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Safe Fun In The Sun

1024 683 Melissa Mayer

Summer is such a fun season- full of travel, relaxation, and sunshine. There is no doubt though that the sun is super strong, so it is so important to stay safe while under the rays. We recently discovered the clean sunscreen brand, Coola, and love that it protects our skin from the sun while being free of toxins. Along with clean sunscreen, below are tips for having safe fun in the sun as we prepare to spend more time outside in the upcoming months. Enjoy! xx

*Big floppy hat: Not only will it help keep the sun off of your face, neck, and shoulders, but it is also a total style statement. Win-win!

*Safe sunscreen: Coola is a great brand for sunscreen that is free of harsh and dangerous chemicals. It is so important to use a clean sunscreen since you are literally rubbing it all over your skin!

*Re-apply: I am extremely guilty of not doing this. Putting on sunscreen in the morning isn’t enough! Be sure to re-apply every few hours. That means if you are out for the day, throw it in your tote bag and don’t forget about it.

*Quality sunnies: Investing in a quality pair of sunnies that protect against UV rays is so important. I have learned lately that investing in 1-2 pairs of quality sunnies is better than having more low-quality pairs.

*Rock a one-piece: Bikinis are so fun of course, but for a long day at the beach a one piece might not be a bad idea! Protect the tummy skin from the sun while also being totally cute and on-trend.

*Light layers: A cute tunic, or a light top + shorts, or flowy pants + a tank, are all great options to cover up when you are still outside, but have had enough sun.

the shoes (c/o) + the bag (c/o)

images by felicia lasala

Learning To Forgive

1024 845 Lauren Kennedy

After many minimal circumstances on the daily and bigger life altering occurrences that I have encountered in life,  I have come to realize that forgiveness and freedom walk hand in hand. Strangely enough, the easy way out is to hold on tightly to the hurt and pain cause by someone close to us, or to focus on how that road rager on the way to work ruined our mood. It is so easy to live in a state of annoyance and play the blame game, when in reality, we can choose to forgive, rise above hostility, and live in gratefulness. Why is the positive solution the harder solution? It seems backwards that existing in negativity requires less effort than flourishing in a life of freedom. Why is this?

I truly believe forgiveness derives from self-awareness. It stems from a humble spirit and a desire to step back and understand the full story. It requires the acceptance that we are all human, that we all share differing values and opinions that are neither right nor wrong, that we each have triggers from the past that ignite our present reactions. If we walk in surety of who we are, the temptation to walk in broken friendships and negativity disperses quickly. A new desire for fullness and life-giving relationships becomes the goal, and the effort to create that becomes a joyful practice. But digging into the heart of who we are is intimidating and one of the things that so many of us avoid, but if you step through the immediate discomfort, there is so much abundant life on the other side. It’s ironic that forgiveness stems from us making a change, rather than someone else making a change.

Are you holding a grudge against someone? What is keeping you from confronting the issue? I must mention that I want to run away from difficult conversations. I often assume the worst – that I will not communicate clearly, that I will lose a friend, that I will hurt my husband’s feelings. Assumption often causes pain before it is even present. What I always come back to before I need to have a tough talk is that it is a loving gesture. If my intention is for fullness in relationships, hard honesty is key. It ultimately breaks down walls and ignites living genuine lives alongside each other. What is better than that? Vulnerable, but better. Also, remember that if you lovingly discuss a problem, and the reaction is friendship-threatening, know that their response is their own issue, and you have done all that you can. xoxo

This series is in collaboration with some stellar ladies.  Be sure and check out their posts on Self Care too: Kat Harris, Tutti del Monte, Danielle Bennett, Kate Labat, Joanne Encarnacion, Nikia Phoenix, and Chelsey Korus.


dress c/o (and here) | sunnies c/o | shoes

images by felicia lasala






10 Good Reads That We Are Loving

1024 724 Melissa Mayer

Read on for links to 10 good reads that we are loving // xo

* making your closet a happy space (because I’m addicted)

* foods that help promote a healthy, beautiful glow (goop)

* the healthy dose of turmeric (well + good)

* eight healthy daily reminders (sakara)

* the working girl detox (goop)

* inspiration for an organized bathroom (my domaine)

* how to have hard conversations without conflict (goop)

* the benefits of vitamin D3 when it comes to autoimmune diseases (goop)

* making nontoxic sunscreen with Shiva Rose (marysia)

* an energizing anti-inflammatory facial massage (because I’m addicted)

Making Time For The Girls

1024 683 Melissa Mayer

Making time for the girls in our life is so important, but sometimes finding the time is hard. It’s a reality that most of us face due to busy schedules. Things like work, precious family time, and other obligations such as that yoga class, the errands you need to run, or the honest desire to be a homebody are all real reasons to pass on plans. However, we know that we always feel so good after an evening with our best girlfriend. There is a fine balance between making plans and passing on plans and below are some tips to navigate through the planning. Lo’s outfit details are at the bottom! xo

*Listen to your body – sometimes we go through seasons that are quite exhausting. Be aware of these seasons, and don’t make as many plans during this time when your body needs rest. This will allow yourself a week or two to “recharge” and be your best self when you feel up to plans.

