It's almost been a full year since California went into lockdown. I keep having flashbacks to last March, when everything came to a grinding halt due to a novel virus. There was so much confusion. Like so many people, I spent all of last Spring in a battle with uncertainty. I experienced crippling panic attacks, nightmares, and extremely high blood pressure. I wrote about my fears here, and I also discussed them in therapy. I was actually in a really dark place, but what was there to do but keep pushing myself everyday? And that pretty much sums up my 2020. A lot of people's 2020. 

Now I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. I know it's not over yet, but it feels a hell of a lot closer. My mom received her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, and that's a huge weight off my shoulders knowing that she is going to be okay now. My turn won't be for a while, but I'm keeping the candle burning until then.

Wearing Red Dress top, Nordstrom jeans, Target mules

Wearing a MinkPink dress and Nordstrom cardigan

These outfits were taken at the end of the year. We had some gorgeous Spring-like weather and I soaked up every minute of it. 


 Well hello! It feels like an eternity since my last post. In some ways, it kind of has been. So much has happened since September of 2020. An election, a new president, the arrival of vaccines, the highs and lows of the pandemic. Yet it also feels like time has stood still. 

I had every intention of plugging along, but every time I would open up my laptop to write a post, I would immediately close the screen. I just couldn't do it anymore. The reason was simple at first - I didn't have much to document. Living in leggings and sweatshirts and using the same old beauty products just doesn't make for great inspiring content. Then after awhile I came to a much bigger realization - I was changing, and so were the things I cared about. 

That's kind of where I am today. Somewhere between missing this space and communtity, wanting to get back to putting myself together again, currently enjoying trying new beauty products that I'd like to share with you, and yet also...well, just at a different stage in life where documenting those things (or creating content as they say) are becoming less and less important to my identity. I don't want to force myself to do this every week, and I don't want to waste your time. However, I do feel like shutting it down permanently would break my heart. If I ever do decide to completely stop blogging, I care about my readers enough to at least say goodbye. That time isn't now. I'm going to keep going, I just can't promise it'll be regularly. When I wear something I'd like to share or when I get excited about a product, I'll write about it! If I want to vent or discuss a certain topic, I'll be relieved I have an outlet to do so. 

I guess that's it for now really. The outfit I'm wearing below was actually from Thanksgiving! Never got around to sharing, but it did feel good to wear real pants. I don't think any of the exact items are available, but you get the point. 

American Eagle sweater, Nordstrom jeans, Madewell boots, Sezane bag, Gorjana necklace


 "Love is not about how many days, months, or years you have been together. Love is about how you show love to each other every single day."

Nate and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary on September 21st. Each year, we take turns planning something to do since we don't get each other gifts. With my adherence to Covid-19 measures, he pretty much left this one up to me and my personal comfort level. He hasn't been nearly as freaked out by the whole thing as I have, so I think he was surprised when I booked a stay in a hotel in Orange County. I just felt like I was going to completely lose my mind if we didn't get away, at least for one night. We had to sell our camping trailer at the beginning of quarantine, so we really haven't had a chance to find a change of scenery.  

We stayed in Newport Beach on Saturday, and then made our way down the coast driving PCH the following day. We spent the weekend lying out in the sun by the hotel pool, playing music and dancing in our room, and grabbing takeout. We also went to brunch and I had my first mimosa in months. 

It was really such a lovely, relaxing time. No set plans, nowhere to really go. It's honestly one of my favorite anniversaries to date because we weren't rushing around trying to see and do different things. I wasn't focused on my outfit for the night, or taking too many pictures on my phone. 

Also in September: 
In other exciting news, I finally got my hair colored again! Salons opened up in many parts of the state, including mine. It was so nice getting to catch up with my stylist and thankfully she is doing well and is booked up with appointments. Originally I was going to go back to dark brown, but that week I decided to keep the lighter balayage pieces. 

I also got together with a couple different girlfriends. We hadn't seen each other in so long that I was worried it would be awkward, but we picked up right where we left off (with masks and distance). I really miss hugging people though. 

I have another niece! My sister-in-law welcomed her baby into the world a couple weeks ago. Our family's first pandemic baby!

It was a great month, and I'm hoping October is as well. It's still hot as Hell here, though the mornings and nights have a chill in the air and I love that. 

Have a great weekend! 


 Celebrations look a lot different in 2020. Most of us probably assumed back in the Spring that life would resume as normal by September. I remember having countless conversations with friends, and none of us really thought that we would still be in the midst of the pandemic for more than a couple months. How wrong we were. 

September is my favorite month for two simple reasons - the 12th is my birthday, and the 21st is our wedding anniversary. Every year I look forward to them, not because we do anything particularly extravagant, but because they are markers for another year lived. I use those two days to reflect, and they felt especially poignant this time. 

I've spent most of the last few months in a haze, rotating from sadness and paralyzing anxiety, to absolute gratitude for everything and everyone in my life. I've missed important milestones, like attending my sister-in-law's first baby shower (this was actually the dress I bought in June with the intention of wearing it to the party in July). But I've also spoken to my dad every single week since March, and our relationship has grown. There's been a lot of good, a lot of positive changes that I don't think would have happened if not for a world altering, once in a century event. I really try to focus on the good when my mind wants to wander over into the bad. 

