What a month August was! Between settling in to our apartment fully, Outside Lands, and work, it felt like this month went by in the blink of an eye, but I’m honestly so excited for September. So much of this month was taken up by work, however there were so many moments of seriously relaxation in between. Because our apartment is finally all settled for the most part, Brad and I didn’t have to spend any of our free time this month building furniture or unpacking boxes, which was so nice. We’ve really gotten to know our neighborhood even more and have developed more of a routine, which, for someone who is a major creature of habit, has been exceedingly comforting! As great as this last month was, I am completely ready to fully move into autumn, as I feel like I am always a unmotivated and distracted during the summertime and I’m so ready to work on this blog even more in the coming months!
I've always really liked podcasts, but during the last couple of months I've gotten really into podcasts. A lot of that has to do with the fact that I commute via public transportation now and I try to go on as many walks as possible on my days off. I've also found myself in a rut with music lately, so podcasts have been a nice placeholder for when I would normally be blasting music.
Couples Therapy ~ Easily one of my favorite podcasts ever is Couples Therapy, which is done by Candice and Casey Neistat. In the podcast, Candice and Casey discuss their marriage, parenthood, and mental health. I have watched Casey's YouTube videos prior to listening to this podcast, however the podcast definitely shows a far more personal side to him and his relationship with his wife . I love this podcast because it portrays relationships in such a real and relatable way that is both cringey at times (because of how relatable their issues are) and genuinely funny. I also really appreciate how candid Candice is when she discusses her mental health and her journey in therapy, as its a topic I feel very passionate about but all-too-often is not discussed in mainstream media.
My Favorite Murder ~ If you like true crime and haven't listened to My Favorite Murder then I'm going to assume you've been living under a rock for the past couple of years. It's definitely a more comedic take on true crime than a more investigative-type podcast like the ever-popular Serial. This podcast definitely includes a lot of improvisation chat between Karen and Georgia, which is normally very entertaining, but the actual content of the true crime stories they discuss are also really interesting and their humor adds a bit of levity to an otherwise morbid subject. SSDGM!
Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness ~ If you have ever watched the new version of Queer Eye on Netflix, you will have experienced the wonderfulness that is Jonathan Van Ness. While he covers the grooming and self-care section on Queer Eye, on his podcast he covers a wide range of topics from religion to history to current events. Jonathan brings in an expert from the field he is curious about and discusses in easy-to-understand terms otherwise complicated topics. This one's definitely a nice one to listen to if you want to get your fix of current events but want something a bit more fun and lively to listen to.
Hashtag Authentic ~ This one's for all you creatives out there. This podcast is hosted by Sarah Tasker of the instagram account Me and Orla. Sarah has a lot of wisdom to share when it comes to the world of social media and creative jobs in general, but she also brings in a variety of hosts who also specialize in . It's definitely a career-related podcast that is meant to give you a kick up the rear if you're feeling a bit unmotivated, but it's also approachable enough that if you're just starting to venture into the creative world you won't feel overwhelmed.
Summer is just about coming to a close, although we are due for our usual delayed summer in San Francisco, and I'm honestly pretty excited about the upcoming change of seasons. I've never been that into summer and considering it's been a very busy summer in terms of work and moving, there wasn't much time left to do traditionally summery things like going on vacation, leaving me with some serious FOMO watching everyone galavanting around Europe and elsewhere on Instagram. Complaining aside, I am also ready for autumn because I feel so much more in my element during the colder seasons as they fit my personality and interests so much more than summer. However, I have discovered a lot of things this summer that were seasonally inspired that I will absolutely be using in the seasons to come.
J. Hannah Agnes ~ I absolutely love all of the J. Hannah polished I have acquired over the past year or so since they launched. The colors are just so different than anything else that is out there on the market, but they are colors that are neutral and just look effortless with whatever you wear clothing-wise. One of my favorite shades she's come out with is Agnes, which is a pale nude-pink that I have yet to find a dupe for in more popular brands like Essie and OPI. Nude polishes are the hardest for me to love because them looking good it is so dependent on your exact skin tone. Agnes definitely leans more on the warmer side, whereas so many nail polishes lean cool and therefore make my hands look sickly. I also really like the fact that I can apply one coat of this for a sheerer look without it looking streaky or patchy like so many other nude polishes do.
