Lifestyle, What I'm Reading

Book Club Crashers // Finding Mrs. Ford

Finding Mrs. Ford cover, marina
My copy of Finding Mrs. Ford on location at the Watch Hill marina.

Today’s post has two parts: first I’m going to set the scene (trust me this is a scene worth setting) and then we’ll get into the actual discussion.

How I ended up in Watch Hill.

About a week ago I saw a post on @sarahkjp‘s page about an event with the Newport Ladies Book Club in Watch Hill. I showed my mom and after realizing she had the day off we figured we would go. I have a book club on Instagram but I had never been to one in person and it sounded like an entertaining night.

Then Monday rolled around and my mom and I rolled up to the Ocean House and it was stunning. I’ve seen it so many times on Instagram, and mostly from Sarah’s page oops, but wow. We were a little early and were planning on walking around outside when one of the people who worked at the Ocean House asked us if we were here for the book club and took us to the Secret Garden Champagne Bar. As soon as we stepped onto the deck someone handed us drinks and we found somewhere to sit so we could listen to Deborah Royce (the author!!!) talk about her book. I thought it was a little bizarre that they were already deep in discussion because we were half an hour early but I was too busy living what I can only describe as truly, my best life to think about it. Until two women came in a little later and I realized it. We had unknowingly crashed the book club only discussion. Kylie, if you’re reading this, I’m so sorry we crashed the group photo too!

The rest of the night was magical as well. We got to meet several of the ladies in the book club and talk to the author about her creative process. One question that had been in my head after reading this book was “where did she come up with the idea for the necklace?” To me it seemed like such a significant detail but I had never heard of a necklace like that before and it turns out, Royce had been given one by a former beau. Let’s just hope it wasn’t under the same circumstances!

It was such an unforgettable night discussing the book with the author, in a location that was central to the novel! I never knew such a thing could be on my book bucket list, but it has since been added and then crossed off.

veuve clicquot
A few moments before I realized we were book club crashers.

And now my thoughts on the book!

When I first read the book jacket I thought this was going to have a political plot but I was surprised to find out that it was more of political undertones and it focused on the idea of who a person is and more specifically what’s in a name.

I usually opt for historical fiction but this was a thriller through and through. I am not used to having such short chapters and the way Royce ends each chapter brought me back to when I used to read the Goosebumps books because each chapter had a cliff hanger than had me saying “oh just one more chapter”.

Mrs. Ford taught me a life lesson that I think may come in handy at some point in my life. While I never plan on having the FBI show up to my house, I may file away the “make them uncomfortable” tactic should I ever need it.

Royce is a very descriptive author. Prior to reading this book I had never been to Watch Hill, but when I arrived it was déjà vu. The same goes for her descriptions of Detroit. I felt immersed in the disco-era. One thing I didn’t pick up on until a woman in the book club brought it up was Royce’s skill in knowing when not to elaborate. There were a few scenes (the most poignant being the scene with the polaroid) where she had given just enough detail to get the point across.

This book also reminded me of a favorite that I read earlier this year. Like, Next Year in Havana, Finding Mrs. Ford tells a story by flipping back and forth between present and past. But there was one line that brought me back to Havana. Sammy, a Chaldean, is describing the political climate in the Middle East and mentions that Saddam Hussein may bring a good future. Which reminded me of all the discussions about Castro bringing good fortune to Cuba. It’s a comment that may go unnoticed but I think it hammers home the idea of choosing between the devil you know and the devil you don’t know.

This was a quick read so either run to the beach tomorrow or save it for next summer because it is the perfect beach day book!

At the end of our night Royce shared details of her next book with us and I can only say, Ruby Falls is already on my TBR list!

Happy reading!

xox,

Marissa

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Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Celebrating Two Years!

holding sunflowers
I was going to go to a local cupcake store for these photos but then I realized the sunflower festival was happening, so I grabbed my nearest seersucker dress and took my most “on brand” photos to date!

I can’t believe I’ve been blogging for two years now! It feels like I’ve been at this forever but it also feels like I just started yesterday. In this post I’m going to share a little bit about why I started blogging as well as answering questions that you guys had for me, so let’s get started!

