Sunday is here again and wow, things look different from last week. My heart is heavy, I am anxious and I'm just sad for what is happening to black people in this country, to what is happening with violent protests. It's just really fucking sad and frustrating. 

I have always considered myself an ally to POC. I speak out against racism when I see or hear it, I have always been vocal when I see something unfair and I try my hardest to educate myself and others on racial differences and inequality. 

George Floyd deserved so much more. Breanna Taylor deserved more. All POC deserve more. Black Lives Matter. 



I've tried to stay off social media this weekend because even though I have extreme white privilege, I am still someone who deals with mental health and the unrest makes me anxious. I know I have the privilege to unplug and occupy myself and my mind with other things and I recognize that. 

All of that being said, I donated to Minnesota Freedom Fund last week but since then, they have asked the public to donate to other organizations. Below is a list of where you can donate! 

Where to Donate to Help POC

Head to this great article from Bustle to see more! 

In other news, the coronavirus is still here but New York will open in Phase 1 on June 8th, according to Zaddy Governor Cuomo. I'm happy that the city will be opening but still cautious because well, cautious is really my middle name. Yesterday was the first day I was around a group of people (still socially distanced) and it felt incredible to be outside, be around people, and be social. I'm looking forward to the good weather and the summertime if we can all be mature and be careful.

That is my PSA for the week and below are links I loved this week, including resources to educate yourself on racism and being anti-racism/racists.

Links I Loved

What You Missed on Royally Pink:


Have a great start to the week everyone and remember to stay safe and educate yourself!

xoxo
B
After reading Verity & Regretting You, Colleen Hoover became an author I was really intrigued by. She has a lot of books in her repertoire and so many of them are available on Kindle Unlimited. My latest read is her novel, "Too Late".

I started this book a few weeks ago on a whim. I was scrolling through my Kindle and wanted something light, not a true crime or thriller, just something romantic. Well, that definitely isn't this book and we'll get into that.

I started reading "Too Late" at the same time I was reading "After" so this of course took second fiddle. Last weekend though,  I flew through it and it definitely wasn't what I expected. 



Publisher's Summary

Sloan will go through hell and back for those she loves.
And she does, every single day.
After finding herself stuck in a relationship with the dangerous and morally corrupt Asa Jackson, Sloan will do whatever it takes to get by until she's able to find a way out.
Nothing will get in her way.
Nothing except Carter.

Sloan is the best thing to ever happen to Asa. And if you ask Asa, he'd say he's the best thing to ever happen to Sloan. Despite Sloan's disapproval of Asa's sinister lifestyle, he does exactly what he needs to do in order to stay a step ahead in his business. He also does exactly what he needs to do in order to stay a step ahead of Sloan.
Nothing will get in his way.
Nothing except Carter.

My Thoughts

I am very indifferent about this book. I liked it but I also was annoyed by it. I hated the character of Asa, as we all should, and I didn't like how Hoover, at times, tried to make us feel bad for him. I didn't like how helpless Sloan felt at times and felt that she could've done a better job of escaping from underneath Asa.

Carter/Luke was incredible and by far my favorite character... he was a good guy with a lot of compassion and I enjoyed reading in his POV.

Another thing I had an issue with was the timing of the book... it felt like it moved too slow at the beginning and then sped up out of nowhere. I also wasn't a fan of the time jumps later in the book... it made things feel rushed and messy. 

However, I did like the storyline: a drug dealer's girlfriend falls for the undercover cop and tries to 'escape'. The book got really dark pretty fast with the plotlines of rape, emotional abuse, mental illness, and murder. It wasn't the light-hearted book that I thought I was getting myself into. 

The book was pretty long, maybe a little too long but it did keep my attention. It was never boring, even when it was slow. You were constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop and for Asa to get what was coming to him... and he definitely does, in so many ways. 

I held my breath at a few moments... pretty much until the end and it was a wild ride. Like all good books, in my opinion, come with a huge twist, and "Too Late" hits the nail on the head. There are multiple twists, some good, some bad and some jaw-dropping. 

All in all, I really did enjoy reading "Too Late" and it further proves that Colleen Hoover is one of my new favorite authors!

xoxo
B
This post was originally published in May 2020 and has since been updated.

Over the past few years, I've gone through different phases of being a little too obsessed with Disney. Yes, I'm a childless millennial who loves Disney, don't hate! Disney is very important to me and really makes me happy. A few years ago, I discovered the online world of Disney influencers and online shops. So many people have Disney businesses and Disney Instagram accounts... it's so much fun & brings a little magic right into my life. 

