Monday Mindfulness

Monday Mindfulness

The worst part of going on vacation is always the aftermath…coming back to reality. I tend to reflect on all of the beautiful places I visited, and am saddened that I don’t have the flexibility to spend more time seeing other parts of the world. To my surprise, coming home from this last trip I found the transition to be slightly less difficult.

I thought about why my vacation blues didn’t linger as long as usual. It could just be that I’m getting older and am becoming more of a homebody, but I don’t think that’s the case. I think that I’m finally in a place where I’m able to recreate the things I love about vacation at home (outside of exploring the world, of course). It’s more about that excitement and ability to decompress. I’m excited about our new home and spending time enjoying it. I’m excited about summer in Chicago and exploring new restaurants, bars, and summer events. I’m excited about hosting friends and sharing our home & city with them. I’ve learned to plan better (aka learning to say “no”) so I’m not overcommitting – definitely a source of stress for me in the past. Bottom line is, I don’t feel like I’m only happy on vacation, which is a good thing!

I realized I didn’t do a mindfulness post in June, so it was hard to pick just five articles this month! So many good reads out there! Below are a few links across the web that have inspired and motivated me the last couple of months –

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7 Ways to Get Dewy Summer Skin

7 Ways to Get Dewy Summer Skin

Annnnd I’m back! I feel like I’ve been gone for ages, yet at the same time my vacation didn’t feel long enough (does it ever?!). I can’t wait to share more details on our trip – we had the chance to explore new islands, eat tons of Greek food (went overboard as we always do), spend quality time with close friends AND celebrated a wedding. All in all, it was an amazing trip and it came and went too fast. I can’t wait to share more juicy dets next week!

Though my post-vaca blues have officially kicked in, the fact that my skin is on point right now has softened the blow a bit. Relaxing on the beach for a week straight definitely has it’s benefits (as long as you wear SPF 30+!), and I’m determined to keep this look going for as long as possible post-beach life. Below are my tried and tested ways (7 to be exact) to get the lovely dewy summer skin we all strive for –

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Five Things Before I Leave for Greece

Five Things Before I Leave for Greece

I’m officially off to Greece! I’m probably on a flight as you’re reading this right now…

So so excited for this trip. I was in desperate need of a vaca – this time I’m going without my laptop, so I can TRULY check out for once. That said, you won’t be hearing from me here for a week or so, so make sure to follow me on my Insta as I’ll be posting TONS of pictures and stories over the next 10 days!

You probably know this by now, but Leo is Greek, so we go back to Greece once a year to visit his friends & family. These pics are from one of our trips to Milos a few years back – I swear the backgrounds are real and not Photoshopped. The last few summers, we’ve had weddings on various islands (I know, it sounds terrible right?). This year, we’ll be spending a couple days in Athens, followed by a few days in Naxos, and then heading to another wedding in the small island of Astipalaia! Lots of moving around over the next 10 days or so…but I’m pumped!

Before leaving, I wanted to share a few things, many of them Greece focused…for obvious reasons!

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10 Things to Buy at the Zara Sale

10 Things to Buy at the Zara Sale

Sheer Dress: Zara, sold out (similar here) | Unitard: Topshop last season (similar here) | Shoes: French Connection Pepper Flatforms | Bag: Saint Laurent Mini Betty Bag | Lipstick: Rodial Suede Lipstick

I spent most of last weekend preparing for my Greece trip – I’m leaving on Thursday! Totally snuck up on me. It could not have been better timing for the Zara sale, because I of course was on the hunt for last minute items that I needed for the trip. Mainly stuff for the beach, because I haven’t had enough time to enjoy the sunshine here! I came across this gorgeous sheer dress that I thought would be ideal for the beach, but then quickly realized it would look super cool layered over basically anything. I got this unitard from Topshop last fall, and decided to pair it with this sheer metallic piece for something a little different. The shine is so subtle, but looks stunning in the sunlight!

There were a million other things I wanted to buy at Zara, but I’m trying to hold back so that I can shop on vacation! Below are a ten items you should buy while you can –

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Five (Expert-Approved) Summer Wines

Five (Expert-Approved) Summer Wines

I am by no means a wine person. I’m a cocktail girl alllll the way (or vodka soda if I know I’m in it for the long haul), BUT something about the warmer weather gets me craving a good glass of wine on occasion. There’s nothing like a refreshing glass of rosé when you’re basking in the sun!

Given I know close to nothing about wine, I thought it’d be fun to ask my cousin Jasmine, who drinks wine like it’s her job (well, because it is), to share her current favorites for summer. Now I feel like I can “rosé all day” like a pro.

Jasmine is on the winemaking team at Seghesio Family Vineyards (I wasn’t joking when I said drinking wine is part of her job). She lives in SF – this is the cousin I visited a few weeks back – and works in Sonoma County where the vineyard is located. The vineyard specializes in Zinfandel and Italian varietals. Below she shares five of her favorite wines for summer – she did mention she had MANY MANY favorites, and that narrowing down to five was really tough!

