My Favorite College Youtubers!

As a high school senior, I am deeply into the throughs of college youtubers. I just love watching “Day In My Life” videos. It just feels so nice to immerse yourself into someone else’s life.

//ONE// Gracie O’Connor

I don’t even remember when I started watching Gracie’s video. She’s just such a bundle of joy. I really enjoy her bubbly personality. I aspire to have Gracie’s positive outlook on life. Gracie goes to University of Alabama.

//TWO// Lottie Smalley

I have been watching Lottie’s videos since 2014. I love her videos so much!! She definitely posts inconsistently, but I just love her so much! I’ve literally just grown up watching her videos. Lottie just graduated from UGA, but she’s going to grad school!

//THREE// Meghan Kelleher

I just discovered Meghan this year, but she’s super fun! I love her sense of humor. She’s just so relatable. I love her clean/declutter with me videos. She cleans like she’s from the SOUTH. If you know, you know. Meghan goes to UVA.

//FOUR// Paige Kaiser

Paige is super fun! She and her roommate, Nadine, are just such a meme together. I also really like her style – I totally steal elements of her outfits to make my outfits more trendy and fun. Also, Paige goes to American University which is a school I’m definitely applying to!

I hope you guys like these YouTubers – they’re super fun. Also, I’m totally looking for more black college YouTubers if you know any. I used to watch Kai Foster’s videos, but she dropped out… so no longer a college YouTuber.

Sincerely,

Marie

I Just Discovered Classical Country Music, and I Think I’m In Love

 

Sony Music Masterworks YOYOMA-album-cover

Not Our First Goat Rodeo, by Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer & Chris Thile

A few weeks ago, I had the house to myself. And as one does, I asked Alexa to play classical music.

Background: I’ve been really into classical music lately. Since quarantine, I’ve been listening to SO much music – but the constant flow of lyrics was beginning to feel oppressive. It felt like sensory overload – I wanted to listen to music but sans words. Words were too much; they required too much brain power. I can’t be the only one who occasionally feels this way.

Anyways, back to the original story, on like the third or fourth song, Alexa played “Waltz Whitman” by Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, and Chris Thile. The song can best be described as blue grass classic … I think? Honestly, I don’t know the official genre, but I love this song SO MUCH!

It’s just really good. When the song picks up tempo, my heart soars along with it. It reminds me of texting a crush – that rush of dopamine when they text you. It’s just really good! So good.

Also, this is the *perfect* study music. It’s upbeat to keep one from falling asleep and has no lyrics to not distract one. Okay, but have you been writing an essay and ended up writing down the lyrics of the song instead of your actual, you know, essay?!? Cuz, um, same. This is why I try to avoid music with lyrics when studying. 

I looked around some more, and Yo-Yo Ma, Mark O’Connor, and Edgar Meyer actually made another album together.

Appalachia Waltz, by Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, Mark O’Connor

I love these albums because it’s still beautiful instrumental music AND it isn’t reminiscent of the classical music I was conditioned to sleep from my years in daycare.

Sincerely,

Marie

Book Review: The Year of Less

IMG_2159.jpg

The Year of Less by Cait Flanders

Rating: ★★★★☆

This book convinced me to stop buying sh*t. That in and of itself is an accomplishment. Really. If you don’t believe me, you should see my amazon account … Yikes.

Anyways, I really enjoyed this book. One, I *love* memoirs that are narrated by the author. It just feel that authors know exactly where to put the emphasis and it just works. Ya know? I’m a big fan.

Since lockdown, I’ve been doing a lot more chores. Normally, during the school year, I barely have time to sleep, so my parents are pretty lax about my not doing chores. In lockdown, my parents have tasked me with doing the dishes most nights after dinner considering my school basically gave up on remote learning. I used to HATE doing the dishes, but oddly enough, now, I kinda like it when I’m listening to a good audiobook. Sometimes I also listen to more narrative based podcasts like Lore or This American Life. So far, I’ve listened to Make Trouble by Cecile Richards, The Year of Less by Cait Flanders, and now Wild by Cheryl Strayed. Anyways, this book actually made me kinda look forward to doing the dishes. Crazy! I know, but let that show as a testament to how good this book is.

Anyway, moving on from my tangent, I just found this book to have some, dare I say, profound insights. One of my favorite ideas Flanders talks about is asking yourself “Am I buying this for the person I am or the person I want to be?” After listening to this, I didn’t think much of it, but now I realize – this is such an important idea. I can’t tell you how many shirts, pens, and books I’ve bought thinking to myself “this is what ideal me would wear/use/read”. Like do I really want to read Pride and Prejudice? No, not really.

