on planning a vacation (with the help of square cash)

i've kind of been on a travel binge lately. i want to go everywhere and anywhere, alone and with my friends. i traveled to new york city in january, florida in february and LA in march. april is going to be a little more tame (for now!), but i'm in the midst of planning my next big trip with three of my closest girlfriends: a trip to joshua tree in september!
it can be tough to plan trips with friends. when it comes to renting a house, a car and splitting meals, it can feel stressful to make sure everyone pays their share can be stressful! but using square cash makes it easy.
one of our friends booked our airbnb and splitting it four ways was super easy using the app. some other apps require you to wait to deposit money into your bank account, but square cash offers instant deposits into your account. plus its design is minimal and clean, which is way more aesthetically pleasing to me.

now we don't have to be those people at the restaurant who try to split a bill between four credit cards; we can just put the tab on one credit card and then square cash the money over right away. easy peasy.
even in every day life, i love using the app. my friends can send me money for picking them up coffee (or the same shirt i just bought), and we don't need to worry about finding cash or checks. plus for busy parents, paying a babysitter has never been easier!

square cash is definitely a game-changer and takes a bunch of stresses out of planning a trip with friends. you'll never worry about paying someone back again! make sure you download the square cash app from the app store or the google play store today!

on winter styling and jord watches (+ a giveaway!)

it's been a minute, hasn't it? i got super caught up in working and traveling and just living in the moment that time has gotten away from me. i have so much to catch up on, but i wanted to talk about winter styling and jord watches.
my winter style is pretty simple: skinny jeans, boots (depending on the weather: bean boots, knee-high boots or ankle booties) and a sweater. it keeps me warm and fashionable, and can easily go from work to events. for me, simple is best.

but i've been spicing up my style lately thanks to my new wooden watch from jord. it's been a long time since i wore a watch that wasn't a running watch, but when the folks from jord reached out and asked if i'd like to try out styling one of their stunning women's watches, i couldn't pass it up.
i love wearing this slim watch over a slim sweater as a way to break up the monotone color. my poor arms have been aching to get some sun or show any sort of skin, but this winter has been particularly chilly. layering my watch over my sweater has been a fun way to change things up.
and i equally love how it looks with my chunkier knits. i always lean toward 100% cotton chunky sweaters (because i'm allergic to wool), and i love having the warm wood peek out from under my sleeve. plus, it feels like a real power move to pull up my sleeve to check the time rather than pulling out my phone.

and great news! the kind folks at jord are offering my readers the chance to win $100 to their shop! you'd best get to entering! everyone who enters will also get $25 off their order, so get on in there! the contest ends march 5th, and the winner will be contacted by email. best of luck!

this post was sponsored by jord, but all opinions are my own.
Watch Gift Ideas

on blogging + politics

i've been having a hard time again. this is a different kind of hard time than i had last year though. i'm struggling because of the political climate in our country, and i'm struggling to find ways to share my thoughts and encourage others to do the same. and sometimes, i worry i'm going to alienate my readers or friends by being too political.
but here's the thing: i just don't care anymore. it's not that i am intentionally looking to offend anyone, but i simply can't remain silent anymore. and i don't think anyone should feel they have to. it's important to create open dialogues and spaces where people can share their thoughts. and i hope that's what this space can be.

a lot has happened in the last few days (!!!!) since trump took office. government agencies have been silenced, an immigration ban was put into place (for seven predominantly muslim countries) and subsequently given a stay (for seven days), steve bannon was appointed to the national safety council (lololol), trump has pledged to break apart the affordable care act and leave millions without health insurance, we are once again talking about defunding planned parenthood, he's publicly stated global warming is false, he's attacked news outlets, his staff has presented "alternative facts," and much much more. are you tired yet? because i'm exhausted.

and yet, i've seen people come together like never before. i've seen people who've never thought about becoming political start to open up and post on facebook about injustices and show up to marches. organizations like the aclu and planned parenthood have received millions of dollars in donations.

i'm torn, because i'm passionate about SO MUCH and there's so much i want to do and say and support. it's overwhelming at times because i understand i am at once both privileged and disadvantaged. i am a college-educated woman with a job and access to private health insurance. i've never been denied the right to marry. and at the same time, i'm still a minority and a woman in a corporate environment statistically making 77 cents to the dollar for the same work as a man. my access to abortion is still being debated by a room full of men, and i still face racism and sexism regularly.

there's just so much. so i'd like to share with you what i've decided to do to make a difference. i've pledged a monthly donation to planned parenthood. i chose planned parenthood because i believe a woman's right to affordable and safe health care is of the utmost importance. because they were there for me when i needed them. and because now that i do have access to private health insurance and can go to my ob-gyn yearly for an exam, i want every woman to be able to do the same. i made the conscious decision to use my money to support the cause that is nearest to my heart.

