Our winter came unexpectedly early this year and it hit us hard. Because of my auto-immune disease, my body does not tolerate the cold very well – so, usually my M.O. is to completely avoid being outdoors for long periods of time. However, now that we have a dog who needs to get walked multiple times a day, that isn’t really an option anymore. So, I’ve been planning how to survive the extreme cold while giving him the exercise he needs. I start with this crewneck top & these fleece-lined leggings as a base layer, then I add jeans, a chunky knit sweater & cashmere scarf and top it off with a puffer coat (great options here, here or here), this cable knit beanie (so warm thanks to the fleece lining), faux fur-lined gloves & insulated boots. See more of my cold-weather favorites in the scrolling bar below!
At the beginning of winter, my skin always struggles to adjust to the change of temperature and, for some reason, this year has been the hardest I’ve experienced yet. All the products in my arsenal haven’t seemed to help like they normally do, so I’ve been on a mission to find new options that will keep my skin hydrated through this cold & dry season. I’m not one to spend a lot on beauty unless it’s 100% worth it and this intense lip treatment is by far the best thing I’ve ever tried. I slather it on before bed and wake up with baby soft lips – even my husband commented about the difference it’s made! Other products that I’ve been testing & am loving: this coconut foot creme (a little thick/sticky when applying, but super effective), this facial oil (I use 3 drops in the morning & evening before applying my moisturizer), this hand cream (absorbs quickly + no greasy residue!) and this body butter (I apply it right out of the shower while my skin is still moist).
Though I’ve recovered from a lot of my people-pleasing tendencies over the years, I still sometimes have a compulsive need to be liked by everyone. Not that I need to be best friends with every person I meet…but if I feel that someone has the wrong impression of me and therefore is making a judgment about who I am, I go into a panic an feel compelled to explain myself & justify or defend my actions, parenting, business decisions or lifestyle choices. I related so much to what was shared in this article and I love the conclusion she ultimately comes to – “the responsibility of accurately communicating ourselves and correcting others’ misconceptions about us is a heavy burden to bear”. I’ve also been listening lately to Rachel Hollis’ RISE podcast (which is phenomenal, by the way). And, in episode 6, she tackles this same subject about how to get past other people’s opinions of you. This is an area where I really want to improve in 2019 – because, ultimately, my worth is not found in the opinions of others & it’s time to stop giving them so much power over me.
I’m a sucker for a good statement earring, especially this time of year when there are more occasions to get dressed up for. But, rather than buying every fun pair I come across, I’ve been trying to be more purposeful about selecting truly special, sophisticated styles that won’t feel dated a few years from now. I picked up these birdcage earrings during a Cyber Monday sale & every time I wear them I get asked where I got them. They’re such a unique design and I love that they don’t feel to heavy on my sensitive lobes. Other pairs I’ve purchased recently & would recommend: these sparkling studs (in clear), these pearl drops (so chic!) & these pavé earrings (in crystal).
With the business of the holiday season, I haven’t had as much time to do my normal weekly meal prepping, which has left me scrambling to find quick & easy options on the go. Honestly, since my birthday in November, my nutrition has been less than stellar. So, I’m making an effort to get back on track & make better choices from here on out – part of that is having the right things on hand so I don’t end up reaching for whatever’s available. I recently discovered this probiotic granola, which is non-GMO, gluten-free & vegan. It’s much lower in sugar than traditional brands & the sweetener used is coconut palm sugar, so it doesn’t spike your blood glucose & insulin like refined sugar does. It’s delicious with almond milk or Greek yogurt & fresh fruit for breakfast (more flavor options here). I also love this muffin mix – I buy in bulk, make a big batch & freeze them to pull out on those mornings when I need something fast on my way out the door.
When it comes to buying handbags, I’m not one who cares about designer labels or logos – I have everything from thrift store finds to Forever 21 to Zara in my collection. And what I’ve learned through the years is that when you find a bag that’s well made and has luxe details, it will instantly look more expensive (regardless of how much you actually paid for it. I’m crushing on this wood handle bag & patiently waiting for a sale to scoop it up. The shape & special handles make it look like a vintage treasure (and I appreciate that it has a zip top, unlike other top handle bags I own). More handbags with a high-end feel (for less): this snake print tote, this studded crossbody (smaller option here), this blush suede shopper or this sleek bucket bag.