That being said, I've been really into Disney merch and items from small businesses/shops. I love something that doesn't scream Disney but just has a hint of magic. 

I've ordered a lot from small shops and even more from BoxLunch & Shop Disney but today I really wanted to highlight some of my favorite small businesses. 

Belle and Park



Belle & Park is the shop I have definitely ordered the most from and I am simply in love with the aesthetic & the owner! She sells coffee cups, phone cases, stickers and so much more. I have pretty much one of everything from her shop and they're super high quality and beautiful. I have a Starbucks cup that I drink out of every day, a cute Mickey Mouse Waffle Sticker, a 'Best Day Ever' phone case, AND the matching sweatshirt. The sweatshirt is so comfortable and not overly heavy so I know it's going to be in heavy rotation during the quarantine. 

Wish Upon Magic

This is the most adorable Etsy shop I have come across! Honestly, I haven't ordered anything from here but I have so many stickers in my cart. I know influencers who have ordered their keychains and they are so fluffy & adorable. It seems to be a really high-quality shop and they have really great items!

Polka Dot Pixie Shop



I ordered the Cinderella's Castle phone case from here... my first Disney phone case, and it's incredible. It's super durable and the design is printed onto the case really well. It doesn't scream Disney even though it's the castle and it adds the perfect touch of magic to your phone! I haven't ordered anything else from the shop but they have awesome shirts that I really want to get. 

My Oh My Supply Co



I've purchased so many shirts from them in the past year and I'm a little obsessed. Lindsay and Ali started this company a number of years ago and I've been following along, enamored with their designs. These are clothes and accessories that are Disney-inspired but with a more wearable look, so it doesn't look like you're wearing Disney merch. 







I really enjoyed doing my last 'Items I Use Every Day' so I figured I'd make it into a series! We're almost three months into quarantine and there is a little light at the end of the tunnel. However, as mentioned in last week's Royal Round-Up, I will probably be working from home until September/October. I'm not really that mad about it, though... it just feels super weird. 

Being stuck in the house I feel like I've been using more of my possessions (aside from my good clothes, handbags, and beauty collection) than ever. Some of these are new purchases, some are old favorites but all are getting some much-needed love! 



Cuisinart Air Fryer

I jumped on the Air fryer train pretty early on and eventually, got my entire family hooked on it. I originally had a GoWise Air Fryer from Amazon and it worked great but we were using it a lot and it started to die a little, and it was difficult to clean. I decided to invest a new Air Fryer that we could keep on the counter and was a little prettier to look at. Enter the Cuisinart Compact Air Fryer Oven. This little thing is less than $100 on QVC, is so sleek looking and gets the job done. My family & I use this every day, from making Trader Joes Chicken Tacos, hot dogs, veggies... we basically use this as an oven when we're feeling lazy. This air fryer is super powerful -- it cooks things in half the time it would take in a regular air fryer and/or regular oven. It's also really easy to clean because of the small, removable trays. I haven't gone a day in quarantine without using this bad boy. 

Volition Beauty Screen Time Mist

I love Bluelight protecting products. I don't' know why but I really have a soft spot for them and need them all. I want to protect my skin and my eyes because I'm constantly on the computer and I'm a sucker for 'gimmick products' (I don't think they are gimmick products but who knows). A few months ago I saw that Volition Beauty was releasing a Bluelight protecting facial mist and immediately purchased it. Before quarantine, I left this at work and would use it throughout the day but now, I feel like I've been using it even more. My skin has felt drier than normal so I've been spraying my face every few hours and I just love the way it feels. It might not be protecting me from blue light but it's an added bonus if it is! 

Summer Fridays Lip Butter

Summer Fridays is one of my top favorite skincare brands. I love all their masks & their CC Me Serum so when I found out that they were releasing a lip balm, I knew I had to try it. This is an interesting texture lip balm -- it's thick and emolument but very smooth. It's thicker than Glossier Balm Dot Com but thinner than Vaseline. It's like the best of both worlds! It's also one of the only lip balms that I can feel on my lips hours after I applied it, even after I wake up in the morning! And, a little goes a long way! 

