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High Five for Friday: March 22

JessComment

Well, this week just flew by, with lots of sparkle along the way! ✨✨

  • In this week’s edition of #selfcarenails, we have this absolute stunner by Illamasqua: Jo’Mina! 😍
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My bffl Sophie bought it at Sephora when she came to visit me in 2012, and I loved it so much that we went back later that week so I could get my own bottle! And now I’m glad I did, as Sephora no longer sells Illamasqua!

Jo’Mina fan club 😂😂 

Jo’Mina fan club 😂😂 

  • On Tuesday, I went ice skating for the first time since December! (I think having to risk life and limb among millions of kids that day traumatized me! But this time, there were only four other people, so HOORAY!) I was shocked to find that I was not very rusty, despite the months off. It was a blast and much-needed: I have to get my skating legs back before I go visit Timmi in Chicago in April!
  • Wednesday was my sixth rebirthday: the anniversary of the day I decided to go inpatient for my recurrent suicidal thoughts. This year, the first day of spring fell on the same day, and the symbolism really hit me. Moving out of the darkness and into the light. I still have a ways to go, but I’m getting there. PS- Thank you all so much for your very sweet comments on my rebirthday post! They really made my day that much sweeter! 💜

  • On Wednesday night, I went to a lovely new moon/spring equinox meditation with Alana! It’s so wild to think that, six years ago, we were just “liking each other’s pics on social media” kind of friends. And now, we chat all the time about this wild healing journey, and send each other supportive quotes, and go to moon meditations together! Thank goodness, because she is a light in my life.
  • Lastly, someone (I’m guessing Alana?) recently introduced me to this IG account. It has tons of encouraging quotes and suggestions for coping with anxiety, but I especially loved this post:
View this post on Instagram

Love this reminder for today 👏👏

A post shared by Anxiety Therapist (@amandaplmhc) on

Hope you have a great weekend! xo

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Rebirthday #6

JessComment
3-20-13

3-20-13

Five years since inpatient felt like a big deal. Six… doesn’t feel like much of anything. I didn’t even want to write about it! Like, okay, yay, I did a thing six years ago. What am I doing now, though?

Clearly, there is a part of me that beats myself up for not being “further along” on this whole healing journey (even though I know full well that healing is non-linear). I’m also super aware that I’m not checking the boxes of a typical 30-something: marriage, kids, house, some combination thereof. I try to remind myself that I’ve never been one to do things on the “typical” timeline (hello, driving at age 27!), but I do get there eventually… which I guess means that my forties are gonna be LIT! 😂

In all seriousness, I don’t feel ready to check those big boxes. But that’s not as healthy as it sounds. Rather, I feel like I will crumble under the stress and uncertainty that come with those momentous life changes.

When I was a kid, my anxiety—especially about situations outside of my control—was at times accompanied by big emotional and physical reactions: not eating, not sleeping, crying all the time, obsessive worrying... so I started to avoid anything that would potentially set off that avalanche of symptoms. The only problem is that I’ve learned that coping skill very well over the years. If anxiety makes every one and every thing seem scary, how do you get yourself to do anything? Not to mention that a trigger can show up in all sorts of unexpected ways.

Traditionally, I would only do a “scary” new thing because I was forced into it (by, say, a graduation, or someone else’s life changes). But this past year, I’ve actually chosen the “scarier” option a few times, and although the situations wouldn’t seem like that big a deal to an outsider, they were momentous to me.

In one instance, I initiated a very difficult, emotionally vulnerable conversation with a friend who I would have normally ghosted (so as to not have said difficult conversation). I also started seeing a male therapist, a scenario I typically avoid due to some unresolved guy issues.

These experiences are teaching me that I can handle more than I think I can. Did speaking so honestly with my friend leave me feeling incredibly exposed? Yeah—I felt like I’d ripped off my own skin.

But I survived.

And when I made the initial appointment with the male therapist (a suggestion from a different therapist who was leaving their practice), it was just to cross it off—to confirm my belief that I would be too triggered seeing a male and thus can only see female therapists. But that didn’t happen. (Full disclosure: this particular therapist has a very calm and gentle way about him, and that helps a lot.) Being emotionally vulnerable with a male does freak me out, don’t get me wrong, but it’s giving me a chance to talk about these feelings with a trained professional as I’m experiencing them. That just wouldn’t happen in the same way with a female therapist. It also gives us the chance to try to make sense of what I’m feeling, instead of me just running from the feelings by default.

I guess I need to remind myself that growth and change come in all forms. It’s not always the big box life events or the celebratory moments you’d post about on social media. It’s driving somewhere new when driving isn’t your fave. It’s being your authentic self with someone who loves you… and being brave enough to do it when you’d rather run away screaming. It’s continuing to show up for a situation that scares you. It’s the willingness to look at what is going on in your mind and your life so you can understand it better.

It’s one hell of a ride. The fact that I’m still on it at all, I owe to the girl in the ER six years ago and her very powerful decision. 💜

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High Five for Friday: March 15

JessComment

Happy Friday! Let’s see what brought the sparkle this week:

  • This week’s nail polish of choice is Essie Penny Talk. Like, WOW. 😍 I can’t even remember when I bought it, but I never used it til now because I am a FOOL! It’s absolutely gorgeous. I think I was hesitant because I expected it to be more of a copper color, but it’s really this beautifully pigmented (not frosty) metallic pink. 10/10 would recommend. 
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  • On Saturday night, I stopped by Kristin’s, and the minute I walked in, her bf started playing Jim Croce on their HomePod. 😂😂  So we ended up chatting about him for a few hours (poor Kristin!), and Rod sent me home with his Jim Croce Greatest Hits CD—what a wild Saturday night!

