Links I Love / 08



A few years ago, my friend Elle gave this exact advice to my other friend Rassa at a moment when she needed it most. A moment when Rassa needed someone to give her the most basic, yet most necessary piece of wisdom that exists in this human life: TAKE A FUCKING BREATH.

It’s stuck with me ever since that day.

The past few months have taken a toll on just about every person I know. The election (UGH), the holidays and the coming new year always seem to drudge up heated emotions + old insecurities we wish we could obscure from the world. And that collective sense of unease doesn’t account for the personal struggles we endure daily that seem magnified by all we can’t control.

It’s a lot. (I’m pretty sure I became slightly depressed just reading that last paragraph)

So perhaps, it’s time I take my own fucking breath.

One gigantic inhale — pause — and an equally gigantic exhale.

This will be my last blog post for awhile. Taking a break (and a fucking breath) are non-negotiables when it comes to leading a happy, sane life. We (read: I) can’t do it all, and we (read: I) really need to stop trying. There’s been a lot of life jammed into this year, both good and sad — break-ups, big work projects, travel, a website + portfolio update, BABIES, health things — and I’m encroaching into serious burn-out territory. I need auntie time, couch time, nacho time, wine time, friend time and most important, cheesy Hallmark Christmas movie time.

To add to it all, I’m heading to Europe in January for an extended stay! While I planned this trip pre-election, I’m even more excited to travel my way through a handful of countries while working remotely (with a lighter workload!). So, maybe there won’t be too much relaxing as I get ready to leave, but when I’m on that plane cruising high over the Atlantic Ocean, be prepared for this.

Until then, here’s a list of cute things, worthwhile reads, and some holiday fun, for good measure. If you’ve got any uplifting additions to this list, please oh please leave links in the comments.

Happy, happy holidays! Be well, friends and see you back in 2017.

The perfect striped tee.

Sweater of my dreams.

On the hunt for a nice dress for the winter / holidays: velvet, metallic polka dots or texture?

H+M nailed their holiday campaign (Wes Anderson #FTW).

I made this easy Coconut Curry Ramen a few weeks ago to rave reviews.

Currently reading these two books (here and here).

Solving the problem of fake news. So good.

The science of happily ever after. EVERYONE NEEDS TO READ THIS NOW.

How to coach your brain to stop being mad at someone.

How to overcome worry and be a friendlier person.

How each Myers-Briggs personality type reacts to stress. I’m an ENFP, and this could not be more accurate. (via Teri)

Holiday shopping guides! It seems every blogger I read has put one together, and here are a few of my favorites thus far:

Simple reminders for the holiday season. <3

Also, the print I designed for Oh, Ladycakes is back in stock! 25% off right now.

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Links I Love / 07



It’s another gray, cloudy morning here in Wisconsin, and I’m not even mad about it. The gloomy, low-hanging skies seem to fit my mood as of late, which is to say I’ve been sleeping in later and enjoying lots of cozy mornings in bed with coffee. Welcome fall, I love you.

Remember how I said I was going to blog more? Yeah… that’s probably not going to happen. Because (a) I’m overcommitted to life (← title of my autobiography), and (b) I’m working on a handful of new projects that are going to require my full attention. I’m also making progress on that brand new website I started working on over a year ago! “Perpetually behind” could be the alternative title to my autobiography, but I think that one sends the wrong message.

Anyways, the important thing is I’m here today. Life is strange, and people are the worst (and the best), and we’re all getting by with the help of coffee, LOLs, good family + friends, radical acts of kindness, and the internet. There’s been some seriously good reading + finds around the web lately, so I highly encourage you check out each + everyone of these links.

I mean, we could all use an excuse for Tuesday procrastination, amiright?

“When everything starts going wrong all at once, it is protect something big and lovely that is trying to get itself born.” Anne Lamott

Everything bagels (in any way, shape or form) 4 lyfe.

Never too many stripes.

I want to wear everything Ulla Johnson makes.

This makes me want to dye my hair blonde. (via Cup of Jo)

How lovely is my friend Emily’s 400 square foot NYC apartment? Serious interior goals.

Tinder for fonts. (via Erin)

Amazing designer, even more amazing website.

One of my all-time favorite albums. On repeat this week.

Also, the new Solange album.

Straightforward Answers to Basic Questions About Syria’s War. Educate yourself.

Sarah Paulson’s career advice. I LOVE this.

YAS WOMEN. The ladies of the Obama administration rule.

15 Career Tips from Smart Women.

…speaking of smart women. (by the lovely Libby Vander Ploeg)

Time or money—which should you choose? As I get older, I become increasingly more aware of the trade-offs between these two.

On creativity. Everyone should read this article—whether or not you consider yourself creative—for the many nuggets of life wisdom. “Originality is paralyzing, authenticity is liberating.”

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After four days in gray, fog-laden Lima, we hopped an early morning flight heading south to the old colonial capital of Arequipa. The clear blue skies greeted us upon landing, and within mere minutes, I felt the vitamin D seep into the dampness of my bones.