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How To Reinvent Your Closet in 3 Steps

How To Reinvent Your Closet in 3 Steps

Those mornings you spend staring hopelessly at your closet, feeling like you have NOTHING to wear…we’ve all been there. A closet full of clothes with nothing to wear – how do you get around this? Considering most of us are on a budget, buying a whole new wardrobe is just not an option. I used to face this conundrum often, until I recently revamped my closet. It took me a weekend to do, but now I wake up excited to wear what I have and I no longer have the urge to buy more (which is rarity for me!). Don’t get me wrong, I have still been getting little things here and there, but more accessories than anything. Have I convinced you that you need to do this yet?!

Now, put some time aside and prepare to fall in love with your wardrobe all over again. The steps I followed are fairly simple, they just take time and energy. Grab a glass of rosé, put on a good playlist and GO!

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Five 90s Inspired Skirts You’ll Want ASAP

Five 90s Inspired Skirts You’ll Want ASAP

WEARING: United Colors of Benetton Mini Skirt (super old but you can find a similar one here and here!), Oversized white blouse (similar here), Vintage Levi’s denim jacket (found one just like it here), White platform sandals (I got these at Yoox last summer – similar ones here)

CONFESSION – I’ve had this skirt for maybe 5 years and this is the first time I’m wearing it. I never knew what shoes to pair with this thing…and then it clicked. Platforms! I feel like I came straight out of Clueless rocking this mini, and not going to lie, I’m into it. I’m not typically one for mini skirts (I’m super self conscious about my legs…have been my entire life), but this mini was just too cool to pass up. I love the purple & cream combo, and the higher waist. It pairs perfectly with a tied oversized blouse and a denim jacket.

This is the first time in my life (one of MANY to come I’m sure) where I’ve witnessed fashion trends come & go. The recent 90s revival has brought me back to my childhood, rocking scrunchies, choker necklaces, overalls, denim on denim…you get the picture. It been nostalgic, and I’m wishing I could fit into some of my childhood clothes because they would make for some killer vintage pieces! ha. Below, I’ve linked to a few other 90s inspired skirts you can rock this summer. Get on it if you haven’t already!

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Home Spotlight: Outdoor Lighting Ideas

Home Spotlight: Outdoor Lighting Ideas

We’ve finally wrapped up construction in the house! YAY! It’s SOOOO nice to not have contractors in and out constantly…and after hours and hours of cleaning, I’ve managed to get out the dust. We’re starting to feel settled, which is an unfamiliar yet very welcomed feeling. There’s so much open space now that we don’t have boxes, equipment, paint and other random stuff laying around. I can’t handle clutter – I was losing my mind towards the end there! Anyway, I’m ready to move on from this stage to more fun, exciting things like home accessories.

Our next project is furnishing our deck. One recent discovery (& a warning for those of you who are as clueless as I was) – outdoor furniture is EXPENSIVE. Like, way more than you’d want to pay for furniture that is going to be sitting outside taking on the elements. Another thing I’ve never spent too much time dwelling on is outdoor lighting. I always thought it was just…THERE. Yeah, not the case. We realized we needed more lighting ASAP after having our first BBQ a few weeks back – we all had our iPhone lights on to avoid face planting down the steps and/or dropping the delicious food/cocktails we had just carefully crafted.

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3 Ways to Wear an Oversized Blouse

3 Ways to Wear an Oversized Blouse

I’ve been obsessing over oversized blouses lately – particularly white ones. I keep discovering exciting new ways to dress them, soooo I end up wearing the same shirts on repeat. I can’t help it! It’s also been so hot in Chicago that oversized clothes are simply more comfortable to wear. Jeans are not an option, and form fitting tops are not known for masking how sweaty your pits are (so gross, but true). Blouses are versatile, stylish and comfortable, especially when you have the right fabric.

SHOP THE LOOK

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Father’s Day Gift Ideas: 2017

Father’s Day Gift Ideas: 2017

I was going through old photos at my mom’s this weekend, and I think it’s safe to say that it’s officially one of my favorite pastimes. My dad’s a photographer, so we have boxes & boxes of photographs…from my parents engagement photos, baptisms, family vacations, birthday parties to simple moments like my brother playing on our swing set. I love seeing photos of us as kids, but I particularly love seeing photos my parents & grandparents. It’s such a strange thing to see pics of my parents when they were my age – I wonder what they were thinking, what challenges they were facing, what dreams they were aspiring towards. Life is a crazy thing.

Father’s Day tends to be a more emotional holiday for me. I’ve always been close with my mom, but my dad and I have had our ups and downs over the years. Maybe it’s because we’re weirdly alike, or that we’re both stubborn and refuse to see things from the other’s perspective. Either way, we’ve always had a different type of relationship, and I don’t get to see him as often as I’d like for various reasons. I also lost my grandfather a couple of years ago – the first time I ever lost a family member that close. I feel very lucky to have grown up with a grandfather, as I know many people aren’t able to experience that, and I have some guilt about not appreciating the time I had with him as much as I could have.

With all that said, I try to make the most out of every Father’s Day and spend some quality time with Dad. I’ve realized the importance of telling loved ones how much I care and spending time with them because you just never know how much time you have.

On a lighter note – quality time is the best gift you can give, but an actual gift is a always a nice little bonus. I put together a quick list of the Father’s Day gifts that are top of mind, and will put a smile on Dad’s face (no guarantees, but I think you’ll get something out of him!).

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