water baby

visited the wharf for the second time since it opened, & this time was SO much better. no snow, just a beautiful summer day with my mom, getting fucked up on gin and eating three dozen oysters. my favorite spots are the cantina & brighton, & i can’t wait to go back to the fish market to devour some oysters and crabs.

shop this look for under $130!

jacket: Forever 21’s Premium Washed Denim Jacket (i got a L)

top: closest i could find was the Forever 21 Cropped Lettuce-Edge Cami

shorts: a couple close options include the Besos Pink Shorts (love the scallop) and the Charm Chain Shorts

shoes: all-white FILA Disruptor II Premium Repeat

my skincare ritual

those who know me know this is huge – i have a skincare routine. i know, it’s wild. the way a parent feels when they see their baby walk for the first time is nothing compared to the joy this brings my friends.

summary for lazy readers: never did skincare, now i do, wash your face, use exfoliators, toss in a toner, oil is good for you, sunscreen is crucial, don’t get crepey, clean your pillowcases, sicko 

as a long-time makeup wearer, acne sufferer, and skincare novice, i recently decided to fix my skin both inside (read more on my new keto diet here) and out. acne just is so 2007 (if you’ve seen the short hair pic, you know) and at the ripe age of 24, i figured i better start now.

usually for me, skincare after a night out (or frankly even just a regular day) consisted of: go to sleep. no makeup wipes. no washing. no eye makeup remover. gross. then i would sleep on the same damn pillow case i slept on the night before in my nasty makeup, wake up in the morning, MAYBE rinse my face in the shower and apply makeup, again. rinse and repeat.

this left me with “fine” skin – i’ve never been the girl with small pores or an even skintone, and i’ve always had closed comedones (those fugly little white bumps that just never go away). finally i have been fed up and decided to start being better about my face.

now, i wake up in the morning and wash my face with Dr. Dennis Gross’s Alpha Beta Peel wash, just using warm water and my hands. i pat dry, put on a few drops of Josie Maran Light Argan Oil and Sunday Riley UFO Oil and rub it in before applying my makeup. in the evenings, i come home and take off my makeup with a generic wipe. i’m not picky about this because to me, they’re all the same. i wash my face with my Murad anti-acne cleanser and my Clarisonic Mia, and pat dry. every other night i then exfoliate with Boscia’s super weird but super effective gel exfoliator, and rinse off with a towel (that shit gets all in my peach fuzz so i need a little washcloth assistance). pat dry, tone with Kate Sommerville Toner, finish with a few drops of Josie Maran & Sunday Riley again, and i’m good to go to bed. this sounds time consuming, but i swear it isn’t. maybe 5 minutes MAX if i’m being a suuuuper slow poke about it. there’s no excuse, just do it. i don’t care if you’re drunk or at your man’s house, he’ll be grateful in the long run too. already in just 2 weeks of mostly consistent focus on this routine, i’ve cleared up a ton of those closed commedones. lots of people have commented on my skin actually, which is a fun feeling.

*quick note – if you’re reading this and you’re like ‘whoa that’s a lot of fucking oil you pschopath’ then you know nothing, jane doe (slight GOT reference there). oily skin ESPECIALLY needs oil – your skin produces oil because it isn’t getting enough! then the oil your skin makes turns into your acne. if you provide your skin with the oil it craves, it doesn’t have to produce the gross stuff that makes you breakout. oil yourself, you’ll thank me later*

one of the most CRUCIAL parts of my new skincare routine has been sunscreen. i have never been a sunscreen wearer. everrrrrr. for the longest time i would bed tan, spray tan, suntan, anything to get a solid glow. if you’ve never cocktailed your tan before, you’re missing out. BUT i’ve changed. new me.

you see, i realized that wrinkles are not cool. and as a person who is blessed with oily skin, i know i have less likelihood of getting major, deep wrinkles, but i want to look young forever i’ve decided, and the sun doesn’t help much with that. i would rather be 80 with tight baby’s butt skin and a crap load of bronzer on than 50 with crepey, drapey skin. not sexy.