Yes, Arequipa was just what the doctor ordered.

With just over 24 hours in the city, my mom and I had no time to waste. We ate and drank well, made friends with our umpteenth taxi driver, confirmed our bus tickets to Puno (a near fiasco, BUT WE DID IT), enjoyed hanging with the locals in the Plaza de Armas, channeled our inner Maria von Trapp at a 437-year-old nun monastery, and saw as much of this ciudad linda (pretty city) as our tired legs could withstand.

We may have only been there a short time, but I can confidently say Arequipa is one of the most beautiful cities. The wide, open sky. Crisp, clean air. The colorful, colonial-era architecture. Every third building painted mustard yellow (my favorite color). Uneven cobblestone sidewalks. Bright bougainvilla everywhere. And to top it off, Peru’s second largest city sits over 2,000 meters high, squished between three gorgeous, looming volcanos.

Next time, we’re definitely staying for longer.



We stayed at the Hotel Posada del Monasterio, which is conveniently located across the street from the Monasterio de Santa Catalina (see below). The rooms were clean and comfortable, and the rooftop had a gorgeous panoramic view of the city.


The best thing we did was visit the Monasterio de Santa Catalina, a nun monastery dating back to 1579. The Sound of Music is one of my mom and I’s all-time favorite movies, so it was extra fun to spend the afternoon frolicking through the 20,000 square-meter complex.

The best recommendation I have for Arequipa is to grab a map of the El Centro Histórico (historical center), and walk your way through this UNESCO World Heritage area. Be sure to visit the Plaza de Armas to mingle with the locals, admire the colorful colonial architecture built from volcanic sillar rock, and step into the many Baroque-style churches.

Be sure to head outside the city center into the darling neighborhood of Yanahuara. Follow this one-mile walk from Lonely Planet, and you’ll arrive to a stunning view overlooking the city and El Misti volcano. There’s a small park with benches, gift shop and a lovely church on the right (when we visited on Sunday morning, there was a church social + cookout going on).


Start your day with crêpes and coffee at Crepísimo. For a light lunch or afternoon snack, stop at La Despensa. They’ve got pastries, sandwiches and munchies, not to mention a killer passionfruit chilcano (similar to a Moscow Mule). Save your appetite for dinner at Chicha, which is owned by Peru’s most famous chef, Gastón Acurio. The rocoto relleno (stuffed spicy peppers) and lomo saltado (sauteéd beef) were so good washed down with a rocoto sour (spicy pisco sour).



From Arequipa, we hopped a six-hour bus south to Puno and the bluer-than-blue shores of Lake Titicaca. After nearly a week of go-go-go, arriving in the picturesque town of Puno was a much-needed reprieve to gear up for our trek to Machu Picchu. A girl can only handle so many days of walking 20,000+ steps before she needs a comfy chair and a book, ya know?

With two days in Puno, our time was, again, short but we allowed ourselves to REST in preparation for the trek. That being said, I’m going to let the pictures take it from here.


(^^like mother, like daughter in our hatred of spontaneous photos^^)


For the first two nights, we stayed atop the city of Puno at Mirador de Titikaka. The night taxi ride to the hotel was harrowing (my mom and I were convinced we were for sure getting killed), but I can’t say enough lovely things about it. The manager, Jorge, was so gracious and helpful, and the views are spectacular. A delicious breakfast of fresh bread, butter, jam, eggs, avocado, juice and yogurt is included in the very reasonable price.

On our third night, we ventured an hour north to stay on the Capachica peninsula in the cutest AirBnb ever. Walther and Mariela were the most gracious hosts with the most stunning property overlooking Lake Titicaca. All meals were included, although dinner cost an extra 10 soles ($3) each. My only regret is we weren’t able to stay here longer.


The most popular attraction in Puno are the mysterious (and extremely touristy) Uros Floating Islands. I have lots of conflicting feelings about the Uros Islands, so if you’re thinking about going, please email me. Otherwise, know the islands themselves are quite impressive. The Uru people live on these man-made totora reed islands, which are an incredible site to behold in the middle of the deep blue waters of Lake Titicaca.

A surprisingly lovely afternoon was spent at Sillustani—a pre-Incan burial ground with 600-year-old funerary towers. Our favorite taxi driver (hola Raul!) drove us the 30 minutes to the site, and we spent the afternoon soaking in the pre-Incan history of burials.

With the gorgeousness of Lake Titicaca, my favorite afternoon was spent reading and hiking along the lake in Capachica. The beauty of this area is truly stunning, and it’s definitely best to take it in by doing nothing much other than leisurely appreciating its beauty.


We didn’t do much eating outside of our accommodations, but lunch at Mojsa was noteworthy. The passionfruit-rocoto pepper trout was perfectly sweet and spicy, while their warm Mojsa Energy drink (coca leaves, lemon + honey) helped stave off my lingering altitude sickness.

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