Coffee Mug Warmer 

I've seen coffee mug warmers all over Instagram for months but didn't see the need for it. I thought about getting one for my desk at the office but then quarantine happened and I didn't see the point... until I realized I was an idiot and could be using it at home! At home, I usually have 1-2 cups of coffee per day and then might have some tea later in the afternoon, and of course, my drinks always go cold so I picked up this mug warmer (of course, in pink) from Amazon and have been obsessed. The warmer doesn't start until the mug is placed on it which is genius since you don't have to worry about having a hot plate on your desk. Within 5 minutes of my mug being placed on the warmer, it's super hot.. not even warm. And it tastes like you just poured a fresh cup, it doesn't taste old or burnt. It's amazing.

What are some items you use every day?
xoxo
B

Happy Memorial Day Weekend everyone! While this definitely isn't what we expected, it's what we were dealt. The good news is that life is slowly but surely getting back to normal. Places are opening, New York is lessening the leash a bit and deaths/cases are decreasing, albeit very slowly. 

I had today off, and have Monday off so a nice four day weekend sounds ideal. I also got word this week that I won't be going back into the office until at least September so it'll be my second summer in a row (last year was unemployment) at home. I still cannot believe this is happening... it's insane to me.

This weekend, I have a few socially distanced plans with friends & family but mostly I want to try to work on projects and get myself together. I had a rush of creativity and motivation this week so if I can hone that, I will be very happy. 

Right now I'm watching 20/20... one of my favorite pastimes and messing around on Twitter because the Jonas Brothers Fanfiction Archive relaunched today (this was a site back in the day where Jonas Brothers fans would write fanfics and I was quite popular on the site. I had so many stories and it was the first time I tried writing. It means everything to me and I'm so freaking excited!) 
 
I don't have much else to ramble about so let's get into the week!


Links I Loved

What You Missed on Royally Pink

What I Bought This Week

My favorite candle company started shipping again this week! I picked up the No Bad Vibes candle and Wash Your F***** Hands

I also stocked up on notebooks: My sister picked me up a Kittenish notebook from Jessie James Decker's store in Nashville and I've been using it for work during the Q. It's the best notebook ever so I ordered two more! I also picked up another Priority Planner from May Designs - they're having 40% off right now! 

Have a great long weekend everyone!
xoxo
B
I have avoided this series for years. I remember when it was first released and I heard that it was a Harry Styles fanfiction come to life. Like others before it, ("Fifty Shades of Grey") I was intrigued by the idea that fanfic could be a best selling book because well, I used to write fanfiction. I can't believe I just said that out loud, on the blog... oh dear. 

Anyways... I bought the book "After" on iBooks years ago and after reading two chapters I was out. I thought the story was confusing and rushed, and it didn't intrigue me. After that, I would attempt to read it at least once a year but it never captured me.

I saw the phenomenon that followed - the movie adaption, the book spinoffs, and the hype that this series got but it just didn't pull me in. I had no desire to see the movie when it was released last year, especially after everyone said it was horrible so I figured I'd skip this pop culture moment.

Well, that all changed. I don't know what happened to me but two weekends ago, Mother's Day to be specific, I decided to give "After" another go. 

I wish I never started it because it literally took over my life for days. 



I read the entire first and second books on Sunday... staying up until 2 AM reading. Then, on Monday, I finished the entire third book. It was then that I realized I needed to wait... I needed a moment to breathe.

I actually was so fed up with the middle of the 3rd book that I read the spoilers online so I could have some peace of mind. I just couldn't let it take over my life. It wasn't until Saturday night that I bought & finished the final book in the series and felt some relief. I was actually anxious about finishing the series. That's how enticing it is.

The writing in these books was not the best but, the last book, Ever After Happy, was by far the best written and best put together. The other books felt sloppy and all over the place.. and what I was most fed up with is that the story was very repetitive. 

If you have never heard of these books, let me break it down. Tessa Young goes to college and meets a bad boy, Hardin Scott. They fall in love and are pretty much addicted to each other. The book is nearly identical to Twilight & Fifty Shades, down to the Washington State setting and the brooding 'stay away from me' bad boy love interest.

Hardin & Tessa are toxic as hell. It was infuriating to read the back and forth between them; they both messed up a lot, Hardin had a temper and Tessa played right into it. They would both fuck up (excuse my language), try to live without each other, and then something would bring them back.

That was the entire first three books. Things happened in between, of course, that would drive them apart and together but it was the same story over and over again. That's why I had to take a break because I was so annoyed.

However, the fourth book was very different and I think that almost made me angrier. There was a lot of back and forth but it wasn't nearly as satisfying and I'm not going to lie, I was really upset with the direction the book was headed in but in the end, it was wrapped up with a nice little bow which I am thankful for.

