My friend Mel and I just touched down from an epic trip down in South America. Thanks to a very meticulously planned custom itinerary in Brazil by Audley Travel, a UK-based travel company, we were able to get together for another one of the infamous Mel-and-Dara adventures in a country neither of us had experienced before. More pictures and narratives to come about the three places in Brazil we visited: Iguassu Falls, Rio de Janeiro, and Pipa Beach.
Photo above: my super-model friend at Copacabana Beach, taken on 25 Aug. 2014.
Today, I went on a much-talked-about-but-never-executed run. I woke up to perfectly blue skies and no plans…so if there was ever a better time to go on a solo run, that was it. The goal was to hit Memorial Drive for a view of the Boston skyline my Uber driver told me about once when I told him I thought Storrow Drive “was the coolest view of Boston at night.” (He scoffed.)
The funny thing is (and friends tell me this all the time): I am the planner in the group. I like having a list of activities and exploring for each day. Nothing makes me more unsettled than waking up on a beautiful day and having my boyfriend tell me he wants to “sit inside and watch Game of Thrones" all day. For the Fourth of July holiday weekend, I tried my hand at being whimsical. Usually when I visit New York City, I have a list of restaurants I want to go to or things to check out. This time around, I made no plans other than a visit to the Whitney Museum. Most of time, I was sitting around my sister’s apartment or the park reading a captivating book I had just bought. It was the most relaxed I’d ever been after a visit to NYC, which normally leaves me exhausted. Ironically, it’s when I don’t make plans that I end up discovering the most: my sister’s favorite places in the city (including my new favorite wings place), “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere” inscribed on the Longfellow Bridge, the fact that Memorial Drive did in fact have a pedestrian trail, and Charles River sailing lessons I can’t wait to try.
We are the online kids, and we should be grateful to be living in this period of opportunity. But again, as it is always in life, it’s all about finding the right, healthy balance. Heaving a beautiful Instagram feed can be very illusional, posting nice inspirational quotes doesn’t make you a good person, it’s what you do in real life that will define who you are. The way you are with your friends, family, with your neighbors or just society in general.
--Kristina Bazan, of Kayture—a fashion blog I discovered via Pinterest by way of this simply chic outfit
I should preface this post by saying that I am not a runner. The idea of jogging has somehow always bored me and left me breathless at the same time, and in retrospect I attribute this to a terrible habit of resorting to the treadmill at the gym. When I signed up to do the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge 5K a couple months ago, I figured it would be a great motivator for getting outside and running in order to train (yes, I’d need to train for a 5K). Unfortunately, work and procrastination got in the way and last Tuesday, I dragged my feet to the starting line at Boston Common so reluctantly you’d think I was getting my wisdom teeth out again. I had gotten about 1.5 hours of sleep the night before (thanks but no thanks to this road trip) and worked all day. I was so tired by 5 pm that I didn’t even have energy to eat before this race (not a good idea, by the way). Nonetheless, I ended up running about 2.5 miles and walked one. Considering all of the factors surrounding my physical and mental state that day, I’d say my time (42 min and then some) was a pretty decent one for my first 5K, and the experience with all my friends and co-workers have made me into a outdoor runner of sorts.
Have you ever done something you’ve never done, only to be turned into a convert?
Dairly Tunes: The ‘Hey Sista Soul Sista’ Playlist
During a particularly slow day at work, my co-workers/friends and I were talking about the songs that are our current 24/7 jams. Somewhere in the middle of this conversation, Hannah came up with the idea of which the above playlist was the product. The idea was stupidly simple and intricately genius all the same: each of one of us was to pick out five of her favorite songs and add them to the group playlist, no repeats. There were five of us, so the playlist would ultimately result in twenty new songs to add to our workday jukebox. As the day progressed, the playlist kept growing and growing (it was immensely difficult to limit to five songs!). Given how different our personalities and tastes in music were, it was interesting to see what other people would add to the playlist—it’s like a window to their inner beings. Since the playlist creation yesterday, I haven’t been able to stop listening to this playlist we’ve created that I’ve decided to share it with all of you as well. Hope you enjoy, and happy Saturday!
The past weekend’s family road trip down to Myrtle Beach, SC was just what the doctor ordered in terms of a mental health break. We stayed in an oceanfront room at Captain’s Quarters after a long 13-hour trip driving from Boston all the way to South Carolina…I can’t even remember the last time we did that as a family, but as always, adventure ensued. We were so exhausted from the trip down that the only desirable activities from day-to-day were to eat and sleep—from bed to sand—and talk and talk and talk until we all feel as though we haven’t all been a bit disjointed before between college, work, and travels.
This past Tuesday, a couple friends and I attended an advance screening of this new movie (c/o Loew’s AMC Theaters in Boston Commons). When my friend first described this movie to me—”a comedy about abortion"—I almost spat out the water I was drinking and was, all in all, pretty skeptical. I was surprised to find myself laughing out loud pretty much the entire movie. It helps that the main character is a comedian (Jenny Slate does an amazing job in the lead role). Even more so, I find that this movie takes a more realistic and relatable approach on an otherwise overly-austere and stigmatized topic.