Here’s a tidbit of information from The Year of Less I want to share with you all: a shopping ban is more like a browsing ban. Think about all the notifications you receive from your favorite stores. I get an email at least twice a week from LL Bean. I almost always scroll through it, imagining myself as a savvy outdoors-woman. It made me all the more inclined to purchase whatever they were advertising. The solution: stop browsing, stop window shopping (IRL and online), unsubscribe, and unfollow.

Cait totally convinced me to try a shopping ban. I’ll be writing more about that here. She also encouraged me to start decluttering. I will be headed off to college in the fall of 2021, so I want to gradually start decluttering to avoid the massive pain of rapid decluttering.

Lastly, Cait really made me think critically about myself and my finances. Like I said earlier, I’m about to go to college. That means for the most part, I’m going to be responsible for my own finances. My parents have agreed to give me a small monthly stipend for expenses when I’m away, but I still have to be a fiscally responsible *gasp* adult. Because of this honestly scary revelation, I have started tracking all of my purchases whether I spend my own money on it or not. I’m planning to do another post about this. Ultimately, my goal is to be more conscious and mindful about what I’m spending and why.

“The ban uncovered the truth, which was that when you decide to want less, you can buy less and, ultimately, need less money.”

– Cait Flanders, The Year of Less

Honestly, everyone needs to read this book. I think “seeing” someone else do it helps you feel like you can do it – you can want less, buy less, and save more.

I’m beginning a 3 month long shopping ban. I’m hoping to extend it to 12 months, but I’m starting small!

Wish me luck!

Sincerely,

Marie

the year of less

Simplicity at Its Finest

There are some things that are super simple, but when they’re made well – it makes a world of a difference. In this post, I’m rounding up totally random items that I use every day that are just super thoughtfully designed and well-made.

Pomelo Pill Dispenser

My doctor recommended keeping my meds by alarm clock so I could take them as soon as I woke up. I wanted something cute and functional – this is that. 

Kindle

I love my kindle! I’ve had mine since 6th grade – it’s the 2013 2nd Generation Kindle Paperwhite. It’s so old you can’t even buy it anymore. Kindles are amazing! If you enjoy reading, you shoud have a Kindle. They’re relatively inexpensive and last FOREVER. Reading on a phone doesn’t even compare. 

Aukey Table Lamp

I bought this lamp go on my bedside table. I needed a lamp that would cast a soft and warm light for reading at night before bed. This lamp is great for that purpose and many others. You can change the color, and when it’s set to the basic white light, you can change the brightness. Overall, this is a just a nice lamp that does it job well. Mine is in the size, large. 

Bic Cristal Pens

These pens are a classic and for good reason! They write smoothly, don’t smear or bleed. They’re great pens, and they cost like 10 cents apiece. You literally can’t go wrong.

Homtime Alarm Clock

I actually discovered this alarm clock while staying at a friend’s house. I really appreciated how easy it was to set the alarm. There was none of the constant pushing the minutes button then pushing the hour button. All you had to do is turn the dial – it’s so easy! I also like how I can change the brightness of the clock, so it doesn’t distract me when I’m trying to fall asleep. Also, it comes with 2 USB ports in the back. Bonus: you can also add batteries so if your power were to go out over night, your alarm clock would still work in the morning. 

Speck iPhone Case

Since 2016, I have used a Speck case. Sometimes, I switched to a different brand, but for the most part I’ve used Speck. They have the best slimmer cases for the price. They often have sales on their website, and often on Amazon. I drop my phone a lot, and this case has protected my phone the best and stayed intact. Honestly, if you have a phone, get a Speck case. You won’t regret it!

Leuchtturm Notebook

I started out bullet journaling using a TERRIBLE Walmart Exceed brand dotted notebook. It was a horrible, no good, very bad experience. 0/10 would recommend. My dad brought home a Leuchttrum from a conference where he received it in a swag bag. I told myself that I would wait for at least a new school year if not a calendar year to begin using the Leuchttrum. Spoiler: I didn’t wait, and I’m so glad I made that decision. Using a well-made journal made a huge difference. If you are using something every day, make sure it’s a quality item.

Oral B Genius Toothbrush

Would I have spent $130 on a toothbrush? No! Would I take a $130 toothbrush as a part of my dad’s new company insurance? Heck yes! This toothbrush is the item I never knew I needed. I have struggled with maintaining good oral hygiene. Having a toothbrush that really cleans my teeth was a total game changer for me. My teeth just feel cleaner. I love it! I would recommend a sonic toothbrush to anyone and everyone. I will never go bad to manual toothbrushes. Also, according to my dentist, you should buy one that has a built in timer and pressure alert to make sure you’re not being too harsh on your gums and teeth – so no need to shell out $100+ dollars on a toothbrush. 

