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Rebecca Collected

2020 goals

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Okay, so it's already a month into the year because time seems to have gotten away from me, but I thought I'd share some of my goals for the year nonetheless.

Better late than never apparently.

I had a really nice couple of days off work around the new year and despite being unable to really write in my bullet journal thanks to an unfortunate encounter with a paring knife I did get to spend a good amount of time doing some goal setting and reflection. I know not everyone likes setting goals this time of year but I love it. I like the demarkation of time and the chance to stop and reassess how things are going and what direction I'm headed in. I especially love the time it gives me to think about a new bullet journal setup, but more on that later.

Quick note on how I do my goal-setting (and more here if you're interested). I start off the whole process by reflecting on how last year went. What were the highs, lows, accomplishments, failures, good habits, bad habits, my best time investment and my worst. Doing this gives me a chance to catch up to life and actually tune into how I'm feeling, because let's be honest, I'm usually just barely keeping my head above water. Once I've done some reflection then I spend time envisioning my ideal life to give me a sense of focus. After all this I feel more prepared to come up with a roadmap for the year.

This year I decided to break down my life into five main focus areas -- health & fitness, fun, finance, home and career. For each area I come up with a few things I want to accomplish, a small statement about why I want to accomplish it, and then a couple things I can do or track to help me accomplish the bigger goal.

Finally, having said all that, here are my 2020 goals for the year!

1. Health and fitness
Get back into shape
-Exercise an average of 5 times a week
-Track calories

Eat a diverse diet
-Have a green with every meal

Manage anxiousness
-Start mediation practice
-Do yoga daily

2. Fun
Go camping

3. Financial
Increase retirement savings
-Increase 401k contribution percentage
Stick to a budget
-Create a budgeting spreadsheet that works for you
-Log expenses within 2 days of spending

4. Home
Feel settled
-Schedule a cleaning day once a week
-Complete 1 organizational task per quarter
-Complete 1 home improvement task per quarter

5. Career
Improve hard skills
-1 learning activity per month
-Read 4 technical books

My vegan prenatal supplement

Sunday, January 12, 2020

There have been four things I've been told to supplement with a vitamin -- two recommendations from my doctor, and two due to being vegan. My doctor recommends any sexually active woman of childbearing age to take a prenatal vitamin, regardless of whether or not they're trying to get pregnant because folic acid can help prevent birth defects that occur early on in a pregnancy if you do happen to accidentally get pregnant. She also supports and promotes the FDA recommendation of taking a vitamin D supplement, especially for people like me that spend 8-9 hours working in a basement with no natural light. The other two recommendations - B12 and Omega-3 - are hard to get in a vegan diet, at least without eating a lot of dirt and bacteria (B12) or algae (Omega-3). No thanks.

Previously, I had been taking four different vitamins. One prenatal vitamin from Target, one Omega-3 supplement from iWi and one vitamin D spray from Garden of Life, and one B12 supplement from Whole Foods. These were all fine, but having to take four different things every day was certainly a little obnoxious. Not to mention that each product was packaged in its own plastic package, so I felt really bad about that much plastic being added to the world every month.

Sometimes Instagram ads seem to pop at exactly the right moment and introduce me to a product that slots perfectly into my life and solves or streamlines a real problem I already have, rather than just providing something new to want just for the sake of wanting. Ritual vitamins fall under this category 100%. 

Normally I am very, very wary of monthly subscriptions. There are so many these days and it's easy for all your money to slip away quite quickly it small little automatic withdrawals for things you don't actually need or want. This service passed my skepticism test though, because I was already spending a lot of time finding, buying, opening millions of plastic bottles every day and still didn't feel totally in love with the whole situation. I decided to try them out about a month and a half ago, and I am very glad I did.

