Fanny Packs+ Should You Get One

Like most kids in the 90s I had a fanny pack. When this bag started popping up on celebrities a couple of years ago I was sure it was just a passing trend. But of course it is still here and I can’t really say if it will stay or go. Honestly, I really like the functionality of the bag. It keeps your hand free to do whatever and unlike a crossbody you don’t have to adjust it.

I love the look of having it slung over the chest instead of the traditional way of wearing one. I’m still nervous about the longevity of the trend so I’m interested in dropping a ton of money on one. So of course I found some really inexpensive ones, I even found a designer one that’s not too much if you want some designer in your bag collection.

Forever 21
Marc Jacobs
Amazon

What are your thoughts on the fanny pack trend? Will you be trying it?

Straw Bags+Trends I Love

There’s something about a straw bag that let’s everyone around you know that you are the fun laid back type of person. They’re effortless yet stylish and have somehow ended up on the chic runways during the fashion weeks.

It has finally warmed up and Spring is definitely here with Summer right around the corner. Now I’m piecing together outfits for future shoots. What I have noticed missing from my bag collection is a versatile straw bag.

You can wear it with a floral summer dress or a simple t-shirt and jeans.

I found some bags on the internet that are affordable and stylish.

Click on photo to purchase

This is the recent blogger favorite the Cult Gaia bamboo clutch bag. Okay, so this bag has been a hit among Instagram models and fashion bloggers. Made by an indie brand this bag is a big hit even for the most elite fashion crowds. It’s the more expensive bag on the list but it’s definitely making a name for itself by becoming a classic addition to your bag collection.

Click on photo to purchase

This is definitely a classic silhouette. The great thing about this bag is that it can go from the beach to a date night on a hot summer night. This bag is from one of my favorite places: Gap.

Click on photo to purchase

I’m not going to lie, I still want this bag. I originally found it on Amazon when I was searching for a bag for my upcoming vacation. I have since opted for my laser cut Summer Rose crossbody. I like this bag because it’s a backpack so it’s great for festival season.

Amina Winter Box+Review

I’m so excited to share this Etsy shop with you all! Wild Plants Love You was sweet enough to send me out there winter box full of natural feel good items. I know spring is so soon but if you live in the Midwest you probably know that winter never really ends here in Cleveland. The snow keeps coming and the coldness never really goes away. From the start of this winter I have experienced the worst allergies. I’m not sure if it has to do with traveling or extreme weather but this winter has been awful for me. I try to use natural products to make me feel better. I’d prefer to know what’s going in my body. Before I get into the contents of the box I want to share with you all ways I make myself feel better.

  • I drink lots of water. Staying hydrated can really make a difference in how you feel. You’ll be surprised how well you will begin to feel once you hydrate your body. I use an app to remind me to drink liquids throughout the day. It’s easy to forget to stay hydrated when there’s a blizzard outside.
  • Face mask. When I feel really gross from a cold or allergies I do a face mask. Sometimes I use a clay mask (my favorite) or a sheet mask (great for lazy days). The only reason I can tell you that this makes me feel better is because it’s nice to pamper yourself.
  • Drink a cup of tea. This goes with staying hydrated but I also feel as though it helps to relax. There’s something about sitting down and enjoying a nice hot cup of tea.

Before I get into the box I should mention that the winter box is no longer available but you can get the spring box which is just as cool. Okay so now I can get into the awesome contents of the box I was sent.

Ruby Delight Syrup– a tasty syrup you can put into your drinks throughout the day to make you feel better. It’s full of herbs that do great things for the body.

Release+Renewal Incense– I love incense. I love it when I meditate and when I just want to relax.

Cool Balm– have you ever felt achy and stiff during the winter? Well, this balm is for you. It’s great if you have a cold or flu.

Cardamom+Anise Infused Honey– I love this honey! It’s great in tea and even great in oatmeal. If winter had an official flavor this honey would be it.

Sage+Mint Throat Spray– I love this spray so much because my allergies give me the worst sore throats. This soothes this so well.

Deep Breaths Aroma Inhaler– this inhaler is the calmest thing I have ever used. I actually just used it. For me it’s calming but also wakes you up.

I’m so grateful for having the opportunity to try out everything in this box. I hope you all will check out the Etsy shop to see if anything interests you.

February Book Review+Valley of the Dolls

I’ll be honest I couldn’t finish The Dark Tower so I’ll just be jumping right into my next book in the book review series. If you’ve been following my blog and social media for awhile you know how much I love Sharon Tate. One of her most famous roles was her portrayal as Jennifer in Valley of the Dolls. I love that movie more than words can describe so I won’t waste so much time confessing my love for it.

