Happy Friday you lovely lot! What are you up to this weekend? I'm going to a big boxing jamboree event at my local gym - 10 rounds of sparring + cake & beer = heaven. I'm videoing it for the gym and have been having some camera issues so I'm really stressed. I'm also finally hoping to convince myself to sit down and read a book for at least an hour. Anyone else having trouble with taking downtime lately?
Here are some fun things from around the web for your Friday - have a good one!



+ Cup of Jo talked about the cute things kids do - the comment section is a comedy gold mine!

+ If you want some political rage, this Buzzfeed story will do the trick.

+ What the heck is up with this Nikon zoom???

+ Noel Fielding is a freaking treasure on Bake Off.

+ I love Ava so much I can't even handle it - this video of her talking fashion with W Magazine kills me!




We all have guilty pleasures. Sometimes I worry I have more than the normal person but I also just happen to have a huge range of interests. So I wanted to share something I've been enjoying in my spare time recently: dance videos.

There's just something about a well-choreographed dance routine that I've always loved, but watching these videos is like a whole other level. I've started to follow certain dancers and choreographers whose styles I like am now like a proper fan girl of this dance studio group. I also harbor this little feeling that I too could dance like this if I took lessons and practiced a ton - nevermind that these people have mostly been dancing since they were tiny children. And I have no real rhythm. But a girl can dream! I find the way these people are able to be so in touch with their bodies and so confident really inspiring. So here's a collection of my favorite dances that I find myself watching over and over and over and OVER.
















Do you have any fun things like this in your life that you're keeping a secret? Let me know!


Let me just preface this by saying that I'm not here to tell you that being alone all the time is how we're meant to be. I don't believe that for a minute. What I do believe, however, is that there are a lot of people deeply uncomfortable spending time with their own thoughts or doing activities alone. I think some of this can be attributed to a social stigma against being alone. You’ve probably heard it from friends before, saying things like “Well I don’t want to be the only one eating alone” or “Yeah but I can’t find anyone to go with so I probably won’t go…” You yourself start to internalize that being alone is undesirable or strange.

But the reality is that there are times in your life when you’re going to be alone. Embrace these times. Enjoy them. Being alone should not stop you from living your life the way you want to. Yes, there are sometimes things that you probably shouldn't do completely alone for safety reasons - but I'm more talking the small fun things in life. Limiting yourself because of what others might think is a sure way to miss out on fun experiences in life.

Here are some things I delight in doing alone:

Going to the movies
I've heard people say "I would never go to the movies alone - it's so depressing!" to which I always reply "Huh?" (intelligent, I know). I LOVE going to the movies alone - in fact, there are certain films I purposely avoid telling anyone I'm going to so I can see it alone. I like not having to share my popcorn with anyone and not being influenced by anyone else's opinion on the movie. There's nothing worse than having a near tears reaction to a scene and having your friend/partner lean over and whisper about how boring it is. Going alone lets me immerse myself completely in the story. And you're sitting in the dark not talking anyway, so do you really need someone else there?

Traveling
I took my first trip alone to London and I'm not going to lie, I was VERY nervous. I was paranoid about having my bags swiped in the airport, about missing my flight/trains/reservations, etc. But proving to myself that I could navigate transportation, currency, bookings, and directions in a foreign country alone was a huge jolt of self-confidence. I shopped, ate meals, wandered the city, chatted with locals, attended a workshop, and even went to a huge sporting event all on my own. Pushing myself out of my comfort zone was a challenge but the rewards of that have stuck with me ever since. Now I have the confidence to know I could travel alone again. Also, there's a HUGE freedom to being able to make every decision on your trip - if you want to spend 4 hours in a museum, you can. If you want to eat something specific or at a specific time, no one else will complain. Traveling alone can allow you to structure your trip exactly how you want it.

Downtime
It can be nice to spend time alone with your thoughts. Practicing mindfulness is a great start if you're having a hard time: If you're saying "I'm bored" or "I'm lonely" within 2 minutes of sitting alone, take a deep breath and concentrate one by one on your senses. Connect to what you can see and describe each thing in your mind, then what you can smell, taste, feel, hear. Notice the taste in your mouth, the feel of the ground under your fingertips. It will ground you in the present moment. And once you're there, sitting alone with your thoughts can be so productive. Having time to absentmindedly daydream or mull over your life in a lazy way can spark creativity and new ideas. My best inspiration has oftentimes come from moments where I let my thoughts wander. 


A note on dealing with loneliness
I do get lonely sometimes when I'm on my own. I think there's a fundamental difference between being lonely and being alone, and we should embrace the times we are alone even as we worry that loneliness will creep in. It’s a feeling that will pass. I try to recognize it and sit with it for a minute and then let it go. 


Simply summed up – life is too short to let the absence of another person stop you from doing something you want to do. Do it anyway. Do it alone.


photos by Emily Anderson / sweater from Stay Home Club





Hey! It's been awhile, hasn't it? I've been spending most of my time stressing about work and trying to exercise - and now that I type this it sounds so sad! What are you up to this weekend? I'm super excited for the Canelo/GGG fight tomorrow - I think this is the match boxing fans have been waiting for. Rooting for my fellow redhead!