my biggest tip when it comes to sunscreen is do the places you don’t think of doing. when you see an old lady, you know she’s old by a few things. sure, her hair is thinning and her wardrobe is less than contemporary, but if you truly look at her, it’s often the quality of a woman’s skin that leaves us thinking she’s older than she is. think sun spots and thin skin. this isn’t just on her face either, its her neck, chest, and hands. those are my number 1 sunscreen spots now, because they are the most sun-seen and the quickest to show your age. anti aging is all about preventative measures, so why not start now.

i am currently using the Peter Thomas Roth powder sunscreen because it goes over my makeup or on my chest, neck, or hands without ANY residue. it’s easy to pack so i can reapply throughout the day and always have with me. a necessity for anyone who hates regular sunscreen as much as i do.

my last tip is wash your damn pillowcases, you nasty. okay, yes, i’m guilty too, but we all have to be better about this. it’s funny because even since starting this new regimen, one side of my face is wayyyyy smoother than the other – the other being the side i most often sleep on.

if you think about how nasty a pillowcase is, you might be inclined to follow my advice. first, your dirty skin is sleeping on it all night long. ‘oh but i just washed and exfoliated and toned, my skin isn’t dirty’. listen karen, you’re an idiot and your skin is still dirty. it’s skin, and you don’t live in a creepy sterile lab. i hope. sure, you’re better off than you were before but in two seconds you’re gonna touch your face again with your damn hands and lord knows where those have been. so imagine your dirty nasty face, and your dirty nasty hands all up against that pillowcase all night long, just having a bacteria party. then throw in your hair – greasy, freshly clean, wet, dry, i don’t care, that stuff is getting all over your pillowcase and helping to plan your demise. you can wash your face all day long but if you keep spending 8+ hours a night on a dirty pillowcase, you’ll see limited results.

i’m not saying to change your pillowcase every night because hello we all have lives and we aren’t serial killers with a million pillowcases. but it could be good to have either cycling pillows (meaning one night you sleep on one, then a different one the next, yada yada yada until you’ve run out of pillows) or change your pillowcase out every few days. if you’re like me, washing your sheets doesn’t happen nearly as often as you pretend it does, so just keep a nice little pile of pillowcases for your lazy i-dont-wanna-strip-the-bed days and keep your skin bright and shiny.

you’ll thank me later. or you can do it now. you’re welcome.

describe your dream life

i’m sitting in my bed, drinking a glass of delicious red wine, curled up in a furry target blanket, with the sound of my dad hollering in the background. ‘cause i live at home. i’m typing this while i watch gossip girl for the 800th time (get with it) and wondering.. wtf am i doing with my life?

you see, i’ve always been the girl with a vision. fancy car, hot husband, insanely big job title, nannies to care for my children. bangin bod, travel on the regular, and so rich it’s just disgusting. alas, i’m so broke i live at home, eating my parent’s food and using their hot water until my mom complains. listening to them spend 30 minutes debating which beach is the featured beach on apple tv’s screensaver. it’s fucking riveting.

so i’m sitting here watching gossip girl, feeling like dan is probably equivalent to the richest person i’ve ever known (please someone tell me how a poor, washed-up rockstar can afford a massive loft in DUMBO???) and even he is the scum of the earth in NYC. where does that leave me? an extra in the background? lollll.

i mean seriously the wealth in this show fucked me up for a goddamn lifetime. i will never be satisfied. nothing can please me when i’m not living blair waldorf‘s life to the fullest. the dripping gold, diamonds, flowers – the SHOES i mean just the freaking shoes i would die for. sign me up for all this drama i do not give a flying fuck, if this is what i get in exchange. sure their lives are depressing as shit but at least they’re crying on a private jet and not in the poorly lit bathroom at work.

