August Favorites on Friday

Friday, September 2, 2016

august favorites on friday
Fascinating infographic on "healthy" foods.

Absolutely loved this tribute to eight years of being vegan.

In case you were wondering...

Cadry's Seattle posts have me reeeeeally wanting to visit my brother sooner rather than later.

I've watched this minute long video about 20 times and it still makes me tear up.

These cookies look beyond incredible.


Who else kinda wishes their husband was Chris Pratt?

This dude is seriously talented. Seriously. SERIOUSLY.

Always a good reminder.

Dream come true.

This explains so much.

Have a great weekend!

The beginning of my spiritual exploration

Friday, August 19, 2016

The beginning of my spiritual development
For the majority of my life, I have been comfortable with the type of person I am and find comfort in my ability to stay true to myself no matter what others are doing. I continue to feel that way. However, over the last few months, I have had a burning desire to understand myself better. To connect to who I am on a deeper level and reach a plane of existence that has not yet been tapped. 

Have you ever felt this way? It is a weird mindset to be in for an extended period of time and can definitely begin to have adverse effects on the psyche (in my experience). I think it's because there are no clear cut answers on how to find what it is I am looking for. In order to achieve this goal, I find myself brainstorming, reading, and seeking out individuals that have a grasp on what it is I am hoping to find. In the process, I have begun to implement various forms of self exploration and spiritual exercises and interests, which are listed below. If you have any input on anything I am currently exploring or other things I should integrate into my life, please let me know. I love learning.

Crystals | I will not proclaim to be, on any level, an expert on crystals. But, I want to learn. I am currently lightly collecting, reading, and understanding the benefits of crystals. I absolutely love the idea of getting different crystals to set personal intentions and to represent the different areas of your life and self on which you want to focus. See three of my little collections here, here, and here.

Guided Meditation | I have been very interested in guided meditation for a long time. However, I always struggled with incorporating it into my life. In the past, my attempts of utilizing guided meditation have resulted in me falling asleep within three to five minutes, which isn't very beneficial. In the last couple of months, I discovered Michael Sealy on YouTube and found his meditations and voice very soothing and helpful. Rather than meditate in the typical style of sitting or laying on the floor, I listen to Sealy's recordings during my daily early morning hour long walk. It helps guide my mind for the day ahead and although I am not concentrating on his words 100% of the time, I always refocus myself after a few minutes. My favorite recordings are Detachment from Overthinking and Clearing Subconscious Negativity.

Reading | I love reading books that transform my way of thinking. When I read The Four Agreements, my mind was blown. It really helped me gain a better understanding of life, relationships, and how to process interactions. My biggest takeaway from the book has been the agreement "Don't take things personally." I find myself reciting it to myself and others often, and it is always applicable. I am also working through a book about the chakras, which I find extremely fascinating.

Yoga | I have practiced yoga on and off for approximately 12 years. However, it was always done in the privacy of my own home, with the exception of the college class I took to fulfill my exercise requirement. Over the years, I found myself yearning to take my practice to the next level in the form of a weekly class. In June, I finally gained the courage needed to practice yoga with others. I have been going once a week, usually on Wednesday nights. I truly love the fact that there is so far for me to go and perfection will never be achieved. I am not hard on myself when I lose my balance or break a balancing pose, and appreciate my teacher for always taking the time to adjust my alignment. Starting in September, I will increase my practice to twice a week and am excited for the challenge, both physically and mentally. It is such a wonderful way to zone out, concentrate on my body and breathing, and escape my over analyzing mind.

My favorite things | July Edition

Friday, August 12, 2016

My favorite things | July Edition

Beauty 

Pacifica lipstick in tenderness | During the hot, humid month in the Northeast, it feels gross to put anything on my lips besides lip balm and light lipstick. This lipstick is "your lips but better", super creamy, moisturizing, and smells like the beach. It's pretty much the only colored lip product I have reached for in the past month.

Pacifica solar palette | When it is super sticky outside, the last thing I want to do is put on makeup. This palette has been an absolute lifesaver. I have been taking complete advantage of its variety of products: bronzer, blush, eyeshadow, and cream-to-powder highlighter. It's the perfect product to get your makeup done asap. Another great thing about Pacifica's products is that they are all-natural and light, so you don't feel like you're wearing a sheet of makeup when you walk out the door into the soupy air.

Entertainment

Dept. of Speculation | I borrowed this book from the library without knowing much about it and, holy cow, it totally blew me away. I read it in two days. The writing is very minimal and vaguely reminded me of Chuck Palahniuk's style. It is a narrative of a woman who falls in love, gets married, and has a child. Interspersed are quotes and facts about astronomy, as it relates to the narrator and her life situations. I recommend it 110%.

Stranger Things | Dayv and I watched this show right as it was beginning to get the hype. He sold me on the fact that it was 80's style and would be similar to E.T. and Super 8 (two of my all-time faves). Needless to say, we watched all eight episodes within two days. I fell in love with the little boys and Winona Ryder completely blew me away. If my mom was in the same situation as Winona Ryder's character, she would have acted the same exact way, and thinking about how much my mom loves me and my brother made me appreciate the show even more.

