What I Got from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

nordstrom anniversary sale

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is going on from now until August 5th. I ended up caving and getting the Nordstrom credit card to shop the sale early (shopaholic problems!). I only received the two items in the picture above so far but I wanted to share with you the other items that I got in case you all were curious! Act fast if you want any of these because the items are selling out fast! There were a lot of items I wanted to get from the sale but they sadly sold out before I was able to get my hands on them.

Here are the items I got, along with a few extra I was eying! If you guys got anything from the anniversary sale, I would love to see! Let me know in the comments below or tag me on Insta! @esthercollins

 

How to Style a Bridal Hair Piece for Everyday

bridal hair piece

A couple weeks ago my friend Shirley reached out to me to tell me about a new company her mom and her just started. Shirley and I interned together at Burberry in NYC seven years ago, can you believe it?! I feel old. LOL. Anyways, when Shirley told me about her new ventures, I was so excited because I think it’s something you guys will love! Shirley’s new line is called Shirley and Audrey and they sell accessories for the modern bride. Now you might be thinking “Esther, I’m not getting married…”. Well girl, neither am I. But these items are so beautiful that you can wear them on your wedding day, or even just out to an event!

I got the hair wreath in Mary, and I wore it to a charity event I went to. I wore it like a headband and tied it in the back. It went so perfectly with what I was wearing and really elevated the outfit. Not to mention, I got tons of compliments on it! I think a hair wreath like this would be so perfect for any event where you need to dress up a little bit, or could even be used as a fancier “flower crown” for something like Coachella!

Whether you are a bride, or just a girl looking for some beautiful items to jazz up your hairdo, go check out Shirley and Audrey. Their quality is AMAZING and all the items are simply beautiful!

For Girls Who Brunch readers, Shirley was kind enough to offer 10% off anything on their website with code GWB10. Also, be sure to follow me on Instagram at @esthercollins because I will be giving away one of these hair wreaths there!

Summer Wish List

It’s officially summer! Summer is my favorite season, and what’s even better is summer clothing! I’ve really been wanting to revamp my wardrobe this summer. Do you ever just get tired of looking at the clothes in your closet? I feel like I want to throw everything out and start over, but let’s be realistic…I don’t have the budget for that LOL. That being said, a girl can dream. So if I could, these would be the items I would purchase to revamp my entire wardrobe.

Tops

Bottoms

Shoes

Accessories

 

What is on your wish list for summer? Let me know in the comments below!

Weekend Reading #42

Shirt: Lulus {similar} // Jeans: American Eagle // Belt: Gucci // Sunglasses: Burro {similar}

1. Recipes to reduce belly fat.

2. Do crystals work for everyone?

3. There is a $2 section on Amazon, say what?

4. How to get stains out of everything.

5. A genetic test could help determine which antidepressant to take.

6. How to prevent wrinkles when traveling.

7. What Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment would look like today.

8. Hacks for better sleep.

9. Instagram hack for more likes.

10. Smoothie ingredients that help you lose weight.

 

 

Thrive Market Haul

Thrive Market

Hi everyone! Today I wanted to share with you guys the items I got from Thrive Market. This is not a sponsored post, I just wanted to share it with you all because I love to see what others are buying! Thrive Market is an online grocery story that sells all things healthy at a slightly lower price. I love it because it’s so easy to shop, and it’s also great for the lazy girls like me because you don’t have to actually go into a store. I get some basics from Thrive, but I also like to try some new healthy snacks as well because they’re usually cheaper than someplace like Whole Foods. Okay, let’s get started with what I got.

Thrive Market Cacao Powder: Thrive has their own brand of foods, which is great because the quality is amazing but it’s at a lower price point. I’ve been wanting to get cacao powder to put into my smoothies and baked goods. This is a HUGE bag and will last me a long time.

Thrive Market Almond Flour: I’ve never used almond flour, but a lot of the baked recipes I’ve been seeing in Candice Kumai’s new book, or from the Tone It Up girls call for almond flour. I decided to buy it on Thrive because it’s cheaper.