+ Beautiful garden illustrations (like the one above) by Liana Jegers

+ If you're curious about shooting film, but don't know which to buy, this adorable "Film dating quiz" is for you!

+ Behind the scenes of Charli XCX's Boys video - I'm still obsessed with this whole project! And I love seeing her as the director, her creative vision is so clear.

+ The New Yorker talks Canelo v. GGG

+ I'm in love with this raincoat.

+ Don't drag me like this!!!

+ Also, side note - I'm in the first episode of the 7th season of Portlandia - now on Netflix! If you squint hard enough during the Bed Bath and Beyond scene, you can see my red head! Hahaha. My tiny claim to fame. It was so much fun being on set.

Have a super fun weekend!


I didn't know enamel pins were out of style until they came so intensely back into style. There are so many adorable pins online right now, it's hard to resist buying them all. So here's a little roundup of some of my favorites.



















Because I can't have pets in my current apartment, I'm becoming a bit of a crazy plant lady. But honestly, with cute plants all over instagram and hashtags like #plantgang and #plantgoals, I think we're all becoming crazy plant people. Though I come from a family of gardening geniuses, I am a little less talented and have lost a few plants over the years. So here's a little update on the greenery currently in my life.


Schefflera


I've had this Schefflera since I lived on Whidbey, so about 3 years now. I recently had to re-pot it as it was getting root-bound and now it's got a massive lean that I'm trying to correct. I'm so in love with it though. I have to stop myself from just filling my home with Scheffleras - something about them is so charming!


Little palm


This tiny little palm is fairly new and seems happy so far. I've had a few different plants go through this little Ikea pot and I'm really hoping this one sticks! I try to spritz it with water every week or so to create some humidity. Hopefully that's a good thing...


Mystery palm thing


I actually don't know what this plant is. I rescued it as a cutting from a trash bin at my work and threw it into some dirt on a whim. It's grown a little since then, mostly just new shoots at the top. I stuck a little raccoon friend that I've had forever in there. I'm not really sure if this plant is happy - I have a sneaking suspicion that it's not but I don't know what it needs. If anyone knows what this is, help!


Philodendron 


Yes, I'm aware this plant looks like it's exploding. It's kind of a hot mess right now. I just repotted it into this large basket and it's having a field day. I'm really bad a plant pruning because I don't want to cut off any growth, but I need to get over it so I can encourage it to grow in a prettier way. This is starting to feel like a little bit of a self-reflection as well... 


Pilea Peperomioides


Here's the new baby! This plant is so popular with instagrammers and people with more money than me that I've been searching for it for well over 3 years. I FINALLY got my hands on one from Pistils Nursery in Portland (it was quite expensive and the stock was super limited!). I cannot even tell you how stressed I am about accidentally killing this guy. I'm being very careful with it and it had grown a few new shoots so I'm hopeful that I'm doing ok! I'm going to have a go at propagation once it's a little more settled and happy so then hopefully I can fill my home with more pileas. 

I did leave out my cactus collection as they're currently enjoying their summer holiday out on the porch and I forgot about them entirely. Oops. They're all pretty dormant which is bothering me so if anyone has any cactus tips to pass along, please share!!


If I'm being 100% honest with you, the Clinique pep-start range first drew me in not because of its reputation or formulation, but because of its packaging. I know! I'm such a sucker. Good design is my kryptonite. And the bright colors and simple packaging caught my eye. I did a post on the initial capsule range, but since then Clinique has brought out two new products: The HydroRush Moisturizer with SPF 20 and the Double Bubble Purifying Mask.


SPF is a YES


As a (very) pale gal, SPF in my facial products is a MUST, and this was one thing I didn't love about the original HydroBlur Moisturizer. I also love the ease of an SPF moisturizer - not having to think about putting on a sunscreen and then a separate moisturizer saves me both time and stress. The formulation is on the thicker side and does require a little rubbing in to blend. A couple things to call out - it has a light sunscreen smell, which while fine for me may not be appealing to everyone. SPF moisturizer can also create a white cast in flash photos, so not something to wear on your night out.


A bubble mask?


I've seen a few images of bubble masks around the internet and I've been so curious to try one. The premise is that you apply the mask in a gel form and while it sits on your skin it foams up, removing impurities. Using this was like no other mask I've tried before. I'm more used to masks that tighten or even sting a little, but this literally felt like little Pop Rocks candies were exploding all over my face. I laughed out loud! It's such a bizarre sensation. (pic on the right is my face while experiencing the bubbles - obviously shocked!)


One strange thing about this product is that you really need to pile on the product to get the foaming effect to show up. When it bubbles is also shrinks, so what I thought was a sufficient amount quickly shrunk to a few patchy bits of foam (as you can see in the pic below! where did it all go???)


After one use I'm not sure I'm completely sold on the purifying effects, but I'm interested to see how my skin changes over time from using this mask. It's definitely a lot of fun and would be hilarious for a girl's night in. 


Have you tried any of these products? Do you agree with me that this packaging is awesome or are you yawning at it? Let me know in the comments! 

(btw, this is not sponsored!)