I haven't dived into the controversy behind these books mostly because I have no desire to be part of the fandom. It is too much. This book put me through the wringer and I have never felt so emotionally drained from a series of novels.

One of the main issues is that the story glamorizes abusive relationships, which Tessa finally calls out in the final book. This was a highly emotionally & mentally abusive relationship on both ends! It was very annoying and very upsetting to read. As I was reading, I felt like I was in the relationship.. it was that intense. 

It's so hard to put into words because it sounds so psychotic... how could a book emotionally drain you? Well, you have to read it to find out.

On another note, I completely was in love with Hardin Scott because I love toxic men. Chuck Bass? Damon Salvatore? Mr. Big? Hardin Scott is in that category but with more tattoos and a bigger temper. I mean, he was punching someone or something in every single chapter. But I loved it... that's on me.

I also love the fact that I was imaging Harry Styles throughout the entire series. Harry Styles is my everything. I cannot even let myself love him as much as I actually do because it physically hurts me. It's weird but I don't care. 

I cried when I finished the last book.. the story wrapped up beautifully and it was just a really good ending. It just took a really long time to get there... longer than necessary. This easily could've been a trilogy. The 2nd and 3rd books could've been morphed into one if it would've been edited properly. 

Did I love these books? Yes, I did. I have never read a book that made me feel this way. I have a very strong love/hate relationship with them.

Do I recommend these books? Yes...if you could handle not great writing, emotionally abusive young relationships, and losing your sanity for a few days, definitely read them.

I'm glad I read these books because they made me feel something but I don't think I could ever re-read them. I'm even skeptical about the movies because I feel so drained by the storyline. *Also, the first movie was horrible. I don't think I have ever watched a worse movie adaptation. They missed so much and the story just wasn't the same. It was horrifying. 

I suppose this post wasn't really a review but more of a vent session because I really needed to get all my feelings out. 

Have you read the After series? Let's talk about it -- I'll form a support group.

xoxo
B

I've been in quarantine since March 13th and my daily routines look very different now from two months ago... just like everyone else's. 

I am someone who is a creature of habit, who loves her little routines and relies heavily on doing the same thing every day. After about two weeks, I was in the groove of my quarantine routine and now I'm an old pro.

The weekdays are definitely easier on me because really, that routine has hardly changed. I'm still working from 9-5 every day, working out, dinner, cleaning, blogging, and then tv & bed. The weekends are vastly different and that's another post for another day.

Today, I want to highlight what my Monday-Friday looks like as a social media manager while working from home in the middle of a pandemic. 

*If you don't know, I run social media for a beauty brand and have been at this job since September. Previously, I was the Social Media Assistant Manager at Laura Geller Beauty for 4 years. I started in social media when I graduated from college in 2014 and truly love everything I do.

8-8:30 AM


9 AM


  • Sit at my desk, open my work computer, and get started on the day! 
  • Answer emails, respond to comments and DMs, schedule posts for the day/week
  • Around 9:30 AM, I might have a granola bar before my actual breakfast because I'm not super hungry in the morning. 

10 AM-2 PM

Just a little peek at what my desk looks like during the day

  • Meetings usually start at 10 AM (except if there is a rare 9 AM meeting) and will run all day. I average 2-4 meetings per day and we have been using Microsoft Teams for them. I love Teams so much - it has helped me feel really connected to the company and my co-workers. We've done company-wide meetings, happy hours, and game nights with it so I could not recommend enough.
  • I'll eat breakfast around 10:30, 11 AM depending on when my meetings occur. My go-to's are oatmeal or a breakfast sandwich. 
  • In between meetings, I'm answering more emails, creating Instagram Stories in Canva & Photoshop, scheduling posts, and writing copy. If I have a deadline for a project, this is usually my productive time. 
  • At the beginning of each month, I have to do reporting for the last month so depending on timing, a lot of my day consists of that. 

2:30-5 PM 

  • After 2 PM, I take a break and have lunch. It can consist of Tyson Air Fried Chicken Nuggets, Steamfresh Veggie Pasta, Trader Joes Mini Chicken Tacos or Chicken Cilantro Wontons. 
  • After lunch, until 5 PM, there might be more meetings but I try to focus on copy and content creation so that my brain can rest a little from presentations and reports. 
  • Once 5 PM comes, unless there is a virtual happy hour, I close down my laptop and put it away for the night. This helps me keep some sort of balance and if something is really urgent, I have my work phone. 

