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Week in Review

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Happy Friday, friends! It feels like it’s been ages since we’ve had a Week in Review on here, so I’m psyched to be back at it this afternoon. It’s been a long week of tennis practice and last-minute schoolwork (does anyone else find that summer homework seems to pile up in the last few weeks?), so I’m more than ready for two days of relative leisure. The past few days have also been kind of exciting, as I’ve been seeing some family and friends off to college. Now that I’m looking down the barrel of senior year, I couldn’t help but be a little jealous of all the adventures awaiting them! I’m trying to remember it’s just one more year…

How was your week? Got any weekend plans?

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Pandora Sykes is a modern Brigitte Bardot on vacation in Seville.

Emily Greener of I AM THAT GIRL is my new favorite.

The Nanny was one of my favorite shows to binge-watch as a kid, so I’m loving this Instagram account celebrating Fran Fine’s inimitable style.

It turns out bookworms just might outlive the rest of the population. #winning

Did you catch this week’s “kitchen sink spa night” post? If you liked that, you’ll love hearing about all-natural alternatives to cult mainstream beauty faves.

YAS, science, yas.

xx

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Kitchen Sink Spa Night

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I take my evening routine very seriously. I’m pretty introverted, so having a few hours to unwind after a long day at work or tennis practice can make all the difference in my attitude the next day. Normally, my routine looks the same: dinner, tying up loose ends with work/blogging, changing into pjs, and promptly settling into bed with either podcast or television show with some dark chocolate or another treat in hand. But even habit-driven individuals like myself need to shake it up a little bit, and a few nights ago that’s just what I did by way of what I like to call the kitchen sink spa night.

Okay, let’s backtrack a little bit. I’ve been intrigued by holistic/natural beauty and skincare for several months now, having devoured the pages of blogs like Hello Glow and books such as Adina Grigore’s Skin Cleanse. I’ve mentioned my super-sensitive skin issues on here before, so you can imagine how appealing it was to hear that I could indulge in all the typical self-care beauty tropes- face masks, hair masks, toners, etc.- without the irritating chemicals. In fact, it turns out everything I needed was right in my kitchen cabinets! It sound so obvious now, but who would’ve guessed that staples like coconut oil, honey, and oats (all of which are featured in the recipes below) that we use to nourish out insides can also work magic from the outside? Armed an ready with this new information, I couldn’t wait to get my bathrobe on and my hands dirty.

As it turns out, this week presented the perfect opportunity for a little DIY R&R. After a hard practice on Monday, I spent the rest of tennis on Tuesday was nagging twinges and aches throughout my body. I told my mom about my discomfort when I got home, and she immediately recommended I hop in a hot bath after dinner. Baths aren’t normally my thing, but once I remembered the natural beauty recipes I had on hand, I couldn’t resist an opportunity to make a night of it. A few hours later, as my mom drew my bath (extra bubbly, no epsom salts), I was hard at work prepping a hair and face mask. As you can see from the pictures below, both formulas look edible, and that’s because, well, they are! The hair mask is made of coconut oil and honey, and the face mask is a combination of mashed banana, ground oats, milk, and more honey. All super-soothing, healing ingredients that only get better when mixed into one.🙂

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I was a little nervous at first about timing everything correctly, but preparing both “recipes” was a breeze. For both masks, you just throughly combine the ingredients in a small bowl and you’re all set (see above). And, to my surprise, applying the mixtures was equally simple. For the hair mask, you simply grab a handful of the gloop and work it into your hair from the roots to the tips. I have thicker hair, so I found it worked best to apply it using scrunching motions, almost like I was applying sea salt spray or dry shampoo. Afterwards, I piled my hair in a (very greasy looking!) bun on the top of my head. I let it sit for about thirty minutes, twenty of which I was the bath and the other ten while I cooled down. I then washed it out in the shower. Don’t be worried about getting oil stuck in your hair: It comes out pretty easily, and you hair and scalp with feel squeaky clean afterwards!

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All masked up!

The face mask also couldn’t have been easier- or more enjoyable! My only recommendation when applying it is to make sure you are over a sink, as some globs will inevitably drip. The hydrating properties of the mask combined with the steam from the tub felt amazing, and after washing it off I noticed my skin looking nice and bright bright! Just what I needed after several sweaty days in the sun…

All in all, I had so much fun finally experimenting with “kitchen sink” beauty. I’m happy to report that neither mask left my skin feeling irritated, and that I’m already seeing positive results from both of them! I went for a hair cut today, and my hair dresser mentioned how “good” my tresses felt. So I’d say it was a definite success, amiright?😉

I’ll definitely be trying more beauty recipes in the future, so feel free to share any of your faves either via the comments or to astylestudy@gmail.com. I’d love to hear what you’ve been doing! If you haven’t read about/experimented with holistic, DIY skin and body care yet, I highly recommend you check it out. If nothing else, try your hand at the recipes above. In my experience, you’ll see nothing but good results.🙂

xx

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Tied On

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It’s funny how, when it comes to accessories, I seem to discover new go-tos with each passing season. This summer, in particular, saw my gravitating again and again towards a handful of pieces: my gold studs, a fun tassel bracelet, and an Hermès kerchief. This beauty is actually my mom’s (#guilty) from several years ago, but it’s safe to say I’ve made it my own over the past few months. I loved playing with new ways to incorporate the scarf into my look, wether by knotting it at my neck, looping it in my hair, or even tying it around my wrist for a funky “cuff” effect. The colorful pattern meant it went with pretty much everything, but it’s punchy scheme made it perfect for brightening up summer whites.

