It’s might be snowing today but spring is just around the corner! And with that I wanted to round up some cute jackets that will keep you warm as we transition into spring.
I’ve been eyeing these coats for awhile now and it just so happened it came in my mom’s StitchFix box last month. So naturally I had to wear it every chance I got until I went back to school. Market & Spruce is exclusive to Stitch Fix but it’s worth shopping around Poshmark and Mercari as they have a few items.
Since it is nearing the end of the season I wanted to do a round up of transition jackets because I’ve been seeing a ton of sales lately!
First up: Eddie Bauer
The Mackenzie Trench Coat is only $80 right now! While that may be a little expensive for all the college girls out there, it’s usually $200 and you can wear it all spring and fall! It’s waterproof and you can fit medium-sized layers underneath it. Not to mention the fit is super cute!
Up next: North Face
Remember in junior high/high school when everyone had the exact same North Face? While I haven’t tried this jacket on, my North Face lasted me all the way to my sophomore year so I’m assuming the quality on this one is just as good. The black is definitely my favorite option, but it also comes in a few colors like blue, turquoise, and a light purple. Right now it’s only $70 so act fast before it goes back up to $100!
Field Jacket: LL Bean
Another jacket that is on sale right now! Normally this is $159 but currently it’s $55. I love how this one is the classic field jacket style and is a little fitted at the waist. Even though it’s fitted make sure you check the sizing chart because people have reported it being a little bigger than they expected.
It was only a matter of time until our girl amethyst showed up. If you listen to the Sage Sisters podcast (“Health, Spirituality, Crystals, Shungite, and Ayahuasca” or “Crystals 101″) you’ll understand why amethyst is the crystal. One of their guests even said he didn’t want amethyst to be his favorite crystal because it’s so mainstream, but it’s just such a classic it had to be.
What it’s for: Amethyst is known as a powerful healing stone and it is associated with the third eye chakra. The vibes are good and high helping create a space of harmony. It is important in dispelling negative energy and aiding the user in trusting their intuition.
Amethyst is helpful when it comes to making decisions. From its connection to the third eye chakra, amethyst gives its user mental clarity which helps remove emotion from decision making. It is also helpful when it comes to setting realistic goals.
For all of these reasons, amethyst is great for meditation. You can use the mental clarity that you gain to visualize your goals and aspirations. This is the year of manifesting what we want!
How I use it: I actually have two amethysts in my collection. I have one large one and a smaller one (much more travel sized). In the days leading up to starting the spring semester I sat and meditated with amethyst at the top of my yoga mat, and at the end of my practice I balanced the smaller piece on my third eye chakra as I thought about what I wanted to accomplish this semester.
Welcome back to the second installment of Sunflowers & Selenite! Today I’m going to share about the second crystal I added to my collection. After talking to the owner of Vibrate Higher, she recommended this one to me.
What’s it for: Pink tourmaline brings joy and self love to its user. It also helps with releasing guilt, stress, and tension. Pink tourmaline is associated with the heart and root chakras. If your heart chakra is blocked this will help open it and allow energy to free through the body. While energy flows more freely when any chakra is unblocked, I think the heart is the most important as it is the middle chakra, connecting the upper and lower body.
Some common uses for pink tourmaline:
creating a sense of relaxation or peace
as part of a self care routine
to increase self confidence
Due to these properties pink tourmaline is often recommended for people who have anxiety, depression, insomnia, or are grieving. While I do think it is beneficial to have a physical reminder to meditate I wanted to share a friendly reminder: if you can benefit from seeing a doctor, reach out to a physician/psychologist. While I do believe that your mind is incredibly powerful, we all need a little help sometimes. There is no shame in reaching out to someone.
Another purpose that I stumbled across in my research is that pink tourmaline is for serving humanity. Coming from a school with a focus on “being leaders in service to humanity”, pink tourmaline definitely resonates with me. It seems like the wand really does chose the wizard.
How I use it: Up until very recently this was one of the crystals I meditated with every day. Now that I have a wider variety of crystals to meditate with I am trying to mix it up based on whatever I’m feeling that day. However pink tourmaline is still in frequent rotation.
Welcome to a new weekly segment here on Sunflowers and Seersucker: Sunflowers & Selenite! In my quest to learn all about my newest obsession (crystals), I’ve found there are so many different places to find information so I wanted to streamline it all onto here.
To start out I’ll be sharing the crystals that I have in my collection, but if you’re curious about another one I’d be more than happy to put something together, so let me know in the comments!
First up, what this series is named after: selenite.
Selenite was my first crystal, I got it in my smudge kit from Vibrate Higher at Wanderlust this past summer (you can read more about Wanderlust here). The more I learned about it the more I learned it is a perfect crystal.