Food

Food for Life brown rice wraps | You know those days when you're extra hungry and need a little something extra at dinner? At the beginning of the month, I was pretty much out of all my staples and was rooting around in the freezer when I came across these wraps. I have always loved them, but they had totally been neglected. I finished the pack within the week and have been purchasing them weekly ever since. When Dayv was gluten-free, he hated them, especially the fact that they kind of fall apart immediately. But, I don't care. I love the flavor and texture, and actually enjoy tearing little pieces of the tortilla to scoop up my stirfry.

July Favorites on Friday

Friday, August 5, 2016

July Favorites on Friday
French fries with peanuts on top is essentially my dream come true.

Are you paying attention?

It's better to thank someone for the room they make for you than to apologize for taking space up in their lives.

THANK YOU.

Banana splits were very special occasional treats I would enjoy at Dairy Queen with my Pop. I miss them.

I am sincerely frightened of him. I'm with her.

Crab cakes used to be a passion of mine. Now I can eat these, instead!

Dr. Bronner, you are one very magical man.

Blueberry jam is my all time favorite for pb&j and this sandwich looks damn good.

It's important to acknowledge the story we tell ourselves.

Have a great weekend!

Golden birthday wishlist

Friday, July 29, 2016

Golden birthday wishlist
Sunday is my birthday, my golden birthday to be specific. In case you are not aware (and your mother didn't tell you, as mine did), a golden birthday is also known as "lucky birthday", "champagne birthday", or " star birthday", and occurs when a person turns the age of their birth day. On Sunday, I will turn 31 on the 31st. Exciting, right?

In the last few years, fear and anxiety has accompanied my birthday. This year, I am making it as fun as possible and have several fun activities planned leading up to my big day. I'm going down the shore for a day and having dinner at my favorite sushi restaurant. Additionally, I'm throwing myself a birthday party on Saturday night. And then on my birthday, in true Caitlin-style, I'll most likely take a six hour nap to recover from the party the night before. 

As you probably know, I love making myself little wishlists for occasions that call for "presents" and also when there is no occasion at all. Although I do not consider myself a materialistic person, there are always those things that I often find myself thinking, "I wish I could have that." Truth be told, I am very frugal and have an extremely difficult time buying things for myself. If I buy myself something, it's a really big deal. So this list is a compilation of those "things" because it's nice to dream.

Balayage | I have had the itch to do something to my hair for a while. I feel like it is so boring and want a change. Although I sometimes think about cutting it into a cute little bob with bangs, Dayv is extremely attached to my long hair (what's up with men obsessed with long hair??). I recently came across the balayage technique, which is basically a chic ombre. It is extremely low maintenance, which is perfect for me. Also, it is so damn pretty. I grew up with blonde hair, and even though it hasn't been blonde for probably 15+ years, in my mind I'll always be a blonde. It would be nice to bring back a piece of my childhood into my 30's to make me feel young, vibrant, and youthful. Am I being ridiculous?

Jill Milan nolita bag | My everyday bag is Jill Milan's soma antique bucket bag. In case you are wondering if it's as magical as you imagine it to be, the answer is YES. I have worn my share of vegan bags over the last 10 years and not one even comes close to Jill Milan. The quality, construction, and fabric (both inside and out) is incredibly beautiful and durable. I love it so much. I've been eyeing the nolita since it was added to the website in the spring. I'm obsessed with the muted pink and black color combination, pattern, and flat closure. It's so perfectly chic and flawless. Since it's Jill Milan, I have no doubt that the fabric and construction quality is extraordinary. 

Kimmel Center Broadway Philadelphia season tickets | My most favorite pastime is going to the theater. My family has had season tickets to the Walnut Street Theater for 12+ years and Dayv and I see at least one expensive show a year. In addition, my mom and I go to the ballet and Broadway Philadelphia several times a year. I have been wanting my mom and I to get season tickets to the Kimmel Center's Broadway series for years, but it is so expensive. We looked into it after we saw If/Then in May, but the pricing is a bit tricky since the fee they market it with is for the seats with a destructed view. One day.

Miakoda black romper | When I was visiting Julia in July, I tried on the white version of this romper and was instantly obsessed. In my dream world, I would have both colors, but black is most versatile and carries through all the seasons. I am not exaggerating when I say that every day when I get dressed, I wish this piece was in my closet. I have been super into chic comfort lately and this romper is essential to my wardrobe.

Olsenhaus black classic | I do not have a pair of classic black pumps, which is extremely ridiculous. I am super picky about the shape, fabric, and heel-style of pumps, and this pair is absolutely perfect. They would be a staple in my minimalist wardrobe.

Yoga class package | At the beginning of June, Dayv got me a Groupon for a hot yoga 10 class package at a studio I had been wanting to try for the better part of a year. After attending classes with a variety of teachers, I fell in love with the Wednesday night class teacher and have been going religiously every week. My class package is over at the end of August, which makes me very sad. Yoga classes are expensie (spelling intensional), but I hope to figure out a way to make it work.

