First off, I apologize for this post being so delayed. I was so on track with my months in film so it’s a tad disappointing that I have fallen behind, but as of now I think I’m back on track and by February we should be back with our regularly scheduled programming for these posts. The reason why this post is so delayed is two-fold: part of this tardiness is down to the fact that during the last few months there hasn’t been much to document because I’ve been so busy with work and just trying to switch off when I do have time off, the other part of this is down to my camera having an odd issue with the lens cover on my Olympus Mju-ii, which makes me not want to carry it around with me all the time like I used to, and therefore have had less opportunities to take random shots in my day-to-day life. With all that said, September and October were two somewhat difficult months, but Brad and I made some nice weekend getaways which really helped to properly switch off and recharge.
I’ve never been hugely into New Year’s as a holiday. To me, there’s just too much hype around the whole thing and if you tell this early bird that you need to stay up past midnight in order to celebrate, then you can count me out. That being said, I do always find this time of year to be reflective, as so many of us do, and to really take stock on everything that has happened in the past twelve months. I’ve especially felt the need to be reflective this year because 2018 was probably one of the busiest and most eventful years of my life, and I’m especially lucky that all that eventfulness was generally very positive.
Spending Time With Friends
After graduating college I was really nervous about the prospect of making new friends, mainly because making friends in school is so damn easy. I’ve also been incredibly lucky to have a lot of enduring friendships from my days at school, but I wasn’t as sure if I would be able to make friends in the same way as I got further into adulthood, boy was I wrong. I am so grateful that I have made quite a few very strong friendships in the last year and that I’ve been able to surround myself with a group of girls that I cannot only commiserate with, but also celebrate all of the highs that this year has brought. Female friendship is one of those elements of my life that has always been a pretty strong balancing force, but as I become more and more comfortable with adulthood and understanding what it means to have work-life balance (if that even can truly exist), it is something that has become even more important. I know that the friendships I have made in the last year are truly life-long friendships and I cannot wait to make even more memories with these gals next year.
A Weekend Away in Tahoe
In March, Brad and I took a little weekend trip to Tahoe to go skiing and generally just get away from the craziness of work and San Francisco. Although the trip did not get off to the best start, in that, the night we drove up we ended up having to drive back to SF because the blizzard had caused the roads to close, we then thought about cancelling all together, and then woke up the next morning and made it our mission to somehow make our way up there, which ended up meaning driving up a different route and then driving around almost the entirety of Lake Tahoe to get to our Airbnb. While it sounds like a complete disaster on paper, we ended up having the best time and even though we ended up only getting one day of skiing in, that car trip circumventing Lake Tahoe is an adventure I know I will always remember.
Moving In With My Favorite Person
In July, Brad and I signed a lease for our very first apartment together, and it is without a doubt, the best memory I have of this last year. I cannot put into words how lucky I am to be living with the love of my life in my favorite city on Earth (my hometown, no less), and to have the opportunity to create a life and a home together. While parts of the move were stressful, as most moves usually are, we really took our time putting our place together, which made the whole process a lot smoother. We are so happy with our apartment and I can’t wait to share more interior-related content now that it is pretty much finished!
Family Time in Monterey
In October, a bunch of my family headed down the coast for a long weekend in Monterey and it was one of the best weekends of the year. The trip could not have come at a better time, being right before the craziness of the holiday season kicked in, and it came after far too many months of not taking any real time off. To say I was burnt out going into this trip would be an understatement. We spent the weekend taking walks on the beach, eating amazing meals, finishing two one thousand piece puzzles, and properly switching off. We used to take these trips down to Monterey when I was younger and stopped for awhile, but I’m hoping after this last year, the tradition will be here to stay.
Taking Care of Myself
After a rather rough 2017 that was full of some serious growing pains, I committed to really taking care of myself in 2018. I’m certainly nowhere near perfect at taking care of myself but I have improved leaps and bounds compared to where I was last year. One of the best things I did for myself this past year was going to see a therapist regularly, and it’s something I wholeheartedly recommend everyone doing. I have struggled with anxiety and depression ever since I was a young teenager, and while I’ve been able to cope pretty well on my own, therapy has really helped me develop healthier coping strategies and improve my self-talk. Besides therapy, I’ve also pushed myself through some pretty bad days by being kinder to myself and learning how to spend time alone more consciously and productively.
If I could describe 2018 in one word it would be: busy. It seems like every aspect of my life has been chaotic at some point this year. That’s not to say that this year has been horrible, if anything it’s been the complete opposite, but even some really positive changes have felt overwhelming at times. I’m getting to a point in my work life and in my personal life that I finally am starting to feel settled. I also feel like this time of year is generally a reflective and a slower-paced one, which I want to make the most of seeing as this year has flown by. In the spirit of holding myself accountable, I wanted to write this blog post to keep myself in check for the last couple of months in 2018 and really make the effort to take care of myself.
Exercise - I know its incredibly clichéd to make exercising more a goal, however I’ve always been an active person, but between work and moving, my fitness levels have gone down significantly. I’m not looking to lose weight or make any drastic change in my body, because I still do a good job taking care of myself by eating well, etc. However, I do know for a fact that exercising and just being active in general always has a positive effect on my mental health, as it does for most people. I’m not going to do a complete 180, and start going to the gym five times a week, however I want to start implementing smaller bouts of exercise that don’t necessarily feel like exercise just to ease myself into it. Things like taking walks and doing yoga are so easy to do and don’t require spending money, which is definitely a great jumping off point for those of us who have fallen of the fitness bandwagon.
