The Good Life

Last week was one of those weeks when it felt like EVERY little thing was going wrong. Maddie (my dog) got sick and I had to go to four different pharmacies to get her prescription filled. I was pulled over by a cop for a registration mix-up.  I lost my mail key. Work was difficult for a few reasons, and in the moment, it really felt like the universe was not on my side.

I generally try not to focus on the negative parts of my life, especially if I cannot change the circumstances. When it seems way too easy to focus on the negative things, I find it most helpful to refocus my attention to the positive things in my life and the things that matter most to me.

As I went on a walk yesterday afternoon, I thought about my difficult week and I tried refocusing. Then, as I took in the beautiful fall weather, I stumbled across a TedTalk by Robert Waldinger, “What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness.”

In the TedTalk, Waldinger shares how this decades-long study has found strong relationships are the foundation for a happy life. He talks about how loneliness is correlated to poor health. Waldinger also shares that the relationships don’t have to be romantic. Quality friendships can be just as valuable as a romantic relationship.

It was fascinating, and made so much sense. I have found my relationships with friends and family are the most valuable thing. When I think about the big picture, I know my life would be so different and so lonely without their support and the smiles they put on my face. The important people in my life are a huge positive force, especially on a hard day or during a difficult week.

In fifty years, the details of my difficulties will not matter. What will matter is that my relationships with family and friends remain strong, if not stronger than they are today.

“The good life is built with good relationships.” – Robert Waldinger

Here’s to a happy week for everyone!



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Flashback to Mixed CDs

Here’s a little flashback for your Friday! Remember making mixed CDs on your computer, decorating them with sharpies and giving them to your friends?

Mixed CDs were the perfect way to compile your favorite songs, reflect on a specific time period and connect with friends or a loved one. But, newsflash — CDs are dying, and so are CD players (so sad). So, what is a girl to do when she wants to share a few specific songs with someone special?


I’ve discovered by trial and error, that YouTube playlists are the way to go. Over the past year, I have made several private playlists on YouTube for differnt genres of music and for different activities like working out or a road trip. With one click of a button you can easily add a YouTube video to a new or existing playlist. You can also keep your playlists private or share them with the world. And there’s no memory limit like there is with CDs! One of my all-time favorite playlists is full of songs from John Mayer, who I’ve loved since I was thirteen.

As Will and I have dated, there have been several songs that represent our relationship or make me think of him. Creating a YouTube playlist gave me a way to compile these in one place and a way to listen to them wherever I am. One of my favorite things about YouTube playlists is also that you can give the people you share it with the permission to edit the playlist and add their own songs.

Sharing a playlist like this can be a fun way to feel connected to a friend or loved one when you are apart. And of course, music has that wonderful way of taking us right back to a special moment. I’d love to hear if you’ve found a similar way to share playlists online.

Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy the beautiful fall weather. I’ll be baking up a storm with the dozens of apples I got at the orchard last weekend. Please share any favorite recipes you have.



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The Scoop: 3D Fiber Lash Mascara

It wasn’t until I dove into a black hole of beauty products on Amazon that I found out about fiber lash mascara. I discovered that women use this stuff instead of false eyelashes or eyelash extensions, and then I saw the before and after photos and decided I needed to try this stuff out for myself.

After perusing Amazon for way too long, I decided to purchase 3D Fiber Lash Mascara by Mia Adora. The mascara arrived a couple days later and I tried it immediately.

Before I get into my review, I’ll explain the “fiber” part of this mascara and how this stuff works. This is a three step mascara product. You use the magnifying gel first, apply the fibers and lastly apply the magnifying gel for a second time. The wand with fibers looks kind of like black cotton candy. The magnifying gel is essentially like a standard mascara you could purchase at a drugstore. The gel does seem a little creamier than other mascara I have used, and the wand is soft but substantial enough to get in between your lashes.

Overall, Mia Adria’s 3D Fiber Lash Mascara works really well. I was surprised by my results and how easy it was to use. It’s important to apply the natural fibers when the first coat of magnifying gel is still wet. The other thing that surprised me about this product was it’s staying power. The mascara lasted throughout a full workday without melting off/onto my face.

BEFORE: no mascara on

IN BETWEEN: one eye is completely done and the other has one coat of magnifying gel

AFTER: 3D Fiber Lash Mascar on both eyes!

To me, with this product I feel like my eyelashes don’t really look natural so I don’t think I’ll be using it everyday. I tend to go for a pretty low maintenance, natural look, especially on work days. For $20 I think it’s definitely a great product to have on hand for a special occasion or date night. I’m no mathemetician, so I can’t be positive that this fiber mascara magnified my eyelashes by 300%. But, I think this stuff makes a noticeably bigger difference than regular mascara.

What do you think of my before and after photos? Have you ever tried anything like this? I’d love to hear if you’ve used fiber lashes before and what your experience has been with them.



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Fall Trends on a Budget

Fall trends always tend to captivate me in a way that they do not in other seasons. So assuming I am not the only one in this boat, I’m sharing some trendy fall pieces that are totally affordable. From florals and suede to layers and booties, I aimed to include all the top trends and some more classic pieces.

Old Navy Pintuck Floral Dress, $37; Old Navy Suede Lace-Up Flats, $27;

H&M Buffalo Check Flannel Shirt, $25; Target Mossimo Cable Sweater, $20

H&M Padded Vest with Fur, $50; Sole Society Flynn Booties, $110

Target Merona Utility Jacket, $40; Sole Society Thalia Messenger Bag, $50

Asos Cowl Neck Sweater, $26; Old Navy Oversized Windowpane Scarf, $19


Old Navy has several more floral prints in the dress I share above, and many are even cheaper. Target’s utility jacket and H&M’s fur vest will also double up as great pieces for wintery weather, depending on how cold your area gets.

Accessories like the windowpane scarf are also particularly affordable ways to play into trends and spice up some classic pieces in your closet. For example, the Old Navy scarf and messenger bag would pair nicely with a classic A-line navy dress. Hopefully these pieces will inspire your closet without hurting your wallet!

On another note, I hope you all had a lovely weekend. I went out to the Northern Virginia countryside on Saturday and visited an apple orchard, pumpkin patch and drive-in movie theater. The beautiful weather and gorgeous views were just what I needed after a very long work week!

Here’s to this work week going by swiftly. Please share with many an good apple recipes, too since I have way more than I know what to do with (oops!).



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The Perfect Polish for Fall

I was feeling adventurous when I recently got a manicure, and that lead me to finding a new favorite nail polish for fall. It’s a beautiful burnt orange, red color called Deutsch You Want Me Baby? by OPI.

I was worried at first that it might be too orange and too odd. But the voice telling me to try something new won out, and this nail polish is a major win! The color is deep and not too bright. It also has a very subtle sparkle that compliments my jewelry.

Fall has been a popular season for oxblood, burgundy and merlot nail polish. While I love those shades, I absolutely adore how this orangey-red shade is a little more unexpected and different from what’s trending. It looks especially great with navy clothes and blue jeans.

If you’re looking for more fall nail polish ideas, I’d check out Nail That Accent’s review of Essie’s 2016 nail polish collection. Essie’s Playing Koi burnt orange shade is similar to OPI’s Deutsch You Want Me Baby?, if you are looking for something similar.

Do you have any nail polish colors that you are loving this season? I’d love to hear if you have any recommendations.



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