The Importance of Lazy Days

There’s nothing better than a good lazy day. At some point, you have to shut down your routine and take a day to do absolutely nothing. Fortunately, my month was filled with lazy days between spring break and now Easter this weekend, but they’re also an important tool to have when you’re feeling overworked. Even on the weekends, especially as a student, I have a hard time putting my work away and taking a day to do absolutely nothing but relax.

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With lazy days, I think you have to start strong to end strong, and end strong so you’ll be able to start strong the next time you’re in need of a do-nothing day. The way (and time) you wake up starts the whole tone for the day and is essentially determined by the night before. If I’m up late with friends, I’m going to be tired the next day no matter what, just as I am during the school week, so it’s best for me to keep working and have a productive day. When I take a lazy day, I want to go into it with a full nights rest so I don’t necessarily need it and can take all the relaxation out of it necessary.

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Once you get a good nights rest, it’s important to wake up naturally. I prefer a room that isn’t pitch black to the point that I can’t tell if its day or night, but also that won’t get flooded by sunlight. I like to see the sun peeking through the windows when I first open my eyes. It really sets the tone for my relaxed day. At school, this is especially hard for me since my blinds are broken and clearly never getting fixed (thanks GW) and more days than not, I wake up to the lovely sound of drug addicts screaming and fighting outside my window. Ah, the joys of living in a city!

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After waking up, I usually need to eat ASAP to avoid fainting or being dizzy all day long so I make breakfast and eat calmly in silence. People think I’m weird, but when I eat, I need it to be absolutely quiet. It’s just so relaxing! After I eat, my lazy day has an option to take whatever tone it wants. At school, I like to get back in bed, video chat with friends, go out for a walk, ride, go workout or clorox my floors… anything but deal with schoolwork or drama!  At home, I like to bike a few miles, go for a drive with the dog in the front seat, run errands, watch awful midday TV (hello Maury!) or journal. And finally, on vacation, I like to go for walks, go to the beach, lay on the porch or go back to bed. The type of lazy day I have stems off of where I am and what I feel like doing. It’s great!

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Once I’ve essentially wasted an entire day, doing nothing except what I feel like, I like to take my time making dinner and eating it while watching TV, preferable the Bachelor, Blue Bloods or The Goldbergs. After, I always make dessert (but what else is new), either trying a new recipe or sticking with one of my trusty favorites. Finally, I take a walk or ride my bike before bed and fall asleep feeling rested and energized for my week. Going into a lazy day, I like to have all my responsibilities finished so I can focus on having a stress free day and not worry about what I should be doing. When I wake up the next morning, I feel ready to take on the week, knowing that I won’t get as overwhelmed easily.

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Even when I know I can’t fit a full lazy day into a week, I make sure I have time to relax. Every night, I put my work away for the night before I make dinner. I have breakfast slowly and not rushed while I read blogs or scroll through Pintrest. I take twenty minutes to do my makeup. I attend a yoga class or go to the gym. I go for a walk nearly every night before bed.  Little moments of calm scattered throughout my day enhance productivity and keep me sane. They have nearly the same effect as a full blown lazy day…I don’t think I could function without them!

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Similar Kimono // Sandals // Bracelet

Garlic Portobello Linguine

There’s nothing quite like good pasta that you can make for dinner time and time again. Lately, I’ve had a few quality meals on rotation and I’m going to start sharing them on here. I cook a lot; making dinner is what grounds my day and allows me to completely escape from whatever I have going on if only for an hour; after all, you have to eat!

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This pasta is perfect for Fridays during Lent as it has no meat but still has plenty of umami (savory) flavor. Between the mushrooms, garlic and Romano cheese that’s not overpowering cheese, this dinner is perfection. I could eat it every night if I had to and it’s so quick to prepare, I probably could. By the time the water boils and the pasta cooks (9 minutes), the mushrooms are cooked and the dish is ready to come together.

