dry skin saviors

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as mild as this winter has been (knock on wood), my skin is still as dry as a desert. in the past I wouldn’t care as much about doing something about it, but as I’ve gotten older and ever since I started to have instances of eczema, I’ve really taken the time to hydrate my skin properly, especially in the cold. these are my go-to dry skin saviors.

for exfoliation, nothing beats the l’occitane pate delice in my book. I’ve tried other body scrubs and they were all either too harsh, left behind a residue that I didn’t care for, and/or smelled weird/too strong. this one is none of those things. the smell is amazing. it’s almond-scented without being cloyingly sweet. it leaves my skin feeling soft & new without irritation, and it washes off cleanly.

and on to the lotions. kiehl’s creme de corps is such a lovely product. it doesn’t feel greasy, moisturizes really well, & leaves behind such a nice sheen on the skin while still being matte. I don’t know how it does it, but it does. aside from doing all of that, it also doesn’t feel thick at all; in fact, it almost feels like you’re wearing nothing! I use it all over my body. I use the first aid beauty ultra repair cream as an extra layer of hydration over eczema-prone or incredibly rough spots and when I’m having a little bit of an eczema recurrence. I love that you can use this all over the body, too, as well as the face!

 what are your go-to products for dry skin?

simplifying | the nail polish stash


copper tray: target

nail polish is one of those things that lends itself well to collecting. they come in a million different colors, are pretty to display, and have that dangerous mix of luxury & affordability. at the peak of my nail polish hoarding days, I’m sure I had close to, if not over, 100 bottles.

my collection is a little leaner now, though not as lean as I’d like. I’m rocking a bare nail 99% of the time these days since I can’t wear nail polish when I’m at clinicals, so I could weed out a bit more. in the meantime, this is all the polish that has made the initial cut. although I have a handful of higher-end bottles, I’m more of a drugstore girl when it comes to polish – it’s clear I have a soft spot for essie. nails inc. would come in at a respectable second.

off the top of my head, some of my favorite colors are essie’s chinchilly, dress to kilt, & hip-anema, nail inc.’s porchester square, and burberry’s oxblood. maybe I should just keep these 5…?

spring wishlist

I know, I know. it’s only february. but then again, it’s only february and I’m already beyond ready for some warm weather. aside from purchases for school (compression socks, anyone?) and the random replacement purchase (think black cardigan to replace the one somebody shrunk in the dryer), I haven’t really added anything to the wardrobe. I have some time yet before spring makes its way around here and a new capsule wardrobe is required, but these are the holes in my wardrobe I’d like to fill in the new season: a slouchy grey tee; a light-colored, lightweight cardigan; slip-on sneaks; espadrilles; a fun, casual bag; and a pair of dress-up/dress-down wedges. I’m realizing now that this list is shoe-heavy, but even james agrees that I’m overdue for replacements of some well-loved pieces.

tip of the day: when your guy tells you you need new shoes, you need new shoes.

what are you eyeing for the spring?

lovely things | valentine’s day

calligraphy kit  |  teardrop earrings  |  scratched circle studs  |  watch bands  | lip balm  |  hex studs  |  ring  |  mug

james & I don’t make a big fuss about valentine’s day these days. if we do go out for dinner, it’s never the day of & we’ll likely choose a low-key place where we’re regulars. if we do choose to eat at a fancier dig, it’s a place we’ve gone to before for some other special occasion & loved. as for gifts, we keep things simple there, too. I usually pick him up some book he’s been eyeing or if needed, a refill of his favorite cologne, plus a card. a card is a must, because really, it’s the thought behind the gift that makes the whole thing.

since we’re apart this valentine’s and he won’t be coming to visit until the weekend after, james asked me to put together a little collage of little things I’d want as a gift. I would love to receive any (or all some, ha!) of these items, but honestly, having him back for a couple of days is the best gift in itself. mushy, but true.

the new normal

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

james left for boston on sunday and I’m adjusting to the new normal. it’s been easier than I thought it would be – being busy with school, work, & this blog really helps the hours/days fly by, so I’m thankful for the distraction. it’s only in the little, random moments that I find myself lonely: doing errands on the weekend, just before I fall asleep at night, when I wake in the morning to find the side next to me empty, and on the commute in to and from work. I walk around feeling as though something’s missing, and then I realize, oh, james is missing.

all things considered, we’re holding up as well as can be expected, so I’m grateful for that. I’m also immensely grateful for cellphones & skype & facetime & all the other ways we can communicate with far-away loved ones these days.

have you been in a long-distance relationship? any tips? :)

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old school

agenda

today is the first day of the new semester. I’ve spent the better part of this morning getting my agenda ready to go & planned out through mid-march. I love my iPhone, but I will forever be a paper agenda person. there’s something about actually putting something to paper that makes it seem more concrete than any digital version ever could. when I’m done putting in all deadlines and various other important events, I feel this odd sense of satisfaction at seeing everything laid out. I guess I’m just old school like that.