Schedule, Schedule, Schedule - Being very Type A means that I love and crave structure, and to be completely honest, for the last year and a half I really haven’t had much structure. My life has been in a state of flux for the better part of the last year, and while I’m not at all afraid of change (and luckily so many changes in my life have been for the better), it has added to my anxiety and stress levels to not have any sort of routine. I realized over the past year, while I’ve been out of school that a big reason why I was so productive in college is because almost my entire life was scheduled out. I love using my planner to keep track of editorial deadlines I’ve set for myself and keep track of important dates but I don’t really use it for my hour-by-hour schedule. For me, I do far better when I write something down on a physical piece of paper, versus putting something in my Google calendar, and I want to start planning my days off from work far more so that I’m held accountable to do things such as exercise, write, etc.
Spending Conscious Time Alone ~ I am a introvert through and through, in that, being around a lot of people drains my energy levels severely. That’s not to say that I’m a hermit, and if anything I have learned this year, more than any other, that sometimes when I am feeling my most introverted and wanting to withdraw is precisely the time to reach out to others and surround myself with people I love. However, with the holidays coming up and being in a job that is very social, I need to take more time by myself that is both productive and restorative. I have a tendency, as I’m sure a lot of us do, to spend any and all alone time on the couch watching Netflix and maybe doing a face mask on a Sunday night. While those lazy couch moments are nice and definitely necessary sometimes, they aren’t the most restorative ways to spend time alone. Things like reading, doing yin yoga, or going on a long walk with your headphones in listening to your favorite music or podcast, feel far better in the long run than lying on the couch for hours on end. Finding the balance between over-exerting yourself in our busy day-to-day lives and being completely complacent and checked-out is not necessarily easy and something that I am constantly reminding myself of and want to get better at.
I have to be honest, it hasn’t really felt much like Fall the past couple of months in California, and I’m beyond ready for sweater weather. Despite Fall and Winter being my favorite seasons, mainly because they involve lots of family time, cozying up at home and celebrating my favorite holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas), I also far prefer Fall fashion to Summer fashion. A big part of that comes down to the fact that we never have particularly hot summers in San Francisco, and I have never had to become accustomed to dressing for the heat, and therefore I have always found my groove when I’m dressing for the cold, it just comes far more naturally to me. So much of what is inspiring me this Fall/Winter is pretty standard, that is to say I don’t see myself straying too far from sweater/jeans combo most days, but I am finding that I have been drawn to different textures and colors this year more than ever. As soon as October rolls around, I’m usually the first person to start wearing all-black outfits, however this year, I’ve been much more drawn to the lighter side of the color spectrum, but still keeping things autumnal. Shades of beige and burnt orange are definitely what I find myself gravitating towards this season. Also incorporating more “winter whites” or mores- “winter beiges” based looks with really nice, luxe-looking textures have been far more interesting to me than the all-black outfits I’m usually drawn to.
I love a good night-in pamper evening filled with a nice hot bath, a beefy skincare routine, and an at-home manicure. More and more I’m finding that I just don’t have the time to do a full pamper evening anymore. However, I do still prioritize giving my skin an extra boost when I’m feeling especially drained and stressed, which is when my skin is at its worst anyways. Given that I shared my daily skincare routine not too long ago, I figured I’d share my favorite treatment-based skincare products that get pulled out for special skincare needs.
Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask ~ I’m not a big PSL fan (in fact I think they are pretty vile), but I do love pumpkin pie and that is exactly what this mask smells like! Besides the fact that it smells incredible, the PTR Pumpkin Enzyme Mask is also very effective and really helps to turn around my skin when it’s in crisis. Because it’s an exfoliating mask (it has both a light physical exfoliator and chemical exfoliators in it), I tend to use it most when my skin either looks dull or is in desperate need of a more intense exfoliation. Not only does this mask help with the texture of my skin, but it also clears up congested skin and little spots much better than any other mask I’ve tried.
Glossier Moisturizing Moon Mask ~ Especially in the wintertime my skin gets dry. I don’t know if it’s the dry air, central heating, or just the likelihood of feeling ill during that time of the year, but whatever the cause my skin always needs a constant stream of moisture during the colder months. The Glossier Moisturizing Moon mask does exactly what it claims to do: moisturize. The texture is a very thick cream, that has an almost retro feel (think Pond’s Cold Cream), you leave it on the skin for a minimum of 20 minutes and then rinse it off. Because this mask contains ingredients like hyaluronic acid and squalane, the mask hydrates deeply without leaving a residue or feeling clogging on the skin.
Aesop Parsley Seed Mask ~ I don’t know if I could talk about masks without talking about the Aesop Parsley Seed Mask. I’ve had this mask in my rotation for a solid five years and it has never let me down. It’s my go-to when my skin is breaking out or feeling congested because it’s a clay-based clarifying mask. There are a load of clarifying clay masks (try saying that five times fast), however a lot of them can feel very drying and stripping, which the Aesop version does not. There’s also just something about the scent that is so spa-like and calming, which is usually a welcome relief given that my breakouts tend to coincide most with me being stressed out.