All posts filed under: Popular Posts

3 Weeks in Europe: A Complete Guide to Packing Light & Printable Packing List

Pack for three weeks in Europe with a single carry on. Plus: capsule wardrobe packing system, what’s in my bag, travel tips, printable packing list. For a long time I’ve been whittling down my travel luggage. If broken roller bags, sore shoulders, a feisty baggage fee episode en route to Zambia, and the mental image of a single suitcase languishing on the tarmac of the Madrid airport have taught me one thing about exploring this world, it is this: Pack light to travel well. How light? Whether a trip is three days or three weeks, my max is a 10 kg / 22 lb duffel bag paired with a little backpack. Twenty-two pounds is the limit for carry on luggage on most smaller airlines, and according to seriously old school backpacking experts it’s also my ideal pack weight. For me, traveling well means having enough clothes, toiletries, and travel essentials to be comfortable without dragging along anything I could do without. The fewer things I carry, the less I have to worry about keeping track …

Black and Blue: Cuyana Silk Dress and Loeffler Luz Sandals

When hunting for closet staples I tend to agonize over nice dresses and nice shoes. Both are investment pieces and rightfully so – the best pieces in your closet should especially be meant to last – worn in and worn well, season over season. I’ve landed on two keepers between Cuyana, the San Francisco-based lean closet brand started by two friends, and Loeffler Randall, the shoe company founded by a husband and wife who started designing the elegant, effortless shoes they couldn’t find elsewhere.

The Life-Changing Psychology of Tidying Up: Unexpected Lessons From Marie Kondo

Grab a cup of coffee, or three. Sit a spell (20 minutes). It’s change your life story time! Before we get started, a little background: Last winter I spent some time navel gazing on small habits and eventually realized that building a healthier closet really echoed a broader longing to create a healthier beauty bag, body, mind, and home. A week after sharing a post on my new-found wellness rituals I stumbled across a curious Japanese book about tidying. Thus began a year long and very dramatic existential expedition of dismantling myself and my stuff, I Heart Huckabees-style. Okay! Great. Over that same period of time, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up has sold something along the lines of 3 million copies to people who have (pardon my French here) physically and metaphysically lost their merde over everything Marie Kondo – from her object philosophies to her adorably specific sock-folding methodology. Illustrated checklists and before and after diaries and critical reviews and shopping guides abound, along with a giddily profane parody, official Martha Stewart guide, …

Fireside Chat: A State of the Closet Update & How to Inventory Your Clothes

Have you ever tracked your closet? This weekend I audited all of last year’s clothing purchases, and in the process I realized some really interesting things about my shopping habits in the year that followed the Nothing New Challenge. The results make up this cozy lil’ fireside chat and subsequent outfit – what I’m wearing makes up a few of my most worn items of the year. Other favorites included a trusty Patagonia better sweater, Rocksbox jewels, and everything Everlane. To start, I pulled every new piece of clothing into a spreadsheet with rows for each month, as well as columns for product name, cost, retailer; whether the item broke, was returned, sold, or donated; and whether I wore the item every two weeks, once a week, or less than five total times. My least-worn items were from many different retailers but had a few things in common: most were on clearance or were purchased without knowing detailed fit information, while others were for very specific occasions: swimming, fancy parties, running, getting married. Generally speaking, …

5 Steps to Glowing Skin: Beautifully Natural OSEA Skincare

“You look so much healthier than before the wedding,” my mom recently mentioned as I watched her eyes trace from my forehead down over the bridge of my nose, resting on one cheek then crossing to the other. “Your face looks a lot… better.” Had anyone else made the comment it would have hit a nerve and I would have jumped to the defense of last summer’s skin. But when my mom notices something, she’s usually right. She’s just as perceptive as she is honest as she can be blunt. Six months ago my face was a mess.

How We Saved $40,000 Celebrating Our Wedding Day

My dear aunt recently confided that her favorite weddings are the kind where the groom is in his Sunday best, bride in her favorite hat, photos by the family fireplace, reception in the backyard – and you can’t shut the honeymoon suitcases because they’re stuffed so full with the money everyone saved by having a pragmatic little wedding. And yes, a beautiful city hall wedding runs you $50. And yes, that leaves an enormous gap to arrive at the median US wedding cost of $20,000 – and an even larger one to hit the $30,000 national average. Throw in a 150 person guest list and having your big day in a big city on a Saturday in September, and you may start to see why this time last year, wedding estimates closer to six figures than four were totally. freaking. me. out. A LITTLE PRE-PLANNING Then I did three really important things. First, I got my hands on this wedding planning bible. A Practical Wedding will reframe how you think about your engagement and celebrating …

Winter Wellness Rituals, A Mega Post

So. I’ve been ruminating and rewriting this post over the past few months. This is going to wrap up a lot of last year’s personal projects and what I’ve learned. And I’ve tried my best to organize it all in such a way that I don’t seem an incoherent, crazy person to you. I know, I’m such a good friend. THE POWER OF SMALL HABITS Have you ever started a small project in one area of your life, only to find it quietly take strong roots in other places? Each time I stand behind an idea and build a routine around it, something new in my core beliefs is also unearthed. Like a polaroid in the open air, I find that when I potter away on my little projects, the bigger picture develops all on its own. INTO THE WARDROBE And so if my mission to edit down my closet and the Nothing New project have taught me anything, it’s to more aggressively question what I buy and keep, and why. When I pointed that …