Weekend Inspiration

In the midst of my post-grad job search, I have utilized my free time to be inspired by everything around me. From the colors of the coast (sandy neutrals and pale blues) to the current fashion trends (hello, stripes), seasonal flowers, and everything in between; I am focusing on creativity, being present, and appreciating the onset of summer. I’ve curated a few of my favorite moments below.

Have a wonderful week.

xx, Laina

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{J.Crew hat + Rayban sunnies + Forever 21 towel}

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{coastal calm}

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{hydrangea happiness}

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{Left: Urban Outfitters romper, Right: Abercrombie pinstripe dress}

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{David Yurman ring + cuff, Tiffany&Co charm bracelet}

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{summer pairs: jack rogers + baseball}

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{peony for your thoughts}

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{sundress season}

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{love these beautiful ocean front homes}

 

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Resolutions

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Though we rang in the new year almost two weeks ago, I’m just now getting organized and settled into 2017. I make a list of new years resolutions every year and there are some I’ve stuck to and others that I’ve abandoned by Valentine’s Day. Usually my resolutions are more along the lines of “do yoga every day” or “eat clean 80%, indulge 20%” but this year feels different and more reflective. Here is what I’m striving for in 2017.

  1. Focus on being truly happy. While this may seem elementary, I’ve come to notice how unhappy I’ve been. I find myself always wishing for more perfection, more clothes, more shoes, more likes on Instagram… and well, its become exhausting. Despite a tumultuous 2016, I have millions of reasons to be happy. I want to be able to simply be in 2017: to wake up and count my lucky stars for all I’ve been given, all I’ve worked for, and all the wonderful family, friends, and opportunities I’ve been blessed with.
  2. Embrace change without being anxious. I’ve gone through changes in the past. Graduating high school and going to a college far from home where I knew no one was difficult, but I did it. Living in New York City and Italy were big changes, but they ended up being some of the best decisions I ever made because of the memories and friendships that blossomed along the way. Now I face possibly the biggest change in my 20’s: I’m graduating college, starting a job somewhere, and possibly moving to a new city. While it’s exciting, my gut reaction is immediately anxiety and stress. While I accept that I am naturally a nervous person, my goal for 2017 is to embrace these life changes head-on with positivity, gratitude, and a smile.
  3. Don’t be so hard on myself. I have been a perfectionist for as long as I can remember. I don’t enjoy it, but I can’t imagine myself any other way. While it’s gotten better over the years, I still have a ways to go. I need to stop being so hard on myself for mistakes, problems and confusions. These mishaps are part of life and help us learn and grow.
  4. Recognize the need for rest. This past semester, I woke up every day at 7am to run four miles before classes, homework, and club meetings. While running helped my anxiety about everything that was happening, I was running myself -quite literally- into the ground. I barely slept, stayed up late studying and worrying, and didn’t nourish myself properly with enough food to fuel the amount of exercise I was doing each week. I came home for winter break feeling as though I hadn’t slept in a year. While I gained leg muscle, I felt weak in my brain, arms, and soul. I love to work out, but I’ve realized that my body needs rest- and lots of it.
  5. Take my time. We are all guilty of rushing through life. I am constantly counting down the minutes left in a class, the days until the weekend, and the months until a special occasion or holiday. In 2017, I hope to take my time in conversations, moments, meals, walking to class, spending time with friends and family- the list goes on. Life is too short to count down the days. I want to appreciate every minute of my last semester, of this year, and every year to come.

xx, Laina

Evening Relaxation

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My #1 new years resolution for 2016 was to learn how to relax and take time for myself. Before making this a priority, I let my stress take over my life from the moment I woke up until my body finally gave in to sleep (around 2 or 3am). Over the past year, I’ve developed a few relaxation rituals that really help me get into cozy chill mode and I’ve listed five essentials below. What helps you relax?

  1. Candles: Something about lighting candles makes all my worries go away. I love sandalwood and amber aromas from Bath&Body Works and Anthropologie.
  2. Face Masks: The soothing feeling of using a spa-like facial mask transports me to a place of total serenity. I love SK-II sheet masks and Lush fresh face masks.
  3. Tea: I have been obsessed with tea since middle school. The soothing aroma and warmth help my body calm down. My favorites are Tazo chai tea and blueberry herbal tea.
  4. Cozy blankets + Pillows: There is no better feeling than sinking into a soft bed and wrapping a knitted blanked around your shoulders as you lay your head down on silk and fur pillowcases. You don’t need to break the bank to achieve this luxurious feeling-most of my softest pillows and throws were purchased for less than $20 at Target and T.J.Maxx.
  5. Yoga: My mom taught me yoga sequences at an young age, and I was doing bedtime yoga as early as 11 years old. Now I practice almost daily because it has tremendously helped my anxiety. I recommend a restorative yoga sequence or these nighttime yoga poses to help you relax come bedtime.

xx, Laina

Winter Break Highlights

It’s been a long time since I last posted on the blog. First and foremost, I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and enjoyed their new year celebrations. I rushed out of last semester, managing to take my final exams early to get home to my family sooner. Since coming home for break, I’ve truly spent every free moment with my family, whether it’s curled up around the fire watching movies, poking fun, or having dinner. We had a tough year, and we really needed this month to relax and spend time together.

