Breathe, Inspire

What Did You Learn Today?

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It’s no secret that being a student is hard. Whether you’re in first grade or are a senior in college, motivating yourself to push through long weeks of classes and schoolwork can be a trying task at the least. Around my high school, this three-week period between Thanksgiving and Christmas break is always a particularly sluggish, as everyone channels their energy into “getting it over with” as quickly as possible. While I’m definitely guilty of this, I also try to remember the reason we go to school in first place: to learn and become better prepared for our futures. Lately, whenever I find myself getting fed up with it all, I try to remember all the genuinely interesting stuff I learned that day. For example? Today, I learned how to measure someone’s blood pressure in anatomy class. Yesterday, I found out that the only way to say “clockwise” in French is “dans le sens des aiguilles d’une montre.Call me a nerd or whatever, but I think that’s pretty cool.

Okay, your turn. Take a couple minutes and ask yourself what you learned today. This applies even you’re not in school: I genuinely believe that we spend our lives as students of the universe, and are constantly discovering new things from calculus formulas to how to not lose it when another driver is aggressively tailgating you (this, my friends, I also learned this week). So think about and tuck your answers away in your brain or even write it down for the next time you’re feeling “meh.” In my experience, there are few things more boosting than looking back on all the amazing lessons you’ve collected.

xx

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Live

Scents and Sensibility

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I was working my way through The Picture of Dorian Gray last week when I cam across this line: “He saw that there was no mood of the mind that had not its counterpart in the sensuous life”. This excerpt came from an entire paragraph describing the main character’s fascination with scents, and his mission to discover the properties “in violets that woke the memory or dead romances, and in musk that troubled the brain.”

Aside from being beautifully written, these prose immediately recalled for me the modern-day concept of perfume. I myself have four scents on my dresser, and I relish in adopting the various personas evoked by each. Wether I’m feeling light and girly or looking for something a little more demure, there’s something special about the transformational power of a good perfume. Inspired by this idea and the passage from Dorian Gray, today I’m sharing my scent collection, as well as collages and descriptions of the moods each bottle creates for me!

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Juicy Couture ‘Viva la Juicy’ Eau de Parfum

wild berries, vanilla, & jasmine

The first word the comes to mind when I smell Viva la Juicy is “girly.” This, quickly followed by other descriptors such as “fun,” “flirty,” and, most importantly, “pink.” It’s pretty strong, so I wear it lightly whenever I’m in need of a “night out with the girls” kind of mood.

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Ralph Lauren ‘Romance’ Eau de Parfum

woods, florals, & musk

RL’s ‘Romance’ always makes me think of crisp, fresh linens. Despite the heavier musk and wood notes, it’s very clean and minimal. Whenever I smell this I always imagine summery white dresses and vintage RL catalogues from the 90s.

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Chanel ‘Chance’ Eau de Toilette

citrus, hyacinth, jasmine, amber of patchouli, & vetiver

Of all the scents on shelf, I have to say ‘Chance’ has a special place in my heart. This perfume is carefree and elegant, the kind that trails behind you in a good way. I spritz this beauty on whenever I need a boost of vibrancy and some of that je ne sais quoi.

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J.Crew ‘No. 31’

damson plum, Bulgarian rose, & patchouli

Inspired by the first all-female art exhibition hosted by Peggy Guggenheim in the 1940s, J.Crew’s ‘No. 31’ is my smart lady scent. It’s definitely an LBD perfume, as I love wearing to school on occasion or for meetings and family dinners.

What are your favorite perfumes? What moods/personas do they create for you?

xx

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Breathe, Live

Silence

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“The quieter you become, the more you can hear.” – Ram Dass

Full disclosure: I 100% Googled this quote five seconds before writing this post. Yes, I know that’s technically cheating. But while this isn’t a phrase I’ve held close for very long, the events of the past few days have taught to deeply appreciate its meaning. As many of you may have read in last Friday’s post, I spent last weekend on a writers’ retreat with my school. It was a pretty small group (17 students plus 3 to 4 teachers), and we spent the whole weekend writing, reading, and simply being creative without the distractions of the outside world. As one might assume, this process involved a lot of silence.

Before this weekend, I thought I knew what “silence” was. All that time alone in my room, it was quiet and introspective enough, right? Um, wrong. During the retreat we had several hours-long writing/reading blocks, most of which were conducted in complete silence. We’re talking a bunch of teenagers in a small house with only the crackle of the fireplace for a soundtrack. It was bliss.

The thing about silence is that it frees up so much space in your brain. As the above quote drives home, the absence of external stimulation allows you to really tune into your own thoughts and energies. It’s as if someone finally gave you the keys to your own mind, and you’re exploring it all for the first time like “wow.”

Coming home from the retreat felt like emerging from a very deep sleep that leaves you both well-rested and tired at the same time. My hands were sore and my eyes were hazy, but my brain was still full of this creative energy that I’ve never experienced before. Even a few days later, I finding myself really driven to create stuff, from a new collage for my bulletin board to a series of essays and stories I started over the weekend. The only thing blocking me from doing all of this is exactly what I left behind on the retreat: screens and other excess stimuli. As a result, I’m trying to cutback on my time zoning out on the Internet or social media by reading more during the day, writing whenever I can (in a notebook, of course), and just generally embracing more silence. To be clear, this isn’t about swearing off technology and declaring 21st century living totally evil, but rather about embracing the creative tools I already have on hand. The result, I hope, will be work that I’m proud of, and maybe someday will share here, with all of you.