Why I Started Blogging

Here’s a little known fun fact: this is actually my second blog! I was inspired to start one because I used to read a blog about physical therapy school and I tried to start one about being a pre-PT but it didn’t last. I wish I could remember what the name of it was but those posts have been deleted and I transformed that blog into Sunflowers and Seersucker.

I started this blog because I was inspired by bloggers like Kate from Lonestar Southern and Lucy from Daily Dose of Prep. I wanted a place to document my style and share my thoughts and I’m so glad I started! Blogging has become such a fun part of my life and I’m glad I have a space where I can document what I’m doing so I can look back on it later!

walking with sunflowers
Probably checking to see if I have any bugs on me.

The Lessons

Something you may realize is that all of these lessons are centered around a common theme. I apologize if you end up thinking it’s repetitive but here we go:

Be authentic.

All of my favorite bloggers show their day to day life alongside the “highlight reel” that is Instagram. From sharing her hair loss and wig wearing journeys to showing viewers her husband’s broken toe, Dani (@daniaustin on Instagram) is the queen of keeping it real.

I personally believe that everyone who blogs should incorporate lifestyle into their pages if you blog/post on Instagram. I think keeps things interesting while also showing people that life isn’t meant to be perfect. We’ve let social media take over so much of our daily lives that it’s time to learn to laugh at ourselves.

Don’t niche down.

If you’re trying to make it big blogging, you probably shouldn’t listen to this piece of advice because every podcast I listen to tells you to find a niche and they have at least 10x the amount of followers that I have, BUT, if you’re blogging as a hobby write about everything that interests you!

People aren’t one-dimensional, so play to all of your interests. I love picking out cute outfits so I started this blog to share my closet, but I also love reading. So once I found out there were book blogs and #bookstagram I wanted to share my reading list too. It’s easy to get caught up in making things fit your niche but you’re still sharing something valuable it just might not be what someone was expecting. For example, I don’t follow any instagram accounts dedicated to making smoothies (although I do love looking at smoothie bowls) but when someone shares a good looking smoothie I usually screenshot it.

The numbers don’t matter.

This is such a hard one! For the past few weeks I’ve been staring at my follower count on Instagram just willing it to hit 1000. But so much of Instagram just isn’t real!

Real talk: when I first started trying to grow my Instagram I joined a Facebook “likes” group. You could comment on a daily likes thread and you and 99 other people would go like each other’s pictures. Sure my likes went up but I didn’t have anything in common with these people, they weren’t interested in my posts and I wasn’t interested in theirs except for the extra like. Not to mention it was stressful. I was always checking to see if a thread had been posted because I wanted to keep up my number of likes. And you had 12-24 hours to complete all the likes. I can’t even tell you how many times I wrote “oops sorry Instagram won’t let me like anymore posts right now” just because I didn’t have the time/energy to go down the list even though it’s a pretty mindless activity.

So next time you find yourself playing the comparing game, tell yourself that whoever you’re comparing yourself to may be using other sources. It wasn’t just small bloggers who are in those groups, some bigger accounts are there boosting engagement too!

Focus on the people.

This is social media we’re talking about. Not thing I want to focus on going forward is making real connections. I’m going to comment on more posts that I find interesting and ask people questions about how they’re doing. I want to find authentic engagement, I want people to comment on my posts because they think it’s interesting or they’re giving recommendations.

I recently joined @bloggersliveboston and I can’t wait to start meeting some New England bloggers! I haven’t been able to make it to an event yet but I’m looking forward to making connections really soon!

girl with her back to camera holding sunflowers, in front of sunflower field
They don’t even look real!

Answering Your Questions

And now to your questions! I had a lot of similar themes so I tried to tie them together but if I missed your question, comment below/send my a DM and I’ll answer it!

How I grew my followers?