Other things I might tackle during the day:

  • Influencer briefs or reports
  • Webinars/virtual conferences -- there have been so many of these popping up and it's a great way to learn more about my field and break up the day.
  • Competitive reporting/analysis - this is a good way to find new content to post and see what the industry is up too. 
  • Community management never stops so every hour or so I'll check on my posts, respond to comments and DMs, and just engage with the followers. 
  • Things come up last minute all the time so I might have to throw a presentation or analysis together last minute or put together a content brief. At the beginning of COVID, things were changing hour by hour and it was a wild ride but a great learning experience. 

After 5 PM 

  • Depending on the weather and my energy level, I will do a pilates workout, a weight workout, or go for a walk. At the start of quarantine, I thought I'd do video at home workouts but after a few tries, they just didn't work for me. 
  • After a workout, I'll cook/help with dinner, shower, and rest for the night. I might read, do some blogging, other writing, or just lay in bed watching TV until an appropriate time to get under my covers. 

I'm very grateful to have a job that allows me to work from home and a company that has taken great steps to keep us informed and take care of us. I am so thankful for this job and to be able to do what I love... even in the middle of a global pandemic.

Let me know if you liked this style of post - I will definitely do a nighttime routine and a weekend one!

xoxo
B



I have had this post in my editorial calendar for a solid year and kept moving it. Some weeks I didn't feel like I used the app enough to warrant a review and other times I just wasn't in the right... headspace to write it. I'm sorry for the bad pun but I couldn't help it.

Another week of quarantine, another week that this post is NOT going up on a Friday. Time is a social construct at this point during the pandemic anyway. 

This was actually a pretty busy weekend: Friday I wasn't feeling great so I took the day off, went on a late afternoon walk with my friends, and then did some food shopping. I was alone all day since my mom and sister went to the beach and socially distanced so I decided to completely organize the entire kitchen. I was exhausted by the end of it but it was so satisfying I could've cried. 

Saturday, I did more food shopping, napped and read from cover to cover, the book After Ever Happy by Anna Todd. I don't think I talked about this yet but I read the entire "After" series last week and my life feels completely different. I cannot even explain it but at one point, I will try, perhaps in an upcoming Book Review Wednesday. 

Today, I was feeling less than great and was in bed until 3 PM. Sometimes you just need those days. However, I got up, made my bed, did a great workout, showered, and washed my hair. And now... here we are. 

Last week I had a bit of an epiphany. I've been feeling really angry about everything and I'm trying to make the conscious decision stay positive, stay light, and stay focused on my own tasks and choices. I cannot control everyone else so if they want to go outside without a mask, think that just because they're bored of the virus means it's over, that doesn't mean I have to think that way. I might touch on this in a future post...

For now, I will stop rambling and get to the good stuff.


Links I Loved

What You Missed on Royally Pink

What I Bought This Week

I did really good this week and only purchased something from the Love Shack Fancy x Stoney Clover Lane collection! I picked up the pencil case, the crown patch, and the storm patch. 

I hope you all have a great rest of your Sunday & a good start to the week!

xoxo
B
When I heard that there was a book coming out about the history of Instagram, the nerd in me was very exciting. I love learning about tech, startups, and companies that I'm a fan of. I know the story of Facebook was filled with drama (see: The Social Network) so Instagram being part of Facebook, I knew there was something else there.

I also work in social media as my full-time job and my hobbies so learning more about all of the social platforms interests me on a personal & professional level.

I was lucky enough to get an early ARC of No Filter by Sarah Frier from NetGalley and I was over the moon! I read the book in a few days and spoiler alert: I highly recommend everyone who loves Instagram to read this.


Publisher's Summary

In 2010, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger released a photo-sharing app called Instagram, with one simple but irresistible feature: it would make anything you captured through your phone look more beautiful. The cofounders started to cultivate a community of photographers and artisans around the app, but it quickly went mainstream. In less than two years, it caught Facebook’s attention: Mark Zuckerberg bought the company for a historic $1 billion when Instagram was just 13 employees.

That might have been the end of a classic success story. But the cofounders stayed on, trying to maintain Instagram’s beauty, brand, and cachet, considering their app a separate company within the social networking giant. They urged their employees to make changes only when necessary, resisting Facebook’s grow-at-all-costs philosophy in favor of a strategy that highlighted creativity and celebrity. Just as Instagram was about to reach 1 billion users, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg—once supportive of the founders’ autonomy—began to feel threatened by Instagram’s success.