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What was you go-to summer accessory?

xx

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Coconut Cashew Energy Bites

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Now that I’m playing tennis for three hours each morning, I’m trying to focus on eating and drinking in a way that fuels me not only through practice, but the rest of the day as well. Enter these Coconut Cashew Energy Bites  from Nutrition Stripped. As a self-admitted nut butter and fruit addict, I can’t enough of the combination of flavors going on here, from the cashews to the dates and coconut bits. Not only that, but the wholesome ingredients list means these tiny goodies pack a serious nutritional punch, making them the perfect go-to for a mid-practice snack or an afternoon pick-me-up. I love nibbling on these bites any chance I get- my family and I can barely keep them in the house!

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What’s your favorite fuel-up snack?

xx

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Summer Bucket List: Update #2

It’s mid-August, folks, and it appears that the end-of-summer wistfulness is starting to set in. I don’t know about you, but lately it feels like no conversation is complete without someone remarking “how fast” the summer passed by. Normally, I’m the first to roll my eyes at this comment, a knee-jerk reaction that is quickly with a snarl along the lines of “Actually, daytime hours are longer in the warmer months.” This year, however, I’m forced to admit that, yeah, the last few months just flew by. Currently, I’m a weird, caught-in-the-middle phase, where the last day of school feels like both yesterday and million years ago. Jury’s still out as to which side I’ll land on, but the last several days have already been tinged with more nostalgia than the past three summers combined.

To commemorate the mysterious disappearance of June and July, today I’m sharing an update on my summer bucket list. The last time we talked, I’d only crossed off two of my six goals. Today, I’m happy to report that the situation has reversed itself: With four to-dos down, I’m left with two to go. Keep scrolling for an update on what I’ve done so far, as well as my plans for what’s ahead.🙂

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First things first: The checked off items. Last time, I told you all about my adventures with new workout classes (new update: no more Flywheel classes have been attended) and making a joy jar. In the month since then, I’ve tackled two more items, starting with living tech-free for 24 hours. It was hard scheduling my screen cleanse around my work hours, so once I got a Sunday off I jumped at the chance to unplug. Confession? It was a little anti-climatic. I’d assumed from reading articles and watching videos of other people experimenting with tech-free days that it would a huge exercise in self-discipline, but in reality my experience was almost pathetically uneventful. Aside from a couple urges to check the social, I was actually pretty happy to spend the day curled up with a book and going for a walk with my dad. It was comforting to know that I’m not as dependent on technology as I feared, and I might even consider adopting a “no cell phone” rule for each Sunday. One pitfall I want to disclaim, though: My tech-free day happened to coincide with a positively delicious family brunch. My lobster roll would have made a sick ‘gram, but alas, the opportunity was lost.

Interestingly enough, my attempt at living with a capsule wardrobe for one week was similarly mundane. In truth, by the time I got around to forcing myself to stick to a handful of pieces (one of which you can see here) for a five-day work week, I’d already been living out of only a few of my most comfortable go-tos. For that reason, my experience didn’t feel much like a “capsule wardrobe” at all- if anything, I felt like I wasn’t able to take advantage of the other great things in my closet. I’m not giving up on this one just yet, though” Come fall, I’m eager to see how I survive a school week with only 10-12 items of clothing. Before I do that, I want your advice: Should I or should I not include footwear in that limit? LMK.

And now the fun part, aka the unchecked boxes. As I mentioned in my last update, I’ve made a dent in my goal read a book in French, and am hoping to finish over Labor Day weekend. I’m really enjoying the process, and am actually surprised by how much I understand! If you have any questions about pursuing another language, please reach out- I’m all ears and would love to help.🙂

The other remaining item on my list is to do a natural beauty spa night. I’ve been looking into different “recipes” for face and hair masks, and am pretty sure I’ve settled on what I’ll be doing. Hopefully I’ll get to actually pampering myself sometime at the end of this week. Whatever the results (can anything bad happen from smearing banana on your face?), you can be sure I’ll share it all with you here on the blog, so keep your eyes peeled!

So that’s the story, readers. Four goals down, two to go, and one summer for the books.