I’ve tried a few different ways to grow my followers so here’s the rundown:

  • In the Facebook groups I was talking about earlier I have also participated in follow for follow threads. So I would put my link down and then you would either have to follow everyone or pick a certain number of people per thread and follow them. If this is the route you’re going to try to grow followers I would definitely recommend the latter. While following everyone will get you more followers, it’s better long term wise to pick people that have similar interests to you!
  • I’ve also done a few loop giveaways. I did find these to be beneficial as I always gained a ton of followers and only lost a few in the days after the prize was announced. My advice if you’re trying this method: find giveaways that match your/your followers’ interests and make sure the giveaway account unfollows you before the prize is announced. Matching interests is important with the authenticity factor, for example I don’t think too many of my followers would want to win a gift card to Game Stop but they may want to try to win a gift card to Lilly, especially when After Party Sale season comes around (if anyone wants to do this as a giveaway hit me up it sounds like a good idea!). And as for the unfollowing factor, it’s easier for people to unfollow you if all they have to do is go down a list of everyone that participated in a giveaway 😉
  • I have had some luck recently with my new and improved authentic engagement strategy. It is a slower process than the methods above but I’m okay with that! All that’s required for this one: comment on people’s photos! People that you follow and people that you don’t! Think like Oprah: you get a comment, you get a comment, everyone gets a comment. The important thing here is don’t just say “cute” make it meaningful, make it something you would want someone to comment on your page. Although I’m definitely guilty of throwing some “so cute girl”‘s around too.

Advice for new bloggers?

Have fun with it! This is your corner of the internet so share whatever makes you happy! Think of what interests you and share that. I am a firm believer in “your vibe attracts your tribe” so share what makes you smile and you’ll find people with common interests.

Biggest thing I’ve learned?

The biggest thing I’ve learned is definitely apparent throughout this whole article but it’s important so I’ll say it again: stay true to yourself! At the end of the day if you’re happy that’s all that matters! I actually just finished a book that is about social media and staying true to yourself and while the post is still being typed up, it was a good reminder that sometimes social media doesn’t feel social at all.

girl in sunflower field
Cheers to 2 years!

And so you have it! What have you learned from having a blog?

This dress is from Banana a few summers ago so here is a similar style from Tommy Bahama! Unlike mine, it has pockets which always seem like the best thing when it comes to dresses. I tried to find cheaper alternatives but it’s the end of the season so you’re best bet is looking on Poshmark!

xox,

Marissa

Lifestyle, wellness

Wellness Wednesday: Plant Based PVD

Happy Wednesday!

Today’s Wellness Wednesday is going to be all about a really cool restaurant I went to a few weeks ago: Plant City PVD. I recently became a vegetarian (I gave up meat for Lent and then just never went back) and so I’m always looking for new alternatives. While a plant-based diet is not for everyone, there are definitely some health benefits to eating less meat when it comes to heart disease and diabetes. Just being conscious of how much or what kind of meat you have can improve your risk of certain diseases. Click here to learn about a flexitarian diet.

I saw Plant City PVD while I was looking around the Providence Flea and I was intrigued. I was even a little confused on whether “plant-based” meant the whole place was vegetarian. They have a market, a coffee counter, a burger restaurant, a Mexican restaurant, and an Italian restaurant all wrapped into one. We decided on Italian and I really wanted to get the meatballs but I still had no idea if plant-based meant plants-only. When the waitress came back she told us everything in the building was vegan! Can you imagine?!

So good!

And so I ordered the meatballs! I will definitely be heading back to Providence to get it again, although next time I’m trying the pepperoni pizza! So if you’re in the Ocean State and looking to try something new you need to try Plant City.

You have my word, even though they don’t use quotes on the menu, everything is vegan!

Bonus points for any place that has cute signs in the bathroom!

xox,

Marissa

Lifestyle

An Easter Playlist

Hey friends!

It’s definitely been a while since I hopped on the blog! I have been up editing a paper and the idea popped in my head to share some of my favorite Catholic songs as it is officially Easter!

This is a post that means so much to me because I have heard most of these songs since I was a freshman in high school just starting my journey of learning more about how my faith can help others. Every summer starting right after the 8th grade I participated in a week long service trip with my youth group. This was definitely an experience that shaped me and I am lucky enough to be able to come back every year and help other students have that same experience.

1: Do Something by Matthew West

To me, this song sums up everything that being a Catholic means. I don’t even think I could put it into better words than were written, “If not us then who?” There’s no better time to “Do Something” than right now!

It even made an appearance at the Women’s March…

2: Oceans by Hillsong UNITED

Another song I’ve been listening to for years. While I think this version is absolutely beautiful, one year we had a number of people in our group sing this while someone else played the guitar and I always get flashbacks to that night. Such a peaceful memory.