At its heart, No Filter is a human story, as Sarah Frier uncovers how the company’s decisions have fundamentally changed how we interact with the world around us. Frier draws on unprecedented exclusive access—from the founders of Instagram, as well as employees, executives, and competitors; Anna Wintour of Vogue; Kris Jenner of the Kardashian-Jenner empire; and a plethora of influencers, from fashionistas with millions of followers to owners of famous dogs worldwide—to show how Instagram has fundamentally changed the way we shop, eat, travel, and communicate, all while fighting to preserve the values which contributed to the company’s success. No Filter examines how Instagram’s dominance acts as lens into our society today, highlighting our fraught relationship with technology, our desire for perfection, and the battle within tech for its most valuable commodity: our attention.

My Thoughts

"No Filter" covers everything about Instagram, from start to finish -- and by finish I mean when the founders left the company.

We got the full story about the app that changed the world: how it came to be, how Facebook bought it because it was competition, and how Mark Zuckerberg kept the filtered photo app from cannibalizing Facebook -- or at least he tried.

I had no idea there was so much drama surrounding Instagram, or how Facebook was so involved, yet not involved. We got a look at the reason for the algorithm changes, why and how it took so long for certain updates to be mad, and what the founders' true vision for the app was. They never intended for it to be used the way we use it, and in my mind, it makes me feel a little dirty. 

The entire book is so interesting - I cannot get over how good it was. If you love reading about companies (i.e: Bad Blood), you will love No Filter. 

One of my favorite parts about the book was the fact that this is all very recent. It's history, yes, but the history we were all around for. When Sarah started mentioning Pinterest and Snapchat, I remember being the first amongst my friends to use the apps. I remember when I first got Facebook and how Myspace seemingly disappeared from society. 

The fact that all of this massive technological change happened within the past ten years is insane and I loved learning the intricate details of it all. 

Sarah Frier's writing is captivating, well researched and so interesting. She writes in a way that makes the story easy to understand but with passion & emotion behind it. You could tell that she spent a lot of time on this book, but of course, that is necessary when writing a book like this.

If you are someone who loves to learn about the ins and outs of your favorite companies, work in social media, or any kind of media, you need to read this. I would recommend this book to pretty much everyone on the planet if they use Instagram. It's very eye-opening and makes you see the platform a little differently. 

There's a reason no one could stop talking about "No Filter"... it is that good.

xoxo
B
Writing last week's Tuesday Inspiration was very therapeutic and I loved it. Thank you for reading! 

Today I want to talk about what everyone is talking about, what people can't seem to stop talking about, and with very good reasoning. Quarantine and the entire pandemic has been incredibly stressful, rough, sad, anxiety-inducing, and heartbreaking. There are so many emotions that come along with being stuck in the house, life being on pause, and knowing that the reason is that people are dying at a rapid rate.

When this all started back in mid-February, I really didn't think it would get to this point. I didn't think it was that serious and I don't think a lot of people did. I've been working from home since March 13th, my vacations have gotten canceled & my friends' weddings are no longer happening. I've had family members die, I know others who have died, it's just so sad and upsetting. 

As someone who struggles with daily anxiety, I have been handling it pretty well. I don't mind being inside, I like working from home, I've been working out more, reading more, writing more -- I feel like I have a grasp on things. To sound completely selfish, I think quarantine came at a good time for me. I had just gotten broken up with by my boyfriend of almost two years, without warning so having something else, like the world ending, to be anxious about and occupy myself with, helped. It also helped that my routine has been completely broken and no one is allowed out of their houses, meaning that I could wallow in myself without feeling the pressure to 'get back out there'. It worked out for me but only in the confines of my mind. 

As someone with anxiety, you are constantly trying to imagine the worst. You are waiting for the other shoe to drop, for something to happen to make your anxious dreams come true. This is what all the anxious people have been waiting for, in a weird way. This is the worst thing to happen in our lifetime so it's like our minds were preparing us for it the entire time.

As an introvert, I thrive in my alone time and I feel like I'm getting to know myself better, to work things out in my head, without distraction, without routine. I'm not saying that during a global pandemic I'm thriving because I'm not... it's just weird how I'm feeling. It feels like I've adjusted to what life is like now and that is almost more concerning for me. I'm more nervous for things to go back to normal... or whatever our new normal might look like. 

While I don't have day to day anxiety, when I think about what's happening and I think about the people who don't believe this is real, I get irrationally angry. I think anger has been my main emotion during this entire thing... I'm so angry at everyone who thinks they are above the rules. I'm petrified about a recession or a depression, about the jobs loss and the companies shutting down. I'm nervous & angry about what the world is going to look like after this. 

