Weekend Reading #35

weekend

Dress: Reformation {similar} // Shoes: BCBG {similar} // Bag: Shashi // Earrings: BaubleBar

1. Things one woman wish she did before she turned 30.

2. Questions to ask on a third date to really get to know someone.

3. Why our mental health takes a village.

4. Natural remedies for a stuffy nose.

5. Is napping good for you?

6. Can apple cider vinegar cut sugar cravings?

7. The best places to donate all your stuff.

8. I want everything from this new Zara Home collection!

9. This pink milkshake benefits puppies!

10. When the line between being a good friend and emotional labor get blurry – I can relate to this SO much.

 

Random Act of Kindness Day

We’ve all seen those tv commercials for “random act of kindness”, and every time I see those I get a smile on my face. February 17th is Random Act of Kindness Day and we can all do something to help! As you all know, I have a dog named Baguette (@mydogbaguette). She is the love of my life and I’m obsessed with her. My parents also have two adorable dogs, Mocha and Gizmo (photo above). So it’s safe to say I’m a huge dog lover. I wanted to talk to you guys about two animal organizations that I love to support.

ASPCA – The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is one of my favorite organizations. They do such incredible work to help with animal homelessness and cruelty. When the floods were happening in Texas, the ASPCA was working hard to provide shelter and food to those animals that were left abandoned on the streets. They are also a great resource to go to if you are looking to adopt an animal.

Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation – This is another incredible organization. They focus on helping abused and neglected animals by rehabilitating them as well as helping them find loving homes. They also rescue animals from the Asian Dog Meat Trade and bring them to the US to build a better life for these dogs.

Both of these organizations do such incredible work helping innocent animals get the lives that they deserve. On February 17th, I urge you to take some time out and help one of these organizations. Whether it be by volunteering, fostering, fundraising or even just donating a couple dollars. Any bit of help goes a long way!

You can go here for more information on how to help with ASPCA  and Animal Hope and Wellness. Please take a small part of your day on February 17th to do something to help! You can also help out with whatever organizations that you feel passionate about. For more information on different nonprofit fundraising check out Eventbrite.

 

Shop My Amazon Picks!

AmazonImage from City Chic Decor

My most used online shopping destination is definitely Amazon. As a Prime member I’m obsessed with how fast I can get things delivered to me. I order everything from Amazon from basic necessities to fun items I probably don’t really need. I was able to put together some of my favorite items on Amazon and I wanted to share them with you guys!

 


Ice rolling is great for when your face is feeling puffy. If I wake up super early or I’ve been crying or ate too much salt, this ice roller works wonders. Plus it just feels amazing on the skin.

 


I’m moving apartments soon and I’ve been looking for new home decor. I love this gold mirror! I think it would be the perfect addition to my new place!

 


My mom swears by this stuff to do laundry! She goes through so many of these.

 


I’m in my mid-(to late ahhh) 20’s, and I started reading this book. It’s super interesting and really makes you think about all the things going on in your life.

 


Aziz always makes me laugh, and this book is not only hilarious but also extremely interesting. It gives a lot of great insight on the modern world of dating.

 


My dog Baguette (aka Baggy) LOVES this stuff. Plus, it’s great to freshen up her breath.

 


Who doesn’t love bacon? Baggy is obsessed with this, and if I was a dog I would be too.

 


I just bought this to help me get organized for my move. Anything that helps keep me organized is a must!

 


This is Amazon’s version of the Silpat mat’s. Once I move, I will definitely be stocking up on these bad boys!

 


I hate when hangers are mismatched. I love these black velvet hangers because they’re thin but also help hold your clothes up.

 


Gua Sha is great for lymphatic drainage. When you want to de-bloat your face, this is a great tool to use!

 


Another one of my organizing items are these OXO containers. They’re perfect to keep your pantry items fresh and organized.

 


I’ve just recently started taking this collagen powder. I haven’t seen results yet because I just started but I’ve heard good things. Will keep you posted!

 


This is Baggy’s go-to food. She loves it!

 


I got this for my parents for Christmas and love using it to watch/stalk the puppies! I also got one for my apartment so I can creep on my dog. LOL

 


Who doesn’t love games? This is a great and hilarious game to play with friends!

 


Fiber is key! And these fiber crackers are great to add into your daily meals. They don’t really taste like much so definitely add things on it like avocado!

