Some Thoughts on Summer & Body Issues

It's crazy to think that in about two months I will be 33. I never feel 33. Sometimes I feel 21, sometimes I feel 1,000 years old, but never 33. What does 33 even feel like? Who knows anymore. Teenagers play 30 year olds on TV and 30 year olds play teenagers and skincare has gotten so good nobody can tell the difference anymore. Everyone has acne and wrinkles. As far as I can tell the only difference between being in my 20s and being in my 30s is that I'm more grateful for everything I have.

My body has been through a lot. That's the big glaring duh of this story. It's been filled with poison, cut open and sewn back together and stretched out and all kinds of other things that belong in a horror film, not a rom com. Should I care what size jeans I wear anymore? Shouldn't I just be grateful to get up and get out of bed everyday blah blah blah healthy.

Here's the truth. Healthy is hard to measure. I don't feel 33, and I don't feel like I have cancer either. How my clothes fit, how high I can lift my leg in barre class or how long I can keep up with those damn step-ups in bootcamp, those are things I can measure. So is what size pants I wear. I am no longer desirous to somehow transform into a lithesome petite creature. I know that's not possible, but I do want to be the best possibly version of myself, and that version is toned.  Does that mean I am not happy with my body? Because I work on it, hard, because I am thoughtful in what I consume and sometimes a little controlled and restrictive.

I don't know the answer to these questions. I do know my body was effortlessly much better than it is right now when I was 22 but I have no pictures of it because I hated it. I thought my little belly was repulsive. Thought I was too tall, all limbs and teeth and freckles and boobs. I hated my wavy hair, my too small bum (thank you exercise for fixing that) and just the whole way that everything was put together. In every picture I do have I am hunched into myself unflatteringly, hands clasped over my belly in a way that only draws attention to the roundness there, hair tortured into styles that I am glad are not preserved in the amber of the internet for all eternity.

Or maybe it's just that in my 30s I know (and can afford) to dress myself better. Who knows. If you know the answer to these questions please tell me.

Sometimes I don't have all the answers (insert husband gasping) I just have more questions.  Enjoy some fun pictures of me in bathing suits romping unselfconsciously around in the heat of the long weekend. If only my 22 year old self could see me now.

Solid & Striped Gingham One Piece | Striped Bikini (similar) | Paisley Linen Shirt (currently 30% off) | Hair 

How I get my hair to do this thing it does

TBH I have no idea, so this video was educational for me also to see what it is I actually do. I did this because someone asked me to, so just FYI I take requests. Before the video I washed my hair and then put in a deep conditioning mask, then threw it in a braid while I played in the pool. After pool time I showered off the sunscreen and conditioner and then put in a tiny dab of hair oil, focusing on those poor abused ends. Since I went blonde-bre I baby my hair. Then I fell asleep with wet hair. My life is nice sometimes. When I woke up my hair was still pretty damp but that's where the video begins. Here's the high points:

1) I didn't use a brush. I hate tugging on my wet hair I think it breaks it. If I must brush I use a tangle teaser.

2) I put a few more drops of oil in before I begin heat styling, for protection.

3) I do a very rough blow dry, trying to keep the heat low and pull the dryer as far away from my head as my arm can stand.

4) When it's almost dry, I'll put it into sections. I'll finish drying and styling in sections.

5) Before I finish drying I give a light spray of texturizing hairspray. I feel like it helps to hold the curl.

6) I divide it into inch thick sections. I wrap. I count to ten in my head. When a hold section is done I'll give it another quick spray. Holding the can far away so I don't product overload.

7) I repeat this section by section.

8) I put it up in a bun to loosen it up a little. Ideally I sleep on it - always looks better day 2.

9) When I pull it down if it still looks too "toddlers in tiaras" I'll run some finishing cream on the ends. Then I'll flip it over, give it another light spray and toussle it gently with my hands, trying to tug on the ends.

10) That's it! Definitely not low maintenance, but I can make this last a solid week (thank you dry shampoo) so I'm not complaining.