and another note, someone wanna tell me how these girls found such insanely hot guys?! YES EVERYONE I KNOW ITS A TV SHOW please tell me why they’re trying to ruin my expectations for my own life with these gorgeous, rich guys who are obsessed with their girlfriends. i can’t even get my dog to hang out in the same room as me, let alone a human being of the opposite sex. LET ALONE a human being as gorgeous as freaking chase crawford and ed westwick (post-season 3, duh).

also, everyone is skinny. sure, scary skinny, but tell me one time you saw a character work out (other than season 1 when nate goes running with his dad and the guy from dartmouth, of course). they all go to these fancy restaurants and eat pastries for a living while i’m concerned about whether or not i’m in the window of allowed eating time and googling if butter is a carb.

i’m just trying to say that i feel like an epic failure when i look at the lives of these fake rich people (and shoutout to the hills comeback for just continuing that mood) and trying to figure out what i am doing wrong in my life that i’m not living like that. yeah, i already know money isn’t everything, that’s what poor people say, so just go away.

maybe it’s where i live. i mean really, everything interesting happens in an actual city. not in the suburbs 30 miles outside of a relatively interesting city. when’s the last time a sexy, rich tv series was set in fairfax, virginia? never cause it could not be a more boring place to exist, i’m serious. people would watch the show and start protesting the city’s general existence and lameness.

i get that my lifestyle is definitely not helping me to create this dream life since i spend about 90% of my free time in my bed, or drunk. or drunk in my bed. wow, lame. i mean seriously, it’s not like i’m out there going to galas or meeting attractive people at bars i go to alone (how does serena make this look cool and i still make it look insanely sad?). i think my general laziness plays an awfully big role in my discomfort in all aspects of life. will i change? never.

and on that note, i am going to continue the nap i took at my desk today and head to sleep, dreaming of a world where chase crawford shows up at my door, whisks me away to la and then actually i meet a super rich and hot and famous athlete that i end up marrying. you know, always shoot for newer, better goals.

keto diet – the good, the bad, the cheesy

so i recently started the keto diet, and i’m here to tell you that HOLY SHIT it’s amazing.

summary for lazy readers: keto means no carbs, black coffee is gross, i eat a lot of cheese, keto leaves me feeling happy and not deprived, water is crucial, don’t try eating out, stamp of approval

if you don’t know already from the major hype, netflix documentary, pinterest recipe overload or just from your weird friend Melody who tries every diet under the sun, the keto diet is practically no/low-carbs. in other words, you eat less than 20g of carbs per day with the idea that your body begins to burn fat as fuel instead of carbs, resulting in major weight loss.

yes, there’s more to it. no, i don’t know more. i read the words “fast weight loss” and stopped reading there. apparently you actually are supposed to like count other macros and do all these ratios and stuff but frankly cutting carbs requires enough thought as it is that i just quit on the other crap. which seems to be working.

here’s a day in the life of my keto diet – mind you, i am also intermittent fasting because i’m crazy and can’t just be healthy and love my body, i have to torture it like some sick masochist seeking a thrill. in other words, i only eat from noon til 8pm in order for my body to process foods differently. more on that another time.

first things first, i drink my coffee black. i drink it in my teal blue yeti because i am basic, and its the cheap keurig stuff that’s like off-brand starbucks. so yes, it does taste like ass, thanks for asking. but nothing tastes as good as skinny feels, amiright?

after drinking my coffee as slowly as humanly possible, i break into snack time around 12. now mind you, i have had about a half gallon of water at this point because lemon water is supposedly unreal for digestion and helping with weight loss. i do my big 32 oz bottle with extra *extra* ice because warm water is for serial killers and squeeze some lemon juice in. i would love to say i use fresh lemons, but i don’t. this is mostly because they are so hit and miss sometimes and i don’t want weird water.