 

What do you guys like to get from Amazon? Let me know in the comments below! And you can shop all my Amazon picks here:  https://www.amazon.com/shop/esthercollins

The Best Podcasts to Listen To

best podcasts

“So I was listening to a podcast”… ask my roommates and I start a sentence like this at least once a day. It’s true. I’m a podcast freak. Whenever I’m in the car driving to work, or on a flight, chances are I’m listening to a podcast. There are a million different podcasts out there so sometimes it can be hard to navigate which ones to listen to. So I wanted to share with you guys my favorite podcasts to listen to based on whatever mood you are in.

Girl Talk

LadyGang: This is hands down my favorite podcast to listen to. I did an interview with Keltie Knight from the LadyGang a while back, you can read it here. Keltie is joined by Jac Vanek and Becca Tobin for an entertaining podcast each week. This is a great podcast that is light hearted and always makes me laugh. It feels like I’m sitting in the car just listening to my girlfriends chat.

Lady Lovin’: If you’re a fan of Laguna Beach, check this one out. It was started by Lo Bosworth, Greta Titelman and Jilly Hendrix. I like this because it feels like a more grownup version of the LadyGang. They delve deep into real life problems and just get real about life.

Learn Something

The Skinny Confidential Him and Her: Lauryn Evarts (who I also interviewed for my blog, you can read it here) and her husband Michael Bosstick interview influential people each week on their podcast. They interview plastic surgeons, diet experts, entertainers and all that in between.

Becoming Fearless by Style Collective: This one I need to give a little shout out too because it’s by one of my friends Annie Spano. Annie runs Style Collective which is a place for bloggers to come together and learn. She started this podcast recently to talk to others about work and building your career. If you are starting a new business and need some help, definitely check this out.

Everything Bachelor Related

The Ben and Ashley I Almost Famous Podcast: Ya’ll. I low-key have a huge crush on Ben Higgins. So obviously I’m going to listen to this Bachelor themed podcast that him and Ashley I do each week. It’s a great insight to behind the scenes of the Bachelor franchise and also recaps of the shows.

Mouthing Off with Olivia Caridi: You probably remember Olivia for having a big mouth on the Bachelor, and she’s back to talk all things reality on her podcast. She interviews a lot of Bravo stars (my fave!) in a really entertaining way. She’s a girl I feel like I can relate to on a personal level.

Laugh Out Loud

The Bitch Bible: This blog turned podcast by Jackie Schimmel is hands down one of the funniest podcasts ever. Jackie my spirit animal. She says whatever she wants, whenever she wants and I’m obsessed. I feel like I’m sitting at brunch with a cocktail in hand just laughing with her. PS: Jackie if you want to be friends I live in LA, holler at your girl.

Do you guys like podcasts? If so let me know in the comments below which ones are your favorites so I can check them out!

Photo by: Jordan Zobrist

Weekend Reading #34

weekend

1. Cleaning tips for each zodiac sign.

2. Are depression naps helpful or harmful?

3. Rules for flying with food.

4. Unexpected items to frame.

5. Picking the best paint colors for each room.

6. Why you should eat more fiber, something I’m trying to do!

7. Ways to reuse your dryer sheets.

8. Places to get a natural facial in LA.

9. Facebook is making some major changes.

10. I posted a new YouTube video of my top 5 makeup items! – Don’t forget to subscribe if you aren’t already! 🙂

2018 Goals

2018

Dress: Lulus {similar here and here} // Ring: Monica Vinader // Shoes: Marc Fisher

Can you guys believe it’s already 2018?! Seriously where did the year go? But also, thank God. I could not be more ready to start a new year. 2017 was definitely one of the hardest years for me. The year started out great but then the second half of the year I hit a wall. I struggled with severe anxiety (something I want to eventually write a post on), a break up, and a lot more. After what seemed like rock bottom, the only place to go is up.

I’ve never really been much of a new years resolution kind of girl, but this year I’m really trying to start fresh. That being said, I’ve read a lot recently about how writing down your goals can help you achieve them. So here we go, here are some of my goals for 2018.

1. Cook more. In 2017 I realized I spend A LOT of money on going out to eat. Now I love checking out new restaurants and food places (especially brunch, hello my blog name!), but that being said I don’t need to spend ALL of my money going out to eat. I’m going to try to go grocery shopping once a week so that I can meal prep. It’s also so much easier to eat healthy when you prep your own foods. If ya’ll have any recipes that you love, leave them in the comments for me to try!

