As the world seemingly falls apart around us, I’m really trying this month to focus inward on my family and myself to dissuade the anxiety that has been seeping in lately. I’m taking a break from reading the news this week and trying to spend less time on social media and more time IRL.
It’s been a very physically challenging summer with Luca running around and trying to kill himself at every turn but he gets cuter by the day and is learning new words left and right. It’s been so fun to see him interacting with Amalia in new and different ways every day too. Now that the heat wave finally broke, they’ve been riding around the driveway in her little pink Jeep after dinner and just giggling with each other. It’s the cutest thing in the world.
I am so excited for August and to take a true two-week vacation with my family in Martha’s Vineyard and the Shore!
WHAT I’M READING & WATCHING
The Shore by Katie Runde: My friend Kara is a book editor and gave me this book that she worked on. Based on the cover I thought it would be a light summer read. Incorrect! It’s about a two sisters and their mother who live (you guessed it) on the Jersey Shore. Together they tell the story of losing their father/husband to a terrible brain tumor. It’s sad but hopeful and a beautiful story.
Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski: I started this then got too squeamish but I’m committing to reading it next because I have a hard time talking about sex and I think it’s important.
TV Shows –
The Bear (FX/Hulu): I have been craving a bingeable show to watch with Anel at night and we found it in The Bear, a story about a Chicago-based sandwich shop taken over by a Michelen-star chef when his brother, the shop’s owner, dies. Anel and I are utterly obsessed and get so excited to watch it every night. Definitely recommend!
The Flight Attendant, S2 (HBO Max): I really got into season one last year and had high hopes for season 2. I’ve only just started and so far it’s good not great. I’ll report back as I watch more but I love the pace of it, the banter, and the storyline so I’m hoping it delivers soon.
5 THINGS I’M LOVING
1. LED Light Mask: My mom and sister went in on one of these these futuristic-looking devices that you see all over Instagram and TikTok for my birthday gift, but do they actually work? According to Everyday Health, LED light masks are used to help stimulate collagen production and kill the bacteria that cause acne breakouts, though they don’t replace your regular skin-care routine.
After four to six weeks of daily use, you can expect to see minimized redness, pigmentation and fine lines and winkles. Your skin is left looking younger and healthier. I’m on week two and feel like I already see a glow but jury’s still out on the rest.
I love the daily glow I get from it and the routine of wearing it before bed for 10 minutes each night. I was using my Solawave every night and this promises a similar result in less time with less work. We shall see!
If you’re interested in a LED face mask, this list of the best ones this year is another great place to start. It also goes over all of the benefits and the science behind it. I have the Omnilux Contour Face and I’m sure they’re all similar in quality but every list I read says the Dennis Gross mask is the best overall. Pricey, but effective.
I like the Omnilux one but will say it’s not very comfortable on my nose. I have a giant nose, I realize, so if you’re in that same boat, maybe try a different one!
2. Permanent Bracelet: I’ve wanted one of these for years and finally went with my friend Alex to get dainty gold chains on our wrists that get welded on for….ever? It is like an extra special friendship bracelet and would be fun to do with a sister, mom, cousin, or good friend. If you’re local, you can get one made by Emily at Middlemarch and if you’re in the city/BK, I know they do them at Catbird. Search around if you’re in another area because it’s such a fun gift!
3. Stanley Quencher Tumbler: I really didn’t want to love this viral water bottle so much but here we are. I bought one for Anel on Father’s Day then found myself quite jealous of it. They sell out every 5 seconds on line but I randomly saw one at Whole Foods and bulldozed over everyone in my way to grab it. Kidding… but I would have lol.
Why I like it: It’s giant and holds a ton of water. But because of the design it also fits in my car’s cupholder. The straw is wide so you can get a nice big gulp of water.
4. J.Crew Ribbed One-Piece: I bought this on sale at the beginning of the summer and find myself wearing it over any other swimsuit. It’s incredibly flattering (especially in black) with a high-leg and ribbed fabric. I love the classic cut and low back too. It’s currently on sale with an extra 50% off the sale price!
5.Stray Dog Designs Chandelier: Pictured above. Our family room is so good these days. It’s bright and happy and we really leaned into the botanical theme throughout. The final touch was adding a chandelier from Stray Dog that ties it all together in the most beautiful way. We have another one of their light fixtures in our dining room that everyone who enters our home comments on right away. Their lights are truly pieces of art.
They are made by artisans in Mexico and you can choose any custom color you want which is what we did with my signature blue in the dining room.
Photo by Julia Dags.