However, I am very excited to start this book and give you all a review. I chose Valley of the Dolls for February because this book has so much love in it. Romantic love and love between friends. I’m on a 60’s kick right now so that’s the other reason for this book choice.  As always I hope you all join me in reading this. Sorry for the last review, I promise to stick with this.

Virginia Woolf+Life Update

Did you all know that today would have been Virginia Woolf’s 136th birthday. I’m a huge fan of her work and what she believed in. Lately, I’ve been very passionate about my career and where I want to go with it. Last year put me back a bit, but I’m ready to conquer the world and make a name for myself.

This year so far has been very interesting. I’m finally feeling mentally healthy and I feel like I can control my anxiety and depression. My OCD is so in control now. Life brings unexpected surprises and the main surprise for me this year is falling in love with the most incredible man. I can’t wait to see where we go and how we grow.

I’m grateful for the relationship I have with my mom and sister and how much we’ve grown from the traumatic experiences we dealt with last year. I feel like things are finally coming together.

Virginia Woolf once said “My own brain is to me the most unaccountable of machinery – always buzzing, humming, soaring roaring diving, and then buried in mud. And why? What’s this passion for?”

I’m going to take this passion and make it into something that will change my life.

Writer’s Residency+Update

I don’t think I’ve told you all that a few weeks ago I was unexpectantly invited to stay at Ragdale in Illinois for almost a month. long story short I applied in the spring but wasn’t accepted, a few weeks ago I received an email congratulating me on receiving the Creative Access Fellowship. Of course, I accepted it, I wanted it, but something kept popping up in my mind. I would be away from my mom and sister.

As you all know by now my family and I had to live in a domestic violence shelter for a good chunk of the year and for the other part of it we were homeless and abused daily. It wasn’t until August we had found a home of our own and could finally leave the shelter. This is the first time this year I’ve been away from my mom and sister. We’ve been together every step of the way during this tough year. I miss them and I know I’ll miss them every day but I also know that I have to do what will help my career. I’ve been given a wonderful gift and that is time to do what I’ve loved since I was a little girl.

I at a strange point in my career. I’ve been doing journalism and nonfiction since graduating high school, but before that I only wrote fiction, now I’m getting back into fiction (science fiction and horror) and to be honest I’m stuck, worried, and I’m trying to build up the confidence.  I just keep thinking to myself “I can do more then review a face mask, I can write good fiction if I really work hard at it” but that’s easier said than done.

I’m only 25 and I’m still figuring myself out and I’ll probably be figuring myself out for awhile, that’s life right? All I know is that I want to be a writer. I want to change the world in some way, I don’t know how yet. I want to make a difference.

Today I got up really early (5 am early) and got started on my day. I had cereal and fruit for breakfast and tea of course. I did my brand new “travel skincare routine” (I basically used my Chanel eye mask all over my face because I have no other moisturizer and I forgot my regular products back at home) and I decided to write but the weird thing is I couldn’t. As much as I tried I found myself just staring at the screen of my computer. I keep telling myself not to put pressure on myself but I was chosen for a reason and I should use this time wisely but all I could do today was read. Hopefully, tomorrow is better.

Coffee And A Classic+Review

There’s nothing I love more than reading a good book and drinking a nice cup of tea. I feel like books and hot drinks just go together. I also have a deep love for classic novels. I’m convinced Coffee and a Classic was made for me and others who want nothing more than to read in peace and sip their tea. Each month Coffee and a Classic send you a themed box. You get a classic novel and a really cool mug. They also include little things to go with it. Sometimes we forget about how awesome classic novels are, so this is a great way to revisit those stories that made us fall in love with literature.

I love the theme of this box because it’s nature/woods themed. Another thing I would want to mention is that the box all of the items come in is a photo box. I can’t wait to reuse it as a memory box.

 

The book that gives this months box its theme is “Walden or Life in the Woods” by Henry Thoreau I’ve never read this book but I am very excited to dive into it. It looks interesting and makes for a great Sunday morning read.
I have a strange love for mugs. I love the design of this one, it’s super cozy and green is one of my favorite colors. This mug is really big, too so it will hold a lot of tea for me.
Not only is this a piece of a log, but it is also a magnet. How strange is it for me to be excited on my refrigerator?
This candle makes me happy every time I sniff it. It smells like pine, campfire, and burnt marshmallows (my favorite)
If I remember correctly this bookmark is made out of linen. I actually might start using a bookmark.
It’s chai and I love chai. I’m a happy camper.

 

I remember the first time I made smores at a campfire, this brought back nostalgic memories. I also love s’mores.

I love this subscription box and I’m so happy I’ve been able to work with them to bring this review to you all. I definitely recommend this box for book and tea (or coffee drinkers).

 

*This box was sent to me for a review but all opinions are my own

Lazy Sunday+Summer Reading List

I thought I would take a break from the sponsored posts and share some cool stuff with you all. You all know that I like love to read and I love talking about books even more. I’ll be honest it’s tough to read given the nature of my environment right now but once that’s over I’ll be reading as much as I want without constant distractions.