The days blur together, weekends mean nothing, and I miss my friends and my family. I miss being able to go to Target when I please and browse the aisles, I miss making plans, but in the same breath, my life, no matter if there was a pandemic or not was going to look different during these months because of the breakup. I'm not that self-centered but in my mind, this is how I'm dealing with it and looking at it. 

What I've learned during this quarantine is that life is very short. I knew that I knew it was short but life can truly change at the drop of a hat, not even when it comes to death. Things can close, people are ripped away from you, and plans that have been years in the making are suddenly on hold. Just because something has never happened, like live sports being shut down, doesn't mean it won't ever happen. 

I think we need to remember to take things day by day. Life is not normal right now and we cannot plan for the future; for a lot of us, that is very stressful and brings up a lot of bad habits & uneasy feelings. We need to care for ourselves and for our well beings because there is nothing else we can do. This is completely out of our control so we must try to control what we can... in a healthy way, of course.

Two quotes have been helping me through this and I try to repeat them as a mantra of sorts. Silver linings are all around us, so if we could find something positive to anchor ourselves too, we will be ok.




How are you doing right now? Let's chat in the comments!
xoxo
B


My nail colors have officially switched over to bright pinks, purples, and blues and with the state of the world, I needed some brightness in my life. The multi-color manicure trend has been on my radar for a while now but I've never attempted it. I could never figure out what colors go together or what looked good but finally, with my bright colors, I found a good match.

Rainbow manicures are definitely going to be all over this summer and I'm pretty excited about it. I didn't' use any new colors to create mine but this is probably my favorite manicure to date. I don't think I can go back to using just one color after this! 

The key to a good rainbow manicure is to find colors that complement each other: blue & purple, pink & blue, maybe throw in a coral or peach. As long as they aren't too drastic or too similar, they should work. Like I said before, I definitely think this works better with light colors than dark ones, but maybe that's just me. 

It's Saturday... I'm rewatching One Tree Hill and feeling down on my luck about the state of the world. This entire thing is really getting to me and I'm starting to wonder when or if it's going to end, and how is the world going to look when it's all over. As I write this, I'm just not in a good mood. Mother's Day is tomorrow, my mom is sad about missing her own mom & sister, and I feel bad. I'm feeling burnt out from work & being home and there were so many idiots outside today LOL Also, it's snowing in New York and 40 degrees, so I'm cold and cranky. 

I have so many things floating around in my head and almost can't put it into words. But enough of that... I'm planning on saving it for a Tuesday Inspiration post next week.

During this entire quarantine, I haven't really watched anything new. I have been rewatching my old favorites like Gossip Girl or binging whatever is on Bravo... or just catching up on Disney movies and rewatching Harry Potter & Star Wars. One Tree Hill has been all over TikTok lately and the need to revisit my favorite high schoolers has been strong. I'm on episode 8 and fully addicted to the Scott men, including Keith. Keith Scott is a BABE and such a good man... I knew he was a precious gem back in the day but wow, I am attracted to Keith! 

Season 1 is so good and such a great introduction to the town dynamics but I just can't wait for Nathan & Haley to get married and Lucas & Nathan to be friends. The show is much better that way. However, I am thinking about skipping the majority of season 2 when Haley leaves for the tour... I always hated that storyline.



Now, enough Tree Hill talk, and let's dive into the week's recap.

Links I Loved

What You Missed on Royally Pink

What I Bought This Week

I didn't do much spending aside from a large pouch from the Stoney Clover Lane Tropical Collection and Lele Sadoughi Scrunchie Set. Oh, I also might've purchased this pink confetti headband from Lele Sadoughi. 


Hope you have a great rest of the weekend!
xoxo
B

Tuesday inspiration was a blog series I used to do back in the days. If I'm being totally honest, it was an easy filler in terms of content and it made me feel connected to all of you. It was where I got serious and discussed things that were close to my heart.

At some point along the way, I stopped posting them because I had new ideas and felt that it was tired. At some point, I didn't think it resonated with anyone and it didn't resonate with me. Life was ok for a while and I didn't feel like I needed the inspirational quotes to help me get through the days.

Times have changed though and we're five months into what I think is the worst year ever. I had the highest of hopes for this year and they crumbled so fast and so dramatically. My aunt died in January, coronavirus started in mid-end February, I got broken up with out of the blue in March and then the world imploded.

