March 30, 2014

Cures for a Bad Day

In the grand scheme of life, a single bad day is an infinitesimal blip. In the moment, however? The dreadful day feels like it will never end. Whether it is rain when you had outdoor plans, a parking ticket, a disagreement with a friend, or some combination of life's little frustrations, they happen to all of us.

For me, the best way to deal with bad days is to isolate the situations. Instead of thinking of it as a bad day, it's a less than ideal situation.  Making that semantic switch can also shift your attitude and let you salvage the remaining hours. Instead of making you grumpy/angry/a pain in the butt for everyone you encounter, a bad day can serve as an opportunity to indulge in life's little pleasures. Some of my favorite cures:

1. I don't know a single girl who isn't happier when she has a fresh manicure. I'm loving Essie's latest collection, especially this shade.

2. To quote Elle Woods, "Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don't shoot their [boyfriends, roommates, noisy neighbors...]." Go for a run, go to yoga, whatever. Taking your frustrations out in the gym will lift your spirits and be a healthy way to channel your negative energy into achieving a positive result.

3. I really love reading, especially nonfiction and classic literature. However, nothing says bliss like flipping through some glossy pages with pretty pictures and effortless reading. 

4. When all else fails? Wine. This chardonnay from Cakebread Cellars is my current favorite. 

5. Develop a plan to make tomorrow better. With every mistake or bad situation comes an opportunity for improvement. This kate spade notepad is always on my desk, and gets lots of love. 

How do you recover from a bad day?


March 28, 2014

Uber Cincinnati

Have you heard of Uber? It's the transportation app that's taking over tons of cities. Bearing the appealing label of "Everyone's private driver," Uber lets you explore your city conveniently - and in style. I mean, check out this gorgeous shot from their website: 

Given all the buzz about the app, I was thrilled to learn they were coming to Cincinnati! Getting a cab here can be quite inconvenient, and as the city experiences an urban revival it's exciting to see growth. The launch party took place at Igby's, which couldn't have been more perfect for the young professional crowd in attendance.  The two drivers I had were so friendly, and the app makes getting a driver so easy. As a Type A person, I love feeling a little more "in control" of the process by knowing my driver's name, face, vehicle, and estimated time of arrival ahead of time. 

Of course, when you're friends with a comedian, photo booth time happens....

Does your city have Uber? Do you plan on using the app this weekend?  Happy Friday loves!


*This post is not sponsored. I received no compensation for my review - I just really love Uber. 

March 26, 2014

Good Morning Playlist

If there's one thing I have learned lately, it is the power of starting your morning off right.

In college, I would often sleep through my alarm - thanks to my 18+ credit hours, part-time job, extracurricular activities, and the sleep-depriving fun that comes with living with 18 amazing sorority sisters. Those mornings were awful, though - I hate feeling rushed!  As a result, I've become really attached to my morning routine and can recognize its importance in starting my day off in the best way possible.

One of my favorite parts of my morning routine is my Spotify playlist. While I'm making coffee, getting ready, returning emails, etc. I always have it on to set the tone for my day.

Here are some of my favorite songs this week:

Comeback Kid // Brett Dennen

Pumpin Blood // NONONO

It's a New Day //

What kind of music do you listen to in the morning? I'd love recommendations! Also, if you're on Spotify, comment below so that I can follow you. 


March 21, 2014

Seven Things to Love About Spring

Yesterday (at precisely 12:57 p.m., I'm told) we officially crossed into spring! I was in the best mood all day. It's no secret that this winter has been brutal, and I couldn't be more ready for sunshine and all the wonderful things that the warmer seasons bring. Here are some of my favorite things about spring:

things to love about spring

1. Fresh flowers. I love picking up cut blooms for my apartment, passing all the lovely gardens in my neighborhood, and just being surrounded by things more beautiful than bare trees and brown grass. 

2. Bare legs. I'm ready to retire my tights and leggings in favor of shorter hemlines. These J. Crew shorts are a warm weather staple in my wardrobe. 

3. Longer days. More evening sunlight means pleasant evening runs. My neighborhood is full of runners and walkers. It's fun to see the community stop hibernating!