however, i am still going to participate in as many marches and demonstrations as i can for every injustice this country is facing. because i am still the child of an immigrant, my friends are still lgbtqia+, and i still think our country is inching toward fascism. i refuse to stop educating myself; i've heard a lot of people say they just want to turn the news off because it's all too much but turning it off doesn't make it stop. find reliable news sources and READ them. if you have an amazon prime account, you can get a free 6-month digital subscription to the washington post. do it. it's free. read voraciously, and talk about what you read.

do not stay silent. i think bloggers have a duty to their readers and to themselves to use their platforms to educate. it's nice to have an escape and look at pretty pictures and light life updates, but the current state of our country is impossible to ignore.

so thanks, for hanging out through this novel of a post. for indulging me. and for all you've done. i've seen so many friends marching, donating, being loud and proud. my heart is so full. we have a lot of work left to do, but we're stronger together. and, at the end of the day, it's all about relentless forward progress.

// photo by my extremely talented friend, madeline heising from the women's march on washington

on social media + cutting negativity

one of the ways i'm working on making active change in my life is cutting out negativity. and where does a lot of negativity stem from these days? social media.
madeline heising photography
it's no secret that i love social media. i love sharing funny quips on twitter (or general thoughts on pizza), silly stuff on snapchat and the prettiest parts of my life on instagram. but the comparison game is real and alive, and social media often plays a role in that. you know those people you follow because you feel you ought to, but every time you see their photos you groan or have a negative thought? stop. following. those. people.

i'm challenging you to cut the negativity. i read a post on wit & delight called "pride & prejudice in the instagram era" and it inspired me to stop following people who make me feel...meh. people who i kept following because everyone was, but i didn't actually like their content. people whose glamorous lives didn't fill me with wanderlust, but envy.

i stopped following those people because it seems silly to actively put negative energy in my life.it seemed silly to constantly put myself in a state of jealousy or annoyance. a self-imposed cycle of bad vibes. so i stopped. i hit unfollow, i muted people on facebook. and you know what? the world didn't stop turning. no one called me to tell me i'm a terrible person. as far as i know, no one hates me (at least for this). everything kept going, and so did i.

and now i can keep going even stronger. because now there's one less thing to make me feel shitty throughout my days. and that's a pretty powerful feeling. so i challenge you to do the same. unfollow those people who boil your blood. who make you feel less than. who just don't add anything good to your days. because ain't nobody got time for that in 2017.

on creating change + a recap of 2016

this post is several days delayed for a few reasons. i finally had some time to myself to relax and i disconnected from my laptop, which i desperately needed. i also kicked off 2017 with a bout of food poisoning and overall fatigue so, ya know. win some, lose some. or something. but 2017 is all about change for me.
i often think that we don't actively pursue change. i think a lot of the time, we allow change to roll over us and work our way through it and at the end find ourselves changed. but what about active change? change that we control and decide for ourselves?

i've made a lot of effort to actively change myself over the last year. to stop "acting" a certain way, and start behaving like myself. to accept myself as i am, flaws and all. i've stopped hiding how i feel and instead am working on actively letting people know what i'm feeling in the moment. i've spent so much time harboring feelings and making myself feel bad for them, and i'm tired of it. so it's a year of change.

i also thought it might be worthwhile to take a look back at 2016 as a whole. it was terrible and great, soul crushing and enriching all at once.

48 hours in paris

i never thought i wanted to go to paris.

it seems sacrilegious to write that, but it's the truth. i didn't feel the draw to paris. i felt a draw to burgundy, to bordeaux. to the countryside. but paris? it didn't do it for me. so when i started planning my european vacation to tack onto the end of my work trip to berlin, i struggled with where to go. traveling within the EU is relatively inexpensive, and i figured if the main part of my travel was taken care of, it was a good time to see what the fuss of paris was all about. so i booked just over 48 hours in paris.

links lately

so you're telling me it's december? this is insanity. i have just a few weeks left to get gifts and it moderately stresses me out but it also means holiday lights and winter strolls and CHRISTMAS SONGS so bestill my heart.
+ if you're looking for fun things to do this weekend, airbnb created a list of things to do in boston and restaurants to visit, curated by locals! lot of super good recommendations in there.

+ it's no secret that i love ina gartn a lot. like a lot a lot. this in-depth interview with her is everything i've ever dreamed of.

+ joe biden eats ice cream is the best tumblr i've found in a long long time.

+ i posted this on my personal facebook earlier this week, but texas is now requiring burials or cremations for aborted fetuses. this is a gross invasion of a woman's personal health care decision, and it disgusts me to no end.

+ the hawthorne, one of my favorite bars in boston, is hosting its annual holiday pop up! it started last monday, but i'll be there this monday sipping on some lovely bevvies and getting some of my christmas shopping out of the way. hope to see you there!

+ keep an eye on the blog next week! i'll be releasing a few fun things, including my first installment in my healthy makeup series, and my guide to 48 hours in paris!

i hope you all have a lovely weekend!

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