Today, I'm sharing a different kind of post than I'm used to writing but I wanted to discuss it with you. Gratitude has been on my mind a lot lately. I think we all struggle with it; it's so easy to get complacent, or even worse, it can be difficult to find the good when things aren't going the way we want them to.

The benefits of practicing gratitude are endless, and there have been several studies that show that people who are aware of the things they're thankful for lead happier, more fulfilling lives. They're also kinder than those who don't, and God knows the world can benefit greatly from that.

I've kept a gratitude journal in the past, but I realized a flaw I was making - I was writing down the same vague, generic things week after week so I lost interest and the whole exercise lost its intended purpose. What's really helped bring me back into journaling again is to come up with specific things that I'm grateful for each day. An example: Instead of writing that I'm grateful for my husband, I write down what it is specifically I'm grateful for in that moment. So, "I had a horrible migraine yesterday, and I'm grateful that Nate went to the pharmacy to get my medication and some ice cream for me."

Aside from writing in a journal, there are a few other things I've discovered that have worked for me in practicing gratitude.

1. Take Regular Social Media Breaks:
This has made the biggest impact on me in terms of my overall well-being. I remember taking my longest social media break about a year ago after speaking with my friends. I had become consumed with scrolling on my phone and I was having a tough time concentrating on anything. Even at night when I couldn't sleep, I'd immediately retreat to my phone and would fixate on all the perfect lives I saw on Instagram. It was keeping me in a really bizarre head space, constantly in a state of comparison, so I took a much needed break and haven't looked back. I take daily and weekly breaks regularly now, and you know what? Everything is just fine! I look at it when I want to, but I put it away after 10 minutes and focus on something else I need to get done. Look, there's nothing wrong with using social media, as long as it doesn't start using you.

2. Connect With A Friend Over Coffee:
I always feel more grateful after connecting with a friend. Once a month, one of my girlfriends and I go to a different coffee shop around town to catch up, vent, and essentially cheer each other on. Every one seems so busy that it can be easy to drift apart from the people in your life. When I share something personal I'm going through, it helps me feel less alone. I find that as I get older, I actually need my friends more, not less. In-person conversation will always be more impactful than over the phone, so schedule a designated meeting date and time if you need to.

3. Practice Mindfulness:
This is something I've learned not only in my own personal therapy sessions, but I've also implemented this exercise  with clients. Mindfulness is all about being present. Quite literally, to have the mind fully aware of what's happening in the moment. If I'm feeling particularly anxious, I like to take a few minutes to go outside, sit on a chair or even on grass, close my eyes, put my hands on my lap, and breathe deeply. I begin by concentrating on how my body feels, what sounds I'm hearing around me, what scents I'm smelling if any, sometimes I'll roll my head in a circle, and then I focus on just being still and breathing. It takes some practice to fully let your thoughts dissipate but once you keep at it, it will become a huge source of relief. Living in the moment absolutely creates a sense of gratitude for just being alive in the world. 

4. Write It Down:
Not to be confused with a gratitude journal, I think it can be equally as cathartic to write down the things that are weighing you down. I usually have a good cry when something is bothering me. If the situation is out of my control or if I just need to vent and write down every curse word known in the English language, I do it. Then I tear the page up, throw it in the trash can, and MOVE ON.

5. Do Something You Really Enjoy:
 This can be anything from practicing yoga, to taking a pottery or painting class, or curling up on the couch with a good book. For me, I love the ocean so whenever I get the chance to take a drive to the coast and sit on the beach, I do. You can do your favorite activity with a friend or spouse, or do it alone. As long as it's something (and with someone) you truly enjoy. It's amazing how much good energy you'll feel afterward. It will recharge you.

I hope these suggestions will help you in your own journey. How do you practice gratitude?

