lot of nature references into their music.

Aurora //
I’ve loved Aurora for years and was so excited when her new album came out last week. So excited that a couple songs genuinely almost made me cry, they’re that beautiful.

BTS //
God, I love them! I’m very late to the BTS train, but after I saw them on SNL, I became totally hooked. They really have a song for every mood too.

boygenius //
Julien Baker, Lucy Dacus, and Phoebe Bridgers are all incredible artists on their own, but together they’re a true super group. Their songs are so stunning, the kind you actually just want to sit down and listen to, not just have as background noise. But they’re also great to fall asleep to.

Maggie Rogers //
If you’re not in love with Maggie yet, I don’t know what to tell you!

Marina //
I first heard her new album in the car driving through Amsterdam, which maybe makes it even more special than it already is. It’s such a hauntingly beautiful album with lots of beautiful nature references in songs like “Orange Trees” and “Handmade Heaven”.

I hope you’ll give this playlist a listen when you’re on your next long drive, spending the day at the beach, or just hanging out home making drinks and dancing in the kitchen. 😊