I have an Amazon Wishlist where I add books and tea that I would like to eventually get. If I’m listening to a podcast and hear a few book recommendations I add them to my list. I also get recommendations from Vogue magazine. I love being able to read the excerpts of the books. It’s a great way to learn about new authors or new books.

Photo does not belong to me

Let’s start off with the most recent book I’ve heard about. Witches of New York by Ami McKay This is high on my list for books I want to be able to read, it doesn’t come out until July 11th but is available for preorder. I’m not sure if I ever shared this with you all but I’m a huge fan of historical fiction.

The story is about two witches in the 1800s who finally feel comfortable to be themselves without being prosecuted (this takes place two hundred years after Salem) for who they are. They open a shop in New York selling potions, teas, and other items. They soon hire another young woman who shows signs of being a witch or just sick.

It seems like a great read and I’m very excited about it. I also wouldn’t complain if Ami McKay sent this book for a review. Just saying.

Photo does not belong to me

This one is going to be a hit, I can already tell. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid is a tale of love, loss, and a whole lot of glamour. Evelyn Hugo is an older Hollywood star who is known for her love life. She asks a down on her luck journalist to write her memoir. She agrees to do it without fully understanding why Evelyn wants her to do it but she needs the job and gets down to business. Evelyn is known to be private so her sharing her life with the world is a big deal. I need to read this, it sounds so good, right?

Photo does not belong to me

War, love, loss, new relationships is basically The Alice Network by Kate Quinn in a nutshell. A young woman from the northeast of the USA in the 40’s is threatened to be disowned by her family for being pregnant. She’s sent to Europe to “take care of the problem” but instead goes to London to try to find her cousin who is more like a sister to her who was lost during the war. In the process, she finds a woman who could possibly help her on her quest. She also learns about a group of women who helped the war and went by the name “The Alice Network”. I love stories like these because even though they are fiction they have a lot of truth to them.

 

What books are you looking forward to reading this summer? Let me know in the comments.

Bullet Journal+How To Start One

I’m currently taking art therapy to help with my anxiety from dealing with domestic abuse and one of the things I started was a journal but not your typical “dear diary” journal, this is a visual/bullet journal.

I write a lot for a lot of different reasons and as much as I enjoy love it I need a break sometime to relax my mind. That’s one of the reasons I started the visual journal because it’s more art based. I’m not an artist in the sense that I can draw or paint or even sculpt but I do love to just have fun with and being a victim of domestic abuse leaves a lot of room in my mind for the negative things I went through to pop up. Doing a bullet journal keeps those thoughts away even if it’s only for a little while.

I found a definition for a bullet journal so you can have a better idea about what it is before I get into how to start one.

“A bullet journal is just a notebook that accommodates a huge variety of planning schemes. You can create calendars and to-do lists, and you can also use it as a diary, a brainstorming notepad, and more.”- Life Hacker

  1. Find a notebook. They actually sell “bullet journals” but you can honestly use a regular notebook the way I did.
  2. . Decorate it and customize it. It’s yours so you can have it as plain or heavily collaged with Mod Podge like my journal.
  3. It can be as organized as you want or not organized at all. Some people make an index and color coordinate their to-do lists. But that is all up to what you want to do.
  4. Don’t feel obligated to write in it all of the time. Use it when a thought comes to you. Or you could make it into a planner to keep you updated.

Most importantly, have fun with it. It’s yours and you control how you do it what you put into it. Pinterest is a great way to get some inspiration to update your daily logs.

 

Self Care+Why You Should Do It

It’s such a cliche thing to say but it’s really true that you can only take care of others if you take care of yourself. Try not to look at it as being selfish but instead look at it as making an investment in yourself.

Self-care is important for your overall health. Mental and physical. There’s also no wrong way with doing self-care you should do it the way you feel it will benefit you the best way. For me taking a long hot shower and doing a skin care routine makes me feel a million times better. I feel refreshed and renewed.

A big mug of hot tea also helps me feel more relaxed and a  comfy sweater and good book even makes the mood better. You definitely don’t need an extravagant routine it can be as simple as taking a walk or painting your nails.

For a  long time, I always felt like self-care was a selfish act but it’s actually the complete opposite. It’s okay for me to better myself and take care of my own needs. I can give to others and still give to myself.

Below I have a list of things you can do to practice self care:

  • Take a shower/bubble bath
  • Make your favorite recipe
  • Give yourself a manicure
  • Do a face mask
  • Take a nap
  • Look at the moon or stars or clouds
  • Take a walk
  • Have a cup of tea
  • Light incense or candles
  • Read a book
  • Meditate
  • Keep a journal