Thursday, April 16, 2015

organization overhaul

Moving inspires organization like no other. I ruthlessly rid my bathroom, wardrobe, filing and work areas of all things superfluous before moving last week (goodbye paper pay stubs..). My new apartment is a little smaller than my last, so I have to be clever about maximizing space and creating storage where it doesn't organically exist. I'd wanted to add some "glamour" to my bathroom and vanity for a while, too, so having a brand new space was the perfect opportunity to up both form and function. Enter The Container Store. Oh my GOSH. I don't think I ever quite realized the gloriousness of this place. It offers a solution for every problem I never knew I had. These and this really cater to the jewelry and cosmetic corralling that is my Achilles heel, and displaying brushes and lipsticks in this collection's brush holder (rather than jamming them in cluttered drawers) adds a simple elegance to getting ready. A business card holder and pencil cup go a long way in creating more structure around my computer for blogging, writing thank-you notes and the rampant list-making I tend to do, and I'm inclined to pull a Willy Wonka and position this on my breakfast bar, permanently filled with Swedish Fish. I went home from the France Avenue mega-store last weekend with a hefty bag full of acrylic canisters for a clean look—and satisfied feel—that carries throughout my apartment. Get everything I picked up and more organization god-sends below!
image via

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

origins charcoal mask

It's been a busy few days in my world since the move last week! It's crazy how in just twenty-four hours, your whole reality can shift. Last Wednesday, I was waking up in Madison and driving along rural 18-151 to Dodgeville every day; just a week later, that route and routine seem like little more than a memory. And while there are so many things that are better since relocating (love my apartment and its location, for one!), I think it'll still take a little time for this new situation to feel 100% familiar and comfortable. But my weeks are already so much fuller than they used to be, and that's what I wanted most. After a full weekend, I caught up with a friend over the Masters and Chipotle on Sunday night; ran the Isles and made meals for the week Monday night, grabbed salads at Agra Culture and watched RHONY with my sister on Tuesday, and have plans to see more friends the rest of the week. With a busy schedule and lots of change (welcome though they are), little pampering rituals—and rest—are the best medicine. I recently tried Origins Charcoal Mask to treat some of the blackheads and blemishes I noticed popping up along with packing, Uhaul-driving and transferring my life across state lines. You've probably heard some of the beauty buzz around charcoal; in this formula, the activated material acts like a magnet to extract the "deep-dwelling" dirt and debris that clog pores. I smoothed the dark cream over my face after a long Monday, focusing on the T-zone, and let it do its thing for twenty minutes. My skin felt and looked PURE after washing it off with warm water (that magnet visual is powerful!), and now, the detoxifying mask is a welcome weekly ritual to both combat blackheads and relieve daily stress and anxiety. Get the mask and shop other Origins products I sampled (and loved) below!

feature image via Harper's Bazaar

Thursday, April 9, 2015


TODAY IS THE DAY—I'm Uhaul-ing it back to Minneapolis! Two years ago I moved from Minneapolis to Madison after nabbing my dream job—I remember with perfect clarity the feeling when the recruiter called late on a Friday night right before I left for vacation. I couldn't have been happier to pack up and start something new, doing something I felt so passionate about. I learned a lot over the past two years, and grew a lot. When I took the job, I said I would've moved anywhere in the country to get the copywriting experience I so wanted, but on bad days, I questioned if I'd made the right decision. There were a lot of high points and certainly some low, lonely points. But I'm proud that I'm the kind of person who can move to a city without knowing anyone and just try it. With all the struggles behind me and a new chapter facing me in Minnesota, I wouldn't change the experience. But time has made me appreciate Minneapolis in a new way, and it's never stopped feeling like home. I took this picture in October 2013 on a walk around Lake of the Isles with my sister. I was in town for a wedding, and even then, just six months after I'd left, I wanted to be back. I applied to jobs around the country in the last few months, unsure of what I really wanted next, but I'm so glad it worked out this way. I'm coming home!

And as a little send-off to Madison, the song that will always make me think of the city: Anna Sun by Walk the Moon. You know how certain songs represent certain times in your life? This one makes me think of a very specific, hopeful and happy time, loving life in my little studio just a block from the lake (I'll miss that great summer lake smell—and my killer Willy Street view of the Capitol!). 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

the skort

Ahhhhh. I woke up with some kind of cold Monday morning (maybe I jumped the gun on sleeping with my windows open?!), and getting through the week has been ROUGH. It's taking extra effort to keep my eyes open at work, so finding the energy to write a smart blog post once I get home is kind of out of the question. But I'm nonetheless excited about skorts and wanted to sound the alarm. I remember having a decent selection of these growing up, but the ones popping up at Tibi, Topshop—even J.Crew—aren't for the kiddos. Crossover details and asymmetrical or flared hemlines offer femininity and sophistication without abandoning all sportiness. I don't wear shorts often, but the tailored look of a skort makes showing some leg much more appealing—and is a necessary alternative to jeans on a hot and humid night. Just pass the Jergens..

