My Best Friend’s Husband

That expression sounds weird to say, but after my last trip to California, that person exists. My best friend has a husband. I actually used the expression “Kaylin’s husband” the other day and it felt weird but cool and because I know how happy she is, it made me really happy too.

Our adventure began Wednesday, when we flew from Philly to San Francisco.


It’s really great when the only decent picture taken of you in the last year is when you’re goofy on anti-anxiety meds and standing in long-term parking. Super.

Then we got to San Francisco and did touristy stuff.

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And then of course, we drank lots of wine. Oh, and I (the vegetarian) ate a cheeseburger. JUST ONE. I always said that In-n-Out Burger was the exception to my vegetarianism, since day one. It was so good, I didn’t feel even a tiny bit guilty.


The next day we headed to Lake Tahoe and my best friend got married. I keep using that expression because it just sounds crazy to me. Isn’t this the girl I sang sorority songs with? That I slept on the bathroom floor next to? That I watched turn 21 with a bar stamp on her forehead? I guess we’ve come a long way from being those people (but on occasion, we let them come out).

It was a ridiculously fun wedding and though I’d love to share 800 photos, I don’t have them to share because I was too busy dancing and having the time of my life. Plus, they aren’t really my photos to share, now are they? So here’s just a little taste of the stunning event.


Bridesmaid! I got my hair and makeup done for the first time ever and it was pretty fun. They basically spackled my face and it took me nearly 20 minutes and 2 pounds of conditioner to undo all the teasing in my hair but damn, it looked good.


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She’s stunning. And now she’s someones wife. He’s a very lucky man.

Filed Under: Personal

The Vacation We’ve Never Taken

Today N and I leave for our very first vacation together. Three and a half years and we’ve never been anywhere together besides visiting family along the east coast (we’re road trip people). It’s also the longest flight (and only the second) flight we’ve ever taken together. If you haven’t read the story about the first flight we took together, just know that you should probably feel really bad for N.

Maine's nickname is Vacationland. But is does it count as a vacation if we were just visiting my parents?

Maine’s nickname is Vacationland. But is does it count as a vacation if we were just visiting my parents?

You would think that I’d feel better with him with me on an airplane but in our first experience, he kind of had the opposite effect. Instead of me keeping myself in check (for fear of looking like the crying idiot), I felt like having my love sit beside me made me more aware of the life (and more specifically, my life and future with him) that would be taken away from me, should the plane go down.

Feel free to read all about my absurd fear of flying in these posts:

8 Steps to the Perfect Flying Experience
The Lonliness of Terror
I Have a Secret
Taking Flight

This is absolutely not the reason we haven’t taken a vacation together. We just haven’t. I guess it’s been a money/time off/priorities issue. My family did not vacation frequently and as an adult, I really haven’t either. Until I have ample money in savings, it seems like I shouldn’t blow a couple grand so I can relax. Frankly, I’m not that stressed anyway.


So today we jet off to San Francisco. As a former Californian, I’m so excited to show N some of my favorite places. After two days in San Francisco, we’re heading to Lake Tahoe for Kaylin’s wedding (remember how I felt about her getting engaged?). I’ll be doing my bridesmaid thang, like trying not to ugly cry when she walks down the aisle (spoiler alert: the ugly cry will happen no matter what), achieving the perfect level of drunkenness (i.e. a good buzz all night but not too shwasty face), and being the most enthusiastic dancer to SHOUT you’ve seen in your life.

So is it technically just a vacation? Not really. But with 4 days off in a row, a 6 hour flight, and staying in a nice hotel, I say it counts!

Want to keep up with how things are going? Follow along on Instagram. I’m sure I’ll be blowing up your feed. Can’t wait to see all the super classy pictures N snaps of me while I’m drooling on myself on our cross-country flight.

Filed Under: Personal

September Ipsy Bag Review

Years after they’ve become popular, I finally took the plunge and joined a subscription box service.

Why I Chose Ipsy over Birchbox or Glossybox

I chose Ipsy for two reasons:

  1. Like Birchbox, it’s only $10/month. Glossybox is $21 which is more than I usually spend on makeup/products for the month.
  2. Ipsy tends to be more makeup heavy than Birchbox. I don’t like to mess with my skincare routine and am much more adventurous with different makeup brands and products than with skincare.

What I Got In This Month’s Box

September Ipsy Bag Review #beauty #makeup #skincare #ipsy #subscription

Hikari Lipstick in Cabernet

Well, I like the name and I love the lipstick. This is the perfect blue based deep red. It is a little on the dry side (I wouldn’t describe it as creamy) but that means it lasts a really long time on this lips. I got over 5 hours of wear from one application.

The only bad thing is that I’ve never heard of this brand before and have no idea where I could buy it (besides directly via Ipsy).