Linking up with Pink Sole


I've never really been much of a shoe girl. I know I know, I'm just waiting to get my style card revoked! Don't get me wrong, I love shoes. I admire them like little works of art. I just don't feel the need to own many pairs, and I choose comfort above everything else. Gone are the days of trying to make stilettos happen. I failed pretty miserably at walking in them in my twenties, and now that I'm almost thirty-five and am no longer so preoccupied with what others think, I choose my footwear more wisely. Ballet flats at a bar on a Saturday night? Oh yeah, I do it.

I really believe that a few pairs of classic, practical shoes can help support any wardrobe. A pair of flat sandals, a neutral wedge, some black suede pumps, and a pair of...espadrilles? I did a little digging and it turns out that espadrilles have been around since the 13th century! They look so modern, and yet they're actually a classic shoe.

Wearing //
Beauty //

These canvas lace up beauties have a wedge, but I also wear my flat pair quite a bit. The fibre sole is very soft and flexible, so they are super comfortable for walking. They look so chic and feminine when worn with a dress, but they also pair well with jeans and shorts for a casual cool vibe. I know they're making the rounds on social media and are very trendy at the moment, but I find them to be an essential Spring and Summer shoe. I am partial to the brand Soludos, but many designers have a version. If you haven't already, give them a try!

Linking up with On The Daily Express, Straight A Style


Is there any greater feeling than a weekend well spent? Especially when said weekend included a delicious Italian dinner, great wine, catching up with friends you haven't seen in awhile, and long walks? That's a rhetorical question.

Summer weekends are my absolute favorite. Everything seems more relaxed, even if there's a lot to be done. Lately, I start my Saturday and Sunday mornings by sitting on our front porch drinking coffee and planning out the week ahead. It's a great way to sneak in some productivity while still being a little lazy!

My casual Summer weekends reflect a wardrobe to match. Luckily it's still cool enough to wear jeans, and hey even if it wasn't cool enough, I'd still do it.

Wearing //
Old Heartloom top, similar here

I'll always be a jeans and t-shirt girl, but even better when I can take them up a notch. I've had this lace off the shoulder top for a few years (last seen on the blog way back here) and it almost didn't make the cut when I cleaned out and organized my closet a couple weeks ago; I'm relieved I didn't donate it! Off the shoulder tops can be tricky, but I still think they are fun to wear in the Summer when you're tired of the same old tank tops and tees. As we begin to transition from Spring to Summer and the weather heats up, it's nice to have certain special pieces in your wardrobe. These striped espadrilles are another example. I could live in sandals all Summer, but sometimes I don't want to bother getting a pedicure so espadrilles are a great stand-in! In fact, I wore them so much last year that they inspired me to get these cream colored wedges you've already seen. 

I hope you ladies had a great weekend and Father's Day. Father's Day is tough for me because although I'm blessed to have my dad in good health, our relationship has always been very strained. We take one step forward, then like five steps back. I called him yesterday and we spoke briefly, but I still cried afterwards like I always do. Acceptance is something I work on every single day. That's all we can do, right? Anyway, I'm sending hugs to those of you in a similar situation. Unfortunately there are more of us than not these days...

Linking up with Pink Sole


I've lived in Temecula almost all of my life, and yet I had no idea this beautiful garden even existed! Living in the suburbs, there are parks almost on every corner, but none as lovely as Rose Haven Heritage Garden.

Wearing // 

I think I saw an acquaintance post about the garden on her Instagram, so when we had a warm sunny day last week, Nate and I decided to go see it for ourselves. We were not disappointed! It's a lush sprawling property with walking paths, picnic areas, and rows upon rows of colorful flowers, succulents, and of course fragrant roses. The scent in the garden was incredible, I wanted to bottle it up! Even though there were quite a few people walking around taking photos, the garden felt very peaceful. Next time we plan on packing a light lunch and taking advantage of their picnic tables or gazebos. 