Have you seen ‘Obvious Child’? What were your thoughts?
Thank you...for the bravery and courage that allows America to be the great country it is. Happy Memorial Day.
Photo: Nantucket, this past weekend.
It’s hard to imagine that, having grown up (and living in) Massachusetts for all but two years of my life, I’ve only been to the Cape ONCE. My parents, being the free-spirited travelers they are, rarely visited the same place twice. On the other hand, all my classmates in elementary school, middle school, and high school, had houses on the Cape (or knew someone who knew someone who had a house on the Cape). And every year, like clockwork, my neighbors made a pilgrimage to the Cape and basically could not be bothered until September. This weekend, I’m heading back out (very very early Saturday morning) to re-experience what I vaguely remember from my childhood—the salty air, the shell-littered shores, the lobster—and some new things: MaryLou’s famous iced coffee, the original Cape Cod Bracelet, and Nantucket.
What are your Memorial Day plans?
Decorating the apartment has been pushed way way aside the past few months, especially since I spent most of it moving around for work. Now that my schedule has settled down, I’ll be able to spend more time and resources into decorating.
Though overlooked at first, the apartment my friend Niti and I rented has several small features that have so much potential for implementing Pinterest ideas—hidden medicine cabinet, deep linen closet, exposed brick, ample closet storage, and deep windowsills. In my bedroom, there are two adjacent windows (with the aforementioned windowsills) that have bothered me for the longest time. I had placed some frames on one, and created a jewelry station on the other—but that proved difficult to maintain when the nice weather rolled around and I wanted to open the windows. Next to my bed is an IKEA Expedit shelf that I’ve moved around at least four times—against the wall, tilted in the corner, on the right side of the bed, on the left…turned 90 degrees—and I can’t figure out what to do about styling the shelves!
As always, I turned to Pinterest to find some solutions: a decorative mirror to complete some empty wall space, gallery wall above the bed (or across from it), matching prints, office storage for the Expedit shelves, and flowers and books along the windows.
What are some tips you have for styling small bedrooms?
This past weekend was one of those weekends that makes you forget that winter ever happened. Just when you think the world is going to end with an intercontinental arctic freeze, Mother Nature throws a much-anticipated reward: beautiful picnics in the park, a mid-work-day lunch break on the Charlestown dock, and an early dinner tapas snack al fresco at Tapeo.
Spring for prints.
When warm weather and sunshine rolls around, I love a good floral as much as the next gal, but this season, I find myself gravitating more towards an eye-catching print—whether it be floral or cat inspired. The more complementary color combinations involved, the better. And if it involves a novel idea (ombre heels, here’s looking at you Alice + Olivia), then all the better. Here are my picks:
1. Piamita for J. Crew Isabella shirt ($198, additional 50% off now!)
2. Parker Bayou maxi dress ($308)
3. Collective Concepts dress ($89)
4. Ann Taylor skirt ($89)
6. Alice + Olivia ombre pumps ($325)
What are some of your favorite prints?
I like people who have a sense of individuality. I love expression and anything awkward and imperfect, because that’s natural and that’s real.
--Marc Jacobs (via nofatnowhip)
As I’ve often mentioned on the blog, I am much more of a skincare person than a makeup person. Beautiful skin comes from within, and as cheesy as it sounds, Mom was right about this when I tried caking blue glitter eyeshadow on my lids circa the 7th grade: taking care of your skin is the best makeup you can have, especially when you’re young.
I’ve been a long time fan of the Shiseido Pureness line (which does great things for oily, acne-prone, and sensitive skin like mine). My favorites are the Pureness Deep Cleansing Foam, which I use twice daily with my trusty Clarisonic Mia. Followed up with the Pureness Balancing Softener and Shiseido Skincare Night Moisturizer (discontinued, but equally wonderful is the Pureness Mattifying Moisturizer). Once a week, I try to incorporate the Boscia Green Tea Mask (which is perfect for soaking up excess oil). Recently, I stopped by the Sephora store in search of a new toner/softener to replace my dwindling supply of Shiseido Pureness, and came back with the Caudalie Make-up Remover Cleansing Water, which serves a dual purpose, is refreshing and has a lovely citrus-y scent. I use Embryolisse’s Lait-Creme Concentrate during the winter especially when my chin and cheeks get very dry—it’s a light but rich cream that is slightly oily, but works wonders on dry skin.
When acne does come about and rears its ugly head with some post-acne scars, I like using Clinique’s Even Better Spot Corrector to even out skin tone. I don’t use makeup often, however, I do love a mascara and tinted moisturizer to provide some sun protection and even skin tone. A Sephora specialist recommended the Laura Mercier Oil-Free Tinted Moisturizer, and even tested it on me (it lasted the whole afternoon and kept me looking glowing and not shiny). Needless to say, that’s a new favorite.
What are your favorite skin-care tips? Any favorite go-to products?
Sunny days ahead and the slow signs of a much-welcomed summer means it’s time for a new pair of sunglasses, a cute new bikini, and all the stored away sundresses and pastels. To shorter work days, beaches, and an epic trip to Brazil lined up. TGFS (thank God for spring!!!!!)