Value: $13

Be a Bombshell Smooth Criminal Powder

This powder is 100% silica (the same as the Makeup Forever HD Powder that is so popular). While I’ll use this, I don’t notice much of a difference between this and the $6 E.L.F. HD Powder. I’m not a huge powder person in general but do occasionally use it to set my makeup when my skin isn’t super dry.

Value: $12

Mitchell and Peach Luxury Hand Cream

Good stuff. Smells nice. Non-greasy. But people, this is $27 hand cream! What?! I like it, but I would never pay that much for it.

Full Size: 60ml / £17 ($27)

Sample Size Value: 30ml / $13.50

Nourish Organic Moisturizing Cream Face Cleanser

I didn’t check the ingredients on this and used it a bunch of times. I love it. Once I checked the ingredients, I found out that there are several kinds of oil in this cleanser. And guess what? It didn’t make me break out at all. Again, I like this but I probably wouldn’t buy it. I’m good with my Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser.

Full Size: 6 oz. / $13.99

Sample Size Value: 1 oz. / $2.33

Pacifica 7 Free Nail Polish in Red Red Wine

A full size nail polish in a fabulous fall color. I’ve always wanted to try Pacifica brand but have never made a purchase. Depending on how this wears, I’ll try other Pacifica products.

Value: $9

Overall Impression

I was on the wait list for Ipsy for several months before finally “getting in”. When I finally did get off the wait list, I wasn’t notified. I noticed that $10 had come out of my checking account from Ipsy and about a week later, got my package. I was a little annoyed that I wasn’t notified that I was off the wait list before they charged me, but they more than made up for it when it arrived.

I do think that the little bag that came with it (apparently a little bag comes with it every month) was pretty ugly and pointless. It’s way too small to actually use as a makeup bag. It’s not pictured because it went in the Goodwill pile when we got rid of half of our stuff.

Overall though, I’ve loved my experience. I’ve actually used all of the products that came and it has been well worth the $10. I’m definitely sticking with Ipsy.

Overall Value


Can’t beat that.

Filed Under: beauty

Your Elliptical Is LYING To You

I might be the only woman in the world who didn’t know this, but the elliptical is a dirty rotten liar.

All through college, my sorority girl butt reported directly to the gym almost daily to do 30-60 minutes on the elliptical. It was my weapon of choice (against the calories I was drinking). Yet still, I managed to never lose weight, and sometimes, I’d gain. How was it possible? I wondered. If I was burning 600 calories a day on the elliptical and eating pretty healthy (albeit drinking probably 4,000 calories a week), how was I gaining?

Your Elliptical Is Lying To You | #fitness #workout #fit #exercise #tips

It’s because I was never burning 600 calories on the damn elliptical.

After college, I continued to choose the elliptical almost every time I went to the gym. Running is hard! That should have been a sign. If you aren’t really dying and sweating and if you don’t want to stop immediately, you probably aren’t working hard enough to lose significant weight (every person is different, but low intensity cardio doesn’t do much for me). And if we’re being honest, I’m pretty much always trying to lose 5lbs.

Fast forward to last month, when I bought a Polar Heart Rate Monitor. That’s when I discovered that my 40 minutes on the elliptical was burning NEXT TO NOTHING. I mean, 200 something calories but SO MUCH LESS than the elliptical tells me I’ve burned. It was consistently telling me I’d burned 500 calories or more!

How. Devastating.

So basically, I’m really glad that I bought a heart rate monitor because my workouts have gotten way more efficient. Yes, they’re harder but I had no idea that what I was doing was not doing much for me. Sure, something is better than nothing (and oh my gosh I’d rather do nothing). But the something I’m doing these days is working a lot better for me.

If you’re an elliptical devotee like myself, consider a heart rate monitor or make peace with the fact that the reason it feels easier than running is because it is actually easier.

Want to see what you’re burning on the elliptical? For me, this calculator is pretty accurate when I compare it to what my heart rate monitor tells me.

Happy Friday.

Filed Under: Fitness

How We Got Rid of Half Of Our Stuff

We’re downsizing, in a big way. Going from a sprawling suburban apartment (okay, it’s 820 square feet) to cramped (but charming) place in the city means we’ve had to downsize. In order for our new space to not look cluttered, we need less furniture and less stuff. So we got rid of about half of it. Here’s how we did it:

Downsizing 101: How We Got Rid of Half Of Our Stuff #moving #cleaning #cleanse #downsize #downsizing #furniture #homedecor

1. The Clothes Had To Go.

I made strict guidelines and went through my closet at warp speed. Split second decisions only. I had to go with my gut. Here are the questions I asked myself:

