INSTAGRAM LOVE

My go-to for meal inspiration and overall healthy living inspiration these days tends to come from Instagram instead of blogs. There is a lot more instant gratification that comes from Instagram than having to hunt down blog posts on my seemingly endless Bloglovin' feed. I've been stockpiling Instagram accounts of some ladies who are showcasing some really lovely things right from the photography down to the actual meals. By following these accounts, I find that it's a lot easier to keep myself on track and inspired to mix things up in the kitchen. Here are a few of my favourites.


SPRING STYLE

Images from Zara.

Zara is killing it this season. Usually, I'm not one for spring/summer attire because, well, layers, but I am really into the offerings at Zara. I've come to accept that the only colours that I wear are black, grey, camel, blue and the occasional mustard and red. There are a lot of really great pieces in that scheme at Zara right now, so I can't wait to get my hands on them.


THE OTHER, NOT WANDERLUST-Y STUFF

Holy neglected blog.

So, 99.9% of the time I am blogging over at with wanderlust. That’s all fine and dandy, but some of the going-ons don’t fit over there. So, hey! I guess I’m back!

I’m doing this 40 bags in 40 days challenge. These days, I find myself wanting less and less, or at least more thoughtful items. Since I live at home, I don’t have a ton of space to call my own, but I still feel like there’s a lot of crap that could be weeded out. I’m getting my family in on the thing, and hopefully we’ll be able to clean up this place a bit over the next ~40 days. My areas of focus are the office (textbooks, old notes, art supplies), the kitchen (appliances, baking supplies, organize the pantry), my bathroom (makeup, hair products), and my bedroom. Which brings me to…

Curating my wardrobe. I accumulated a lot of clothes throughout high school and a couple years following from working retail. Since then, I haven’t bought a lot of new clothes. My style was a lot more out there than it is now, so there isn’t a whole lot in my closet that really speaks to me. I feel like it’s been going on for months, but I have ever so slowly been weeding out what I don’t wear. I’ve been following along with this series, and have been accumulating style inspiration here. I have a pretty good idea of what I’m after. My uniform these days consists of a pullover sweater over a button up blouse, jeans and white converse or loafers. Add a menswear inspired jacket and a huge scarf and I’m good to go.

I’m obsessed with Zara’s spring/summer offerings this year. I worked for them for quite a few years, and I don’t think that they’d ever put out a line this good during my time there. While I’d love to invest in some higher quality pieces, I am still in the mind frame of “I can’t have nice things,” because I am HARD on my clothes and shoes. It’s hardly worth it for me to dish out $500 on a pair of Rachel Comey boots or $300 on an Acne blouse when I am inevitably going to end up with salt stains from the snow and food stains from, uh, my inability to feed myself without making a mess. So, until I can get my shit together and either get a car and/or start wearing a bib, I think my best bets will be at Zara, Anthropologie, and Aritzia.

Makeup

In addition to clothing, I’ve been taking an interest in beauty and skincare products. Partly due to laziness and partly due to my inability to properly apply makeup, I have managed to wean my skin care and makeup regime down to a few short steps. Of course, then I found myself in Sephora purchasing what are now some of my *dream* products, and we’re back to complicating things. The extra additions include the three products shown above: NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, Laura Mercier Oil-Free Foundation Primer, Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Crayon, and Bumble & Bumble Hair (Un) Dressing Crème. Can we talk about that last for a second? I am so very guilty of washing my hair every day, which I KNOW is the cardinal beauty sin. I’ve tried the dry shampoo thing, and even after one day I just can’t hack it. I feel like a grease ball even when I’m really not, and I know that it sounds ridiculous, but that shit messes with my entire day. In comes the (Un) Dressing Crème, which is basically the anti-dry shampoo. Applied to clean hair, it gives the appearance of beautifully unkempt second-day hair without the grime. So ha, because now I can have lovely looking hair while also frying it from washing every day… WHO’S THE WINNER NOW?! I joke, of course, but for now it’s good enough for me.

I suppose that's it for now. What looks are you hoping to spot this season? Any beauty products that you're loving at the moment?

FITBIT FORCE: A REVIEW

Fitbit
I caved and bought a Fitbit instead of a Basis. There are a few reasons for this:
    The price. At $129, the Fitbit Force comes in $70 cheaper than the Basis, plus what would have been an additional $50 for the leather strap.
    The technology. A fitness tracker is basically a glorified pedometer with some other fancy features, including an estimate of calories burned and distance traveled. The tech offered by Basis is pretty darn cool, but seems slightly useless. According to most reviews that I read, the extra sensors for things like perspiration, stress management and heart rate are either underdeveloped (the former) or faulty (the latter). What I was really looking for in a tracker was the pedometer, distance traveled and pedometer. The Force offers all of that, plus the inclusion of an altimeter, silent alarm and a fancy feature that allows you to track your sleep.
    My Fitness Pal. The Force allows you to sync with your My Fitness Pal account, which is prime for crazies like me who track everything that they eat and their workouts. While I’m sure that Basis will eventual have third party features, I wasn’t prepared to wait.
I’ve only had my Fitbit Force for a week now, but I love it so far. The only downside is that it’s pretty ugly and goes with nothing in my wardrobe except for my Lulu gear (go figure). It’s bulky and reminds me a bit of one of those probation trackers. I’m getting used to it though. Although I am generally quite active, I’ve found myself taking more sets of stairs and trying to beat my step counts each day.