Epokhe Dylan Sunglasses ~ These aren't a new addition, as I purchased these sunglasses last winter, however being summer I've gotten a lot of use out of my Dylan sunglasses by Epokhe. I first saw these sunglasses on Camille Rowe, who is just my absolute girl crush, in the wellness series she did with British Vogue last year. I've always wanted a pair of Ray Ban Wayfarers but they just don't look all that great on me since the nose bridge just looks too flat on my face. However, these glasses are the perfect Wayfarer-like frames that look a tad more interesting and unique than the iconic Ray-Ban style. I love how pitch black the frames against my very pale skin and they have a slight cat-eye shape that make them look a tad vintage and insanely cool. Without fail, every time I wear these glasses I get complimented on them!
Otherland Kindling Candle ~ Otherland is one of those brands I found during one of my endless scrolling sessions on Instagram. The ads kept popping up on my feed that at one point I just gave in and googled what this new candle company was all about. As a little housewarming present to myself and Brad, I bought ourselves one of their trios of candles and we've been super happy with all three that we purchased. The winner, overall, has to be Kindling, which, as you can imagine, smells like a rich woody fire burning in the background. Now there are some wood fire candles I have smelled before that smell like straight up smoke, and this definitely is not that, it has a warmth and sweetness to it that takes the edge off of what could be a very smokey scent. Being San Francisco, we've had a lot of fog this summer and this candle is definitely nice for creating that cozy feeling that I crave during those cloudy days. We will definitely continue to burn this all through autumn and winter.
Apple Airpods ~ Ok, I'm going to preface this with saying, I totally was the person that scoffed at people that wore Airpods, because let's be real they're kind of douche-y. However, that being said, my sister bought a pair a few months back, I tried them and loved them. They're definitely an extravagance and not a necessity in the slightest, however if you like to walk a lot or take public transportation and listen to music or podcasts during, it's really nice to not have to fuss with your headphone cord constantly. I never thought a pair of headphones could bring me so much joy during simple acts like cleaning the apartment or going for a mid-day walk, but these have.
Burberry Pale Barley Eyeshadow ~ Every few months I try to rifle through my beauty stash and put products in my everyday makeup bag that have gone a bit unloved for awhile to try to get use out of them again. I loved Pale Barley for so long, but as seasons pass, I hadn't reached for this eyeshadow in quite awhile. I rediscovered it in my stash about two months ago and I'm so glad it's back in my regular rotation again. It really is the perfect neutral, not-too-matte yet not-too-shimmery eyeshadow that is just so darn flattering. I find myself reaching for this most often when I have no clue what to do with my makeup, but still want to make an effort.
I don't have a normal 9-5 job and with that comes some downsides and some upshots in terms of my schedule. Coming from a very flexible schedule in college (I had three day weekends every single weekend for almost my entire college career), adjusting to a busy, often-changing, and weekend-working schedule was difficult to say the least. While I haven't completely nailed how to spend my days off productively, I've come up with more of a routine that leaves me feeling more productive, yet well-rested on my days away from work. I've definitely learned to love having the odd weekday off, because they allow to me to focus on errands and other side projects that I just would not have the attention span for on the weekends when I feel far more inclined to be sociable. For the purposes of this blog post, I'm going to be talking about my days off that fall on the weekdays, because if and when I do have weekends off, there is almost no routine to those sorts of days.