3: When We Pray by Tauren Wells

This is a pretty new song to me, I only discovered Tauren Wells last winter. Kate from Lonestar Southern shared a story and Hills & Valleys was playing and I thought it was so catchy! So I did the only logical thing and started playing him nonstop on Spotify. It was immediately added to my “If Not Me” playlist and the rest is history. 

4: Who Am I by Casting Crowns

This song will forever hold a special place in my heart. It has so many special memories for me. From our summer retreat to playing after our church’s Living Stations of the Cross to my first ever solo. When it came time for our teachers to pick solos one year, my teacher and someone else’s didn’t communicate and we had the same song. All I remember is her bringing out the waterworks so she could keep that song (as much as I like to think I didn’t come from a Dance Moms studio… we had our moments) and so my teacher then gave me the opportunity to pick my own song. A few nights later we were at Stations rehearsal and that song played and something just clicked. So after rehearsal I went home figured out that I could adjust the speed of one or two parts and everything fell into place.

And that’s my round up! This is definitely a little different than my usual posts but I hope you guys like it! If you need any other songs let me know I’d be more than happy to share. Please leave your favorite songs in the comments!

xox,

Marissa

Lifestyle

On the Basis of Sex

Yesterday I went to see the new Ruth Bader Ginsberg movie with my grandmother and I was so inspired to write a post immediately! In case you didn’t know the third annual Women’s March is today! Unfortunately I have to go to work later so I will not be taking to the streets of Boston or Northampton, but sending a huge shout out to all those ladies celebrating ladies out there today!

One thing this movie made me think is, “We’ve come a long way.” Ginsberg was one of nine women in her class of 500 at Harvard Law School. When the women went to the Dean’s house for dinner, they were asked to share their name and the reason they took a spot away from a man to be at Harvard. Not only did Ginsberg take her law school course, she balanced that with taking care of a child, a husband with cancer, and she went to all of Marty’s (her husband) classes to make sure he didn’t fall behind. Yet when Marty graduated he had no problem finding a job, while Ruth could not be hired as a woman anywhere. She was told, “oh we already have a woman working here” and was asked questions like “when are you having another child?”

This movie also made me think, “We have a long way to go.” Some things never change, when Ruth was practicing for her very first case, her superior told her to smile more, she was coming across as cold-hearted. But this is nothing new. Hillary Clinton was criticized for never smiling when she was on the campaign trail, and once she started smiling? People said she smiled too much. Then the judges on Dancing With The Stars had comments about Simone Biles facial expressions and how they didn’t see it as authentic. To which she replied, Smiling doesn’t win you gold medals.” Why is it when men are stone-faced it’s powerful but when a woman does it they are stone cold?

So how can you make a difference?

  • First, learn about your implicit biases! Harvard has developed a series tests called the Implicit Association Test (IAT) and you can take as many as you want to learn what biases you have! In honor of today I recommend taking the gender and science/liberal arts test.
  • Then, stay informed! Read your news app! Everyone has it on their iPhone, stay up to date on topics that are important to you. But make sure you’re getting your news from multiple places as some outlets tend to lean one way or another,
  • Lastly, stand up! In the movie Jane Ginsberg says, “It’s not a movement if everyone’s sitting down. It’s a support group.” We watched the film Sicko in one of my classes and while this quote is about healthcare, I believe it could apply to much more, “The French government is afraid of the people, but the American people are afraid of the government.” In Sicko we see that the French people will protest anything they see as unfair, so what are we waiting for!

I hope you get the chance to see On the Basis of Sex, if you liked watching Elle Woods push her way through Harvard Law, you’re going to love this movie. I loved it way more than I love Legally Blonde, because it based on a true story and a strong woman.

Happy weekend!

Marissa

Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Vogue’s 73 Questions

I was challenged by my roomie Allison to complete Vogue’s 73 Questions so here it goes!

1. What’s your favourite movie?

The Great Gatsby or Fever Pitch

2. Something I cannot live without?

My family and friends

3. Fictional character I relate with?

Hermione Granger

4. A book you plan on reading?

Too many! Next on my list is The Tattooist of Auschwitz

5. A book that you read in school that positively shaped you?

The Help

6. Favourite TV show?

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

7. Favourite Cuisine?

Italian

8. iPhone or Android?

iPhone

9. Twitter or Instagram?

Instagram

10. Best Place I’ve Visited?

Disney!