ALL PRODUCTS BY OUAI: deep conditioning mask | hair oil | texturizing hairspray | finishing cream | dry shampoo

WEARING: Reformation Tank | Alexander McQueen Sunglasses from The Rack  (similar and much cheaper) | Are You Am I Choker

A Quick Tour of Our Chicago Digs

They say home is where the heart is. My heart is in San Francisco, but the love of my life is working in Chicago, so off we went in our uhaul filled with only the most prized of our possessions. The end result of the great purge is that I got the chance to create a new home almost totally from scratch. No holdovers from the apartment he shared with his ex, no Ikea furniture I've dragged back and forth across the country but can't bear to part with because I am hoarder. This was our chance to build a space that truly reflected who we are, and to carefully curate that look since this is just a temporary home and everything we have will need to work wherever we end up next (hopefully back in San Francisco!)

Here's a little photo tour of our temporary home (if you follow me on Snapchat you have probably seen it already, but there will most likely be more video tours in the weeks to come!)

Because the space is so huge I created three distinct groupings. I wanted to keep the super open, airy feeling but also have enough seats to entertain. Each little grouping has it's own feel, but all of them try to reflect what I've dubbed "boho modern cabin" as the overall aesthetic for the home.

The first area is my favorite visually, I love the way all the textures look and the unexpected pop of the rose gold. The greenery also keeps it feeling fresh and summery despite the abundance of fake animal pelts. Even though the whole room is mostly monochromatic the pink metal and all the green make it feel very lush and vibrant.


It's almost impossible to photograph the giant windows (so much light) but they are the real focal point of the whole space. I lovingly call it our "glass house" and to preserve that fishbowl effect I used some floating acrylic tables to display the rest of our sculptural collection.

The second pillow from the set kind of ties the two areas together. I call this the "conversational area" but really the whole thing was designed to hide the ugly black cable modem and wires. This table is so cool because it has a drawer that opens in the back, plus the rose gold base matches the other stool. I'm not going to lie, I picked the mint chairs because they were on super sale and the cheapest I could find in the shape I liked, but it ended up bringing a much needed wash of cool color into the otherwise very monochrome space. A small stack of books and our vintage camera collection added a personal touch to the space, and the  monstera leafs were a little wink to the hubs because they everywhere during our honeymoon in Costa Rica.

Also this section has more pelts, I love pelts.


The final area is our beloved restoration hardware chaise, which lost a cushion on the way over (it flew off the roof during a freak snowstorm!) and is in desperate need of a new slipcover. We got it from a consignment store and even now in it's raggedy state we all fight over who gets to sit there. Sometimes all three of sit there - we fit perfectly like Russian nesting dolls. That fur throw Steve got me two christmases ago is also a snuggly favorite, and the I use the tray as a "desk" because that's my favorite place to right. Mostly I just wanted to include a picture of Fenway.



You already got to see our bed in this post, but I wanted to show you our end tables and how I styled the guest room. A lot of these were things that actually made the trip but I love these end tables, mostly because they don't have drawers that end up serving as black holes slash garbage cans that slowly fill with orphaned crap.



Basically a place for my mom to stay and for Fenway to sleep when he's sick of me. I did have a lot of fun basically piling all the linens I could on here because our new place has AC and I love to be FREEZING at all times. Since we don't have TVs I borrowed a page from my favorite fancy hotels and setup my old Ipod with the wifi and all our accounts so guests can watch Hulu, Netflix & HBOGO. I also added these adorable touch lights for the next to the bed because I love not having to get up to turn off the light when I fall asleep reading. There's a charger already plugged in there also. I really really want people to come visit. I think that's why I went for such a nautical/tropical hybrid in the space. Come take a vacation at the Smith Family Spa! We will treat you right!

All the amenities also help assuage my guilt that this room has no closet, since it's basically packed to the gills with boxes I didn't unpack since this relocation is only temporary.



Having separate bathrooms may be the secret to a happy marriage, and I've done my best to turn ours into little havens of peace and tranquility. I think sometimes people forget to "decorate" these rooms beyond their choice in wash linens but a fake plant and some cute product labels really punch things up in my humble opinion...



On the roof! The hackers reference alone is enough to get me everytime....