I have a lot to be grateful for, but recently my worries and anxiety about the future have prevented me from being present and being happy. I’m looking forward to 2017 because fresh starts are always exciting. However, the thought of graduating college, finding a job, and starting a new life somewhere is extremely daunting. Throw in a tumultuous history of anxiety and a family member battling cancer and you have yourself a lot of ups and downs. All of this aside, I really want to be more positive this year, maintain my friendships after graduation (and my friends are scattered across the country), and try to focus on being present.

Here are some highlights from my winter break.

xx, Laina

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{meet my siblings!}

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{carefully wrapped gifts for all my loved ones}

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{favorite holiday pastime: baking cookies}

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{you can find me curled up by the fireplace in my J.Crew camp socks, J.Crew slippers and Anthropologie mug, sipping a chai tea latte}

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{too obsessed with my pup}

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{Banana Republic poncho, Subdued scarf, Zara jeans, Sam Edelman booties}

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{I love sending surprise Christmas cards with Starbucks gift cards- a simple gesture that goes a long way}

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{so obsessed with this stunning ring}

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{new year’s eve drink of choice: a pomegranate moscow mule}

Gifts for Her

Whether you are shopping for Mom, the holiday hostess, or a co-worker… there are a few go-to gifts that any woman would be thrilled to see underneath Christmas wrapping. With the Cyber Monday frenzy upon us, I’ve put together some of the best items that any classy girl would love. Consider this a list of “you can’t go wrong” presents for all ages and a variety of price ranges (no size or recipient information required.)

xx, Laina

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1. J.Crew Pajama Set: Soft and cozy. Don’t forget to monogram them.

2. Candle: Ladies love candles. The perfect gift for hostesses and mother-in-laws alike.

3. SK-II Face Masks: I was lucky enough to represent this skincare brand at one of my summer internships and can vouch for the fact that these sheet masks are life-changing: they simultaneously moisturize, brighten, and refresh leaving skin radiant and clear.

4. David Yurman Bracelet: A classic. If you’ve got the dough to splurge, this sterling silver and gold cuff is a must-have.

5. Gourmet Hot Cocoa + Chocolates: Self-explanatory.

6. S’well Stainless Steel Water Bottle: These bottles are all the rave right now, and rightly so. They keep cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot. Just what you need.

7. Personalized Cheese Board: Whether you’re buying a present for an amateur cook or gourmet chef, a cheese board is a very thoughtful and useful gift. Brownie points for this personalized rendition.

8. Cozy Fur Sleep Mask: Because everyone wants their zzz’s around the holidays.

9. 2017 Agenda: In the purse of any organized woman is a sturdy planner.

10. Chanel Eau De Parfum: A classy woman will never deny Chanel. Lighter than the classic No. 5,the Mademoiselle scent smells fun and feminine.

Autumn Highlights

It’s hard to believe it will be November in just a few days. My classes are a lot harder than I expected this semester, and I find myself taking advantage of any free time that isn’t spent studying or doing work. In those rare moments of bliss, I’ve done a variety of fall activities. Follow along with what I’ve been wearing and doing this past month below.

xx, Laina

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{J.Crew coat + J.Crew sweater + Francesca’s blanket scarf + Sam Edelman booties}

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{pretty mums on campus}

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{apple picking scenery}

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{enjoying the foliage colors}

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{wine tour through upstate new york}

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{when your booties match the leaves}

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{quick trip to nyc: loving this central park view}

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{camouflaged}

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{time square views from viacom}

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{weekend at home: loving the porch decor}

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{all about slip-on loafers}

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{the moments of bliss post-shower when you stay in your warm robe}

Fall Bucket List

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Making a fall to-do list has been a personal tradition for many years to help ring in my favorite season. With everything going on in my life recently, I’ve never felt more inclined to check off every box on the list and take time to truly appreciate all the wonderful aspects of fall. Whether it’s investing in a new fall sweater (I’ve got my eye on this one), making apple cider cocktails, or simply getting outside to see the gorgeous foliage, I plan on doing it all this autumn season.

What’s on your fall bucket list?

xx, Laina