To serve three people you will need:

½ box of linguine (4 recommended serving sizes)

3 tablespoons of butter divided

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 pound (2 containers) of baby Portobello mushrooms (sliced and without stems)

Fresh ground pepper

Lots of garlic

½ cup Pecorino Romano cheese plus more for topping

Start by removing the caps from the baby Portobello mushrooms before washing, slicing and thoroughly washing them once again. Begin to boil water for your linguine and cook the pasta as the water boils. Put another burner of your stove on medium high and melt a tablespoon of butter before adding a tablespoon of olive oil. Place the mushrooms in and add a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper. Using a large pepper grinder, I would do 10 twists but on a smaller one, I would do more. Cover the pan and sauté the mushrooms until they have browned and cooked down. By this point, there should be a lot of liquid in the bottom in the pan so take the lid off and allow the mushrooms to keep cooking. Once the liquid is mostly gone, add two more tablespoons of butter and a large scoop of garlic to taste. I didn’t measure exactly how much I added, but the spoon I used (teaspoon sized) was overflowing about 1.5x. Grind in a bit more pepper. Keep the mushrooms on the heat covered for a minute more and then uncovered until the garlic is mostly brown (not overcooked), the butter has browned and coated the mushrooms and it looks ready to eat.

Remove the mushrooms from the heat and mix in the pasta. Make sure you scrape the bottom of the pan with the pasta to get all the flavors into the dish and give the pasta a more browned color. Continue to mix, preferably with tongs or your spatula as you add the half cup of Pecorino Romano cheese. Once the cheese is incorporated and melted in, stop mixing and serve. Grate some more cheese on top.

And just like that, dinner is finished, and believe me, is so good! As a picky person who knows what good food tastes like, I was thoroughly impressed by the flavor provided by this dinner. I went in with very low expectations as it seemed so simple but was thoroughly wowed. I’ve already recreated this meal and it was just as good; it’s now on my weekly meal rotation!

 

 

Climbing Driftwood

I’ve been attempting to get on a more regular posting schedule and think I have settled on Saturdays, Mondays and Wednesdays. However, because I rarely know what day it is (I could’ve sworn it was Saturday all day yesterday), I might struggle a bit to adhere to it. Having it up, in writing, will hopefully hold me somewhat accountable, fingers crossed!

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On my first and last days in Florida, I went to Whitney beach on Longboat Key. This is the best spot to see dried out driftwood and trees that have washed ashore. To access this beach, pull down the last road before exiting Longboat key. It’s not on the Lido Key side, but the other end. Then, it’s just a quick walk down the beach away!

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While climbing and playing on the sticks (or on my way out), I managed to slice open my foot without noticing. I’m not sure how I failed to notice that there was blood everywhere. In some of the photos, you can see blood on my opposite foot from my feet hitting together (this also explains why I’m standing on one foot in most of them). I remember while climbing on a log I noticed a large glob of what I thought was red paint. Of course, it only upset me because some hooligans had painted parts of the driftwood and made it look extremely tacky and I assumed that they’d started in with some red paint before giving up; little did I know it was my own foot blood. Once I noticed the cut was there and my blood was getting literally everywhere, it started to hurt, just in time for my trek back to the car through the sand! When I couldnt walk in the water, I hopped like a graceful chicken! As it turned out, the cut was deeper than I expected. There is still a hole in the ball of my foot, and inside the hole is a deep cut. I have no idea what cut me or how, but I’m glad it didn’t get infected (knock on wood).

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Injury aside, this outing was probably one of the highlights of the trip.  Running around a beach and climbing on nature’s playground was so much fun. I especially enjoyed climbing up high on driftwood as the tide rushed in below. I’m just a little crazy! My Lilly set was the perfect outfit as it was able to get wet and allowed me to freely frolic.

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This weekend, Lilly is doing a Spring Break promotion featuring gifts with purchase. I’m definately going to be placing an order for the umbrella! I’ve linked below a few of my favorite new arrivals for spring.

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1. Jane Shift // 2. Sadie Romper // 3. Donna Shift Romper

4. Ashlyn Shift Dress // 5. Rosalia Silk Dress

6. Cassia Skort // 7. Gabriella Dress // 8. Buttercup Short

 

Happy Spring?

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While Spring started two whole days ago, the D.C. weather decided to throw us a curveball and GW treated us to a snow day! While I didn’t have any classes anyway, work got cancelled and my friends were also free for the day. We took it as an excuse to walk to the mall and play in the snow. It was nice to be walking through the snow as it wasn’t windy and seemed warm, until the walk back at least. My friend Jason decided to break the assigned dress code and was bold enough to wear sweatpants and a sweatshirt. As soon as we finished photos and playing in the snow, he informed me that he had jeans and presentable clothes on underneath the whole time… how rude!!! Ha. The walk there was fun as we kept snowballing each other and watching one member almost slip and fall a few too many times. It’s always an adventure with this group and I’m so glad I have such good friends in my life.