2. Workout more. This is pretty much on everyones new years resolutions list but I’m going to try not to be that girl who only does it for the month of January. I’ve noticed that when I workout consistently, my body and mind just feel better. I am aiming to go to three workout classes a week.

3. Beat my anxiety. Now sadly, anxiety is probably something I won’t completely be able to get rid of for good. However, I’ve been taking steps the past few months to help minimize my anxiety (working out, therapy etc). This year, I want to really focus on getting past my anxiety and get back to the place I was prior to 2017, but better.

4. Move apartments. I’ve been wanting to change things up recently and I think moving will help. As my dad calls it, the geographical cure. While I’m still going to stay in LA, I want to move into a new apartment. It’s time to redo my decor and just have a place that is my own. My sanctuary.

5. Focus on the blog. I’m not going to lie. I kind of feel like I’ve sort of neglected this blog in the second half of last year. I didn’t do it on purpose but with everything going on in my life, it kind of just fell to the side. But I love this blog. I love writing these posts for you guys and connecting with all of you. I really want to put my time and energy into growing this blog and making it even better in 2018.

6. Travel more. This year, I really want to get out and travel as much as I can. I already have a few trips planned this year that I’m excited to take. The next one being Charleston, SC. So if you guys have ever been there and have any recommendations, please let me know!

7. Get organized. I’m a naturally messy person. It’s bad. I hate cleaning, it’s kind of my least favorite thing in THE WORLD. Like seriously. Just ask my mom LOL. That being said, I’m trying to revamp and refresh my life and that means get organized. Starting with, making my bed every morning. Got to start somewhere right?

8. Be happy. Above all, I just want to be happy in 2018.

What are your goals for 2018? Let me know in the comments below!

*Also, if you like this cute pup in my pics, be sure to go follow her on Instagram @mydogbaguette!

Photography by: Jordan Zobrist

Weekend Reading #33

1. What your airplane seat says about you.

2. These facial serums are recommended by dermatologists.

3. Foods you should never bring on planes.

4. Costco or Amazon, which is cheaper?

5. How to clean your yucky kitchen sponge.

6. The best IKEA home products.

7. Things to know and ask when touring apartments.

8. How magnesium can help with holiday stress.

9. Healthy flying tips from flight attendants.

10. The $1 storage item you need.

 

6 Ways to Get Over a Breakup

breakup

Breakups suck. I’ve struggled back and forth about writing this blog post because I have never really shared too much about my personal life here on the blog. But I wanted to be open and honest with you guys, and especially now during the holidays. If anyone was going through the same thing I am I want to help.

A couple months ago, I went through a breakup. It came completely out of the blue and honestly left me in complete shock. I had only been dating the guy for a few months officially, but we had been seeing each other for the better part of 2017. Things in my head were getting serious, but for him it was all happening too fast. Unfortunately we weren’t on the same page on a lot of different things, not just the relationship.

When a breakup happens, your whole world gets shaken. It’s never something easy to deal with and honestly the whole “it just takes time” saying is kind of true. But while you’re waiting for that time to pass and for that day to come where you wake up and suddenly things just start to feel a little better, here are some tips that worked for me on how to get over a breakup.

1. Cry. Yes, you heard me…cry. You don’t have to be that person who appears to be tough and emotionless (unless that really is you, in which case more power to you). Crying is a natural response to sadness, and especially after a breakup, you’re going to feel sad. I spent the entire weekend after my breakup just sitting on the couch, or in my bed crying. I probably used up 3+ boxes of Kleenex but honestly, it helped.

2. Talk about it. I’m a huge proponent of talking about it. Whether it’s to your friends, family or to a therapist (for me it was all of the above), it really helps to vocalize how you are feeling. Take advantage of the people who are there for you during this tough time. Talk through what you’re feeling and what you are going through. I even had a friend who I didn’t know very well reach out to be during this time to take me out to dinner and just talk. Honestly it was one of the nicest things someone did for me at this time and it made me feel a lot better.

3. Exercise. Elle Woods once said, “Exercise gives you endorphines, endorphines make you happy”. This couldn’t be more true. When you exercise, your body releases endorphines. Endorphines are a chemical that signals to your brain to feel happy. So as much as it might feel like a pain to get up and go to that gym class, just do it. Because when you leave you’ll be feeling a lot better than when you walked in.