  • RIP Hal Blaine, session drummer extraordinaire, who died on Monday. I already knew about his stellar work on Pet Sounds but forgot that he worked pretty closely with Simon and Garfunkel too. Strangely enough, we were just talking about “America” by S&G at work last week, and it became my “play all day on repeat” song—and what do you know, it features Hal Blaine on drums! (I love analyzing songs and learning about the different session musicians and their unique styles—it even seems to calm my anxiety sometimes!)
  • It’s been a real S&G kind of week around here! I’m really feeling pretty acoustic vibes these days, I guess. Paulina and I used to play the Sounds of Silence album a lot in college, and I forgot how darn gorgeous it is! “A Most Peculiar Man”? “Leaves That Are Green”? “Kathy’s Song”? “APRIL, COME SHE WILL”?! After listening to that song all day at work on Wednesday, I came home and was basically Paul Rudd in This Is 40, yelling about Art Garfunkel—”He’s got an amazing voice!” (It’s true, though!)
  • Lastly, here’s some General Hospital feels that no one asked for: Oscar and Drew having “the talk.” I love the tender father-son relationship they’ve built over the past year, and this scene absolutely melted my heart. Billy Miller being paternal, and Garren Stitt cuddling up to him?! TOO MUCH. 😭 Bonus that this video includes Joss speaking everyone’s thoughts about Carly being pregnant: “Aren’t you kind of old to be pregnant?!?” 😂😂😂 (Carly’s “CLEARLY NOT!” is also 💯.)

Hope you have a great weekend! xo

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High Five for Friday: March 8

JessComment

Wow, Friday already?! Let’s see what brought the sparkle!

  • My dear blog mom Lisa posted this in her IG stories last week, and boy, was it a message I needed to see!
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I’ve been in a glass case of emotion lately… and I loathe having feelings… and the only thing worse than feeling feelings is letting other people see those feelings, so YEAH, I’m doing great! 😂 In all seriousness, I do know that all this ~feeling~ is ultimately a good thing, but I just don’t love being in the middle of it. I started seeing a new therapist in January (in addition to the two other therapists that was I already sporadically seeing because #yolo), and we’re sifting through some heavy stuff right now. But the new therapist is very encouraging about me feeling and expressing things (because even in therapy, feelings still freak me out!). My default reaction is to be ashamed of my feelings and want to hide them, so I definitely need to hear this new concept a million more times!

  • On Saturday, I got to meet up with my college roommate for dinner! (She’s basically Carmen Sandiego IRL—I never know where she is, or if she’s even in the US!) We ended up going to Outback because she was dumbfounded (as most people are) that I’ve never had a Bloomin’ Onion (the name of which I almost had to look up right now 🙈). Said Bloomin’ Onion was really good! I think I might have let 32 years of hype build it up too much, though, because I expected it to be mind-blowing, haha.
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  • I didn’t gush about it enough in my February budget post, but I am LOVING this cropped sweatshirt from Primark. It’s super comfy and cozy, but the cropped hem keeps it from looking too schlubby. And it’s only $7, I mean COME ON. I got it in light grey, but I can’t seem to find that online—so just know that it does come in non-neon colors!
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  • So Jim Croce has been the soundtrack of the past week! My fave jam of his (since eighth grade) has been “Operator,” but I hadn’t listened to “Bad Bad Leroy Brown” in a million years, and let me tell you, it is a BOP. I can’t get enough! I mean, there’s clapping, a jaunty chorus, and a boogie-woogie piano—what’s not to love?

Possibly the best part about this renewed interest in Jim Croce is that it prompted Pops to go, “Yeah, you know, I saw Jim Croce… he opened for Woody Allen in 1972.” Like, WUT. Pops was the coolest teenager (Led Zeppelin is among the bazillion concerts he went to in the ‘70s nbd), and he’s now the dadest dad… it’s hilarious. Also, I did the math, and Pops would have been 16 in 1972. I was def only doing homework at 16, haha!

 

  • Lastly, “Simply the Best” came on while I was waiting in line at CVS, and I was PSYCHED because all I could think of was this:

Hope you have a great weekend! xo

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February 2019 Budget

JessComment

Oh boy, I kind of bought everything in sight! 😬 Nail polish, headbands, clothes, lip products… YIKES. Thank god February is the shortest month!

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  1. Zip Top Crossbody Bag (Old Navy): $30 on sale for $10 + Super Cash = $7

  2. Frank Body Send Nudes Lip Tint (Ulta): $12 - gift card + $0

  3. Memebox Mini Disco Kitten Face Mask (Ulta): $4 - gift card = $0

  4. Zoya Nail Polish in Saint (Ulta): $10

  5. Rockstar 27/7 Released Hem Super Skinny Jeans (Old Navy): $45 on sale for $10

Not pictured:

  1. Super Stretch Skinny Jeans (Primark): $15

  2. Crop sweatshirt (Primark): $7 (I got it in light grey, which I couldn’t find online)

  3. Wild Fable Mock Neck Cropped Pullover (Target, sold out online): $18 on sale for $5

  4. Relaxed Vintage Crew Sweatshirt “Adventure Together” (Old Navy, sold out online): $30 on sale + Super Cash = $6

  5. Mudd Burnout Tee (Kohls): $14 on sale for $10

  6. Relaxed Classic Soft-Brushed Twill Shirt (Old Navy): $27 on sale for $7 (I got a navy and green plaid that doesn’t seem to be available online anymore)