Hu Cashew Butter and Pure Vanilla Bean Dark Chocolate: Simply Quinoa on YouTube put this in one of her Thrive Market hauls and said it was delicious, so I had to give this a try. She was not kidding. This stuff is BOMB.com. If you like dark chocolate, you’ll love these.

Quinoa Flakes: This was another item I saw from Simply Quinoa. She uses quinoa flakes in some of her recipes. I have never tried quinoa flakes but they look good, so I decided to get these to try out.

Coconut Aminos: This is basically a healthier soy sauce. I’m asian so I obviously love my soy sauce, but it’s not the greatest thing for you. I like to use coconut aminos in conjunction to soy sauce. Say a recipe calls for 2 tbsp of soy sauce, I will sub one of them out for coconut aminos. It still tastes great, but is slightly better for you.

Thrive Market Spirulina Powder: Spirulina power is an amazing superfood. It’s great for detoxing the body, and also has a lot of great minerals and vitamins. I’m going to be adding these to my smoothies for some added benefit!

Aduki Beans: There is a brownie recipe in Candice Kumai’s book that calls for aduki beans, so I had to get some to try out.

Cotton Rounds: I ran out, so why not just add these to my order.

Coconut Wraps: These were a free gift from Thrive with my purchase. I’m excited to try these out in replace of wraps.

There you guys have it! If you’ve ever ordered from Thrive Market, I would love to know what ya’ll get in the comments below!

What Anxiety Looks Like

What Anxiety Looks LikeI’m sitting down on my couch right now with a green juice (so LA I know) trying to figure out where to even start with this post. I’ve been wanting to write this post for months, but I wasn’t sure if I should write about something I hadn’t conquered yet. But as I thought more and more about it, I really want to write this post for you. For that person that’s going through the same things I am. For that person that is unsure what the heck is going on with their minds and body. I want to write this for you.

So let’s start at the beginning. Growing up I was always a social person. I was the girl that was always making plans with people, going to parties (if you knew me in college then it was throwing the parties). I’ve always been a planner, but I wouldn’t consider myself type A. I’m messy and disorganized but I always wanted to know what was going to happen. I would have never considered myself an anxious person. That was until last year.

Last August I had four friends from both college and home visit me for a weekend. Everything was going great, we were having fun running around LA, going to the beach, eating out etc. Everything was great until after dinner I got home and I tried to take a power nap before going out that night. As I laid down, I started to feel like I couldn’t breath. Panic set in and I started to have a full blown panic attack. I grabbed one of my roommates (the one I usually counted on during crisis mode) and started freaking out. What was going on? I felt like I was dying. Was I dying? Am I having a heart attack? I honestly didn’t know what was going on. Finally after few minutes of a super intense panic attack I started to feel a little better. My friends tried to distract me and after a couple of hours, I was able to get back to normal.

As the days went on after that, I started to think more and more about my panic attacks. Becoming fearful of it happening again. And sure enough, it did. My panic attacks started happening more frequently but soon they just started to feel like an overwhelming feeling of anxiety. My chest felt tight, I had trouble breathing. It started to get to the point where anytime I would be out to eat, I would start to feel a panic attack coming on, so I couldn’t eat. And if ya’ll know me, you know I love to eat. I couldn’t sleep at night, I started waking up every few hours feeling like something was wrong. I had never felt that kind of pain before. I was unable to sleep for about two weeks, I couldn’t eat – I ended up losing 10+ pounds in a couple of weeks, I wasn’t able to focus at work. Everything made me feel panicked. I would spend hours a day crying to myself, or my dad or boyfriend. There were nights where I would wake my boyfriend up in the middle of the night just hysterically crying because something was wrong, and I didn’t know why. My symptoms started to get so bad that my dad literally flew out to LA from NY to take care of me. (ps: thank you dad, you seriously are the best dad ever.) I honestly thought I was going to have to be hospitalized because I didn’t think I could go through the pain any longer. Not eating, not sleeping, constantly feeling like you’re going to die seriously takes a huge toll on you. I didn’t know what it was but something in my body just felt wrong.

