Hello, my dear friends! I hope you've been enjoying your summer (I'm in complete denial that it's ending!). I'm so excited to share a few things I've been obsessing over this month.
1. A Life-Changing Tech Accessory
I bought a PopSocket for the first time, and ok!! (For those of you who are like pop-what? It's a button that you stick to the back of your phone case/phone that's designed to make it 10x easier to hold.) I totally get why people (read: millennials and generally social-media-savvy peeps) go crazy for them. You can multitask even MORE than usual and with more efficiency (😂). You're less likely to drop your phone and it's easier to hold it with one hand (while juggling groceries, kittens, an umbrella, etc.). Texting with one hand: easier. Taking a selfie? So much easier and more intuitive! The coolest part is that you can easily remove and reapply your PopSocket when you switch phone cases or decide to try another design (because, of course, there are tons of cool styles and graphics to choose from). I got my fierce lion PopSocket (above) here, and I'm loving these, too: Palm Shadows, Aloha Sloth, Blue Nebula, I'm a Purrmaid, Avocados Pink and Bubblegum Giraffe.
2. A Cool Way to Send a Thank You Note
I believe that a thoughtful thank you card, especially a handwritten one, is one of the most powerful ways you can show gratitude. And getting one in the mail can be such a bright spot in the day. In fact, studies show we underestimate the positive impact of a thank you note. I usually aim to mail out thank you cards after my birthday or Christmas, but I haven't made the time over the last few years and I always feel bad about it. I realized it would probably be easier to send thank you cards over email (at least to family and friends who check their messages often). It still has a big impact and it would save me a few steps since I can write them from anywhere (with wifi) and I don't have to make a trip to the post office. I used Paperless Post for the first time a few years ago to send out cool invites for a Halloween party I hosted and I fell in love with their thank you card selection this summer (like this one and this one). They've got pretty designs for all kinds of events and themes (whether it's a sweet birthday card for your brother who loves being outdoors, an edgy and rustic wedding invitation or a cool happy hour invite to celebrate the last few days of summer with your coworkers). You can customize the cards and envelopes and send them in minutes. Major bonus: There are tons of free cards and invitations available (which you can send to up to 2,000 people!). All other cards you purchase via Paperless Post coins. It's made sharing gratitude so much easier for me, and it saves paper (yay!). I sent out a few thank you cards this week. Such a good feeling!
3. An Au Naturel Trend I'm Embracing
Finding a really good strapless bra is a unique sort of nightmare. The ones I have dig into my ribs, are super uncomfortable and they rarely stay in place (cue me not-so-discreetly hiking up my bra every 15 minutes). I haven't found an underwire-free one yet that I love (let me know in the comments if you have a favorite!), so I've tried something new for me: simply going without a bra when I can. I have a few parameters for when I do this: Usually I'm going out to meet friends (it's not something I'd feel comfortable doing at work) and I make sure it's a top that's textured and a bit loose-fitting, so that it's not super obvious I've got a whole lot of nothing going on underneath. (I get that for big-chested women, this is a bit of a moot point.) Going braless is one of the more freeing things I've done in a long time, and if you've thought about it before but never quite taken the leap, I strongly recommend it.
4. The Prettiest All-Natural Face Wash
I'm slowly integrating more and more natural products into my beauty routine. The latest is this gorgeous face wash. It has five ingredients (!), gives off a lovely herbal scent, foams just enough and the bottle looks so darn pretty sitting on my shelf. It was the most I've ever spent on face wash, but I use it carefully, sparingly, and it reminds me to really enjoy the process of washing my face, like it's a special self-care ritual, rather than just another routine part of my day.
5. Three Articles That Moved Me This Week
Ethan Hawke's late rise to fame (despite much resistance on his part) and believing in your power as an artist... even when no one else does (written by Taffy Brodesser-Akner, who writes the most wonderful profiles on celebrities). Being a woman often means that we're never completely comfortable alone in public spaces (via Fortune's Broadsheet newsletter; this story is written by HuffPost Senior Editor Emma Gray, who also happens to co-host one of my favorite Bachelor podcasts). And on a lighter note (I promise, it's uplifting and funny), what happens when you take on a major fitness challenge... and fail miserably.
P.S. My friend Michelle wrote a fun piece for Bustle where 5 women share the beauty "rules" they love to break and I'm one of the five (eek!). If you'd like, you can read the full story here. There's some great tips, too, for using eye masks and a unique way to spray fragrance.
Thank you to Paperless Post for helping to make this post possible. It's such a pleasure to work with brands that I admire and use myself. Paperless Post offers a wide array of beautiful card and invitation designs, plus they make life easier with free card and invitation options. Everything else in this post is simply products, brands and stories that I love and want to share with you.
Photograph by Tom Schelling