Alpha Gel Kurutoga Mechanical Pencil

When I started my summer tutoring in math, I rewarded myself by buying this pencil. I have a death grip when it comes to holding pens and pencils, so I try to buy ergonomic writing utensils. I loved my original Kurutoga pencil, but the hard, unforgiving grip was incompatible with long homework sessions. I bought this pencil, and now it feels like I can write indefinitely with this pencil. Seriously, though, I don’t think my hand has cramped once when I’ve used this pencil. 

Camelbak Water Bottle

I use this water bottle everyday. When I thought I had lost it, I almost had a panic attack – that’s how attached I am to this water bottle. It suits my need perfectly! 32oz is the perfect amount – it’s not too much so that the water bottle is too heavy, yet it’s just enough so you’re not constantly refilling. 10/10 would recommend!

Sometimes, it the simple, well-made things that make all the difference.

Sincerely,

Marie

The Skincare Tip that Changed the Game

The skincare tip that Changed the game

I’m new to this whole skincare game. I learned a lot of new things for example:

  1. You can’t use salicylic acid and retinol together.
  2. You shouldn’t use cleansers with microbeads

Anyway, this has been a huge learning experience for me. I’ve been reading a lot to learn more. One tip totally changed the way I thought about washing my face.

You can wash your face twice in a row!

OK, hear me out. I have combination, acne prone skin. Gross, I know! I have super oily spots – hello T-zone! and super dry spots – around my chin and lips. It’s an interesting combination.

When I finished washing my face, I felt like my face wasn’t clean enough. I felt like my face was still oily and gunky. I felt inclined to use a harsher cleanser – something with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. But after doing some internet digging, I learned you can totally wash your face twice with a gentle cleanser like the one I use.

If after cleansing my face for the first time, I still feel dirty – then I just wash my face again. This was such a game changer for me, but I realized I didn’t need all of these fancy face brush for washing my face or harsh cleansers. I just needed to wash my face once more than usual.

After washing my face (once or twice – never more than that), I apply toner and moisturizer. Make sure you don’t end up cleaning your skin for longer than 45 seconds to 1:30 minutes.

This is so much better for my sensitive skin because I’m using far less harsh chemical and not introducing any new chemicals.

I’ll be sure to keep you all updated as I struggle through developing my skincare routine.

Sincerely,

Marie

 

Currently Coveting No. 3

blog post 7.11.2020 currently coveting no.3

shirt | sandals | watch | hair clips | earrings | necklace | skirt

In this edition of currently coveting, I have selected a cute and classic summer outfit. I love a classic silhouette. As a busty person, I am always trying to avoid looking like a refrigerator, so I try to stick with v-neck tops or belted bottoms/dresses to give the illusion of having a defined waist (something I don’t have).

Banana Republic Cropped Tank

I think this shirt is super cute. I like the ruffle detailing on the straps. I also appreciate that the shirt is cropped because it’s so much better than constantly tucking in full-length shirts. Also, in the summer, I tend to wear high-waisted skirts and shorts.

J. Crew Strappy Sandals

I love strappy sandals. I wear them all the time. They’re the perfect companion for any summer dress or skirt. They’re super practical.

Daniel Wellington Watch

I wear a watch every day. I think it may be a control thing, but I just love being able to tell the time without taking out my phone. When I forget to wear my watch, I realize just how often I check the time. (Spoiler – it’s a lot). Honestly, I’ve never tried a Daniel Wellington watch, but I’ve heard good things. I think you can also change the watchband which I appreciate. Another comparable brand is Skagen watches.

Pearl Hair clips

I don’t own these hair clips, but I think they are just so cute. I’m a big fan. Other people must be too – they have over 1,000 positive reviews on Amazon.

Love Knot Earrings

I wear my pearl earrings borderline religiously. I think these would be a nice alternative that is still classic and chic. Plus they’re on sale for $87!

Pearl Necklace

I am a fan of pearls, and I think this is a fun and youthful take on a classic. It’s also on sale $140 down from $400! That’s a steal!

Eyelet Skirt

This skirt is so fun and flirty! I love that it has a ruffle which is such a fun way to add some personality to an article of clothing.

Sincerely,

Marie

Adorable Summer One Piece Swimsuits!

blog post 7-7-20 - Cute one piece swimsuits

Row 1: black and white gingham | green scalloped | black and ivory

Row 2: blue and white flutter | blue tie | red, white, and blue stripes

Summer is upon us, and it is officially swimsuit season. Here in New England, after an unusually cold Spring, it is finally warm enough to go swimming.