I signed up for the Prenatal vitamin which contains the following vitamins:
Folate 1000 mcg ✅
Omega-3 350 mg (vegan)  ✅
Vitamin B12 8 mcg ✅
Choline 55 mg
Iodine 150 mcg (another thing that's hard to get on a vegan diet if you don't used iodized salt)
Biotin 300 mcg (great for your hair and nails)
Vitamin D3 2000 IU (vegan)
Iron 18 mg
Boron 1 mg
Vitamin E 10 IU
Vitamin K2 90 mcg
Magnesium 30 mg

As you can see, all four checkmarks in one vitamin! Plus, the CEO of Ritual is vegan, so she made sure the whole vitamin is vegan and cruelty-free! It's seriously an answer to all my vitamin prayers. 

I've been taking them for a month and a half now. I was a little worried that they'd make my stomach hurt like several other vitamins I've taken that have Biotin have done, but so far they haven't at all! I take them at night anyway in case they did have that effect, but one or two days where I forgot the night before and had to take them in the morning hasn't caused me any issues at all. I absolutely love how it's only one bottle to mess around with and the pills themselves (2 per day) are pretty easy to swallow. 

As for the packaging, for the first month it's packaged in a box, with some additional info about the supplement. The subsequent months come in just a little mailer rather than a full box. The mailer and the first month cardboard box (obviously) are both recyclable and the pill bottle is made of BPA-free recyclable plastic. I even emailed their team to ask about any industrial recycling or reuse programs, and while they don't have any currently, they did say they were considering things like return mailers for used bottles or other similar programs. Fingers crossed.

So, if you're in the market for a supplement for any reason, definitely take a look at Ritual. I've enjoyed them so far and plan to continue using them for the foreseeable future!

My 2020 reading list

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Not gonna lie, I didn't really come close to reading all the books on my 2019 reading list post I made last year, but I will not be discouraged. I still read 30 books this year, so we're doing a-okay.

This year I feel like being more pointed and intentional with the books I read rather than just reading whatever looks interesting at the library book sale. I have had a couple books on my to-read list for a year or more now and I just need to go actually read them! They definitely aren't business-only, serious fancy pants books, so I have no excuses really besides pure laziness.

So, without further ado, some books I intend to read in 2020:

Queenie - Candice Carty-Williams
The Unbearable Lightness of Being - Milan Kundera
Calypso - David Sedaris
The Telomere Effect - Elizabeth Blackburn, Elissa Epel
The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
Hard Times - Charles Dickens
Americanah - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Little Fires Everywhere - Celeste Ng
Things Fall Apart - Chinua Achebe
In Defense Of Food - Michael Pollan
Don't Make Me Think - Steve Krug
How Not To Die - Michael Gregor
The Design Of Everyday Things - Donald Norman
About Face - Alan Cooper
How To Break Up With Fast Fashion - Lauren Bravo
This Changes Everything - Naomi Klein
Technically Wrong - Sara Boettcher-Wachter
So You Want to Talk About Race - Ijeoma Oluo

I am now officially feeling intimidated. So much literary fiction and non-fiction. 😳We'll see how this goes... Anything on your reading list for the year?

Shoe repair - who knew how great it'd be

Tuesday, December 31, 2019
Guys, I just picked up my boots from the shoe repair place and I'm amazed.

How have I never had shoes repaired before??

I've had these black leather Chelsea boots for at least 3 years, and I wear them every. single. day. in the winter. They were scuffed and dried out, covered in salt from winters past, and the heels were worn down to the wood on the outsides from all my weird walking.

I got them back and they're like brand new. The heels are completely, undetectably fixed, the leather is shining and supple again and you'd never be able to tell they weren't fresh from a shoe store.

How much did it cost? THIRTY SIX DOLLARS. That's it!! And she told me that if I had brought them in before the heels were so badly worn that it "wouldn't be so expensive next time." Because she thinks that's expensive! I bought these shoes for probably a hundred bucks from ASOS and I definitely didn't expect them to last this long but now I'm convinced I'll never stop wearing them. It's a Christmas miracle 😂

Repairing stuff is great guys. I'm a convert.