11. What’s your favourite food?

Pasta

12. Least favourite food?

Seafood

13. What do you love on your pizza?

Buffalo chicken

14. Favourite drink?

Water

15. Favourite dessert?

Lava cake

16. Dark chocolate or milk chocolate?

Milk chocolate

17. Coffee or tea?

Medium iced french vanilla swirl with almond milk please

18. Favourite makeup product?

Mascara

19. Dream country to visit?

France

20. Heels or flats?

Heels

21. Favourite song?

Young and Beautiful by Lana Del Ray

22. Favourite Accessory?

Earrings

23. What’s your favourite colour?

Purple

24. If you had a tattoo, where would it be?

Somewhere it won’t be seen!

25. To be or not to be?

To be

26. Dogs or cats?

Dogs

27. Diamonds or pearls?

Pearls

28. Stairs or elevator?

Stairs

29. Pilates or yoga?

Yoga

30. What’s your favourite ice cream flavour?

Mint chocolate chip

31. What’s your favourite board game?

The Game of Life

32. Favourite season?

Fall

33. What was the movie that made you cry?

I don’t cry at movies

34. If you could have one superpower what would it be?

Invisibility

35. Do you like surprises?

No

36. Is there a desert you don’t like?

Of course not

37. It’s brunch, what do you eat?

Nutella crepes

38. What do you usually order in Starbucks?

Chai

39. Who is the last person you texted?

our Full House group chat (my roommates)

40. What’s your favourite brand?

Lilly

41. Best way to de-stress?

Reading

42. How do you like your coffee?

Medium iced french vanilla swirl with almond milk 😉

43. What colour of dress did you wear to prom?

Light blue

44. What’s your favourite flower?

Sunflowers

45. What was the last thing you ate?

A frosted cookie!

46. Do you like your handwriting?

Nah

47. Do you bake?

Yes!

48. Favourite sound?

Water

49. Favourite app?

Instagram

50. If you could raid one woman’s closet who would it be?

Sarah Vickers

51. Favourite holiday?

Christmas

52. Favourite smell?

Lavender

53. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone?

My mom

54. Jogging or swimming?

Jogging

55. Any regrets?

“You can’t have a better tomorrow if you’re always thinking about yesterday”

56. Hair colour?

Blonde

57. Eye colour?

Blue

58. Scary film or happy endings?

Happy endings

59. Favourite season?

Fall

60. Three people alive or dead that you would like to have dinner with?

Emma Watson, Reese Witherspoon, and Lauren Akins

61. Hugs or kisses?

Hugs

62. First pet? 

Buddy, Billie, and Annie were all at my house before I was

63. Worst subject in school?

Pharmacology

64. Favourite thing in the world?

Ahhh too hard

65. Sweet or savoury?

Depends on the day

66. Lipstick or lip gloss?

Lipstick

67. Guilty pleasure?

Chocolate chips

68. Favourite city?

Boston

69. Shop in store or online?

In store

70. Plane or boat?

I used to be obsessed with the Titanic so plane!

71. Dream proposal?

The Happiest Place on Earth

72. Morning ritual?

Scroll through Instagram and Facebook

73. Pen or pencil?

Blue pen

Lifestyle, Uncategorized, wellness

My January Challenges

On my way to go get a new read!

This January I’m participating in two fun challenges! The first is the Winter Warrior Challenge. This means that every day in the month of January I’m walking/jogging/running/hopping at least 3 miles! I’ve done this for the past three years but I’ve only done 1 mile a day. This year I have my eyes on the prize with three, although there are some people out there doing five!

The other challenge I set for myself is on Goodreads, I’ll be reading 30 books this year! I set the goal of 13 books last year and I ended up reading 15! Between incorporating reading into my everyday routine and not being in school this summer I can’t wait to achieve this goal!

So how’s it going? Four days into the New Year and I’m still in the newlywed phase. Starting the walking challenge was a little difficult and I was lacking all motivation but now that I’ve started I want to see it through. As for my reading challenge: I’ve already finished one. I’ve even found a way to tie these two things together: by walking the 2 miles to the library to pick up new books.