I like one piece swimsuits for a couple of reasons:

  1. They can be more generous in fitting different body types. As a busty person, one pieces in my experience have been far more accommodating than bikinis.
  2. They protect more of your body from the sun.
  3. They’re more comfortable.
  4. I don’t have to worry about how my stomach and back look because one pieces have got you covered!

One pieces are great, and frankly under appreciated!

Just keep swimming!

Sincerely,

Marie

 

 

My Affordable Skincare Routine for Clear Skin

 

How I Got Clear Skin_ My Skincare Routine (1)I used to be really bad at keeping up with my skincare routine. Simplifying my skincare routine made it so much so much less tiresome than it used to be! Let’s be real, I’m a bit lazy and if it’s too troublesome, I won’t do it.

Also, all of the products I use can be found at your local drugstore. I don’t use anything that costs more than $15. The most expensive part of my skincare is the retinol cream which is $75 without insurance, but with my plan it’s only about $5. You can also find other nonprescription retinol creams. Here is a link to a list of some of the best ones: from Allure, from Good Housekeeping.

This is a super simple regimen that I really like and has worked for me.

blog post 7-4-2020 skincare routine

Morning Routine

Step One

Rinse my face with warm water. I use my hands to work the cleaner into a nice lather.Then I wash my face with the CeraVe Forming Facial Cleaner ($15 for 16oz!). Occasionally, I use these silicone face scrubbers when my face feels extra gunky. You definitely shouldn’t use these everyday. This is a really nice cleanser that’s gentle.

Step Two

I use my toner, Dickinson’s Witch Hazel with Rose Water ($6 for 16oz!). This is such a classic and for good reason – it works well and is cheap! My mom has been using this stuff since she was my age!

Step Three

My last step is a moisturizer-sunscreen combination. You should look for a facial sunscreen with at least 30 SPF to actually protect your skin from the sun. Pro tip: look for products listed as Noncomedogenic. This means the product generally won’t clog your pores and most of the time are oil free. I am using the Garnier SkinActive 30 SPF moisturizer ($13). It has Vitamin C which lightens dark spots and clears acne scars. It came highly recommended on Good Housekeeping. Did you know you have to throw sunscreen every 3 years because it expires? I legit just found this out yesterday.

Night Routine No. 1

This is my night routine if I’m using my retinol cream which is most nights.

Step One

If I’m wearing makeup, before cleansing, I use Pond’s Cold Cream ($5) as a makeup remover then wipe it off with a warm washcloth (I use the directions on the back of the bottle). I use the same cleanser the exact same way. If you have sensitive skin, it’s better to use the same cleanser in the morning and night because that way you are introducing less chemicals to your skin.

Step Two

Right after cleansing, I apply retinol cream (for acne). This was prescribed by my doctor. It can strip your skin, so you have to be diligent about applying sunscreen and moisturizer. You should also limit your use of salicylic acid, a common ingredient in acne prevention products. The combination of salicylic acid and retinol will in most likelihoods dry your skin alll the way out. 

Step Three

About 20 to 30 minutes after applying the retinol cream, I use the CeraVe night moisturizer ($12). It is so nice and lightweight. It’s like a cloud kissing your skin! I can’t say enough good stuff about it! I LOVE it!

Step Four

Lastly, I put something on my lips. I use either Vaseline Lip Therapy ($4), Petroleum Jelly ($3), or the Neutrogena Lip Balm ($11). Sweet, simple, and effective.

Night Routine No. 2

This my routine if I’m not using my retinol cream.

Step One

Cleanse with CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser.

Step Two

Exfoliate with CVS Forming Grapefruit Scrub ($7). This product contain salalyic acid which is great for acne prevention, but using the combination of salalyic acid and retinol cream every day would be far too stripping and harsh. I only use this scrub one or twice a week. Additionally, this CVS scrub has plastic microbeads in it which are terrible for the environment and far too harsh to use on your face every day. I didn’t want to waste this product, so I use it infrequently. I know I just said a lot about how bad this product is, but it’s actually smells so nice and feels good when using it, so that’s why I haven’t completely eliminated it from my routine.

Step Three

Tone with Witch Hazel.

Step Four 

Depending on how I’m feeling I’ll either use Pond’s Dry Skin Cream ($5) or CeraVe Night Moisturizer. I tend to use the Pond’s Dry Skin Cream most often in the winter when my skin is hella dry.

Step Five

Apply lip balm.