Just an aimless ramble about Bullet Journals

Sunday, December 29, 2019
Lately I've been hearing the complaint that a Bullet Journal is just too complicated and time consuming to continue using in 2020, both in person and from people I follow online. Some of those people have switched to a preprinted planner, some have ditched the whole structured planning thing entirely.

Don't get me wrong -- any of these choices are perfectly fine, no one needs to use a Bullet Journal and I in no way want to be prescriptive with how a person should plan their life. It does, however, make me think a lot about how much Bullet Journaling as taken on this alter-ego as a super creative endeavor and how that effects people's experiences and perceptions of Bullet Journaling, including my own.

I actually started blogging because of Bullet Journaling. My most viewed posts are all Bullet Journaling related and they're all about spreads with all kinds of washi tape, colored markers, planning and drawing involved. I started a Bullet Journal to organize my life, but I too started making it very creative almost right away. I loved doing that for quite awhile, but eventually it became more stressful than fun. I ditched the creativity aspect for an entirely black-and-white, repetitive layout that only takes me about 5 minutes to make each week. I've been doing that same weekly spread for a year now which is only a small variation on a spread I came up with over 2 years ago. I still love it.

Regardless of how much my Bullet Journal style has changed, I am so glad I stuck with it. Having a Bullet Journal - in whatever form - is quite literally the only thing that got me through wedding planning, moving house and planning a honeymoon this year, and job hunting and learning a ton of new skills for work last year. I am not naturally a forward or detailed planner, but the routine and practice of keeping a Bullet Journal is what helps me think more in that way, saving me from all kinds of last minute stresses.

I guess all I'm saying is that I hope people don't forget along the way that despite what you might see on Pinterest and Instagram, Bullet Journaling isn't only about creativity and aesthetics. At its core it's a super simple framework -- merely a set of actions -- for planning. It can be elaborate and creative if you want, or it can be chicken scratch on a collection on scratch paper. You're free to change your mind, make some weeks pretty, some weeks not, never try for aesthetics at all, make up new routines for your journal, ditch things you don't like about the original method, only use your Bullet Journal on super busy weeks, and anything and everything in between. And don't give up on it simply because you don't have time to make it pretty -- give up on it because you've tried different things out and it's still not working for you (and remember that that's also perfectly allowed).

Do what you like, try different things, and abandon what doesn't serve you.

Our vegan Christmas dinner menu

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Hello from my pajamas and my new fuzzy, warm robe that I'm delighted to have received for Christmas yesterday! I hope you're all enjoying any holidays you may or may not celebrate and that you get to enjoy at least a little time off to spend with your loved ones.

We had a great holiday in our house which featured a first for us -- hosting Christmas dinner! Of course in the midst of all the prep work and then the subsequent holiday cheer I took absolutely no photos to document the experience, but it was special none-the-less. I thought I'd pop over here to share the Christmas dinner menu that we devoured last night before I head back into the world of too much sugar, Christmas movies and forgetting what day it is. We did a lot of prep ahead of time -- like making the bread, desserts and roasting squash and chestnuts -- and all of the sides cook at the same temperature for the same amount of time, so this was actually really easy to do and came together in around an hour and a half. It comes omnivore approved as well so no one has to feel like they're missing out on something! I will definitely be making these recipes as Christmas tradition.

Most of these recipes are from Isa Chandra Moskowitz's cookbooks, all of which I highly, highly recommend! Check out the ones I used here* and here*.
*Affiliate links

For the main:
Pumpkin (but actually squash) Cranberry Risotto with Chestnuts
(From Isa Chandra Moskowitz's The Superfun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbook)

1 3lb pumpkin or squash
3 tablespoons refined coconut oil
1 yellow onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 1/2 cup Arborio rice
1/3 cup dry white wine
5 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt (we ended up adding way more to taste)
(optional: we added some ground thyme to taste)
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup coconut milk
2 cups chopped, peeled and roasted chestnuts (fresh or from a jar)

(Can be done ahead of time)
Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Cut the squash in half, remove the seeds and stingy bits. Put the halves cut-side down on a baking sheet and bake until easily pierced with a fork but not mushy, about 30 minutes.

