The 52 Lists Project: Mood Boster playlist

Sunday, September 27, 2015

My sister Danielle sent me The 52 Lists Project by Moorea Seal in the mail this week, and I'm already in love. It's a list-journaling prompt book with a new topic for each week, broken out seasonally. Since last week was the first week of fall, I began in the fall section of the book on List 40: list your top 20 mood-boosting songs. 

Of course, I couldn't stop at 20. Here's my list, in no particular order. Ultimate tonic for a grey day, perfect accessory for sunshine. 

1. That Thing You Do (from That Thing You Do!), the Wonders
2. Do You Believe in Magic?, The Lovin' Spoonful
3. I Don't Wanna Know - Fleetwood Mac
4. Stand by Me - Ben E. King
5. Hollywood - RAC/Penguin Prison
6. There's Something Better - Freelife
7. Elevate - St. Lucia
8. Somebody Loves You - Betty Who
9. How Will I Know? - Whitney Houston 
10. Okay Dolores - Dragonette 
11. There She Goes - The Las
12. Ain't No Mountain High Enough - Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell 
13. Jump For My Love - the Pointer Sisters
14. Hold On - Wilson Phillips 
15. Bailando - Enrique Iglesias 
16. A Wink and A Smile - Harry Connick Jr 
17. PYT - Michael Jackson 
18. Signed Sealed Delivered - Stevie Wonder 
19. Peace Train - Cat Stevens 
20. You've Got the Love - Candi Stanton
21. Caraluna - Bacilos
22. Ooh Lala - the Faces
23. I'll Be There - Jackson 5
24. Somebody Like You - Keith Urban
25. Jump - Madonna 
26. Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic - the Police 
27. Ain't That Love - Ray Charles 
28. Here Comes Your Man - Relation 
29. All Dressed Up in Love - Jennifer Hudson
30. Man in the Mirror - Michael Jackson 

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Date Night, done with swag

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Jacket: Piperlime | Shirt: Forever21 | Skirt: thrifted | Bra: Free People 

I think what you choose to wear on a date says a lot about your perception of, and comfort with, your own personality. In my early twenties, if a first date was looming you would find me in a general frenzy: pre-gaming with way too much gin, straight ironing, applying and re-applying eyeliner, trying on every heel in my closet, stressing about whether or not my perfume was too strong. Hoping hard that the woman at the next barstool wasn't going to look cooler and more put together than I did. I wasn't unhappy with myself, just unsure in that early twenties way. You're an independent adult, but not yet fully confident in your own ins and outs. 

I'm turning 28 in a couple of weeks, and it's safe to say I've figured out who I am. 

Granted, I didn't wear this on a first date. I wore this on a bizillionth date with my boyfriend of almost three years, who knows me like the back of his hand. Even so, I know now that confidence is absolutely the most powerful and intoxicating thing you can wear on a date. 

So in this case, I picked things I love - things that make me feel like myself.

Case in point: wild hair that has spent all summer in the sun and is now a little lighter. A vintage silk skirt that I thrifted in Portland on an awesome weekend trip with my three sisters (my favorite humans on earth). A drapey tank-top that feels like you're wearing air. A peek of my favorite bra. A black leather bomber that makes me feel like it's 1985 I'm one of the back up dancers in the "How Will I Know" music video. No makeup but my favorite lipstick: Albeit's Vermillion. Enough rings to make me feel like I could be wearing brass knuckles.

I wanna know, loves - what's the thing in your closet that never fails to make you feel like your sassiest, happiest, most confident self? 

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Weekend Uniform

Monday, September 14, 2015

Tank: Urban Outfitters | Denim: Madewell | Ring: Anthropologie 

This is my new go-to weekend uniform. I've been in some variation of it almost every day.

muscle tank 
+ red lip 
foolproof outfit. 

This tank was an out of character impulse buy several years ago but I can honestly say it's one of my favorite things in my closet. I wear it at least once a week. 

It's also been a summer of undone hair - I've been washing it less and less. And lately I cannot be bothered to wear a bra, either - I guess it was only a matter of time before I embraced California abandon. 

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Four Years Later...