4. Lay off the alcohol. Now some people (mainly my guy friends) disagree with this rule. But for me, and many other people, alcohol can heighten whatever you’re feeling. So if you go into a night of heavy drinking feeling sad, chances are that emotion is just going to get worse. Take it from my own experience. I thought going out with my girlfriends a week after my breakup would be a great distraction for me, but I ended up leaving early and spending the entire night crying hysterically on my bedroom floor. It was not a pretty look and honestly I felt terrible afterwards. So if you’re like me, take it safe and just chill on the drinking.

5. Practice self-care and self-loveA lot of times when you’re in a relationship, you get so swept up in spending time with another person that you start to forget about yourself. I know for me, this definitely was the case. After my breakup I decided to focus on the things that really made me happy. I booked myself a facial, made plans with friends I hadn’t seen in a while and focused on things I enjoyed like working out or this blog. I also started to attend church more regularly. It helped to put my energy back into my faith and really allowed me to feel grounded during a tough time. Really take this time to focus on what makes you happy.

6. Realize it will all be okay. This is honestly the hardest part, but the most important. Everything happens for a reason. This wasn’t my first breakup, and probably won’t be my last. I was able to get over the last one and become a much better person from it and I have a feeling the same thing will happen again. But it’s hard. I get it. There are days where I honestly question why everything happened and if it really was the right decision. At the end of the day, there really is nothing else for you to do but move forward.

If you guys are going through a breakup right now just know that you are not alone. You will get through this and find an amazing person that will make you laugh at the days when you felt this sad. But also realize that what you are feeling is okay. Whatever emotion you are feeling right now whether it’s sad, angry, upset, confused, these are all valid feelings to have. Just know, that time really does heal all and eventually you to will get past this. Sending you all my love.

Last Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Holiday Gift Guide

Is it just me or is this holiday season creeping up REAL quick. I’ve barely done any of my holiday shopping yet and so I’m starting to scramble to get them done. If you’re like me and are doing everything last minute, here is a holiday gift guide that’s perfect for you! I’ve picked out some items for every type of girl on your list. Whether she’s a homebody, the fashionista or the techie, here are some things you can get!

1. Marble Picture Frame – $25

2. LuMee iPhone Case – $69.95

3. Black Booties – $69.96 (on sale now!)

4. Capri Blue Candle – $39

5. Knit Throw – $99

6. Faux Fur Coat – $150

7. Charlotte Tilbury Eyeshadow – $53

8. Nest Indoor Camera – $199

 

Holiday Party Recipes

The weekend before Thanksgiving, my roommates and I decided to throw a last minute holiday party at our apartment. This was basically just an excuse for me to cook and try out new recipes. I wanted to share with you guys the foods that we made because they were all a hit!

Cheese and Meats: First off how cute is this marble cutting board I got from Anthropologie?? I’m obsessed! I wanted to put it to good use so we got a bunch of different cheese and meats. Put your favorites together and mix and match! Put some grapes and crackers in a separate bowl and you got yourself a snack!

Cranberry Brie Bites: I saw a video on Facebook with this recipe so I wanted to recreate it. Here is a recipe for something similar. Instead of using puff pastry I just used canned biscuits. They came out SO good! I want to make these again! They were also good reheated up the next day.

holiday recipes

Apple Gruyere Toast: I got this recipe a couple years ago from one of Carly Cristman’s videos. It’s my friends favorite and super easy to make! I make these at every get together we have, and they always go so quick! I couldn’t find the video because it was a few years old, but basically you take a baguette, cut it up. Place apple slices and gruyere cheese on top and bake at 350 until the cheese is melted.

Peppermint and White Chocolate Pretzels from Trader Joes: These are seriously my crack. I can’t get enough. I can pretty much eat an entire bag of these in one sitting.

Puppy Chow: This reminds me of my childhood. It’s such an easy snack to make and is perfect for the holidays. Here is the recipe for that.

Lemon Snowball Cookies (not pictured): I also baked these lemon snowball cookies that were AMAZING! If you love lemon then you’ll love these cookies. They literally melt in your mouth. Here  is the recipe for that.

There you guys have it! Those are the things we put together for our last minute holiday party! What are some of your favorite holiday recipes? Let me know in the comments down below!