(Can be done ahead of time)
Roast chestnuts if needed.

Heat a 4-quart pot on medium heat. Heat the oil, then sauté the onion, garlic and ginger until softened, about 7 minutes. Add the rice, stir to coat in the oil and cook until lightly translucent around the edges, about 5 minutes. Add the wine to deglaze the pan. Add the first cup of veggie broth, stirring until most of the liquid is absorbed.

Continue adding each cup of veggie broth one at a time, stirring very frequently and letting each cup absorb before adding the next, until the rice is just tender, around 15 to 20 minutes. When you're on the last cup, add the cranberries and keep stirring. When most of the liquid is absorbed add the lemon juice, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, red pepper flakes and optional thyme. Stir in the coconut milk. Cook for 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Fold in the squash and chestnuts. Taste and adjust seasonings.

(Note: Like I said in the ingredient list, we ended up adding way more salt because we were using low sodium veggie broth. We also added some thyme just because it sounded good, and it was indeed very good. For the squash we used a mix of buttercup and delicata. I think we over measured the squash in the first place, but we only ended using about half of what we bought because we thought that ratio of squash to rice looked nice. Don't be afraid to make tweaks to our tweaks as well!)

On the side:
Miso-Glazed Roasted Carrots
(From Isa Chandra Moskowitz's I Can Cook Vegan)

3 tablespoons mellow white miso
3 tablespoons warm water
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 pounds carrots, peeled and cut in half lengthwise

Combine the miso, water, oil, syrup, salt and red pepper flakes. Add the carrots and toss to coat. Arrange in a single layer on baking sheets.

Cooking instructions below.

Maple-Mustard Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Pecans
(From Isa Chandra Moskowitz's I Can Cook Vegan)

1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and sliced in half
1 cup raw pecans

Toast the pecans either on the stove top on medium heat in a cast-iron skillet or in the oven for a few minutes. Cool and chop roughly. Mix the syrup, mustard, olive oil, salt and red pepper flakes. Add sprouts and toss to coat. Arrange in a single layer on a cooking sheet.

Cooking instructions below.

(Note: You honestly could cut the sauce ingredients in half if you wanted to. This is a very saucy ratio, and while delicious, not totally necessary.)

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
2 pounds of fingerling potatoes

Clean the potatoes and cut them in half lengthwise. Toss them with oil, salt and pepper to taste. Arrange on a sheet pan.

Cooking instructions below.

To cook all of the sides:
Amazingly, all the sides cook for the same time at the same temperature making this the best menu in existence. We shoved all three things in the oven on their own trays, baked them all for 20 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit, then turned everything and popped them back in the oven for another 10 minutes, this time with the convection setting on. Once everything was fork-tender we put each sheet under the broiler for a couple minutes each just to give them a bit more color and them plated them all up and dug in!

(Note: We probably could have had the convection setting on the whole time we cooked them, and if you choose to do that just make sure to keep an eye on them as the times might need to be adjusted, or the temperature could come down a few degrees. )

Homemade Bread - We baked this the day before to save some of our sanity.

And finally, most importantly, dessert:
Molasses Cookies, Peanut Butter Blossoms and Mint Crinkle Cookies - again, all of these were baked ahead of time

Pictures from Portugal

Sunday, December 8, 2019
Last weekend my family and I got back from a week long vacation in Portugal -- several nights in Lisbon and a couple in Porto. It was a lovely visit filled with lots of meandering, shopping, eating and hills. So many hills. Here are some of the pictures I shot over the course of the week, all of which are unedited and definitely not in any particular order, so forgive me.

