Toiletry Talk

Let’s talk toiletries, shall we? Since I love beauty and skincare and pretty much always think that I am sick, I have quite the collection of toiletries. Though as I’m sure you know by now, my bathroom is teeny tiny. As such, I have to be incredibly diligent about going through my toiletries just and clean out the old in order to bring in the new.

Even if you have all the space in the world however, I’d still recommend making it a point to review your toiletries every couple of months. You’d be surprised what can pile up in the back of the cabinet when you’re not looking! Here’s how I tend to my toiletries:

Check Dates: Because we often forget when we bought that bottle of Advil, it’s always a good idea to check the dates to see what is past its prime.

Check Quality: Even if something passes the above test and has not yet reached its expiration date, I still like to do a quality test. By this, I mean that I will inspect the item to make sure it still feels and looks as good as the day I bought it. If my nail polish color is hardening and drying out, for instance, I’ll go ahead and toss it. Combine Bottles: Maybe it’s just me, but I always seem to find duplicates in my toiletry collection. When possible, I like to combine these duplicates together to make for more space.

Throw Away Excess: When cleaning out my medicine cabinet, I’m also searching for items that I simply haven’t touched in many months. If I haven’t reached for a moisturizer in a while and didn’t like the way it made my skin feel, for example, then I’ll get rid of it.Are you ready to give your own toiletries an inspection? I hope so!

Sweet Tooth: Peanut Butter Cookies

I’m officially back from Europe, and I’m excited to be coming back to the blog on such a sweet note (get it?). Since we just got back from Europe yesterday, I’ve been spending my time getting life organized again and swinging back into my routine. Somehow though, I managed to find an hour in the kitchen to whip up something delicious—enter: peanut butter cookies.

I followed this recipe and loved how creamy and yummy they turned out. Hope you enjoy! P.S. For more sweet tooth posts, click here.

These Days

Basking in the beauty and deliciousness that is Felix Trattoria.

Pops of red on my nightstand currently.

Sometimes all you need is a road trip to Tomales Bay on a weekend.

…And a visit to your friend’s amazing ranch. Just look at this epic tree house!

Completely head over heels for my new pendant—more on that soon!

The next batch of these days will look a whole lot sunnier because I’m headed to Europe on a cruise! I’ll be taking a break from the blog so I can really unplug, and can’t wait to update you on all of my travels when I’m back here on June 14th!

How to Prepare for a Long Vacation

Is there anything better than taking an extra long vacation? That’s pretty much how I’m feeling right now as I get ready to head to Europe for 2.5 weeks next weekend.

Because I’ll be gone for quite some time, I’ll be working over this next week to cross as many items off my to-do list as possible so I can truly zen out as soon as I land in Europe. From packing lists to house chores, there’s a lot to be done and I’m listing it all out below.

Itinerary: I take my itineraries reallyyyyy seriously (as I’m sure you could tell from my recent Mexico City travel diary). While I’ve already made a huge dent in our Europe plan, I’ll be spending these next few days browsing Instagram and various blogs to make the perfect travel itinerary. Packing: Packing can be a long and daunting process, I’m not going to lie! To help it seem a bit more manageable, I like to break it up into chunks. First, I’ll start by making a comprehensive packing list filled with all of the clothes, accessories, and toiletries I want to bring with me. From there, I’ll know just what I need to buy to get ready for the trip (looking at you, sun dresses). Finally, I’ll dedicate an entire afternoon to the actual packing process. For a complete packing tutorial, check out this post.

House Chores: Though house chores may be the last thing you want to think about while gearing up for a vacation, just think about how good it will feel coming back to a perfectly clean home and bed sheets. At least that’s what keeps me motivated 🙂 Amidst all of the cleaning I’ll be doing, I’ll also reach out to my neighbors to see if they can water our plants and check our mail once a week.

A Guide to Entertaining

I’ve always loved entertaining, but haven’t always found it easy. In the beginning, I used to panic and stress over every little detail and inevitably went overboard in all of my planning. Over the years though, I’ve learned that entertaining is in fact the perfect blend of art and science and now approach it much more casually.No matter what type of event I’m hosting, this is generally the schedule that I follow:

1 day before: The day before my bash, I head to the grocery store to pick up the essentials. Doing this one day in advance means that I have more time on the actual day to prepare, while still knowing that the food is fresh.

4 hours before: On the actual day of the party, I start my routine by cleaning up my apartment. From vacuuming and dusting to ensuring there’s a full roll of toilet paper in the bathroom, I cover all of the basics during this time.

2 hours before: About a couple hours before party time is when I start preparing the food. Of course, there are items that you don’t want to do until immediately before guests arrive (such as setting out a cheese plate), but do anything that you’re able to during this window. Also, don’t forget to refrigerate white wine and champagne!

1 hour before: Just about one hour before showtime is when I do the bulk of the work. I’ll light a candle in each room, put on some tunes, and finish prepping all of the food. As a finishing touch that helps with those casual vibes I was talking about at the start, I’ll mess up the throw pillows on my couch a bit to make sure people feel comfortable when they arrive.

15 minutes before: Ahh, we’re so close! At this time, I set out all the food (for this soirée, I opted for a casual cheese plate in the living room). Then I sit back, relax, and wait for my friends to arrive!

For more of my entertaining tips, head over to this post.