Have you ever had a radical run-in with the powers of silence? What was your experience like?

xx

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Inspire

Week in Review

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via*

Oh. My. Gosh. Can this be real? After what feels like an eternity, we’ve finally arrived at Thanksgiving break. While I can’t wait to rest up and have some more free time, I’m actually really looking forward to this weekend, as I’m going on a writers’ retreat with my school. It’s a pretty small group (only about fifteen of us plus teachers), and I’m ready to unplug and my creative juice flowing again.🙂

What’re you up to over the next week? Can you believe Thanksgiving is already here?!

. . .

Man Repeller’s ‘Office Apropos’ is always a favorite.

I really loved the feature on the daily writing habits of ten favorite authors. Haruki Murakami’s routine is for real.

Something tells me I’m not the only one who could use this: How to de-stress according to your astro sign.

Awesome photos of New York City then and now.

Love, love, loved this dress on Nicolette.

xx

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Breathe

To Get You Through a “Blah” Day…

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We all have those days. You know, the ones when you wake up and just don’t feel “right”? Whether it’s bloating that wasn’t there the day before or new muscle definition you’re not sure you’re down with, your body image self-worth take a serious hit. A lot of this is natural: Our bodies are constantly evolving (it’s part of what makes them amazing!), so it makes sense that we fall in and out of certain sensations. It becomes a problem, however, when we loose the ability to see past this discomfort not just for one day, but for weeks, months, years, and even a lifetime. I know what this feels (read a bit about it here), and I’m pretty sure many of you do, too. And while I’ve been working hard on changing my negative thought patterns, this week has been rough. Needless to say, then, I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw an email form the immaEATthat* newsletter in my inbox, announcing the kickoff of a five-day body image challenge. The activity for day one? Every time you have a negative thought about your body, type an emojii into the Notes app on your phone. The goal? Creating awareness of how many hurtful thoughts we subject your body to, and hopefully inspiring you to start making positive change.

To get myself back on the body love train, I’ll be partaking in the emojii activity today (albeit a few days late). Regardless of where you are with your personal body image, I hope a few of you will join me. Even when we’re in a really positive place, it’s always beneficial to check-in and reaffirm all the goodness.🙂

With that, have a wonderful Thursday! Be sure to check back here tomorrow for a quick recap/Week in Review.

xx

*Find more info on immaEATthat here.

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Dress, Live

Inspired By…The Crown & Good Girls Revolt

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Do you ever stumble upon the most binge-worthy shows just when you’re about to get swamped by other (read: mandatory) commitments? This is a pretty consistent pattern in my life, and the past few weeks have been no exception. This time around, the “other commitments” consist of the usual, aka a literal mountain of school work and extracurriculars. Those shows, though? None other than Netflix’s The Crown and Amazon Prime’s Good Girls Revolt. As the title implies, the former charts the first years of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, whereas the latter follows the lives of young female researchers at a fictional New York newspaper in the early ‘70s. The storyline, the intrigue, the accents…it’s all there, but I’m also swooning over the fashion. The Crown’s look is a little more conservation but decadent to boot, whereas Good Girls Revolt offers an interesting look at the transition between the mod 60s and the boho days that followed. Check out some of my favorite moments from each below!

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Young Elizabeth’s headgear is always #goals. I’m thinking headscarves are order for fall…

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…And Princess Margaret also never fails to bring her “A” game. Note another excellent scarf situation.

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Flash forward a couple days: The women in the newsroom at New of the Week each have a style that’s all their own. Note Patty’s blouse on far right up top and mini dress on bottom.

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Good Girls Revolt also features a cameo from young Nora Ephron (center), whose dress reminds me of Nicolas Ghesquière’s debut season at Louis Vuitton.

What shows have you been watching lately?

xx

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Live

How to Create the Ultimate Running Playlist

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There are many components to the quote-end-quote perfect run. Good weather is always a factor, although this ranges depending on your personal taste. The same goes for your attire: I like long leggings with a tank top and a zip-up on top, but all that really matters is that you’re comfortable without sacrificing movement. Your route is equally important, too, because nothing makes an uphill trek more worth it than some stunning trees to line your path. But of all these things- conditions, outfit, scenery- none are more important than the playlist. I only got into running regularly over the summer, but in that time I’ve come up with a surefire formula for making sure I have great tunes going no matter what. The key? Matching the beat/mood of the song to the stage of your run. Confused? Keep on scrollin’ and you’ll see what I mean.🙂

 :: The Beginning ::

I love listening to really upbeat, kicking butt-type songs when I first start running. Not only are they fun to listen to in general, but they’re perfect for getting me amped up for what’s ahead. Below are my top five of the moment.

“Unstoppable”Sia

“Freedom” – Beyoncé ft. Kendrick Lamar

“Wild Things” – Alessia Cara

“Dog Days are Over” – Florence + the Machine

“Sit Still, Look Pretty” – Daya

:: The Uphill Battle ::

We all know that moment- the toughest part of your route where the inclines (not to mention the burning!)  seem unending. In these moment, it’s essential to have the right music to push you through.

“80s Mercedes” – Maren Morris

“Ironic” – Alanis Morissette

“Alive” – Sia

“Ex’s and Oh’s” – Elle King

“Don’t” – Ed Sheeran

:: The Home Stretch/Cool Down ::

The final moments/cool down process are probably the most important part of your run. I like to set the right mood by listening to slower, more relaxed songs that are great for making it down that last stretch as well as stretching your muscles.

“Breakaway” – Kelly Clarkson

“Fast Car” – Tracy Chapman

“Hold Back the River” – James Bay

“Renegades” – X Ambassadors

“Chasing Pavements” – Adele

. . .

What’s your go-to running playlist? Do you follow a specific formula, or just go with the flow?

xx

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