It truly has been a dumpster fire of a year and we're not halfway done. It's very scary, it's very discouraging and it's very nerve-wracking. Besides everyone's physical health is at risk, our mental health is at risk too. It's really difficult and I just wish the best for everyone.

Quotes from Pinterest quotes from people I respect... just a good feeling, in general, goes a long way right now. It's important, I think, to really remain hopeful and know that everything, the good and the bad come to an end. This won't last forever.

From now on, whenever I feel like we could all use a pick me up, I'm going to utilize Tuesday Inspiration. Some weeks will have a message, some will just be rambles, some will just be quotes. Either way, positivity is needed.





xoxo
B

It's very rare that I stray from Essie polishes and when I do, a post is warranted. I've been really intrigued by Olive & June polish for a while but never found a color that spoke to me, or I just wasn't in the market for a new neutral shade.

I'm not sure when I got this Olive & June polish, it was either right before quarantine or when I placed a Target order online.. either way, I just used it and I have thoughts.

With spring in full swing, I wanted a blue shade and therefore, picked BP (I'm not really sure of the naming conventions behind Olive & June but BP is a strange name for nail polish). I've been waiting to use it and last week was the time.

I took this before I removed all the polish so excuse the chips! 

First, let me say that I love Olive & June's branding. I love the story behind it... how the founder wanted to be the Drybar of nails. Listen to her on podcasts, Sarah Gibson Tuttle, it's a wonderful story. I love that during quarantine, they have tried to help people do their own nails with Mani Bootcamp. It's an interesting company.




Their polishes, I've noticed, are very neutral and wearable. They aren't trying to be Essie or OPI... they are forming their own path.

I love the shape of the bottle, how Instagramable it is; the brush is flat & wide which is my favorite kind so applying it was a breeze.

The formula, however, is hit or miss. It was a little watery and a little patchy. It took some maneuvering but with two coats, the patchiness wasn't so bad. It was a little bit of a learning curve but it was good polish.

It didn't chip immediately and wore nicely until a few days in when I start picking at it... which is always the case.

The color was more vibrant on the nails than in the bottle which I am thankful for and it looked really nice -- BP is a color that reminds me of a very light shade of Bikini So Teeny by Essie, the classic summer shade which I need a new one of! I will gladly keep wearing BP and learn how to successfully apply an Olive & June polish.

While the formula was slightly disappointing, I've had worse and I'm not ready to give up on Olive & June just yet. I'll be trying more of their colors in the future!

Have you tried Olive & June yet? What are your thoughts?
xoxo
B


The one good thing that has happened in quarantine? Lilly Pulitzer has been killing it with sales recently... and it's very unusual for the brand. They usually have two sales a year and they are dubbed the After Party Sales which come in August & January. Otherwise, the brand does not have sales or promos on their website.

Within the past few weeks, Lilly has had two major sales: a 30% off sale and then a tiered promo sale that is happening right now. You can get 30% off $100, 40% off $250 and 50% off $500.

As mentioned in my round-up post this week, I wanted to take it easy on shopping but when it comes to clothes, I bend my rules. I don't shop for clothes very often and especially now, with the warm weather coming I need more casual, loungewear clothes that aren't sweatshirts and thick leggings.

I figured this was too good of a deal to pass up and I needed to pick up some casual Lilly clothes. I have enough dresses and who knows if I'll even get to wear them this summer so I limited myself to no fancy wear.



Below is what I picked up from the sale:
Here are some items I think are worth looking at if you want to shop!
The sale ends on Monday so happy shopping! 
xoxo 
B
Friday, oh Friday! This week was weird... our routines felt very normal and it's a weird groove that I feel like everyone has gotten into. I had many failed attempts at different projects, like buying a very cheap iMac and trying to use it as a second screen for work.

I was just over everything this week. I'm over quarantine, I'm overeating the same things every day, I'm over not knowing what to expect next... I'm even over shopping. Seriously, I was opening packages yesterday and it gave me the goosebumps in the worst way. I packed the items up again and am returning everything.

I just am at a loss for words and not sure how I feel about anything. I guess we are all feeling that way, aren't we? It only makes sense.

I'm going to spend the night watching reality TV (Kardashians & RHONY) and catch up on reading & writing. I hope you are all staying healthy & safe!



Links to Love

What You Missed on Royally Pink

What I Bought This Week

I didn't do much shopping, just one more Sephora VIB Sale order. 



Have a great weekend everyone! xoxo B
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