Things I Wish I Would Actually Do

Tuesday, November 5, 2019
1. Keep my nails looking nice
2. Exercise with regularity again
3. Actually make hair appointments
4. Garden more
5. Choose reading over mindless scrolling every time
6. Cook spontaneously, and for fun
7. Learn about a topic just to expand my horizons
8. Finish scanning all my great-grandparents' postcards to each other
9. Finally take the pile of donations to Goodwill
10. Buy and frame more art
11. Make decisions about fixing up my backyard
12. Make something
13. Buy new hangers


Things I'm Actually Doing Well
1. Knowing when I need a break from routine
2. Saving money
3. Making some progress on our house projects
4. Incorporating more veggies
5. Decluttering
6. Trying more eco-friendly alternatives
7. Composting, finally
8. Duolingo every day
9. Reading books I like and abandoning ones I don't
10. Learning new skills at work
11. Vacuuming
12. Making better purchases
13. Travelling more

Ranking Everything I've Purchased This Year

Saturday, October 19, 2019
So this is probably a bit crazy.

If you're following along at home, you'll know I've been having some Thoughts about shopping. You can blame Hannah Louise Poston over on My Beauty Budget for this, because I've been watching a lot of her videos on her no-buy year and her subsequent budgeting adventures. Back in July she made a video ranking everything she had purchased with her budget in 2019, and it was absolutely fascinating. Maybe I'm just weird like that, I don't know. Either way, I immediately started writing down a list of everything I purchased and I'm here to share it with you. Brace yourselves -- I'm sure you're on the edges of your seats with excitement.

Now I was never planning on doing this post, so here's my disclaimer: I haven't been saving receipts or writing things down throughout the year, so I put this list together just based off of credit card transactions and order histories. I'm sure I've missed some stuff. I guess if I've forgotten them, that tells you a lot about where they'd be ranked, right?

Also, I'm not including boring things like food, bills, housing payments, etc because well, those are boring purchases I have to make. Except maybe that unnecessary jar of cookie butter from Trader Joes, but whatever.

Without further ado, here's my 2019 purchases so far, organized into a few categories and ranked from best to worst.

(FYI: Several of the following links are affiliate links.)

Thinkx underwear - Absolutely love not having to worry about pads or a cup if I don't want to!
Loewe puzzle bag knock off - This bag is the only bag I've been using. It's cheap and plastic, which isn't great, but I absolutely love the design of the real bag just not the price tag so this is a good compromise.
Shark vacuum - I did not know I could enjoy vacuuming so much. So. satisfying.
Uniqlo U crew neck t-shirt - This is the best white tshirt known to mankind.
Everlane cashmere sweater - I only got this because I had store credit. I would have never purchased a sweater this expensive if I had to see that money come out of my pockets, but I've learned sometimes it's worth it for something this classic, simple and perfect.
Anne Nowak print - You've already heard me talk about this.
New Plant Parent book - I learned so much.
Blue decorative bowl from Danish design museum - Honeymoon souvenir
Glass flower vase from Danish design museum - Honeymoon souvenir
Bowl from Hay - Honeymoon souvenir
The Danish Chair book - Honeymoon souvenir from the best museum room ever
So many books from the library book sale
Palm, pathos, schefflera plants - Plants make my living room look so much cozier
Black decorative bowl from a local artist
Everlane indigo wash blue jeans - I haven't owned jeans in this wash in years. They've been getting a ton of use so far
Everlane blue cotton sweater - A sweater I don't tuck in?? Wild.