This pink pleated midi dress has definitely been loved since I bought it last Spring. I can't tell you how often I reach for it, especially on days when I want to look a bit dressed up. I'm happy to see that midi lengths are still really popular because they're so feminine and so my style! I've worn this dress with flat sandals on the beach, with high heels for a nice celebratory dinner, and now with wedge espadrilles in a garden surrounded by roses.

Where will it be worn next?

Linking up with I Do deClaire


Last month, I discovered 5 new beauty products that I'm absolutely loving and highly recommend you try. I don't say that too often because everyone is different and beauty preferences are personal. However, I feel like many of you would love these products and the results they give.

{Just a reminder that I always show products in natural light}

I came across this highlighter palette through Michele1218. I've followed her for years on YouTube and really trust her recommendations, so when she featured this palette a few weeks ago, I knew I needed to try it too. There are three universally flattering shades: pearl, golden quartz, and rose gold. All three are super soft and buttery, with the most gorgeous shimmer that's easy to blend out for that perfect Summer glow. I use the golden quartz and rose gold shades across my cheekbones, and pearl in the corners of my eyes. All three have great color payoff. I'm impressed! If there's one product you try from my reviews, let it be this! 

I prefer using powders most of the year because I have oily skin, but come Summer, I reach for lightweight creams and gels that last through heat. Cloud paint in Dusk is a gorgeous wash of tawny nude that lasts for hours. I use a stippling brush to swirl it onto the apples of my cheeks, and it creates a seamless stain of natural color. It doesn't even look like makeup, just your body's own natural flush.
Boy Brow is a tinted gel with the smallest brush. It contains tiny fibers that adhere to your brows to make them look fuller and polished. You guys know I hate how thin my eyebrows are from my bad teenage years of over tweezing. There isn't a ton I can do to correct those mistakes, but this gel really does fill in the sparse areas and gives my brows more depth.
Both of these products are the cornerstones of the brand, and I can definitely see why.

I'm not one to switch up my setting powder or foundations, but I kept seeing so much buzz around this product. My NYX HD powder was almost empty, so during the Sephora Spring sale last month, I ordered the Pro Filt'r setting powder in lavender. Having a lavender hued setting powder may seem strange, but it goes on completely translucent and is the silkiest powder I've ever felt. I have fairly oily skin, and this sets my makeup all day long. It's quite expensive, especially in comparison to NYX, but I have a feeling I'm not going to want to go back. It leaves a natural, soft matte finish.

I'm extremely happy with the coverage and lasting power of my favorite concealer, but I was still craving a bit more brightness underneath my eyes. I wanted to look fresh and youthful, and this brightening corrector from Becca helps achieve just that. It's a cream product that feels slightly tacky to the touch. I use my ring finger to apply a small amount underneath my eyes, on top of concealer. I pat and press it on, so the heat of my finger warms up the product, and then I use a small brush to set it with the Fenty powder mentioned above. The effect isn't quite Kardashian-esque, but close!

Let me know if you try any of these! I always like hearing your thoughts. Happy shopping 💋


I feel I'm in my element when I'm outside in the beautiful warm sunshine, on a patio or deck, chilled glass of white wine in hand. I did it this past weekend, and I'd like to do it every weekend from now until eternity.

It was a nice little taste, but Summer isn't quite ready just yet. We're still in the transitional phase, but every day I'm more and more excited about wearing some of the new pieces I've bought recently. I like to call them my Summer staples because I know I'll be wearing them all season long.

Wearing // 
Beauty //

Let's start with this kimono style top. I bought it blindly online from a boutique called Ooh La Luxe. They have a great range of bohemian style pieces, and while browsing their new arrivals section I fell in love with the top's white lace, billowy sleeves, and tie front. It's completely sheer so I suggest a nude camisole or even bodysuit underneath. Tops that are a little more interesting than your average plain tee are great this time of year. I wore it with some lighter wash jeans from LOFT, flat cognac sandals, and a fun lilac tote for a bit more color. All of these are basic staple items that will get a ton of use this Summer.

What are some of your Summer staples?