I am definitely an early riser and am the type of person that if they sleep past 9am feels like half of the day has already been wasted. I also know myself and my work habits well-enough to know that my most productive times are in the wee hours of the morning. I try to wake up by 7am at the very latest, but I aim to wake up at 6:30am most days. I pretty much get up and make breakfast and a cup of tea straight away, mainly because I have a really hard time thinking or being productive without a bit of fuel to get me started. While I have my breakfast cooking I'll wash my face and do my skincare routine. While I'm eating my breakfast I will tick off some of more admin-like tasks such as email and I will also take some of this time to browse through social media, especially Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram, to get some inspiration for the day and get my creative juices flowing. Around 8am I will make a to-do list of all the tasks I want to get accomplished for the day. I love making lists and it's one of the best things I can do for myself to keep myself on track and away from procrastinating. After the to-do list writing, I will slap on a bit of makeup. Some days I choose to go bare-faced, however I always feel like making a small effort in getting dressed and putting on a minimal amount of makeup always helps me to feel motivated and like I'm working even though I am at home. I will also try to, at the very least, begin writing a blog post before noon.
The afternoon is by far my least productive time. There's something about the sun being at its high point during the day that makes me feel extremely distracted and I often will find myself falling down a black hole of YouTube videos by about 1pm if I'm not too careful. Whenever I'm starting to feel my morning motivation trail off, which is usually around 12:30-2pm I will close my laptop and take a lunch break. I also take the afternoon to either get outside and go for a walk or do some yoga, which I haven't been great at doing lately but am trying to get into again. I find that doing some sort of exercise helps me to get my mind back into work mode and it also helps to not make me feel like I'm just sat at my desk all day long without a substantial break. Luckily, because our new place is close to Golden Gate park and the heart of the Inner Sunset, there are plenty of destinations to walk to during my mid-day break. Because I'm usually not at my most productive during the afternoon, I also take this time to read blogs that I love, add to my content schedule/ideas section in my notebook, and take blog photos since the lighting is usually at its best.
Evenings are usually a time of wrapping up any loose ends that I might have left during the daytime. I usually have found my creative groove again by about 4pm and will finish up any writing or photo editing that needs to be done. If I have the next day off I will also take the time to make a to-do list for what I want to accomplish for the next day. I try to wrap up the day around 6pm since my boyfriend is usually home by 5:30 and I try to use the later evening to cook and just relax so my days off aren't totally dedicated to work.
I am, admittedly, not all that into hair in general. I've never been very adventurous with my hair, whether it be in terms of coloring or styling. Part of this has to do with two things, 1. I have natural red hair and would never dye it (my mom would most likely disown me if I ever did) and 2. I have curly hair, which limits the kinds of hair cuts that I can get (although I'm somewhat grateful for that now). As a kid, I hated my curls, I wanted nothing more than to have straight, easy-to-manage hair. However, as an adult, I have learned how to manage and take care of my curly locks and, therefore, have been able to embrace them more than I ever did before. I've learned over my twenty-three years of life that when it comes to my hair, simplicity is best.
My haircare routine is incredibly pared back. I use max five products at any given time, including shampoo and conditioner, and I don't see myself changing my routine anytime soon. It's also worth mentioning that I am in the process of growing my hair out at the moment, so keeping my hair in good condition and well-nourished is my top priority. First off: shampoo and conditioner, I only wash my hair about 2-3 times per week, because I have dry, curly hair I can get away with very few washings and it keeps my hair in better condition anyways. I use the Davines Love Curl Shampoo and Conditioner, even though I haven't been using these for too long, I am absolutely in love. They definitely help the condition of my hair feel considerably better and they don't weigh my curls down, like so many nourishing shampoo and conditioners do. When my hair is still pretty wet I use the Hairstory Hair Balm, which is the best hair styling cream I've come across (and, believe me, I've tried a fair few). If I want a more textured look, or I am not going to be heat styling my hair (which I do most days, but am trying to move away from), I will spray some of the Hairstory Déshabillé, which is a texture spray that mimics a sea salt spray without the crunchiness. Because I don't wash my hair too often throughout the week, I do need to use dry shampoo to keep things fresh in between washes. I don't think I've found a dry shampoo that I'm totally in love with. Most recently I've been using the original Batiste Dry Shampoo, which is a classic for a reason, however I don't feel like I need something that intense since my hair doesn't get very greasy. Last but not least is the Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray. It took me ages to finally give into the hype and buy this product, but I have to say, I'm glad I gave in eventually. I don't use this stuff on a very regular basis, but it is perfect for carrying around in your handbag to give your hair a little lift if you're going out after work.