  • Have I worn it in the last 6 months? This doesn’t apply to seasonal items but if the whole summer went by and I never wore that sundress, it’s out. I’ve heard that others use this rule and it seemed solid.
  • Does it actually fit? Or am I just hoping that someday it will? I’m looking at you, size 1 jeans. If I can’t wear it TODAY, to Goodwill it goes!
  • Does it have a hole in it? Somehow this was the hardest. It’s embarrassing how many items I have that I adored but have tiny holes in them (thanks to Archie carrying them around in his mouth).
  • Am I just keeping this because it’s a brand name? I had many items that I never wore and didn’t really love but justified keeping around because “but it’s Banana Republic” or “but it’s J.Crew”. It doesn’t matter what it is. If you don’t wear it, it goes. How I Got Rid of Half of My Clothes! #cleaning #clothes #downsizing #downsize

Items that were in style and in good shape, I sold at a consignment store. Everything else went to Goodwill.

2. We Booted Half the Furniture.

N and I sat in our living room one day and made a list of all the furniture that is not coming with us. We’ve accumulated a lot of furniture over the years, as I love Goodwill and frequently find items that I love but have no use for (and then buy anyways). These are the questions we asked ourselves about every piece of furniture in our home:

  • Is it structurally sound? Our Ikea bookshelf is wobbly like whoa. It isn’t joining us in Philly.
  • Do we use it regularly? The desk, vanity, antique table, and dining room table all don’t get much use.
  • Do we have room? We need and like two dressers but two dressers will not fit in our new apartment. The newer dresser is coming with us, Nav’s dresser is going back to Goodwill where it came from. Plus we’ve gotten rid of half of our clothes so hopefully we can make this work.
  • Is it just plain ugly? Our coffee table is so far past needing to be refinished, it isn’t even worth it. Speaking of ugly, I don’t care how ugly our recliner is, it’s coming with us.

All furniture that isn’t coming is going on Craigslist, to Goodwill, or in the trash.

3. If we haven’t seen it in a year, we don’t need it and won’t miss it.

The desk drawer was full of stuff but and had not been opened in a year. The extra products (that I never use) under the bathroom sink were out of control. The extra linens (i.e. old sheets and dog towels) we had were exploding out of our hall closet. I couldn’t possibly tell you what was in my nightstand, but it was completely full. And there was an entire closet that was just “miscellaneous”.

We had to be ruthless. What I kept in mind was this – If N threw it away when I was out of the house, would I even notice? In most cases, the answer was no. There is just no reason to move a hand cream that you hate the scent of, the duvet cover you’ll never put back on your bed, or your scientific calculator from 10th grade. You don’t even remember what sine or cosine are. Make peace with that.

4. No extras allowed.

Does anyone else have an absurd amount of tupperware? We’ve got way too much tupperware, thanks to restaurants now using it as to-go boxes. It’s not coming with us.

No duplicates of anything. No keeping extras of things just because. 

5. Outdated technology is not invited.

N announced recently that our DVD player isn’t coming with us. What?! He claims we never watch DVD’s which is true except that every time he’s gone for the weekend, I watch at least two Harry Potter movies. All on DVD. So sure, we don’t use the DVD player but I do. He still insists that he doesn’t think we need it or my DVD collection. I’ve agreed to this deal IF he buys me all the Harry Potter movies on Google Play or iTunes.

Harry Potter DVDs

And if you’re a fellow Harry Potter lover, make sure you check out this post.

6. Cut the cosmetics.

Since we are ditching both my vanity and a small antique table that previously housed my hair and makeup products, I now had to figure out where they were going to go. Turns out, I’m a hoarder of almost finished lipsticks and old tubes of mascara. I asked myself these questions and got rid of over half of my cosmetics and nearly all of my hair products:

  • Is it super super old? If I couldn’t remember when I bought it or when I used it last, I tossed it.
  • Did it just never work for me? There’s just no reason to keep a $5 lipstick that I hated from the moment I put it on for the first time. If that hairspray just never held your curls, ditch it. If the foundation was always kind of the wrong color, throw it out.
  • Is it almost empty? I’m totally that girl who kept a lipstick because there was maybe a wear or two left. But come on, we all know that by then I’ve already bought another lipstick to replace it. If it’s empty or even close to empty, throw it away.

7. Love it or leave it.

We found that as we really looked at our apartment piece by piece, there were a lot of things that we actually didn’t like. There were lots of mentions of things like “why do we even have this?” or “is this yours?” (said in a judgy tone). Turns out, our home decor style was really just a hodge podge of what we found in my parent’s basement and at Goodwill. We’re upping our game for our new place.

So that’s how we got rid of nearly half of our stuff. It feels good to get rid of the clutter. Do you have any other suggestions to help us downsize before our move? I’d love to hear how you got rid of the clutter in your life!

Filed Under: Life