My favorite features are the step and calorie counters and the silent alarm (a pleasant change to my angry iPhone). The sleep tracker is cool too, and I’ve learned that once I’m asleep I’m pretty much dead to the world (no surprise there). Overall, taking into consideration the price (nominal), the Fitbit Force is a great buy if you're looking to increase your activity level.

SOME GOALS FOR 2014

Breakfast
Hey, 2014. What's up?

2013 pretty much sucked all around (lots of personal/family crap not suitable for sharing), so I am more than happy to see it go. Whatever. We all came out relatively unscathed. Of course, tacking up a new calendar means so much promise for the coming months, right? I'm not sure if I buy into that, but I like the idea of 'new beginnings' (do we ever really get them, though?), and cracking the spine of my new Moleskine seems as good a time as any. Also, two weeks off (up to a month for some) and I am ready to go back to school. Enough sitting on my ass. I need something to strive for. Remind me that I said this when it's midterms in a month and I'm flipping my shit and claiming that I need a holiday. Yeah, okay.

My overarching goal for 2014 is to try harder in all aspects of my life. Pretty lofty, right? It gives me a lot of room to succeed and fail, which I like. Of course, I've made some smaller goals, which include:
  • Drink fresh juice once a day to amp up my veggie intake. I'm still undecided on purchasing a juicer, or where I’m going to get a constant supply of organic produce. The farmer’s market would make sense, except that it’s pretty inaccessible for me on a weekly basis (without a vehicle). I think I might finally give Spud a try, as they offer juicing packs.
  • Master artisan bread-making. Last year, I tinkered with recipes in Tartine and Flour Water Salt Yeast, but never committed to learning the art. I am in the midst of reading Cooked at the moment, and as per usual, Pollan has inspired me to pick up the craft. I don’t eat a lot of bread or gluten products as it is, not because I’m intolerant (there was a scare last year though), but because conventional loaves contain a whole lot of shit that I frankly just don’t want to put into my temple body. When I do have a craving for some avocado toast, I exclusively eat Ezekial products, which are fine, but NOTHING like homemade bread made with a starter. Another inspiration: a loaf that my mother and I shared at Sitka & Spruce. Ohmyword, it was incredible.
  • Run a half marathon. Surprisingly my one fitness goal for the year. It's been in the works for a while. Last year, I really got into running (despite quite a few minor injuries... Running doesn't seem to like me) but was unsure as to whether or not I wanted to run another race. For me, running is very much a solo activity. While some people do yoga or meditate to clear their heads, I run. Alas, I've decided that this is the year I'll do my first half-marathon. I have yet to commit to anything, but I'm looking into Rock N Roll Seattle, SeaWheeze Vancouver, or the Portland Half. It seems like I am down to travel for three things: guaranteed runs, hiking, and food/coffee.
  • HIKE. This one really requires me to first get my drivers license and a vehicle, which is what has stopped my from being out in the mountains every single weekend. I'm anticipating having that taken care of by May/June (JUST DO IT, UGH), which guarantees at least a couple of good (read: warm) months of hiking before I'll likely make the plunge and purchase snowshoes. I've started a list of hikes that I'd like to do in Alberta, Washington and Idaho, which leads nicely into my next point...
  • Travel. Unlike everyone else I know, I'm pretty AOK with hanging out in the US and ignoring Europe, South America and Asia (those are the hot spots for 20-somethings, right?) for the time being. I want to do San Francisco and Nashville this year (firsts), as well as a return to Portland>Seattle>Vancouver Island. What can I say? I'm hooked on the Pacific Northwest.
  • Read one book that is not required for school per month. Self explanatory. My brain could use it.
  • Invest in quality pieces for my wardrobe. Every season I decide that I'm going to liquidate my closet, and every season I dump maybe five pieces and call it a day. I've done a MAJOR overhaul getting rid of all of the crap that I've (1) had since high school or junior high (ack!), (2) haven't worn in a year or, (3) is just not me. I'm committing to buying less, but higher quality pieces. Frye boots and Canada Goose jacket, I'm looking at you.
  • Garden. Yeah ok, so I did this last year. I was a novice. I want to learn more this year. I've already been looking at seed catalogues (May, please come faster) and have been checking out books about composting and soil management. A major perk of still living at home is that my parents have a pretty decent sized backyard with ample space to grow. My challenge this year is convincing them to let me turn some of the lawn into a micro-farm.
There you have it. What are your goals for 2014?
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