besides, there are so many lovely agendas out there. this year is my first year using this agenda and I’m telling you: it’s love. it’s incredibly versatile in its simplicity: because everything is so pared down & simple, I find that I can find/make space for everything I need. I love that I can fold the covers unto each other completely for a perfectly flat writing surface. and last but not least, it’s also really pretty. I opted for the “happy stripe” version and it really does make me happy just looking at it.

p.s. it looks like the agendas are all sold out as of now, but the academic year version  should be coming out later this year, if you’re interested. :)

force of nature

we had a hell of a commute today – 2 1/2 hrs. to go 50 miles – but I’m just glad we made it in to work safe & in one piece. there were plenty of accidents on the road ahead of us on our way in, and we took a scary little spin in the middle of the road, but we miraculously got to work without hitting or getting hit by anything. my boss wasn’t as lucky: his car did a 360 on the stevenson, hitting the concrete divider with both of his fenders. luckily, he wasn’t hurt and the car, though seriously damaged, was still safe to drive in, but he said that it sure was a wake-up call & that he had to pull over to take a few deep breaths before continuing on.

the weather wasn’t even anything too terrible – just cold with last night’s snow loose on the ground – but it was still a beast. today was a good reminder that nature is a force to be reckoned with & anytime you walk away with no or slight bruising is a victory to be thankful for.

stay safe & warm out there, wherever you are!

a may wedding

marriage

happy monday! hope your week is off to a great start. I’m taking things a little bit easier today as our weekend was busy with wedding planning. I bought my wedding dress on saturday morning, then we had dinner with our friend jesse that evening, during which we informed him that in addition to being one of the groomsmen, he would also be the unofficial MC. we spent the night in his apartment then the following morning, we did some light grocery shopping before heading over to one of my closest college friends’ apartment to ask her if she’d be a bridesmaid (she said yes, phew). after that, we sort of decided to pick out wedding bands on the spot in between the two playoff football games, so we did just that. james’ band came home with us the day of but mine had to be sent off to be resized. I’ll have pictures up once I get them in. james opted for a tungsten ring and I opted for a thin 3/4 diamond band with a prong setting.

it’s been a little surreal & exhausting getting all these plans made and/or checked off in the past couple of weeks, but we’re having a blast doing it at our own pace & as stress and drama-free as possible. we want to enjoy these few months before our marriage & really take the time to appreciate this moment in our lives.

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hay fever

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to say that I’m obsessed with stationery is an understatement. I could conceivably go a whole year without buying any new clothes, bags, shoes, etc. (more on that later) but I stand a snowball’s chance in hell of being able to say the same with stationery. james will tell you that I own far too many pieces, and he’d be right, but I can’t help it. I enjoy the act of writing in general and having good paper & good pens/pencils are a must for me. at the risk of sounding insane, I really hate that feeling when the pen drags across the page…it’s akin to nails on a chalkboard for me. aaaand with that revelation, are we still friends? :).

but I digress.

the whole point of this post wast to share just how excited I am that hay, the wonderfully dreamy danish design brand, is this month’s nordstrom pop-in feature. since the only other place you can shop hay that easily this side of the atlantic is at the moma mini market, I’m beyond stoked. I’ve rounded up my baker’s dozen of top picks, but I’m telling you right now that that is by no means an exhaustive collage of all the things that caught my eye. if you’re a stationery geek like me with an appreciation for sleek, scandinavian design, go here & do your happy dance.

have a lovely weekend!

a room of one’s own

studio

james sent me a link to a listing for the studio pictured above yesterday, as he’s wont to do, and it was a lovely reminder of what is in store for us in the near future. I immediately saved the picture to my desktop as something to hold onto for the next 18 months when we’re both chasing our own respective dreams in two different cities.

our first apartment together was a studio smaller than this one, albeit it had a separate kitchen that was way bigger than the one above. the one thing we didn’t like about it was that in order to use the bathroom, you had to walk through our closet. it was awkward & it annoyed us to no end at the time, but looking back, I realize just how lovely that space was. sure, it had a mishmash of furniture we bought off of craigslist, friends, & ikea, it had dubious heating & cooling, and bringing groceries up four flights of stairs was a witch, but it was probably the best apartment we’ve had in terms of coziness & how happy we were.

we moved out to an awful one-bedroom when our lease was up the next summer, and then we moved to a nicer, modern one-bedroom, and then ultimately into a two-bedroom unit before moving back in with my parents last august. maybe it’s the delusion of hindsight, but I feel now that those later apartments had more features & more space, and we had more money & more stuff, but we had less simplicity & really, less enjoyment. I’m amazed at how good we had it & that we didn’t realize it.

a year and a half on from moving back home, I’m itching for a place of our own again, and it’s been a lovely process to realize that the next place I’m looking for as our very first home as a married couple is very much like the first place we had. some place simple & easy & just enough for two people starting a new chapter in their lives.

p.s. if you’re looking for a room to call your own in the boston area, here’s the exact listing (& image source) that got me dreaming.