"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? 


I've been fascinated with psychotherapy since childhood, when I began seeing my first therapist for anxiety. I went off and on until things got better, but after college I experienced what my current therapist called a "quarter life crisis" and I've been seeing her ever since. The pandemic has caused me to reexamine everything in my life - my relationships, my health, my habits, my coping mechanisms, everything. I've been doing a lot more reading as well, mostly to distract myself from all the chaos of this year. I remember the title of Lori Gottlieb's book, "Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed." It caught my attention last year, but it wasn't until I saw a blogger rave about it during the height of my daily pandemic panic attacks that I bought a copy. This book came into my life at the exact moment I needed it. It sounds so cliche, but I laughed and cried more with this book than I ever have before. I even read certain chapters to Nate, and we would discuss why it resonated so much with me.

Brief Synopsis:
Half-memoir, half sort of self-help, the book delves into not only what it's like to be a patient in therapy, it also examines what it's like for the clinician. What are therapists like in their own lives? Are they perfectly balanced, well adjusted people? Or are they just doing the best they can everyday, like most of us? Lori Gottlieb is a happy, single mother of a young son living in Los Angeles. She practices therapy, and has a wonderful boyfriend that she wants to marry. Everything is great, until seemingly out of the blue one night, her boyfriend tells her that he can't live with another kid under his roof and he breaks Gottlieb's heart. This event takes her into a tailspin, and that's when she sees a therapist with her own "presenting problem," or the thing that causes someone to seek therapy.

What I love about the book is that it opens the window and lets the reader peek into other people's lives. There's something deeply personal, almost voyueristic about it. The relationship between a patient or client and their therapist is often profound, but because it's also privileged, you rarely get to hear what goes on behind closed doors. There's a lot of references to psychological theories, terms in the DSM that brought me back to some of my courses in college. Erik Erikson, Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Carl Jung. I love the way it all comes together, bouncing around between different characters' therapy sessions, and then turning the tables on Gottlieb's own sessions where she becomes the patient. It humanizes therapy in a way I've not read before. Gottlieb injects humor into her writing, while also remaining painfully honest. The handful of patients that she documents are interesting, but the one that really affected me the most was the woman in her mid-thirties that was dying from cancer. I could barely get through her story without blubbering like a crazy person on the couch, wiping tears from my face after every sentence. I've been thinking about mortality all Spring and Summer, how death is inevitable but it's not something people really talk about in earnest. It's explored in a really meaningful way in this book, the theme of one's mortality woven into many of the characters and chapters.

While I read the book, I was also speaking to my own therapist weekly and it definitely alleviated some of my worries. I really hope you'll pick this book up! It's a fast, enjoyable read that's also thought-provoking and incredibly funny. Everyone should read it.

Have you read it?


I've shopped the Nordstrom anniversary sale every single year since college, but things have definitely changed since then! I didn't think I'd partake at all this go-around, but I'll admit that after previewing the sale, a few things did catch my interest. I always debate posting about it too, because I know all the sale talk can get tired during normal times. Throw in all of the craziness and uncertainty of this year, and it seems even more over the top to spend time talking about a sale. But after some discussion with a couple of my girlfriends, I realized that most of us could use a fun shopping trip! One of my friends isn't even a shopper but she's looking forward to this sale after a months' long spending freeze. I can't personally get to a local Nordstrom (the one I loved has sadly closed) but I can shop vicariously through others and I do plan to buy a couple things online.

My biggest tips:

Stick to a budget! I know it's hard when so many people are sharing their giant hauls on Instagram, but it's not worth it to spend more than you can afford.

 Go for more luxury items that aren't typically part of a sale. I used to buy a few essentials as part of my Fall wardrobe, and I'm still tempted to, but I don't go as crazy stocking up because so many retailers do similar items at already discounted prices. Honestly, the quality of some Nordstrom house brands are comparable to retailers like Target - which is fine! But they aren't worth obsessing over. If you have your eye on a leather jacket or a cashmere sweater, I'd go for that as opposed to yet another basic cardigan or pair of jeans that you can buy anytime, anywhere.

I also recommend looking at the beauty exclusives because that's where you'll find the best deals.

I own and love all of these beauty products! The only exception is the T3 hair brush set, which I'm planning on buying because I need a new paddle brush and wet brush anyway. If you treat yourself to one thing, I think a hair tool is absolutely worth it.

If you have any specific questions on any of these, let me know! I use them all on a daily/weekly basis.

Pillow Talk by Charlotte Tilbury is my go-to lip color. I wear it every day, especially the gloss included in the sale this year.

As for clothing, there are a lot of "blogger" items that get talked about often, but I also think they're worth the hype. Last year I bought a Barefoot Dreams cardigan and I wore it practically every day in Winter around the house. It was perfect for the height of quarantine, and since I have no Godly idea when California is going to open up again, I may do the same again this Winter. I got mine in my true size.

The Spanx leggings are also hyped up, but agree that they are great. I have had mine for two years and they fit even better now after losing some weight. I would buy them again but in petite. Size up one in them.

My favorite anniversary sale purchase ever is this gorgeous suede moto jacket. You guys have seen it so many times! It's my standard "going out" look in the Winter, especially around the holidays. Obviously it doesn't get very cold here, so I treat this jacket the way most of you treat a coat. They have this jacket every year in the sale in different colors. I really like the taupe version for this year. Go up one size in it.

I'll share what I end up buying soon, but I hope those of you shopping enjoy yourselves. I know you deserve it.