I was seeing a therapist, a psychiatrist, my primary care doctor, a gastro, pretty much everyone I could get my hands on I saw. Something had to be wrong with me. What I was feeling was not normal. Every doctor came back with the same diagnosis…you have anxiety.

But what was causing my anxiety? It started when I had friends visiting, friends whom I love and were so excited to see. I was in the beginning stages of a new relationship with a great guy, I had a great job, I had friends I was hanging out with constantly. Everything seemed perfect. Everything except my anxiety. To be honest I’ve spent the past 10 months in therapy trying to figure out what caused this. And sure, there were definitely triggers, but there was also a chemical imbalance in my brain. Because of that I went on medication. I was prescribed a low dose of an SSRI and to be honest I was scared shitless to start taking it. I didn’t want to be “that crazy girl” or be seen as weak or incompetent. But to be honest what really helped was talking to my friends, my boyfriend and even my boss. I was surprised to find out that I wasn’t the only person that’s ever gone through this. Many people that I knew personally, that I never would have imagined them having gone through what I went through told me “yeah, I’ve been on meds before and it helped.” I can do a whole other post of what my experience on meds were like, just let me know in the comments below if that is something you guys would be interested in.

I started taking my meds, I went home to stay with my parents for about a week and I just continued trying to take it a day at a time. Slowly…really slowly things started to get better. Eventually I was able to start eating again, and sleeping again and things just started to feel a little bit more normal.

I still suffer from anxiety and it’s been a tough 9 months for me. I’ve had a lot of changes going on, I went through a breakup, I moved out of my apartment, I lost some friends. There are good days and there are bad days. I still have some of those terrible days where I feel so anxious it feels like I’m having a heart attack. But there are things I do to try to calm myself down. Nothing has been as bad as that first month dealing with anxiety has been. I’m still on the medication, I’m still in therapy and it’s a slow journey but I’m hopeful that one day I’ll look back at it and just realized how it’s helped me to grow.

I want to continue sharing my journey with you guys and have this be a resource for anyone that is going through anxiety or depression. Unfortunately it’s a wide spread issue that not many people like talking about. But I want to be there for you. This has been my personal journey dealing with anxiety. Not everyone’s experience with anxiety will look the same as mine. No matter what you are going through, whatever pain you are feeling; that pain is real. And I want to let you know that I understand that pain, however different it may look. I know this is a super deep topic and my blog has been very light and fun and I still want to show you guys those elements as well, but I also want to open it up with the truth. And the truth is, I have anxiety.

Weekend Reading #41

1. How to combat your anxiety.

2. These drinks are causing you bloating.

3. Foods to avoid before bed.

4. How much you should tip hotel housekeeping.

5. Ways to be happier.

6. Skincare tips from the pros.

7. Gotta try this chickpea cauliflower curry.

8. Skin cancer prevention tips.

9. Mistakes and lessons from your twenties.

10. Queer Eye season 2 is coming and I am PUMPED!

 

Also, Nordstrom is having their half-yearly sale! Here are some of my favorites from the sale if you guys want to shop my picks below!

 

Summer Reading List

summer reading list

Okay, this is kind of sad to admit but after I graduated college I stopped reading books. I used to be such a book nerd growing up (my bed frame was a bookcase!). But ever since I could remember I haven’t been able to finish a book. I’d get major ADD and read about half of a book then just forget about it. That was until recently. I’ve finished two books in the past couple of months, which I know isn’t a lot but for me it is! Now I’m on a reading kick so I wanted to share with you guys what I’ve read and what I’m about to read!

Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari: This book came out a while ago but after watching Aziz’s comedy specials I had to give this a try. This book is pretty educational considering Aziz is a comedian. He goes to different places around the world and studies how people date, both in the past and present. If you’re currently trying to navigate this terrible dating world we live in, like me, then definitely give this book a read! It’s got some pretty interesting insight.