What it’s for: vibrating higher (are you sick of me saying that yet?). Selenite is associated with the third eye and crown chakra.
How I use it: As I said earlier this was my first crystal so this is the first crystal I ever used to meditate. To meditate I either hold it in one hand or put it on my forehead (that was before I learned it was associated with the third eye chakra, a complete coincidence but I’ll take it).
This is also a cleansing crystal so I will also wave it over other crystals before smudging it. “Marissa, what the heck does that mean?” you may be asking. When you’re using them to meditate, crystals are said to pick up on the vibrations you are giving off. So after you use one for awhile it’s supposed to be good to get rid of all that energy so it can be fully charged the next time you need to use it. Selenite is great for removing negative energy.
I can feel my AP bio teacher cringing right about now, but I’ll go on.
The last way I use it is in my pocket. Before I started reading about how other people used crystals/listening to the Sage Sisters podcast, I didn’t realize other people stuffed crystals in their bras. As a proud member of the IBTC, I choose to put them in my pocket instead. I started doing it for tests and quizzes as a reminder to stay calm. I had it in my pocket for all my exams, quizzes, and practicals this semester and I did pretty well for myself.
Another crazy coincidence, I didn’t know selenite is for memory, mental clarity, and intuition when I started using it for test taking stress relief. While I’m not saying selenite gives me the power to memorize pi, I can’t help but point out it’s easier to recall information when you’re focused on all the things you know rather than in a state of panic.
I share all of this information so you guys know what I’m doing but I want to remind you of one thing: there is no right and wrong when it comes to crystals. It’s pretty fun when you find things that line up but there is no rule book, except don’t put your selenite in water- it’s a soft mineral!
It’s been awhile since I posted a review but I’m back! I figured I would review all four books in one post as the Winter Street series follows the Quinn family through four Christmases on Nantucket. If you’re looking for a Hallmark movie in a book: this is it. Hilderbrand has taken her classic beach read and transformed it into a Christmas drama spectacular.
This is the first introduction to the Quinn family and I fell in love immediately. I had only read two Elin Hilderbrand novels before this one (The Rumor and Winter in Paradise) and this sucked me in as predicted.
If you’ve read Crazy Rich Asians, imagine that level of family drama but all under the roof of a quaint Nantucket inn (with considerable less money). Kelley and Margaret had it all: good jobs, a brownstone in NYC, and three kids but eventually Margaret needed to make sacrifices so she could go on to be America’s favorite news anchor. Which led Kelley to Mitzi (real name: Margaret), and together they left the city and bought an inn on Nantucket. Kelley raised his three kids on the island and had another son with Mitzi. This book takes place as all the kids are adults and have started their own lives.
Patrick, the oldest son, is living in Beacon Hill and faces temptations that may get him in trouble at work. Kevin is secretly dating the housekeeper. Ava is head over heels but can’t get a ring. And Bart, Kevin and Margaret 2.0’s daughter has been deployed to Afghanistan and shortly after arriving his convoy goes missing. Throw in some infidelity with the inn’s Santa Claus, you have yourself one entertaining Christmas.
To avoid giving away too much I’m just going to be sharing my thoughts on the next three!
The Quinns are back! My favorite part of this one was Ava and her relationship issues. I felt like I needed to ask Ava to meet me at the nearest coffee shop and talk through all her options. I also liked that we got to see more of Patrick’s wife, Jennifer. But giving Jennifer a starring role means adding a whole new level of complicated.
At this point I was starting to lose the story. Similar to how I felt with Rich People Problems (Crazy Rich Asians #3) , it felt like the drama was starting to get old. This was originally supposed to be the end of the Winter Streets series and to me it read rushed to tie the story with a nice little Christmas bow on top.
But wait there’s more! We’re adding even more tragedy to the Quinn family but my interest was piqued again. Allegra Pancik, from The Rumor, takes center stage in the lives of the Quinns (coincidence?? I think not) and I am here for it. She seems to have grown since we last saw her, she’s learned from her mistakes and comes across as somewhat naive but also incredibly understanding. And the story ends with the ultimate present from Santa Claus himself.
I would 100% recommend the Winter Street series. I think while they may not be your traditional, fluffy Christmas read but it’s entertaining through and through. My absolute favorite thing about Hilderbrand’s writing is that you really feel like you are in Nantucket. I’ve never been (yet!) but after becoming a part of the Quinn family I feel like I’ve walked Main Street during the Christmas Stroll. If you’re looking for something that will transport you to a place to quintessentially New England, this is it!
Up next on my reading list is the sequel to Winter in Paradise, and then I’ll be taking a break from Elin Hilderbrand until May (expect her to come back in full force as now I’m hooked!)
PS: last year my goal was to read 30 books and I did it! I’ve upped my game to 45 this year, so drop your recommendation in the comments!