Total Cost for entire routine: $86 (but that’s including 3 different lip balms which is totally unnecessary). $68 minus the lip balms.

That’s it folks! My skincare routine is super simple. It only take me about 3-5 minutes. It’s quick, affordable, and does the job well. I highly recommend these products to anyone and everyone.

Sincerely,

Marie

 

In Shower Self Care

The world has been on a self-care craze lately.  Bath bombs, rose water, and masks are like the new silly bandz. Rightfully so, the world is super stressful nowadays which is only compounded by the constant connection we all have with one another through the internet. Theoretically, I was all for self-care. Online, I praised my friends for making time for the self and treating themselves. However, I didn’t do the same: I ate plenty (and still do) junk food, slacked off my skincare, and generally did not make myself a priority. I used to think girls spending time on themselves is a waste and that their time could be spent better by doing literally anything else. Now, I’m still not one for makeup, but a little material self-care is definitely something I’m trying to do more.

A couple of nights ago, my mom and I got into an argument. Instead of it dissolving into a screaming match as it so often does, I excused myself and took a shower. Standing in the shower, I realized I should use this time to pamper myself. Here’s a quick list of the products I used plus some products I wish I owned. 

self cae

rose water | face mask| body brush | shampoo & conditioner | face scrub | exfoliation set  | body wash 


Exfoliation Set (similar)

 This includes a pumice, exfoliation gloves, and facial sponges. (Mine has a pumice, a exfoliation glove, and a body brush).

Facial Scrub: St. Ives Blackhead Clearing Green Tea Scrub

This scrub just feels really nice. I’m a big fan. Also, it’s smell is clean and relaxing without being overpowering.

Rose Water: PearlEssence Rose Water (with Witch Hazel)

I love this stuff! I use it basically every day. Toner is such a great thing to hand on-hand. It’s just refreshing, and makes your face feel clean. 

Body Wash: Dove Deep Moisture Body Wash

This is a great body wash. I also really like the bar soap version (what I currently use). Bar soap is also far better for the environment than the plastic bottles that traditional body wash comes in. 

Shampoo & Conditioner: Pantene Pro-V

I don’t really think this shampoo and conditioner is really anything special. However, it gets the job done and well. It’s not too harsh and smells good. I wouldn’t call it super moisturizing, but it definitely doesn’t feel like it’s stripping my hair of its oils. 


I took out a small set of bathing supplies I had bought at TJ Maxx for $3. I exfoliated my skin, did a face scrub, and washed my hair – all in the shower! After my self-care shower, I felt so much better and was able to resolve the conflict with my mom right after. Now, I barely remember what we were arguing about in the first place!

Seriously, self-care is so important. Caring for yourself is the first step to caring for other people. I encourage you, to take an extra ten minutes to do a face scrub or exfoliate in the shower. It’s so nice to feel fresh and new after a long day.

Take a shower! You’ll feel better afterwards!

Sincerely,

Marie

Current Coveting No. 2

blog post 6.27.2020 currently coveting no.2

shirt | sandals | headband | earrings | shorts | bracelets | belt | nail polish

Shirt

First, let’s talk about this shirt! It’s $16! And I found it on Amazon, of all places! While, I”m not thrilled by the prospect of giving Jeff Bezos more money, it’s hard to beat the convenience of Amazon.

I love Kate from Lonestar Southern! She’s always raving about Mi Golondrina, but let’s be real – most of us don’t have Mi Golondrina money. This way you can achieve the look for *substantially* less.

Bracelets

This is a Victoria Emerson bracelet. These “bracelets” are actually one big bracelet. I love to stack bracelets. I though this was a fun way to do that! Also, chunky bracelets are a great way to get out of picking out other accessories. For me, the less decisions, the better.

Hoops

I actually saw Dorothy from Prep in Your Step wear these earrings! I think they are such a simple and classic taste on hoop earrings. Most of the time, I’m not super big on big earrings, but I think I would try these!

Nail Polish

I actually had this nail polish during February Break when I was touring colleges. I got my nails done at this nail shop next door to my hotel. This color, titled “Getting Nadi on My Honeymoon” (I’m NOT even making this up). Anyways, it’s a great alternative to my favorite nail polish color Essie’s “muchi muchi”.

Urgh! I miss going to the nail salon so much. I rarely go because it’s so expensive, but gosh I miss it so much! I think I’m going to dedicate this summer to learning how to paint my nails. For me, my non-dominant hand looks fine…  but my dominant hand looks like it attend the school of hard knocks.

Anyways, what are y’all doing this summer? Any big plans?

Sincerely,

Marie