snack time usually consists of strawberries (no more than 7, cause each strawberry actually is 1 CARB WHICH IS RUDE, SCIENCE) and a babybel cheese, just the regular kind. i like to eat mine kinda warm so usually i will hold it in my hand still wrapped in the wax while i eat my strawberries, then i can enjoy it warm. yes it’s odd, but it’s not harming you so lay off.

then i work out. lately i have been doing 20 minutes on the stairstepper and 20 minutes on the treadmill. i try to do this with as little food in my belly as possible because i read a headline once that said fasted cardio was good for you, so here i am. but since i don’t workout until 1/2p, i usually have to have my snack first.

okay, so now it’s time for lunch and i actually thought this was going to be harder, but it’s not been bad at all. cutting out carbs is hard and does require some initial thought, but i have already gotten the hang of some pretty simple things. so for instance, i like to have fish or chicken and veggies for lunch, with my third 32oz water. i do use a lot of salt as some of you may know, so i’m sure that’s holding me back but that’s a risk we’re just gonna have to take. i like lemon salmon or tuna – tuna you can actually eat without pissing off your coworkers cause you don’t have to heat it up. a half can of tuna with mayonnaise has 0 carbs so in other words, its healthy. i like to do that with some green beans (1/2 cup max) or broccoli. at this point in the day, i’ve likely consumed about 10g of carbs overall.

afternoon snack, more cheese. that’s the best part of this diet. it doesn’t feel like a diet. sure, i can’t have bread or chips or pasta or garlic mashed potatoes but who needs any of those amazing and delicious things anyway?! i do, but i’m learning to be okay without them because i actually don’t feel deprived on this diet. i think for me it’s less difficult with only one food or food group being ‘banned’, so i can still enjoy so many other things, like cheese.

but damn cheese is good. i would recommend cheese on everything if you’re going keto, because it actually is supposedly part of the diet. score. i guess you’re supposed to eat a pretty solid amount of fats, and cheese can get you there. if i were doing breakfast, my ideal day would probably start with some sort of very cheesy egg scramble topped with extra cheese. anyway.

for dinner i usually do something similar to my lunch, although i’ve tried keto lettuce wraps, keto chicken asparagus casserole, and keto chicken salad. there’s actually tons to choose from and make without feeling limited. by this time its almost 8p, so i’m finished eating anyway and have only consumed about 15g of carbs all day.

the only hard part for me so far has been eating out. it’s impossible, truly. “can’t you just order a salad” no helen, i can’t, and even if i could i wouldn’t eat a freaking salad, i’m not a rabbit. unfortunately for those of you who do enjoy salad, they’re usually a no-no too, since dressings are packed with sugars ie carbs. i guess you could do a salad with olive oil or something but then you’re really just rabbit status and i don’t know if that’s a life worth living for me. if i do go out, i always cheat. that’s the big takeaway here – this diet is soooo doable if your meals are planned. hell, it’s even doable with intermittent fasting AND cutting out alcohol (mostly) which you guys know is a huge win for me. but if you don’t plan your meals out, you’ll end up at on the border ordering guacamole live as your main dish and eating your weight in fried, salty, heavenly chips that you later cry about in the girls bathroom. don’t do it to yourself. if your friends don’t love you while you give yourself a little self care, fuck em.

parting thoughts – i have lost 5 pounds in the last 8 or so days, and i feel amazing. i feel way less bloated, my energy feels great, and i feel hyper focused. now mind you, there are a lot of moving parts to these things (i’ve started meditation, i’m finally writing again, i’m working out pretty regularly) but i do think the keto helps, a lot. i’ll keep doing it and keep keeping you updated.

wine time

one of my new favorite rompers – this has been my COLOR this season (in addition to mustard).

this spot is one of the most delicious places i have ever been. while i was in napa, we visited Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch, a local farm-to-table restaurant and winery. dinner included a melon salad, burrata, spicy corn, cornbread, gnocchi, lamb, and tons and tons of wine. a must-visit if you’re in the area.

romper: Fashionnova’s Babe Bye Romper in Lavender