  7. Slim-Fit Luxe Rib-Knit Top (Old Navy, sold out online in grey): $20 on sale + Super Cash = $6

  8. Queen Hot Space t-shirt (Amazon): $20

  9. Ribbed Infinity Scarf (Old Navy, can’t find online): $17 on sale + Super Cash = $3

  10. Card Case (Old Navy, can’t find online): $5 on sale + Super Cash = $.62

  11. Metallic Lurex Knot Headwrap (Claire’s): $8

  12. Space Galaxy Headband (Claire’s): $8

  13. Mauve Jersey Headwrap (Claire’s): $8

  14. Shimmer Twist Headwrap in gold (Claire’s, can’t find online): $8 on sale for $5 - Buy 3 Get 3 Free = $0

  15. Ribbed Knot Bow Headwrap (Claire’s): $8 - Buy 3 Get 3 Free = $0

  16. Velvet Knotted Headwrap (Old Navy, can’t find online): on sale for $1

  17. Aquis Lisse Luxe Hair Towel (Ulta): $30 - gift card and Ulta bucks = $4

  18. Ulta Super Blender Sponge: $5 - gift card = $0

  19. Lanolips 101 Ointment in Strawberry (Ulta): $14

  20. Weleda Skin Food Lip Butter (Target): $7

TOTAL: $156.62

Considering everything I got, that’s not a bad total. It’s even less than the total I originally designated for my monthly shopping (clothes, accessories, non-drugstore beauty) budget, which is $170. But the question is, do I really need to be spending so much money on stuff? And do I need all of (any of?) these things? That’s always my dilemma these days. It’s interesting how my attitude toward shopping has shifted over the years from “BUY ALL THE THINGS!” to “Maybe try to only buy some of the things? Particularly those things that you actually need or will use.”

Some of the things I bought this month (like most of the Ulta buys) were fun gift card purchases, and I’m okay with that. I like to spend my gift cards on treats that I would normally talk myself out of. Y’all already know that I’m obsessed with the coffee ice cream smell of the Frank Body lip balm. The Lanolips was a re-buy. (I actually ended up returning the Lano Superbalm I talked about here because I just didn’t like it as much). The jury is out on the Aquis towel. I’ve seen people rave about them, so I was psyched to find one at Ulta… that is, until I got to the cash register and found out that it was THIRTY FREAKING DOLLARS. For a towel?! Am I just cheap? (Maybe—see below.) If I’m spending $30 on a towel, I want my hair to look like I’m about to walk the red carpet… and that hasn’t happened yet, so I’m just meh at the moment. 😂

The Primark jeans are a tried and true fave. With this month’s purchase, I now have three pairs of them! (I thought I ruined one pair and panicked, hence buying this third pair!) They are pretty much my favorite jeans—although I do really love the Old Navy Rockstar jeans I bought this month too, mainly because they’re super soft and feel even more like leggings than the Primark ones. If you can find them at your local Old Navy for $9, POUNCE! ($15 is really my upper limit price for jeans apparently!)

But my favorite purchase of the month? That would be the Old Navy crossbody. I tend to use my Longchamp Le Pliage on weekends/days off, but it can be a pain at times with its penchant for slipping off my shoulder. The roomy, inexpensive ON crossbody has been a great solution! I can easily fit my wallet, a water bottle, and a notebook with room to spare! Plus, it has POCKETS GALORE! (Well, that may be a stretch but IT HAS POCKETS, which is a real design flaw of the Le Pliage.)

Well, I don’t need to go through every purchase in-depth because then we’d be here all day! 😂 So what did you get this month?

High Five for Friday: March 1

JessComment

Maybe someday, my weeks won’t be so dull. Nah, that seems unlikely! 😂 Here’s what brought the sparkle this week:


  • I found this gem at the mall on Saturday! Did anyone else love Polly Pocket (like, original, choking-hazard Polly Pocket) as a kid?!
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I would have 150% bought that keychain, if it came separately! 

 

  • I also might have bought five headbands on Saturday? I was at Claire’s, embarrassingly enough, and was buying two headbands (one for a friend, I swear), but they had a “Buy 3, Get 3 free” deal. Well, twist my arm and GIVE ME ALL THE IRIDESCENT HEADBANDS YOU’VE GOT! 💃
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  • I usually don’t care about the Oscars, but my love of the Bohemian Rhapsody cast meant that I had Oscar coverage on almost all day. OY! How do people do this every year? I guess it would be easier if I didn’t like such randos—the really important people just seem to roll up like 30 minutes before the ceremony! Anyway, congrats to Rami—both for winning and for not seriously injuring himself when he fell off the stage afterward! (What the what??) 
View this post on Instagram

12 years of friendship. Bring it home kid. #oscars

A post shared by Joe Mazzello (@joe_mazzello) on

Thanks Joe, like I wasn’t already in a glass case of emotion!

 

  • Emilia Clarke was my fave Oscar lewk. Purple + shimmer? A DREAM. 😍
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  • Lastly, I’m kind of obsessed with this Frank Body lip tint I got from Ulta a few weeks ago… mainly because of the smell! It smells like coffee ice cream, and I’m way into it! 🤷🏼‍♀️
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Hope you have a great weekend! xo

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High Five for Friday: February 22

JessComment

Let’s see what brought the sparkle this week:

  • The weather was GORGEOUS on Friday—I think it even got up to 60 degrees! Not having to wear a jacket in February is The Dream (for me anyway)!