Who Gives A Crap toilet paper - Yes this is toilet paper. It comes in fun paper, it's recycled paper, no plastic and they donate a bunch to charity. It makes me feel happy, and it's not that crumbly, flakey mess that is 'plush' toilet paper from the fancy brands.
Peter Thomas Roth face mask minis set - I like a good Sunday evening mask.
Book haul from Waterstones - I love buying UK chic lit.
Homeostick lip balm - Idk what happened, but this was definitely not 16 bucks when I bought it. Seriously best lip balm ever, especially when you have eternally peeling lips like me.
Lamps from West Elm - These fit my living room so much better than what I used to have
Dishware from West Elm - Just in time for the holiday meal season
H&M oatmeal tank - A lifesaver in the summer.
H&M grey fuzzy sweater - And a lifesaver in the winter
H&M army green linen shorts - I didn't own shorts until this H&M haul. These were super comfy this summer.
Veja tennis shoes - My only pair of tennis shoes.
Birkenstocks - Errand running, summer weather essentials.
Edinburgh Gin Distillery liquor - Another Honeymoon duty free souvenir
Bombay Sapphire gin - We went to this distillery on our Honeymoon!
Sipsmith gin - More duty free purchases
Cashmere blanket from Marshalls - This is the softest blanket ever.
Zanna Van Dijk 'Sculpt' guide - I like having another set of pre-planned workouts to choose from.
Wax Buffalo locally made candle - Got this on our wedding day. It smells like fresh spring trees. I love it.
Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter - Bottled glow for those of us without our own.
Madewell mules - I love the style of these, and I keep wearing them, but they won't stop giving me blisters. I will persevere.
Flowers from Trader Joes - Sometimes you just need some eucalyptus.

Necessary But Meh
Garden plants - I have a garden every year. Buying plants is kind of meh by now.
NARS soft matte concealer in a darker shade - I've got ridiculous dark circles. This was just a necessary repurchase
Glossier bow brow x 2 - Repurchases of my tried and trues
Glossier lash slick x 2 - Repurchases of my tried and trues
Deciem - Natural Moisturizing Factors - Super solid everyday moisturizer
Deciem - Lactic Acid 10% - Upped it from 5% to 10%!
Deciem - 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil - Nice little natural vitamin A
Uniqlo white crew socks - I really needed more socks.
Kitchen towels from a local weaver - Hemp blends >>> Cotton
CosRx overnight rice mask - This is such a boring product to use, but I always feel like my skin is so much brighter in the morning.
Deciem - Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% - Gritty, but works
Deciem - Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3% - VitC combo
Deciem - Squalane Cleanser - Boring, cheap, doesn't hurt my eyes
Everlane black micro rib - Wore too many holes through the elbows of my previous black cotton crew
Glossier cloud paint in Beam - I can't be assed to wear blush most days, but this is good when I do. Easy and natural. Kind of wish I had it in the pink shade instead though.
Glass spray bottles - Sometimes a girl's gotta get some prettier spray bottles for spraying naughty cats or cleaning showers.
Washcloths - Finally purchased a bunch for dedicated face washing.
Reusable makeup remover rounds - Been sitting on this purchase forever as well, for no good reason.
H&M white tank - I needed some basic tanks...
H&M black shorts - And some shorts...
Hourglass blush - For my wedding. I like this, but again I rarely wear blush
Sunscreen - The most basic of purchases
Bed set for guest room  - I needed to keep my guests warm? Boring adult purchase
Deciem - “Buffet” - This product brings me no joy whatsoever, but I want those peptides and it's cheap.

