Saturday Reading List

This article on the positive trends in retouching images. “Instead of reshaping, shellacking, and airbrushing women to look more like model versions of one another (thin, tan, young, and tall with shiny hair and clear skin), the retouching trend today is more focused on making sure you see individual quirks, without distraction.”
This blog post from my school has been helpful to me lately (though not a complete cure) as a reminder that we all feel inadequately prepared to tackle jobs from time to time – or often, or always! 
This opinion piece from early May highlighting the leadership qualities exhibited by Sally Yates & Condoleezza Rice, which seem to be missing in most of our current administration.  
This homage to my professional woman fashion muse, Stella Gibson (played by Gillian Anderson in The Fall).
This essay from The H-Spot: The Feminist Pursuit of Happiness, which discusses ambivalence toward having children in our modern world. So … me. 

May Check-In

Sorry for my lag in posting. I feel like I have been losing my mind a bit lately, and between work and school I have had little time for the small things that bring me joy – my self-care habits, like this blog or long baths or writing in my planner. I’ve been failing tremendously in some aspects: my stress shopping is going wild, for example, and I keep clicking “Confirm Purchase” on things I know I do not need. However, I have also had some big life successes. It may be a normal thing for most people, but I made an appointment to see a doctor about my anxiety, I actually went and was prescribed medication. This is a huge deal for me. I have dealt with various manifestations of debilitating anxiety since I was a kid and it is so empowering to have taken this step.

So, no small goals check-in this month. I can’t handle reviewing failures right now. No goals to set for now, either. I am trying to focus on each day individually until I feel like I can breathe again. Hopefully I’ll be able to post more soon, as posting really is a fun release for me, but we will see about carving out the time.

Thanks for reading.

xx Abbie

Airbnbs Around the World for Less Than $100 A Night

Clearly, I am not a travel blogger. Yet. It’s always been a dream of mine, but between work and school I can barely find the time to make the two hour trip to visit my family, let alone fly across the world. However, I do daydream a lot and I read travel blogs a lot and I plan future trip goals a lot and one thing I have noticed over the past few months of reading travel blogs is that when bloggers say “affordable” to describe boutique locations, they clearly mean a different kind of “affordable” than my student loan repayments can accommodate. It’s totally cool if you want to stay in a $400 per night treehouse in Bali, but I’m trying to avoid wallowing in debt until I’m in my grave. 
Through my own scouring of the interweb, I have found some of the coolest, most interesting places for super reasonable prices. I chose to focus specifically on Airbnb  (though is also a great resource with helpful search tools) and I am only listing properties that are less than $100 per night to have the entire house (or apartment) to yourself.  They may not be the peak of luxury or they may be off the beaten path, but they are beautiful, inspiring, and within my puny budget! Ready? Happy daydreaming!  

1. Riad in Marrakesh, Morroco | $63 per night


2. Apartment in Hvar, Croatia | $43 per night


3. Cabana in  Armenia, Colombia | $49 per night


4. Villa in Ostuni, Italy | $67 per night


5. Apartment in Paris, France | $83 per night


6. Studio in Oia, Greece | $83 per night 


7. Cave in Granada, Spain | $56 per night


8. Beach House in Santa Catarina, Brazil | $81 per night


9. Apartment in Vienna, Austria | $77 per night


10. Studio in Perast, Montenegro | $44 per night


April Check-In & Small Goals

Rifle Paper Co. Constellations Wall Calendar april 2017

It’s time again for my monthly check-in. You may notice that it’s two weeks late, but I’ve been putting off writing this post because frankly my goals were a bust. That’s hard to share! March was a rough month for balancing school and work, and then Mass Effect: Andromeda was released. I really tried to hone in and finish the game on my one week away from school, which put all my other interests to the wayside and yet I still haven’t finished the game.

Here were my sad & unfulfilled small goals for March:

  • Read a chapter a night | I fell off the wagon with this one. I began slipping because the book I was reading was just eerie enough to make me uncomfortable in the evenings, so I stopped wanting to read it before bed, but I also didn’t carve out time to read during the day. 
  • Practice French every morning with my coffee | I don’t know why I failed so miserably at this one. I started off really strong, zipping through my DuoLingo courses and getting excited about Montreal, and then one morning I simply didn’t do it. I rushed out the door (like, honestly, I do pretty often) and didn’t think about French again. With DuoLingo, every time you miss a day you lose some of your skills (which is good because it will refresh what you may need more practice with) but I started to get overwhelmed and didn’t pick it up again.
  • Go on a walk once a week | I did this zero times, even with the beautiful weather. 
  • Watch one video for school every day | I watched a few videos for school, but certainly not enough, and I didn’t do a single THING for school during my measly spring break, which was not ideal. 
  • Wait 24 hours before making any purchase | I actually did accomplish this, shockingly, and I feel great about it. I bought a few affordable Spring clothing items and I bought absolutely no makeup, so I’m pleased. I also thought this would be the most challenging of my small goals, but here I am. 
It’s disappointing to see so much left undone, but I also think maybe those were bigger goals then I thought they would be. Habit-making takes time and effort and it may be better to focus on one at a time, moving forward. 