  • To celebrate the lovely weather (and because Pops was away, meaning that I didn’t have to rush right home), I went to the mall after work! I hit up Aerie and Primark, did the whole bra-fitting/trying on 80 different bras song and dance at Aerie, and ended up buying five of them! Mainly because I don’t want to have to go through all that again anytime soon! And bras were 40% off!

  • On Saturday, I went to a little ayurveda workshop at my fave local yoga studio! There were only four of us, so it was super intimate and fun! I knew a little bit about ayurveda, so it was nice to get a refresher on how we can most effectively channel our energy.

  • I had ordered this Queen shirt back around Christmas, and when it arrived, the fit was disappointing, as it often is in these situations. Like, I don’t want to order a women’s shirt because they’re so extremely fitted, but a men’s shirt can be too baggy or weirdly long (which is what happened here), so UGH. After consulting my resident seamstress Timmi and a few YouTube videos, I cropped it in about four minutes! And I’m so happy with how it turned out!!! Sorry the picture isn’t better!

Hot space, let’s go!

Hot space, let’s go!

  • Lastly, this is not inaccurate:

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Yeah, I am pretty Joce-y. Not gonna lie, though, I was disappointed I didn’t get Alexis because I do love her fashun, particularly this velour (?) kimono-esque dress. And her array of bejeweled headbands. 😂

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Hope you have a great weekend! xo

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High Five for Friday: February 15

JessComment

Let’s see what brought the sparkle this week!

  • Tapestry has been a big mood. “Home Again”? Such a sweet gem. “It’s Too Late”? Surprisingly effective at scaring off the crickets in our basement. And don’t even get me started on Telemachus, that iconic tabby on the album cover!
  • Does anyone else have a lot of feelings about the Opportunity Rover?! POOR OPPY 😭😭. I had read an article last year about how NASA was using music to try to wake Oppy up and didn’t realize that it had never responded. Or that its last message was THE SADDEST EVER. 😭💔😭
credit: Becca Farrow @rfarrowster on Twitter

credit: Becca Farrow @rfarrowster on Twitter

  • On Tuesday, I had to drive to therapy in the snow/slush/ice and was basically clutching the steering wheel the entire time. When I finally (safely, thank god) made it home, an Amazon package was waiting for me. I was like meh whatever, thinking it was just the (obviously super cool) retainer container I had ordered on Sunday. Instead, it was THIS:
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A present from my bffl! What a sweet surprise! I’ve only been bugging her about Bohemian Rhapsody since November (and she still hasn’t seen it lol). It definitely brightened up an otherwise stressful day!

  • On the topic of BoRhap, Ben Hardy posted this video of Joe Mazzello dancing after the BAFTAs, and his dorky dance moves have been giving me life? 

  • Lastly, here is something that is so incredibly dumb but just cracks me up. (Can you tell it’s been a slow week?):

The phrase “rocking my fave salamander fur” accompanied by that ridiculous dancing gif just kills me every time. (So when I saw said video of Joe Mazzello dancing, my immediate reaction was ROCK THAT SALAMANDER FUR, BAE, like any sane person.)

 


Hope you have a great weekend! xo

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High Five for Friday: February 8

JessComment

Let’s see what brought sparkle this week!

  • Oh boy, I did quite a bit of shopping! 😬 My ability to keep myself from buying things seems to cycle, like sometimes, I can go into stores and not even want anything, and then a week later, I’ll buy everything! 🙈 This week, I went to Ulta TWICE in three days! The first time, I had a gift card, so I let myself get some fun things (which anything called “Disco Kitten” certainly qualifies as!). But the second time (to get the Lanolips, which they didn’t have at the first Ulta), I had heart-eyes for everything and struggled to limit myself to just these things! (Plus an Aquis hair towel, which I’d wanted for awhile but had never seen in a store before.)
  • I promptly tried out the nail polish from the first pic (Sally Hansen Mega Strength in Persis-tint), and I LOVE it! I do wish it were a bit more opaque, but I feel like I could potentially fix that by layering it over white in the future. In any case, it’s very different from anything else I have AND the iridescent mermaid vibes are 💯! I’m glad I’ve started painting my nails regularly again because having pretty nails really does brighten my day!
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  • I also stopped by Old Navy over the weekend because this post by the lovely Lisa reminded me that I had Super Cash, and oops, I bought a few more things! Although I did get a sweater, a sweatshirt, a scarf, a purse, a card case, a set of socks, and a t-shirt for my dad for $36, so not too shabby! This is the purse I got. I wanted a roomier crossbody, and I don’t have a bag in this shape or color. Plus, it has POCKETS (which my go-to Longchamp Le Pliage simply doesn’t WAH). And how could I say no to this lavender sweatshirt with glittery purple mountains on it?! Purple mountain majesties INDEED!

 

  • After that crazy polar vortex, we got two much-needed days of gorgeous spring weather this week! I actually had doctor’s appointments on Monday and Tuesday, so I was outside more than I normally would be on a work day and got to soak up some of the 60 degree sunshine!
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  • Let’s end with another show that I started watching recently: Schitt’s Creek. It’s pretty hilarious, but it also has these very sweet moments that I just love. (I can’t deal with shows that are pure snark.) I mean, is there anything better than a heartfelt Tina Turner lip sync?!

Hope you have a great weekend! xo

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January 2019 Budget

JessComment

Not too many purchases to report in January! (Not something I’ll be able to say about February... and we’re only one week in! 😬)

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  1. Nobel Earrings Set in rose gold (GLDN):  $45 ($41 + shipping cost)

  2. Knox Rose Waffle Knit Open Cardigan (Target): $28 on sale for $15 - gift card = $0

TOTAL: $45

I actually bought the cardigan in December and convinced myself that I was going to return it... that is, until I tried it on again and whoops, I remembered why I bought it in the first place! I don’t have any longer sweaters like this, and it’s not so long that my petite frame is drowning in it—a RARITY! 🎉 Oh, and I got it in a pretty plum color, not the pink pictured.