4. Baseball season. Go Reds! 

5. Dining (and drinking) alfresco. Spring begins my mad hunt for the best biergarten. I got a little spoiled in Paris with the adorable cafes with outdoor seating on every block. 

6. Open-toed shoes. I'm ready to retire my boots for a long time. Bring on the sandals and fun pedicures. 

7. Spring cleaning. My apartment could use a top-to-bottom fresh start. It's also a great time to donate wardrobe pieces I no longer love, making room for the new things I'm bound to find. 

What's your favorite part of spring?


March 19, 2014

On Settling for Less

Recently, I heard that most people choose significant others that are around the same level of attractiveness as they perceive themselves. One example of this effect, called the matching hypothesis, is that we are more likely to choose partners who are within one point (+/-) of how attractive we perceive ourselves on the famed 10 point scale. I know this is old news in the psychology world, but I was so fascinated! 

Learning about the matching hypothesis served as a catalyst to a barrage of thoughts on aspects of settling. In Perks of Being a Wallflower, the broader impact of settling in relationships was conveyed with “We accept the love we think we deserve.” 

I’m not suggesting that you should choose your significant other based on how hot they are or break up with your loving boyfriend because he never takes out the garbage when you ask him.  I wonder, though, how many people accept less because of skewed self-perception?

I have a whole lot of love for people – it is part of the reason I adore Humans of New York, why I’m the first person to chat up a cashier or bartender, and why I tear up at every one of those “restore your faith in humanity” photos that circulate Facebook. I like to be open to meeting all kinds of new people, but sometimes this allows the wrong kind of people to enter my life. For example, I somehow attract pathological liars and sociopaths on a semi-regular basis (kidding…kind of). While it’s lovely to want to see the best in people, when someone shows you who they are…believe them. Red flags pop up in our minds for a reason.

Settling has a snowball effect. You start with a simple compromise, and somehow it leaves you feeling less-than in so many more aspects of your life. Here’s the problem with choosing the comfortable path – we are dealing with a finite amount of time. If you are with someone you aren’t crazy about, you are closing yourself off from meeting someone that does give you the clichĂ© butterflies. If you settle for a job that you dread every morning, you are exchanging hours of your life that could be spent inspired.  If there are people in your life that display one of those aforementioned “red flag” behaviors, you’re setting yourself up for an unhappy ending.

You can pour positive energy into your job, love into a relationship, and time into a task, but at some point serious evaluation is needed to determine if it’s worth it. If you determine something simply is not working despite all your valiant attempts, stop settling.


March 18, 2014

White (Night) Out

As much as I love a little black dress, there's something so chic about a night out in all white. I love pairing a statement necklace with these beautiful white cocktail dresses.


{left to right}

Cincy Chic is hosting Night in White next month - the perfect excuse to wear a LWD.  The event is being held at Obscura, my new favorite cocktail lounge downtown.

Photos courtesy of Obscura Cincinnati

So perfect for a girls night out! Proceeds from the event go to the Eight Days & One Hour Foundation's Stephen Morsch Nursing Scholarship.

Do you have a favorite LWD?


March 17, 2014

Espresso at Home

Did you know that you can easily (and inexpensively) make espresso at home? Instead of a fancy espresso machine, you just need one of these guys:

I purchased one after enjoying a daily espresso in Europe. While I still enjoy my regular coffee, a stove-top espresso maker is a nice addition to any kitchen, and a great gift for your favorite coffee addict. You just need finely ground coffee, water, and a stove-top! It couldn't be easier. 

 You'll also need espresso cups. The tiny size gives them potential to be the most darling items in your kitchen. Here are my favorites:

{top to bottom}

The Pantone cups are so fun and colorful, while the Hotel Collection bone china (available at Macy's) is simple and classic. Obviously, I adore the polka dot Kate Spade set. I found the final set on Etsy - each cup depicts a different French street scene. Love!


March 12, 2014

Hey, babe.

"Hey, babe" is a simple phrase that has become the slogan of Frank Body and the nucleus of a pretty smart marketing plan. Frank Body is a company offering just two products, both of which are natural, coffee scrubs packaged in a simple brown paper bag.