Bachelor Nation by Amy Kaufman: If you know me by now you know I’m obsessed with the Bachelor. Obsessed is in understatement. As soon as I heard this book was coming out I had to pre-order it. This goes behind the scenes of the Bachelor from even before it’s inception. It’s an easy read and highly entertaining!

Kintsugi Wellness by Candice Kumai: I heard about Candice through The Skinny Confidential podcast. Listening to her speak about this book immediately made me go out on Amazon and purchase it. I just started reading it the other day so I can’t say much about it yet but I can’t wait to continue reading it. It’s part a self-help, acceptance book and part a cook book. There’s a matcha chocolate chip cookie recipe in there I CAN’T WAIT to try!

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle: This book is something my dad purchased for me while I was struggling hard with my anxiety (thanks Dad!). I have a really hard time on focusing on the present so hopefully this book will help!

What are you guys currently reading? Let me know in the comments below!

Weekend Reading #40

1. How your social life impacts your mental health.

2. Ladies, it’s time to start tracking your wins.

3. According to science, some of your friends don’t actually like you.

4. Get rid of belly bloat, fast.

5. These airlines have the most leg room.

6. These houseplants will help clean your air.

7. Sandra Oh, keeping it real. BTW I’m obsessed with her new show Killing Eve, go watch it!

8. How to get over friendship insecurity.

9. These photos show how different LA and NY really are.

10. Hopefully this will put a smile on your face like it did mine.

 

 

Spring Clean Your Closet

clean your closet

Hi my name is Esther and I am a hoarder. Sadly, kind of true. One good thing about my latest move is that I got a chance to go through my closet and clean out bags and bags full of things. It’s spring cleaning time so I wanted to share with you guys some of my tips of how to edit down that closet.

Okay, first things first: Create three piles – Donate, Sell and Toss

These are the items you should pull out of your closet to place in these piles.

1. Anything you haven’t worn in a year – If you haven’t worn something in the past year, chances are you probably won’t really wear it again. Be honest with yourself. If it’s in good condition put it in the sell or donate pile, if it’s not toss it.

2. Items with tags still on them – Unless you just bought something within the past month that you haven’t worn yet, if you still have the tags on chances are you won’t be wearing that item. I found a couple items that still had tags on them for YEARS. I was always saving it for that “special” moment to wear the item, but let’s be real…that moment will never come.

3. Old bras and underwear – You know what I’m talking about. We all have those bras with the underwire coming out, or underwear with holes in them. Get rid of them.

4. Anything with holes in them – TOSS. That old pair of jeans with the button missing that you’ve been saying for years you’ll fix…you won’t. Give it up and just toss it.

5. Freebie items – Those shirts you got from that random event you went to, or that ugly old t-shirt your ex-boyfriend gave you on his last trip. Get rid of it. There’s really no “sentimental” value in holding onto these things. They’re just taking up space and you’ll never wear them.

Okay, now that you’ve pulled out those items from your closet here is what you do with those piles of clothes.

Donate: There are many places you can donate your gently used clothes to such as Good Will, Salvation Army or local churches. If you drive around your town you might also see those red donation bins in parking lots that make it super easy to just drop your donation bag off. Some charities will even come and pick up your donations straight from your house. If you itemize your tax deductions, be sure to record what you are donating!

Sell: This is one of my favorite things to do because it’s fun, and you get some extra cash out of it.

For designer clothes I suggest you sell to TheRealReal. It’s super easy, they will send you a prepaid shipping label. You send them your items and if they accept it, they will then sell your clothes for you. You get to keep 55% of the sale price and TheRealReal keeps 45%.

ThredUp is another way to sell clothes online. These items don’t have to be designer, but not all items will be accepted. You can choose to donate the unaccepted items which will then be recycled. Win win.

Poshmark is an app that allows you to sell your items right from the comfort of your house. This requires the most work because you have to take the pictures and ship the items out yourself, but you also get to choose the selling price which you don’t get to do with the other services. I love using Poshmark for items such as jewelry because it’s easy and convenient.

Toss. Self explanatory. Throw it out.

There you guys have it! Happy cleaning!