I know there’s a lot of stigma about creating resolutions but I personally feel like if you’re really making a resolution to better yourself and it’s something you’re passionate about, keep going! Don’t let the jokes about how full the gym is this week deter you, you deserve that elliptical as much as anyone else.

What goals and challenges have you set up for yourself this year? Let me know in the comments!

xox,

Marissa

College, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

What I’ve Learned in 2018

2018 has been a huge year for me and I am so thankful for all of the lessons I learned this year. I am so ready to take everything I have learned in order to make 2019 the Year of Marissa!

If you didn’t understand that reference I ask that you shut your laptop immediately and start watching reruns of The Middle on ABC. It’s one of my favorite TV shows and if you didn’t already know… I am Sue Heck.

This photo does not belong to me and comes from Trophy Central

Now that you’ve binged watched all 9 seasons of The Middle let’s get on with the lessons I’ve learned…

Lesson 1: Take time for yourself.

This is something that I have struggled with so much this year and will probably continue to struggle with it in the upcoming year. But it is so important to schedule time for yourself every day. And yes, I said schedule it or else it’s going to get pushed to the bottom of the to do list.

One of the best ways I’ve been able to incorporate this into my studying is to use the Focus Keeper app. It keeps you on task for 25 minutes and gives you a five minute break. After four rounds of staying on task it gives you a longer 25 minute break.

Another way I’ve born able to incorporate “me time” into my everyday routine is to read every morning for 10-20 minutes. Instead of getting up and scrolling through instagram, I read instead!

You also need to plan time for yourself every week in a bigger way! Whether it’s having a movie night with my roommates or going out to dinner with some of my classmates after a huge test it’s so important to have ways to reward yourself for all the hard work you’re putting in.

Lesson 2: Change your perspective.

This is something I only started doing a month before the semester ended but it has definitely changed the way I think about things. There are always things we think we should be doing to feel the most prepared and that often leaves us feeling inadequate. Now I make two lists of things for the day: things I need to get done and things that would benefit me if I could do them today. By avoiding saying I should do this and should do that ad replacing it with things I have to do today and things that would benefit me I avoid the daunting laundry list of things that if I don’t finish them I will end up feeling overwhelmed.

This next one is one I say in someone’s Instagram story that I plan on using this semester. Replace why is this happening to me with what is this trying to teach me?

I firmly believe that by changing the way you look at things, the things you look at change (Wayne Dyer) and I will share any other ways to change your internal dialogue with you as I come across them!

Lesson 3: Believe in yourself.

If I have learned one test taking strategy this semester it is to go into the exam confidently. I performed way better on the five finals I had in six days at the end of the semester than the seven exams I had in seven weeks during the school year.

During our seven weeks of exams, I constantly felt like I wasn’t prepared. I just took a test and then I only had a few days to go through it all again, it seemed never ending. I constantly felt defeated and I was not ready to take whatever test that week entailed, I was caught up in the “should have done this, should have done that” game. During finals I had to adjust my studying pattern, I knew I wouldn’t have the time I thought was adequate because we were squeezing all of these tests into a shorter amount of time. Between accepting that there wasn’t enough time in a day, and realizing I had prepared myself to the best of my ability I went into these tests much more confidently and it paid off!

Another thing is to not compare yourself to others. In an age where social media is everything this is so much easier said than done. When I was asking an upperclassman for advice we were talking about grades and she asked me if I tole people the numbers I got and I said well yeah we always talk about the numbers (pretty much down to the decimal point) when the grades are released. And she told me there’s nothing wrong with talking about how well you’re doing or if you’re struggling in a class but forget about the numbers. In 2021 it won’t matter what I got in each class (as long as it’s above an 83!) and it won’t matter what my class rank is, I’ll still be able to call myself a doctor.

I hope you enjoyed a look into my 2018 and how I’m going to carry those lessons into 2019! One way I am going to stay mindful of these things so I don’t get caught up in all of the stress is to print these three things out and keep them above my desk.