This is the time of year for goals and resolutions, but my focus in 2020 is a mantra.
I am vibrating higher.
You may be asking, what does that even mean. And when I first heard it in August I really had no idea either.
I had never been into meditation. Even as someone that loves yoga, I spent my savasanas making checklists of everything that had to be done later. I took my first meditation class at Wanderlust a two years ago and I’m pretty sure I just took a nap. Fast forward to this year, David Ji led the meditation. I laid town on my mat (typical) but something he said at the beginning of our practice really stuck out to me. I wish I could remember what exactly he said but he brought up vibrating higher, and when we vibrate higher we are more in tune with the world around us and less trapped inside ourselves. And so I paid attention for the next 20 minutes intrigued at this idea of attracting good vibes by having good vibes.
Later that afternoon, while we were walking around the market we came across a store called Vibrate Higher, this is where I got my “calm is a superpower” tank so if you need one check it out! I don’t think the universe could have sent me a louder message. In her shop I saw a smudging kit specifically for vibrating higher (selenite crystal, palo santo wood, and mantra included) and I thought no better time than the present to start this journey.
And so far, it’s paid off! I think half the battle is believing that you are raising your vibration and that good things are coming to you.
So what does vibrating higher look like to me?
Meditating: yes, the girl who used meditation as a nap time, now tries to meditate for at least a few breaths every day.
Crystals: I use these with meditation or I put one in my pocket when I have exams as a way to remind myself to stay grounded and in the present.
Smudging: I smudged my apartment before I moved in and I continue to smudge it every Sunday night to prep for the week ahead. I personally use palo santo wood but I keep learning about new things that have different values. Jut make sure where you get your palo santo wood from is ethically sourced!
Exercising: whether it’s yoga or something else, I always feel better after moving.
Youtube: I’ve started listening to high frequency playlists when I’m studying or need background music now.
Breathing: I’ve started doing three part breathing after reading Yoga Mind by Suzan Colon earlier this year. I took a yoga class yesterday morning for the first time this year and she had joked with one of the participants don’t wince just breathe. And it had started as a light hearted comment but then she said, “imagine the world we would live in if instead of wincing people took a deep breath.” And that is going to be something I really try to incorporate into my life, every time something doesn’t go as planned I’m going to take a few deep breaths and send my energy to that place just as I would if I was in chair pose and my quads were on fire.
But this may not be what vibrating higher looks like for you! So start scouring the internet and find what makes you your best self!
The light in me honors the light in each of you, namaste.
I wanted to share a few NYE looks for anyone still looking for the perfect outfit! While NYE is the perfect excuse to break out the black, gold, and silver sequins this year you can spice it up with some 1920s themed fun, Old Sport.
It’s the Monday after Thanksgiving and you know what that means… Christmas is in full swing! All those people that wait until Thanksgiving are finally on board and it’s full steam ahead.
I wanted to share three holiday looks you can recreate for holiday parties or Christmas dinner.
A Night at the Nutcracker
A majority of this outfit is something you can find in your closet! If you have a neutral sweater and skirt combo all you need to invest in is a purse, and even though it’s something I only use once a year, it was a great investment.
Pretty in Plaid
Plaid is such a great holiday pattern. These dresses would be perfect for a Christmas Eve party. The LL Bean boots give it a real New England look!
The first dress linked has the fun cowl neck while the second one comes in a great holiday red! My favorite part of this outfit was that my earrings had little bows on them! Kate Spade has cute bow studs, but I got my drop earrings from Charming Charlie (same place as my Nutcracker purse). If you’re like me and loved accessorizing from Charming Charlie, I have good news for you- they’re coming back! As for your Christmas look, I’ll give you bonus points if you coordinate with your dog!
I hope this helped give you some ideas on what to wear this holiday season. Let me know what you’re wearing in the comments below!
Finals week is drawing nearer, and stress levels are rising. As part of my “Mental Health Mondays” series I wanted to share something I learned my first semester of PT school that has resonated with me.
I’m a yoga teacher and I think that means I’m pretty much drawn to affirmations and mantras. One night at the weekly tutoring session right before my first grad school exam, our tutor shared her “Smart Person Affirmation” with us. Naturally, one of my friends and I memorized it and we say it together before every exam.
I am a smart person. I know things.
When I don’t know things, I guess. I am a good guesser.
Nine times out of ten my first choice is the right choice.
I will use the test to take the test.
I want to pass. My teachers want me to pass.
And therefore I shall pass.
When saying it with friends I would take turns telling each other you want them to pass. You can also swap out “my teacher” for the actual professor’s name (we’ve had a few teachers tell us of course they want us to pass as they hear us saying this).
The most important part of this is to actually believe the words you are saying. The mind is a powerful tool and life is way easier when your attitude backs you up!