I tend to get on a roll with earrings and then wear them every day for, oh, like a year or two. But I guess I caught the “new year, new you” bug re: earrings this year! 😂 I wanted something simple but a little bit different than the conventional stud. Enter these open circle earrings from GLDN! I didn’t necessarily need them in three different sizes, but the set was the only option for this style of earring, so c’est la vie. It has sort of worked out, though, because I immediately gravitated toward the middle size, but then swapped them for the smallest ones, and I like how they look a lot more!

Did you get anything exciting in January?

High Five for Friday: February 1

JessComment

Happy Friday! I hope y’all are keeping warm! Here’s what brought the sparkle this week: 

  • I taught yoga on Saturday and because I knew it would be in the yurt (and thus chilly), I wore my leg warmers. Not only was I super fashionable (😂), but they did in fact keep my legs warm! What a fine investment (...of like $3 at H&M a million years ago!)!
Anna socks on fleek ✌🏻 

Anna socks on fleek ✌🏻 

  • After yoga, I stopped at Target and picked up these cute things! I love Valentine’s decor in general (pink! purple! sparkles! hearts!), and these little lights have brought a bit of cheer to our living room!
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After I got home, Kristin came over and brought me (DELICIOUS) cookies and we semi-watched Bohemian Rhapsody on mute, so it was just your normal Saturday night!

 

  • I planned to get a bunch of stuff done on Sunday because I’d been gone most of Saturday, buuut then I ended not getting much sleep and feeling anxious and nauseous when I woke up. So productivity went out the window and I turned to Netflix! I had seen good reviews of the show Sex Education, so I ended up watching three episodes of it. It is rather risqué, like there’s nudity in the first two minutes, but it’s also quite funny and sweet, with some very likable characters. I love YA stuff, so following the misadventures of high schoolers is right in my wheelhouse.

 

  • I’ve really been feeling Carole King and James Taylor as a soundtrack this past week. They’re just so good! Have you listened to “You’ve Got a Friend” recently?! It’s so pretty, the harmonies are 💯, and the sentiment is so sweet!
  • Lastly, I saw this picture this week, and it’s basically a visual representation of my friendship with Timmi! Our interests don’t always overlap, but we’re always super supportive and enthusiastic about what the other is doing/into. GET YOU A FRIEND LIKE THIS. It’s the best!
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Hope you have a great weekend! xo

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High Five for Friday: January 25

JessComment

Happy Friday! 💕 Let’s see what brought the sparkle this week:

  • On Saturday, I discovered that The Virgin Suicides is on Amazon Prime Video, sooo I basically had it on a loop for the rest of the weekend! It’s super weird and dark, yes, but it’s one of those movies from my tween years that has a special place in my heart. The music is SO great, and of course there’s this stone fox:
What a doofus 😂😂  

What a doofus 😂😂  

Someone please call me and play “Hello, It’s Me” or “Alone Again, Naturally”! (The only acceptable reason to call someone tbh.)

  • On Sunday night, I went to another moon meditation (full moon this time!) with Alana and Steph. It’s so cool to just spend a few hours in this cozy little mystical shop with other likeminded people doing stuff like journaling and talking about crystals! This time, I picked out a gorgeous carnelian:
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I recently got a macro lens for my phone, and I decided to try it out on my carnelian, with some pretty cool results (even though I have no clue what I’m doing!)! I love me a stone with lots of different colors or “imperfections.”

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  • So, true confessions: even though I have two English degrees, I hate reading. I’m always starting books and never finishing them, or even better, buying books and never starting them! I think part of the problem is that reading often feels like work, like I should always be analyzing, and underlining things, and taking notes. But I’m currently 260 pages into a book I bought a few weeks ago, and I’m LOVING reading before bed! What the what?! Apparently, all I needed to do was ditch my usual self-help/psychology books and read about World War II! Who knew? 😂 I’m reading With the Old Breed by Eugene Sledge, which is partially what The Pacific was based on, and it’s really good! And, okay, I have underlined a few things because I’m a monster who can’t be stopped!

  • Maybe enjoying a book about WWII isn’t so weird for me because I did love The Things They Carried when we read it in high school. On that note, over the weekend, Russell  asked me if I’d ever read The Things They Carried, and I basically quoted the passage below because it wowed me at 17, and it’s always stuck with me. I then dug out my old copy and found my high school self’s reaction to it. As Russell said, “Deserving of the old star!”
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  • And while we’re on the topic of books, how about a book I really enjoyed but never finished? Like, say, Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert! I LOVED this quote from it (and probably underlined it!), and then Alana posted it on Instagram a few days ago, and it was hashtag too real—I always need this reminder!
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Hope you have a great weekend! xo

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2018 Favorites

JessComment
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2018 was a strange year. There were some high highs and some low lows, but PLOT TWIST: I ended the year in a pretty happy place!