The whole website is very cheeky.

See what I mean? I have never seen an advertisement for the scrub, but Instagram is buzzing. I decided to try frank for myself, and was pleasantly surprised to find that the product was even better than the sassy marketing.

What I Liked 

1. The ingredients
Coffee, orange essence, sweet almond oil...all stuff I feel good about putting on my skin.

2. The frank effect
After rinsing the scrub off, I was left with super smooth, moisturized skin. Totally perfect for spring weather and showing more skin!

3. The smell
Mmmmm, coffee. Combined with the orange essence, the smell of the scrub totally woke me up before I even neared the coffee pot.

4. The customer service
I purchased frank with PayPal, and they automatically sent the confirmation email to an old email address (PayPal's fault) and an old mailing address (my fault for not completely deleting?). I emailed customer service to inquire about my order, and they were so helpful - and stayed in "frank" character the entire time.

What I Didn't

1. The wait
After jumping in the shower, turning off the water, and scrubbing get to wait around for 10 minutes to let frank work some magic. I generally like my showers to be more efficient. Considering how much I love everything else about this company though, I can work on cultivating patience. 

Of course, I had to join the rest of Instagram with a little #frankeffect love...

Have you tried frank?


March 11, 2014

Wanderlust Inspired Beachwear

I know it's only March, but with temperatures climbing above 50 degrees (finally!), my mind is on swimsuit season and summer adventures.

I was recently introduced to Maderas Beach Co., a small collection of travel-inspired beachwear. Rebecca, the designer, started the company at just 25 years old after visiting Nicaragua and becoming inspired by her surroundings. The line is perfect for the wanderlust-stricken because all the pieces are functional, versatile, and tough enough to stand up to more than just lying by a pool.

The bikinis are reversible to save you luggage space. They're also - get this - custom made to fit your measurements. Hallelujah. The Papaya Boat Bikini is my favorite:

Maderas Beach Co. also offers bags and wraps. I love this tote for beach days, and the wrap comes in 14 colors! Anyone who has traveled knows how awesome a versatile wrap can be. It becomes your beach towel, picnic blanket, skirt, and instant appropriate coverage when visiting nations with different customs for women baring skin. 


I can't wait to make my first purchase and support an awesome twenty-something female entrepreneur!


*The opinions conveyed here are entirely my own. This post was not sponsored by Maderas Beach Co.

March 10, 2014

Monday Mantra

I always find myself needing a little extra motivation on Mondays. In case you do, too:


March 7, 2014

I Must Have Flowers

"I must have flowers, always, and always." - Claude Monet

Today, I picked up these beauties for a sunny start to my weekend....

Decided I need to smell like a flower with this Tory Burch perfume, featuring notes of peony and tuberose...

Explored Pinterest for stripe + floral outfit inspiration....

Do you sense a theme? I'm so very ready for springtime!  Wishing you all a lovely weekend.


March 6, 2014

Black and White All Over

The color combo of black & white feels so fresh for this long-awaited spring. 

{clockwise from top}

Do you have any black and white pieces on your spring shopping list?


March 3, 2014

Ciao Bella

On a whim, I ended up taking an Italian night class once a week around this time last year. I was surrounded by people (easily) twice my age, and the instructor was the most adorable picture of elderly Italian perfection. Listening to him recall stories of his hometown in southern Italy, and speaking the language (poorly) myself, I fell in love with the country.

How could you not? On my trip, I was able to see Naples (briefly), the Amalfi coast, Cinque Terre, Rome, and Venice. I spent some seriously amazing days hiking in the mountains and enjoying the beaches...including the black sand in Minori.

Rome and Venice provided a more cosmopolitan atmosphere, with lots of history and great shopping.

Given my obvious ardor for Italy, it should come as no surprise that I love Kate Spade's newest collection, inspired by Capri. Here are my favorite pieces:



  {from left to right}

Bella phone  case // Cedar Street Monday handbag // Six  Month dot scarf

What are your must-have pieces from the new arrivals?