Hindsight is 20/20
Black vase from a local artist - I just don't have anywhere for it!
Hydrangea - I planted this in a spot that will ultimately be too small for it once it grows, so that was dumb.
Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation - A repurchase for my wedding, but I never actually fully finished the previous one, so now I just have two when I should have just waited.
Glossier brow flick - This is fine, I just like bow brow better still
Isle of Paradise tanning spray - I'm just pale. It's so much effort to tan. I should just embrace it.
H&M oatmeal linen pants - I like these, but they're a bit more formal than my everyday outfits.
Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away Concealer - This is nice, but I use the NARS one more often
Briogeo hair care minis duo - Eh. Used this up. It was fine. Probably didn't need to spend money on it.
Charlotte Tilbury Eyes to Mesmerize - Wore this in my wedding. I like the shade and product, I just probably could have borrowed something from someone else.
IGK hair mask and styling spray - I have been wanting to try IGK stuff for so long, and I found some at Marshalls but both of them have crazy spray nozzles so the product just sprays out in super fast jet stream and so I have to spray it onto my hands first, which is annoying. Maybe just defective products?
Deciem - 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Moroccan Argan Oil - I like this, I just don't use it much.
H&M earrings - Again, too formal for most days. Still glad I have options when I dress up though.
Glossier color slide - This just doesn't stay put on my hooded eyes
H&M white shorts - Ok maybe as a pale person I don't really need white shorts? Idk.
H&M jumpsuit - Got this because my mom and sister told me I needed to dress up for my rehearsal dinner which is dumb and pointless when it's your wedding and you don't want to. Whatever. I own a jumpsuit now that I look good in.
H&M oatmeal-colored sweater - Got this oversized, now it just feels a little too oversized
Everlane blue cotton long sleeve - I thought this would be useful, and I have worn it, but it just is maybe a bit too thin?
Terracotta vase from a shop in Seattle - I like this, but I just don't think it fits in with my decor like I thought it would
Plant mister - I just thought this was cute. It is still cute, but also kind of pointless.
Zanna Van Dijk cookbook - I haven't cooked out of this at all yet. I always forget about ebooks.
Vases for guest room - Target finds. Nothing special. Probably not even necessary
Decorative pillows for guest room - Are decorative pillows ever necessary? I don't really love them either, just meh
Throw for guest room - Target again. Not great quality. Thought I needed to "finish" the room when in fact it's still not really that polished.

Total Regrets
Gold and tortoiseshell bracelets - These are cute, but bracelets just kind of annoy me.
H&M mustard tank - Haven't worn it. So much color.
H&M blue and white striped shorts - Haven't worn these either. Getting cute when it's 100 degrees is just not something I'm interested in apparently.
Nail polish - This color just sucks
Essential oil lavender lip balm - I really needed lip balm. I don't actually like this one.
2 pairs of mule heels, one in black, one in leopard - Impulse buy on clearance while with my sister. Haven't worn either.
Lamp for guest room - I don't actually like this at all anymore.

Too Soon To Tell / Just Purchased
JCrew waxed cotton winter coat
Steve Madden heeled Chelsea boots
Wallpaper city guides for Porto and Lisbon

So, some thoughts, in case you're not bored of reading yet.

1) Consumable things don't rank as highly on average.
2) Things purchased on a whim rank lower.
3) Useful things tend to rank higher.
4) Clothing items only rank highly when they slot in nicely with the rest of my wardrobe and they're things I love. Items that are a little too different or statement-y don't get as much love.
5) The longer ago I purchased it, the less likely it is that I think it falls into the 'Love' category. Am I just still infatuated with the things I listed as loves? Will that wear off in time too?
6) I really have my daily makeup routine down pat. No need trying to tweak anything there. The makeup that ranks lowly is makeup that doesn't get used often.
7) Same with skincare. It's boring at this point, but it's a perfectly good and fairly cheap routine.
8) Purchases that help me be more sustainable ranked higher than an equivalent non-eco-friendly purchase probably would have. Case in point, period undies vs regular tampons.
9) Souvenirs from travel rank highly, likely because of the associated memories.
10) Art or locally make products rank highly.

Now that I've done this, I've been extra conscious of my purchases so it was definitely work well worth it. Perhaps it bored you to death, which is fair enough, but I'd definitely be interested to hear your own reflections on your purchases if you do something like this too!

New Art

Saturday, October 12, 2019
Sure, I may have purchased a car, a house, gotten married, advanced my career, etc, but I think the single most adult thing I've ever done is spent my hard earned money on art. And then on framing said art.

After purchasing this way back in April, taking it to a framer in May, I finally have this back and hung. (Turns out if you have really thick paint on paper rolled up in a tube it takes a loooonng time to flatten back out.)

I love how this little corner is starting to feel a little more intentional and cozy. Now I'll just have to start making some actual decisions on how to reupholster the reading chair I have near this so it's not so 1980s... (Living room decor update soon maybe?)

Anne Nowak Northern Light. Green