Although my 36th birthday wasn't what we had planned (in fact, Nate surprised me at the start of the pandemic with tickets to Maui, which we later canceled), I was honestly just excited to put on a pretty new dress and grab takeout from our favorite Italian restaurant. After months of leggings and a bare face, it was nice feeling "pretty" again. Our anniversary went a step further and we actually got away to Newport Beach for the weekend. But more about that in my next post...

I hope you are all doing well! Have you done any major celebrations this year, and what did it look like for you? 


Now that I'm well into my 30's, I've become extremely diligent about taking good care of my skin. I wear sunscreen religiously, I moisturize and exfoliate, and I drink a lot of water! A couple areas that I've been guilty of neglecting though are my chest and neck. They were always afterthoughts during my daily skincare routines, when really they should be just as important as the face.

I've had horrible lines on my chest since I was 21, and although I find them terribly embarrassing, I wasn't sure how to treat them or make them disappear. As a side-sleeper, I knew that they were going to be chronic unless I changed my sleep position, but no matter what I try at night, I always end up on my side. Every morning I wake up with embedded lines and wrinkles down my chest.

I've tried silicone patches as a quick fix, but I want results that will last. I've even thought about getting botox for my chest wrinkles, but I know it will be expensive and I don't want to go that route if I don't need to. When I was contacted by a local beauty brand that specializes in products for the chest and neck, I knew I wanted to give it a shot. Lola Collective produces 3 key products with ingredients that target lines and wrinkles in the delicate chest and neck area. The goal is to repair, plump, and rejuvenate.

Good Night Decolletage Sleep Mask: This is a thick, rich cream that I've been using every night before bed. I'm pretty generous with it. I'm convinced that this layer of hydration is what really helps with the lessening of the lines. I still end up sleeping on my side, but this at least keeps the skin moisturized and the next day, the appearance of the lines isn't as severe as they were without using this.

Damage Control Vitamin C Primer: We know vitamin C is good to incorporate into our daily skincare routine, so it offers the same benefits to our chest and neck. I use this every morning and it instantly (I mean instantly) firms and tightens.

Bright Morning Decolletage Smoothing Cream: After the primer, I then apply this super thick smoothing cream. Out of the 3 products, this is the one that shows the most dramatic difference in my chest lines. It took a couple weeks, but after using it every day I'm no longer as self conscious about wearing a low-cut top or even my bikini.

The results are pretty great in my opinion. The before was taken when I first received the products and had not started using them yet. These photos are all in natural light with no retouching. What you see is what you get!


Also After (about 3 weeks into using the products)

I'll definitely continue using these products as part of my regular skin routine. These products were sent to me, but I will absolutely buy them on my own and am so happy that a local southern California company is behind them! For a complete list of ingredients and to learn more about Lola Skincare Collective, go to their website. 

If you have any questions, let me know!


"Nothing is more desirable than to be released from an affliction, but nothing is more frightening than to be divested from a crutch." 
James Baldwin

I think you can tell simply by virtue of posting here that the month of August was much better for me than July. I barely blogged last month and I didn't even do a recap because my heart just wasn't in it. Besides, there wasn't much to recap anyway. By the time August rolled around, I'd had enough. I decided to go back on Prozac for my anxiety, and am beginning to feel much better. I was reluctant to take it again (and I still am) but because my mood has improved and my fears have subsided a bit, I know that I am making the right decision. As my therapist reassured me, "if there's ever a time for anxious minds to get a little help from medication, it is now." There's only so much you can do when you feel like you've hit the bottom. Talk therapy, practicing mindfulness and yoga, writing your thoughts and feelings in a journal, exercising - those are all great tools, and I do most of them every day. But another powerful tool is actual medication, and there is never any shame in utilizing it when necessary. I will always advocate for it. 

Of course, this wasn't the plan for 2020. I spent three years being proud of the work I'd done on myself without the assistance of Prozac and Klonopin. But neither was...any of this. Coming to terms with reality as opposed to denying it has been a huge area of growth for me this year. Dealing with situations as they are, and not as I wish for them to be has done wonders for my mental health. I'll explain in more detail just what I mean in a future post, but until then, I'll reiterate that if you're really struggling and nothing seems to be helping, please talk to a professional. 

We experienced quite a triple digit heat wave this month, so Nate and I took advantage of cooler temps at the beach! 

Oceanside, Ca

We also continued our Summer of "pool time" in his parent's relaxing backyard. Nettie was elated by this weekend ritual.

I'm still eating as healthy as I can, and salmon is probably my favorite meal to cook. I bought cedar plank salmon filets at Sprouts and grilled them for about 10-15 minutes. Easy and fresh. 

I finally felt comfortable enough last weekend to dine outside. In California, most indoor areas are closed including bars and restaurants. But places can operate outdoors, so we decided to eat at the winery we belong to. The food tasted extra delicious! I still inhaled it pretty quickly, but I savored every bite. 

What Else I Loved in August: 

My friend Gina shared this podcast episode with me, and I want all of you to listen to it! It features Lori Gottlieb, the author of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone. I'm sure you can tell because I won't shut up about it, but I'm obsessed with her book.

I began watching a series called Bloodline on Netflix and I'm loving it so far. It's about this family that looks perfect on the surface, but there are some pretty dark secrets hidden underneath. It's been around for a few years but Nate stumbled upon it just a few weeks ago. Have you watched it?

I have a shopping post coming up next week, along with a beauty product review shortly after. I'll also talk more in depth about mental health, so I hope any or all of those topics sound interesting to you. I'd love to hear from you guys. Hope you're doing well. How was your month?