2018 also introduced me to a new crop of favorite things, so here are some of my most-loved buys and tries:

1. Lavendaire’s Artist of Life Workbook: Aileen Xu, the creative force behind Lavendaire, has these gorgeously filmed, self-helpy YouTube videos that I watched a lot in 2017. So I bought her workbook… and then didn’t start it until late January because I was in such a negative headspace to start the year. The monthly exercises? Yeah, didn’t start doing those until March! But once I got going, I really enjoyed having that space to reflect on my wins each month. Even when I felt like I wasn’t accomplishing anything or growing, I was—just maybe not in a huge, dramatic way. I now have Aileen’s 2019 workbook, and I started its exercises on New Year’s Day! #progress 🎉

2. Agate bracelet: In yoga teacher training, each of us gave small gifts to the other trainees when we taught our first class. One of the other gals made us these beautiful bracelets, and I’ve literally worn mine every day since! Besides being pretty, it’s such a nice reminder of the girls and that wonderful experience. 💕

3. Roller Chain Fidget Toy (Amazon): I tend to be very fidgety with my hands, especially at work, so I ordered a few fidget toys from Amazon this year. This one was by far the winner—I just fiddle with it endlessly while sitting at my desk at work!

4. Pop-Up Pill Organizer: Remember when I found this pill organizer at Marshall’s? Yeah, I’m totally in love with it (and I’m also 100 years old!). It’s so nice to be able to set up a week’s worth of pills but then just take one day with you at a time, thereby avoiding having said week’s worth of pills spill in your bag (something that used to happen to me all.the.time).

5. Aurora Bar Ring in rose gold (GLDN): My Rebirthday ring! It’s so pretty and dainty and personal GAH, I just love it! And I think it arrived pretty quickly too, especially for being a custom piece!

6. Five Below iPhone 7 Case: I love this case so much! I tend to switch up my cases, but I’ve been going strong with this one since April! (Unfortunately for you guys, that means it might not be in stores anymore.) I love the geometric pattern, the soft colors, the gold details, the whole faux-marble vibe, and the super-slim profile. For $5, it’s perfection.

7. Timer Tab: I easily lose track of time when I’m working on something, so this site has been a godsend at work. Otherwise, one hour balloons into three, and I’m like, “I’ve been going through my inbox for HOW long?!” I think it plays a video of a chiming grandfather clock when time’s up, which may be annoying (or hilarious, depending on your view!), but my work computer doesn’t have speakers, so the flashing visual in the toolbar is perfect.

What are your favorite buys and tries from last year?

High Five for Friday: January 18

JessComment

Happy Friday! What brought the sparkle this week?

  • Let’s start with the ten-year challenge!
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Yep, this is me in 2009, back when I was a senior in college. I pretty much lived and breathed Victorian lit—oh, and hockey, obviously! I had just applied to grad school and had no clue what I was going to do with my life. Ten years later, not much has changed!! 😂 I think I look basically the same today, except RIP headbands (god, I loved ya). My “glow up,” so to speak, is mostly from finally embracing mascara! 😂

 

  • In honor of my college self, here’s a song that I played about 8,000 times back then! I actually rediscovered it last week and was like, “This! is! so! cute!” and have, once again, been playing it nonstop. I love Wings, I love the Fender Rhodes, and I love adorable lyrics, so it really checks all of my boxes, haha!
  • On Saturday night, I visited Kristin and Sharkey, until the first snowflakes started falling, and then I was out of there like the Road Runner! At least I got some quality cat time in!
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  • For all the inquiring minds that want to know (okay, just Tif and Becky), an update on last week’s fanny pack saga! I did NOT end up getting one. Kristin got the pink one that I have on in the picture below. I did see a cute one (that I can’t seem to find on Nordstrom Rack’s site) on our way out, but I have not crossed over to the land of fanny pack ownership (…yet)!
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  • Lastly, like I need an excuse to swoon over Joe Mazzello (in a maroon velvet jacket, no less!), BUT this is something that other people might actually appreciate: a little Jurassic Park reunion with him and Laura Dern at the Critics’ Choice Awards! How adorable! Bonus: a swooning Rami!
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Hope you have a great weekend! xo

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High Five for Friday: January 11

JessComment

Happy Friday! The week was pretty dull (even for me 😂), but luckily, the weekend brought some sparkle!

  • On Friday, I met up with Alana again (two weeks in a row?! 🎉) to go to a new moon meditation at the Prana House (one of the cool mystical places Timmi and I had gone to back in August). It was a great way to slow down and start the weekend, and the year, in a more mindful place.

  • On Saturday, Pops was out, so I lived it up—by finishing The Pacific and painting my nails! I picked the Essie color After School Boy Blazer, which I hadn’t used in ages. As much as I love sparkle, I really enjoy that this color is a very flat navy. It makes me feel so edgy and bad-ass! 💃😂
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  • On Sunday, Kristin and I went shopping… for fanny packs. One fanny pack was in fact purchased, ridiculous pictures were taken, and we’ll never speak of this again! 😬
Fashun✌🏻 Also, my hair is 💯.

Fashun✌🏻 Also, my hair is 💯.

  • Once I got home on Sunday night, I geared up for the Golden Globes, which I think made me the only person in Philly not watching the Iggles, whoops. (Considering how stressful that game was, though, I definitely didn’t need to be watching!) I only knew the end result when this hilariousness ensued:
  • And then the Golden Globes. HOLY MOLY.  Let’s review: I’ve seen Bohemian Rhapsody (an embarrassing) four times and am lowkey (okay, highkey) obsessed. I thought Rami maybe had an outside chance of winning Best Actor, so I was pleasantly surprised when that happened, but then THE MOVIE WON like five seconds later, and I was shocked. Like, what the what? What about A Star Is Born? Wasn’t that getting all the hullabaloo? But whatever, cue “We Are the Champions”! Bonus that there was a cast reunion for the occasion, and we all know that I love those boys (and their ridiculous, lovey-dovey posts)!
This is so adorable, and also, Lucy Boynton is gorgeous. Like, DAMN GIRL.