Video: The Ultimate Summer Face Transition

It's almost summer, and like the feline that I am you can find me curled up in a patch of sunlight just about every free second I have. I just want to lay outside (doused in sunscreen, in a giant hat, with ready shade and swimming) as much as possible. I am so enamored with this pass time that it can be hard to drag me away from my outdoor nest even one second earlier than absolutely necessary. Vain as I am, this poses a problem when the sun sets and it's time for me to become an acceptable member of society who can't hide my face behind a giant pair of sunglasses. Fear not. I have mastered a quick and easy way to "lean in to the dewiness" of a hot day. Stocked in my purse are the things I need to glam up in super speed with little to/no tools and only the reflection from my iphone. From a sweaty, beachy hot mess, to a sparklier, intentionally dewy hot mess in just a few easy steps. Watch the video to see how it's done. Product pics below, and if you want to  see the full outfit in all it's glory you can do that, too. 


Lashes to Die For Liner (only available in Canada? IDK I got it at the Sephora in Chicago)


The Ultimate Summer Date Night Outfit

An accompaniment to my (forthcoming) post on how to transition your face from sweaty daytime face to glam, slightly glowy date-night face.

Things girls like: shoes with tassels on them, and fringe, in colors that don't occur in nature. Anything too complicated or confusing to get into without help, plus 100.

Things guys like: None of the above.

Fortunately men are simple creatures who won't notice your outfit at all because they will be too busy appreciating your "smile". Show a little skin and they are yours. Got to love the animal brain.

Moral of the story, wear whatever you want on dates.

FRINGE SHOES | TIED CHOKER | Minimalist Gold Beaded Choker | Flounced Dress 

mmmmm, peeling

I've become gently obsessed with exfoliation. Which is to say that too much of it is BAD, bad, bad. Just the right amount of it makes your skin glow, pores shrink and refine the overall texture to the smooth new butter soft suede of an expensive purse, in a good way.

On my quest for a gentle but effective fruit acid peel, I came across this wonder product. At $18 it was almost scary how inexpensive it was, fruit acid peels usually hit right around the $50 mark. But I like the brand, a korean powerhouse known for being effective but affordable, and so I decided what the heck and threw it into my shopping cart. OMG. Best decision ever. This silky, thin liquid goes on smelling sweetly like fresh, tart apples. As soon as you rub it into your skin little peels of skin come away on your fingers (video coming soon) and in my case you can watch as dirt, gunk, and your face faux tanner, slough away. Underneath is smooth, fresh, soft skin just waiting to soak up some moisturizer and become a plump and dewy wonderland. So easy. So yummy. So satisfying.

Apple Smoothie Peeling Gel ($18 - but get $10 off by using my code!)

The One Piece That Looks Amazing on EVERY Body - Including my gigantic one

I think I am just going to let the pictures do the talking with a caveat - this fabric is so thick and nice. It just holds everything in, but  comfortably, not like spanx. The adjustable straps are just 1000 of everything missing in my life.

Solid & Striped Poppy Gingham  (also Here and Here if they don't have your size, it's selling out!) | Reformation boater Hat (waitlisted) or try Similar | VersaSpa Faux Tan | Ray Ban Sunglasses | Ouai Hair Oil 

A peak inside my daytime makeup bag

When it comes down to brass tacks I like me a small, cute makeup bag that fits inside my small cute purse. With that in mind, behold - what I always have with me. It works equally well for touching up a "done" face as it does scene here on a naked face (washed, serumed and moisturized)  or anywhere in between.

Here's a list of the products I used:

Utowa Eyelash Curler & Makeup Bag (exclusively from Violet Grey)
Glossier Boy Brow (used on lashes + brows) , Stretch Concealer, Lippie & Mist
Skin Fetish 003 Highlighter Balm Stick (seen here of the amazing packaging)
Top: Reformation
Hair: Ouai treatment masque  + Hair Oil 

TBH I could've used a MUCH smaller makeup bag ;P

Skin Fetish 003 Packaging is Unreal

I haven't even tried the products yet but already I am obsessed. Also, everyone says they are amazing. And how could they not be when all of this is happening. Pictures of this stuff on my face coming soon, I promise :) One warning: Open this in a controlled environment, like in the box or on a tray or else SEQUINS everywhere, forever. Basically just giant glitter (the herpes of the craft world)

Skin Fetish 003 by Pat McGrath available Exclusively at Sephora