*Choose wisely – this might sound harsh, but it’s really out of love. As we mature, we realize the girlfriends that are truly meant for us. These are the ones that we connect with on a deep, personal, and authentic level. Make time for these girls and really dedicate your time to nourishing these friendships.

*Stick to it – do your best to stick to plans once you have them. Take time to think through the planning and make sure you are committing to something that works before you say yes.

*Quality time – quality time is more important than length of time. An hour coffee date with your bestie on a Saturday morning can be the sweetest, even though it’s short. Don’t feel pressured to carve out hours on a weekend for girlfriend time if realistically it doesn’t work.

*Be honest – following up on the above point, be honest and upfront with your girlfriend before making plans. Talk it out with her so you both know how much time the two of you have to hang out.

*Show the love – one of the sweetest things you can do after spending time with a girlfriend is to follow up with her. Send a text to just say thank you and express how good that hangout time was for your soul- it will mean so much to her!


dress | sunnies (c/o) | bag | boots (and here)

images by felicia lasala

8 Favorite NYC Restaurants

1000 667 Melissa Mayer

Lo and I both love making getaway trips to NYC. It’s a bigger trip for Lo of course from the West Coast, but I am just a 3 hour train trip away in Annapolis. Below we have rounded up 8 favorite NYC restaurants. Scroll down for info on each spot and bookmark this post for the next time you need to make a dinner res in the Big Apple. [feature image via Cafe Cluny]

The Smile

The Smile is an amazing gem of a place where the restaurant is smaller, the atmosphere is cozy and dim, and the food is unique and delicious. My friend who is an NYC local introduced me, and it was immediately added to my favorites!

Cafe Cluny

A cozy and quaint French restaurant serving delicious, healthy food made with the best ingredients. This is a great spot for brunch, too!

Mercer Kitchen

This restaurant is nestled in the heart of Soho and feels warm in all aspects after a bustling day in the city. The food is absolutely delicious, and the always packed restaurant brings so much life rather than feeling overwhelming!

The Butcher’s Daughter

The Butcher’s Daughter is on a street corner in charming Nolita, and it offers mostly vegetarian and vegan fare and freshly pressed juice. It is a healthy escape and the atmosphere is fun and vibrant!

ABC Kitchen

An elegant date night spot with the most lovely, rustic-chic decor and amazing food. Book this one 30 days out, as it is a Jean-Georges restaurant and very popular, for good reason.


A fun, hip, lively restaurant that embodies the NYC scene. For you Food Network fans, this is a must-try since it’s a Bobby Flay restaurant. Also, their saffron linguini with muscles is seriously SO good.


A cozy, chic French dining experience in the West Village of New York. The bar is downstairs + dining is upstairs. It’s a small space, but it feels very home-y in a cool way.


A go-to spot for a fun night out. The bar scene is “happening” so-to-speak + the food is really, really good. It’s loud however, so you definitely need to go on a night that you are in the mood for that classic, unique NYC energy.

10 Ways to Rest the Mind, Body, and Soul

1024 683 Melissa Mayer

Rest and peace are such special gifts in this life, and are also so necessary to our well-being. I find it nearly impossible to live a joyful, centered life when my mind and soul are not in a peaceful place and my physical body is worn out. Below we are sharing 10 ways to rest the mind, body, and soul. These are things to keep in mind when hard times, overwhelming situations, and moments of doubt come your way- all of which are inevitable, but also so temporary. Keep the faith, friend, and keep pressing on! XO

*Trust the Lord

*Worry less, Pray more

*Take one day at a time

*Write things down- lists and journaling

*Turn off the TV

*Turn on worship music

*Talk less, listen more

*Read before bed

*Drink tea

*Be still


SUNNIES (c/o) | JACKET (c/o) | BANDANA (similar) | DENIM (c/o) | TEE | BOOTS (c/o)

images by felicia lasala