image via

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

boots beauty

Announcement: my skin care routine just got a major upgrade! I actually enjoy the nightly process now, rather than seeing cleansing, toning, blahblahblah as an obstacle between my pillow and me. I was buying a few basics at, pleasantly surprised by some of the beauty brands stocked, when Boots No7 popped up in 'recommended products.' I was vaguely familiar with the brand both from living in Scotland and an Inside Edition segment that showcased the raging popularity of an anti-aging serum, but even more swayed by the pretty packaging and reasonable retails. I think we all want a little luxury when it comes to beauty, but let's be real—I do not have the pockets of La Mer-loving J.Lo. The hydrating-but-not-heavy No7 moisture creams come in sculptural glass pots that feel special and indulgent, and while they're technically fewer ounces than the 6.7-oz. Clinique pump I was routinely buying, require you to use less with each application. After MUCH internal debate over value, I decided to trade up because the Beautiful Skin Day Cream (Normal/Dry) has SPF and the Restore & Renew Night Cream is anti-aging (a preventive measure!)—both required components in my book. I've only been using the creams for a week, but my skin is so happy—and getting ready for bed so much BETTER. TIP: You can buy for concern and skin type for a truly customized product, so make sure you look closely at the specs! This guide is a huge help in determining what types of products you might need. I also purchased this super effective color-correcting primer to address the redness in my complexion and this pro-retinol serum. Shop all the products mentioned (and more) below!

feature image via

Monday, April 6, 2015

mad for joan

Today, some wise words from Joan Harris in celebration of Mad Men's Sunday return (did you watch?!). Peggy gets a lot of the credit, but Joan is my favorite female cast member. She's unwaveringly self-assured, calm, ambitious and in control. I love the way she commands the SC&P personnel; there's something very comforting about her demeanor. And girl's got some style. Another one of her more memorable lines comes in conversation with Peggy regarding workplace respect, "You want to be taken seriously? Stop dressing like a little girl." Transitioning from my early twenties to mid/late twenties (is 27 "late" twenties?!), this is an applicable reminder. Time just passes and it's easy to forget I'm not that new grad anymore—and daily dress code should reflect that. I recently cleaned five bags of clothes out of my closet and am restocking with quality, classic pieces I know I love and fit well—like this sweater I want to buy in every color (current count: 5) because it's just so EASY. I linked to this and more age-appropriate favorites below—staples I know make a good impression, on or off the clock. (After writing this, I read this article, which nicely sums up my strategy!)


Friday, April 3, 2015

oh odelia

I'm really excited to spend Easter at my parents' in Minnesota this weekend. My older sister will also be in town from Chicago, and I haven't seen her for more than an hour brunch since Christmas so it'll be a nice little reunion with good conversation and good food! I've enjoyed my share of coconut nests and chocolate bunnies over the years, but all I want in my basket on Sunday is a pair of these Pointy Toe Mule Pumps (20% OFF and free shipping!). With the slide-on ease of a mule and sleek angles of a pump, they're the best of both worlds, and the ivory calf hair with contrast piping is so, so chic. Easter has always been a dress-your-best holiday in our house, but it's gotten more casual over the years. I think with a simple shift, these will add the perfect amount of special polish (and be great with jeans the day after!). Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 2, 2015


Two days later I'm still replaying Tuesday night's Bleachers concert in my mind and re-watching the videos on my phone. I discovered the band in January, instantly loving the '80s and '90s influences as much as Jack Antonoff's voice and lyrics—and immediately bought tickets when I learned they were stopping in Madison. I've seen "bigger" names perform live, but was more star-struck by Jack, whose birthday it was that night—I think because he just seems like that "regular guy" you knew in high school who's making his dreams happen. It was maybe my favorite concert yet—one of those where you sing along with every word and wish the night wouldn't end. But sadly, four-ish PBRs later, it wrapped with I Wanna Get Better. It was still pretty warm out (I'm talking fifties baby) as I walked home around eleven-thirty, and I was completely comfortable in this perfect baby blue bomber. The super-soft Merino knit is a little oversize for a slouchy fit I love, and for a concert, it's not as cliché as a leather moto jacket. A slit-back tank layered comfortably underneath and leather-look leggings were great for dancing all night. I love head-to-toe black, but studded flats in pretty, spring-y pastels offer a welcome feminine lift (I only actually own Rockstuds in my dreams). Bleachers is still touring—I highly suggest getting tickets!


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

show some shoulder

Back in 2009, I interned at a book publicity company in NYC. Living in the greatest city on earth was as much the experience as the internship, and I had three great roommates to see and do it all with. Some of the best times, though, were at the intersection of 23rd and 3rd, just sitting around the kitchen table (we jokingly/affectionately called it "table time"), drinking red wine from solo cups, listening to Kings of Leon and Santigold, and deciding what to do that night. One of my roommates was from Texas. She had long, stick-straight blond hair and the coolest, funniest personality. She was interning at some atelier—I can't remember which now—she knew all the best sample sales to hit, and I was a little intimidated by her fashion prowess. A loose, off-the-shoulder blouse was one of her signature looks. At the time, I didn't feel like I could pull it off, but the trend gained a lot of traction in 2014, proving showing off your shoulders this spring is definitely not just for fashion-savvy girls who say "y'all." The look is really flattering on everyone—I don't know many people whose "problem area" is their decolletage/neckline—and gives off a really carefree, quietly sexy vibe. I linked to a ton of pretty options below, all under $200! The blue and white embroidered and red floral are my favorites, perfect for sipping a cocktail on a sun-drenched patio. (P.S. Sorry for the ridiculous lyrics I pasted onto this photo, but does anyone NOT think of this song when you're talking shoulders?! It'll be playing in my head whenever I pull out this look.)

image via WhoWhatWear