This is so adorable, and also, Lucy Boynton is gorgeous. Like, DAMN GIRL.

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Hope you have a great weekend! xo

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High Five for Friday: January 4

JessComment

Oof, back to work this week! 😭 Let’s see what brought the sparkle:

  • On Friday, I had a restorative yoga + acai bowl date with my friend Alana, who is an utter gem! Although we went to high school together, we’ve only discovered that we’re basically the same person over the past few years. (Full disclosure: Alana was waaaay cooler than me in high school! 😂)  She’s  been one of my biggest cheerleaders since I started this blog, and it was great to chat IRL for a change! 
Baby’s first açaí bowl! 

Baby’s first açaí bowl! 

  • I don’t know about you, but I hate New Year’s Eve. So this year, rather than staying home and being annoyed, I went to a get-together at the yoga studio near my house! I was sort of scared about it because I wouldn’t know anybody there, but I still went, and it was great! The evening started out with a yoga class (featuring live, acoustic music!), then we did a few journaling exercises, made a body scrub, and ended with a meditation. (The new year actually started during our meditation, which was pretty cool!) It was such a nice, relaxing way to end the year and usher in a new one! Last year, I was super bitter about the new year (why, I don’t even remember), so I’m glad I’m not feeling that way this year!

  • In that vein, I sometimes struggle anxiety-wise with time off, but this year, I LOVED it and really felt like I made the most of it by balancing fun activities and socializing with chill time. The only problem is that I was then smote by anxiety on Tuesday afternoon, as I had to go back to work on Wednesday. This led to me signing up for a random yoga class like 30 minutes before it started on Tuesday night! I was kind of in a daze through most of it, but there was some nice chanting toward the end that helped to mellow me out some. Kristin, upon hearing how I dealt with this bout of anxiety, was like, “Oh, I figured it would be BoRhap, but I guess yoga works too!” LOL

 

  • Look at these adorable Christmas cards from my dear blogger friends Lisa, Bri, and Mica! Mica wrote the sweetest message in hers, which I will definitely treasure. These ladies are the best! 💕💕
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  • Lastly, I don’t even drink LaCroix, but I somehow stumbled upon these tweets, and they killed me. I wanted to single out just one from the list, but I love them all! 😂😂
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Hope you have a great weekend! xo

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December 2018 Budget

JessComment

Well, it seems I bought a few Christmas gifts for myself this month, whoops!

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  1. High-Rise Mesh-Trim 7/8-Length Compression Leggings (Old Navy): $33 on sale for $23

  2. Kitty Cat Print Tee (Kohl’s): $20 on sale for $10 - gift card = $0

  3. Wild Fable Long-Sleeve Oversize Thermal Tie-Front Top (Target): $16 on sale for $11 - gift card = $0 (Shockingly, I got it in blue, not purple!)

  4. Queen Tour ‘75 Sweatshirt (Kohl’s): $36 on sale for $19

Not pictured:

  1. LC Lauren Conrad Heart Necklace (Kohl’s): $14 on sale for $9 (I got it in rose gold.)

  2. SO Perfect V-Neck tee (Kohl’s): $14 on sale for $9

  3. Jurassic Park Tie-Dye Logo Tee (Kohl’s): $20 on sale for $10 - gift card = $0

TOTAL: $60

As much as I love leggings, I’ve realized that I tend to gravitate toward pretty boring ones—no wild patterns or colors for me. So a subtle stripe on a black background? Sign me up! The pattern is called “Embossed” on Old Navy’s website, and that’s a good way to describe it—the stripe is sort of raised and vaguely metallic-seeming. And I think “7/8-length” translates to ankle length, which works well for me because full-length leggings are often too long on me. (HOW? I’m only 5’4”! Like, yeah, not tall, but also not exactly short either!)

I’ve never been the biggest fan of the whole tie (or knot) front shirt trend. But this Target shirt doesn’t HAVE to be tied—you can also just wear it as a long button-down. And the sleeves are long enough to cover your hands! 🎉 It’s just a cute, cozy layering piece.

When we went to the England store in Epcot, they had some Queen shirts… but none were my size! 😭 So I literally ordered this sweatshirt when we got back to our hotel room that night! And I love it! It’s super soft, and I really like the cut-off hem. And Pops actually did see Queen in 1975! ❤️

And lastly, who am I to turn down a subtle cat tee? 😂

 

Now since this is the last budget post of the year, that means it’s time to total up my budget post spending! DRUM ROLL PLEASE!

TOTAL FOR 2018: $623

This is an all-time low… by a lot! My budget post spending is down $741 from last year! WHOA! I’m very proud of myself! ☺️

What did you buy this month?

High Five for Friday: December 28

JessComment

What a whirlwind week! Let’s see what brought the holiday sparkle:

  • I was off last Friday and did absolutely nothing for most of the day. WHAT A DELIGHT! But at night, I went into Philly and hung out with Russell. You might recall that he has a Sega, so we played a rousing round of Zombies Ate My Neighbors (!!) before settling on this visit’s weird historical documentary, The Russian Revolution! (Why are we insane?)
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  • Also on Friday, this book arrived! It’s by Freddie Smith (Sonny on Days) and his fiancee Alyssa!
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The intersection of soaps and self-help?! Sign me up! I pre-ordered it back in November and forgot that doing so meant I would get a signed copy! 😍 Also, I’ve chatted with Alyssa a few times via IG messages, and she is the sweetest!