I’m also going to be doing a goal board with my mom before I head back to school so I will keep you updated on that. 2019 is going to be such a big year for me: in May I’ll be graduating and in September I’m going to be moving into an off campus house I’m renting! This next semester is going to be full of a ton of lasts but I can’t wait to see where this year takes me! Let me know what you are leaving in 2018 and what you have to look forward to in 2019!

xox,

Marissa


Lifestyle, Uncategorized

A Day at the Ballet

This purse is from Charming Charlie last year! I bought it right after Christmas for $10! I haven’t been able to find a similar one to link but here are Dooney & Bourke ones to drool over in the meantime.

A recent Christmas tradition my family has started is going to the Boston Ballet’s “The Nutcracker”. It’s such a fun night getting all dressed up to go see the ballet. I grew up dancing so “The Nutcracker” has a special place in my heart, just hearing the music is so exciting.

Our new tradition started my freshman year of college and I remember seeing a poster they had in the lobby showing the amount of physical therapy the dancers get in a season. I had never realized that dance companies have their own physical therapists and I remember thinking, “Only five and a half years until that can be me!” Now, I’m two semesters into physical therapy school and there’s only two and a half years until that can be me!

Outfit details are coming soon in a new blog series I have planned!

As for the ballet itself, no matter how many times I see it I am blown away by the beauty of it. From the snow falling among the dancers at the end of Act I, to the way the skirts flow in Flowers, to the jumps in Russian, and of course the Sugar Plum Fairy, the show is absolutely mesmerizing (although, after watching it for 15 years I know my grandmothers disagree!).

This was my first year getting champagne at the show and may I just say it was the biggest disappointment. I should have known, I’m not a fan of mimosas either (and it’s not the orange juice that’s the problem).

No day in Boston is complete without stopping for food! We went to Quincy Market to grab something to eat and I had to crab a piece of cookie cake from Maggie’s!

Let me know your favorite Christmas traditions in the comments!

xox,

Marissa

Lifestyle, Uncategorized, wellness

How I Use Essential Oils

An essential oil diffuser had been in my Amazon shopping cart since April and then when I went to Wanderlust in early August I attended an essential oils class and I was waiting to hit purchase unit I was back at school. A few weeks after Wanderlust my mom actually bought a diffuser for my birthday and now I don’t know what I would do without it!

I have a PureSpa Essence diffuser that has automatic presents for 30, 60, 120, and 180 minutes. I have the BluZen variety pack of oils which I use for my diffuser. This includes Refresh, Cedar Sunrise, Lavender, BlueZen Original, Northern Lights, Tranquil. I also have a roller filled with one of doTERRA’s essential oil yoga collection. As part of the essential oils class at Wanderlust we got to learn all about the oils as well as take some home with us. I chose ___ from the yoga collection which is made up of Anchor, Align, and Arise.

Uses:

  • To smell nice! My college, and most other colleges  don’t allow you to have candles in dorm rooms so this is a nice alternative. I personally think it’s even better because I can easily change out what kind of vibe I want. I also tend to match the smell to what I need to get done, I started the year off using Lavender which is calming but as classes are getting harder I’ve changed to Refresh because it “infuses the mind and body with energy and good vibes”.
  • As a timer. As I mentioned earlier my diffuser has settings so I can pick how long it is on for. This helps me stay on task while studying because I’ll tell myself I’ll set it for an hour and then once it shuts off I know it’s time to put my notes away. Or when I read before bed I’ll set it for half an hour so I won’t keep saying one more chapter.
  • For our Human Donor Lab. At first the smell of formaldehyde didn’t bother me, but as we got later into the semester and more than two donors were being pulled out at a time the smell became overwhelming. Our lab has it’s own set of essential oils in the front of the room for this exact reason, so I will put some on the inside of my wrist and then I’ll put my wrist right under my nose so some oils rub off there as well.
  • To set the mood. Between the smell and the different color options I feel like diffusers are a really good way to relax. It creates a nice vibe that is just overall inviting.

I’ve also heard people put some drops of essential oil into their water. Right now I’m pretty skeptical about the science behind that one, but I’ll keep you guys updated if anything changes! Something to be cautious about: not all essential oils can be ingested! If you want to put it in your water make sure you are reading the label!

Time to go start my diffuser!

xox,

Marissa