Friday, September 11, 2015

Looking back at one of my favorite outfits ever. It is bonkers that 4 years have gone by since I posted it! You can see the original post here

Top: Banana Republic | Shorts: Anthropologie | Blazer: Forever21 | Tote: Banana Republic 
Shoes: Jessica Simpson | Necklace: Leonora Dame

Worn to work this week: same top, same shorts, same vibe. 

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Lace Two Ways

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Top, shoes, and tote: Banana Republic | Skirt: Anthropologie 
Necklace: Anna Joyce Design, bought at Bella Vita | Glasses: Forever21

I wore this to work last week. I hadn't washed my hair in four days and was light on sleep, so I figured glasses, red lips, and a very distracting skirt were my best defenses. 

I keep finding myself wearing lace on lace on lace on lace lately...

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Five Tips on camping from the least outdoors-y girl on the west coast

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

This weekend I went camping with my boyfriend and a couple of our friends at Mt. Diablo State Park. Aside from two one-night tent adventures in college (one in Tennessee and the other on a beach somewhere between Monterey and Santa Barbara), I've never done a real camping trip in my life. I'll be the first to tell you, I am not the outdoorsy type. I often feel like the only girl in California who doesn't shoot out of bed at 5AM on a Saturday, grab her Camelback and Nikes, and race for the nearest mountain to hike. That being said, I do feel a great sense of awe and admiration for nature around me, so I figured it would be fun to find a balance while camping.

Does camping freak you out a bit? Still want to try it?

I had a blast, and if I can do it, so can you.

Here's a few things I learned. 

1) Realtalklive, I am a terrible hiker. If you are too, know your limits, don't apologize, and find a way to enjoy the ride.

I didn't make it all the way up to the summit of Mt. Diablo, but I made it halfway and the views were still stunning. Even though I'm not a great hiker I found things to enjoy along the way - gecko spotting, tallying the different types of blue jays (4, by my count), listening to wind move through dry, long grass. I went as far as I could, until my knees started hurting and I got grumpy - then I listened to my body and immediately headed back to camp. I often get down on myself for not being athletic enough, but everybody has their strengths. Running? Hills? Not really for me. But put me on a dance floor or in the water and I'll go for hours. Point is, it's okay to not get to the top every single time.

2) Two nights is perfect for a first timer.

I only slept about 3 hours our first night in the campsite. I was kept awake by the chorus of crickets, freezing temperatures and the threat of some unknown beast creeping into our camp. But in the back of my head I knew we only had one more night - a perfect opportunity for a do-over. Maybe it was exhaustion, or the heat of being in the sun all day, but on night two I slept soundly for at least 6 hours, which was more than enough. 

(Sidenote, bring an air mattress. It will save you.)

3) An open sky (especially one full of stars) has healing power.

Hands down, the best part about camping was the stars. Our campsite was about 1500 feet above sea level, and we were a long way from any major light pollution: perfect star-gazing conditions. We spotted constellations and saw shooting stars and pointed out planets. I thought about NASA's recent discovery of Kepler-186f, a strikingly earth-like planet. I thought about how much my daily madness doesn't matter. We talked about how small we are. 

It's a time-tested, camper-approved cliche: looking at the stars will always change your perspective.

4) California is gorgeous, and also bone dry. Bring lots of water & only use what you need.

We all know that there is a catastrophic drought happening in California right now. To be completely honest, it is very easy to forget this living in San Francisco or Oakland. Here and there I see that the ground is dry, but we are still usually covered in wet fog from the Pacific. Each yard becomes more dry after you pass over the Oakland Hills and into the East Bay suburbs. All of the water at our campsite was turned off, and no wood fires of any kind were allowed. There was greenery, but it was dry, brittle and yellow. I knew it was true, but it was startling to see it first hand.

5) Even if tarantulas are native to an area, they're probably going to leave you alone, so RELAX.

Apparently they're all over Mt. Diablo, but no, I did not see a single tarantula. The chances of actually running into the terrifying creature you're fearing on a camping trip will usually be small, so don't freak out every time you hear a breeze in the grass. You'll be okay.

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