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  • CHRISTMAS! I was actually feeling super anxious leading up to it (and playing this aggressive Queen song on repeat to psych myself up!), but it turned out great! It was super low key, which is fine by me! 
Requisite post-Mass outfit pic 💯

Requisite post-Mass outfit pic 💯

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Pops always gives very practical stocking stuffers, and this year was no exception, as you can see! I also got a few gift cards and a Queen magazine! 💃

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  • I’ve been off all week and am having a grand old time! Ice skating, Kohl’s, and cookies, oh my! I also started watching The Pacific because, Joe Mazzello (❤️), and he literally cries one minute into his first appearance. Just like Will on Days (who Kristin and I say has “resting cry face”). Why do I always love actors that cry all the time?!
😭😭😭 

😭😭😭 

Hilariously, Jurassic Park had been on earlier in the day, so Joe was on a real emotional roller coaster!

At least he knows this is his calling card! 😂😂 

At least he knows this is his calling card! 😂😂 

  • Lastly, an ornament saga. This ornament (a snowshoeing alligator??) makes us go ??? every year.
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Who is this guy?! Is he from a show? A movie? We can never remember. The only thing we thought we knew was that he came in a Burger King kid’s meal circa 1990. Russell is my toy expert, but even he was stumped (despite the fact that he apparently has a blue one WHAT ARE THE ODDS). So he posted about it on Reddit, and several hours later, we had our answer! (This is why the Internet exists, right?) This guy is apparently from a Roy Rogers kid’s meal and was featured in the show Gator Tales, a cartoon that only aired in the Midwest—hence why none of us could remember it! WHO KNEW? I think my parents were as excited as I was to finally put this mystery to rest, haha!

Hope you have a great weekend! xo

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High Five for Friday: December 21

JessComment

I don’t know about you, but this week FLEW by for me! Let’s see what brought the sparkle:

  • On Saturday, I traded my ice skates for roller skates and went roller skating with Kristin and a few other friends. I used to rollerblade all the time when I was a kid, but now, I can’t fathom the last time that would have happened. 1997? Surprisingly, it wasn’t too hard, just exhausting! Why is it that, as an adult, you’ll be sore for five to seven days after doing any physical activity you did as a kid?! 
Kristin, serving them sweater lewks 😍 

Kristin, serving them sweater lewks 😍 

  • On Sunday, I saw Bohemian Rhapsody again because I need an intervention! I’m not someone who usually even likes going to the movies, let alone going to see the same movie four times! 🙈 But I’m in love with the music and the cast, so having heart-eyes for two hours never seems like the worst use of my time. Plus, I’m practically celebrating the fact that I could even sit through a movie four times! In August, my anxiety was so bad that I literally went to Maggie’s one day and paced around her room because I couldn’t sit still (but also couldn’t stop crying when I was alone). Not only do I not currently feel like that, but I’ve been feeling almost happy, even! 😂💃

 

  • How the heck is Christmas four days away?! I have been so behind with my Christmas shopping this year, but luckily, I went shopping for an hour after work on Wednesday and got gifts for TWO people! Annnd also a gift for myself, the best kind of gift! 😂

  • I laughed way too hard at this meme. I am the worst gift-wrapper, so this is basically how I feel during the whole gift-wrap process, haha.
#TOOREAL

#TOOREAL

  • And lastly, this lovely calico is really not into these Christmas decorations! (The captions are really 💯.)

I hope y’all have a wonderful weekend and holiday!! xoxo

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High Five for Friday: December 14

JessComment

Last week was our Disney World trip, so of course that’s what brought the sparkle! 🤩

  • On our first day, we did Epcot on three hours sleep (thank you, 6 AM flight!), and we had quite a time, despite the delirium! We did Soarin’ (one of our fave rides at Disneyland) and Spaceship Earth (which was nice and tame 👌🏻) and visited the little country shops! (Japan was, once again, my fave, although I regret not getting Coffee Crisp in Canada when I had the chance! 😭)
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  • On Saturday, we did the Magic Kingdom and met up with my friend Kristin, who just happened to be there with her fam at the same time! (I think finding out she would be there is what convinced Pops to schedule our trip when he did, haha!) We had DOLE WHIPS (!!) and took a nearly heart-attack-inducing ride on Big Thunder Mountain! (This used to be the only roller coaster I enjoyed, and now, it freaks me out too WAH. I was just repeatedly saying, “OH MY GOD” the whole time!)
THE GANG’S ALL HERE! 

THE GANG’S ALL HERE! 

My FAVORITE ride of the whole trip was Aladdin’s Magic Carpets! You just “fly” on your magic carpet at a reasonable speed, and you can control if/when it goes up and down. PERF. This is how psyched I was on our first magic carpet ride:

A whole new wooooorld! 

A whole new wooooorld! 

I also loved the teacups (although maybe not as much as Pops... 😂), and my beloved Jungle Cruise was the “Jingle Cruise” for the holidays! (A slow moving ride full of corny jokes?! Yes please!) 

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  • On Sunday, it RAINED until like 3 PM (😮), so we hung out in our hotel room and chilled for awhile. I actually very much appreciated the chance to rest after such an exhausting few days! Plus, Father of the Bride (I and II!) happened to be on TV, so I was happy as a clam!

 

  • Once the rain stopped, we went back to Epcot because that was the park open the latest that day. This time around, we did the new Frozen ride, which was cute, and Soarin’ again, and got a giant pretzel in Germany! #yolo
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  • Let’s end the post with this guy that Pops bought me in Japan! HOW. STINKIN’. CUTE. I think it’s a bear dressed up like a calico cat with another lil cat friend?!? 😍😭😍 How could I resist?!
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Hope you have a great weekend! xo

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