Bead & Reel Summer Collection Wishlist

Friday, July 22, 2016

Bead & Reel Summer Collection Wishlist
This past Saturday, Bead & Reel co-hosted their much anticipated fashion show with The Peace Exchange. Along with the event, the online boutique also added several new pieces to their website. Although I am always impressed with curator and founder, Sica's, taste, these newest additions have totally blown my socks off. With a variety of staples, bold prints, and abundance of fair-trade pieces, this collection is one that cannot be missed. Of course, I went onto the website and found my absolute favorites, which are shown above and described below. What are your favorite new pieces on Bead & Reel?

Harem jumpsuit by Rujuta Sheth | I have been lusting after jumpsuits lately (as shown in this post). This jumpsuit is so flowy and effortless. It's the perfect piece to throw on when you aren't feeling so great about yourself for an instant spirit lift. I have no doubt nearly anyone would look like a million bucks wearing it. This garment made of 100% modal viscose, which is so super soft and silk-like, and handmade in India by women.

High waisted taper pant by Rujuta Sheth | I always shy away from high waisted pants, but these ones are giving me the googly eyes. I love the button waist detail and gray color. Made with super soft modal viscose, these pants are perfectly professional while still being super comfy.

Avalon dress by Groceries Apparel | Groceries is one of my favorite ethical clothing brands, and for good reason. Their clothes are simple staples that are easily dressed up or drown, and utilizes conscious fabrics. This dress is made with 100% GMO-free organic cotton jersey and is the perfect  soft and flowy summer dress.

Tapered-leg jumpsuit by Orgotton | Are you seriously kidding me with this jumpsuit? It's all the good S-things in one- sexy, simple, and staple. I'm obsessed with this color gray and the gorgeous back detailing. Its mixture of bamboo, organic cotton, and spandex promise a super soft and comfortable fit. Plus, the company is headquartered in Philly! I wonder if I can visit them?!

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My weekly pamper routine

Friday, July 15, 2016

My weekly pamper routine
Sundays are so bittersweet. On the one hand, it's the weekend so it's automatically awesome. But on the other hand, Monday's dark cloud is looming in the nearby distance, which creates a slight sense of dread. 

I used to loathe Sundays when I was growing up and in school. However, with maturity I have learned to embrace the day off and really make it my own. The solution: a carefully honed and much loved pamper routine. I am so attached to my Sundays now that if you invite me to do something on that day, 99.99% of the time I will say I cannot make it. 

The steps below have definitely evolved over time and, at this point, I believe that the list is complete. Please let me know how you pamper yourself and if you think I should add anything to my list.

Sleep in | Monday through Saturday, I wake up at 4:45 on the dot and immediately exercise. However, on Sundays I allow myself to "sleep in" until around 6:30, when Mina inevitably wakes me up. Even though 6:30 may still be early for some, it's quite a difference from waking up before dawn. Part of me kind of hates getting up late; but, I also love the additional sleep since Dayv and I have our date night take out every Saturday and I often stay up until after midnight (gasp!).

Hair mask | Hair masks are so luxurious, aren't they? For a while I wanted to get into them, but could never figure out where to incorporate them into my life. Sunday morning is the perfect answer. After I finish eating breakfast and spend a few hours reading/watching YouTube videos, I apply an oil hair mask and then wrap my head in plastic wrap. The mask stays on from about 9:30 to about 2:30, when I take a shower. The longer the better, right?

Nap | After I apply my hair mask, I take my long Sunday nap. Since I get up so early during the majority of the week, I really need a good weekend nap to recharge. My nap typically lasts for three to five hours. I know it sounds slightly ridiculous, but imagine those hours divided up throughout the week if I were to get up later. 

Face mask | Incorporating face masks was another step I struggled to incorporate until recently. For some reason, they always seemed so laborious and inconvenient. Now, I apply one about 10 to 15 minutes before I take a shower.

Shower | During my shower, I wash off my face and hair masks. It is always tricky to know whether I get all of the hair mask out, but washing my hair twice seems to do the trick. I also complete my usual shower agenda of shaving, loofahing, etc. I don't love showers, so mine are never longer than required to get the job done.

Hair | Since I have dry hair, I only wash it twice a week. On Sunday, I wash and then blowdry it out. For the remainder of the week (until I go to hot yoga on Wednesday and inevitably need to wash it again and repeat the same process), I simply flat iron it every morning. Easy peasy.

Read | During the week, it can be difficult to get in a really good reading session. I usually read about three hours on Sundays, which helps me to accomplish my 2016 goal of reading two books a month. I love reading and for the longest time struggled to find the time. Answer: You have to make the time.

Manicure | Dayv and I always spend Sunday night binge-watching a show, or, as of late, getting really into American Ninja Warrior. Until a couple weeks ago, we were watching Game of Thrones and Silicon Valley. During this time, I paint my nails for the week (or until I remove it mid-week for a new mani or clear coat).
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