Part of what helped me so much with reigning in my purchases was taking that inventory of all my products. I still don’t use everything I already have, so why am I compelled to go out and buy more? I know that I am a stress shopper, but things aren’t bringing me any comfort. I’d much rather save for big purchases (a nice camera, plane tickets, or heck, Sansa’s grooming). 

affordable fashion finds for spring hello sunshine straw hat blush bow mules passport floral denim flats guess marble statement sunglasses
For Spring, I’ve purchased a couple pairs of shoes, a kitschy sun hat, statement sunglasses (pictured above!), two off the shoulder dresses and a millenial pink windbreaker, so I feel good to go for warm weather wardrobe updates. I’ve started playing with eyeshadow shades I’ve been previously afraid of – like peaches and pinks – and have really liked the results. It’s possible, or likely, that changing my hair from various cool pastel shades to a rich brown has affected my entire color palette. 

So what are my April goals? It’s almost nerve-wracking to decide. 

April Small Goals
  • Work out 3 times | Three! Just three. ClassPass (use that link for $30 off your first month) is letting me take three classes for $10 in April … to keep me from cancelling … and I really want to take advantage of this, particularly since my favorite way to work out (Reformer Pilates) is exceptionally expensive. 
  • No buy of clothes/makeup | Self-explanatory. I don’t need it, it won’t fulfill me, and if I love it enough to still love it in May, maybe I can buy it. 
  • Watch my school videos | I pay $25 a month for Team Treehouse (which I highly recommend) as a supplement to what I’m learning in class, so I need to find the time to actually utilize them. 

And that’s it. Three goals for April, so that I can hone in on them and hopefully accomplish all three. 

currently watching: flipping between Bates Motel and Ripper Street
currently reading: also flipping between The Possessions and The Shadow Rising
currently listening: The Decemberists whole discography in preparation for their show at the Ryman

How to Know Your Makeup Obsession Has Gone Too Far

I was recently inspired (primarily by the Makeup Rehab subreddit and the Anti-Haul blog) to take inventory of my beauty products as a way to assess what I actually need and what I simply want to purchase out of impulse, because it’s shiny and new and temporarily exciting. The “inventory” process took me a couple of weeks here and there, but guess what … I finished taking stock, and it turns out that I have over 230 makeup items in my possession.

You read that right. Over 230.

If you’re so inclined, check out my relatively organized inventory. Since I have so. much. stuff. I’m considering writing reviews as I use products up as a way to motivate myself to shop my own collection. I truly don’t need another thing! While I’ve never hit VIB Rouge at Sephora, I do (clearly) spend way too much money on makeup that I could be spending on travel or student loan payments or literally anything other than more makeup I don’t need.

I have a few goals to work toward:

  • Don’t purchase a new product unless it fills a truly empty void or I’ve used up/destashed the product it’s most similar to. 
  • Focus on using up products I already own (a.k.a. “Project Pan”) – I’d like to pan 5 items completely before I purchase anything else
  • Finish my current lip hoarder project (where I have to wear every lip color in my collection once before I’m allowed to repeat). Check out posts here and here.
  • Don’t hold on to products that don’t work for me (be it because of the shade or formula, whatever) – it’s not going to magically improve! 
  • Pay attention to the products I use & make notes on them; I’m bad about wearing things and not paying attention to how they wear throughout the day unless they’re dramatically bad. I want to improve on that in order to be better informed for future purchases.

Wish me luck!

Saturday Reading List

One blog I’ve been following religiously lately is an anti-haul beauty blog. This post on why she won’t be buying Mac’s new “Basic Bitch” palette is a perfect example of why I love it & why it’s been motivating me to be more deliberate with my purchases. Be sure to scroll down to where she discusses the phrase “basic bitch”.

Check out this wonderful piece by a congressional candidate Alejandra Campoverdi – who also happens to have posed for Maxim – on women and society’s unwillingness to see us as multidimensional.

This home office post is over a year old, but I’ve been lusting over the clean, dreamy workspaces pictured within.

Have you seen Victoria Beckham’s new Target collab? There are some pieces I really adore and some I’m not so sure about.

This post is titled “25 Promises for All the Single Ladies Who Travel” – I’m not a single lady, but I’ve been dreaming of traveling solo soon, so this is inspirational nonetheless.

Saturday Reading List

How I feel when I’m added to my fifth freaking Lula Roe group this month: If Another Mom Tries to Sell Me Something on Facebook, I’m Going to Lose It.

Mom was in town this weekend & we spent some time discussing how important it is to start traveling ASAP and to stop waiting for more money or more stability or more time, so this article on how it’s never the right time to travel is apropos.

I Don’t Need Democracy because I Have Hygge: “And yes, the fact that Planned Parenthood might be defunded is atrocious. I would donate if I could, but I just bought a $1500 zinc-top bar cart from Pottery Barn, so I’m pretty strapped for cash.”

My new biggest inspiration, Julie, a “not so young” woman traveling abroad. Talk about life goals!

This post from Phoebe at Little Grey Box really spoke to me this week: This Is Why I’ve Decided Not to Have Children.