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Jason was privileged with the task of holding our coats while we took photos in our sweaters. He was beyond excited. 

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We thought these two photos were just of the girls, until we realized that Jeremy had photobombed one of them! I’m a bit concerned that I didn’t notice or sense his head popping up behind us.

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I was not too thrilled about being picked up right next to a flight of slippery stairs. Clearly, I was much happier being the lifter and not the liftee.

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After these photos were taken, I watched Hannah assist two of our desert native friends with the task of building a snowman. While she effortlessly rolled a perfect base using nothing but her feet, our other friends struggled to make a ball big enough… they wouldn’t stop breaking! Eventually, the snowman was built and everyone went home chilled and happy.

Popover To The Beach

While in Florida, we hit a few less than ideal days temperature wise where it failed to exceed 70 as a high. It was these days that my Lilly popovers and white jeans came in handy. While the popvers are thin cotton, perfect for working out or guarding you from the sun, they also keep you warm on days like these thanks to their long sleeves. There are various styles to choose from, either zip up or button up, and they come in multiple prints. I paired my popover and white jeans with these white sneakers, perfect for when you don’t want socks but still want to look cute and be comfortable.

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Popover // Jeans // Sneakers

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 1// 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7

Lilly Pulitzer x Pottery Barn

Early this morning, at 3am, Lilly Pulitzer and Pottery Barn launched their collaboration… and it wasn’t a complete disaster! After the Lilly for Target insanity of 2015, I was super stressed and made sure to set my alarm for 2:58am just incase a repeat occurred (crashed site, sell out in minutes, etc.). Fortunately, none of that happened, free shipping was provided (code: FREESHIP), and I was able to place my order(s) and go back to bed. I woke up today to realize that only a few things are out of stock which means there’s still plenty of time to spend ridiculous amounts of money on adorable preppy home decor! If only this launch lined up with me owning a house and having a good job…

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Cashel’s 3am logic was simple. I knew it was early in the morning and was probably going to make some regrettable decisions. Before ordering anything, I checked the return policy. For reference, you have 30 days to return items after receiving them in the mail which for me, means I’ll be doing returns until late May as the projected arrival date of some of my purchases spans from this week to the end of May. I was in need of a new bedspread… well not need… My current Lilly duvet cover came from the collaboration between Lilly and Garnet Hill and is in one of my favorite old prints. Plus, my entire room at school is practically a shrine to Lilly so when it came to shopping this collaboration, I needed options.

I found two reversible quilts I loved, but couldn’t decide between the two, so I ordered both. One also came with something called a sham, and while I wasn’t 100% sure what it was, it looked pretty cute so I ordered it anyway… YOLO, right? After placing this order, I found an adorable duvet cover in the PBTeen section of the site that would replace my current one and ordered that as well. This way, I’ll be able to see them in person and make a decision at a reasonable hour when I’m fully awake!

 

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Pink Quilt (Reversible) // Duvet Cover //  Fan Sea Pants Quilt (Reversible)

When I woke up this morning, I also noticed that a few random items made their way into my shopping cart. I remember resisting the urge to buy all of the wallpaper and fortunately, was smart enough not to. The confirmation email didn’t include pictures, and they’ve been removed from the site after selling out. I can’t wait for them to come in so I can see exactly what I bought and promptly return them, haha!

As for the rest of the launch, it’s perfectly timed for anyone expecting a baby girl (or boy… they do have blue). I can’t get over how cute the nursery stuff is! Lilly needs to do a similar collaboration when I’m having kids because I want all of it… I’ll wait for you, Lilly!

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I’m praying to God that the couches and chairs don’t sell out and end up going on 99% off sales. I’m sorry, but I’m not buying an uncomfortable looking $1,499 couch and a nearly $1,099 chair just because they’re cute… not happening. Anyway, I’m sharing a few more picks from the collaboration that are ridiculously expensive but so so soooo cute below!

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Chair // Couch

Hanging Woven Chair // Chandelier // Wallpaper

Mirror // Lamp // Headboard // Bean Bag Chair

 

Along Lido Key

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Dress

Along the shore of Lido Key, there is a fallen branch that passerby’s have decorated with ornaments of seashells. It’s so charming! I think I’ve found another happy place.  This cold shoulder dress is perfect for the beach. It’s thin cotton fabric and bright print (Playa Hermosa) pop against the waters and look just like vacation.