Wishing you all a smooth Hump Day! (The latter is a huge contradiction, I know, but I like to believe that good things can happen.) Be sure to check back on Friday for more fun.

xx

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Working Girl: 5 Things I Learned From My 1st Jobs

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This past Saturday marked my final day of employment for the summer. After over six weeks, it’s hard to believe that I’m heading to tennis practice this morning as opposed to work. I really lucked out this summer: It was my first time working, and at both of my jobs I was blessed with a great boss and amazing co-workers. I can’t say every day was perfect, but looking back I realize how much fun I really had. To honor that experience, I thought my first non-working Monday was the perfect time to share some of what I learned during my first few months as a W4-signing working gal. There are so many things I could have written here, but for brevity’s sake I narrowed it down to the five takeaways that still stand out in my mind each and every day. To compare notes or scrape off some of this wisdom for yourself, be sure to keep scrolling.

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1 // Honesty is the best policy

I got some practice at the honest game within the first week of my employment. To make a long story short, there was a mix-up regarding my schedule that ended with me having to rescind a commitment to one of my bosses. I was really embarrassed by the whole thing, and couldn’t image how my boss would react. I put my nerves aside, however, and did my best to explain (not to mention apologize) the situation in an up front manner. My boss was really understanding, and I definitely felt better to have everything out in the open.

A similar thing happened just a few weeks later. This time, one of my employers overpaid me…by a lot. Although I felt a little awkward pointing out the error, my boss ultimately appreciated my coming forward. Looking back, I think both of these situations helped me early on to prove my maturity and initiative to my bosses.

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2 // Be helpful- it comes back around

One of my jobs was in a setting where it was pretty easy to create tasks for myself. Every time there was a lull in my own duties, I got busy with other chores that might not have been taken care of otherwise. I made sure everything was organized before clocking out for the day, and routinely offered to assist my superiors with any excess work. I enjoyed staying on top of things and, over time, being eager to work helped me build a rapport with my adult co-workers. These connections made a job I already liked that much more enjoyable, and I loved knowing I had a handful of friendly faces waiting for me at the start of each shift.

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3 // Part of being a good employee means taking care of yourself

I mentioned on here a few times that my work schedule was kind of intense. For starters, let me give you a better idea: From late June through July, I work 4 to 7 hours a day, 7 days a week. Whenever I started resenting the situation (which, admittedly, was more often than I would have liked), I tried reminding myself how “responsible” I was being and how much everything would payoff in the end. But, the things is, in order to be a good employee, you have to be the best version of yourself. In all honesty, there were days when I was so rundown that my attitude probably impeded my work ethic. From now on, I know that one off a week- at least- is the way to go.

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It goes without saying that every job comes with stressful situations. From cashier rushes to book shelf collapses, I got schooled in staying calm in the face of craziness. I normally a wear-their-heart-on-their-sleeve type, so this was definitely a more difficult learning curve. When it comes down to it, thought, I always felt better when I rolled my shoulders back and smiled as opposed to succumbing to the craze. Besides making both myself and those around feel calmer, putting excess tension aside for a moment (What? I never said I didn’t scream in a pillow about it later😉 ) made navigating even the toughest glitches that much easier.

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5 // Making money is easy, spending is hard

You’ve probably this phrase before and, yes, I did in fact mean to write in the reverse. Before I started working, I probably would have agreed with the “correct” assumption that it’s 10x easier to blow your earnings than it is to, well, earn them. Once I actually started making my own money, however, I started to believe the opposite was true. The sensation was so intense that I was tempted to avoid making plans with friends, and the idea of visiting a bookstore- my biggest weakness- left me feeling panicked. In the end, though, it felt good to use some of my earnings to treat myself to sushi and ice cream with a pal and, yes, to purchase new (albeit paperback) books. I don’t plan on going crazy (that’s what Amazon gift cards are for), but I won’t shy away from indulging every once and a while.🙂

All in all, this was a pretty interesting summer. At various moments, my life felt crazy, but monotonous, fun, but stressful, relaxing but also…not. I guess that just goes to show that life is more like an everything sundae than a vanilla wafer cone. And I can’t complain, really, because hey, I’ll take rainbow sprinkles any day.

xx

image credits, top to bottom

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5

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Week in Review

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Happy Friday, loves! I have to say that I’m heading into this weekend feeling more than a little nostalgic. Yesterday was my last day at one of my summer jobs, and tomorrow marks the end of my other gig! As much as I might have complained about working 6-7 days a week for the past six weeks, I’m definitely going to miss all the amazing people I met. You’ll hear more about this in a post next week, but I couldn’t have asked for better bosses and co-workers, and I’ve learned so much in the last month alone.

With that, have a great weekend! Enjoy that dog days while you can.🙂

. . .

I’ve been woefully neglectful when it comes to watching the Rio Olympics. That said, I’m still cheering on Team USA in my heart! Congratulations especially to the #FinalFive, who clinched the gold medal in women’s gymnastics this week.

Confession: I’ve wanted a bookcase with a rolling ladder/staircase ever since I watched Beauty and the Beast as a toddler.

Are you happy?

Currently coveting this shirtdress for fall.

Have you internalized any weird (read: hilarious) rules from your parents? I know I have.

So excited for Jordan (aka TBB), who is starting her 300-hour you teacher training! Read her beginning reflection here.

New life goal: complete every one of these amazing train trips.

xx

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